Thursday, December 30, 2010

CHAPTER ONE: Ambitions

The fragrance of autumn was in the air. Leaves were garbed in the warm, crisp colors that Serena loved. However, despite the beauty of the scenery around her, Lady Serena Saranac was far too focused on her posture. For the past week, she’d let herself go, and she feared that it would take more than just a little effort to reassert her courtly mannerisms. Coming from a family such as hers, it would not do for her to be slouching and common when finally arriving in town – even if it was a town called Hog Swallow.

As her father often said, “It doesn’t matter where you are as long as you act as whom you are.”

Being a self-made success as he was, he had raised his daughter with as much self-respect and independence as his heart could allow, adding to the thrift and reputation of the Saranac name. No other merchants were as reliable, and no other merchants would find the wares you need.
You see, Serena’s most recent travel companions were gypsies. Regardless of their lively music and colorful garb, they were rather … bold. Or at least, bolder then Serena was accustomed to back at home in Melkredo. She imagined it would be prudent to break herself of any nasty habits she had acquired during the trip. She was all too aware that her posture had become far more casual then was appropriate for her in public.

Serena sighed, smoothing the front of her dress. It was a sturdy fabric, green, with satin trim for comfort. It had been made in the satin looms of Palisada for travelling Ladies, much like herself. At least, such as herself very recently. This was after all, her very first trade route without the company of her father.

Back at home, she had been plagued by chaperons and tutors, and had been viewed merely as a delightful curiosity. A wealthy merchant’s mixed-breed daughter, how adorable she had been! Having received the quirk of her grandmother’s kin, a pair of soft, gray cat ears instead of human ones, Serena had at times felt more like a pet then a daughter. But that had not stopped Serena’s father from playing the role of her protector. And it did not hide the obvious pedestal her father placed her on.

Thinking of her father immediately brought along with it thoughts of home. Serena found herself missing her homeland’s hilly landscape, dotted with tall, narrow trees, and the sprawling, beaten road that led to her father’s estate. She missed the temperate, year-round climate, and the sounds those night-birds made as she was falling asleep.

Not to say she hadn’t been enjoying herself during the trip. In fact, she’d been most surprised to see two fellows in the gypsy caravan with features similar to her own. One gentleman even had a tail, while the other had claws to match! They had all been very agreeable, and had greeted her as a sister! (This, though nice, had been mildly inappropriate.) And though sleeping in a wagon was not what she was accustomed to, it had provided a nice change, reminding her that there was always room to grow and experiences to have. During the trip, Serena had even come to appreciate the owls hooting away in the trees; a very different songbird, but a song from a bird none the less. Oh how at first it had frightened her!

It was no use to fret about it now, however. Especially considering what a persistent little nit she had been. It had taken a lot of negotiation to have a route to herself. Her father, Lord Alban Saranac had absolutely detested the idea of his little kitten going out into the world alone. But unfortunately for her doting father, she had inherited her mother’s charming looks, silver tongue, and stubbornness. And when Serena turned 18 the fact was unavoidable: she would have to go out on her own eventually. Why not sooner rather than later?

However, Serena could see that her father had more reasons for his hesitation than simply wanting her well protected. Perhaps he did not know how his little kitten would react to the world? Perhaps he didn’t think she was ready to finance her own business? Perhaps he was afraid that away from home, she would not have such a nice welcome into the life she’d chosen? Perhaps he feared it would be too rough on her? Or perhaps he simply thought eighteen years was still too young?

The later seemed unlikely though, because whenever she reminded him that he had started his enterprise at a whole year younger then she, he always gave the same response.

“I’m a Man, Serena, it’s different.” He would say, puffing out his chest and scowling without conviction at his spirited daughter. “World will be a hard place for a kitten like you.”

Serena sighed again, this time fondly as she reached up to replace a drifting strand of dark hair. It didn’t matter now. Thankfully, her Uncle Dorvik had also inherited the family tact. When the argument had escalated to a plateau, and neither Serena nor her father could make each other budge, Uncle traipsed in at just the right time. He then presented them with a simple idea which, if successful, would prove Serena’s worth as a business partner, as well as her own will to become an independent woman. And regardless of the asinine concept, it was well known that Uncle Dorvik’s strange ideas had been uncommonly profitable in the past.

The agreement was that Serena would take a smaller shipment, something her father would not be upset losing or being mis-priced. She would then deliver the goods to where she saw fit, in varying prices and quantities. It would be up to her to determine said prices, and as a result of any success, she would be able to keep the profits to go towards her own piece of the business.
That was, of course, if she managed to complete her Uncle’s task.

Her uncle Dorvik was eccentric at best, but overall a very knowledgeable man. He was a constant student, a philosopher of the fanciful; he delighted in cryptic anecdotes, and made things far too complicated. And in order to help Serena accomplish her dreams, all she had to do was find one man and procure from him information for her uncle.

According to Uncle Dorvik, the man in question “knew something very important” and that she would know he was the one she needed the moment she saw him.

There was no mention of apprehending the stranger, which Serena was glad of, but no other description either. The only other hint she had been given was the name of a small fishing town off the southern coast of Zyricon. Hog Swallow.

She imagined that her father saw that as humorous enough to let a woman try and run a business. Fie.

She would show both of them!


Ladies and Gentlemen, as you will see from the Coutdown - I am down to the wire, by the skin of my teeth, a fraction away from the end of the challenge! I have a day and a half to write 12,000 words!

Imma gonna do it. Just you wait and freakin see. I will post up an update and you will revel along with me!



Wednesday, December 22, 2010

CHAPTER TWO: Mercenaries

Miras washed her hands in the creek beside their resting horses. Her hands gently smoothed the crystalline waters over her scars, and as in every time she did this ritual, she prayed to Araia for them to be washed away. Sometimes, if she closed her eyes, dipping her hands into the chill waters, she could almost imagine the pain returning to her; how the flames splashed up her arms, scalded the sensitive area about her shoulders and chest, and singed the fair flesh of her face and neck. Miras could remember how her throat tore from the screams and cries.

“Time to go, Miras.” Her master’s voice came to her over the splashing brook and gently caressed her ears.

Nodding solemnly, she cupped her hands and took one last sip of the refreshing clarity. His voice always chased away the visions of fire. His voice always soothed her anger. And she would follow his voice until the day she died.

Miras got to her feet, fluid as a cat, and cast her eyes about the small glen like a falcon searching for prey. It was clear. They could move on.

“Don’t you trust me yet, Miras? It’s safe to move on.” The voice once again chimed.

She nodded sheepishly, immediately coy.


A hand fell onto her shoulder from behind, rested there and then pulled some of her stray black locks from her neck. Miras felt her shoulders relaxing from the barest touch from him. She did not see his face, not at this moment, but even in her mind it played the same effect on her. The grace of his elegant features, skin smoothed back and pulled into two pointed ears. Glimmering topaz for eyes, cherry blossom for lips, long fingers with the strength of a vice. Beauty and strength, wisdom and whimsy…

“I trust your eyes more than mine at this point, Miras. Allow me to at least poke fun at you out of jealousy of your skills?”

Miras found herself smiling, just the corner of her mouth quirking upwards at the notion. But when she heard him start to come around towards his horse, she immediately became stoic.

“As you wish, Juris.” Her voice croaked out. The damage had been done years ago, and though she had lived with the jibes and teasing all her life, only in his presence did she feel lessened. She detested the grinding, gravel scraping sound of her voice.

Miras took to checking the straps on her horse. As it was every time, she kept sneaking glances over to his. She was pleased to see him doing the same – making sure his two slender blades were still secure by the saddle bags; their supplies were undamaged from their hard ride.
But as with every time, she also found herself glancing at him.

Most Midlanders would have flat out called him an Elf, unknowing of the slight that name carried with it. MIdlanders, most of them grossly uneducated, simply meant it as another word for Fae; unknowing that the word had been ignited and spread by demons to get under their enemies’ skins. True Elves were pygmy sized, skeletal thin, mischievous little sprites that had a penchant for ladies undergarments and causing marital problems. Fae were divine creatures, created by Risael and Araia working as one. One could see the insult.

An ‘elf’ was a slang term for a half-fae, commenting on their lack of grace among their higher born brethren. The careless way in which it was flung around irked a great many of their kind. Miras also took insult to the use of this word, regardless of her rather plain human heritage.
Juris was a half-fae. But Miras did not care nor did she know that he was looked down upon by his Fae cousins. She did not know that he yearned for acceptance among them, though she knew sometimes he was sad because of it. She truly believed that no more beautiful creature existed.

But that was not why she loved him.

Down to the Wire

I have about 28,000 words at this moment.

I will tirelessly type at work, go home and type some more. I will type my weasly black guts out until I can type no more. And then I shall wake up tomorrow morning, do my thing, and type some more until I pass out at the keyboard (as per usual.)

And then I shall go to work on Christmas eve-morning and type until noon, then go home and enjoy the season, with intermittent typing to progress. And then I shall work at 8am on christmas morning and then enjoy the festivities as soon as I can get the heck outta here, and type some more. And then I shall go to sleep happy and contended, do you know why?

Because no one and no thing is going to prevent me from having a happy holiday. Not any one's parents, not my empty bank account, and not whatever my word count is. I will work as hard as I can as often as I can, and some day Karma will catch up to me and do as it sees fit.

I will Get to 60,000 words, and give the New Year a great big Kiss - accompanied by a giant middle finger and say,

"Give me your best shot, life. I dare you."


Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Blues

I'm not sure how to begin this post.

I could start out with the good things. Everything that has come my way in my life: A good education, a wonderful, loving boyfriend, a caring (albeit 'overenthused') family, an awesome brother, wonderful experiences, carefree childhood, no significant mental or health issues....

Or I could start with the bad things.

I could even delve into a random conversation about Christmas and the holidays, and how silly it is that people feel they have to be nice ONLY on those days. Or the fact that it IS kinda nice how nice people can be in this season. Or even how crappy people can be durring this time of year and all year round.

But what exactly will that get me?

This blog, this little online hosted think-space is really just a point in the void. A tiny speck that doesn't truly exist except in pixels and coding. There is no material value to it. It's even a free hosted website. Sure, thats a good thing - one less thing we have to pay for in our long, drawn out, tormented lives... but after I stop writing in here, after I die and move on, this blog will inevitably be erased from the internet and no traces will remain. I will just have been a ghost on the web, haunting this address and whispering my phantom nothings into your brain.

And past that? Other then the loss of a few hundred typed words, what else could I leave behind? A cozy apaprtment that will be taken by someone else. A piece of crap car that I love, but will be turned immediately into scraps and spare parts. Some journals that could be locked away, burned, thrown out and occupying space in a landfill, or just simply forgotten.

Even if I am remembered past my life - what will thast benefit me? A statue in my name? A few published works, a fan site, maybe a biography of my life and times, if I'm lucky maybe a movie about it? That won't pay my bills, it won't throw a rope into my proverbial crap-hole and pull me out, now will it?

But I digress. Now it's time to wrap it up. I could exclaim that there's hope. There is always hope, and I believe fully in hope. I could say to myself that everything will be all right, and that there is, in fact, a light at the end of the tunnel.

But regardless of how strongly I believe that with every fiber of my silly, oru being... Who's to say that it's true?

"I guess I've got the Christmas Blues"
-Dean Martin

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Time Management

1.) I am pretty bad at this :)
2.) I wish i had more time to work with.

Other then that, Time Management is a very important facet of every day. For example - today I need to get off of work at this Hotel, and then run to the bank, the post office, then to my other job to squeeze in an hour of work there to edit and print out labels for christmas cards.

After that, I hope to get some more words in today, make christmas Stockings and RP my weasley black guts out.


Unfortunately, that is th eonly update that time will allow for me!



Sunday, December 12, 2010

Christmas Music

...Oh so overplayed.

One thing I never fully understood was the corporate obsession with drowning their businesses with Christmas music the day after Thanksgiving. It's one thing to put out your wares then, and maybe decorate, but something as contagious and sticking as the music? What kind of inhumanity is this? For the rest of November, throughout December and part of January, we will hear so many crappy variations of christmas classics that our ears will inevitably begin to bleed and burn out just for the desire to stop hearing it.

The other day, I heard a hip-hop/rap version of God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen. I nearly hit someone. The bastardization of my favorite carol did nothing but add to my stress level. THIS is why I will NOT personally listen to Christmas music until either 1. I am doing something specifically Christmas-y (wrapping presants, decorating, or maybe baking) or 2. The days OF Christmas, i.e. Eve and Morning. Other then those two situations I do not deign to listen, because my brain is already consumed with a distinct dislike of all the phooey on the radio.

And for those of us who work in an environment that does this? My sincerest Appologies. I feel your pain.


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Challenge

Happy Holidays everyone!

And now let me introduce the gift I am giving to myself: The Challenge.

Let me preface this with my recent trip to the bank. A lovely girl works there, her name is Aimee, and she is always sweet and kind and has a genuine smile for me when I come in to cash my checks. Offering me friendly suggestions and tips with her co-worker Diane, they led me to the cash-back option that I can use while spending money with my debit card (fun idea) and how state checks are cashed at her bank, and "what kind of change would you like?"

One day not too long ago, we struck up conversation, and the topic of NOMO came up. Perhaps the acronym is wrong, but I mean to accent National Novel Writing Month, November. She confided in me with pride in her eyes that she completed 57,000 words, and I gave her a giant grin and congratulations.

And so I told myself... If she can do it, while working full time 8-4 every weekday... Why can't I? Granted, November is done and over with, and I barely snuck out 1,000 words in my spare time, but whos to say that I can't do it any other time I like? For example... December?

So I decided to give myself a challenge. I set my chin, forced the self-pitying tears away from my eyes, and declared:

I will write 60,000 words by the end of December.

And I encourage you to join me on this adventure. I will try to post every day my word count and how I am doing. Perhaps even sneak in snippets of my work for your perusal.

Let the count begin:

23 days remain.

Word Count: 7,358


Sunday, December 5, 2010

Holiday Wishes

Let me see, I shall start this entry with a short list. Maybe two.

Top 10 things to receive for Christmas, From Oru's Perspective. 9In no particular order):
1. Money
2. Hand made, thoughtful tokens
3. Games of any shape, size, or variety
4. Food
5. The Promise of a Good Time
6. Books, Journals, or writing implements
7. Household Necessities - even gift cards for such
8. Pets or critters
9. Alcoholic Beverages in fancy bottles
10. Letters in the Mail

Top Worst Gifts In Oru's Known History:
1. Cheesy Ties.
2. Underwear
3. Severely religious paraphernelia
4. Lectures
5. Sea-shell filled, gold studded, white decorative plungers
6. Highly toxic, decorative, obscenely superfluous oriental serving bowls
7. Anything you feel obligated to wear at a later point that is so obviously not your style. (IE the Weasley's hand knit sweaters)
8. REALLY expensive things.
9. School Supplies
10. Bad News.

In any case. Now that this little portion of today has been concluded...

I hope all of you have a fantastic time preparing for the holidays - getting the tree, lighting the candles, inviting the friends over, sending and receiving cards and letters. Remember, this is the time of year that should be ALL YEAR ROUND. But, for those of you who need an excuse to be nice, pleas edon't pass up this opportunity.

Many Happy Returns