Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Into the Land of the Elves: My New Project

The Diary of Miss Aidyn Hall, author
July 19
1:35 PM

My New Project

            It’s been six days since I’ve gone into the Greenwood. This was a planned absence, and I made sure to inform Apple Blossom. Five days ago, I went down to the magnolia archway bright and early in the morning. As usual, Apple Blossom was waiting for me, all smiles. What I had to tell her gave me a pang of guilt: “Apple Blossom, I won’t be able to come and play with you for a while.” Already, she opened her mouth to protest, but I got to the point. “I’m afraid I have so much work to do this week that I won’t have enough time to visit. It will only be for a few days.”
            “You have to go away?” she asked, and she sounded so heartbroken that my heart wanted to crawl into a hole and hide away. “Apple Blossom, I promise that it won’t be for very long,” I told her. “I’ll be back the very moment my workload gets lighter.”
            She didn’t understand. Why would she understand? She is ten years old and a princess, and things like work and keeping a house are completely foreign concepts to her, and likely always will be. Do any of the Jadeites have to work in the way that humans do? Apple Blossom’s friends had never said anything about their parents working. There was nothing more for me to tell her, so I knelt down and opened my arms. “Come here, Apple Blossom.” She complied, returning the embrace and resting her head against my shoulder. Tears rolled down her cheeks, and she wiped them on the sleeve of my t-shirt. “Oh dear, don’t cry,” I said softly, patting her on the back. “I will be back very soon. Until then, don’t even think about me. If you think about me, you’ll be upset, and I wouldn’t want that. I can’t be so hard not to think about, can I?”
            She had no answer. I let her go, wiped the remainder of her tears, and patted her on the head. “I’ll see you soon, my friend.”
            She waved to me and I waved back. Then I left the archway and headed for home. I was fighting back tears myself by then, and I had the grim feeling that I had somehow betrayed the poor kid. I really did have a lot of work to do, but that wasn’t entirely the reason that I needed to take a brief leave of absence from my adventures. I now have a brand new project in the works, one that I have been formulating in my head since the day the two of us had gone sailing on the Bell’s Rush and Apple Blossom had peeked in the lacy book. In actuality, it’s not so new at all; I’ve been working on it for quite a while, but it was only then that I began to toy with the idea of making any kind of project out of it. Now I know for sure that I want this to really be something.
            It’s this diary. This diary is my project. All of the entries about my adventures in the Greenwood, the wonderful days spent with Apple Blossom and her friends, seeing the castle, swimming in the Bell’s Rush, meeting the mermaids…when I returned home that day, I took some time to read over everything I had written up until the frog chorus at the Bell’s Rush. I felt as if I was reading a real book—not one of my books.  As far as books go, my two are quite well received. They’ve been picked up by a real publisher and not vanity, they’ve been in equal parts praised and panned by critics, they have a small but loyal reader base, and in addition to my other writings, they’ve helped me keep this little cottage. But when I read one of them, I just don’t think of it as reading a real book. Perhaps it’s just because I knew them before they were books. But it’s more likely that I just cannot stand my own writing. Sometimes I wonder if this is true for all writers or if I’m just crazy.
            But my adventures in the land of the elves hold my attention in a way that none of my other writings ever could. When I finished reading my entries, I read them over two more times just for the hell of it. That day was a historic occasion, the very first day I’d read something I’d written and actually enjoyed it straight through the whole thing. I even put a little star on my calendar to mark such a glorious day.  
            Thankfully, my story is so unbelievable that I can pass it off as a work of fiction, and therefore ensure the safety of the Greenwood. A few days ago, when I took a little bit of time to catch up with my human friends, I tested this out on my friend Katie; I was arranging the notes written in my notepad when I asked, “Katie, would you believe me if I told you that I’ve been having adventures in an enchanted wood with little green-haired elves?”
            Katie raised a brow at me and said, “I think I’d be very worried about anybody who did believe that.” So there you have it!
            Blending my Greenwood adventures with my work means that Apple Blossom will become a part of my work, meaning that I’ll have plenty of time to spend with her! Oh, won’t she be so happy to hear that? But wait a minute, should I even tell her? Should I tell her that she’s part of a project to spread all of the information I gather about her, her family, her friends, and her world? Would that be a breach of trust? Or would it be an even larger breach of trust if I did it all without telling her? And even if I did tell her and she didn’t mind, Apple Blossom can keep a secret just about as well as a golden retriever puppy can sit still and quiet. What on Earth would the king and queen say when they inevitably found out?
            The past five days were spent working on my smaller projects, catching up with friends, and entering the planning stages for my promising new project. I compiled four different lists: “Things I Know About the Jadeites,” “Things I Still Need to Know About the Jadeites,” “Things I Can Almost Certainly Use in my Work,” and “Things I Still Need Some Time to Think About.” In the top bullet point of that second list is this:


The jade essences are, at the moment, entirely locked away from me, and as such they fascinate me more than anything else. The only way that I can learn everything there is to know about the jade essences—the  exact nature of how they are channeled, what they feel like, how many different kinds there are, if there are many different kinds at all, the powers contained within them, and more besides—is if I learn to harness them myself. That is, if it’s even possible for a human to do so. If it isn’t, well, then I’ll never be able to write about it as clearly and with as vivid description as I would have if I could see and feel it all for myself. If it is possible, though, then I know that Apple Blossom will teach me. She’ll be a wonderful teacher, one who is patient and tolerant and knows her subject inside and out, despite her young age. Oh, I feel so bouncy! To think that I, Aidyn Hall, could potentially harness an ancient, elven power, one that no other human in the world would ever be able to learn!
            But then there’s this little issue, which is written in the top bullet point of my fourth list, “Things I Still Need Some Time to Think About”:

Telling only Apple Blossom would mean telling everybody, unless I remained very firm on swearing her to secrecy. She would keep a secret if I told her that it was to be kept a secret. She would do anything I told her to do without question, hesitation, or protest, but that’s not exactly a trait of hers that I would like to take advantage of. In fact, taking advantage of that would make me feel like an absolutely rotten person, and if word got out I would end up in very, very hot water. The Jadeites are ever-so-gradually growing okay with me and I don’t want to ruin that.
            But refusing to tell at all could easily classify under betrayal. If humans are going to know about the Jadeites, even if I pass it all off as fiction, then the Jadeites should know that humans are going to know about them and that I will be passing it off as fiction. And that will go over about as well as waking up a sleeping grizzly bear.
            So what do I do? I suppose now isn’t the time to do anything. All I can do right now is wait and see how things are going to turn out in the long run. But while I wait, it really wouldn’t hurt to tackle “Things I Still Need to Know.” I’ll go back to the Greenwood today. I’ll even go right now, and I’ll take my diary…
            Should I take my diary? What will I tell Apple Blossom when the curious little fox that she is asks me about my writing? I could tell her that it’s private, but what right do I have to keep anything private that’s about her? I’ll take my diary someday, but not today. Okay, out I go.

4:15 PM

            Oh my goodness, oh my goodness!
            I’ve stolen some jade stones!  
            I’ve stolen some jade stones!!!
            I’ve stolen exactly five jade stones: two large ones, one medium sized, and two small ones. Why am I covering them with my hand? I have nothing to hide them from now. It’s not like there’s some Jadeite standing outside my house, peeking through my window…
            The tag! I completely forgot about the tag! They can monitor me through the tag, and they know that I’ve stolen the jades! I’m already caught! Oh, what have I done? All this time, I managed to keep my nose clean around them. They even almost trusted me! And I had to go and do a thing like this!  
            What have I done?