And the first draft for Secret of the Hazel Tree is complete.
Yes, indeed, dear friends, yesterday I typed the last words of a manuscript I began for NaNo last year. What started as a 20,000 word contest entry morphed into an almost 200,000 word novel. I'm not sure how that happened, but there it is. *grins* I'm thinking I should blame Ken for getting 10x as many words as I intended.
And just because I'm floating on Cloud 9 right now, and really don't know what to write here, let's give you some stats, shall we?
November: 72,250 words
(December - no writing due to holidays)
January: 18,038 words
February: 20,297 words
March: 44,835 words
April: 42,607 words
Best day: Nov. 7th with 6,093 words
Worst day: Jan. 9th with 0 words
Ooh! How 'bout some snippets? Everyone loves those! Finding good ones that don't give anything away will be difficult, but let's try anyway!
Hasteri rushed into the kitchen, her face a grand flush of exhaustion and wonder.
“Thed-duke,” her words came out in a rush. “'Ewantsya.”
Ahna and Celesta stood simultaneously.
“'Speak so's we can understand ya, 'Asteri. Yer all shook up. Who wants who now? Nice an' slow.”
“The duke. 'E wants ta see C'lesta.” Hasteri gave a small gulp. “'E asked fer 'er right away.”
Ahna turned to give her darlin' a sympathetic gaze. “First the duchess an' the magpie, an' now 'im. I'm so sorry, Miss Lesta.”
“'E's in 'is study,” the maid offered timidly with a finger pointing in the direction.
“Have you many children then, Girdorn?”
“Five, Sire. Five of the most wonderful blessings in the world, yet five of the hardest troublemakers Iron ever saw.”
At least, he noticed with relief, no one seemed overly eager to rope him into a dance. And, if any girl was desperate, he could very neatly escape by claiming pain in his arm. The wound, so newly healed, still smarted; not badly, but it could be persuaded into a greater discomfort should the need arise.
Ahna's strong arms were around her once again. “Stop cryin', darlin'. One'd think ya'd run outta tears by now. There's always time ta make it right with 'im. Don't tire yerself out with useless wailin'.” She blew a small huff into Celesta's blonde hair. “Though, I gotta admit, I'm a bit jealous.”
Celesta pulled back. “Jealous? Of what?”
“You.” The housekeeper tapped her nose. “'Ere I thought ya were the timid, little girl I always knew, an' now yer standin' up ta killers an' doin' who knows what else? An' where was I all this time ya were playin' the 'eroine? Stuck 'ere in this kitchen, that's where. I missed ev'rythin'.”
“Julien? Oh, my poor boy!”
His mother's voice came from far away, out of a fog, and he fought to hear her clearly. He took a breath, wincing as his lungs ached with the effort.
“He's waking up!” The shriek nearly deafened him, and a tight hand grabbed his arm. “Julien! Oh, Julien, speak to me!”
His lips were dry. “Ow,” he managed.
Queen Louise Altonsina fell across his chest, gripping him tighter. “Oh, you're not dead! Thank our blessed Creator!”
And now I'm off to celebrate with editing Children of a Legend.