“Slow down, I promise if anyone tries to take your burrito away, I will… watch as you gnaw off their fingers,” Yuki teased.
I glared at him over the top of my burrito. When I managed to swallow my mouthful, I intended to tell him what I thought of his remark. Instead, he cleverly distracted me by pulling out a file and sliding it across the table. “What’s this?” I asked.
“What do you think it is?” he asked in a mocking tone. I blinked back at him. “This is the contract for our marriage that you will agree to as payment for my translation services. You’ll notice in article three, I have spelled out that, when you are rich and famous for your comic, you will indeed buy me a pony I can name ‘Chuckles’ and ride to the market.”
I shook my head to process what he had just said. It did no good. “Huh?”
With a sigh, Yuki flipped open the folder and pointed to the papers inside. He had printed the email and under each line of it translated its meaning and his understanding of it. “This, my dear Jordan, is the translation you had me do.”
“Okay, thank you,” I responded as I picked it up and started to read it over. Nothing in it seemed all that surprising. “So why did you want to talk to me in person?”
He rolled his eyes and took the folder from me. He started pointing at different sections. “This part says, if you are successful after three months, they will agree to a year’s contract with you. It also says they will help you publish your comic in tankōbon form if you sign a one-year contract. You will also have the ability to change the storylines you want to publish in the magazine.” He looked up at me with a face full of excitement. “Why are you not bouncing off the wall? This is huge for you. You get artistic freedom and retain your rights.”
I nodded calmly, closing the folder. “It’s all very exciting,” I agreed, starting to process that it was really happening. Yuki suddenly pulled out another folder and handed it to me. “What’s…?”
“Just look at it,” he said, motioning for me to open it. As I thumbed through the contents of the folder he continued talking. “These are living stipends and visa approvals for people who want to live in Japan and work in the field. Couple that with the fact that you are half Japanese, Jordan, and you really could go live in Tokyo and make a real living.”
I shook my head. “I have to get through the first three months. People have to like me and my comic. They may not.”
Yuki reached across the table and placed his hand over mine. I stared at it for a moment before meeting his eyes. “They will. You have a lot of talent and I know you can do this.”
I took a deep breath and pulled my hand free. Without another word, I returned to my second burrito. Yuki watched me closely. The quieter I was the more his smile broadened.
The rest of lunch was spent in nomming silence. When we pulled up to the office, Yuki raced around the car to open my door. “What are you doing?” I asked gingerly.
“Being a gentleman,” he offered.
“Since when are you a gentleman to me?”
“Since I realized somewhere along the line you were a girl. I’ve been extra nice to you for the last six or seven years.”
“Is that what you call it?” I faked a shocked look. “What do you call leaving me stranded in California?”
He was silent for a moment. “Justice.”
“And telling my last boyfriend I may have an STD?” I asked.
“First of all, I saw the guy before him. You might have. Second, the last guy was a douchebag. You should thank me for getting rid of him.” Yuki’s smirk was just a little too self-satisfied.
“I didn’t have anything. I had been tested, twice, before we started dating. You saying things like that implies I wasn’t being honest about my health,” I argued. He just shrugged. “Fine, what about your brother’s class ring?”
“Oh my god, this again?” he snapped. Without warning, he reached into his shirt and pulled out the aforementioned ring where it hung on a chain. Mumbling to himself, he unclasped it from his neck and moved to hang it around mine. “I can’t believe you are still bringing it up.”
“Yes, you can. I bring it up every year.”
“Well, just keep it this time,” he said insistently into my ear. When he finished clasping the necklace, he let one hand rest on my hip and the other on my shoulder. The nearness caught me off guard and my heart sped up. “There, are we even now?” he whispered.
I stepped back, pulling myself out of his grasp. “This is a start,” I said, turning towards the office entrance.
“Hey, and I bought you a burrito,” he joked.
Despite myself, I laughed. “Another fifty burritos and it may make up for California… may.”
With a dashing smile, he started to return to his car, then stopped. “Should I send a bouquet of burritos?”
“I’m pretty sure there isn’t such a thing,” I said.
“Enough money and I bet there is. If I send one, do I get a second date?”
“When was the first date?” I retorted. He motioned to me and I rolled my eyes as I stepped into the building. I grabbed my phone and quickly sent a message.
Just so you know, today was so not a date.
Just so you know, next time will be!
In a few hours, the first chapter in the new serial blog A Girl Without a Name will launch. Our Elven Life Production Team (which you may see called ELPT) is very excited to present this new storyline for our readers.
This story is meant to read and feel like a Light Novel. For those readers who are not familiar with this genre of reading, a Light Novel is the novelization of a manga. This is partially being done because we are releasing our first light novel Demon’s Oasis Vol.1 this fall. It’s also because I enjoy writing them.
The stories that take place within this blog and the new series are set in the same universe as one another. With this in mind, you may see some characters crossover from time to time.
We are very fortunate to be working with a couple talented artists for these new adventures. William White and David Jones will be providing a lot of the artwork and commercial graphics for these projects. Please find them online and support their portfolios as they grow as artists.
Finally, a quick note about how this blog and others in the future will run. At the completion of a storyline (approximately 17-25 chapters), the stories will be published as a volume to Amazon Kindle Books. You will be able to purchase them on Kindle for a buck or two a volume. My hope is that readers will do this to help support our blog. The money we use to pay our artists, cover the cost of the blog and url comes out of our pockets. This has and will continue to be a labor of love for us but every little bit helps.
Thank you and welcome to A Girl Without a Name!
The blog title has changed but the address has not. Is this the same blog?
Yes and no. Yes, this is a blog brought to you by Elven Life Productions. No, the new stories here will not follow Kat, Dani, Hue, and Ian. However, these are still original works by Isabelle Saint-Michael, and as such they will still possess her first-person narrative style, wit, and design.
Is Girl Without a Name set in the same universe as the original Elven Life blog and Otherworld Realms books?
No. This blog will fit into our new universe, centralized around the light novel series we will be launching in the coming months. (Editor’s note: That the editor is VERY VERY excited about.) It is likely you will see some crossovers between characters from both the books and blog.
Will you still be writing new content for Elven Life?
Yes! I am not done creating content for the Elven Life or the Otherworld Realms universe. However, all future Elven Life content – new storylines, expansions on old storylines, and old posts – will only be available through the new Elven Life books we will be releasing on Kindle. You have not seen the last of Kat, Dani, and Tessa.
If this blog is no longer the Elven Life storyline, will there be more books?
Yes. There are more Otherworld realms books coming. Some are completed and are just waiting for artwork. Others are lost in editing (Editor’s note: Sorry…), but will no doubt surface again.
What’s been the hold up on new content and books?
A lot has happened to me and my team in the last year or two. We’ve moved home and office locations five times between us. Kenzie and her husband just relocated to New Zealand while Lisa and I are choosing to remain in Korea. I’ve returned to figure skating after a ten to fifteen-year break and had the injuries that go along with that. We’ve traveled more and plan to do even more of it in the near future. All of these things equate to less time than we had before.
How often can we expect new content?
This is the big question. To start off with, the blog will get new storyline updates twice a week. As for books, the goal going forward will be to publish two a year, with the possibility of more. Life can be crazy and things can change. Writing is not a low priority, but our families and full-time jobs must come first until we are making enough to support ourselves exclusively with our writing. Thank you for understanding.