Ever Winter — a WIPpet/ROW80 post


It’s been a rough week at the Chez Mabee, with almost no writing of any kind… and less involving my characters.  To renew a more intimate relationship with them all, I drifted back into my fanfic the Was Long Variation* for some fun and casual company before getting back to Courting the Swan Song.

Frozen Scream (cred skaty)

Frozen Scream (cred skaty)

Here are two (too àpropos for the present weather) paragraphs.  My WIPpet maths are “take one (1) 2 from 22 to get 2”:

Before he allowed Koru to set the thawing sequence on the cryo unit, Alanii donned a suit and walked into the lab to see their unknown guest.

He ran a glove over the glass to clear the new frost. Inside a young man lay stopped in time, his red and white features proving a rushed freezing job. Tossled sable strands of hair were stuck to his face in places, iced to his eyelids, his lips. The youth might have been beautiful once, but at the moment, encased in non-death, non-life, his narrow features brought sharply into focus by the shards of his own blood, the boy seemed to only add to the warning Alanii had just received. He hurriedly scuffed the icy shavings back over the revealed visage.

Warmest hugs  to K.L.Schwengel the WIPpet goddess.  If you want to read other ‘pets, head over to our linky to visit the whole crew

* If anyone wishes to read more pieces of the Was Long Variation, several other excerpts can be found on this blog, most notably: Fiction, Fiction, Friction; Passwords; Carriage Ride; and Cutting Words

ROW80 Check-in

Normally by this point in a round, I would reassess my goals to see if I should change anything.  Not this time.  Maybe by next week, but for now, things need to progress the way they are a bit longer before I change anything.  Last week was spent being exhausted and sick… mostly exhausted with a  sick child.

So here again is a review of my goals, with notes:

  • write every day; at the minimum, do 5 sentences  I wrote two days only since last Wednesday
  • finish a complete (rough) draft of Courting the Swan Song  see above
  • make twice weekly blog posts (WIPpet Wednesdays and Some Thing 4 Sundays) on a consistent schedule  completely forgot Sunday’s post until Monday evening and decided against posting my lack of progress
  • maintain active sponsor participation I still need to write my sponsor post; I’m behind on sponsor visits from Sunday
  • energize myself with more physical activity does getting out of bed every hour or so to help my son count?
  • reclaim my writing space sort of some progress here, at least in my upstairs, curl in the comfy chair with my laptop space
  • go through some piece of my electronic home (desktop, laptop, server space, Dropbox, etc.) weekly nada
  • laugh more, hug my family more, share myself with friends more…  a world of more, because I’m tired of Living in the Depression*  the three of us went out to dinner last night with Elizabeth Anne Mitchell and her husband last night
Beware of ... (cred swissbanana)

Beware of …
(cred swissbanana)

As you can see, not much going on here.  I did an interesting “writer’ moment” last night at Colonie Center on the way to pick up my husband from work for the above mentioned dinner.

In my (sadly) typical fashion, my feet tangled in each other as the Boodle and I were running across the service road in the parking lot, and I made a near face plant in front of an on-coming car.  No biggie…  I wasn’t hit.

I was a bit winded and shaken.  Mostly I was mad.  Not a single person walking to their cars or any of the cars that went by stopped to ask if I was okay or make sure the Boodle was safe.  I would never just drive by.

What does this have to do with writing?  Well, first it was the awareness of how the fall happened…  Since I write “Swords & Sorcery” style fantasy, I write a lot of battle scenes.  And I realized a lot of “falls” in stories are written very carelessly.  Yes, some are quick, “shake it off” things, but there are also those “pull yourself up and still tremble” things, and that the later makes for a more interesting fight scene.

No one likes a character to have everything too easy.

The second  writer’s moment came when went to the bathroom later and found that my dress pants (which looked as good as new) had done nothing to protect my knee cap from getting a quarter-sided gouge out of it that had caked to my long johns.  And I couldn’t help thinking about all those aftermath scenes where my characters sat and cleaned their weapons, felt a bit stiff, maybe bruised but otherwise okay…

Being clumsy can be good for the writer’s soul, I guess.

24 responses to “Ever Winter — a WIPpet/ROW80 post

  1. A really intriguing WIPpet. This isn’t your peaceful, tidy cryo we’re so used to seeing in the movies (not quite Han Solo terror either) – very nicely done.

    And I’m sorry noone stopped to help you this week. I’m just glad you were able to take your experience and file it away to improve future scenes. I totally got that shakiness that comes after a fall, and will remember that when I’m writing fight scenes in the future too.


    • The sterile cryo images we often see/read never feel honest. The Han Solo experience… (ooh, that could make a frightening amusement park ride) well, that was set up to be extra dark and moody. I can’t say that my scene is better or worse than others, but it seemed to fit this part of the story. Glad you liked it, Raewyn.

      And I’m glad that I was able to share some possible writing tidbits with you.


  2. What a lovely excerpt! I’m not familiar with the fandom, but that is some seriously talented writing. My favorite line: The youth might have been beautiful once, but at the moment, encased in non-death, non-life, his narrow features brought sharply into focus by the shards of his own blood, the boy seemed to only add to the warning Alanii had just received. Very evocative!

    As for tripping and faceplanting – yes, I’ve done the same. The most recent time was a few months ago when, feeling ill and crappy, I nevertheless decided to walk my two rambunctious dogs. They saw another dog, I made a spectacular fall on the street, and my palm and knee were scraped. The joys of life. Hope you feel better soon.


    • Glad you liked the snippet, Xina. Truth be told, in this snippet, it’s just my characters. The Jayce & the Wheeled Warriors characters show up a few paragraphs later.

      OW! I can just picture that fall you took. And the dogs probably didn’t notice you’d stopped moving right away either… (at least my Nina wouldn’t have; she was a sled dog. I hope your healing was quick and you’ve not suffered the same since.


  3. Ouch. Hope you’re okay! Don’t feel too discouraged when you don’t blow your writing goals out of the water. We all have weeks like that, and then things pick up again. When I was struggling with my writing, a friend gave me a quote that said, “It does not matter how slowly you go, as long as you do not stop.” I keep it on my desk to remind me that even if I only write a few words, that’s still something.


    • That’s a great quote, Denise. It’s all progress. And you’re so right that things will eventually pick up. It’s just a matter of continuing to that point. Thanks for the reminder.


  4. Wow, great excerpt, Eden.

    Sorry to hear about so much getting in the way of your writing. Hope you find a way back to a more productive space soon.


  5. This is a chilling little WIPpet (no pun intended). Vivid imagery too. The extract left me wondering how the young man ended up being frozen in time.

    I like your thinking about being clumsy (which I often am) is good for the writer’s soul. Shame on all those people who passed by and didn’t even ask if you were alright. Glad you’re okay if a little bruised.


    • Glad the snippet served to intrigue and inspire… I really love my fanfic. Can you tell? 😀

      I realized there ad to be a silver lining in he clumsiness a while back. And a lot of it comes in how so much more aware we have to be just “doing” things. Even walking can require extra awareness…

      I agree about the other people… shame on them. But I will still stop if one of them falls. My bruises heal, but a lot more of me will have to have been hurt to make me forget someone in need.


  6. Yikes, I got a little claustrophobic just reading that!! It’s such a strange/creepy concept to freeze someone like that.


    • I know… I mean, I understand where the idea of cryo could be helpful (extreme cold helping slow down bleeding in very injured patients, etc.), but… not for me please.


  7. Ouch:( glad it wasn’t more serious – as a ‘clumsy child’ i say be careful girl, no running -no-no-no:) that snippet was as intriguing as it was edgy – might like that:) all the best and heres hoping sickness has passed over


    • Glad you enjoyed the snippet, Alberta. Edgy and intriguing are definitely good things in my opinion.

      I’ve always been a clumsy child–I should have known better. But it was cold and I was in a hurry and… Well, I got colder and slowed myself down by a good ten minutes. It’s how it goes.


  8. Isn’t it amazing how our writer brains kick in and start analyzing things like that? I find myself doing that way too often. But the observations we make, if we can add them into our writing, certainly make it that much more real.

    Sounds like a rough week. Don’t forget, there’s nothing wrong with taking time to recharge.

    I can really relate to your WIPpet. I want nothing to do with freezing right now. It was -4 again on the way into work this morning. Brr!!


    • I love it when I get into those replay analyses. Glad I’m not the only one to enjoy the pleasure.

      -4… Oh, I can relate. The batteries in our thermostat stopped working last night. We woke up to… well, the pipes didn’t break, but there was no water.


  9. I completely agree with you about realism in battle scenes. I feel the same way about most kinds of forward-moving action–chases, arguments, sex, religious ritual. It’s an ongoing peeve I have with bland genre fiction. It all reads the same and fits neatly into a box. Well, I want the stories I read to be different!

    As for the excerpt, wow. That was intensely creepy. Fantastic!


    • I think two many people get caught in the “I can write that” because something they saw or read felt vivid to them. Thing is, it probably was that intense and vivid the first or second time it was experienced, but as everyone places their twist on things… Well, a tomato and a tomato and a tomato…. they can look different, even taste slightly different, etc, but they still are tomatoes. (Growing up on a veggie farm, I ate a lot of tomatoes… they’re kind of ‘tried one, tried them all’ food even though some are just amazing).

      Glad you liked it, Amy. Thanks.


  10. Sys,

    If I had been there, I would have stopped, made sure the Boodle was in my car, safe with his “cousins”, and picked you up off the ground (figuratively more than literally, I’m afraid…).

    I still remember that time I fell onto the hot woodstove to avoid stepping on the Corki-dog’s hind legs. I was home all alone, with a burned hand, a burned elbow on the other arm, and a burned hip….the pain was exquisite, and definitely fed my writing in many ways…

    I hope the company and the meal made up a little for the post-fall shakiness (which, when I fall also always comes with a stiff neck), and the callousness of the passersby – particularly the one who almost hit you! – , and that you’re feeling better today.

    I love this snippet, especially the rushed nature of it, the shards of frozen blood, and Alanii’s reaction. Because Alanii is so – well, steadfast – , I can imagine that the warning must be pretty intense. And I’m wondering if the person in the cryo is who I think it is….

    We’ve had some sick here, too. We’re on our second cold in as many weeks, and I’m tired and achy today (the day we need to restock the firewood with that snowy stuff – brrrrr!). It can be hard to keep on track or have any routine when the house is down with illness.

    I’m thinking that revisiting something for fun is a perfect solution for that. Watch your step. That’s important for those of us who can’t see our feet! Feel better. Relax, and enjoy the lull of recovery.

    Next Tuesday, maybe, if it’s balmily above zero and we both can move? =)


    • Tuesday is supposed to be cold again. 😦 But I’ll speak with the hubby about it. The Boodle does have fencing, so it may be a late outing. (I really miss having my Tuesday evenings free.)

      Sorry to hear that the sick has invaded your home too. It does seem to be pernicious this year. I know a few people who had to hit the ER because of symptoms.

      Alanii is … steadfast…. Hmm, never saw him that way. I mean, he puts on a good show because he has to, but he considers himself quite overtaken by uncertainty. Though…. Atyr considers him steadfast. I wonder if there is something to that. Or… if that says something about my writing of them. Hmmm. Something to ponder….

      I will definitely watch my step better. (Can’t promise perfection, sorry to say.)


  11. Golly, Eden, I think you may just have put me off cryo units forever. I don’t want my looks distorted that much, and if they do get that distorted, I don’t want some young upstart staring before I can even speak up for myself. 😉


    • Well, Alanii’s not a young upstart at this point, so his commentary/perspective isn’t critical because of squeamishness in that sense. As he notes, the freezing job was rushed (not done carefully) and may have been done wrong. People make mistakes…. Alanii’s worried that these mistakes may come back to haunt the young man in cryo. Or his people in general…

      So I think you’re safe, ReGi. 🙂