My Writing Vacation


I took my writing vacation last week. It was a wonderful set of days at home writing on book three of the Daldriada series called “The King of Daldriada.”

The week went by way too fast, and I didn’t get as much writing done as I wanted to, but I did add 24 pages of new material to the manuscript.

That may sound like a lot, but I remember when I was finishing up the draft for book one, “The Lady of Daldriada.” I wrote 18 pages in one day. That kind of set the bar for me.

As unrealistic as it seems, that’s what I was hoping for every day of last week!

Still, 24 pages! That is more than I’ve written in months, so I think the week was a success, and I’m very grateful to the Lord for giving me the time to write again.

I thought you might want to take a peek at a couple of parts in the new book. The first excerpt is something for those of you who like love stories. (Don’t worry if you don’t. The second excerpt is different).

There may be errors in it, because some of these parts are freshly written. I hope you enjoy them!

Excerpt 1 from The King of Daldriada

Nina passed by the open cottage door and glanced out. She spotted Lynnette up the hill, playing with her son Jonathan, near the path into the forest. It was the path Anwas had taken the day before yesterday. Poor Lynnette. She is so worried.

Nina returned to finish up the morning dishes. She shook her head and smiled. The Lady of Daldriada doing dishes. Well, there’s a time for everything. Right now, this was what she could do.

She walked around Fyrddin sitting across the table from Björn, studying the maps they had brought. Her stomach knotted. Soon it would be time for them to leave this place. The men were plotting their course even now.

The temptation to stay, even though this home was filled to the brim with people, pulled at her core. Maybe hiding here, they could outlast the danger. Maybe this was the way it was supposed to be.

The rays of the morning sunlight slanted in through the open window and lit her husband with its golden glow. Nina stood still, not wanting the moment to end. How beautiful he was. His tanned face, etched and weathered from his time outdoors… All of the lines, shadows of his many smiles and thoughtful expressions…

No, Fyrddin was meant to be king, not to hide in fear. That was his rightful place as the true heir, and for that place, he would have to fight. Being the great warrior that he was, this was his destiny.

Fyrddin looked up. Nina’s face flushed as she allowed the depth of her love for him surface through her eyes. Neither did he hide himself from her, but spoke of his devotion in his soft smile, and the slight nod of his dark head.

Björn cleared his throat. “Want me to leave?”

Nina came to herself and felt the full heat of a blush creep up her face. Björn’s broad smile lessened her discomfort, and brought a chuckle from her. “Sorry,” she said, fidgeting with the dishtowel in her hands.

Fyrddin crossed his arms on the table in front of him, appearing not embarrassed in the least. “Well?” He waited for Björn’s attention. “Shall we?” He motioned to the maps.

Nina headed for the kitchen and then stopped short as the faint cry of a bird of prey floated through the doorway. She turned to Fyrddin. He had already twisted around in his seat, and was looking out onto the lawn. Before she could move again, he left the table and strode outside.

Björn threw his hands up. “What now?”

Nina bit her lip, and could not get her legs to move. “News of Phillip, I would guess.”

Excerpt 2

Anwas crouched in the shadows between the shops lining the main square, away from the vendor’s flickering lantern light. Green and black clad soldiers streamed by, ordering the crowds this way and that. Gritting his teeth, Anwas strained his ears to recognize any of the voices. He could not. Where had the usurper gotten this army?

He peered out as a group of people passed the alley opening. Stepping forward, he joined the tail of the party, keeping his head low and the hood of his cloak drooping over his face. The group filed past a cart with an assortment of baskets for sale. Anwas leaned down and grasped a large straw basket, then placed it on his shoulder. He turned and made his way alone down the side street toward the armory.

His stomach knotted as several soldiers strolled by in pairs toward the square. After the third set, Anwas affected a limp and lifted one shoulder unnaturally. ’Twas enough to keep them from showing any interest in him.

A rat skittered across his path as he turned the corner and spotted the armory entrance. A thrice of soldiers lounged near the doorway. He resisted the urge to halt in the middle of the street so he could think of a way in. Perhaps the best way was simply to act like he belonged. Hoping an idea would come to him, he limped up to the door and reached for the handle. As his fingers touched the iron latch, a rough hand grasped his arm.

“Where do you think you are going, beggar?”

“Beggar?” Anwas projected as much of an offended tone as he could muster. “I am no beggar!”

The guard peered into the shadow beneath the brow of Anwas’ hood. “What do you want?” he asked.

Anwas hefted the basket on his shoulder. “Uniforms? Aye, uniforms m’lord!”

The man shoved Anwas backward a step. “Is that so? And what would you be wanting with uniforms?”

Rubbing his feigned weak leg, and struggling to right himself, Anwas slurred his words a little as he spoke. “That, you may ask our good lord and master when you see him. ’Twas he who sent me. Something about a sentry who had ruined his uniform while on duty. Or was it that he had questioned orders? I could not tell. At any rate, he is being replaced.”

“Uh… Replaced, eh?”

“Aye, replaced. I did not stay around to find out after the master called for the executioner.” Anwas struggled to suppress a grin.

The guard cleared his throat. “Go on then, and be quick about it.” He turned the latch and pushed Anwas through the opened the doorway.

When the door closed behind him, Anwas trotted down the hallway. His footsteps echoed in the silence, reminding him of the armory in Elnath’s fortress – empty. Perhaps they are all busy ordering everyone around, and calling people beggars. Worse than Dothan dogs were these new men.

Searching through the rooms, Anwas frowned that things had been rearranged since his last visit. Piles of weapons – new weapons – lay in every space. Not in all his life had Anwas seen the armory equipped for such battle. Hurry Captain. Hurry.

He entered the last room on the ground floor to find a few of the green and black uniforms. He held up each set for sizing and found one suitable. Stuffing three tunics, two cloaks, and two helmets into the basket, he then turned and hurried back down the hallway. Torchlight flickered against the hilt of a fine sword attached to a new belt hanging from a peg in the wall. Anwas paused to take it, and then slipped the whole beneath his arm under his cloak.

A quiver hung nearby. One similar to the quiver Anwas had made to match his father’s bow. He gnashed his teeth. If I ever find that Viking bow thief, I shall–

Voices outside drew his attention back to the task at hand. Easing the door open, he almost forgot to limp as he hurried away. His back tingled with the hunch he was being watched. Hobbling down the street, Anwas clutched the basket against him, careful to keep the sword hidden beneath his cloak. He slipped into the complete darkness of the first alleyway he found.

Phyllis Keels


2 thoughts on “My Writing Vacation

  1. Your writing certainly peaks my interest. Keep up the good work, my sister. Lots of love and prayers going up in your behalf.

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