Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Psychology of an Antagonist

Cena Thawien
, a character study
A look at the mind and heart of a character who does the faerie people great evil.

Fleure, the year of The Ducissa, late summer

How I abhor to write those words, to press onto this page the proof of my failure. I, with skills unheard of among my people, with a presence and a power that warrants great influence, yet is ignored. How I planned for it… so carefully, so methodically. Finfaree would be Ducissa, and soon after that, Queen, and I, behind her, would hold control over Fleure. I would have the position that belongs to me. Yes, I would stand behind my daughter, and little would be said of me, little notice made. But I would have that power. I would have control. The world around me would follow the path I laid out for them.
Wandrian, with its subtle way of pulling at a faerie, making them lose their logic, their entire being abandoned to something they can never physically see, would lose its hold on the faeries of Fleure. Those who had not the mind skills needed to survive in this world, would be put away, out of sight, doing something useful while those who are better than them carried their own lives, unhindered by the old or the young or the feeble, and those captured by wandrian would be destroyed, for they are lost forever.

There are few who are strong enough, strong in their minds the way I am. They would live in a world of their own. And
wandrian, wandrian would be abolished.

What a glorious day that would be!

But… I have failed. How long I thought about this plan! How long I labored over its completion, knowing I should succeed, knowing what was meant to be mine would be mine. But no…
Wandrian, oh great enemy of mine, has obstructed my way. It has captured my daughters, one at a time, quickly with Jaaline, capturing her so fully I no longer know her as mine. She is caught, like the rest of faerie, lost forever.

With Finfaree it was slow. I thought she was safe, thought she would be like Eiswin, following my lead, comfortable to do what I wanted, safe under my guidance, serving me all her days. She was doing just what I told her. She was following the path I’d suggested to her. But, it was on that path, oh clever wandrian! The strange, deceiving spirit behind wandrian, he thrust a stone in Finfaree’s path. She carried out her mission, and quenched Jaaline, who stood in her way. But it was in that very quenching, in seeing Jaaline -how innocent wandrian made her look!- nearly dead upon the grass, that the careful shield I was building around Finfaree’s heart was shattered, the pieces spread across the floor of her soul.

In that one moment! So many long days, under the passing of so many slow moons, have I worked to build that wall. And in the falling of one moment, it broke.

I cannot be so frail. My work cannot be so easily broken. I must plan, harder, harder. I will succeed! What is life if I am trampled by my enemies, day in and day out?
Wandrian has made the world my enemy.

Fleure, the year of the Ducissa, late summer

I can hardly put pen to paper.

She has banished me.

The queen.

It was Jaaline who told her, because only Jaaline knew, and only Jaaline bears enough
wandrian to see. She, filled with the power of my enemy, told the Queen, told her that it was my plan, told her it was I who pushed Finfaree to do what she did.

Jaaline. I shall hate her forever. How easily she laid the shame of my failure before all my enemies. The people of Fleure, assembled, hearing my plans, seeing my wrath, watching me banished from their land.

I shall not stand for this.

I shall not.

But she was weakening. She was afraid. No matter how hard she pushed herself away from it. She was still afraid. Wandrian was a formidable enemy, one she could not easily defeat. One who stood in her way time and time again.

And, somehow, in the back of her mind, the memories of her childhood returned, the memories of her own searching, of her heart that pushed for something she was afraid to reach. And there, in the memory, was the remembrance of a peace, an exploding peace, that had filled her up so fully she felt she could not live without it.

She pushed the memories away. She knew they were only the lies of wandrian. She would push them away all of her life. They would ever crowd her, as they crowded the rest of the world, but she would fight them. If no one else did, she would, and she would be strong, while the rest of the world moved, captured and abandoned to something they would never be able to define. She knew. She had been caught, wrapped up in the deceptive joy of it, until death had struck close to her, too close, and she had dropped her joy. Wandrian had deceived her, had kept her away, had clouded her mind. She could of been there. She could have been standing beside him, working beside him. She could have pushed him aside, stopped the boulder that came crashing through the roof of his small home and spilled death over the man she had sewn her heart around.

But she was not there. She was lost in wandrian, planning for the future, watching the sky, entranced by the mountain slopes so few had ever traveled. She would travel there, would touch the sky.

But not now. Those slopes had killed him. Those slopes, that wandrian had made her love… She hated them now. Hated them with a vengeance, and hated the thing that had drawn her to them.


Monday, November 9, 2009

It Was the Dawn of a New Day

I have begun revisions on Part Two... and thus the journey continues.

It was the dawn of a new day, the embarking on of a new journey, the turning of a new page, the beginning of a new story. It was a turning point, a shifting of focus, and every creature across Erthe felt it.

Cena, in her hurried and bewildered steps, confused by the sudden breaking of her power, crossing the shifting, tawny desert, Eiswin following without a word... FayaLyn, beginning her new life with ardor and hope, pushing ahead to succeed in the duty laid before her... Faree, none knew where, trapped in a world of her own making, knowing the sorrow she’d left behind her, knowing Jaaline could hardly see for the tears that brushed across her vision, sitting alone in an empty home.

And, walking among them, two souls moved nearer each other, a girl trembling with restless expectation, and a young man, moving ahead to pursue his purpose, straining to follow the voice in his heart through the dim of a journey so newly begun.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Edge of Despair

She stood before them, pale, bent with sorrow, nearly speechless before the anguish that spread its heavy layers through them all. She, the Queen of Faeries, and the Lady of Fleure, unable to shield her broken heart from the eyes of her assembled people. They all sat waiting, the young and old, pained, saddened, frightened, and their Queen’s aging hands hung, trembling, within the drapery of her grey gown. She closed her eyes, blinking at their dryness, the ache of drought in her soul. Then she raised her face, and met her people’s gaze.

“There is no greater pain to me, as your Lady and your Queen, than to see such pain in the faces of my people. Truly, our purpose here is worthy of great sorrow, and greater mourning, but does it steal all the light from your eyes? Tell me not that my people have lost their hope, have forgotten their joy beneath the sorrow laid on them. Tell me not that we cannot rise again. A broken heart may awaken the dawn, if they awaken their soul to Heaven’s hope. We must not lose our hope. It is our greatest gift.”

She stopped, lowering her hands that she had, unknowingly, lifted, like grey willow branches, flailing against the onslaught of winter.

“But we have not come here to rejoice, nor to mourn, but to pass judgement. The sorrow fallen on us had a beginning, a seed planted here among us, raised up among us, and never noticed, till it has borne fruit, and shaken us all with its suddenness.”

She felt her throat go taut, her voice stolen from her. Silence hung in smothering folds over the faeries. The sylph who had done them so much ill must be tried and must be punished.

So the queen nodded her head and Sablan, standing at the far doorway of the Circele, nodded back. He retreated, and for a moment was lost from sight, till he reappeared again, two young guards following him. Between them stood a thin creature, a pale sylph robed in black.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Before and After

I've been moving on, which often means re-reading old writing, sorting it with the new, making a whole out of all the parts. Sometimes it's rather discouraging! Much of my old writing, I am, honestly, not proud of. Shall I show you? I'd like to hear your take on it. Here are two of the same segments, the original piece, and the new and improved one.

The Original grammar left as is...

“Elena! Elena! Wake up!” An elderly fairy with soft, silvery white hair and clear gray eyes, bent over the dreaming younger fairy, shaking her gently.
“Mother.” Elena smiled up at her mother.
She stepped lightly from her bed of soft crimson rose petals. Her bed seemed to float on a wide daisy. She gazed round her at the world. It was all she’d ever known; this meadow of sweet scented blooms.
“Mother,” she repeated, “Thank you for waking me so early.”
She kissed her mother sweetly on her fair, pink cheek, and flew quickly to the ground.

Years Later... that is, the newer piece of writing

Morning had lifted the golden sun high in the sky, where its golden rays dispersed the last feeble light of the moon and scattered yellow brightness over the blue vault. Beneath its glorious awakening, the meadows of Fleure glittered with lingering dew, sending sparks of moisture, laughing, into the air. A slight breeze sent the heads of the flowers dancing like bright headed children, and the faerie folk of Fleure began to wake.

The sun bent her golden head over a young faerie girl whose own bright head reflected the sun’s beauty. There was a voice murmuring in the morning air. The sleeper’s name seemed to drift towards her with the breeze. “Elina. Elina.”
Someone was bending over her, someone whose own face showed the mirror of the girl’s, someone, a woman, the queen of faeries and the lady of Fleure, Lilac Elinora Innis.

She stood over her daughter, her stately shoulders bent in weariness. Queen’s shoulders they were, bent with weight, yet firm beneath it, and a thin gold band lay nestled in the soft drifts of misty brown hair piled upon her head. Her eyes were a clear gray, like an unbroken dawn, with soft little glints of blue that flew in them. But their sparkle burned dimly, masked by the white paleness of her countenance.
Elina lifted her head, brushing her yellow hair away from her eyes.
“Good morning, Mother.”

“Did you sleep well darling?” Her voice was soft, but strong; strong with a gentle strength.

The new one goes for much longer, as I enlarged upon the plot quite a bit, but this gives you an idea of what I do all day. :)


P.S. Erghh... the new one's a trifle old as well, and I honestly don't like it! *growls petulantly*

Friday, July 24, 2009

Lilac Innis, Queen of Faeries

Thinking... longing... aching...
Wanting to write, ever so.

So I shall, and someday soon I shall share more of the story that captures my heart night and day. For now, here is a little piece of the book that expresses the character of the queen of faeries.

Lilac bent over a book bound in brown bark, tracing the gold letters on its smooth surface as she had done so many times before. They stood, smooth and stern, against their background, telling what lay between the pages of the book they rested on. “Words”, and then their author, Boran Innis. She lifted the cover, her eyes darting, without forethought, to the last words on the first page.

“We whisper of love but we cannot find it.

We whisper of hope, but it never comes.

Age is stalking us, we who are so young,

And death waits at the door, ignoring the slowness of time,

Ignoring our youth, determined to bring darkness.

And so, someone else must fill the places we leave empty.

Someone else must defeat the darkness that we cannot.”

They were her bîndan’s words, the knowledge that came to him in his despair, he whom she had bound herself too, he whose sapphire bînd she still wore. He had feared the darkness coming, the attack of the lizards they knew would come, and he had known they were not to end it.

He had gone out, with the bravest of the faerie warriors, to fight the black lizards on the borders of the desert. And he had died there, her dear Boran. He whom his people had loved, he who gave himself for the future of those only just birthed into the world.

But now they too were dying. The young wandrian, departing their homeland to search out the truths that lay waiting for them, were torn from their mission by cruel death. All their hopes, and all the hopes of their people taken with them, were crushed beneath the blows of the enemy. Tragin… He had been such a handsome boy, his father’s pride. Now he was dead. She could not bear it. And her dearest Eline, would she too die so horribly?

The queen bent her silver-brown head, her thin eyelids closing over her troubled eyes. She was a weary woman. Her body felt the strain of the growing years. Though her heart still bloomed with new strength, she could not bear all of this weight. She must do as Boran would have done. Someone else must fill the places we leave empty.

It was time then. She must choose a ducissa. She was not old, barely into her middle seasons, but the time would come soon when her mind could no longer bear the strain of two crowns. There must be someone to care for the people of Fleure when that day should dawn, a girl to inspire and unite them, to bless them with her wisdom, and stir them with her love for her people.

Queen Lilac rose and slipped from the room.


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

What My World Looks Like

Charting out the plotline... confusing, heavy brainwork. Fun? Yes! When everything flows, that is.



FayaLyn awakes, readying herself for the meeting, whilst Finfaree does the same.

The girls are spoken to, and FayaLyn comes last, evening

Aldwin, painting as dusk falls, and Ision approaches

Ision reaches Esallan and meets Aldwin

Elina tells her mother that she will soon depart

Ision lies awake in the Esallan paleis, thinking of his future, and of Elin

When walls suddenly rise up in the way, it is otherwise. All in all, it is, despite the strain of brain muscles, ever so rewarding. I'd share more, only this table is very revealing. Move forward just a little bit, and the story will show itself, much too much.

Until we meet again,


Thursday, July 2, 2009

Moving On

It is uplifting
But at the same time

It is crammed with breathless joy
But at the same time

Moving forward in revising
Touches my hope for the future
But confuses me with the
largeness of the task.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Introducing Ision...

Ision is a special new character, who, though I've only just met him, is growing closer and closer to my heart...

A wandrian was pushing weary feet over the borders of Fleure.  Just behind him the heavy cluster of trees marking the edge of the Dark Wood lay silent against the backdrop of a rising sun.  Ision Fervere Vae watched the dawn lift rosy hued blooms into the grey sky, the explosion of color and light like a quivering mirror of the meadow below.  His brown eyes turned from the flush on the horizon to the dew-drenched grasses that stood about him, the tips of the green blades rising far above his head.  

His wandrian was drawing near its close.  He could feel it, though his weary journey had as yet brought him no peace.  Fleure, with her green walled houses and her fields of rampant color, stood before him, awaiting his judgement.  Would he find his einde here?  He felt he would not.  His wandrian had been coupled with a quest, a quest his heart knew could not be fulfilled until he had traversed every stretch of land in the boundaries of Erthe.  There were places beyond Fleure, and somehow, despite the touch of the sun on his cheek and the moist grass that shaded his face, cooling his weary limbs, he knew he must find his einde beyond the far borders of Fleure.

He stood now, at the far western edge of Fleure, where the ground sloped into a rocky point, and the sea frothed about it on two sides.  He had come from the Dark Wood only hours before, and spread his wings westward, wanting to begin his discovering of Fleure from its farthest edge.  He blinked in the glare of sun on sea, his eyes drifting across the green grass and the fierce crimson of the flowers that bordered it, and back to the yellow of the desert sand that had blown from the Ankrudst to speckle the earthy cliff grass.  

Something caught his eye, a dark shape within the glimmer of the morning.  The sun flickered over it, and caught the glitter of faerie wings.  Ision’s back turned from Fleure and his body pushed resolutely forward.  His muscles had grown tight, his hands hanging unconsciously limp at his sides.  The dark shape before him began to grow clearer in outline, and Ision slowed, his jaw tensed.  

It was a faerie, lying with his face upward, his arms and legs splayed about him, his young shape painted with crimson.  Ision knelt, but his hands stayed at his sides.  The faerie was dead, his body hardly distinguishable beneath the mass of blood and mangled flesh he had become.  It was lizard’s work.  Ision felt his body quivering at the sight of it.  His limbs had grown numb, but his chest felt terribly cold.  The  dark, jagged lines of the dead faerie’s wounds tore at his memory.

The pain had shook him, ripping his breath away.  The lizard’s eyes, like glowing embers in his dark face, flushed with the glory of the pain he was inflicting.  He pulled his tail back, and thrust it forward to throw again at his victim.  

Ision shook the thoughts away.  That time in his life was over and gone.  He needn’t think of it.  His eyes turned again to the broken body before him.  This faerie had fought the same as he had.  He mustn’t lay here, his sacrifice degraded because it was undiscovered.  Ision slid his wandrian cloak from his shoulders, and bent to lift the body onto it.  He pulled the corners of the cloak together, and slid them across his body, the burden weightless on his strong shoulders. Then he turned again toward Fleure.


Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Here is the prologue....  Though I will not be posting the whole book on this blog, the prologue summarizes my faerie world, and will helping in comprehending any other excerpts I may share.  Enjoy!  
Note: I have added a widget to the sidebar in which I will record the amount of words I write each day.  

Without further ado...

Wandrian;  A fairy who leaves his home to wander in search of his heart; a wanderer.

Origin:  Old English for wandering or wander.

In the beginning of time, Erthe lay unpopulated.  Not until many seasons had been spent did a race of people come, from the far east, to make their home on Erthe’s mountainous eastern border.  They were the faeries, small, slimly built creatures who stood no higher than the short grass that blanketed the mountainside. They raised graceful structures about the base of the mountain and carved rooms from the dark stone, etching their existence into the virgin land.  Time passed with its gentle rapidity of motion until the faeries had become as much a part of Erthe as the ground they lived on.

But the years had not passed in emptiness.  While the faeries had built their lives into Erthe, other creatures had begun to slip onto the land’s welcoming shores.  It was then that the black lizards found their way to the western coastline, lizards with heavy, powerful bodies, seven times the size of the faeries, and possessed of a curious longevity.  They settled in the black dunes on the seaward side of the Ankrudst desert, guided by Hatto Duno, their darkly reticent leader.  

This is where faerie lore begins its descent into faerie history, where true happenings become only legend and new events became fact.  From the beginning of faerie history, the faeries have lived beneath the shadow of their enemy, the black lizard, Hatto Duno, whose heavy power has lain over them in an unceasing monotony, like the clouds that cover the sun before a rainstorm and hang in the air, breathless.  He has grappled with the faeries since the day he discovered them, bitter and relentless, beating and breaking the race of people whose souls are so unbending.  

His first great battle against them was waged when their greatest of kings, Aldwin the Great, was ruling over them.  It was Aldwin who wielded his sword with the fury and impenetrable force that pushed Hatto Duno back to his hills.  It was he who united the faeries in the hope of victory and showed them the determination that has never left them.  But history has not continued itself, and not since the time of Aldwin the Great has there been a king to rule over the faeries of Erthe, a king to bear the ruler’s crown and wield the sword of victory.

Aldwin’s queen bore him two daughters, who, in their turn, bore daughters.  The faerie rulers are crowned according to their birth, and not their gender, and the descendants of Aldwin have not yet had a firstborn son live to take the Kingship.  The faeries have had only queens, women who have ruled with all the strength they possessed, queens who have sent their men to battle against the lizards, and queens who have gone themselves, hoping against hope to defeat forever their greatest of enemies.

Now, though his power has waned and raged unendingly, Hatto Duno still wars against the faeries, and the faeries, led by a woman who grows weary beneath the heavy passage of time, strain uselessly against him.  On small Esallan Island, within the flowers of Fleure, in the desert, the mountains, the forest, and deep inside the ethereal beauty of Azure, the faerie people await the storm.  The night is growing darker.  The sun begins to fade as the darkness creeps over it, and the sky rains tears, weeping for the people whose freedom is all but lost.


In a forest, dark as night, before dawn, a voice was heard in much spite,  “Now, begone!”  

A high shrill cry of grief was heard, then fluttered down like a little bird, 

The tiny form of a lovely faerie, her floating wings, light and airy.  

Her amber eyes with thoughtful glows, her lips like a pale pink rose.  

Her lovely skin, ever so fair, her face framed by golden hair.  

That fell in ringlets, with silver thread, round her shoulders.  Then she said,

“He will not let me stay, where now can I go?”   And swiftly fleeing, she heaved great sighs of woe.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Aldwin, Jone, and Elin

Aldwin was bent over a thin white parchment, examining the mark his stick of lead had made upon it. His pencil had curved in a round shape, down and around, had slipped its point with the precision of his fingers, tracing out a shape, and shed its shadows across the paper.
He lifted it up, and tacked its corners to a bark easel. Behind him the sea rushed against the edges of his island home. The sun laid its yellow light over his work. It pushed through the thin fibers of the parchment and painted shadows against the underside.

His eyes had caught the picture only a moment before, his sister, Jone, sitting serenely against the protruding root of a tree, pulling a thin needle through blue cloth. The light was wrapping in thin spirals over her fair face and pushing its color into the brown-blonde tones of her hair. The way the light and shadow framed her face had made him rise from his seat to capture it.  Now his pencil darted across the page, sketching the shape of her face, the curve of her cheek, marking softly the places where the shadows lay thin, and darkening the spots of heavier shadow.

He stopped for a moment to watch her. Her fingers were nimble with the needle, pushing through the filmy blue garment draped across her lap, in and out, in and out.

There was movement beside her, and Elin slipped in from behind the great tree root. She sat on the rough, flat surface of a root stem, pulling her knees up with her. Her deep green dress swept the ground beneath the tree root as she leant against the bark rippling behind her. Elin was Jone’s elder sister, the third in the family, after Aldwin and his brother, Verus. She was an artist in her own way, and had designed the garment Jone’s nimble fingers were putting together.

“How is it, Jone?” she asked. “Does your needle finds its way stiffly through all those layers?”

“No.” Jone’s eyes bent on her work, her supple fingers tugging at the needle. It slipped through. “No, the thinness of the material works with the needle.” She was tying a knot now, hiding it against a seam. She snipped off the end with the knife bound at her waist, threaded her needle into the sleeve of her dress, and held up her work for Elin to see.

“See? All finished.”

Elin reached out to finger the gauzy blue garment. She lifted one filmy layer from the other and held it out to catch the light. Her fingers left a gentle touch on the carefully created flowers that drifted, diagonally, from the garment’s waist to its hem.

“Do you like it, Jone?"

“Of course I do!”

“Well, when I drew it out, I was thinking of you, and you seemed rather excited to begin on it.” She lifted her face to her sister’s in a foolish grin. “So, I guess you do like it.” Her eyes fell to the tiny pleats creeping up from the waist into the bodice. “I think it’s lovely.”

Aldwin heard their voices only dimly now, as the work before him had pulled his mind away. He had seen the light play over Elin’s rectangular face, seen the silhouette of her small nose against the background of tree bark, and his pencil was sketching her in, just in front of Jone, her face filling the bottom-right hand corner and forming the foreground of the picture.  

Just beyond them, where the sea was raising his voice in great, foaming words, and the sun was sending its whisper over the turbulent water, the yellow light caught the glitter of faerie wings.  A wandrian, moving his wings jerkily with the weariness of his long flight, approached the island of Esallan.

Elin left Jone in that quiet glade and traced her steps to her own quiet place, where the sound of the sea was muted by the immeasurable weight of the island foliage. It was a place for her to think her thoughts aloud, where her voice could be lost in the height of her hiding place. She had found the narrow branch that held its own at the peak of an ancient elm, noticed the way the branches laid themselves around it, seen the warm curve of the bark beneath the moss that lay like a garment over it. It became her own in that instant, and her wings found it second nature to carry her there when her mind was crowded with thought.  

She beat her way near to the place now, her mind shrouded, as if she were holding back the onward rush of the army of thought-filled soldiers in her head. Her fingers ached to hold her small quill pen and feel its nub scratching across parchment. Her heart ached to press its shape into words.

A sort of thin, hanging moss wove a green curtain across her secret place, letting small shafts of light through its lattice of tangled growth. She crept beneath it and ensconced herself within the busy softness of the moss. Then her hands found their way to a narrow opening in the face of the tree, just behind her. From the brown crevice she pulled a stack of parchment, bound at the sides with generous lacings of hand-woven green ribbon. She had woven it herself, and bound the pages carefully together. It was her book, the thing she had filled with words all her own, with a story that had wrapped itself around her heart.

She turned it over so her eyes could see the words written last. She felt her chest swell with peaceful warmth as the words drifted to her, touching the corners of her soul, feeding her hunger to create. She laid a piece of parchment on a sturdy layer of bark that lay over her lap, and her pen touched the paper, spreading ink in gentle sweeps of letter, one line after the next, the story slipping from her.

Her pen had scraped to a stop, her work dropping from her lap as she pulled her knees up and her brow creased in thought, when her ears caught the lonely, quiet sound of feet treading ground beneath a noiseless body, of wings beating to a stop, brushing disconsolately against the passing wind.