Sunday, December 26, 2010

Submission: The Last Frontier

It's been a while since my last blog entry, whoops. Of course I can blame Christmas, and to be honest though I had intended to spend today writing my Boxing Day Sale Orgy and then just in general feeling really exhausted after yesterday...meant that not very much was accomplished today. And the next couple of days won't be any better, as tomorrow I intend to mainline True Blood's first season, and on Tuesday I am going to amuse myself with Baking Experiments. On Wednesday I'll be back at work! But never mind; even though the food I ate yesterday has left me quite ill today (I slept very badly last night), I have got something done.

So, the scary thing for me at the moment is actually submitting things. The local competition closed entries on Christmas Eve, so I submitted the two pieces on the 23rd to be safe. I won't hear about it for ages and I fully expect to hear nothing for either, but...I actually submitted comething. \o/ That's...a pretty big deal, for me. Then, on Christmas Day, I got a couple emails from people who'd been reading Tea For Two for me, so the writing I've done today involved reworking that. I've since formatted and spell-checked it in American English,'s basically ready to be submitted. I think I'll do it tomorrow. Just...bite the bullet and go for it. Again, I don't expect anything from it, but submitting anything is a terrifying experience for me. The rejection's really the least of it, but...yes.

Otherwise, I have been trying to finish the prologue of the forevergirl since Christmas Eve, being that it was a sort of pseudo-Christmas thing, being set during the Sarinian mid-winter festival. I failed at finishing it until about half an hour ago. Now it is done! ...rough as hell, of course, but it exists and that's always something. I really need to go back to editing The Neverboy now, but...yeah. My wordcount, writing-wise, has been right down the last couple of weeks. But then...Christmas, yeah? I am thinking I will do some more proper writing over New Year, but even before then I have a couple of stories I dug out today with the intention of re-jigging slightly so I can do two or three more submissions before the end of the year. One is a very curious story I wrote years ago, and I don't know that it will work at all, being that it's essentially about sexual abuse. Not that it's graphic, or anything, because the character in question dissociates himself from the entire experience, but...yeah. It made me cry when I wrote it. Which was about six years ago, now. A quick re-read shows it up for being quite rough and amateur in places, but I'd like to tidy it up a little. There's also a funny little Aidan Jannock story, and Aidan...showed up during NaNo, so I think it would be worth a re-work, too. The third is a prequel of sorts to The Neverboy, and is about Leyen's marriage to Eleni, so...we'll see, I guess. I was going to mess about with them tonight, but I seriously got about five hours sleep last night so I think a shower and an early night is in order.

I had also contemplated colouring with my Copics today, as when I was writing the bulk of this prologue the other day I got quite distracted by Eleni's chosen headdress. She wears varying forms of what is essentially a lace mantilla, which is by society's standards desperately old-fashioned. But she's fiercely proud of her Fynastran heritage and forces her daughter to do the same, even though Tara doesn't much care to be used in that way. I started looking up pictures of mantillas for visual stimulation, and then I ended up drawing a quick sketch of Tara and then Eleni in their veils. I considered colouring them today, but...I've barely managed to keep up with the writing as it is, ha. Maybe over New Year, then? Hee. But yes, this coming year...I need to keep making the effort to finish, and to submit. And if I can tame The Neverboy into a proper novel,'s time to start bothering agents. That's scary.

But for now...I need to write. Here's a little of what I was working on, anyway. It's...different to how I usually write, in that it's supposed to be a bit more succinct, but even then...I still do go on and on. ^_~


Sighing, she shook her head, the fine lace of her veil falling across one cheek. She pushed it impatiently back. “I don’t want to go anyway. I’ll just stay here. Tell Mama I’ll be fine.”

In the silence that followed, for a moment Tara dared to believe that he’d actually listened to her. Then she turned and saw his dark eyes staring at her, incredulous.

“I can’t leave you here by yourself!” he said, and she sighed, impatient.

“Why not? I’m almost eleven. I’ll be fine.” Drawing the long veil back over her shoulders so he couldn’t see her face, she scowled fiercely. “I can look after myself.”

“Mama would kill me!” No, she wouldn’t, Tara thought sourly, but he didn’t stop. “And it would be rude; Lady Waleran’s expecting us, and we’re already so late!”

“You don’t care about being rude anymore than I do, no matter what Mama thinks,” Tara replied, and she looked down at the fine weave of her lace mantilla. She hated wearing them, they were so old-fashioned and made her look like a little china doll. But her mother insisted, and before he left, her father always made her promise to mind your mother, won’t you, Tara? “Besides, it’s not like she’s really royalty anymore anyway. Why do we have to keep pretending like she is? It’s just blood, and old blood at that. The kings and queens have been gone for hundreds of years. Why should we pretend like it still matters?”

“Do I have to drag you?”

“You couldn’t do it.” But Tara was certain she’d lost anyway. There was no real reason to stay here in the artisan’s alley of the marketplace, but still she sighed. The bustle and the crush of the marketplace was infinitely preferable over the thought of the dreary high-ceiled parlour that awaited them at Lady Waleran’s townhouse. Though it would be decorated for the mid-winter festival, with great boughs of berries and fragrant leaves, the whole house scented with delicious spices and herbs, and scattered with lamps made of jewels and gold, it didn’t really appeal. Tara had always preferred the Sun-Bear’s Awakening festival, at the end of winter. No gifts would be given nor received then, of course, but it signalled the turn of the seasons. Tara couldn’t wait. She was sick of winter. When it ended, her father would be home, if only for a little while.

Take me with you, Papa, she thought as she let her brother wind an arm definitely though hers, locking them together. I know I’m just a girl, but in the South, the girls are warrior-born. They do what they want. If you let me, I could, too.

Without another word Calden began to expertly weave through the crowds, unerring and fleetfooted. She let herself be pulled in his wake, her mantilla fluttering behind her like the delicate feathers of a baby bird. There were so many people, and she looked around in half-curiosity as her brother pulled her along. The scents of holiday food were strong in the air, sharing space with the vague panic of last minute shopping. The festival’s greatest height would occur the next day, though today there were still shows already on the raised stages and platforms about the plazas. Her feet picked up the rhythm of one song, lost it as Calden pulled her along, and away.

They wouldn’t see any of those shows tomorrow, either in the morning, the afternoon, or during the great shadow-raising of the evening. Their family always kept to the house, for they would have a steady stream of guests and tenants all day. Much as she liked the people here, Tara hated Winter’s Heart at Tiarenna, whether or father was there or not. Her mother always dressed her like a doll in silver and white. Hidden beneath her veil, she always felt that while her mother looked a queen, she only looked like death. As far as she was concerned she never needed to be there. She was just the daughter of the Lord and Lady of Tiarenna: too young to be part of adult conversations, and too young to be courted. She was just a doll, pretty and useless, and suddenly she had never been so very tired of it all.


No comments:

Post a Comment