Soap and Water

Clouds after a storm over the neighbor's house

Clouds after a storm over the neighbor’s house

It may be Thursday and not Wednesday, but I still intend to go forward with a WIPpet today.  I’d considered doing it yesterday; didn’t.   Busy, busy day for me (wasn’t this vacation week?).  Today, despite my writing this from the garage (the passenger side airbag in our car keeps disabling itself, even when there is a passenger), is much more relaxed.

I’ve got some questions for you all before I start with this snippet: are you enjoying reading this story “in order”, or are you finding these quieter sections dragging for you?  Would you prefer to change back to a different story?  Shorter/longer snippets?  More explanation/background before each piece?  Any comments or suggestions you can offer would be appreciated.

And now, to the WIPpet itself…


Because today is the 24th, I’m giving you six small paragraphs.  However, because this post should have been written yesterday, the first paragraph is a repeat of last week’s post.  It’s the morning after Atyr’s and ‘Listii’s interlude, and they’re both dealing with “issues”.

Oh, before I go too far, let me respond to some comments/ideas that went around during last week’s posts…

  • “mental fingers”  — Atyr is telepathic and was trying to mentally entice a response from ‘Listii; something was wrong and she wanted to know what.  (If this helps, then it’s just an “out of context” confusion; if not, then I need to do some rewriting.)
  • SO very, very glad to read that people are interested in reading about older characters (this pair are grandparents; ‘Listii’s a widower (and a womanizer); Atyr’s in her second marriage (separated from her husband).  I like character’s with “history”.
  • “Perfect people” — It’s a bit harder to show that these people aren’t perfect; they aren’t human and without having an external character to note the quirks of their aging process, I haven’t figured out a good way to show what is different (my fault!).  And with these two…  well, there are other forces at play that make it hard for them to notice flaws in the each other.

So now that I’ve probably confused the issue even more…  here’s six paragraphs:

He sighed softly and reached up to gather her fingers. “I know, Mouse. It wasn’t you. But she…” Tears he’d shed too many times before threatened to escape again.

“Riia.” It was a statement of fact.

He answered it as if it were a question, nodding. “Riia. I still miss her, Atyr.”
His present lover moved around to sit on the edge of his desk. “Of course you miss her. You loved–still love her, don’t you?” She didn’t wait for an answer but reached over to embrace him. “I’m sorry, ‘Listii. I have a ‘tianii. I should have realized what the contact would trigger. If I stay here tonight I’ll keep my shields up too.”

He murmured a thanks, kissed her and watched as she left before he rose to take his shower. His own grip on his memories and thoughts he held tight until well into the washing.

As if any soap and water could wash away what you almost did, he scolded himself.

Three cheers for our fearless leader and tamer of the flying monkeys, Kathi Schwengel of My Random Muse.  If you’d like to join the WIPpeteers, choose a snippet of your Work In Progress that somehow relates (even loosely) to the date and post it on your blog.  Then add your link to our WIPpet linky and visit your fellow writers to share in the fun.

ROW80 Check-In

Some progress despite being distracted by vacationing (well, sort of vacationing…  not much rest and relaxation, just a lot of driving and running around with the in-law’s kids).  I made great progress on my exercise goals, of course.  Not so much on the writing.  I took a bunch of pictures, but I haven’t uploaded them to my computer yet.  Reading?  Yes (it’s easy to read on subway trains and when stuck in traffic on I-93).  Editing?  No (I’m going to try porting CTSS to a .mobi file and see if I can do some editing via my Kindle app while I’m out and about, but I haven’t done this yet).

We’re still officially on vacation but home for a few days (doctor’s visits and karate promotions… Yay, Boodle!).  Time to catch up on a few things and to get another kitten (our JuJuBee was totally traumatized by being left in the care of a cat-sitter for a few days; hopefully, since we were planning on giving her a companion anyway, things will be better when she’s less “by herself”).

off Point Judith, Rhode Island

off Point Judith, Rhode Island

Oh, and time to wash out the Atlantic Ocean from our shoes…  😀

11 responses to “Soap and Water

  1. I’m not minding these quiet moments at all. I feel so bad for ‘Listii. His character has a heaviness about him that.


    • I’m not sure what you mean, Kathi… except perhaps that you feel ‘Listii thinks he’s carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders (he does). I’m glad the quieter moments don’t seem to be a problem. I like them. They’re a great place to delve into the world a bit deeper.


  2. I’m new at the ROW80 thing, but I enjoyed your snippet. I’ll have to go back and read a few more to get a better sense of what’s going on, but I like your writing style. 🙂


    • Thanks, Kristen. Going back on this piece could involve going right to the beginning (not sure if you’re up for that). It’s the Unnamed Story I posted in my “Stories From My Worlds” page. If you don’t want to do that, no problem. A lot of WIPpets are out of context pieces.


  3. We didn’t make it to the ocean this trip, but we still have the lake at Pinewoods Lodge clinging to this and that.

    Two questions? Zoom Flume when? Lise in particular is interested.

    And, would you be interested in a trip to the Sterling Renaissance Festival sometime in August? The kids and I are thinking of heading out there one day, possibly for an overnight..

    Love the boodle by the ocean shot, and the kitten news. =)


    • No ocean? *gasp* At least you had the lake. 😉

      Would Monday work for you guys? We could Zoom Flume then. Wednesday is also possible, just less easy to do. Sterling… we talked about it, but Dan’s not interested and the Boodle’s very much on the fence. He’s not sure he would like it because he’s never been to one and Dan’s never enthused about most outings of that sort. If we did head out that way… hmm, the Boodle has camps for the middle two weeks (Laserquest at JMU would probably appeal to both of your kids… though perhaps they’d find it a bit too orchestrated; it’s effectively a laser tag LARP).

      New kitten looks like Hitler-kitty somewhat… despite being JuJuBee’s sister, this new girl is HUGE.


      • We were OK with not going to the ocean this time. Lise had a case of swimmer’s ear, and there was plenty to keep us occupied at the campground. That’s where all our friends were. =)

        We just thought we’d extend the Sterling invite, since we’ll probably be going.

        My kids seem pretty happy to find less structured things to do – my goal is to get Lise more girl time, and Miah may be taking first aid/babysitting training at the Y this fall. I’m reasonably sure they’d rather set up their own role playing than participate in an adult-orchestrated version – and they have definite opinions about the way many kids are treated at events like that – by the staff and their parents. That can put a damper on their fun.

        I hope the kittn adventures are all happy ones, even with a Hitler-kitty (I hope she ends up with a better name than that!)

        I just took a little nap, and dreamed of Margot. I miss my little Manxie-girl.


  4. *sniffle, sniffle* How sad. Atyr is angelically sympathetic about it.


  5. I thought this snippet was quite interesting.

    That said, I don’t post my own snippets strictly chronologically. The last scene in Venta, yes, where there was a lot going on, especially beneath the surface, and I wanted to see how much of that the WIPpeteers caught on to (very much!) I posted nearly all of that scene, with the exception of some of the beginning. Which for me is the exception rather than the rule.

    Usually when posting Wednesdays, I skip transitional sequences, sections where I have too many notes to myself to want to work it out for a snippet, and excerpts that I fear might have too much background info and not enough substance. Thing is, there are so many of us who drop in and out of each others’ WIPs, that I feel like I have to provide something entertaining in and of itself. Which I like, because it gets me thinking about the scene at hand in ways I might not otherwise.

    And now I have written a lecture, when all I wanted write was comment … argh … sorry! But you asked. 🙂


    • That wasn’t a lecture, Ruth; that was a (very helpful in matters of perspective) comment. It’s cool to learn the reasons behind our particular choices (of words, actions, etc…).

      I get what you’re saying about wanting to provide something entertaining in and of itself. That said, I often find that transition pieces tend to be the hardest to write well without over/under-doing details and still propelling the story along.

      Thanks for your insights.