Only two weeks and two more papers between me and freedom! (“freedom” I have homework I have to do over break, but I’m choosing to ignore that at the moment.) Thanksgiving is so close I can…almost…touch it… And then I can be home with my family and my kitty cats! Oh man I’m excited.

But my upcoming break from school isn’t the only light at the end of the tunnel…I’m also getting excitingly (that’s a word, right?) close to finishing the rough draft of Henry’s book! For those who follow me on Facebook or Instagram, you probably saw that I broke 80,000 words on Friday! I’m currently working my way through the climax (which means the necessity of concentrating on homework so I actually survive to break is driving me nuts, but that’s college) and I’ve reached that point where excitement about finishing is propelling me forward. Henry still has a lot to go through before the end of the book (poor guy is having an intense few months…) and I hesitate to say a certain number of chapters before the end…cuz you all know how that turns out. Putting aside my utter lack of skill estimating when I’ll finish my books, I’m cautiously hopeful that the rough draft will be done by Christmas break.

To celebrate all the awesome progress, here’s an excerpt! (disclaimer: it’s unedited. Please forgive any mistakes).

Someone had a hand on his shoulder and was saying his gardener name. Ivy? Her voice slowly came into focus, as did his hands planted on the rough stone beneath him. He was on his knees, Ivy beside him. His breath was coming in gasps, and for a moment he was filled with panic at the darkness invading his senses. He wanted to rip off the blindfold and burn it to ash. But that wouldn’t do anything for the other darkness, the magic tingling in his chest down to his wrists as it fed on his fear.
“I’m fine,” he choked out.
Henry jerked away when another hand grabbed his arm, but the person was just helping him stand. He locked his knees so they wouldn’t shake and tried to stand tall. Why did he feel so weak? Growing the trees hadn’t taken that much power, had it?
“He needs to rest before we can finish,” Ivy said. She wasn’t talking to him, but Henry shook his head anyway. As far as he could tell both ignored him.
“He has done his part,” the shacar answered. “He can rest while you complete the work.”
“I can’t without Oak.”
“I can do it,” Henry interjected.
“Oak…” Ivy trailed off, but even that one word sounded hesitant.
“I can do it now,” Henry repeated. “I’ll rest when we’re finished.”
Henry didn’t wait for an answer. Bracing himself, he reached out again to the plants around him. They were all connected by his influence, like the plants in Plarim. If he could hold open a door in one, Ivy should be able to work in all of them. But opening the tunnel was more difficult than his success the night before. He had to fight with the casing of power around the plants, like it almost wasn’t his anymore. Sweat was beading on his skin and dripping onto the blindfold before he managed it.
This time he could feel it, the drain on his strength as something within the trees fought with the magic gathered in his chest. Ivy had entered his opening and was manipulating something within the core, but Henry didn’t have the attention to spare to understand what she was doing. He was fighting two battles, as his own power tried to force Ivy out and a power Henry didn’t recognized clashed with the magic within him. He went to his knees, planting his fists on the ground to keep from falling completely. Ivy was still working. He couldn’t let go yet. Every line marking his skin burned. He tightened his jaw to keep from making a sound, but a growl escaped anyway. Just when he was losing his grip, Ivy withdrew. Henry released his hold, and his influence was thrown back with enough force to make his ears ring.
The hand returned to his shoulder, but Henry didn’t have the energy to react. He focused on breathing and fighting the pain trying to force him into unconsciousness. He wasn’t sure how much time had passed when the ringing in his ears faded enough for him to hear Ivy and the shacar speaking. Several measured breaths later, he registered what they were saying.
“You shouldn’t have brought someone infused with evil to our lands.”
“Oak is not evil.”
“The power within him is.”

Did it get your interest piqued? Eh? Eh?

Well, I better get back to homework… (college is such a slave driver. Honestly, I’m so persecuted I can hardly believe it 😛 ) Have a good week everyone!