Interestingly, quite contrary to my expectations, it took much longer to get to the point I'm now; I planned a meager 2.5 months to write the whole thing and it started off rather well, but -- somehow -- I got thrown off the rails with the rather unpleasant surprise of my first book's state (I've posted about it here). I take my job as an author seriously and thinking about how many readers I've lost because of that, my good reputation I've worked hard for and still try to build up, ruined, had me almost throw the towel. But I gathered that I can't live without writing anyway, so I put on my fight-back-hat and continued with the sequel. Readers asking me when it will come out, of course, was a big motivator and my longing for perfection -- for independence -- did the rest.
Recently, I've blogged about my improvement, meaning, it's less obvious I'm not native, which was really great news. I've got to admit, I almost cried when I got the excerpt I sent back. I'm working hard on learning grammar and seeing how much it paid off was mind-blowing. The more I'm in control, the better. And it'll benefit my editing-business, too. since I only offer editing on plot- and character-development, with the occasional grammar I'm familiar with. (If you are interested in a quote, please get in touch, using the address to the right.)
Here's another short excerpt I've recently written:
Celia's training in the cave.
I nod, close my eyes and concentrate. When I open them again, I reach out my right hand, palms up and think of the rope. It moves a tiny bit and falls off his hand.
“Shite!” I say.
He picks it up and motions me to try again.
I repeat what I've done before, but this time with my palm towards him, imagining to open the door that's stuck. The feather moves away from me, twirling in the air. I hold my breath.
“Is that me who's doing it?”
“Yes, keep concentrating.” But it's too late, the feather softly floats to the ground.
With a tut I go and pick it up, then place it on my hand and look at Sam.“You do it!”
He chuckles and before I know it, the feather disappears, just to appear – a fraction of a second later – in his hand.
I stomp my foot on the floor. “That's unfair! You make it look so easy.”
“Give yourself some credit, lass. You've only started with training, and let me tell you something, you're doing better than most of my trainees.”
“Really?” I ask, hopefull, but feel stupid immediately. Of course he's only saying it! My cheeks become hot and I rearrange my top.
“Trust me. You have a lot of fire behind your moves, but release them best when you're angry or hurt. What you need to do is fine-tuning. That's what we're trying. Only controlled powers are real powers.”
It makes sense to me. “In that case, let me try again.”
We repeat the 'pulling' a few more times and apart from a couple of feather-droppings, it gets better with every single try. From the way he smiles I can see he's delighted and so am I.
“Okay, let's see if you manage the balloon.”
I get into position and push; the balloon moves slowly, then stops. Confused I look at Sam who smirks at me.
“So what are you going to do now?” he asks.
With gritted teeth, I push a little harder, the familiar tingling I had when fighting against Boldie almost distracts me, but I keep up with Sam. When the balloon bursts, I shriek. The noise is almost unbearable in the tiny cave.
“Very good. You've reacted without applying too much pressure. Your progress is remarkable.”
I can't help but to smile proudly. “What's next?”
“A girl who loves a challenge, eh?” He grabs the pen. “Let's see if you can move this one here.”
Both of my hands are hurting, the right from the strain of moving objects and the other one from digging my nails into the flesh, a result of making a tight fist. When Sam sees me shaking them out, he lowers his arm.
“Maybe we should take a small break.” He puts the pen down and walks over the corner where he's, again, neatly folded his jacket, then produces a bottle of water from a tattered looking rucksack. I squint to make out the faded print on it. Iron Maiden?With some effort, I hold it together. Somehow I find it hard to imagine him, head-banging along the rock dinosaurs' music.
“Oi, lass. If you have enough energy to laugh at me, you'll not exhausted enough. Time to carry on.”
We get back to our places across each other and he holds out the pen.