a short story for QuaranCon 2021
I am so excited to share some fantastic news with all of you. Last week I finished the first draft of my novel. I thought this would be the perfect time to reveal the title and perhaps set up some important goals for myself.
|This rainbow appeared Wednesday while I was closing |
at work. Hopefully a good omen!
If you have been following my journey, you know that this is technically not the "first" first draft, but actually closer to a third or fourth. The drafts have had some significant changes in their theme and plot, so I therefore refer to this as a first draft.
I have been using a title for the past year and would love to keep it. I am aware there are other works with this title including a game and a non-fiction book about genetics, but I do not think this will impact my choice.
Title: Altered Fates
I kind of want to share my premise, but I am not quite ready yet. I would like to save that reveal for right before I do my next round of edits, in case my current revisions change anything (crossing my fingers they do not).
The draft is not quite as long as I intend the finished project to be, but I wanted to cover the bones of the plot first. The current word count is just under 70K and I want to be over 80K. That goal is within my reach since I am now working to make my settings and character arcs really shine. The first few attempts I made at creating a novel I focused on worldbuilding and making my characters and settings feel real. Unfortunately, this left my plot really unorganized and uninteresting. So I kept this to a minimum and focused on telling the story this time.
Thanks to my writing coach, I was able to take my ideas and create a structure. The experience of being part of my writing group has been priceless and my coach is fantastic. And I cannot say enough about the Insecure Writers Support Group because it all started there. One year ago, I moved across the country, started a new job, and picked up my old writing journal. We are still trapped in a tiny apartment, my job is constantly busy, and my writing adventure continues.
|A glimpse of the beauty that awaits me. |
Our house plans are under review with
Thank you for visiting and for your continued support of my dream to be an author. Because of this blog, I am soon to be published, and plan to have my novel available within the year. I can make it happen!
The strange thing about immortality is at first it is miraculous, then it becomes a curse, then it makes you question who you truly are. When I was young I asked about my father. My mother told a sweet tale about a man who loved her so much he sacrificed everything.
“Where is he?” I asked.
“He sacrificed everything,” she repeated. Her eyes gazed far into the past and sadness drew small wrinkles beside her mouth.
I became afraid to ask again until one day, no time remained. She was gone from my eternal life, cursing me to loneliness. Not long after I discovered her journal.
I came across a strange swarm of tiny lights in the forest today. They were so tiny that alone, they would never be noticed, but I noticed them. They hung in the air over my favorite patch of kam’melie-n flowers. No afternoon rest for me today.
The shimmering cloud was there again today, waiting nearby. I went closer and it became smaller, softening its colors. It welcomed me, so I lay with the flowers today. It truly brightened my own colors, but I did not rest, for the cloud kept my attention.
I could not believe my eyes. I thought the flower patch doubled in size. When I stepped closer, half the patch drifted into the air, forming my friendly cloud. It was extraordinarily beautiful. It glistened and shined in waves to greet me. What an incredible trick to mimic my favorite flowers flawlessly.
Days without my extra rest takes its toll. My colors are dull, I could not stay awake to watch the shimmering cloud. I slept peacefully beside it with the most pleasant dreams. When I woke, I could not see it, but I felt it near. Perhaps it mimicked a tree, or moss, or a crane.
I spoke to the cloud today. I asked where it came from. There was no response, so I sang my favorite song. Petals soft drop over me, love’s sweet breeze pleases me, taste the colors of the trees, when the bless’d wind blows free. The words came alive while I slept.
The cloud appeared darker today. It was narrow and tall and hummed my song. I named it Ho’en. He is a friend with no face. This does not frighten me, but I cannot look away. I want to see his face.
Ho’en spoke today. He is an explorer sent to learn about my world. He said he does not want to know anything else about it, just me. Time with him makes the colors on my skin brighter.
Ho’en tried to mimic my kind. He shimmered, more opaque. He looked tall and strong, his voice sounded smoother and less like an echo in a cave. His skin patterns were dark, not colorful like mine. This saddened him. But I like it. He is special.
I was alone today. The loneliness was bitter and familiar. I cannot say more.
Ho’en returned with terrible news. He is called to rejoin his kind. He does not wish to go. It is a one way journey, jumping from world to world. He was created to record and observe. I cried. When he pushed the tears off my cheek, I cried even more.
The patch is a deathbed in his absence. I still feel him close somehow. I slept in the flowers, watering them with my tears. In my dreams Ho’en holds me close and hums my song. He tells me he can create anything with his power. He can mimic and become anything he wants as long as he has studied it. He said he would create a gift for me. I do not want a gift, just him.
Ho’en came back! He seemed stronger—a clear voice, firm touch, and sweet words. He told me he would give up everything to be with me. My happiness cannot be contained.
I will have a child! I knew the love that we made was all-consuming, but I never believed we could create a life. Ho’en reminds me he can create anything he has studied. He saw in my dreams I wanted a child. I am full of the life we created together. He tells me his life does not end because he does not have a true form that can age. He tells me he was created by beings like me who desired to record and compute the infinite universe. He says he is not alive like me. I do not understand this.
Ho’en explained more, but I do not believe it. He is made up of thousands of dust sized creations that interact and bond. He says those creations are disappearing. He drained them to create himself for me and without the others, he cannot generate more. As more of him loses power, he loses control over his form. He promises I will never be alone because of the child we created. He says she will never die because she can create her own tiny creations and they will always keep the form I have given to her. She will replenish her life forever. Can this be true?
The journal ended that day. My mother could not speak of the pain she suffered even in writing. I found one last item in the journal—a shimmering image of my parents. When I look at it, the life he gave up shines brightly. It is the last thing he created for her. He sealed himself to the surface using his last remaining power.
As I look at the image I see patterns. It is speaking to me like a language I understand. It is a message, coded in rhythms and amplified by colors. I know how to find the rest of my father. I will know who I am.
February 3 question - Blogging is often more than just sharing stories. It’s often the start of special friendships and relationships. Have you made any friends through the blogosphere?
In the blogosphere, there are some names that I recognize each month. I value their opinions and get excited when I see they have left a comment. But I feel that this blog is still too new to be anything special yet.
If I take a close look at where the IWSG has taken me, I can see something special as a result. I met my writing coach via this group's page on facebook, and I attend regular online meetings with him and a number of his other clients. I do consider them as friends since we help each other, make jokes, and connect regularly.
I have always had difficulty with friendship, even in the sphere of reality, so it is tricky for me to say much more about the subject.
I am, however, absolutely thrilled to be part of the writing community and I look forward to many friendships in the future!
Happy Black History Month to all. May we use this month to reflect on the meaning of love and everything connected. We are all connected in life and I hope you find peace this month.
If you are interested in visiting more writers, click on the image below and enjoy the blog hop!