Tuesday, May 26, 2015

June Novel Essential Information

Novel Title: Astounding Discovery
Series Title: Saga of O'Enne*
Time Setting: 1715 Age of Peace†
Genre: Medieval Fantasy
Minimum Word Goal: 90,000 words
Timespan: March-October
Locations: Heijmegourde, Beldonersteine; Castleorghlynne, O'Aennea, O'Enne; Laoismellyk, O'Aennea, O'Enne
Main Characters: Adaire Sithneigh (Eidere Sÿthei), Saoirse Lagoahaíre
Background Information: Born and raised in Beldonersteine, Adaire has lived a life of privilege from birth, especially being as his father is one of the premier shippers in all of Beldonersteine and possesses a fleet second in size only to the King's Fleet.
However, shipping is a dangerous business, even for the rich, and over the ears all five of Adaire's brothers have been killed, leaving Adaire — the second youngest child — as the heir to his father's fortune.
This spring Adaire is going on his first voyage as the Heijmegourde Shipping Company's representative on a trip that is also looking to make history as the first trip to circumnavigate the continent of Ureonaiea, which has many people excited, but many people also nervous; if this voyage fails there's the potentiality that the last Sithneigh could be lost.

Saoirse is the daughter of a well-respected shepherd and his seamstress wife; and she is learning well from her mother the art of sewing, which has caught the eye of several young men in the village — which is something that excites Saoirse, as she dreams of marriage and running her own household.
The problem is, though, Saoirse has found a flaw in each of the men; flaws that she cannot ignore, and flaws that many of the men seem to be proud of, or unwilling to do anything about. Saoirse wants to marry the man of her dreams, and he doesn't have any of these flaws, which makes Saoirse wonder where in the world she's ever going to find him, and when — which looks like it won't be soon.

O'Enne: oh ehneh
Heijmegourde: hymeh-gourd
Beldonersteine: belldonnerstein
Castleorghlynne: cass'l'org-lyn
O'Aennea: oh aynhyah
Laoismellyk: l'oysemehlick
Adaire Sithneigh: ahdare sithnee
Eidere Sÿthei: aydeer seethy
Saoirse Lagoahaíre: sayer'se lahgwahhire
Ureonaiea: yurhahneighah

*O'Enne is located in the same world as Zeig (March Novel: Hopeless Night) and Le Gané (September Novel No. 2: Corruption Rent).
†Does not correspond to 1715 A.D.

The next post will be on June 1.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Opening: Day 15

Word Total: 90,001

Year to Date: 540,014

Summary of Events:
Chapter 29:
Keiller arrived at home and discovered Sophia, and then went and got Dr. Carrigan. Sophia ended up miscarrying her child — but not dying as she'd feared. Keiller and Dr. Carrigan buried the child in Keiller's backyard and discussed various things.
Chapter 30:
Dr. Carrigan wanted to take Sophia to be monitored at his house, but Sophia didn't want to leave Keiller. Keiller took her into the house until she fell asleep, then he put her on Dr. Carrigan's wagon and Dr. Carrigan headed home.

Excerpt of the Day:
"As he stood still, Keiller heard the horse start walking, along with the wagon wheels turning on the ground as it headed away. Keiller felt a twinge of sadness; but he stepped forward and opened the door.
The sadness came over Keiller stronger; Miss Hagerson had left. She was just over a mile away as the crow flew — which wasn't too far off how the roads actually went — but still, Keiller was going to have to make his own breakfast in the morning, and he'd have to make his own supper when he got home.
His stomach growled. Come to think of it; he hadn't even had supper tonight. Keiller walked over to the hoosier and felt around. He came across a jar and took it up. Shaking it, he heard the sound of liquid contained within; it was pickles of some kind.
Walking over to the fire, Keiller moved the stools away and laid out his blanket; pausing when he released he could sleep in his own bed again. He didn't want to sleep in his own bed again.
Keiller finished setting out the blanket and sat down. Opening up the pickle jar, Keiller reached inside and found that it was pickled carrots. Pulling one out, Keiller ate it and thought about Miss Hagerson.
He was surprised at how sad he was that she'd left — of course it wasn't like he'd really wanted her to leave in the first place — it unsettled him too. The more he thought about it, the more he had a distinct feeling that when he'd opened his back door and ushered Miss Hagerson inside he'd been opening more than his home to her.
No. No, he couldn't; he'd sworn that he never would. He didn't want to. It was too raw, it was too sore. He wouldn't. But was it already too late? No; it couldn't be. He didn't want to.
Keiller looked at the glowing coals; Miss Hagerson was still a puzzle he wanted to solve; he wanted to know as much about her as he possibly could — but he also didn't want to visit her now that Dr. Carrigan was suggesting such ridiculousness as he was.
But was it really ridiculous? Was it false? No. No; Keiller didn't want to think about it anymore. Rose had burned him with fire, and he wasn't going to risk being burned twice, or more. He'd played with fire, and he knew the consequences — literally and figuratively.
Fire was so attractive, though; it was somewhat of an enigma itself, how and why it danced, the smoke it sent up, it seemed always to tempt one to play with it. It didn't want to be left alone. It wanted to be poked, prodded, and fed.
Figurative fire was much the same, and Keiller was starting to have a dreadful feeling within himself that maybe he'd been lured by the figurative fire again in opening his back door and opening his heart simultaneously."

Essential Information for the June novel will be posted on May 26.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Opening: Day 14

Word Count: 84,004

Summary of Events:
Chapter 27:
Keiller waited for Geoffrey to arrive at the stage depot to try catching him again, and — thanks to Cyril — ended up having to chase Geoffrey around Coyoteville for a long time and have a shootout before finally capturing him.
Chapter 28:
Sophia noticed Keiller's horse was out of water and so watered him, although feeling a funny pain. Keiller got a confession out of Geoffrey and was offered a place in the Emerald Hills Logging Company by Egbert and Mrs. Wylie.

Excerpt of the Day:
"Getting to her feet, Sophia tried pacing, but that didn't help the pain either; it was jus as useless as the squirming. Sophia brushed tears out of her eyes; then Sophia noticed a warmth between her legs.
Looking down, Sophia's eyes went wide. What was wrong with her? Was she losing control? Sophia ran to the back door and threw on a coat as she hurried outside, but she halted midway between the cabin and the outhouse.
It wasn't right. This wasn't right at all. Something bad; something horribly bad was happening. Sophia stood still, a feeling of terrified horror washing over her. She wanted to burst into tears, she wanted to run away, she wanted to get away from all of this, she wanted to wake up from this nightmare, she wanted to die.
Sophia didn't bother stopping the tears as they came and poured down her cheeks; this was terrifying. She didn't know what to do, but she knew she wasn't going to get Mr. Bartlett. She had no idea where to find him and she didn't want anyone to know she was here.
Turning back to the house, Sophia ran inside and threw off her coat. She didn't know what to do. Finally Sophia went into the bedroom, laid down on the bed, and sobbed. It was all wrong; horribly, egregiously wrong.
The worst part was that Sophia was alone. She had no idea when Mr. Bartlett would be coming back — it probably depended on whether he decided to go out drinking or not — not like he would be able to provide much help either.
This was it. This was the end surely. There would be no help or hope for her sisters; she wouldn't be able to even tell Mr. Bartlett about them. She was positive that she was going to die. She was alone; what else would happen?
Sophia wanted her parents, she wanted her brothers, her sisters; she wanted life to never have changed that summer that she was nine. She wished that none of this had ever happened. If it would never have happened then this wouldn't be happening.
Either that, or if they hadn't all been spared, it would've been better if they all would've been taken instead. The fact that a fragment remained while a portion died was unfair, it wasn't right, and it'd caused all of this.
A shot of pain tore through Sophia and she shrieked into the pillow. She was alone, and she was dying, she was sure. There was no way her sisters would ever know what had happened to her, and they would be left alone forever, without anyone to help them, without anyone to save them.
Sophia couldn't imagine a worse end. She should've spoken sooner; she should've told Mr. Bartlett every time she'd had a chance. But she'd remained silent, and now her secrets would die with her."

Monday, May 18, 2015

Opening: Day 13

Word Count: 78,008

Summary of Events:
Chapter 25:
Keiller woke up just before noon and ended up having to bathe before he left to get the people in the prison fed. Sophia set about washing Keiller's coat, which couldn't be washed normally due to its material. Keiller then, to get away from Mr. Glanfield's complaints, went to the saloon.
Chapter 26:
Sophia worried about how and where she was going to care for her child once it was born. Keiller sat in front of the fire and did some carving before hearing a strange sound outside and going to investigate it; discovering its source was Geoffrey looking for the money.

Excerpt of the Day:
"Sophia furrowed her brow, why would Mr. Bartlett put out the lantern before coming to the cabin? How was he going to see his way? She waited for the sound of the door opening, but heard nothing.
Finally Sophia dared creep out of the bedroom. Mr. Bartlett wasn't in front of the fire; he wasn't standing by the door. He was nowhere to be seen. Sophia hurried to the door on silent tiptoes and listened.
After a few moments of silence she heard someone call out like they were goading horses to go, and then the sound of more than one horse and a wagon leaving. Opening the door, Sophia looked, but couldn't see anything.
Where was Mr. Bartlett? Closing the door, Sophia hurried and took up the lantern; she managed to light it with a coal and then peeked out the door again with the light. She could see hoof prints and wheel marks on the ground outside the door. Someone had been here with a wagon.
Sophia went over to the east side of the house and held the lantern toward the barn. She couldn't see anything at all. There was nothing. Sophia felt terrified, so terrified she wanted to cry.
Tears came to her eyes; Sophia didn't know what to do, but she didn't want to rest until Mr. Bartlett's location was known. She couldn't rest without Mr. Bartlett. Sophia wanted to scream out his name, but she didn't want to — lest she attract someone else.
Finally Sophia stepped off of the verandah and onto the snowy ground. Quietly and slowly she walked toward the barn, completely terrified, wanting to run away in a million directions the entire time.
Arriving at the barn door, Sophia found she was following a set of footprints that looked a lot like Mr. Bartlett's pointed toed boots, and they continued around the side of the barn, while another pair of footprints in different shoes headed straighter to and from the barn.
Sophia followed the prints around the barn and found Mr. Bartlett sound asleep, his pistol loosely held in his lap by his left hand. He'd been waiting for someone who'd been in the barn and fallen asleep.
Grabbing Mr. Bartlett's shoulder, Sophia shook him roughly. Mr. Bartlett startled, then his eyes shot open, his grip tightened on his pistol, and he turned it toward Sophia for a moment before realizing it was her.
"Is he gone?" Mr. Bartlett asked, looking panicked.
Sophia nodded.
Mr. Bartlett's tension left him, his gun dropping, his face falling into a scowl, his shoulders lowering. He thrust a single, succinct curse word out of his mouth before getting to his feet and looking at Sophia.
"You came out looking for me?" he asked, looking still dejected.
Sophia nodded, and almost confessed that she couldn't sleep without him in the cabin, but held her tongue and said nothing.
"Well, at least I know what I'll be doing tomorrow morning," Mr. Bartlett muttered."

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Opening: Day 12

Word Count: 72,006

Summary of Events:
Chapter 23:
Mr. and Mrs. Wylie arrived in Coyoteville and Keiller learned more that pointed at Geoffrey's guilt; most notably that he'd actually been embezzling the logging company and had taken over a thousand dollars.
Chapter 24:
Sophia found out why Mr. Bartlett was constantly carrying things for her. Keiller talked to Geoffrey's cousin, the schoolteacher Mr. Archibald, and then ended up being detained to play a billiards game at the saloon.

Excerpt of the Day:
""Now what were you wanting?" Mr. Archibald asked.
"Well," Keiller replied. "I'd like to talk to you about your cousin."
Mr. Archibald nodded, looking rather uncomfortable. "Come in, sit down," he said.
Keiller stepped inside and took a seat at the small dining table.
"Would you like some coffee?" Mr. Archibald asked.
"No thank you, I'll be fine without anything," Keiller replied.
Mr. Archibald nodded and sat down.
"I've noticed mention of your cousin makes you uncomfortable," Keiller said. "May I ask why?"
Mr. Archibald looked at the centre of the table, where a sugar bowl sat, discomfort in his expression and position. Then he relaxed and sighed, looking up at Keiller.
"I guess there's no harm in you knowing, you don't seem to feed the gossip fires by saying anything," Mr. Archibald said. "You only feed it by doing things."
"Inessential talk like that is a bore," Keiller said.
"Geoffrey isn't my cousin," Mr. Archibald said.
Keiller's eyebrows jumped, but he wasn't entirely surprised, with the way Mr. Archibald had been acting.
"Geoffrey is my half brother," Mr. Archibald said. "We both had the same mother, but our fathers were cousins who both loved her. My father succeeded in marrying her, but not before my mother was carrying Geoffrey. Geoffrey's father then married another woman and had more children with her. Geoffrey doesn't even know he's my half brother, but my mother told me."
Keiller nodded. "I can see why you wouldn't want to talk about it."
Mr. Archibald shuddered. "I'm glad my parents moved far away from Geoffrey's family — not that we didn't end up visiting them," he said. "Was that what you came to ask?"
"No," Keiller replied. "But it is useful knowledge. I think I'll start by asking you to describe Geoffrey to me and go from there."
"Alright," Mr. Archibald said. "Geoffrey is very much like his father, rather selfish, and honestly in an inordinate hurry. He wants to be a millionaire someday — like his father hasn't succeeded in being — but he wants it to be as fast as possible; which causes me to be surprised that he's remained at this job in this rather dead town for more than five years."
"I think I might have an idea why," Keiller said. "But I'll let you continue."
"I don't know that there really is anything else," Mr. Archibald said.
"How far do you think Geoffrey would go to get rich quickly?" Keiller asked.
Mr. Archibald put his fingers on is chin and began to stroke it; his eyes eventually turned their gaze toward the ceil as he thought. His fingers stopped stroking after awhile and he just stared upward. Finally he brought his gaze down to look Keiller in the eye, his face stony with seriousness.
"I think he would kill," Mr. Archibald replied."

Friday, May 15, 2015

Opening: Day 11

Word Count: 66,009

Summary of Events:
Chapter 21:
Keiller received a reply from Mrs. Wylie and talked at length with the stage driver who'd delivered it. Sophia decided to bake some sugar cookies being as it was snowing outside. Keiller went to talk to Mr. Wharton's cousin but was detained and got into a fight with Cyril.
Chapter 22:
Sophia ended up tending to Keiller's wounds and found his black eye reminded her of her attacker. Keiller was woken up by Sophia in the throes of a nightmare and comforted her back to sleep. Sophia got up the next morning not remembering the nightmare at all.

Excerpt of the Day:
"Turning toward Miss Hagerson, Keiller saw her eyes were closed and she was in a fierce fight with something invisible, it seemed. Keiller reached out and restrained her wrists, which caused her to fight all the harder against his hold.
"Miss Hagerson," Keiller said loudly. "Are you alright? What's wrong?"
Her struggling instantly decreased, but didn't stop.
"Miss Hagerson, wake up," Keiller said. "What's wrong? Do I need to get Dr. Carrigan?"
Miss Hagerson opened her eyes and stared at the ceiling. Keiller looked up to see if anything was there, but there was nothing aside from the usual ceiling; he looked down at Miss Hagerson's face again and saw tears in her eyes.
She closed her eyes and the tears ran out. Keiller wasn't sure what to do; he let go of her wrists and knelt down beside the bed.
"What's going on?" Keiller asked. "Are you alright?"
Miss Hagerson gasped, but then lunged at Keiller and wrapped her arms around his neck, trembling viciously.
"He's after me," she whispered. "He's going to get me, and he's going to–" she dissolved into sobs.
Keiller gently wrapped his arms around Miss Hagerson, trying to still her trembling, then got up so he was sitting on the bed, as to better hold her and still her.
"Who's after you?" Keiller asked.
"He is," Miss Hagerson replied. "He was going to hurt Karita, but I stopped him and now he's going to get me."
"Who was he going to hurt?" Keiller asked.
"Karita," Miss Hagerson replied. "We were forced out, and he saw her, and now he's going to get me; he's here."
"Miss Hagerson," Keiller said. "You had a nightmare, there's no one here aside from me, and trust me, I would've heard someone trying to get into my home; it's alright."
"But he's coming!" Miss Hagerson said, with panic in her voice.
"I'll stop him," Keiller said. "I promise I'll never ever, ever let him come against you; no scum like that will ever touch you. I've got the firepower to keep you away from his harming you."
Miss Hageron embraced Keiller's neck tighter, whimpering softly. Keiller slowly began to rock her back and forth, in hopes of getting her to fall back to sleep. Her grip remained tight around his neck for a long time, but eventually started to loosen.
Keiller carefully got up and laid Miss Hagerson down on the bed; she startled, her eyes open, and looked terrified. Keiller wrapped both of his hands around her hand.
"It's alright," Keiller said. "I'm still here."
Miss Hagerson's facial expression relaxed, her eyes slowly closed again, but her hand clutched Keiller's tightly. Keiller sat down on the bed and held Miss Hagerson's hand gently as she returned to sleep.
Keiller was curious about the name Miss Hagerson had mentioned, wondering who she was, but it would wait until morning. Miss Hagerson was afraid of someone, and Keiller knew exactly who: the father of her child."

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Opening: Day 10

Word Count: 60,009

Summary of Events:
Chapter 19:
Keiller brought Egbert breakfast and managed to find out Mrs. Wylie's address and went to send a letter to her, having to chase the stagecoach down to get it on; he learned from the driver that Mr. Wharton had a cousin in town and then injured himself jumping off of the stagecoach.
Chapter 20:
Sophia had to help Keiller up off of the floor in the morning because he was so sore. Dr. and Mrs. Carrigan came and Mrs. Carrigan measured Sophia for dresses before Dr. Carrigan talked with Sophia. After they and Keiller left Sophia thought about the possibility of telling Keiller about her sisters.

Excerpt of the Day:
"Mrs. Carrigan looked to be rather enthusiastic, and Miss Hagerson looked like she felt somewhat relieved. Dr. Carrigan walked over to them to ask Miss Hagerson a few questions; Keiller caught Mrs. Carrigan's eye and she came over to him.
"Did she tell you anything of interest?" Keiller asked.
"No, she remained quite quiet," Mrs. Carrigan replied. "I don't believe I've ever met a quieter woman who hasn't actually been a mute."
"You didn't learn anything of interest at all?" Keiller asked.
"She is very interesting overall," Mrs. Carrigan replied. "The fact that she's so silent and there's, really, so much mystery surrounding her intrigues me, and I wish I could find out everything about her."
"That makes two of us," Keiller said.
"But to bombard her with questions until she finally answers us would be a horrible thing to do," Mrs. Carrigan said. "She's so timid, it's like approaching a deer."
"Have you been reading my mind?" Keiller asked.
"I don't do such things," Mrs. Carrigan replied.
"You'd almost think we were related," Keiller said.
Mrs. Carrigan smiled. "Either that or you could say that great minds think alike."
Keiller smiled too. "You could say that," he agreed.
"I'll be making four dresses for Miss Hagerson," Mrs. Carrigan said. "However, I'm not sure if I should make them all the standard style, or make an empire waisted one, as that would accommodate a growing womb better; of course she is actually rather similar in size to me, so I could give her some of my old empires until she has the child, being as she isn't we and wouldn't likely be having another child soon."
Keiller nodded, even though he wasn't really that interested in the matter.
"And Mr. Bartlett, I must commend you," Mrs. Carrigan said. "You have done a very good and Godly thing taking Miss Hagerson in, in spite of the fact that many upstanding people would've rejected her abandoned her in the cold."
Keiller nodded again. "I would like her to go and stay with you, for the sake of being close to Dr. Carrigan when things start to happen, but she got quite upset at me when I suggested the idea. She thought I was just trying to get her out of here now because she is with child and therefore I no longer had the opportunity to defile her."
"The poor child," Mrs. Carrigan said. "She's all alone, and she's hurting and confused; I hope that maybe she will be convinced to come and stay with us as well. I would love to help her in any way she would let me."
"You already are," Keiller said. "You're making her clothes."
"But I would love to do more than that," Mrs. Carrigan said.
Keiller nodded. "So would I.""

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Opening: Day 9

Word Count: 54,019

Summary of Events:
Chapter 17:
Keiller was stunned by Sophia's outburst and apologized to her for what he'd said, and then was challenged as to why he was afraid — according to Sophia — however Keiller thought about it and found he was afraid, and also why.
Chapter 18:
Sophia thought about things, and felt quite thoroughly confused by all of it, especially what she ought to do and when she ought to do it. Keiller went to get the truth out of Egbert Witting and got a surprising answer to his query about Sheriff Evans' killer's identity.

Excerpt of the Day:
"Sitting down at the writing desk, Keiller wrote on the piece of paper on the desk: Send Patience to live with Ezekiel, and then I will take you into protective custody, in a cell that cannot be seen from any windows, and will make sure that no one enters the office without my knowing.
Egbert took the pen from Keiller and wrote a reply: But you don't know who the killer is, you don't know who you're looking for.
Keiller took the pen back: If you tell me I'll know.
What happens to this note? Egbert wrote.
I'll burn it as soon as we've reached a resolution. Keiller wrote in reply.
Keiller held out the pen to Egbert, but Egbert didn't take it. Keiller looked up at Egbert. Egbert looked like he was rather tortured, like he didn't know what to do — write the name, or withhold it.
Egbert turned and beckoned to Mrs. Witting and took the pen. When Mrs. Witting arrived at the table Egbert wrote: Go pack some things and go to Ezekiel's, I'm going into protective custody with the Sheriff.
Mrs. Witting took the pen: How long?
Keiller took the pen: Until the killer is apprehended and imprisoned, and I don't know how long that will take; I'd advise you take a month's worth, just to be safe.
Do you think the killer will do anything to our house? Mrs. Witting wrote.
I wouldn't think so. Keiller wrote. Not unless there's anything convicting in the house that he might want to destroy.
No. Egbert wrote.
Mrs. Witting nodded and left the room.
So now who am I looking for? Keiller wrote.
He looked up at Egbert; Egbert didn't look at anyone more willing to divulge the name now than he had before he'd told Mrs. Witting to pack. Keiller waited, waiting for confirmation of his theory, hopefully.
Finally Egbert took up the pen, dipped it in the ink, and blotted it. Aligning his hand over the paper, Egbert passed and let the pen hover over the page, then brought up his left hand to shield his writing and wrote.
Keiller waited for Egbert to raise his hand, even though he wanted desperately to rip Egbert's hand off of the paper and see it for himself already. Egbert seemed unwilling to reveal it still.
Egbert screwed up his face and removed his hand from the paper at last, revealing to Keiller the name of the person who Egbert was positively stating he believed had killed Sheriff Evans: Geoffrey Wharton."

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Opening: Day 8

Word Count: 48,007

Summary of Events:
Chapter 15:
Keiller woke up to no breakfast and found Sophia was sick, so he went and got the doctor to see what it was that was making her sick and was told by Dr. Carrigan that Sophia was pregnant, which thoroughly stunned Keiller.
Chapter 16:
Sophia had mixed emotions about the news herself, and had no idea what to feel, but decided that there wasn't really anything she could do about it. Keiller let Julius out of his cell, positive that Julius would never break into the saloon again.

Excerpt of the Day:
"Sophia finished eating and cleaned up her dishes while Mr. Bartlett had a second helping. He always had a second helping, which Sophia felt was a compliment to her cooking knowledge — limited and rudimentary though she felt it was.
"I think it would be good if you went to stay with the Carrigan's," Mr. Bartlett said when Sophia resumed her seat. "Then you'll be closer to Dr. Carrigan when things start to happen, and Mrs. Carrigan has had children before and can give advice — not to mention she's a woman — she could probably even get you some proper dresses too, and then there wouldn't be any risk to my reputation either."
Startling, Sophia looked at Mr. Bartlett. Risk to his reputation? Was he really conceited enough to think that? He hadn't seemed at all conceited until this moment; he'd been quite selfless, giving her clothing, shelter, food, even surrendering his own bed to her, and doing what he could to ensure her safety, and yet he was scared of risking his reputation?
It seemed ridiculous; if he was afraid of risking his reputation, then why in the told had be brought her into his house off of his back porch in the first place? Why hadn't he left her there to shiver and be soaked? In fact, why hadn't he just killed her? if he cared about his reputation that much surely he wouldn't be above killing someone.
"Is something the matter?" Mr. Bartlett asked. "Have I upset you?"
"No," Sophia replied. "But, for as gracious and selfless of a host as you've been, you suddenly appear to be quite conceited."
Mr. Bartlett startled and looked at her with what she was sure was the same expression she'd been looking at him with moments before.
"You seemed perfectly willing to talk me in, give me food, shelter, clothes, and even surrender your own bed to me," Sophia continued. "But now all of the sudden you're worrying about risking your reputation." A thought occurred to Sophia: "Or is it just because I am now with child? Was it all fine until you discovered I'm no longer a pure, virginal woman? Is it now time to get rid of me because I am defiled? Or even because you've now been deprived of the opportunity to defile me yourself?"
Mr. Bartlett's head reeled back like she'd slapped him. Sophia got to her feet.
"If that's the case then you are a hideously conceited man," Sophia said. "What kind of an officer of the law can you possibly be if you're out only for your own benefit? I feel sorry for the poor people in the community you're responsible, having to suffer under a sheriff who does things based on himself and his reputation.""

Monday, May 11, 2015

Opening: Day 7

Word Count: 42,006

Summary of Events:
Chapter 13:
Keiller was awed by Sophia's culinary talent when she prepared venison, and his compliments ended up making her cry, then Keiller accidentally prompted her to run away, but they were both stopped by tripping over a log and Keiller brought her back to the house.
Chapter 14:
Sophia woke up feeling a little ill, but made breakfast anyways. Keiller did the dishes, being as Sophia looked exhausted, and then left, wondering why Sophia had been so tired. Sophia started to feel panicky and felt that she had to leave — not that she really wanted to.

Excerpt of the Day:
"Sophia finally convinced herself to put the corset on, and did it up as loosely as possible — which was still rather restrictive for her — and then removed Mr. Bartlett's clothes he'd loaned to her.
Carefully Sophia slid into all of her skirts and petticoats, and finally the dress over top of it all. Sophia looked down at it, felling quite cold already without her arms and her shoulders covered.
Sitting down on the bed, Sophia burst into tears again. She couldn't leave. She couldn't do it. But she had to leave now, before Mr. Bartlett saw or heard her. She needed to get out here, otherwise he would surely bring about grievous harm against her.
Standing up, Sophia looked at the clothes she'd borrowed from Mr. Bartlett. Being as she hadn't put on her dress since she'd arrived, the clothes she'd borrowed from Mr. Bartlett were filthy, and he'd built up a pile of laundry himself.
Sophia couldn't leave work undone, she'd have to clean the clothes before she left, and then make the bed properly, with both blankets on it. Then she could leave it all behind and go back to Nevada — where it didn't usually get this cold anyways.
Taking up the laundry, Sophia couldn't find any other washbasin other than the dishwashing basin, so she filled it up with water and then heated it by the fire before starting to scrub the clothes in it.
As she washed, Sophia thought about what she would do once she left. She would go back the way she came — except for the steep slope, of course — and then hopefully find someone other than the sheriff of Yerington who had his kind of authority and could go into Madame LeRoy's and get her sisters out of there.
Looking down at her clothes, though, Sophia sighed. She was dressed like whore, how would anyone believe her that she wanted to get out? Would anyone even help her? She would need to find different clothes if she waned to be believed and not attacked again.
But where would she find different clothes? And how could she possibly acquire them without stealing? She didn't want to steal anything from anyone. It was wrong to steal, Mama had enforced that in the minds of all of her children.
Sophia sighed as she pinned up the trousers she'd worn. She had no idea what to do, even though she was thoroughly convinced she knew what she was supposed to do. Was it what she should be doing? Was it right?
Was leaving here the right move now? Was leaving without her question answered the right thing to do? Had she dallied too long? There were so many questions that stirred uncertainty in Sophia.
And the worst part wasn't even the questions, it was the fact that she didn't have anyone to trust; there was no one she could go to and ask for advice on what she should do in this matter. She was completely alone."

Saturday, May 09, 2015

Opening: Day 6

Word Count: 36,005

Summary of Events:
Chapter 11:
Sophia discovered a map drawn on the back of some of Sheriff Evans' notes. Keiller helped her put it together and discovered some pieces missing which included his yardsite; he then went hunting around his yard and found a buried jug with another map in it.
Chapter 12:
Sophia and Keiller went out to find what was hidden at the end of the route given on the second map —being as Keiller needed a lady's stride — and found a barrel containing papers and money which Sophia looked at after Keiller left for Coyoteville.

Excerpt of the Day:
"Sophia forged on reading, trying to find some kind of sense in the documents, then she spotted numbers, big numbers, with lots of zeros behind them, tens of hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Had they been planning to form a company? Sophia remembered Papa talking about starting a business in Minnesota like he'd had before they'd gone to Minnesota, and he'd been talking about big numbers too, but he and Mama had always been worried about the numbers. Sophia had never fully understood it.
Why would they hide a company? Why had the sheriff been murdered over a company? It didn't make any sense. Sophia looked at the big words and wondered if it would make more sense if she knew the meanings of those words.
Sophia set the water damaged papers to the side and climbed under the table to get the rolls of paper. Undoing the string around one of them, Sophia unrolled it and looked at the drawing.
It was a large building, there were notes of measurements for different distances, marks for doors, all sorts of things. These were plans for a building. What kind of building, though?
From the looks of things it wasn't a house, there was an office marked as one of the rooms; Sophia looked down at the writing at the bottom that said what the plans were for, that was where her answers would come from.
Emerald Hills Logging Company Sawmill, main floor. So they were wanting to start a logging company? That made sense, trees were abundant here, and wood was a construction necessity. It would make the area profitable.
Why were they hiding it? Had someone else been wanting to make a logging company too? Why would the sheriff get murdered over a logging company? It seemed quite ridiculous for the sheriff to be murdered over such a thing.
There was no legitimate reason or motive for the sheriff to be killed over a logging company. It made no sense whatsoever. Sophia found there were more pages to the plans and looked at the rest of them for the sawmill; she then rolled them up and retied them with the string.
Taking up the other roll of papers, Sophia unrolled them and found plans for a storefront, with road names written all around it: Coyote Avenue across the top, Main Street running in front of the building, Coyote Avenue Alley at the bottom, and Main Street Alley West behind the building. Mr. Bartlett would probably know where those locations were, he would probably be interested by this all too.
Emerald Hills Logging Company Lumber Store, was what the plan read at the bottom. It was a one-floor building, as there were no other pages and no listing of other floors. There was still no motive, though.
Why would the sheriff be killed over a business? But there was that note, the one written by the sheriff that'd said he was bringing notes, likely banknotes. Had he been robbed on the way to their gathering and killed?" 

Friday, May 08, 2015

Opening: Day 5

Word Count: 30,006

Summary of Events:
Chapter 9:
Keiller decided to look back over Sheriff Evans' last cases to see if he can find any links, and finds a potential one and goes to telegraph Sacramento to see if it is and meets Egbert, who's acting oddly. Sophia decides to look at the file Keiller left behind and finds an interesting note.
Chapter 10:
Sophia got up to make breakfast and tried to convince herself to talk to Keiller, who showed her he actually had a cellar — although it was just as lean as his cupboard had been. Keiller had to prove to Egbert he hadn't been paid $2,500 in fines by Cyril, and then decided to do some searching at the bank.

Excerpt of the Day:
"Once Egbert was past the smith Keiller stepped back into the bank.
"Actually, Mr. Roberts, I was wondering," Keiller said. "Do you have one of those account books for Sheriff Evans?"
"I do," Mr. Roberts replied.
"May I have it?" Keiller asked.
"Yes, just a moment," Mr. Roberts said.
Keiller waited as Mr. Roberts disappeared into the back room and returned with a smaller, thinner version of the book he'd brought out with all of the transactions in it. A piece of paper was pasted on the front, labelling it: Sheriff Mr. A. Farley J. Evans, 15 August 1856 – 19 April 1879.
"Are there any other account books belonging to Sheriff Evans?" Keiller asked.
"Yes, there's one other one," Mr. Roberts replied, getting to his feet and heading toward the back room.
"Oh, and Mr. Roberts," Keiller said, causing the banker to stop. "Do you have any books belonging to anyone named Wylie?"
"Wylie?" Mr. Roberts asked, looking puzzled. "I'm not sure, I'll look."
Keiller opened his mouth to say more, but paused and closed his mouth, Mr. Roberts had gone off into the back room anyways. Should he ask for Egbert and Geoffrey's account books too?
Mr. Roberts returned with Sheriff Evans' other book. "I'll go back and look for that other one, Wylie you said?"
"Yes," Keiller replied. "W y l i e."
Mr. Roberts nodded and headed back into the room. Keiller looked at the first book; it said the same as the first one he'd gotten, except with earlier dates, and in a different script.
Keiller opened it up and looked; Sheriff Evans had deposited five hundred dollars when he opened the account. For the first while Sheriff Evans deposited a lot of money into the account — of course that was during the peak of the gold rush when Coyoteville had been booming — and only withdrew sums of twenty dollars or less.
By the time the book was full Sheriff Evans had nearly accumulated some twenty thousand dollars. Keiller was amazed. What had Sheriff Evans made all of this money off of doing? Being a sheriff didn't pay that much — unless his wages were higher while the town was booming.
Keiller opened up the next book, but then heard footsteps and looked up. Mr. Roberts was returning with a book in his hand. Keiller was surprised, but happy. Hopefully he'd found a name.
"Only one," Mr. Roberts said, sliding the book through the opening.
Mrs. Esmeralda T. Wylie, 31 October 1875 – 1 May 1879.
"If there was a Mrs. Wylie why wasn't there a Mr. Wylie?" Keiller asked.
"I haven't the faintest idea," Mr. Roberts replied. "But that was the only Wylie I could find."
Keiller nodded, this had definitely taken an interesting turn now."

Thursday, May 07, 2015

Opening: Day 4

Word Count: 24,006

Summary of Events:
Chapter 7:
Keiller woke up on his floor to find Sophia had already made breakfast for him. As he dressed Sophia discovered that he was a sheriff, but also that she was in California. As he headed to Coyoteville, Keiller thought about Sophia and hoped she wouldn't leave before he could help her.
Chapter 8:
Sophia thought about whether she should stay and get Keiller to help her, being as he was a sheriff, or not, and also realized she'd left her sisters behind in likely danger. Keiller searched the apartment attached to the sheriff's office where Sheriff Evans had lived for papers that might bear clues to his killer.

Excerpt of the Day:
"Now all that remained to be seen was what they contained. Keiller delicately lifted the file off of the bed, making sure that all of the little bits and scraps of paper were in his file.
Sheriff Evans had used a lot of little scraps to write note on. Keiller was doubtful that he had one full sheet of paper that hadn't had one corner or another torn out with some other note in it — if the entire page hadn't been torn into little bits with different, random pieces of information on them.
Keiller walked carefully down the stairs and into the office, where he had his saddlebags sitting on the desk, so then he could put the file inside and not have to worry about loosing any papers.
Carefully Keiller slid the file into one of the saddlebags and closed it. He checked three times that no pieces of paper had fallen or blown out of the file. Keiller then closed and locked Sheriff Evans' apartment door, the office's front door, and headed to the back.
He tacked up his horse and then finally locked the back door. Swinging into the saddle, Keiller made sure again that no papers had fallen out of the saddlebag, and found that none had, thankfully.
Most everyone was off of the streets, a raucous riot was coming from the saloon already as men drank and gambled profusely. Anyone who wasn't at the saloon was likely at their home eating their supper.
Keiller continued to make sure no papers were coming out of his saddlebag as he rode up the street. He glanced around somewhat nervously — even though he didn't want to be unnerved by Julius' suggestion, being as it sounded rather foolish.
But was it foolish? Not necessarily. It was foolish to think that someone was going to kill him for his talent at playing pool; but it wasn't really foolish to think that maybe whoever had killed Sheriff Evans was out to kill him.
It was legitimate. Many people disliked lawmen, and many lawmen had been killed over the years — whether it was over poker talent, or something more legitimate than that — being a lawman was a dangerous job.
But who? Why? Who would want to kill him? Cyril. Mr. Glanfield. Maybe Egbert, although he hadn't played billiards since the night, maybe Egbert had just had a bad day. But would any of them have wanted to kill Sheriff Evans?
Who would've wanted to kill Sheriff Evans? That was the question. He had to figure out who would've wanted to kill Sheriff Evans. He couldn't recall anyone who had been particularly upset or angry with Sheriff Evans."

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Opening: Day 3

Word Count: 18,014

Summary of Events:
Chapter 5:
Keiller arrived in Coyoteville for another day of work and confirmed to Cyril he would be arrested if he refused to pay his fine, then he was scared by Reverend Kemsley as he made Julius breakfast; Keiller also decided to reinvestigate the murder of the former sheriff, Sheriff Evans.
Chapter 6:
Sophia saw rain approaching, then a wind picked up, so she hurried to get out of the trees and fell down a hill, but was unscathed enough to keep going. Keiller went outside in need of the outhouse and ended up making a startling discovery once he was done . . .

Excerpt of the Day:
"What was it? A black bear cub? A person? In the dark all Keiller could tell was that it was black. Keiller stepped silently and went into the house, getting his lantern off of the table.
Returning outside, Keiller stepped closer to the bundle. It was a human being, he could see skin now, but it was still clothed in black. Keiller slid his postal back into its holster, not entirely sure when he'd drawn it out.
The figure was balled up, and it looked to be shivering violently — not surprising, being as it was wet, and rain wasn't exactly warm — Keiller stepped closer; he could make out the sodden hair, long and dark brown. This was a woman.
Keiller hadn't seen a woman with bare arms like this in a long time. Coyoteville didn't have a whorehouse. Reaching forward, Keiller stopped. He'd never touched a woman's bare arm before, and he wasn't sure what to do now.
But where else could he touch? Nowhere else would be appropriate, not to mention her shoulders were equally as bare. Keiller wasn't sure what was going to happen, but he was going to have to touch her, unless he was going to leave her out on his back porch to die of cold.
Like he was reaching out to touch a snake, Keiller reached forward and lightly touched her arm, instantly retracting his arm; her head snapped up and looked at him, her blue eyes, wild, wide, and terrified, stared at him.
She was a girl. She looked younger now that she was looking at him. Why was she in whore's clothes? She pressed back against the railing, but instead of getting further away, her feet extended outward, closer to him.
What should Keiller say to her? He had to say something; he couldn't just drag her around, she was staring at him like a startled deer. If he made the wrong move, like the deer, she'd surely be gone in a flash — and with this weather likely to her death.
Keiller had no idea what to say. He'd never had someone show up on his back verandah before, nor ahd he ever shown up on anyone's back verandah before to know what probably ought to be said.
Glancing up at the pouring rain, Keiller felt a chill; the air was cold with the torrent of cold water pouring down on them. Turning back to the young woman, Keiller reached forward.
"You're going to catch your death of cold out here," Keiller said, wrapping his fingers around her frigid arm.
She bundled her legs back against her chest and pulled against Keiller's grip on her arm. Keiller set the lantern to the side and managed to pull her to her feet. Her eyes gazed at him with a terrified wildness like she was a captured animal.
Fiercely she pulled against his grip and fought his hold. Keiller's hands slipped on her wet clothes as he fought to keep her in his grip. Finally Keiller managed to wrap both of his arms around her and hold her tightly against his chest."

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Opening: Day 2

Word Count: 12,007

Summary of Events:
Chapter 3:
Keiller had a chat with Julius, encouraging him to use his confinement to think about how to change. Sophia got in trouble with Madame LeRoy because she couldn't get enough air, but one of the other girls came to her aid. Keiller then went to the stage depot and had an altercation with Mr. Glanfield.
Chapter 4:
Karita was dressed just like Sophia and they were both sent into the main room where Karita ended up attracting the attention of the one-eared man Sophia had seen before; Sophia came to Karita's defense, but ended up getting carried off.

Excerpt of the Day:
"Sophia went to punch him in the eye again, but he stopped her fist this time and took her up at the waist, hoisting her over his shoulder. She screamed and pounded at his shoulder as he started walking.
Fiercely she squirmed against his grip, but couldn't get free. She looked up and saw Karita staring out the door of the room, her eyes wide with horror. Sophia fought desperately to pull free from his grip, but he carried her out into the rather cold desert night and kept walking.
Sophia twisted her face at the revulsion of the idea, but she figured it would be effective, so she bent down and sank her teeth into the muscles of his back, making sure to keep her tongue well away from his shirt.
He roared again and whipped her off of his shoulder and onto the ground, setting his hand firmly on her collarbone — so firm, in fact, that she was afraid the bone would break — and glared at her.
"I won't have any more of this, pet," he growled.
Sophia screamed as her legs were exposed to the night air. He wrapped his hand around her throat until Sophia was gasping and clutching at it. After a few moments he then came up to her face and tied a gag around her mouth.
Now that her throat was open again Sophia tried to scream, but all that came out were pathetic squeaks and whimpers. She fought and struggled against his hold until tears were streaming down into her hair, some also getting into her ears.
She could feel what he was doing and fought fiercely against it, still trying to scream while he uttered deep, guttural groans of pleasure. Sophia couldn't get free of him, although she struggled and fought violently against his hold. He was a strong man.
Finally he stopped, then he came over to her mouth and removed the gag. He smiled at her with his ugly smile, looking all the more hideous in the dark with just one eye looking at her.
"Now that's a good pet," he said. "Let's go for a little walk."
The man pulled Sophia to her feet. Sophia jerked away from him and found, much to her surprised — and it seemed also his surprise — that she was free of his hold. After that brief moment of realization Sophia whirled around and ran.
"Hey! Get back here!" the man shouted.
Sophia ran as fast as her legs could carry her, skirts gathered in her hands, flying past the buildings, down the road, her ribs pressing fiercely at the corset restraining them, her lungs desperately inhaling as deeply as possible — yet still not seeming to get enough air.
Eventually the buildings ended and Sophia was in the open. She kept running, not caring what direction she was facing in, just running through the sand, and as far away as she could get from the lights of Yerington. She was not going back there, ever."

Monday, May 04, 2015

Opening: Day 1

Word Count: 6,007

Summary of Events:
Chapter 1:
Keiller arrived in Coyoteville from his place outside of town and found the local drunk Julius Dunnigan had broken into the saloon again; he then ended up getting into an argument with Mr. Glanfield over a fine Keiller had levied against the stage company owner's son in law.
Chapter 2:
Sophia and her sister Karita did the laundry and Sophia got in trouble with Madame LeRoy over speaking in her mother tongue with Karita. Keiller played some billiards with the usual billiards players and won a game without anyone else taking a shot.

Excerpt of the Day:
"Loud and raucous noises came from the other side of the doors. Men and most of Madame LeRoy's girls could make a serious riot. Sophia stood still and straight in the shadows beside the door into the back.
After awhile Madame LeRoy appeared down the stairs. She straightened herself and looked at Sophia, looking just as defiant as Sophia was sure she looked. Sophia locked her gaze on Madame LeRoy's brown eyes and held it.
It didn't take much time before Madame LeRoy broke her gaze with Sophia and looked to her daughters, who held Sophia tightly on either side. Giving a single, succinct nod, Madame LeRoy signalled her daughters.
Maud and Frances led Sophia out into the brightly lit main room, part full of tables around which men and women sat, the other part an open floor on which several men and women danced to the music of a grossly out of tune piano.
One of the younger girls and a rather ugly man went out the doors Sophia had just passed through; heading up to the bedrooms. Sophia crawled at the knowledge of what they would be doing.
Frances and Maud released Sophia and each strode to one of the only two exits from the room to guard against Sophia departing. Madame LeRoy stood beside Sophia and looked up at her with a pleased expression.
"You cannot get away my darling," Madame LeRoy said. "You'll be exactly what you're supposed to be."
Sophia held her tongue, opening her mouth would only bring attention to herself, and she refused to let anyone see her if she could prevent it. Madame LeRoy sauntered off to entertain one of the customers.
Stepping back slowly, Sophia stood back against the wall and watched as the women and men talked, danced, and engaged in other activities. No one seemed to notice her, for which she was pleased.
From her vantage, Sophia surveyed the room, working hard to keep her face stoic, even though some of what she saw absolutely reviled her and made her want to flee away from here — even though she'd have to get through Maud or Frances.
As she scanned the room, though, Sophia locked on a face that made her freeze. It was the most hideous face she'd ever seen. One eye was closed and looked hideously scarred, and the one ear was just about nonexistent — its remnant looking absolutely reviling.
The man's one eye, which looked the colour of liquor, was fixed on her, and his filthy mouth was curled in a crooked, ugly smile, showing filthy teeth, some even missing, and making his face look even uglier.
Sophia was positive she knew exactly what he was thinking, and she hated it. The idea of him thinking such things reviled her. She had to get out of this room. She desperately had to get out of this place and far, far away."

Saturday, May 02, 2015

May Novel Essential Information

Novel Title: Opening
Time Setting:  1883
Genre: Historical Fiction
Minimum Word Goal: 90,000
Timespan: August-December
location(s): Coyteville, California; Yerington, Nevada
main characters: Keiller Bartlett, Sophia Hagerson
background information: Born the only child to his parents — who never wed — Keiller was raised by his mother until she died when he was two. Knowing nothing about his father, the town gave him up for adoption and he was raised by his adoptive parents knowing fully that he wasn't their biological son.
He left home when he was fifteen to try his hand at gold prospecting — not that much gold was left by 1869 — and suffered several robberies and even nearly his own death, which ignited a passion in him for the law and justice.
First he was a deputy in Diamond Springs before taking up a position in Coyoteville six years ago. He became sheriff two years later when the town's sheriff was killed and he hasn't been appointed a deputy — not that he minds at all.
About the same time as he became sheriff he began a relationship with the daughter of the local stage line owner — known was "the Rose of Coyoteville" — and everyone, even Keiller, was convinced the two of them would marry — the women in town predicting a multitude of children.
Two years ago, however, a fetching young stage driver came to town and stole Rose's heart while decimating Keiller's; Rose has since married the driver and Keiller swears revenge — even if it means breaking the law he's pledged to uphold.

Sophia was born to Scandinavian immigrants in Minnesota who were killed — along with most of her siblings — in an out-of-control wildfire when she was nine, leaving her and her two younger sisters orphans.
Their uncle was their only living relative anyone could find in the US, so he was made their guardian; but not being a family man, he abandoned the girls in Montana and hasn't been seen since.
From their abandonment in Montana, to now as they live in Nevada, Sophia has been looking for an escape for her and her sisters, but has found no opportunities — and has no money to do anything anyways.