Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Rule of Three Contest, Fourth and Final Week

Here is the last segment of the Rule of Three Contest. Below are the links to the first three segments.
week 1
week 2
week 3

For this week, I used the prompt:
There is a new arrival in town

This segment came in at just under 600 words.
Here is the continuation of "Welcome to Renaissance"

            "Why are you snickering?” I asked the barmaid.
            “You are such a child.”
            “What do you mean?”
            “You are na├»ve, my lady.”
            “If I’m your lady, then I command you to explain.”
            “It’s the Rule of Three. There are three of everything. Three dimensions, three kinds of beings, three lives. You see: three-three-three.”
            “The sign said the population is three hundred and thirty-three.”
            “Always. Any other number is out of balance. Currently, Renaissance has three hundred and thirty-four. The balance must be restored. You’ve entered the dimension of death. You have been reborn into Renaissance. You are our newest member. But someone must be eliminated.”
            “Someone has to die. You must decide who.”
            “Me? Surely you jest.”
            “My lady, I am honest. You must choose between Prince Giovanni and Head Knight Benevento.”
            “How am I to do that?”
            “It’s up to you.”
            “But I cannot condemn either man to death.”
            “Yes you can, and you must.”
            “I can’t believe it.”
            “Believe it, my lady. Believe it.”

            I waited inside the tavern, afraid.  
At sunset, Prince Giovanni came inside, his green eyes glowing. “My lady, I’m here to guide you.”
Benevento entered. “I’m here to protect you, my lady.” His eyes glowed brilliant blue.
The barmaid smiled. “Soon we’ll be sisters. You have so much to learn.”
“I can’t do this,” I said. “I’ve lied. I’m not brave.”
“You must be brave, Camilla,” Giovanni said. “You have nothing to fear.”
“Time is wasting, my lady,” the barmaid said. “The sun has set. The moment of truth has arrived.”
The prince led me outside, the head knight and barmaid following. We headed toward the mountains. In the darkness, they appeared to be miles away, but we reached them in minutes. A sign said, Old Silver Mine. We entered the cavern alit by torches burning in several places, shadows flickering on the walls.
“It’s time, my lady,” the barmaid said. “This is your special day. Make the right choice and you will know happiness. Make the wrong choice and you will know misery.”
My tears were too thick to see clearly.
Prince Giovanni said, “Choose me, Camilla, and you will know happiness.”
“He lies,” Benevento said. “If you choose him, you will know misery.”
“Camilla,” the prince said, “he is a rogue—a villain. You must believe me. I’ve been sent here to guide you. I will not let you down.”
“He’s a liar, Camilla,” head knight said. “His blood is not pure. I’ve been sent to protect you from his kind. You must believe me, my lady. Choose me. You will know happiness.”
My heart beat wildly. The prince’s brilliant green eyes were like jewels. The knight’s eyes were like diamonds.
“Choose, my lady,” the barmaid said.
“Choose me, Camilla,” the prince said. “Please, for your sake.”
“Yes,” said the knight, “choose Giovanni. I must lay down my life for you. I am an honorable knight. Even if it means your misery, I must die for you.”
“He’s lying, Camilla,” Giovanni said. “It’s a trick. He’s using reverse psychology. His nobility is a lie.”
I saw the nobility in Benevento’s eyes. He must be the one. I looked at Giovanni, the royalty shining in his eyes. Who will it be? I turned to Prince Giovanni, knelt down, and said, “My lord, I am yours.”
At that instant, Benevento burst into flames and disappeared.
I fainted.

            I awoke in a magnificent canopy bed with silk sheets and soft pillows and transparent curtains.
Prince Giovanni stood at the end of the bed and bowed. “Camilla, my lady, welcome to Renaissance.”

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Word Count, Two Months Later

This is a continuation of my reports on how I'm doing on revising my novel, based on word count. I last posted on Sept. 19

Sept. 19-Sept. 24:     3,144 words
Sept: 26-Oct. 1:       10,302 words
Oct. 3-Oct. 8:          12,449 words
Oct. 10-Oct. 15:        2,689 words
Oct. 17-Oct 18:                0 words

Total for month:  28,584 words

I've now completed 99,770 words of the novel. I estimate I have about 25,000-27,000 words to go. So, it appears that I have about another month's work to do to reach the end.

I'm happy with this progress. The last quarter of the book is much more polished than the first three-quarters of the book was, so I hope that the work I have left to do will present no big problems.

It's pretty incredible when I look at the 445 pages I've already done and realise I have about 100 pages to go. I never imagined I'd ever write a book this long. Most of what I've done in the past has been more in the 300 page range, or less. So, for me, this is a big project. None of the future books I have planned are this long.

I've also narrowed down a few pictures to use for the cover image.

I suppose there's a chance I'll self-publish the book in December, but I'm not pushing for that month. I want to do it right. I'll take however long it takes.

Rule of Three Contest, Week 3

This is my third submission for the Rule of Three Contest.

I'm using the prompt "Betrayal is in the air."

My second week's post is here: .

             “Camilla, you look confused.”
            “I am. I don’t know how I got here or why I’m here. I know nothing about Renaissance. Prince Giovanni says he’s my guide, and then he leaves me.”
            “The prince is not who he says he is. If he were, he would not leave you.”
            I stared into my goblet and began crying.
            “My lady,” he said, “all is not lost. I’m here to help you. I am Benevento, Head Knight of Renaissance. I’ve been sent to protect you.”
            His intense blue eyes had a friendly glow. He smelled of apple-peach cologne. Yet I didn’t know if I could trust him. “The prince said you’re a rogue—a villain.”
            He held his palms open to me. “Do I look like a villain, my lady?”
            I wanted to be truthful and say no, but I was afraid. “I don’t know what to say. The prince said nothing here is as it seems.”
            “He would say that. He is a liar. He wants to take advantage of you.”
            “But why?”
            “It’s a secret, my lady.”
            “Why is everything a secret? This is madness. It’s worse than Real World.”
            “Real World is not real, Camilla. It’s a trick of the vampires and werewolves.”
            “Do you mean Real World doesn’t exist?”
            “It exists, but it is not real.”
            I buried my face in my hands. My tears were hot. I was so afraid.
            “What is wrong, Camilla?”
            “Nothing. Nothing at all.”
            “Then you are brave, aren’t you?”
            I looked at him, hoping to not betray myself. “I’m not afraid, Head Knight Benevento.”
            “That’s all the more reason you need my protection.”
            “Why do I need protection?”
            “As I said, the prince wants to take advantage of you. That’s why he’s taking you to the abandoned silver mine. That’s why I must accompany you.”
            “But how do I know you’re going to protect me? How do I know you’re not going to take advantage of me?”
            “As Head Knight of Renaissance, I’m honor bound to protect you from all harm. I’ve sworn an oath to protect all the innocents of Renaissance.”
            “But how do I know that, Head Knight?”
            “You are brave, are you not?”
            “I am brave, Benevento. I fear nothing.”
            “Then I will accompany you to the silver mine at six-forty-six tonight—sunset.”
            “But, sir—”
            “There’s nothing more to be said, my lady.” He stood and bowed with a sweeping of his hat in front of him.
            “But, sir—”
            He walked out of the tavern and disappeared, the smell of his apple cologne lingering in the air.
            I gripped my goblet, my hand shaking. The golden bowl was empty. The beautiful barmaid looked at me, snickering.
            What have I done?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Rule of Three Contest--week 2

Today is week two of the Rule of Three contest, in which we post the continuation of our short stories for the contest. My first post is here:

I used the prompt: a character lies to another in an important matter.

Here is week two's entry:

            “Hello,” said the man on my left. “It’s a pleasure having you here in Renaissance. Please let me buy you a drink.”
 He had the most intense green eyes I had ever seen. Having no money, I had to accept his offer.
            “What would you like, Miss …?”
            “My name is Camilla.”
            “Camilla,” he said, straightening his red silk tie, “I’m Prince Giovanni. What shall it be?”
            “I’d be happy with a glass of wine.”
            “A goblet of wine for my lady,” he said to the barmaid. The beautiful young woman gave me the most curious smile, as if she knew something I did not know.
            I studied the prince carefully as I said, “I’m grateful for your generosity, my lord.”
            “It’s nothing. It’s my duty and pleasure. I’m here to guide you through Renaissance.”
            How is this possible? I wondered. How could he have known I was coming? “Why do I need a guide, my lord?”
            “Renaissance is a beautiful place, but it is not without its dangers.”
            “Prince Giovanni, I assure you, I am not afraid.”
            “You are brave then?”
            “I am afraid of nothing, my lord.”
            “That’s all the more reason you need a guide. Nothing here is as it seems.”
            “What do you mean, my lord?”
            “Take that man on your right. He seems friendly enough, but he is a rogue—a villain.”
            I looked at the man on my right. He had the most intense blue eyes I had ever seen. He did not look like a villain. I turned back to Prince Giovanni. “What do I have to fear of him, my lord?”
            “I cannot tell you, Camilla. It’s a secret.”
            My nerves began to tingle. My true fearfulness was beginning to assert itself. Maybe I did need a guide. “How do I know you’re not a rogue—a villain?”
            “I am a prince. I’m of noble blood. My blood is pure.”
            “How am I to know that, my lord?”
            “I will take you at sunset to the old silver mine just north of town and show you.”
            “My lord, how am I to know in advance that it’s safe to go there with you?”
            “Did you not tell me you’re afraid of nothing?”
            “That’s true, my lord.”
            “Then it’s agreed. You will go with me at sunset.”
            “But, my lord--”
            “I must take my leave, Camilla. You can trust me. I will meet you here at six-forty-six—sunset.”
            “But, my lord,” I said as he bowed to me, strolled out of the tavern, and disappeared.
            What have I done? My hand shook as I picked up the golden goblet.
            The barmaid began to chuckle, looking at me as if I were a fool.
             I took a long drink of wine from the golden goblet. The wine tasted sweet. It began to steady my nerves. Thank goodness for wine. Without it I would have revealed my true nature.
            I heard shuffling on my right and looked over at the man sitting there.

(To be continued)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Rule of Three Contest

The Rule of Three contest has begun. You can check out the rules at

I took as my prompt 'someone might fall in love'.
It's about 500 words.
One of the things about Renaissance that wasn't mentioned in the rules, but was a part of the description of Renaissance, was that everyone there has secrets. So, I tried to work that in. Anyway, here's my first entry:

Welcome to Renaissance

            I found myself in the town of Renaissance, as if I had awoken into a dream, as if I had left the real world behind. I walked down Main Street, admiring the statues and frescos and listening to the troubadours singing love songs. This was better than Real World, where there was no happiness. All I had wanted in Real World was love, and all I had gotten were vampires attacking me like swarms of mosquitoes on a hot summer night. I hated it. So, here I am in Renaissance, which means “rebirth.” Have I been reborn? I hope so.
            The sign outside the town had said: Welcome to Renaissance, Population 333. How can a town know its exact population? Do they put up a new sign with a new number every time someone dies or is born? I guess, with only 333 people, there probably aren’t many births and deaths here in any one year, maybe not for years at a time.
My life is a mystery to me, one I’ve been trying to solve for a long time. My one big question is: why do vampires like me? What’s in my blood that attracts them, makes them want to feast on me? They never bothered me until I began my menstrual cycle. When my scent was released into the air every thirty days, the vultures would circle in the sky over my head. Is that why they call the female’s monthly flow of blood the woman’s curse? Whatever it’s called, it’s the real world, and everywhere you look in Real World, things are after you. Some things want you alive so they can suck out your essence, and some things want you dead so they can eat you whole. And the two things fight over you. And, if you’re weak, in their fight they will tear you apart. That’s just the way it is in Real World. I only hope it won’t be that way in Renaissance.
Everywhere I look here, the people are beautiful. The women wear the newest fashions. The men wear the smartest suits. I’m disturbed that I’m dressed in worn out blue jeans with holes in the knees, and a cowl neck sweater. In Real World, I was chic, but here, I’m a fright. But everyone looks at me, smiles, and says hello. Everyone seems friendly. I’ve got to get to know these people. The one thing I don’t want them to know, though, is that I’m afraid.
I came to a tavern and, being hungry and thirsty, decided to go inside. There were two men sitting at the counter, drinking beers and eating sandwiches. I was immediately struck by their handsomeness and their politeness—they both stood up and bowed to me when I came through the door. I was taken aback. They smiled and waited for me to sit down at the stool between them before sitting down themselves. My heart fluttered. Maybe I had been reborn.
(to be continued)

So, there it is. Where to go from here? I have a good idea, but rather than keep writing, I decided to wait for the next set of prompts, and hope they work for my story.