In lieu of actual blog post content (and until I can get my big Real Life Update post hammered out), some random thoughts from the mind of R. R. Goodwill:
~Quote of the Week~
So Mom and I were making supper, and she was shredding beets with the attachment on our mixer. A slice of beet got stuck between the plastic chute and the shredder and made a loud SQUEEEEEAK.
ME: *Chuckles* The screaming beet. …Actually, that pretty much accurately describes Rock ’n’ Roll.
ME: The Screaming Beat.
~Conversations in my head~
I should totally learn Gaelic.
Aye, for sure! Erin go braugh!
Um, sweetie, you’re not Irish.
I am so!
OK, true, but you’re also Scottish, technically.
*Plays “Scotland the Brave” on bagpipes*
AS I WAS SAYING….
I should totally learn Gaelic. No one can hear me when I talk anyhow. Then I could be going about muttering random junk like, “I want frozen yogurt,” or “Monkeys don’t like walnuts,” and if people asked me what I said, I could repeat it in Gaelic. And when they asked, “What does that mean?” I could smile impishly and reply, “Wouldn’t you like to know!” or, “That would be tellin’.”
Anka, you need a Tumblr account, not a weblog.
What? And have my thoughts posted in public??
Um…isn’t your blog public? I mean, you don’t have it in Protection Mode like you did your Xanga account, so…. *Shrug*
Ha! If all the Internet were an interactive, highly-detailed map of the world, my little blog would be a pin-prick on the coffee table.
In some old granny’s attic. :-P
Did you just call Blogger an old attic?
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And just for laughs and giggles, a few of my favorite snippets from some of my WIPs. Ones without a book title attached are ones I’m still figuring out where they belong in the timeline. Ahh, the joys of non-linear inspiration….
(All pictures via Pinterest)
Another door opened down the hall, and a lady with bobbed silvery hair poked her head out. “What on earth is that racket downstairs?” she asked, adjusting her large, black-rimmed spectacles. “And what’s all this I hear about burglars?”
“They—they’re trying to break down the door, Lillian!” Mrs. Daley wailed, running up to her with the poker in hand.
“Then they must be rather stupid burglars,” Lillian quipped. “Thieves generally don’t alert their intended victims that they’re about to break into the house; they use lock-picks. You know that, Alice Daley.”
“Oh—yes—of course,” Mrs. Daley gulped. “I—I just forgot. I haven’t my full senses at night.”
Jason smiled sheepishly, his face as hot as the sizzling bacon on the table, and held out the wildflowers. “Happy Birthday,” he squeaked in almost-perfect Gaelic.
Ember blinked, still squinting, a few seconds as her groggy brain gradually processed his words. Then she beamed at him and took the flowers happily. “Oh!” she crowed. “Oh! ’Tis my birthday—of course! Thank’ee, boy-o; that was sweet of you to remember.” Then, smiling impishly, she practically shoved her face in the bouquet and inhaled their fragrance aggressively.
“What are you doing?” Jason cried.
“You told me to take time to smell the flowers,” she explained. Then she sneezed violently, scattering pollen and loose petals in his face.
“Henceforth, you are no longer my sister, but my enemy—a traitor to our people. You may style yourself as Queen of the Fae, O Krystála, but my allegiance is to Prince Nácil, and in his name I shall fight you.”
Lady Krystála threw her head back and laughed heartily. “You?” she sneered. “What power do you possess to fight me, little Müriel? You who cannot cast a spell without the aid of your silly wand? You who tremble at every raised voice and loud noise? And as for your precious Prince Nácil,” she continued, narrowing her eyes and smirking, “he is as good as dead. He has suffered a mortal sorrow—”
“—which you yourself inflicted upon him!” Müriel shouted.
“—and we all know that even the High-elves cannot last long in such a state,” Lady Krystála continued, ignoring her interruption. “He will die in the World of Men, and Ýdára shall be purged of Othniel’s line. Or, should he be foolish enough to return hither, he shall die regardless. Do not put your hope in him, little girl; he will not return.”
Müriel started hard at her, a frown of anger, hurt and sorrow weighing down her countenance. “You are well named Krystála,” she said, “for its root—krystalos—means ‘ice’ in the tongues of Men. When they first beheld rock quartz, they believed it to be ice that was permanently frozen—as is your heart. Therefore Iceheart I name you, for you are cold as the winds upon the snow-capped mountains, with a heart as hard and pitiless as stone.”
~Rise of Iceheart
“Ugh,” Tom snorted, wrinkling her nose; “love-letters are such slush—nothing but a bucketful of pure, sloppy, maple-syrup-infused, sentimental slush!”
“Have you got enough adjectives there, Tommy-lass?” Ember snickered.
“I daresay I’ve used up my quota for one sentence,” Tom smirked, “but seriously! Why can’t folk talk sensibly when they’re in love? If I wrote Ciaran and called him ‘my precious darling,’ he’d laugh his head off. Or think I’d gone daft. I never called him such silly names before I discovered I loved him; why should I do it afterwards? And if he was sappy enough to give me such an epitaph,” she concluded, “I’d call him a numpty.”
“Tell you what,” Anton replied, sliding a comforting arm about Jason’s shoulders, “if you’re killed, I’ll guard your body ’till the fighting is over. Then I’ll have you burned and take your ashes to the Elves, and I’ll have them use them to make a precious gem. Then I’ll take your and Ember’s swords and have a sword maker combine them into a whacking-great claymore, and I’ll set the hilt with the gem made from your remains. I’ll give the thing to Ember, and she can find the people who killed you and hack them to pieces with the claymore.”
Jason shot him a sideways dubious look. “Er…thank you…?”
Ciaran raised his eyebrows. “’Tis both disturbin’ an’ amazin’ that be, at the same time.”
|The quote that inspired this snippet|
~The Treasure of Rainbow Rock
“Perhaps Jane woke up again, and Lillian had to reassure her that everything is all right,” Alice suggested.
“My granddaughter,” Mrs. Whittaker explained, handing Victor a cup of tea. “She’s only seven, you see, and little girls frighten easily in thunderstorms like this.”
Victor’s cup paused halfway to his mouth, and he stared into it silently for a moment. His friendly smile had faded into an expression of sadness, and his twilight-gray eyes misted over. “Yes,” he murmured, more to himself than to the two ladies, “yes, I know about—about little girls.”
To Tom’s horror, Shadow took a flying leap into the mixing-bowl containing the dry ingredients, and Midnight jumped in after his brother. Pouff! A cloud of flour shot up as the kittens scrambled to get out of the bowl. Tom wailed in despair and was about to grab them both by the scruff of the neck, when they leapt over the opposite side and skittered across the rest of the island, dropping to the floor with a plop and a small explosion of flour. Shadow shook off the remaining flour from his fluffy hide, but a good amount had stuck to Midnight’s face, looking for all the world like some sort of mask.
“Cat, you look like a demon,” Tom snorted, still angry.
Ember pretended to be frightened and crossed herself. “Elyon preserve us!” she ejaculated. “’Tis the Flour Demon!” Then she laughed at her own foolishness.
Anton snorted. “She always did treat me like her idiot brother.”
“Well, frankly,” Jason remarked, “you sometimes act like it. Not that I’m calling you an idiot, mind,” he added quickly, “and I’m not taking her side against you, exactly… but, well…as I see it—personally—you are rather in the wrong here.”
“So what am I supposed to do? Saddle my horse and chase after her? Dash into the theater and beg her forgiveness on bended knee?”
“Oh, I’m sure she’d love that,” Jason chuckled ruefully. “Not to mention everyone in the theater. No, I’d wait for her to come home, and have something nice prepared for her—including a sincere apology.”
Anton’s mouth curled into a mischievous smile.
Jason pointed a finger in his face. “No exploding root beer!” he ordered.
Anton made a face. “You’re no fun.”
A chunk of the snow covering the boulder suddenly gave way under Yokúl’s hand, and he tumbled forward. The boulder happened to be on a slope, so down rolled Yokúl, head-over-heels, his clothes gathering snow along the way, straight for the circle of Snow-faeries. He passed right between two of the Snow Queen’s handmaidens—giving them quite a start—and crashed into the heels of Snow Queen herself before she had time to do more than look behind her. The snow he had accumulated burst off in a minor explosion, most of it coating the hem of her gown. Yokúl lay flat on his back, staring up into the upside-down face of the Snow Queen, who peered at him with a sort of cold curiosity.
Yokúl flashed her a sheepish half-smile. “I don’t believe we’ve been properly introduced,” he quipped.
~Ice and Snow
The Man froze in his tracks, his eyes wide with terror, his face taking on a grayish hue.
“Come hither!” Obsidia commanded.
The Man trembled all over himself, jerkily putting one foot before the other as he reluctantly approached the Dragoness. His mouth opened and closed, but no sound came forth.
“Speak!” Obsidia bade him, snorting two thin wisps of smoke out her nose.
“P-please,” he begged, his voice squeaking, “spare my life, I b-beg of you—and—and in return I—I shall give you my two young daughters. They will be sweeter, and tenderer, than an old goat like me—”
Obsidia clashed her teeth together, her eyes flashing amber-red for a moment. “Am I one of the foul Ýrkhós”*—she spat out an ember as she said the word—“that you offer me Man-flesh?! I am Obsidia, the Black Fire-dragoness! And I. Do. Not. Eat. MAN!” She stared hard at him, her face moving closer and closer to his as she spoke, until their eyes were less than a foot apart.
The Man shuddered worse than before, perspiration rolling down his face. “A-a thousand pardons, O Great One!” he began.
“Cease your gibbering, Man—if indeed a man you be, and not a mouse,” she snorted, backing away a very little. “Now hearken! I have a request to make of you.”
“I—I shall do whatever you ask,” the poor Man whimpered, “if you will but spare me.”
Obsidia fixed him with a paralyzing gaze and stared at him steadily, unblinking, for several seconds, until the fellow looked ready to faint. “Teach me all there is to know about the preparation of food!” she ordered in her most imperious voice.
*Ýrkhós = The collective name given to Goblins, Hobgoblins, and Orcs in Ýdára
“What’s the matter? Why are you crying? Aren’t you happy here?”
Jane wiped her eyes. “I—I am grateful—for—for all your kindness,” she slurred, “but—but—but what if I can’t get home again? What if I’m trapped here forever?”
Harold blinked. “Oh, is that all? Why, if that happens, then you can stay here with me and Lady Müriel. She’ll take good care of you, and so will I.” He brightened. “See here! We could pretend you’re my sister, and—Well, now what’s wrong?”—as Jane’s eyes filled with tears again.
“That’s what Robert says,” she whimpered.
“Who is Robert, dear heart?” Lady Müriel asked gently.
“My friend who lives over the hill in the West pasture,” Jane replied, rubbing her eye. “He’s so kind to me—he tells Teacher when the other boys tease me—and pretends I’m his little sister. He has ever so many big sisters,” she explained, dabbing her handkerchief at her nose, “but he says he always wanted a little sister to take care of, so he chose me.”
“He sounds like a special person, indeed,” Lady Müriel smiled.
Jane nodded. “Oh, he is. I—I wish he was here….” And she buried her face in her already sodden handkerchief.
Anton beat the drum at a regular interval—dum, dum, rat-tat-tump, dum, dum, rat-tat-tump—perfect for marching to. The others kept time more or less perfectly, but Anton of course could not be confined to merely marching. He skipped and hopped and pranced like a high-stepping pony—all in time to his drumbeat—chanting boldly and cheerfully at the top of his voice:
The Donkey and the Elephant
Went to the land of Hackenstant—
Tump, tump, tump, hilay!
And as they walked,
Nor never talked,
They sang this pleasant little chant:
Tump, tump, tump, hilay!
Tumpty-tumpty, tump, hilay!
“What nonsense might this be, then?” Ember muttered.
“Oh, you know Anton,” Fiona whispered. “Whatever brings a smile to folks’ faces or provokes a good laugh, he’s sure to think of it.”
“And run with it,” Jason chuckled.
“Wait!” Yokúl cried.
The Frost King halted and shot him an annoyed glance over his shoulder.
“I—I have a request.”
“What is it?” Krystalós sneered. “Are you going to beg for your life, Leaf-painter?”
“No, sir; I know that would be useless. My request is simply this: If you’re going to kill me, then do it yourself—with your own hands. Anyone can have lackeys and underlings do their killing for them, but have you the courage to look me in the eye as you strike me down? To watch the life slowly fade from my eyes? If you’re going to take my life, Krystalós of the Frost, then you owe me that much. If you can’t, then you’re a bigger coward than I gave you credit for.”
The Frost King glared at him several seconds in cold, stony silence. He turned to face Yokúl and took a few forceful steps forward, gripping the wolf’s-head handle of his sword. “Nothing would give me greater pleasure,” he growled.
The blade whistled through the air as its sharp edge neared Yokúl’s neck. Yokúl swallowed involuntarily and closed his eyes, squaring his shoulders and taking what he believed to be his last breath.
The whistling ceased suddenly, and the wolves and Efríts behind him groaned and yammered in dismay. Yokúl opened his eyes and saw the Frost King looking at him with confusion—and even a bit of fear—flickering across his face. He held the sword parallel to the snow-covered ground, barely an inch away from Yokúl’s neck.
“No,” Krystalós intoned, his voice like a glacier. He brought the tip of the sword under Yokúl’s chin and lifted it up. “That is too quick and clean a death for an upstart like you.”
Yokúl exhaled softly, relief flooding through him. He smirked up at his would-be executioner. “I knew you couldn’t do it.”
~Ice and Snow
“When one person loves another very much, it’s as though that other person is a part of one—as though God Himself had knitted their hearts together in such a way that each can feel what the other is feeling. Perhaps your grandmother means that she loves you so much, little Jane, that, when you’re sad, or afraid, or hurt, she feels it with you. But love can also rejoice with the happiness of those we love,” he added, smiling slightly.
“That’s like something Jesus said in the Bible!” Jane exclaimed. “He said to ‘weep with those who weep,’ and ‘rejoice with those who rejoice,’ but I never knew that was part of loving someone. But that makes sense…only…I can’t really explain why.”
The children circled the tower, feeling carefully along its smooth, beautifully carved walls. But there didn’t appear to be anything like a door anywhere.
Sierra looked upwards, gazing at the windows. She chuckled as an idea came to her.
“What?” Shasta asked, hearing her.
Sierra blushed. “Oh, well,” she simpered, “I was just thinking of the story of Rapunzel. We’re kinda like the prince; we want to get in, but there’s no door.”
“Say, there’s an idea!” Shasta beamed. With that, she faced the nearest window and cupped her hands around her mouth. “Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair!” she shouted.
The children watched anxiously—Sierra rubbing her right ear, which Shasta had accidentally yelled into—but the windows remained shut.
“Phooey,” Shasta grumbled.
~The Tower of Pearl
“I don’t like the thought of dying any more than you do,” Robert continued. “But if I could save you somehow…then it wouldn’t be so bad. And if I can’t…well, I meant what I said: I’ll protect you, Jane—with my last breath, if necessary.”
“Oh, please don’t talk like that.”
“Why not? It’s true.”
Jane’s body shook with a repressed sob, and she sniffled softly. “I don’t want to die,” she whimpered. “There were things I wanted to do before…before I went to Heaven.” She looked ruefully up at him. “I’m sure you feel the same way.”
“If you only knew,” he murmured.
~The Obsidian Castle
Othniel smiled softly at her. “Princess,” he murmured, “why are you doing this? Yesterday you did not know I existed, yet you are willing to help me become your partner for life. You have my admiration, yet I am curious as to your motives.”
Again [Jael] looked up at him with eyes shining like sapphires, peering steadily at him without speaking for a moment. At length she replied, “You have become almost a legend among the peoples, much talked of and that right favorably. This day I have seen with my own eyes that the reports of you are true, and that has earned you my respect—which is not an easy thing to obtain, mind you.” Sadness clouded her face for a moment. “But there is a greater cause for me to approve of you: Sítára Halfelven was my friend, and her banishment is a bitter trial to those who love her. She wrote to me and told of how you changed her mother’s curse into a blessing, though she had wronged you greatly. For this, I have long admired you, and prayed Elyon that He would bless you for it.”
~The Labors of Othniel
“Why, hullo there, Stardust.”
“Come now, little one, you know a book when you see it.”
“That’s right. A very interesting book, which I’m trying to read just now.”
“You want me to teach you to read?”
“Well, I can’t argue with that. But this is rather advanced to start off with. If you’re going to learn reading, you’ll need to start at the beginning.”
Anton closed the book, ignoring Stardust’s whimpering, and found a stout stick nearby. “We’ll begin with the letters.” He wrote out the alphabet in the dirt with the stick, reciting the name of the letters as he drew them. Stardust hovered over each letter and studied it carefully, repeating the names back to him.
“Good. Now I’ll point to a letter, and you tell me what it is, all right?”
He pointed to a T. “What’s this letter?”
“You give up too easily, little one. That’s a T. But perhaps I’m going too fast. Let’s say them all again from first to last.”
Just then, Oriános fluttered down, landing squarely in the middle of the alphabet.
“Teach Oriános, too!” he begged.
“Well, all right, but you’ll have to move your tail, Golden Boy; you’re sitting on your lesson just now.”
~The Silver One
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That’s enough for now. Many more snippets, and y’all won’t need to read my books when (Lord willing) they’re published, LOL.
Until next time, Gentle Readers,