Tag Archives: Parvenu

Trying to Survive

MjAxNC04ZjBlYTU5ZmNiZjdiZjY4Good morning and welcome (a day late) to my WIPPet WednesThursday post.  Today I’m doing something a bit different, going back to a story I’ve been wanted to resurrect for some time, Release, the first book of the Parvenu series.  I think I’ve mentioned it before during my ROW80 check-ins and in other posts.

I started writing it in college and finished my first real beta-able draft around 2000….  and then after scurrying under a rock because I hadn’t learned how to handle constructive criticism* yet, I hid the story away for years.  Oh I would tug it out on occasion to tweak things I knew my readers were right about or to fix things I had had my own doubts about.

But basically, I haven’t done much with it in over ten years.  Not the way it deserves.  I’ve tried to finish the Swan Song series stories which are pre-history to Parvenu.

But I do believe in the story, and since one of my beta readers contacted me a week ago and asked what I’d done with it and would she be seeing it again for proofing (she worked as an editor for the day job), I figured I should bring it out, dust it off and slowly work on it.

My emphasis remains on getting the Swan Song series finished, but I can, and will, make some time to work on Release again.

Now the WIPPet

The narrator is Kieri Vestimorn (you’ve met him in some other snippets as an adult), and he’s telling about something that happened to him as a kid.

Somewhat convoluted maths here:

  • seventh chapter for seventh month (July)
  • second scene for the 2nd
  • twenty paragraphs through for the 20 in 2015
  • fifteen lines (of my document) for the 15 in 2015

Warning…  mild swearing

His blue eyes were both serious and, now that I think of it, a bit hurt. He took his self-inflicted responsibility to us seriously. Once more, I got the feeling that he was doing this all for a reason–as if it was duty or something.

“Come with me, kid. We need to have a serious talk.”

I expected one of his lectures on life. If I weren’t so loudmouthed, he might have surprised me. But I was, and he didn’t. It was a bad situation all around.

Sure anything Chaz wanted to tell me in private was common knowledge anyway, I stayed my ground. He just looked disappointed, muttering something like ‘Someday, brother, I’ll get you back’ to the air. Then he addressed me.

“It’s your pride.”

I glowered at him. “My pride! Since when have you given a damn about my pride? Always talking about me behind my back, making jokes about Vanis and–“

He drew back as if hit. “You think I am doing shit like that? That any of us are? Get a clue, kid. We don’t have time to play those games. We are just trying to survive. Yeah, and get out if we can manage it.”

Like what you read?  If so, head over to the WIPpet linky and visit some our other members for more awesomeness. Two pieces of cheesecake (all that’s left) to KLSchwengel for hosting the sprint and putting up with all our silliness. 😀


* Not that all the criticism was constructive.  I’m sure I’m not the only one who gets bothered by “You should do this because such-and-such best seller does it that way, and I like that kind of book“.

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