Another week, another ROW80 check-in plus WIPpet Wednesday post…

I’m on roll here.  Almost two months worth of posts again.  Yay me!

Seriously, yay me.  It’s hard to get back into doing things after a long hiatus, and even harder when Life has been busy piling on its blessings of extra things to deal with.  And of course, it’s the holiday season with its standard package of events and obligations…  and memories.

I don’t deal well with the holiday season.

My goals aren’t suffering for this burst of motivation.  I’ve managed, on average, around 800 words a day.  Most of it is brain dumps and plotting ideas, but it’s been good for exploring stories and feelings reactions…  New story is coming a bit slower, but I’ve managed to add around 100-300 words almost every day, just not every day.

For my creativity bursts, I’ve been doing some daily drawing practice, trying out techniques and seeing what I could come up with in 10-20 minute bursts of drawing.  As I used to draw from an image and then tweak to my tastes, having to free-style it has been an interesting challenge.    I’m learning more about what sorts limitations I work best within and how to work around them.

Limits seem to be the best creativity boosters I’ve found lately.  Trying to write or draw just “anything” always seems to become nothing.  But if I set a limit, a number of words or a posture…  somehow I can get “something” on the page.

I’ll have to start Instagraming the pictures so I can post them here as well as Facebook.

And yes, the rest of my goals, to type in pages and to get packing/house-clearing done are progressing…  slowly.


This week’s entry for WIPpet Wednesday is 14 sentences (plus one lead-in from last week’s post) of Singer of the Swan Song.  We’re still in the opening chapter., and I’m really hoping for feedback on whether this would “hook” you all as a reader.

Maths: 12/20/18…  add all the digits, then count two fragments as a sentence 😉

She felt herself start to fall and reached out again. “Mama!”

Smelly muck splashed about her as she landed face-first, just missing the paving cobbles. Her outstretched arm hit one, hard.

It hurt so very much, her breath caught in her throat. The hiccups almost came. ‘Tara forced them back. She wouldn’t cry. The boys had taught her that in their games. The more she cried, the more they’d torment her. But when she’d stiffened her lip and choked back the pain, they’d petted her, telling her how strong and brave she was. Just like them. Not like the twins’ snippy sister.

Her parents had sent her away because she wasn’t strong and brave.

But what if… ‘Tara didn’t know if she could be more scared than she was already, but she had cried a lot the day ‘Listii’d been hurt. Was Mama sending her away now too?

Interested in more? Interested in joining in? Being a WIPpeteer is pretty easy. First, you have to write something (that’s the hardest bit) and then you have to post it to your blog on Wednesday, using what we call “WIPpet Maths”… which really means, fudge around with the numbers on the date until you come up with something that fits what you’d like to share.

For more WIPpet fun, head over to the WIPpet linky and visit some our other awesome members. The WIPpet is hosted by Emily Wrayburn.

13 responses to “Brave

  1. Thank you for talking about what inspires you to keep writing and what strategies you are using, despite those ‘life as normal’ upheavals that happen to us all. May you have the very best of holidays!


  2. I do want more – but I want it to be something immediate right after “The boys had taught her that in their games.”

    Everything that follows seems a bit out of place for this moment, as though it’s being fed to us so we’ll understand things we don’t yet.

    We don’t even know who the boys are – and we shouldn’t, not yet.

    Meanwhile, as we’re learning all this stuff we have no place to hang, ‘Tara is lying there with an arm that really hurts. I’d like a description of a consuming pain she fights to hide, and to know what her mother is going to do about it, because, as a mother, I’m not going to just stand by.

    Basically, while the musing she does is interesting, and might be really useful a bit later, her thinking all this now pulls me out of the story in progress – which is a girl who is so afraid of whatever’s in that barn that hurt someone she knew, and a mother who took her in anyway, and now a fall and a potentially serious injury.

    I’d be more hooked if we stayed with those immediate concerns right off, with only a couple hints seeded in that there was more to the story. What I want here is to FEEL the pain with her, her worry about crying, and her fear – is she more scared to be laying here where the whatever-they-are can get her?

    I hope that helps.

    And hooray on the two months, the drawing, and the progress. Hugs for the season and all the things it means.


    • You know me and my first drafts… I go meandering ALL over the place. So, yeah, all the thoughts and reasons and rationales show up.

      Hmm, how to show that even as hurt and scared as ‘Tara is, she’s almost even more scared of being sent away… I’ll be looking at it closer. Thank you for the wonderfully detailed input. Good reasons, and a clear sense of WHY it was slowing down for you, that it was still “interesting” but that it could be even more intriguing…. Again, thanks.

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      • A thought – could the fear of being sent away be brought out more in the opening paragraphs – before the fall. When she’s trying to get up her courage to go in, if she worries Mother will send her away for her fears, and tries to hide them?

        Seeding that concern ahead of her fall would allow it to be a very brief mention when she’s down, tasting, smelling, and feeling the muck on her face, the agony of the pain – and that fear of not being brave enough to stay with her mother – would be enough to get the point across without interrupting the flow of the action.


        • You are right, Shan. The intensity of her reaction to falling here is dimmed by her remembering why she needs to be brave. I think I wrote it this way because that’s when I started understanding why ‘Tara needed so hard to be brave and strong here. Guess that’s why these are WIPpets… or rather snippets of works in progress. 🙂

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          • I can see why it would emerge that way, and the value of the memory. I do think it would work better when she’s initially being encouraged to go inside, so that the seed is already there when she falls.

            And yep. It can be good to get detached eyes on things,

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  3. Ooh, that’s interesting. Poor girl. I hope she learns that showing her emotions doesn’t make her less brave or less good.


  4. Hurrah for writing regularly! I’m actually taking two weeks off from WIPpet Wednesday because of the holidays. There’s too much to do, and I’ve two few spoons these days. I’ll be back next week.


    • Having too few spoons seems to be a thing these days… not sure if it’s because we have so much more on our plate (we do) or spoons these days are smaller than they used to be. See you soon.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I can relate to what you say about the holiday season and Life happening… Somehow it helps as I try to keep busy and therefore focus on my goals.

    Definitely start Instagramming your pics, as Instagram has a nice feature that allows you to post on Facebook at the same time. 😉
    It even tweets for you simultaneously if you want, though it’s a link, not a picture. I still find it very convenient. 😊

    Best wishes to you and yours. See you next round.


    • Holidays have been meant as a way to upset routines and give people something else to think about instead of bone-weary ruts and frustrations… they do their jobs well, even if these days, more people are doing jobs they’ve chosen and love. I wonder if the purpose of holidays will change as that trend increases. Or… given the present political trends, will we start needing them more again?

      I was more thinking of my Flicker acct, but yeah, Instagram is good for some of the out & about bits.