30 July 2012

Fan Fiction

I think that everyone has a book that they remember as the one that changed how they viewed books and reading. The book for me was THE BLUE SWORD by Robin McKinley, though THE OUTLAWS OF SHERWOOD by the same author is the one my friends and acted out for years. A lot of the books that I wrote when I was young were influenced by them. I even used the name Aerin. My younger sister did something similar using the RANGER'S APPRENTICE series by John Flanagan. Fan fiction is a good way for people to get their feet wet with writing. World building is intimidating and some people get world building disease, which means they never actually get to writing the story.

It is important to create your own stories, but sometimes it can just be a nice release, or a good jumping point. Just remember that while there is a market for a lot of fan fiction, mostly online through forums or with friends, there is a bigger market for original work.

29 July 2012

*Yoyo and Momo Revolt

Intro: Moose said that if I got dinner ready he would write a story for me. I agreed. He tried to back out of it, but then he wrote one. I made a few edits, but overall, the story is his. It makes me laugh.

The Mormoto’s always wondered what their dogs, Yoyo and Momo, and cat, Rodent did when they weren’t home. And whenever they were home, the animals didn't want to do anything but lounge. Mr. Mormoto knew.

When they left for the day Rodent took charge. She would show the dogs who was in charge. First she would get Yoyo to carry here on his back around the house to inspect her castle. While this was happening Momo would go to the kitchen and make ready her majesty’s breakfast of fresh tuna, lightly seared on both sides. After the inspection and breakfast, Rodent would then have Yoyo and Momo entertain her. They would wrestle with each other and do tricks just for her amusement. If she was not satisfied she would jump at them scratching and clawing till they made her laugh.

Eventually Yoyo and Momo got fed up with Rodent’s antic’s and the revolt was planned. First Momo knocked over the TV in the middle of Rodent's favorite show and refused to clean it up. While Rodent was busy bossing Momo to get her favorite show back on Yoyo ran into her throne knocking it over and sending Rodent flying.

The fight was on.

Yoyo and Momo chased Rodent all around the house knocking over the furniture and making a mess. Rodent climbed up on to a shelf out of the way of the dogs. An hour before the Mormoto’s were due home all the animals came together to clean up the house. When the Mormoto’s got home their pets were just too tired to go outside and play with the Mormoto’s.

27 July 2012


by D. J. MacHale

I remember first seeing PENDRAGON in the university bookstore. The cover looked interesting, but I decided to read FABLEHAVEN instead (which is another series that I highly reccomend). A couple of months after that I went to a book sale where I found the first PENDRAGON at a good price. I was hooked from when I first started. The only problem was that at the time there were only five books out. I had to wait for them to come out, and I bought them as they came out in paperback. My husband actually gave me books 7 and 8 as a wedding present and then a couple of years later he gave me 9 and 10. (There are ten books in the series.) I would also like to add that my husband who is not a big reader, has read 7 of these and is working on the 8th.

PENDRAGON is about Bobby Pendragon who is a traveler. His Uncle Press shows up on his doorstep one night asking for help and Bobby is thrown into an adventure, in another dimension, called territories. They travel by flume and though they know which territory they will end up in, they don't know when they will end up. They aren't the only travelers. Every territory has its own traveler, though they don't always help the situation. And then there is Saint Dane, the villain who's goal is to destroy the territories and therefore destroy Halla. The story is told in two parts. Bobby's friends, Mark and Courtney explain what happens back on Second Earth. Even their lives are altered by what happens on the other territories.

In PENDRAGON, every territory is different. One is a water world. One is a past earth. One is desert. One is world of games. The majority of the books are well contained with just a teaser as to where he will be going in the next book. With each book Bobby and his friends age, though Bobby faster than his friends. I found the books to be a great introduction to some of the darker science fiction out there and they ease the readers into some of the darker themes as the books progress. My favorite book is THE NEVER WAR though THE QUILLAN GAMES is a close second. D. J. MacHale presents so many interesting ideas in this series. I only posted two covers the first and the tenth. THE MERCHANT OF DEATH is the original cover. THE SOLDIERS OF HALLA is a new design they've released.

The Merchant of Death
The Lost City of Faar
The Never War
The Reality Bug
Black Water
The Rivers of Zadaa
The Quillan Games
The Pilgrims of Rayne
Raven Rise
The Soldiers of Halla

25 July 2012

A Child's Perspective

This weekend we went to the zoo. As Moose and I walked around Moose made the comment that we were probably only one of a few couples that didn't have children. We had a great time. The animals were more active than I anticipated. The polar bear was swimming circles. Even the tigers were playing in the water. They have really large teeth. My favorite part of the day was going to see the monkeys. We were standing back watching the spider monkeys. There were two brothers who were watching the monkeys. One turned to the other: "Spider monkeys are poisonous."

"They are? How do you know?"

In my mind I answered the question as a child would. "Because they are spiders."

Instead the brother answered. "Because they have sharp teeth."

I am around children fairly often and though I can anticipate their reactions it always amazes me how their minds work. They don't take the easy way. They think a lot about what they do and they all have their own logic. I hope that as I continue writing I can take a child's perspective to increase my creativity and broaden my view.

23 July 2012

Family Relations

I have an unusual family. It's not just because we have some unusual interests (I mean I grew up without watching much television and instead spent my time reading. Very few of my friends liked to read and the other kids in my school thought I was odd because I carried a book around with me.) There are five children in my family and the amazing thing is, we all get along. There are a few instances in my childhood when we didn't get along, but I don't ever remember truly disliking any of my siblings. I am also happy to say that my parents have been married for over thirty years.

I bring this up for several reasons. A lot of movies and books show discord between siblings. This is true in a lot of instances, but it isn't always the case. The movie MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO shows two little girls who actually get along really well, and the amazing thing is, there is still plenty of tension. There are times when having tension between siblings is appropriate. (Heirs often come to mind.) But sometimes it is nice to have the siblings support one another and I think it really reflects well on the characters.

The other thing is two parents being around. I remember attending a panel on no more dead moms. Once again a lot of people use a dead parent to draw sympathy, or to give the child freedom. A single working parent is easier to sneak away from. This kind of goes back to my post on adults in young adult stories. A parent is a good way to give advice and it can add a moral compass for the youth character. I'm not saying that every book needs to have a happy family relation, but it is something to consider on the development of your characters. (Think of the Weasely family as a good example.)

22 July 2012


Intro: I am a fan of PRIDE AND PREJUDICE. I have read multiple retellings and I thought I would try my own hand.

"What do you mean you don't know where she is?" Jenny paced around the dorm room.

Her fiancé, Colton, sat on the couch with his arms rested on his knees. His face was haggard. Eyes rimmed dark and bloodshot. He let out a sigh which turned into a yawn.

"How could you lose her?" Jenny's voice cracked. The voice on the other end of the phone remained silent.

Colton got up from the couch and took the phone from her hand. "Katie? Where did you last see her?"

"Jeff White walked her out to his car."

"You've got to be kidding me."

Both Jenny and Colton looked up at the new voice. David stood in the doorway, bags of takeout in his hands.

Emmaline stood behind him her face pale. "What happened?"

"Katie lost Lindsey," Jenny said.

"I told you we should have called the police." Emmaline moved past David and into the room. David seemed to shake himself out of a stupor. He set the food down on the table.

They heard Katie sniffing.

"It's not your fault." Jenny said.

"Just go home," Emmaline said. "We're going to call the police. Martha's already there and the two of you can calm mom and dad down."

"Alright." Katie hung up.

David pulled out his own cell phone. "If you'll excuse me. I have a call to make."

"Where are you going?" Emmaline asked.

David held up his phone and walked out.

Emmaline folded her arms. "I don't get him."

"But you love him," Jenny said.

"That may not be enough."

"David can take care of it," Colton said. Jenny moved over to him and buried her head in his chest. "What are we going to do? If word gets out that our sister is involved outside of matrimony with a career criminal that will be the end of us." Jenny cast a glance at Emmaline.

"So you don't want to call the cops."

"Let David handle it," Colton said again.

Emmaline frowned but with Colton and Jenny engaged in offering words of comfort to each other, she slipped out.

Growing up in a house with six girls was not easy for Emmaline. As the second oldest and coming after the practically perfect Jenny, Emmaline did nothing that was expected of her. She didn't excel at the feminine arts, which would attract her a wealthy husband. Instead she focused on her education as a biology teacher. If she had been a scientist, her family would have been more pleased, though still not exactly happy.

Emmaline sat on the bed and looked at the cell phone. David was perfect. He didn't care that she came from money, and that she was expected to marry someone of equal or higher status. She'd refused to date him at first because he was friends with Colton, who was posh in every sense of the word. Only David wasn't posh. She wasn't even exactly sure what he did. He never talked about his work, and not even talking to Colton would give her any clues. It had only been in the last two weeks that David had admitted to liking her, even if it was against his better judgment.

"You're better judgment? Is that suppose to flatter me?" Emmaline had almost thrown the book she was studying from.

"I am just telling it from my perspective. Our lives are different. It won't be easy. If I ignored all of the difficulties it wouldn't make things any easier, and we won't be able to work through the issues."

"I have issues?"

David raised an eyebrow. "Yes, as do I."

Emmaline pursed her lips. "And how would you solve these issues?"

"Do they have to be solved? I told you I like you, despite your issues."

Emmaline's fingers shook as she dialed the number.

"New York City police Department, how can I help you?"

For a moment the voice sounded familiar. But she had to talk, before her nerves got the better of her. "I need to report a crime." She gave all the details she had and then hung up.

"Emmaline, what have you done?" Jenny stood in the doorway her hands raised to her mouth. "We could have settled this quietly. We don't need other people involved. Katie and Martha won't have anyone even glance at them after this hits the news. None of our friends will want to be associated with us."

"Then they aren't our friends to begin with. True friends won't care what our little sister does. True friends will help us. How can you think so much of our image? Do you think Colton will leave you because of what Lindsey has done?"

"He would never."

"Then believe in the rest of us. You don't think ill of anyone so believe that they won't think ill of us. Be strong. Lindsey will be safe."

Jenny nodded and sat down on the bed. "I just keep thinking there was more that we could do. I feel like I've ignored her with all of the wedding preparations."

"It's not your fault." Emmaline said. They spent the rest of the evening eating ice cream and trying to laugh at an old classic movie.

At two in the morning there was a knock on the door. Emmaline glanced at Jenny who was asleep leaning on Colton. Colton looked like he would stand up but she waved him back. When Emmaline glanced through the peephole. A man in a blue uniform stood at the door, his hat brim covered his eyes He held up his badge.

"Can you let me in?" His voice was muffled. "I have information about your sister."

Emmaline opened the door and stepped outside, closing the door behind her. "I don't want to disturb my sister. She just fell asleep."

"We caught up with your sister as well as Jeff White. They are both in custody though your sister should be clear once the investigation is over." The officer looked up and caught Jenny in a hug.

"Thank you. For calling the cops. I didn't want you to think you would hide behind your money."

Emmaline looked more closely at the officer. "David? You're a police officer?"

David stepped back and took off his cap. "Yes. Is that going to be a problem?"

"You're right, we both do have issues. But if you being a cop is the worst one, I will love you all the more for it."

20 July 2012

The Blue Faience Hippopotamus

by Joan Grant
illustrations by Joanne Fitzgerald

THE BLUE FAIENCE HIPPOPOTAMUS is one of those children's books that I love. My paternal grandfather was an educator. He often gave us picture books that he found through work. The story is sweet and the pictures are amazing. It is a long picture book, when you compare it to a lot of more recent publications, but I don't think that should dissuade anyone from reading this book to their child.

A hippopotamus who lives on the Nile falls in love with a beautiful princess. He loves her from afar and learns all he can about her. Another animal explains that there is a magician who lives in a cave that will grant anyone a wish. When the hippopotamus arrives at the cave the magician asks what he wants. The hippopotamus explains what he wants and the magician turns him into a little blue faience hippopotamus. From there the hippopotamus is given to the princess where he lives in her care. Only he learns more about her than he knew before and he would do anything to help her achieve her dream, even if it means losing his own happiness.

A couple of years ago I went to an Egyptian exhibit. I really enjoyed the exhibit, but what I loved the most was the fact that in the gift shop I found a blue faience hippopotamus. It looks remarkably similar to book and I ended up purchasing it. THE BLUE FAIENCE HIPPOPOTAMUS is a sweet book and gives a good message about selflessness. The pictures are gorgeous and it will be a story that sticks with you through the years.

18 July 2012

A Getting to Know you Cake

Moose and I went to a couple's bridal shower for his cousin on Monday night. It was a little awkward because it was hosted by the other side of the family. So as my dad says, we were the outlaws. We were able to spend a lot of time with Moose's cousin so we felt comfortable. They provided dinner and we had a nice conversation with the people at our table. They had an activity that I had never seen at a bridal shower before, but then again, I've never been to a shower before where husbands were invited. Once dinner was over the game began. Everyone was divided into four teams. The goal of the team was to design a groom's cake. One member from each team to take 60 seconds to interview the groom. They would then relay the information to the team and then they would decorate the cake according to the interview. I thought this was a really good idea since it was a way for the family to get to know the half of the couple they weren't related to win. The cakes turned out really cute. (They had some pretty fancy cake decorating stuff, including fondant.) I think that this will be something I use in the future in a variety of instances. And, if worst comes to worst, we can have some hilarious cake wrecks.

16 July 2012

Elves, and Dwarfs, and Orcs . . . Oh My

Elves, orcs, and dwarfs were made famous by J. R. R. Tolkien. While there is nothing wrong with these fantasy races, they have become tropes. So many stories use them that it can be difficult to make them original. And, if you deviate too much from tradition, some readers will feel betrayed and complain about the deviation from mythology. I'm not saying that people should no longer write stories about elves, orcs, and dwarfs, but that you have to be careful and not limit yourself to these races when writing epic fantasy.

If you want some examples of good epic fantasy that don't involve the customary races I recommend reading Brandon Sanderson's books, especially THE WAY OF KINGS. Though some of the books are slow Robert Jordan's WHEEL OF TIME series has some great races and magic systems. SONG OF ICE AND FIRE by George R. R. Martin is also a good example, but I must give a content warning. There is some strong language and situations that is not suitable for everyone.

The same can be said for YA fantasy. HARRY POTTER is a great series, but that doesn't mean it should be used as a template for every other fantasy series. Make your story your own, and if you use some of the more common tropes, make them individual (but not too original that you alienate your readership.)

15 July 2012

*Kiss and Tell

Intro:I like reading about strong women, but there are times I fear femininity is sacrificed for strength. I wanted to write a story that shoes princesses aren't always prissy, useless, or unhappy with their lot in life.

The princess Heather was the only child of the King of Jepher. It was a small kingdom situated at the apex of three other countries. King Fredrickson doted on his daughter, as any good father should. She probably ate a little too much cake, and there were times when she stayed up too late, but most of the time she was a good daughter and he was a good father. The Queen Margaret loved her daughter and spent the majority of her time educating Heather. Her lessons included dancing and embroidery, not to mention diplomacy and elocution.

Heather found some of the lessons boring, including the lesson on mending. Heather liked to sew, when she could chose what and how she did. Mending torn stockings were such a bother. She had servants for that kind of work, but Margaret insisted that she at least knew how to mend a stocking. The trip to the farm was fun, until she realized not everything she was walking was mud. Even that wouldn't have bothered her, if she had worn the sturdy shoes her father had told her too. And, fixed her stockings the right way.

Other lessons included riding, and even a few lessons with the sword master,because no princess should be completely defenseless. The lessons were fun, it gave her the opportunity to thwack the master who liked to tease her. She was better than anyone anticipated, but even at a young age, she was sure that wasn't really a compliment.

At sixteen the three nations surrounding Jepher declared war with each other. Jepher was to become the battleground.

"Your birthday is in a couple of months," Fredrickson said over a dinner of venison. The dogs scrambled around the table as he threw scraps to them.

"Yes, Father." Heather enjoyed eating, but her father's tone of voice churned her stomach, but she still managed to finished the rest of her plate. Though she had a healthy appetite, she was always busy running around the castle that she probably could have eaten twice what she did and still fit into the same gowns.

"You are old enough to get married."

Heather grimaced. "Yes, Father."

"Is that all you're going to say?"

Heather sighed. "What else is there to say? I have been raised to be a wife. Please excuse me." She stood and retired to her room.

The epistles were sent and all three kingdoms responded. Heather's lessons switched from learning about trade, to learning about war strategies. Her afternoon was filled with more dancing. With the heirs coming, there would be dancing, and more dancing, and with the men sometimes hitting the mead a little heavy, she had to be extra good to make her partners look good or at least to save her feet.

A week before her seventeenth birthday the first heir arrived. He was from the second largest country. He was twenty, and brought her flowers. A day later the second heir arrived. He was from the smallest country. He brought her a necklace and looked younger than his nineteen years. Three days later, the day before the event was to start, the third prince arrived. He was the oldest, at twenty four, and only had a cocky grin.

The next day brought the first round of events. Heather made sure to clap for all of them. That night she listened to them praise her beauty and explain everything they could offer her. She kept her back straight and a fairly neutral expression. They promised peace, land, and wealth.

The next day were more events and this time Heather had a chance to spend time with each of them. The youngest Lord commented on her beauty and wisdom. He promised that once they were married there would be peace.

The prince of second country spoke more about how his army would protect her.

The third, eldest prince, talked of himself. He tried to kiss her.

The day of her birthday was dreary and heavy with rain. After Heather danced with each heir she stood on the dais next to Fredrickson.

"Thank you for joining us. We are here to establish peace amongst our lands. The treaty is such that the land of Jepher is to act as a peace offering. My daughter is to act as the bridge. Her choice will stand."

Heather moved forward and looked at the three men.

"I choose the Prince Kalin."

The eldest prince smiled and stepped forward. He took her hand and kissed it.

That night, after their wedding, Kalin watched his wife.

"And why did you chose me?"

"Because you tried to kiss me," Heather replied as she brushed out her hair. "And you talked only of yourself."

"And that is a good thing?"

Heather cocked her head to the side. "I spent my whole life training for this moment. I wouldn't settled for someone weak. And trust me, you may be able to run a country, but I can keep you in line, as any good queen can."

"Careful, Heather, or I may fall in love with you."

Heather shook her hair out. "You don't even stand a chance. My mother taught me well."

13 July 2012

The Alliance

By Gerald N. Lund

A lot of people know Gerald N. Lund for his historical novels such as THE WORK AND THE GLORY. THE ALLIANCE is not like his historical books. It is actually a science fiction novel that he wrote back in the 1980s. It doesn't have much in the way of religious characters but rather involves some ethical and moral ideas. If people could do no wrong would it be a perfect society?

The story takes place after a world wide disaster. Only a few pockets of people survived and they are pretty much living in isolation with limited technology. One of these societies is attacked and their people taken hostage. They are brought to Four Cities. In Four Cities people live the perfect lives. They can do no wrong. There is no crime. It isn't that the police force is amazing, it is that the people have no desire to do wrong. The main character is Eric. He is from the small town and the ideal society doesn't seem so perfect to him. The reason why the society can claim perfection is because of the implants. The citizens receive implants at the base of their skull as well as a wristwatch. If they remove the implant the watch kills them. If they remove the watch, the implant kills them. The implants will keep people from even thinking about doing wrong. Eric wants nothing to do with it, and will stop at nothing to free his family and friends.

I read THE ALLIANCE in Jr. High on a plane ride to my aunt and uncle's in Arizona. I remember I stayed up way too late finishing it because I wanted to know what happened. This book presents a lot of ideas about what makes people free and the importance of people making their own choices. There is good action as well as witty dialog. The characters are endearing and there are parts when you just want to cheer. Though it is science fiction it is more of a study of morality and agency.

11 July 2012

Why I love Living in the Country

While we were at the Oakley parade we were next to some cute kids. They were from out of town. Their mom was asking questions about where we lived. We started listed off the reasons why we love living here. I have mentioned it before on the blog but with our house selling on Thursday, fingers crossed, I am reminded once again of why I love living here. True, living in Logan was great but it doesn't feel like home anymore.

One of the big reasons why I love living out here is the fact that I can go outside at night and see the stars. There is one street light on our road, which is about a half-mile away. A few of the houses do have lights but the light pollution is almost nil. There is just something relaxing about gazing at the stars. I think everyone needs to take time out of their busy schedules to go star gazing. Don't wait for the next celestial event. Most nights you can even see satellites moving across the sky. There is just something peaceful about laying in the dark and looking up at something so beautiful that makes some of the tension ease out of life. (When I was younger, one of my dreams was to see Earth from space. Who knows, with space travel becoming more readily available to the rich and famous, I might actually be able to accomplish it someday.)

09 July 2012

A Future of Despair

With a lot of fantasy books there is an element of prophecy. There is an oracle or seer or magic user who looks into the future and predicts utter destruction unless there is a chosen one. The prophecy normally predicts that there will be a backstabbing of some kind and leaves a lot for interpretation. The problem is that the prophecy doesn't normally add much. Most stories are about good versus evil and if the good fails then there is destruction. Why does it being said in a prophecy make it any more important? And throwing in the backstabbing. The author should be able to create characters who are deep enough that the reader doesn't need a prophecy to give them ideas about what the characters are capable of. Instead of creating a prophecy that leaves everything open try taking it another way. Make a prophecy so specific that you make the reader think there is only one way to fulfill it and surprise them. Or make it so the characters fight it the whole way and beat the odds. Just make it original and not the same old same old generic prophecy that applies to all of the fantasy stories that are out there.

08 July 2012

Taking a Day Off

Between the 4th of July and emptying our house yesterday (thank you Bubbo) I didn't have time to write a story. I would write one this afternoon but Moose and I are spending the day with family. Come back tomorrow for the weekly writing tip.

06 July 2012

Gifts and Consequences

by Daniel Coleman

GIFTS AND CONSEQUENCES is not like Daniel Coleman's YA books, unless you count the fact that it is also well-written, has developed characters, and a gripping plot. This is a contemporary fiction novel. No magic or Wonderland involved. This book is about human nature, both good and bad. While in my mind everything is possible it isn't necessarily realistic. I can't see it actually coming to fruition, though now that I've said that I'll probably read about something like this happening somewhere.

The story is about Jonathan, a philanthropist who is forced to watch his wife's descent into Alzheimers. He makes her a promise to help individuals in her memory. She was a very generous person in her lifetime and it brought her joy. She wants him to feel that same joy and peace when she is gone. But, Jonathan's idea of a gift comes with strings attached. He sets rigid rules and the gifts are only given if all the rules are followed. If anyone breaks the rules a consequence is enforced. The consequence is normally worse than the situation that called for the gift.

GIFTS AND CONSEQUENCES looks at human nature and it made me ask: What lengths would I go to for what I want most? Jonathan is not a devil collecting souls and granting wishes. But he is no saint. There were times that I wanted to knock some sense into him because he was playing too much with lives. Other times I wanted to knock some sense into some of those receiving gifts. Overall, this book really made me think and I enjoyed getting to know some of the characters. Not everyone will enjoy this book because it doesn't have deep character development, but it is more of a philosophical book that makes you question your own limits.

04 July 2012

4th of July

We just went to a bunch of fun holiday activities. We were really impressed with the parade. (We were especially pleased with the marching band. They were larger than we expected and did well.) It was a lovely morning.

I have been out of the country, once. I spent a Christmas in Scotland. While I had a lot of fun I was really glad to get home. I have cousins that have lived around the world and when I was younger I was jealous. I would have given anything to live outside the United States. I don't feel that way now. I have truly come to appreciate living in a free country. I am thankful for those men and women who have fought to keep our land free. God bless America.

02 July 2012

Individual Twins

I don't like how a lot of authors write identical twins. Just because they are identical in appearance does not make them identical in personality. Fred and George from HARRY POTTER are a little too extreme for my taste. (That is not to say I didn't like them.) One did not appear without the other. It was as if they were one character with two bodies. Think of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern from HAMLET. Tom Stoppard wrote a play called ROSENCRANTZ AND GUILDENSTERN ARE DEAD. The joke is that even the two characters can't tell themselves apart because they are always together. This is not a good thing. Your twins should not be like these two.

When writing identical twins keep in mind that personalities can and should vary. Ask anyone who has identical twins in their family and they will tell you there are a lot of differences between them. Even if your characters are identical your readers should be able to picture your twins between them. They should exist independent of one another. (And never, ever make one person fall in love with identical twins. That is the most pathetic romantic love-triangle ever. And you all know how I feel about love triangles.)

01 July 2012

*Lady Mary

Intro: The matriarchs of the early 1900's strike fear into the hearts of everyone. I think that if more of those women existed today, that life would be a lot different.

Lady Mary of Wettnshire woke up and stared at the blue sky. She was laying on the ground. Though her joints protested she got to her feet and looked around. No one was in sight. She brushed off her dress but froze when a large, something, moved past her. The rest of her surroundings looked as odd. With her chin raised, she marched off towards the nearest building. There was little grass, and instead of the roads being dirt they were hard like stone, only there was no stone large enough to cover the expanse.

Lady Mary followed the stone through a small patch of grass. It lead to the side of the building which appeared to be made of glass. She'd never seen such smooth glass of such a dark color. A portion of the wall swung towards her. She stood her ground. The person on the other side of what Lady Mary realized was a door, stopped in his tracks.

"Excuse me," the man said.

He didn't even offer her a bow. Lady Mary sniffed as he rushed by. She stood outside the building. No one opened the door. She frowned. The sun was too hot to wait for a lazy footman. She opened the door and stepped in. The difference in temperature between outside and inside made Lady Mary shiver. She adjusted her skirts even as she scoped out the servants in the entry hall. She waved to one. The woman remained fixed in place.

"Have you no manners?"

"Excuse me, but who are you?" One of the men said.

"I am the Lady Mary of Wettnshire. I request you take me to the master of this house."

"You've got to be kidding me? Lady, you are crazy."

Lady Mary turned on the man. He was bald and there were metal rings in his ears and even his eyebrow. She sniffed and took a step towards him. "You will mind your tongue, and you will do as I say."

"Yes, ma'am."

"You can refer to me as mi'lady. What position do you hold?"

"My dad owns this company."

"So you are the heir? Then you shall take me to your father."

"I don't know if that is a good idea. He doesn't like visitors."

Lady Mary strode past him. "He will see me."

Though she didn't know where she was, with all of the electric lights and the strange clothing, women wearing trousers, Lady Mary was going to make the best of her new life. She was Lady Mary of This Company. And in five minutes she would learn what that actually meant.