February 2013, (actually, I started on the day of the Super-bowl) I began writing my novel. I had been thinking about it for a very long time, but this was the first time I began writing it.
I have gotten this far:
That looks like fire, I thought. I had been walking through the woods near my home, as I normally did in the mornings–but the sight of fire was certainly not normal. Concerned, I ran over to the small clearing. I knelt down among the leaves to find that the only thing that was burning was a small, five-inch-long round piece of charcoal. The flames were remarkable– yes, they were about a foot high and were a beautiful golden orange–but that wasn’t why. The flames actually looked, in a fleeting kind of way, like a falcon. They still were flames, though, but why didn’t they burn anything? I stretched my hand towards the flame, wondering if it was warm. It was. Surprised, I mentally recorded every detail; the location, the size, shape and color of the flames, and what they burned.
I then moved on, finishing my route through the woods. I have done this nearly every day since my twelfth birthday. It is when I talk to God. I love to marvel at His wonders, and thank Him for Who He is.
Upon returning to our house, I recorded the findings of my walk in my leather-bound prayer journal, and then went to tell my father, Hayden Sheldon.
“Cassandra!” He said excitedly, “Do you realize what this might be?”
I looked at him blankly, my mind racing. Then it dawned on me. “Father!” I shrieked, “Do you really think so? A Falcon of Fire?”
My father chuckled, “Hush, my dear, the whole house will hear!” Then, seriously, “Yes, Cassie, I think it may be. Watch the flame carefully and tell me if it changes.”
“Yes sir. Shall we tell mother? And Kurt?”
“Of course we shall,” He replied, “Let’s go find them!” Rising, we went to the door and parted. Even though our house is not large, it is still hard to find people. Father searched for my mother Anita, I for my nineteen year old brother Kurt.
I had an idea as to where he might be, so I went to check. I was right. There he was, sitting in our favorite climbing tree in front of the house.
“Kurt!” I called, hoping he’d hear and see me. He did, and waved for me to join him, which I did, despite my sixteen years.
“What is it Cass?” He asked, sensing I had something to say.
I climbed up and settled in before I answered. “I think I may have found an egg.”
“You came up here just to tell me you think you’ve found an egg? That is not the whole story.” He replied with a no-nonsense face, but with a gleam of curiosity in his eyes.
I grinned back, “I think it came from a Falcon of Fire,” simply, like I had found a chicken egg. I loved to tease him. It worked, by the way he responded. First he stared at me, slightly annoyed. I smiled sweetly in response.
Then, his eyes grew wide and he whispered, “For real?”
I nodded, “For real.”
“How big is it? Where did you find it? What color is it?” He said, in an excited whisper.
I described what I’d seen. He asked me to show him, so we got down and I took him to the spot. I was amazed again. It was so beautiful. We looked for a bit, and then we heard our parents calling us. We hurried down the path, found them, and started back down the path to the clearing.
“So,” my mother said as we walked, “do you really think you’ve found an egg from a Falcon?”
I nodded, “But we won’t know for sure until it hatches, if it does.”
My father spoke up, “From what I’ve read, I’m quite sure it is a Falcon of Fire; a phoenix, you might say.” As he was speaking, we came to the clearing.
My mother caught her breath. “It‘s beautiful,” she whispered, a smile wreathing her face. My father was speechless. He stood, shaking his head in wonder. Then, he slowly walked to the fire and ran his finger through the flame. The birdlike shape in the flame seemed to bite his finger. He jerked it out and sucked it.
“Sorry,” he mumbled.
I giggled. “Was I the only one who saw that?” Everyone shook their heads in wonder. I then grew sober, “Listen, we can’t keep coming here. And we cannot tell anyone outside of the family. We don’t want to disturb the nest.”
My father agreed, “We won’t. And we won’t come here but once a week, if at all. Except you, Cassie, and you must not come any oftener than every other day. Less would be better.”
We nodded. There was a little pause, then, my mother, realizing the time said, “Well. This is very interesting, but we must be getting on with our day.”
We laughed, and walked back to the house. My father and Kurt set out for work, while my mother and I went on with our routine of cooking and cleaning, comforting and coaching.
When we had finished lunch, I headed outside with my next three siblings; Karen, who is fifteen, Liam, thirteen, and Luke, twelve, to go work in the garden, bring home our two cows, Bess and Blossom, then to ride our horses. Riding was our favorite time. We would call over the horses, put their bridles on and ride around, chasing and racing each other. We are all very close, and I trusted them with my secret. They were very excited to think that I trusted them enough to tell them something so important and wanted to go and see, but I explained to them that we couldn’t disturb it again.
After riding for about an hour, we headed back inside to get supper ready before my father and Kurt got home from their work. When they arrived, we sat at the table and ate, the little ones telling them all about their day.
When we had finished eating and cleaning up supper, I went to my father, sitting in his favorite chair reading a book.
“Father,” I said. He looked up. “may I go look in your library for your book on Falcon’s of fire?”
“Of course!” he said, smiling. I thanked him and ran to the library.
I have also written part of the history of the falcons:
General Falcon Information
Falcons of fire start out in an egg about five inches long and three inches wide. The eggs are coal black, and appear to be made of such. Flames surround the eggs continually, at the beginning of incubation they are a little more than a foot high. The flames appear falcon like in their shape, and the young bird inside is able to see and hear through the flames. If someone should try to touch the flames, the “flames” will often “bite” the offender. During incubation the young falcons do not like to be disturbed.
When the young falcon is nearly ready to hatch, the flames often reach six feet in height, while the egg gets as big as a very large watermelon. The egg then hatches by exploding, simply because the young bird has outgrown the egg, and uses its fire power to remedy that.
The young bird is not able to fly when it first hatches; its wings are growing far too quickly. Falcons often reach their full size within a month. The falcons come from a different world/island. Many years ago, the falcons disagreed on a major decision, and neither side would yield to the other, out of pride. This had been prophesied long before it happened, but the falcons proudly turned down the possibility of it ever happening, thus making it more likely. There are very little falcons remaining, though there are hundreds of eggs in the Haveyrie waiting to be hatched.
There have been many falcons killed because of the war, which is why there is so few. There are many eggs, though the falcons don’t wish to hatch them (and raise them) in the middle of a war, so they stay dormant. The main population of the island is therefore humans who have been shipwrecked on the island, thus forced to stay. The shore is very rocky, so there is always at least one falcon patrolling, watching for any survivors. If they find any, they will fly them to their sickbay. Ikus and her brother Keane arrived the same way. The ship they were on with their parents was destroyed and there were five survivors. Ikus (Ignatia–Fiery, ardent, one, full of honor.), Keane (Commander, honored, brave), their baby brother Karrick [he was born just a day before the shipwreck so he was named by Ikus] (Dweller surrounded by sea, Spiritual understanding), and two others. Their parents perished. They were very young, so they were raised among the falcons and took separate sides (Ikus and Karrick on one, Keane on the other) in the war.
Egg Storage Etc…
When a falcon lays an egg, she will generally bring it to the Haveyrie to be put in charge of the (epic fantasy title here) until the time for it to be quickened and sent to Earth has come. The “Egg master” is an older, wise, seer falcon. It is able to tell, to a degree, the nature of the young falcons inside the eggs. When their world is needy, it will go to the Haveyrie and select a falcon with the most appropriate qualities for the situation, who will choose one or more people, generally in their teens, though not always. The master of the Haveyrie will then send the egg to earth. Most young falcons do not start growing in the egg until sent to earth, if that is who they are for. The ones who are needed in their world are quickened by their parents when it is time. While in the egg, the young falcons are able to see and hear, to a degree. The master of the Haveyire will teach the dormant eggs daily, much like school, though with rather unresponsive students. This helps the young falcons to choose their symbols quickly.
Dark falcon’s eggs are generally laid and kept by their mothers, who hatch them themselves, instead of bringing them to the Haveyire. These young falcons do generally turn out dark, though it does happen that some will choose light, and leave their Eyrie.
The Size and Appearance of Falcons
When falcons hatch, they are about 2-3’ tall. They are unable to fly; their wing feathers are not stable enough for them, because they are growing so quickly. The rest of them is growing rapidly as well. The falcons are fully grow within a month. They appear to be on fire, hence the name. Some things die if they are on fire, falcons die if they get completely wet. The fire on them is orange-yellow, becoming brighter when they are angry. When sad, the flames will be an almost-red color. Their wingspan can reach up to 30’, though 24-26’ is more common. large females can reach up to 10’ tall, while males often are around 8’. The females are fiercer, and very protective. The males have a greater tendency to fight. Many falcons have a sort of stripe on their head, beginning at the beak. The coloring of the falcons is a burgundy-brown often highlighted with gold and red-brown. Their beaks are usually a golden-brown color, up to a foot long, thin and curved. Their eyes, which are very expressive, are golden, with black pupils. Many falcons have a good sense of humor, and are rather mischievous. They also are proud, which sometimes hinders their common sense. Kindness is visible in most all falcons, even hardened warriors. They can speak, but more often will mindspeak, using words only when necessary. They will only communicate with those whom they know they can trust.
Also, I wrote two of my character’s personality. I re-wrote one, and will probably re-write the other one too. First Cassandra, then Kurt.
Cassandra: 16 year old young lady, the now third eldest daughter in her family. She is spunky, yet she is also a gentle person, especially since the death of her elder sister. It was very hard for her, because Maria (the deceased) had been her closest friend.
She does the best she can in helping her mother, but is by no means perfect and is rather frequently scolded for not putting her mind to her chores, or fighting with her siblings and losing her temper. She is devoted to her father and older brother, and does whatever possible to help them out, including keeping the yard clean, caring for the livestock and garden, as well as cooking and helping her mother.
Cassandra is constantly trying to put others before herself, sometimes failing, sometimes succeeding. Rather proud, Cassandra has a hard time submitting to others when she thinks she is right. Often she is slow to obey.
She enjoys writing, and tries to journal daily. She also has written a few short stories and several essays. Also, she is an avid reader.
One of the things she loves most is being outside, running through the woods and being with her horse.
Hi! My name is Cassandra, but I usually go by Cassie, Cass, or even C. I’m 16 years old, 5’3″, number five in ten siblings (nine living), and have long, slightly curly, golden brown hair which glints red in the sunlight. I have two older sisters (who have nanny jobs off of the farm, so they are only home at night and on the weekends.) and an older brother. My sister a year older than me died when I was 13 from an accident on the farm. I like helping my mother with my baby brother and sister (twins!!), as well as taking care of the laundry and sweeping and making breakfast. I also take care of the horses and milk the cows. We have a large garden which the sister younger than me and I help our mother with. My father and the two oldest boys work in the fields or carpentry shop, and take care of the sheep/goats. My youngest two siblings (aside from the twins, that is) take care of our chickens and ducks, feeding them and gathering the eggs. Now that I have introduced you to my family, I will tell you more about me, myself, and I. To start, we’ll say that I am nowhere near perfect. I just finished my schooling, so I have more time to devote to chores and the arts, as well as helping my mother teach my littlest siblings. I’m often impatient, and I have a quick temper, though the more I pray and read my Bible, the less I blow up. I am leaning to be swift to obey, listen and accept advice. I am a natural leader, so this one is rather hard. But, when God is helping me I do better. Or, rather, when I let God help. I often try to do things on my own which always results in a horrible mess, which God is always gracious to lead me out of. I love laughing, especially at myself. Making other people laugh is also an enjoyment. When I have free time, I enjoy reading, talking with my siblings and friends, drawing, writing, riding my horse, exploring the woods, and ever so many other things.
Kurt is nineteen. Cassandra’s older brother. He is tall, and strong, from working. He is generous, and enjoys seeing others have pleasure. He is a thinker, spending much time in thought, especially about God, and what He has done for us. He loves his family, and is ready to protect them if the need should arise. He generally responds quietly in difficult situations, preferring to take in the situation before reacting, then does so quite calmly. He has a temper, but rather than ranting and raving, he usually stews quietly until he regains control, upon which, if his anger has been against someone, he will apologize. He does get upset when people sneak, or use his stuff without asking. And when his “bubble” is invaded, he gets upset. He appreciates when people, (especially those he is close to) give him things he wants or needs. Or, just things he likes.
More on his appearance; he is about 5’ 11” with black hair, brown eyes, a thin mustache and goatee. He has lightly tanned skin.
He is skilled in sword fighting and shooting, both guns and archery. He uses common sense whenever possible, and has a very witty sense of humor. He also has a very high sense of honor, doing whatever possible to protect others, as well as his own.
There is my novel so far! I hope you enjoyed! 🙂