Fireworks and Excerpts

Writing things: No morning pages today, because it’s a holiday and I do what I want. (Or because I slept lazily late and then got ambushed by life-already-underway.) I did, however, get approximately as far as I’d hoped in the novel-draft. We’ve sent unhappy Sirin off after Dire Forebodings; Vulo has in very strange fashion learned some things he probably oughtn’t know, and now we’re out of the tower and back to our fugitives.

An excerpt for you! It is a sort of summy-uppy bit before Action Happens and so requires no special knowledge. It’s also alpha draft, so think gently of it:

Esmat no longer knows whose country they cross. The river is a dark thread of memory behind and below them; the river-plain fell away two days ago, and they traverse a hill-ridge through pale corridors of poplars veiled in spring catkins and a green mist of new leaves.

They haven’t seen an ash-barren in a day and a half, but nor have they seen any human sign. The plague-markers had continued to appear at regular intervals for many more versts than Esmat liked to think about, but they had stopped — died, she’d thought irresistibly — long before they reached the foothills.

She doesn’t like the height of this place, and she doesn’t like the trees. They hem her in, obscuring her view. At night when they make camp, she lies sleepless within the ring of makeshift ward-light, one hand on the rifle like a lover beside her, and imagines what things lurk behind and between those silent pillars. Sometimes she thinks she hears voices in the leaf-whisper.

The only monsters they’ve seen since entering the hill-country have been a handful of shy leshii, slipping watchfully behind trees. One of them had beckoned to her, but that was the most malice any of the creatures offered. Luka barely paid them heed, only whistling sharply at the beckoner to startle it back into shadow. His growing confidence in their surroundings offsets Esmat’s increasing unease.

Some childish part of her has always imagined that if she ever returned to the country of her birth, it would feel like homecoming: the familiar embrace of something natural, long-lost. Instead she finds herself climbing into a world more and more alien.

Beyond the novel-stuff, nothing to report.

Daily things: Walks — one very early and hot, and on which I forgot to wear my Fitbit thingummy, and one late in the smoky twilight with fireworks pop-popping distantly. Baked hamburger buns and pineapple upside-down cake, and marinated zucchini which husband grilled with hamburgers. Re-watched Austenland, and maybe it’s just the gin and pineapples talking, but I’m fairly sure it was somehow funnier this time. (I’d forgotten Ricky Whittle is in it, for one thing, and completely lost it when he appeared.)

Hoping to catch up on the season finale of Doctor Who tonight. I hear it’s a good’un?

Reading: Wolfhound Century. Comps, comps every where, nor any book to query.

Going to leave you with this loveliness from Holcombe Waller, because I’m in that kind of a mood: