|Posted on December 8, 2010 at 12:49 PM|
Well, another November has past and I have another 50000 word novel sitting on my hard drive.
Although that is a little exaggerated. I made over 55,000 words actually, but the story isn't finished. Did I mention the story went epic? Now I'm torn between trying to finish it, or letting it sit until next November and writing the other 50,000 words that it will take to finish. I'm leaning toward finishing it over the summer just in case it doesn't take another 50k words to complete.
The most important part is that I had fun. The write-ins I posted were sparsely attended, but those who came I believe had fun too. My daughter finished the month reaching her word count and now has promptly forgotten about it. She has a winner certificate waiting to be printed, as do I, but she shows little interest in actually getting it. I was hoping to wait until I finished the story so I could put that date on the certificate as well. I may not wait that long.
Now I just have to decide which story to prepare for the next release. I am preparing The Other Side for submission to a small press. If it is accepted, you will see a cover change, probably a price change, but also a wider distribution. I will also make a percentage of those copies sold. But that is all IF it gets picked up.
The Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest is gearing up for another year, and I had hoped to have Finding Elise ready for entry into that, but I'm not sure it would be ready in time. None the less, I return to work on that so I can get the proof copy for my daughter.
If you have any opinions of what book you'd like to see next (based on snippets you've seen here) leave a comment and I will take that into consideration. Also, don't forget to check out the anthologies I'm in and maybe pick one up for yourself or as a gift. I will continue to submit material, and continue to update you on any works that get accepted for publication. Thank you all for your support and stay tuned for more. I have been inspired by another blog and will post soon if the idea sticks.
In the meantime, I'll leave you with a scene from the middle of the novel, Somewhere I Belong.
Somewhere I Belong Jen Steffen
*Unfinished Business - Naria, et al, are recaptured by the pirates.*
“We have other things to worry about right now.” Krydon growled.
Both turned toward him and Naria pointed up. “It’s that balloon.”
Krydon howled and fell over, the packs on his back catching on the brambles at their feet. “Run Naria!” he hissed at her. “It’s the Seer Searchers.”
“I can’t leave you,” she whispered as she fell to her knees beside him. He bit at his ankles and she focused her attention there. A rope had wound itself around his legs, tripping him, carried by three weights. “You’ve been hit with a bola.”
“I said we’ve encountered the pirates again.” He bit through one rope as an arrow sunk into the ground where his head had been. “Just go! I won’t die in peace if I see you captured.”
“You won’t die at all,” she said grabbing the packs and pulling him out of the way of another arrow. “I won’t travel in peace without you.”
“Unhand that Gyd.” The voice was quiet but athoritative. “There is a gun pointed at him if you do not comply, and last I checked, bullets hurt worse than arrows.”
She stood slowly, her hands open at her sides. “That depends on the arrows and the assassin.”
The man, dressed all in gray, cocked his head in a gesture of mock hurt. “I’m no assassin. Really, you must have heard some terrible stories about us. Now, leave the Gyd and come slowly this way. No sudden moves.”
Naria stepped around Krydon. “I’m sorry. Don’t die and we can remedy this situation later.” She wondered what had happened to Vince since she couldn’t hear him.
As she walked forward, another of the Seers jogged past, dropping at the side of the Gyd. She heard a thud followed by a shriek and then Krydon was silent. She turned quickly to see what had happened. “You didn’t kill him…” But she was cut off by gruff hands grabbing her arms and pulling her toward the balloon.
“I said no sudden moves.”
“You didn’t kill him, did you?” She swallowed the fear in her voice, vowing in that moment to do some serious damage to these pirates if they had.
“Not at all.” The man in gray shoved her into the balloon basket. “We needed the packs on his back though and it was a pretty sure bet that he wouldn’t give them up easily.”
She allowed a wave of relief to wash over her.
“What I find exquisitely interesting here is that you are quite upset about your Gyd, but you haven’t asked at all after your man.”
“What have you done with Vince?” She wanted to add that he wasn’t her man, but she held her tongue. Vince had once advised her not to give out too much information, and this seemed like as a good a place as any to start taking that advice.
“He was easily taken care of. You may join him if you like.” The man indicated at small stair.
Naria couldn’t help but be impressed with the pirate’s balloon. The basket was huge, at least three levels, with stairs leading to rooms. It was no wonder the pirates could appear to be nowhere on the basket while being ready to attack. They went up the stairs to a small platform. Three doors stood on the three walls, one of them open. Vince lay on the floor unconscious. She could tell from the lay of his clothing that the pirates had stripped him of his leg sleeves.
“Go and join your fellow Merchant.” The pirate captain shoved her into the room and slammed the door behind her.
Her first reaction was to throw herself at the door. “I’m not a Merchant!” She yelled. She checked herself before she blurted out that she was a Seer. She remembered that the Seer Searchers always recruited, and mostly not by volunteer. There was no way that she would be a pirate.
The man in gray ignored her and continued down the stairs to the main part of the ship.
Naria turned to Vince once the captain was out of sight. Kneeling beside him, she put her hand on his shoulder, the other on his forehead. They had knocked him out with a heavy club, and she sent a small amount of healing energy to the injury. It would do her no good to drain herself when there was no indication that they would be fed soon and Vince’s injury didn’t require that much anyway. He moved, turning his head and moaned.
“What was that?” He put a hand to the back of his head and looked up at Naria.
Grunting, he pushed himself to sitting. “I see my sleeves are gone. How are you?”
“They have our packs, and so no food.”
Vince nodded. “So we are guests of the pirates. You see what I’ve been telling you?” He raised an eyebrow at her. “The world is not a nice place. Let me carry you through it and you won’t have to worry about seeing the ugly parts quite so much.” He put a hand on her cheek. “I’m sorry I yelled.”
Nodding, she took her hand from his head, kept the hand on his shoulder. “I’m sorry too. You’re right that I haven’t seen nearly enough to get the whole picture. I have heard stories about the Seer Searchers though, so maybe you should let me carry us through this particular situation.”
He smiled. “At least they let you keep your goggles. What can you tell me?”
She sat back and hugged her knees. “Well, they aren’t very nice. They are a radical group of Seers that believe the dark side of the planet is theirs alone. That is just for Seers. Basically, they believe that all people should stick to their regions and no cross over should ever occur. They’ve taken the ‘protection’ of the Midland Mountain border land their top priority. Of course if they happen to find able young Seers to recruit along the way, and amass a nice fortune from those they banish, that’s all good.”
“I see. So we are being banished?”
“Maybe. I’ve never heard of them losing a prey and then finding them again. We may be setting a precedent here.”
“That’s nice to know,” he said dryly. He rubbed his legs absently, looking around the cell. “They couldn’t give us a lamp or anything, I suppose.”
They stopped talking at faced the door as footsteps sounded on the platform. A small panel opened in the door itself and a man outside, not the captain peered in. “You, girl, come here.”
Vince took her hand as she stood and gave her a light squeeze. She knew he couldn’t help right now. “Just keep your eyes open. You never know what you might see,” she whispered and bent to kiss his hair.
“You be careful,” he whispered up to her. “You never know what might happen.”
Squeezing his hand back, she let go and stepped up to the door. “What is it?”
The pirate opened the door a crack and reached in to take her wrist. “Don’t try anything funny,” he said as he grabbed her. “Stand right there.” He pulled her out onto the platform and locked the cell door. “The captain wants to have a word with you.”
“That was fast,” she said as he grabbed her arm and pushed her forward. Her feet stumbled as she fought to descend the stairs rather than fall down them. “He must have heard me after all. Damn.” She found that she was hoping he had missed that last remark, even though she’d yelled it. How was she going to get out of being made a Searcher?
The pirate shoving her pushed her across the main deck, past doors she found herself dead curious about, to another stair leading down. At the bottom of three steps, at a landing, they turned and went down two more. The steps ended at a door. The pirate rapped on the door twice and stood quiet, holding Naria’s arm too tightly.
The door opened and the captain, now in dark red, stood in the room smiling at them. “Enter!” He held his arm out in a flourish to bid them enter, though as soon as Naria crossed the threshold, he held the hand up to her guide. “You, return to your duties.” And he closed the door, leaving the other pirate on the steps.
“Welcome!” He turned around to face her and spread his arms to envelop the room. “I am Captain Vivicus. And you are right.” He pointed at her. “You are not a Merchant.” Walking by her, he went to a long table set just to the left of the room. The room took up the entire base of the basket. The table only had two chairs, but the center piece basket held enough fruit to feed a family of six. He dropped into one of the chairs and indicated that she occupy the other.
“And what makes you so sure of me?” she asked as she came to sit. “I’m a prisoner. Wouldn’t I say anything to be set free?”
He nodded. “You may indeed. But in this case you are not. Your fame precedes you, Naria of Treeside.” He leaned forward and deftly took the goggles from her head.
Trying to hide her agitation at being plunged into darkness, she cleared her throat. “And you are sure you have the right person?”
Laughing, he leaned over the table and took a plum from the basket on the table. She only knew that from the sounds he made and the fact that he pressed a plum into her palm. “Of course I’m sure. You can’t see a thing right now. Prove me wrong, Seer. Get up from this table and walk to the window in the back wall of the balloon basket without tripping over anything.”
Determined to throw him off, she called on her memory of the room. Admittedly, she hadn’t really looked at the whole room. She remembered the table where she sat and stood with more confidence than she felt. The captain’s desk had been to the right and she strode to her right, hoping she wouldn’t trip on the floor. Instead, she hit a tall post that wobbled with the impact. Vivicus laughed again, harder.
Then she felt his hand on her elbow. “This way, if you please.” She didn’t please, but when he turned her, she saw the faint light of the moon coming through a far window. He steered her through the room, past his desk, past a curtain that hung across the left corner, to a bench along the back wall and sat her down below the window.