Rule of Three Story, #ROW80 Party, Insecure Writers - Drinks for All!

Hail and well met, visitors!

Stick around, we've a lot to get through. If you'd like a drink, the bar's on the left, and I believe everyone at #ROW80 is having Jello shots. Share a dram of Lagavulin with me if you like.

Now then, first up, here's my #ROW80 party photo!

Yup, that's my ridiculous FarmVille farm - but look, I've got a pub! Told ya you could have any drink you wanted. I kept my Viking costume on, too.

Need I check in for A Round of Words in 80 Days? Do we check in on party day? I'm holding my tumbler over the first draft of my query, but the words are starting to blur a little. And look - there's another party going on - Indie Book Collective is one year old!

Now comes the maudlin bit, where I've "taken as much ale as is good" for me. It's the second posting day for Alex J. Cavanaugh's Insecure Writer's Support Group. Boy am I feeling insecure. Out of the Water's in the hands of betas, my query and synopsis are at a Barbara Rogan course, and one of my saddest scenes is being picked apart in the October Exercise at the Compuserve Books and Writers Community. Please be gentle with me everyone!

Let me top up your drinks. I've got some pumpkin cheesecake to pass around. Everyone comfortable? Then here we go with the most important part of the party - storytelling!

The Rule of Three Blogfest is here! J. C. Martin's one of the hosts, and she was very generous to us participants - we all got to read her shivery short story The Doll; a satisfyingly creepy tale.

The blogfest runs all month; each Wednesday we'll have a new post exploring the relationship between three characters in the created town of Renaissance. The setting is the same for all of us, but everything else - genre, characters, etc. - are our own.

[Edited to add: My entry was 494 words and used these two prompts: "There is fear of an impending misfortune" and "Someone might fall in love"]

My story takes places in the 15th Century, and is historical romance. Here is the Sultan's brother Cem:
On the eve of the Traders' Festival, I hosted a masquerade the like of which had never before been seen in Renaissance. It is not I who boasts thus; the Mayor himself said as much to me, and he has been head of this town through fifty seasons of carnevale.

I had as my pretext the visit of Devran Paşa, son of the Ottoman Grand Vizier to Sultan Bayezid II, my brother. I, Cem, am exiled here with no hope of return – unless my brother should fall prey to illness, or battle wound, or an assassin's blade, and I be summoned to take his place. Until then, I remain exiled, as a so-called honoured guest of the Mayor of Renaissance.

But the masquerade, now. Devran Paşa and all his retinue were invited, being guests of my halls. Yes, all his retinue, even down to the lady's maid and companion of his translator's wife.

Ay, Ayten. Ayten the moon-skinned. Lady's maid did I call her? I do her gracefulness no justice, for she is meet to be a lady in her own right.

Shall I describe to you my awe and captivation on her arrival at my little masquerade, when I first beheld her without cape or shawl veiling her features?

Stay! Rather, I shall relate to you her appearance, attempt to create a portrait with mere words, and if I can depict but a tenth of her beauty, then you too, fair listener, shall share in my fascination.

Moon-skinned her name means, and moon-skinned she is. Fairer and more delicate than any rough maiden of Renaissance. Miners' daughters and traders' sisters have no hope of inhabiting the same realms of loveliness as Ayten. O! the touch of her arm against mine as I led her out onto the floor of the ballroom in a slow pavane. Ah, the chestnut waves of her hair, held back by flowers at her brow, to expose that high forehead, those almond shaped-eyes.

Others would still be scrabbling among the marshes at the feet of Espadon River, while she wandered high above, in the glades of the Forest of Assart.

Well, I see your eyes glaze over. Perhaps you have a maiden of your own and wish to hear no comparisons. Perhaps you are considering how best you might win the hand of Ayten, should you chance upon her long and gentle fingers cupping a rose, in the gardens at the crossroads of Targe and Kris.

You may not!

I have erred, maybe, in revealing my heart to you.

Hear this! I have seen Devran Paşa's avid gaze follow her footsteps. I have caught his glare on me as I slipped her arm through mine to lead her home. She shall be mine; she is mine.

The Mayor hosts a dinner tomorrow at the halls on the Villein route. Devran is set to sail the morning after.

If I have my way, Ayten shall not take ship with the others.

She will stay with me.


There you have it, the beginning of the intrigue.

One last item before we clink glasses in a farewell toast - if you're querying, as I am, why not submit your query to Kate Kaynak's latest query critique contest?

Have a good night everyone!

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