Princess Update, Dinner Edition

Just finished a nice writing session – added nearly 2k words, and I’m almost to the end of Act I. This scene should be shortish, but then the last one’s longer. We’ll see if I finish it tonight.

I’m getting hungry though – dinner time.  As evidenced by my stomach and also by the last paragraph I wrote:

Roast beef, she thought, mouth watering as the image rose in her mind. Pidgeon pie, chicken in orange sauce, sharp cheese. She sighed. And fresh berries, and pecan pie, and – oh! I would die for some chocolate.

Time to take  break then, and replenish.

Ruh Roh

The end of scene 9. Bria and Kel are in trouble…

They turned a corner, and Kel stopped suddenly. Bria bent over, hands on her knees, gasping for breath. Their path was blocked by a door. Kel tugged at it, but it did not move.
“Bria, come help me.”
Even their combined efforts failed to move the door. It groaned, but did not open.
Kel stood, panting, hands on hips. “Well, shit.”
Bria wiped the sweat from her forehead with a dirty sleeve. “Try again?”
“Oh, pretty, pretty princesses.” The voice startled her. Bria whirled around. Behind them, blocking their only means of escape, was a soldier with a scraggly black beard and a sickening smile. Bria felt Kel stiffen beside her.

“That won’t work,” said the man. “We nailed it shut.”

It Feels Good to be Writing Again

They weren’t regular playing cards, she saw. The backs were a deep purple, overlaid with a black cobweb pattern. Silver writing glittered against the dark colors, spelling out—

            “Spiderwebs,” said Kat. “Is that the name of the game?”
 Scene 1 is done! Working on Scene 2 today, in which our heroines first meet the Spider Queen – sort of – at the grocery store.

“You must have put it in your pocket and forgotten about it,” Kat repeated.
I didn’t, Charlie thought. I definitely didn’t.


I had a very interesting dream last night. It didn’t make a whole lot of sense, but there were some interesting elements. And then I woke up – or semi-woke up – but I was still sort of in a daydreaming mood. And then I was kind of  plotting an entire short story.

No description yet, but have some photos:


And so it begins…

“Her Royal Highness, Kelisin Adira Melisse Ellora Peronell, Princess of the Blood!” The herald’s staff pounded on the flagstones.

Kelisin grimaced. “Princess of the Blood” was such an ugly title, but — as everyone loved to remind her — this birthday was a special occasion and deserved extra formality.

Trumpets sounded a fanfare and Kelisin stepped through the open doors onto the grand staircase. A thousand candles flickered in their gold candelabras, making the jeweled mass of courtiers below sparkle as their finery caught the light.

If only their conversation sparkled as much as their wardrobe.

And with these words the Great Novel Adventure, Princess Edition, has begun!
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From the Archives: Of Magic, part 1

Written during nerd camp- so summer of 2006. Despite being unfinished, this piece received a fair bit of critique from the instructor and several rewrites.

“We’re not going to make it.”

She could hear the soldiers’ whispers as they marched down the road. Lyssa scowled. It could hardly even be called a road – really more of a dirt track – but it was the most direct route across the Basin, so they had turned away from the Great Road North to march through this Gods-forsaken country.

The whispers continued. “The northern pass is still hundreds of miles away! By the time we get there, Ravenna will have fallen!”

Lyssa glanced back to see if Raoul had heard the whispers – and from the grim set of his mouth it was clear he had. Lyssa surveyed the troops surreptitiously, trying to locate the source of the whispers.

Movement in the ranks of the Third Company caught her eye. “The King’s Mastiffs” had absorbed the soldiers sent by the king of Brantau, a sworn ally to Oloris but known to be fickle in his loyalty. Their leader, a loathsome man Lyssa preferred to avoid, turned to his companions and sneered. “Ah, no! Under our most illustrious general, how could we possibly lose?” The men guffawed, clearly enjoying this joke at her expense.

Lyssa looked down at her saddle, cheeks burning, as these men made a mockery of her command and her own soldiers refused to speak in her defense.

Scowling, she kicked her horse into a gallop, distancing herself from the soldiers and all their mutterings.


  •   I really like this. It could totally be a story about a young girl thrust into command and learning how to earn respect instead of act like a surly teenager.
  •  On the other hand, I could very easily adapt this for the middle of Princess.
  • In other news, a protag whose name doesn’t start with A or K!

From the Archives: Story Description

Typed into a word document which was rescued from the Great Hard Drive Crash of  2010. Date of the original document is unknown, but most likely 6th grade (2004-5).

Arianna has always been good at finding things, especially things she’s “tagged”—marked with magic she didn’t know she had. When a stranger passing through the village discovers Arianna and her magic, he takes her back to the palace to train with the High Wizard—a powerful and ambitious man Arianna can’t bring herself to trust. When the prince himself goes missing Arianna thinks the High Wizard is to blame, so she sets off to find the prince and expose the High Wizard as the traitor he is. Thrown into a world of plots and revolutions she never knew existed, Arianna must race against time and the High Wizard to save the kingdom she loves.


  • Surprisingly well-written synopsis for a twelve year old.
  • I would probably change “High Wizard”; it’s a bit…uncreative 🙂
  • I actually really want to write this now.

From the Archives: Small Monkeys

Judging by the handwriting, dated somewhere around 7th or 8th grade.

Kira scrambled up the anchor-tree, her rope trailing behind her. She leaped from branch to branch, as nimble as a monkey. 

“Kira!” Jo’sun called from below. “Tie that up quick and get down here! We’re due back soon – and don’t break your neck doing monkey acrobatics, you’re my lightest and smallest. I need you!”

Kira’s laugh rang out. “Don’t worry, jhan,” she teased, lovingly insulting Jo’sun in her native Sha’ta, a desert language, “I’ll come back unbroke!”

Jo’sun growled, cursing all small monkeys masquerading as humans with wicked humor. “Before I grow old, miss!”

Kira laughed again, tying the kite to a sturdy branch. “Done! And don’t tell me I wasn’t fast enough – I’ve seen Aktor try it.” Kira dropped, landing in a crouch by Jo’sun’s feet. “Besides, he can’t do devil’s tongue knots – he can’t even tie a monkey’s tail – and I can. So don’t threaten me!”

“Oh no, I know better than that. But you don’t pay for the food, so let’s not use that high-and-mighty tone with- ” He was interrupted by the clang of the great bell.

“Race you,” called Kira, off and running. Jo’sun leaped astride her horse, and set off after her.


  • Kites tied to anchor-trees are somehow significant, with children used as climbers. I’m not certain if anchor-trees are real trees or just something tree-shaped. Also not sure what the kites are supposed to do – maybe some kind of wind magic?
  • The lack of information here means that this would not be a great opening – random unexplained jargon drop – unless a little more description was added. Mystery is fine, but the reader needs some grounding.
  • There are a lot of exclamation points – partially forgivable because Kira is excitable and, at least for the first part of the conversation, twenty feet up a tree (speaking of which, she got down that tree awfully fast). Got to indicate shouting somehow, I suppose…
  • Gratuitous apostrophes. Could be justified for either Jo’sun’s name or the Sha’ta language, but probably not both because Jo’sun is implied to be a native of wherever they are now. My gut is telling me to leave it in Sha’ta.
  • Another Kira. Not sure why I repeat names so much.
  • I only skimmed this before typing it up. As I was transcribing, I was totally convinced Jo’sun was a guy until that last sentence. Not sure which version I like better. (Oh, and now I see I had “he” in the previous sentence…)
  • Conclusion: worth continuing when I get a chance. I’m curious about these kites. 

A Morsel: Pendant, Tea, Rabbit

In response to a writing prompt from Tami Moore:     
          It rained again during the night. I spent hours putting bucket and bowls and cups under all the leaks in the rotten roof. One of these days it will fall on our heads and then we’ll have to move again, but I can’t fix it myself and I certainly can’t afford to hire someone to do it for us. I’ve got a little money saved up from working down at the watch shop, but anyone who came up here to work on the cabin would meet Lara.
                 I glanced over at the bed, where Lara was wrapped in the blankets like a little caterpillar in its cocoon. She was dreaming, her eyes flicking back and forth under her pale eyelids. Lara has always had very vivid dreams.
                The sun was just rising over the ridge, rays spilling in through the cracked windows of the cabin and reflecting off the knife in my hand. Lara would be up soon – she always woke with the dawn – and I had to leave for work. The watch shop opens at nine but it’s a long walk down the mountain to town. I went back to the sandwich I was making. Peanut butter and strawberry jam, cut into quarters with the crusts removed. It’s what she’s had for breakfast and lunch every day for the past eleven years, and she cries when I don’t take the crust off or use jelly instead of jam. I suppose I should be lucky that she eats any food at all. She only stopped breastfeeding when our mother died, and she was three years old then.
                I finished the sandwich and went to draw a bucket of water from the well. I didn’t have time to empty the things in the cabin, but if I filled a pitcher and added lemonade mix, maybe she would drink that instead of the rainwater. Maybe not.
                When I returned Lara was sitting up in bed, clutching Bunny to her chest. It was my toy first. I can remember giving it to Lara the night after Mother died, to get her to stop crying. She hasn’t let go of it ever since. It even bathes with her. The white fur is grey now, and patchy, the glass eyes are dull, and the lavender ribbon is shredded, but if you try to take bunny away from Lara, she’ll scream until she makes herself sick. Lara was looking out the window, blue eyes wide, not blinking. Sometimes she’ll go for days without talking, without even looking at me, just staring at things that aren’t there.
                “Lara, come eat breakfast.” Suddenly her eyes focused on me.
                “A witch tried to take Bunny away.”
                “What witch?” I dropped lemonade mix into the pitcher and stirred.
                “She was pretty, but her hands were black and her teeth were green. She tried to take Bunny but I kicked her, and then she screamed.” Lara got up from the bed and came to the table. I brushed her messy curls out of her face as she started on the sandwich.
                “You were just dreaming, Lara,” I replied.
                “No I wasn’t.”
                It’s hard to argue with Lara, but I tried. “I was watching you. You were sleeping.”
                Lara put down the sandwich and turned to look at me, her expression earnest. “I was asleep here, but I wasn’t asleep there. On the Other Side.”
                The Other Side. The land of the faeries. I sighed. “I have to go, Lara-bear. I’ll be home later. Try to stay out of trouble.”
                Lara gave me one of her rare, gorgeous smiles. “Don’t worry sissy, Bunny will keep me safe.”
                I took one last glance in through the window before I left. Lara was having an animated conversation with the air.
                The sun was setting by the time I returned to the cabin. I was usually back much earlier, as I only worked part time and left in the early afternoon, but – well. I’d been working on his watch when he came in, a complex piece with a fish that moved around the watch face and acted as the hour hand. It had taken me the better part of two weeks to build it and he’d been using it as an excuse to come see me. The shop’s bell rang, and that was all the warning I got before he was sitting in front of me.
                “Come to dinner with me tonight.” I confess I was shocked. I thought I’d been doing a good enough job of discouraging him, but it seemed not. “Come on! It’ll be fun. You never do anything for fun, do you?” His tone was light, teasing, flirty even, but I made myself keep working on the watch, kept myself from looking at him.
                “I can’t.”
                “Why not? What excuse is it this time, Ivy? There’s always something.”
                “I – I don’t feel well.” My heart was beating double-time, and my palms were starting to sweat. He smelled like cinnamon, and I wanted him to lean in closer.
                At the same time I wanted him far, far away.
                “So let me drive you home. Where do you live? Not in town, or I’d see you a lot more often. Up on the mountain?”
                I stood up so quickly my chair fell down, slamming into the floor. The noise startled him, and he jumped up.
                “Your watch is done.” I was out the door before he recovered enough to chase me. He wouldn’t want me once he met Lara. I’d be the girl with the crazy sister. And then he’d tell his friends, and word would get around, and people would bring up doctors and hospitals and Children’s Services. Maybe it was time to move again.
                It took me a long time to calm down, so I didn’t get home until sunset. It’s no use going home when I’m angry; Lara tries my patience enough as it is. So as I walked up the path to the cabin I wondered, with a slightly sick feeling in the pit of my stomach, what Lara had gotten up to while I was gone.
                I pushed open the door of the cabin and gasped. Lara had picked hundreds of flowers, pulled off the heads, and set them to float in the rainwater buckets and pots and bowls. And she had taken out every candle we owned and lit them. It was magical, and beautiful, and crazy, just like my sister.
                Lara came over to me and tugged my hand.
                “It’s for the faeries,” she said. “They won’t come inside unless there are flowers.”
                I felt like I was sleepwalking. “Of course…faeries…”
                “They’ve mostly left, but you can meet Violet.”
                I looked down at her. “What?”
                “Look.” She pointed to the table, were my tea mug sat, filled with tiny violets. I peered in, preparing myself to converse with Lara’s imaginary faery.
                But then, over the far rim, a tiny head appeared. Emerald eyes met mine.
                “Oh my God.” I closed my eyes and opened them again, wondering if I was dreaming –or hallucinating. But she – brown hair, emerald eyes, and delicate violet gossamer wings –was still there.
                I looked at my sister in disbelief. “A faery.”
Lara smiled. “I told you,” she said, “It’s all real.”

I wish I were a Princess…although probably not in this story

 This little story that’s forming doesn’t have a title as of yet other than “Princess”, and I have absolutely no idea where it’s going.
                Kelisin awoke to the sound of voices.
                “Little brat can’t have gotten far. We’ll have us our nice reward yet.” A man’s voice, rough and unpleasant. He laughed, and Kelisin felt her heart race in response.
                I have to move, she thought. Slowly she began to sit up, moving as quietly as possible. Bits of leaves clung to her dress and her hair, and a twig had left an impression on her left cheek. She didn’t remember falling asleep the night before.
                “Here, princess,” said another voice. It was deep and mellifluous, but just as frightening. “Here, little princess, we won’t hurt you.”
                Maybe not, thought Kelisin, but I know what’s waiting for me in the capital.
                Kel crawled out from the bushes she had been sleeping in and looked around carefully. The forest was old, and the trees large around the trunks. She wouldn’t be able to climb one, and even if she could they would see her before she could reach the leafy branches and hide. She considered crawling back into the bush. It was thick enough to hide her. Would they think to check it?
                “Here’s a nice bush. She hiding in here, the royal whelp?” Kel heard rustling, like he was thrashing the bush with a stick. She would have to find another hiding place.
                Ahead of her was only more forest, but behind her, in the direction of the voices, was a large outcropping of rock. She crawled towards it.
                “What’s that noise?” Kel froze.
                “Probably just a rabbit,” said the man with the deep voice.
                They were almost upon her. Quickly, she got to her feet and ran towards the rocks. Please, please, she thought.
                And there, to her immense relief, she found the perfect spot. A crack in the rock, just wide enough to fit through. The opening was just above the ground, and as such less likely to be noticed. She lay down on her stomach and started backing down.
                The rock scraped her skin and tore her dress, but she ignored it and continued on, shoving her hips through, and then her shoulders, and finally her head, pulling it out of sight just as the two hunters came into view.
                Kel peered through the crack at them. One was skinny, unkempt, and probably unwashed. Something about his pointed face and beady eyes made Kelisin think of a rat. The second man was large, muscular, and clean-shaven, probably a soldier. To Kel’s horror, he had a sword belted at his waist and a crossbow across his back. She shrank back farther into the rock.
                “Go check that bush,” said the soldier.
                There was more rustling, and then the Rat replied. “No princess in here, nope. But there’s a dent here, in the ground, just the size of the brat.”
                The soldier frowned. “It could be a deer. The girl’s not very big.”
                “We keep going then?”
                “You think we’ll find her?”
                “I found the other one, didn’t I? The boy?” His tone was smug.
                Kelisin felt dizzy. They’d caught Richard. She felt her breath coming faster, the rock pressing in on her.
                “That you did.”
                “They don’t call me the Hound for nothing, Rafe. Here. If we find her, I’ll let you have a little…fun…before we take her back.”
                The Rat licked his lips and renewed his search with vigor, and the Hound, with a faint expression of distaste, followed him.
                “Here, little princess, here, little brat…come to Rafe, little princess, he’ll take you home…”
                As they walked away, the sound of the Rat’s taunts and laughter echoing in her head, Kel gave in to unconsciousness.