Chapters 1-14, the first 40% or so of Delphinium, has been sent to my betas!!!
I’m aiming to send the Part 1 Beta out to the beta readers on August 1st. That will give me two more ‘weekends’ with how I my work-week is planned out, and makes it reasonable but not ‘I can put this off forever.’
Tonight I’ll finish up chapters 11, 12, and 13, with tomorrow hopefully getting 14 and 15 done, though they still have a lot more writing involved than just the edits in 11-13. 16-21 during the week and that second ‘weekend’ of mine.
August and September will be finishing up Part 2, sending that to betas, doing my own look-over of Part 1 (and then 2) after the betas, with it all being wrapped up and Delphinium being released sometime in October.
I really want to put up a pre-order… but I also know that that might be a bad idea. So instead I’m posting about it here publicly for some accountability without it being the end-all-be-all when Life decides to give me the finger again.
Now back to that last scene in Chapter 11 so I can get to spiffing up 12. 13 is over wordcount so that’s nice, because I don’t think I can stretch 11 and 12 without it feeling forced. It should even out about right though.
Delphinium is about 80% finished. I have most of it written out, I just need to connect the last pieces together and have it make sense. A few new characters keep popping in here and there as well, so I have to manage how I introduce them and if they get any significant page-time. Also trying to juggle a few new points of view, but I think those will really only be significantly implemented in book 3. For now it’s by far mostly Pierre, Lizzy, and then a few other characters getting a ‘cameo’ scene.
Delphinium has 38 chapters. Part 1 consists of chapters 1-21, and is 90% done. Chapters 1-10 are ready to be sent to betas. I’m fixing up / adding onto chapters 11-21 and when that’s done I’ll send it out to said betas. I thought about sending out 1-10 already, but splitting it into 1/4ths just seemed like too much even for me.
Chapters 22-38 are less done, but still have everything plotted out already. I know where it’s all going, the end, and it wraps up nicely with no major cliffhanger. I’ll get on writing more in those chapters after I send the first half out to be read.
Oh, and the total wordcount will be around 110,000 words (each chapter is going to be about 3000 words, but lengths vary). For comparison Larkspur was only 15,000. I want to make this book the best it can be, and really showcase my writing and the realm of Clandestina in a way that Larkspur only hinted at. Honestly there’s so much I didn’t know about Clandestina or my characters when I was writing Larkspur, much of this is a surprise and an exploration of the world for me as for you.
I thought about putting it up for pre-order again. It just hit me that it’s been a year since I put it up for pre-order the first time. A lot has happened to me in that time, a lot has changed for me, and with my writing and the story. I just found a new character and his family last week even! But I realized that while the pre-order copies sold were awesome and the pressure helped me a bit, it did not pan out well last time. And the last thing I want it to tempt fate and try it again only to have it all go bananas.
So instead I’m making myself accountable by writing this and being open.
She was marrying another. After years as her beta, her confidant, her partner, the one she swore would be her king!, she stood beside another and gave herself to him.
Yet he too stood at her side, silent, obedient, her wish his desire. He had vowed such to her in a ceremony so very similar to this, hers for far longer, and hers in ways no one else could understand.
She did not love the man. Her husband was a political match, a powerful ringian who would help Jasmine in ruling those of this territory, and no more. While it was hopeful feelings would grow, and more than just power was taken into account, it was only hope.
He had more than hope. He had years. He had had her body, her heart, her mind. She had his entire being.
The kiss she gave her new husband was formal. No stretching on her toes out of eagerness, no wrapping her arms around his neck. Their walk was clumsy as they moved arm in arm. Kyva knew how to keep pace with her, how to cover her, how to steer her. He knew her openings, her blind spots, the rhythm of her body in a fight and in lovemaking. He had saved her life and she his. Right now her husband was a hindrance and beside him she would lose her life.
They parted at the end of the aisle, their respective betas moving to their sides. The king’s was a man, a cousin, and the two fell into an easy and practiced step as they walked away. Kyva took Jasmine’s hand and then slid his arm around her waist. He felt the dagger at the side of her thigh. In this position it would be faster to unsheathe her blade than to grab his own. She too kept an arm up on his shoulder, ready to slide down and take his sword while he stepped in front of her and she readied herself at his back.
The ringian were both a bestia and a group who began as mages, but the years had made their magia part of them in so much that they were now born with it in their blood. They hunted werewolves and were their own court and kingdom amid the land of Astrarctia.
They walked to the reception inseparable.
“If I may speak to the rhyia as her beta before we continue on?” Kyva said to those around him.
Jasmine nodded and the rest of her party went ahead leaving them alone. No one thought it odd or unusual. They were alpha and beta. They would not be disturbed.
When eyes no longer watched them Kyva stepped in front of Jasmine and knelt before her.
“You are mine,” he said to her. She did not reply. In turn he stood and pressed up against her, kissing her, forcing her to step back. He moved forward until she was up against the wall and then shifted her weight, gathering her up into his arms so she dangled in the air. “You have always been mine, and I yours.”
Her reply was a kiss with equal fervor. She reached towards Kyva’s trousers and he shoved her skirts aside. Only moments, but they consummated her marriage while her husband waited for her.
“The last time,” she whispered, smoothing her skirts after they stood apart again. “I am wed now, Kyva.”
He ignored her, tilting up her chin for a parting kiss. She stretched up on her toes to reach him and he enveloped her again. His bit her lip and tasted her blood.
Then, for the first time, he denied her.
“No. You and I were tied long before this day.”
She said nothing but turned to enter her reception.
He licked his lips, straightened his clothes, and followed.
A very short scene that I wrote out in one go. I needed to *feel.* Kyva and Jasmine are some of my oldest characters and their story is complicated and dark. How this fits into canon will be worked out later, but for now, I needed this.
Now let me try and explain why I am now dealing with all of this extra stuff: I named Félicien’s parents. Not his adoptive parents, who raise him after he is in Faery (they already have names), but his birth-parents. I had written a Scene a few days ago (it didn’t turn out very well so it isn’t up) but I only mentioned ‘The Duchesse’ because Félicien’s mother did not have a name. Without a name she was a figment, a reference, something to mention but not expand upon.
The moment I name a character they become infinitely more important and real. They gain an appearance and a temperament and a history–all from a name. And changing the name can change appearance and temperament and history, so sometimes I go through several names and iterations before everything clicks into place (I had that happen a few weeks ago actually).
The Duchesse could just be an old woman who lost her son, who stepped aside from governing and let the steward run things because of her grief. Duchesse Cunégonde of Piques, though, forced the fée Margrave to return to Faery and demanded her son’s return, and banished him when that did not happen. She stepped aside from governing out of grief yet did not shut herself away, but planned revenge. She is the reason the fée are no longer trusted or liked in Piques, the reason for the fine cutlery being cold iron, the reason that ironically her own son and then grandson have problems when they return to Piques and are seen as fay.
Now to find out how Félicien’s father acted…
(For a story where the fairies were supposed to be a minor reference they have almost overtaken the necromancy in which fantastical aspect is the most prominent in the realm).
So, overall, I am happy Larkspur is short and sweet and dark. It lets me work on Delphinium and make plans for a whole new set of books. I do believe Félicien’s life will eventually be chronicled as well, and feature both sets of his parents.
I have had a lot of life altering events happen to me this past year or so. It has both given me a great fervor for writing, and then crushed it. I think it’s finally coming back.
A year ago I began my first real adult job. Two, actually. Shortly after one of them went from part-time to full time. I was not ready for the amount of work and time that that would consume. At the same time I had put up Delphinium for pre-order. I was excited and so ready to release the second book, and the pre-orders were coming in well, and it was amazing. As much as I would have loved to finally release it, work took my energy.
This ended in me having to cancel the pre-order. That was the first blow. The fact that I had disappointed people again just made me retreat. I stopped sending my newsletter and stopped writing. Autumn makes my depression flare up so the more time it was taking me to get back to it, the more it was slipping away. I felt like a failure.
Then in late November my boyfriend of eleven years broke up with me. I don’t want to go into too many details, but the last three and a half months have had me trying to deal with that. I am still dealing with it.
So I have not been in a good place.
Today is March 8th. A year ago exactly I got my first check at work. It is also Pierre’s birthday if we’re translating the calendar. Today I realized that as much as I have gone through and am dealing with, I still have my writing. I have my characters. I have had Pierre longer than my ex, and many more characters before and after him. And they are *mine* and no one else’s, and no one can take them away from me. No one can take my world, my imagination, my writing. Except for me. And I had locked it up because I was sad and afraid.
I’ve unlocked the door. It’s still going to take me a while to fling it open, but I’m peering through the crack, and I like what I see. So I’ll try and open it a little more each day- write a few paragraphs, work on some charts, get back to my newsletter and blog.