Category Archives: philosophies

When is a Dance…

I considered not posting anything today, since I’m likely to be abysmal at returning comments or visits for the next few weeks (and I haven’t been great at it as it is lately).  But I will try my best…  I promise.

This week I have eight smallish paragraphs (1-9 for the 19th of April).  It’s from Marche in the Swan Song Series.  It’s part of a smallish “I’m not sure it belongs” scene that came to me when I was thinking about my one character ‘Listii (the ‘he’ in this scene) and how in the eyes of many people around him, his transformation from childhood to that of a mature man with wife and children in the matter of a few days.  Of course, it’s more nuanced and gradual than that, but, despite living with him all his life, these people don’t see the inner developments happening the way most family members see their children/siblings grow and change over time.  Vissellii (the ‘she’ here)  and ‘Listii are two of a set of triplets, and yet… she’s seeing who he is for the first time.

It’s a common thought these days as I watch the news and read biographies…  when do we stop being the child and suddenly become the adult.  Frankly, I still feel like a teenager a lot of the time.  But even beyond that, because I do a lot of reading about the darker sides of humanity…  where do they start?  Is this something that has always been there?

When does this…  become something…  different?

Her brother, instead of watching the dishes, was moving, slowly, almost ritually. Dance moves, yet more. She watched for a moment, marvelling at his balance and control.

She’d seen him being taught to dance and known he would know how to dance… perfectly mimicking the same way he’d been taught it, as with everything. But she’d never expected him to actually dance. Knowing moves was very different than knowing how to move, how to adjust for differences in the ground or proximity. Though he wasn’t following his steps perfectly anymore—she could see several places where he’d have had difficulty with a partner, at the moment he was really feeling the dance.

But she had to smile some, picturing his poor imaginary partner. The woman would have broken toes, shoulders and likely a jaw to match.

“You might want to imagine you have a partner with you, ‘Listii, before you disappoint some lady horridly.”

He paused mid-move, holding his pose so perfectly balanced that Visse could not imagine any statue so solid and yet so fluid—as if ready for flight. The only move was when he cocked a brow at her before replying. “I was.” He set his foot down, standing solid again. “You thought I was dancing?”

She wondered if she shouldn’t leave well enough alone, suddenly realizing those imagined injuries had been intended.

She should have realized that, as malleable as her brother had been through most of his youth, the House Elders would have found him the perfect tool for their private wars with the other High Houses. Emotionless, able to follow an intricate set of directions without needing repeat instructions…

Damn them for turning this… this heartbroken, lovelorn young man into a murderer!

As always, why not head over to the WIPpet linky and visit some our other awesome members after you’re done here.  And while you are there, wave “Hi” to Emily Witt, our gracious host.

Present Only In Thought

It’s WIPpet Wednesday, yet again.  That wonderful day of the week when I and several fellow writers share something of a work in progress to bemuse and delight you….

Before that, I wanted to note an upcoming event that I love…  JuNoWriMo is coming soon.  If you’re a fan of Writing Months, like NaNoWriMo or the more relaxed CampNaNoWriMos…  or events like Story-A-Day (going on now!), you might like to join our summery crew.  We’re a relaxed group, we love to sprint for words, and…  we have cookies.

Okay…  maybe we don’t have cookies.  Well, not exactly.  I have cookies.  Does that count?

Insert creepy monotone voice here (courtesy of QuickMeme)

Insert creepy monotone voice here

Anyway, JuNoWriMo!  Join us!

With love, a long time JuNoRebel and SprintLeader


This week, I chose an excerpt from another “sandbox” piece… that is, a piece from another of my fanfictions: this time, The Dots (of which the oft quoted Was Long Variation is…  a variation).  Eleven sentences for May 6th (5/6):

He’d heard enough about the man.  Between mistrust the children still felt toward him and how perfect this Captain had obviously been, it was all he heard.  The children raved of how they loved the man.  Atyriaa talked of how he’d intrigued her.

She whispered his name in her sleep.

He was heartily sick of the man. He didn’t know him, but he’d grown to despise him nonetheless. Years of misunderstanding didn’t hold him from his lady’s side now. Now he slept in the same bed with her—, but he wasn’t allowed to hold her.

Last night he’d left the room. He refused to sleep with another man, even one present only in thought.

Oh… silly, silly, Alanii.  You’ve got a lot to learn, don’t you?  And not just about the man Atyr slept with once….

Anyway, that’s it for me.  Why not visit some other WIPpeteers and see what they’re working on.  New authors are always welcome.  Just follow a few simple rules:  offer up a shout out to the Keeper of the WIPpets (and flying monkeys) KLSchwengel at My Random Muse, and make your excerpt have something to do with the date.  Oh…  and add your link to our linky list so we can find your work.


Slush in Laptop-land

Process is a strange thing.  How we get things done…


Sunlight (Photo credit: zenera)

Do you wake up in the morning and pour your coffee before you can even think of opening your eyes?  Or are you one who needs to see the sun shine in your window at noon to know that it’s time to get moving on your day?

I’ve been slave to caffeine and the solar-powered alarm at various times in my life.  I’ve even had runs of being able to wake up in the dark of wintry pre-dawn and be able to just get about my day without any prodding from beyond.

I’ve never been one for consistency in my day-to-day schedule or habits, unless one wishes to call my inconsistency my habit.

For writing, however,  I am as close to being trapped in the process as any addict ever there was.  After years of playing tag, of cajoling the words on the page, throwing away more than 90% of what I did manage to get down, I discovered that one thing made it easier.  My process…

For me, everything starts with a notebook.  It must be spiral bound; I’ve never found myself able to compose in a so-called “Composition Notebook“.

It involves black ink pens.  My current favorites are Zebra brand 301(A and F) ball points.  I’ve had horrid luck with gel pens, and almost always end up tossing them out barely used.  A pity, because I love the colors.

The next part of the process moves my desktop computer where I will type in and expound on pretty much everything I wrote by hand.  It’s a matter of keyboard-love here.  The click of the keys, the shape and curve of them…  even the non-ergonomic height at which it sits upon my old-fashioned desk all work together to make things feel right for creating that perfect Draft1.5.

Board game Solitaire  | Solitär

Next thing I have to do is give our laser printer a workout.  I can edit some on screen, but for the serious hacking and slashing involved in getting my WiPs in any sense of order, I need to hold papers in my hand and not be lured into any viable distractions such as solitaire or Facebook…  or pictures from one of the Safe For Work Porn reddits.

Then, after much defacing of pages and many scrawled epitaphs later, I head off with my laptop to type in the changes (the exception here is if I have a lot of typing to do, as in new scenes or chapters, in which case I write those in another spiral notebook and type them in on my Desktop PC).  I love my laptop, but I hate most any touch pad “mouse”, and the keyboard layout is, well, cramped.  But its flaws actually allow me more time to focus on the changes I am making…

My laptop isn’t the end of the process–usually it’s just the beginning.  The average cycle usually follows this pattern: Steps 1, 2, 3, 4, 3, 4, 3, 1, 2, 1, 3, 4, 3, 4, and so on.

It works, for the most part.

Which, leads me to where I am in my ROW80 progress:

Things are actually going quite well.  I’ve swum in my slush for a bit lately, trying to recover a sense of direction.  And in doing so, I’ve found myself able to focus more and more of my attention on Release.

I’ve finished reading another book for my Goodreads Challenge.  I’m glad I read the book, although I’m not delighted that dreams about the characters helped keep me up last night as my brain tried to “fan fiction” a happier ending fr the characters.  I guess I’m a sucker for the “Happily Ever After”.

Strange that, since one of the things I’ve been working on carefully is “killing my darlings” in my editing periods.  I know I probably have a long way to go, but I am working it.  Tightening up my writing would be a good thing.

Anyway, I think I’ve made excellent progress since my last check-in.  I could have written more new writing, but then I always could have.  Life intervened, and I still got plenty done.

It was a good week.


Check out other ROW80 people here: at the linky