Getting Lucky — a WIPpet/ ROW80 post


I did some convoluted math for this piece of Courting the Swan Song so I can justify giving you eight sentences…  See if you can figure it out.  😀

Knowing better than to agree or disagree with any actual accusations against the Harnii’s personal affairs, he addressed what interested him most about the situation. “So the Wanderer women really are the ones who fight. Amazing. I mean, I must have read more than a hundred field reports, but to actually see one of their fighters…”

Sergey Vasilievich Ivanov (1864-1910). Slave T...Val snorted. “She’s a slave now. When you actually see one of their fighters, you’ll know the difference.”

“If I’m lucky, and my father listens this time, I will next season.”

“If you’re lucky,” Val said with a cold quickness in his tone, “there will be an armistice by MidWinter and you never will.”

You’d think Val doesn’t like the idea of Alanii becoming a soldier anymore than Alanii’s father does….  Do you think he’ll have any success in deterring his friend’s ambitions?

Copious thanks to K.L. Schwengel at My Random Muse for hosting of WIPpet Wednesdays (it is like herding cats, after all).  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.


Doing check-ins once the story ‘flow’ gets … well, flowing reminds me of a button my husband has.  He bought it at Lunacon about ten years back, and it’s as apropos today as it was then.

“Don’t wanna work!  Wanna bang on keyboard!”

Now that all the story is plotted out in my head, I have ideas upon ideas for the settings and character actions, from motions to voice to … you name it, that are just demanding my headspace.  And with my son’s school adventures and the holidays coming up (not to mention The Car Issue*), headspace has become limited.

The story wants it all.

Thankfully I’ve managed a pattern with some things.  The writing defies all attempts at consistency, but the sponsor duties, the time at the gym…  Hopefully even the daily commutes will start finding a pattern.  Maybe they won’t before November ends, but it’s learning how to make the writing life work that the ROW80 is really about.  If anything, all this NaNoWriMo rush is the antithesis of the ‘life of writing’ that we’re trying to build here at A Round of Words.

dancing thought bubbles

dancing thought bubbles

So why am I doing this to myself?  Why do I almost always do this to myself, be it NaNoWriMo, JuNoWriMo, CampNaNo (among others)?

Because I’ve learned new things about myself, about my writing style, how to make things ‘work’ under pressure…  When I stop learning new things, even if the stories themselves flow easier–I’ll probably stop participating in the WriMo Rush.

So what about you?  If you are participating in NaNoWriMo this month, why are you doing it?  If you have participated in the past, but aren’t this time, why?  And if you’re in the “I’d never do that”, did you ever waffle on that decision?

* The Car Issue…  Of the three vehicles we own, the truck needs a transmission and a spare tire (not just the tire, but the wheel and all the stuff to attach it to the vehicle); the Impala needs about $2000 in engine work, and the KIA needs about $1500 in suspension repairs.  Every one of these vehicles is over 12 years old, and we average almost 1000 miles a week for the commutes. 

We need a new car.

Photo credits:

  • Sergey Vasilievich Ivanov (1864-1910). Slave Trade in Early Medieval Eastern Europe. Source: (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
  • dancing thought bubbles (Photo credit: AlicePopkorn)

29 responses to “Getting Lucky — a WIPpet/ ROW80 post

  1. Ugh…I feel your vehicle pain. My truck has been in the shop for two weeks with tranny issues. *sigh* Thankfully we don’t need the actual tranny but this is the third time my baby’s been in the shop in as many months and I’m having withdrawals. Yes, I’ll admit it, I love my diesel swilling one ton.

    I hope to never stop learning new things.

    I get the feeling Alanii is far more niave than I think, and Val certainly wants to set him straight.


    • I can sympathize with your “truck love”. My love may be a little Korean beater, but the car I learned to drive on was a Chyrsler Newport police cruiser. And you could measure that in gallons per mile when it got going…

      And no, I never want to stop learning things either. Definitely not…

      At this point, yes, Alanii’s been very sheltered… and somewhat misled by his family to protect him (or so they think. Thing is… lies almost always find a way to be discovered….


  2. Wow, sorry to hear about your car troubles. We know all about that, but never with three vehicles at once!

    I do NaNoWriMo (and JuNoWriMo, etc) because it gives me an excuse to tell my family that I HAVE to work, if only for a month. They don’t really understand it the rest of the time. :/


    • The three cars thing wasn’t planned. We were given our KIA by my parents to be a back up, which ended becoming our primary vehicle. Since it was already 12 yrs old at the time, my father went and shopped for another used car for us… and.. well, we have our truck that only gets used every few weeks or so for hauling big stuff…

      Ah! The “reason to write”… I totally get it. I need an office too. 😉


  3. I saw getting lucky, and my mind went somewhere else. 😉

    I tend to do all the WriMos. Even if it can stress me out at times. Usually I love it. And I like to challenge myself. This month I’m shooting for more than the 50k. I’ve gotten used to doing that or close to it whenever I’m drafting. So, this time I’m attempting to finish a first draft this month. I may not quite get there, but hoping to finish it no later than the first week of December.


    • Well, technically Alanii does get lucky that way in this book too, but…

      I believe it, Fallon. I’ve seen your word counts before. They’re always astounding. I bet you’ll have that draft done on time. I didn’t know you did all the WriMos though. Neat.


  4. Ah, but what a wonderful writing headspace to be in! I love it when I’m there and the story takes up so much of my waking mind. *envy*

    Nice excerpt. Oh, those kids who don’t know what war is really about …


  5. There’s definitely nativity and heavy handed hinting going on in that snippet. Well done. 🙂

    Simple math – 11/20/13 1+1+2+0+1+3 = 8

    I think you never stop learning from writing. You’ll be doing it for forever!!!!

    Best wishes with your car situation. I was without a car for over a week during summer and it drove me nuts.


    • I tried for that effect. Thanks, Gloria.

      Oh, you had to find an easier method… pooh! 😀

      I can imagine. I’ve been carless before. It’s not fun. Sounds like you have your wheels back though. That’s good.


  6. Sheesh. I’m sorry about your car troubles. I think it’s the whole “when it rains” thing with cars. Mine had an issue with what might as well be called the flux capacitor (crankshaft position sensor) then I found out the A/C went out (which I’ll wait to fix until I actually need it) and apparently my tires are almost to the wear bar where they are deemed unsafe, especially now that it’s winter. Hey, who wanted all of that money anyway…. I feel your pain. 😦


    • Yes… A flux capacitor is exactly the perfect name… for most of the parts in a car these days. But yeesh, Jae. Get those tries fixed asap. I actually know someone who was seriously crippled because of a tire that exploded on him, because it had worn down to the belts. I know it doesn’t seem ‘that bad’ but…



      • I will. I was trying to push it to December for the money issue. But now that it’s beginning to snow around here, I really am pushing the danger limits. Thanks for the nudge. 🙂


        • Something I’ve started realizing about car/money issues is they never get better. When you have to make the repair, it’s always more expensive to wait…


  7. I like this piece – and I think that Val is a twit, and Alanii – well, Alanii’s got flint in him. I think he’ll be OK.

    More or less.

    As regards NaNo and other such challenges – I try to evaluate whether I’m ready, and why I want to do it. If I don’t have something ready, or if I want to do it just because it’s happening, I generally won’t do it.

    If I have too much else going on, I don’t do it.

    I tend to take a different view – rather than seeing these as challenges that need to be won or lost, I instead see them as opportunities or invitations to play. I care less about the specifics of the challenge than I do about my own agenda in participating…if that makes sense.

    For example, I chose to do NaNo this year, because the story has been Burning in me ever since I wrote the companion volume last year. Also, I wanted to see if I could complete a draft in a month, and it would be like.

    By the time I’m done, I’ll have done a bit over 2 NaNos….which brings me to the point that 50,000 words in a month isn’t that much for me, anymore.

    OTOH, I didn’t participate in OctPoWriMo last month. I wanted to – but I also still want to revise and publish the 31 poems I wrote last year, and I wanted to plan my nano novel, too. So I sat that one out.

    Learning is life, here – as everpresent as breath. I hope that it will always be so. otherwise, well, what would be the point?


    The kids and I are just getting used to have a car at our full-time disposal. Both still need things, and that will be something that we will be working on through the next months. It seems like a long, long time since we’ve been able to just plan something and go!

    I hope things ease up for you, soon. I had thought we’d be at the Y this evening; but it’s looking like people are tired, and we may just be staying home….

    May you find car peace again, and SOON!!!!!


    • You and Val really just don’t work together, do you? 😀 That’s okay… Val and his brother have their sore points too.

      And you’re right. Alanii may be a bit more shell-shocked than he’d like to be, but he’s stronger than even most anyone (especially himself) suspects. He’ll manage.

      You’re so right about the ‘doing a NaNo’ thing. I really wasn’t ready to start one this year. Not mentally (certianly not physically) and not availability-wise… It’s a new experience though. A month where everything seems to be going askew, I’m rebuilding a steady writing habit, still managing to get out and refill the emotional reserves that everything else in life seems to be depleting..

      I’m probably not going to hit 50K this year. The second week rush I normally get was more of a crawl, but it was a steady crawl. It’s been easier to get things done by hand than by keyboard but that means all my writing is an estimate…

      Basically… It’s been a learning experience. 😀

      And you can’t imagine how happy I am that you finally have some wings again. That’s got to be helping things. I totally understand though about being a bit tired… If I hadn’t made an appt. for somethings, I’d have called and cancelled today’s visit. SO tired!


      • There’s so much good in that learning along the way..even when it ends up just being learning whether to jump in or sit out…

        And you have words, ideas, and cow trails you didn’t have before. And that’s a good thing, no matter your final word tally.


  8. You average 1000 miles a week!?!?!? And here I thought I had a bad commute!

    I understand the car pains though – the knock sensor on my Kia is beginning to die, and while it’s fairly inexpensive on the nasty scale of car repairs, it’s something we can’t really afford right now. I’m hoping your car issues will resolve themselves soon!

    I imagine that Val probably has the 1000 yard stair going on when he talks about fighting, and I don’t blame him from wanting to protect his friend and himself from any future battles. However, the talk about Wanderer Women piqued my interest – I look forward to hearing more about them!


    • The commute is a shared one. We live in the hilltowns, and we share he car for my husband’s work and school (and fieldtrips, and…). Last week I put 1103 miles n the car. The week before that was 954, and… Close enough to 1K for me.

      The Wanderer Women… you’ve met one already. Atyr is a Wanderer, though part of their religious order. But yes, I love them as characters and people…

      I hope you can manage your car repairs soon too, Christina. It’s never good to have bills hanging.


  9. I like the thought bubble picture. 🙂
    It seems like Alanii has a morbid fascination for war, like maybe he’s glorified it to some degree, whereas Val knows better. I hope Alanii will be okay…


  10. Love that: “Don’t wanna work. Wanna bang on keyboard!” Thank you also for your many encouraging comments on my ROW80 check-ins. Thanks also for sharing that Weds WipPET. My favorite line was Val’s quick coldness that says so much about the war and the impressionable Alanii. How much we do learn when we dive into a challenge, even as a NaNo rebel. I just lost two days, but back again this morning for my personal NaNo 500. 🙂 May the rest of the month bring you healthy cars and good writing.


    • I like Val (as you’ve probably seen, Shan doesn’t); he’s got a bit of an attitude, but he’s also under intense pressure from his father to perform to a higher standard than almost any other man his age.

      Glad you loved that quote. My husband sure knows how to pick them. He married me, after all. 😉

      Good you’re back to your personal goal, Beth. Sometimes you need the day off. Sounds like you got one you’d been needing.


  11. I hate car trouble. 😦 We have the worst luck with cars.
    I do WriMos because I need deadlines and I love the challenge. Good luck this month!


    • Cars, despite my husband’s skepticism, have such individual personalities and quirks… It’s like finding the perfect life partner, finding the right car.

      I can see that about WriMos, Skye. I need something better than deadlines though–I need something that makes ignoring them far more risky… a real consequence of some kind.