Thursday, November 29, 2012

50,000

Finally.

*screams inwardly*

I made it. I made it. I made it to 50,000. 

*screams inwardly*

That was an interesting journey, but I know it paid off. I now have almost halfway finished novel in my hands! (Yes, you heard it right --- I'm not done yet. I tend to be a long writer, if you know what I mean.) 

But, I can no longer wait for November Snippets. xD If Katie does it, I'll link up, but I'm doing mine now. :) And I have a LOT of snippets to post. A LOT. :D Prepare yourselves.....to give me corrections. Please. :)

(P.S. All of these are from The Shadow Conspiracy, my NaNo novel.)



“Well, if you’re bored …” Skylar began, a smile growing.
            Sophie realized what she had done, too late. “Oh, no. I didn’t mean that. Not that! Please! We already did it!”
            Sierra chuckled, catching on. “Yeah, I think exercise would be a good way to get rid of that boredom, don’t you think?”
            “Oh, come on, guys, I was kidding, you know I was kidding …”
            “Well, we’re not kidding.”
            “Oh, crud.”



“So,” said Skylar slowly. “That was Branton, huh?”
            “He’s very cute,” Sophie flittered. “Is he your boyfriend?”
            Sierra looked disgusted. “Eww! We’re just friends! And what happened to tomboy Sophie? I liked her much, much better!”
            Sophie made a face. “Hey, I’m not entirely tomboy. I’m half and half.”
            Skylar laughed. “Okay, okay.”
            “But yes, that was Branton,” Sierra said, pretending like nothing had happened, though her face was a little red. “And Selena is who I paired him up with --- to help take care of the children,” she added in a huff, as she saw Sophie snicker. “They each get a group of kids to take care of. Amy and Carson were the other group that had Emery --- a little girl I was particularly attached to --- and apparently they formed an alliance.”



A half an hour later, it was Sierra’s time to teach. She started by stretching Skylar and Sophie, then doing “basic” jumps, kicks, and rolls.
            Skylar excelled, but Sophie struggled. Immensely.
            “You can do it, Sophie,” said Sierra encouragingly, though Sophie could tell that she was trying not to laugh.
            “Yeah, add a ‘hiya!’ onto the end of that, too, it helps,” said Skylar, trying (and failing) not to snicker.
            “Oh, shut up,” Sophie snapped. Sticking her tongue between her teeth, she rolled her shoulders and went into the roundhouse kick, ending up spinning herself around and nearly hitting Sierra in the face. She ducked.
            “How did I do?” Sophie asked eagerly, but got no reply --- both Sierra and Skylar were laughing too hard to respond.



The next morning was bright, clear, sunny, and balmy, showing no sign of the blood that had been spilled the day before. Naturally, this weather left everyone feeling a little happier --- all except for one.
            Eleven year old Santiago Maximilian Gaver felt discontent.
            He just had an uneasy feeling, like something bad was going to happen. He had seen much more doctors than ever around his family’s chambers, and his father was looking way more stressed than usual. He finally found out what it was when he had been sneaking around the house, searching for answers to the abnormal amount of doctors.
            “There’s no hope,” he heard Doctor Sotok say to his father.
            Santiago’s heart clenched. No hope of what?
            Through the crack in the door, Santiago saw his father shudder. Wait --- is he crying? Yes … yes he is! This must be bad.
            Lord Gaver never cried. He could be facing death, and a tear would not slip from his eye. Yet, why was he crying now?
            “Are you sure there is nothing you can do, Sotok?”
            Santiago frowned. That was his father, but … it didn’t sound like him at all. He sounded … weak, insecure, frightened.
            Santiago could see Doctor Sotok shake his head sadly. “I’m so sorry, my lord,” he said, “but there is nothing I can do.”
            Gaver shuddered again. “How long does she have?”
            Santiago’s heart thudded. When they say she, do they mean …
            “Leah has four days, at most, sir,” said Doctor Sotok, his voice filled with sympathy.
            Santiago felt his throat clench up. He was speechless, without words, grief filling his heart so suddenly, a feeling he’d never felt before. His brain could hardly register the thought, hardly register what he just heard. It can’t be right. I must have heard it wrong.
            Is my mother truly dying?


How I pictured Sierra, with vivid green eyes and dark  brown hair


“Is everything clear?” Sierra asked Sophie.
            “What?” asked Sophie confusedly.
            Sierra shook her head. “I meant, do you see anyone. ‘Is everything clear’ is soldier speak.”
            Sophie blushed. “Oh. Right. No, I don’t see anyone --- are you cleared up, too?”
            Sierra sighed. “Yes, I’m perfectly clear. Better give the signal.” She performed it.
            She saw Skylar give a tiny nod and vanish.




 “Oh, come on, Skylar, there’s nothing wrong with that!” they had said. “All we have to do is make sure no one’s watching --- piece of cake!”
            Skylar didn’t mention that it wasn’t a piece of cake to make sure no one was watching --- people could hide easily out of her eyesight. People like prowlers. Or assassins.
            She chided herself for worrying. Shut up, Skylar. Everything is under control. Everything’s going to be fine; you’re just overthinking.     
            But how come she couldn’t shake this ominous feeling?


And, just so you know, in the next Snippet, Sophie is pretending to be a ghost named Gilderoy, and Billy is some idiot who stumbled into their hiding place, which happened to be a "haunted and cursed" mansion.




Billy shook in fear on the ground, his love for gold leaving him in the fear for his life. “Please don’t hurt me, please don’t hurt me,” he pleaded, like Joe. “And --- almighty ghosts --- h-how do ya know my name?”
            “Silence!” Gilderoy boomed. “We know everything about you! But your time has come, William. Soon, you will join us in this mansion …”
            “No!” Billy screamed, writhing on the floor. “No! I beg ya, please, please don’ kill me! I’ll --- I’ll do anythin’ ---”
            “Very well!” Gilderoy said. “We will let you live, but only on three conditions.”
            “Anythin’ --- I’ll do anythin’ ---”
            “Number one: never come back to this house again.”
            “Yes, yes, of course ---”
            “Number two: tell everyone you know never to come here.”
            “Almighty Gild’roy, sir, you know I will ---”
            “And third --- learn how to speak properly, your language is disturbing!”
            “Yes, sir, thank ya, sir ---”
            “Now --- before I change my mind --- get. Out.

Sophie, with darker hair



This would have been a sweet, beautiful, memorable moment, if it wasn’t for sudden loud voices from outside the manor, near the front door.
            Skylar got up and ran to the window facing the front courtyard, and she gasped.
            “Someone’s coming! Quick!”
            Immediately, like they were all of one mind, the girls darted into the guest bedroom and shut the door.
            “I thought you said everyone avoided this place!” Sierra said to Skylar.
            “They do,” said Skylar. “well --- all the sane ones, at least.”
            “So you’re saying that we’re insane?”
            Skylar chuckled. “Yep.”
            They both stopped talking when they saw a slow smile grow on Sophie’s face.
            “What is it?” Skylar and Sierra both asked in unison.
            Sophie grinned. “This mansion isn’t actually haunted, I’m pretty certain of it now. But the people coming in --- they don’t know that, now do they?”



The shouts grew louder.
            “Blood! Blood! We want blood!”
            The girls looked out the window. The people, as one, were storming the gate, screaming and waving their chosen weapons. The sentries on the other side, apparently, had called for help --- hundreds of guards stood, their guns raised, looking very afraid.
            A giant creak seemed to shake the world --- the girls could hear it clearly, though Gilderoy Mansion was a good ways away.
            The gate trembled, the weight of thousands of people pressing against it. Then, with a giant crash, it fell forward. The guards screamed in terror and backpedaled, the gate barely missing them.
            It was as if someone had hit the pause button on the world --- the Lower East Siders hesitated, shocked that they had actually done it; the soldiers froze, shocked that the Lower East Siders had actually done it.
            Then everyone moved, and guns fired, swords clashed against crowbars, and people on both sides fell.
            Skylar turned away from the window. “Again, stupid,” she said. “There’s too many guards, with better weapons than crowbars and pitchforks. It will be a bloodbath.”




Bitterness spiked her voice for moment, then disappeared. Silence overcame them as Skylar reflected on her past, Sophie missed the tidiness of King’s Crossing, and Sierra digested this new shock of information.
            The day had gone by quickly. Already, dusk was starting to fall, and the nocturnal creatures were beginning to awaken and come out --- animal and human.
            Skylar was the first to notice the change in time. Eyes widening, she jumped to her feet, startling her sisters.
            “We need to get out of here. Now.”
            They scrambled to their feet.
            “What’s going on?” Sierra demanded.
            Sophie bit her lip. “What’s wrong this time?”
            Skylar pointed at the sky. “Look. It’s nearly nightfall. We probably only have a half an hour before dark.”
            Sierra shrugged. “There’s nothing wrong with the dark. We can just sleep here.”
            Skylar turned to Sierra, her voice deadly serious. “I’m not worried about the dark --- it’s what’s in it that makes me nervous. If we’re out after night, we’ll be dead by morning.”




The two paused for a moment. The one with brown eyes said to the one with the blue, “See? I was right, wasn’t I?”
            “Right about what?” Sierra demanded, hearing the footsteps of the jailer grow ever nearer.
            The blue eyed one shook her head, her long dark brown braid swaying. “Never mind. Come on! We need to hurry. Follow me!”
            As they ran, darting around corners, seeing no guards whatsoever (Sierra assumed they were outside), Sierra asked, “So --- who are you, anyway?”
            The brown eyed girl shook her head. “It’s complicated. We’ll tell you later.”
            “No --- what I meant is, are you here to kill me? Take me to the Slave Warden?”
            The two exchanged a look. The blue eyed one smiled, Sierra could tell. “No, of course not --- isn’t it obvious? We’re here to save you.”

I might have posted that one before ... deja vu :P

Skylar....with slightly bluer eyes

After tying her curls back into a ponytail with a ribbon, she looked nearly unrecognizable as she stepped out onto the street. Despite her better judgment, she began making her way to the prison, desperately hoping that somehow a divine miracle would arrive --- in a package named Skylar.





It was much less extravagant than King’s Crossing. It seemed like color had run away and hid. Only black, white, and brown seemed to be around. Occasionally, there would be a hint of red, maybe even yellow or green, but that was it. Even the peasants themselves wore dirt-stained aprons or tunics with brown pants or skirts and downcast expressions. All you could see were thatched roofs, muddy sidewalks, and the faint outline of the King’s palace in the distance.
            Sophie, however, noticed none of this. She was too busy trying not to have a heart attack.
            The adrenaline and power she had experienced had gone just as quickly as it came. It left her slumped against the tavern, her mouth open and gasping for water, her leg muscles frozen and stiff, and her hands twitching. Reaching in her satchel, she pulled out a canteen and poured the precious water in her mouth, spilling it all down her dress in the process.
            As she struggled to get her shaking hands to twist the cap onto the bottle, a voice from nearby made her jump in fright and spill more of the precious liquid.
            “Aren’t you a littl’ young to be drunk?”




Her father’s study was almost as big as the library Skylar was searching almost directly above. Books and papers were neatly stacked, and below a humongous portrait of himself was William’s desk, a beautiful mahogany piece made from the finest oaks. The drawers were full of miscellaneous things, though tidily organized --- charts, maps, contracts, even drawings Sophie had made when she was three. An inkwell and a quill lay ready beside a stack of fresh, crisp parchment.



“Sir,” said the man on Drew’s left, a tall man who stood and walked stiffly, “our scouts have reported that a nobleman’s wife recently bought a fabulous antique, from quite a bit ago. Apparently, it was all the rage back in the Technology Age.”
“What was it called?” Drew harrumphed.
“I believe it was a cell phone, sir,” said the man.
“Ah!” Drew clapped his pudgy hands together. “I’ve heard of those. That’s how those old fools back in the day talked to each other, right? Not face to face, they would just ---”
He mimed putting a hand to his ear, then guffawed loudly. The man cracked no expression.

(lock)




“No, it’s not your fault,” said Sophie, her voice hardening. “It’s mine, for not recognizing this sooner.” Turning to face Skylar, she said bluntly, “what are you here for?”
Skylar did not ask why the sudden change of topic. She had learned never to question a question, unless it was questionable. Which made no sense, unless you were Skylar.
“Drew sent me here to steal that new antique your mother bought,” she replied. “The check tone --- no --- cello bone ---”
“Cell phone,” said Sophie. “Yes, I remember seeing her bring it in. It’s under heavy lock and key. Heavier than you’ve probably ever seen.”
“I doubt it.”







“I think we’re going to do it my way, General,” she said, seeing his badge ---- General Hayden. And with another blow, she knocked him unconscious.
            She knew she had no time to waste --- quickly taking his gun and slipping it into her belt, she grabbed the cell phone off the pedestal and stuffed it into her satchel.
            Time to go. 
            She remembered the windows in the library … they looked like they could be easily opened. If I can get to them, I can make it to the rendezvous.
            Making sure her climbers were ready and waiting for her command, she put her ear to the door and listened. Nothing.
            She quietly opened it. Like her ears had suggested, there was no one there. The library was vacated. She could hear distant voices and footsteps, but that was all.
            Strange.
            But she had no time for investigating. Hurrying over to the window, she pried it open with ease and latched onto the outside wall.
            Problem was, there were now guards waiting below.
            Waiting for her.

(Drew always wears bowler hats :P)







“We can’t afford to lose her, sir, she’s our best,” the man reminded him. “And if you drop that cigarette, you will burn the warehouse down.”
Drew’s face reddened. “Do I look like someone who can be bossed around, Sherman?” he growled, putting out the cigarette.
Sherman’s lips twitched. “No, sir,” he said quickly.
“Good,” said Drew, letting the cigarette remains fall to the ground. “That necklace the girl brought in today? I found a customer for it, easy. He was so na├»ve. Let me take it for six gold pieces, when it’s really worth two!” Drew let out a bark of a laugh that raised the hairs on Skylar’s neck. “Ha! The fool. Didn’t know it’s real value.” Chuckling to himself, he turned to leave. “Bring the necklace to the palace, Sherman. Our customer will be picking it up within the hour.”
“Yes, sir,” Sherman replied smoothly. As soon as Drew waddled off, however, he muttered “Moron,” and reached up to grab the necklace. Carefully taking it from its shelf, he shoved it in his pocket and left.

There you go! Congratulations, you have survived the Snippet onslaught. xD What did you guys think?








Monday, November 26, 2012

CHRISTMAS IS COMING!!!

I know, it's still only November. But we put our tree up yesterday, and I'm enjoying (24/7) Francesca Battistelli's new CD, Christmas. It's so beautiful, perfect for the season, and also perfect for noveling music. Check it out sometime.





I also like her renditions of The Christmas Song and O Come, O Come Emmanuel, but I won't post those. Yet. xD

But, November is nearing an end. I haven't hit 50k yet --- just passed the 40,000 mark --- but I think I'm going to finish on time. Pretty sure, but not sure at the same time. Ick.

Anyway, I'm going to indulge myself once again and post another Snippet, because I can't stand myself. :)

 Suddenly, like a bolt of electricity almost jolted down her arm, Skylar reached out and placed a hand on Sierra’s shoulder. Sierra turned, surprised, a single tear running down her cheek.

            “Sometimes, doing the right thing is tough,” Skylar said sincerely, surprised the words were coming out of her mouth but believing them wholeheartedly. “But no matter how tough it is, you’ve always got to do the right thing. Always. No matter what.”

            Skylar sat down on the windowsill, trying to avoid swimming in dust. “I had to leave behind my best friend, too,” she said softly. “His name was --- is --- Wyatt. He was the only friend I’d ever known. He was the one who cared enough to give me an education in something other than thievery. But he was too afraid to leave Drew. Too afraid of what’s out there. Too afraid of the hundreds and hundreds of …”

            Skylar trailed off. Yeah, let’s leave off that assassin bit.

            Sierra leaned closer. “Hundreds and hundreds of what?” she asked quietly.

            Skylar cleared her throat. “Erm --- nothing, nothing at all. Breakfast?” she jumped to her feet and scrambled around in her utility belt looking for supplies.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

aaaand....

It's ten days till the end of November.

EEEK.

So far, The Shadow Conspiracy has passed the 100 page mark (finally!), consists of 29,514 words (which will probably change in a few minutes), and is about 5 days behind schedule.

I must admit, when I pictured NaNoWriMo, I pictured a perfect little me, writing a perfect little novel, with a perfect little schedule in a perfect amount of days.

Pfft. Yeah right.

However, after I killed and buried my inner perfectionist, things started going pretty well. For someone who's behind. =)

But, in honor of me passing 100 pages (drinks all around! :P) here's a story segment. I'm becoming horribly impatient, waiting for Snippets, and if it doesn't arrive soon, I'm going to succumb to the urge and post all my paragraphs I've been hoarding.

 Leaping forward, she darted for the cottage. Cries of  “There she is! Stop her!” echoed from behind. Sierra was nearly at the cottage when she felt her legs fly out from under her, and her oof! was drowned out by a mouthful of earth.
            Before she could even protest, she felt cold iron handcuffs clamp onto her wrists and she was jerked to her feet. Spitting the mud out of her mouth, she turned to glare at her captor.
            The triumphant guard practically dragged her to his leader, like an energetic puppy retrieving animals for his master. “I’ve got her, sir! I’ve got her!”
            The leader dismounted, a prideful smirk on his face. “Excellent work, soldier.” He reached out a hand and touched Sierra’s chin, turning her head right and left, as if admiring a prize he had won. Sierra was disgusted, and the man knew it. He chuckled.
            “You’re a feisty little one, aren’t you? Tell me --- why did you hop over the gate? Surely you know it is strictly forbidden.”
            Sierra looked  him defiantly in the eye and did not answer.
            The man shrugged. “Very well, have it your way. I do not care to know why you came, only that you will be adequately punished. You!”
            “Yes, General?” barked another footsoldier, hurrying over.
            “Take this girl to the Slave Warden and tell him I’ll be along in a few minutes to discuss price.” The general smiled viciously. “She’s a fine catch --- must be worth my month’s wages, at least. Take her away.”

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Lifesavers

I interrupt your blogging to bring you an important message. :-)

I found a blog, called Lifesavers, that is a group of teens standing up against abortion. They are making videos, sending letters to the President, and they (and I) would appreciate it greatly if you joined them in the fight for life. Please show support by following their blog. Thanks!


Sunday, November 11, 2012

stay patient....

I'm having to physically restrain myself from posting Snippets of my NaNo story, which, as it turns out, will now be called The Shadow Conspiracy. Thanks for the ideas, guys!

Anyway, I am eagerly awaiting November's Snippets of Story. It's very hard --- mentally, as I write, I pick out what will make the cut for Snippets and what won't. Things are piling up, and as I excitedly check Katie's blog every day to see if Snippets are ready, I wish I could find something to post! That isn't already going to be posted for Snippets!

However, I am going to indulge myself and post one segment. Just one. Then I will continue to hold myself back. (Arrgh.) xD

~

“Fine then.”
            In the blink of an eye, the girl leapt forward. Sophie didn’t even have time to scream. Her dagger held upright, the girl flew through the air --- and landed on Sophie’s torso.
            “Oof!” Sophie gasped.
            Chuckling humorlessly, sitting comfortably on Sophie’s stomach, the girl, her face enveloped in shadow, pried Sophie’s fingers open like they weren’t there and took the necklace.
            “Why don’t you take the earrings too, while you’re at it?” said Sophie scornfully.
            “My boss only wants the necklace,” said the girl indifferently.
            “But ---” said Sophie, a little taken aback, “If you’re a thief --- won’t you, you know, take what’s available, give nothing back?”
            “I steal because I have to,” said the girl. “Not everyone’s life is as fabulous as yours, Prissy. My kind of people? We don’t have fancy clothes and big houses. In fact, we don’t have houses at all.”
            Sophie blinked. “But --- where on earth are you from? In King’s Crossing ---”
            The girl laughed. “King’s Crossing! Not everyone is in King’s Crossing. I am from the Lower East Side.”
            Sophie’s eyes widened. “The --- Lower ---”
            “That’s right,” said the girl, standing up and releasing Sophie. “The Lower East Side. There, we have to steal to survive. You know nothing.”
             Sophie stood, her body and face still hidden in shadow. For once, somebody had rendered her speechless.




Saturday, November 3, 2012

Title Complications

It's November, and if you don't know what that means, it means that it's NaNoWriMo time.

I almost did it last year, but for one reason or another, I didn't. This year, though, I was determined to brave the challenge and weather the hardships of trying to write 50,000 words in 30 days. (Yikes!)

But anyway, I need your help. :) I am writing a novel for NaNo about three triplet girls (Sophie, Sierra, and Skylar) fighting to overthrow an evil Raven King (Hurrah.) and I'm having a wee bit o' trouble picking out a title. (You just thought that in a Scottish accent.) My current working title IS:

The S Gang

And my second choice IS:

The Warriors Three

Eh. Not my favorites. Can you do any better? :)