November 28, 2002
Good news and er, good news
Well, Thanksgiving or not, I wrote nearly 1700 words today. That's the good news. However, only a couple hundred of those words were on The Sword in the Mound. What were the other 1400 words? Um (she says sheepishly), a new story? It sorta jumped into my head full born this morning while I was driving over to my parents' for dinner. So I came home from Thanksgiving dinner, outlined the entire story from beginning to end, then started writing. Five pages, boom. I was all set to write more, but I "took a break" and got sucked into the Buffy marathon on FX. Now it's about time to go to bed.
(Prediction? I'm thinking I may finish this story--as yet untitled--by the end of the weekend. If I keep up at this rate, at least.)
November 27, 2002
Aha, I finally cracked that blasted 25,000 word ceiling. We had an abbreviated and relaxed Write Club Minus One tonight--Julie and I explored the new Barnes and Noble, not realizing they were closing at 9 for the holiday. Good thing: they have a study section with huge tables and power outlets under each table. Bad thing: there aren't many tables, and you gotta be kinda quiet over there. Write Club is generally not so good at quiet. But their cafe is a Starbucks, so that's all kinds of good too.
My word count for today looks pitiful--700 words--unless you factor in the pages and pages of handwritten outline I've got now. I have a detailed outline for the next several sections (they may be chapters, we'll see), and a sketchy outline of the entire rest of the novel. Go me! I think this is really going to help me write this. My biggest problem has been having to stop after each scene and go "Duhh... where to now?" It seems that now that the NaNoWriMo pressure is off my shoulders, I'm eager to start writing on this again.
See towel. See towel get tossed.
Okay, it's 4:15 on the afternoon of November 27th, and I'm still lurking just beneath 25,000 words. It's a safe bet that I'm not going to make 50,000 words by Saturday. I just had too much else going on this month in order to achieve the same sort of focus I managed last year.
Yet fear not, Gentle Readers: this is not the end of The Sword in the Mound. My plans for this weekend still involve some pretty intensive writing--just cause I'm not hitting 50,000 doesn't mean I can't get as close as I can! I'm sitting here working on an outline as we speak, as a matter of fact. That was another major stumbling block this year. Sword is, in many respects, way more plot heavy than The Host is. Not that The Host doesn't have a plot, mind, but Sword is requiring far more dense plotting. This is a new thing to me. I have a hunch that once I get a plot outline, I'll be able to start really sailing along. I'm still clinging to the goal of having a working first draft by the start of winter semester at school, which is January 6th.
In other news, I'm back to working at the desk instead of the couch. If the cats would just leave me alone, I'd be golden. ;)
November 25, 2002
On another note:
I am beginning to suspect the real trick to finishing a novel is to write every day. Writing every day gets you into the world, into the characters, and things start to blossom. I've been told by many people that the last third or so of The Host is much weaker than the stuff I wrote during NaNoWriMo last year. And writing The Sword in the Mound has been so hard precisely because I haven't written every day. When I do sit down to write, I have to re-establish where I am and who I'm writing about, instead of living with them in the forefront of my mind. They don't have as much room and time to grow on their own when I only give them a few hours a few times a week. I'm starting to feel frustrated with all of the other things going on in my life that help keep me from writing. Specifically school. Good thing the semester's almost over.
Need more caffeinated crack...
Well, okay. The words I wrote on Saturday morning were the only words I wrote all weekend. This does not bode well. I am beginning to suspect that I will not make my 50,000 words by Saturday. I want to make an attempt though, and at least spend some serious time Wednesday through Saturday writing. And I still want to have the first draft finished by the start of winter term in January.
My biggest problem is that I have never established a writing routine in this house. At my mom's, I could sit myself in front of my computer and write for hours. I had a routine, I had a ritual, I had a mental and physical space. I've never really established my space here, which is weird, since it's MY HOUSE! I think I need to clean off my spiffy desk and set myself up over there to write my ass off. I need my ritual back, because camping on the couch with the laptop ain't it, and I can't afford to go to Starbucks every time I want to write.
November 23, 2002
I am on fire (or at least my wrists are)
Woot! Over 4,000 words this morning at Starbucks (see? they have the special caffeinated crack there that makes me write fast). I'm shooting for a total of 10,000 new words this weekend. We'll see if I manage it. I'm almost to the half-way point with a week left to go.
Most of the words I wrote this morning were answering world building questions, which are so exhaustive I needed actually less than half of them, but they served their purpose admirably. I have a new spin on what my faerie culture is like (which I'll bring out more in the second draft, although I'll start to introduce it more from here on out, since it's definitely going to have some plot impact), and I finally narrowed down what time period this thing takes place in, which is good in all sorts of ways. The whole "timelessness" thing just wasn't working out well at all. Of course, this means I'll have to actually start paying attention to historical detail, too. Second draft. Second draft.
I can still do this, I think. 25,000 words in 8 days. That's slightly more than 3,000 words a day. And six of those days see me with very few other commitments to see to. I can do this.
November 22, 2002
Well, I had some good luck at the local NaNo meeting tonight, and started writing a scene by hand. I finished it up and found I had about another 1,000 words. Not much, but it's a start. I'm 15,000 words behind. However, if I can keep the gap to about that, I might be able to catch up Thanksgiving weekend. I'm hopeful. Marginally. I'm just glad to be writing again.
November 19, 2002
Okay, here's the scoop. I haven't written a darn word since Friday night. I'm 12,000 words behind. And brain dead. Hopefully I can get some writing in tomorrow at Write Club, and from there, who knows? I haven't thrown the NaNoWriMo towel in yet, but I've just been SO brain dead, between the new job and school. I think I could've handled everything fine, if the job wasn't so new that it sucks out all my brain energy. I've got this weekend, and Thanksgiving weekend, so we'll see what happens.
Even if I don't make 50,000 by November 30th, I'm sticking by my goal of finishing the first draft of this novel by the start of winter semester, January 6th.
November 13, 2002
Decent night at Write Club tonight, aside from numerous encounters with scary men. Now I'm only about two days behind. I've promised myself that if I catch up completely this weekend, then I'll buy myself the extended version of LOTR on Sunday. Otherwise I won't have time to watch it!
The plot is progressing nicely. Most (all? Dare I say it?) of the main characters have been introduced, the beginnings of the plot are in place, and it's time to rock and roll. However, I can already tell, at almost halfway to 50,000 words, this is NOT going to be finished in so short a time. Anyway, here's a brief bit from tonight: Dubric (Tiernan's second in command) is escorting Catriona home.
"I was quite worried about my sister," Catriona chose her words with pointed care.
Dubric remained unabashed. "As well you should have been," he agreed. "If my sister had been snatched by a rowdy group of strange men, I'd be worried as well." He paused, giving her a chance to respond. When she did not, he grinned and continued, "A good thing for her it was just Tiernan."
"A good thing!" Catriona rose to the bait, her eyes flashing with anger. "Yes, Heaven forbid it couldn't be something a little more innocent, like a rabid wolf or a ravening wildcat! Instead of being devoured she is imprisoned by a man who merely looks at her as if he wished to devour her."
"Have a care, my lady, you speak of my liege lord." Dubric's words did not match the slightly amused tone of his voice. "Believe me when I tell you, his only interest in the Lady Michaela lies in her potential as a wife for one of his men."
"Leave her alone," Catriona begged. "Michaela is a good, virtuous girl, and she has long been very happy with her betrothed. I beg you, do not turn her head from that path. Your land may please her for a short time, but she is human, and belongs with her own kind."
"She is a good girl," he agreed. "I can only swear this to you, Lady Catriona: I will never hurt your sister, and I will always respect her wishes."
In other news, "Midsummer" received some very favorable comments from one of my classmates at school. It was a perfectly timed ego boost after the rejection letter yesterday. However, the "bad" news is, after talking to Brand a bit, I think I see how to fix the problems I see in it, and it involves a complete rewrite from scratch, and possibly a shift in point of view. After November. Definitely not this month.
November 12, 2002
Second week slump
Feh. Well, I managed about 140 words tonight, in between staring blankly at the screen and thinking I should do homework and websurfing. As of tomorrow, I'm officially three days behind schedule. Hopefully I can do lots of writing at Write Club tomorrow night and then catch up the rest this weekend. I think work today just drained my brain. Yeah, that sounds like a good excuse.
Rejection for "Midsummer"
Got a rejection slip from Realms of Fantasy on "Midsummer" today. It's affecting me more than rejection slips usually do. I think it's because I love this story so damn much, it irks me that these people can't see how awesome it is. I've got a couple places where I might send it next, but I've got two people reading it right now, and I think I'll wait to see what they say. I don't know. I adore the story, but it's not perfect yet. It doesn't quite match the vision of it I have in my head. I wonder if I'm almost too close to it to edit it at all.
I've had a lot of really positive comments about The Sword in the Mound so far (of course, I've asked people not to give me negative comments, which may explain the lack there). Oddly, as weird as I felt about writing for an "audience" as I went, it's exciting. I like hearing that people have been reading along, especially when they clamor for more. :)
So I guess I should go write more for them to read, huh?
November 11, 2002
So, so tired tonight. I managed to write another 800 words or so, which means I'm now about 1800 words behind schedule. That's not horrid. There won't be much writing tomorrow, except maybe on my lunch hour, as I have a test to study for. Wednesday, maybe. This weekend, certainly. Of course, I may do just as I did last year and not catch up completely until Thanksgiving weekend. However, as the 30th falls in the middle of Thanksgiving weekend this year, that doesn't leave me a lot of maneuvering room.
I tired. I go bed now.
November 10, 2002
Wanna see all the funny
Wanna see all the funny from the retreat this weekend? Go here. Maybe the quotes aren't as funny out of context, but good god, we're some funny people.
Wow. The writer's retreat for
Wow. The writer's retreat for the Minions was an absolute success. Not only was it a tremendously fun time, but much writing and talking about writing was done by all. Not to even mention the vast quantities of snacks that were consumed. Anyway, here's an excerpt from this weekend:
Tiernan stepped down from his throne and came to Catriona's side once again, resting a hand on her elbow and guiding her to one of the fallen logs. She found herself acutely aware of the warmth that radiated from his body, and of the clean, masculine scent of his skin and hair. Once she was seated, he sat next to her. "Now, as to the Lady Michaela: It is true; she was brought here with us yesterday evening."
"And you had not the courtesy to mention that when first we spoke?" Catriona cried, partly in relief and partly in worry.
"Had I revealed the girl to you then, your men would have felt compelled to fight for her, and I would have been forced to kill them all. Injuring the boy was bad enough."
The absolute arrogance in his words made Catriona's fists clench. She fought to swallow her anger, instead saying, "May I see her, please?"
"We have not harmed her, quite on the contrary," Tiernan said, reaching out to give her arm a comforting squeeze, a touch that was anything but comforting, sending tingling alarms up Catriona's already frayed nerves. She gently withdrew her arm. Tiernan continued unfazed, "In fact, you may be quite pleased. Dubric," he motioned to the dark-haired man, who stepped forward. To Catriona, "This is Dubric, my second-in-command. He is a good man, and true. With the events of last night, he has begun his formal courtship of your lovely sister."
Catriona was thunderstruck. The man before her bore little resemblance to the man at her side. Dubric had an unassuming air, a near-meekness that one did not often find among the members of any nobility, human or fae. "B-But... she is already betrothed! The boy you unhorsed has been her intended since they were children, and they are very much in love."
Tiernan shook his head sadly. "Dubric is in need of a bride, and he wishes to bestow that honor upon a mortal woman, your sister."
"And if she does not wish the honor?" Catriona asked, fearing the answer.
"Then we will have to find another to take her place," Tiernan answered. He sought her eyes with his own, green reflecting against gray. "However, it may be her decision to accept. You will find that my people can be quite... persuasive."
Catriona's mind whirled, caught in the trap set for her within the clear drowning color of his eyes. Some small part of her mind whispered that this must be faerie glamour. "Stop it," she said weakly.
Tiernan laughed, the sound soft enough to reach only her ears, an intimate caressing sound. "Stop what?"
"Stop trying to bewitch me," she whispered. "I've heard how you can cloud minds."
He leaned closer, until those eyes nearly filled her vision. "I use no magic, Catriona, none save that which is natural between a maid and a man."
"We were discussing my sister," she protested, conscious of the weight of his hair swaying against her shoulder.
"We were," he agreed, his eyes flickering over her face, lingering on her lips. "But I find you so much more interesting."
"I'm not--" interesting, Catriona began to mumble, but Tiernan closed the gap between them, slipping a powerful arm around her waist to nestle her closer against him. He lowered his lips to hers, but this time it was no chaste peck surrounded by the safety of her men. His mouth was gentle but insistent, his lips caressing hers, urging them to part for him. Without thinking, seared by the wild heat flowing through her, she complied, growing faint when she felt the tip of his tongue tease against her lower lip. Dizzy, shocked by her own boldness, she leaned closer against him, beyond all reason except a desire to stand in the center of his heat.
Catriona had forgotten where they were, until Dubric cleared his throat. "Tiernan, I hate to interrupt, but the lady's sister is nearing the glade." Suddenly horrified at her own actions, Catriona pushed Tiernan away, her cheeks scarlet. How could she have done such a thing? No well-bred lady would have given such a display outside her lord's bedchamber, and no unmarried lady would have given such a display at all. She stood up, straightening her gown indignantly and resisting the urge to slap the faerie lord across his well-sculpted cheek.
He chuckled, rising to his own feet. "You needn't be so angry at Dubric's intrusion, Catriona. We can continue whenever you'd like."
I love Tiernan. He's a stinker.
November 08, 2002
Up too late again. I barely managed to crack 10,011 words. Still a day behind schedule, but hopefully I'll make that up this weekend at the first ever Minions' Writers Retreat. If I weren't so darn tired, I'd tell you all about how I have two full pages of plot notes now too. I think I see the path in front of me now...
November 07, 2002
I'm up way way too late, but as you can see, I've been a busy little girl. Almost made it to 10,000 (which would catch me up to my quota) before my brain gave out. Our hero now has a name (well, he had one before, y'all just didn't know it), and the beginnings of a personality beyond Scary Primal Makes Women Weak in the Knees Man. A glimpse of that:
With no true king to protect it, his land had suffered, and her people along with it. They faded, some leaving for friendlier homes, some vanishing like smoke, never seen again. The lands beyond the glade were fading as well, creeping slowly beyond the borders of his country and vanishing forever. He felt the loss keenly, grieving for his dying home. His grief gave the Hunt an extra urgency, made him more likely than ever to toy with the men who lived there, to bring fear if he could not inspire worship. Tiernan sat down near the bonfire, staring into the dying flames. The Hunt that evening had been as successful as it ever was. He thought Dubric would be happy enough with the girl, if he could win her affections. Fitting, since Dubric was the first to suggest finding human brides to replace the fae women who were lost. The girl was pretty enough, but too delicate to suit Tiernan's tastes.
With a mixture of irritation and admiration, he thought back to the woman on the road who had claimed to be the girl's sister. Her beauty was a more mature one than her sister's, and for a moment he let his thoughts linger on the rich curves hinted at beneath her cloak and gown, the rich coils of warm brown hair. She'd had a fire to her that her sister, so far, seemed to lack. Tiernan smiled wryly, remembering how she'd dared claim part of his domain for her own. There would be no human bride for him, however. Just as the land needed a king, a king needed a queen, and such would only come from within his borders.
November 06, 2002
Elitism rears its ugly head
So, I'm writing merrily along (but not Merrie-ly along), enjoying myself immensely--then today at school I had not one but two people ask me about this whole NaNoWriMo thing. I'd emailed about it to the class email list, and today one of my classmates and my professor, of all people, asked me about it. I suddenly found myself immensely ashamed of what I'm writing. I found myself saying things like, "Oh, I usually write fairly literary fantasy and sci-fi, but I'm just writing this silly stuff right now..."
How hypocritical is that? For all my bitching about how fantasy and sci-fi get stuck in Ursula K. LeGuin's "genre ghetto" (she had an awesome essay about this on her website, but it seems to be gone now, darn it), here I am doing the exact same thing. Well, this isn't my real writing, of course... Feh. As irritated as I am by the fact, the little elitist voice in the back of my head keeps whispering that writing this novel is somehow "beneath" me or my talents. Stop it, little voice! No value judgments, damn it!
I'm heavily caffeinated right now. I think I'm going to go write my words and to hell with the genre they're in. Excerpt probably to come later.
November 05, 2002
Chapter One, finished!
I finished chapter one, managing about another two thousand words. I'm incredibly hyper, what a fun, FUN section to write! My hero finally made his first appearance. But what an appearance it is! Forgive the extra long excerpt, but I'm pleased with this scene. Almost posted the whole thing. :)
Her first impression was that the horses were nearly twice the size of poor Alais. Her next was that none of the horses wore the slightest sign of harness or saddle, save light blankets that lay between horse and rider. As for the riders themselves, for several moments Catriona felt that she could not see them at all, blinded by the brilliance that flared, streaming from the figures on the enormous horses' backs, illuminating the immediate area and seeming to cast the surrounding forest in even darker shadow. While she and her men were blinded, a voice spoke from the light. The voice reminded her of a time she'd stolen a sip of her father's whiskey. It had a harsh bite to it, but left her feeling warm deep in the core of her being, a burning that made her feel lightheaded. "Well now. A gift for us? She's almost too fine. We've little of equal value to exchange in return."
As he spoke, Catriona eyes adjusted so that she could see him. He was bare-chested despite the early spring chill in the air, and he had easily the broadest shoulders she'd ever seen. What drew her eyes though, and kept them focused on the man's chest and arms until she felt her cheeks flaming, were the endlessly swirling dark blue lines that wound around his powerful arms and across his chest. For a mad moment she wondered what it would be like to trace those lines with her fingertips, wondered if the browned skin was as weather-beaten as it looked, or if it would be smooth to touch. That last thought was enough to snap her back to the present. Still flushing, she raised her eyes to the man's. The upper half of his face was covered over with a bone mask, but from beneath it blazed eyes like green fire, eyes that promised they knew her deepest secrets, and had every intention of using them against her. From beneath the mask flowed hair the russet color of autumn leaves, a deep auburn mass that fell past the man's shoulders. Finally, from the top of the mask there rose a proud set of antlers, so large Catriona realized they would be too heavy for an ordinary man to bear standing or sitting upright. Thomas, she realized, had been absolutely right. Whatever this man was, he surely wasn't human. He smiled at her then as if he'd heard her thoughts, with even white teeth that looked just a touch too sharp, too predatory. For a moment, Catriona's body went so weak she feared she would tumble from Alais's saddle.
November 04, 2002
The only writing I did today was 1,500 words on my English paper. I could probably do some writing right now, but I think I'm ready to go to bed. Starting the new job tomorrow so I need my beauty sleep. Maybe I can write on my lunch hour? Maybe I'll go write a paragraph or two, just to make myself feel better...
Yeah. Forty words. Good enough. Night!
Almost forgot a status report for the 3rd. Still over my quota, by a couple of words. Tomorrow, though, I can guarantee I'm going to get behind tomorrow. Work in the morning, class in the afternoon, class at night, and between my two class sessions, I really need to finish the paper I didn't finish tonight. :P I may stay up a bit longer and work on it some more, but I'm sneezing so badly, maybe not. Anyway, here's an excerpt. I like it. It made me grin. (Warning: high cheese factor ahead.)
Catriona spoke without thinking. "When I was fifteen years old, I spent my nights dreaming of a time when I would hear you speak those words."
"You were a lovely girl then. Had not my father insisted on Anne and her dowry…"
She could bear no more. Catriona stood up. "You compared me to a bony cow!"
"Madam?" Alan looked confused, retreating behind the safety of formality.
"I heard you," Catriona said. "You were speaking of me to a group of young men and you said I was as bony as a winter-starved cow."
He had, at least, the good grace to flush, rising to stand at her side. "I beg your forgiveness, my love. I was young and foolish, and those words were never meant to reach your ears." She felt more than saw his eyes move down her body, making her cheeks go hot. "I would certainly never make such a comparison now."
"Meant to reach them or no, reach them they did, and I have never forgotten. I may have been young and foolish as well, but that is certainly no reason to be old and foolish now."
"Catriona, please. I beg you, do not hold the sins of my youth against me. At least give me a chance to redeem myself in your eyes." Before she could speak, Alan reached out and wrapped his arms around her waist, drawing her tight against the long line of his body and lowering his mouth to hers. Aside from stolen, innocent kisses as a child, it was the first time a man had dared such a thing. Catriona felt as if she had been struck by lightning. His lips were gentle against hers, soft and teasing, as if he were daring her to be bolder. It was a practiced kiss, one that made the pit of her stomach tighten and the back of her neck tingle. The flush that heated her cheeks began to creep down her neck, threatening to engulf her entire body. Her thoughts beat against one another like frightened, caged birds and her arms remained loose and at her sides, boneless. Finally, after what seemed like hours, he moved away, a small, satisfied smile curving his mouth. Only then did her arms find their strength, and she did the first thing that came to mind. The sound of her hand smacking across his cheek was like a pistol shot in the enclosed room.
November 03, 2002
I need help
I think I finally crossed the line. One of my cats woke me up this morning at 6:30, and I started to get mad at her, then thought (while three-quarters asleep), "Poor thing. She's probably just stressed because she didn't get her word count in yesterday." Talk about projection--even if I did get my word count in yesterday.
November 02, 2002
Not a bad day, considering
Not a bad day, considering I spent most of the afternoon working on a paper. Taking the rest of the night off, maybe to read some of my OTHER homework, feh. Here's an excerpt from yesterday and today. All the references to Alan are new today, since he just showed up. The rest of the scene was written yesterday.
Catriona curtseyed mechanically, and fled past any other would-be partners, stepping into the gallery for a bit of clearer air. Chilly night air called to her from a nearby window and she went to it, letting the breeze cool her burning cheeks and lift away the candle smoke that seemed to hang about her like a pall. Perhaps she did not need to remain a spinster after all. There seemed little doubt that Alan planned to broach the topic of marriage with her tomorrow; she doubted he'd flirt so much if he were only seeking occasional grazing rights for his sheep. Leaning out the open window, Catriona tried to decide how she felt about marrying a man who was not only handsome, but from a family much older and more prominent than her own. For all of the stories of drunken brawling after the death of his first wife, Anne, he seemed to live quite respectably, and yet… Catriona frowned to herself, unable to label the reason for her unease.
As she stood there musing, she heard a series of sharp cries from the woods at the edge of her lands. Despite the darkness, they sounded like nothing so much as a huntsman's cry, urging on his pack of hounds. The howl that answered the cries raised the hair on her arms, for it was a sound unlike any she had ever heard before. Once the howls died away, she heard a pulsing, pounding sound; at first she thought it might be her own heartbeat, but it was too distant, too distinct from herself. The drumbeat was too wild to come from within her walls, and it frightened her even as it called her feet to dance.
Ding-dong, asshole calling...
Well, I had a new character show up on my doorstep today. He's a gorgeous, charming widower, and he wants to marry Catriona. I think he's the villain. Alas, he needed to be introduced in a scene that I sort of summarized rather than wrote out, so today has been a process of going back and filling holes in that particular scene with Mr. Handsome. That's over with now, so I'm hoping to go on from there starting right now.
You know, the last time I had a character show up unannounced like this, she damn near took over the entire book (Sara Osborne, I'm looking in your direction).
Day one recap
Not bad. Not bad at all. There was a small gathering of Ann Arbor NaNo-ites, but I forgot my second laptop battery, so I didn't get as much writing done as I would've liked. Still, ahead of the game. This is a good thing, because I have a paper to write this weekend. Still, I figure I wrote 8 pages in the last 24 hours, so five maybe won't take me so long. Spent a lot of time at Borders tonight reading about how to properly address English nobility. That turned out to be quite useful. So far the setting for the novel is vaguely English and vaguely medieval, although an argument could also be made for the Victorian era as well.
My theory is that I'm writing so quickly right now because I'm in a hurry to get to the good parts. ;)
November 01, 2002
It's a start!
912 words, and I should really head off to bed. Before I go, however, I'll leave you with a small sample:
Chaela sat meekly, smiling into her reflection in the glass while Enid put the last pins in place, creating smooth loops of gold that fell around the girl's delicate features. Catriona looked on with her smile tinged with wistfulness. Chaela was the picture of delicate beauty sung in the praises of all the troubadours who passed their way: fair skin so pale it nearly showed blue, fine golden hair that behaved in perfect curls, eyes of deepest violet. It was impossible for Catriona to look at their two reflections in the mirror and not find herself lacking. Where Chaela had seen seventeen summers, and was at the peak of her charm, Catriona felt every one of her twenty-two years, and bore the name 'spinster' with as much grace as she could manage. But even in her prime, she realized, she would never have competed with her younger sister. Looking in the mirror, Catriona thought her golden brown hair too dark and dim, her gray eyes too nondescript to attract notice. It was easy to lay the blame for her unmarried state on the untimely death of their father three years earlier, leaving her to manage the estate and care for Chaela, but when she looked at her sister, she felt the real truth of the matter lay in the mirror before them.