NaNoWriMo 2014


So I decided to do it. I’m writing a plethora of short stories about awkward encounters. It should be fun. And yes, many will come from real life examples.

I’m not really good at short stories and I’m not really good at real life situations. So this should be an interesting NaNo for me. I’m excited and terrified. I only have one week to think up awkwardness. If you have an awkward encounter you’d like to volunteer for writing fodder, comment below. If you want to join Nanowrimo, or learn more about it, ask questions! Also, see all my posts under this tag!

It really is a glorious time of year

My 10k1Day Journey (aka The Final Day of NaNoWriMo)


I started this morning at 11 AM. I hadn’t slept well the night before due to the ongoing ear infection that had been plaguing me for a few days. I knew with a sinking heart that I had over 10,000 words to write. I started with 39,553 words written. I accepted the challenge and chose to to take it 2,000 words at a time. When I hit my first 2,000 words, I took a break to decorate my Christmas tree with my family. Isn’t it pretty?

Pretty...ooooo...

Pretty…ooooo…

I wrote and then drove a little with Marissa. I was annoyed because I knew that I had SO MUCH TO WRITE. So when I came back at 2PM I settled down in this comfy chair and began to write. I was comfortable, I was warm, I was writing. It was good. Then people came over to watch television. They put Star Trek on. It’s like chocolate for me. I love it and it’s great so I stayed in the television room and watched. Somehow I managed to write quite a bit. I couldn’t tell you how much. Finally I moved and finished my last couple thousand words as my wonderful, darling little sister, Marissa, massaged my head and did my hair. I asked her to leave for my last 500. Those last words before you hit 50k are precious. They are the last moments of a marathon race. Exhilarating, exhausting, and singular. I needed to finish it alone. And when it was done, I felt no different. There’s a tiny bit of excitement that’s inside, bouncing around, but that’s it.

I chalk it up to the fact that I didn’t actually finish my book. I wrote 50k. The funny thing is that my word processor, Scrivener, told me I’d hit 50k but the word validator on the NaNo site said that I hadn’t, so I had to write a couple extra hundred words. In comparison to what I’d just finished it was nothing, but kind of discouraging. So I wrote my last couple of words and validated them.

And then the most beautiful screen appeared before me.

WOO!

WOO!

Yes. I am a winner. I wrote over 10k today. CRAZY RIGHT? But here’s the proof:

Look at that last day! Woo, that's a lot of words...

Look at that last day! Woo, that’s a lot of words…

Today is an awesome day for writers. Congratulations to all those who crossed the finish lines with me. For those that didn’t, you have written more words than you would have otherwise and that, in itself, is a victory. I’m not done with my novel, so I can feel half of your pain. I fully intend on finishing though. I have so much left to go.

I have to say that the most surprising scene I wrote was the last one. My MC, Margaret (who prefers to go by Meg), finds herself distracted by her oldest and best male friend. I wasn’t intending on writing a romance for my MC. But there it was and it was awkward and funny and I kind of loved it. I’m pulling for them guys. It was totally natural too. I’m not trying to force it. It’s nice not to try and push two people at each other. I’m doing that with Marcus and Leyla because they belong together, they just don’t know it yet.

I’m excited to continue my journey and even more excited that it won’t be full of days like today. No more marathon days! WOO!

I CAN’T BELIEVE I MADE IT!

I AM THE CHAMPION MY FRIENDS!

I AM THE CHAMPION MY FRIENDS!

 

 

One Week In


I’m doing fairly well. I’m at about 9,500 words and I should be at 11,666 after today, but I choose not to despair. I choose victory. I choose to be…

A SWASHBUCKLING WRITER!

That’s kind of my new thing. I’ve been hash tagging it all over the place and most of my friends must be confused, but that’s all right. I want to swashbuckle with my pen and write some stuff.

So my book has a title…sort of. It’s called The Ascension of Margaret. Something embarrassing is about to happen. In roughly 10,000 words I’ve introduced my characters very poorly and set up the basic plot which is about to get much more complicated.

I think it’ll be fun. My main character, Margaret (or Meg as she prefers to be called) thinks she’s a super good spy-like person, but she’s not. The only reason she’s gotten away with so much is parental neglect. And the fact that she’s a royal intimidates some people. She does have excellent sewing skills though. I think I wrote that in to make up for my lack of such awesome skills.

This is the first story I’ve written in the first person. I like it though; it’s fun to be a person instead of writing about a person.

Alright, enough of this, I must go write. I’ll update you again soon, dear reader! Wish me luck!

It’s that time of year again…


NANOWRIMO 2013!!!! WOOOO!

Here we go again…

So I know many people are like, “Nicole…you do this every year. Ever since you started this blog. You’ve only won once. WHEN WILL IT END?!”

The answer is never. I will Nanowrimo until the day I die. Yes, that is extreme. And yes, I did just make nanowrimo a verb. Deal with it.

I am once again attempting to write my princess story, with a lot more prep this year.

This year I have construction paper, permanent markers and poster (read: character profiles and a timeline). Oh, and post-its. SO MANY POST-ITS! Over the next couple of weeks I will be refining my plot and characters as much as possible before the big day…November 1st. On that day I will leave my editor at the door and begin something terrifying and wonderful. I will be writing 50,000 words in 30 days. (Although my ACTUAL goal is roughly 65,000 words…we’ll see how that goes).

I am SUPER DUPER excited because I have Wrimo buddies this time! My friends Luci and Hattie are doing it in Chicago (Right, Hattie?). Luci’s book is gonna be AWESOME. I know because I’ve read parts and already I’m blown away. And here in Virginia I will be joined by my friends Bethany, Jess, my sister Grace, and…my dad.

Yes, my father, the Lt. Colonel. The PhD. The All-Powerful Tyrant of King George will also be attempting to write 50,000 words in 30 days and making a general fool of himself like the rest of us. It should be interesting.

What can you expect from me during this hectic time?

Absolutely nothing. I disappear from the face of the planet when I’m doing it right. So expect no posts. Look not for remnants of wit on this blog. I will not be here. Er…well…I probably will, because procrastination is a part of the process, but I probably won’t make any sense.

On that note, I will be pre-writing a few posts to publish in the future.  (I actually wrote this one yesterday…shhhh.)

And I’m sorry that this is the first in a month. You know I would never actually leave you, right?

Day Five of Mini Rhino Month!!


I have to say, it makes me giggle to no end when people hear about NaNoWriMo and come back with “Nanorhino?” I talked about it this evening on my friend Liz’s radio show MCRScrabble. It was fun. I think I’d like doing radio. I think I’d like doing a lot of things. (FOCUS NICOLE!)

Okay, NaNo. Day 5. I’m behind (shocker, right?), but tonight I’m gonna get back on track. I’ve hit 5,000 words, as illustrated by this widget:

My plot line has progressed to something that makes me anxious to write…(baby steps, right?) and I’ve only hyperventilated twice. Doing well!

While NaNo is happening this year I’ll be:

  • Attending a wedding
  • Spending 4-5 days in Denver with my big sis
  • Moving across the country
  • And starting work in a new store

No big.

But the big deal is that I’m writing again. My creativity came back with a flourish. It was gone for a while. In all the craziness of moving and moving again and figuring out where I was living and finding a job and losing my best friend to Minnesota, it got lost. I couldn’t write. Which is why my blog has been so depressingly bare. But it’s back…so YAY! NaNo is benefitting and my blog has new content and I’m not so sad anymore. I have things to do. This is why I love NaNoWriMo: it keeps me busy for a while. I know it’s only day 5, but already I’m getting up earlier and struggling to find a routine in all this.

So…I guess that’s all. I’d like to leave you with this beautiful poem that I found in an old book. It’s the third stanza of Thanatopsis by William Bryant.

   Yet not to thine eternal resting-place
Shalt thou retire alone, nor couldst thou wish
Couch more magnificent. Thou shalt lie down
With patriarchs of the infant world—with kings,
The powerful of the earth—the wise, the good,
Fair forms, and hoary seers of ages past,
All in one mighty sepulchre.   The hills
Rock-ribbed and ancient as the sun,—the vales
Stretching in pensive quietness between;
The venerable woods—rivers that move
In majesty, and the complaining brooks
That make the meadows green; and, poured round all,
Old Ocean’s gray and melancholy waste,—
Are but the solemn decorations all
Of the great tomb of man. The golden sun,
The planets, all the infinite host of heaven,
Are shining on the sad abodes of death,
Through the still lapse of ages. All that tread
The globe are but a handful to the tribes
That slumber in its bosom.—Take the wings
Of morning, pierce the Barcan wilderness,
Or lose thyself in the continuous woods
Where rolls the Oregon, and hears no sound,
Save his own dashings—yet the dead are there:
And millions in those solitudes, since first
The flight of years began, have laid them down
In their last sleep—the dead reign there alone.
So shalt thou rest, and what if thou withdraw
In silence from the living, and no friend
Take note of thy departure? All that breathe
Will share thy destiny. The gay will laugh
When thou art gone, the solemn brood of care
Plod on, and each one as before will chase
His favorite phantom; yet all these shall leave
Their mirth and their employments, and shall come
And make their bed with thee. As the long train
Of ages glide away, the sons of men,
The youth in life’s green spring, and he who goes
In the full strength of years, matron and maid,
The speechless babe, and the gray-headed man—
Shall one by one be gathered to thy side,
By those, who in their turn shall follow them.

NaNoWriMo 2012


I’m so excited that I get to participate this year and I’m prepping above and beyond…I’m actually writing an outline. Yeah. It’s that serious. I’ve only ever done an outline once, but I won that year so it seems to be the thing. I’m also going to work on some character profiles so that I can understand my characters a bit better.

This year’s story is…yeah, okay, it’s about princesses. Again. I might have a small problem. But it’s a completely different scenario this year! And Dorothy L Sayers inspired me into changing my plot. Again.

I started this story at the end of my senior year and it’s finally starting to make sense. I’m really enjoying myself.

ONE WEEK!

The NEW Prologue


I posted that last bit of Raina (aka Nanowrimo 2010 novel) without remembering that I had a newly written part to add. So the last prologue is actually the beginning of chapter one and is a dream. YAY DREAMS! They are my favorite. I really should have more flashbacks in dreams. So here is the REAL prologue and the death of a king.

PROLOGUE

The king woke, shaking and short of breath. It was the fifth night in a row the dreams and woken him.

“Eila…” he murmured. Instinctively he reached out for his wife. He grabbed her arm and found it sticky. Worried, he sat up, bringing his hand to his face.

“Lauren?” the stench of blood reached for him in the darkness.

“Lauren!” it was a shriek this time and he pulled open the curtains, letting in the moonlight. He looked down into the dead blue-green eyes of his wife. All he could say was her name over and over as he focused on the slashed throat and blood-drenched night dress. Her hair tumbled out of its bun onto the pillow and her mouth lay open. Tears streamed down his face as he scooped her up, cradling her.

Then he stiffened and his eyes went wide in shock. The man behind him twisted the dagger that had been thrust into the king’s back. He let out a strangled gasp as the life spilled form his eyes.

The assassin chuckled. He yanked the knife from the king, wiped it clean, and sheathed it.

“Sorry, Your Majesty,” he rasped, “but I fear that your throne is coveted by too many people.” He looked at the woman. “As was your wife. If she might have come quietly…” he trailed off, shaking his head. Someone shouted in the hallway and the man slipped out the side door.

“Oh young princeling…” he called as he melted into the shadows.

The soldiers burst into the room. They found their monarchs dead in each others arms.

Somewhere in the night a boy of twelve ran as fast as he could toward the trees, hotly pursued by a man.

No one knew what happened to the young prince, though they searched for many months. The entire nation mourned for their beloved king and queen, but it wasn’t long before a new form of government was established. The deceased king’s right-hand man founded the very first Council. They made all the decisions concerning the country together, with no man as “head.”

They promised to search for the prince, but they never did, preferring instead to run the country on their own and not giving way to the rightful king.

Raina: Prologue and Chapter 1


Presenting the edited version of Raina! I finished my first edits on these today and wanted to put them up. Please, please, please critique! I want this to be the best it can be and I can’t do that without critique! I realize that it’s a lot of writing, but anything you can give me would be great…thanks!

PROLOGUE

When he entered the forest, he did not immediately notice the silence. He walked briskly, head down, mind on other matters. He knew his path well, dodging trees and bushes without looking up. As he jumped over the little creek, his head came up and he saw the wood for the first time. Nothing moved. Not a limb or leaf. No breeze stirred the ancient trees, no chipmunk chattered from a branch. The only sound was the water trickling by, but even that seemed muted.

“Eila?” He called out. Hearing no reply he picked up his pace. “Eila!” He called again. He started running, feet pounding the forest floor, breaking the silence.

“Eila…” he trailed off as he reached the clearing where a large oak stood. He sensed that something was wrong and tentatively walked up to the tree. He reached out, laying his hand gently on the trunk.

“What’s wron-” he gasped and pulled his hand back. His breath became choppy and shortly he fell to the ground, fighting for air. The trees all around bent in toward him and began whispering.

“We tried to call for you…”

“Too far away…”

“Where were you, princeling?”

“The mage…the Council…you must stop them…”

Soon he sat up, taking deep breaths, regaining the color that had fled his cheeks.

“What happened to her?” he whispered, tears in his eyes.

“Petrifaction.” The musical lilt came from behind him and he turned to see a young dryad standing there. She was somber and her skin was unusually gray. “They turned her to stone.”

“Your skin…” he trailed off, unable to continue.

“Yes.” She replied. “We are dying. Without the Great One to support our life, we cannot continue here. My family is moving to the next Tree, the Elm. We will live under his branches for now.”

The boy nodded, a bit mercenary, and turned back to Eila. “You said she was petrified?”

“By the Council.” The trees began whispering to him.

“You can’t know that.”

“It was their mage, and their guards. They killed her because they feared her. Now, they must fear you.”

“I am nothing to be feared.” He stated quietly. “I never completed the training. I never will. I am not a leader.” The last sentence was said forcefully, as though reminding himself, as well as those around him.

“Yes, you are.” The dryad responded. “And I pray that one day you see it, or all my kind is doomed.” With that, she drifted away.

“I can’t do anything.”

“You are the only one who can.”

“No.” He whispered. “I…I…have to get out of here.” He backed away from the stone tree. “Goodbye Eila.” A single tear dripped down his cheek. Then he turned and began to run.

As he ran he heard the trees cry out to him.

“You leave us to our deaths!”

Ignoring them, he fled.

CHAPTER 1

Raina sighed as she walked along. She had been walking since sun up and she was already growing weary. The main road traffic was lighter than usual, for which she was grateful. There were no crowds to fight through and probably no one to fight with over her regular spot in the market. She plodded along, her trusty horse behind her, towing her cart, which carried most of her valuable goods. She glanced back at the cart and fondly patted the horse’s nose.

“Nearly there, Carrots.”

She stopped briefly before entering the market, as was her custom. She liked to check on her goods and make sure that she looked nice. She knew she wasn’t much to look at, kind of average. She had wavy dark brown hair that hit her shoulders. Usually, she pulled it back into a pony tail, so it didn’t get in her eyes. She was too skinny, she knew, to be truly attractive. And her clothes weren’t the best quality. All she had were a pair of leggings and a large tunic, at least one size too large. But she had shoes, and that was good. She rarely complained about her lot; she was glad to have clothes at all. Some of the children from her village didn’t have as much.

She was checking on the items in the cart, when she noticed the difference. She strained her ears, but the bustle of the market was not to be heard. Carrots shifted nervously, catching on to his mistress’s anxiety.

“Shh…” she murmured. “It’s all right. I think.” Warily, she continued her journey and entered the Great Square, right outside the palace doors. The brick area was completely empty. The buildings that framed it were shut up, as were the palace gates. She looked around, wary.

“Where is everyone, boy?”

She felt eyes watching her from the houses surrounding, but when she looked up all the shutters were closed. She spun around, looking for any sign of life. And there, at the base of the statue of the first Mage, was a man.

“Excuse me.” She called to him. He didn’t reply, didn’t even look at her. “Excuse me.” She repeated, louder. He continued to ignore her.

“I know he heard me.” She muttered to Carrots. “What an incredibly rude-” she stopped as he abruptly looked over at her. She was unnerved by his stare at first, then realized that he was staring past her, at Carrots.

Horse thief. The alarmed thought circled in her mind. She stood warily, ready to fight if necessary. He stood and sauntered toward her. He was a handsome man, with brown hair that was cut short and facial hair neatly trimmed. He looked noble, but his clothes were of the same poor quality that hers were. He wore trousers that were patched in more than one place and a green shirt, left open at the neck. The only thing that stood out in his apparel was the brown jacket that he wore over all of it. It was high quality leather. His green eyes locked on to her cart for a moment.

Raina was put off by his strange clothes and intent glare. She wasn’t sure what to do, then he spoke.

“Your plants are very protective of you.”

“What?” She asked, taken aback.

“Your plants. They tell me not to harm you.” He sounded amused.

“They don’t talk.” She responded confused. “They’re plants.”

A small smile appeared on his face. “I can hear them.”

“You can hear plants.” Her tone was incredulous. She placed one hand on her hip, and shoved her bangs out of her face.

“Yes.” He’d been moving slowly around her, so that he was now at the back of her cart. Before she could stop him, he pulled the tarp off in one swift motion.

“No!” she cried, rushing back. “You’ll…”

She stopped dead in her tracks. For there were her glorious plants, alive and well.

“How…they die in sunlight before being firmly rooted.” She whispered.

“They’ll be fine.” He responded absently, looking them over.  “I’ve never seen ivy in these colors.” He murmured, motioning toward the bright blue, yellow, orange, and pink leaves before him. She hadn’t either. When she had found the plants it had seemed to her an impossibility, but there they had been. After much time and patience, learning about them, nurturing them, she had begun to sell them in the capitol for quite a bit of money. The rich always wanted unusual things and usually they all wanted what their neighbor already had. She had already made her yearly trip to the capitol and sold all her plants and, upon returning home to her delighted mother, sisters, and brother, she had decided to come again to make just a little extra cash before the winter.

“They grow flowers?” he asked abruptly. “They’re all trying to talk at once, and not making much sense.” He looked at her. She was gaping at him.

“Are they really talking to you?” she managed.

“Yes.”

“Not many people can talk to plants.”

“I’m not normal.” He muttered under his breath. Something caught his eye and he glanced over to the steps of the palace. He nodded to her and walked over to an elderly gentleman standing there.

Raina thought the man must have been on the Council, the ruling authority in Damaar. He had the same noble bearing that the plant man did although he was much older.

“We are sorry, Elon.” The old man intoned loudly. “There is nothing we can do for them.”

“What? How can that be?”

“We have come to the unanimous decision that Eila and the others are things best left in the past.”

“No!” Elon cried. “She can be brought back.”

“But nobody wants her back, dear boy. No one but you. I’m sorry, but that’s our decision.” The Councilman walked back up the steps into the palace.

Elon turned, anger in his eyes. When he saw Raina again, he looked surprised. Then a look of guilt crossed his face.

“Who was that?” she asked.

“A Councilman.”

“I could see that.” She replied sarcastically.

“I’m sorry, but you need to come with me, little girl.”

“I am not little! And I can’t go with you, I have to sell my plants. Do you think I’m stupid? I know better than to walk off with some stranger.”

“You don’t understand.” He sighed, running his band through his hair. “The reason no one is out here is me. If the Council thinks anyone helping me they will kill him. It’s a decree now. They’ll come for you.”

“I don’t believe you.” But her eyes widened in fear. “I’m going home!” she threw the tarp back on her plants, jumped on Carrots, and rode quickly out of the Square.

“You’re not safe!” he yelled after her. But she was already gone.

Raina camped out in a small clearing. She had pushed Carrots hard, out of fear, and he was worn out. But she had made good time; instead of the four day journey, it would only be three. She was at the half-way point. She had reviewed the afternoon’s incident in her mind over and over again. She was disgusted with herself for running. She should have stayed and proven him wrong. But she had reacted and run on instinct.

“Should have faced him and all of them down. I woulda shown him what I was made of. Not some little girl…” she trailed off, staring into the little fire she had made. She set her jaw in stubborn determination.

“I’m not gonna be scared. They can’t do anything to me.” Behind her she heard the snap and crack of footsteps in the forest. She twisted searching behind her.

“Who’s there?” Silence answered her. She returned her gaze to the fire, puzzled.  Just then, a hand clamped over her mouth. Raina screamed and tried to struggle, but found herself bound tightly.

“Quiet!” a deep voice whispered in her ear. “They’ll hear you.”

She recognized the voice of the plant man and fell silent.

“Come on.” He removed his hand and she was free. She glanced down and saw vines slithering away. He dragged her into some bushes.

“Lie down, stay very still and very quiet.”

“What about Carrots?” she hissed as he disappeared. She fumed silently, no longer able to see or hear the strange man. But she could hear the tromping boots of soldiers. Any protest she might have made was immediately swallowed. They came in to the camp like cockroaches, swarming about the fire, looking through her things. She couldn’t see what they were doing, but she felt the life of an ivy slip away.

“No!” she whispered violently. Another died and she winced with pain. “What are they doing?” She wanted desperately to get up and see what they had done to her precious plants, but she restrained herself.

“She’s not here! Spread out! She can’t have gone too far.”

The men all ran in different directions. Many went right past her. She held her breath, unable to think a single thought lest they find her, but none did. A couple minutes after the camp had been deserted, the plant man came back for her.

“You can come out now.” He said in a hushed tone. She immediately jumped from the bush and stumbled to the cart.

“My plants!” She looked them over and found that they were as they had been, except two were missing. “Oh no! How could they?” She looked around for them. “Where are the two that died?”

“How do you know they died?” he asked quickly. “The soldiers probably just took them with them, as loot.”

“I felt them die! Where are they?”

He looked at her sharply. “You felt them die?”

She glared at him, arms crossed, toe tapping. “Where. Are. My. Plants.”

He sighed and pointed to a small mound of dirt at the base of a tree. “Over there.”

“You buried them? What’s wrong with you?” she frantically dug into the earth, uncovering her vines.

“They were dead.”

“But I could have-“

“No. Come on, they’ll be returning soon.”

She glanced at him as he climbed on to the small cart.

“I’m not going anywhere with you!” she hissed. “Get out of my cart!”

“You don’t really have a choice. Unless you want them to catch you.” He narrowed his eyes at her. “In which case, you’re much more foolish than I thought.”

The snap of branches and rustling of bushes signaled the return of the soldiers. She looked quickly at the woods and back at the man.

“Fine.” She said sharply and climbed up next to him. “Where are we going?”

“My house.”

The Finish Line


I saw it. I ran toward it. I passed it. That’s right world, I finished 50,000 words and wrote a novel. I’m not sure what to do with myself. I am totally and completely calm about the whole thing. Which is strange. Usually, I’d be really excited. I mean, I’m excited, but not like Script Frenzy, where I was bouncing off the walls. I suspect that it is because I didn’t finish at 5:30 in morning after staying up all night. I finished at 8:30 PM, with over 3 hours left before the deadline. The adrenaline rush is completely absent. Maybe it’ll hit tomorrow. I don’t know. But I decided, in honor of finishing, that I would post all of my characters’ finest moments. We’ll start in order of how they appear in the story.

Elon:

She sat up straight in her chair. “What do you mean, if you were to become king?”

“Raina, I’m not going to take the thro—“

“No.” She interrupted. “No! We did this so that you could become king!”

He shook his head. “I’m not fit. I would never dream of ruling. I’m selfish and a coward. But you, you are noble and good and born to be a leader.”

Now she was shaking her head, tears flowing rapidly down her face.

“You started this and I have every confidence that you are going to rule with the precision and grace that you led the Acadre.”

“You led them, I just…”

“I helped.” He knelt in front of her. “You are the most brave woman I have ever known and I’m proud to know you. Prouder still to have the privilege of abdicating to such a wonderful, natural-born queen.” He wiped her tears away with a finger. “You are the only person I think I’ve ever truly cared about. And it’s bound to remain that way. I give the throne to you freely in favor of my little thicket and patch of woods. I still can’t stand being around all these people.”

She laughed a little at that. “You promise that you’ll stay for a little while though, right? At least until…”

“I’ll stay until you’re crowned. Then I’ll go back to my seclusion and I’ll come out to visit you every year on your birthday.”

She smiled. “I can’t believe you’re doing this to me. Leaving me like this.”

“You’re surrounded by excellent advisors. Including our foreign diplomat, Paige and your spy master, Stuart.”

“My general Lebrix and…what’s Brant?”

Elon smiled a little to himself at that. “I don’t know, you’ll have to give it some more thought.”

“Guess so.” She yawned. “I guess I’ll go to bed. Not much left to do today.”

“I’m making the announcement tomorrow.” He told her. “So be prepared to make your case if they demand it. I doubt that many will, not even the people of the city.”

She looked at him with sorrow. “Are you sure—“

He silenced her with a hand. “I’ve never been more sure of anything. There’s no doubt that Eila would be proud of me, but I don’t think she’d approve of me taking the throne now. Especially not if she knew you. In fact, I think she’d slap me in the face if I had even thought of it.”

“How could she do that?”

“With her branches.” He rubbed the side of his face as though it hurt. “It was a painful experience.”

Raina’s eyes danced at the picture. “You mean she did it to you once? Why?”

He laughed and shook his head. “I’m not telling you that story. Not tonight. You need sleep and so do I. If I’m making a fancy speech more than once tomorrow, I want a full night’s rest and a good breakfast in the morning.”

“With venison.” Raina promised. “And bread.”

He grinned at her. “And apples?”

She shook her head. “We don’t have any.” She mourned.

He laughed and stood. “To bed.” He paused then awkwardly leaned over her, kissing her on the head. “Good night, little girl.” He whispered and stalked out quickly.

Raina stared after him for a moment, shocked. Then she laughed and rubbed a hand over her forehead.

(Sorry it was so long…)

Raina: This part will be expounded on when I edit, but really, this is when you can tell she’s growing up…

She quickly got dressed in riding clothes and packed her dress into a bag, that would undoubtedly be repacked by her maid and personal guard, Hayanna. Her now grown out black hair was thrown back into tail and out of her face. Her leather boots were on and she was ready. She walked out of her room with the bag. Hayanna stood there ready as well.

“Did you grab the shoes for the coronation?”

Raina blushed in response. “Forgot.”

Hayanna shook her head and went into the room recently vacated and returned soon after with the shoes in question.

“Give me that.” She held her hand out for the bag. “The dress will probably wrinkle the way you packed it.”

Raina handed over the bag and sighed. “Can you believe it? I’m getting a crown today.”

“Yes.” Hayanna smiled as she refolded the dress into the bag. “And it’ll be a real crown too. The craftsman finished. It’s a thing of beauty, you’re going to love it.”

Raina was silent for a moment and then looked slyly at her handmaid.

“Hayanna?”

“Hmm?”

“Has Brant been acting strangely lately?”

Hayanna glanced up. “Why would you say that, miss?”

“You said that you wouldn’t call me ‘miss’ or ‘Majesty’, remember? And because whenever he’s around me he blushes but doesn’t say much and whenever he’s around Elon they look like they’re having another argument.”

“I’m sure it’s nothing.”

“Hayanna…”

“Look, I can’t tell you anything, okay, Raina? Brant made me swear not to say anything yet and what’s more, Elon did as well. Don’t think about it too much, all right?” she sounded annoyed, but Raina knew it was just to put her off of it. She sighed dramatically and then stopped herself.

No more drama, Raina, remember? You’re a queen now. You can’t afford to be dramatic. She turned to the window where four little pots stood. In each were a different color of her ivy plant. She touched the blue one and it wound around her arm affectionately.

“Do you ever wonder what would happen if Elon did become king?”

“Not really. He wouldn’t be a good one.” Hayanna replied. “It’s not in his nature to care for or love people. He’s just…too solitary.”

“I suppose.” The green one was reaching toward her to play now and she moved her arm out unconsciously so that it could wind itself around her arm as well.

Lebrix:

“Everyone listen up.” Lebrix called out. The little pockets of whispers died out. “Everyone has their individual assignments. We’ll be splitting up here. I want you all to remember what we are fighting for. Remember that we are fighting against tyranny and injustice. Remember your families and homes. Remember those who cannot fight for themselves.” He raised his sword into the air.

(Yay! Finally, he sees the big picture! lol…)

Brant:

Instantly Brant and the others were there, grabbing him and running from the stone tent.

“Let them go.” Grimes called to those who would follow. “We don’t want to end the fun yet, do we?”

They got Elon back around the side, but he was losing blood quickly.

“What do we do?” Brant asked him, setting him down. “You’re losing too much blood.”

“Take me to the trees.” Elon panted. His face looked like ash, and he trembled in the fatigue of getting away. “They’ll help me.”

“Come on.” Brant commanded two others. “Grab him and we’ll run ahead. The rest of you, go join Lebrix and help get everyone out of there. The children are still camped in the Dead Zone. If no one has claimed charge of them, they’re your responsibility. Move!” The rest of the men ran toward the battle. Brant and the two others ran, as gently as they could, toward the trees to get their leader help. They reached them in short time, but Elon had black out.

“What do we do now Brant?”

“Lay him down.” They put him on a soft bed of grass and moss. “I guess we just…” he trailed off.

(I know I posted this one before, but it really is his finest moment, at least until I can fully describe the proposal scene. Right now it sucks and is definitely not a good moment for him…)

Paige:

Paige stood cautiously. All three stepped back as Oliver stood.

“I understand.” He said quietly.

You deserve death. You’re lucky.

“Yes, I tend to be.” He twisted and pulled a small dagger from beneath his cloak. He made a move toward Raina but abruptly stopped and jerked. His eyes glazed over and he looked at Elon and Raina, who stood shocked.

“Sorry. Had to try. Find my family. Please.” And then he fell down before them, a dagger in his back. Paige looked supremely pleased with herself.

“I was hoping he’d try. He really didn’t deserve to live. And a dagger in the back seemed the way to go. After all, he stabbed you in the back, didn’t he.” It was rhetorical.

Both Raina and Elon had to take a moment to even their breathing and their heart beats.

“So the mage is dead.” Raina finally said. “That’s one less thing we have to worry about.”

Paige nodded. “We should return to the group.”

Raina glanced at her. “You saved my life. If you hadn’t stabbed him, he would have—“

“Been killed by Elon.” She finished. “Who would not have allowed you to be hurt in any way, shape, or form.”

(So I know that Paige seems totally evil in this scene, but she’s really just glad that she got to him in time. I suppose I could explain that more, but I didn’t so deal.)

Stuart: In my opinion all of his moments are his finest, but I’m posting my favorite.

For a moment they all stood there dumbfounded. Then one particularly large, red-faced man lumbered forward.

“You expect us to believe that you are the leaders of that rat-tat band of rebels?” he spat out. “You two aren’t experienced enough to lead a band of musicians.”

“Oh, they are the leaders of the Acadre, Father.” Stuart was the next to step through the doors. “And they have led this rebellion to victory. As we speak the entire city is inside the palace, unwilling to allow you to continue your tyranny.”

“Those trees,” spat Xinzer, “are pieces of wood. They are there for our use and we may do what we please with them.”

“They are alive, Father, and we have to respect that life!” Stuart shot back.

(You tell him! WOOT! hahaha…Poor Stu, verbally abused his whole life, but now he gets to give what he got! And poor Xinzer. He totally gets his head chopped off.)

Well, that’s it. Hayanna has a few moments as well, but they just aren’t that important…lol. And really Elon’s finest moment didn’t make it on here, because I don’t want to ruin the story for those who want to read it. I hope to finish The Golden Rose during December, but I may just catch up with all of my other work and finals start in two weeks, so we’ll see. I’m kind of lost at the moment and don’t really know what to do with myself. I suppose we’ll find out. This is me, signing off y’all. NaNoWriMo is officially done. I would say, “until next year!” but I don’t think I’m doing it next year…

P.S. Favorite line (which was posted on facebook): “I assure you, sir,” Hayanna hissed in his ear, “that if you make another move, I will end you.”

Ciao!

Brothers, gotta love them


Yesterday I was at my bro/sis table and a few of my brothers asked if they could be in my story. They then proceeded to give me the most horrible ideas for a story ever known to man. No seriously, I don’t think I’ve heard any that were worse. There were obese men and innkeepers, Winkerbell, Nale and Ship (chipmunks), a fat pink pony, a white stallion (name Sawyer), and a birdkeeper. And that’s just what I remember. But sitting there, listening to them go on and on, I got ideas for characters. And so this post is dedicated to my brothers, who did indeed end up in my story. I’d like to state that the characters in my book are by no means identical to the people who inspired them. In fact, they’re quite different. But I hope they appreciate the use of their names and the fact that they were inspiration.

Brant made it as right hand man to Elon, my main character. He’s also going to be a possible love interest later on for my other main character, but that will be at the end of the book. Stuart is going to be (haven’t written it in yet) the son to one of the main Council members. He’s going to help the rebels and in the end will propose that Raina be queen. (He’s got all the good ideas.) Evan is a mercenary. But not just any mercenary. He’s the commander of them all and really wants to kill Elon. He thinks it’ll be great fun. (Again, the character just developed, it is in no way a reflection of Evan’s character.) The names may vary, but that’s what I’ve got so far. Also, Paige made it in as a fighter. The character is a sort of love interest for Lebrix (who’s based off my friend Bruce).

So now you know what happens at the dinner table. I get all sorts of crazy ideas and have to write them on a napkin. Below are excerpts with the characters I’ve written in. Enjoy!

BRANT COLE: SECOND-IN-COMMAND OF THE ACADRE

“Sir?” a young man, Brant, stepped forward. He was Hayanna’s brother. He wasn’t really all that much physically. He could fight well, but others were much better. Elon had drafted him because he was smart and kept a cool head in the heat of battle. He was Elon’s second-in-command.

“Brant?”

“What’s going on? We’re ready, but you keep—“

“Something is wrong. I can feel it. The men who are wearing the marks of leadership don’t hold themselves as leaders. They look like footmen, and they look uncomfortable. Brant’s sharp eyes caught the signs.

“So where are the real leaders?”

“That’s what I’m trying to find out.” Elon muttered following the sound of the trees. They gave him nothing, he couldn’t sense where the other men are. “I think that we’re in trouble. Bring the men along the side, we’ll scope this out ourselves.” They moved, skirting around the battle and toward the mercenaries. They all looked down at what must have been the camp.

“It’s made of stone.” One of the other men observed. Elon’s gaze was puzzled. “How come—“

“It’s petrified wood.” Brant whispered, horrified. “DIdn’t you say you couldn’t sense anything around petrified wood once? That the plant life just felt dead?” Elon’s face turned white.

“They….” He trailed off staring at the stone. The patterns of it looked like the bark of a pine tree. “They killed those trees…” He got a grip on himself and stood up straight. “All right, men. Get ready. We’ll attack them here. Surround it. You all know what to do.”

They nodded, expressions grim. Brant and one other went around the sides, leading a few others. They slowly surrounded the building and waited for the signal. Elon entered stealthily, eyes darting in every direction.

EVAN GRIMES: MERCENARY

“Elon. We’ve been waiting for you.” A voice called from the darkness of the room. “Do you like our decorations? I, personally, find them in extremely good taste. They are all the rage in the capitol.” Light exploded around them and for a moment he was blinded, but it disappeared rapidly and he saw the speaker. Before him was a short, stout man, well-armed and clearly ready for battle. He was hardened, muscular and his eyes spoke of the horrors he had seen and done. They showed madness.

“Who are you?” Elon asked in a low voice.

“I’m the commander of the mercenaries hired by the Council to kill you.”

“You’ll find that a bit difficult.”

“I have no doubt. We aren’t going to kill you yet. I’ve heard rumors about you, stories, and I wanted to see if they were all true.”

“Depends on the story.”

“They say you are a good fighter. One of the best. You didn’t show your skill until the battle with the Council pathetic weaklings. I want to test your strength for myself.”

“Well, then.” Elon attacked in a rush. The commander drew his sword with the speed of lightening and blocked the two long daggers that had appeared in Elon’s hands. At the sound of ringing steel, the others attacked. The commander had about seven men with him and all were occupied with the Acadre as they swarmed in.

“Well, that’s cheating.” The commander said.

“What’s your name?” Elon jumped back from the blade and attacked the man again.

“Why do you want to know?”

“So I know what to put on your grave.”

“Grimes.” He replied laughing, “But you won’t be decorating my grave.”

The fight went on for a bit, everyone dodging, evading, attacking. But it went no where. Grimes’s men were equally as skilled and trained as Elon’s. Then they heard the horn. It was a sound that they weren’t accustomed to hearing. It was the signal of retreat. Lebrix had bought the horn in the city years ago, in case of hunting accidents. He had told them all that if there were need to retreat he would blow it so all would know and come back. In that moment of complete shock, Grimes struck at Elon and sliced open his leg. Elon cried out and crumpled on the ground. Instantly Brant and the others were there, grabbing him and running from the stone tent.

“Let them go.” Grimes called to those who would follow. “We don’t want to end the fun yet, do we?”


That’s all folks!