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Having recently been reminded that people miss some of my posts from time to time, and that I didn't link to the first two chapters of Scribe in Shadows in my sticky note, I'm providing the links to those chapters now.

Link to chapter one.

Link to chapter two.

Also, sales have picked up a little, which is encouraging.

no title

Alcina Noatak had grown up knowing she would one day be the High Scribe of Gydnerth, but that day was not supposed to arrive so soon. Responsible for drafting the laws that rule her country, Alcina must navigate intrigue and danger no one could have expected her to anticipate, and one wrong move could blow apart not just her life, but the lives of everyone around her.
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Chapter One is here

Chapter Two

Alcina and Lawal discussed the contents of the proposal for nearly an hour. Alcina spent another two hours finding the books and scrolls she needed from Lawal’s library, and yet another flipping through them and absorbing the background information that would need to be reflected in the proposal. She was eager to start putting paint to paper, but the time to meet her mother for their weekly lunch had arrived.

As the worst part of the day had passed, Alcina’s mood had lifted. The congested streets were less overwhelming, the sunlight less harsh. She exchanged smiles with those she passed and short greetings with those she knew.

Much better.

Her route took her through the core of the city, past Patriation Park, the oldest and largest public park in Ottan. One of the few open green spaces in a crowded city, it was a place for people to gather for picnics, to celebrate feast days, to play games.

And complain about the Council.

There was a small crowd listening to a young man standing on the Speech Dais, which was a simple cube of limestone, three feet high. Alcina wandered close to hear his words.

“And that’s not the only Guild they’re trespassing on!” he shouted. “They are attempting to place their supporters as masters in the Printing Guilds. Untrained, inexperienced men and women meant to choose and teach our young, to indoctrinate them with the Council’s backward agendas.”

Danoso didn’t like Guilds. Didn’t like their independence, their control over who they chose as members, what they taught them, and what sort of work members were permitted to do once they were released from training. He directed intense animosity towards the Guilds entitled to financial support from Council coffers, the Healers’ Guild and the Academic Guilds.

He had no problem giving money to the military Guilds. Gydnerth wasn’t at war with anyone and hadn’t been for decades, but that, according to the Principal Councillor, wasn’t a reason not to pour in more funds. And the Investigators’ Guild, growing faster than any other Guild in the country, that was very popular with Danoso.
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I'm posting the first two chapters of Scribe in Shadows, in two posts. You can also go to and download up to 20% before deciding whether you want to buy a copy.

Chapter One

Sunlight hit Alcina’s face and she hissed as she covered her eyes. “Do you have to?”

“Yes, ma’am,” the maid said as she tied back the curtains. “Your rules.”

Yes, yes, on the days she was going to work, the curtains had to be opened. It was sensible, it took the edge off the sluggishness she felt every morning, but there were times when she hated sunlight. It could be so oppressive. “Then I can change them.”

“Only between the twelfth and the sixteenth hours of the day.” Karali returned to the small table beside Alcina’s bed, where a tea tray was waiting. She picked up the small pot and poured hot dark green liquid into a delicate cup. “That’s your rule, too.”

Alcina closed her eyes and let her hand fall back to the mattress, feeling the dread flow through her, pressing against her chest. It was going to be one of those days. She thought of excuses to avoid getting out of bed. Headache? Stomach cramps? The utter lack of desire to speak to or look at anyone?

No. She felt awful, but she didn’t think the day was going to be quite bad enough to justify hiding in her room.

“You don’t want your tea getting cold, ma’am,” said Karali. As though Alcina hadn’t been drinking that same tea every morning for years. As though she didn’t know ris tea tasted eleven times worse when it was cold.

Alcina pinched the bridge of her nose. She was in a vicious mood already. She opened her eyes and rolled up to her elbow, faking a smile. “Thank you, Karali.” She picked up the fragile teacup and downed the contents in a few swallows.

Karali, a plump woman in her late forties with beautiful white hair, pale skin, and kind blue eyes, smiled back. She had worked for Alcina for nearly five years and seemed to accept her quirks with equanimity.

On the table beside the tea tray were copies of two news circulars. The Daily Challenger was the circular Alcina favoured, as it was the only one in the city that would dare criticise Principal Councillor Danoso and his band of thugs. “Should I look at that?” she asked.

Sometimes the news, especially bad news, overwhelmed her.

“You might enjoy it, ma’am. The Council has officially reversed their decision to expropriate the Catori estate.”

“Really?” It had been a year-long scandal and a twelve-month nightmare for the farmer who owned the estate. “Are they admitting they lied about wanting the land for the military base?”

“The official statement is that the sketches for Principal Councillor Danoso’s new home were misfiled by the attendants of the land registry office and should have never been attached to the deed for the Catori estate.”

“Of course,” Alcina said drily. “And the excuse for changing their minds about needing the land?”

“They have decided the land isn’t suitable to their needs.”

Alcina snorted.
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Chapter Two is here:
moira_j_moore1: (Default)
I know I've expressed before a distaste for the argument that "If you're not writing every single day, you're doing it wrong." Also the argument that, "If you wait for inspiration, you'll never write at all."

Just wanted to point out that the reason I started writing my first book had nothing to do with inspiration. I was losing my mind with boredom during math class, and it was either write or run out of the room screaming. What was the first scene of that book? A teenager staring out the window because she was bored out of her mind in her wizardry class.

The most unrealistic thing in the scene was the window. I was in a cubicle. We had no windows.

I have been having a real hard time getting into the revisions for the scribe book. Things have been happening that made writing the last thing I wanted to do. It's not about wanting to set the manuscript on fire because I've gone over it eighteen times. I didn't feel like writing anything.

But I forced myself, because I do want to get this out in November, if I can, but it was a slog, and I was only making the most basic, mechanical of changes. If the editor said a whole scene needed to be rewritten, I said to myself, "Ugh. Later." Also, I was spending more time surfing the net than writing.

Then, the other day, I read a comment in a magazine. I was inspired. The revisions are going much more smoothly. I've gone back and rewritten those scenes. I'm excited about doing more work on the book.

So there.
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First drafts of the first two chapters of the second scribe book are done and the third one begun, which is why I'm a little wired right now. I think I managed to work in necessary detail without hitting the horrific wall of exposition, but that will have to be addressed in the revision.

I really have a good feeling about the outline. While I always draft an outline for every book, sometimes I leave gaps, because I don't know what to do but I'm trusting I'll have it figured it out by the time I get there. And I always do, but it means I don't know exactly what to aim for. This time, I had everything plotted out. Changes will be made along the way, but I just feel very confident with this outline and it makes me more productive.

Also, what might be considered a cheat. I went through an honest-to-god phone book to come up with names for a list of characters who aren't main characters but aren't quite one-offs. The white pages gave the names, the yellow pages gave me ideas for professions. I just made a list for future use. Took most of a day but has been a great resource even so early in the task. So I am holding on to the telephone books just for that.


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