Where Was I?

It’s been a few weeks since my last post.  I was on vacation with my family and…  surprise (even to me), I decided to really take time off.  And yes, before you ask, it was….


Looks like playtime is over. The first clue was my husband heading back to work Monday. I took a few days to myself (YES!) after that. And now.. I’m here with my ROW80 check in (I did close to nothing with my stories, but I read, I made notes, I watched a bunch of TV, went on walks in the woods, daydreamed, saw cool places….  in general, I took a real vacation) and my WIPpet.

As for the WIPpet, I took to heart some of the commentary I received (and haven’t answered…  my bad) to my last post.  Since I kind of had an idea of what I wanted to do, I guess I really was looking for some validation that I wasn’t messing with things too much.  The heart wants what the heart wants, but it’s nice to know that giving in won’t hurt others, so to speak.*

That said, if anyone is interested in continuing to read my Unnamed Story as a beta reader please let me know.  I’m in the last two chapters of the piece, and having something of a crisis of direction.  I’d love some serious input.

And now, onto the…


I’m jumping back in the Swan Song Series, into the third book I’ve planned out and back into Atyr’s head…  Atyr as a girl, not the mature grandmother you’ve gotten to know her as in the Unnamed Story.  It’s the beginning of her section in this third book; she thinks she’s dealt with all the problems that could involve her and that, mild nausea aside, she’s about to close out the journey of her youth and become one with her spiritual leader.

Yeah…  like I’d let that happen.

So here you go, 14 sentences (I’m posting this on Thursday, so you get a bonus for the day) from Swan Song Refrain (working title):

Atyr didn’t know how long she’d been tied in her seat; she was just glad that this stretch of the journey seemed to be ending.

The side to side waddle of the riding beast’s stride became abruptly short and jerky, an almost spinning sensation as the beast seemed to start forward and then rest back. From beneath the heavy cowl of her robes, Atyr caught bright glimpses of blue and white, tan and brown. Lots of brown… Brown feathers, brown clothes…

Even her hands were brown now.

At least the dusty color was soothing to the eyes. She gazed down at the shishtriara’s feathered neck and let herself fall into a moment’s tranquility tracing the waves of caked dirt with her eyes. Here and there some of the beast’s true cream-colored down peeked through.

The pattern rippled as the beast shifted, its serpentine neck twisting as the beast turned its head to her. Heavily lidded eyes peered under the covering of her seat frame up to her, a faint glow of the day beyond reflected in them.

Despite the warnings she’d been given, Atyr felt herself start to inch back from the beast. The flaps over the creature’s nostrils vibrated faster; a trill escaped its fanged mouth. Its jaws opened in a parody of a grin.

As always, thanks to Kathi Schwengel of My Random Muse for maintaining the WIPpet challenge.  Please feel free to comment, critique… praise 😉 the group of us.  We’re a pretty friendly bunch.

*Yes, hyperbole.  I know that no one will be hurt if I change my WIPpet story.  Nor will any shistriara… much.

15 responses to “Where Was I?

  1. Welcome back Eden! Great excerpt. I loved the description of what’s around Atyr and of the beast carrying her along. I’m confused about where she is and what’s happening to her… but I get the feeling she is too. Good stuff!


    • Atyr is confused but more in the “I just woke up after a long illness” way than an uninformed one. Glad you liked the excerpt, and thank you for the welcome, Elaine.


  2. So until the fanged part…I thought she was riding an ostrich. Great visuals in this scene.


  3. The riding beast sounds…interesting. I’m guessing she was told not to show it any fear, and hence the last paragraph? I’d be a bit concerned being on a beast with fangs and an attitude.


    • Glad you liked the shistriara. They are…. interesting. Not exactly the animal I’d want to be tied to, at least not without some rabbit jerky to feed it. 😀


  4. Wow, that last paragraph really makes you reintepret the foregoing! Nice twist there!

    Lots of good visuals in this passage. The only thing I can think to contribute is that you might be able to make it even more effective with the addition of other senses.


    • Thanks… and good point, Ruth. This is rough draft stuff, so any and all suggestions are appreciated. Other senses… definitely should include more tactile stuff at the very least.


  5. I too was intrigued by Atyr’s relationship with the shistriara! Those fangs and not-quite-a-smile make me want to find out what’s next . . . now! And tied in her seat? What happened before! This is the hard part of reading a good excerpt. The story is building tension, potential conflict, and has a strong main character. Welcome back from vacation.


  6. Welcome back from vacation! It’s always hard getting back into the swing of things, isn’t it? I always have about a week of “Do I really have to be an adult again?” before I adjust.

    Interesting excerpt. I’m not familiar with this character, You must’ve posted about her when I was on one of my breaks. What an interesting visual you’ve painted of the creature! It really underscores the alien nature of your story. I assume it’s a fantasy?

    I would remove the second instance of “beast” here: ‘The pattern rippled as the beast shifted, its serpentine neck twisting as the beast turned its head to her’ and replace it with “its.” It’s less awkward sounding that way.
    Now that I read it over again, the creature reminds me of a dinosaur. Very cool!


    • A week of readjustment time is about right… I love the way you phrase it though (“do I have to be an adult now?”).

      It is fantasy. No, the shistrii aren’t dinosaurs. Though, yeah, now that I look at it that way, I see where you made comparison. What a neat idea!

      Good catch on the “beast” thingie.


  7. Knowing what the shistriiara began as, so long ago, I love what you’ve done with them! I mean, really, really love it!

    BTW, the dirpiit seem to have vanished from Aletris. Maybe there was a comet…?

    My dad was a carnie. It’s how he met my mom. Did you know that?

    I’m a little worried about Atyr’s nausea. Hope there’s nothing to it that can foil her plans – or do I?!

    I’d love to beta read, but not just now. I’m deeep in revisions for Chameleon’s Dish, still drafting Perchance to Dream, and – well, I get it about the homeschool paperwork. If you can wait a month or two…

    We need to touch base about WSHC!


    • The diriit are gone? I was rather wondering what you might have done with them. Alicorns they were not.

      Glad you’re enjoying the new and improved rabbit munching shistrii.

      I can certainly wait a month or two. I have homeschool paperwork to do as well after all.

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