Week 2, Day 5 – Brave New World

Today’s Prompt is: “You have an enchanted backpack that gives you exactly what you need for that day. Today, you pull out a sword.”

Lily is up before sunrise and tries to be as quiet as a mouse as she gets dressed, throws her hair up in a bun, and stands looking at a bag she was handed the night before. The bag looks simple and does not look like it is holding weapons of any kind, but she was told to look at the bag, think about what she needs or wants to train with, and then reach in the bag. So she takes a breath, thinks about what she wants, and reaches into the bag. She moves her hand around a bit, feeling the soft cloth that makes up the interior, then her fingertips brush something cool and round. She grabs hold of it and pulls out a basic rapier.  She stares at it for a moment, surprised that this was what she got, but, she had just thought about needing a proper weapon to train with when she meets with Captain Torthana. Out of curiosity, she thinks again, reaches into the bag, and pulls out a scabbard for the rapier. Smiling, she puts the rapier in the scabbard, attaches the belt to her waist, and then sneaks out of her chambers without alerting Amyra.

She waves at the guards as she walks out her door, goes and finds two guards that can escort her to the training area, and once they join her, they head over to meet with Captain Torthana.

The training area is  an open field, with training dummies forming a large circle.  Captain Torthana is in the center practicing. Lily stands and watches Torthana for a moment. Lily has seen most women swoon over Kelvhan Torthana.  He looks to stand around six feet tall, has broad shoulders, deep chocolate brown hair, and his eyes are a weathered burnished amber. The sides of his hair are kept in braids that are pulled back into a half ponytail while the rest of his hair flows to his shoulder in waves. Lily thinks to herself <He’s handsome I suppose, but I prefer my men intelligent more than handsome.>  She does a little half shrug, shakes her head, and calls out to the captain.

“Captain Torthana!”

He turns, swirling his sword, and sheathing it with a flourish, bowing to Lily as he faces her.

“My Queen.  Welcome to your first day of training.”

His eyes flick to the band around her waist and the weapon attached to it.

“I see you got a proper weapon from the bag. I told you you’d get what you needed.”

He waves his hand, inviting her to join him in the circle.

“Shall we begin?”

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Week 2, Day 4 – Brave New World

Prompt: “You open the door to your house, and walk into some Men in Black wrestling with an alien in your living room.” (adjusted to fit my world)

Lily walks up the steps of the gorgeous elven structure that she calls her home and realizes that the door is slightly ajar.  She pushes the door open and peeks around it but doesn’t see anything. She walks in slowly, looking around, then hears yelling and scuffling noises coming from the council room.

Unsheathing the sword that is currently strapped to her waist, she rushes to the council room and kicks the door open. When the door flies open, she sees some her guards and some of the rangers who are dressed all in black wrestling with what she can only call a dog.

“WHAT is going on in here and WHAT is that!?” She bellows.

The guards and rangers continue to wrestle with this dog thing, barely noticing she was there. She stands at the ready with her sword in the case that it comes towards her, but stays a bit away from the tussle so she doesn’t get in the way.

Captain Torthana had been teaching her how to fight with a sword and while she wasn’t that good yet, she felt she could at least slow the creature down if it got away from the others. She stood on the balls of her feet, her right foot facing forward and knee bent, left leg behind, knee bent, and left foot somewhat sideways, & her arms up and her hands hold her sword in a long point guard. While she stands there, her eyes dart around the room watching for other intruders and she shifts her feet here and there as the fighting continues and moves around the room.

Finally, they subdue the creature and put a leash on it to keep it from taking off again. Lily moves closer so she can get a better look at it. She can see it is a mix of leaf and moss green with tan paws and underbelly, and glowing, dark orange eyes.  It has some of its fur braided, hanging like ropes from its head, and a long braid that wraps around its fluffy tail and then hangs down a couple inches from the tip. It has tall, long furry elven shaped ears that are green and tan at the bottom and fiery orange that goes from mid-ear to the tips.

“It’s….” Katar pauses as he calms his heavy breathing then continues, “It’s an elven dog, my queen.  This one got out of his master’s house and has been wrecking havoc through the city and for some reason came here.” He looks up at Lily, his eyebrow raised, confused.

“It came here on purpose?”

As they all stand and get the dog to its feet, it starts tugging on the leash moving towards Lily. Everyone pulls on the leash or stands between it and Lily. Curious, Lily shoos the guards to the side and holds her hand out to the creature.  She squats down so she is closer to eye level and looks into its eyes as she’s holding her hand out.

“It’s okay. I won’t hurt you. You need to stay calm and stop causing problems in my city you hear me?” She talks softly to the creature, hoping that the techniques used in the human world would work on him.

As soon as the dog sniffs her fingers, it nuzzles them, and then gives her a dog-like grin. She carefully runs her fingers up the dog’s muzzle to rub its fur and play with his ears. The dog sits down and lets her, never taking its eyes off of her.  She grins at the dog as her fingers tickles the tips of his ears and then she moves slightly so her fingertips can run down its head so she can touch the various braids that decorate its body.

The guards and rangers stand and stare at what is unfolding in front of them. Never have they seen an elven dog react to anyone like this before. They are all very loyal to the Galnariens, but none of those present have ever seen one allow someone to be so affectionate.

“Who does it belong to?” She asks as she continues to pet the creature, who has now laid down at her feet and has its eyes closed as if it is going to sleep.

“Lord Kelleth, my queen. His son is Luirlan, the young lordling that squires to Lord Anafiel.”

“Alright. Someone bring Lord Kelleth here. I need to speak with him regarding Jhaan.”

“Jhaan? Who’s that?”

“That’s his name.” She smiles up at everyone as she stands, waving her hand towards the dog.

“How…..” Katar stops mid-question and shakes his head. “Never mind my queen. We will go back to our posts and someone will bring Lord Kelleth to you shortly.”

All of them salute her, one of the rangers takes off to retrieve Jhaan’s owner, and all but two of the remaining leave to return to their posts.

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Week 2, Day 2 – Brave New World

Today’s Prompt is: “You look outside one morning and realize you’re looking at a completely different city skyline.”

Lily stretches, turns over, and opens her eyes and blinks as she focuses on the canopy above her.  It takes her a moment until she realizes where she is.  She sighs and throws back the covers and sits up. She pulls on the robe that her handmaiden had laid on the end of the bed for her, thinking <that is so weird that I have a handmaiden!>, then walks over to the balcony and looks out over the city of Galna Alari.

The sight took her breath away. The sun was just coming up and the light was filtering through the trees, hitting the exquisite elven city so perfectly that the colors from the buildings sparkled spectacularly sending rainbows all over the gardens. Lily was in awe over this displace of perfection and beauty and truly realized she was in a different world now. She had seen gorgeous sunrises before, but this scene was something the humans would truly describe as heaven and could only imagine in their dreams.

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Week 1, Day 5 – First Lines

First Line: “She closes her eyes then counts to ten.”

She closes her eyes, then counts to ten. The electricity crackling around her slowly subsides as she mutters the numbers under her breath. Her fists were clenched when the magick started sparking, but now she flexes her hands and fingers as she tries to breathe through the overwhelming and almost suffocating cloud of magic that wants to envelop her and lash out at everything in front of her.

Through her tightened jaw, “Mother. How,” she swallows and unclenches her teeth, “how can you not understand why I am so upset?” She says all of this very carefully, trying very hard to keep control.

Talia backs up, a bit frightened at this scene of magickal power from her daughter.

“Lily. Please honey. We did it to keep you safe. We’ve told you that. Please control your magick,” her mother begs.

“I am trying, Mother. I have no idea how to fully control this as Father and Khilseith have not started my lessons yet,” she takes another breath as she feels the magick trying to get through again. “I am only keeping control out of instinct, and the more you give me excuses, the harder it is going to be for me to keep calm.”

“I…I will get your father then, or Lord Olastra,” Talia starts to move closer to the door.

“NO!” Lily flings her arms in the opposite direction of her mother, because with all her faults, Talia is still her mother and she doesn’t want to kill her because she can’t control her powers. As her arms swing around, lightning flies across the room, shattering everything in its path. Vases, bits of wall, tables, all explode into pieces, sending projectiles everywhere like a bomb just went off. Her mother instantly hits the floor to avoid getting hit by anything, covering her head with her arms.

Lily screams in frustration as the lightning continues to streak and bounce around the room. The doors come flying open as Theren, Khilseith, and half of the guards come running in thinking the women were being attacked. They all ducked as bolts go zipping over their heads. Khilseith throws up a shield around everyone but him and Lily as he moves towards her to help calm her and keep the rest safe from her wild magick.

“Liliana! Breathe! Deep breaths! Concentrate!” He barks at her as he continues moving towards her.

“I’M TRYING but she just makes me SO ANGRY!” As those last words leave her lips, a fireball shoots off and puts a large hole in the outer wall, burning through the trees in the garden directly outside, and finally fizzles when it hits the fountain.

She falls to her knees sobbing and weak. Khilseith moves to her and scoops her up in his arms, waving his hand over her and sending her into a deep sleep. He releases the shield and looks at her parents.

“Might I suggest that Lady Talia stay away from Liliana until she has more control over her emotions AND her magick? Theren, we need to start her lessons immediately. She has way more power than even I suspected.” He nods at all of them. “Guards! Follow me so I may get her settled in her chambers and she can sleep off all this energy she just sent everywhere.”

The guards salute Theren and Talia and then some follow Khilseith while the rest go to get some help to clean up the mess their queen just made.

Theren looks down as his wife and shakes his head as he helps her stand.

“I warned you this would happen,” and he walks off, leaving his wife to collect herself and go to her chambers so she could grieve in peace for the life and daughter she no longer had.

Word Count is over 9,000!

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Just popping in to say hi, hope you all are having a great weekend and to say that I have almost hit the 13k mark on my novel! Have a prologue even and am making some adjustments to my first chapter thanks to some amazing feedback from fellow writers/coach.  So things are trucking along good, breakthroughs are happening, and the story is coming to life one scene at a time!

Camp NaNoWriMo

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Hi all. So I decided to do something new and be brave this year. I am currently in the Camp NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) for the month of April and thought I would start blogging about it and keeping you all up to date!

I set my goal of 30k words and am currently at 3,692. Am running behind a few days but am hoping to catch up!  Added a new member to the family — a 7 month old orange/white tabby named Boots that we adopted and he wants 100% attention most of the day lol I have not been feeling well off and on and I have been working on some personal growth and spiritual things that have had my focus elsewhere but I think I am getting back on track!

Y’all have a great weekend and I will let you know how things are going. Wish me luck!

 

WIP: Guardians of Galrena

 

 

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The sacred owl throne, believed to have been lost three centuries ago, right here in front of her! It sat beneath a beautiful and ancient oak tree covered in vines, flowers, and bird nests. Lily couldn’t believe her luck.  From what she had read during her research, the beautiful throne was made from bits of the sacred oak tree that had stood in the Whispering Grove and had gone missing after the queen of the wood elves had been killed 300 years before.. This grove is deep in the northern reaches of Cumbria County, England, and has been for thousands of years. The Children of Galrena, wood elves that have lived in the grove for eons, had made this throne in honor of their goddess Galrena — Goddess of Wisdom, Owls, and Trees.

Lily Kerleau, supposedly a descendant of these elves (descendant because no one had seen the elves in about 50 years), was in England doing research for her newest novel. Most writers will tell you the need to find out if mythical places really exist call to them more than most and Lily was no different. Being as her book was about elves, her mother Talia had suggested she take a trip to the area to see what information she could find on her descendants. When her mom first suggested it, Lily had just rolled her eyes but went anyway because she knew Talia would keep nagging her until she went. She’d been trying to get Lily to go since she had turned 18 — something to do with an elven rite of passage or some such nonsense — and finally, at age 22 she stood on the land her great-grandmother (on her father’s side)  had lived on.

Lily called out to her assistant, her voice a bit shaky, “Dmi…Dmitri! Come here! You are NOT gonna believe…”

Her call was interrupted by the sound of breaking twigs and branches and a loud “HELP!”

Lily went running to where the sounds came from and found her assistant had fallen into a cave. She ran to the hole he had left and peered inside. With them being in a shadier part of the Whispering Grove it was hard for her to see him.

“Hang on, Dmitri. I need to grab our backpack and lantern. Don’t move!”

He responds, his voice echoing somewhat due to the cave and shaking from his fall, ” Where am I gonna go exactly? I can’t see a damn thing in here!”

Lily chuckles as she trots back to their jeep and retrieves their backpacks and lanterns, lighting one as she heads back to the cave. She glances at the throne once more and whispers, “I will be back to clean you up soon, I promise.” She shakes her head after saying that, not really sure where that came from or why she was talking to a throne.

Once she reaches the hole, she sticks the lantern just inside and sees Dmitri sprawled on the floor of the cave, covered in dirt and twigs.

“Now how in the world did you fall into a cave?”

As she says this, she carefully climbs up the brush a bit and steps inside. As soon as her feet touch the ground of the cave, the entire inside lights up in every hue of the rainbow, the cavern walls start shifting around, and soft music starts to play. She and Dmitri look at each other, both backing up, finding they are now up against what is now an actual wooden door. They grab and hold on to each other, both of their hearts racing, breathing hard, and looking at each other terrified.

“There is no reason to be afraid. We will not hurt you Princess Liliana.” Lily turns at the voice and sees the most beautiful creature she has ever laid eyes on. A tall slender elf glides towards her. His hair falls in soft leaf green waves down to his knees, his bright eyes, locked on to her face, swirling a mix of emerald and gold. He is dressed in a tunic and leggings, both a mix of deep brown and greens, with dark brown boots on his feet.

Dmitri steps back from Lily and stares at her indignantly. “P..PRINCESS!? GURRRLL why didn’t you tell me!?” Dmitri huffs at hearing his best friend for almost 16 years was a princess and hadn’t told him.

“How..what? Liliana who?” Lily stammers. “How could I tell you something I didn’t know? And this is ridiculous!” She is still watching the elf walk towards her, and her eyes widen as he gets closer.

“It is very much true, Princess. We are so glad you have finally come home to us,” the elf kneels down in front of her once he is right in front of her.

“This is …ridiculous. Please stand up. You…you…seriously stand up,” Lily sputters, not sure exactly what was going on or how to react to all of this.

As they are standing there, five more elves come from out of the darkness at the other end of cave. Four of them are dressed in silver ornate armor with various swords and daggers at their hips. The fifth one is a stunning female elf dressed in dark green robes with a thin, but glistening silver and gem-studded crown laying upon the elegantly piled hair that is the color of the richest cherry wood.

“Liliana! You have come!” The woman’s face lights up in a beautiful smile, reaching her hands out to Lily as she gets closer. Lily looks at the woman quizzically, her eyes widening, and she shakes her head looking at Dmitri, then the group of elves, then back at the woman standing in front of her.

“This…this can’t be. Great,” Lily swallows hard.”….Great-grandmother Talinia??” Lily’s trembling voice is barely a whisper and the disbelief can be heard in her tone.

“Yes child. It is truly me.” Talinia moves forward and pulls Lily into her arms, hugging her tightly, weeping gently in sheer happiness. “I cannot believe you have finally come home!”

Lily, at first, puts her arms around Talinia hesitantly , then tightens her embrace as she hears a familiar voice. “It is alright my Starflower, it is really her.” Lily starts crying as she looks over her great-grandmother’s shoulder and sees her father, Theren, coming towards her. It had been five years since she had last seen him and thought he was lost to them forever. She lets go of Talinia and runs into her father’s arms.

“Papa!! You are alive! What is,” she sniffles, “going on? ” Lily sobs into her father’s chest.

“I am. It is alright sweetheart,” her father holds her close. “All will be explained as soon as we get you both out of here and somewhere safe.”

Lily looks up at Theren and nods. She looks over at Dmitri, who was sitting on the floor staring up at everyone with a look of confused awe on his face, and smiles through her tears.

“Come Dmitri. Papa will explain everything, including this princess nonsense, right?” She looks back at her father.

“Yes, everything. And there is no nonsense my daughter,” Theren states matter-of-factly  as he steers her towards the back of the cave, nodding at the others to collect Dmitri and their things.

As they reach the very back of the cave, Theren knocks on the wall three times. The cavern shutters and a portal comes to life before them, like a shimmering mirror, and he leads her through it.

The other side is more beautiful than Lily could have ever imagined. As they step through, she feels as if she’s stepped into a forest wonderland. The trees are so tall she can’t see their tops and their bark is a deeper brown than even the darkest dirt in her garden back home. Their leaves are such a vibrant green even leprechauns would be jealous. Every color of the rainbow was represented in the flowers that dotted the field just past the trees and the elven city at the end of the field was lit up like New York City on New Year’s Eve. Lily just stood there a moment trying to take it all in.

Theren stood patiently waiting for the shock to wear off of his daughter, although he had a feeling it wasn’t going to be any time soon. She had been gone too long and living in the human world for the past one hundred years was not going to be an easy thing for her to get over. That should be a fun thing to explain. His eyebrows furrowed together as these thoughts go through his head and he sighs softly.

Hearing her father sigh, Lily turns to him and sees the look on his face.

“What’s wrong Papa?” She looks at him worried.

He sighs again because he knows he cannot lie to her. “We have a lot to discuss, Starflower, and it is not going to be easy for you to hear or understand, that is all.” He puts his arm around her. “Come. Let us get you to the tower and we can discuss things more while you both are given appropriate clothing to wear before your return is announced.”

The small group moves quickly and quietly through the field, soft ‘oohs and ahhs’ coming from Dmitri and Lily at their new surroundings, and Theren and Talinia look at each other worriedly as they get closer to their home, Galna Alari.

Ad for Nita and the Honeybees!

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A Novel Connection Presents Nita and the Honeybees written by the lovely Cynthia Pilcher! “Come along on a fun adventure through the Forest of Dreams in this first book in The Woodland Adventures series.” Find Nita and the Honeybees on A Novel Connection June 2017 www.anovelconnection.com

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