I can say I am all in now. I have reached my March 31st goal in finishing my rough draft for my first ever book which I am calling The Pure Series. As I said, to celebrate, I am posting a couple chapters here to give a little view of what I am doing.
I am afraid I did not explore the writing communities I researched last month, for I have been quite addicted to just writing. I am finding, now that I have built up a routine for writing, I have become very committed to it. I also backed up my copy. The thought of losing 100+ hours of brain activity, struggles, and joy in some sort of crash or accidental erasing made me feel sick.
I am now at 82 pages!! The rough draft is complete. I have began the editing phase, which wow… I think I have found one of the most tedious parts of writing which comes after getting over the tedious part of learning how to build time to write. Haha!
I can say I am well on my way in this process. Goals for the end of April: 1.) I would truly like to explore the writing communities now, 2.) Contact some friends and family about becoming beta readers (I think that is the right term. I need to start building a following) 3.) Make a little video about the process of writing a young adult science fiction I have faced so far. I will post that at the end of the month… maybe.
I would like to be done with editing this month, but I have not really established a pace with that, so we will just need to see if that is reasonable.
Without further to do, here is my debut/sneak peek of what I have created. I am putting it out there. Please, feel free to comment. Let me know if you are interested in following more with getting some more sneak peeks and maybe being a beta reader. I am still tampering around with self-publishing. I kind of need to see how many people I can build up. I will not be disheartened. I take both positive and negative feedback!
Okay, here it is:
The Pure Series Book 1- The Push
By Erin Yung
Blood and a fury of caretakers whirled around her, fussing and making a vain comotion over her wellbeing. She hardly noticed. Not even the pain seemed to touch her anymore. Feeling had started to leave her completely, and she was starting to feel light and careless, almost happy. It had been a long time, so long she could not remember what had ever given her reason to be before.
She held her newborn child in her arms, and marvelled a long time just gazing on the soft skin and the slightest, little nose. She couldn’t tell what color the eyes were. They said they were golden, but she had heard they were always born golden. If the child took on her own eyes, they would become a dark, deep brown, almost black.
The prevailing markings of the child swirled around and framed the little face and features. She gently traced a dark band across the little forehead which went all around like a crown. Gently, she lifted a little hand which softly and instinctively clutched onto her. The sweet little wrist had a similar band. She too had these very markings. Unlike a newborn’s markings, hers were faded. As always the markings started out pronounced and dark, but with age, they would lighten, change, stretch, and maybe even disappear depending on how the strengths within were fanned and flamed.
She bowed her head and embraced the sleeping babe with the most surprising feeling of immediate love.Closing her eyes, she set her cheek against the soft head of her newborn. The warmth left a soft print on her cheek that burned through her. She tried to restrain the tears that started to escape. Pain had set back in, but it wasn’t the pain of her body failing her. This pain went much deeper. Her core being ached with a black hole of despair.
The man she mixed with was a cold monster. She had been wrong about him, and the mixing never should have happened. Fertility was hardly a thing these days. This whole miracle to her was purely and coincidentally a disaster of the lowest odds. How did this happen?
Pain more than she had ever felt before racked her frame. The child began to fuss perhaps sensing a growing agony. Golden eyes opened slightly to give a glare at the discomfort. Their eyes locked for a moment, and the baby settled down again and fell asleep.
Craya ignored the warm tonic her sister held in front of her.
“It won’t heal you. Nothing can, but it will ease the pain.”
Craya looked at her sister, who had tears in her own eyes. She knew her sister understood that nothing could take the real pain away. She let Lara hold warm liquid to her lips to not cause any undeserved opposition, and she drank. She owed no more hardships to her sister, who had been the only real, steady light in her life. They had confided in each other, secrets that had been on oath never to tell, yet they had a bond stronger. Maybe some or all of this was some sort of curse for the oaths broken.
Either way, Lara had always accepted her and treated her with the care of a mother, friend, and soul mate. She was the woman here with her now. She was the woman she would trust with her life which now was her child’s life. The weight she was putting on her sister made her so guilt ridden.
Her hold on the baby started to become hard for her. She was losing control of everything, her strength was fleeting, and her emotions overpowered all now. Still this love she felt surprised her. For just a moment, she let herself focus only on that love. With all the strength she had left she wrapped herself fiercely, but gently around her baby, and she wept for her child. She did not know if it could be done, but she tried to push a lifetime worth of love into the babe. Somehow if she could embed it all now, it could maybe last or at least linger. After a while of holding so tightly, but so gently, she had to start letting go.
“Dear, let me take the child.”
Craya had no energy or ability to fight Lara who gently took the baby from her arms. With the warmth gone now, she felt like her life had been ripped away and started shaking. Lara rested the babe in her arms, but next to Craya like she was still holding her.
“How did this happen? You have to keep it all a secret. All that I told you.” she begged through her efforts to breath, “The future is so dark. Sentry must never find out or he..,” she could not even think.
” Lara. I don’t know what you will do. I’m so sorry. Please keep my baby safe. ”
“Don’t worry. It will all be okay. I need time to think, but I have time. .”
“Where will you go? I’m so sorry, Please keep my baby safe” Craya repeated.
“I will,” Lara tried to promise, “This child has the protection of being born in your love.”
“That means nothing.”
“Maybe,” Lara truly believed it meant the world, but her sister was going fast, “There is light and hope with this child.”
Perhaps it was whatever Lara had given her or the subconscious desire to be happy, but fuzziness and lightness started to return to her. She felt in her heart looking at Lara holding the babe, the child had hope.
“Do you have a name chosen? Lara asked, but Craya did not. She was silenced, already beginning the slow exit of her body.
Lara looked at her sister and anguish washed over her in all she had given up to have this child. She leaned in close holding the baby near too and held her sister’s hand, slowly feeling the radiant strength and energy fading away. She knew though, as all of Craya’s light vanished, the tragedy and pain also went too.
In one hand she felt a diminishing light, but in her other she felt a pulse of power so strong. Lara closed her eyes and pushed with all she had. The earth moved around her rising and sinking, crumbling, and caving in. There was darkness and anguish everywhere she looked. A sharp, unbearable pain in her side almost brought her back without seeing it. But, she looked up, and though the world closed in around her, she saw the child of the most substantial power rising above into the light, and she knew things were going to be okay.
Emme did the pulling while Mai did the throwing. They took turns most days, but they took naturally to these roles, and today they were at their best.
“Pull 4,” Mai shouted, and next to him one large handle appeared up from the ground followed by another, but not after he had gripped it and in a quick fluid motion released it at a large statue target in the distance. Two more followed in the same perfectly timed succession, and Mai crumbled a target with each one.
“You know, we really should start working on trying to push our handles at our targets rather than throwing them.” Emme stated.
“We make such a good team like this though. We have this under control,” Mai said gesturing to the crumbled targets along the hill side. “Plus, maybe precision strength is one of my soon to emerge skills. I think I can feel it in me.”
Emme went up to Mai and squinted her eyes to look at Mai’s bare chest, “Ah. Is that…” She squinted and got closer, “Is that? Do I see a circle mark starting to form there?”
The closeness of Emme made Mai hold his breath. He looked down excitedly hoping to see the mark that identified many of the precision strength breed. Maybe it really was a skill starting to form in him.
“Naaahhhhh!!” Got you though! Mai, you’re good but not that good.” Emme said laughing profusely.
“I didn’t really think I was. Okay, you had me. I mean, I hoped. I’ve gotten a lot better than I was, you know” he stammered on a bit embarrassed. Then he switched gears to poke at Emme, “I mean, I’m better than you.”
“Are you now? I could have the mark, and you would never know,” Emme said shrugging.
“I don’t have to look for the mark. Here, I’ll pull. Just show me what you’ve got!”
Two more poles rose near Emme. She reacted, grabbing them a bit clumsily from the surprise of the challenge, but threw them right after the other, crumbling one statue with a central hit, and ripping a huge corner piece off with another.
“If your handles weren’t so rough!” Emme said a little defensively. Mai smiled. She wasn’t a precision strength, but she was still strikingly good. He felt that about her for everything she did. He watched Emme pull two more handles from the ground, but this time she held them. She focused for a moment as she held them out in front of her. She opened her hands, but no energy surged, and the poles merely dropped before her on the ground, “Really, we should work on it. If it is in us to push, it’s not just going to just appear.”
Many land movers could pull the land to them, and they could in fact pull impressively massive and very articulated forms from the earthen ground. While most gentry had the ability to pull in varying degrees, only some could push. Pushing the land and moving it about demanded a higher skill set. The Outer Circle, a fortress which surrounded and protected the livelihood of the whole Circle in a mountainous grandeur, started from the hands of the most crafted and skilled landmovers. It took pushing, pulling, and manipulating skills to be considered a true landmover, though the word was loosely used for anyone with the slightest skill these days. Emme and Mai trained together in the hope to one day earn a title as true landmovers.
The markings of this land breed, whether they pulled, pushed, or manipulated had no distinct pattern. The markings had a resemblance to the winding and wild tangle of roots, and they tended to swirl and curve, branching their way all over the bodies of those with the ability to move the land somehow. Some believed the ones more rooted and skilled at landmoving had a more abundant amount of swirling markings. If this belief had any merit, Mai and Emme both had the marking of skilled landmovers. Emme’s markings were quite wild, but they could only be noticed with close observation. When a gentry used their skills, their markings would pulse and course with energy appearing various shades darker or brighter, sometimes changing color. Mai had similarly wild markings all over too. His were less faded and also less abundant.
“Good try,” Mai said truthfully.”I agree. We should work on pushing more.”
The earlier rampage of achievement changed to an air of strenuous frustration. It fell silent between them except for the thuds of their poles as their army of targets stood and laughed at their unfruitful efforts. The shadows started to grow darker as the sun disappeared behind the wall, and forced them to give up for the day. They would not leave the army standing though. They climbed the steep hill which looked down on the edge of their division, and falling back into their comfortable control, they pulled up the laughing army members. One after another doomed stone soldier, sometimes a few at a time, rose into the air and would fall to a shattering heap. When all laughter was smited into flattened crumbles of carnage, Mai and Emme took a moment to watch the sun dip down.
“Are you going to the mines tomorrow?” Emme asked.
“Yeah. I better. They just opened Tunnel 16. I’m going to try to get there early.. I guess there are a lot of new rules for the payouts and discovery protocols. I feel like they are anticipating there to be a lot of Pure this time. You?”
“They are always anticipating a lot of Pure. They can’t open a tunnel and tell everyone- hey here’s another few months of wasted time and no Pure, no sufficient pay, and essential elements for your living.”
“Rumors are going around Sentry has had a vision about Tunnel 16 and a huge flow coming from it. It would explain the extra hype and care being taken about the opening of it.”
Emme still rolled her eyes. “I don’t care what Sentry has seen. To answer your question. No. Mining isn’t really for me. You know that. And, Pag wants me to practice more. I think she has been disappointed I am not showing signs of pushing at all. She worries with my markings being faded, I am peaking out and this skill level is the best I’ll be,” Emme looked worried. She was taking out her long hair from the tight knots, “Secretly I think this confining hairstyle she insists I wear is her way of sabotaging me. I always have such an ache in my head at the end of the day, and I bet it’s how tight she knots up my hair.
Mai watched Emme’s hair fall down. He wanted to touch and feel just how soft her hair was. He wanted to feel what it felt like to have so much hair. He was certain Emme purposefully taunted him and did things she knew drove him crazy.
“Aysh!” Emme cursed loudly, shaking it all out and scratching her head wildly, “I really need to wash my hair. I think I might have some shankles mixing up in this mess. That’s what I’ll do while you go mine. I will probably wash out these parasites.”
And then again, he wasn’t so sure she had any idea how she made him feel because she would go and say something like that.
“Do you think we have limits to our abilities? Do you think it is possible to peak out and no matter how hard you try, you can’t get any better?”
And then she would suddenly change the topic to something serious and sobering like that. Mai thought for a moment.
“No,” he said and not just to make Emme feel better. “I think we all have control over how far we go. It may get harder to improve. I think half the battle is just figuring out how to tap in, and most give up there. Hey, as soon as I find out how to landpush, I’ll let you know the trick. Don’t worry. I’ll get you started.”
Emme gave Mai the smile he was hoping for and the challenge on, “You won’t need to waste your breath. I’ll be landpushing while you’re in the mines.”
“Don’t undermine the importance of the work. Someone has to find the Pure.
Besides, you won’t be pushing before me. You’ll be too busy washing your disgusting hair,” he didn’t know why he had said that. He meant to be funny, but it came out wrong. Mai worried about it more than Emme though. She had no interest in her hair and pursued the more important matters on her mind.
“If the Pure is meant to be found, it will be found. There are enough seekers, or deperates out there, and the Outer Circle can always be counted on to exploit it. I don’t get why you even waste your time and skills taking part in their games on our lives.”
“Hey. I’m the first to agree. You don’t have to remind me they abuse all of their power. We do need Pure though. Not to the extent that they use it, but it is essential. That’s why we have to rise to the top and take up the powers. We are likely going to need a good supply of Pure to make us stronger if we are going to go up against the Pure infused leaders. Who knows how much particulate they go through out there. If you had the amount of Pure pumped through you like Sentry, you’d probably be taking down the whole outer wall.”
Emme stood quietly for a while gazing off at the walls. Even the portions far in the distance, had a pronounced sharpness as the sun blasted its last light upon them. She would take down the walls if she could. No force, however, had ever been strong enough to even make a scratch. Who knew how many gentry held the position of being connected to the wall’s protection. They needed someone in the outer wall to know just how many wall protectors there were. She also wondered how much Pure the outer wall gentry consumed. She could only imagine some gentry there probably had more access in a day than some had here in the depths of the Inner Circle had in a lifetime.
“I really do want to gain enough power to get out of this blind hole. No one is seen here. No one is answered here”
“We’ll be seen and heard. I am making a pact with you right here and now, Emme. We are meant for great things. I believe we can do this together. Like I said before, we make a great team. We can push to the top, or past the top. We will go wherever we need to go.”
Emme looked over at Mai, “You really have great visions, Mai. I believe you when you say this. I really do.”
“Me too,” he said. Then, he did one of his most favorite things when their conversations turned too serious, which they had been a lot these days. He pulled the land she stood on up to him, and pulled his arm back to give her a good jab. Emme reacted in a flash . She burst upwards on a rocky platform, leaving Mai brazing his fist on the rough surface. It smarted good, but he laughed as he raised his own platform to catch up with Emme.
Emme went up to a frightening height. She had not intended to go this high, nor had she planned a proper platform. Precariously but purposefully she perched high above the Inner Circle. Mai caught up, and they stood looking out over the vast expanse of it all. From where they stood, they could see clear across the whole Circle to the outer four divisions as well as the gaping hole of the eastern territory that had fallen into a broken and dark abyss. The mines depleted the Inner Circle of so much in both the invisible and visible sense.
It was hard to believe back when the Circle first formed, it had started at the mines. Nothing remained there of the original fortress, but a small segment of the outer wall. This portion of the Outer Circle these days held the council meetings, and it also housed the leader of the Circle, Sentry. Sentry’s point, as it was called, was a point where the highest and most extravagant place coincided with the lowest and arguably the most forsaken place.
As time went on, more circles formed around the original Circle as their ancestors found the need to expand. The expansion started to the northwest of the mines.
Division 1 became the next established part of the Circle. Much of division 1, the part not forsaken to becoming part of the mines, went towards agriculture. The division had orderly rows of greenhouses and glistening domes where most of the food was produced for the Circle.
Division 2 was established next to the southwest end of the mines. Here the gentry specializing in nurturing populated wellness structures. Division 2 also emanated order. As the expansions of Division 3 and 4 popped up, the order and rigidity seemed to dwindle.
Divisions 3 and 4 had mostly living quarters and between them, the pubs, which naturally ended up becoming the center of the inner circle after all of the subcircles had risen. Division 3 also had facilities and centers dedicated to training. The Pit, where many landmovers trained, was another broken up area in the circle where land movers had torn up the land with the purpose to master their skills and become champions one day.
To complete the Circle, another living quarters division was established. Division 5 was the last, and just as the organization lacked in the establishments of the prior divisions, the organization lacked even more in the last subcircle. Though division 5 created a unified actual circle to complete the Circle, it had a reputation of being the unruly, afterthought addition. Division 5 was made as a necessity to the growing populations. It was a mix of nurturing facilities as well as agriculture and any other pick up trade to the overfilling needs of the Inner Circle. One interesting fact in the creation of Division 5 involved the dark woods. The landmovers in charge of creating the additions of the outer Circle structure ran into a hardship in attempting to wrap around the Division 5. The dark woods hovered over Division 5 on the west end. It was said that despite the attempts of the finest landmovers, the Dark Woods contained some sort of magic that would crumble the wall. After time, though a weakness in the fortress and testament built, the woods became an accepted part of the wall.
The Circle once had been unified with no distinction of an Outer Circle and an Inner Circle; they served one another and had connected purposes. Now, a very clear separation of the two existed. The distance and gap between those living in the Outer Circle and those living within went beyond the distance of the high walls. The Outer Circle had become a place of the elite and luxury, which had no space for the concerns of the struggles of the Inner Circle.
“So, hate to break this moment, but I have an overpowering anxiety about how we are going to get down,” Emme broke the silence.
“You’re the one that brought us up here.”
“I wasn’t exactly thinking. You kind of made me do it. It would be nice if you could figure out the pushing thing right about now.”
“Yep. Nope. Should we start making an enormous flight of steps?”
In close to darkness, the two friends found their way back down to the ground.The next day, all the gentry coming out of Division 5 walked past the curious staircase monument and wondered who built such a structure and where they had possibly been trying to climb to.