Neglecting Things — a #row80 check-in #WIPpet Post


A not busy bee

A not busy bee

Busy! Busy busy busy!!

It’s not a complaint.  Imagining a better couple of days could prove difficult.

In my perfect world, I’d have gotten more writing done and not forgotten to practice guitar three days in a row.  But I have a newly tuned piano, and I played my first waltz on it last night–and it sounded like real music!  😀

As the title notes, it’s time for another #WIPpet post and #row80 check-in.  So let’s get on to those now….


The #WIPpet blog hop comes to us courtesy of K.L. Schwengel at My Random Muse.  Writers post pieces of a draft (Work In Progress) that coincide somehow with the date hoping to attract interest and helpful commentary.  As with any skill, writers improve with feedback.  Feel free to comment; I appreciate any time and consideration you are willing to give.

I’ll be honest… I didn’t write much of anything new this week.  So I’m going to continue from last week’s WIPpet post and give you fifteen paragraphs of Swan Song (most are short, one sentence things).

The Guard commander harumphed something. “Good thing.” The man took a hearty swallow of his own mug and then smiled back to him. “Whatever else your decision to become your own man may end up doing to my career, you’ve certainly given me a few days of good clean entertainment, Andarniis. Courting a Hastorinii!” The man chuckled again. “And here I’d been under the mis-informed opinion that your father hadn’t even chosen you a First Lover…” The man stopped chuckling when Alanii began to look off in distress. “You have had your First Lover, haven’t you?”

Alanii pursed his lips together then idly scratched at the grain of the table. “Not as such… Father had tried finding me one, but it… it didn’t work.”

The guard commander leaned forward slightly. “How so?” Then as Valichii came back from the bath house to rejoin them, nodded to the Hastor. “Congratulations, corporal. It’s not often your House sees its daughters attending the court of the Higher Houses.”

Instead of smiling as the man had earlier during their visits with the Lanii fosterlings or the few times they had been mentioned Vissellii during their afternoon together in the jeweler’s quarter of the city, Valichii grunted. At least the man left it at that and drew up his mug to drink and listen rather than say whatever had inspired his sudden pessimism.

Alanii sighed. He could imagine the Hastor must have heard something as he was approaching their table. Or perhaps he’d figured out the problem already on his own. It wasn’t as if the man didn’t know most of his private affairs. He glanced apologetically to the man, then returned his attention to the guard commander. “I can’t touch most women. It…” He tried to think of a word that could describe the sensation. Pain didn’t fit, nor did repulsion, though it was something of both and more. “It’s just wrong.”

Instead of confusion the guardsman just nodded. “I imagine. And the Hastorinii, she…isn’t wrong?” Before he could answer the man raised a finger and added, “I do know about the ‘tianii you shared with your cousin Atara, my lord. Are you saying you are Called to Vissellii Marae as well?” There was something of an eagerness in the man’s tone that said this would be a wonderful thing.

And of course Alanii could only deny him. “Not that I can tell. At least I don’t feel the same sort of draw to her that I remember feeling toward ‘Tara.”

“Perhaps it’s a lesser link?” the man asked.

Alanii could only shrug. “Maybe. But if it is, it’s much less. Certainly nothing I can actually sense as one. She isn’t there in my flesh the way ‘Tara was even when we were apart. Vissellii is just there when she’s there. Pleasant enough, and she’s gorgeous…” He cocked a glance with something of apology in it toward his friend. “I know I didn’t do things according to tradition, but I wasn’t about to treat her so… so crassly. Whatever ties might or might not end up Calling us to each other, she deserves better than to be assumed my mistress, from me and others.”

The Guard commander listened quietly this time and only nodded when he’d said his piece. “All excellent reasons to choose one’s lady, my lord. But the fact you haven’t taken your First Lover is going… Well, if you mean to honor this relationship and your word to her and her family, you’ve got to fix this now.”

Alanii nodded. “I know.” He wasn’t exactly looking forward to the idea. Not that the idea of losing his virginity bothered him, but the fact that he had set so sudden and brief a deadline on its happening. Such a limit meant hiring a whore and dealing with whatever discomfort that touching the woman with all his body, not only a hand and perhaps his lips might entail without having any chance of stopping until the act was done and over. It meant that he could feel his flesh was being burned from his body for all the world would care. Until he’d performed the proper social rituals, his words to the Laninii and to the Hastor were little more than childish fantasy at best, outright lies at worst.

Lanilis Kailiis glanced over toward Valichii. The Hastor was trying to not frown. “You aren’t bothered by this, corporal?”

Valichii shrugged, but there was an abruptness to his gesture that suggested anger. “Alan meant well, but…”

“I meant what I said, Val,” Alanii said quietly.

The Hastor’s dark-eyed gaze met his stonily. “Where you think we’re going to find you a whore that’ll not offend your delicate sensibilities, eh? Oh, right… You have her now.”

A younger Valichii Mirniia... and by that token, something of a younger Valistii as well.

My drawing of Val

There you go!  Thanks for taking the time to read it.

ROW80 check-in

The title says it all…  at least where writing is concerned.

I have to wonder if my excursion out to see family last week wore me down more than I thought.  I felt vibrant and energized on Friday night when I came home.  Then I flumped all day Saturday, reading and playing video games.  Sunday I managed my blog post then spent the rest of the day with family (no bad thing there).  I read more, typed in old notebook writing  and gathered ideas for more stories.

Since that Sunday post, I have done about the same.  Yesterday I attended a Findlay Cockrell concert (ironically, he is called a Swan Song pianist–though he’s been saying “Farewell” since 2006) at the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall.  Then I went with my husband and son to a rockclimbing/caving gym.

If I needed more inspiration to get in shape, that place offered it.  I so wanted to share in the experience and fun with the Boodle.  I did try doing some basic wall climbing and read a lot more.

I need to get back to my five sentences.  They were helping, but I let them go for a few days.  Today I will be able to attend #teamsprinty on Twitter.  YES!  I love the energy of a good social writing group.

Goal for the rest of the week, which will be including two more concerts, a trip to the Albany Institute tomorrow, and a trip down to the J. Popp Butterfly Conservatory on Saturday is to not miss a single day of five sentences.   It’s not a lot, but it’s something.  It’s forward motion.



A big thank you to Kait Nolan for the ROW80.  If you’d like to help with our fundraiser for fellow writer, Lauralynn Elliot, head over to the ROW80 blog and donate.  Or buy one of Lauralynn’s books…  You can’t lose there!

Here is the ROW80 linky–go and say “Hi” to some other great writers.


25 responses to “Neglecting Things — a #row80 check-in #WIPpet Post

  1. I enjoyed this excerpt Eden. I could feel Alanii’s awkwardness really well. It seems harsh that he’s got to discuss his sex life (or lack of it) in front of everyone. I’d be interested to know what happens next…


    • Thank, Elaine. I don’t know… I think culturally he’s less embarrassed by his lack of sex life than the fact that he’s created a social disaster for his friend and the girl he adores. Think a more Eastern attitude toward sexuality and then add in royalty…

      (Of course, the fact that this isn’t coming through is worth noting–I need to make things like this more clear to the reader!)


  2. Loved the drawing. And what an intriguing problem he finds himself in. Definitely feel sorry for the poor guy.


    • Thanks, Alana. I really do need to get back to drawing. I like it, and sometimes I think I’m better at it than writing.

      As for Alanii’s problem… There’s this saying about that road to the Underworld and how it was paved…. Alanii’s slave to his good intentions.


  3. Love that last line. It felt like a real slap in the face. I got a little tangled in the names and had to read carefully, but part of that is taking things out of context and not a reflection on the piece as such.


    • Thanks, Kathi. I’m glad Val’s anger came through without seeming to be over the top (I hope).

      Names… yeah. It’s probably the names and not you, though I’m sure being tossed in the middle of what (I think) will become Chapter 4 probably doesn’t help. Thing is, you aren’t the only one to mention this…

      I confess, I’m not jumping to change them yet, since I’m still in the writing stage and see these characters by name/title/family, etc. (Basically I need to see them as they are to write them and U don’t want to change the names until the story is done.)

      Selfish of me, I know. 😉


      • Not selfish at all. You need to do what you need to do to make it to The End. Then take a fresh look. I think most of it is just coming to it in the middle. If I’d known them from page 1 I don’t know that it would have been a concern.

        And no, the anger wasn’t over the top. 🙂


        • “The End”… Oh, how I am looking forward to that point. Eager, dreading, uncertain… But I’m working my way there bit by bit.


          • I always feel somewhat empty when I hit that point. Having spent so much time in that world and then suddenly be done? It’s earth shattering. And exciting.


            • I know the feeling actually. Not that I’ve been brave enough to let it leave the editing phase yet, but….yeah. There is a hole left, but sometimes that makes you just want to see what’s on the other side.


  4. This was a really intriguing conversation and I really liked the way that Alanii had difficulty in conveying why he can’t touch most women. How wonderful to have a talent for both writing and drawing. 🙂


    • A talent? Not so sure about that… if you saw the stuff I wrote when I started. It’s like any other skill, the more you practice, the determined you are to do well, the better you will do. Both writing and drawing have been like that for me (and probably everyone else).

      But thanks! It’s good to know I really am getting better at it all.


  5. Isn’t #teamsprinty wonderful for getting in those words? Such a supportive community there. Your week sounds wonderful, even if you didn’t get much writing done. Best wishes for a good rest of the week!


    • It has been a pretty wonderful week, Julie. It’s busy, but that super good busy…

      And yes, #teamsprinty is wonderful, though I missed my sprints on Wendesday and today. Miss them!

      I’m off for some (hopefully) wonderful sleep and another wonderful day tomorrow volunteering to move mulch at my son’s school (I’m actually looking forward to it too). Kind of on a volunteering “high” right now…


  6. I didn’t twig you’d drawn the picture until I read the comments – you are very talented! I liked the WIPpet too.

    It seems you’ve drawn an interesting world with a whole new cultural dynamic – which is hard to convey in a short WIPpet. It’s the bane of every fantasy writer – drawing the world vividly at the start of the book and cranking up the story! Even if I don’t have the world yet, this passage was very intriguing and I felt for poor Alanii.


    • Thank you, Raewyn. I’m glad you felt for Alanii here, I wanted both he and Val to come off as somewhat sympathetic characters …although Val is a pisser at times in this case he’s just worried about his sister.

      The drawing is an old one. I made it about ten years ago, and my perception of the character has changed somewhat. But yeah, I drew it. Don’t say I’m talented thought. You haven’t seen my attempts to draw Alanii. 😉


  7. The names and rank titles are very creative. Am I correct in my interpretation that this society has a caste system? I’d be interested in more background info. 🙂


    • Yes, a definite caste system that includes a respected form of prostitution (along the lines of mistresses and concubines) as well as levels of slaves and indentured servants…. I’m always interested in how people saw themselves in such societies. And how we might or might not sympathize with individuals from such a society (after all, they don’t see themselves as bad people for living in the world they live in, do they?).

      Thanks for a vote of confidence on the names. I spent too much time reading Tolkien when I was younger. I have a whole language (two actually), alphabets, dialects…


  8. Loved the excerpt 🙂 and I really like your character names. Although they are unusual, they are consistent and reflect a well built world (at least as far as naming conventions go) 🙂


    • Cool! It’s nice to know that not everyone is wincing in horror at my weird names. (yeah, fantasy authors do have this thing for names….)


  9. Since I somehow missed your previous WIPpets I ended up jumping in cold. That said, I was able to easily understand and pick up this world you made. I think that’s a really great quality! Also the characters were very expressive.

    Sounds like you had and will have another busy week. I wish you luck getting your five sentences. 🙂


    • Cool! A fellow gamer’s perspective is a big boost… Says I’m getting some things across clearly at least. 😀

      Busy is a good thing. And Five Sentences… they’re awesome!


  10. liked the story – intriguing systems going on there – the only thing that jarred was the swallow of his mug, should he not have swallowed from – prob. it will go in edit – names are great – I do like an unusuall name – drives friend from forever/editor crazy – if she can’t pronounce them straight away she doesn’t approve of them – me? I like a challenge:)


    • Ooh, good catch there, Alberta (makes scribbly-note taking motions). Yes, it should be swallowed from. This isn’t Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory after all.

      Another vote for the names. I’m a pretty bouncy person after all of this writerly validation. Thanks!