I'm still alive and kicking. More than that, after two months of having my meds and one month of running, I feel pretty damn good. I've edited and re-posted Sex Rehearsal and Murder (quick erotica) and The Winds of Fire (Romantic Thriller with a military bent) on Smashwords here and here and on Amazon here and here. (there's even a customer review up from early on :) I edited The Ghost of Kristen's Past (TWF and TGKP are omniscient POV stuff I've been grousing about) and sent it off. I don't know if they take omniscient, so we'll find out won't we?
I've started editing (again!!) The Search for Sorren again. It's the full length novel for Splintered Lands that I should have had finished a YEAR ago...thankfully they're slow as molasses. For some reason (and really, I don't know why. In rereading it, I really like it!!) I'm having trouble finding my rhythm and have groused about it on more than one occasion. I worked hard to get over the 55k mark. I was stuck just under 54 and seemed like every word I wrote took an hour. :P Well, maybe this editing mode will help me to par this up into chapters (I was so into writing this, I forgot to do chapters right! in that 55k there's only 2 chapters!! LOLOL) So, that's going well :) I've already taken out a bunch of words, but I'm still up about a hundred words :) So wish me luck that some other emergency doesn't happen.
In celebration of my new found editing prowess, I want to share a piece of the first chapter. The main character has been fighting the council and refuses to give approval for the outlying areas to do an experimnet. The results of the experiment are as she feared--deadly. (Note: For the rules of this world, go to Splintered Lands and while there, check out Dangerous Journey, partly co-written by Anne-Mhairi Simpson and continued in a short story later :)
“Mistress Sherrone!” someone called her but she did not heed them. She stayed with Krong, not wanting him to die alone, if indeed he was going to die. “Sherrone!” this time the strident tones would not be ignored.
She looked around to see who was calling. It was Hielan. “What is it?” she asked resignedly.
“Ye need to move. We are going to attempt to roll the log off them, but need everyone to help move the—“ he stumbled. She saw him swallow hard, his adam’s apple jumping, high, then low, before he spoke again. “The bodies. We need to move them as quickly as possible so we can attempt to save the ones who are still alive.”
She nodded and squeezed Krong’s hand. “I have to go help,” she said, her voice strained with the tears she could not hold back . “Don’t leave this world while I’m gone,” she ordered. She stood up and turned to Hielan.
“Okay, show me where I can be of the most use,” she said, wiping her face with both of her hands, trying to regain her composure.
“Grab the ones still alive first, and move them as far as ye can away from the area. We don’t want any more accidents. After the live ones have been moved, we can put the ones who have already died there,” he pointed to a spot not too far. “It’s unlikely that the log will roll there, but if it does,” he trailed off.
If it does, the dead won’t feel it, she mentally finished for him. She did not want to say it aloud anymore than he did. “Good plan. I’ll see that the others who are unhurt help us with them.” She turned and moved to the nearest live person and began implementing the plan. She called out to the others to help, many of whom stood shocked, not moving or speaking. “We need to help those still alive get a fighting chance to live,” she ordered them. “Now come and aid us,” she ordered.
Many were shoved out of their shock by her terse words and began to do as she said. She lifted the torso of the first woman, grasped under her arms, clasping her hands together over the woman’s chest. She pushed her feet into the ground and stood up as much as she could and began to drag her over to the area Hielan had pointed out to her. The woman moaned and attempted to help, but her feet dangled uselessly and she could only look up at Sherrone.
The fear, pain, and sadness in the woman’s eyes almost broke Sherron’s composure, but she gritted her teeth and pulled. About half way to the designated area, Androna came and grabbed the woman’s legs under the knees and helped Sherrone move her.
Together they moved three people who were still alive and two who were not. By now, Sherrone’s emotions had steeled, and anger was making its way to the forefront. She kept moving, not letting her personal feelings get in the way, even when she saw that one of the dead people included the other woman who was on the council with her.
The area was finally clear. Sherrone stood to the side while the pushed the log off the men who had been caught under it. The men all screamed in pain as the weight was lifted off. She dropped down next to Krong as soon as Hielan gave the all clear sign. Never in her life had she seen so many dead and injured. Their community had grown to almost double in the last decade. But in one fell swoop, they had lost about a quarter of the adults.
She pushed that thought to the side as Krong smiled weakly at her. “I waited for you. But I’m afraid I cannot wait much longer before moving on to the next stop on the Great Path of Life.”
“Krong,” she wanted to deny his claim, but knew he was right. “I did na know ye believed as those in the temple high up the river do,” she said instead.
“Don’t tell the others on the council, but it is where the Haring people are from. We came to seek a different life but never lost our beliefs in a higher power. I must go now, down the next path in store for me,” he said, his voice barely a breath on the last word. He took in one deep breath, let it out. Then, no more.
She cried out against the fates and the council members who had approved of the experiment. She heard others crying as well as the townspeople realized the dead and dying were one of their own family members or their good friends. She did not know how they would find enough wood to do a proper burning burial without it becoming obvious that a large settlement lived there, but that would be a problem for tomorrow. For now, she stood up, her eyes boring into the gazes of the other members of the council, who looked away.
At tonight’s traditional follow up council meeting, she would have her say. And this time, they would listen. She took one last look at Krong and the others who had died and marched over to the other lead council member. The one who always opposed her and sided with a man no matter how wrong he was, Pflimer. Orion Pflimer.
“Orion! I would have words with ye,” she called out.
“Now, woman?” he asked in exasperation.
“My name is Mistress Sherrone. Or Council Woman Sherrone, if ye prefer,” she said through her teeth. “And aye, now.”
“What do ye want,” he said demandingly. “I’m a little busy ‘ere.”
“We’re all a little busy ‘ere,” she said pointedly. “Dealing with injuries and deaths that should na ha' occurred if the council had done its job.”
He looked around and she knew he was searching to see who else was listening before responding. “If ye were na such a shrew, then maybe more of the council would heed your words.”
Sherrone stared at him aghast. “If ye were less bigoted and listened to people regardless of whether they are man or woman, I would na have to demand to be heard. Ye are vile. I’m going to see to it that your seat on the council be revoked.” She turned and walked away before she said or did more in the heat of her rage.
It was nightfall before the injured had been taken home and the bodies placed near the burial site. They would start digging the graves and chopping the wood tomorrow. Ironically, they would be using the logs they had felled for the experiment. There were not enough trees to let the wood go to waste for sentimental reasons.
Tired, dirty, and hungry, she made her way with others to the council hall. More people than usual followed them. This would not be a typical follow up on an experiment. People’s emotions were riding high, and they wanted someone to pay. She did not blame them for she felt the same way.
She sat in her rough hewn chair. It was not as fancy as the others, for she had made it herself. All of them had chairs of sorts and one long table that separated them from the rest who attended the meeting. It was thick and heavy and made from some of the oldest trees they had seen in their area. Some had even speculated that they may have been some of the very few trees to have survived the splintering.
She ran her hand over the table and winced. Even her customary comfort in the idea of something that had outlasted human folly and nature’s wrath was to be denied her tonight. Her hands were blistered and cut from the clean up. It would be worse tomorrow.
:) anyways, I really like it. The dialogue is my own rendition of American south and Scottish accent :P LOLOL Well, off to copy and past to WP and then back to work :)