Yep, I’m a little ashamed to admit that I initially forgot about Camp NaNo being this month. I remembered last month – I even wrote a post about it! – but when July rolled around it completely escaped my mind. In my defense I’ve been sewing. A lot.
So now that I have remembered NaNo, I’ve gotten a bit of writing done! Over 3,000 words in fact! Thats quite good, although, I still have a ways to go to reach my goal of 25,000.
Even though I’m hoping to work on two books, I’ve mostly working on my fantasy book, in fact, I’ve not even counted any of the 1000-odd words that I have on the Superhero one because I’m not really feeling sci-fi right now (thats the thing about me, I have a lot of ideas for Sci-Fi, but I vastly prefer writing fantasy!). Its been going well, better than expected, because of something I figured out about myself a long time ago: I do best when writing in multiple POVs. Thats because sometimes I just really want to strangle one of the characters, or one of the story lines isn’t going well for me, so I can just hop to someone else.
Another thing I’m very excited about: for the first time in a very long time I have the most updated version of Microsoft word!! The computer I used for NaNo 2016 was a school issued one that didn’t allow me to download anything, and the only writing software on it was Word 2010. I don’t know if you ever had the misfortune to use Word 2010, but it sucked (I had, I believe Word 2014 on a very old computer that died). But since I got a computer for graduation, I’m all good and was able to download the newest, and let me tell you, its amazing!
It was impossibly hard, Artemisia decided, to get oneself out of the bed in the morning.
The princess stood perfectly still as her maids helped her into her dress for the day, and neatly arranged her bright, blonde curls. As they worked she distracted herself by staring out the window, at the great rivers of water that cascaded by. The palace was built into the cliff face around a large harbor, the town on the ground above, and streams ran between the rooms into the sea below. It would be a beautiful sight if much of the water were not so polluted by the city above. But at least their city was clean, according to Artemesa’s father, the King, they had the least disease of any capital city.
But then again, the king was prone to exaggerate and Artemisia had not experienced those other capitals herself. In fact, she had barely experienced her own country’s capital. She didn’t need to know the city, one day her stepmother would give birth to a son, and she would be married off to the first eligible man.
Today was a special day, even for the oft neglected only child of a king. Artemisia was turning 17, and all the cities (and some of the villages!) were sending representatives to offer gifts and blessings. For the cities and the Lords it was a chance to show off their grandeur for hopes of gaining the attention of the King; for their Princess it was a chance to pretend she was wanted. Her maids had finished lacing her into her birthday gown, and she smiled, running her hands over the delicate pink fabric, painted with flowers and birds.
Soon more maids were entering her chamber, bringing with them the young girl’s breakfast, a meal she always ate alone. But today her stepmother was accompanying them. Artemesia drew back, wishing she had stayed in bed and feinted illness (a thought she had briefly entertained almost every day of her young life). It was far too late for that now, and she fell into a curtesy and murmured a greeting to the woman that had replaced her own mother, a woman she could barely remember, who had died when the princess was but a child giving birth to a son who had not outlived his mother by long. (“And a good thing too!” She had overheard her tutor saying, “If the old Queen – may the Heavenly protect her – had outlived her son there would have been hell to pay).
The Queen offered a slightly strained smile. “Come and sit with me Artemesia,” she said, dismissing the maids once they had sat the food on the table on the balcony. Artemesia pulled on a smart coat over her dress and stepped outside, obedient to a fault.
“I thought,” the Queen said, not at all surprised her stepdaughter, “We might enjoy our meal more were there less ears to hear us.”
On the balcony with water from the city rushing past there was certainly less of a chance of being overheard, but there was also the smell of the water and the fact that the princess had no love for noise. But she inclined her head and murmured, “Yes ma’am.”
Another strained smile greeted her words. “Well I’ll get down to business then. I don’t expect I shall be having a child.”
“Father is going to have a son.” Artemisia quoted from countless courtiers and tutors; maids and stable hands; people rich and poor that she had heard from over the years.
“Your father wants a son, Artemisia ,” the Queen corrected, “Perhaps it is time he realize that we don’t all get what we want.
“Why do you know you won’t have a son?” Artemisia was grasping at straws. If the king didn’t get a son, he would throw away the queen and find another wife. While she would certainly prefer her birth mother to the near-complete stranger that was sitting across from her, she would rather not have to go through with meeting a new stepmother and risking that that one might be more like the horrid women in the books the princess held so dear.
The queen was shocked. “Artemisia I shall be frank. There are few people in this world who have children after trying for quite as long as I have.”
“Perhaps there’s something wrong with father.” Her words, muttered darkly under her breath as she bit into a boiled egg, were not meant to be heard. Even if they reflected something the princess had secretly believed for a long time, that there was something wrong with her father and one day the court physician would fix it and he would get better and love her again, it was something she would have to keep to herself. But it slipped out and the queen had heard her.
For a moment the queen was silent, but then she nodded briskly. “Sometimes I think there might be, my dear, but that is not ours to discuss.”
It was treason to even consider it.