Unexpected Inspiration Series: Adair's Map


I mentioned in an earlier moodboard that Adair, the main character, is a cartographer who has his map stolen at the start of the first book. While he and his friends are attempting to track it down and get it back, they discover that his earlier sketches may lead them in the right direction. Here's an excerpt from the current draft of Colorweaver (Book 1) where they work this out.

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Etri took the sketchbook from Adair and moved past Blythe to sit on her stool. Blythe was tall, but the stool wasn't meant for someone of Etri's height. His knees came almost to his chest. Blythe glanced over at Adair and shook her head with a smile, then began to clean up the seeds and the ends of the vegetables that remained on the counter. Some of the seeds she kept and moved to a towel sitting in the window that got the most sunlight. Like constellations, seeds all looked the same to Adair so he wondered how she was going to keep track of which was which if she had plans to plant them.

He was placing the pot on the stove when Etri called over to him. "Atair? Why is this page smudged?"

"I probably dragged my hand across it by accident."

Blythe leaned down to look over Etri's shoulder. "No, it doesn't look like that. More like the smudge is intentional since it's in a weird spot. Why would you purposely make part of a map blurry?"

Adair had forgotten that some of his original map drawings were in that book. He'd used it to sketch the first few cities before placing them on his main project just in case the weaving hadn't worked out as planned. "I wouldn't purposely make a map blurry. Then it wouldn't be very good as a map. Give me a sec and I'll be right there."

Adair got the stubborn old stove to begin to heat up and went over to stand behind Etri's other shoulder. Blythe pointed out the spot they were referring to. "There, see? Glimmerport, right? I recognize the docks. My father was stationed there for a while."

He distinctly remembered drawing that city because the trade ships coming in brought lots of interesting foreign foods, so he'd spent more time than he probably should have working on this part of the map. There hadn't been any smudge the last time he looked at it, but now, right there at the south tip of the city, was a blur. "That definitely shouldn't be there."

"Did Sol get a hold of this and mess it up?"

Blythe's question was reasonable considering that Sol liked to flip through Adair's sketchbooks to look at the pictures. He was pretty sure this wasn't a Sol-smudge, though. "No. Wait, hold on a second. I think I know what's happening."

Blythe and Etri looked on in confusion as Adair darted around the wagon grabbing bits of the supplies he'd ignored since the map went missing. A compass, a ruler, some string, a few things sitting on the counter... He took the book from Etri's hands and set it on the floor so he'd have more room to work. When he started muttering to himself, the other two came closer to see what he was doing. He noticed them standing there and pointed at a spot a few inches outside of the sketchbook.

"Look, we're just about here in relation to Glimmerport." He placed a salt shaker where this spot was to free up his hand, which he used to trace a straight line. "If I draw a line from where we are now to the direction my map is pulling me, it goes right through the middle of the blur. Or at least really close to it."

"So what does that mean exactly?" Blythe asked.

Adair stared at the page. What he was thinking couldn't be true, could it? Did weaving connect that way? "Well, my weaving is in this sketchbook just like it is in my real map. I guess in a way the two are connected together because I was still working on both of them when the map got stolen."

"And?" she prompted.

Adair looked up at her. "I think the blur is telling me where my map is."

CONVERSATION

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