Writers never stop writing. Ever.
You know that quip - "Be nice to your writer friend, or you may end up in her next book!"? Yeah, well, nice or not you may land there, because EVERYTHING is fodder. Sure, she will change names to protect the innocent, and fictionalize facts enough to disguise current events, but her brain is calculating just how your conversation this morning is going to sound coming out of her characters' mouths. A writer who lives in her own fantasy world doesn't let that stop her from borrowing from this one, so fair warning.
Now that I've got you paranoid...
I have been writing up a storm. At least... I was before getting sidelined by the Thanksgiving holiday. I don't work well with the house full of noise. I do, however, continue to collect manna casually dropped in my presence. And unlike that heavenly food, these delectable tidbits I am able to store up for tomorrow.
Which, by my reckoning, means today.
Now that the house is empty again, I'm back at work twisting plot lines, creating captivating images, and developing characters. My brain is back in overdrive, coming out of my food induced coma into a space where I can actually hear myself think again. As turkey soup simmers on the back burner downstairs - Mmm - it smells so good! - I am back to cooking up a fantastic new Emrysia novel for you, a prequel to The Three Sisters Trilogy.
Like any feast, a tantalizing tidbit before the meal is served is a guilty pleasure meant to whet your appetite. So - just for you - here is just a little taste of The Daughters of Ka'Dharron, featuring
a setting similar to the place I "borrowed" from, one of my family's favorite haunts - The Basin* in the White Mountain National Forest:
Like a sentinel, an immense granite boulder guarded the deepest part of the sun-dappled stream, as if dropped there by a giant hand to protect its watery secrets. The massive rock - mostly quartz and flecked with gray feldspar - stood throughout the seasons while the water rose and fell around it, never changing. Atop her favorite perch Leandhra watched patiently, awaiting just the right moment. One of her long, skinny legs was tucked up under her, the other stretched out behind her along the rock. Her wings - leathery, translucent, and glittering with a multitude of colors where they caught the morning sunlight - trembled ever so slightly with anticipation. From a distance, she might appear to be a giant dragonfly at rest among the many that flitted over the water in search of their supper, but midges were the last thing on her mind when the moment finally came. Silently, she opened her hand. A smooth, small stone slipped easily from her palm, plunking into the nearly still water with a sploosh. Humming under her breath, Leandhra leaned forward to watch the ripples widen until they disappeared altogether.
"LeLe! Why did you do that?! I was just about to catch him!" Kayanna threw her tiny hands up in frustration, letting them flop back into the water with a splash that wetted the lower half of her wings.
"Exactly - that is why I did it!" Leandhra replied. "You know better, Kay! Besides, what would you do with a glo-fish once you caught it? Keep it in a vase by your bed at night?" She looked skeptically at her sister, nearly four revolutions her junior, wading in the shallows nearby. A concave wall of solid granite towered over them both, hugging the stream in its bed; the same bedrock lay in uneven sheets beneath the water, hollowed smooth by eons of rushing, grit-laden spring melt. Now, however, the current was no more than a caress against the younger girl's short legs as she waded through the shallow water, for it was late autumn, and the stream was at its lowest. Within the basin the surface grew still again.
From the distant bank where she paced, Ladhonna piped up. "She would, too, and you know it!"
Kayanna nodded innocently, a sheet of fine, pale hair hiding her concentration as she bent over the water already in search of another glo-fish. Distracted, she tucked the hair behind her pointed ear. At her tender age, she had not yet learned the art of deceit.
Ladhonna smirked. "I told you so!" Satisfaction glowed clearly on her delicate, adolescent features. "One of these days your fascination with fish is going to get you into trouble!" she predicted. As eldest of the three, she felt it her responsibility to remind her sisters of life's pitfalls, but was equally used to them not giving heed to her warnings.
"Like you know anything at all, you who dare not even dip a toe in the water! Afraid you might melt, no doubt, or catch cold," Leandhra teased. As middle child, she was just as often defending one sibling against the other.
"I am not. That old rock is slimy... and who wants to slip and wet their wings? Not me!"
"I do not mind, Dhonna," said Kayanna still searching, her button nose skimming the surface like a water beetle. "I like getting wet!"
Ladhonna ignored her. "Anyhow, you both need to come away now. You promised we would play in the gardens again today."
"We will, but not while the pruning is happening - please, sister! It saddens me." Leandhra didn't say so, but the sight of the young Naturra workers sweating under the sun while the three of them played pained her nearly as much as the piles of pruned branches still green with life. "Come join us!" she called. "Use the stepping stones if you must, or just fly over. I will not tell, nor will Kay. If she does, we will tell Mother she waded out of the shallows again. I know she is just itching to."
This went unheeded by Kayanna, who had spotted another tantalizing fluorescent silhouette darting from the shadows of a watery crevasse. She looked about ready to dive under.
Ladhonna shook her head, shuddering in the shade along the stream's edge. She wasn't as daring as her sisters, and for good reason. She was somewhat accident prone - a rare thing for a luminarie - and not a good thing for someone with her delicate constitution. Even surrounded by more talented empaths - which, of course, both of her sisters were. There were other options if she got hurt, but who wanted to be always running to the Kandharril, especially when fledglings so much younger than her were already able to heal their own minor scrapes and bruises? That neither of them were supposed to be using their healing light yet never seemed to stop them, any more than being forbidden to use their wings for flight. But then, they had not suffered as she had while attempting an assumption either. She shuddered, a shockwave traveling all the way to her wingtips. She would not dwell on that now. Still, it rankled watching others - especially her sisters - do what she longed to do and did not dare. It rankled most severely.
"I am going back to the gardens now. Stay here if you wish," Ladhonna huffed, then turned and stomped away.
Leandhra sighed. Her sister had her own way of getting what she wanted. There would be no living with her if they did not follow. "Come on, Kayanna. Wade over there, and wait for me. I will help you keep your balance as you cross."
Pouting, and with a final splash, Kayanna did as she was bidden.
Leandhra stood up and scattered the rest of the pebbles she had brought along. A handful of ripples disturbed the water's surface once more.
"Wait up, Ladhonna! We're coming..."
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