Monday, February 27, 2017

Narrative Submission

          The next day dragged on while a dark cloud hung over Mary.  She was overcome with dread.  She was already tired of this school, these people, especially Elizabeth, and the last thing Mary wanted to do was debate her.  But last period came before Mary could find an excuse to miss it and once again she found herself in Elizabeth’s verbal death grip.
            “At restaurants, they always give you bread to distract you from the fact that your food will take much longer than you would like to get to your table.  The bread placates the customer.  It draws their attention away from what is really important, the main course.  Mary is just giving you verbal bread to distract you from what she is really saying.  She has been telling you about police training, education, and while education and background is important, it does not address the real issue.  It does not address the area where the issue is prominent.” 
            They were discussing police brutality.  Mary was on the side of the people.  Elizabeth was on the side of the police. 
            Mary fired back, “No, Elizabeth, I am not feeding the audience verbal bread, I am enlightening them about the basis of this great nation’s police force.  Without understanding of the education the police go through, we cannot address the problem.  Education is the area where the issue is prominent.  Yes, the public sees the issue most when the police have completed training, when they are on the streets.  But think about where the problem begins.  It begins at the source.  It begins when seeds are planted.  It begins with training.”
            “Oh, so the experienced chiefs and justices are too incompetent to do their jobs, that’s what you’re saying?”
            “No.  I’m saying--.”
            Elizabeth cut her off, “What you’re saying is that you’re against the police.  You’re trying to discredit the police force and their education system.  You’re meddling in the issues of a country you’ve only been a part of for what, ten minutes?”
            “We are not discussing my background here, Elizabeth, we are discussing police brutality.  So if you could kindly keep my personal background out of this argu--.”
            “I can’t keep your personal background out of this, Mary.  Your background affects your judgment.  You’re basically a citizen of France.  Admit it.  So you can’t discuss this country’s policy and systems, because you are not loyal to it.”
            “I—.”  Mary started to answer, but she was overcome with the strangest feeling. It was as if all of the doubt and rage and exhaustion within her was suddenly washed away.  In its place was a fuzzy feeling.  It was as if the sun was inside of her, illuminating everything that had been hidden by the darkness.  She felt calm.  She felt at peace.  But at the same time, she felt like she was expecting something.  She was waiting for something.
And suddenly, she wasn’t at the Academy anymore. 
 Chapter Twelve
            All around her, Mary saw faces.  Faces with freckles, faces with dimples, faces with kind smiles, even faces with scowls. But none of the faces belonged to people she recognized.  She saw gowns.  Gowns of satin and gowns of cotton, tattered and torn, as if they had been worn until they were no longer gowns.  She saw men and women.  Cobblers, children playing, girls laughing together and pointing at boys they must have fancied. 
            Mary saw sight after sight of things that felt so familiar she could almost explain how she had seen them before, but she hadn’t.  It was all new.  And suddenly, someone called her name.
            “Mary!”  The voice was a woman’s, kind and sweet.  It was familiar.  She knew that kind, sweet voice, but it was different.  It had an accent.  It had a Scottish accent. Mary turned to see whom the voice belonged to, and as she turned something caught her eye.
            She herself was in a gown as well instead of her business casual school attire.  It glittered in the sunshine.  It was sapphire blue, and very elegant.  It must have cost a fortune.  She ran her fingers along the delicate beading on her skirt.  A shadow fell on her beautiful dress, and she looked up.
            It was Malorie.
            But it wasn’t Malorie.  This Malorie’s brown hair was long and braided in a more intricate way than Mary had ever seen.  This Malorie was dressed in a gown as well, but it was less grand.  It was a light green with a flower design winding through the satin fabric.  It was beautifully simple.  “Very Malorie,” Mary thought.
            “Your Grace?”  Said Malorie.  Why was she Scottish?  And why was she calling Mary Your Grace?
            Mary looked around again.  People were staring at her all throughout the square.  It must have been some small village.  The people, they looked to be peasants, bowed a little when they walked near her, and then couldn’t take their eyes off of her as they walked away. 
            Behind Malorie was a carriage.  It wasn’t a regular, run of the mill carriage, if carriages could be run of the mill.  It was clean and intricately decorated, with something very strange on the side of it.  Something that made Mary’s stomach turn.  Something that Mary would know anywhere.
            It was her family’s crest. 
            And all of the sudden, it made sense.  Well, it didn’t make logical, real life sense, but Mary understood.  This was it.  This was her flashback.
            This was Mary, Queen of Scotts.
            “Queen Mary, the carriage is waiting.  Should I tell them go around the village once more?  The people do seem to be enjoying your presence.”  Malorie beamed at her.  She seemed pleased to be standing at her side, attending to her.  Waiting on her. 
            “No thank you Lady Mary.  We should return to the castle.  Francis will be worried.”  The words came out of her mouth in an accent.  It was a little different from Malorie or as she had just called her, Lady Mary’s, but it was an accent. 
            They walked through the square and to the carriage.  Mary stood up on the step of it and looked down at the townspeople.  “Good people of France.”  They all turned to her and bowed.  “I, your Queen Consort, believe that while this may be a country divided by religion, divided by money and power, King Francis and I are anything but divided.  We wholeheartedly believe as one, that this great and powerful country will not be divided by anything.  It will not be weakened by a war between its own kind, gracious, and loyal people.  We hear you.  We understand your struggles and beliefs.  And we will fight for you with everything we possess.”
            The crowd erupted with cheers.  People smiled.  People cried.  And then something amazing happened.  People bowed, just as the group of her classmates had that night in the secret basement.  They bowed, and as one, they bellowed, “Long live Mary, Queen of Scotts.”
            She bowed her head in thanks and ducked into the carriage, Lady Mary, not far behind.  And in that moment, in that powerful and spectacular moment, Mary understood. She looked out the window as they drove out of the town.  As they passed trees, houses, and people waiting to see their queen, Mary knew what all of it was. 
            She knew she was Mary, Queen of Scotts.  And with the blink of her eyes, before she could try to hold on to her beautiful, spectacular moment, she was back at Scottsville Academy.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Word Count Wednesday--five

What am I working on?

I'm still working on the same novel about Mary, Queen of Scotts.  I started experimenting with a screenplay because I'm taking an online writing for television class from Shonda Rhimes (it's on masterclass).  I'm not sure screenwriting is really my thing, but Shonda Rhimes is teaching an online class so I had to sign up for it.

How do I feel about the process?

Good and bad.  I'm at this one part of my novel that I didn't fully plot out so I'm struggling to figure out what comes next.  I wrote a chapter I felt really good about this week though, so I'm making some progress. Trying to write a screenplay is really weird, partially because I have no idea how to do it, partially because it's a lot of dialogue.  I've also been sick all week, so my motivation has been low.

Words this week: 3,960
Total words in the novel: 17,173

What am I reading?

My lovely Women's History textbook and academic journals about dystopian societies in literature.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Word Count Wednesday--four

What am I working on?

This week I worked on a lot of random little projects that were not the one I should have been working on.  I started a couple of things that could be short stories or novels.  One was about a girl who's entire life has been planned for her by her parents and she goes through a series of slightly dangerous and out of character experiences to try to make her own life path.  The other one is based on the adventures my friend and I had in Europe and the trouble we got ourselves into.  I've also been editing my narrative piece that I will be turning in soon, but I haven't really added anything to it.

Word Count: 2,474 (new words)

How do I feel about the process?

I started writing the first one not in chronological order because I just thought of a scene from the middle first, but now I kind of like the idea of showing something and going back and explaining it.  If anyone watches Scandal or How to Get Away With Murder by Shonda Rhimes, that's kind of what she does with her shows.  I really admire her as a writer and I think seeing a scene where there's a lot of mayhem without really knowing what's going on and then going back in time to see how it happened is such an interesting way of writing.  The other thing I started was fun to write, but I'm not sure if I'll continue with it.  I feel like it might be a good project for me to work on improving my descriptive writing.  Honestly, I've been procrastinating editing my narrative piece a lot.  I think it's because I don't want to read it and hate it or something.  I've edited it a little, but I could be done with it by now and I'm not.  I will do it soon though!

What am I reading?

Still reading The Magicians.  I haven't been reading as much as I would like to lately, so maybe I'll work on trying to read more.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Word Count Wednesday--three

What am I working on?

This week I tried to write some poetry. Some of it was almost mediocre. Most of it was pretty bad, but at least I tried! Poetry has never been my thing, but I've been trying to write some because I think it will help me work on my descriptive language.  I also started to write a short story based on something that happened to me and my friend while we were in Paris.  I've also been editing the first chapter of the book I've been working on.

Total word count this week: 819 

How do I feel about the process?

I get really frustrated when I try to write poetry because I don't find it fun.  I think that if I find a subject that I'm more passionate about the poem about will be easier to write.  So maybe I just need to find the right subject and get over my hatred of poetry.  I really liked writing the beginning of the short story, but I was finding it difficult to create voices for the characters, which is weird because it's me and my friend. I was thinking of writing out a conversation that we really did have before I write a fictional conversation, and maybe our voices will come out better.

Overall, I found the process this week kind of frustrating. I think it's always difficult to start writing a different type of project than you're used to, so maybe once I get into writing more poetry and short stories it will be a little easier.

What am I reading?

The Magicians by Lev Grossman

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Experiment #5

I based this experiment on my last experiment. After I wrote my In Media Res page, I started thinking about the characters and the concept and I thought of a way to shape it into a novel.  I'm not sure if I will end up writing it, but I feel like it's a fun idea.  I'll explain it a little more at the end of this post. 
How to Time Travel
Step One:
     You must be chosen to work in Middle with the Advisor.  Middle is how it sounds.  It is in the center of Open Land, our country.  Middle is where the government is located.  Every year, when the age fourteens are sent to their workplaces, one from each small land is sent to Middle.  The age fourteen that is chosen is the most intelligent in that small land.  This year, two were sent from my small land, Green West, a girl named Joan, and me, Lydia.  Joan was sent to train with a Leader.  I was sent to the Advisor.  The Advisor is supposed to train Logan, Peter, Charlotte (the other chosens), and me to give council to government officials, but he’s been teaching us much more. He is the only one who knows all that has happened in the past and what may happen in the future.
Step Two:
     Begin training with the Advisor.  Training normally consists of analyzing history and events and learning to think logically.
Our training consists of:
  • Understanding the past and where it went wrong.  We need to understand these things so we can travel back in time to fix them.  If we can’t understand what went wrong, we can’t fix the right things.
  • Learning to travel, I’ll get into that in a minute.
  • Learning to make the right decisions.  When you’re running from guards or scaling a cliffside, you have to know how to make good decisions.  Not thinking can result in pain, torture, captivity, and, most likely, death.
  • Our training also includes learning to fight.  We train to fist fight, fight with swords, and use our wit to get out of hairy situations. Usually our wit is enough to get us out of a fight, but on occasion, we will need to use our actual fighting skills.

Step Three:
  • In order to travel, you need to have a certain mental characteristic.  The Advisor describes it as the perfect balance of creativity, logic, and intelligence. Logan, Peter, Charlotte, and I have it.  If you do not, you can forget about traveling altogether.
  • Concentration and the right materials are absolutely necessary for time travel.  If you are not focused, it can go horribly wrong.  Most often, you will end up somewhere (or some time) you did not intend to be in.  For example, if you are angry and that is all you can focus on, you may end up in a fire or a volcano.
  • The advisor has four crystals, one for each of us.  Logan’s in green, Peter’s is red, Charlotte’s is blue, and mine is purple.  The crystals have a mix of magnetic and magical powers that the Advisor cannot fully explain, but they transport us to wherever we need to go.
  • First, place your hand on the crystal.  Next, close your eyes.  Say the place and time that you would like to land in out loud once, and then repeat it in your mind over and over. For example, “London, England, 1921.”

Step Four:
Right Place, Right Time
  • If you do not land in the right place and time, you can mess things up in the future even more.
  • You must travel at sunrise.  You will land in a certain, secluded place.  You must return there in order to travel back to where you were before.  If you do not leave by sunset, you will be stuck there for another day.  If you do not leave after a week, you will be stuck there forever.


If you do not have traveller qualities, you should not attempt to travel.  The crystals will turn you to dust faster than you can say, “Paris, France, 1529.”

     Lydia Green West is fourteen years old and little does she know, her life is about to be turned upside down.  Green West is one of the nicer small lands in Open Land.  The people are kind and hard working, but that isn't much different from the other small lands.  Most people are the same.  People are kind, moderately capable minded, hard working, and obediant.  Lydia has always been a bit different.  She asks too many questions, has too many thoughts, and is more than moderately capable minded.  Lydia, Peter, Logan, and Charlotte are sent to train with the Advisor in Middle.  He sends them throughout time to fix the events that led to the world becoming how it is now.  People used to think, paint, create, sing, laugh, and be anything but obediant, and somehow, the world went wrong.  Lydia, Peter, Logan, and Charlotte are only fourteen, but their wit and creativity will help them do what is necessary to save the world. 
     I would probably write this for a middle grade audience.  They would have to fix things throughout time, but it would also show their adventures in different places and times.  It would also be about how Lydia grows up and changes as she experiences new things and begins to understand all of the possibilities the world holds. 

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Word Count Wednesday--two

What am I working on?

I'm still working on Mary, Queen of Scottsville Academy.  Explaination here.

Total word count: 10,970

I wrote 5,070 of those this week.

How do I feel about the process?

I was feeling a little stuck this week because I realized that I knew what was happening in their world, but I didn't know why.  So, I got some advice from Bradford about world building and I've been working on that a lot.  I think I'm almost to the right place to continue with the story.  It's been taking some interesting turns into a more fantasy type world than I was expecting, but I like the direction it's going in.  I tend to want to write things really quickly when I'm excited about an idea, so I'm trying to take my time with this one to make sure it turns out how I want it to.

What am I reading?

I'm reading The Magicians by Lev Grossman.

And some history books about Mary, Queen of Scots and Europe.