I walk around the end of the house to find a girl hanging by her ankle from the cedar tree in my front yard.
"You lost the fight, didn't you, Roxanne!" I shout up at her.
"Is it that obvious?"
"Well, since you're upsidedown in a tree, and that tree's branch didn't use to be in that position, I thought it a good guess to say that your brother had something to do with it."
"I keep roots out of dad's lair for this very purpose!" she declares. I realize that she has some sort of rock levitating near her ankle - probably some sort of knife.
"I'm sure you do. Never let someone else have an advantage if you can help it," I observe. Suddenly, she's falling out of the tree, but it's clear that she's done this before since manages to grab the branch she's rapidly headed for and twirl around so she's on her feet. The branch that had been around her ankle has snapped in two.
Soon she's on the ground in front of me. "That's much better," she declares. "Honestly, that brother of mine cares nothing about me making a good impression."
"I don't think you do either."
"Yes, but it's a requirement for villains to always make a good entrance, and thus a good first impression. Hanging from a tree does not count."
"Ah, but I'm your author, and you're not in your costume, and as such, you don't have to worry about your impressions. You need to stop being so high-strung. How's school coming, by the way?"
"They say I'm doing good. I hate it."
"Oh, it surely can't be all that bad," I prompt. "Have you made any new friends?"
She shrugs. "That roommate you gave me is crazy. I think she actually likes being a villain."
"Well, there are people who do," I admit. "But you don't have to let it define you as she does. You can be like your dad."
She shrugs. "I need to get back home." And with a stomp of her foot, she disappears into the ground at my feet.
I know I meant to post the winners to the giveaways today ... but my brain has been in shutdown, possibly due to the fact that I've been working on book two of the Rizkaland Legends as well as the midgoal climax of Kingdom. Also ... while most of the giveaways will be easy to draw a winner for, I really can't decide for the "fanfiction" contest.
There were two entrants, both of which I love nearly equally. One chose to merely use the title of Water Princess, Fire Prince and run her own direction with it. (And it involved twins - major points there!) The other chose to use my plot idea as well as the title, though she rearranged the family structure. I'm thoroughly intrigued by her story, because it's clearly going a very different direction that I have my version going.
So I'm doing a poll of sorts. Do you prefer Jessy Jones' Water, Fire, or does Kathryn's Jessica's Summer speak more to you? Let me know!
I plan to post the winners on Friday, so all opinions about these two stories must make it to my desk by tomorrow night.
Also, comment moderation has been turned back on. Captcha is back off. You're welcome. (Honestly, I do prefer being able to moderate comments.)