First off, let me apologize for the long lag time between these last few posts! The holidays definitely slowed the process down, as did a pretty serious block around Chapter Eight! Although, to be fair, it wasn’t so much a block as it was a pause for further insight about some of the more major story points. The result is what I think is a bang-up chapter…and (not surprisingly) a number of small but very significant rewrites and revisions to the first few chapters.
The revisions in no way affected Chapter Seven… I just didn’t want to publish it here until the story was progressing forward again. I am happy to say that it is indeed picking up tons of speed, and its heading in awesome new directions that I hadn’t entirely foreseen! I owe endless debt to my wife Chani, my long-long-long time friend Dan, and my mom for being truly incredible resources and sounding-boards–it’s never easy to hear that something you’ve written feels forced or contrived, but it is the best criticism around because it helps to get things back on track.
Once I have written a little distance between myself and Chapter Eight, I think the next step will be to compile the revised Prologue through Chapter Eight as a stand-alone eBook, which I will have available for purchase here and hopefully on the Kindle store as well. The price will be very low, and any revenue generated will go right back into keeping this project my main focus.
With print publication as my ultimate goal, I probably won’t be able to publish much beyond Chapter Eight for various reasons surrounding copyright, etc., so I promise that I will write as quickly as possible so that you all can know what happens to Theo, Jor, Anateo, Jaine, and our mystery researcher woman :)
If any of you are really thoroughly enjoying the book and would like to continue reading chapters past the eBook, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or through Facebook. We might be able to strike a deal…in return for feedback and honest criticism!!
Feedback in general is very welcome, so anyone with ideas, comments, concerns, etc., please also feel free to contact me.
I hope you enjoy this chapter; it was truly a pleasure to write!
You can get the entire PDF here, but only until the eBook is released!
Chapter Seven – Twice the Cycle Through
A light drizzle was falling over Eldeholm, the colorful tiles of the rooftops glistening and dripping in the cold air of late afternoon. In the fields the crops had all been taken in, leaving only the shorn stalks of the grains peeking above the muddy soil or the sagging, spent heads of the sunflowers stretching for acres. Many of the farmhouses had taken down the canvas backings of their windmills, and their bare frames stood motionless against the gray sky. In some plots the ungathered pumpkins and gourds were slowly returning to the earth, and the sheep and horses all huddled together in their pastures for warmth and company. More than a month had passed since the festivities and cheer of Alaen’tin. The harvest had been bountiful, and the sunny summer fields of Andan had given way to the inevitable march of the coming winter.
In town all of the houses had been buttoned up for the snows that would not be far off. Heavy shutters had been brought out from basements and attics and other places devoted to storage, and were now hanging next to the windows of the buildings and houses. Nearly all of the homes without tile roofs had fresh thatching, thick and green and ready to repel the heavy rains of autumn and the crushing weight of snow in winter. The town’s thatcher, Emit Dorran, and his boys had been working from sun-up until dusk since Alaen’tin, and their hard work looked as if it were about to pay off. The Northern Reaches were blanketed in dark, brooding clouds, and the wind carried the unmistakable charge of a coming storm. The good weather had held out longer than usual, but as the cold breeze blustered in great swirls, rattling the few stalwart leaves left hanging onto the branches, there could be little doubt that tonight was going to be a strong one.
But that didn’t really bother Theo. It seemed that it stormed on his birthday more often that not. He remembered when he passed his first Sun-Cycle, when the wind had howled all night as he played in front of the roaring fireplace with a model ship Tyman had made for him. It was a good memory, and he smiled as he walked down the muddy path north of town, the collar of his heavy wool coat done up high around his neck. He held his simple rod in one hand, and had a string of red trout slung over his back, the small shimmering fish bouncing with each step. He knew tonight was going to be a big night, and he had wanted to get away for a bit and clear his head. As he had hoped his favorite spot was empty, a sweet little pool in one of the short, quick streams that poured out of the hills and splashed into the Eld above the town. On one side of the pool there was a granite boulder that was made for sitting, and today had been the perfect day to spend a few hours in the calm quiet of the forest. Up in the hills the trees grew to great heights, where the tall swaying evergreens gathered the mist and sent big drips falling to the mulch-covered ground, especially on days like this.
He hadn’t really had that much intention of catching anything, but the red trout were biting, and he guessed that Matinea could whip something up tomorrow with the half-dozen he got. Matinea had been particularly generous this past week, what with his Sun-Cycle coming up and all. And she hadn’t been alone. Balina Burridge had brought by four pies in as many days, and Theo had had to enlist Tyman and Brynt to help him finish them off, a proposition that went over without complaint. Though he felt a bit guilty at all of the attention, in some ways it was nice. It was the day most men looked to as the biggest day of their lives, perhaps rivaled only by their wedding day or the births of their children. He had never hung on to it the way some young men in the town did, but ever since Alaen’tin, he had the growing feeling that it was an important thing. When he was in the quiet spaces of the forest or hard at work in his field, he already felt like a man, felt like himself, and he had often balked at the notion that a simple celebration could make that any different—but now that the day had arrived, he knew somewhere deep inside that it was an important threshold to cross. He couldn’t say how he knew, but he did.
The Chapter Continues!
Read the Rest Here!