Tuesday, March 02, 2010

New Beginning 732

She was beauty, sex, life. She was everything.

Elora fell to her knees.

“Care to share your thoughts?” asked Lyndiria, the great Seelie Queen. Her brown skin crinkled at the corners of her mouth. Pixies sat atop her shoulders, braiding her hair into the moss on the tree, and brownies poked their heads beneath the hem of her green-leaf gown.

Elora shook her head feebly.

Lyndiria laughed, the sound tumbling from her lips like water. Elora had heard stories of this sensual earth Queen, mother and lover to the children of the Bright Court, but these stories had not prepared her for what she was feeling now. She wanted to brush Lyndiria’s hand with soft lips, to crawl into her lap and sleep.

“Welcome Naya Elora, Daughter of the Dark Court. Come and sit a spell.”

Elora opened her wings and floated forward. “Just Elora,” she said, settling into the grass. “Please.”

Lyndiria peered at her as if searching the words for their true meaning. “Elora, then,” she said. The pixies had finished braiding her hair and were building a crown of flowers atop her head. The smallest one let out a squeal, clutching a strand that had broken from the Queen’s head. Shaking the hair from her tiny hand, she patted the spot where it had been.

Transfixed, Elora watched in silence.

Lyndiria reclined on the soft, fresh grass. "Come, Elora. Rest your head upon my bosom, upon the bosom of the Earth. I offer you a place of sleep, of love, of birth. We Seelie are the creators of all these things."

Elora lay forward, and as her head touched the fragrant leaves of the queen's dress, she felt a peace and contentment she had not known since she was an infant in her mother's arms.

"Sleep now," Lyndiria said. "When you wake, your mind will be clear, your heart will be light, your limbs will be lithe and strong. It will be a bright, golden morning. A Seelie Posturepedic Morning."

Opening: Chelsea P......Continuation: John


Bernita said...

"A Seelie Posturepedic Morning."
Thank you. Sheer joy to read that line.

Evil Editor said...

I'm not crazy about: Lyndiria laughed, the sound tumbling from her lips like water.

Smiling seems more in character than heavy laughter. And I don't think of laughter or water as tumbling.

Also, Come and sit a spell strikes me as something Jed Clampett would say, not the Earth Queen. Okay, he'd say set a spell, but I'd expect her to say Come, sit with us or Come and rest or Come, bask in my aura, you miserable wretch.

Marissa Doyle said...

Mad giggling fit at that continuation--bravo!!

Evil Editor said...

In case the continuation makes no sense to those from foreign lands:

150 said...

Well DONE John! :D

Unknown said...

the pixies were braiding her hair into the moss of the tree. I half expected that when she moved, her head would be jerked back and she would fall. Maybe it should be the moss being braided into the hair not the other way around. Just a thought. . .

Dave Fragments said...

I don't get a sense of place from this. However, and unfortunately, I'm not one to read fairy stories. The little girls in my life never involved me in fairies books or movies. Unless you count Lady Cottington's Pressed Fairy Book (which I discovered and took to them).

To get to my point, perhaps this meeting is well understood by those who have knowledge of the Seelie Court and fairyland. I don't get a feeling of place or even of what the characters look like. I first thought that Lyndiria wss part of a tree. Then she settled on the gras and had wings.

So I am confused and that might not be the author's fault.

Matt said...

I liked it, but I thought it was under-described.

Chelsea Pitcher said...

Hehehe. The continuation makes me giggle.

This was kind of an experiment. The original opening begins several pages earlier, and the reader is really eased into the setting. I wanted things to begin closer to the action, but I think I've started things too late, giving readers no grounding.

Dave, I actually like Lyndiria appearing to be part of the tree, but not in a completely literal way. Earthy, yes. Sprouting branches, no.

EE, "Come and sit a spell" is definitely a pun on her part. Is it too cutesy?

Matthew, I have never been told "under-described". I tend to err on the side of over-describing, purple prose. Now, to find the balance!

Everyone has given great comments. Thanks for the help!

Evil Editor said...

Perhaps Join me for a spell would serve your purpose without sounding like a Beverly Hillbilly.

Dave Fragments said...

As Anna Russell once said -- The Only Earth Goddess I know is ERDA and she appears as a green torso sticking out of a stump in the ground with moss growing on her breasts...

I think that was in Russell's 22 minute destruction (oops sorry, description) of The Ring of the Nibelungen. Here's part 1...

Matt said...

Are you going to post the original opening?

wendy said...

I'm not sure about this one. It's interesting, but it feels trite in places.

And with the hair braiding thing I too thought she was stuck to the tree...sorry.

Also, there might have been too much passive writing. ;)

Good things?

It is clear there is a challenge headed Elora's way. This builds tension.

You have a good start on creating an inviting atmosphere.

The queen is intoxicating and menacing at the same time.

However, this piece has to be tightened up and smoothed out! It's very messy.

And the idea of anything, even laughter, tumbling out of a creature's mouth like any type of liquid is just yucky any way you pour it.

Good luck. It's a great start.

_*rachel*_ said...

I'm glad this isn't an opening; it feels too slow for that. Even so, I wouldn't mind if you racheted it up a notch. Can Elora be a little more active, nervous, whatever?

Braiding her hair into the moss is weird: I don't get it. Ditto on the little hair pixie.

This isn't bad; I'm just not getting pulled in.

Thanks for the youtube link, EE; it makes the continuation even funner.

Chelsea Pitcher said...

Matthew, the original opening is on EE's blog here:


I think that ending starts too early, though, and leads the reader slowly through the Seelie Court rather than starting in the Queen's bower where the action happens. So to speak.

Phoenix Sullivan said...

Hi Chelsea. I actually like the writing in this, with a few nits, but not for the opening. I felt like I needed to know something more about Elora before this scene.

The nits:
I'm with the "hair being woven into the tree" crowd.

The laugh simile doesn't quite work as you're comparing the sound to simply water, which by itself doesn't make much noise. I know you want some water symbolism in here since she's an earth Queen, so maybe compare the sound of her laughter to the sound of water. Just stay away from trite things like a babbling brook. Something more like "She laughed, the sound tumbling from her lips like the spill of snowmelt over a pebbled pond." Only not that.

Another option for a less colloquial invitation: "Come, sit by me for a spell." That might even be more true, eh?

As for the contin: Splutterific, John!!

Chelsea Pitcher said...

Phoenix! I'm so happy to see you. Thanks for the notes. I see what you mean about the water line. I think it mostly comes down to me trying to fit in too much about the Queen, instead of choosing a few good examples.

Matt said...

Maybe you should start in the middle of the two openings. Perhaps as Elora is walking down the path that leads to the earth queen's throne?

I guess I'm alone in this, but I liked the visual of hair being woven into the moss, simply because it was stuck in my head all day.

Chelsea Pitcher said...

Hey Matthew,

I'm thinking the same thing. I'll work on finding a better place to start and repost.

I like the hair woven into the moss too! It's weird and earthy and not something I've seen done before. But people are right. It is impractical. The Queen gets mad a bit later and rises from the throne, which would cause the moss to rip. Could be a nice scene actually, but I'm not sure it's worth it.

Matt said...

That would be a cool scene. I'm sure, being the Earth Queen and all, that she values her moss. Ripping it out would put an exclamation point on her fury and tell a little something about her character (She loses sight of what's important when she's angry).

Anyway, I hope you keep it. I forget a lot of new beginnings right after they're posted, but I've still got that image from yours stuck in my head.