Trifecta 110: Quaint

Morgan’s eyes drowsed as she rode in the carriage towards the nearest village. She felt poorly rested, and it was no wonder; the gala had gone on nearly until dawn after her coronation, and she had only a few hours of sleep before Gracelyn was at her bedside, rousing her with the tempting aroma of breakfast.

Of course, she’d known that being Queen was not going to be a life filled only with parties and dinners and strolling through the gardens. She had been prepared for the work as well as the enjoyment. It was just that she hadn’t planned for it to begin immediately following her coronation.

“We will arrive soon, Your Majesty. Do you need a cool cloth for your face?”

Taregan was touching her hand, now beringed with the signet of her noble house, trying to rouse her gently. She blinked once, then smiled at him, sitting up a little straighter.

“No, thank you Your Grace. I just perhaps need a little fresh air to revive me. It was a long night.”

Her words made the Lord of Elves color slightly and he nodded. “Yes, Your Majesty, it was indeed. I am honored that you chose me to spend so much of the night with.” His color immediately darkened as he heard his own words, but Morgan only giggled.

“I know what you meant, Taregan.” She murmured, using his given name instead of his title. She glanced out the curtained window then, and sighed. “We’ve arrived. Do I look alright?”

He smiled and nodded. “You look glorious, Your Majesty,” he said, a warmth in his tone that was only ever there for her.

When the carriage came to a stop in the village green Taregan stepped out first, and lowered a small set of stairs, helping the Queen to descend with her hand in his. She had once thought it such a quaint image: the nobleman helping the lady down from the carriage. It was natural for her now, however.

A slight post-script that will no doubt be added to the novel when I get around to editing. Finally at least one of my characters has a name! Written with inspiration from the prompt at Trifecta Week 110, which gave us the word “quaint”.

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Twilight Garden Update

It is finished. No. It is done. It is far from finished. Done, not finished is what I always call my knitting projects before they’re blocked and have ends woven in and buttons sewn on, so that is what the novel is. Done, but not finished.

My word count is 64,334. That’s a lot of words, especially for me. I think all of my poetry over the last couple of years might in total be about twenty thousand, so writing over sixty thousand in the span of a couple of months is incredibly impressive to me. I suppose it’s impressive to anyone, really, though I know there are people who do this regularly. There are people who finish NaNoWriMo every year, there are novelists who write several books in a year, there are other writers whose word counts I feel certain far surpass my sixty-five thousand in one year.

But this is an accomplishment for me. It proves to myself that I can do it if I don’t allow myself to give up. That I have a lot more willpower than it sometimes appears (unless it involves going walking in sub-freezing temperatures – then I have none). That I can write a book, goddammit. And I think it’s a pretty good book. The one person I’ve let read it so far (don’t worry, there will be more, I just wanted to wait until it at least had an ending) says it’s pretty good.

There are things I do need to finish though. People and places need names. There are a few names at the beginning, but even in the beginning I didn’t bother naming places. It was too distracting to try and “get it right” so I left things named CoffeeShopName and BookshopName and CityName. Then there are characters who still need names, and characters whose names I’m not certain fit who they truly are in the story. Midway through the first twenty thousand words or so, several of the characters decided to be something other than I intended, so the names I chose for them probably should be changed to reflect that.

Because of that flip-flopping, I really need to edit. I had a hard time not editing as I went anyway, so I did do a little, but there’s a lot that needs to be filled out, not unlike an over-thin but otherwise healthy stray. There are most certainly plot holes you can at least drive a Mini Cooper through, if not a tank. There’s a lot of missing information. Scenes I think are important probably need to be expanded. There may even be some things I could condense where it’s not absolutely required for the plot. I think I skipped something entirely, now that I’m thinking about it.

So I know it needs editing. A lot of it. I’m putting it away for a little while though. At least a couple of months. In March, perhaps, I’ll bring it back out, give it a read. See what needs fixing, see how it reads if I do it straight through. I may even let Larissa read it, though doing so is a little unnerving. She’s published, and her first book (I haven’t had the privilege of reading the second yet) was amazing, and far more finely crafted than this effort of mine.

Twilight Garden Excerpt

Slowly the doors creaked open, and it seemed that the entire room gasped in unison as Morgan stepped into the doorway. Gracelyn stood behind her, arranging the train of her opalescent gown. Morgan felt like a bride as she took her first step down the long aisle, and especially as her gaze rose to find the elven lord and she saw the expression on his handsome face.

“Lords and Ladies, people of all reaches of MagicalWorldName, please rise in welcome.” It was the King Regent’s voice, and he smiled as he stood, along with the Council, followed by the entirety of the crowd filling the throne room. Somewhere in the wings music began to play, and Morgan strode slowly down the aisle towards the throne. Her gaze focused upon that seat – because if she looked anywhere else she was afraid she might cry – and she was barely aware of the smiles and warm words of those sitting near the aisle, greeting her as she passed.

As she reached the steps to the dais she paused, and the Lord of the Forest and the Lady of the Fae each approached her, taking her hand to help her ascend. Gracelyn remained behind her even as she turned to face the room, and she paled slightly. “It’s alright missus. You’re doing fine.” Gracelyn whispered from just behind her, before the maid touched her hand and then moved away.

The King Regent turned to the crowd, holding up a hand. “Lords and Ladies, it is my duty and my great honor to present to you Her Highness Morgan Aliah Draeleen, your undoubted Queen.” He paused then, inclining his head slightly to Morgan. “We come together today to serve as witness, to offer homage, and to pledge fealty to Her Royal Highness. Do you, people of MagicalWorldName, swear to do the same?”

I’m working on the Coronation, and the ball that follows it, currently. Once this is finished, I think I can call it done, and put the novel aside until later in the year so I can edit it. Which means starting on a new project. Yay!

Twilight Garden Progress

Now that I’ve finally managed to pay for my Scrivener license, I have been able to keep writing on the novel I started during NaNoWriMo. I’m over 60k words now, with probably 2 chapters to finish. Then, it gets put away while I work on another story that’s been begging to be written for a couple years now. I’ve allowed one person to read the rough draft, though there are a few others I’m ready to give it to as well. I’m very anxious about it, honestly, because I feel like most of what I wrote is a pile of messy garbage, but I’m too close to it, I know that.

Now that I own the program, I’m using it to help me organize my poetry too. I’ve got a lot, and if I’m ever going to publish any of it, I need to be able to put it in collections. So that’s another project I’m going to be beginning in the coming weeks. I have a lot of writing projects planned, in fact, which is what I want to do. That, and knitting. But I talk about that elsewhere.

NaNoWriMo Progress

I have reached 45,000 words today. I’m so incredibly close to winning NanoWriMo that I can taste victory, though I know the novel won’t be finished at that time. I still have several more chapters at least to write, and I just finished my 13th. That’s alright though, I’m going to keep writing until it is finished, and then enjoy the knowledge that I, Tania Allen, have written a freaking novel.

He took her around the waist then and lifted her down from the carriage, coming very close to the Princess for just a moment before he stepped back. “It is safe as long as I am with you,” he replied, a playful tone in his voice. He offered his arm to her then and she took it gladly. They walked towards a small gazebo in the center of the village and more people appeared from houses and work- buildings. As they reached the gazebo the Lord of Elves guided her to a seat and then took a place beside her. An older man with greying hair and beard approached, glancing to the Lord of Elves briefly before he returned his focus to Morgan. “Your Highness, you honor us with your company today,” said the man, obviously some sort of local authority figure.

Morgan found herself tongue tied at first, able only to smile, but then she extended her hand to the man, who bowed over it a little awkwardly as though he were unsure of himself. “It is my honor to be able to visit with you today,” said the Princess, smiling at the gathering group of men, women and children. “It is my delight that my schedule allows me to leave the palace to see those of you who might not get a chance to visit me there.” She glanced to Lord ElfLord as she spoke and he seemed proud of her, which bolstered her confidence. He stood then, standing a little apart from her, and spoke in his gentle tenor.

“Her Royal Highness does not have much time, but we wish to spare a few moments so that you can meet her and see with your own eyes that she is indeed returned to us,” he said.

That’s a little bit out of my last bit of writing. The story has definitely veered off book a bit, but not so much that I feel like it’s unfocused. I’m loving it, truly, and can’t wait to go back and edit, because I know there are parts that need fixing.

NaNoWriMo Update

Only when he was certain the man was truly gone did he open the door again, walking out to the desk Della was sitting at. “Don’t worry about him. That’s my ex’s father. He’s a blowhard,” he said with a smile. “Why don’t you go take lunch, Della. I’ve got some things I need to handle, and I’ll be staying in the office a while.”

“Are you sure Mr. Morris? I can stay and help with whatever you need.”

He smiled. Oh, she wasn’t being very subtle. “I’m certain. Thank you Della, but I can manage on my own,” he replied, trying for subtlety even though it seemed lost on her. Maybe she was used to seducing her employers in order to keep her positions for a while, Kieran thought.

She pouted slightly, but hid it with a quick smile. “Alright. Have a good lunch Mr. Morris,” she said, gathering her purse and her bookbag and leaving the office.

He walked back into his office then, and closed the door. He looked at his phone, chuckling as he felt just a little nervous. He pushed the nerves aside though, and dialed Morgan’s number. It rang half a dozen times, then clicked into her voicemail. “Hi, you’ve reached Morgan’s phone. I’m probably busy right now, but leave a message and I’ll call you back soon as I can. Beeeeeeep.”

I’m over a third of the way through my days, and over 40% of the way through the 50k words needed to complete NaNo. I don’t think that 50k will finish my story, so I’m going to have to keep going until the story is told.

Already I’ve discovered a few things about my writing along the way. One of my protagonists is an unknowing antagonist, really. The character I thought was going to be the main antagonist is really just a minor player. Magic works oddly in the real world, so I can’t wait to see how it’s going to work now that we’ll get to see the other world.Men in bow-ties and pocket squares, and temps, are not to be trusted.

Also, I’ve learned that I can be disciplined enough to write 2k words every day. I’ve managed it almost every day so far. Or close to it. NaNoWriMo is a curious thing, because it ‘forces’ you to write a novel-length rough draft in far less time than most authors write their rough draft. If I can do this, then why the hell can’t I do this every other month of the year? I don’t have to finish a novel a month, but surely I can finish the few I have rattling around in my head, and make room for more.

NaNoWriMo Progress

As of this afternoon I have written 10,285 words. I am well into my fourth chapter. Formatted as a manuscript, I have written 45 pages. I am definitely impressed with myself thus far, as I am 5 days in and already one-fifth of the way through this novel. Or at least one-fifth of the way through the 50k words for NaNoWriMo. Whether that finishes the novel or not I won’t know until I’m done.

Within moments Kieran was hurrying along the sidewalk in the direction he’d seen Morgan walking, and he took the turn he’d watched her take, looking for that cheerful sunflower making its way down the street. He’d almost given up when he saw the flash of yellow a block ahead, and he quickened his pace. In his head he was trying to decide what he would say to her. Clearly she’d realize he didn’t normally walk this particular way. Mulling over his options as he closed the distance between them, he thanked whatever powers existed for her ambling path.

“Morgan?” He kept his voice casual, though not surprised. There was no point in playing that game. “That’s you, Morgan, isn’t it?” he added as he drew closer to the woman carrying the sunflower umbrella. When she turned though, he was crestfallen. It wasn’t Morgan. What were the odds of there being two women in similar raincoats and carrying the same umbrella. He apologized to the older woman, who commented that whoever Morgan was she was a lucky lady, and turned back towards the office, hands in his pockets.

That’s a little bit from Chapter Four. The story is staying somewhat to my vague plan, which is helping me keep on track I think, but there are so many side-streets I could take. That’s where the second draft comes it, though, or at least something for when I’m further into the story than I am now.