12.01 am

It is impossible to sleep. I have worked myself right in to this whole NaNoWriMo thing. So what the heck…I am starting right now. Well as soon as I post this I am. Not even going to look online until I have done as much as I need to. I need to get a little ahead as I am off to a wedding this weekend in Auckland. I am leaving Saturday morning and will be away until later Sunday…so I won’t get any writing done Saturday.

Just to keep you entertained…here is Scene 1 from Chapter 1. Remember this is only a first draft guys so it needs…well it needs work.

Chapter 1

 

Where there is great love, there exists great tragedy. It is the tragedy that opens the enormous capacity inside of men for devotion to another that is greater than their instinct for self preservation.

 

 

Darkness shrouds the city. The light from the Citadel window falls on the bleached skulls that pave the square below and refracts back illuminating the men and their mounts as they wait. Beside me my brother reins in his mount, both impatient to be off.

He is my mirror image, except for the eyes. Zak’s eyes are a soft clear blue, like the inside curve of a wave, our mother’s eyes. His face no longer sprouting the first soft downy hairs of youth but bristled and more defined as he enters his manhood. His eyes are bright, and his smile full and easily given. The sight of him mounted and ready to leave brings a pain to my chest.

“I’ll keep you safe brother,” I swear quietly. I shall bring you home untarnished, if I must die in doing so, I silently add. Beside him is Evijan. Our mothers had birthed us on the same day; we had played together as children. We had passed through our manhood rites together, hunted together, lain with our first woman on the same night, fought our first battle by each other’s side. After he breathed in, I would breathe out. As he ran his gaze over Zak, he nodded slightly and I knew my brother would be protected should I fall.

A young groom appears and hands me Wraith’s halter. He is out of breath and dishevelled.

“I see he has been up to his usual trickery.” Wraith’s stark white coat is broken up with slashes of black and silver, running from his backbone vertically down his legs, as well as spiralling together in his great horn. “Do not worry lad, he has bested many besides you.”  The unicorn had been a gift from my father. I had wondered many times if there was a meaning behind the gift. Wraith is the most complex of the creatures, but I trust him as I do my own limbs.

“Wraith,” I ask him, “will you carry me on this journey?” His black eyes study mine before he lowers his head. Springing on his back I feel his muscles undulate as they fit to my body. Another six men form two rows behind us, the last of them leading our pack animals.

“Why is it I am always gifted with a view of your behind?’ Jareth asks, older than I by two cycles he is the most experienced hunter amongst the party. His keen eyesight and sense of smell had often kept my belly full, and his good humour is quick to raise the dourest of spirits.

“So I do not have your incessant babble constantly in my ears.”

“Oh my friend, you wound me,” I can feel his smile.

Go,” I whisper to Wraith in my head, and he begins to fly over the ground. I let him lead, winding his way through the dark city. We make no sound and his hooves leave no imprint in the earth beneath them. Passing through the city gates I see the moon begin to rise.

# # #

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50 thoughts on “12.01 am”

    1. Dear Toni,
      I love that you love “Zarek” so much. Not to panic. Zak is the nickname these guys have given him. But…when a certain someone enters his life…that changes. He becomes a man, a man known by his full name. I used to call you “Tone”…remember. Until you became an adult. What age was that…ummmm…oh yes I still call you Tone” don’t I?? Hehehe

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  1. Oooh! So exciting! I love what you’ve written. I’ve signed up too! But I’m doing it to try to finish my WIP. I’ve got over 20k already! Only counting new words, and hope to Rebel win! 🙂 all the best!

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    1. Thanks Charlene,
      This too is my WIP. I have about 20,000 words so far and I got really stuck with it…really, really stuck. I am hoping NaNoWriMo will kick it in to gear again for me. I think it is working I have written 2,723 words since 12.01 am this morning. I finally collapsed about 3 am. But after I finish come coffee [strong, black and loads of it] I am getting back in to it. I just finished a battle scene and one of the guys is hurt…and I have all these great mythology ideas to use for healing him. Then it is in to the Devil’s Den for them.

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    1. Thanks Angelia,
      I have some great monsters to play around with at the part I am writing just now. I wrote 2,723 words between 12.01 am and crashing in a heap, but the ideas are coming – slowly at times – but they are coming. So do you want another scene from Chapter 1 ???

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  2. I am so loving it, Jo. You had me at “Chapter 1”. 😆
    I am no Lisa Scottoline ( thoughI tell my husband I can best her), nor do I have any background in authorship that would give my opinion credit, but I know what I like, and I LIKE THIS!
    Brava!!! Bravissima!

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    1. I’ve never before been ‘Brava !!! Bravissimad before gemma !!!
      Thank you !!!!
      Wrote until after 3 am…filling up now on black coffee, and going to do some more. I hurt someone in a battle and I need to fix him.

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    1. Thanks Madhu. Oh dear…I just almost killed Evijan in a battle last night. After coffee I have to set about figuring what I am going to do to heal him. There may be Griffin type claws involved in it I feel.

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      1. Oh no, how could you do that? I got the impression he was to look after your brother when you were gone 🙂 I know you can’t possibly GO too soon, being the narrator and all that, but……

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        1. He’s not gone yet. Wraith seems to think he’ll be fine. Deveron is a bit clawed about as well. So…time for me to get in to healing mode. Zak is loving it though. his first real battle. He’s such a lad !!!!

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  3. I can tell that I’m really going to enjoy this month of NaNoWriMo posts from you Jo. Keep it up. The science teacher in me wants to check if you really mean ‘refract’, or should that be ‘reflect’ in paragraph one?

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    1. Thank you Georgia. Now just to settle those science teacher nerves…I meant ‘refract’…because the skulls not only reflect the light they distort it. How you ask ??? Well the top layer has thinned over time so the light passes through that then when it hits the bottom layer of skull it reflects back, passes through the thinned top layer again [hence the refraction] where the distorted light illuminates. Does that make sense.

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        1. Yes’m I am a detail freak. Right now trying to figure out just how exactly does drinking out of a Griffin claw work to heal people. Myth says it does…but I want to know how before I write it. Oh and did you know Griffin feathers are said to cure blindness ?? Even if I don’t put stuff in to The Book…I like to know how it works and looks – helps me to weave it in to the story. And you never know if you might use it later. Cause I have no idea where this story is taking me…except for a few basic details.

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          1. Is it like the tears of the Phoenix having healing properties in Harry Potter? I have to admit that I don’t know anything about Griffins so I can’t help you here. I did not even know that they have feathers. Oh well, now I know that drinking out of a Griffin claw is healing, and that their feathers cure blindness… I’ll leave it all in your capable hands Jo.

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          2. Stephen Friar’s New Dictionary of Heraldry tells that the claws have medicinal purposes. Medieval courts had goblet supposedly made from Griffin claws or eggs [actually antelope horns and ostrich eggs apparently] that were drunk out of.

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  4. His face no longer sprouting the first soft downy hairs of youth but bristled and more defined as he enters his manhood. –I love this description. Good luck Jo!

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    1. I love Zak/Zarek. He is such a character. And he causes so much trouble later…such a little brother. You know both he and Deveron follow me around. At least they used to. people thought I was nuts as I would listen to their ‘conversations’, and it happened again last night for the first time in ages. A good sign I am hoping.

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    1. I know…don’t you just love where I can go with that one Gilly. 2, 723 words and counting since 12.01 am. Loading up on black coffee…and then I have to go and repair Evijan. He just got clawed about a bit.

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  5. Great stuff. I really like your writing style. Descriptions are short and sweet. I bore easily, but this kept my attention right from the start and throughout. Looking forward to more.

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    1. Thank you Jennifer. I will put another one up tomorrow. Trying to wake myself up with coffee and fresh air. Going to drink…take Chevvy for a walk in the sun, go to the recycling centre, and then write some more. Wish me luck.

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  6. Jo this sounds one enchanting book….. wishing you well with it and with its completion…

    Thank you for dropping in…. Been busy all evening with trick and treats along with a visit from my near two year old who stayed for an hour…. which was another enchanting moment! as she was dressed in starry dress as a pumpkin LOL….

    Sending you a Hug and Happy Halloween even though I know yours has come and gone.. XXx

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    1. Thanks Sue. Sound like fun for you on Halloween. Thanks for the {hug}…needed it this morning. Just about to go take Chevvy for a walk and wake myself up. Three hours sleep is not enough.
      😉

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      1. I don’t have a link on my site yet to NaNo, but my NaNoName is frazzlegreen.

        It occurs to me that the phrasing in the first half of the previous sentence is probably (Pennsylvania) “Dutchy”. Does the syntax seem odd to you, or am I just feeling twitchy about word usage with November breathing down my neck?

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        1. I’d go with twitchy. We should become writing buddies and spur each other on to greatness !!!!!!!! Only I have no idea how to do that. The NaNoWriMo site has me very confused. Hah !!! Figured it out and just added you…hehehe
          I didn’t realise you lived in New Jersey. How are doing Sandy wise ???

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          1. I’m lucky – I’m nowhere near the Jersey shore. Sounds like the beach towns are devastated. We had no electricity for about 36 hours (some people around here still don’t, some never lost power), and we have a lot of big tree branches to pick up and dispose of (a few people lost trees; there’s a very polite one a few blocks away that managed to fall without hitting its house or a nearby fence, and without blocking the street). But on the whole, my immediate area came through it very well. “Down the shore”, though, there are whole islands cut off from the mainland (the bridges are unsafe or gone), soaked with a combination of ocean and bay water, and smothered in sand.

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  7. Well, having a smidgen of an inside perspective on this, I can say I really, really enjoyed reading this! You’re such an inspiration. It makes me want to dust off my 80 pages of the novel I tried to write and try and finish it. I don’t know as I would have the courage to post it online, as you do, and I don’t think I have enough free time to commit to NaNoWriMo, BUT…all that being said, I do feel the compulsion to revisit it again…just to see. Do you find that the story almost writes itself? I know that may sound like a strange question, but is it like it’s there, inside your head, just clamoring to get out? Anyhow, I hope to see more of Chapter One soon. And to find out more about what twists you’re going to put into the story! 😀 SO glad you are doing this!!!

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    1. Do !!! Go get those 80 pages and go for it !!! I just killed off a bunch of horse eating [and unicorns] Gryphes whose claws are magical in a healing way. And poor old Evijan is not doing too well.

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  8. I erased your summary while reading this. What I like about this, something that really tells that you’re doing well, is that you scraped off the reason why they are taking off, for good mystery, and you focused on building the main characters first.
    Kudos, Jo. More energy, more power to this! 😀

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