Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Doing well, and a snippet

(A brick wall at Mesa Verde)

Today I received a wonderful box of goodies from members of Forward Motion. It was so much fun to unpack! Thank you everyone!

(Nibble, nibble)

It certainly improved my mood, especially going into yet another holiday by myself.

Work on Written in the Sand (second NaNo Book) is going far better than book 1. I'm up to about 28k right now, and I think I'll be able to make the 50k without a problem, even with so few days left in the month. For a while there, it seemed like November would never end. Now it's too close to the end of the month!

I'll be somewhere over 100k for the month, which isn't bad considering how much trouble I had with other things. There were plenty of times when I thought 'I have 50k, I can quit now' but I'm glad I didn't. I'm really enjoying this second book.

And with that in mind, here is a rather long snippet. First an introduction to the three characters:

Iwan is the young chieftain of the Cath es Tear, a very powerful tribe that usually keeps to the desert. Because of various trouble (Gods area awakening, return of Chaos, possible end of the world), they're involved in some rather exciting events right now.

Camee is his sister the priestess of the tribe. She's a bit outspoken (and considerable fun to write).

Gareth is a northerner who as a soldier with the Laclan army, but who got caught up in the Cath es Tear trouble, and now finds himself bound by an oath to protect an important object that will help to save the world.

At this point, Gareth has been with the tribe for a while. He and Iwan get along very well.

Gareth went with him as Iwan spread the word. People looked resigned and no one complained. They crossed paths with Camee twice. She looked worried, but she smiled and went on to whatever it was she was doing.

"The two of you seem to have equal power here," Gareth said, watching as she walked away again.

"Mostly, we do. There are times when one or the other takes precedence," Iwan said. He stopped and leaned against a tent post, trying to ease the ache in his leg again.

"Is that normal in the tribes?"

"It varies in tribe and generation. There are times when the Priest or Priestess is not interested in anything outside of religion. And there are times when one or the other has a far stronger personality, and there is no hope of equality. But Camee and I get along."

"She seems to do well."

"Yes, she does."

"Will she ever marry?" he asked, and then hastily added. "Will you?"

Iwan almost laughed, but he managed not to keep control. "Most of us do and I imagine Camee will some day, if anyone will ever be able to put up with her. She's rather outspoken, you know."

"Is she?" he said. "I didn't notice."

"We better go check on the feast," Iwan said. He didn't trust himself not to laugh at Gareth's interest in Camee, which had been obvious for some time, even if he did try to hide it. Iwan found it amusing to be acting as the older brother -- especially at a time like this. He did not, however, think that Gareth would share the amusement, especially since he seemed so worried.

The meal went well. The two days at the oasis had helped and he thought he could sense the relief they felt to be going on to Tiamarta and the end of the journey. It was hard to say what would happen then. He tried not to worry about it.

Some of the Laclan soldiers joined them. It reminded Iwan of the times Gareth had come to the square in Tianal and listened to their tales and heard their songs. How simple everything had been back then. He had known that things were changing, and he was at Tianal for a reason -- but even so, he could not have imagined that it would be this drastic of a change so quickly.

He didn't think this was the place he should be. He looked at the Standard, which seemed so common place to him now. He remembered when he and Gareth had first take it up, and the weight of the decision that went with it.

Nothing he would have changed. That lifted an odd weight he had carried and hadn't realized it until now. What if questions disappeared from his mind again. There could be no 'what if' in this case. They had done what needed to be done -- he, Gareth and all the Cath es Tear. From taking in Princess Tyne -- which seemed such a little thing now -- to taking Gareth into the safety of the Tear and away from Kaven, he couldn't think of a single thing he would have changed.

They retired early that night. Gareth took his place out in the moonlight -- he seemed to like it there, with some of the others who slept in the area outside the tent. Maybe it helped him feel more like one of the tribe.

Iwan watched the group settle down, and then stared at the Standard for a while longer, watching the flag flutter, and the lettering change. He wanted to know what it meant, but staring at it only made him more tired tonight. It was going to be a difficult few days after this. He needed rest.

But he still paused, looking at out the camp. Everything looked deceptively peaceful out there tonight. He missed the sound of the sheep, but otherwise, it might have been a perfect night. A shame it wouldn't last.

He turned away and headed across the tent, surprised to find that Camee had begun packing away some of the blankets and pillows, which surprised Iwan when he came to his sleeping area.

"What are you doing?" he asked.

"I thought I'd make it easier for us in the morning," she said and folded a blanket away.

"I can pack my own things, you know. Leave that pillow. I want to be comfortable tonight."

"I'm just trying to help!"

"Go get some rest, Camee. You're going to be scouting tomorrow. You need a clear head."

"I will have one. Don't worry. I hope Gareth is up to the journey tomorrow."

"Why wouldn't he be?" Iwan asked, stretching out on his blanket.

"He's worried, isn't he? Does he talk about it? What does he speak to you about?"

"He's mostly curious about how the tribe works," Iwan said. He turned to his side and closed his eyes. "Sleep well, Camee."

"What kind of questions?"

"Culture, rules -- leave that blanket alone! I don't want to be cold."

"Does he say anything about his own culture?"

"No, not really. Good night --"

"Do you know anything about him? His family? What was his life like before he came to Tianal?"

"I have no idea, Camee. Go to bed."

"I just wonder what it is he wants out of life. What does he want from us?"

"Probably a good night's sleep. Camee --"

"I wonder what kind of culture he came from. Does he have a family? Is there someone waiting for him --"

"Oh for the love of the gods!"

He leapt up and grabbed her by the arm. She yelped, but he didn't let go as he pulled her out of the tent and into the square where several people, including Gareth, looked up with shock. He crossed to his friend, and pushed Camee toward him.

"Gareth, take this woman to bed. I give you my blessing. I give you my tent. I'll even give you gold, if it will just shut the two of you up about asking me questions about each other!"

"How much gold?" Camee asked.
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