Don't forget that answering the questions at the end of the post can win you a free paperback copy of My Kingdom for a Quest and all that if you've written a review for Sew, It's a Quest and Do You Take This Quest? you're eligible to beta read the book. The deadline to have your reviews will be Christmas day (consider them your Christmas present to me, and I'll consider early reading my present to you). You can also sign up for Kingdom's cover reveal by clicking on the new tab at the top of the page.
On another note, one of my fellow authors is doing one of these on her blog this month for her book King's Warrior. I highly recommend checking it out. Link here.
Now hold on tight while I introduce one of my favorite major characters.
This is fitting, considering we've entered the Christmas season. Up to the point, Robin and Robert's nightly stops have always fallen within a village with somewhere respectable to lay their heads. But now, for the first time, night falls and they're in the middle of nowhere. They don't even have a stable to sleep in.
Robin seems to be a bit annoyed with the situation, but Rosamond clearly intends to make the best of it. This amuses me, considering the bit about the mollycoddled princess a few chapters back.
Sarcasm and Swords
This leads into an interesting conversation that I still find amusing. (Surprise, surprise! No, actually, these are some good lines). First of all, Rosamond apparently doesn't get sarcasm. (I never explain why in the book, but I do have a reason), and secondly, she alludes to another bit of Locksley history that Robin had previously been clueless about.
This time about Great-grandfather's sword. Apparently, he was immune to magic and wanted a non-magical sword. But during that era, you couldn't find non-magical swords, so a girl of his acquaintance suggested that he ask that his sword have the magic of song. He liked the idea so much that he named the sword after her.
This is interesting, since in the first draft, the story was a bit different. You see, in that draft, the sword was completely unenchanted, and he'd named it for her merely because he liked her. However, when rewriting chapter two, I realized that it had the magic of song (based on the way mother was rewording something) and I liked that twist better. And I'm glad I made the change, since as readers of Take know ... he was engaged to another girl at that point (a plot twist that snuck up on me after this book was published, may I point out), and this would have been rather awkward.
As it is, it's only mildly awkward to name your sword after another girl when you're engaged. But ... it will be explained in book three. And you'll get to hear the words to the song the sword sings. I like the song. I wrote it on a box of Six-flags coupons while working in drive-through this summer. I can't wait to share it with you.
Anyways. Robin seems a bit upset to hear that the song wasn't just her, but Rosamond clarifies. It only sings in recognition of it's true owner. Robin seems to like that one.
Then they do the sensible thing and set up watches for the night. Robin doesn't seem thrilled with Rosamond joining in, but the girl insists. And then Robin wakes up horrified to find that it's morning and she completely missed her watch, thanks to Rosamond. Instant panic, and I'm quite certain that images of stolen horses are going through her mind. (Considering recent events.)
But Rosamond is still awake. Horses are still fine. Apparently, the girl doesn't sleep much.
Of course, questions shall be asked, and ... Rosamond admits to a third Fairy Godmother. A Sayenda this time, whose gift is a mystery, but it seems to have something to do with sleeping. This girl certainly has her secrets, much to Robin's frustration.
And you know, I rather identify with Robin here, since I don't like secrets either. As the author, I do know what Rosamond's hiding, but still ...
Skewwood and a Cousin
And Rosamond pulls her famous trick of changing the subject. Breakfast.
However, as they approach Sherwood forest, Rosamond remarks that it reminds her of another forest - Skewwood (And here readers should perk up - we've heard that before! In fact, Robert makes that comment ... but can't remember where he heard it) where her cousin lived.
"Lived?" Robin repeats, noting the past tense.
And for once, Rosamond doesn't evade a topic. They don't know what happened to this cousin, but her and her castle just vanished one day. And Rosamond wrote a song about her.
I did not write this song on a box of coupons at McDonalds. I wrote it on my Win95 laptop during my first NaNo four years ago. If I remember right, I was sitting on the stairs to my parents bedroom (because they're one of my favorite places to sit in the house.)
The song finished, Rosamond admits that her cousin wouldn't have liked it. She loved happy things, was always smiling, and loved math.
Into the Woods
Silence again as they enter the woods ... just as another party exits. Robin and Robert don't really pay attention to them, but a minute or so later ... they realize that Rosamond is no longer following them.
Um. Well, considering the way she had originally appeared out of nowhere, this doesn't sound too unusual for her, but ... it's always best to go and look for the girls you agreed to keep an eye out for. So Robin and Robert turn around and retrace their steps, find a path they'd overlooked earlier, and follow it, where they find the party they'd passed earlier, Rosamond, and a girl who looks just like her.
The disappearing cousin she'd mentioned earlier.
Everyone's favorite character, she holds a soft place in my heart too, and her name is a catchphrase in our family. I frankly have no idea where I got the name. She came with it, but I suspect it has something to do with the fairy tale "Dorani" which is one of my favorites and is completely different from Doranna's. It's interesting, but Rosamond seems to have relaxed considerably in her presence.
After introductions are made, Doranna instantly remarks that the twins certainly look like Locksleys, and Rosamond instantly informs her of the twins' quest, which is interesting. Robin and Robert had been so hesitant about telling her, so why does she just out and tell Doranna? However, Doranna takes it as a matter of course, compares them to Samson and Shira, and then whistles like a whippoorwill.
Doranna invites them to her "tassel" in order to use her library. they accept.
Robin wonders why the castle wasn't on Sir Hugh's map. But, then, Rosamond had mentioned that her cousin and her castle had disappeared.
Once inside, Doranna asks Rosamond if she'd play her bungalow, which Rosamond had left during her last visit. Of course that raises questions. You don't play bungalows, you live in them.
Doranna seems annoyed when Robin brings it up, launching into a string of numbers. If I remember right, this string is the square root of five ... though seven is also possible ... let me go consult my calculator ... It's five.
Yes, every time Doranna launches into a number like that in Sew, It's a Quest, it's a square root. Can you guess what I'd been studying recently?
This girl is clearly smart, but her smarts are not in the linguistic area. And that's one of the things people like about her. Her flaws and strengths are counter-balanced to each other. Just wait until I introduce the linguistic character who can't count past ten without taking off her shoes. (And then she can only get to twenty.)
As I said before, her name is a catchphrase in my family. Many of us have an inability to say what we mean (and we're good at math ... interesting). For instance, my mother has told my sister to put her turtle in the microwave, instead of the freezer. Frequently, my own tang gets tongled. When this happened, we just shout DORANNA! and move on.
And last, but not least, before we move on, we learn that Rosamond is actually her second name, and that's she's frequently called Briar Rose by her friends based off of it and her first name - Briarra.
And Robert and Robin have another aunt named Briarra. Very interesting ...
“I guess that we wilt have to sleep under the stars,” said Rosamond. “I like that, they art so pretty to look at.”
“Yeah,” said Robin, “they’re really good for looking at when you’re asleep.”
“Thou art funny,” said Rosamond. “I usually look at the stars when I am awake. To each his own, I guess.”
“Don’t you get sarcasm?” Robin asked.Rosamond smiled. “Thou dost not get magic,” she said.
“Bungalow?” said Robin skeptically. “I thought you lived in a bungalow – not played one.”
“Shush,” whispered Rosamond aside. “Banjo.”
“Well, they both start with b and end with o,” complained Doranna, who had overheard. “I get not everyone’s pickiness with worms.”
“Not everyone getteth thy pickiness with mathematics,” answered Rosamond.“Oh, two point two three six zero six seven nine seven eight,” said Doranna, and continued on in a chain of numbers that Robin found dizzying. “At least with numbers, most everyone speaketh the same linguist. Unless, of course, they use a different basic.”
1. A lot of people (including myself) are fascinated by sword backstories. What do you think of the one I gave to Auroren?
2. What was the weirdest place you've ever written something?
3. Do you ever bungle your speech like Doranna and I do?