This means it's Work In Progress on the blog. I'll get to that in a minute.
First, I had an idea while I was driving home from work today. I was thinking about American Idol, Project Runway, America's Next Top Model, etc, and then I thought, How awesome would it be if we had a show (or even just a contest) like American Idol and such except for wanna-be authors?
I don't exactly see such a concept making for great TV, mind you ... I mean, where's the drama in a bunch of people sitting around writing? But what if there was some kind of online forum where the writers' pieces could be posted, and people could vote, and there could be all kinds of awesome prizes like a book deal for the winner? I would definitely tune in for that.
Or maybe I just wish writers got a little more love. Like Ally Carter pointed out recently on Twitter, when has Dancing With The Stars EVER had an author on the show?
Well, I digress. On the the WIP stuff.
What exactly am I working on right now? Good question. I'm sort of floating several idea around in my head and picking none of them. I have a couple projects that I'm working on ("working on") but I have the end-of-summer blues. Yick.
Anyway, here's a little bit from one of my current fantasy/court intrigue WIPs. Shana, the main character, heard sounds of struggle outside her rooms in the palace and went to investigate. She finds a man bleeding in the corridor. Someone she knows ...
“Help me,” he whispered. “They’re trying to kill me. I’ve been stabbed.”
His voice sounded vaguely familiar, but Shana had no time to consider where she had heard it before. She reached out and caught his wrist. The door had shut behind her—it was too dark to see much. She needed to get him out of there before someone came back. “Can you stand?”
“I think so.” He gripped her hand. “Your shoulder, please.”
She bent down, and he wrapped one arm clumsily around her neck. Shana braced herself against the wall as the man slid his legs forward and found an angle through which he could push himself up to a standing position. Together they limped for the door, and she pushed it open with her elbow.
The man collapsed on the ground just inside her chamber. Shana looked down into his face and froze.
Lying on her rug, dressed entirely in black and bleeding profusely from his side, was the queen’s stupid, handsome, dangerous Fool.
Shock slipped over her skin like ice.
The Fool lifted the hand that had been pressed to his ribs, and Shana saw the dark blood smeared across it. For one awful moment the room around her blurred except for that splash of dark red against the white of his skin, and she felt a cold, sharp pang run straight through her like a blade. Was he dying?
More importantly, why did she care?
“Mistress,” Filia gasped from the doorway, her voice dragging Shana thoughts back to the present and what needed to be done.
She shook off her shock. “Filia—A doctor. Find one. Quickly.”
“You will hardly want to explain my presence in your rooms,” the Fool murmured, speaking calmly for a man who might be bleeding to death as he met her eyes and tried to smile suggestively. But his face was turning gray, and his words began to slur.
“I want a dead man on my floor even less.” Shana crouched down beside him and turned back to Filia, who was still hovering uncertainly by the door. “Go now. We can bribe the physician to keep his mouth shut.”
The servant girl slipped outside and was gone.
“Are you planning on using that?” The Fool nodded at the knife in her hand, which she hadn’t realized she was still carrying. Shana slipped it into her bodice, between the bone supports of her corset and the thin silk of her undershirt. Awareness of what she’d done was beginning to trickle through her, the full import of her actions blossoming in her mind.
“Do you want to tell me why someone just tried to stab you?”
He rolled his head to one side to see her better, his golden hair flopping into his eyes. “Someone doesn’t like the fact that I’ve been keeping the Austrisian diplomat from speaking to the queen, I think.”
“Hmmm, maybe the diplomat himself?”
He shook his head slightly, wincing at the movement. “He wouldn’t dare. Such a move against the queen could make his job . . . messy.”
She looked him over. “Killing you wouldn’t cause a war.”
He tried to sit up on his elbows, but the pain in his side made him fall back. “No. But such an action, within her own palace . . . ? No, he isn’t that stupid.” He lay down again and tucked his hand over his wound.
Shana rather thought he was being generous to the diplomat in matters of intelligence, but she let it go. She reached for a pillow and put it behind his head. The Fool’s eyebrows lifted, and she scowled.
“I am not incapable of kindness, you know.”
“Then can you find something to stuff in my side to keep me alive until the doctor comes?”
She found a pillowcase and he pressed it to his side. A stain blossomed across the cream-colored fabric like spilled ink. Shana put her hand over his to hold the cloth steady. They glanced at each other, and the unspoken words between them shivered in the air.
The door opened, startling her, and Filia slipped in again with one of the palace physicians in tow—a young doctor-in-training. He licked his lips and looked from Shana to the Fool.
“Trouble between lovers?” He suggested with a smile, but his voice trembled a little.
Shana and the Fool pinned him with twin glares.