Category Archives: quandries

Petting — a WIPpet/ROW80 post


To shortcut to the WIPpet, click here, but you may wish to read on, since this check-in supplies a lot of backdrop to this week’s excerpt.

I didn’t check in yet again on Sunday.  No reason (well, I have reasons, but…), I just didn’t do it.


manuscript (Photo credit: El Chupacabrito)

Right now I’m trying to recalibrate my head from NaNoWriMo to see if I can finish up Release before Angry Robot closes their Open Door (many, many thanks to Kathi for directing me to their event).  Though I feel torn about that, and this is why:

Originally Release was meant to be starting book in a trilogy (Parvenu) that would introduce a future-version of my world after they’d recovered from the destruction of their homeworld.  Then I got deeper into The Swan Song series and have since discovered that the history I wrote for Release just doesn’t fit.

Since there are a few thousand years between The Swan Song and Parvenu, I suppose some of the history my (very unreliable) narrator knows could be just wrong.  But there are also some people in the story that….  Well, we’re talking a few thousand years, and Alanii is in the first chapter.

No, Alanii is not a vampire.


Crossroads (Photo credit: Richard Elzey)

So, I really am not sure I actually want to release Release.  But it’d be nice to do something with it rather than continue to let it moulder in a drawer.

Beyond that?  I’m behind on everything else.  Finishing NaNoWriMo took more out of my this year than ever.  And despite my 59,707 wordcount, I don’t feel I won, because I didn’t work consistently, nor did I stay on the project I’d intended to write from the start.  😦


Today, as I noted in my ROW80 check-in, I’m posting a piece from Release.  Thirteen smallish paragraphs from the twelfth chapter:

an old pirate ship.

an old pirate ship. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

His gaze wandered the sky. “You think Dave is such a philanthropist that he would risk his life getting us out of the that Hell if he wasn’t getting something out of it. She’ll belong to him before the day ends, but, for now, she’s still mine. I want to see her one last time and thought you would, too.”

Mystery solved. Now the test made more sense, though I did wonder why Chaz hadn’t chosen to land the Indolence as his last memory. It also suggested what Dave was doing on the main deck–preparing the papers.

“Sorry you’re losing…” I looked up, following his gaze and caught my breath. Opalescent clouds floated over my head, hanging off of a tarred grid that clutched at them. A child trying to catch spilled water. The solar sails writhed in the breeze, producing a sound akin to sighing. Each sail had a voice of its own. They sang in harmony. “Oh…”

Chaz sighed along with his ship, but I caught a small chuckle from him. “It’s alright, kid. She is just a machine, no matter how beautiful.” He sighed again and reached up to caress one of the sails. “It’s the memories that are going to be hard to leave. Not the ones I have, but the ones that I know would have come.”

I looked at him curiously. “Does that hurt?”


“Mind if I touch them?”

“Of course not.”

English: Artist's conception of a solar sail

English: Artist’s conception of a solar sail (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The sail felt like icy cold water. The flow of color brought a slightly different texture as it passed from white to pink to green and between. White ran under my fingers like a soapy sponge. Pink felt like clear oil. Green gave the impression of very weak syrup. I pulled my hand back and for a moment after, my fingertips glistened.

“Rub them, kid. They make different sounds when you do.”

I looked at him sideways, but tried gently poking at a small patch of white. The whole sail trembled and gave off a small squeak before sighing again. I tried again, running a finger up and down on its surface. The sail giggled, I’m sure of it. Had Chaz been joking when he had said the ship was just a machine?

Chaz was busy making his set of sails purr like contented housecats. Did he ever climb the rigging and pet the upper sails? Didn’t they feel left out?

“She screams when she’s in landing mode,” he said suddenly. “That’s why no one is here to meet us yet. You can’t hear it through the hull, but…”

There you go…  Hope you enjoyed it.  And if you have any comments or suggestions, they’d be extra greatly appreciated this time, because I’m at such emotional crossroads as to what I’d like to do with this book.  Thanks bunches!

Cheers to K.L. Schwengel at My Random Muse!  She hosts WIPpet Wednesdays (it is like herding cats, after all) for us.  WIPeteers post pieces of a draft (Work In Progress) that somehow relate with the date at the group linky and bravely invite company, comments…  even gentle (or not-so gentle) critiques

ST4S – Avoidance

theater-curtains-green-velvet-right-trompe-l-oeiltheater-curtains-green-velvet-left-trompe-l-oeilI’ve been avoiding you.

It’s not personal, believe me.  I’ve avoided most everyone lately.

My emotional plate has overflowed recently.  Some of it is because of the many things that tend to pile up around this time of the year by default.  A lot of it is a sense of foreboding that I cannot explain, but I’ve felt growing for several months now.  Some of it is seasonal changes.  Some of it has been being sick (the last two Wednesdays I’ve been pummeled with various “icks”).  Some of it is a sense of loss.  Some, a sense the world is spinning out of control…

And some of it is avoidance…  simple avoidance and escapism.

I’m sorry for that later.   But I’m still going to avoid you all for a few more days.

It’s personal.  But it’s not.

Walk Away

Walk Away (Photo credit: DavidB123)

Tears — a WIPpet and ROW80 post

WIPpet 6/19/13

Welcome again to another installment of the WIPpet (and a special, End of ROWnd ROW80 post found down here.)
wippetwednesday_zps53e803c0Well, I did a bit a creative WIPpet math again with this post since it seemed pretty rude to keep adding paragraph after paragraph on to these posts just because the calendar says it’s later in the month.  So I’m giving you 25 sentences (19 for the day, 6 more for the month) and six small paragraphs for the numbers 2,0,1 and 3 of the year.

This WIPpet mostly follows directly after the piece I posted last week.  For the first time since they were very young children (before Vissellii was sent to foster at their aunt’s home at age six), ‘Ssellii has heard her brother ‘Listii speak and act as if he’s aware of the world they live in.  She wants to know how their uncle’s DesertWalker maid, Uunsa, was able to make this happen when no one else had been able to reach Valistii in over fifteen years.

‘Ssellii has sent the maid out, not wanting Uunsa’s presence to interfere with her talking to her brother:

Instead, ‘Listii glanced at the floor this time to the place he’d crouched only just before.  Then he shrugged.  “Maybe.”

‘Ssellii didn’t pursue the matter.  It was an answer—probably the only answer he had.  And it was only a distraction anyway.  She wanted to ask what those strange words were before the maid returned.  She nodded then cleared her throat…softly, drawing his attention from his own distress as best as she could. “‘Listii, what does ‘Vesmai luu itau‘ mean?”

Again, the man’s gaze focused on her. The same intensity, the same fierce attention… She again found herself staggered by his reaction, and this time she’d even somewhat expected it.

This time she was able to speak, though it wasn’t at all easy. “Please, ‘Listii, what does it mean?”

He blinked.  Once, then twice.  A small frown covered his lips as he pursed them thoughtfully. “I don’t know.  It’s important.  She told me to never forget.”

“Uunsa,” she said grimly.  She was already dreading that conversation when it came.

“No.”  There was no hesitation in ‘Listii’s voice. Another touch of petulance filled it, this time tinged with disbelief and even anger.  “Uunsa shouldn’t say it.”  His raven-eyed gaze flashed at her.  He continued, scolding. “Not you either.  She said it was for us and no one else.  Just us…”

The petulance, if that’s what it was, collapsed then.  A mournfulness overtook him.  He looked at the floor.  Some kind of murmur overtook his voice, but he couldn’t hear enough to understand what he said.

“What ‘Listii? I didn’t hear—” she stopped short as he looked back up at her.

Tears flowed in rivers down his face.

She blinked. “‘Listii?” Despite her desire to maintain a calm presence she rose and went over to his side. “‘Listii, what’s wrong?  Why are you—don’t cry.  I won’t say that anymore if it makes you sad.”  She dabbed his check with her lap scarf.  “Please don’t cry.  There’s no need to cry.”

Instead of reducing his tears, her words of comfort seemed only to add to his distress, and soon he wasn’t only crying softly but weeping in full torrents.  Weeping, howling, whimpering… tears of something long lost, long destroyed but unforgettable.

And so very much like a child, she thought, a child who felt the world had ended.

English: Tears , often at childhood days. മലയാ...

Tears (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There it is.  I hope you’ve enjoyed your introduction to Valistii and Vissellii.  Next week I will be moving on to two other major players in the Swan Song series.

Creation of K.L. Schwengel at My Random Muse, #WIPpet writers post pieces of a draft (Work In Progress) that somehow relate with the date for commentary and consideration.  Feel free to comment and visit other #WIPpeteers.   We love the company.

ROW80 Check-in

For those of you in the ROW80, you probably are doing something similar to me–that is:

  • looking over your original goals for this ROWnd (mine are here)
  • figuring out places where I met my goals and didn’t
  • planning my course of action for the next ROWnd (no post on that yet)

I have to be honest.  The reassessment that comes at then end of each Round of Words in 80 Days just feels strange.  Perhaps it’s because I’m constantly reassessing my  efforts from check-in to check-in, or perhaps it is because I realize how far my goals have traveled from their original declaration … every time.


quill (Photo credit: Terry Freedman)

At least this time, I can say that I didn’t lose sight so  much as I normally do.  Granted, I’m still somewhat behind, but I’ve made consistent progress on my goals.  I’ve been writing daily, about 2000 words because of the JuNoWriMo, but I also have found a pace again in my writing.  Swan Song is coming along wonderfully.  I haven’t dealt much with The Singer, but Courting and Refrain (name??) are both gaining well.  My ROW80 Fitness goals (even rest goals and pursuit of passions) are going extremely well.  I’ve even managed a consistent blogging schedule.

Everything is moving at a steady pace, and I’m not sure where I would change much at this point.

Well, except for Release…  I really need to figure out something to do with Release.

It doesn’t seem to have a home anyplace these days.

It frustrates me.  Release was the very first manuscript I was ever able to put the words “The End” on.  It does need work to even it out (things like starting in the right place, etc.), but it is a good story.

It just no longer fits in the world of these characters.  And beyond a complete rewrite, it never will.  Am I being silly for wishing I didn’t need to go through it with the editorial version of napalm?

Have you been in this place before?  And if so, what did you do?

ROW80LogocopyThe ROW80 Writing Challenge is the brainchild of author Kait Nolan who felt that, in a world of WriMos and FastDrafts, people who want become authors  need something that promoted the daily habit of the writing life.  Feel free to visit some of our other members here.