Tag Archives: Swan Song

Want — a WIPpet/ROW80 post

English: W.I.P.


It’s a new month, but not a new WIP…  at least not for me.

Welcome back once more to Singer of the Swan’s Song (working title, of course) for another WIPpet.  Since it’s the tenth of July, allow me to offer you ten more sentences of Atyr’s story.

It didn’t take much beyond the woman’s tone to tell her what had happened. “You told him to do that?” She didn’t care if she’d shouted at the Master Healer. Now the fury she’d felt to her two watchkeeps, poor foolish creatures, she realized just doing what they’d been told, unable to know better.

The Master Healer nodded with clear satisfaction. “Of course I did. I haven’t spent these past few days mending all those cuts and bruises to let Lassau add another dozen or so more. You can find new ways to seek connection to the Goddess than in that woman’s twisted care.”

Atyr looked at the woman coldly. “You want me to die,” she said keeping her voice as quiet as she could.

So there it is–I hope you liked it.

wippetwednesday_zps53e803c0Maintained and promoted by 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

A whole new Round of Words started last Monday.  I was “in” but “not in” until this Sunday, able to use some public machines to comment on blogs, but not daring to actually post until I knew my home machine was stable enough (and not compromised any more than my legitimate software requires so that it can be updated, etc.).

It’s happier now.  I am too.  My writing is still behind.  I hadn’t realized how much I was relying in that first week of the month to get my rhythm going for this Camp NaNo, but I’m finding myself fighting the “I need to get stuff done” drive for our camping preparations as well as the “I’m so far behind now, I can’t catch up” call to give up.

It’s a recurring problem I’ve had since school.  Back then if I missed a day or (more often the case) didn’t do my homework, but realized I needed to make up the work to avoid that nasty zero in the grade books, I’d feel overwhelmed by the magnitude of everything…  and I’d give up.  I’d try to hide the bad grades from my parents; I’d act as if I didn’t care to the other kids in school, even when every tease burned.  I hated the fact that I was constantly giving up, but I didn’t know how to get to where I wanted to be.  And the resulting depression just made it harder to even maintain the status quo let alone catch up.

I wanted to start again without any backlog, and school didn’t work that way.  Which is perhaps why the concept of the ROW80 appeals so much to me.  It’s more like life, where people are constantly remaking themselves as they learn and discover what works best for their needs.

Where we can Forgive and Forget … and then move on.

Yes, the same amount of work still needs to be done, but I dictate the direction it will take and the timeframe I will work on it in.  And I can change things as life happens.  Oddly enough, that is enough to make me feel better and enough to stop me from freezing up when I find I’m falling behind.

I’m behind, but I’m still writing.  I’m still editing.  Swan Song may not be written this year.  I have not set date for the release of the series.  Sooner is, clearly, better since it allows me to share it with people while I’m able to interact well with the audience and hopefully be able to write more, but if something happens, it doesn’t set me in a funk the way it used to.

So, while I’m still behind, I’m catching up.  For this month’s CampNaNo goal of 50K, I should be at about 17K today.  Instead, I’m at about 7K (estimation given because some of the work is handwritten).  I’m not panicking though, because it only takes a few bouts of #wordmongering and #1K1hr sprints to make a 3K day.  I have time to make it up now and more time to finish things when we come back next Friday.

Camping "not quite" old-style

Camping “not quite” old-style

And my ROW80 Fitness goals will be flying after a week of rowing the boat around our bay (we’ll be at the end of Pope Bay on Saranac Lake ), sawing firewood, and meandering through the woods.  Last year we were at the far end of Boot Bay, and there was a wonderful spot for rowing there.  I’m hoping for some similar fun this year.

That, with some notebooks and pens, and a week of no internet…  I’ll be back into the “Write Mode” by  end of this break; I always am.  Changes in rhythm are refreshing and a great way to rediscover one’s focus.  I’ve always found this true for me.

What rhythms or ruts have you found yourself in?  And how did you get back on track?

To ease you all into Summertime, here’s a little Porgy & Bess, as sung by the talented Leontyne Price.  Mmm!

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.


Neglecting Things — a #row80 check-in #WIPpet Post


A not busy bee

A not busy bee

Busy! Busy busy busy!!

It’s not a complaint.  Imagining a better couple of days could prove difficult.

In my perfect world, I’d have gotten more writing done and not forgotten to practice guitar three days in a row.  But I have a newly tuned piano, and I played my first waltz on it last night–and it sounded like real music!  😀

As the title notes, it’s time for another #WIPpet post and #row80 check-in.  So let’s get on to those now….


The #WIPpet blog hop comes to us courtesy of K.L. Schwengel at My Random Muse.  Writers post pieces of a draft (Work In Progress) that coincide somehow with the date hoping to attract interest and helpful commentary.  As with any skill, writers improve with feedback.  Feel free to comment; I appreciate any time and consideration you are willing to give.

I’ll be honest… I didn’t write much of anything new this week.  So I’m going to continue from last week’s WIPpet post and give you fifteen paragraphs of Swan Song (most are short, one sentence things).

The Guard commander harumphed something. “Good thing.” The man took a hearty swallow of his own mug and then smiled back to him. “Whatever else your decision to become your own man may end up doing to my career, you’ve certainly given me a few days of good clean entertainment, Andarniis. Courting a Hastorinii!” The man chuckled again. “And here I’d been under the mis-informed opinion that your father hadn’t even chosen you a First Lover…” The man stopped chuckling when Alanii began to look off in distress. “You have had your First Lover, haven’t you?”

Alanii pursed his lips together then idly scratched at the grain of the table. “Not as such… Father had tried finding me one, but it… it didn’t work.”

The guard commander leaned forward slightly. “How so?” Then as Valichii came back from the bath house to rejoin them, nodded to the Hastor. “Congratulations, corporal. It’s not often your House sees its daughters attending the court of the Higher Houses.”

Instead of smiling as the man had earlier during their visits with the Lanii fosterlings or the few times they had been mentioned Vissellii during their afternoon together in the jeweler’s quarter of the city, Valichii grunted. At least the man left it at that and drew up his mug to drink and listen rather than say whatever had inspired his sudden pessimism.

Alanii sighed. He could imagine the Hastor must have heard something as he was approaching their table. Or perhaps he’d figured out the problem already on his own. It wasn’t as if the man didn’t know most of his private affairs. He glanced apologetically to the man, then returned his attention to the guard commander. “I can’t touch most women. It…” He tried to think of a word that could describe the sensation. Pain didn’t fit, nor did repulsion, though it was something of both and more. “It’s just wrong.”

Instead of confusion the guardsman just nodded. “I imagine. And the Hastorinii, she…isn’t wrong?” Before he could answer the man raised a finger and added, “I do know about the ‘tianii you shared with your cousin Atara, my lord. Are you saying you are Called to Vissellii Marae as well?” There was something of an eagerness in the man’s tone that said this would be a wonderful thing.

And of course Alanii could only deny him. “Not that I can tell. At least I don’t feel the same sort of draw to her that I remember feeling toward ‘Tara.”

“Perhaps it’s a lesser link?” the man asked.

Alanii could only shrug. “Maybe. But if it is, it’s much less. Certainly nothing I can actually sense as one. She isn’t there in my flesh the way ‘Tara was even when we were apart. Vissellii is just there when she’s there. Pleasant enough, and she’s gorgeous…” He cocked a glance with something of apology in it toward his friend. “I know I didn’t do things according to tradition, but I wasn’t about to treat her so… so crassly. Whatever ties might or might not end up Calling us to each other, she deserves better than to be assumed my mistress, from me and others.”

The Guard commander listened quietly this time and only nodded when he’d said his piece. “All excellent reasons to choose one’s lady, my lord. But the fact you haven’t taken your First Lover is going… Well, if you mean to honor this relationship and your word to her and her family, you’ve got to fix this now.”

Alanii nodded. “I know.” He wasn’t exactly looking forward to the idea. Not that the idea of losing his virginity bothered him, but the fact that he had set so sudden and brief a deadline on its happening. Such a limit meant hiring a whore and dealing with whatever discomfort that touching the woman with all his body, not only a hand and perhaps his lips might entail without having any chance of stopping until the act was done and over. It meant that he could feel his flesh was being burned from his body for all the world would care. Until he’d performed the proper social rituals, his words to the Laninii and to the Hastor were little more than childish fantasy at best, outright lies at worst.

Lanilis Kailiis glanced over toward Valichii. The Hastor was trying to not frown. “You aren’t bothered by this, corporal?”

Valichii shrugged, but there was an abruptness to his gesture that suggested anger. “Alan meant well, but…”

“I meant what I said, Val,” Alanii said quietly.

The Hastor’s dark-eyed gaze met his stonily. “Where you think we’re going to find you a whore that’ll not offend your delicate sensibilities, eh? Oh, right… You have her now.”

A younger Valichii Mirniia... and by that token, something of a younger Valistii as well.

My drawing of Val

There you go!  Thanks for taking the time to read it.

ROW80 check-in

The title says it all…  at least where writing is concerned.

I have to wonder if my excursion out to see family last week wore me down more than I thought.  I felt vibrant and energized on Friday night when I came home.  Then I flumped all day Saturday, reading and playing video games.  Sunday I managed my blog post then spent the rest of the day with family (no bad thing there).  I read more, typed in old notebook writing  and gathered ideas for more stories.

Since that Sunday post, I have done about the same.  Yesterday I attended a Findlay Cockrell concert (ironically, he is called a Swan Song pianist–though he’s been saying “Farewell” since 2006) at the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall.  Then I went with my husband and son to a rockclimbing/caving gym.

If I needed more inspiration to get in shape, that place offered it.  I so wanted to share in the experience and fun with the Boodle.  I did try doing some basic wall climbing and read a lot more.

I need to get back to my five sentences.  They were helping, but I let them go for a few days.  Today I will be able to attend #teamsprinty on Twitter.  YES!  I love the energy of a good social writing group.

Goal for the rest of the week, which will be including two more concerts, a trip to the Albany Institute tomorrow, and a trip down to the J. Popp Butterfly Conservatory on Saturday is to not miss a single day of five sentences.   It’s not a lot, but it’s something.  It’s forward motion.



A big thank you to Kait Nolan for the ROW80.  If you’d like to help with our fundraiser for fellow writer, Lauralynn Elliot, head over to the ROW80 blog and donate.  Or buy one of Lauralynn’s books…  You can’t lose there!

Here is the ROW80 linky–go and say “Hi” to some other great writers.


What? Another #ROW80 – #WIPpet Wednesday?

Cafe Office

Cafe Office

Wednesday, Wednesday….  It seems to come around every week at this same exact time…

Oh, yeah, it’s supposed to do that.   <:-|

#WIPpet Wednesday number two here, and close on its heels is another ROW80 check-in.

Chapters? We don’t need no Stinking Chapters

A strange thing happened when I started looking over my WIPs for this weeks WIPpet–I realized I haven’t written much of anything resembling a chapter in…  Well, almost 20 years.  When I write, I just….write (and then I type it in later).

Even with Release (my sole nod toward chapter breaks over scene breaks), I didn’t start writing chapters.  Those divisions came later… in the fourth or fifth draft.

So I felt a little off trying to find something for today.  I mean, last week’s post was easy; every book has a beginning.  But what do you do when you don’t break up your story into definable parts?

I don’t know what you do (tell me in the comments?), but I fudged it.  Since today’s date is May 8, 2013, I went into my present WIP Swan Song (yes, I know, that fanfic last week was fun, but it’s just the sandbox for Release and Swan Song) and picked out eight paragraphs from the fifth section from my Scrivener project for the beast.

“Are you telling me that you…” The Guard commander paused yet again, his expression completely bereft of the calm that Alanii had begun to associate with the man. After one more broken attempt to speak, the man let out a bark of laughter that caused the whole of the Spotted Hawk’s common room spin to see what had inspired such an outburst.

More than a bit nonplussed Alanii looked at the sea of curious faces, the mass of curiosity surrounding them an assault on his mind. He swallowed and then once more, as his mouth felt suddenly dry. Surely, he thought, nothing he’d done or said should have garnered this sort of reaction.

“Sir?” Alanii asked. His voice cracked, producing barely a whisper despite his attempt to show some strength of will and authority in the face of the guardsman’s mirth. He tried again.  Then when that “sir” had come out as a bare whisper, he picked up the ale the innkeeper had set before him—according to Val, he’d be wise to start drinking the common beverage in case he did end up getting his father’s approval for military training…supposedly wine didn’t travel quite as well as a good keg (although he doubted that). Then, as he tasted the thick, sweet, grainy drink his friend preferred, he understood what Val really had meant.

No wonder the man could go most of a day just on his drinks. Val, and most of the other guards, Alanii realized, drank their dinners. Either that, or someone had poured some very weak porridge into his mug.

The pause he took to run a cautious tongue along his teeth and remove anything that might have settled there had been enough for Lanilis Kailiis to regain his stoicism. The man gave a small shake of his head and then nodded to the glass Alanii had just put down. “What do you think the soldier’s bread?”

The man seemed more than content to simply ignore the fact that he’d drawn so much attention to himself only moments before.

Alanii didn’t know what he should say. The drink wasn’t unpleasant, but it wasn’t something he’d have chosen. Had he tried it a bit younger, he might have acquired a fondness for it close to that of his best friend was. It certainly seemed fortifying enough. “I can stand it,” he said trying to keep his tone neutral. The simple fact that Lanilis Kailiis had called it “soldier’s bread” meant the man had drunk more than his fair share of similar brews during his lifetime. It also implied that the man would likely insist he do the same.

Why did Val always have to be right? Alanii wondered.

There you go…a bit tamer than last week’s piece.  I’d considered posting a bit of Release‘s Chapter 5, but I didn’t want you think that everything I wrote was all death and dismemberment.  Maybe next week….  😉

ROW80 Check-in

YAY!  Writing, writing, and even more writing!

P writing blue

P writing blue (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Is that a good enough update?  I mean, it about covers it.  I’ve spent hours of writing, editing, and contemplating my WIPs since Sunday.  In Swan Song, ‘Listii and his sister are checking both sides of the road for signs of an ambush as they try to easy their way through some wild country, tired and wishing they could stop and rest, but not daring to.  In another unnamed story (the one I was posting last year for my Tuesday Snippets), I have Alanii and Valmara trapped in a trysting cave as a tsunami tears through the region, and the millennium of feuding between them and their families may prove more dangerous than the storm.

I’ve edited too.  It’s amazing what one notices after some time away from one’s writing–especially NaNoWriMo produced stories such as the piece I posted for today’s WIPpet!  Yes, I nibbled down the over-writing a touch here.  It’s still needs work, but I figured it was better to post this and write more.  It’s supposed to be a Work In Progress after all!

It’s not all roses this week so far.  I had to call the dentist about another inflamed tooth, and Monday morning I woke up unable to walk on my right foot.  Has anyone else has this happen to them?  It’s like I twisted it in my sleep.  But the afternoon my arch and toes were swollen to about twice their normal size.  Some ibuprofen and all…  it’s better today, but it was weird.

It didn’t keep me from getting some exercise in.  So in all, a pretty good start to the week.  And I missed (and will miss) most of my sprints on Twitter this week.  There are a lot of things to get done and most of them don’t involve me sitting at my computer.

Come and join in our fun bloghops!

wippetwednesday_zps53e803c0For #WIPPet Wednesday, post a bit of your Work In Progress (hopefully a current one so we can encourage its eventual publication).  Make sure the sample you post somehow correlates to the day’s date (perhaps a paragraph on the first, or paragraphs, or lines, or sentences or …  well, something loosely related to the date). Then use this inlinkz linky (complete with blue froggie) to add your post to the collection!

A huge thank you to K. L. Schwengel at My Random Muse for hosting this group.

ROW80LogocopyBrainchild of the talented Kait Nolan, the Round of Words in 80 Days truly is the “Writing challenge that know You have a Life” (and that is Life with a capital L).  The ROW80, as you’ve probably guessed by the multitude of posts I’ve made for it, has become my online home (Thanks, Kait!).  Even more than Facebook…  (definitely more than Facebook!)  Check out the blog, set yourself some goals, read the FAQ and then add your post to the linky and visit some.

Most of all, have some fun and meet some other really wonderful bloggers!