Early Muster

Welcome back to another (very late) WIPpet post. Sorry… have felt under the weather the last few days.

Before I get to the story bits, here’s a quick update on my progress for my ROW80 goals:

Today I crossed the 20K mark for NaNoWriMo.  Typing is going well.  And I’ve managed to get a few more boxes packed and things put away/sorted for the move or travel in the new kitchen. 

Goal for this upcoming week?  Clear out the office of extraneous stuff and pack up things I know I will never use.

Now to the WIPpet:

Today I offer you six small paragraphs from the tentative opening to Marche/Promenade, the third book in my Swan Song series. The maths involved are: 1+1-8=6 for the day and month.

This piece follows directly upon last week’s excerpt, where Val has joined some of his campmates for breakfast. Last sentences of last week’s post included for flow…

He (Val) didn’t quite dare to grin at the man, when the bowman took up a solitary slice mournfully.

As if they all hadn’t been filling their jaws on the stuff for some before he’d arrived.

“Early muster this morn,” he said after he’d taken a few bites and washed them down solidly with the boiled cabbage water in his tankard. Val didn’t like how quiet they all were. Save for greetings, they, like the rest of the men in the tent, now ate in a tense silence. Hurrying, but taking a long as possible to do so.

He watched to see if there were any signs, sideways glances, stiffened shoulders or clenched teeth. Instead of those, all he could see in them was sense of confused acceptance.

Val wondered why. Usually the Katsdan didn’t hold much close to the breast among his own men. And he’d heard nothing through his connections with the Army.

Finally Jalla shrugged. “Heard a rumor that this might be the last battle of the season. Don’t see how.”

Val nodded thoughtfully. He’d heard similar rumors this past week and like Jal had scoffed them off as fool’s ramblings. With nearly three more weeks before the weather even hinted at cooling, it wasn’t likely that the lordlings sponsoring this campaign would let them leave before they had a chance for jousts and sport.

Like that?  Then head over to the WIPpet linky and visit some our other awesome members for more super awesome word goodness. And as always, a huge shout out to Emily Wrayburn, our gracious host.


Piece of the Past

I don’t really know where to start writing things lately.  Stories keep filling my head but in a directionless manner, where snippets of my character’s world drift past but don’t always leave enough context to follow.

It’s sort of like dealing with random WIPpet Wednesday posts (I definitely prefer having at least a few weeks of story to follow before moving onto a new thread).

Still, as we move up onto another NaNoWriMo, I’m hoping to draw together some of this disconnected fragments and mold them into something concrete.  A mosaic of my character’s lives perhaps, maybe the base for a new story…  maybe I’ll discover that some of these pieces are just the right size to mend a few holes in the existing WIPs I have laying around.

The goal is to actually write them down.

In that spirit (had to include a ‘ghost’ reference for today, of course), here’s a short WIPpet  (5 paragraphs, 3+1 for 31 and an extra) and a cool little Twitter thread some of my archaeology friends at @DigVentures posted (at the end of the post).

This snippet comes from the opening chapter of Marche/Promenade, the middle book in my Swan Song Series.

Val sauntered across the camp toward the messhall, willfully ignorant of the rush and push about him. Served the cook right to have to have to hurry a new batch of ariza, since the man been fool enough to toss the last to the dogs knowing there were returning scouts and fellows waking from their bunks still.

His fears of a half-cooked meal proved groundless however, as he took a seat at the nearest table to the doorway. He nodded to the three men sitting there courteously. “Morning.”

“Mornin’, Valisch,” muttered Hearid through a mouth of well-greased bread. Next to him, Sibon tipped his head, but continued gnawing at his crust in silence.

“Aye, and to you,” Jalla said, pushing a large bowl down the middle plank. “The ariza is fresh. Chief even topped it with grilled tongue. I think.”

So I see.” Val grabbed up a crust and used it to scoop out a pile of mash into a wooden bowl. “Pretty generous of him.” Before Sibon grabbed back the bowl, Val picked off all but two slices of the meat and plunked them on top of his meal. He didn’t quite dare to grin at the man, when the bowman took up a solitary slice mournfully.

If you enjoyed that, you can find more creative endeavors over at the WIPpet linky and visit some our other awesome members. And as always, thank you to Emily Wrayburn, our gracious host. 😀

And lastly, for those looking for some story inspiration…


On A Jetplane

Ever feel like things were spinning out of control

This is… was going to be my ROW80 goal post.  Thing is…  I don’t really have any goals in mind special for Round 4.  There are, of course, the usual suspects: finish the Swan Song series, maintain the Row80 blog (though not for a few weeks…  Denise Young has kindly offered to help there while I’m in Europe with my son), and prepare to move to New Jersey.

All those are over-arching goals though…  grand plans as it were and not very definable.  The multitude of steps each requires can be daunting… has been daunting in some cases.  If nothing else, this trip overseas has allowed me to step back and NOT feel obliged to do things, which has oddly made me more productive than I’ve been in a while.


I even indulged my photography passion some.  The stairs image I snapped as we used the Tube at Earl’s Court station.  I took some window pics of our departure (Newark Airport) and landing (Reykjavik).  Since my seat was just over the wing and I had to hold the camera sideways, I’m really happy with the way these pictures came out.


I did some editing.

I actually posted to Facebook (a lot…  especially for me).  In fact, during the wait at the airports, I probably spent more time on Facebook than I had all year before this.  It would have been nice if I’d been able to edit or write, but the brain just would not accept being made to focus.  I even tried starting this post then…  It didn’t work.

But all of this leave me still wondering what my goals are for Round 4.  I’d say just getting through it without tearing my hair out would be a good start for me, but that’s really just a cop-out.  I need to think more about the steps involved in achieving those grand goals.

Maybe that should be my goal for this Round of Words… As well as maintaining thw ROW80 blog and writing new words.  Even throwaway words encourage new ideas…  Yeah.  Those are my goals.