And it became the truth. DONE +some

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And it became the truth. DONE +some

Postby Frelga » Fri Apr 16, 2004 7:11 pm

The story is not based on anything Tolkien. It is mine, my own, my... err nevermind. I hope it is not entirely inappropriate for this forum.

The culture is loosely and inconsistently drawn from the early peoples of Northern Caucasus (Kafkas) Mountains.

Any feedback is accepted with gratitude and rewarded with chocolate.

EDIT: If you are just stopping by for the first time, don't be put off by the post count of this thread. The story is about 10 posts, 9,100 words or 17 printed pages. The rest of this thread is devoted to converstaions with the wonderful people I met here.
Last edited by Frelga on Mon Dec 06, 2004 9:44 pm, edited 10 times in total.
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Postby Frelga » Fri Apr 16, 2004 7:14 pm

The roar of the crowd was like waterfall in my ears. Dust scraped my throat dry but it was sweet in my mouth, the taste of victory. Behoe heard the shouts, too, and his body went limp with defeat as I pressed his back into the sand. I removed my knee off his chest and slowly rose to my feet.

Behoe wouldn’t take my hand. He got up heavily and moved off the small circle of sand, his teeth clenched and his look full of more hate and misery than I’ve seen in my life. Surely more than was warranted by coming in second in the Fall Games of Lykhnasta.

I shrugged and turned to the open tent where the elders and Tamiko, the Flower of the Hills, waited for the winner. Somehow I forced myself to walk with dignity. There was nothing I could do about the huge grin that took over my face. My mother beamed at me from the front row of benches and my father tried to look as if he had never expected anything less. Behind them, Givi, the poet and my friend, picked imaginary strings in the air. He would write a song in honor of my victory. If he ever gets to it.

There were gifts waiting for me in the tent. Old Vakhtang, the Eldest of the elders, handed me the horn filled with the best of the valley vintage. I drank it, washing down the dust, and then Vakhtang passed each gift to me in turn. A bow, a cask of mead, a fine saddle with wide stirrups studded with turquoise, and best of all a curved saber from Lesser Hills, a shaskho, tempered in bear fat. It felt as light as a grape vine in my hand and as flexible, but the elders all stood back a little when I wielded it, laughing at my eagerness.

Each item had to be lifted, displayed and admired. That done, I had one moment to stand alone and drink in the clear light air, which felt as fresh on my tongue as the wine did. Behind the tent of the elders, an orchard stood where first yellow leaves showed among the green. There, the tables creaked under the weight of meats and more wine. And far beyond the orchard, Mkinvari Everwhite, the tallest of the Three Mountains, lifted its peaked hat to the high into the sky.

Then people moved towards the food, and suddenly they were all around me. I was slapped on the back and hugged and pressed from all sides. My friends and former rivals, stiff from seven days of riding and archery and wrestling, came one by one to embrace me. Not Behoe. Foolish of him.

Old Vakhtang himself was to preside at the feast . Now the crowd parted as he approached. He placed his hands on my shoulders, and praised my might and valor in an old man’s quiet voice. He spoke of the beautiful children that Tamiko would bear me. That reminded me – I would be married soon. Tamiko was named the Flower of the Hills at the Spring Sunswing and I won the Lykhnasta. An ancient custom said that we must marry, and bless the valley with our strong and beautiful offspring.

I noticed then that Tamiko was not among those who came to greet me. I looked around, wanting to meet her eyes and give her a reassuring smile. But she wasn’t looking at me.

She stood there by the tent, her face whiter than her dress, her hand at her throat. Her eyes were fixed on something beyond the crowd. I turned around and saw Behoe, still standing at the edge of the sand circle, tall and dark and desperate. And I swear to Mother Sun, it was only then that I knew what I have done.

*****
Slightly expanded 4/24/4
Formatting fixed 2/15/16
Last edited by Frelga on Mon Feb 15, 2016 12:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Lady_Haleth » Sat Apr 17, 2004 8:42 am

I like it!! It is quite interesting and I feel I can relate to the main charactor right away. Im just wondering, what time era is this story set in? Its got a middle ages feel.
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Postby Frelga » Tue Apr 20, 2004 1:04 pm

Lady_Haleth, thank you for your feedback. I am sorry I didn't reply to you. I really hoped to have an update by now, but life gets in its own way.<BR><BR>Yes, the period is about early medieval. However, the story is not set in Western Europe, which is what medieval implies to me. The society in question would be isolated from the world, except for some trade ties.<BR><BR>Your question helped me realize that I need to give the reader more details about the place and people, since they are important to the story. I am now trying to do it without killing the story itself.<BR><BR>Thanks again.
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Postby Lingua » Tue Apr 20, 2004 2:03 pm

Not bad at all! I usually need to rip out my blue(editing) pen and slash across the first draft, but you are well-spoken. I would remind you to watch where you need to place commas, there are a few missing. Ordinarily I counsel to slash and burn adjectives and adverbs, but you used them judiciously. I might suggest that you watch the number of times you repeated thw word wine in the paragraph about his victory "dance". Consider making one of his gifts "a cask of ale" instead of wine? Then when you come to the table, laden with meats "and more wine", using the word more gives a break in the repetition and underscores that the wine is flowing freely at his bash. Very good effort, keep it up!
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Postby Frelga » Tue Apr 20, 2004 2:37 pm

Thank you so very much, Lingua!!!! * happy dance *<BR><BR>The over-abundance of wine has been pointed out to me and is being edited out. "More wine" is a wonderful suggestion, as wine is important to the culture in question (I dont' think they know ale. Mead, maybe?).<BR><BR>I have to tell you, I am absolutely elated that you consented to read my story. For as long as I remember, I've always thought that one day I would write. Finally, I decided that "today is that day", and look - you come along with wise and encouraging words. <BR><BR>Thanks again!
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Postby Lingua » Tue Apr 20, 2004 7:18 pm

Feel free to e-mail me directly and we can talk about how to become a writer. I honestly see a natural gift for expression in you, I'm not blowing smoke. Let me know your age and where you live, but let your parents know you are doing this if you are a minor. I will e-mail with them first if they wish. I can give them info so they can Google me and see I'm not a predator. I merely want to let you know where in your area you can begin to develop your talent. (This posting goes for anyone under 18.) Yes, mead would be even better than ale, esp. in a Middle-Ages story. I almost said mead, but I was watching an "Enterprise" episode where they were drinking Romulan ale, and I guess the brew stuck with me! chuckle
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Postby Frelga » Wed Apr 21, 2004 10:36 pm

Part 2.

The trouble with filling a bull’s horn with wine is that you cannot put it down until it’s empty. You can drink a lot of our golden wine and still keep your wits and your singing voice. But in the morning you wake up as I did, as much a fool as I was the night before.

Outside, the sun stabbed my eyes as I greeted her. The packing for the journey home was all done, and my younger brother collapsed the tent as soon as I stepped out.

My parents were saying good-byes to our aunts, cousins, nephews and other relations, which added up to just about everybody under the Three Mountains. I went over to join them, and again found myself pulled into a friendly, laughing circle. Water was handed to me, and bread. They fussed over my bruises and joked about my drinking the night before and picked over the final contest yesterday.

“It was like watching a bear battle a panther,” an uncle roared.

Behoe would be the bear, then, I thought, feeling foolishly pleased. He had the size and the power, as my aching ribs could prove. But I moved faster and thought faster, and so I won. That was over now, time to get home to fields and garden. Winter will be coming early this year and there was much work still to be done.

“I’ll go find the horses,” I said.

“Go greet your bride first,” replied father. “I’ll be by in a while.”

I noticed mother look at me with some worry hidden in her eyes. Yet she said nothing and I walked away past swirling circles of people saying their goodbyes.

I was hoping to talk to Givi before having to face Tamiko, but there was no getting to him just then. All the unmarried youth assembled around him on a little hillside behind the tents. There he sat strumming songs of some old loves or battles. I saw some girls in their bright shawls, their brothers hovering over them. Young men pretended to listen to the song while watching the girls. They saw me and a few shouted and waved.

I waved back and went on. They would all stay for a few days of visiting, and for their best chance for wooing and arranging marriages. I was the only man under the Three Mountains who was not free to pick a wife for himself. I was also the only one who did not remember the weight of somebody’s knee on his chest. It seemed a fair trade.

Besides, who could complain about having Tamiko for his bride? Givi wasted many songs on her, comparing her to a young cedar tree, with perfumed branches delicate and yet so strong, its slender trunk curving gracefully. He said her face was like the untroubled surface of a mountain lake that reflects a bronzed sunset, and that her eyes shone like ice on the mountain peak. But Tamiko was above even his words.

Maybe I was mistaken, I thought. I knew little about girls, having no sisters. How could I guess from a silent glance what she wished or did not wish? Maybe this morning she will be glad to greet the panther instead of the bear. That thought made me feel better, even if I did not believe it.

You are like an eagle, Givi has told me once. You see everything. You just cannot speak about it. He laughed. An eagle, a panther. My head ached.

I saw Tamiko by her mother’s tent, surrounded by family. It was smaller than many, but everybody at once was speaking at her. Tamiko stood in defiant silence as if all her words were given away already. Then they saw me, and my name flew up in a quick whisper, like a scared bird.

I wished I could just keep walking, as I walked past my friends. The circle opened and my bride’s family turned to me, looking apprehensive.

“Good morning and good health to you all,” I said and the dryness in mouth had nothing to do with yesterday’s wine.

“And good morning to you Radesh,” replied Tamiko’s father. The morning was mostly gone by now.

“Good to see you,” her mother said quickly, as if she wanted to ward off what was coming. But Tamiko cut in, and her voice was beautiful even in anger.

“Tell him, father. Tell him now.”

“Tamiko!” he gasped in dismay, and his two sons echoed him. “What are you doing?”

What she was doing was playing with fire that could easily burn through both families, but that did not matter to her.

For a moment, silence hung over us like an avalanche about to charge downhill. Then I found my voice.

“There is nothing to say, esteemed one. I know it already.” I gave Tamiko’s father a little bow, fitting it to his age but not to our future relation. “I was going to see to our horses. It’s time we started home.”

“There’s no time to lose this year, for sure,” he replied. “We will be starting soon, too. Snow comes to our village first, and this year it will come early.”

Tamiko pulled in the air to say something, but her mother looked at her so sternly that she shut her mouth. So with immense relief I talked of the coming winter to Alamys and his sons. We parted with many wishes for safe journey home and not a word said about the wedding.

I ran all the way to the pasture, hoping with all my heart that my father would stay away from his future in-laws until I get back.
Last edited by Frelga on Mon Feb 15, 2016 12:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Lingua » Wed Apr 21, 2004 10:57 pm

You are doing very well. I am carried through the story. The funny thing is, you break a lot of rules that I'd like to point out, but you do it so well that I won't! The rules can be bent and even broken IF IT WORKS, and it does, they do. More!
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Postby Frelga » Thu Apr 22, 2004 9:16 am

Lingua, thanks again. And again.<BR><BR>If you have the time and the inclination to point out the broken rules, I would love to hear about them. I don't mind breaking them, but I would prefer to be conscious of doing that.<BR><BR>I will take you up on your kind offer and contact you directly. However, I don't mind to be critiqued in the thread, as well. My skin is fairly thick, and, as Parm said, others might benefit from your wizdom. I know how helpful to me was reading advice given to others. <BR><BR>* Frelga pales and grips her chair in terror <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0>*
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Postby Lingua » Thu Apr 22, 2004 12:49 pm

Lingua was a bad girl with a box of fudge almond biscotti last night and carb-buzzed into the wee small hours, writing like a mad fiend...and is just getting up, ah, the joys of working for oneself. BAAAAD Norwegian troll...anyhow, I will be glad to critique you here or by e-mail, your choice, and you're right, others can learn from critique, but you are doing so superlatively that I don't have much to criticize! Ask your mother what I said to her, we had a nice exchange. I have some things I could send you as Word attachments to help with your writing path, should I send them to your mom's address or would you like to contact me direct?
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Postby Frelga » Thu Apr 22, 2004 1:00 pm

Lingua, just to clarify, I am not a minor (or, in this case, <em>the</em> minor).
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Postby Lingua » Thu Apr 22, 2004 4:35 pm

OK. just want to always say the bit about the parental units for those who are underage. It's a sticky but important point in this online stuff we do. I'm off to Shoreline Park to enjoy the sunset and write for a while. Tenna' telwan, L
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Postby Lady_Haleth » Sat Apr 24, 2004 10:14 am

I like it!<img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0> I think the story could bennifit from a bit more description of the scenery and apperances, but I think that about most stories.<img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0>
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Postby Frelga » Sat Apr 24, 2004 2:20 pm

Thanks for reading, Lady_Haleth, and for replying. I agree completely about needing more description. I just find it so blasted difficult to work it into the first person story. <BR><BR>In fact, I realized a while back that I didn't even mention that the location is fairly high in the mountains, an important point for the story. I expanded the first part a little, to add more feel for time and place, not to mention clarity, hopefully without bogging down the story. <BR><BR>I posted the revision after reading your comment. Which doesn't necessarily mean that I would rush to implement every suggestion, so don't feel any pressure. <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-devil.gif"border=0><BR><BR><BR><BR>
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Postby LadyElessar » Mon Apr 26, 2004 6:29 am

See I think you put in ample description. We know it is a mountain/valley setting, for now I think that's all we need. Too much description in a first person, or in a third person for that matter, tends to sound to flowery and over-the-top. Perhaps that's why I like this so much. It seems the perfect balance.<BR><BR>I love the reinforced image of the losers having a knee on their chest. Something about that just seems so demeaning and perfect. Also adored the gifts that he was presented that subtly tell us a lot about the values and lifestyles of these people. I'm curious how you came up with the setting and culture, seeing as its quite unique and original <BR><BR>
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Postby Frelga » Sat May 01, 2004 1:06 pm

LadyElessar, thank you!<BR><BR>* emails cyber-chocolates to Lady_Haleth and LadyElessar *<BR><BR><em>I'm curious how you came up with the setting and culture, </em><BR><BR>The culture and setting are based on that of Central Caucasus, in what is now Georgia. It really is a unique place, where they speak one of the most ancient living languages, not related to Indo-European family! Mkinvari is a real mountain, also know as Kazbek.<BR><BR>However, my story is in no way an accurate or even an approximate reflection of any real place or time, much less so than most fantasy stories are a reflection of Medieval Europe. I am just drawing on the real-world material to give substance to the world I invent. <BR><BR>I hope that made some sort of sense...
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Postby Frelga » Sat May 01, 2004 1:09 pm

Part 3.

Up at our village, the air was colder and autumn older. The work was a race against the cruel time when no more food or fuel could be found than was stored away now, and the snow-filled passes cut off all hope of help. Every time we were together, my parents would say the same words over and again. By the end of the fifth day, I could hear them in my head even when they were silent.

“Radesh, it is time you went to Gingush,” mother said. Gingush was the village where Tamiko’s family lived.

“You heard what he said,” father broke in. “She will say no. She wanted Alamys to refuse even before anybody asked her.” Or pretended to ask, I thought, since neither family had choice in the matter.

“But if we won’t ask, how can she say yes or say no? We have to ask. The elders will talk to her if she refuses at first.”

“It is true enough that they will come to us if we don’t go,” conceded father. “Still, it’s a long way to climb just to be insulted by a foolish girl.”

Round and round the talk went. Round and round went dry leaves, and every blast of wind felt colder than the last one. And here we were, worried about a girl who did not want to marry me.

“If she doesn’t want me, then I do not want to marry her either.” I did not mean to raise my voice, but the words burst out.

“Radesh!” mother said weakly. Father frowned, and my brother’s eyes went wide. And just then I heard the hooves. Givi was back from the valley and free to visit at last.

Givi lived only a short way down, and he used to run all the way from his house to mine. Until nine years ago, when Givi, a young rider on an untried horse, startled a snow leopard from his nap. The horse spooked, tried to run, and went down among sharp stones, crushing Givi’s leg.

The bones healed well enough for Givi to walk with a painful limp. Not well enough to have any chance at winning Lykhnasta, which included a foot race and the final wrestling contest. Still, he passed the other three trials and now could ask a girl to marry him.

We went to sit in the orchard, sheltered by the stone wall. Mother brought bread and cheese for the guest, and Givi told her of the upcoming marriages as he ate. Then she went into the house, leaving me to tell my troubles to my best friend. The few remaining leaves above us glowed with their own little sunset.

“They say you can see the sea from the far slopes of Mkinvari,” Givi was saying. “I have always wanted to go that way. They have a new king down below, and he is building a new city on the shore. I would like to see it some day.”

“Not this winter," I replied. “The upper passes will close any day now. I’ve never seen the snow get so low so early.”

“In all of your years, child?”

I jumped to my feet and pulled Givi up with me. Old Vakhtang stood on the path that led to our door, stooping a little over his staff. The polished wood gleamed like copper.

“Good... good evening and good health, Grandfather,” I stammered, gathering my wits and my courtesy. “Will you honor our house and be our guest tonight?

“And good evening to you both. Thank you, Radesh, I am staying with my granddaughter. I see your parents kept you busy. It is well. The winter is coming fast and even I do not recall many years like this one. If the snow is the worst thing in the passes, we will be lucky.”

He would not name the menace but my heart raced even at that oblique hint. Beside me, Givi stirred eagerly.

“Have you ever seen… one, Grandfather?”

“Yes, Givi, as you well know, when my oldest son was younger than you are now.” Vakhtang was silent for a moment and I began to hope for a story. But he turned to me. “I came to ask you, Radesh, when are you going to your bride’s village? This is not a year to postpone weddings.”

Vakhtang had old eyes, circled with pink and half covered by wrinkles. Yet they shone with wisdom beyond my measure. I found myself staring at my own shoulder, feeling stubborn and childish.

“Grandfather,” I began, and then I had to go on. “What if… what if I wanted another girl for a wife?”

“Whom would you rather have, Radesh?”

“Someone who would rather have him, perhaps,” Givi cut in. “Is it any secret that Tamiko was hoping for Behoe to win?”

“Behoe didn’t win.” Vakhtang showed no surprise at my friend’s boldness, and Givi went on.

“He did not disgrace himself. Let Tamiko marry him, if such is her choice. It is only a custom.”

“And for a custom to endure, it must not be broken. The people must know that a thing has always been done in the same way, or there won’t be anything left of it.”

“And if there isn’t, what of that? Are we mountain goats to break our horns while a female waits for a winner? Are we dogs, to be paired off so that the master can have a choice litter?”

“Givi!” I gasped. That crude speech from Givi, who polished his words to mirror the beauty he saw around him! I reached to touch his shoulder, but he turned on me with a fury that made me back off a step.

“Had I been born this way, they wouldn’t let me marry at all.” He pointed to his crippled leg. “I had to stand there like a stork with my bow, as if arrows were more important than words. Tell me, Grandfather, do songs count for nothing and only swords matter?”

“The songs count for much, Givi, but they will not keep your family warm in winter nor bring food to your babies. You have known only years of peace, child, but they are short. There is always another army looking for a way through, and the mountains that protect us can be as cruel as men. We must take at least as much care choosing mates for ourselves as we do for our dogs, or your grandchildren's children won't live through the winter to see the spring.”

He looked at me again. “Do not delay, Radesh.” With that, he turned and walked away down the path, with a slow but sure step.

We stood a while, watching Vakhtang go. Givi leaned against the wall, black eyes fixed on me from deep under straight black eyebrows.

“I didn’t help you much, did I?” he said at length. “I am sorry, Radesh.”

“It’s no worse now than it was before,” I shrugged.

But it was worse, I thought. Vakhtang chose to honor me by coming to talk to me and not to my parents. He would not do so again and all my chance of reasoning or pleading was lost. I felt my anger rise against my friend. And then I felt his pain slice at me through the habit of nine years. I never considered what Lykhnasta was like for him.

“Givi...” I started, and then another thought stopped the first and my voice went cold. “Givi, did you say it was no secret about Tamiko?”

“Not if you have a younger sister. The girls were whispering about it since the Sunswing.”

“And you chose not to tell me?”

“What would it matter if I did? You would still fight to win,” said my best friend.
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Postby AnaJana » Sun May 02, 2004 11:17 am

Frelga,<BR>This is just lovely. Your courage in posting and accepting help inspires me. Stories are popping out of my pen into little books all the time, but the bravery to share them has eluded me until now. You are fortunate in Lady_Haleth, Lingua, and LadyElessar.<BR>Looking forward to the next post!<BR>AnaJana
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Postby Tuima » Wed May 05, 2004 8:04 pm

This is absolutely amazing. I am kinda picky about style; often there's just something irritating when you read, and you can't quite put your finger on it, but this flows so well. Everything is subtle and understated, especially the culture, so that you pick up on it without realizing. The characterization is great, too, and there's just the right note of suspense. Write more, quickly. And then again, even more quickly!
ps. Hey, Lingua... you seem like someone knowledgable to consult. If I ever get up the courage to post some of my work I will call upon your expertise :D Actually I submitted a story a little while ago to the reading room, but it was actually written by a group of my friends and I late at night, so please don't judge by that! :D again.
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Postby Frelga » Wed May 05, 2004 11:18 pm

* Emails chocolates to Tuima and AnaJana *

Thank you for reading and replying. It means a lot to me, to hear that someone is actually interested in my scribbling.

AnaJana, this is the first time that I dared to share a fiction story outside of my close circle. (OK, the second, but the first was only two pages long). It was one of the scariest things I did, making me feel utterly exposed, even though the story has nothing to do with me personally. It also completely changed the way I look at my writing and got me out of unending editing and rewriting of the first 3 pages.

You see how kind and gentle the feedback is on this board. I am by no means a regular, but I hope you do decide to share your work with others here.
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Postby LadyElessar » Fri May 07, 2004 7:08 am

It was one of the scariest things I did, making me feel utterly exposed, even though the story has nothing to do with me personally. [/quote]

Agreed! Sharing your work is somewhat terrifying at first. In my case, I'd never shared it with anyone! Just constantly reading and rewriting and rereading and rewriting.... It's all worth it though for the one or two people who take the time to respond and let you know that what you're doing is not just good, but engaging and enjoyable to read!

I'm loving this Frelga and only sorry that I will not get to finish reading it as I'm leaving for the summer (to a place with no internet)! I look forward to catching up!
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Postby Tuima » Fri May 07, 2004 2:30 pm

Yay for Frelga! I have been telling all my friends about your story, you read just like a professional. How many publishers are chasing you so far? Moremoremore! I want to find out what happens!
For LadyElessar... yes, I know what you mean. I have been working on a book for three or four years now, and I just keep re-writing the first chapter. The plot outline has changed at least seven times, so I always end up deleting the whole thing and starting over! I admire Frelga and all other brave (and very talented) souls... :)
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Postby luthienelflover » Sat May 08, 2004 2:14 pm

Frelga,

This is wonderful! There are a couple of small grammatical issues but they were probably just typos so I won't bother pointing them out. I love your style; your writing flows so well. Your character is sympathetic and seems like a good person without being overly perfect. All in all it is wonderful, and I'm looking forward to reading the next part(s)!

:)

Luthy
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Postby Frelga » Sun May 09, 2004 12:46 pm

* emails chocolates to Luthienelflover *

Luthy - can I call you Luthy? - thanks a bunch for reading. If you care to point out the grammar errors, I'd really appreciate it. To tell the truth, I wasn't sure in a few places that I got it right.

Tuima, thanks again for your kind words. :oops: I'll have to wear my Rider's helmet, or I'm afraid my head will swell!

Tuima wrote:I have been working on a book for three or four years now, and I just keep re-writing the first chapter. The plot outline has changed at least seven times, so I always end up deleting the whole thing and starting over!


IKWYM! This is exactly why I began posting parts of the story as they are written. Now I have to force myself to move forward instead of going around in circles. Although I feel that it's not entirely fair to the kind folks who read it.

LadyElesar, have a wonderful summer and come back. I want to know how that warg hunt is going, and why your mysterious loner is so mysterious and... lonerly! :)
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Postby Frelga » Sun May 09, 2004 12:50 pm

End of part 3.
Just a short one, and then I'm going to kick Radesh out of the house, I promise.


Two days later, a large cloud caught us as we brought the sheep back from the autumn pasture. The dusty path turned into yellow dough kneaded by boots and hooves. But up in Mkinvari’s highest passes it wasn’t rain that fell, it was snow.

Entering the village, we saw our neighbor Inzali standing by the fence, watching the road anxiously. Her husband went down below with two sons to trade, and did not come back in time to beat the rains.

Father spoke to me before we entered our gates. That was the first time I heard my name from him since morning.

“Radesh,” he said, “tomorrow we will get ready travel to Gingush.”

“Father!” but he did not stop to listen.

I could not sleep that night, thinking, thinking. Useless thoughts, that began with “if only” and “why doesn’t she”. Why doesn’t Tamiko want to marry me? My family was no less respected than Behoe’s, nor was he any more handsome. “A fine young man, Radesh,” I’ve heard elders say, much as they would say “a fine horse”.

How simple my life was supposed to be! I would win Lykhnasta and marry Tamiko, or marry someone else if I did not win. I had imagined coming back from the summer pastures with my sons and seeing my wife rush to greet us, the way my mother did, her pace just short of running and her eyes full of pride, and pleasure, and – love. At Lykhnasta, Tamiko looked at me as if I were a mudslide.

Night dripped and rustled outside. I stayed awake, angry with the stubborn girl who refused to make me happy.

If I married Tamiko, I would have a wife who wished she wasn’t and Behoe for an enemy. If I did not ask her, if I broke the custom, the Three Mountains will turn their backs on me. Not a piece of cheese would be lent me, should my food run out in the winter. You could survive that way, maybe, or you could leave, go over the high passes and down to the king’s new city by the sea. Either way my disgrace would fall on my parents, and my brother, and Givi, who would still be my friend. Givi, who told me that he would follow me into the heavy air down below and I did not even hear him.

I fell asleep with that thought, and I knew, had always known, what I had to do.
Last edited by Frelga on Sun May 09, 2004 1:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby luthienelflover » Sun May 09, 2004 1:46 pm

Oh, chocolates! Thank you! :D

Of course you may call me Luthy :)

I'll go back and look for them -- the one I remember off the top of my head was back in the first part -- you wrote

And I swear to Mother Sun, it was only then that I knew what I have done.

Whereas it should be "it was only then that I knew what I had done."

They were all like that... very small things.

:) Luthy
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Postby Lingua » Mon May 10, 2004 1:01 am

Frelga, I am amazed!! :shock: And amused. In your e-mail to me you said you'd "prefer to hear something like "this is garbage" in private". No worries, chica, that ain't gonna come outa these lips!! I said before that you break rules but do it so well that I wasn't going to point them out and you asked if I would anyway. NOPE. Why tamper with success. I don't want you second-guessing yourself! Too many people write like they think a writer should write. You write what you feel. You don't TELL a story, you SHOW it, and that is the great writer's creed: Show, don't tell. It leaps right off the page at us. I disagree with a previous post that you need more description. I feel and see and smell everything I need to, and I say this with some sense of reality...I have BEEN to Georgia and I KNOW that mountain and those high plains! Let me know when you post more, not so I can critique, but so I can come and read and admire. When/if you want to try submitting this, let's talk. Your Faithful White Queen of the Word, Lingua
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Postby Tuima » Fri May 14, 2004 12:30 pm

Want more! *pouty* Moremoremore!! This is better than most books. Are you going to write a book? Can I have a signed copy? Please please write more!!
*settles down with chocolates to wait impatiently for next installment*
~Tuima
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Postby luthienelflover » Fri May 14, 2004 3:09 pm

C'mon, it's been Luthy checks her watch five days, where's the next part?

;) I'm just kidding, Frelga, I know these things take time. ;)

Luthy
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