Getting things back on track

So, a lot of things have been going on in my life, but things are starting to slow down and click into place. So it’s time to slow down and take a good look at what’s been going on these past months.

Work

I changed jobs this year and I honestly think that’s the best decision I made in years! No more 12 hour shifts, and a lot less taking the job home with me because of too much responsibility. I’m really liking it at the new place so far, though I miss some of the people from the old one. Regulars and co-workers that I had grown close to, but it’s not like I’ll never see them. I have phone-numbers to several of them and have met a few outside of work. So it works out well. My new co-workers are good people as well, at least from what I’ve been able to tell, and I don’t think I’m wrong. All in all, this was a big step in the right direction for me, hopefully I can let go of some of the exhaustion that had become associated with work and find the fun in it again.

Driving

I’ve been working hard for some time, failing once, but finally managed to pass my driver’s test. Which means that I am officially abandoning my scooter in favor of a car, and I couldn’t be happier about it! I’ve been wanting to get rid of that headache inducing piece of shit for years, it’s never worked quite like it should. So that’s another big step in the right direction for my life, no more scooter-driving in the middle of winter! That should help keep my health more stable when it’s cold out, which is a good thing.

Writing

The first part of my Tales of Gaile series is coming along great (yes, I’m well aware that I’ve said that several times before) and the draft is currently in the hands of M for a critical read-through. It’s terrifying, but necessary and hopefully they won’t rip it into too many shreds. It’s the first time someone else is allowed to read the whole thing and not just the first chapter, so my nerves are a little frayed at the edges because of it. It’s my 7-year-old baby after all, I’m a bit protective of it.

I also really want to go back to my blogging roots, and start rambling about TV shows and things like that again. There are so many things that I’ve wanted to talk about but haven’t gotten around to, and it’s quickly piling up. I already have a few ideas of what I want to do, so it’s just a matter of actually putting it together into something readable.

All in all my life seems to be on its way of pulling itself together, something that has been badly needed for a long time. It’s been a jumbled mess for far too long, and it’s time to take back the control and find the time to do things that makes me feel good, the things that I do for my own sake and have been put on hold.

Smile

It’s the small things that betray her, if you look close enough to see it.
Eyes dulled with boredom and the slight tired strain around them.
The way they skitter around the room,
looking for a focus point and occasionally linger on the headphones on the shelf.
The way her fingers subconsciously brush against her phone in her pocket when she speaks.
She looks happy they say and she smiles and agrees, but her shoulders tense just a fraction.
She wears her smile as if it was an old loved piece of clothing, something she perfected many years ago.
It distracts and pulls the attention from what she knows would give her away.
They don’t notice, few ever does.
They allow themselves to be distracted by her smile, as she know they will.
Her mind is a million miles away, running at an uncontrollable speed.
Physical pain, mental exhaustion, irritation and boredom alike are forced into submission below the surface.
And still she smiles.

Uhm… Wow, yeah… I don’t really know what happened here to be honest. My mind does strange things while I’m at work and places things like this in my head. I kind of liked how it came together though, so I’m leaving it here for your reading pleasure.

NaNoWriMo 2015 – Day 6

I have been very lazy with this year’s NaNoWriMo and have not been able to keep to my original plan very well, so I’m making a few changes to my arrangement of this month. To start with, I will allow myself to write about any character from any story that I currently have (which adds up to a lot to be honest, keeping to one story is not my strong suit) and I will also be counting anything I write for this blog even if the posts are not finished during November. The reason for this is that I have several blog posts that I have started writing and want to get finished, but by not counting and still working on them, they take away precious writing time even though they are the things that inspire me at that moment. That being said, I will continue to post my favorite texts during this time, but it might be a bit randomly. Looking forward to see if this will help my creativity (giving it free reign tends to do that) so wish me luck!

Prompt: Do you know why bad things happen to good people?
Side Note: This is something that I was asked at work once and the question stuck with me.

Setting: Skyla

Resulting Text

“Why do things like this keep happening?” Xerto’s voice was shaking as he looked at the sight before them. “Why are things like this allowed to keep happening to good people while the bad keeps living undisturbed?”
He was not really looking for an answer, merely speaking aloud because he needed to. And he really hadn’t expected the answer that he did get.
“Good people?” There were no emotions in Zion’s voice, and when he glanced at her he was met by a completely blank face. “There are no such thing.”
He stared at her in disbelief. He could not believe that she had just said that.
“What are you saying, of course there are.”
She turned to look at him, her green eyes slightly stained with the red of her other form as she shook her head. Those eyes that had seen too much and never forgot, though she skillfully buried it most of the time.
“Apart from the very young, the infants, there is no creature alive that is free from sin,” she declared in a monotone voice. “Everyone carries them, while not all are aware. Tell me Xerto, would you consider me a good person?”
“Yes.” There was no hesitation in his answer, after all she had saved his life on more than one occasion, and fought against the ones that were terrorizing the villages. In his eyes, she was definitely a good person.

Zion let out a short laugh, but there was no amusement in it. He really was a naive guy.
“What would you say if I told you that I was only doing good deeds right now because of a whim? Or to ease the guilt from bad things I have done before in my life. It has been six thousand years after all, and I have not always been on the side of the weak people. If I told you that I have tortured and maimed, made people suffer for the mere thrill it gave. Would you still consider me a good person?”
She smirked at him, allowing the darker, more sadistic side of her to show through slightly. He had seen it before of course, but always when fighting and then usually in his defense. She could see that he was taken back by her words, but he soon gathered himself and met her eyes with determination.
“Yes,” he said again, much to her surprise. “Because no matter what you have done in the past, or what the reason is for you helping people now, the fact is that you do help people. And while good deeds might not wash away past sins, the person that you are right now, at this moment, is good.”
She couldn’t help it, she stared at him in astonishment. Because what he had just said was so ridiculous, so far-fetched, that it almost made sense. And for a moment, just a few seconds, she had almost believed him.

NaNoWriMo 2015 – Day 3

Prompt: I remembered her(him) as she(he) was, as s/h had been. The friend, the valiant one who remained by my side, and looking into her(his) eyes, I saw what I had done.

Setting: Gerria (Tales of Gaile)

Resulting Text

It was a little after midnight and Letithia couldn’t sleep. She had sneaked out of the tent that she shared with Jace and was standing on a small hill overlooking what would become a battlefield any day now. The feelings conflicted inside her, the thrill of the battle that she had learned to feel, the grief for the lives that would inevitably be lost and the fear that the ones closest to her, or herself, would not be walking away from this. It was like an electric current under her skin that she couldn’t shake off, and while she dreaded it coming she was happy that this battle would soon be over.
“Can’t sleep?”
The soft voice almost made her jump out of her skin and she turned to see Jace standing a few steps behind her with concern in his eyes.
“Don’t sneak up on me like that,” she scolded gently before smiling with resignation. “I don’t believe that I will get much sleep until this is all over.”
“I don’t think many of us will,” he agreed as he stepped up beside her. She could feel him watching her as she turned back to the field below in silence, letting her thoughts take over again.

Jace was worried about his best friend. There had been a subtle change in her over the past several months, starting with the death of her brother. Whatever it was that had bound them together from the very start made sure that they were always in close proximity of each other and he was able to pick it up when others might not. Letithia had slowly started to get used to violence and death soon after getting to Gaile, and he feared that the momentary spark of excitement that sometimes came into her eyes when she thought of the upcoming battle was a result of his initial desicion to bring her there. He looked at her now as she stood staring straight in front of her and remembered the way that she had been when they met. A girl on the run who had put her trust in a complete stranger, so very young and so very innocent. The friend that she had become, the brave and talented princess that she had grown into. Then he looked closer at her eyes, at the conflicting feelings that warred for dominance inside her head and couldn’t help but feeling sad over what his decision had made her. She was still brave and talented, still kind, protective and so very young. But the innocence that had been so obvious when she entered Niwa for the first time was gone without a trace. Since then she had been hurt, fought for her own life and others, and she had killed. And he couldn’t help but feel that it was at least partly his fault.

NaNoWriMo 2015 – Day 2

Prompt 1:
“And you expect me to trust you ?!?”

Prompt 2:
H: I trusted you.
V: Yes…that was the point.

Setting: Liora (The Clans)

Resulting Text

The man that had taken everything from her ten years ago looked down at her with something between pity and glee in his yellow eyes.
“Poor little Kayla, hurt and alone…”
“Leave me alone!” she snarled, but lacked the strength to do anything other that glare at him. She wasn’t even sure that she would be able to walk in this form, let alone fight, and that was a problem in this situation.
“Oh don’t be like that, I just wanted to talk to you a little. I have some information that I believe that you deserve to know.”
This startled her slightly. Why would he give her any information when he was clearly planning on killing her at the end of it. She had no illusions that he had suddenly changed his mind on that point, he had been hunting her for ten years after all.
“Information about that foolish boy that you travel with…”
“About Tiro?” The question escaped before she could stop herself, because she had to admit that she was curious. She knew next to nothing about her travelling companion after all. However…
“You have been hunting me for a decade,” she said, a chill in her tone. “You burned an entire village to the ground, killing every woman, child and elderly living there for the sake of finding a single child. What makes you believe that I will trust a single word coming from your mouth?”
He chuckled at that and gave her a sudden grin.
“Nothing at all my dear, but what will it hurt to hear me out? I could kill you at any moment I wished, consider it a little extra time.”
As much as she would have liked to deny his claim, she had been aware from the start that he had her at a fatal disadvantage.
“Fine. Talk. But I trust Tiro, so it will be useless.”
“Yes well… that was rather the point. You trusting him I mean.”
Her eyes narrowed.
“What do you mean?”
He gave her a pitying look.
“Did you never wonder how it was that you ran into a wolf that didn’t try to kill you on sight? One that tried very hard to become your friend and make you trust him?”
She had wondered about that, but she was not about to let him know that. It had disturbed her in the beginning of their travels together, but she had not given it any thought for quite a while.
“Tiro is one of our most promising fighters, and he was sent to find you for one purpose. To befriend you.”
“To befriend me? What purpose would that serve?”
Unease crept through her entire body now, somehow this story hit too close to home for her liking. And when he suddenly grinned at her she felt a shiver up her spine.
“Because it would be that much easier to kill you if you trusted him. You were his prey all along my dear.”
Kayla’s head was swimming, dazed memories and fragmented words kept flying through her head. Things that she had thought she heard when she was barely conscious, but had dismissed as figments of her imagination. She found herself shivering, and felt the wetness of tears escaping down her cheeks. She lowered her head to the ground, resignating herself to whatever fate were awaiting her now that the man had said his piece. She was tired of fighting, tired of running and so incredibly tired of having her reality being a lie.
She saw him change is form and prepare to attack and closed her eyes. But the attack never came. When she looked up she saw Tiro standing protectively in front of her, and suddenly her instincts kicked back in, making her edge backwards, away from the one she had considered her friend.

NaNoWriMi 2015 – Day 1

Promt: Carrying too many precious things

Setting: Skyla

Resulting Text

“Stay down!”
There was something hard in her voice, a command that didn’t allow for the protests that he had already opened his mouth to give. He closed it again and looked at the girl he thought he knew. She seemed like a completely different person from the clumsy and naive girl that he had gotten used to being around as she stared down King witout backing down.
“What are you trying to achieve by provoking me, King?”
The man smirked at her with a knowing look in his eyes.
“I want to see that naive act shatter. I want to see your true form, the one that you always keep hidden. I want to show you that you will never be able to be a normal person. But most of all I want you in ‘Crown’ where you belong!”
Xerto blinked in bewilderment. ‘Crown’? He had no idea what the man was talking about, and looked at Zion for answers. She wasn’t looking at him, her eyes were fixated on the man in front of her and for a moment he thought he saw that flicker in her eyes again. The one that made them look slightly red instead of the green they usually were.
“I don’t belong in ‘Crown’,” she snarled, “I never did and never will.”

While she didn’t show it, Zion was at a loss. If she had been alone she would have just walked away from this confrontation, but she couldn’t do that now. She cursed inwardly at whatever chance had crossed her path with Xerto’s, because having someone you wanted to keep safe made everything so much harder. And King knew that fact well, he was used to exploiting it after all. The man was laughing now as his gaze flicked to the boy on the ground behind her.
“Oh Shadowclaw, you can act tough all you like, but we both know that things are different this time. You can’t just run from me today and leave your little friend behind can you? You are carrying too much on your shoulders this time.”
She flinched at the use of her old nickname, but she didn’t waver.
“I am not running.”

NaNo Prep 2015

One World
Three Continents
Three Stories

Tales of Gaile – Flames and Illusions
The villagers of Rout believe that magic is long since extinct in Gerria. They couldn’t be more wrong. Among them is a young girl who have lived her life hiding the fact that she can use fire magic.
After a confrontation with her brother, the girl flees the village and joins up with a rag-tag group of people and creatures from all over Gerria that live and work together; Gaile.
There she learns what it means to have friends and gain a family in a way that she never had.

But not everything is smooth sailing after leaving Rout. The young Letithia Faulkner suffers from nightmares of her last night in the village for some time. Her closest friend, the Winya Jace Caitens, manage to break her depression by taking her on jobs, but life never seems to be settling down for the poor half-breed as unknown family ties are revealed and enemies appear trying to disrupt the life she’s trying to build for herself.

The Clans – Against All Odds
In a world divided in two – the Humans and the Shapeshifter Clans – Kayla finds herself belonging to neither. Being a man-made Shapeshifter with a rather peculiar gift, she is feared and despised by both sides, and all hope for living a life of peace seem futile when her grandmother’s village that had taken her in is attacked by one of the Wolf Clans.

Tiro, a young member of the Whitepaw Clan, approach the Panther-shifter he’s been ordered to kill, only to find himself completely fascinated by her. After being exposed to her gift, he starts to question his loyalty.

Overlooking the two is Miriala, a young Crow no more than ten years old, that watch as ties are bound and trust is tested to the limit. However, when she find herself accidentally pulled into the story herself things become much more complicated.

Skyla (working title)
When Xerto runs into a wounded young girl travelling alone, he can’t ignore her despite her repeated reassurances that she is fine. Having no clear goal in mind of his own he decides to keep her company on her travels, but he soon finds out why she was so adamant to keep him at a distance. Things are not always what they seem.

Zion is part of an all but extinct race; the near immortal Voxx, fox demons capable of changing their perceived form, and she is in hiding. A mercenary group known as King’s Crown are trying to force her into their ranks by any means necessary, and that being the case a friend is the very last thing she needs.

My plans for November
This year I am going to do something a little different for NaNo, because I have no idea how much time I will have to sit down and write and still want to participate. My plan is this: I am going to write exclusively from prompts and challenges, basing my writing in one of three continents of Crotanie, a fantasy world that have grown up around some of my stories. As of now I have a yWriter project looking like this:

Screenshot

and a folder where I am in the process of gathering and organizing prompts that are saved in various places on my computer. The result will be a collection of scenes, some that will be worked into their respective stories at the end of the month, and some that might never be used.

I will also attempt to post my favorite text of the day here for the duration of November, along with the prompt that inspired it. I do apologize in advance if I miss a few days along the way though.