Official NaNoWriMo 2014 Word Count

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19,513

I am ashamed I couldn’t finished but still pleasantly surprised I almost reached the half-way mark.

Until next year, NaNo…you have defeated me.

~Ivy

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Farewell NaNo 2014

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This month has been filled with more trials than I ever thought possible. Between nursing school, tests, clinicals, and family, it’s been a wonder I’ve actually gotten as far as I did. Sadly, I won’t win this year as there is no way I can go from 18,500 words to 50,000 between today and tomorrow.

But never fear! I plan on continuing to write Alchemic Maiden and hopefully finish that sometime next year. The last time I continued with a NaNo novel, I ended up finishing the first draft the following June. Granted, I actually won that year so I had less to write. I promise I’ll still upload random excerpts and the like.

Thank you followers for continuing to check my blog to see if anything new was uploaded. And to those who started following me during November, thanks! I am so sorry that I couldn’t hold up my end of the bargain.

Maybe next year when I’m done with nursing school and [hopefully] have a job, I’ll be able to write and finish a novel. This year has shown me that, while I’m still capable of working on a longer piece, my little daily writing prompts are no match for battling against the practicality of my chosen profession. Writing creatively is hard when you’re constantly faced with straight procedures and critical thinking development. I hope that continuing with Alchemic Maiden within this next year, maybe even revisiting other works, will keep my creativity flowing and make me more able to write next November.

I apologize for the long-winded post about a lot of trivial things. But I consider you my friends and I thought you might want to be informed.

Thanks again for following me and keeping up with my expanses of radio silence. Happy holiday season!

~Ivy

Syn – Alchemic Maiden

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[I am so behind with my word count, it’s insane. I’m supposed to be at 25,000 today but, sadly, I’m only at 16,787. Hopefully I can catch p this week.]

“Careful now.” He was still eating, the food in his mouth garbled his speech. “That leg wound of yours was getting nasty. You would’ve been some beast’s dinner if you let that go any more.”

Flashes of my delirious dreams made their way through the fear quickly forming inside me. I remembered my dress being lifted from my legs and hands touching me. “What did you do to me?” I whispered.

He chuckled. “I cleaned and dressed your wound. A lot better than the piece of dirty cloak you used. Did anyone ever teach you anything?” He ripped a chunk of bread from a loaf with his teeth.

My hand shanking, I slowly rolled down the blankets. Pulling my skirts out of the way, I saw that a fresh white bandage had been wrapped and tied around my thigh. I saw a small spot of red in the center, but the rest of the bandage seemed as clean as can be. Actually, my entire leg had been clean; I could find no splash of mud or speckle of dirt anywhere. What’s more, my boots had been removed and placed beside me.

A shadow obstructed both the warmth and light of the fire. I turned as the man thrust a steaming bowl at me, a spoon already within it. “Here. You need to eat.”

With the light behind him, I couldn’t see the look on his face. His words were short but the gesture was kind enough. I gladly took the bowl into my hands, loving the warmth it brought to my skin. Broth and beef overpowered my nose as I felt my stomach rumble again. I just sat there for a few moments, breathing in the smell. After a few swirls of the spoon through the broth, I brought a spoonful to my mouth to blow on before taking a bite.

Hot, savory, meaty, delicious. Before the warm broth had fully went down my throat, I gulped down another spoonful. When I first tasted the meat, I instantly knew it wasn’t beef. But whatever it was, it still tasted good.

The man laughed from his spot by the fire. “You act as though you haven’t eaten in days.”

“For all you know, I haven’t.”

When he stopped laughing, I realized too late that I had spoken my thoughts out loud.

“I know because you have food in your pack.”

I froze, the spoon filled with more broth hovering halfway between the bowl and my mouth. My gaze fell to the blanket covering my legs; the one Arven packed for me. He knew of my food, of the blanket. He must have seen the portrait, map, and dagger. Did he find the ring? The money? My jewels?

Tearing off another piece of bread with his teeth, he reached behind him and picked up another bundle of cloth and tossed it on the ground next to the fire. “You’ll be warmer over here.”

The night of the coup played over and over in my mind. Though the man calmly eating by the fire had cleaned and dressed my leg, covered me in blankets, and fed me, I felt as though he could turn and capture me at any moment. He could take me back to the castle, back to the duke and his men. Or worse. I clutched my knees into my chest at the thought of what he could do to me.

But it was chilly at the distance I sat. The blankets were keeping the chilly spring air at bay, but only just. The fire looked inviting. Red, orange, yellow, intertwining together in an eternal dance. I couldn’t tell if the man was still wearing the belt with the knives or not. He was still eating his stew, shoveling spoonful upon spoonful into his mouth. Surely he was unarmed.

My hands were shaking as I gathered a blanket and the bowl of stew into my hands. Getting to my feet proved to be less difficult than I thought it would be. Though still sore and stiff, I stood up and, after a moment of stillness as my world came back into focus, I slowly approached the fire. The man continued to eat. I felt my skin grow warmer and warmer the closer I grew to the rolled up cloth. I stopped just before it when I saw that, on the other side of the fire, the lizard from before was on top of another roll of cloth, a plate with small pieces of meat in front of him. Half of the lizard’s body was lying on the plate. It munched on the meat without a care in the world.

I sat down on the cloth the man provided for me. Dancing flames burned themselves into my eyes, but their heat thawed the ice that had been steadily growing within my body since that night. I took another bite of stew, trying to ease the trembling in my hand. My gaze flickered to the man.

He took a bite of food before offering me the loaf of bread he’d been eating. I shook my head; I couldn’t stomach the thought of eating something that had touched his mouth. At least I didn’t know what was in the soup; I could pretend it was perfectly safe to eat.

“What’s your name?” I asked him finally.

He glanced up at me before going back to his meal. “You can call me Syn.”

Chapter Three up on Wattpad!

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My dear followers,

I am still behind on words and morale, thanks to a very busy week in school. However, I plan to start slowly catching up to where I’m supposed to be starting Thursday.

In the mean time, have a gander at what our heroine is facing in the latest installment: http://www.wattpad.com/80966143-alchemic-maiden-chapter-three?d=ud !

As always, have a lovely (and warm!) day/night.

~Ivy

Old Painful Memories – Alchemic Maiden

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[An excerpt from Alchemic Maiden for all of you! I am still behind on my word count, but only by one day. I have resigned myself to the fact that I’ll most likely stay behind until Thanksgiving Break when I’ll be able to write without constantly worrying about upcoming tests, even though I’ll still be studying during that week. I should finish the next chapter soon!]

Step. Drag. Step. Drag. My good leg was son beginning to send waves of soreness and pain rushing to my spine.
Step. Drag. Step. Drag. Every time my body screamed at me to stop, I thought of Arven fending off the horde of guards and heard his scream echo inside my head. Step. Drag. Step. Drag.

Oddly enough, the woods had a sort of beauty I never truly expected. It was entirely different than the bright colors and lovely discrete fragrances. Only once did I accompany my Father on a hunt in the woods immediately beyond the walls. I remember hours of sitting on a horse on the rough saddle, wishing I could just get back to the palace and sit in front of a fire, playing chess with my Mother or reading a book. I paid no attention to the rustle of the wind through the branches or the unique woodsy smell in the air—something between the natural aroma of wind mixed with spices and pine needles. I remember being cold and bored, wishing I had never asked to join the hunt. All I did was sit on my horse and follow the dogs; I wasn’t even allowed to actually kill any of the animals we were chasing.

“How many creatures do we have to slaughter to have a successful hunt?” I had asked my father after he added another hare to his growing array hanging on a string on his red embroidered saddle.

He laughed at me. “Not one for the hunt, my dear?”

I had shook my head. Arven and Fage were ahead of us, intimately involved with whatever beast’s scent the dogs caught and followed. Father was more along for the ride and as a symbol than an actual participant. “It is cold and I’m growing hungry.”

“Traditionally, the hunt does not cease until a boar is caught and killed. But worry not, I believe the dogs are on the trail as we speak.”

I remember being joyous at the thought of not spending another moment in the woods.
But now, with no fire to return to and no one to play chess with or book to read, I finally realized just how magnificent the woods could be. Every sound seemed to have a purpose as it echoed off of the blooming trees and the peeling shades of bark. The smell I remembered was more complex with several undertones of indescribable pleasantries. The wind was alive, is touch caressing and caring for me instead of the harsh nonliving being I remembered. Even the muted colors that surrounded me, colors that I knew would brighten and expand in the coming months told of the variety of life that constituted every single day within the wood. Thinking about the resilience of nature, even after all the trees we cut down for wood and shelter, after all the spaces we claimed as our own, inspired hope within me and helped me to continue walking.

Step. Drag. Step. Drag. What I wouldn’t give for a hard horse’s saddle now. Step. Drag. Step. Drag.

Prompt for November 8: Four Lines of Prose about Something that is Miniature

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[Prompt from http://daily-writing.blogspot.com/ . Surprise! this is also from Alchemic Maiden. I hate to say that I’ve fallen behind again on my word count.]

The small pale orange creature just sat on his shoulder, one splayed hand gripping the cloth if his shirt while the other was holding onto the skin of his neck. It had these small brown stripes running from its head, I would imagine, all the way down to its tail. The same hue of brown colored its eyes; eyes that were far too big for its small, arrowheaded face but stared straight at me with its mouth opened wide just the same.

I couldn’t tell if the man acknowledged the creature on his shoulder or not.

Injured – Alchemic Maiden

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[Excerpt from chapter three. I have written 10,121 words now! We shall see how long I stay caught up, though. I have two tests next week that I should start studying for.]

My legs were lead, heavier than ten swords, as I stood to gather my bearings. The woods looked exactly the same no matter which way I turned. Even though I collapsed during the night, I was pretty sure the tree had been in front of my path. Continuing past it should keep me from backtracking towards the castle. I took a step and cried out in pain, buckling knees dropping me to the floor.

My thigh was on fire. The slightest pressure was like being slashed over and over with a hot knife. I glanced around me—mocking myself as I did so since I doubted anyone would be aimlessly walking in the woods—before rolling up my dress.

There, on the inside of my thigh snaking around towards the back, was an angry thick red line. A yellow-pink liquid oozed from the center and it was hot to the touch. Those pointed gate pickets. I never understood why the gardeners took such care protecting that damned statue anyway. No one was going to go through the trouble of mastering the maze to steal the Clotairene seal etched into marble. The castle was full of more valuable items for the itchy palmed.

That was all I needed: a leg wound impeding me from reaching my goal. I cursed under my breath then blushed at my rudeness. Never would I have been able to express such foul language at Court. Rebelling in such a slight way, throwing decency to the wind after my life had been wrecked beyond the point of recognition, lifted the weight constricting my chest. I cursed again then giggled. I cured louder and laughed. After all that befell my family, all I received was a leg wound?

Laughter racked my body and I feel back against the tree. I knew it wasn’t funny—nothing that had happened would ever be funny—but I couldn’t stop myself. I continued to laugh until my sides hurt and I could no longer breathe. When finally everything around me solidified, sadness once again overtook me. With it came cold, hard determination. Nothing, not even a leg wound, would stop me.