It’s been a slow month for me after recovering from September’s vacation and the nasty flu bug that came home with me, but I’m gradually getting back into the saddle and writing again. I’m pretty confident that I’ll finish episode 4 of The Voyage of the Miscreation before the end of the month. It’s at least half finished right now. If I finish it at all early, it’ll be up for preorder, but not holding my breath on that this time. My goal is to publish it on October 24, since it’s not really a Halloween themed release, but if that doesn’t happen, I still have another week to get it out there.
By the way, are you as excited as me about Halloween being on a Friday this year? It’s my favorite holiday! Sadly, I don’t have any real plans for the holiday yet. My house isn’t in any shape to throw a party, so I’ll have to look and see what kinds of local events are going on that night.
Back to “Monster Menagerie,” this episode is going to be a little different from previous ones. In the first three episodes, the band of heroes fought sea monsters, fangfrogs, and carnivorous mermaids. This time, there’s less action, and more focus on the relationships between the different people on the ship as tensions that have been building all come to a head. There’s still some monsters, though, and someone will have to fight before the end of the novella, so I promise it won’t be all talking. But relationships are complicated to describe, so I think this will end up being a longer episode than the first three.
I’ll end with an excerpt from the story. Here, Captain Mynta is at a party at the ducal palace in Sympaia, where they were all supposed to see the duke’s menagerie and learn his methods for successfully keeping monsters in captivity. But when Mynta goes to look for Genara, she realizes that the duke may have had a different agenda:
Mynta examined the corners of the courtyard that held the menagerie and eventually found a gazebo set back from the rest of the party. At first, she couldn’t see anyone there, because it was darker inside and partially hidden by flowers. But then she heard a man’s laugh drift out, and woman’s low voice answered him.
She crept closer, bending over so she couldn’t be seen from in the gazebo, and peeked over the railing. Her breath stopped when she saw what was inside.
Genara sat on a bench in the middle, and a nobleman sat very close next to her. They were talking too quietly for Mynta to make out the words, but she could see the smile lighting up Genara’s face, and as she watched, the man took her hand and raised it to his lips.
Mynta took a step back. She knew all too well what she had just seen. Genara flirted with this man, one that her family wanted her to marry. Perhaps this party hadn’t been about helping Ameyron at all, but introducing Genara to this suitor and arranging her marriage. If she went through with it, she wouldn’t need to travel on Miscreation anymore—she’d stay in Sympaia with her husband and her family. Mynta would lose her forever.
It was too much to bear. She turned away from the gazebo, clenching her fists to keep herself from lashing out and hitting something. She had to get out of there. The evening was more than a waste of time, it was a total disaster.