You know what they say – if at first you don’t succeed…don’t try parachuting. ANYWAY – this November, the nonprofit Office of Letters and Light will be bringing together the most mighty of endurance novelists for an event that will define our generation forever.
I’m speaking, of course, of National Novel Writing Month. It’s a global writing challenge in which participants spend November (and portions of our sanity!) writing a 50,000-word book in just 30 days.
I will be among the participating authors this year. In addition to my writerly duties, I’m raising money to help the Office of Letters and Light continue to put on free creative writing programs for kids and adults in classrooms, communities, and libraries around the world.
Every dollar I raise will keep my spirits high as I write my way towards the realization of my creative goals. More importantly, any contributions will help National Novel Writing Month and its Young Writers Program create a more engaged and inspiring world. If you feel so inclined you can sponsor me here: SponsorMe
Still 50,000 words in 30 days, is 50,000 words in 30 days….let’s see how how we go
before the world had been civilised and magick still worked, there stood a castle where the velvet sky met the crystal sea. Ligia appeared to float in the sky, a glimmering beacon to travelers who passed by on their way to the ends of the earth where it was said the Lady of the Underworld could tell them all they desired to know.
The spires of Ligia rose so high they seemed capped by the stars themselves. At all times a thousand candle flames flickered along the rampants and the drawbridge was left open, waiting. Travelers who stopped to rest and take food would speak of roaring fires before which waited deep tubs of boiling water to warm weary bones. Satin pillows on which to rest aching heads. Plates of food filled with herbs and spices, fruits and nuts – all to be washed down with warm, honeyed wine and ale.
And of Avalbane who met them and welcomed them. She stood tall and proud as befitted the princess of Ligia. When she was in the castle, Avalbane wore a simple sheath of blue, tied at the waist with silver hemp. Though it fell to the floor and showed no flesh other than her face, neck and hands, still it showed everything. Round, firm breasts above a slender waist and hips. Long lithe legs that strode with purpose.
Her hair, the colour of a pale autumn moon tumbled across her shoulders and seemed to whisper when she moved. But it was her eyes that left many a traveler tongue tied when she smiled. Glittering onyx, they would flash equally should she laugh or scold. The former would invariably cause her audience – man and woman – to fall in love on the spot with her ethereal presence. Scolding made them wonder if they had not already found the Lady of the Underworld, their own eyes would dart from Avalbane’s eyes to her back, and they would pull their cloaks around them with a shiver .
For from her back, grew Avalbane’s true faery legacy – a set of wings of the finest black gossamer grew there. The top pair towered over the princess while the lower pair brushed her hem. When she moved they brushed against walls and ceilings alike with a sound not unlike that of a cat’s paw padding through snow. When she stood to take leave of guests, Avalbane would wrap the wings around her body like a silk cloak before bowing and stepping backward out of the room
They need not have feared – Avalbane bore no ill harm to any being. Any scolding bestowed was in the manner of a mother forced to be cruel to be kind and with the hopes her listener would take heed of their own ill made choices. She lived a solitary life, punctuated with the visits of travelers seeking the Lady. Although she was always pleased to welcome visitors and she considered the housekeeper and grounds-keeper to be as close as family, she was lonely. The rest of her family had long passed to the Underworld and she had never found a mate, so she was alone. There were stories of other Winged Ones but Avalbane had never encountered any and had long ago decided they were simply that: stories.
So she spent her days working her herb gardens and blending her ales and wines. Her evenings, when there were no travelers to feed or entertain, she spent before her loom weaving or filling pages in The Book with her gentle, flowing script.
Loneliness was a constant companion, dogging her steps by day and gnawing at her by night.
© Angelique Jurd 2010