Day 6 of NaNoWriMo

Well you may be asking how it is all going.

I had to take the weekend off to wizz up to Auckland…which provided lots of photo taking opportunities. It also provided a chance to get dressed up. Gilly tells me I should make the following photo my gravatar – instead of [as she very politely puts it] hiding behind the camera.

When I mentioned I didn’t like my ‘scrunched up eyes’ she let go of polite with a resounding ‘STOP IT !!!!’. We all have it though…that one feature we don’t really like about ourselves. Well, mine is my eyes. It’s hard to smile and stretch your eyes open at the same time. Believe me I know. Ah well…could be worse. I might have to tuck my boobs in to my belt…oh wait…I do !!!

Shit !!!

I even wore make-up and heels. I ate, I drank, I danced, and I met lots of fabulously fun people.

I arrived home shattered. So yesterday I got back in to it. I have some very pissed off horses at the moment. They recently told Wraith just how pissed they were about being taken in to Gryphe territory as Gryphes love horses…to eat. Wraith wasn’t to happy about it either, being a cousin of the horse.

And so…Scenes II  & III of Chapter I are here for your thoughts. And please…no matter how you think I sound when I reply to comments…I DO WANT your thoughts. If you don’t like something/don’t get it/think it’s shit…say so. I am more than happy to take on board what you say.

A wonderful tutor once told me: “If your readers aren’t getting it, it has nothing to do with them. It is all about you not writing it so that they can ‘GET IT’, so rewrite it until they do the first time they read it…or you’ve lost them forever.” Very wise man my tutor !!!


Read on…

“Stop,” I murmur, as we reach the first rise outside the City. Wraith halts and I turn back.

“Brother?” Zak pulls up beside me.

“Is it not a wonder?” I ask. As the gates draw close the city shimmers, moonbeams bouncing off the rooftops back into the air above.

“He does this each time we leave.” Evijan is laughing. “Your brother would have us believe that he possesses no tender traits, and yet I see a softness in his eyes every time we farewell the Elusive City.” As we watch, the city fades until there is no trace of it under the night sky.

“Evijan.” My thoughts are of the missing Stone. “Only one of the Opinouwi can open the City. Whoever took the Stone had help to enter. From one of us.”

“Runolf will discover those responsible,” Evijan replies. “And punish them, while we shall recover it and return it to the Citadel.”

“If they knew who was to track them…they would not have been so foolish,” Zak sounds younger than he looks. His pale blonde hair hangs loose about his shoulders, and his eyes, so like our mother’s, have not been marked with misfortune or sin.

# # #

Silent, I urge Wraith on. It feels good to be out of the city. With the moon out, I no longer need to rely on Wraith to pick a path, and I push him hard. His body relaxes as he hits his stride.

Hold on Deveron, he tells me. We ride hard for many miles and reach the forest before light. I call a halt when we pass the first trees.

Evijan slides to the ground immediately and begins to search. He is an accomplished seeker; I know without him we would waste valuable time. He waves to Zak to join him, and quietly begins to speak as he points to traces only he can see.

“Here,” he says to Zak kneeling beside him.

“I see nothing, old man,” Zak teases.

“Look,” Evijan runs his hand over the ground. “The dust flows back toward the clearing, something has passed over in haste.” He turns to lay his ear upon the earth, and holds up a finger to silence Zak. “There are five of them. No six, two are riding the same beast.” He looks up at me. “They ride toward the Devil’s Den.”

“Then we must prepare.”

I do not like this Deveron. The Devil’s Den can drive men to madness. Some of your men…I do not know if they can make it through.

 I know Wraith.

“Are the stories true?” Zak looks from Evijan to me.

“No brother, they do not begin to tell of the malevolence that lives there.”

“I thought they were just tales, told to scare children,” he swings back on to his mount. “What must we do then, to prepare? Deveron?”

“We shall need to hunt while we are in the forest.” I look about. “If we do not touch the food stores, perhaps we shall have enough to get us through.”

We must find the Phoenix King Deveron.

I look up at Wraith’s words. It will mean a detour that will delay us, but I know he is right. Hidden deep in the forest there rises a solitary peak.

“But first, we must make our way to Fire-Bird Mountain. Come.”

Find us a way there Wraith. The quickest way please.


Word Count: 8596…which means I need to catch up.

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  1. I just want to add an aside to this one. In my post: The short story that morphed in to a novel, Jennifer at writecites was wonderful enought to comment and critique part of it. In my answer to her I did not make it clear that I agreed with what she said [I forgot to add that part] in my reply. Jennifer was lovely and actually apologised to me for her comment. I was horrified that by not making myself clear I may have given her the impression that I didn’t like her opinion. It made me realise just how careful I need to be when communicating via the written word. I am so glad that she did leave a comment…just sad that she had to. Luckily she is a very gracious lady and she accepted both my apology and my explanation.
    I hope that in the future I am more careful with my replies to all your comments. I value them and your opinion and if ever I make you feel otherwise I hope you will make it clear to me. I learned [or actually was reminded] how easy it is to miscommunicate via the written word what we actually intend to say. A very good lesson for a wanna be writer.


  2. It is a nice photo, Jo – the beach in the background seems just right for you, too. Now – on to NaNo. I really like the idea of the Elusive City that fades out of sight as you look at it. And the interaction between the three young men(? I’m not sure how old Zak is) is well handled. Evijian is one of those determined optimists, isn’t he? Somehow I suspect that Deveron’s more cautious point of view is going to turn out to be right.

    And you gave me another one of those “Oh damn this is a HUGE world, isn’t it” moments when you pointed out that it’s day 6 of NaNo – because I still have more than nine hours left of November 5! (And a good thing. I’ve been zipping along for the first four days, but I’m now heading into a tricky couple of scenes in which everybody is trying to con everybody else, and even with my inner editor carefully squelched and gagged and stuck in a corner, it’s slow going.)


    1. It was taken at the top of the hill we had to climb up before climbing down again to get to the wedding. In heels no less…hehehehe
      Zak is quite young compared to Deveron who is 233 years old. I want to wait to see what happens before I define exactly how young he is. Probably around 150 I think…taking in to account he was a youngster when the Troubles happened and their mother was killed. I hat tricky scenes. I had one that lasted for months. Luckily NaNoWri Mo got me through…though I hate reading it…it sounds like a load of rubbish when I read it back.
      My inner editor is terrible…that is one of the main reasons for doing NaNoWriMo…to stop myself from editing as I go and finish it first. I’m heading for a love scene…first love…no idea how I will do that one.


  3. Great photo. I did Nano in 2010 and made it. Life has made it impossible since but I’m definitely in for 2013. Go for it and enjoy!


    1. NEVER !!!!!
      It’s not in my spam filter either. Just checked…WP is doing weird things with me today…actually so is the computer. Lost WriteWay completely this morning and another program is half there/half not…then when I posted this post there was no place for comments at first. I need to go back to bed and start again… or drink stronger coffee ???


    1. A face that’s been lived in…hehehe
      Computer hassles ALL DAY !!!! Still trying to sort it out. Some things work…some not. Having trouble getting the things I had set up for the novel to work again……grrrrrrrrrrr


  4. I LIKE this picture of you very much! And I am really glad you listened and are using it as your Gravatar image. 🙂 I’m also proud of you for keeping your nose to the grindstone on the NaNoWriMo. Keep it up!


    1. Spent the day trying to get the computer to actually work. Grrrrrrr…just replying to this takes 10 minutes. Can’t get the novel up anymore…no panic. I did save it on an external hard drive but much more of this and the laptop [number 2] will learn to fly…


        1. No what I need is MONEY !!!! To but an Apple Mac and then all my problems would be solved.
          I wonder if anyone would buy one of the kiddywinkles ??? Probably not – more likely to demand money to take them.



    1. Haha…I was just visiting your blog. Came back to find you’d been on mine.
      I did have a wonderful trip. After the wedding I spent the morning wandering around parts of Auckland…snapping away and made a few stops on the way home. And I had so much fun taking wedding snaps. Though I was a little envious of the pro photographer. Had to take mine from my seat when all I wanted to do was jump up and change angles etc.


  5. I see a happy smile and two clever eyes! A familiar, friendly face, and that is what beauty is all about! 🙂
    The story definitely makes you want more! Good job! 😀 😀 😀


    1. You are so sweet. I will admit it is growing on me slowly.
      I love that you want more of the story. You just made my morning all blue and sunshiny with that comment Ioanna.
      Thank you !!!!!


    1. It so was. I don’t often go away. Chevvy doesn’t do well in a kennel [she frets], so I have to do a fair bit of organising to leave the home for any length of time. But this was just a great getaway. I roamed the North Shore of Auckland on the Sunday morning the drove home stopping to snap a few shots and it was all very relaxed.


  6. Love the scrunchy eyes! But I know what you mean, I have the smallest eyes in our family and my mother would keep reminding me to smile less for photographs 😀 I often wish I had my sisters saucer eyes, but I haven’t stopped smiling!
    For some reason the first passage about the Elusive City conjured up an image of Machu Picchu, although there are no rooftops to speak of!


    1. Oh no !!! Never stop smiling Madhu. You have a gorgeous smile, just gorgeous and you shine when you smile in photos. Funny…Machu Picchu…I was just telling Adinparadise that I would find it hard to leave MP…they would have to drag me out with my heels leaving a trench as they did.


  7. I really love this story, glad you’re making progress and allowing us to share time with all the characters.
    Absolutely love the photo. When you smile enough it crinkles your eyes shut a bit, it means you’ve got that smile thing down pat. You own that smile girl, be proud of it! 🙂


  8. I noticed the new gravatar the other day and loved it. Nice job. I’m hopeless when it comes to taking pictures. I either look severely depressed or insanely happy. And I can never keep my eyes open. It has become a joke in the family. Congrats on the word count!


      1. It makes complete sense to me…I feel the same. I always feel so uncomfortable in my own skin when there’s a camera around and that’s not my normal feeling in life. And if you get a video camera out–I freeze completely. Acting is not in my future.


  9. Loving following your story I look forward to your new posts. I really like to see the person I am following in the gravatar it makes the site more personal. Great hilltop shot. Is that One Tree Hill? Hope you post some of the Auckland photos it will be a trip down memory lane for me. Used to live in Takapuna, well actually it was Hauraki Corner half way to Devonport…


    1. I’m so glad you like it PP. I stayed in Takapuna on Saturday night. My son and his girlfriend live there…right on Lake Road. It made me realise just how quiet it is at night here in Katikati. I wandered around the next morning in Devonport and also spent some time in St Paul’s [Takapuna] taking some photos. No it wasn’t One Tree Hill. It was at a place called ‘Lover’s Cove’, we went there from Narrow Neck Beach where we went back to the yacht club to have the reception.


    1. It is actually harder going than I imagined. All I want to do is go over it and fix all the mistakes. I am such an editor…these excerpts are from a chapter I wrote a while ago. Then i got the dreaded ‘writers block’, so hoping NaNoWriMo will loosen that up.


  10. First of all, Gilly’s recommendations are always on point!!! I love her for it. I always listen to her whenever she says something. Glad you did as well.
    I like this one for the conversations, and the fact that it really is building up. But, … hihihihi … the descriptions are lacking this time. On your summary, while the whole is great, the tiny details were your strength. It gradually loses in each chapter. Sorry to say it esp. I know my criticism is way late.


    1. Never be sorry for critique. It is what is needed. I know that there is a lot of work to do yet on this so I open to any and all suggestions to make it better for the reader.



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