My novel just hit 25K words, making it the longest thing I have ever written, EVER! Even if I don’t win, this is still super awesome.
I celebrated by eating caramel popcorn drizzled with white and dark chocolate, it’s as delicious and fattening as it sounds, but I don’t care, I just wrote half a novel.
And because you’ve all been so encouraging, here’s an excerpt:
“Let me see if I understand you correctly,” said Flower as sie took the letter from me. “You wish for me to ascertain whether this letter is covered by an illusion spell?”
“Yes, Ser Flower,” I said. “We would really appreciate it if you would—“
“–No,” said Flower.
I confess I was a little taken aback by the terseness in hir voice. “No?”
“No, there is no illusion on this letter,” Flower said, waving the letter a little to emphasize hir point. “Or, at least, none that I can detect, and there are very few illusions that a jack can create through which another jack cannot see.” Sie handed the letter back to me. “Therefore, either this Rogue of Firehaven you speak of is exceptionally powerful, which, being a Rogue, sie is likely to be, or you and your Leaf are delusional.”
I scowled. “Neither of us are delusional,” I stated.
Flower shrugged slightly. “Well then, far be it for me to suggest that you should have any dealings with this Rogue—if, indeed, you are not merely playing a prank on me with this insipid love confession. All the land-bonded spirits can be dangerous, but Rogues are dangerous in their unpredictability….”
“I thought you said that not all jacks are chaotic,” I said, unable to hide my smile.
Flower glared at me. “No, we are not all such temperamental beings, but it would behoove you to be cautious, all the same.” Sie waved a dark reddish brown hand at me in dismissal. “Now, run along, I have a temple to oversee, and do not have time to entertain your flight of fancy.”
“Well, that wasn’t very helpful,” I complained to Leaf as we walked along the road towards the city gates. “What do we do now, Leaf?”
Leaf sighed. “I guess we have no choice,” she said. “Who knows how the Rogue will react if we keep refusing to meet with hir?”
I shook my head. “I don’t know, and I don’t want to find out, but….” I took Leaf’s hand. “If we’re going to go, we need to be very, very careful….”
“I know,” Leaf replied, squeezing my hand. “I’ll be careful if you’ll be careful, Hedda.”
“I’ll be careful, too,” I promised.
“Good,” Leaf said, nodding to herself. “If we’re going to meet hir, we should go before the sun sinks below the horizon, there’s no telling who—or what—we’ll encounter after dark.”
Having read that, at this point you’re probably wondering who the heck all these characters are, and exactly what do I mean by jacks, and Rogues, and why are all these characters named after parts of plants, and I bet you’re wondering where you can find all the answers to these questions.
Why, the answers are in the novel, of course! 😀
BTW, I have been informed (through internet research) that my use of ‘sie’ as a gender neutral term is kind of outdated, so I’ll probably change it in the final draft.