After you make the decision to become a writer there are a few things you need to know. First don’t quit your day job. Unless you are a famous personality, the chances of making a living when you start are slim. There are exceptions of course but they are few and far between. With the changes in the industry the big agents and publishers are no longer looking for raw talent to develop.
Boy I don’t write enough on here, but with all my projects I can’t seem to find the time for everything. So what do I do, I rotate them all. Now when my last laptop broke down I lost some of my novel Helix, I guess I had lost some of my momentum do to that. Then I got another e-mail from Glimmer Train Press about there latest writing contest. The contest is long over now, and no I didn’t submit a short story like I wanted to. I found out about it kind of late because I didn’t always have a computer to use. I started working on a short story for the contest, finally inspired to write again. I started writing it by hand, after writing about three or four pages I was unhappy and rewrote it. It got to be about a week before the deadline, and I realized I couldn’t finish it in time and be happy with the end result. That is when I decided to just write it and put it out there. Now it seems it will be a novella, not a short story. Now I have a new laptop and I am transcribing what I have so far onto the computer, tweaking it as I go. So I thought I would post part one and see what you all think. It has been a long time seance I posted some of my work, so I’m happy I can today.
I haven’t had anyone edit it yet, so here we go.
A New World for Celestria
“ I love you. Be brave my child.” An old gray woman said from the corner of the room, coughing hard as she looked on.
“ I love you too grandma, goodbye. Please don’t cry for me.” A young girl said with tears streaming down her face.
The girl blew her grandmother a kiss before beginning to recite an enchant spell of transportation. She sat in the center of a large cercal, the edge marked with the four elements. A vile of water taken from the last lake before it dried up, pure and untainted. A potted plant with three frail yellow flowers. A small candle of black wax, burning bright in the dark room. A jar of unpolluted air, the cork sealed with crimson wax. The girl representing the fifth element, spirit.
Her words rise into the air, her vice filling the room. The vile of water began to bubble and rise, popping the lid. Small beads of water float out all around her, spinning and bouncing off each other. The flowers petals drifted through the air, gently resting on her flesh. One by one they lining her arms and legs, her spine and collarbone, the last placing it’s self upon her forehead. The soil from the pot pored out moving across the floor, twisting and weaving into an intricate design, branches curving around to meet roots, creating the tree of life. Little flames danced off the stark black candle, swaying back and forth as they fill the edge of the circle. The jar of air started to bounce and bob until the wax sealed cork burst off, the fresh air rushing around her, lifting her hair as she breathed it in deeply. A glowing light emanated from her as she started the end of her spell, it spread out to fill the circle. The air turned up into the star filled night, swirling the elements around her in a vortex. A numb feeling moved out from the center of her body with every heartbeat, as the swirling magic reaches so high she can no longer see the sky. A little gleam of light caught her eye, sparkles like flakes of gold turning and twisting through the air. She looked down to her hands to see her flesh and bone disintegrating, the shining particles spin high into the vortex and disappear. A soft white light came to fill every corner of her vision.
The driving force transporting her slowed with a rhythmic pulsing. She came to a rest on the soft damp grass of an open field of wild flowers. Her body finally felt whole, but she couldn’t will it to move, or her voice to make a sound.
A loud, and deep rumbling noise came barreling towards her. Then above her she heard a man yell “Men! Over here!”
The man bent down close, brushing the hair from her face, his finger gently dragging against her skin. He spoke softly to her. “You are safe now fair maiden of magic. Rest now, we will take you to safety.”
She fell into a deep sleep, giving into the darkness that surrounded her.
“You must get some rest your highness. It has been three days you have not left the lady’s side.” The voice of an older man came through as the dark fog began to leave her mind. His words reassuring.
“I will not leave her side, not until she wakes.” The voice from before, deep and velvety, making her feel safe.
Her eyelids felt heavy as she forced them to open, blinking her vision clear. The sun shone bright through a tall window beside her bed, blinding her momentarily. Her mouth felt dry, like her tong was mad of sand. Her body ached deep down into the bones, with a throbbing and stinging pain. Her head finally felt calm and clear.
“She wakes Amalric. Send my servant to fetch food and drink at once” His voice changed as he commanded, became deeper, harder then before.
“Ware am I?” She struggled to sit up, pain shooting through every muscle of her body.
“You are in my castle, my lady.” He smiled at her warmly. Everything about him said strength and kindness to her.
“How long have I been sleeping?” She returned his smile with her own, taking in his features.
“Three days my lady.” He said.
His eyes so gentle and kind when he spoke, green as the leaves on the tree outside her window. His hair as dark as a starless night. His face chiseled, as if made of stone, but his skin was smooth and lightly bronzed. She stared at him for a long moment, stunned by his beauty.
Neither of them noticed Amalric leaving the room.
“I have waited to ask sense I found you that day. What is your name? ” He waited with excitement.
“Celestria, Celestria Stroepa. If I may ask, what is your name?” Her insides felt as if they where jumping around as they spoke. So close to each other she could feel the warmth of his skin.
“I am Prince Alderan, of the Kingdome Abalone. Smell the salt in the air, we are atop a cliff by the sea. Celestria, my lady of the stars, I welcome you to our kingdom.” He bowed his head to her, a smile glinting on his face when he said ‘my lady’.
“Lady of the stars? I think I like that, but why do you call me that?” she asked.
“You came to us from the heavens, in a great beam of starlight. I rode out with my best men to find the source, and I found you. So I brought you back here to Amalric. He is our court physician, and miner sorcerer.” He handed her a cup, a foul smelling liquid sloshing around inside. “Go ahead. Amalric said it would help with your pain, and getting you back on your feet sooner.”
She tried not to smell it as she gulped it down, but the smell was nothing compared to the taste, making her stomach heave as she forced it to hold on to it contents.
A servant boy of maybe sixteen years knocked on the doorframe. The prince waved the boy in, behind him entered three bigger men carrying a large round table, and two carved chairs. The boy set the table with several silver plates of food, colorful fruits overflowed one plate, flakey breads and creamy cheeses, meats and eggs. The boy placed two empty plates and goblets on the table, a pitcher of something sweet smelling between them.
“Shall I serve your highness?” He asked in a meek tone.
“You may go. Set out my formal dress.” He waved the four of them away, and they where alone once more.
He turned to her, his hand outstretched to help her out of her cot. “You must be famished.” He said as he led her to the table, pulling out her chair for her.
He pored some of the sweet smelling drink for the two of them, and sat beside her. The prince watched her as she ran her fingers over the table top, tracing the lines carved by hand in its dark wood.
Celestria recognized the never ending loops and twists of the Tree of Life carved in the table’s top. She glanced up at the prince, to embarrassed to hold her gaze when she noticed he was watching her. She shifted in her seat a little, she looked at the food before her, food she had never seen in real life.
“What is wrong Celestria? Do you not like the meal? I can send someone to fetch you anything you desire.” He said with a hint of disappointment in his voice.
“No, not at all Prince Alderan. Please forgive me. I come from a very different place from this. I am stunned by the beauty of it all, taken back by the differences of our worlds. It makes the life I left behind seem even worse then it had before. I never knew my world in a time of green like this, nor did my grandmother, or her grandmother. All of this is wonderful, thank you Prince Alderan.” She said with a sheepish grin.
She bowed her head and her cheeks grew worm and flushed red. The prince lifted her gaze to meat his own.
He spoke softly, like the first time she heard his voice. “You, my lady of the stars, can call me Alderan. You my lady are my equal, perhaps even my superior.”
She clasped his hand beneath her chin, sending shivers down his spine. His hole body tingled, as if he had been waiting his hole life to feel her touch. He bent down and gently kissed her hand, caressing it with his lips gently. The prince moved closer to her, still holding her hand he looked deep into her eyes. He couldn’t tear himself away from her sky blue eyes, streaked with violet. It was like seeing the sky meat a field of violet, mixing into purity. Her cream colored skin, soft as silk to his touch. Her black spiral curls falling down around her, glinting with a hint of purple in the sunlight, spiraling down to reach the small of her back. Alderan wanted nothing more then to kiss her lips, lips like the deepest red rose in their garden. He leaned in hoping she wanted the same.
Amalric entered and cleared his throat. “I am terribly sorry to interrupt highness. My lady, you are looking well now. You should eat some, you have lost your strength. King Galvarium has requested you join him in the main hall. When you have eaten and dressed your servant will lead you there. You and I should speak at a later time.” His eyes held great wisdom. He looked to her like a short little gray man, but she could feel his magic, a caring and healing nature to his sole.
A petite young woman walked in behind him. She bowed to the prince and then to Celestria. More servants walked in behind her, they carried several dresses of different colors and fabrics. Jars of varying sizes containing powders and creams, lotions and oils.
“I am Elinor, my lady. As soon as you are ready I can prepare you for your meeting with the king.” She bowed again to the two of them, and went about her work.
Celestria watched as the girl hurried around the room. She hung the dresses in a row along the wall. She filled a small table with the jars, and brushes made of soft hair in different sizes.
Celestria went back to eating her meal, glancing back at the prince wondering, ‘ why hasn’t he said anything about my strange behavior? My manner of speaking and actions must seem strange to them.’
Celestria stood, feeling more like her self. No, more then she had been before. She whispered to no one but the air. “Everything is so elegant in this time, so bright and full of life. How can I hope to fit in when I come from such a dark world?”
Not once had the prince taken his eyes from her. He watched every graceful movement, listened to every songlike syllable her voice made. “My dear, lovely lady of the stars, you are the most beautiful and magical being in my kingdom. With all my heart I hope for your happiness here. I must take my leave my lady. I will make arrangements for your own chambers before joining you and my father in the great hall.”
He kissed her hand, lingering just a moment. He bowed and turned, walking out with swift, smooth steps. Celestria watched him as he left, her heart skipping a beat when Alderan looked back at her before passing through the door.
The girl’s voice chimed behind her, a little two high pitched. “My lady, your garments are prepared.”
“Thanx. Elinor is your name right?” Celestria felt silly when the girl gave her a funny little look. “I am sorry, I meant thank you. We speak a little differently then you do.”
“If I may ask my lady. What do you mean we, where do you hail from?” She asked sheepishly, cowering.
Celestria gave the girl a kind smile, and brushed the girl’s bangs out of her face. “I’m not going to heart you.” Celestria walked over to the ornate dressing screen, considering how much to tell the girl, or anyone for that matter. “For now lets just say I come from a very different place then this. A place I can never get back to. I’m sorry I can’t say more, but I’m not sure what’s going on yet, or what the king wants from me. I hope you can understand.”
“I do understand my lady. Besides I am only a servant, I have no place to ask.” The girl said, starring at the floor.
Celestria wanted to tell her she was fine with her, but she wasn’t sure how long she would be there. When she learned more she could talk with the girl then. Something had scared this girl down to her core.
Celestria gave the girl a big smile, and went back to the dresses hanging in front of her. Bright colored fabrics she had never seen, fabrics that seemed to shimmer and sparkle in the light. One in particular caught her eye. A ruby red corset embroidered with burgundy flowers and swirling vines. The sleeves a fabric she could see through, hanging off the shoulder, flowing and wide at the bottom like a flower rapped around the arm. The skirt of the dress was made of deep red silk, embroidery matching the corset hemming the bottom. The thought of wearing such a beautiful color for the first time filled her with excitement. Celestria admired it a moment longer before taking it down, and heading for the dressing screen.
“Elinor, Would you give me a hand? I’m not sure how to close the back.” She said a little embarrassed.
“Yes my lady. These garments are meant to be laced by another, like me my lady.” Elinor said.
Elinor weaved the back of the corset with a burgundy cord effortlessly. Elinor adjusted the sleaves, tugging softly at the top. She knelt down, inspecting the bottom of the skirt. She pulled and turned and fluffed the layers of Celestria’s dress.
“Perfect, now we can do your hair my lady. How would you like it done?” Elinor asked as she had Celestria sit down at the table.
A knock came at the door. Elinor walked over and opened it to find the prince’s servant. He held in his hands a carved box of wood, glinting metal adorned the corners.
“My lady” He bowed. “The prince has sent you a welcoming gift.” He placed the box on the table in front of Celestria. He stepped back bowing to her again and left without another word.
Celestria ran her fingers along the top of the box, tracing vines full of flowers.
Sound Bottle - a device which records sound and then mixes it to make music
I am so glade to be back. Whats been up you ask? Well I had two laptops and a desktop die on me. Its hard to keep up with writing and blogging when I haven’t had a personal computer in a year.
But I am back. I plan to focus more on what I am up to as a writer and artist this time.
After taking almost two years to research and learn I am ready to finally finish Helix. I applied the knowledge as I gained it to my prologue and first chapter. The prologue it perfect and I wont be changing it any time soon. Now I can just write it and go back and edit later.
I recently started working on a short story (May become a short novel for teens I think) for a competition. About a week before the deadline, I found out about it late, I realized I could not finish it on time and be happy with the end result. So instead I will just keep writing it, see what it becomes, and then I do plan to sell this one
I was also asked to do a CD cover. Cant give that one away. I will post a photo when I am done.
So there it is. I am back and on fire. I will post some of my writing soon, but you can check out my page at Yahoo!Voices, I am a freelance writer.
Its been almost a year since I started working on my novel. I don’t have much to show for it, at least on paper, but my mind has expanded. I feel my prologue is done, there may be a little mistake here or there, but its done. The emotions, the imagery, I’m very happy with them. I have been using what I have learned to go over and over my prologue and first two chapters, applying it as I learn it. I still struggle with fight sequences but its a new area for me.
If you want to reed the other drafts, see the improvement in the writing you can check out these links to my other posts about my novel Helix. I found looking at before and after writing can help in your own, the differences in imagery, character development, so on.
Her is a post I did with some helpful sites for beginning writers.
So now my new draft for Helix – Prologue
Prologue : The world as we know it comes to an end
“Mr. President, may I have a moment of your time?” Mrs. Pickett knows he won’t listen, but grace insists on trying one last time.
“Yes, of course. Give me five minutes gentlemen,” the president says to his advisers. “I will meet you in my office.”
The president is very busy these days. Planning a war, making sure as many people as possible are safe in the colonies deep under the earth’s surface. Keeping the peace in a panicked country. His life would take a tole on any man. Mountains of paperwork over run his desk. His food often left uneaten. He would have no time for his family if they were still home, thankful they are safe even if he can’t be with them. Five minutes is a lot to ask of a man in his position.
Mrs. Pickett leads him to an unused office not far from his own.
“It’s Grace. She wouldn’t leave without seeing you.” Mrs. Pickett gave the president a sympathetic smile. She knew how hard of this had to be for him and he didn’t seem pleased.
He opened the door to the cramped office. There she was leaning against the desk, picking at her nails. A nervous habit she had since she was a child. He stood motionless just taking in her beauty. Wearing his favorite color on her, a deep red pant suit accented with black piping. He cleared his throat before speaking, startling her.
“Grace, this isn’t the best time. The Secretary of defense is waiting in my office.”
“I know, that’s why we are here. This office has been empty for months. No one will find us here.”
“I had to come and say good bye, I had to……” Tears welling up in her eyes, her words stop short.
He pulls a handkerchief from his breast pocket, dabbing at the tears tenderly.
In a low soothing voice he tries to comfort her. “I know, I’m going to miss you too. I just can’t go with you, no matter how many times you beg me. My place is here. Our country needs me, we are teetering on the edge of an abyss. I love you with all my hart Grace, but I can’t leave this place. You will be safe in the colony, you will stay in my thoughts and my hart.”
Fighting back tears of his own, trying to be strong for her sake. Holding her close, he presses his lips to hers tenderly. She melts into his arms, both unwilling to let go, wanting this moment to last forever. He can’t help but think of his wife in this fleeting moment, their goodbye wasn’t this sweet and painful even though he loved her once, long ago.
Grace looks at him with deep sorrow in her eyes, she knows whats ahead. With a tear stricken voice she says “If you stay you could die. I don’t want to live in a world without you. I know we may not win the war … I’ll stay here with you. I’ll die, I don’t care as long as we are together.” Desperately she tried to rationalize giving up her life.
Her words ringing in her ears, she realizes she has raised her voice too much. No one is supposed to know she is here. She breaths in slowly, deeply, trying to regain her composer.
“Don’t worry about me Grace, I’ll be fin. We will win the war, and then we can be together again. Just give us some time.”
He lies to her knowing the United States is out matched. Trying to lie to himself, convince himself its true. He will go down fighting, he’s no coward, he’s a leader, a soldier.
“If that’s true why can’t I stay with you?”
Her tears begin to flow black, she can feel them slowly creeping down her face. She doesn’t reach to wipe them. Shunning away from him she doesn’t want to appear week in front of him. That would be worse then dying.
“Grace look at me.” He speaks softly.
He grabs her chin,gently turning her head to face him. Etiquette is not important when the two of them are alone. He can truly be himself with her.
“You know I love you, that is why you can’t stay. Put my mind at ease Grace and get to the Washington colony before the doors close. Time is running out. With you there safe I can concentrate on the task at hand, and when it is all over you can come back to me.”
“I will go my love, just know I leave my heart with you.”
They press into each other, arms locked tight, reluctant to let go. The moment can’t last. He gives her his monogrammed handkerchief to whip the tears from her face. Staring at him, hands shaking she reaches to give it back.
“Hold onto it Grace, you can give it back when I see you again.” A small bitter-sweet smile pierces his lips.
She looks at it for a moment, unable to raise her eyes to meet his. With one finger he lifts her gaze, locking his lips to her’s one more time forceful and wanting, savoring their last kiss. Knowing it’s time they release each other. She pulls down on her jacket, runs her fingers through her hair, and pulls out her little compact and wipes the black smudges from her face. He smooths a stray hair away from her face. She looks at him with eyes full of sorrow and fear, fear for him, for the world. She brushes his cheek with her hand,letting it rest there for just a moment before woefully walking to the door. She pauses for just a moment with her hand on the door knob, but doesn’t look back. She can’t, she knows she has to go. If she hesitates any longer she will stay, no matter how she feels she knows it would be a mistake. She must make it to the colony before it closes; her sister’s family is waiting.
He stands in the hallway watching her leave, his heart pulling at him to fallow. He will never see her again, or his wife and kids, but it’s his duty to stay and fight, to die like a true soldier. walking back to his office he knows it will all be over soon.
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
“Jim, I miss the kids.” Nora said weeping. It seems to Jim like Nora’s crying is never ending these days.
“I know Nora, I do to. But they’re safe with your sister in the colony, we are lucky they got in with her. If it wasn’t for all your sister’s connections they wouldn’t have.”
Jim holds her as they watch the news. Their new routine, watch news about the war as they hold each other, there isn’t much else to do any more but wait. Some call it world war III and all they can do is sit and watch for the end of the world. All factories and businesses have closed, every person left above ground with their loved ones simply waiting and praying the end won’t come.
“Things are worse Jim, I’m afraid we won’t see them again.”
“Maybe not, but it is better for them with Grace. With her we know they will live and have families of their own. If they had stayed with us they wouldn’t be safe. As their parents we had to make the hard choice, make them grow up without us to save their lives.”
“I know. I heard what the President said. What if he is wrong, what happens then? She starts to sob quietly again, without control, covering her face with her hands. She wants her babies home, her life the way it was before the war, her family whole.
“Then they come home and we can be a family again. You should be happier for them Nora, they’re safe. If the President is right our children live!” He didn’t mean to raise his voice, but coming to terms with their fate, their children’s fate has taken a toll on him.
“And if we die Jim, how is that fair? We won’t be there for them, watch them grow. We will never get the chance to meet our grandchildren. We don’t get to grow old together.”
“Its not fair, Nora. There wasn’t room for us, we are lucky they let your sister take the kids. They will have a chance at some kind of a life, and we get to stay with each other till the end.” his voice wavers a little. He has always been a strong man, but fear fills his hart.
Nora stands and walks to the window, rubbing her locket between her fingers. She opens it to look at the photos of her children. Closing her eyes she can see her daughter dancing and singing into a brush in her room upstairs while pop music plays on the radio. Her son practicing baseball with his father in the back yard, covered from head to toe in dirt by the time he comes inside. For just a moment its almost like they never left, so vivid she opens her eyes thinking they will be there. But it’s only wishful thinking. She feels like her mind is slowly slipping away, wishing it would end one way or another. She absently gazes out the window. Looking at this almost still scenery, Washington DC in the background, the grass and trees, even the clouds move sluggishly. The world in slow motion, she thought to herself.
On the TV reporter Thomas Jones says, “The President gave no comment today when asked about a possible nuclear retaliation after today’s failed negotiation…”
Jim shuts the TV off. He stands to walk over and hold Nora as the ground and walls start to quiver, then shake violently.
“Jim you have to come see……”
Jim and Nora where to close to see anything but a blinding white light, taking their sight. They couldn’t see the smoke rise high into the air in the shape of a massive mushroom, dark and looming. Never saw the gray smoke and fire glowing red, orange, and yellow. Couldn’t see buildings falling as the shock waves hit them. Ruble flying as fires ignite. Jim never made it to his wife’s side. He can hear screams all around him, Nora only feet away. Loudest of all are his own screams ringing in his ears before everything gets quiet, dark, and goes blank.
Jim and Nora are the lucky ones, it was over quickly for them. People further away survive long enough to know what’s happened. Further still, they live to feel their insides die. To get violently sick. Even grow tumors. Watch their skin tern gray as the cells die. But still death comes for them.
The unlucky live for some time their bodies changing horribly before dying. A few small pockets do live, the ones in extremely remote areas. What is to become of them is hard to tell. Radiation seeps deep into the ground tainting everything it comes in contact with. A nuclear winter consumes the planet’s atmosphere. The earth’s future bleak and uncertain.
I said before I wouldn’t be able to publish much, some things here and there. So now that things are coming down a little I thought I would give you all a link to my contributor page on yahoo. You can look at all the articals I have written lately, short stories, poems ect. Come by and see me
This is a rewrite of a poem I did about writers block. If you want to see the first version check through my archives. I am very happy with this rewrite, it says more then it did before. Not only about my writers block, but blending the pain and joys of my life into my writing. Hope you all enjoy. Leave me a comment and tell me what you think!
Stuck In My Head
Stuck in my head, what a sad place to be.
Words run round yet they elude me.
Images flash by, some real some only mine.
Sweet and colorful, terrifying and dark.
A mix of emotion blending to paint a picture of my being.
The mind of a tormented soul, both light and dark.
I stomp, I scream, I let it all out, no one hears me alone in the dark.
Dust rolls up, desert all about, no oasis to satisfy my thirst.
I wish for peace but my mind scrambles about.
Thoughts of dark times, past but still here tainting the joys of my life.
Am I to stay for all time, to run round desperate to fly.
If only you’d come lift me to the sky I could catch those thoughts that fly by.
I sit and I wait, wish for only you, hands full of desperate tears as they pool.
Mind full of hurt and love, joy and pain, yet my hands sit idly by with nothing to say.
How long shall I roam this desolate plain my mind calls home, unable to return.
Where have you gone, I beg wont you come save me from this depressing fate.
Still I sit and wait for your return, knight in shining armor won’t you come, return me to a life outside this dark and hurt filled hole.
Hands held high I will wait for the touch that brings me to life once more.