Ramses makes an appearance.

Well, I started Chapter 10 last night. What a challenge. All the characters I've introduced so far are no where near the POV character...in fact, they're not even on the same continent. Ramses is far, far from home, which is actually very useful when describing his surroundings because, frankly, being an outsider, he does notice things the natives take for granted and would therefore never consider in their meandering thoughts. Not a ploy I'll be able to use all the time but it certainly works for this story!

I opened the WIP at 7:00. By 9:45 I had a measely 322 words. I blame this on three things: children momming me to death every five minutes, entering a chatroom when I should have been focusing on the story, and the how-to books I read when I couldn't decide on how to introduce this character. By the time I finally settled down to write I had about 45 minutes to work uninterupted. Too bad each line was a struggle.

Here's a brief excerpt--very rough and unedited:

Cedar-spiced smoke circulated through the domed lodge, wafting upwards toward the sizeable smoke hole at the apex of the earthen mound, obscuring a glimpse of the russet sunset outside the shaman’s celestial sanctuary. Ramses closed his watering eyes and concentrated on his breathing, cautioning himself to remain focused and in control. Inhaling the sweetly acrid atmosphere had not become any easier for him despite the many hours he had spent inside these walls. Every breath burned. His chest felt tight, as if the earth itself was squeezing the life from him, and he struggled not to bolt into the coming night.

Extending his senses beyond the taste and feel of the smoke, Ramses felt the cool earth beneath his fingertips, dampening his skin at the point of contact. So unlike the sandy terrain of his homeland, the soil of Muireach contained and provided life. Even in the driest months, when the rains still fell with amazing frequency, the soil retained moisture. Worms and grubs shared this viable environment with untold insects and root networks. Life teemed beneath his touch, stretching for thousands of miles in every direction.

Motionless, arms limp at his sides, face turned up toward the unseen sky, Ramses connected to the earth. Raw energy coursed through him, easing his discomfort and beckoning him to follow it through the dark, dank soil. He traversed roots, some clinging delicately to the surface and others penetrating deep into the layers of clay. As his awareness stretched across the continent he encountered insects and animals burrowing within the protective womb of the planet.