The challenge is almost over! *Sniff*
My hopes, dreams, and plans for the next 365 are pretty much the same thing. I hope to get an agent, my dream is to get published, and my plans are for Fantasya: A Giant Problem to get published first. I've been working hard on my query letter and I think the first book in the Fantasya series is almost a finished project. Of course, I'll still have to edit a ton more
if when (good thoughts here) I get an editor. But for now I think I've done all I can.
If you would like to give me some feedback on my book and/or query letter, it would be greatly appreciated! :D Here is my query letter, followed by my prologue:
To Whom It May Concern,
If someone doesn’t defeat Gargamouth the giant, all of the unicorns in Fantasya could die.
Cassandra Day, a unicorn, needs to defeat Gargamouth if Fantasya, a world full of magical creatures, will ever be at peace again. Cassandra and her best friend, Cornelia, another unicorn, devise a plan to conquer the hot-headed giant. But when they accidentally touch an Earth Flower they’re whisked away to Earth where they must blend in with humans to survive.
How will the unicorns hide from humans, escape from the trolls who threaten their lives, and return to Fantasya to defeat Gargamouth? If they don’t, will Fantasya fall into ruins? Will all of the unicorns die?
Fantasya: A Giant Problem is a 25,500-word middle grade novel intended for children ages 7-12. It is a story of how friendship and teamwork can conquer any task.
I am a homeschooled girl who loves to write. I post at my blog themagicviolinist.blogspot.com two to three times a week, and am a monthly contributor at thewritepractice.com, a blog for writers. The Write Practice has over 6500 subscribers and nearly 30,000 monthly readers and was voted one of the Top Ten Blogs For Writers in 2012. I write for the Annville Free Library’s newsletter and won a poetry contest at the Lebanon Community Library in 2010.
Thank you for your time and consideration and I look forward to hearing from you soon.
There is no “once upon a time” in this book. That’s how a fairytale starts. And this is not a fairytale. No, this is a true story. No matter what you humans may think, this is a true story about unicorns.
Exactly ten years ago, on November 4th, a unicorn was born. This unicorn wasn’t any old unicorn. This unicorn was special. Even if no one knew it yet.
Camilla and Carter Day had been waiting for what seemed like forever for this moment. As soon as Camilla began to feel the familiar pain in her stomach and the kicking of the foal inside of her, they rushed to a Healer and waited for the foal. The Healer used her magic--wind magic, which all unicorns had--to help ease the pain as the foal was born. Carter nuzzled Camilla. He whispered soothing words in her ear. His mane tickled Camilla’s forehead, but she didn’t notice. She was in so much pain. Even wind magic was no match for the pain of birthing a unicorn. She began to sweat and suddenly she was nervous. What if the foal was deformed? What if it was missing a leg or a hoof? What if-?
And suddenly, it was over. The pain was gone. The Healer and Carter both backed away. Lying in front of Camilla was the most beautiful foal she had ever seen. It was a girl with a pure white coat, mane, and tail. She was tall, her legs spindly. Her limbs looked as if they would snap if someone stepped on them. She was skinny and her eyes, oh her eyes. Her eyes were a bright, beautiful blue, like an ocean. Her forehead was the perfect size and shape for a horn. There was even a little indentation that showed that when her horn did grow when she was around one-year-old it would be big and round.
“She’s gorgeous,” the Healer breathed. “Beautiful.”
“What should we name her?” Carter asked his wife.
Camilla answered without hesitation. “Cassandra.”
When she spoke the name, the foal looked up and stared at her mother lovingly. She tried to stand up, but fell over immediately.
Camilla laughed and Carter smiled.
“Cassandra, huh?” He had a thoughtful looked etched upon his face. “It fits her for some reason. How did you think of it?”
Camilla shrugged and nuzzled Cassandra.
“It just came to me as I looked at her.”
“Cassandra,” Carter said again, looking at his second-born child. Their first child, Cindy, was currently waiting a few trees away with another Healer. Carter waved his hoof in an inviting way and the Healer brought Cindy over, who was galloping as fast as she could at just two-years-old.
“Now be careful around the foal,” Camilla said to Cindy as she eyed Cassandra with a look of utter awe upon her face. “She can’t play rough games with you like you play with Dad--”
But Cassandra was already wobbling over to Cindy, whinnying and baring her teeth. Cindy smiled and began to play one of the wrestling games she played with her dad.
Camilla glanced over at Carter, her expressive blue eyes wide with terror, worry, shock, and amazement. Camilla, and neither did Carter, for that matter, didn’t know what to think about this situation. Newborns didn’t wrestle other unicorns. If they did, their little, fragile bones would snap.
The two parents (and the Healer who looked like she might faint from surprise) looked over at Cassandra and Cindy. Cindy rolled over on top of Cassandra and then, just as Carter was about to intervene, Cassandra kicked and struggled and managed to roll over on top of Cindy.
“This isn’t happening,” Camilla muttered to herself. “This is not happening.”
“It is happening,” Carter said in a quiet voice, barely moving his lips. “Our little newborn is apparently very strong.”
Camilla chuckled along with Carter. The Healer just fainted.
Exactly one year later on Cassandra’s birthday . . .
“Happy birthday, my little Cassandra!” Camilla cooed as Cassandra stretched, yawned, opened her eyes, and smiled.
“’Appy day, Mommy!” Cassandra said, copying what her mother had said.
“It’s your birthday, Silly.”
“Silly!” Cassandra said, galloping around the nearby trees.
Carter snuck up behind Cassandra and wrestled with her. Soon, Cindy saw and joined in.
“Time for breakfast,” Camilla announced. Cindy jumped up and galloped away after her mother who was in the meadows of Prosperity Border.
Let’s pause for now so I can fulfill my job as a narrator and fill you humans in.
Fantasya is the world that unicorns and other creatures live in. It is hidden in a different dimension. No human will ever find it. And if they did, the magic would kill them as soon as they touch the ground.
There are three parts to Fantasya. There is one side named “Prosperity Border,” the other side named “Miserable Margin,” and the middle is named “Elf Interior.”
Pegasi rule Prosperity Border. They're royalty. Prosperity Border is currently ruled by the queen Aleena, the king Adam, and the princess Abigail. Prosperity Border is where all the unicorns and Pegasi live. Pegasi and unicorns control the magic of wind.
Miserable Margin is where the giants rule. The giants rule the trolls. The Giants look like Cyclopes in human myths except they have two eyes. The king Gargamouth and the queen Gorgina rule Miserable Margin. The trolls do whatever they say. The trolls and Giants control the magic of water.
Elf Interior is ruled by elves. All elves are equal there. Although, there is one elf named Edward who is the Treasurer. When an elf is named Treasurer, they are in charge of whom they work for depending on the amount of gold that is offered. Elves are not good, nor, bad. They are mischievous and will only help different creatures if they get gold in the deal. They control the magic of Fire. Now, back to the story.
Cassandra galloped after Cindy and jumped into the air, hovering a few inches before crumpling to the ground. Cassandra giggled and shook the dirt off her legs, racing to catch up with everyone.
The family of four began to eat their breakfast (grass) when Camilla gasped.
“What is it?” Carter asked, swallowing a mouthful of grass.
Cindy raced off to go to the bathroom behind a Unicorn Tree. A unicorn tree is a tree with white bark and golden leaves.
Camilla’s silvery coat suddenly paled and turned white. Her face was a mixture of excitement and shock. Her blue eyes (that matched Cassandra’s perfectly) were wide and round. Carter bent down lower and took a look at Cassandra’s forehead.
There, smack in the middle of her forehead, was a horn. It was only half an inch long, and it was golden.
Let’s pause once again so I can catch you up on unicorn horns.
Unicorns live for about fifty years, sometimes more, sometimes less. When a unicorn reaches ten, they are an adult and their horn is fully-grown.
A unicorn’s horn is very sharp. They are as sharp as what you humans call knives. When a unicorn is an adult, they can produce strong magic. Unicorns cannot produce very strong magic until they are an adult.
There are three different types of horns. There’s the common white horn that almost every single unicorn has. There is also the rare silver horn. If you lined up a hundred unicorns, maybe three would have the silver horn. Then there is the super, ultra-rare, golden horn, which almost no other unicorn has; and Cassandra has that super, ultra-rare, golden horn. In unicorn legends, a unicorn that has a golden horn is destined for greatness. She is the third unicorn in the world that has ever had that horn. The first unicorn in Fantasya had that horn and so does her sister Cindy. Golden horns can produce gold out of water. This can be very handy when trying to persuade someone to help you. But if you produce gold out of water, you get tired and your magic is weaker which can be very dangerous if you’re attacked soon after producing gold.
“Carter,” Camilla said in a very high-pitched voice. “Our Cassandra has the super rare horn. The same horn as her sister. That’s not common! At all. The only other unicorn to have this horn is the first unicorn that was ever alive on Fantasya. Cassandra was also very strong when she was born. She wrestled Cindy. And she has started to fly a little and she’s only one. What do you think this means?”
Carter thought hard about this.
“You know how in legends a unicorn with a golden horn is destined for greatness?”
“Yes,” Camilla said slowly. She suddenly gasped. Carter nodded.
“I know they’re only legends, but I think Cassandra is destined for greatness.”
“What about Cindy?”
Exactly one year and three days later.
The high-pitched shriek of Camilla rang all throughout the forest. The sound of other unicorns screaming and whinnying in terror was deafening. Carter ran to find his wife and children. Cassandra, who was only two, and Cindy, who was now four, saw their dad and ran to him.
“What’s going on?” Cindy asked.
“I don’t know,” Carter said gravely.
Cassandra had no idea what was going on and just galloped next to her sister and father.
This time the shriek was louder and strained as if she was trying not to cry. Carter rounded a corner and saw what was going on. His breath left him.
Trolls and elves of all shapes and sizes (the trolls typically being medium sized, bulky, and burly and the elves typically being short and squat) were stampeding across the meadows and the forest. Unicorns lay dead across the ground, blood stained the pure white trees, trolls swung their clubs and shot water sprays, and elves burned trees to the ground and shot their magical arrows. Carter could not believe it. They hadn’t had a war in . . . forever. Fantasya was normally a place of peace, not war.
And there Camilla lay, dead. Her skull looked as if a club had smashed it in and three arrows protruded from her chest. Carter stumbled in disbelief and silent tears streamed down his face. Cindy, who was just old enough to understand what had happened, roared in anger and stamped her feet, looking around for the murderer. Cassandra, who was too young to understand, asked her father, “Why is Mommy laying down?”
Carter’s voice caught in his throat as he spoke. A huge lump had formed in his throat making it hard to talk.
“Mom-Mommy’s sleeping,” he said quietly.
“Oh,” Cassandra said. “Should we be quiet?”
Carter shook his head, his pure white coat, mane, and tail catching the sunlight.
“Mommy’s sleeping, but she’ll never wake up.” Carter began to cry audibly and Cindy did the same.
“Never ever?” Cassandra asked. Her lip began to tremble.
“Never ever,” Carter confirmed. That was when Cassandra looked down at her mother and kissed her on the cheek. Tears were in her eyes but they would not spill.
Carter took a deep breath and looked down at his children.
“You two need to stay here,” he said very firmly. He looked at Cindy and said more quietly. “I’m going to go fight. Cindy, if something happens to me, take care of Cassandra. Do not follow me out there. Do you hear me?”
Cindy nodded solemnly.
“Good.” He kissed both of his children on the forehead, careful to avoid their growing horns. “I love you.”
Tears still streamed down Cindy’s face. Cassandra looked like she was in shock. She stared straight ahead, straight through her father, and looked into nothingness.
Carter took one last look at Cindy and Cassandra before galloping off into the meadows.
“Follow me,” Cindy said to Cassandra.
Cassandra followed Cindy deeper into the forest. They walked until the sounds of battle faded and were distant.
“Cassandra,” Cindy said very seriously. “You stay here. I’m going to help Daddy.”
“But Daddy said-!” Cassandra began. Cindy cut her off.
“Don’t worry. I’ll be back soon.”
Cindy nuzzled her younger sister and ran off to join her father.
Cassandra sat down, then immediately stood up and walked around in a circle, unsure of what to do. Stay or find Daddy and Cindy? Stay or find Daddy and Cindy? She finally decided that it would be best to follow Cindy’s orders, no matter how much it pained her to not go find them and figure out what was going on.
An hour passed. Cassandra slept. Two hours passed. She woke up and nibbled on some grass and fallen leaves. Three hours passed. The sounds of war had disappeared and she could hear a unicorn passing by.
“Oh my goodness!”
The unicorn spotted Cassandra and rushed over. The unicorn has a white horn.
“You’re-you’re the unicorn with the golden horn that I’ve been hearing about. Your parents are Camilla and Carter, right?”
Cassandra nodded hesitantly. Where were Daddy and Cindy? Who was this stranger?
“I’m Caroline. Your dad-.” She gulped.
Cassandra knew that look of grief. She stared before speaking.
“Is Daddy sleeping?”
“What?” Caroline was confused.
“Mommy was laying on the ground and Daddy said she was sleeping and would never ever wake up.” Cassandra began to weep silently.
Caroline gulped again.
“Yes, Daddy’s sleeping,” she said sadly. “And he will never ever wake up, either." She felt terrible having to be the one to tell this foal that she was an orphan.
“Where’s Cindy?” Cassandra was still crying and her voice caught on each word.
Caroline shook her head.
“Is she sleeping, too?”
“I don’t know, Honey. Nobody knows where she is.”
Cassandra’s face fell and she sat down.
“Cassandra, I’m going to take care of you,” Caroline said. “I have no husband and no children. You can be my daughter.”
Cassandra brightened, but only slightly, Caroline hadn’t expected her to jump up and down with joy after what she had been through. She was only two and both of her parents had died and her sister was missing.
“Okay," Cassandra said.
Cassandra nuzzled Caroline. They gave each other watery smiles.
Be sure to come back tomorrow and read the last day of the 30-Day Blogging Challenge! :D
Monday, March 4, 2013
The challenge is almost over! *Sniff*