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chapter 1: 'the dreams of Ana Kilvale'

· fantasy,novel,storytelling

"Dreams don't come true because you have them, they come true because you choose them."
--The Place Where Magic Begins, p. 246 (first draft)

New year, new draft. (Layers.)

I've set myself the preposterously optimistic goal of finding a publisher by this time next year. It almost **never** happens that quickly - rather daft notion, really. But what is New Year's for if not preposterously optimistic goals?

We've a big year ahead, my loves. New stories need telling, at every level of our being. New worlds need imagining. New impossibilities need wrestling into reality.

Let's do it - with feeling this time.

Since Draft #2 is going to be my primary creative project for the first few months of 2020, I'm going to be foregoing my "reflectionary" cycle for now. ( I'm thinking I may pick back up in Lent, depending on where the book is by then!) Instead, as I finish each chapter, I'm going to post short, non-spoiler-laden excerpts, to let you know that yes, I am here,I do exist, I'm just adventuring in the world of my novel!

Accordingly, here are the first few paragraphs of The Place Where Magic Begins, Mark II. Enjoy!


Like most people, Ana Kilvale had dreams. Unlike most people, some of her dreams came true.

By dreams, I do not mean ambitions, though she had plenty of those. When she was three years old, she had no dearer hope than to be Queen of Langrod someday. Her mother Lily gently reminded her that Langrod did not have a queen anymore. The desire persisted, however, until she was old enough to read, which even at that time was unusual for a young girl from an out-of-the-way village like Imerlad. Once she was able to understand words like democracy and revolution and Federation of Free Langrovian States, the absence of a monarch made more sense. So she decided she would become a Knight-Protector of the Federation like her father Aeol. She'd be a war-hero, just like him, and dedicate her life to helping others and upholding the Federation's motto: Liberty. Equality. Justice. Truth. Then it was Aeol's turn to remind her that, although men and women were equal in every respect under the law, women could not serve in the Defense Force.

Even at the age of five, Ana didn't find this rule very sensible. She peppered her parents with questions about the history and culture of her homeland, and why a country dedicated to freedom and justice should forbid military service to half its inhabitants. When they no longer felt competent to answer her many, many queries, Lily and Aeol sent her to study with Archibald Cobb, the town clerk. Soon she was visiting the old man's red-brick office in the village every day, bringing home armfuls of books on every subject from history and politics to poetry and drama and all the Arts Scientific & Technological. She also took to presenting her father with long lists of books to procure for her from the White City of Langrod. He was happy to oblige, not only because he was often in the City on official business, but also because he was very proud of her budding intellect. Before long her personal library was nearly as large as old Archy's. It was perhaps unsurprising, then, when she finally hit upon the notion of becoming a scholar at the People's Academy.

But I am getting ahead of myself. Ana's ambitions might have made her unusual for a young girl from a small village in the faraway hills of Westmarch State, but it was her dreams that made her altogether remarkable. You see, sometimes she would fall asleep, just like any other night. And she would dream, just like any other night. And she would wake up, just like any other morning, and go about her daily routine of helping with the chores and tending to her studies. And everything would be very normal and everyday and wholly unremarkable… until the dream came true...

...and that's it for now! Stay tuned for more. ;)

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