Monday, 4 June 2012

A teaser from my WIP

Here is a little teaser from my current project. Just to clarify I don't edit along the way, only when I am done so there might occur mistakes etc and the text might seem a bit rough around the edges. 

They followed the overgrown path out of town as they had done so many times before, walking in silence as the moon cast eerie shadows around them. With every passing day they both felt an urgency to have these secret meetings that neither of them could really explain. It was common knowledge that the two young ones had a very special relationship and were rarely seen around town without each other, so why this sudden need for secrecy Merija pondered on once again.  The path cleared ahead of them and revealed a small meadow with a large tree in the middle. In front of the tree a small plot had been dug and a small improvised wooden cross marked the spot where they had laid to rest the dog that they had both cared for. The dog had been a stray left by a knight at the baron’s last banquet almost 7 years ago. These days the baron did not entertain much and it was rare that the local town-folk saw anything of him or his family. The dog that they had lovingly named Half-tail had not been popular with the trades-men always sniffing and licking, sometimes even marking its territory, but it had not deserved the fate it was given. Early one morning Merija had woken to find the whimpering dog outside the bakery, seemingly it had been attacked by a larger animal and died soon afterwards in her arms. It had licked her hand to the end and when it died she felt a little part of her die with it. Even now tears came to her eyes by the mere thought. Eigan shrugged impatiently when he followed her gaze and started the journey up the tree. Something about the whole incident always stirred weird reactions in Eigan that she could not quite understand. Sometimes he seemed almost remorseful as if he had been the one who had killed the dog.
 Almost concealed to the world around them they both climbed the tree with ease having in-depth knowledge of the nooks and holes best suited for such a thing. In the treetop they had hung various instruments of entertainment; a book, a lantern, a pouch with some left over dried fruit and a deck of cards. Sometimes Merija would bring some sweet rolls from the bakery if she had made mistakes and they had to be thrown to the pigs anyway, but lately she had been too good at following her father’s instructions. Eigan motioned to turn on the lantern when they heard heavy footsteps stepping through the canopy below them. He froze and drew the hood over his head once again. Merija hoped that the thickness of the branches and the fact that the moon was not partly concealed behind clouds would hide her from view. The penalty for being outside the town after darkness was not harsh, because the creatures that sometimes hunted in these parts would deal a harsher punishment than anything you would experience in town. Shaking with fear she reached out for Eigan’s hand and clung on to it as she found it, her heart pounding so hard against her rib-cage that she was convinced whatever was down there would hear her. There had been no reports of wild creatures taking any of the villager’s live-stock so this would be the first anyone would hear of them before the killings started again. Merija and Eigan had only been small children when the last pack of rat-men had haunted the forests surrounding the city. Further south it was normal to see these half-breeds among normal people, but here north of the capitol the creatures had become feral with hunger and the prosecuting that the King could do little to stop. The northerners had traditions that meant more to them than some fancy high lord down south and the division of normal humans from beastly half-breeds was one of them. This was the unwritten laws of the north that they did best to follow even if they did not agree with it completely. Merija allowed herself to glance at the movement below them in hopes to catch a glimpse of what ever awaited them when they descended from the tree. As the moonlight broke through the clouds it became clear that these creatures moved too clumsily to be any form of beast and she inhaled more freely again. Most likely it was just a pair of lovers looking for a safe place outside the city walls to declare their love to each other and whatever else people in love did. Merija had little knowledge of what went on between a man and a woman, but she had heard her sister’s friends whispering about the pains that a woman must endure when giving herself to her husband. Judging by the sounds she had overheard between her parents she was inclined to believe them. A head of blonde hair tied up with a ribbon finally emerged in the clearing below them. A girl, not much older than herself but much nicer dressed than she had ever been stomped through the thick canopy followed by a gruff looking man wearing a suit of leather armor. She did not know either of them, but she recognized the sigil that was carefully woven into the man’s tabard. These people belonged to the Baron and judging by the elegant clothing and blonde hair Merija guessed that this girl was related to the Baron himself. Only Baron Eiekheart’s family had blonde hair around here. True northerners like herself and Eigan had red or dark brown hair, but the Baron’s family was not from around here. He had been appointed lord protector of their area for services in the war against some island country to the east and had replaced the old Duke who had resided in these parts for as long as people remembered but who was no longer in the king’s favor.  The girl paused below them and looked around seemingly in an attempt to make sure that they were alone.
“Are you sure this is where we are meeting them?” Judging by the sour expression of the guard this was not the first time she had asked this question tonight.
“I am sure Lady Elina. Only a handful of people know this path even exists and I would like to keep it that way. “

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Camping and yoga.

1st of June has always meant first exams of the year, waiting another long hard month for vacation time and last year it marked the impending doom of a serious deadline waiting at the other end of the hot wet summer; Master's thesis! I finished, got my diploma and life went on even if it did not seem to be the case while I was writing. I had seriously neglected writing, reading, exercising, seeing friends and family (and probably many other things) to get to this point in my life. I had opted out of competitions that I would have stood a good chance in and enjoying the things in life that mattered. Now almost a year later I find that life is slowly returning to normal albeit a bit more stressful. I still have the same crappy boss for freelance work, I am still looking for that dream job I know is waiting for me out there (might have found it, but that is another story), my husband is still as loving and caring as he has even been, the cats are still bastards, my family estranged and my addiction to food is still overwhelming. But I have slowly started the progress towards becoming a more rounded me; I started a 30-day yoga program today that I will work hard to finish!
Go here to take a look:

And thanks again Becca!

Besides from making yoga a firm addition to my lifestyle I am also participating in Campnanowrimo both in June (now) and August. In between I am of course doing the Coursera course in literature - see for a blog post about this.
I have so far written 808 words in 3 days which is way too little and I must get going today, once shopping is settled and over with. I am thinking notebook, allotment and me might be a good bet for what I will be doing most of this afternoon. Anyway, my nano project in June is called A lost city (working title) and is a fantasy romance set in a very warhammer-ish background, without falling victim to copyright infringement of course, starring childhood sweethearts reunited in a time of crisis. It includes knights in shining armor, maidens not wanting to wait for said knights to fix their problems, scoundrels with big hearts, priestesses that are anything but pure, crazy bakers/sales-men/council members, zombies, demons, magic and fire. It will be epic! I might set  up a donation version of my august trials, but it is yet to be seen. Is it really fair to extort money from friends and family if you are not sure you can sell the damned thing? I leave you with the synopsis for my work in June:

When childhood sweethearts Merija and Eigen are reunited after years apart, much has changed between them in their separate quests to forget the tragic event that forced them apart. Returning now to her childhood city to mourn the death of her parents, will Merija be able to forgive and forget, and will she once again find a home in the lost city where nothing is as it seems? Battling supernatural horrors and the corruption of the city council they are facing a race to reconcile in time to save their families, their city and possibly their love before they too are consumed by the evil that lurks both in the forest, but also in the hearts of men.