Monthly Archives: October 2013

Folded Uniforms– a WIPpet/ROW80 post


Mourning (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s almost Halloween, so it only seems àpropos that I post something a bit on the scary side for my WIPpet today (tonight, really…  it’s almost midnight).  It seems àpropos, but…  I’m not going to do it.  I want this post to look ahead to the second day of November, All Souls Day, and its peaceful message for the departed.

Mostly because I’m working on this scene with Alanii at the moment in preparation for NaNoWriMo.


My WIPpet math is…  well, it’s absent at the moment.   mean, first I took 30 sentences for the ay, then I added two small paragraphs for the year (1+3=4, 4/2=2), then…  well, I lost count.

I think it’s about 36 sentences total.  So maybe 30 for the day and then 6 for the digits in 2013?

Alanii stepped backward and found a place out of the commander’s way so he could think through all he remembered about his meeting with his father. As he did, the older man moved about his small barrack’s office, settling the neat stacks of uniforms he’d been preparing in order along a low shelf by the door. On top of each, the man next placed a small scroll of parchment wrapped in ribbon.

“What are you doing, sir?” he asked finally. It did not seem the kind of work he would have expected a military officer to be performing. Handling uniforms and linens should have been the work of a scullery maid or washman surely.

The Guardsman looked up from where he was weaving the ribbon of a scroll in through a collar lacing on one of the uniforms. “Preparing for the High Feast night ceremony, Andarniis.”

Alanii nodded. “I’d suspected that. But–.” He stopped short remembering the other Feastday ceremony that involved the Royal Guard. There was the admission and welcome of the new recruits into the Andar’s service, but there also was the Farewell and Host of Song where the Guard themselves celebrated their lost comrades.

The commander sifted through the small stack of parchment on his desk. He found one and drew it out. Withdrawing also a ribbon, the man passed them over to Alanii. “These are for Nessad, if you would like to add anything for his family.”

Alanii looked at the note, then timorously outstretched his hand. Fighting the urge to crumple the small roll of parchment, he stood there, now not just seeing the uniforms laid out, but counting them, seeing them for the first time as not just cloth, but trying to envision the men that had worn them.. Mostly he saw Nessad’s smile, the way the man had grumbled at camp each morning as his wiry curls had fought taming into the three-tiered tails, how the man had been as quick to a laugh or to drawing his blade as needed.

And then how the man had died, alone on the floor of an inn because some spoiled girl’s petty vengeance against a fellow fosterling.

“You don’t have to say anything if you don’t—”

Alanii shook his head, realizing that he’d begun to fume, and forced a semblance of calm to his expression. “No. I just…” He looked pointedly at the stack of parchments the commander had withdrawn Nessad’s from—the man’s eulogy, he realized. “How many?” The stack looked huge.

He realized he’d never actually considered how many men were actually in the Guard before.

“Total losses 89, although three of them are simply retiring because their injuries won’t allow them to live as fighters anymore.” The man motioned to three uniforms that already had their ribbon-tied scrolls. The ribbons were green and black. The ribbons the commander had handed him were white and black.

86 men… How many others had died for a spoiled brat’s petty games? How many had he put at risk himself? “Eighty-six? That’s..”

“That’s nearly a quarter of our entire force, yes. With the small number of recruits we were able to draw in, that might end up being a third of the Guard’s membership for the coming year. Your father cannot pay enough to draw the men we need anymore over the purses offer by the Lanii and Harnii.”

There you go.  Alanii’s starting to realize that he’s not the only one with problems to deal with….

As always, a big shout out to K.L. Schwengel at My Random Muse for hosting of WIPpet Wednesdays.  For a WIPpet, writers post pieces of a draft (Work In Progress) that somehow relate with the date at the group linky.  Company, comments…  even gentle (or not-so gentle) critiques are always welcome.

ROW80 Check-In

I’m getting back on track!  Woo Hoo!

Okay..  so it’s not really that exciting yet, but I did get my sponsor post done.  That counts as something, right?

ROW80LogocopyReally, it does feel like something, and I’m going to say that it is, because I need some successes to halt this downward spiral of feeling like I’m falling further and further behind with things.  I mean, barring the barest of “this happen then this should happen, and maybe this will happen” outline, I’ve done no NaNoWriMo prep.  I’ve barely looked at my drafts except to rewrite over and over the same section for days.  Maybe by posting it and “setting it free” as my WIPpet today I’ll release something.

I did get to the gym and get a workout in, and I caught up on all my sponsor visits while I was at the garage waiting for the car to be repaired  Hooray for multi-tasking!

What a difference a day can make…

How about you?  Have you been turning things around?

Two days late… checking in

Running (cred. Dan Mabee)

Running (cred. Dan Mabee)

Just checking in and saying “Sorry I missed my Sunday post, everyone.”

It’s been a chaotic week of being sick and car repairs and long drives out to see family….  because one can only reschedule things so many times.

The good news is?  It’s all almost over and I can relax in the fervor that is NaNoWriMo.  And yes, mean it when I say I can relax in that.

So anyway….  On the uphill climb now, things are getting better.  I’ll see you all tomorrow for my normal WIPpet and ROW80 check-in.  Today I’m going to get one of the list of car repairs done, hopefully go to the gym and catch up on my ROW80 sponsor visits.

Here’s to a busy but freeing day.  May yours also be filled with progress and relie.


Games — a WIPpet/ROW80 post

Yep…  another Wednesday post… late.

I almost didn’t bother posting anything today.  I’ve raced around practically non-stop since Sunday, and my head has raced faster…  I just want to sleep, and even that’s been nearly impossible to achieve.  So I’m late, but I’m here, and I’m yawning…

Hopefully that means unconscious bliss in a bit.

Since it’s Wednesday it’s time for both a WIPpet and a ROW80 check-in.  Let’s play with the pet first.  They appreciate being noticed and played right away…


No fancy maths tonight.  You get ten (I think reasonably sized paragraphs) for the month of October back in Courting the Swan Song.  Alanii’s back home with his parents and is now in his father’s study where his father is filling him in on the way the man expects his son to behave from now on and why…

Alanii stayed his seat. If his father was still “making the rounds” as the man called his nervous energy, it was certain that there was more they would discuss. These days he knew enough to not just assume he knew what to do next. His father didn’t like that kind of behavior. His father liked to make people be surprised by his actions. In a sense, Alanii felt sorry for the man.

911: President George W. Bush Addresses Media in Oval Office, 09/13/2001.Lord of the Great Throne, named moral leader of all the Settled People, descended from Antian deKanas himself, and the man held little more than the power of a figurehead in most Vale affairs. When someone wished to defy the edicts of Anacniia, all he (or she, Alanii reminded himself bitterly of the Semisniis’ impending arrival) needed to do was gather the assistance of at least two of the major House lords to stand alongside in Council.

And now, Alanii’s father was allowing himself to be drawn into playing the same game, pledge his own heir to House Semis in hopes of making sure that House remained on their side for the future.

“Of course, if you were planning on selling me off to Tarran, Father, you could have approached him for the hand of his own daughter and not that of his cousin’s third born,” he said finally.

“As if Tarran would have accepted my offer after what you’d done in his Holdland,” his father snapped. “You, heir to the Great Throne itself, drew blade against his militia men in his own lands…”

“They never identified themselves as militia. They snuck into our rooms late at night, killed the tavern owner and nearly killed the man’s wife…” Alanii rose enough to face his father head on as the man came back around in his view. “I treated them as any man would have, as brigands and thieves.”

His father made a quick movement as if he were intending to argue, then shook his head and went over to take a seat at his desk. “It’s your word against Tarran’s. He says they were his men and that no one would have been harmed if you’d allowed yourselves to be taken for ransom like civilized men.”

Frustration, Frustration!“And you believe his word more than that of your son and Guard, Father?”

The man sighed. “I have no choice.”

Alanii shook his head. “You know he is lying. You know we’re telling you the truth. Yet you have no choice but to believe him? I don’t—I don’t know what to think about that, Father. Madness at the very least. Since when did the truth become a lie and a lie the truth just because Tarran said it?”

As always, a ginormous “Thank You” 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 the linky.  Company, comments…  even gentle (or not-so gentle) critiques are always welcome.


So, another check-in….  I’ve written almost nothing.  Notes…  notes for a beta read I was doing actually.  And I edited a bunch of story pieces…  I’ve read, some…  Mostly I’ve been driving and running errand after errand after errand.

Rosa multiflora, flower of January 2Oh and doing the weekly Wednesday field trip with my son’s school today.  Today was a challenging day.  We were blazing trails in a new nature preserve that was overrun with rosa multiflora.  Swampy land, lots of thorns, no trail and a bunch of kids in the woods with four adults, with only one set of clippers and one hatchet….  all at the height of deer tick season.

It was an exciting morning.  Fun, challenging,…  even a bit messy, but besides a few scratches, a few soaked shoes and a lot of noise, it was a normal day with these kids.

Now though?  Typing with my left hand is a bit hard.  I’ve gotten the slivers and thorns out, but they left some sore spots.  But it’s okay.  I’m proud of myself for crossing streams on fallen tree trunks (once with my shoe laces untied…though not intentionally!) and keeping all the kids with me from getting torn to pieces on those brambles.

SuccessAnd I got some great story ideas from the experience.  They haven’t fully coalesced yet, but I have a better visual for the rest of last week’s scene with Vissellii and ‘Listii.  I also know what’s going to happen in Courting before Alanii gets home to his father…

Oh, and I got a great workout too.    Hooray ROW80 Fitness!

As for my other goals?  No photos edited.  No photos taken either.  Though it would have been nice to have brought the camera on occasion these days, I’m glad I didn’t have with me today.  I like my camera.  I want to keep it a lit longer….

Sponsor duties?  Visits are on track,  but I still need to write that sponsor post (Sorry, Kait!).  At least I’ve gathered all my pieces together now.  I can write it (once I get settled for five minutes without something else calling to me).  It’s a start.

Sow how about you?  Any new experiences?