Snippets Galore! (NaNo 2015)

In which there are snippets from the three stories I worked on writing during NaNoWriMo 2015. (Since I turned Rebel this last NaNo, which is a topic of its own for a later post, perhaps…) Enjoy!

SilverForestCoverFinal

THE SILVER FOREST

Beast and rider swept up at a gallop and came to a halt directly in front of the princesses. The animal pawed at the ground with a hoof and snorted, prancing in place for a moment before standing very still.

Silver stared at it in awe, for it was not a horse but a magnificent kingly stag, silver-white, with a grand array of sweeping horns.

Except, in this point there was later an argument. For some of the sisters distinctly remembered it being a horse, others a stag like Silver, and others in fact a unicorn. Some of them claimed it was white, others that it was silver, and a few that it was a solid black like the clothes of its rider. They were all adamant about what they had seen, convinced they were right, but the accounts varied so much, and they could not come to an agreement.

As for the rider of the black or white or silver creature (horse or stag or unicorn), he was quite as magnificent to look at.

His hand clutched the reins in the act of reining his steed to a halt, in an effortless yet strong gesture, and he sat very straight in the saddle—if there indeed was a saddle (or reins, in fact), for there was some confusion over the existence or absence of that as well—and he had very tall shiny black boots and was dressed entirely in black. Pants, tunic, and great caped cloak, all were deepest black, edged with intricate silver embroidery.

He had a mane of black hair that flowed loose and fell past his shoulders. His face was very handsome in a fierce and frowning way, with the angles of his jaw and nose and cheekbones all sharp but smooth at the same time, in the way of a statue carved of stone. He looked to be about twenty-five years of age.

There was a strength of presence about him that Silver had never felt before, and she thought it was as one with the wild calm of the feeling of the silver forest itself. He belonged there, she felt. And yet . . . at the same time he did not. He was like no one she had ever seen before, though at the same time almost familiar.

A pair of shadowed silver eyes set in that distinctive face keenly took in the group of twelve princesses standing among the silver trees staring back at him like a captive audience.


“And where is ‘here’, if I may ask?”

He seemed to pause. “Faerie,” he said at last.

“And where is that, please?” Silver asked politely, wondering at the strange name.

Taghdach raised one black eyebrow and the corner of his mouth curved into a sardonic smile. It was the first expression he had made yet that was not remotely related to a glare. “It’s . . . difficult to explain. I thought you would have known better than to ask such a question.”

“Indeed, I did not,” Silver shot back, rather nettled at his tone of condescension, and losing her temper rather. “I have never heard of any place called Faerie, or for the matter of that, of any king called Sisceall, so unless you wish me to believe you are entirely making all of this up and deliberately giving us falsehoods for your own amusement, I should advise you to at least explain where we are.”


“Are you not going to dance at your own celebration?” she asked, stopping beside him.

Taghdach did not move for a moment or make any acknowledgment showing he had heard her. Just as she was about to ask again, he stirred and finally glanced over at her.

“Did you say something?”

“As a matter of fact, I did. I was asking if you were not going to dance at your own celebration.”

His silver eyes appraised her for a moment. She tried not to back down from the steely look. He said finally, “Dancing.” Then he shrugged, tossing his mane of black hair. “And it is not my celebration.”

“It is a ball held in honor of your day of birth,” she protested. “That is as much your celebration as anything can be.”

“I do not see that my being born is any cause to celebrate,” Taghdach said in a low voice, his eyes burning past her as if they did not see her at all. “In fact . . . more specifically the opposite,” he added, glancing at the floor, a subtle note of harsh bitterness behind his words.


Taghdach strode off, a swirl of dark cloak and mane of black hair, and disappeared into the silver forest.

“Oh, and he can go off the path, I suppose,” Emerald said.

“I believe, my dear Emerald,” Silver said, “that he does whatever he pleases.”


Seamus gave Peach a flamboyant bow, and casually pulled a silver coin out of Rosie’s golden curls with the deft fingers of his outstretched hand and flicked it through the air to Peach, who caught it.

“If you keep doing that, Father’s going to wonder why he pays you,” Rosie teased.

“You raise a good point,” Seamus mused, rubbing a hand over his jaw.


Seamus always said of himself that he was vain as a peacock, and twice as handsome.


“Well then, how about I make it an extra-special juggling lesson?”

“Like what?”

“With daggers.”

“Oooh!” Rosie’s eyes lit up.

“Oh no you don’t!” Peach cut in quickly.

“Come on, Peaches!” Rosie protested. “Don’t give me that. Since when are you all practical like Silver?”

“I’m not, and I don’t mind if you get dagger juggling lessons sometime, but not just now. It’s almost the ball tonight, and I came to fetch you to get ready. I don’t exactly want your arms slashed all to bits right before, thank you. No offense, Seamus.”

“Oh, it’s taken,” Seamus said. “Are you implying that I’m a poor teacher? I’ll have you know that when I’m teaching your sister to juggle daggers, she’ll be as safe as a baby bird in a dragon’s nest.”

“You’re not reassuring,” Rosie and Peach both said together.

“Did I say a dragon’s nest? I meant a patch of daisies and soft fluffy harmless dandelions. Naturally.”


Finnigan gasped a lungful of breath and threw himself mostly clear of the falling stones, tumbling to lie on the wall top and glancing up to see what— That was when he saw the enormous golden dragon, the cause of the fire and falling masonry, blasting through the air overhead.

He shut his eyes a moment, and reopened them to see if it had been his imagination.

No. Evidently not.

He would have groaned again if he had not been so winded and also busy flinching away from smaller bits of stone falling on him.

A dragon.

This was all he needed.


The guardroom was empty . . . probably because half of it was on fire. That was the problem with dragons. Too much flame.


“Why did you take us this direction?” Finnigan asked, glaring in the direction he thought Kern was, not that it would do any good as neither of them could really see each other in the dark. “You could have taken us to where my father and the rest of the army is.”

“No, I could not,” Kern growled. “I took you the easiest way, through the least enemy soldiers. The castle was surrounded but there were the least the way we took. The way to toward where the king and the rest went would have been through the bulk of the enemy, through the worst part of fighting and the most fire, not to mention the fellow I don’t like with the lightning, and I might add the dragon. So unless you wanted both of us to end up extremely dead in a very short amount of time, this was the best way we could have gone, and taking you to your father would have defeated my orders because you would be dead, and keeping you alive was half of them. Taking you somewhere safe was the other half. So that’s what I’m doing.”

“But—! You—! That—!” Finnigan couldn’t seem to get his words to work with how exasperated he was. He threw his hands in the air. “Why am I even talking to you?”

“Excellent question,” Kern said dryly. “Finally one that I’m glad you asked.”

R&R

THE ROSE AND THE RAVEN

Derrick was up early that morning, walking along the corridor in search of breakfast, minding his own business, when a whirlwind suddenly ran into him.

“Whoa—!” He regained his balance, grabbing at the arms of the whirlwind, which on further inspection proved to be a wild-eyed, frenzied Princess Brier-Rose apparently in an extreme hurry, with quite untamed hair and seemingly still in her nightdress.

“What are you in such a—?” he began.

“I have to save the tower room!” she exclaimed distractedly in one breath—so that he was not entirely sure he had even heard her correctly—even as she tore away from his steadying grip and off along the corridor.

“Wha—?” Derrick wavered a fraction of a second, then gave up and switched directions, hurrying after her. He caught up in time to witness her bursting into the room where the two kings were talking over breakfast and a game of chess. These activities were paused as they looked over to see a very disheveled ten year old princess standing at the flung-wide door, apparently with something on her mind, and Derrick in the background as unsure of what was going on as they.


“Funny, you’ve always seemed quite grown up to me. At least, I always thought so,” Brier said.

“I always did too,” Derrick said with a laugh.

“Even when you were five?”

Especially when I was five,” Derrick said with mock solemnity.


“Derrick!” Brier said, quickly moving to stand in front of the roses. “What—?” she began.

Derrick answered distractedly, looking past her, “I met a maid coming down the stairs from bringing your breakfast—she said I could go in—and why do you have roses in your room?”

“Roses?” Brier laughed. “What are you talking about?”

Derrick looked uncertainly from the roses—which Brier now reflected must be visible behind her no matter how much she tried to block the sight—to her, and back again.


“You will be dead before the day is out.”

“Good luck with that, then,” Ev said cheerfully.

KW2coverP
THE SECRET OF KEDRAN’S WOOD

Tare turned to Baz. “Move.”

Baz quickly elbowed Lavender out of the seat so he could scoot over and hastily move out of Tare’s way, making a mental note that he should never ever block Tare’s way again, even unintentionally.


The Chess Club were running around hither and yon, messing up the blanket of fresh snow, pelting a rain of snowballs in every direction, making enough noise to wake the dead, and clearly having the time of their lives.

Tare folded his arms and watched.

They weren’t making very good use of the various snow forts and the impromptu shelter made of a snowman which Baz was using. Their military strategy was very much lacking, he observed, except perhaps—he had to grudgingly admit—for Adrian. Chucking snowballs every which way, dumping arm loads of snow on other people and giggling seemed more to be the order of the day.

He was about to turn to leave, but one of the teams rallied and began rushing at the other, and somewhere in the midst of it a stray flying snowball hit Tare square in the face.


“Um, Tare . . . is that a gun?”

Tare glanced down at his hand that wasn’t holding on to the door, and almost looked like he hadn’t known he was holding the black handgun. “Yeah, why?”

“And your knuckles are bloody,” Marie observed.

He looked like he hadn’t noticed that either. “So.”

“What happened?” Lavender asked.

Tare gave her a flat look and blinked once. “A wall ran into them.”


“Are you all right?” Adrian asked straightforwardly.

Tare closed his eyes and said wearily, “Leave me alone, Adrian.”

Adrian nodded slowly. “I will,” he said simply.

Tare watched him another moment, appraisingly, then finally turned away and reached for the doorknob. He paused with his hand on it. Adrian waited.

Then Tare said in a low voice, “Tell them I’m sorry.” And with that Tare pulled the door open and disappeared inside his lair.

Advertisements

Beautiful People: Parental Edition (Tare)

It’s time for Beautiful People again! Which is a monthly blog linkup, hosted by Sky at Further Up and Further In and Cait at Paper Fury, with lists of questions to help writers get to know their characters better!

(…Y’know, just in case you have been living under a rock and haven’t heard about it. 😉 )

I also hear it’s kind of its anniversary so YAY!

Anyways it’s awesome and you should totally join in the fun, so go click this beautiful picture (see what I did there?) and see the other posts and link up with a post of your own if you should so choose! (Hint: you totally should!)

bp

This month’s Beautiful People theme is the Parental Unit. Because they are often sorely neglected in YA fiction — sad, but true — due to being quite the nuisance for getting in the way of our young darling protagonists going off on horrendously dangerous quests, and besides that we evil writers tend to mooostly have them dead or killed off for convenience’s sake. Ahem. But parents in fiction, specifically YA, can be awesome when done awesomely! …I just am not that great at it. >.<

But since I’ve been messing about recently with an idea for a prequel to my Kedran’s Wood series, I thought I’d try doing Tare’s parents for this. They actually fall into the usual category for the series in general, I’m afraid (*cough*dead*cough*) but I want to explore them a bit in case they make appearances, however brief, in a prequel.

So. On with the party!

Let’s see if I can be sneaky enough to manage this without descending into complete spoiler territory! 😉 *rubs hands together with maniacal laughter and an evil grin*

TareBW

Tare

Questions

1. Do they know both their biological parents? Why/why not?

They’re both dead by now (yeaaah, sad, I know. I told you, we’re evil writers. >.>) but he knew both of them at one point. His father when he was very young, and his mother then, and when she found him again… It’s not like he knew her a very long time after that, but yes, he did know them.

2. Have they inherited any physical resemblances from their parents?

His black hair is from his father, but I think you can see a resemblance to both his father and mother in his face. His father was more of a broad-shouldered type, and I think Tare inherited his mother’s slighter build. They both had similar bright blue eyes too, and though Tare’s are darker now, he did originally inherit his eye color from both.

3. What’s their parental figure(s) dress style? Add pictures if you like!

His father’s was much the same as his own — a lot of dark, and a black leather jacket. In fact, Tare at one point wore the jacket that had once been his father’s, which his mother had saved for him. Tare’s mother wore simple but elegant dresses of different varieties.

TareParentsCollage

(Some resemblance to Tare’s father and mother…)

4. Do they share any personality traits with their parental figures? And which do they take after most?

Both of his parents were very strong minded people. Tare’s father was also very much of a lone-wolf type person who tried to help others and indirectly be a hero — not for heroism’s sake, but because someone needed to do it. That’s very much a trait of Tare’s. Tare’s mother knew exactly what she wanted and didn’t let anything pull her back, but also knew when to compromise for those she loved. But Tare mostly takes after his father, strong, silent, and out to do what he has to do.

5. Do they get on with their parental figure(s) or do they clash?

Not having known his father past a very young age… hard to say. I wouldn’t say he “got on” with his mother too well, being rather standoffish by the time she found him again, but I wouldn’t say they clashed, either.

6. If they had to describe their parental figure(s) in one word, what would it be?

His father: Strong.

His mother: Golden.

7. How has their parental figure(s) helped them most in their life?

The memory of his father’s strength keeps him strong often, and his mother’s independence but love and pulling him from a hard place in his life have shaped him somewhat as well.

notquitetare

Tare

8. What was their biggest fight with their parental figure(s)?

He doesn’t remember any with his father, who was killed when he was quite young. With his mother, they had a fight about whether or not they would stay where she suggested they live. Tare was not big on the idea. Mostly, though, there wasn’t much in the way of argument.

9. Tracing back the family tree, what nationalities are in their ancestry?

A bunch of Irish on both sides, and I think some Italian from his father’s side and maybe some Russian from his mother’s side. And of course, Tare will occasionally say something about having a fairy in his background too, but pffft, who would believe him about that

10. What’s their favourite memory with their parental figure(s)?

A memory of his father throwing him in the air and laughing and catching him, when he might have been three or so. And when his mother found him.

“Tare . . . Tarragon,” she called after him.

He halted. Half turned. Then glanced back, wary.

“Do you know who I am?” her voice came soft on the cold wind down the alley.

His eyes looked deep into hers, wisps of her golden hair blowing around her face as she stood perfectly still some paces off, watching. Waiting.

Long moments passed.

His voice came at last, low, emotionless, with a simple statement.

“You’re my mother.”

~Son of Kedran’s Wood, KW 0.5

Where Are the Words

horse and the rider

“Where is the horse and the rider? Where is the horn that was blowing? They have passed like rain on the mountain, like wind in the meadow. The days have gone down in the West, behind the hills into shadow. How did it come to this?”

I haven’t written in 2 months.

Oh, sure, I’ve written oodles of snippets (for several different things, including my Kedran’s Wood books and lots for The Other Half of Everything), and done lots of plotting, and editing, and blog posts, and emails, and letters, and to-do-lists, and… you get the idea.

But 2 months ago was the last time I continued on a story of mine. Right now I’m staring at where my current works-in-progress break off and — there’s nothing.

It’s true I was taking off from writing on purpose, somewhat, to finish some projects, and it’s true I enjoyed the break, somewhat.

But there aren’t any words.

Sometimes I wonder if there will be any more, or if I’ve forgotten how to write — really write.

But I suppose that’s part of what I want anyway: To rediscover writing. If I can. We can hope…

Or… Not exactly writing. But storytelling.

What about you? Do you consider what I just mentioned to be “writing” or do you only count actual-manuscript-words-in-a-linear-fashion as real writing?

Do you have those moments when you don’t know how to start writing that next part of your story — not because you don’t know what to write, but because you don’t know how?

Do you ever have those moments where you just don’t have any words?

How do you deal with it?

writing gandalf

I don’t know, Gandalf, I really don’t.

#75thPost

777 Writing Challenge – Heartseeker & KW2

Claire M. Banschbach tagged me for the 777 Writing Challenge awhile back, so I thought I’d do it! 🙂 Thanks for the nomination, Claire!

And thanks Shantelle for letting me know! 😉 By the way, everyone — on a writing related note, Shantelle is looking for beta-readers for a Cinderella-ish novella, and I know from reading another of her works that she writes beautiful stories! ❤ So if that sounds up your alley, do drop by her lovely blog!

Anyways, back to all the 7’s…

777 Writing Challenge

The rules of this challenge are as follows: you go to page 7 of your work-in-progress, scroll down to line 7 and share the next 7 lines in a blog post, and tag 7 bloggers to do the writing challenge themselves on their own blogs with their own WIPs.

I’m interpreting “lines” as “sentences”, even though I’m not sure if that’s exactly what it meant…

And I’m working on two books, so here is a snippet from each!

KW2coverP
The Secret of Kedran’s Wood

Lavender blinked several times. “Tare knows someone?”

“More importantly: someone knows Tare?” Baz said.

“Are you sure about this?” Ivy asked.

Jake nodded vigorously, and Marie said, “Yeah. We thought it was weird that someone would ask after him randomly. Especially since, before that, I wasn’t entirely sure if this Tare person really existed.”

“Oh, he is verrry existent,” Baz said. “You don’t even know how much he exists. …When he’s here, that is.”

CoverHeartseeker
Heartseeker

It was a tumultuous mixture of heartrending emotion with aching sorrow at the core, shattering her, and the only thing she could think to do with it was to run up these stairs and speak with Prince Haldon.

She reached the top, where she barely paused to catch her breath before flinging the door open. She stood in the doorway, breathing hard. The room was unusually dark, for the evening was getting on and only the last rays of sunset shone through the westward window, and a single candle burned in a holder on a table across the chamber by a canopied bed.

In a chair halfway into the room, facing away from the window, a figure sprawled. The darkened room made it hard to see him, and Princess Evanna only got a vague impression of dark clothes and long dark hair. His face was in shadow, and he did not turn the whole way to look at her—indeed, he gave no movement or impression that he had even noticed her.

***

So there are the snippets of the day — I hope they were at least a teeny bit interesting! I had so much fun doing this! Thanks again for tagging me, Claire! ❤

And for the last part…

I Tag:

Lauri

Sarah

Tracey

Jenelle

Lisa

Cait

Kelsey

(Y’all obviously don’t have to do it if you don’t want. 😉 And I don’t think any of you have done it before… but if you have, sorry!) Alternately, anyone who might be doing Camp NaNo, you could use your Camp story! 😀

And anyone reading this: if you’d like, feel free to snag the tag yourself and do it on your blog!

If you do it, let me know in the comments so I can read your beautiful words! 🙂

March Ishness

Greetings, dearest bloglings!! (Is that a word…? Pft, if not, we shall make it one!) I have missed y’all! ❤

As you may or may not have noticed, I haven’t been around here much this last month… I’ve been trying to step back from the internet a bit in order to get some stuff done. So here I am with a bit of a March overview!

Here’s some of the ishness I’ve been up to of late.

For one thing, I had a birthday (I’m old now…), and I also “celebrated” my 8-year Writing Anniversary. In other words, the anniversary of the day I decided I was going to finish my first book and be a writer. (I once told that story here.)

Other than that, I’ve been . . .

Getting excited about these books coming out:

MarchReleases
England Adventure, Heidel, and Out of Darkness Rising

And also The Penderwicks in Spring — which I have on hold at the library and am dying to read as well! So many awesome books came out in March! I’m going to devour them as soon as I can. ❤ Speaking of which…

Reading

March2015books
see my Goodreads Reading Challenge

I finally finished reading Diana Wynne Jones’ Chrestomanci series! Sooo fun! And Chrestomanci himself is the BEST. ❤ The Pinhoe Egg, which wrapped up the series perfectly, may be my favorite book of the year so far! *flail*

Though Frederica and the book I’m editing are up there too… 😉

ChrestomanciSeries

Editing

I did a whole lot of work on editing my friend’s lovely book… Not quite done that, but I’m this close to finishing! It’s so exciting to see it coming together! ❤

Writing

Not much on the writing front in March… I’m a little burnt-out, methinks, and have been stepping back from that a bit as well, giving it a rest. That said, I did get a little bit of writing done, and a bunch of plotting.

I wrote nearly 2,000 words of snippets, some for my Kedran’s Wood series, but mostly for my latest story idea, which is still haunting me and refusing to leave.

I also did a bunch of brainstorming on that one (because the characters are insisting they’re all messed up and broken so they made me write out backstories and relationships and I’m like GUYS THIS WAS SUPPOSED TO BE A LIGHTHEARTED THING. SERIOUSLY. *headdesk*), as well as for a possible candidate for this year’s NaNo — a Twelve Dancing Princesses retelling!

And my contemporary-fantasy Kedran’s Wood series decided to inform me that instead of having only 3 books, as it did in February, it now has 4, plus a prequel, plus a couple of short stories between the books. Oh yeah. That’s a thing that happened…

***

Plans for April

Sooo… what’s up for this month?

Well, for one thing, I’m not doing Camp NaNo. That may come as a shock to some (I did both Camps last year and the year before, after all, and have been doing the November one every year for 5 years…).

I kind of really want to do Camp, especially when so many lovely friends of mine are doing it this time, but… I really feel like I need to step back from writing challenges for a bit, and try to rediscover writing because I WANT to write, not because some graph somewhere or some challenge I committed to says I SHOULD. I absolutely love NaNo, and Camp NaNo has helped me to write several things I’ve loved getting into, but I decided not to do it this time.

For those of you who are doing Camp NaNo, though — AWESOME! Best of luck! Write on, intrepid writers/campers! You can do this!!!

Anyway, I’m not making many plans this month… I’m going to finish my editing and then see what else happens. So to be honest, I don’t know what April’s going to look like.

…Though I have hopes that some of it will look like this. 😉

BedstandBooksApril
All the yummy books I want to devour!

***

How about you?

How was your March? Do you have plans for April?

Are you doing Camp NaNo (and why/why not?)?

I want to hear! Share all in the comments!! 🙂