NaNoWriMo Day 20

Realized it’s been a couple days since last I posted an update – today I didn’t write as much as I’ve been doing, but I did pass the 40k mark, so I think I’m doing ok.

Word Count: 1042


Arie huffed out a quiet sigh. “We thought that was a little weird when Kelaven wanted the full amount up front,” she admitted. “He mentioned something about needing to pass along some of the take to his employer. The Order is hiring out wilderness guides now, and we thought maybe that would mean better behavior out of him.”

Lyrson frowned. “The Order … Order of Stewards? They’re hiring out guides?”

“Most of the guides you can find in the cities are all members of the Order, or have been put on some kind of retainer with them by now,” Erio said. He made it sound like it was the most normal thing to point out in the world, the fact that all travel in the timewilds was being bought up and overseen by one group.

Lyrson didn’t like the sound of that at all. For one thing, it only extended the Order’s reach beyond places they’d actually moved into. If they were collecting the wilderness experts, it was only a matter of time before they collected the wilderness.

NaNoWriMo Day 17

Today was a decent writing day – I actually got off work at a reasonable time, so I was able to enjoy myself and relax a bit before diving right into writing! Today I had some fun writing more about Lyrson, who I don’t think I’ve revealed here yet is actually a member of a new species that I am still working out the details for. Today’s excerpt is at least a hint at them!

Word Count: 2140


Fortune came and went out in the timewilds. Lyson knew this, and yet he still let himself be a little disappointed when thick grey clouds rolled over the sky in the early afternoon and opened up. Rain tamped down the grass and the dirt and darkened the distant views across the plains. The constant drumming of it formed a gentle roaring background noise to drown out any folk songs he might hum to himself to pass the time and the miles.

His antennae hung over the sides of his head, sticking to his cheeks, and Lyrson found himself shaking his head frequently to get the raindrops out of his eyes. His boots were soaked through, his bag heavy with the gloomy mood. He shivered once or twice and rued the fact that he was so far from peak; if he was a bit bigger and had a few protective scales grown in, he might be able to insulate himself better against the chill.

As it was, the copse of trees was hours behind him and it made little sense to turn back. So, with little shelter overhead and the constant tattoo of rain against his head, Lyrson trudged on, slipping occasionally against mud slicks hidden in the grass.

NaNoWriMo Day 16

I’ve slowed down a little bit this week! I’m tired and work is an absolute monster these days. However, I’m still making decent progress! I’m still figuring out where I want to go with the whole murder mystery subplot, but y’know what this is first draft vibes baby!

Word Count: 1808


His focus stayed on the door out of the infirmary until the healer gently placed a hand on his cheek and turned his face to focus on her instead. “Eyelight,” she warned, before curling her hand into a loose fist with the heel facing him. A small light appeared there, aiming into his eyes.

Blake blinked once but tried to otherwise curb the reaction; he’d done these checkups before. The healer checked both of his eyes, though for what he couldn’t really say.

Once the spell winked out, she finally stopped her ministrations to place a hand on his shoulder. She was so gentle that Blake almost forgot about the manacles keeping him on the bed. “I understand you’re confused on top of everything else,” she said. “The dean and the rest of the council members thought it best to bring in some lawmen from the Order of Stewards. That’s what he meant about questioning. Some extra process to make sure we don’t miss any clues. You’re not in as much trouble as he acts.”

Blake glanced down at his wrists again. He didn’t move them. He didn’t need to; her gaze followed his and she sighed. “A precaution. We don’t know what happened, after all. If you were influenced by something, we can’t say the influence is gone yet.”

So that was it. Blake was a suspect, but not. He was presumed innocent, but not quite enough to walk free.

NaNoWriMo Day 14

REALLY good writing day today. I wasn’t sure when I first started – some scenes are just resistant until you actually get a groove going. And then Marina started being protectively sassy and it just went off. You go, momma witch!

Word Count: 2376


“Miss Fehrliss,” one of them greeted, offering a polite bow. It made the scabbard of his short sword upset the back of his surcoat, and she imagined a short little tail growing there instead.

“Steward,” she greeted back, not returning the bow. They would forgive her for it; she had a baby strapped to her, after all. “As I said, it’ll be a moment before you can browse.”

“We aren’t here to browse, miss,” the second steward said, all business and decorum. Gods bless him, he could barely be over seventeen years old. “We’re here to talk about -”

“You’re in a market, gents,” Marina chided them. “Bold of you to announce you don’t intend to buy anything.”

“Miss Fehrliss, please,” the first man cut in, holding out a hand to shush his companion and tilting his head at her with a faint, friendly smile. “We have been trying to be respectful of the situation you’ve found yourself in, but it is difficult for us to stand by while you struggle so.”

“Struggle?” Marina echoed, looking and sounding scandalized. She put her hand on her cheek and tilted her head. “To what struggles are you referring, dear steward?”

To her surprise, the man understood her sarcasm for what it was, and had the presence of mind to look apologetic. “I mean no insult, miss. But you are still running a simple market stall to make ends meet, and living in a small hovel that is in no way fit to raise a child. Especially one like-”

“Don’t talk to me about my child, unless it’s to tell me how cute his little round cheeks are.”

NaNoWriMo Day 13

Lucky number 13! Things are still going along at a good pace. I’m not fully sure yet how I want to get the next Big Thing to happen, but I’m getting close so I’ll have to figure that out fast! In the meantime, I did some work on the whole premise of Blake Amata’s part in the larger story. Went and hurt my own feelings, y’all.

Word Count: 2141


Blake had tunnel vision on Ai’teli’s face. They looked peaceful, perhaps a touch shocked, and it didn’t seem right. Something so awful happening to them shouldn’t leave such an understated expression on their face. A burst of rage crossed his face as the absurd thought that it must all be an elaborate fake, a prank on him to wake him early in the morning, crossed his mind.

A breathy sob choked out of him; still no voice accompanied it, but it was the best he could do. His vision blurred and his chest seized with the desire to scream and cry at the sight before him.

Someone else did it for him. Blake became vaguely aware of others standing in the doorway to his and Ai’Teli’s room. Other students, perhaps, who’d been awakened by the sound of frantic movement. He caught a glimpse of one young woman with unkempt hair and rumpled pajamas covering her mouth with both hands.

“You look at me,” insisted the man who still had a grip on his arm. He used the tip of his wand, pressed into Blake’s cheek, to direct him where to face his gaze. There was still rage, caution, confusion on the man’s face, and for a moment they just stared at each other. Blake searched desperately for answers in the lines of the older mage’s face, while in return he received a distrusting scowl, searching him for answers just the same.

The healer scoffed. “Get him out of here,” she insisted. “We don’t know what happened. Regardless, it cannot be good for him to be here.”

NaNoWriMo Day 12

Today I got plenty of words written! I never struggled to keep myself writing. And yet, it felt like every time I checked on my word count for the day, I’d only written like, twenty more words than the last time I checked.

Word Count: 2147


It took him a few months to wander back into town. Marina had given him up by then, so she was as surprised as everyone else when that familiar tall, cowled figure had appeared in Arelvo’s single market district once more.

The bastard had the nerve, back then, to look happy to see her, to lean in for a kiss as if the intervening months hadn’t happened at all.

Marina didn’t allow it. Out of respect for the cowl and the mask he wore, she didn’t slap him like the scorned young women did in all the hexcoin novels in stock at the bookshop. Never one to be idle, Marina had continued her discipline. She hadn’t sat and pined for him at her window, though she had taught herself a handy spell for if she ever saw him again.

A thump of solid force right to his sternum seemed to get the message across loud and clear, and in front of the entire market to boot. He didn’t bother her at her stall after that.

It took him three days to convince her to see him again. By his explanation, it was like he really didn’t understand just how much time he’d allowed to elapse. Her ire over his sudden departure, over his silence all that time, never occurred to him. Those blue eyes of his – beautiful, clear blue eyes that were normally so hidden by his cowl – were wide with the dawning understanding of what he’d done, and how he’d hurt her.

He had apologized, and that had surprised Marina more than most of his odd, clueless behavior before. It wasn’t the first time he’d apologized to her, but it was the first time he did it without her telling him he needed to do so.

And gods damn it all if she hadn’t been swept right up into his charm once again.

NaNoWriMo Day 11

I didn’t make a post yesterday, because I had some really awful things going on during the day, and that resulted in drinking a lot of delicious (but potent) plum wine. That made getting some words written a real trick, let alone coordinating myself for an update post.

Today I continue writing Lyrson, and becoming more aware of what he’s like as a character.

Word Count: 1803 (so far?)


Before the human could bark out his angry order to attack, T’shara stepped in between the two of them, pushing gently on T’kella’s arm to prompt him to release his grip. As he did, T’shara held out a placating hand to the human. “He is not my bodyguard, good fellow, but he is protective of me, as I am of him. Please understand.”

“Oh, I understand plenty,” the human huffed. “My point stands. He cannot come with you to negotiate your terms with the Order. Hostility will only be met with hostility.”

“Hey, hey,” Lyrson chimed in again, cautiously stepping towards the altercation that all but threw sparks into the air. “If that’s true, then there’s no need for you to start off hostile with us. All of this is a misunderstanding about maps, I’m certain. I met a couple of your hunters the other night. I explained a bit to them already.”

The human turned his attention on Lyrson then, some kind of recognition dawning in his eyes. “That was you? You’re the one who tried to sabotage one of our traps!”

“Excuse me? I did no such thing!” Lyrson was indignant, but tried to remain patient. After all, acting too rashly on a misunderstanding could only make things worse.

NaNoWriMo Day 9

Today was really fun to write! I started late, and I wasn’t sure what I’d actually go with, but once I got started it really took off. I’m introducing yet another new character, the final member of my golden trio for the main story.

Word Count: 2189


Someone was singing, near one of the campfires on the other side of the would-be village. A deep, throaty voice rose and fell with the breeze, clear notes of simple joy for life. The sun had set not an hour ago, but the moons already shone bright in the sky, their half-shadowed faces casting a gentle glow over the grasses beyond where the firelight reached.

There was Eldest moon – she always seemed to loom so close in the sky, vibrant gray that approached white in its brilliance. She had half her face covered, and she set the example for the others.

River moon – the sister who took her own path, she always hovered a bit farther away from the cluster formed by the others, and their arrangement never seemed to affect her. Like Eldest, her face was roughly half covered, with perhaps a bit more of it showing (she was always a bit ahead of the others – rushing like the river for which she was named).

Little Brother moon stayed close to Eldest, though he couldn’t shine as bright as she. His face, or what showed of it, was a darker grey in the sky. He glowed, but modestly.

Behind them all lurked Shadow moon. She was shy, so the stories said. She preferred to look upon the sleeping earth from behind the others. Her face was half shining like the others, but Little Brother hovered in front of her, hiding her partially from view in the sky.

NaNoWriMo Day 8

Still going strong! I finished up an important scene with Blake today! Now I have to think about what part of the story I want to work on next, since I’ve been doing some of this stuff out of order. No time to lose this momentum!

Word count: 2133


“Someone went to fetch a healer from the infirmary,” someone said. It was a young voice. One of the younger students from the class Blake had interrupted with his theatrics.

He grimaced once more and tilted his head the best he could to eye the students still waiting nearby in a small, curious crowd. He’d been that green to the ways of magic before. He wasn’t sure whether or not seeing something like this, someone writhing in agony over a misfired spell, might have turned him off this career path altogether.

Not wanting to be the reason for anyone else to do so, he heaved a labored breath and shook his head. “Don’t let my dramatics stop your lessons,” he grit out. “Mistakes happen sometimes. I’m already starting to feel -”

-better. But he was already gone to the world, passed out cold on the stone.

NaNoWriMo Day 7

Things are still moving along at a really good pace! I’m having fun. Today it was all Blake Amata, a character who’s really coming together nicely considering this is the first time I’ve ever written about him. Along for the ride is his friend, Ai’Teli Norua. They’re a stinker and I love them.

Word Count: 2325


Blake pulled his tie free before deigning to give them a response. He tossed the dark grey garment onto his desk as the pair of them made their way to the door and beyond it to the hall. “Don’t you dare go dramatically giving up on me this early, Ai. If you’re going to drag me away from studies, it better be a good showing.”

Ai’Teli clapped him on the back, the impact sending Blake’s breath right out of his lungs in a quiet whuff. Ai’Teli wasn’t fazed at all by his resulting glare. “Oh, you bet it will,” they promised. Their voice, firm and weathered without sounding husky despite years of being a complete loudmouth, had taken on a mischievous and confident tone. As they walked, they brazenly cracked their knuckles. “I’ve been thinking about some of the stuff we’ve learned in Theory so far, actually.”

Blake frowned and paused in rolling up the sleeves of his button-up shirt. For a moment they only had the echoes of their footsteps following them through the halls of the dormitory, Blake’s shoes making a clear tap tap tap while Ai’Teli’s sandals shuffled along. Ai’Teli resolutely would not meet Blake’s gaze after dropping that bit of information.

“Ai, that sounds an awful lot to me like you’re trying to jump ahead to Experimental Casting.”

“Shh, don’t just say stuff like that out in the open!” Ai’Teli flapped a hand at him hurriedly and looked around. No one else had their dormitory doors open, and the halls were clear of any visible listeners. “Besides, it’s not like that really. Just thinking about how some of the instructors have a little extra flair on some of their spells. Nothing really changing the fundamentals of it -”

Blake cut them off with a quick slap to their well-toned arm with the back of his hand. “Don’t go messing with stuff like that,” he warned. “They bar that to students at our level for a reason, Ai.”

Ai’Teli made a show of sighing big and loud and exasperated. They rubbed at the back of their neck again, seeming to concede the point. “Aue, Amata. All the obstacles in my way to advance in this school, and I never thought it would be my own roommate. My dearest friend.”

Blake rolled his eyes at the dramatics. “It’s for our own good. I don’t want to have to send you back home and explain to your family that you turned yourself into a chicken.”