At the Cry of Ne’erday

TwitterTales…the creation of writer @seamusspeaks…a complete short story in one month, one Twitter post a day, 140 characters at a time. Not as easy as it sounds, and it doesn’t sound easy. But fun? Most certainly.

@Seamusspeaks invited me to participate last December–I came on board 4 days late, which led to the title of my first TwitterTale…“Four Days Late.” It began the story of Lady Marian of the Barony, as she struggles to find her lost family. Little did I know what writing a TwitterTale would be like–I had visions of completing a novel in less than 30 days. Heh heh. Not happening. December’s Tale was rather rushed at the ending, as I ran out of days.

But I was ready for January. I wrote the whole month’s Tale in one sitting, and posted one segment every day (unless I forgot, ahem). And I am continuing the saga each month.

But as it might be hard to find the Tales in the mountain of my Twitter Blither, I’m posting them in their entirety, to date, here on my blog. I’ll add every day’s post until the month’s story is done.

So whether you follow me on Twitter or subscribe to my blog, I welcome you to check back daily for the latest part of the adventure!

And stay tuned…

~~~~~

At the Cry of Ne’erday

TTb:01 Snowflakes settled on the hair of Lady Marian, peasant-born confidante of Baroness Aster, as she stood where she had a week before.
TTb:02 Before her was the maw of the cave where she had escaped the plan of Duke d’Lorrimer, who desired secrets of the Barony. Her secrets.

TTb:03 A messenger had lured Mari to her home camp with news of an attack. Now, her people were still missing & the traitor was found dead.

TTb:04 Beside her was a tall man with sword & crest. Sir Robert Wood, Knight & nobleman. He had saved her, & now returned to search with her.
TTb:05 Her heart thanked him, as it did Edward, Horseman of the Barony, keen & wiry ally who had been loyal. He too returned to help.

TTb:06 “The trail is cold Milady,” said Rob. He treated her as nobility though she was but a wild peasant whose friend had married well.

TTb:07 “My people never came to the caves. Yet the camp is destroyed. Where are they? Would the Duke know?” Rob was grim: ”Would he tell?”

TTb:08 Ed sighed “I should revel for Hogmanay, yet I choose to stand in the snow.” “With thy mouth closed, one would rather” Rob bantered.
TTb:09 “I shall search quietly” Ed vowed. “I saw spires of a castle deep in the woods—Perhaps there?” Rob frowned “It’s the Winter King.”
TTb:10 “Truly he could shelter my camp!” Mari said. “Nay” said Rob “He’s cold & disloyal to his land. Returns only with the season of snow.”
TTb:11 “But I must try” she whispered & quickly mounted her horse. “You both need not follow.” The 2 men smiled wryly: “Oh no?” & followed.

TTb:12 The day’s ride took them to the King’s lavish, snowy land. Nearing the castle, Rob said low: “Be cautious. This King is no friend.”

TTb:13 Rob’s nobility gained them audience with the King. Garbed in velvet & ermine he looked powerful. His eyes scorned Rob & fell on Mari.
TTb:14 “Who is this charming lady & why honor me with a visit?” he said. Ed groaned under his breath. Rob frowned. Mari blushed & explained.
TTb:15 The King said: “You seek refugees but they aren’t here. Stay with me & I will send for word of them.” Mari stammered thanks & agreed.
TTb:16 Mari was led away by courtiers. “This is bad” Ed barked privately. “I dislike him!” Rob was grave: “Now we’re separated—that I hate.”

TTb:17 Mari came to supper richly gowned. The King doted on her & tried to draw her away from her friends. She cast tense glances their way.
TTb:18 “To Ne’er’day!” the King toasted “To a year’s alliances” “With whom?” Mari asked. “With the Barony” he smiled, “& you if you’ll stay”
TTb:19 Mari blushed. “I must leave to search!” The King said: “No need. My men are searching.” Ed muttered to Rob: “Yes & my horse can fly”

TTb:20 As Ne’erday dawned Mari stood outside. She was offered a rich life as Queen & an army to find her camp. Yet her heart staggered. Why?

TTb:21 The King came behind her, asked: “Deciding?” “I cannot stay” she murmured. His face was cold. “But you must. Or the Barony suffers.”

TTb:22 Mari paled. “What?” The King’s face hardened. “I desire you for my wife. I can destroy the Barony if you refuse.” She panicked. “No!”

TTb:23 “I can’t marry, I must search—” The King grabbed her arm. “Your camp is lost. I heard tell the Duke destroyed them all. Give it up!”

TTb:24 Mari struggled vainly “You never sent the army” she charged. He sneered. “You are a fool. Go inside Lady, this will be your home now”

TTb:25 Suddenly a command: “Let her go!” The King spun & saw Rob. Mari escaped & ran to him. “Leave us Knight or pay dearly!” the King raged

TTb:26 “You have no power over Milady’s choice” he challenged “The Barony guards the land in your foul absence & is honored. You are hated.”

TTb:27 To Mari he said “Go quickly to Ed” She hesitated but feared for his safety without help, so obeyed. Yet Ed waited to take her away.

TTb:28 “Ride quiet, Rob will come after” Ed relayed throwing her up on her horse. Mari clung to her mount as it pounded the road behind Ed’s.

TTb:29 Miles later the sound of more hoofbeats gave her heart fear then relief. Rob was riding. “What happened?” she asked at a pause.

TTb:30 “Ride hard. I fear we are outlaws” said Rob “The King is weak in the land but not in his home. I seem to have angered him. Ride hard.”

TTb:31 Mari & Ed agreed. The three rode hard through the woodlands for the rest of Ne’erday, & escaped…to an uncertain future.

 

The end…for now…

 

All content © 2008 Christine Taylor

Four Days Late

TwitterTales…the creation of writer @seamusspeaks…a complete short story in one month, one Twitter post a day, 140 characters at a time. Not as easy as it sounds, and it doesn’t sound easy. But fun? Most certainly.

@Seamusspeaks invited me to participate last December–I came on board 4 days late, which led to the title of my first TwitterTale…”Four Days Late.” It began the story of Lady Marian of the Barony, as she struggles to find her lost family. Little did I know what writing a TwitterTale would be like–I had visions of completing a novel in less than 30 days. Heh heh. Not happening. December’s Tale was rather rushed at the ending, as I ran out of days.

But I was ready for January. I wrote the whole month’s Tale in one sitting, and posted one segment every day (unless I forgot, ahem). And I am continuing the saga each month.

But as it might be hard to find the Tales in the mountain of my Twitter Blither, I’m posting them in their entirety, to date, here on my blog. I’ll add every day’s post until the month’s story is done.

So whether you follow me on Twitter or subscribe to my blog, I welcome you to check back daily for the latest part of the adventure!

In the meantime, here for your reading pleasure is the entire text of “Four Days Late.” And stay tuned…because February is underway…

~~~~~

Four Days Late

TTa:01 Marian stood in the empty camp and stared at the devastation. 4 days. She was 4 days late. How could one make up for 4 days lost?

TTa:02 A winter wind bit at her lips as she drew a gasp. Tents & supplies were scattered. No sign of life. She was afraid to start looking.

TTa:03 A messenger had been sent but was caught. He escaped after 4 days. Only then did Marian get the news: Her home camp was under attack.

TTa:04 Marian had grown up among the forest camps. Now she was lady in waiting to a baroness. But her blood was wild, & her spirit was free.
TTa:05 With no more aid than a knight, a horseman & the messenger, she had come to save her people from the enemy. But found home in ruins.

TTa:06 Movement behind her; a large form. A deep, quiet voice.“What next Milady?” The knight. A nobleman, returned from war that very day.

TTa:07 He was a war hero & noble; Marian had a background lower than peasantry. Yet he quickly helped her. Eyes wet, she replied: “Search.”

TTa:08 The four combed the camp. Silent, cautious. Marian knew the enemy could hide. Raiders, thieves, they were. Covetous of home’s bounty.
TTa:09 Soundless minutes passed. Then a voice:“Everyone’s gone.” The wiry horseman, roughly clothed, eyes wary. “Fled? Captured?” he asked.

TTa:10 “Doomed,” whispered the messenger. A shell of a man, eyes blank. “The enemy took no prisoners.” The Knight stared. “They took you.”

TTa:11 He turned away. The Knight eyed him. “The safe Caves!”Marian exclaimed.“We’ll try there!” But the Knight caught her hand to stop her.

TTa:12 “The barony is rich. The friend of the baroness knows secrets.” “I’m not important,” she replied. “Yes you are,” he whispered. To me.

TTa:13 “I must find my family” Marian begged. The Knight paused. “Then we go to the caves.” He glanced at the messenger & saw him watching.

TTa:14 Marian gave the Knight a grateful gaze & brushed past the messenger. As dusk came on the 4 rode out. She led the way, wary & nervous.

TTa:15 The forest was dark by the caves. The messenger halted, said “I’ll wait; I’m weary.” Marian went cold & saw the Knight grip his sword
TTa:16 The Knight glanced at her & the horseman. Both tensed. “It’s dark. Get wood for torches.” He led the way. “I’m sorry” Marian murmured.
TTa:17 “You fear an ambush” said the horseman under his breath. The Knight’s eyes lit with steel. “Too well. But we are not caught yet.”
TTa:18 “They want you & expect us as an army” said the Knight to Marian. “What’s in the cave?” “Tunnels & many exits. One is ahead” said she

TTa:19 Suddenly came footfalls in the dark—many. “He’s told we’re only 3” whispered the Knight. Mari grabbed the 2 & pulled them to the cave
TTa:20 They saw dark forms & glint of steel. “Inside” said the knight. She knew the tunnel well. “This goes to the front & east.” “Good.”

TTa:21 “We need our horses” said the Knight. Mari gasped: “But my family?” “We must escape & return.” She nodded, grieved. “This way.”

TTa:22 “Tis a harsh way to spend Christmas,” said the horseman. “In a cave!” The Knight smiled. “It was good enough for the Savior.”

TTa:23 Mari led them into the cave, a torch aloft for light. Soon she snuffed it to embers saying “The entry is close, enemies may be near
TTa:24 The entry tunnel opened wide before them, echoing with fierce voices. One the messenger’s: “You cannot blame me for her escape! Noo!”

TTa:25 “Comb the woods. Find her!” they heard. The Knight drew breath. “What is it Rob?” said the horseman. “The voice, Ed! Duke d’Lorrimer!

TTa:26″Him here? Why?” said Ed. “I don’t understand, the Duke is the Baron’s close friend” Mari gasped. “His closest traitor” said Rob, grim
TTa:27″The Duke can take the Barony if he has Mari’s secrets.” Rob & Ed vowed to protect her. Taking the cave tunnels they emerged far away

TTa:28 The 3 made it back with news of the Duke’s plot. They were hailed as heroes; but Mari vowed to soon return & find her family. THE END.

 

All content © 2007 Christine Taylor

Project Mermaid | Series Two: It’s Alive!

 

 

Allll right—let’s rock and roll!

Project Mermaid|Series Two has suffered through my disorganizational delays and an actual blackout that prevented it from going live last night, and it was late today—but it’s ON! Firmly nestled in its new time slot of Thursdays at 7:30 pm, voting for the new series will go live here on this blog every week, followed within minutes by the debut of the original artwork in my eBay auctions. You can comment on the fashions, vote for your favorite, and even bid to own the originals! It’s all good.

Plus this is doing mighty weird things to my writer’s brain—I think I’ll be posting mid-week behind-the-scenes gossip news about what’s going on backstage at Project Mermaid! (Well, yes, I do have a life, it’s just a very…storified one…)

So click on the link above to check out this week’s challenge—and also stop by last week’s page to see the winner and read the recaps! What are the designers thinking…?

(This one’s thinking it’s time for more cough syrup and some bedtime.)

 

Four Days Late–in the Knick O’ Time

 

 

Gotta love irony—or maybe it’s serendipity.

A couple weeks ago, I created an original watercolor piece as part of “Home for the Holidays,”an online auction event presented by the group Art for Critters. To quote A4C, “Artists from around the world, with a desire to help animals in need, have committed to donating a portion of their art sales to help animal charities…Home for the Holidays is a special auction this holiday season to help raise awareness and funds for animals seeking a forever home or permanent refuge.”

I chose a horse charity to benefit from my auction—I love the beauty, spirit, and heart of horses. My experience in drawing them has been limited, but I long to try more often. What better time to practice than now, I asked myself? Since I was right smack dab in the middle of organizing Art for 1000 Wells, though, I didn’t have time to create a new work for home for the Holidays—so I happily took a work I already had in progress, and completed it for the event. I named it “Home for the Holidays,” imagining this fantasy heroine and her faithful companion were heading home after a long journey.

 

 

For me, art inspires words. As my work takes shape on the paper, a tale begins weaving through my mind. I see possibilities in nuances—by the time I’ve completed the artwork, there’s a very good chance I have a short story outline to go along with it. This piece was no exception. As I painted, a longer tale came to my mind—one which may very well end up as a novel in the next few months! But I filed it away in my thoughts and went to create my listing for the charity.

Time got in the way—Art for 1000 Wells was wrapping up, and a few days passed before I could give attention to getting the charity information for my fantasy work. In the meantime, since I really enjoyed this one, I used it as the background for my Twitter page. Every day—many times a day—I would glance in, see the work, and be inspired yet again by the story it had prompted.

Then, on December 4th, I received a message from Twitterer seamusspeaks—a writer himself (with an awesome Star Wars story on his blog,I might add). He had come up with the idea of TwittyTales—one story serial a month, one part per day, one Twitter post at a time. A chapter in 140 characters, as it were. Not as easy as it sounds, and it doesn’t sound easy!

But exciting? Awesome. I was totally up for that challenge—yet I had absolutely no idea what to write. As I thought through my mental filing cabinet of characters and scenarios, my eyes drifted up to my Twitter wallpaper.

And “Four Days Late” was born.

Marian stood in the empty camp and stared at the devastation. 4 days. She was 4 days late. How could one make up for 4 days lost?

A winter wind bit at her lips as she drew a gasp. Tents & supplies were scattered. No sign of life. She was afraid to start looking.

A messenger had been sent but was caught. He escaped after 4 days. Only then did Marian get the news: Her home camp was under attack.

Marian had grown up among the forest camps. Now she was lady in waiting to a baroness. But her blood was wild, & her spirit was free.

With no more aid than a knight, a horseman & the messenger, she had come to save her people from the enemy. But found home in ruins.

Movement behind her; a large form. A deep, quiet voice.“What next Milady?”
The knight. A nobleman, returned from war that very day.

He was a war hero & noble; Marian had a background lower than peasantry. Yet he quickly helped her. Eyes wet, she replied: “Search.”

The four combed the camp. Silent, cautious. Marian knew the enemy could hide. Raiders, thieves, they were. Covetous of home’s bounty.

Soundless minutes passed. Then a voice:“Everyone’s gone.” The wiry horseman, roughly clothed, eyes wary. “Fled? Captured?” he asked.

“Doomed,” whispered the messenger. A shell of a man, eyes blank. “The enemy took no prisoners.” The Knight stared. “They took you.”

 

Marian’s story continues every day on my Twitter posts. You can tell the story serial from the updates about what’s in my teacup by the story’s header, “TTa:” followed by the number of the installment. I have a couple weeks left…tune in daily, or catch my Twitter in my blog sidebar on the right, to find out what happens next…

And in the meantime, I have renamed my watercolor work “Marian.” It goes live on eBay tonight…and, to my thinking, would make a fabulous Christmas present for someone. (Hint, hint.) Especially since 20% of the sale price will help abused or abandoned horses find a caring, loving home.

Today I finally finalized the charity my work will benefit–Knick O’ Time Horse Rescue.Very ironic, I thought to myself—Marian’s story is “Four Days Late”…but for the “Knick O’ Time.”

 

The Fairy Court of Seasons

 

The Fairy Court of Seasons

Every season of the year brings a new Fairy Queen to reign over the Fair Woods. Each Queen is different, and is accompanied by her own attendants. There are other courtiers who are present year-round, and attend every Queen.

Winter

Winter, Fairy Queen of the Season, ascends her throne with quiet grace. Her beauty and celebratory spirit are welcomed by all—despite the harsh conditions that are known to weigh upon her reign.

 

Holiday

Loyal attendant to Queen Winter, Holiday’s warmth and passion help to soften the hard times that often beset the Court during the Queen’s reign.

 

Evergreen

Evergreen serves faithfully as attendant to every Fairy Queen of the Season. The reign of Autumn always gives Evergreen a brief fear that her vibrant youth will fade; but it never does…and with the arrival of Winter, Evergreen truly shines. She looks forward to Winter’s rule with great joy.

 

Frost

Quiet Frost is close to Queen Winter of the Fairies, and also contributes to the courts of Autumn and Spring. However, Frost is rarely present during Summer’s reign.

 

Sunlight

Sunlight serves in every court of the Seasons…but the Queen of Summer is her closest friend. When Summer departs, Sunlight begins to grow distant from the court.

 

Autumn

Autumn, Fairy Queen of the Season, has only just passed the scepter to her successor. Now it is her part to wait and rest…knowing that her vibrant spirit and reign of bounty will be welcomed by the Court when it is her time to rule again.

 

~~~by Christine Taylor
For more brief story bits, don’t forget to follow my December TwittyTales serial, “Four Days Late”!
Some of this artwork is available for purchase—I invite you to take a look!

TwittyTales!

 

TTa:01 Marian stood in the empty camp and stared at the devastation. 4 days. She was 4 days late. How could one make up for 4 days lost?”

…And so begins the saga of “Four Days Late,” a brand-new short story I’m writing on TWITTER! I’ve decided to participate in “TwittyTales” the challenge to write a full story in 1 month, 1 Twitter post at a time, one post a day. Very challenging, considering the fact that you only get 140 characters worth of space in a Twitter post. Plus I have six characters used up to identify and number my story. I’m finding it to be a great exercise for writing—teaches me to say more with less.

TwittyTales is the idea of Twitterer seamusspeaks. Check out his Twitter for his short story, “Meet Edward the BellyCat,” this December, and come visit mine to follow my mini-saga-in-progress! (Which I started…four days late.)

Here’s a preview of the first four installments to get you started:

“Four Days Late”

A TwittyTales Story by Christine Taylor, aka mousewords

12-04-07:

TTa:01 Marian stood in the empty camp and stared at the devastation. 4 days. She was 4 days late. How could one make up for 4 days lost?

12-05-07:

TTa:02 A winter wind bit at her lips as she drew a gasp. Tents & supplies were scattered. No sign of life. She was afraid to start looking.

12-06-07:

TTa:03 A messenger had been sent but was caught. He escaped after 4 days. Only then did Marian get the news: Her home camp was under attack.

12-07-07:

TTa:04 Marian had grown up among the forest camps. Now she was lady in waiting to a baroness. But her blood was wild, & her spirit was free.

To be continued…tune in tomorrow, same Bat-Time, same Bat-Channel.

 

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