Wednesday, November 2, 2011

WIP Wednesday

So its Day Two of NaNo and I am off and running and a little bit insane.  Just topped off at 15K for two days....definitely time for a break, but I think I can get another couple thousand words later tonight.  Not gonna aim for 5K more, as tempting as it is though.  Pace yourself, self.

Anyways, a little about my NaNo project....its a YA sci-fi space opera called SUNSET SONATA.  In it, there's a race of supremely powerful bodiless entities known as the patrons...they don't communicate with humanity or interact with them, save for when they can be persuaded to through art, the only thing humans create that they're at all interested or intrigued by.  And so in the galactic civilization of the distant future, artists wield great power - they attend rulers and command armies, as with the backing of a patron, they can manipulate the weather, destroy cities, even confer immortality.  But first they must train at the Academy, in the hopes of attracting a patron of their own....and learning, sometimes at a terrible cost, that the favors of their patrons are unpredictable and sometimes dangerous....and can vanish as quickly as they're granted.

In this excerpt, the main character Teela (a Musician) gets her first glimpse of the Academy, along with three of her future classmates, an Architect, a Painter and a Dancer.

The sky-ferry rounded the cliffs and I leaned forward over the railing, eager for my first glimpse of the Academy.  I failed to realize doing so would put me partially outside the comfort of the ferry’s artificial atmosphere.  Chill winter winds tore at my face, chapping my lips and numbing my cheeks.  I gasped and shivered and most likely caught pneumonia, but then the towering spires of the Academy loomed up ahead of us and I forgot how to be anything but awed.

It crowned the red rocks of the mountaintop like a glittering, multi-faceted jewel, walls curving and climbing at dizzying angles that defied everything I thought I knew about geometry.  Buildings shimmered like pearls beneath the haze of the Academy’s perpetual twilight, the grounds blanketed by lush, sprawling gardens said to bloom year round in an eternal spring.  A spinning crystal orb balanced atop the tallest tower.  Riotous displays of color boiled and shifted within it and splashed across the sky above, rainbow auroras crashing against banks of clouds like waves upon a shore.

“The Painter’s Moon,” Alars said.  He leaned forward besides me, eyes following the same path as mine.  His fingers twitched against the railing.  “Imagine painting with the sky itself as your canvas.”

I was no painter, but I understood the hunger in his voice all the same.  Then the temperature jumped in a span of seconds as we crossed whatever border kept the Academy in its own space and time, untouched by the outside world.  The sky-ferry picked up speed and we skimmed along the sides of the mountain.  We darted past hanging tropical gardens, the air thick and heavy with their perfumes.  Winds from our passage set delicate trees to swaying and howled through gaps in the rocks, somehow turning into haunting melodies that I recognized: Ardakoff’s Requiem at Midnight, the Dosvai Dirges, Mariroja’s Pasionada ad Infinatum….great.

Even the rocks at this place played them better than I did.

We drew level with a waterfall thundering down the cliff-face.  It drowned out whatever Mera was saying next to me.  Spray misted our faces as the ferry rose to the Academy proper. 

It was impossible to gauge just how big it was, but then, a good many things about it were impossible in general.  Like the buildings that looked as though sculpted from ice and hovering above with no support whatsoever.  Or the sweeping silver staircase that climbed so high in the air it seemed to end in the clouds.  Or the bridge of water growing out of a fountain and supporting a handful of people as sturdily as one made from stone…but then, I supposed that’s why it was called the Impossible Academy.  What do you expect from a place crafted from imagination, unfettered by physics?

“Wait, hold that pose!”  Ezra shouted behind me.  I spun to see him viewing me through framed hands.  He pursed his lips in mock concentration.  “I have my first masterpiece.  Open-Mouthed Peasant Feasting Upon Flies.”

“Ezra, move away from the railing,” Mera said with an imperious eye roll I vowed to later practice in the mirror.  She held a perfectly manicured hand between them and studied it, as though gauging its effectiveness as an instrument of fratricide.  “I’m feeling dangerously justified in shoving you overboard.”

He scowled and sulked off.

“How are you related to him?”  I wondered out loud.

“Some kind of cosmic joke, I suppose.”  She sighed.  “I don’t get it.”               


  1. Love your instruction to pace yourself after mentioning that you've written 15k in two days. You big silly. Could the Impossible Academy be the next Hogwarts, because it sounds pretty awesome? And I can see Mera and Ezra providing a lot of fun arguments, I mean dialogue.

  2. Eh, you know me. And hey, your lips to god's ears, yaknow? Hahaha. I wouldn't mind that, but I'll settle for far less than that too. It's just massive fun to play around with. And yeah, the sibs are fun, but wait til you meet Kiev. ;)