Even More Helpless: Sea Changes (Kifo Island Chronicles Volume 1) for WIPpet Wednesday

Welcome to WIPpet Wednesday, a weekly blog hop which encourages writers to move WIPs (works-in-progress) to publication by posting excerpts related to the date.We’re led by the capable fingers and nimble mind of Emily Witt.

Happy Wednesday!

Life is settling back into a more typical routine. Last week, I managed to get round to see all my fellow WIPpeteers, which was something of a minor victory for me. Despite the return to greater normalcy, there have been a couple of surprises.

My son and I went out yesterday, and our quest to obtain Mew Event Cards for himself, his sister, and a friend. That became a bit more convoluted than I’d hoped, but we had a nice lunch at The Cheesecake Factory, and I got to see again how much my fourteen-year-old has grown. These one-on-one times with him are treasures I know are going to become more rare and precious with the passing of time. He’s a lot closer to an adult than to a child, now, and I’m glad we’re friends. I also bought a meditation coloring book, just because I wanted it.

I’ll be heading out later this afternoon to help a friend pick up her new car. I feel a little invested in this process, since her previous car broke down fortuitously, and rather humorously, in the parking lot of the Denny’s where we have our weekly write-ins. I was in the passenger seat; we started car pooling a few weeks back.

So, depending upon how long it takes me to finish setting up and polishing this post, it will either be up in the next couple of hours, or later this evening. Whichever that is, we’re revisiting Karina Karanova in Sea Changes.

For those who’ve forgotten, or are new here, the premise:

In advocating for a dying girl seeking emancipation from controlling parents, can an overburdened young woman and a lonely young man find a future together?

Note:

This passage is NaNo rough. My plan is to begin creating a revision plan this month or next. That said, any input is gratefully accepted!

WIPpet Math:

  • Today is February 10, 2016.
  • I’ve added the month and the date: 10+2=12.
  • Today, you get twelve new sentences.

Context: Karina is in a pottery studio, working with clay and hating it, when an albino man sits near her, and begins a conversation. He’introduces himself as Donovan Nash, and they begin a tentative conversation as Karina’s frustration and distraction lead her to unintentionally destroy the project her mother has ordered her to make. Donovan asks if that was her intention, and their discussion brings Karina to tears, and triggers memories….

Even More Helpless

“I need you, Karina. It’s your duty. Take care of the shop; take care of your brothers and your sisters; take care of me; take care of the house and the car.” And so, she had.

But now she was sobbing, here in front of this strangest of strangers, a man with no pigment, a man she didn’t even know. Unacceptable – and unstoppable.

The fact that she couldn’t stop had Karina sobbing all the harder. Lost. She was lost –

She channeled that into rage, the same way Father always had. She had no children – where would she have found the time for more than a passing smile, these last years, let alone all the other things that would have had to happen if she was to bear a child of her own? How would she have been able to find the time or the energy, to care for one more- one even more helpless than Mother?

Will Karina find some degree of peace?

Does she want a child?

Will she ever have the opportunity to have one?

How will Donovan react to her tears?

Some of these questions may be answered – and others will certainly be posed- next week, so be sure to come back then to learn more about Karina and her story.

Previous Karina WIPpets (chronologically):

Want more WIPpets? You can find them, and even add your own date-related excerpt if you’re so inclined, by following the little blue froggy from WIPpet to WIPpet to WIPpet!

Whispering Strangles: #WeWriWa #8Sunday

Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors’ Eight Sentence Sunday!

It’s the weekly hop for everyone who loves to write! We’ve got a variety of genres and talented writers just waiting for you to come sample their wordy wares. Come read one, or all, or pick a few like leftover holiday memories….

And, if you’re inclined to share your own 8-10 sentence snippet, follow the link and sign up. It’s a great community to be a part of! =D

I was away last week, busily finishing up a short story for a contest deadline. I’m happy with the results, and might even have good news to share in June. But that was last week; this week, I offer you the next eight sentences of A Splash of Red”, a surreal fantasy story, the child of my own life and dreams, with a generous dollop of imagery and a big dash of creative license…

More on the story after the snippet.

Context, such as it is…A woman is attempting to win the trust of a little girl in a red dress, while hawks wheel above…but just who are these two to one another? And what about those hawks?

When we left our woman and child two weeks back, the little girl had vanished into the woods, and the woman is realizing her power and the child’s vulnerability, and her belief that she was responsible for the hawks’ attacks….

Given the surrealism of the story, punctuation is a bit creative, so be warned!

Whispering Strangles

I know better now. I remember my t’ai chi practice. Yes.

I drop my fist, relax my stance. Not resistance.

Flow.

Flowing, I run, seeking a splash of red and long golden hair.

A new whispering strangles the air, and a heavy, crushing shadow dives down into the trees – it cries out with Mother’s voice, layered over those who had screamed at her. Her screams are tearing pain, beaks and talons stripping my blooded carcass…stripping me…stripping the little girl I was of meat and life –

Previous “A Splash of Red” snippets:

 Come back next week for another installment!

Did you like what you read? “A Splash of Red” was originally published in the 2014 inaugural edition of World Unknown Review,  which is edited by L.S. Engler. Since I retain all rights beyond first publication, I intend to revise the story and use it as my own initial self-publishing experiment.

That being said, I’d love any and all input and criticism you’re inclined to offer!

Want more #8Sunday?

Definitions and Interpretations for #SoCS and #JusJoJan Day 25

 

This post is part of Linda G.Hill’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday meme -an unedited stream of consciousness piece that ties into the weekly prompt: the word ‘finger’.Use it any way you think to. Have fun!

As some of you might have noticed, I vanished from Just Jot It January in the last week of the month. I didn’t really intend to, but I had a short story I wanted to submit to a national contest, and it pretty much took up all the time and energy I could give it.


I’ll be filling in those posts over the next week or two, beginning with January 25’s “Prestidigation” – which, as it happens, goes very well with “prestidigitation”. The prompt comes from Pamela at Butterfly Sand.

One more bit: Standard Disclaimer applies. I make no claims to own these characters. I certainly expect no monetary profit from playing with them. But, when a certain pointy-eared lady insists I tell her stories, I listen. After all, I’ve seen her fight. =)

Definitions and Interpretations

All right, now. Time for a bit of prestidigitation.”

There were times when T’Pol was nearly certain that Commander Tucker chose his words specifically to arouse her curiosity. As a result of this suspicion, she had begun a concentrated study of the dictionary database, with word selections chosen through the use of an ever-evolving algorithm.

“I was under the impression that you are a qualified engineer, Commander, and not a magician.”

There was little logical defense for the amount of time and energy she expended in devising and updating the algorithm, or, for that matter, in the study of obscure human words she was unlikely to need an understanding of in any professional capacity. However, the sudden shifting of her companion’s mobile features, and the intensity of his blue eyes as he stared at her had a value that was difficult to quantify in logical terms. “Now how the hell do you know what ‘prestidigitation’ means?”

T’Pol said nothing. Perhaps there was a certain dishonesty in withholding the truth. Certainly, it was illogical to enjoy the way he watched her. It was much the way he’d looked at her at their first meeting, when the discordant music had swelled and soared between them –

Hey, you all right?”

I’m fine, Commander, although somewhat concerned that you plan to resort to the use of magic in the sensor array adjustments.”

She was rewarded with his rich laughter. “Not actual magic, T’Pol. What I mean is, this is a tricky process, and it’s going to require all of both of our skills to coordinate, if we’re going to get these calibrations of yours just right. It’s a finicky little operation, and I hope your fingers are nimble.”

I’ve rated proficient in manual dexterity since childhood, Commander Tucker.”

That earned a snort. “Someday, I want to visit a Vulcan school. No, on second thought, I don’t. Must be a hell of a dehumanizing experience, based on the things you say.”

“’Dehumanizing’? Commander Tucker, no Vulcan child is human. Therefore, there is as little need to dehumanize them as there is to deVulcanize the children in Terran schools.” She enjoyed the groan he made, although she carefully allowed no sign of it to touch her expression.

Touche.” He recovered quickly. “I guess I still have some things to learn about challenging my preconceptions. But right now, I need you to put your pretty little non-human finger right here, and don’t let this cable wiggle – unless, of course, you’d enjoy a charred Chief Engineer.”

T’Pol placed her finger where he indicated, and applied pressure as he prepared to activate the circuit. “The cable is secure, Commander.”

He looked over at her. “You’re sure?”

“Indeed,” T’Pol answered. “I don’t find the scent of cooking flesh in the least appealing.”

Commander Tucker looked at her as though utterly uncertain how to interpret that statement.

Have you tried stream-of consciousness writing? Come join in – there’s just a few simple rules. Check out the brand-new #SoCS hashtag, or Get more SoCS right here! 

Note: This video is a bit naughty. Possibly NSFW.

Presently Not So Present: February 3, 2016

Yes, that title’s confusing – even to me, and I’m the one who wrote it! But then, it’s been two weeks (already?! Yes, indeed!) since I last posted a ROW80 update.

It’s not that I vanished, although it might seem like it. And I wasn’t pretending I had no writing goals, either.

I was simply so absorbed with creating the best short story I could, in a limited time frame, that there wasn’t much of me left over for anything else – and, as always, my family came first, in that regard.

So I fell out of touch. I’ve neglected my sponsor visits, but I will have them all caught up by this time tomorrow. I set aside pretty much all my other projects, too, so, for the beginning of February, I’m going to keep my remaining January goals. I’ll likely add some in on Sunday, depending on what I’ve managed to accomplish between now and then, and, from there, I’ll add if it looks like something I can make progress on, so long as other goals are going well.

But now, the update we’ve all (maybe) been waiting for!

Writing:

  • Draft “Peach Liqueur Love” prequel story (as yet only a glimmer in my mind) for Chicago Tribune Writing Contest. The deadline is January 31 – complete rough draft by January 20. Finished, later than I’d hoped.

Plotting:

  • Plan and Plot “Peach Liqueur Love” prequel story – complete planning by EOD January 19; plotting by EOD January 20. Finished late.

Revisions:

  • Revise “Peach Liqueur Love” prequel story for Chicago Tribune Writing Contest. https://algren.submittable.com/submit The deadline is January 31 – complete first revisions and submit to crit group by January 25; final revisions complete by January 30. You know the drill, right?

  • The IDIC Romance: Reread “Slow Jazz Awakening” hard copy and notate; adapt revision plan as needed; write revised draft – 16 short scenes. Draft 2.5 rewrite of Scene 2/16 in progress.

Blogging/Social Media:

  • Revise, post, and initiate new blogging schedule; keep all posts current. Revisions in progress, most posts up on time.

  • Keep up with all current blog comments and visits, at least twice weekly. Got swept up in Revisionland…got to a few, and made more visits. Goal change pending for next monthI can’t keep up with all the comments at the moment, and need a better plan.

  • ROW80: Keep visits and updates current; draft, revise, and submit Round One Sponsor Post before January 10. Dropped the ball on visits and updates as the contest deadline loomed.

  • Change one thing weekly in my blog layout. Skipped this the last week of the month; needed to focus on the contest entry.

  • Maintain email at under 99 messages; clear Archives folder. Better than it might have been; still room for improvement.

Hometending:

  • Homeschool Administration: Complete all pending paperwork. Draft IHIPs and attend to district’s Peer Review issue;create 2015-2016 Flickr portfolios for both kids, and begin adding to them. Sciences section complete; Social Studies: Patriotism and Citizenship; U.S. History; and U.S. Government; and Economics.
  • Continue decluttering/beautification projects; in home and/or yard, five days weekly. Continue making improvements to our home and our quality of life. General maintenance; organization; decluttering, firewood.
  • Go through all online subscriptions; cancel those we no longer need; at least one each week. Set aside until February.

Lifetending:

  • Continue planning/ attending outings (personal and family) as desired. Write-in for me. Shopping for both kids; sleepover and thrift/pet stores for Annalise. Tentative plans to visit NJ friends in April.

  • NNWM local group: Attend write-ins regularly, and check in on the Facebook group as inspired. Read and critique both projects I’ve been hanging onto; submit and critique weekly for our small crit group, which is brand-new this year! Attended write-in;submitted “Monday Morning Coffee”; completed crits for this week..
  • Complete Stained Snow beta read. Chapter 20/28 submitted to author.

  • My beloveds: One on one time with each, doing something of value to us both, each week.
  • Complete 6 pending book reviews. Set aside till February.

Selftending:

  • Write in Abundance, Intentions, and #onegoodcup journals seven times each week. Meditate seven times weekly, including one eating meditation. Explore one new meditative practice. Both suffered in the last days of the month. Dropped eating meditation for now.

  • Tai chi practice: One class and one at-home practice each week. Took the month off for Other Things.

  • Focus on sprints of activity daily (hometending, dancing, tai chi, walking, whatever), and more strenuous activities I enjoy, like swimming and hiking twice monthly. Write twice-monthly health-centered blog posts. Hometending; putting away groceries; firetending. 1 /2 health posts.. Moved firewood with my Accomplice, and on my own. Pushed a Cadillac! 6 /2 strenuous activities.

Leaps of Faith:

  • Submit “Peach Liqueur Love” prequel story for Chicago Tribune Writing Contest. The deadline is January 31 -aim for January 30. Sent this out just before 11pm on the 31st.
  • Fan fiction stuff: Polish “Mission: Accomplished”, and “Scavenger Hunt”, and offer at Triaxian Silk.Registered at the site, and both stories are freshly revised and expanded, and went through my crit group. Although TriS isn’t able to post right now (site glitches), I have a poem submitted. Not exactly the leap I planned, but leap I did! =)

Kait Nolan’s  ROW80  –

The Writing Challenge That Knows You Have a Life!

See other participants’ progress here!

“Be Strong”: Sea Changes (Kifo Island Chronicles Volume 1) for WIPpet Wednesday


Welcome to WIPpet Wednesday, a weekly blog hop which encourages writers to move WIPs (works-in-progress) to publication by posting excerpts related to the date.We’re led by the capable fingers and nimble mind of Emily Witt

Happy Wednesday!

I know, it’s been a bit since I appeared here. Two weeks ago, I posted, but never got around to everyone else. And last week…

Last week, I was rather single-mindedly trying to get a short story into shape for the Nelson Algren Literary Award contest. Pretty much everything else went by the wayside as I planned, plotted, drafted, revised, submitted to my crit group, revised again (taking away one character’s POV scenes, based on my group’s suggestions), got more feedback, revised again, polished and re-polished….

And finally submitted my dark fantasy story, “Beneath the Ice”, a little over two hours before the contest deadline.

What this has shown me is:

  • I can conceive, plan, plot, draft, revise, polish, and submit a 7,500 word story in a month.

  • I can be proud of what I’ve created.

  • I can’t do all that and still maintain my focus on life as usual…at least, as far as writing and blogging go.

I don’t have any magic bullets for that, just yet. Writing is a learning process; writing to potentially earn an income is even more so, and I have a lot of ground to cover before I’m there. I’ll happily accept any advice those further along the publication continuum might have to offer.

Until then, I’ll learn as I go, and, hopefully, before the next contest deadline comes at the end of April, I’ll be more on top of things.

For this week, I’m back with another snippet from Karina Karanova in Sea Changes, and the intention to visit each and every other WIPpeteer – before the weekend! Seems like a good way to pick up some of those dangling threads, and weave them back into my routine.

For those who’ve forgotten, or are new here, the premise:

In advocating for a dying girl seeking emancipation from controlling parents, can an overburdened young woman and a lonely young man find a future together?

Note:

This passage is NaNo rough. My plan is to begin creating a revision plan this month or next. That said, any input is gratefully accepted!

WIPpet Math:

  • Today is February 3, 2016.

  • Today, you get three new sentences (I know it’s not a lot, but it’s manageable after the onslaught, so that’s all for this week).

Context: Karina is in a pottery studio, working with clay and hating it, when an albino man sits near her, and begins a conversation. He’s just introduced himself as Donovan Nash, and they begin a tentative conversation as Karina’s frustration and distraction lead her to unintentionally destroy the project her mother has ordered her to make. Donovan asks if that was her intention, and their discussion brings Karina to tears she had been determined not to shed.

“Be Strong”

She hadn’t cried at Father’s bedside, or his funeral. “Be strong for your mother, your brothers, your sisters,” he had ordered, and so she had.

She hadn’t cried in all the years since.

Why did Karina think being strong meant not crying?

Will her tears help?

What will happen next?

Some of these questions may be answered – and others will certainly be posed- next week, so be sure to come back then to learn more about Karina and her story.

Previous Karina WIPpets (chronologically):

Want more WIPpets? You can find them, and even add your own date-related excerpt if you’re so inclined, by following the little blue froggy from WIPpet to WIPpet to WIPpet!

 

Yes, I know it doesn’t technically fit…but, c’mon! Haunting song, Trip and T’Pol…what more do you need?!

Plotting Over Coffee: Weekend Coffee

If we were having coffee, I’d be compelled to tell you that I’m participating in Just Jot It January all month, and that I’m using the prompts, because I like the way other people’s ideas shake up and stir around all those ideas in my head, so that I never quite know what’s going to come out. It’s like sprinkling adventure into my mind, or playfulness…

I’d also be compelled to tell you that today’s prompt is the word compelled, which comes to us from willowdot21…why not pop over for a chat with her when you’re done here?

If we were having coffee, I’d meet you at the door, and tell you that this pot is fresh. I’d let you pick your weapon of choice (that’s your mug), and your ammunition. We’ve got coffee, of course, but also an eclectic selection of bag teas, the hot cocoa packets my daughter prefers, and sweet water from beneath the ground, drawn up from our well…you passed that when you came in, although you might not have noticed it, because you were probably as astounded by the green January grass on our snow-deprived front yard as I am. I’d be compelled to mention that I kind of wish, for the first time in my life, that I lived a couple of hundred miles further south on the Hudson River, so that my girl could fulfill her compulsion to play in the snow we’re not getting this year. Last winter was a banner year, and we were thrilled to have Oregon family to escape to for ten days…this season, I think they’ve had more snow there than we’ve had!

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that I’m feeling an urge to make this post (and this cuppa) a short one, because I’m compelled to write. At the very end of December, I learned about this short story contest, and the deadline is swiftly maybe just a bit too swiftly approaching. I had less than the glimmer of an idea on January 1. Today, with just over a week to go, I’m adding the musculature and beginnings of the circulatory and respiratory systems to the skeleton outline I finished in Saturday’s midmorning hours, before I finally admitted that I’m a corporeal being, and therefore sometimes compelled to sleep!

I’d be compelled to add that I’m excited – it’s so much more of a story than it was even several hours ago. I’ve got the first four scenes fleshed out, and next I will do the last four – leaving eight in the middle, as the bridge that binds it all together. I’m hoping to have a rough draft before I sleep again. (Update: It’s Sunday, nearly 5:30am as I’m typing this. Ten scenes are fleshed out, with six to go, and it’s much more a story, with subplots and insights popping left and right and reminding me why I love my open-ended plotting system so much!

If we were having coffee, I’d be compelled to show you how clean and decluttered the kitchen counters are getting – but I’d probably resist that temptation, since you didn’t see the shambelized version, and therefore would be less appreciative than I am at the emerging order in that formerly lost space. Maybe next week, it’ll be done, and I can share it…

If we were having coffee, I’d say that it’s just about time for me to go put another log on the fire, because, even though there’s no snow to speak of, it is cold. I’d make sure you were well bundled, and offer you a travel mug to take another cuppa with you, so you could keep your hands warm out there – and I’d show you the door. Because I like sharing coffee and conversation with you – but I’m a writer, and sometimes I need to listen to the people in my head who are clamoring for their stories to be told….it may be a compulsion, but it’s a happy one, for me.

If we were having coffee, I would remind you to check out the other Weekend Coffee Share posts at Part Time Monster. I hope to have more to say next week, by which time my completed gem of a story should be polished to a lovely lustre, and off to take its chances in the Big Wide World!

Until then, I leave you with my daughter’s tribute to what was the most magical moon of her eleven and a half years…

And, of course, I’d wish you all a week full of the very loveliest of chaos!

 

Fueled By My Rage: #WeWriWa #8Sunday

 

Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors’ Eight Sentence Sunday!

It’s the weekly hop for everyone who loves to write! We’ve got a variety of genres and talented writers just waiting for you to come sample their wordy wares. Come read one, or all, or pick a few like little treasures….

And, if you’re inclined to share your own 8-10 sentence snippet, follow the link and sign up. It’s a great community to be a part of! =D

This week, I offer you the next nine sentences of “A Splash of Red”, a surreal fantasy story, the child of my own life and my dreams, with a generous dollop of imagery and a big dash of creative license…

More on the story after the snippet.

Context, such as it is…A woman is attempting to win the trust of a little girl in a red dress, while hawks wheel above…but just who are these two to one another? And what about those hawks?

When we left our woman and child last week, the hawks screamed, the little girl vanished into the woods, and the woman is paralyzed where she stands by her fear.

Given the surrealism of the story, punctuation is a bit creative, so be warned!

Fueled By My Rage

The shadow of a hawk passes over me, blocking the sun, making me shiver as though I’m naked beneath its glare –

“No!” I shake my fist, and the hawks drop lower, fueled by my rage. I am an adult now. I’m not defenseless anymore. I’ve learned things, and I have resources. I’m strong. Once, I was a child, powerless to stop them. Once, I thought too that I deserved the attacks, that I had earned them.

Previous “A Splash of Red” snippets (from beginning):


Will the woman be able to find the girl?

Will she even try?

Will she earn the little girl’s trust?

Exactly what are the hawks hunting?

Come on back next week to find out more!

Did you like what you read? “A Splash of Red” was originally published in the 2014 inaugural edition of World Unknown Review, Since I retain all rights beyond first publication, I intend to revise the story and use it as my own initial self-publishing experiment.

That being said, I’d love any and all input and criticism you’re inclined to offer!

Want more #8Sunday?