Adventures in NaNo-land: In the Beginning…

November 2, 2012 at 11:58 pm (fantasy, writing) (, , , , , , , , , )

Unlike last year, I don’t plan on abandoning Word Blurb while I complete NaNoWriMo this year. Instead I plan on taking you all with me on this adventure while I write “The Trading of Skin”. I’ll be posting illustrations, excerpts and fun facts about Sami mythology and culture, samples of research I did in preparation for my novel, and even things like the origins of my character names. As I go, I’ll be posting my first draft chapters (yes, that means there will be errors and it will need editing) to In fact, my first chapter is already up, and you can find it at:

And for those who would rather get a quick peek at what I’m doing, here’s a little excerpt to kick things off:

Oaván pushed back the leaves before him, and moved into the thicket beyond. It was much easier to follow the blood trail now that the sun was peeking up over the horizon and illuminating each ruby red drop. He just had to follow the glimmer to find his runaway prey. Allowing his eyes to search up ahead, he caught sight of a silhouette that looked out of place, a graceful shape that was not part of the warm-season greenery.

Then it moved, a slight shudder accompanied by a plaintive sound. Oaván was sure he had found his lucky white reindeer. Slipping his bow up over his shoulder and drawing his duodji, with its antler handle and scrimshawed blade, he advanced upon the animal to put an end to its suffering.

It took only a few more paces forward for him to realize that this was not the reindeer he was looking for, or at least, based on the naked feminine human form before him, he assumed it wasn’t. Only, he could definitely identify the arrow jutting from the young woman’s bloodied thigh as his, the fletching dyed to match the colours of his household so nobody other than Dáidu could possibly lay claim to his prey.

Bewildered and horrified by the idea that he had somehow shot a person instead of a beast, Oaván crept quietly forward. From a distance, one might have mistaken this girl for the animal, curled in on herself the way she currently was and her skin as white as the reindeer’s had been, but her fine, white-blond hair did nothing to suggest she had borne the majestic set of antlers Oaván had clearly seen. As well, his eyesight was certainly not bad enough to mistake her thin lithe form for the rugged four-legged one that had stepped out of the bushes, even if the lighting had been dim.

Have a great weekend – I hope to hit 6,000 words tonight.



  1. Kristina said,

    You write beautifully. This doesn’t seem like the sort of novel I tend to read, but I was instantly transported to the scene and it felt shocking to come to the end of it and remember that I’m only reading a blog post. Good luck with NaNoWriMo!

    • chantellyb said,

      Thank you! NaNo’s a good reason to really stretch myself and play with ideas. I’m so glad you enjoyed it.

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