Monday, December 29, 2008

Novel Excerpt - A Prince of Lynvia

As I said in an earlier blog, I've completed NaNoWriMo, and once the smoke cleared, I had a new novel, for which I thank them profusely.

As such things go, the novel is in revision, as I edit and fix plot-holes and such.

This week and next I will be reading this story to my four kids, to get their input on issues and problems with the text and story line, things that need to be 'fleshed out', etc.)

It is not specifically a Christian novel, and some Christians might have issues with a novel that involves magic and I respect that.

But, the magic, for the most part, is contained withing another dimension, though there is interaction with this dimension, as you will read if you pick up a copy, hopefully available before next NaNoWriMo, when I expect to pen the sequel.

Here is the short synopsis and an excerpt (which may change but only slightly)

Synopsis: A Prince of Lynvia
Shortly before his 13th birthday, young Kyne Goodrum, a boy with no memories before he was 8, moves to a small town with his mom and grandfather. The kids in the town pick on him for his pale complexion, jet black hair, and stuttering.

The home they are renting is reported to be haunted, and no sooner do they move in, than Kyne begins to have vivid and frightening dreams - dreams of a medieval world where magic really works, people speak a completely different language, and for some inexplicable reason, everyone is trying their best to kill him.

Wounds that he receives in his dreams last into his waking world - and he begins to wonder which world is truly real, or are they both...

Excerpt: A Prince of Lynvia
Kyne opened his eyes on a dark and forbidding landscape. He was seated with his back against a cliff face, looking out over a heavy downpour. The rain was not reaching him here in the shelter of a slight overhang, but he was soaking wet, and out of breath. Through the rain he could see a trail leading down a hill into the gray distance. From that direction he could hear excited shouts.

“Sted Kerch!” cried one rough voice.

“Q’rete Kerch?” came from the side. A crashing through the brush came from that direction.

“Kedder Vargen!” came from the other side. It sounded like a curse. Kyne began to panic. The voices did not seem as if they bode him any good will, and he appeared to be surrounded. He looked behind him. The overhang receded back only a few feet. A shallow crack went behind the boulder he was sitting on but it was not deep enough to hide in. And there was no time. Already through the rain he could see the first of his pursuers coming into the clearing not far away.

“Cherr Stedev Kedder!” He shouted in triumph. The burly dark-haired man approached cautiously through the rain, water running down his face from his straggly hair. From each side came another man. The one on the left was tall and wiry, with a lean hungry look in his eyes. The one on the right was short and fat, with at least three chins under his porky face. Wolf, Chubs, and Burly. The three characters were so different they looked like a comedy group, and Kyne could have imagined them wearing clown makeup, except for the threatening looks on their faces.

Kyne felt his clothing and realized he had that knife from the previous dream. As the men approached, he stood up warily and pulled the knife out, holding it threateningly.

The closest one stopped short, pointing. “Kerch ket loll glath!” Chubs took a step backward.

“Ha! Ha ha ha!” laughed Burly. “Cherrae ket glatherae!” he shouted in triumph, pulling out a sword. The other two men pulled out swords as well. Burly glanced at his two cronies. “Vor vorkell! Dev havvel kerch kell!” He looked at Kyne. “Petch glath!” He pointed at the knife, and held the sword up at Kyne.

Kyne got the impression he wanted him to drop the knife, but he wasn’t sure if he should drop his only line of defense. Unfortunately, it didn’t seem as if he had much choice. He was still standing in the dry, and the three men were out in the rain, when suddenly large rocks fell from the cliff face and struck Wolf and Chubs on the head, knocking them down. Chubs lay where he fell, but Wolf rolled up holding his bleeding head. Four men dropped from the cliff face on ropes. They were each holding a sword in their hands, and they landed just between Burly and Kyne.

The four new characters were dressed in black broadcloth. They appeared to be battle-hardened warriors. Two of the warriors had silver hair, one of them was powerfully built, and one of them appeared rather young. Graybeard, Grizzles, Muscles, and Pup. There were some shouts from above on the cliff face, and the ropes hanging down the cliff began to move, as if additional men were coming down the cliff.

Graybeard pointed his sword at Burly, and just said one word. “Prai”. At first Kyne thought they were asking Burly to pray for mercy, but Burly retreated rapidly down the hill, Wolf staggering after him. Chubs still lay where he had fallen.

Now the warriors turned and looked at Kyne. “Petch glath!” said Grizzles. Gee, that seemed to be everyone’s favorite song. Well, he wasn’t going to ‘petch glath’ for anybody. Graybeard nodded at Pup, who swung his sword suddenly at Kyne. The sword moved faster than he could follow, and the flat of the blade struck his wrist. The knife flew from his stinging wrist, and straight toward Grizzles. His hand went up and caught the handle.

“Drah Chell!” Grizzles said with a grin, quickly depositing the knife in his belt. Kyne didn’t have to wait long to find out what would happen next. Graybeard gave a nod to his henchmen, and Kyne had his hands tied behind his back before he could say a word. Muscles threw him over his shoulder like a sack of potatoes just as four other men dropped to the wet ground. Kyne looked at them from his vantage point over Muscles’ shoulder. Grizzles attached Kyne to one of the ropes and jerked twice on it. Suddenly, the rope was hauled aloft, with Kyne at the end of it. Grizzles and Muscles came climbing up after, while the rest of the henchmen did something with Chubs. To his surprise, he was not hauled to the top of the cliff, but to a cave halfway up the cliff. Hands reached out, and untied the rope from him, and hauled him into the recesses of the cave. Around a bend in the cave were several black-suited men, carrying torches. They escorted Kyne down passages and into a vast gallery so tall the torchlight could not reveal the top. Across the huge gallery, a small crack led deeper into the mountain. They proceeded into the crack, along a ledge that led past another chasm, and finally, after much travel, to the shore of an underground lake. There were many caves leading into this massive cavern, and there were steps carved into the cave walls leading to many of them. On the shore of the lake was a stack of wooden crates, and a large fire was built near them. Many men and women were gathered around the fire, and the women were cooking something that smelled like fish.

They seated him on a crate, and two men stood near him, eyeing him occasionally, while playing some game of chance with stones.

After a time, they looked back up the way they had come, and Kyne turned his head to see Graybeard and Pup returning with the other men. Grizzles took the knife and cut the ropes binding Kyne’s hands, and Grizzles and Graybeard brought him a bowl of fish stew.

“Thanks,” said Kyne, speaking for the first time.

“Q’noe chell?” said Graybeard, looking closely at Kyne over his own bowl of stew.

“Q’noe chell?” returned Kyne, trying to imitate the words. He had no idea what the old man was asking.

“Cherr Kedrick,” said Graybeard, putting a hand to his chest. “Q’noe chell?” he asked again, pointing now at Kyne’s chest. Duh, he wants to know who I am.

“Kyne,” he said, putting a hand to his chest.

Whatever reaction he would have expected, after revealing his name, was nothing compared to what occurred. Grizzles and Graybeard both leapt up in horror, and Grizzles pulled out his sword and raised it over his head, shouting “Klardel Kyne! Vorkell kerch et kerch vorkell cherrae!” He struck down as fast as he could, to kill Kyne, but Greybeard’s sword was faster, and blocked the blow.

At the first words out of his mouth, everyone in earshot jumped to their feet, pans of stewed fish falling unnoticed to the ground. Kyne cowered beneath the blow, and suddenly Grizzles and Greybeard were swordfighting above him. Grizzles was shouting something about ‘Clarthar’ and ‘Vorkell’.

Several people came running and tackled Kyne while the battle was going on, and they quickly tied and gagged Kyne.

So much for my stew. Was it something I said? thought Kyne.

Friday, December 12, 2008

NaNoWriMo is Over... Time for Reflection

December 12th, 2008

So November is over, the smoke has settled, the snackfood wrappers have all been eaten by the dog, and the fingers are recovering from the rapid and rabid fury of pounding out thoughts directed at a story of some Significance.

The final chapter written, the Characters all have had some closure to the Great Adventure that they were embroiled in, and the final lines have opened up for the great and glorious Sequel that inexhorably follows the wondrous tale.

If the brakes don't fail, the Sequel will wait in its impatient cubbyhole of the brain, for another November and another wonderful flurry of frenzied NaNoWriMo.

What in the world is NaNoWriMo, you may ask? Click on the links to see. But for those who really don't trust links, (how did you get here, perchance??) it is an insane commitment to write 50,000 words toward a Story, during the 30-day span of November. It is fun! It is exciting! It is crazy! (No, really, you might need a mental exam before and after, but after the smoke clears, you will at least have a Story.)

Christmas is fast approaching. The tree is up, taking over the living room and calling attention to itself with every blinking light. 'Christmas is coming! Are you ready?'

The presents are ordered (online) and our family is almost halfway through the celebration of Advent and the obligatory joy of reading through our Advent Story. (Yes, I have another story, too.)

Our family will enjoy this Christmas break, even if it kills us all. We'll read through the chapters of the Advent Story every night, listen to the accompanying music, and suck on the candy from the Advent Calendar, and perhaps reflect on the story, and the true and wonderful, joyful reason why we celebrate this season at all.

And perhaps, just perhaps, the lightbulb will click on and we'll come out of this season changed. Yes, changed for the better, caring about others, seeing them through God's eyes, giving thanks for the blessings we have, and not panicking about the future and what it might hold.

For, although I cannot say what the future holds, I know Who holds the future.

Have a Merry Christmas!