Have you ever felt the allure of a mountain trail? It beckons, tempting you to explore its length and to discover what lies around the next bend or on the other side of a hill.
The trail could lead to a cave, with mysteries to uncover within. Or it could lead to a cliff overlooking an awe-inspiring view. Or it could take you through forests of towering pine trees or through meadows filled with sweet-smelling wild flowers.
Much of the action in my upcoming novel Raising Fear is set in the mountains of Tlefas that loom over the villages. These mountains run north to south. The western edge of the range is lower, as it’s closer to the plains of Tlefas that extend to the sea. Further east, the mountains are higher and snow-capped year-round, even along their southern slopes.
Making their homes in these steep and rocky mountains are the savage bandits and dreaded warboars. In the mountain valleys, the barbaric Riskers build their camps. Although calling them ‘camps’ is misleading. They are well-established settlements, groupings of stone houses and sturdy barns, surrounded by fields and pastures.
The Riskers are always on alert for bandit attacks. Everyone is constantly prepared for battle, whether they are threatened by bandits, warboars, or other savage beasts that roam the mountainsides.
Early in the story, Iskra, a village girl, finds herself alone in the forest, fleeing bandits. She’s rescued by Tarkio, a trader, and Xico, a Risker. Her first venture along the mountain trails takes her to an unexpected and unsettling place.
Little does she know that wouldn’t be her last trip up the mountains, or the last time she’d have to flee for her life.
We all choose to follow different paths in life. Some take us where we intended to go. Others lead somewhere completely unexpected.
What paths have you chosen and found more than you anticipated?
8 thoughts on “The Lure of a Mountain Trail”
The lure of the written word has been exceptionally enlightening for me. The words have been spilling out of me a little at a time through the decades of my life. Finally! Finally I’ve arrived at a spot where I can string those spilled words into sentences. I’m no Shakespeare or Altwood but much more than I anticipated possible, I’m starting to think I could be a better version of Selma. But only time will tell.
Thanks for this lovely post.
Happy trails Evelyn. I’m so glad to be here to witness some of your climb to the top of the mountain. Can’t wait to read your book. Selma.
Thank you, Selma. All of us who write are on this journey to keep getting improving our craft. I do enjoy reading your work. Hope you enjoy the novel when it’s done!
Thank you, Kevin.
Your book sounds really interesting. I think you can relate to my answer to your question: following the path of the writer. Oftentimes it goes against the grains of society and isn’t always accepted, but I feel compelled to do it anyway. Following the path to write a novel is also a similar path I’ve followed. It has led me to many things: research on random subjects like hot air balloon aerodynamics or secret societies; building a website and blog writing; even drawing out gigantic maps just so I can see my creation somewhere other than my head. Paths like these always lead to bumps and cracks in the path, but they also seem to lead to many hidden treasures along the way. Look forward to hearing more about your book!
Kelly, you nailed it. Research does lead down many different trails and sparks so many new ideas. I’ll never have time to write all the stories my research prompts.
You use really evocative language here and I was intrigued by the post. Your story idea seems well-developed and I liked the themes as well. I was a little confused by where the story takes place, however. The Tlefas mountains weren’t really contextualized for me. I started wondering whether they were a real place. Your website looks professional and I signed up for your newsletter. Looking forward to seeing more from you!
Hi Kasey, Thank you for your comment! Tlefas is the world I created for my fantasy novel, so the mountains are only real in my mind. Thanks much for subscribing!