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Sticking That First Toe Into The Churning Rapids

Sticking That First Toe Into The Churning Rapids
By Grinelda Markowitz
Originally posted on Book and Trailer Showcase in July 2012.

My first efforts in the pursuit of putting pen to paper were with high school magazines, college writing clubs and a school newspaper or two. Three rejections from established publishers and fifteen years later, I finally have an outlet for my writing. Though I’ve scribbled a few lines here and there and even entered a writing contest or two, I found myself constantly wondering to what end I wrote since all my efforts ended up in a drawer or a box.

This age of the internet and the indie movement have opened a whole new world of opportunity for me. When I first sat my cuppa down on the writer’s desk and the city of Kalaydan and its inhabitants began to stream from the tip of my pen, I wasn’t concerned it, too, would end up in the bottom of a box somewhere in storage.

In spite of my not having written a book before, my pen continued to sketch in the details of the city of the blue chi (Kalaydan) and its people in all of their elemental sensuality.

Along the way, I struggled with the mechanics of writing, e.g., grammar, punctuation, vocabulary and spelling. My mentor, Peggy (or so I’ll call her), along with several other seasoned writers encouraged me to continue in my efforts. They reassured me that this never-ending task of editing and proofreading would pay off in the final copy.

So, as I come away from my first serious venture as a writer, I have acquired greater skill and ability with quill and ink (and blotter). This will serve me well as I embark on other writing projects in the future. Book II of The Kalaydan Chronicles, The Training, is already on the drawing table. I’m also working on a shorter story, “A Ghostly Tale”.

I recommend the following to the novice writer and expound on them on my WordPress page, 200 Words of Wisdom.

1. Seek out and utilize available resources.
2. Invest in a writer’s tool box and keep it well stocked.
3. Acquire and hone basic skills.


In the City of Kalaydan, Arrinay and Bezhyanya, the senior members of the ruling family, are faced with the early maturation of their daughter, Gayadnae. She must start the training. It’s Kalaydan law. Their daughter has other ideas. After concocting a plan to avoid responsibility and almost succeeding in carrying it out, Gayadnae’s life takes an unexpected turn.

Grayt, the ever-present serving woman to Arrinay, fills many roles and has her fingers in a number of pies. There’s definitely more to her than is apparent on the surface. Besides coordinating activities in the Main House, keeping the young mistress in line, and talking to horses, Grayt seems to have a secret mission along with a few more grave responsibilities.

A hint of trouble on the horizon and other darker activities weave their way through the backdrop of this delightful tale of the city of Kalaydan.


She [Grayt] climbed nimbly up the rails to the paddock and sat next to Bay. Thronde trotted over as she was holding a bit of fruit out to the palfrey. He butted her arm with his muzzle and nearly toppled her over.

“See that’s what I mean. You have to learn to use some manners.”

She leveled her gaze at the larger horse and held the fruit away from him. He stamped his right hoof. She held the fruit as far away as possible.

“Promise me you’ll behave today. I’ll give you a bit of fruit if you do.”

The stubborn stud tossed his head in the air and stomped again rolling his eyes in their sockets.


After a moment, he came closer and lay his head in her lap.

“See. That wasn’t hard at all. Now wait your turn.”

She held out the fruit again to the palfrey. When she had finished, Grayt held out a fruit to Thronde; he nibbled it politely, pulling his lips back to show his big white teeth. When he was done, she turned back to Bay to offer another fruit. She stroked her nose with the other hand. Thronde shook his head and whinnied loudly.

“Thronde. I’ll make you a deal. You do me a favor and you can have Schmelt for tonight.”

The horse hanged his head low and rubbed her leg with his ears. She raised his head, guiding his nose close to her face, then turned it and whispered in his ear. His eyes rolled but he didn’t move. As the rosy red shadows became darker and deeper, the three waited there while Grayt talked.

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