Category Archives: novel excerpt

…by moonlight ~ novel except

by moonlight

Here is the next installment for my novel in progress.  The chapter is called “by moonlight” and this excerpt is the second half of it.

Again, keep in mind that it is a first draft [spew on the page], and also not complete. This particular piece is a few chapters down from the last piece that I posted.  My plan is to post small pieces till the rough draft is complete.  I hope that you enjoy the pieces that I put up, they are meant to give you a bit of insight into the story itself, and the characters.

awakening coverr

-we are about two thirds of the way through the first book, in a three book series entitled  “lightbearers” 🙂

Enjoy!

…by moonlight

Discussion at the table was pretty much what Akira had expected. More questions about why she was on the side of the mountain in the first place, and about the decree of the council concerning her whereabouts at all times.
“By the way,” her father asked. “Where did you go today after the council meeting? I looked for you.” Her father sat staring at her intently. She felt his knowing eyes boring into her.
Akira didn’t want to lie to him again, so she simply said, “I was with Mairwen. She was concerned about what happened, and wanted to hear the story.
“Of course she did. Talk has already begun about the stairway that you found. I’m sure she wanted to hear all about it first hand.” He smiled then, seemingly satisfied with her story. She spent most of her days with Mairwen, so he wouldn’t question its validity. The small pang in her heart bothered her. Even though this was truth, it wasn’t all of it. But if her father was part of the problem in Marmaron, she didn’t want to alert him to any of the plans she and Mairwen had made with Fionn.
He continued conversationally in between bites, “They were out there within the hour, breaking down the boulders surrounding the opening of the stairway in order to fill it in. No one will be using it again. Not soon anyway,” he added, then looked up at me for a reaction. None. Satisfied, he continued. “Why anyone would want to go out there in the first place, I cannot fathom. What were you thinking Akira?”
He sat waiting for her to answer, and when she didn’t he raised an eyebrow in question.
“Oh, did you want me to answer that? I thought it was rhetorical.” She left it at that, returning her gaze to the food on her plate, picking through it as though it were an interesting creature to be observed instead of consumed.
“Well, let’s not have anymore trouble. This was enough excitement for all involved.” Her father looked tired, and totally done with this situation. They all sat, quiet.
Akira’s mother, uncomfortable with the awkward silence, changed the subject to what had happened at the infirmary that day. One of the travelers that recently returned, was having an especially difficult time healing. It had been several days, and he was still unconscious. Speculation was that he had encountered a particularly difficult strain of sickness that his body was not equipped to handle, and the healers were not able to eradicate. This was a huge concern, for it was not common that the healers were so ineffective, and encountering something lethal like this put everyone at risk.
“If we are unable to revive him,” she continued, “steps may be taken to suspend all traveling indefinitely –  until we can figure out what is going on.”
This proclamation hit Akira in the gut. This is what Fionn had feared, what the prophecy had foretold. If the people walked away from their purpose, they would all reap the consequences. She couldn’t let this happen. Someone was going to have to set them straight. Stand up and fight for what was right. She stopped chewing then, put her fork down and sat up, looking straight into their eyes.          “Isn’t that what they are supposed to do though?” she asked carefully. “Their choice to travel and bring hope doesn’t have anything to do with their own safety, does it?” “I thought that it was understood to be a dangerous calling, but one that was necessary.”
Akira sat with her hands in her lap, fidgeting with her clothing. She knew that questioning the council’s choices was equal to treason, but she could not stop the words from coming. Surely her father would allow her that; questions.
Both of her parents stopped eating then and looked at each other with fearful gazes. Her mother pressed her lips thin, and diverted her eyes. An unspoken conversation had taken place, and Akira wondered which side of the line each of them lie. Her father spoke first.
“Akira,” he said gently. “You are correct, theoretically. It’s all great to say that you would give your life for another. Like your grandmother did,” he added. He paused here, remembering his mother, and sadness reached up and touched his face. Blinking it away, he continued.

“But when you begin to see the effects on those doing the giving, especially when it is someone that you love, you begin to see things differently. You become possessive of their presence in your life, and it is difficult to give that up. Is another’s life more important than the one who is giving theirs up? It is a question that we have all had to ask at one time or another. Most people will willingly give their lives for someone they love, but for someone who doesn’t deserve that sacrifice? It becomes a little more complicated. The end does not seem to justify the means.” There was hurt in his words, and remembering. Akira wondered if he held anger toward the boy whom had been the subject of his mothers sacrifice.
And his words seemed like wisdom to her ears, but her heart was screaming foul. If not us – for them, then who. Who would they have to show them hope and light and life? How would they ever leave the despair of their circumstance behind? She understood his ache for a loved one, she ached for her grandmother everyday, but it did not justify a decision that would pervert their lives and lead them away from obedience to the Creator.

No. Someone was going to have to put a stop to this. If it meant her banishment, then so be it. But for now, she needed to arm herself with more information, learn and fill in the gaps that were missing. She needed a crash course in how to use her gifts, and retrieving the scroll seemed to be the place to start.
Akira excused herself from the table. She was worn from the day and was badly in need of rest. Both her body and her mind seemed to be reeling from all that had happened, and it was screaming for sleep.  As Akira lay on her cot, her mind would not rest.
Her eyes were closed when her mother checked on her, then shut the door again, but Akira was more awake than she had ever been before.

A strength was rallying inside of her that she could not squelch. She didn’t want to. And as the moon rose in the night sky and its light illuminated her room, she rose and walked to the window. She looked briefly back at the closed door, and hoped that her parents would someday understand what she knew she had to do. Then grabbing her pack and swinging it across her shoulders, she climbed out of the window and into the moonlit night.

 

 

awakening: novel excerpt

awakening coverrAs this story continues to unfold, I would love to share portions of it with you. For writing isn’t to be kept and horded. but to be shared -so to inspire and endear. I have been going back and forth on the name of it, and am currently rooting for “awakening”, but for previous excerpts, they are listed under “city of mist”….hmmm. kinda like that one too. What to do?!!

I hope that you like this little piece of my creative soul! 🙂

19-[…..and down the rabbit hole we go.]

They walked toward the side of the city where the forest grew closest to its slopes. Akira hoped that they would not need ropes to repel down the side of it. She remembered that this side of the mountain had a sheer faced cliff that plunged directly down into a riverbed filled with rocks. She didn’t know if she was up to the adventure after so recently having been half dead. As they approached the edge of the cliff, she noted that the wall ended just before the sheer face.  Wind blew and whistled here, bringing in the cool salty breeze of the sea to the north of Marmaron. As they stopped at the cliff’s edge, Akira looked at her friend with an expression that said, seriously?  “I’m not jumping if that’s what you think.” She said matter-of-factly.
Mairwen chuckled. “No. I’m not either. Over here.” She led Akira to where the cliff met the wall. There was a small scrubby bush growing close to the edge, and Mairwen stepped around it, peering just over the edge. There on the cliff face was a small ledge that sat just outside of a hole in the wall, like a small cave opening. It lay about three or four feet from the top, but the ledge was narrow, and there would be nothing to stop their descent if their footing was not sure.
“Ummm, I’m not sure about this Mairwen.” Akira hesitated.
“I know, it looks pretty scary. But I have been down to the ledge already and it is not as bad as it appears.  And there is plenty of room for your feet. just go in as soon as you get there. Besides, We have this.” Mairwen reached down under the bush and produced a rope who’s end was fastened to its trunk. “Courtesy of Elior,” she smiled brightly.
“My, you have been busy today, she chided. “Good to know that while I was dying, you were having an adventure.” 
Mairwen put her arm around her friends shoulder. “I wouldn’t want your almost death to go to waste,” she returned. “By the way,” she added, “I’m awfully glad that you didn’t. Die that is.” She hugged her tightly, then looked back over the edge.
“Me too, Mair, me too.” Taking a deep breath to steel her nerves, she grasped the rope firmly. Dropping slowly down the wall and reaching with her toes, she felt the firmness of the ledge beneath her. When both feet were securely down on the rock, she squatted and looked into the hole.
It was small. No bigger than a foxes hole, or maybe a large rabbit. It would be a tight squeeze to get through it. But staying perched on this ledge with her heart in her throat was not an option. She was beginning to wonder about the wisdom of this plan. “Mairwen, how do we know where this goes, and how tight it gets. It does not look very large. What if we get stuck?”
Mairwen looked down over the edge from her stomach. “I’ve already been inside. I know it is dark, so you can’t see what is there, but once you get inside the opening, it widens into a larger room and there is a stairway. I think it was crafted as a way of escape many years ago. In case of invasion maybe?” She shrugged her shoulders at this. “Go in the opening, and then I will come down. There is only room for one on that ledge.
As Akira fit her arms and head through the hole, she wondered vaguely if this was a smart thing to be doing. Most likely not, she told herself. But here she was, with nowhere to go …

…but down.

 

race to the end

So here we are….the last four days of nanowrimo!

I am behind….way behind really. I have logged about 30,000 words, and the goal being 50,000….the likelihood of finishing by the 30th is not very good. But I press on….5,000 words a day for the next four will take me to my goal….God willing, I will stay committed and inspired…..sighs….

So here is a new excerpt from the chapter I wrote yesterday called The Green Mile (yes, like the book/movie by Stephen King) Simply a reference to its meaning tho.  Enjoy!

leave a comment as to how you are liking it….again, this is spew on the page stuff….editing comes after the win:)

The Green Mile

They say that in the old world, the condemned walked a mile down a long, dark, green hallway toward their own execution; green for the color of the walls that lined their pathway. Each step taken was a step toward what they knew must come, their death, and a reminder of what had brought them there. As Akira walked now down the tree lined road that led to the council room of the elders, she felt each steps impact on the pavement. The vibrations of her steps reverberated through her body, and each wave felt like a jolt of electricity running through her. She had run through her story several more times in her mind, solidifying it so that it sounded natural, more natural than it had as she had told it to her father. She now wondered if it would be enough, if they would believe her, or if they would know that she was holding something back, like her father had known. There was no help for it now, she told herself. She was committed to this “truth”, and would deliver it with the most surety she could muster.
Approaching the door, her father took her hand in his, and squeezed. “I will be right next to you Akira. Just tell them the truth, everything will be okay.” He gave her a reassuring smile, tucked her hand into the crook of his arm and walked through the doorway into the council chambers.
The room was large and ornately carved arching wood graced the ceiling and doorways. She had been here once before when she was younger. Their guide had brought them all here one day to see where the governing body of our community sat to decide what laws the city would live by, and how its people would live according to their purposes. She thought how ironic it was that they would now decide her fate. Decide how she would be allowed to proceed in the future according to her, and ultimately their, purpose.
The chairs of the elders sat in a horseshoe around a circular table in the middle of the room. On one end sat three chairs, presumably for the condemned. That is what she felt like; a prisoner forced to do their will. But it was only she and her father. Mother did not come, she did not think that she could keep quite as they passed judgment on her daughter. She assumed the worst. And what was the worst? Certainly not death. She smiled to herself then. No it would not be that, but quite possibly it would feel like it. Her father said most likely they would forbid her ever leaving the city walls, possibly postponing or even forbidding her calling as a traveler. “Rules were needed for everyone.” They said. “Needed for the city to run smoothly, and ultimately for the safety of its people.” She could see that. Her little excursion down the mountain had almost cost her her life. If she had stayed inside the walls, she would not have had to be brought back. And if she had been left there by the boy, she didn’t know what would have happened. Often travelers came back barely alive, some even died before they could be healed. “The ultimate sacrifice” they called it. And her thoughts returned to her grandmother.
No, it would most assuredly be confinement, not much different than her life had been up till now, what life was for all of the youngers. She could deal with that – for now. But they would probably be watching her for awhile. It would be difficult to escape their notice. She would have to postpone her plans to return to the stairway until she was sure that they were satisfied that she would obey their orders. Father didn’t think they would take much action beyond that. No real harm was done, except that the boy emery now knew that we were here. But he was just a boy, and father said that the council did not feel that he was a threat.
Akira sat down in the middle chair, and her father took the one to her left. She knew this was difficult on him. She saw the one empty seat at the table head, that her father usually occupied. Her took pride in his position as one of the city’s leaders. He had great compassion for the people and loved our city. He believed in what the council did, believed in its dedication. Now as he sat in the seat next to me, as accompanying the accused, he was quite and humbled, but he did not avert his eyes as the chastised would. He sat and looked each one directly in the eyes. Was that a challenge? Akira was surprised at the tension that seemed to flow through the room. She wondered what had transpired earlier, while she had been unconscious.
Aberash, the head of the council, spoke first. “Welcome Akira. Akio.” He nodded toward my father, tentatively. Yes, something had happened between them.
He fathers words from earlier returned to her now. “You can tell me anything.” A pang of guilt came then, and she almost wished she had told him the truth. The complete truth.. She sighed. Well there was no helping it now. She would just have to tell her story, the one that she had given to her father, and bear the consequences.
“Akira,” he began. “We would like to give you an opportunity to tell us your story.” He looked warningly at her then and continued, “we have talked to the boy.” He stopped there, as though that statement in itself were enough. And it was. Emery had told them everything, She was sure of it. So they knew about the stairs, and probably the platform above. They knew that she had taken his pain from him, the overwhelming grief that hung thick within him. She felt the heaviness of it then, and closed her eyes, reliving the experience briefly.
So her father had known after all. The guilt she felt then was consuming, like Emery’s grief, and she promised herself then that she would never feel like that again. Come what may, she would be as honest as she could. Then she told her story. The real story. She told them about the stairway that led to the platform, and about the second stairway that descended from there. She left out the part about the secret room, and the fact that they had been going there everyday. In fact, she didn’t mention Mairwen at all. They didn’t know about those things, and they weren’t really part of todays story, the story that brought the boy to their city gates. That is what they were concerned about. The security of the city.
When she finished her tale, Aberash appeared to be satisfied with it. Satisfied that she had told them the whole of it, and he proceeded to speak to her about the rules of the city, why they were in place, and what must take place for someone who broke them. “Therefore,” he explained, “we must make an example of this in order to discourage it from happening again. You will take us to the stairway, and it will be destroyed.” He must have heard me suck in breath then, for he paused and explained, “We cannot have a bunch of youngers running around the side of the mountain. It would be unsafe for them as well as the whole community.” Mairwen was going to freak out.
He finished his sentencing with this warning. “Akira, this is more serious than you undoubtedly understand. We could forbid you to continue your training if we wanted to. But at this point I do not think that is necessary.” He seemed thoughtful then. They had all been there at her reawakening, and all had seen the emergence of the flower; her flower. What did it mean, that sudden appearance. She had meant to ask her father when they had talked earlier. As Aberash dismissed her and she and her father rose and turned toward the door, Akira stopped, turning  back for a moment. “Yes Akira? Did you have a question?”
“Yes sir,” she began. “It’s just that, earlier when I woke up under the tree.”
“Yes.” He said cautiously.
“Well, I noticed that my flower had emerged, and…” she paused for a moment, thoughtful. “It’s just that I didn’t think that was possible until we had finished our training. I thought that it was a sign of readiness.” She looked eagerly at him. She truly wanted to know what it meant, why it happened so soon, when she had just recently begun her training.
He seemed to consider her question carefully, weighing his response with the edict just laid down. “When there is an emergence, it simply means that the gifts of the bearer have awakened. Usually that is when the training is complete and the budding gift has made itself known. Once in awhile, a gift is so acute within the bearer that it emerges earlier than the others, before it is really ready to be used,” he cautioned. “Like yours. Akira, what happened today on the side of the mountain, you must not do that again before you are ready. This is not for the safety of the community, but for you alone. A careless giving of a gift before the bearer is ready to bear the burden it will bring, could bring harm. Even death.” He finished. He seemed to consider carefully what he said next, then continued. “There has only been one other emergence of this kind in my lifetime.” He looked at her steely then and said the name, “Aki Himura.”
Akira’s grandmother.

Nanoexcerpt

 

city of mist coverrWhew!

So, we are just over halfway through with Nanowrimo, and I am a bit behind on word count.  why is it that as soon as you have a goal to meet, everything breaks loose in life and clogs up the plan?

Seriously, I was on a roll to complete early….then life happened:(

Anyway, I am officially at 21,517 words….on my way toward 50,000…with only 12 days remaining….ugh!

That means I will need to write 2,374 words each day for the rest of November to meet my goal…. [Que the cheering section!] Needless to say, this all has put a crimp in my blogging schedule – only so much time in the day!

So I thought I would pop in and  post a bit of what I am in the process of writing.  Keep in mind that this is unedited barf on the page so to speak.  For Nano writers, it is all about getting it on the page, not about editing along the way – that comes later.

so here it is!  I hope you enjoy it and makes you want to read more 🙂

City of Mist: the awakening – Light Bearers series – book 1

Dawn burst over the horizon, pink and gold, as beautiful of a morning as I had ever experienced. I stood on the mountain plateau with the rest of those who came to welcome the travelers, waiting just past the city gates, hand held firmly in my mother’s. She smiled down at me, and her eyes said to be patient, to calm my restless fidgeting. I willed my mind to still. The steps we were taught to calm our restless spirits I practiced in my mind. Over and over I drew in slow cleansing breathes, and released them again, but to no avail. I was so excited to be a part of the welcoming, and the anticipation drew all the wiggles and giggles deep within me to the surface.
I glanced around at the gathering and spotted Mairwen. She stood just a few elders over from where I fidgeted, eager anticipation shining like a light upon her face. She saw me and smiled. This is what we have been waiting for; to begin our lives as light bearers. Our training began here, on the edge of the city, welcoming those who had gone before us. Those who traveled to bring light; hope to a saddened and weary world.
I remembered that they had left at the last new moon. A time, my father said, that is safest for the travelers. I didn’t understand at the time, but when questioned, he simply smiled and said that I would learn all the answers when my training began.


“My angel,” he teased. “If I explained all of that to you now, then you would have no need of the training.”
“Yes!” My eager face lit with excitement “I am ready father. Tell me the secrets, and I will go with the next group.”’
My father chuckled and placed a finger under my chin. Then raising my face towards his he said, “I know that you are anxious, but the training involves more than just knowledge.” Then his expression became serious. He placed his hand upon my heart and said, “It prepares your heart, and your soul for the endurance and strength that is required for the task.”


It did not make sense to me then, but I let it lie, questions still swirling through my mind. Now as I stood on the plateau and studied the faces of the elders around me, I saw the seriousness. Yet too it was peaceful scene; serene. I felt then, a surge of energy, as though a current flowed through the crowd of souls, a knowing current. As one, their posture straightened, and faces rose to the approaching sun; waiting.
Then I saw them.
At first it was only a few dark silhouettes, back-lit by the emerging sunrise. But as they moved closer I saw many more, trudging steadily up the side of the mountain and over the horizon. Their faces came eerily into focus, weary and beaten, and I saw within them an immense anguish. Their eyes spoke of extreme hardship, and I heard – no felt, my mother’s despairing sigh.
Mother was a healer. A soul meant to bring restoration and wholeness to those in need. She had once told me that her first experience as a traveler was more than she could bear. I questioned her at the time what she meant, but she did not go into detail as she claimed that she did not want my thoughts jaded before I had a chance to learn and experience for myself, my purpose; what I was made for. But I saw the fear and sadness in her eyes.
Now, looking up, I saw the pain from the approaching throng reflected in her eyes; those eyes that most often held nothing but love, kindness, and compassion, were now pools of sorrow. My eyes returned to the approaching travelers drawing nearer with each weary step. There was a certain sadness in their gate, the steps of one with nothing left to give. A walk of the condemned, the forgotten, and the abused. They carried within them the sorrow of the world, and its burden bore down as though a heavy blanket lay upon them, and it would be their end.
The first elder stepped forward from his place; a soul from our city, come to guide the travelers back home. Back to a place of healing and love, of power and joy. They would need it now, I was told they always did. Their journeys took so much, required everything they had and more. Now, seeing all of their faces, I wondered at the logic of it all.
The soul’s journey had never made much sense to me. We were happy. We had everything that one could ever need, and to give it all away in return for this pain hardly seemed sensible. “It is not wise to question the will of the Creator,” my mother had said. “We were made for this purpose, we are here to simply fulfill its call. How would it be for us to selfishly keep to ourselves and not share the hope that we have, the joy and peace? Can you not see the wisdom?” She lovingly wrapped her arms around me then, face buried in my hair, and murmured, “You will learn, my sweet Akira. You were created for a reason, soon you will discover that purpose. Then you will not be able to do otherwise. It will be a driving force within you. I promise, one day it will make perfect sense.” Then she let her arms drop and sent me on my way to join my friends.
Her words had placed even more questions within my mind, but now,  as Mairwen called my name, all concerns for what is and what may be tomorrow, were left behind. I glanced in her direction and gave her a tentative smile, but I saw the uncertainty in her eyes. Shrugging my shoulders, I looked back to the gathering throng.
I pondered all this now as I watched the purpose unfold before my eyes. A nod from my mother and my hand dropped to my side, as did all of the Youngers who came to witness the gathering. The Elders moved swiftly forward as one, arms rising in unison toward the travelers, welcoming them back with their warm offer of embrace. As each soul fell into an Elders arms, a small and weary smile touched the corners of their lips, and Elder and Traveler together walked toward the City of Mist.