Squeeeee!

Ok…I got that out of my system. Wait! No, I didn’t. SQUEEEEEEEEEEEE! Why am I so excited, you ask (or didn’t, but I’m going to tell you anyway)? The author of the book version of Jim Henson’s Labyrinth, A.C.H. Smith, has penned another. This is the first authorized prequel to Labyrinth. Yes, you read that correctly. They’ve authorized a Labyrinth prequel. You can pre-order it here.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled blog.

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Halfway There

I’ve got two of the four final chapters of Labyrinth’s Queen ready for editing. Only one final chapter and a short epilogue left to go. I’ll finish those up as soon as I can and begin posting them posthaste. I’ve also got one chapter of Solstice to start posting after I’ve finished LQ.

I haven’t forgotten to post my behind the scenes of the final chapter of Year Without. I will get that posted before I put up my first update of LQ. Thanks, all my lovely readers, for your patience. Continue to vote on my last poll so that I can make sure to update the story for which you are waiting. If you haven’t already, please drop me a line (or a review) to let me know what you think.

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Finished!

I finally finished A Year Without A Goblin King. If you’ve been following it, please drop me a line (or a review) to let me know what you thought. I appreciate constructive criticism (and compliments, too). I’m working on updating Summer Solstice and The Labyrinth’s Queen and have a chapter of each of them already completed and in editing. If you’re a follower of TLQ, I posted an excerpt at the end of A Year Without A Goblin King so you can check that out. Anyone who leaves a review of that fic and asks for it, will receive a preview of SS.

I will post the newer chapters of TLQ and SS as soon as I have a few in the can. That way I will be able to update much more frequently. It’s my resolution to stay ahead and post at least twice a month in 2014.

Later this weekend, I’ll give you a behind the scenes look at the end of A Year Without.

HappyReading!

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I’m back!

I thought I’d better check back in before I saw my face on a milk carton asking “have you seen this writer?” No, I wasn’t wished away to the goblins (though, to be honest, who wouldn’t think that was cool?). My husband and I recently bought a house and I had to take some more time off to get everything set up in the new homestead. I promise to get the next chapter up for A Year Without by January 1st. I’ve gotten another chapter written and ready for editing for Labyrinth’s Queen. By popular demand, I’ve begun writing the next chapter to Summer Solstice. Hang in there, faithful fans. I’ll be getting things posted very soon.

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Almost there

Hello, my faithful readers. I have some good news, some great news, and some awesome news. The good news is that I have started writing again after a very long hiatus. I’ve got something started for every single one of my unfinished stories (and even one for an original that I hope to start posting soon).

The great news is that I have the latest chapter of Labyrinth’s Queen almost to a finished rough draft. I expect that this one will be posted in October (fingers crossed).

The awesome news? I have a finished rough draft for the final chapter of A Year Without A Goblin King. That’s right. It is now onto the editing stage and should be posted by the end of September (barring any time killers).

My husband and I are in the process of buying a new home. It’s my hope that, once I get a better space to write, I will finish every one of my outstanding stories and start a few new ones. My muse has been extra busy in the last two months. It feels good to be back.

Stay tuned for excerpts from the last chapter of A Year Without A Goblin King.

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Slow going

I’ve been writing very slowly as I find myself with more time, but a terrible block. It’s not that I don’t have any ideas, but that I haven’t got a clue (or the inclination…if I’m totally being honest) as to how to get them from my head to the page.

It’s been so long since I’ve actually had time to write that I’m not sure what to do with myself when I do open up my latest chapter. I’ve tried just freestyling it and seeing what flows, but that hasn’t worked. I’ve written a few drabbles for my epilogue and tried to fit them together and that’s worked…somewhat. I think a big part of the problem is the fact that, when I put pen to paper and write the words “THE END,” it’ll be over.

Hmmmm…now that’s something to ponder.

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Two Frazzled Royals

“Wahhhhhhh!” wailed the flower girl as she threw a tantrum, the likes hadn’t been seen since Sarah was a little girl.

“Come on, Angel,” begged her embarrassed mother.

“Perhaps you’d like to take her into another room to give her a chance to compose herself,” suggested the harried wedding coordinator. How had she been so lucky to get this job from hell? Nothing had gone right, yet. Still, she tried to remain calm and thought about the bottle of Tylenol and the glass of wine she’d have later.

The mother looked at the coordinator and sighed. After trying to cajole the little girl into going, she finally picked her up and carried the wiggling child into the cry room of the church. Sarah watched her go with a smile of relief. How in the world had she allowed herself to be talked into having this lavish wedding ceremony? She and Jareth were already married. Why did she think she needed all of this fuss? Maybe it wasn’t too late to call the whole thing off. Sneaking a look at her “fiancé,” she could tell that he was thinking the same thing. Sarah reached her hand out and gently squeezed his arm. As long as they were together, they could weather any storm.

“Are you sure you still want to do this?” Jareth asked, his mouth turned up in a mischievous smirk. “We could just elope.”

“And remind your parents of what we did?” Sarah asked.

Jareth shuddered at the thought. “You’re right. I guess there is nothing we can do but go through with the plan.”

“Are we done, yet?” whined Toby, tired of standing in the back. Karen rushed to silence the irritated boy, sending a look of sympathy towards her daughter.

“Shall we continue?” asked the wedding coordinator. Sarah had to hand it to the woman. How she was able to keep that smile plastered on her face was a mystery to the Goblin Queen.

“Please,” Sarah replied.

The coordinator walked over to the marble steps to the church’s altar. “Alright, let’s run through everything really quick and then we’re done.”

Sarah nearly breathed a sigh of relief at the thought of this fiasco coming to an end. The wedding rehearsal was crazier than the worst dress rehearsal to which Sarah had ever been. The matron of honor’s shoe broke, causing her to twist her ankle. Sarah winced as she looked down the aisle to see her limping towards the front of the church. Another bridesmaid had to keep attending to her six-year-old son, who continually whined about wanting to be the ring bearer. A groomsman had a touch of the stomach flu and created a steady path back and forth from the restroom. Another could barely move with the force of his hangover from the Goblin Ale served at last night’s bachelor party. Robert had put his back out, requiring him to be on a regimen of pain killers and muscle relaxers. Sarah could feel him swaying next to her as he walked her down the aisle. In short, it was a day of hell for the happy couple.

“Sarah!” called Karen. “I have the caterer on the phone. They said they had a refrigerator go on the fritz and lost all their beef. They could do pork, but your cousin Jim Is Jewish. What should I tell them?”

“I’ll take it,” Sarah sighed, plucking the clunky cellular from her stepmother’s hand.  She began to walk away. “Hello. Yes she told me…”

“Jarey, I think I’m going to be…” warned the sick groomsman before throwing up on Jareth’s shoes.

The Goblin King forced down his natural reaction to bog the offender, while Greg grabbed some paper towels and began cleaning things up. Sarah came back into the room and took in the chaotic scene before her. Walking over to her husband, she tried desperately not to be sick herself.  The wedding planner put her head in her hands as she realized this run through would not be a ‘quick’ one.  After announcing that the rehearsal was over, she practically ran to her car. Karen was sure her time would beat the fastest Olympic athlete. She jumped as the woman’s tires squealed on the blacktop. Shaking her head, Karen really couldn’t blame her.

Jareth looked to his beloved Queen. “Are you sure we shouldn’t elope?”

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Three Pestering Pets

“Caedmon, stop that right now!” Sarah demanded.

The orange tabby took off running from his mistress. Sarah didn’t blame him, especially since she was ready to kill the damn cat. He used her favorite chair as a scratching post, howled all night long, and always gave her a look as if he were smarter than her. That’s why she preferred her dogs over that cat. If only Jareth hadn’t become attached to the feline.

“What’s my widdle Caedy Waedy doing?” Jareth asked. His voice slipped into the ridiculous tones of a parent talking to his infant.

“Look at what he’s done to my chair,” Sarah complained.

 Jareth tried to ignore the deep gauges in the fabric of Sarah’s favorite recliner. “It’s just a scratch. What about your precious pooches?”

A steely glint appeared in the jade colored eyes of the Goblin Queen. “What about them?”

“They chewed my most comfortable boots and I won’t even mention what I found in one of my slippers!”

“Your boots already had a hole in them,” Sarah insisted.

“That’s not the point!”

“We weren’t talking about my babies,” Sarah replied. Her arms were folded across her chest as it heaved.

Jareth crossed his own arms in a mirrored pose. “No, we were talking about my boy.”

The two royals were at a stand-off and neither of them was willing to concede. Caedmon, sensing his father’s displeasure, rubbed his leg before roaming into the bedroom. The two dogs watched the scene with interest for a moment before yawning and returning to their naps. It seemed to Sarah that the temperature had dipped to 20 below. Her stare dared Jareth to make a move. Jareth, for his part, was finally listening to the warning bells going off inside his head.

“What in the hell are we doing?” he asked.

Sarah blinked. “I have no idea.”

As suddenly as it began, the tension melted away. They both burst into laughter at their temporary insanity. Jareth took his wife’s face into the palms of his hands, admiring the feel of her smooth skin as it connected with his fingertips. Looking into her eyes, he could see his love returned. His lips descended onto hers in a proclamation of love. Their feelings mingled until both felt they would burst from the intensity. Without a word, Sarah led her husband into the bedroom and closed the door.

“Caedmon!”

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Four Weeping Bridesmaids

Sarah looked at her watch. In a few more hours, it would be time for her bachelorette party. Instead of the usual drunken revelry, she had requested that they just do something quiet. Karen had suggested that they go out for dinner at a nice restaurant then to a show. It sounded like fun to Sarah and so she happily acquiesced. The three bridesmaids, her maid of honor, Karen, Linda, and Sarah were to meet at the Roberts’ home by 5:30. Sarah hadn’t wanted to invite Linda, but Karen had insisted. Days later, Sarah was still angry over Linda’s behavior at dinner. She’d be happy when she could finally return to the Underground and let their relationship go back to the occasional phone call.

“What’s got my Sarah looking so pensive?” asked Jareth as he put his arms around his beloved.

Sarah sighed and turned in his embrace. “I thought you could read my mind.”

“I don’t need to read your mind to see you’re thinking of something unpleasant. Besides, I thought we had decided to try to avoid it out of respect for the other’s privacy.”

Placing her arms around him, she put her head on his chest. “I know. I’m sorry I snapped at you. I was just thinking about Linda.”

“Oh, Precious,” Jareth sighed, holding her closer.

“It’s just…she drives me crazy! She’s not even here and she’s pissing me off. Must be one of her many talents. Ugh! Never mind. I don’t want to talk about her any more. Do you know what the guys have planned for tonight?”

Jareth felt a sense of mental whiplash as her mood swung from one extreme to another. He shook his head and attempted to answer her question. “Greg is taking me on a pub crawl, but he didn’t say much about the specifics.”

“What time is he coming over?”

“About an hour, why?”

Sarah caught his earlobe between her teeth. His gasp delighted her. “Then we still have enough time.”

“Time for what?” Jareth asked breathlessly.

“For this,” she replied, pressing her lips to his.

“And this?” Jareth asked, leading her to the bedroom.

Sarah walked in the room, pulling off her dress as she moved towards the bed. “And this.”

“I like how you think.”

*~J~*~S~*~J~*~S~*~J~*~S~*~J~*~S~*~J~*~S~*~J~*~S~*

 
Sarah’s bachelorette party had been going well. The dinner was delicious and the company was pleasant. Linda was actually on her best behavior. Even at the show, she toned down her personality to allow the group to enjoy the performance without her professional critique. By the time they were on the way back to the Williams’ home, Sarah was calling the evening a success. It wasn’t until they were enjoying a talk and a nightcap that the night took a turn.

The girls began discussing the wedding and Linda couldn’t help herself. “Are you sure you want to marry Gary? He seems a little odd to me.”

“His name is Jareth and just what do you mean by that?”

“I don’t know, Sarah dear. I just think you should look for someone better suited to you.”

“I’m marrying Jareth, end of story. If you don’t like it, you don’t have to come to the wedding.”

“Oh, didn’t I tell you? I thought I told you. I have to fly out tomorrow morning to meet with my agent.”

An intense silence fell over the room as they all turned to look at Sarah. A vein pulsated in her forehead as a red stain began to flow across her face. They could all see that Mount Saint Sarah was about to blow. Before they could take cover, she stood up and, with eyes flashing, addressed the woman who had donated half of her DNA.

“That’s it!” Sarah yelled. “I have had enough.”

“Sarah, please,” Karen begged.

“No! I’m done with being the understanding, dutiful daughter. She’s pushed me too far!”

Linda looked lost. “Sarah, darling…”

“Shut it!” Sarah ordered. To her great relief, Linda stopped talking. “I don’t want to hear another excuse from you. All you ever do is make excuses. That ends now! You’ve missed everything important. You were filming on my 16th birthday; vacationing during my high school graduation; promoting your film when I finished college. Enough! If you leave tomorrow, consider me just another fan. I’m done!”

“Now listen here, Sweetie,” Linda raged, all decorum vanishing with her temper. “You don’t know me or my life. Where do you get off trying to blackmail me?”

“Well, whose fault is that?”

“Alright,” Linda conceded. “Maybe I could have done things differently, but this is a two-way street. How many times have I asked you to come visit me? How many times have I waited for you to call? How many…”

Sarah’s voice grew quiet. “You’re the mother and I’m the child. A child shouldn’t have to chase after their mother, hoping to receive some crumb of affection. A child can only handle so much disappointment before they give up. I had to protect myself. You were always filming. Your career has always been more important to you. Admit it.”

“You don’t know how important you are to me, do you?” Linda asked, wiping away a tear. “I had to leave your father, but leaving you was the most difficult thing I’ve ever had to do. I wish I could have been there for you, but I was ashamed. You deserved so much more than a mother like me. Someone who couldn’t make her marriage work; couldn’t make her career go past C-list; couldn’t keep a friend because of her own insecurities. When Karen came into the picture, I did the best thing I could for you. I bowed out.”

“What?”

“You were my greatest creation; my finest work of art; my beautiful Sarah.”

Sarah was stunned. She’d always believed her mother didn’t care. Behind her, the muffled sobs of her bridesmaids blended into the beating of her heart. She did the only thing she could do. Sarah walked up to the woman who gave her life and pulled her into a tight embrace. Karen watched peace fall over the two women and smiled. Without a word, she ushered the bridesmaids out the door. With one last look, she left the women alone. The healing had begun.

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Five Vexing ‘Rents

“Sarah, darling,” came the excited, yet cultured, voice.

Sarah had barely enough time to register her name when she was pulled into a hug. The smell of expensive perfume assaulted her senses and she pulled away from the embrace. A pair of lips flew at her, dropping two air kisses near each of her cheeks. Sarah was nearly dizzy from the whirlwind greeting. When her eyes finally focused, they settled on a woman with the same dark hair and green eyes as her own.

“Hello, mother,” Sarah sighed. “How was your flight?”

“Perfectly exhausting,” Linda complained. “Oh Sarah, sweetie, have you met Pablo?”

Sarah turned to the young man beside her mother. “No, I don’t believe so.”

Linda rolled her eyes. “Oh, of course you haven’t. I just met him last month. This is Pablo. I met him when we were filming in Venezuela.”

“What about Jeremy?” Sarah asked.

“Who?” Linda asked, before realization dawned. “Oh, him. I moved on from him a long time ago.” She looked around, noticing, for the first time, they were alone. “So, where’s Gerald?”

“It’s Jareth, actually,” Sarah replied. “He had some business to attend to. We’ll see him later. Ready to go?”

The ride to the hotel was so long, Sarah could almost believe that time had stopped. She was almost tempted to reorder time to be done with this visit. It was always like this when spending time with her mother. Linda spent the entire ride speaking about her life, as if Sarah were the host of some late night talk show. She was always on. Sarah wondered if this was a side effect of the fame. Relief flooded her as the grand looking hotel came into sight.

“Mother, I will have to leave you here for a couple of hours,” Sarah explained.

Linda looked at her daughter in confusion. “Oh?”

“I have an appointment,” Sarah replied. “I’ll be back tonight at five to pick you up for dinner.”

“That’s fine, darling,” Linda sighed. “I’m sure Pablo can keep me busy.”

Sarah barely managed to withhold the grimace at that thought as she pulled over to the curb. Linda waited for Pablo to open the door for her before exiting the car. Sarah watched in her rear view mirror as she ordered the attendant to carry her heavy bags. With a shake of her head, she pulled away. As her mother, Sarah loved Linda. However, that didn’t mean she had to like the narcissistic woman.

Looking at the clock, Sarah realized that she was going to be right on time for her appointment. She pulled into the small lot and parked next to the unremarkable brown brick building. Entering, she gave her name to the receptionist and took a seat. Grabbing a magazine, Sarah prepared herself for the long wait. A half hour later, her reading was interrupted by the voice of the nurse.

“Miss Williams, the doctor can see you now.”

*~J~*~S~*~J~*~S~*~J~*~S~*~J~*~S~*~J~*~S~*~J~*~S~*

Familial issues weren’t just plaguing Sarah alone. Jareth was dealing with his own parental interaction.

“Hello, son,” greeted his father.

“Jareth,” came the cool voice of his mother.

Jareth had the distinct feeling that he was in trouble. “It’s good to see you.”

As Jareth bent to give his mother a kiss, she moved her head away and narrowed her eyes at her son. “Is it?”

“Alright, mother. What have I done this time?”

Jana walked past her son and looked at the room he had procured for them. “I don’t know what you are talking about, dear.”

His father gave Jareth a look of sympathy. “Your mother was just concerned about your recent marriage.”

“Oh, is that all,” Jareth sighed.

Jana turned and glared at her son. “Is that all? That’s what you have to say for yourself? Jareth, you bonded with someone and didn’t even tell your mother. I’ve never even met this girl. Is she nice? I don’t know. Is she smart? I don’t know. Is she beautiful? I don’t know; I don’t know; I DON’T KNOW!”

Jareth watched as his mother’s eyes filled with tears. His shoulders slumped from the weight of her emotions. “I’m sorry, mother.”

“Why don’t we sit down and let Jareth tell you all about his new bride?” asked Gareth, guiding his wife to have a seat on the ornate settee.

Jareth gave a grateful smile to his father as he sat down in the rocker to face his mother. “Where should I begin?”

“The beginning is usually best,” urged his father.

“Once upon a time, there was a beautiful young girl whose stepmother always made her stay home with the baby. And the baby was a spoiled child, and wanted everything to himself, and the young girl was practically a slave. But what no one knew is that the king of the goblins had fallen in love with the girl, and he had given her certain powers. So one night, when the baby had been particularly cruel to her, she called on the goblins for help.”

*~J~*~S~*~J~*~S~*~J~*~S~*~J~*~S~*~J~*~S~*~J~*~S~*

 “And then he sent the cleaners after me,” laughed Sarah.

“Oh, Jareth. You didn’t,” giggled Jana.

Jareth had the good sense to look sheepish. “Guilty.”

Happy laughter floated through the restaurant. Dinner was going smoothly and Sarah barely felt the absence of her mother. In true Linda fashion, she had decided that her career was more of a priority than her daughter. She’d called Sarah and told her that “something” had come up and she’d be a little late. She and Pablo would find their way to the restaurant and meet them there. Sarah rolled her eyes as she tasted her chocolate torte. ‘A little late, my ass.’ Jareth caught the stray thought and put a supportive arm around his queen.

Just as they were about to call it a night, Linda strolled into the restaurant flanked by the ever present Pablo. “I’m sorry, darlings. My phone call to Spielberg took a little longer than I thought.”

“Please, join us for coffee,” invited Gareth.

Sarah quickly made the introductions as her mother made a big show of sitting down. Instantly, the air changed around the table. Tension replaced the relaxed conversation. Jareth tried to remain supportive, but his patience was about to lose the good fight. He looked to Sarah and thought, ‘she’s so different. Maybe maternal instinct skips a generation.’ His thoughts turned to a castle filled with the sounds of children.

Sarah felt his thoughts and her smile turned secretive. Her hand slid from her lap to her stomach and she thought, ‘maybe it does.’

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