I am currently working on the final formatting and editing process for the third book in my YA Fantasy series, The Stone Dragon Saga.
In Dragon on the Green we find our protagonists in a bind as they are forced to work for the one person they are trying to thwart. Here is a short excerpt from the middle of the book. Enjoy!
“Tea?” Jane offered helpfully, pointing out a tea pot and cups at the table’s center, “its chamomile, I had a feeling we might all need the purported calming effects after that little meeting.”
“I think that I had better stay away from any calming brews right now,” Joseph pointed out, “I have far too much to do to think about calming down!!”
“Any more of those caffeine cans of death and you, sir, will vibrate right out of your skin!” Anna wagged a disapproving pen in his direction. “You, my dear artist, have been cut off!”
“Noooo,” Joseph dropped his head to the table with a loud thud, “I won’t survive without them!!”
“Oh hush, you will be fine,” Jane patted his hand while Anna valiantly tried (and failed) to keep a straight face. “I’ll go make you some nice black tea, it has a really good kick to it!”
“Ok,” Joseph agreed with a whine, kicking the carpet and pouting like a toddler put in time out.
“Oh for goodness sakes Joseph! Suck that lip back in, you are a grown man!” Jane lectured, setting a cup of steaming, aromatic dark tea in front of the artist with a clink.
“Shouldn’t you be working on some drawing of a fantastical beastie or something anyway?” Anna asked, barely taking the time to look up at her boss as she plowed away at the ever expanding pile of notes in front of her. “And be honest here, do you really need all of these notes or are you just trying to punish us for laughing at you earlier?”
“Of course those notes are VITAL to my success here because I should, indeed, be working on drawings, sculptures, and creating all kinds of odd, yet life-like items all in order to assuage a crazy lady’s homesickness for another dimension. Yes,” Joseph grimaced and swept his arms out expansively and dramatically (as was his wont) “The answer is, all of the above Anna. All of this should be started, finished, or in the process of both before she gets back tomorrow…or at least a good portion should be, and if you don’t get to work and make those notes readable, I can’t transpose the images from words into ART. If I can’t make art, we get turned into toadstools and mowed over by a large tractor like machine. Do you want to be mowed over by a large chopping machine Anna? DO YOU?”
“As much as I love your amazing flair for the dramatic overstatement and wish that I could just sit here and listen to you all evening, I think I’ll just get back to work on this life changing transcription about a hulachin,” Anna sassily bobbed her head at Joseph before deliberately turning her back and using the kitchen bar to continue her efforts.
“Hulachin???” Joseph gaped at the girl, “I don’t remember anything at all about a hulachin! Is there an adequate description? Are you sure that it actually says hulachin? Oh, I’m never going to get this done! I’ll be a dozen little pieces of mulch before the weekend.” Sinking to his knees and hanging his head in defeat, the artist sobbed theatrically for moment as the girls looked on in worry before he slowly sat upright and, wiping his eyes, continued, “You know, maybe I can get this all finished out. I mean, it isn’t like she expects me to have everything finished tomorrow. I don’t have to any of the statues done, a really good painting or two should be sufficient to appease her majesty. That kind of work usually takes several days, but I think that I can get it done IF I’m allowed a drink or two of my zing.”
Raising his eyebrows and looking imploringly up at his incredulous duo of assistants, the gentleman in question batted his eyelashes, jutted his lower lip just a fraction, and tried to look as much like a puppy as he could. Unfortunately for him, the puppy dog look didn’t work on such seasoned babysitters as the two women sitting in front of him.
“OR, you could get up, drink your tea before it gets cold, and stop whining or nothing will get done and Passiona will turn you into a fire hydrant,” Jane was about to the end of her tether and it was starting to show. “All of this complaining is doing nothing more than wasting time that you could be spending on sketches.”
“Don’t worry boss,” Anna smiled reassuringly before returning her gaze to her own work, “You’ll get it done without a doubt! This is the kind of thing that you love to do. Besides, didn’t you tell us that you love working under pressure because it doesn’t give you as much time to think instead of just ‘do’ and that is when you create your best pieces?”
“Well yes, but I meant time crunches, not the literal pressure of a head vice closing around me, which is something that Passiona is likely to break out of the closet and use on me if I don’t work quickly enough for her! Did you hear her stop our consultation earlier to tell one of her minions to make a note to check all of the basement and attics for old torture equipment that might be left from ‘those good times,’ before modern civilization?”