Uncertainty – a ROW80/WIPpet post

Well come to my little internet home (well, one of them…  this is more like my apartment in the City I stay at to avoid the congested daily commute)!

It’s Wednesday again.  Time for another ROW80 check-in and WIPpet post.


I’m not worrying about directly linking to the WIPpet today.  As I made a Sunday post, I don’t have a lot to report.  I’ve written , but most of it involves paperwork for my son and very little creative work.  I guess it’s  good to be exercising other mental muscles.

pottery bowlsReading has gone well.  I finished I Shock Myself by Beatrice Wood last night, and though I prefer to not write reviews, I will say I liked the book a LOT more than I thought I would.  Impulse buys, especially in the book world, seem to suit me, if not the walls and floors of our house.

I’m getting somewhat excited about this new project “Some Thing (4) Sundays”, I’ve started.  For the first time in too long, I am finding myself looking forward to blogging.

Lastly, ROW80 Fitness…  I’m getting out and moving about more again.  The ankle has healed well and walking no longer hurts.  I’m seriously out of shape though.  I used to be so flexible, but these days,  I creak, muscles protest, resistance proceeds any movement…  Bleh!  I’m thinking of taking some yoga classes.

Have any of you found your body staging a coup d’état against your mind lately?


First, let me start with a song.  For a long while, Hearts by Yes seemed to fit in the world of Swan Song (although I wasn’t sure where).  I first thought the character is most suited was Val (‘Listii’s twin brother), but as I grew to understand the dynamic in the family Hastor and the world in general, I realized it really was Alanii’s song.  It always had been.

Now onto the WIPpet…  Date, date… Oh, yeah…  September 11th.

Let me give you eleven (small) paragraphs from Courting the Swan Song…  the beginning of the draft as it stands so far.


Dressed in a black leather jerkin over a sun-washed brown linen blouse and breeches that had been washed thin in several spots, the Guard at the entrance to the recruitment pavilion settled back to his cautious perusal of the men in line as soon as he barked out that order. Trying to not look as bored as he was after three days of this duty, the man clearly had no interest in standing at attention for any amount of pomp and circumstance.

PavillionsAlanii looked about to see if the man who’d been in front of him for the past several glass had made his return from the jacks, then surrendered to the urging of the men behind him. Uncomfortable with usurping the other man, he pulled his jacket closer around him and stepped forward.

The Guard focused on him now. Alanii looked at him briefly, then into the pavilion. The interior lay just to his left, dark enough to add to his uncertain mood. Was he making the right choice?

The Guard, instead of resuming his bored perusal, looked again at him, and Alanii forced himself to meet the man’s gaze, knowing it would do him no good to attract the man’s curiosity further. He certainly didn’t want to give the man a chance to recognize him before he did what he came to do.

“In there?” he asked, lowering his voice some so that he might sound older than his years.

The Guard smiled with a touch of indulgent consideration. “In there, lad. Our Katsdan is the man with the red hair.”

Alanii nodded, though he’d known that much. Indeed, he probably knew as much about who Katsdan Lanilis Kailiis was as the man in front of him. “Thank you,” he said, and his throat hurt him from the effort it took to keep it low and gruff.


“Your name?” The man looked at him across the rough plank table someone had creatively made for this occasion out of a few loose boards and two stacks of straw bales. Both the Katsdan and his companion had looked at Alanii with calm expressions when he’d entered the Royal Guard’s makeshift recruitment pavilion, but now the man’s manner seemed stern and uncompromising. His gaze narrowed, a sense of dissatisfaction growing as Alanii hesitated. “For the official records, lad.”

Military identity disk (“dog tag”) of the Germ...“And for these,” added the much shorter of the pair. The man looked aside for a moment as he gathered up a small forged medal badge and held it aloft. “You’ll be wearing this in your breeches from now on, so if there is a need, we can identify your corpse.”

The Katsdan flashed the second a scathing look, one that would have made Alanii cringe were he receiving it. The smaller man only shrugged and set down his treasure on the plank table in front of the pair. With a sigh, the taller of the pair nodded. “My aide is correct. If you do die on the field of battle, son, we need something to identify your body. A record of your death needs to be made by the Elder in the histories. And we’ll need to know where to contact your wife and children.”wippetwednesday_zps53e803c0

As always, a ginormous “Thank You” to to K.L. Schwengel at My Random Muse for her hosting of WIPpet Wednesdays where writers post pieces of a draft (Work In Progress) that somehow relate with the date for commentary and consideration.  Feel free to visit other #WIPpeteers at our linky.  We love company, comments…  even gentle (or not-so gentle) critiques.

Photo credits:

  • pottery bowls (Photo credit: Ronmerk)
  • Pavillions (Photo credit: Velorutionary)
  • Military identity disk (“dog tag”) of the German Bundeswehr (1961) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

25 responses to “Uncertainty – a ROW80/WIPpet post

  1. Doesn’t sound like there’s any glossing over going on here!


    • Nope. Vartanian (that’s the man who is acting as the Katsdan’s second) is definitely a man of few words and little concern for polite niceties.


  2. I’m loving this piece. Something about the apprehension . . . the uncertainty. I keep waiting for someone to recognize Alanii. And I love your description of the guard. I can picture him very vividly.


  3. Oh, I LIKE seeing Alanii at this point in his life. And i wonder what name he will give…?

    I got out on tuesday, and increased my workout…didn’t write it down or post it anywhere, sorry. I’ve been writing and beta-reading….

    Actually, though, my body is slowly becoming less creaky and resistant, and that feels good even if I do still have a bum knee! =)


    • Yay for the less creaky body! It’s about time… I mean, it’s not like you haven’t had years of it being irritable when you tried to do things after all. :-/

      I didn’t get out on Tuesday myself. With a brake light on in my KIA and a lot of flash thunderstorms down our way, I picked what I considered to be the better part of valor and did some extra exercising at home. Mostly dancing, but a bit on my balance ball and with the free weights in the house.

      And it’s interesting that you think Alanii would lie about his name… I mean, I guess I can see that since he’s trying to sound older than he is, but I never considered that possibility further. I don’t think he would have let me… if you take my meaning.


  4. These days, my knees are giving me problems off and on. Luckily not as much while we were in Iceland!


  5. Just what has Alanni signed himself up for – it doesn’t bode well the possibility of needing to be identified by a small metal badge in his breeches. I like the intrigue in this piece and the fact that Alanii is trying so hard to come across as older than he actually is.


    • Thanks, Kate. The small metal badge is effectively a dog-tag… Alanii is 16 years-old at this point and desperately trying to get out from his father’s over-protective thumb (I’m not giving away too much here since a few paragraphs after this scene, any reader would have found that out anyway).


  6. liked that extract very much– atmosphere good:) is good the pain has gone now you can build up fitness levels – all the best for coming week:)


    • Thank you, Alberta. I appreciate you noting that the atmosphere is coming out well.

      And yep… That’s my hope too for the pain going away. I have been ramping up my activity slowly. I need to do more, but progress is progress.

      Hopefully you will have a wonderful week as well.


  7. I love people who are blunt…thus I love this excerpt!


    • You’ll love the Hastor family in general then. Most of them are blunt to the point of cruel on one occasion or another.

      Glad you liked it, Adrian.


  8. I just recently started a Yoga class that my workplace is offering. We’ve only had one class so far and I was bit sore the next morning, but I think once I get used to it, it will be really beneficial.

    I really enjoyed this scene: Alanii’s apprehension and trying to come across as older (I come across a lot of “Returned to Australia – Underage” reports in the work I do), not to mention the “straight-to-the-point”-ness of the dog-tag guy.


    • Another comment that got caught in the spam box… and then by me, because I unspammed it and then let it get lost in the pile of comments that followed it.

      I’m sorry, Emily.

      So, since it’s been a while now, can I ask how the work yoga is going? I love that your employers are starting such a program.

      And thanks for the kind words about Alanii’s piece here. I’m glad the effect I was trying for came through.


      • Well, I completed the two-week trial, and was assuming they’d organise the 9 week course they talked about to follow immediately, but so far I haven’t heard anything. I’m hoping it does happen, though, because I did quite enjoy it. Our instructor gives us alternate options depending on strength levels and you just do what you’re comfortable with. And then there’s a guided meditation at the end, and I really love those, since I can’t seem to meditate otherwise.


  9. It might be my tiredness, but ” the past several glass had made his return” made no sense to me for a bit… Then I figured glass is a term of time. Did I get that right?