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Tag: aspiring writer

Progress Update – Oh, Plotting. I've Missed You So Much!

This week has been exciting, to say the least! Right up until today cause I’m not feeling well, but that just leaves more time to plot and read, right? From the sofa? In a blanket? With tea, and a cat on my lap?

So it’s not all bad.

It’s been two weeks now since my beta readers have started reading, and I’ve had some wonderful feedback! I must be doing something right, because even amidst all those suggestions for improvements they still enjoy it and want to know what happens next. Then, earlier this week, I had a very proud writer moment, because I received this comment:

AchievementUnlocked 1

If people are so caught up in my story that they forget to take notes, I must be doing something right!

And then I thought – and my fellow gamers amongst you will like this (I hope) – why not write down all my writing achievements? The few milestones I have reached already, and all the others I can think of which are, maybe, yet to come?

So I did.

WritingAchievements 1

WritingAchievements 2

The procrastination was real, people! So far I’ve got 27 points on that list. I’ve left a few pages blank afterwards for when I think of more.

*ahem* But let’s move on!

The final, professional edit isn’t far away, and I’ve begun to plan my next steps. I already have quite a few advanced readers but there’s always room for more, and I’m starting to plan my blog tour as well. Rise of the Sparrows will be out on 23rd May, so I’m looking to arrange something for every day that week. If any of you would like to host me on your blog, get in touch! It doesn’t matter if you’ve never hosted anyone before – there’s plenty of time to discuss what we could do 🙂

I’ve also finally gotten back to plotting this week. It feels so good to plot and scheme and rub my hands together while laughing in as evil a way as I can manage – you have no idea.

RelicsOfArZac Notebooks

The first notebook I started plotting in has been filled up completely, and I have moved on to the second notebook for Relics of Ar’Zac now. I’ve marked some pages in Notebook 1 which will/might be relevant for Book 2, Book 3 or the prequel, and as you can see my mascot helped me with that. I’ve mostly made notes for Book 2 and the prequel this week but there are some other ideas I’ve played with, too, and some more yet which I want to experiment with soon. Not all of them related to this trilogy. Maybe today, since I’m stuck on the sofa.

And then there’s my side project, which isn’t related to my writing but is related to writing… Ah, it’s complicated. More on that in a month, hopefully 😉

I also received my first endorsement this week. I can now officially stick this on my book’s cover:

‘Sarina Langer’s is an exciting new voice, well worth reading for its edgy portrayals of distant worlds.  I eagerly await her next books.’

Before we all get too excited (I definitely did), though – this isn’t from anyone famous. It’s from someone relevant to our industry, but not from a famous writer so I probably won’t stick it on my book’s cover. Ignore what I said above, okay? I can and will stick this everywhere else, though, and I’m beyond chuffed with it.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I do believe it’s time I waddle over to the sofa (it’s hard to walk when you’re wrapped up in a blanket, okay?) and curl up with a book and the mascot.

ReadingList

As you can see I’ve got plenty of books to get comfy with. Silly me didn’t even include all books in this picture, there are two missing! The one I’m reading now, More of Me by Kathryn Evans, and ADSoM by V. E. Schwab, have somehow not made it into this picture. You can tell you’re unwell when….

Allow me to leave you with these points to consider:

Would you like to be an advanced reader, or host me on your blog as part of my blog tour? So far no slots are taken, so if you’re interested get in touch (here, twitter, facebook – whichever is easiest for you) and we can discuss things!

What would you consider an ‘Achievement Unlocked!’ moment? Have you experienced one or two already?

Let’s chat! 🙂

A wonderful Friday and weekend to you all!

~Sarina

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All content belongs to the author, Sarina Langer.

For all previous updates on Rise of the Sparrow‘s progress, click me!

For Cookie Break’s front page, take a look here.

18 Comments

Progress Update – Book Cover News AND Beta Reader News!

This has been one busy, hectic, and MAD week, let me tell ya! Everything happened!

On Monday, DesignForWriters began the work on my book’s cover. I can’t tell you for how long exacly I grinned like an idiot after seeing the email, but it was a while. I was at work at the time so people probably avoided me because of that.

Excited

Then, after driving myself like a slave for the past two weeks, I finished editing Rise of the Sparrows on Wednesday this week. I called for beta readers on here, twitter and my facebook page on the same day, and your interest in taking this step with me has been overwhelming. I did not expect that many responses! So, after having said that I was hoping for five to seven beta readers and no more than ten, I ended up with twelve. And I’m still waiting to hear back from a couple of people. So that didn’t work out.

I never thought I’d have to turn people down. To those of you who saw the post too late or who I had to say no to – maybe you’d consider writing an early review in return for an Advanced Reader Copy? 🙂 I’ll be sending those out next month around the 14th, but it’s never too early to let me know if you’re interested! You saw what happened with my beta readers, so get in early. I’ll be handing out five to seven (hmmm, this feels familiar), and one spot has already been claimed!

But let’s move on.

Today I’ll try to be a big girl, get as much courage together as I can muster, and ask some of my favourite authors for endorsements. I’ve been in nervous jitters all week, so maybe I’ll pass out instead before I can hit ‘send’. We’ll see.

Deep breath, girl. You can do this. You can be a big girl.

scared

Oh Gawd.

I may have been tempted to add ‘shitting myself’ to this post’s tags.

So that’s how this week has gone so far, and it’s only Friday morning! Yes, I could have edited more before approaching betas, but if we wait until I’m 100% satisfied with my draft we’ll have been invaded by aliens three times over before I move on. I did what I could on my own. Words have begun to blur and lose meaning. You know it’s time to stop when you consider changing ‘they were too common’ to ‘they were inconsequential’. (don’t worry, I didn’t – I cut it altogether) Or when you realise that the season has changed from deep winter to warm spring when your characters have only travelled for a few days so you change it, but then you look outside and consider changing it back again because that’s totally what’s happening here.

Next week there won’t be a progress update. It’s half term here, and me and my SO have booked the entire week off. I can’t wait to just relax a little, and nervous about not doing any editing or writing for one full fudging week. How do people manage?? Get in touch if you know. And send me some of your courage while you’re at it, so I can beg ask for endorsements today.

I’ve got posts scheduled but might not be able to drop in as often. The only exceptions I know I’ll make are for my beta readers and the wonderful people who are working on my cover. Prepare yourselves for one hell of a cover reveal in one month or so!

Now, time to be a big girl.

deepBreaths

A wonderful weekend to you all!

~Sarina

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All content belongs to the author, Sarina Langer.

The gifs came from Giphy

For all previous updates on Rise of the Sparrow‘s progress, click me!

For Cookie Break’s front page, take a look here.

15 Comments

Call for Beta Readers!

It’s time!!

Rise of the Sparrows needs YOU and your honest, brutal feedback!

Help

If you think you’d like to be a beta reader, here are a couple of things to consider:

You will receive your copy tomorrow, and will have until the 11th March. If you apply after tomorrow you will receive a copy as soon as I get to it. There are a couple of things I’d like you to look out for – you’ll get details along with your copy via email.

I can send you your copy either as a PDF or directly to your kindle. Let me know which one you’d prefer when you get in touch.

I need your honest opinion – whether you hate it or love it, I want to know.

I’d like you to send me feedback as you read – this allows me to edit right away and therefore save time, and also gives me insights into how you read, your predictions and what you feel as you go.

You don’t need to have been a beta reader before. If you do have experience please let me know!

Rise of the Sparrows is a High Fantasy novel.

I’m looking for roughly 5-7 readers and no more than ten.

It’s unpaid – unless you count my eternal gratitude and cookies and tea should we ever meet in person!

I’ll owe you.

There are three ways for you to get in touch – the Contact form on this blog, my facebook via PM, and my twitter via DM. It’s up to you how you contact me, whatever’s easiest for you works for me.

If you’ve got any questions please don’t hesitate to ask, and I will answer as soon I can 🙂

THANK YOU!!

~Sarina

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All content belongs to the author, Sarina Langer.

The gifs came from Giphy

For all previous updates on Rise of the Sparrow‘s progress, click me!

For Cookie Break’s front page, take a look here.

15 Comments

Progress Update – Goodness, Where Do I Start?

I’ve got quite a few things I want to mention this week. I’ve got a vote (sort of), a question for you all, and of course an excerpt!

But before I dive into any of that –

Earlier this week CookieBreak reached 100 followers. 100 genuine followers, who I didn’t bribe or beg or bought with chocolate to be here. 100 people who actually want to be here!

surprised cat

I can’t believe there are so many people who are interested in what I have to say! And I definitely can’t believe that some of you beautiful 100 people are excited for my book, too!!

Thank you SO much to all of you here. You all mean a lot to me and it’s because of you that I’m so committed to working my butt off over the coming weeks <3

But enough of the cheesy stuff, no?

Let’s move on to actual book-related news.

Thanks to everyone who offered me their sympathy about my new medication. I’m feeling much better by now and will catch up with some of the things I was too tired to include last week 🙂

This week I made a start on editing the entire draft for a second time? Third time? How do people know? I thought I’d be all right to just do it all on screen, but the newly added chapters needed a bit more work than that so I printed just those for a more thorough edit.

This is how it went:

editing progress 2

See all that red? But at least I didn’t cut the prologue again, so that’s a good start. Right? Right.

I’m trying to accept that short chapters are perfectly fine, and not stress about them needing to be longer. When I started writing again I thought that chapters had to be a certain length to be any good. I have no idea why that belief started but it’s hard to get it out now that it’s there. The series I’m reading right now – which I love – has a lot of very short chapters which is reassuring. I can’t say I ever read a book and thought ‘Huh, I wish this chapter had been longer’ so that’s reassuring, too.

Now, as you’ll have seen yesterday, I was interviewed! (if you missed it and would like to read the interview, have a look here) I was going to tell you, I swear I was, but Mercedes was so quick I never got the chance! I answered the questions on Wednesday and woke up on Thursday to the interview being posted, so, you see, there was no time 🙂

It does give me a chance to mention that I’ve got another two interviews coming, though! I don’t know yet when they’ll be posted but I’ll keep you updated 🙂 If any of you know of someone doing interviews let me know – there’s always room for one more!

mascot 6
It’s hard to edit when there’s a cat sitting on your draft. Yes, we’re back to that.

Now, onto my question and the (sort of) vote!

As you know the trilogy as a whole will be called Relics of Ar’Zac. Unless…. Well, I’ve done a lot of thinking this week (basically a bit of self-doubt has been settling in and I’m questioning everything about this writing thing) and now suddenly there are two options! So, which one do you, as my readers, prefer? Relics of Ar’Zac or Ruins of Ar’Zac? Let me know in the comments, I’ll keep a tally 😉

My question was for those of you who write and use Instagram. Would you say that it’s a good platform for writers? Is a good marketing tool? I asked on twitter and on facebook earlier this week and had mixed responses, so I’m holding out for now. I don’t want to rush into anything extra to do every day if it’s not worth it.

But let’s wrap this up. I’ve kept you for long enough this morning, and you probably want a tea or a coffee by now. Next week I’ve got another trial short for you – like Bray’s story, but it’s one which has bugged me for longer. Keep your eyes out for it! 🙂

But right now let’s move onto the excerpt. Enjoy! 🙂

Fire. Everything around her was on fire. The hot sizzling of the flames devouring everything in their path did nothing to drown the screams of the injured. Rachael herself had hurt her leg in the fall. Careful not to make it worse she got up, putting as much weight on the bone as she could bear. She could stand, even if the pain sent white hot aches throughout her leg and up her body. At least it did not seem to be broken.

Relieved at the small victory, her eyes quickly searched the area. She couldn’t see anyone past the flames, never mind within their vicious circle. How was she supposed to get out now? If she as much as touched the fire she would burn to ashes, she was sure of it.

Looking around for something she might be able to use, she found nothing. There was no sign of Cale anywhere, either, or the other Sparrows. It would seem that Aeron’s plan had worked – she really was cut off from the rest.

How does it feel to be helpless?”

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All content belongs to the author, Sarina Langer.

The gifs came from Giphy

For all previous updates on Rise of the Sparrow‘s progress, click me!

For Cookie Break’s front page, take a look here.

25 Comments

A Bit of Birthday Self-Promotion

It’s my birthday today (how can I be 26? I’m not old enough to be 26!) so I thought I’d treat myself and indulge in a bit of self-promotion 🙂 Originally I wasn’t going to include a lot, only the blurb and links to my facebook, twitter, …. but then I thought nuh, it’s my birthday.

Treat yo’self 😉

TreatYoSelf

Thank you so much to everyone who’s made CookieBreak such a fantastic experience for me. You’ve all been fantastic, and if you’re one of those awesome people who drops in with every post and leaves a comment each time – I love you. Thank you for being here.

Now, put your party hats on and celebrate with me! 😀

BirthdayCat

‘Rise of the Sparrows’ Blurb

Rifarne is a country opposed to magic. When its people demand harsh action, King Aeric sees himself with no other choice but to outlaw those with the gift. Rachael, a homeless orphan with the rare gift of a Seer, soon finds herself with visions of her own violent death. When her escape goes wrong and she ends up in the clutches of a vicious witch woman lusting for her blood, she finds she is the only person to stop the war against people like her – and assassinating the King to become Queen to a people who once wanted her dead may well be the only way to do just that.

Character Intros

A little while ago I posted some character introductions for some of the characters in Rise of the Sparrows. In case you’ve missed them, here they are 🙂

Rachael

Cephy

Cale

Aeron

Commander Videl

World Map

Since Relics of Ar’Zac will be a High Fantasy trilogy, I’m including maps to help you find your way.

This is the map of Rifarne, the country where Rise of the Sparrows takes place – beautifully created by MonkeyBlood Design:

RifarneMapMonochrome

This is the map of the world I’m currently working on. It’s still just a draft but will be turned into a prettier version like the one above later on:

WorldMap_Unfinished

Favourite Post So Far

I’ve massively enjoyed everything about Cookie Break since I started it last year, but the feedback on one post specifically made my day and gave me the warm, proud fuzzies. It was one of my 10Minute shorts (if you’re new here – every Monday morning I used to write for ten minutes; the new posts, 642, have replaced that) and my first go at writing sci-fi.

It’s my birthday, so I’m including it even though it’s got nothing to do with my trilogy 🙂

The Last Second In the Universe

Social Media

There are a few other places where you can find me as well, namely

Facebook

Twitter

Goodreads

Pinterest

It’s all related to my writing, of course, so please feel free to say hi on any or all of the above 🙂

CakeCat

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m gonna go find some cake… <3

~Sarina

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The gifs came from Giphy

All content belongs to the author, Sarina Langer, unless stated otherwise.

For all previous updates on Rise of the Sparrow‘s progress, click me!

For Cookie Break’s front page, take a look here.

16 Comments

642 – Inappropriate Laughter

This is another short prompt, after last week’s long post 🙂 I’m not very good at telling jokes, never mind making up new ones, so you’ll have to excuse me if this isn’t funny. (apart from how it’s not supposed to be funny) I tried! Honestly!

As always, feel free to borrow this prompt if it speaks to you (and if you have a better joke in mind) and link it back to me. I’d love to see your interpretation!

***

A boy who tries to be funny when nobody is laughing at his jokes

“He loves this, though, right?”

“Damn it, don’t you know when to shut up?” The grim faces of his five friends agreed with Sean. He knew he’d gone too far – this wasn’t the time to be funny – but the oppressive silence was worse.

“I’m just sayin'” Awkwardly he shuffled his feet. “Dawson loved places like this. You, erm…” He knew he shouldn’t, that there was nothing he could say to make this better, but he couldn’t help himself. “You could say he’s finally where he wanted to be? Swimming with the fishes?”

Cara slapped him. “Fuck you! His love for the sea didn’t mean that he wanted to drown!”

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For all other writing prompts, check here.

For CookieBreak’s homepage, click me.

All writing belongs to the author, Sarina Langer.

5 Comments

Bray #3

It’s time for the final Bray post! Since I started writing her story the idea itself has fizzed out and my excitement for it has died down, so there won’t be any more unless something rekindles my excitement for it.

Thank you to everyone who’s read and commented on the past two – which, if you haven’t done so yet, you can do here for the first one and here for the second instalment.

Now, without more rambling on my part –

here ya go 🙂

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Bray #3

She was back. My hands were sweating, my heart was racing. I tried to focus on the music coming from my headphones, but it was no use. Even without looking at her I knew that she was watching me in the covert way she had done before. I could see her faint reflection in the window, blending into the landscape. We were both looking outside – she couldn’t even see me since she had her back turned – but I knew that her eyes were on me. It was just the two of us on the bus, besides the driver. There was another kid sitting in the front, but he got out three stops before me and she had always gotten out after me.

My mind was racing for the entire bus ride. I had a feeling she’d get out with me and follow me home, maybe even try something before we got to my house, but there was nothing I could do about it. What if I got out a stop earlier? A stop later? Would that work or would she just get out with me, no matter where that would be?

We approached my stop, and my heart fell when she got up from her seat. She was definitely getting out with me, and there was nothing I could do about it. I couldn’t defend myself, and I wasn’t overly strong or flexible. I was fast but I had mild asthma, so I wouldn’t run very far if it came to that. My house wasn’t far but there was a quiet side alley I had to walk through. There was always the long way around, but if I had to chose between being followed for longer or getting to safety sooner, I’d definitely choose safety.

I breathed a sigh of relief when I spotted my grandma waiting for me. Mum hadn’t told me she was going to visit, but it didn’t matter. I wouldn’t be alone, that was all I cared about in that moment.

‘Hi, grandma! What are you doing here?’ I threw myself into her arms the second I got off the bus. Her arms closed protectivly around me as she laughed and tried to swing me around. She wasn’t strong enough for that any more, but she had always done it since I had been a baby. It had become a habit, and right now I was grateful for the bit of normalcy.

‘Can’t I want to see my youngest child?’ We both laughed as we started walking. Mum had always been a career woman, focused on her job over me and my sister. Grandma had raised me on her own while my parents had been at work, so she saw me as her sixth child.

She must have noticed my urgency, because we picked up our pace. I turned around briefly to see where the woman had gone, but I couldn’t see her any more. She must have gone the other way.

‘Where are we going? The house is that way.’ There were other ways to get home, but this was the easiest and Grandma wasn’t great on her feet any more. I had no idea why she would chose the longer way around.

‘We’re not going home, puppet. This is important, so listen carefully. That woman who was on the bus with you is dangerous. I need to get you away from her, but you have to trust me.’

I tried to swallow past the lump in my throat, but came up dry instead.

‘I trust you.’ My Grandma was the only person I really trusted. I didn’t care where we were going, I just wanted out and away.

I could still feel that woman’s eyes in my back. She hadn’t left or gone the other way. She was right behind us, out of sight, tailing us.

‘Grandma-‘

‘I know, puppet. Trust me.’

And I did.

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All writing belongs to the author, Sarina Langer.

For CookieBreak’s homepage, click me.

6 Comments

Bray #2

Yesterday I posted the first ‘chapter’ in a three-post serial. Tomorrow you’ll get the final post (still undecided about doing a fourth) but today, you get the second! 🙂

If you missed it yesterday you might want to read it now, to avoid potential confusion and for completion’s sake. I know I would, but then I get confused easily. Bray #1 

Thank you SO much to those of you who have read the first part already and have left feedback <3 Happy reading! 🙂

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Bray #2

‘Honey, why aren’t you eating?’ Mum looked up from her daily planner when I didn’t touch my pasta. ‘Has something happened at school?’ She frowned, not wanting to talk about it but feeling like she should ask, anyway. Like any good mother would. Like a mother who cared would.

After years of silent tolerance it was no longer a secret that I was being bullied at school. Pretty much every last student in my class had it in for me, but there were the other classes, too. Somehow the news that I should be picked on above anyone else had even spread to the highter grades, and they had joined in. Every time I came home quiet and reserved my Mum blamed it on them, never considering that it wasn’t all their fault. I didn’t want to talk about it, about them, but some of it at least was her fault, too.

Lunch was the only time during the day we could talk. Mum was running her own business from home, and worked from the moment I left the house in the morning until late into the evening. Lunch time had been supposed to be our time. An hour to catch up, before I started my homework and she resumed her work. Instead work was still more important. Every time the phone rang she jumped up, taking the call with her into her office upstairs, often without as much as an excuse or an ‘I’m sorry’.

Most days she stayed upstairs, figuring I could finish my lunch on my own.

She had promised me more time with her. Instead I saw her less than I had done when she had still worked for another company, away from home.

‘Honey, are you all right? Did you even hear what I said?’

I nodded. This wasn’t a conversation I wanted to have, not now not ever.

‘I’m fine. I’m not hungry.’ Without waiting for a respose I got up, leaving my cold pasta on the table as my Mum sighed and tidied up.

The lady hadn’t been on the bus with me again. A week had passed – no time at all if previous meetings were anything to go by – but she hadn’t left my mind once. I felt watched all the time, and deep down I knew it was her. I didn’t need prove, my gut told me everything I needed to know.

Tomorrow was Thursday. I always got out early on Thursdays. I had loved the quiet once – most other students got out hours after I did, so the bus was always empty – but now I knew that she’d be there, too. I hated the other students but at least I knew that she wouldn’t try anything while they were there.

I eventually gave up on trying to solve my unsolvable maths questions, and headed downstairs. Mum was still working but Dad was watching TV, and this was killing me.

I had to know.

‘Dad? Can we talk?’ He looked surprised. We hardly ever talked, but his reaction still bugged me. I was his daughter, couldn’t I want to talk sometimes?

‘Sure!’ He turned the TV down and pats the sofa next to him. ‘Come, sit.’

I shook my head. I wasn’t comfortable enough to sit close to him or have a long conversation.

‘Do you know a woman with short brown hair who lives around here?’

‘A woman with brown hair who lives here? Why are you asking?’

I shrugged. He didn’t have to see how I felt about all this. ‘Just curious.’

He shook his head. ‘I don’t know anyone here, sorry.’

‘Someone from work, maybe?’ I already knew the answer before he shook his head with the same puzzled expression. Earlier that year he had taken me to work with him, on a ‘take your daughter to work’ day. I had met his colleagues then, and was positive that I didn’t remember her.

‘Never mind.’

It was still early, only ten past nine, but I couldn’t focus on my homework. I was terrible at maths anyway, and I couldn’t shake the feeling that I had more to worry about than just algebra.

Whoever this woman was, she wasn’t going to leave me alone until she had what she wanted – and I dreaded to think what that something might be.

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For CookieBreak’s homepage, click me.

All writing belongs to the author, Sarina Langer.

15 Comments

Bray #1

A couple of weeks ago (and then again on Friday) I mentioned that two sci-fi shorts were coming your way. At the time I wasn’t planning on this one but the other idea died down in the meantime and this one popped up instead! Thank you, AlNobody for giving me this idea withour realising it 😉 (it’s that ‘lady on the bus’ memory I told you about a little while ago…) If you’ve never been to his blog you need to go. Now. It’s that good 🙂

There’ll be two more posts, one tomorrow and one on Thursday.  I’m undecided so far whether I’ll do a fourth one as well, so brace yourselves for just those three until I figure it out 😉

This post as well as all others like it will be categorised with my writing prompts, so if you ever lose track of one you’ll be able to find it in there 🙂

Happy reading!

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Bray #1

There she was again.

I balled my hands into nervous fists as I watched the lady who had just entered the bus, one stop after mine. She sat down on the other end nearer to the driver with her back turned to me, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that she was watching me. Somehow she could see me without needing to see me, and it caused icy chills to run down my spine.

I knew her. I couldn’t remember how but she was so familiar I would have walked up to her and asked how she was doing, if her presence hadn’t put me on edge.

She was shorter than me, had short brown hair and one of those fashionable handbags I didn’t care about. Somehow that was worth noting although I had no idea why. I didn’t understand why she was getting a school bus to go wherever she needed to go. Other buses were running – other, less noisy ones, less busy ones – yet she always got onto mine. Our eyes had only met a couple of times, and each time it had sent nervous shivers through my insides.

I had no idea where we had met before. She wasn’t a teacher at my school and she definitely wasn’t another student, but I didn’t know any other people besides my parents’ friends and colleagues. She wasn’t one of their friends, and I knew so few of their work colleagues that I was certain she wasn’t one of those, either. Unless she no longer worked with my Mum or Dad? Sometimes, over the summer, my Dad invited his old colleagues over for a drink. They always remembered me from when I was little but I never remembered them. Maybe she was one of those friends, who knew me but who I barely recognised.

Just another one of Dad’s old acquaintances.

But she wasn’t. I didn’t know how I knew, but I was certain that she didn’t know my parents.

As uneasy as she made me feel, she was fascinating. There was something different about her, something strange that none of the other people around me possessed, but I couldn’t put my finger on what it was. It was unlike anything I had ever witnessed, something strangely exotic even though she looked like the most plain, most normal person you could imagine.

I got off the bus, not taking my eyes of her once. She turned around in the last moment before my feet hit the ground outside, and our eyes met. Her gaze was indifferent, telling me she wasn’t bothered about me in the slightest, yet something beyond her eyes made me shiver and pick up my pace.

Then the bus left and the feeling went with it.

This was the fifteenth time I had seen her this term. She had suddenly shown up at the beginning of year nine, and had used my bus occasionally since then. There was no regularity to it, no pattern to her schedule. Sometimes I wouldn’t see her for weeks at a time and something in me always relaxed when that happened. Like her not being near me was a good thing.

And then, one day, she’d be back with the same intent gaze which didn’t have to look at me to see me, and the same uneasy feeling.

We had never talked. Never exchanged a word. But every time our paths met I wanted to ask her who she was, why she knew me and why I knew her. Every time I saw her I wanted to walk away, pretend the meeting hadn’t happened. Pretend the exchange of unspoken information only she understood hadn’t taken place.

But I couldn’t forget her and soon each day I didn’t see her left me feeling as uneasy as the days I did see her. The nervous tingling only lasted while we shared a bus. The moment I left the feeling died, and the world seemed normal again.

Only I knew better. I had always been paranoid, but this was more than just a hunch. She was on this bus because of me, and I wasn’t so sure that I wanted to know why.

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All writing belongs to the author, Sarina Langer

For CookieBreak’s homepage, click me.

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Progress Update – The (first) changes have been applied!

It’s a short progress update this week-

draftwearandtear

Yesterday I’ve applied the last few changes to the draft from the printed copy, so now it’s time to add chapters and go over everything again! I’ve got so many battle plans and related to-do lists by now that I’m sure I’m ahead of my self-imposed schedule but I don’t want to jinx it. Compared to when I first printed the draft there’s definitely some wear and tear showing, partly because the mascot sat on it and pawed at the pages a lot.

Speaking of which…

mascot 4

She’s tried her hardest this week to stop me, but, well, it got done 🙂 I think she’s earned some cuddles today so whether I’ll start adding chapters today or from Monday has yet to be decided. Probably today because I’m actually quite excited to have a word count again.

Next week I’ll post the first sci-fi *ahem* idea I’ve mentioned before, and then the second one will follow in two weeks time 🙂 There’ll be updates on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, so I’m not spamming you with everything at once. I’m reluctant to call this one sci-fi since there are no elements showing yet and I’m undecided where I would take it, if I took it anywhere at all, but we’ll see.

But more on that next week 🙂

Guess what I bought myself?

baby name book

I love reading through possible character names and while websites like behindthename and nameberry are great (check them out if you haven’t already and are struggling to name your characters), I really wanted something where I could use sticky notes and highlighters. So I’ll be going through that today ^^

Now! Time for the excerpt!

As I’ve been editing these past two weeks I’ve copied and pasted potential excerpts into a new document, so rest assured we’re covered for a while 😉 I might have to start giving my characters nicknames though so I can stop worrying about big spoilers.

Anyway, here you go! 🙂 (nickname free, possibly for the last time)

“I don’t understand prophecy fully, Rachael. I only know that we have given up before, and in doing so we fulfilled a prophecy we didn’t believe we’d be able to achieve. Sometimes it’s not how hard we try that matters. Sometimes you just need to accept things as they are, and work with what you’ve got. I don’t care that you can’t find your magic source. If you don’t kill King Aeric with magic maybe you’ll stab him with a dagger instead. Maybe, by the time you face him, he will be so terrified of the predicted outcome that he will take a few steps backwards, and fall out a window breaking his neck. Don’t worry about the how, Rachael. I believe in you, even if you don’t. Prophecy will see itself fulfilled, one way or another.”

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All content belongs to the author, Sarina Langer.

For all previous updates on Rise of the Sparrow‘s progress, click me!

For Cookie Break’s front page, take a look here.

 

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