Ideas and chapter 17 of the voice in the forest


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I’m really angry at my own brain.
Not because I’m falling behind on my writing projects, because I’m actually doing well on the productivity right now. And not because I’m stuck in a moment in a project, because the words are flowing.
I’m angry at my own brain for continually adding things to my to do list.
Does this happen to any of you?
Working on one thing spawns more ideas for other things like tribbles?
For the uninitiated, tribbles are a little ball of fluff creature from the original Star Trek series that reproduced so fast people were drowning in little balls of fluff.
That’s my brain right now. Completely bogged down by plot bunnies.
BUT, I’m still writing them in my idea notebook and continuing on with the projects I currently have going. And someday, eventually, I will get to the whole list.
So, stick around because there will be a LOT more books.

Special on the way

You have all heard me talk about my project for Amazon’s Vella, but I have more detailed information on it now.
First of all, officially the stories become available for readers to discover in mid to late July.
Second, I have been trying to figure out a way to get this story to those of you who are not fans of Amazon or don’t have easy access to it, and I think I found a way!
More on that soon.
Third, I will be sending out some quick info on the characters to you on here and, to a lesser extent, on social media. Keep an eye out for that!
Now, let’s get to the chapter for this week.
Remember, the story we’re writing here is a hot mess first draft, so please forgive the typos and stray grammar. Chapter 17 of our story…

The voice in the forest

“Don’t stop talking on my account. I’m just going to grab a bite to eat,” she said, aiming for breezy and finding her voice sounded like she was tired. 

Which, she decided, wasn’t bad and could have been worse. 

She took a seat at the table and decided that she would spend the afternoon working on her voice modulation. It was a tool she could use. If she could find mastery of it again.

“Arabella,” her mother said, her voice was sharp and although that wasn’t new, it made her temporarily jealous her mom could always make her voice be whatever she wanted it to be, “are you really spending your days in the garden?”

“If you mean yesterday and today, then, yes.” She smiled and took her napkin off the table, laying it in her lap to give herself something to do with her hands.

“Don’t get smart with me.” Her mother lifted a finger to point in her direction and Arabella twisted the napkin in her lap to avoid letting her hands shake.

“That’s not what I’m trying to do, I just mean I haven’t been here long. But I like the garden, Mother.”

“Well I think it’s great that you’re continuing with it. But it’s cold, so don’t let yourself get sick,” Trenton said, taking a bite from his salad. 

But Mother narrowed her eyes and clenched her jaw to the side.

He might have been done with this conversation, but she wasn’t. Although I had no idea when she would attack me next about it. Or what, exactly, her real angle was on the situation.

“It is unbecoming for you to walk around with split fingernails and dirt caked into your hands,” her mother sneered.

Okay, how was she supposed to stop that from happening when she was digging in the dirt?

She looked down at her hands in her lap. Even after washing up, they still looked dirty. Settled into the lines of her hands and embedded in the cuticles, even staining her nails, the dirt didn’t want to let go.

“Don’t respond,” Blackwell said from his place by the window, keeping his voice low even though the others couldn’t hear him, “Not to me anyway. But you can use gardening gloves.”

Ara looked back up and waited until her mother made eye contact with her again, “I will use gardening gloves from now on.”

Her mother bared her teeth and clamped her lips shut on whatever it was she was going to say.

Petra and Jameson sat by and looked back and forth while Ara and her mother argued as if they were at a sporting event.

“I thought you were going to head home today. Change of plans?” Arabella asked in as pleasant a voice as possible, her hands clenched on her napkin needing a break.

Jameson coughed into his fist and shook his head, his focus on the shrimp on his plate.

Petra glared at her and her mouth cracked into a predatory smile.

“Well, your mother thinks that it would be…” She paused, holding her hand palm up in the air and looking around the room as if the rest of her sentence was going to drop from the sky.

A servant walked into the room with a tray for Ara, a large lunch laid out for her on it along with three different drinks.

“Thank you. Please tell the kitchen that if I can’t eat it all, I appreciate all of it,” Ara said as the servant placed it all down on the table in front of her, along with an additional napkin and a place setting.

“You’re welcome and I will.” They didn’t make eye contact as they turned to go, but there was a smile on their face nonetheless.

“Someone needs to speak with them.” Her mother looked on the food arrayed before her with disdain, as if it was garbage and not an amazing looking meal. “That is an excessive amount of food and I don’t think you need to be getting fat after all the other things you have going against you.”

With a shake of her head, her mother went back to discussing something about a polo match with the others.

But Ara was so happy with her meal, the fact they were all ignoring her again, and how she had managed to avoid her mother’s meddling and control, she dug into her food.

And managed not to notice the loaded glances Petra and Jameson exchanged, nor the way Balckwell sat at the window staring toward the couple. Stiff and coiled like a cobra ready to strike.

I have made the decision to for sure change the point of view to first person, so expect that switch for the next chapter. Will it stay that way? THAT I don’t know yet. But, for now, I think it’s worth trying out.

As always, Thanks for reading everybody!

— Everly

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