NaNoWriMo Day 27

It was another travel day today for me. I am back home and very glad to be among my things (and I even planned ahead and put new sheets on my bed before I left). I did today’s writing while sitting around the Minneapolis airport, so there’s not as many as there could be, but I have built up a lot of buffer in the early parts of this month.

Word Count: 784


He was ready to grab fresh clothes from his box when he paused, staring down at his side. A familiar old marking greeted him, a faint orange burst that crackled across his side and up under his arm, and partially down his thigh.

Scars from cast spells could look a lot of different ways. Blake’s was unique to him, a permanent discoloration and slight toughening of the skin it covered. He traced a finger absently over one of the branches of the scar that angled over his belly.

Ai’Teli had cast the spell that left him with that scar. They hadn’t meant for it to strike him so hard, nor to have this effect on him. They’d been attempting to mix known spells for new results, well before either of them had learned such things in classes. They didn’t know how to control the magnitude of such a volatile mixed spell.

He didn’t even remember the pain. He remembered writhing on the ground in the courtyard where he and Ai’Teli had been practicing their sparring. He remembered a class of new students rushing over with their instructor to see what had happened. He remembered Ai’Teli in near tears as they hovered over him, apologizing over and over. The spell had hurt – but Blake didn’t remember what it felt like anymore.

He remembered Ai’Teli staying by his side in the infirmary as often as they could. He didn’t let them skip classes – even in good health, if he caught them trying to skip out on lectures he didn’t let them get away with it. But they came by whenever they could, even doing some of their homework at the foot of his bed. They collected notes from Blake’s classes and brought them to him so he wouldn’t waste away from boredom.

NaNoWriMo Day 22

I actually wrote all my words in one go today! That doesn’t always happen; sometimes I skip around in scenes as the whim takes me. Today I guess it was all about Blake and Ai’Teli again, I guess.

Word Count: 2123


Blake had opted for robes as his primary mage’s garb. A standard, for certain, he’d always opted for the classic look. Ai’Teli had always teased him for taking the easy way out. Blake usually countered that their choice, a wraparound skirt in bright colors with a shawl over their shoulders, came directly from the traditions on the islands they called home. They had taken their own easy way out. It always earned a laugh in their warm, firm voice.

Blake could swear he heard that laugh, like a distant echo, as he glanced past the garments hanging in the armoire for the shelves down at waist level instead. That was where his and Ai’Teli’s magical foci rested, waiting for when they’d be needed.

Blake took his wand first, a straight length of beech with one small offshoot near the end making it look like a Y. He also kept a pendant with a simple river stone wrapped up in wires, and a half glove made of miniscule chainmail. He tossed the foci onto his box of personal effects.

Before he closed the armoire, his gaze alighted on Ai’Teli’s side of the shelf.

Their foci were only two. A tuning fork and a takakata. The takakata was a length of string, only a few inches long, connected at both ends to a pair of small, dark brown gourds filled with sand and sealed off. It was an instrument used often on their home island, they’d always said. Even before the two of them had begun their work using a magical focus to make their spellcasting more efficient, they’d often shown Blake how the instrument worked: holding one of the small gourds in their hand while swinging the other around it back and forth. The sharp clacks combined with the rustling of the sand created a rhythmic sound that evoked motion. It was the perfect focus for the energetic Ai’Teli Norua.

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.”