Let me paint a picture of my world.

Because I have been reprimanded for neglecting the 'ol blog and because I promised to post a taste of "Before the Empty Moon" for Christmas and never followed through, here's an excerpt from the beginning. It's really just the foundation for the rest of the story, but nothing else I post is gonna make any sense if you haven't read this first.


Once upon a time there was a man who was made of paradoxes. He was fierce and humble, dignified and defiant, a craftsman and a caretaker all at once. He was a friend; he was a father – and not just to me, his daughter, but also to Jesse, who had never known his father, and to Lila, whose father was an incorrigible realist and frowned upon my father’s insistence that there was more to humanity than met the eye.

That brings us to it, then: Dad didn’t think like other people. He believed in dreams, and not the way most people tell their kids to “follow their dreams.” He believed that what we experienced while sleeping was a world unto itself, a world called Myriad where real heroes and villains clashed like the characters of storybooks. At the beginning of time, man was no different from any other creature wandering the planet. Then Fëanáro established Myriad and appointed the Andasi to script fantastic dreams and inspire the people of our world, Versitas. By enabling us to dream, Fëanáro completed humanity and raised us above the beasts of the earth.

My father raised me, Lila and Jesse on the chronicles of that other world, for like anything, Myriad had a history quite apart from the benefits we saw in it. Growing up, the three of us understood the establishment of the Andasi better than the Senate. We respected them more than we respected the principal of our school. We feared Jamus, the rogue Andasus, more than terrorists in the Middle East. We had our priorities straight, so naturally, everyone else thought we were absolutely bonkers.

It was one thing when we were children and everyone expected us to believe in things like Santa Claus and fairies, but as our peers outgrew those kinds of beliefs, we were forced to become more and more secretive, and even so, we were each other’s only real friends.

It turns out that people don’t like being told Myriad is the fount of their hope and inspiration. They want to think their ideas come from themselves, not some distant, invisible strangers who deign to give us humans our dreams. Artists can be particularly stubborn about this. Sooner or later, all the greatest ones either recognize the hand of the Andasi in their work, hence their quirkiness, or go crazy and start cutting off their ears and stuff. Then there are those who, like Mr. Castillo, simply can’t stomach the schmaltzy idea of hopes and dreams. For them, Myriad’s right up there with Santa and rainbows and butterflies.

Whatever their reasons, the other grown-ups rejected my dad. “Crazy man Quinn,” they called him, or “Zany Zechariah.” But he kept his chin up, a statue of steadfastness in the face of mockery. No one could change his mind about anything, and that was how I knew he was telling the truth in every one of the far-fetched yarns the other adults hated so much. Dad would never lie to us. I knew it. Jesse knew it. Lila had known it at one point. We spent most of our childhood years searching for a way to Myriad, which landed us in a lot of places we weren’t supposed to be. We scoured the woods around the Reservoir out back of my house and rooted around the state park beyond that, but we never found anything.

Now that we were starting high school, it was nearly impossible to excuse or disguise what we were doing. It was especially hard to fool Phoebe, my so-called mother, who was hardly more tolerant than Mr. Castillo. We were planning to start an environmental club at school and pass off our adventures as tree-hugging eccentricities, but of course free time was harder and harder to come by as our parents signed us up for all the extracurriculars we would need to get accepted at the best colleges. We had to give up most of the searching in favor of plotting and theorizing.

You might call it an obsession. And you wouldn’t be wrong, but you have to understand: we needed to get to Myriad as much as we wanted to get there. Humanity was on the line, or would be if we didn’t go and play our part in the resistance against Jamus. If he got his way, the people of Versitas would not be a people for much longer.

Jamus has been working against Fëanáro since the creation of Myriad, trying to prevent the unworthy scum of Versitas from leeching onto the Andasi’s lofty musings. Course, he doesn't actually have the authority to do anything of the sort, so instead he sends nightmares to punish us and unleashes whatever wars and plagues he can think of on the realm of Myriad. Sooner or later the strife always bleeds through to our world.

My friends and I knew that only Fëanáro had the power to do away with Jamus, but until the day he put his foot down, we would fight for him and for the sake of all that Myriad added to humanity.


OK, so you know about Myriad and Versitas now. You know who Fëanáro and Jamus are. You know that the main character is really close to her dad. Next time I post we can get to the good stuff. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to pick up my prints from Walgreens ($16 to develop two rolls! B&W! No doubles! God, what is this world coming to???). Then I'm picking up Shark and we're going to The Pantsless One's for pizzookie and, hopefully, Rock Band. I need to suck less at drums. That is all.

Currently listening to: Motion City Soundtrack - Even If It Kills Me
And you should, too.


jenniferin said...

ooo...first comment-you owe me a hug missy:P

Your story so far is very engaging...keep it up

krystinadee said...

it IS very engaging, can't wait to see the second installment !

Anonymous said...

i haven't read this yettttttt!!!! mer...i used too much time reading your other post!

i really should stop complaining about how you're running your bloggity blog over here. you do what i ask, and then i keep complaining. i'm really messed up. sorry. i love you. i promise. C:


Anonymous said...

it's really good. i can already see your writing becoming more rounded as compared to the first draft. and i really like the title. very compelling. i really like how you changed it to first person. it draws the reader in much more.

sorry for logistics...i really can't help it...
>i think it should be "father raised MYSELF..." (3rd parag) i can't really say why though.
>you mean rainbows and butterflies aren't real??? rofl
>for this sentence "we needed to get to Myriad as much as we wanted to get there." i might italicize "needed" and "wanted" just for clarification. not necessary though.

is this the very beginning, or have you even decided that yet? i'm really excited to see what comes next!

Mandemonium said...

"Me" is a direct object of "raised," rainbows and butterflies only exist in Paul's imagination (JUST KIDDING), and those words were italicized before I copy/pasted it.

For now, this is about five paragraphs into the story. But I hadn't typed the whole segment and would've just left the narrative bit hanging there before this explanation without giving it any closure.

The first sentence is actually, "It was the sort of car ride you'd expect to end in a crash." How's that for a hook?

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