Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Weather Changing

Autumn is settling in here already. I'm surprised at how fast summer disappeared. Not that we had a horrible summer this year, though. I just hope that means a mild winter, as well. I do need to find my sweaters and stuff and get them cleaned. It's already starting to cool down enough at night. In fact... think I'll go find something warmer right now!

I am starting to work on outlines for NaNo. That, along with The Servant Girl, is taking a lot of work. I don't know which outlines I'll have done, though. A couple of them are fighting me, and two need serious worldbuilding done. They're fun anyway.

I'm also working on another story. It's going well, too. So far it's just called The Twitter Story. I'm writing it in lines that could be pasted into Twitter. Eventually, I will post it at (I think) ten lines a day. It might be interesting. We'll see! I'm up to about 70 entries. Nowhere near enough to start doing it. In fact, I think it would be best if I finish the story before I start to post. I don't want to find myself trying to rush through the ten lines just to get something up.

So, as writing goes, this has been a pretty good year. I've put out some submissions, gotten nibbles but no buys -- and learned a few more things about improvements I need to make. So as long as you can learn something, you can move on. If you don't want to learn, you're not going to do any better.

That's true of all things, of course. I need to apply that attitude towards all kinds of things. House cleaning. There's something I could stand to learn 'better.'

And here is the snippet of The Servant Girl for this week. It's going along wonderfully.

"It's a bad time for such a journey," Master Noah suddenly said. He looked up at her and frowned. "And not just because of the weather. There is trouble brewing out there. Trevor told me that there have been brigands running the crossings between Ranasian lands and Eleria, and the Elerians are no more happy about it than we are."

"Where do they stand, Eleria? With the civil war?" she dared to ask.

"They stand by whoever is the strongest because they want a strong northern ally."

"Wouldn't they want us weaker?" she said, sitting down for a moment. It helped to talk about something -- anything.

Don't think about him leaving.

"If they didn't face constant trouble with the lands to the south and east of them -- including the Kosten -- it might be so. However, they don't want chaos here, and they especially don't want the Opne moving in on their northern border. They supported the Ranas Council because it was made of wise men who didn't allow weakness. But now ... now I can't say where they will land in this war. I don't know that it will really matter to us, here on the edge of Ranas. The other border lords are creating anarchy with each fighting the others for power. It won't help."

It would help -- it would help Lord Melton if he didn't have to worry about the border lords uniting against him. And didn't Lord Terrance add to the same trouble by obviously creating a large army of his own? She didn't say it aloud. She still kept to Lord Terrance's rules about speaking of the civil war, though it grew harder each day. Besides, she feared to learn that Lord Terrance would side with Melton, as unlikely as it seemed. She had managed not to believe it, because Lord Terrance was not the sort of man who would take up with someone so obviously greedy for power. It was not his way, and she believed it in her heart.

But Eleria presented a problem she hadn't considered at all. Could Lord Terrance take allegiance there? Would that be worse than going to Melton? The Westmark lords had feuded with the royal family for too long. Lord Terrance might see no reason to remain loyal to a missing princess, and the line virtually disappeared.

Master Noah had leaned back in the chair and tilted his head, looking at her in silence for a moment.

"Lord Terrance has done and kept us all somewhat safe. No one wants him as a potential enemy. He is a powerful man, out here on the border lands. He's always maintained a well trained and supplied army and he's kept his councils to himself, Lady Effie, Trevor and maybe Captain Darva -- because he knows he can trust those three. That's not to say that he doesn't trust the rest of us, but he cannot show favoritism by imparting secrets to some and not to others."

"And there's reason why he fears letting the secrets out. There are spies in the castle, aren't there?"

"Oh yes. We know some of them worked with -- or through -- Mrs. Wynith. We're not entirely certain whom she reported to, though. Someone had found the key to get into the castle by playing on her anger. Lord Terrance removed her, but that doesn't mean that her people went with her. So, do you understand Beth?"

"Yes, sir. Dangerous times," she said with a nod. They'd had spies at Teloris, too, of course. They played a game of it, sometimes -- giving out odd bits of information to different maids and seeing where it turned up again. This was not a game. "And there are more people, now, with the refugees. There are bound to be some who are not what they claim, and how could we tell?"

"Exactly. So Lord Terrance keeps what he intends to do close to his vest, and he waits until he needs to give out the information. That doesn't mean he isn't preparing. We have all seen that part, with the soldiers training and the supplies stored. It's more than a hard winter he's preparing for this year."

It made sense. She had known it on one level, and now she nodded and let it all fall into place. Her heart told her to trust the man and to believe in him. She liked Lord Terrance. She had to believe he would make the right choice.

As she gathered up the last of the papers she found Master Noah still looking at her, his head tilted a little.

"You do well keeping your own secrets. I wonder what goes on in your head sometimes. I can see you come to decisions and I can't guess what they might be or what I've said that created them."

"I just have ... things to consider, sir."

"Yes, I imagine you do. Here is one such thing to consider. Whatever happens, Lord Terrance will do what's best for his people. He holds the trust and care of the people as very important you know."

"Yes, sir. That's true. I know he'll do the right thing." And it was true. It may not be the choice that she would make, but she had different priorities.
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