On June 22, 2019, I officially graduated high school.
I’ve been homeschooled since kindergarten, so this is a big change for me.
You might be wondering, “What’s next? Are you going to college? Getting a job?”
Well, my plan is to get a part-time job and focus on more writing. I’m really hoping there will be an opening at my local library when I start applying places.
Don’t worry, my blog isn’t going anywhere. In fact, I’m working on honing the vision and purpose of this blog. (Something I learned about at the 2019 YDubs Conference.) I’ll be posting more about this in a few weeks.
And now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for…
The Sneak Peak Into Checkmate!
For those of you who don’t know, Checkmate is my YA fantasy novel that I’ve been working on for just over two years. You can read more about it here.
Last Thursday, I finished the third draft!
Before upcoming edits, the word count stands at 83,421. That’s 249 Word doc pages (8″x11″).
I’m pretty happy with how this draft came out. It’s a million times better than the previous one. My family still teases me about the ending of Draft 2.
To celebrate, I tried very hard to find some non-spoiler snippets to share with you. Enjoy!
He stared at the bodies for a minute, moisture welling in his eyes and a lump creeping up his throat. He swallowed hard as he knelt beside his mother.
He ran a hand gently over her flaxen hair as he had done many a time as a child, brushing it away from her face. A tear slipped unchecked down his cheek. She always had a smile for him, no matter what. Her blue eyes would twinkle and her lips quirk in the most delightful way that made everything seem okay. But now her eyes were closed and her pale lips slightly parted, as if she were sleeping.
He squeezed his eyes shut for a second, pressing his fingers to the bridge of his nose again. Then he reached for her right hand and carefully removed the white opal ring she always wore. Apa had given it to her one year on their anniversary. She never took it off except on wash days. Then she wore it on a chain around her neck until the clothes were on the lines and the dirty water dumped.
He held it tightly in his hand, the gold fittings that held the stone digging into his palm.
“You hungry? I haven’t eaten dinner yet.”
Aris smiled. Leave it to Trev to think of food.
“We have gathered here to celebrate another year of peace. But, alas, Avendor is not at rest. Rebels attack and burn our villages. They kill innocent children.”
The crowd murmured. Kare grabbed the hilt of his sword. Liar.
“I have reason to believe that rebels are here, right now.”
Everyone gasped, then stared at each other, as if their neighbor’s mask hid a killer.
“Rest assured,” Dargrin said, raising his voice and motioning for silence with a hand, “there will be no incidents tonight. My men are prepared for any attack the rebels might have planned.” His gaze swept over the crowd and lingered on Kare for a second.
One word echoed above them all.
Brenson reached for his cloak, but it wasn’t there. Strange.
Then he noticed what the horse was eating.
“Give that back!” He snatched his black cloak away and eyed the gaping hole. “I have a mind to leave you alone over here.” He waved the fabric in front of the horse’s nose.
The stallion tried to eat it again.
So, why did you come?
Because they needed hope.
It hurt to admit it, even silently to himself. He was living a lie, pretending to be someone he was not. He was no king. He never would be.