My Novel Rejection

I was happy to see the e-mail from the last agent I submitted to, bittersweet though —  it was a no, but it was the first reply I received out of six submissions. My query had undergone some significant changes, and now I’m wondering if that is what propelled this submission over the cyber trash bin, and into the eyes of this agent. We must stay positive after all .

Today, I am in Chester, MA doing research while I wait for my daughter who is interning with the chestertheater.com, I normally blog on my Mac but I am working off my iPad, there are some serious adjustment issues.

My daughter has a wonderful opportunity here, it’s a very professional organization and I am grateful that someone starting out, can get involved at this level.

Back to my rejection, I read that up to ten submissions are acceptable as long as the agent isn’t associated with any of the publishing houses you have queried. So I  do plan to get one or two more submissions out in the next few weeks. I think it’s a safe bet to say that the other five queries didn’t make it past the inbox. The process is quite convenient though, all filed electronically.

Not sure if I was clear on the fact that it was my novel WOVEN that was passed over. I have not put it out here on my blog like I did with my TEA ROOM story, which just passed the 12,000 word mark. I’m aiming for 17,000, I just made an exciting decision for the story and it may take on a little more of a fantasy element.

I am sitting in my own little corner at the Hamilton Library it’s a quaint old structure and this is a quaint old town. I am stumbling through the touch pad novelty as opposed to the good old keyboard I am used to. But you should know, I was just thinking on the long drive up here, that it will be an excellent way to force me to use my mobile devices more efficiently.

I am still getting registrations on my blog and I hope I am blogging information that is beneficial, but I know it is benefiting me, I really enjoy it. I have the MS with me from my first novel to go over, and I keep finding things to add or change, I imagine that will be the case until someone hollers stop.

One additional thing, I got a chance to see inside the theater when I went to pick up my girl and I also met the director, who spoke about the play and the exceptional venue.

 

The Tea Room (FRP part nineteen)

A knock was heard upon the door to the Advisor’s Office.

“Come in!” Andrew Fordham called.

Kirill Voislav, stepped inside. “You wanted to see me sir.”

“Yes, sergeant, I’m moving the boys camp up to Kitteridge, you’re their commander so obviously you will be going with them.”

Kirll remained silent.

“You have your orders, if there is nothing more you are dismisseded”

Kirili managed to speak. “Your pardon sir, my other duties?”

“I have already taken care of that Sergeant Menchovick will be guarding the princesses, you are free to concentrate on your new orders.”

Outside the office Kirill was met by Uri who had several boys with him needing assistance to get ready for the move North. He looked to the direction he had been contemplating but was forced by duty to turn and head in the opposite direction.

With the unit dispatched Kirill used the final moments to run to Irina’s chamber to at least say goodbye. Menchovick was there outside her chamber door.

“Menchovick, I need to talk to the princess Irina.”

Menchovick knocked on the door and Elizabeth answered.

“Why no sir, she is not here, she is … ”

A nervous Kirill interrupted her. “Please Elizabeth, I need the truth, I am leaving and I must see her.”

Heidi felt the wet cloth hit her back, Irina was doubled over in laughter. They both saw the red uniform jackets lined outside the Inn, her father engaged amongst them.

Irina turned to run but Vasilly made haste to step inside.

“Ahhh, Irina, I finally find you where I want you.”

“Vasilly, Captain Starostenko,” she changed to a more formal address.

“No, its still Vasilly to you my dear princess.”

He grabbed her arm to keep her from slipping away as she has been known to do.

“No, guard today?” he requested.

He gestured to the guards to bring Gordon inside and sit with his daughter, he then dragged Irina into the back room.

“No, Vasilly please, she then uttered the name Dobrynya Nikitich.

Vasilly laughed, “You hopeless child, Katrina and her ilk did a number on you!”

He grabbed her face and proceed to squeeze her cheeks till they hurt. He then tore at the apron and ripped it off but before he could react he was hit in the back of his head with a thick iron skillet.

Irina saw the face of her champion as Vasilly crashed to the floor. Sergeant Menchovick and the Royal Guard had surrounded the Inn and took the wayward Streltsy into custody.

Heidi ran to Irina’s side and saw the concern on Kirill’s face. She knew Irina was in capable hands and hugged her and left. Menchovick poked his head in.

“Sergeant we’re heading back to the palace. Are you staying?”

“No, he replied but leave my horse. I will be riding back with Princess Irina.”

Up on the charger, in the arms of her knight Irina finally felt safe. “I am sorry Kirill, I defied you.”

“Not really Irina, you defied Sergeant Menchovick, he is your new guard.”

“You have removed yourself from the duty of our protection because of me”

“No Irina, I could never do that. I have been ordered to take the boys up to Kitteridge, I am not sure for how long.”

Irina’s tears began to flow, not only for her but for Elizabeth who had another attachment that was about to be ripped away, — Pietro.

Kirill’s embrace became a little tighter and Irina turned her face into his arm, closed her eyes and tried to imagine this feeling, it would have to last a long time.

Katrina paced the war room after the announcement that Vasilly and his entire guard were now being held captive in the cells of the Wooden Palace.

“I should leave them to hang!”

Fedor Rankowsky was a little more reasonable. “You will have to meet with Uri Piolotsky and arrange some kind of exchange. I will neither subject my men to your impetuous plans, nor sacrifice them to your disregard for your former lover.”

Katrina was on shaky ground she knew some compromises will have to be made.

Kirill pulled Irina into the alcove outside the passageway leading to the bailey where the unit waited for him patiently. Fordham pacing back and forth in anticipation.

He bent to kiss her and she had no problems this time. He handed her a button he held in his pocket that reminded him of an incident in which his uniform was shredded and he retained the button for some unknown reason, this must be it.

She held the gold button in her hand as she listened to the last of the unit leave the bailey and the massive gates closing after them.

The Tea Room (FRP part sixteen)

Kirill Voislav watched as the lone figure left through an obscure section of the grandiose Wooden Palace. The diminutive figure quickly moved along so as not to be seen. He saw her however. Once deep within the foreigner’s village the errant figure stopped and removed a letter from the pocket of the over-sized cloak, double-checked the address of the storefront to that on the missive.

Once inside Braeden’s Bookstore, Irina found the book she desperately sought. Beautifully bound, masterfully colored, but most importantly — blank. She fingered the binding and pressed it to her breast while taking a deep breath and hoping her contrived plan worked. She had no money and was completely dependent on the Royal Financier to get the items she needed. A diary is not something she could acquire through those channels.

At the top of one of the papers she had removed from the Accountant’s Office at the Royal Residence, was the balance due sheet for Braeden’s Bookseller’s who never credited the accountant with some books and supplies that were returned. Her plan was to forgive the debt in exchange for the diary.

“Well Miss, where did you get this?” Braeden asked the nervous but determined patron.

“Please sir, if this is agreeable to you I will just give you this in exchange for this book I desire.” Irina explained.

The debt that was owed was substantially more than the worth of one small diary. He liked the girl whom he had a good idea was the feisty young princess who would no longer remain in her ivory tower. He agreed to the exchange and threw in some paper, a quill pen and ink.

The bell on the bookstore door rang and broke the quiet agreement of the irregular transaction.

“Dobrynya Nikitich,” Irina called out without thinking. “What are you doing here?”

Kirill Voislav smiled being very familiar with the folk hero Irina had just associated him with.

“I am following you, of course.” Kirill explained as he nodded acknowledgement to Master Braeden.

Irina’s gaze upon Braeden let him know to keep their exchange quiet. Kirill stepped toward Irina as if she would slip away from him again. Having the main objective of her excursion completed she acquiesced to the demands of her “dragon-slayer” guardsman.

As they stepped outside the bookstore and Kirill was satisfied they were not being watched, he looked to her for direction.

“I would like to go to see Heidi at the Inn if you would escort me there, it’s on the way, I promise I won’t be long.”

“Princess Irina, for the record my name in Kirill …”

So embarrassed by her slip-up she interrupted him and repeated his name, as if it were butter melting off a hot roll.

“Although I am quite flattered by being referred to as the great hero of all time.” he piled it on just to watch Irina squirm. “I will take you to the Inn and feed you there as well, I am partial to their pea soup, it is a luxury I don’t find anywhere else.”

Irina smiled, he was kind of sweet. They entered the Inn and sat at a corner table. Heidi came hurriedly around the counter and stopped in her tracks to embrace her friend, she hadn’t seen for awhile, and give a look of appreciation to her escort.

Almost immediately a group of Streltsy guards entered the  establishment that was-known for it’s loyalties to the young Tsar. The obvious leader of the gang who’s sole purpose was to cause trouble, Vasilly Starostenko, who had hesitated outside to heckle a passerby, delayed long enough for Heidi to move Irina and her escort into the back room and out the alley door — unseen.

“Irina I am afraid your clandestine activities are no longer a secret. I would have picked up that book for you. What are you reading that you had to risk so much to get it?”

Irina looked at him and didn’t quite know how to explain.

“You wouldn’t understand.” was her response.

Kirlli had several sisters himself and knew not to touch that with a spike man’s spear.

Her afternoon adventure had left quite a story to tell in the first entry of her new diary, but she hated to part company with the real-life, quite capable and handsome warrior dragon-slayer.

“I will be out by the lake tomorrow with the Tsar, perhaps you and Elizabeth could come by and watch the boys launch their sailboats.”

Knowing that any more time spent together within the walls of the palace could damage any future meetings she gleefully accepted his invitation and ran to tell Elizabeth the good news.

Dear Dobrynya,

Today was wonderful, I look forward to talking with you again. I am so torn by what has been my past existence and the thrill of this new one. To look someone else in the eye and be on equal footing is glorious to me. I am no better than anyone else, I am just as important as everyone else. And you my dear knight, I will not put you on a pedestal, but you have come along at a time when I needed you most. You have restored my faith in life you have inspired me to write again. Today we went to the word store and climbed the stacks of books to the top and looked out over the world. We flew on the eagle’s wings to the cave of dragons and were cloaked in magic so we could escape. Then you gave me hope for another fine adventure.

Till I see you again,

Always, Irina

Pause for Thought

I have come to a part in my Tea forthRoom story that I need to pause for a moment. I am researching some ideas that I feel need to be implemented correctly. I have become bored (for lack of a better term) with the story I had imagined from this point on. I want to make it dynamic and I must put forth some new ideas that are not readily available in my brain.

I have been torn between what is true blogging and what is not. Putting down raw ideas that may be incorrect or lacking or only blogging about things that you have all the facts at hand? When I read through everything I blog, I find mistakes that I am able to go in and correct. At what point will there be “perfection”?

I don’t really believe that is possible. The way my brain works my stories come out in one long sentence or incomplete sentences, it’s funny for me to see them, as long as no one else does. I had the experience of letting a first rough draft out, the story was marred by choppy sentences that interrupt the reader’s ease. I won’t do that again. I was so anxious to have my story critiqued that I failed to realize that the syntax was just as important as the story.

I am also going through something with my query letters. I finally stumbled upon some actual query’s that had success in securing an agent. They are amazing but really don’t follow any of the templates I had seen to date. They are almost like a synopsis rather than a typical query letter (to my mind at least). I have made three submissions and I am now assuming my work has been filed in the circular (cyber) file next to the desk-top of each agent I have submitted to. But, I am not daunted I will submit a few more letters before the end of July when I go to the WDC 2015 in NYC to pitch my book.

Okay princesses, I will be back with some more vibrant tales for Ludmilla and a romance for Irina; while they take their younger siblings under their wings in their respective palaces across the city.

The Tea Room (FRP part thirteen)

Ludmilla and Sophia had not seen their mother for days. Servants would arrive bringing food and the physician dropped in on Sophia once and awhile. No one spoke of Irina and Elizabeth. One of the Streltsy guard entered their chamber for unknown purposes but was quickly discharged by the physician that happened to be there at the time.

Ludmilla grew suspicious and decided to lock the door to the Tea Room. The Tsarina was alarmed by the locked door when she finally arrived but it was quickly opened and the reason was explained by Ludmilla.

“You are perfectly safe as always.” mother assured her.

“Mother, why does no one speak of Irina and Elizabeth?”

“Because Ludmilla, they are traitors and have been dealt with.” Katrina announced as she charged into the room.

“What’s this about an intruder?” the former Tsarina asked Katrina.

“From now on you must address  me in a more formal manner.” Katrina demanded.

“You are Regent, not Tsarina, your brother is the Tsar.”

“Not until he claims it with soldiers!” Katrina hissed.

“Katrina, please.” Ludmilla begged. “What about us?”

“You are free to move about.” Katrina announced.

“But we will be seen.” she complained.

Their mother left suddenly along with Katrina. The two remaining sisters stood in shock. However, their mother soon returned with two guards of her own.

“They are for your protection, you may use them as you like, they may change from time to time but I disagree with Katrina you shall not “move about” you are still royalty.

“Mother may we still go to the Verdant Forest on excursions?”

Oxana hesitated, “We will see.” Then left the Tea Room.

“Ludmilla?” Sopnia spoke softly. “What does this all mean?”

Ludmilla helped Sophia get comfortable and they sat by the balcony and stared out at the empty courtyard.

“Just beyond that mountain is where the spirits live.” Ludmilla pointed out to Sophia. Her eyes grew wide and she smiled. That gave Ludmilla the courage to share some of the fantasy life she had created in her mind with her younger sister. Ludmilla had been labeled “dull” but she was far from it.

“What if the guards outside our door were domovoi and would grant us any wish we desired? Mother did say to use them as we like.”

“Sophia, you must beware of wishes you speak of, once they leave your lips they are out in the air and may be heard by the domovoi.” Ludmilla warned.

“Please Ludmilla, let’s ask them for something.” Sophia begged.

“Alright,” Ludmilla thought for a moment.

“I want someone to read to us, about skazka!” Sophia interrupted her thoughts.

“I wish we knew how to read, I think I could sneak down to the second level to the room with all the books. No one seems to care about the passageway now. It’ll be our secret.”

Irina dreamed she had fallen asleep in the back room at the Inn while she was supposed to be waiting tables. Heidi shook her and called her name over and over. Finally she opened her eyes’

“Elizabeth!” she recognized her sister but was so groggy she just stared at her.

“Irena! Where are we?” Elizabeth cried.

Irina sat up understanding why Elizabeth was so frightened. They were in a strange chamber and it was dark, they were alone and everything had changed.

“Remember Elizabeth? We are safe in the Wooden Castle.” she hugged her sister. “I will call for assistance.”

Irina wrapped the blanket around her and opened her chamber door. A Royal Guardsman was posted outside the door.

“Excuse me, is there someone to assist us?”

The guardsman was glad to see the young princess.

“Welcome, I will send someone in to you, I will let them know you are ready for them.”

Irina closed the door and ran back to Elizabeth who watched her with a bright smile. The servants came in with new clothes and helped them get dressed to attend the morning meal with the residents of the Wooden Castle.

Pietro stood and smiled as Irina and Elizabeth arrived and took their seats.  Uri Piolotsky and Andrew Fordham were in attendance as well as their wives and families. They all stared at each other never having seen the two princesses before.

Uri addressed them all. “May God bless the Royal Brulinskian Family. We are pleased to welcome Tsar Pietro and the two Royal Princesses and claim this Residence as home and sanctuary to our young Tsar and his sisters. Your mother the former Tsarina is still at the Royal Residence of the self-proclaimed Regent Katrina as are your sisters Ludmilla and Sophia. We have been notified that all are well and the situation there has stabilized.”

It took some time but Irina and Elizabeth picked up the utensils and began to eat in front of the strangers and soon made eye contact with them as well. The guests took to returning glances as well and soon laughter could be heard and the atmosphere in this room changed them forever.

 

 

 

 

The Tea Room (FRP part 12)

Heidi, the Inn Keepers daughter, was serving tables, the Inn was crowded filled with people, who made Irina think she should give up this crazy idea. When Heidi saw her she smiled and waved while walking toward her. Heidi pulled Irina into the backroom and handed her an apron and pulled her hair out from underneath the horrible cap and tied it back with a ribbon.

“Come help me.” Heidi implored.

When Irina seemed to resist she changed her tactic and mentioned how the other girl quit and she really could use her help. Irina was reacting to the crowd of people more than anything else. Her senses were on overload.

Heidi handed her the tray and she signaled for her to follow. Heidi went to the tables and removed the items from the tray not asking much else of Irina. As the night wore on Irina became a little more at ease. Her eyes were downcast through most of her interactions with the patron, until Heidi was serving a table with several young men who were openly flirting with her.

“Heidi! Who is your friend,” the boy asked while smiling at Irina.

“You cannot be that shy!” asked another.

“She is!” Heidi snapped as she swatted away his hand.

Heidi put the drinks down and guided Irina across the room to where an older gentleman and woman sat.

“Take their order.”

Irina had watched Heidi for most of the evening and knew it was a simple task. She was feeling the mood of the room and she was starting to enjoy herself. Heidi stopped by with some bread and cheese for the table in the corner and asked Irina to bring it to them.

“I told them you were Justine, we don’t want to use your actual name. So you can be Justine for today.” Heidi laughed.

Heidi’s father came out into the room when he thought the patron’s might be this side of intoxicated and it was becoming the atmosphere he didn’t want his daughter to experience. He was surprised to see Irina and moved quickly to get the girls upstairs.

Heidi and Irina sat in the room next to where Uri, Elizabeth and Pietro still slept. They talked for quite some time and Irina thanked Heidi for the experience of a lifetime. Heidi realized Irina was not just any girl by the way her father ushered them upstairs.

“Who are you?” Heidi asked.

Irina was tempted to tell Heidi the entire story but thought better of it. “I will tell you someday, but for now its better for you that I am simply Justine.”

“Alright,” Heidi acquiesced. “You have never serviced tables have you?”

“No,” Irina laughed. “I have never seen so many people in one room!”

“Will  you be around? Can we do this again?” Heidi asked.

“I would love to, I might have to keep it our little secret though.”

Heidi’s father knocked softly on the door.

“Fordham has returned, you are to be escorted to the Palace now, there is an army outside.”

Heidi looked at Irina in amazement, “You are the Princess.”

“I will never forget your kindness, Heidi, I hope to see you again!”

The Innkeeper guided Irina out of the room and into the arms of Andrew Fordham who woke Uri and the children, and escorted them outside to the waiting guardsmen.

Uri was none the wiser but Andrew Fordham was worried about the free-spirited Irina who was still wearing the apron from the Inn, her hair coming free of the ribbon.

The Wooden Palace was the residence of the Royal Family, built by the former Tsar, it was replaced by the stone structure as the Royal Residence. The foreign section of town was at great risk of fire, most of the structures were made of wood. They would often be razed by fire and rebuilt adding to the ever changing skyline.

If Irina had a diary this would be the night to write. Her mind was reeling from the excitement; the kind older couple, the man with his son, the woman who told her she had the prettiest eyes, but mostly Heidi, who accepted her and was a true friend. The Innkeeper who gave them refuge, knowing the risk of such a deed, showed Irina the quality of character she hadn’t witnessed to date  in her young life.

She thought of the young men who teased Heidi and wondered what that would be like, a real relationship with someone who didn’t exist in the pages of a diary. She watched the activity out in the streets as they made their way to the safety of the Wooden Compound. When she wakes up in the morning it will be a new day. She will find out the fate of Sophia and Ludmilla and she will get to know her brother and Elizabeth will be free to live the life they had previously been denied.

Another Intermission

I am thinking I should tap a different part of my brain and write about my progress. First I am extremely excited to be going to CT to visit Catherine and read Parts Three and Four of my Epic Family Saga – The Scheme of the Weaver (title may change). She had only read bits of the second half and I did read passages to her over the phone. So having now completed it I cannot wait to hear her reaction.

I have also submitted a third query letter, synopsis, bio and fifty sample pages, however I never received a reply, — even that it was received. Sometimes I think of the benefits I have received from writing this story and feel that if it never sees the light of day, at least I have found something in my old age that makes me happy. However, when I think about my characters I feel an obligation to do this for them — strange. They are so alive to me, you should meet them.

My Tea Room story has been posted in segments I thought I would just blog it and see what happens. I have had several people register, some even commented but not much in reference to the story itself.

In addition to the three submissions, my blog site, twitter and In I have signed up for the 2015 Writer’s Digest Conference in NYC. There I will pitch my book and have 90 seconds in which to do it, so needless to say that, and researching agents is taking up a lot of time and I still have my own golf business. My husband Jay does most of the “leg work” and I work on my Mac, he is very supportive.

He does podcasts and some radio and will help me hone my pitch. He also knows a little bit about how the sessions work. I was concerned about logistics but he assures me they will have it all worked out. I AM SO EXCITED!

So far (knock on wood) I haven’t had any creative let downs in scripting my Tea Room series. My Epic Family Saga (novel) has taken on a different form of creativity now that I have finished it, analyzing, proofreading and scrutiny. It’s strange to me that I read passages that I don’t remember writing because i intend to write a particular scene but it changes sometimes between my fingertips and the keyboard.

I am following several literary agents and writers on Twitter and I do get some great inspiration from the posts. I should tweet about that.

Feel free to leave some CONSTRUCTIVE criticism of my Tea Room Princesses. I have been a graphic designer and artist and now my creativity has taken on a different way to express myself.

I am documenting my experience so others may get something out of this.

The Tea Room (FRP part nine)

Elizabeth kept her eyes and ears open and even though she could hardly read, she could count and the number of guards surrounding the perimeter were greatly reduced. In fact the red uniforms of the Stretlsy guard were lacking, the uniforms were of the Royal Guard — this was notable.

Elizabeth could see a contingent of the Stretlsy guard approaching with a determined Katrina leading the way. The few Streltsy guard were called to her and given orders, the Tsarina was to return to the Royal Residence immediately. Elizabeth, Sophia and Ludmilla huddled together and were left behind with the familiar old guard.

Elizabeth approached General Hans Reichter the man in charge. Mierda by her side, veil in place.

“General, what has happened?”

“We are to remain here until further orders.”

“Is my father …” she was interrupted.

“Oh no, princess, your father is alive.”

“Why are you here?” she asked boldly.

“We are here for your protection, why is that so different?”

Elizabeth realized she wasn’t going to get a straight answer and decided to stick close to her sisters. She scanned the area marking the position of the soldiers, just as Irina has ordered.

The lantern made all the difference, Irina was able to see the narrow passageway with empty wall sconces and stone cold isolation. She was able to navigate the entire network of the hidden avenue. She stopped at each hidden doorway and listened. Most of the activity was on the first and second levels, she was highly suspicious when she listened to several conversations and the nerves kicked in. She was nauseated by the feeling of dread that came upon her. She decided time for exploring was over it was now time for preparation.

She gathered candles, clothing and food from the Tea Room and placed it in an alcove in the third level passageway. She still had Katrina to worry about. She wondered if the hidden avenue was a secret Katrina kept to herself or shared it with the Streltsy Guard. That was not a question she could ever ask.

Irina then realized, as clever as she thought she had been, she still had no idea how to get away from the Royal Residence — unseen, if necessary. She put the remainder of the time she had left to explore that possibility. Feeling confident, she returned to the Tea Room but her sisters had not returned, and the personal servants were no where to be found.

A fury of footsteps could be heard coming down the hallway from the main stairwell, Irina dissipated into the secret passage as the red uniforms entered the Tea Room.

“All clear,” the room was swept by the guard and the pronouncement was made.

Irina knew her time was up. She could no longer walk freely in her own home. She dared to linger outside the wall of her father’s chamber. She could hear her mother crying and Katrina’s voice ordering the guard to follow the orders they just received.

Elizabeth huddled with her sisters in the first floor solar where they were placed upon returning to the residence. The attention to their privacy and station seemed to have gone by the wayside. The personal servants were dismissed and guards were placed outside the door.

Irina could hear screams and the clash of weapons all around her.

Discovering Intermission

I am blogging my new story, Five Royal Princesses and I have just posted part four this a.m. However, I have not forgotten my first story which hasn’t been introduced to the blog. It is called The Schemer’s Weave (for now) and has four parts, it is currently 130,000 words. I have made two submissions, the second submission had different parameters than the first. I did receive a no-reply message that let me know one: that they did receive my submission (e-mail) and two: if I don’t hear back within thirty days to try again. So far with each submission I get a little more information which is helpful, although we all know the volume of submissions the agent/publisher gets each day, it is the writer’s heart and soul that goes along with each query letter sent that I seem to identify with.

Beside the blog, I have also signed up to attend a writer’s conference. I signed-up for several workshops and there is a networking party at night to attend. I look forward to meeting and hearing stories from other writers and I will share what I learn in this blog.

My first book is what I will be pitching at the conference. My second book debuted on this blog. My second book is based on information I ran across in doing research for my first book. I still have the passion for the story the second time around, it consumes a lot of my time. If I’m not writing it, I’m thinking it — looking for scraps of paper in the meantime to scratch down ideas before they are forgotten. So far nothing is preplanned, I just write and do some editing when blogging so I don’t appear too illiterate. The purpose of the blog is to get used to writing so the first draft isn’t an unreadable piece that distracts from the story.

I love comments, so far I have gotten one legitimate comment out of fifteen others that qualify as spam. I had opened my comments to all, but may rethink that if I get tired of tossing the spam. My intention is to share the process I am going through to get my book read and eventually published.

Five Royal Princesses part four

Irina slips away from the clearing where her mother the Tsarina has managed to get several of the servants involved in her fretting over the different color dyes of her thread. After working her way through the thick underbrush that ruined her gently coiffured hair, dirtied her silk slippers and snagged the silken panels on her gown, she reached a clearing where some of the Stretlsy guard had gathered. Among them sat Katrina.

The horror of seeing Katrina made Irina bolt upward scraping her cheek against a branch of the blackberry bush she just happened to be in the proximity of. Reflexively, her hand went to the stinging sensation on her cheek, feeling the rough broken skin which wasn’t as painful as the sight she beheld before her.

Before she could react, she turned to see who or what was making the sound of ruffling leaves behind her.

“Elizabeth!” Irina whispered. “What are you doing here?”

“I followed you when I noticed no one was watching me.”

Just then Elizabeth notices that Irina is about to step out into the  clearing and confront Katrina. She grabs Irina’s arm.

“No, Irina! You cannot be seen!” Elizabeth pleaded with her sister.

She hesitated, knowing Elizabeth was right. Tears filled her eyes, the injustice she feels in unsubstantiated. She has no reason for these feelings and agrees to wait and see what unfolds. Elizabeth pats Irina’s arm in a comforting manner. They both watch as Katrina stands up and brushes against one of the guardsmen in an all too familiar fashion. He flashes the perfect smile. Irina, hyperventilates leaving Elizabeth to think she is having a fit. Alarmed she helps Irina to sit on the forest floor.

“Irina, what is it? You are over-reacting. We both know that Katrina has special privileges.”

Irina’s soft sobs coalesce with the tremors caused by her hard breathing. Elizabeth’s ability to comfort Irina is a rare quality she possesses because of her familial attachments. Irina looks up to Elizabeth and puts her head on her shoulder.

“That is my Vasilly.”

Elizabeth seems to exude more common sense than her eight years of life should allow. She coaxes Irina to return to the clearing with her and figure this matter out in her mind before she makes a muck of things.

“Irina, we have nothing but time. I will help you.”

Irina’s state of mind and appearance does not go unnoticed when the Tsarina glances over at her two daughters as they emerge from the dense greenery of the forest. Their two personal hand servants are horrified.

Irina cannot manage to formulate one single word. Elizabeth does all the talking and some how explains away all the cuts and scratches and general condition of them both due to some wild animals and several variations of thorny plants while on their way to the privy au natural.

Because Sophia and Ludmilla were enjoying the outing so much they didn’t leave ahead of schedule despite the condition of Irina and Elizabeth. Katrina suddenly appeared into the clearing and proceeded to sit next to her mother appreciating her handy-work and the fruit and cheese upon the table.

“What’s wrong with two and five?” she whispered to her mother using the unflatering distinction of their ranking.

“They failed to select a path on their venture into the forest.”

Katrina looked at them suspiciously. “Oh really.”

On the ride back to the castle, Katrina swapped places with her mother hoping to pry some information out of Elizabeth, — to no avail. The secrecy around Katrina had increased to a new level and Elizabeth’s loyalties were with Irina.

Alone in her chamber that evening Irina pulled out her diary and sat with her hand firmly pressed on the cover. A soft knock on her chamber door, It was Elizabeth.

“Enter, dear sister.”

Irina slid the diary under her mattress.