Hey, welcome to WIP Wednesday! If you follow my blog, you know the drill: we all share an excerpt of a story we’re working on, just for fun. It’s a critique-free zone, since we’re mostly sharing work that’s not ready for that yet (but it’s always nice to leave an encouraging word!)
First, I’ll talk about how much writing progress I made in September! This was where my word counter (which is on the lefthand side of this page) was on September 1st:
And here’s what it looked like on October 1st. (You can see that I adjusted the word count on the last project, because my original scope was, let’s say, a tad ambitious.)
Not bad, right? I am thrilled to have finished the rewrite of The Phoenix Codex, which is the first book in a trilogy, and I’m putting book 2 in my writing rotation.
Today, though, I’m sharing a scene from A Knight Restored. Gryffen is an English knight who was turned into stone hundreds of years ago. Emily is an art conservator at the museum in Kansas City that just acquired Gryffen in his statue form. Earlier, I shared part of a scene where Gryffen visits her in her dreams. This is a continuation of the same scene.
She sighed. “There must be some way to undo the spell.”
He gentled his voice. “Sweet lady, there is not. Grant pardon for burdening you with my trouble.”
“It’s not a burden to hear about it.”
The distress on her face pained him now. “We should speak of other things. What do you seek, in this library in the greenwood?” He recalled her conversation with her friend. As well as he could, he’d committed all of Emily’s words to heart. “You seek your planner!”
She blinked and then gave an incredulous laugh. “You know what a planner is?”
Gryffen smiled. By the Virgin, it felt good to do so. “I do not, save that you cherish it.”
“Of course. You heard me talking to Gen.” She released his hand to smooth her hair away from her face, leaving Gryffen’s fingers as bereft as five beggars by the side of the road. “Well, uh… a planner is like a book where you write down all of the things you need to do, and thoughts you want to remember, and dreams for the future.”
He nodded, sobering. “Such a book would be a precious thing. I cannot wonder that you grieve its loss.”
A soft light kindled in her eyes. “Thank you. Everyone else thinks I’m being ridiculous.”
He wished he could help her find it, but knew this to be impossible. “Though I am loath to say it, you shall not find it here.”
A furrow appeared between her brows. “Why not?”
“Lost things are rarely found in dreams,” he said. “And even if they are, it matters not. In waking life, they remain lost.”
She looked around her at the towering bookshelves. “You’re right. I’m dreaming. But you seem real.”
Gryffen straightened. “By the Holy Rood, I swear I am.”
She drew closer to him again. “So you’re real, but I can’t help you?”
“I cry you mercy, but I said not so. If you will have me here, in your dreams, might not we enjoy all manner of mirths? That would be a help to me indeed, and perchance an entertainment to you as well.”
His fair Emily said nothing. He took the long moment of silence as an answer and looked away. “I have asked too much.”
“What?—No! I’m just confused. How do you get into my dreams? Are you a sorcerer, too?”
Hope crept back into his soul. “Nay, demoiselle. In life I had not this skill. After I was confined to stone, my soul learned other ways to wander.”
She nodded. “So when you lost some capabilities, you developed others to compensate.”
“As you say.” In truth, she used some words he did not know. “If I know the dreamer, full able am I to enter.”
Emily nodded. “How many other people have you talked to like this, in dreams?”
“No more than a few. I treasure their friendship, and learn about how the world changes, as much as I may. And then they die, and I am alone once more.” He thought of his friend Arthur Burke again with a stab of loss.
“My God,” Emily said. “You must be so lonely.”
He allowed himself to be more vulnerable than he ever would have in life. When one had so few chances, it was unwise to dissemble. “Yea, lady, more than I can say. But your fair company is a blessing beyond hope.”
Go ahead and share a paragraph or a page or two of your story in progress in the comments! And if you want to make sure you don’t miss future WIP Wednesdays, follow the blog if you aren’t already — on the lefthand side of the page, there’s a place to sign up for notifications. Thanks for reading, and happy writing!