Slumber of the Moon • Tale of the Princess | ch. 7

Chapter Seven: Tears and Tragedy {Larmes et tragédie}

None of the blustering men who poked and prodded Veranna made any difference. That prince called the men doctors. Iren called the men incompetent.

“Let me go to the forest. There might be something in there that can cure her. There’s got to be.”

The Prince looked at him coldly.

“You have done enough.”

“You could do more.”

The Prince’s eyes narrowed.

“And you still accuse me. What have I done to earn your distaste? It could not be Veranna. She would not speak ill of me?”

“No. She wouldn’t.”

“Well.” The Prince turned back to Veranna, propped in a chair, still frozen. “I am not sure what you’ve done to her, but I must fix it. She cannot – she must not – stay like this.”

“Because of the curse?”

“Ah!” Turning his head, the Prince’s eyes flashed. “So, she told the tale, did she?”

“Tale?” Iren placed his hands on the crown of the chair. The sheath of his sword bumped against the gilded back.

“So, she did not tell you?”

“She told me enough.”

The Prince’s lips twitched.

“Did she?”

At Iren’s silence, the Prince smiled and shrugged. “It is a sad tale–”

“Don’t tell me. If there’s something I don’t know, I’d rather wait for Veranna to tell me.”

The Prince glanced at Veranna.

“You may be a long time waiting.”

“Don’t care. And if you’ve got nothing, I’d like you to leave.”

Laughing, the Prince stepped toward Iren and Veranna. “You think you can–” Continue reading


The Lord of the Rings • The Fellowship of the Ring | Book Two

I kept putting this off and it probably won’t be as interesting or insightful as my last post. But I want to get it done, so I can keep up my reading (and remain loosely in-sync with the in-story timeframe.)

There were two overarching subjects I want to discuss:

  • plot
  • writing inspiration

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Slumber of the Moon • Tale of the Princess | ch. 6

Chapter Six: Season of a Frozen Paradise {Saison d’un paradis gelé}

The next day, the season changed. It was the only one, other than the eternal summery spring, that existed in the Prince’s realm. Dainty white fluff twirled from gray skies, blanketing the forest and garden and courtyards in a heavy, glittering shroud. No one was allowed outside until it vanished. Meanwhile, the halls frothed with crackling fires, bright colors, and merry viands. But Veranna preferred watching the fluff fall outside her greenhouse.

It was on the first day of the season that the Prince summoned Iren to Court.

“It is unfortunate that you must leave us now. With the coming season, all passages will be blocked. You will not be able to leave. I suggest you depart as soon as possible.”

Iren bowed.

Veranna squeezed her eyes shut. As she had anticipated, there was no pain, only a dull throbbing in the hollow of her chest. It lay like an empty hole, a flower without roots or a spring without water. And there, deeply buried, lay a barbed nettle. Its sting pricked her, and she winced.

“Thanks for thinking of me. This place is a muddle, no question. But I’m staying.”

Veranna’s eyes sprang open; Iren was looking at her.

“You…cannot be serious.” The words seemed to choke the Prince. “You have… There is no place for you here–”

“Yes, there is.” Iren grinned. “Those measly scrolls taught me a good deal more. In the old stories of paradise there was a sworn protector. I claim that title to Princess Veranna. If she’s the way you say, then her protection is paramount. Wouldn’t you say?”

For the first time since Veranna had known him, the Prince was struck silent. His eyes turned pale blue, nearly as white as the falling fluff outside. Then he breathed out slowly and a smile etched itself across his face. Cairod’s eyes flashed.

“So be it. Bear the consequences of your choice.”

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Writing Week • this and that [1/1/18-1/8/18]

Well. It was harder than previous weeks to write this post. Not because there was a lot to write about — far from it! — or because there was nothing to write about — though that may have aided the cause — but because I was so frustrated with having to write the post at all. Not about the content or purpose of the post, no, but that I didn’t really want to write it when I initially sat down because I had something else I wanted to do.

Aside from that personal revelation, if I had to describe this week (and the new year) thus far, it would be: mountains of questions and a particular peak with murky holes and crags, which ultimately turned out to be mostly imaginary.

To wit: I, once again, struggled to make sense of all the tales, contradictory, repetitive, or otherwise, that compose my NaNo 2017 story and the backstory behind it. In particular, the chronology of all the tales, etc. This struggle was re-ignited by my desire to write the tale that caused me the most trouble during November last year, and the one which I ultimately cut because it didn’t fit what the story become.

But as I struggled to make sense of the chronology, I started to suspect that this particular tale might not be ready to be written. Though seeing The Greatest Showman on Saturday may have helped in a very, very, very roundabout way. If asked to explain how…the best I could say is positivity over despair. And stars.

That said, I’m tentatively thinking of using this cut tale for NaNo this year. I shall see.

A few other writing things of interest:

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Slumber of the Moon • Tale of the Princess | ch. 5

Chapter Five: Waltz of the Lost {Valse de la perdue[1]}

“We’re are we going?”

Veranna had led Iren to the northern end of the palace. Compared to the rest of the place, the hallways were smaller, adorned with stone beasts, whose mismatched beaks, paws, and snake tails were chipped and worn. Less glass hung from the ceilings and even less composed the walls. The endless parade of gold fretwork was overrun by silver; ornate glittering grayness crowned the windows. Frayed curtains hung over these wider windows, which looked out into the forest. A mist hung upon the canopy, filtering sunshine into rainbows.

“Close your eyes. Please?”

She had stopped before an iron door. An engraved trellis grew up the sides, with spiraling branches of roses, lilies, and daisies in consecutive circles on the front. A single silver doorknob lay in the middle.

“It is not dangerous. I promise. I just…I wished to show you this…place.”

“I wasn’t worried about that.” Iren glanced down the hall. “This place is a bit different than the rest, isn’t it?”

“It’s the oldest part of the City.”


Doing as Veranna asked, Iren closed his eyes. He heard the door creak open, like the joints of an ancient dame. He caught the scent of old paper. Veranna’s light footsteps led further inside and she called to him.

“You can come in now.”

Iren slid a foot forward and opened his eyes.

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Writerly Notions: romance and choice

I re-read a story I wrote about a decade ago and hadn’t thought much, except for a few blimps of contemplative revisions, and…wow. What stood out to me was not what I was expecting.

I remembered that the plot, and thereby one of the MC’s choices and decisions, didn’t really make sense. She’s looking for someone, but decides he’s been captured by hunters specifically out to hunt demons. Later in the story, she even acknowledges that her deduction that the hunters captured him didn’t make sense. This kind of illogic, acknowledged in the text, happens a couple a times. But I remembered that. I expected that.

(Aside: after the midpoint of the story — literally and potentially plot-wise — the action and tone of the story fits a little better. Though it suffers more from a lack of explanation. Like she’s looking for a specific healing spring but ends up at the heart spring. And somehow she just…knows? It’s a little weird.)

What I didn’t expect was how much I would dislike the romance in the story. By romance I mean the attraction/getting-in-a-relationship kind. And the wildest thing about how I wrote a developing romance a decade ago is I can see why I wrote it the way I did then.

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Slumber of the Moon • Tale of the Princess | ch. 4

Chapter Four: The Seeing Glass {Le verre voyant}

The rest of the night passed in a blur of faces and music; Iren was glad when it was over.

Once in his guest room, for however long he decided to stay, Iren searched for the moon through the window until he fell asleep in a chair. He woke stiff and sore to a gray dawn. The veil of rain was soon pierced by the rising sun, splintering the coolness with spears of brightness.

In the morning light, Iren saw that his room overlooked a high wall and, beyond it, the sleepy eaves of the forest. Mist steamed off the green canopy, fresh and cool, and Iren yearned to explore its depths. But finding his way out of the City proved more difficult than even the most tangled woodland paths. Every winding hallway looked exactly the same: gilded, marble, and impossibly large. Finally, frustrated and defeated, Iren slumped down in an alcove. It branched off a wide hallway and had a semblance of privacy. Golden fretwork crowned its roof, letting in warm sunshine. A lilting bird chorus came from nearby, and he listened absently until he caught the cadence of a human voice, humming along.

Hunting for the source, Iren spied a panel in the wall that was a lighter shade than the rest. He pressed his hand to it and it swung open. Sunlight glowed at the end of a short flight of stairs. Descending, Iren found himself in a small, glass greenhouse. Swathes of ankle-deep grass filled the space between two crescent ponds. Dark as obsidian, both ponds were crowded with water lilies. White, yellow, and red petals basked in the sunshine; dark emerald leaves shone. Sitting between them, with a skirt full of seeds and berries, was Veranna.

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