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Writing Wednesday: Walking on the Docks

No, this isn’t a joke! I really do have an excerpt from The Reign of Dragons (Wyld Magic #3). I know this book has been on the backburner for way too long, but I’ve started working on it again. Stay tuned for more news about the publication date. Spoilers if you haven’t read books 1 and 2! The story opens with our hero, Korinna, who seems to be living the dream.

Korinna Takes a Walk

Korinna walked down the city street, breathing in the scent of the salty sea air and enjoying the feeling of her legs stretching out. She’d been cooped up inside for too long, trapped behind a mountain of paperwork, and she couldn’t let another clear, sunny afternoon go by without a walk. The cobbled street sloped down under her feet and the colorful buildings drew back on either side.

In her arms, her one-year-old daughter squirmed with excitement as they neared the shipyard. “Boats, Mama!” Mekyla squealed, pointing eagerly as the first white sails came into view around the corner. “Look!”

“Yes, dear,” Korinna cooed to the little girl with a smile. She still couldn’t believe that the precious child had come to her at last, and she treasured every moment they spent together. “Those little ones are boats, but the big ones are ships.”

The docks were a riot of activity and color, the perfect amusement for the toddler. Afternoon sunlight glinted off the waves of the bay, hundreds of ships and boats bobbed at anchor, and dock hands carried heavy cargo between ships and warehouses. One sailor, high up in the rigging of a tall ship, saw them walking down to the water and waved.

Korinna lifted her daughter’s hand and they both waved back at him. She used to view the city from the air, and while that gave her splendid views, she rarely saw the faces of her people. But when her marewing Sungold was lost to her, she started seeing the city on foot. By now, most people were accustomed to seeing their duchess walking through the streets; they smiled and greeted her by name. She hoped she was earning her citizens’ respect.

Mekyla’s nursemaid, Yalena, followed a few steps behind them. Korinna wanted a nurse who she already knew when her daughter was born, and Yalena had grown up on Anoberesovo, the farming estate that Korinna and her mother managed before she married Galenos. Yalena watched the little girl during the day while Korinna worked, and often brought her by for visits. It wasn’t easy to let her daughter go off with someone else, but Korinna had come to appreciate Yalena’s patient care for Mekyla. As the duchess, she had many other responsibilities to fill her time, including the opening of a new hospital for women and children.

Most of the ships in the port were traders, bringing exotic goods from foreign lands. Korinna had grown up only eating what she grew on her own estate, but living in the city had expanded her tastes to include many new things. She scanned the flags with interest to see where each had come from. The orange turtle marked a ship Maritimos in the Holy Empire to the south, which might be carrying spicy peppers; the black dragon and white star of Khazeem could mean a shipment of cacao pods from further west. She could send a servant to the market later to bring home something exciting for supper.


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