Am I Too Late? #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

Hello, all!

I’m coming to you slightly chagrined. During the end of January, I lost my pace with getting around to visit other bloggers, and answering comments, as I readied a story for submission. I was just getting back into the flow when my Accomplice went on vacation. We’re not traveling, but there’s been a lot of decluttering and organizing going on around here, and, this week, there’s also been some local travel – I took my daughter to the New York State Museum, from which she left on a two night visit with one of her besties. My Accomplice and I had our first lunch date in a looong time (we’re talking multiple years, here, but, with our kids getting older, there’s going to be more attention paid to these little romantic gestures.)

At any rate, here we are, nearing the end of another week, another month – and I’ve got another story to polish for submission, and another to submit to my crit group. I’m going to get to the comments, and at least a few visits. REALLY. Because it’s important to me, and I feel a little bad about how absent I’ve been.

But, in the meantime, it’s time for my next snippet from A Splash of Red”, which I’m serializing here. This surreal fantasy story is 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 right-sentence 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? Are the hawks the only danger they face?

When we left last week, the little girl was somewhere in the woods, and the woman was learning to breathe while she coped with the threat of a stooping hawk.

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

Am I Too Late?

Am I too late? Did I, after all, let the hawks frighten me, make me wait too long to come to her?

Air comes in impotent wheezes, pounding outward from my straining lungs, my stabbing gasps.

I run for her – My foot snags on a root, white pain heat flashing up into a cry choked by dirt in my mouth. I spit, grit-blind, blinking and dry-sobbing around my barren breaths – I scrape my eyes clear, blurry vision returning – decaying log, covered with a mossy blanket.

And a splash of red.

Previous “A Splash of Red” snippets (chronologically):

Is the splash of red the little girl, or something else?

Was the woman badly injured in her fall?

Have the hawks given up on them?

Can they heal together?

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,  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, and I’ll even respond -eventually! =/

Want more #8Sunday?

My gratuitous sharing of a splash of red – my own little devil darling at age 7.

Both Vulnerable and Safe: 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’m running later than I like today. My daughter and I left early (for nocturnal types, anyway) this morning to meet friends at the New York State Museum. We walked a lot – in addition to the museum exploration, we also got rerouted from our usual parking place, because the bar exam was being held in the Empire State Plaza, where the museum is also located. So our lot was full, and we ended up parking several blocks away, and hiking our way up a very steep hill in a chill and misting rain.

And did I mention that I only had about three hours’ sleep?

After the museum, she left with her friends for an overnight, and I hiked back to the car. Thankfully, I had already set up the basis of my posts, so I’m pulling things together with little fuss and bother, even if I’m a bit on the distracted side.

But enough about me – we’re here for the WIPpet, right?

We’re back to Sea Changes, the third-written, but chronologically first, of my Kifo Island Chronicles series-in-progress.

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. I’ll be creating a revision plan before the end of March, and to begin revisions in small sprints as I enter my drafting-intense spring. That said, any and all input is gratefully accepted!

WIPpet Math:

  • Today is February 24, 2016.
  • Since it’s 2/24 (2+2+4=8), I thought I’d share eight paragraphs. But when I read the rest of the scene, I found I only had seven left! So, after the main event, read on…there might just be a little teaser treat at the end.

Context: Karina has just come undone, with too many emotions, obligations, and burdens. Donovan, a young man she’s just met, has offered solace in the form of gentle touch and by revealing his eyes, which are very light-sensitive due to his albinism. When she mentions that the light’s hurting him, he tells her that he felt it was important that she be able to see him…which brings us to now.

Both Safe and Vulnerable

Karina took in that small kindness – in its way, more intimate than his holding and caressing of her hands. “Thank you,” she whispered, around her sniffles. Something in his regard, and in his touch, made her feel both vulnerable and safe, in the same shivering breath. “Your eyes are beautiful,” she told him, and could not look away even though she knew it was far too forward, and even more dangerous, to keep looking into those beautiful eyes that reminded her of the winter skies over St. Petersburg, when she was only a child, and had yet to see any others.

The flush crept up his neck and into his face, and he ducked his head in a way that said he was unused to compliments on his appearance. That pinkening of his skin endeared him to her, made her want to tend to him and care for him –

The beeper she wore signaled in the jarring tones Mother had demanded, over her own protests. “You must be able to hear, whatever else you are doing, child.”: There had been no use in arguing, as there never had been. Not about the tone, or the ridiculous inaccuracies of being called a child mere months from her twenty-eighth birthday.

“I must go now,” she said. No dutiful daughter would keep a dying mother waiting so that she could stare into a man’s eyes, and let him stroke her hands. 

And yet, she didn’t pull her hands away.

A gentler tone – of running water, sprinkled with tinkling notes that reminded Karina of falling leaves – and Donovan sighed. “I do, too,” he said. “Maybe -”

Karina yanked her hands away, and almost upset her stool in her haste to rise and flee. It wasn’t until she was outside the door that she looked back, to see Donovan, his pale beautiful eyes still uncovered, squinting at the door as though he was watching her.

She turned and fled back to Mother and the role of dutiful daughter, afraid of what she’d felt when he touched her, when their eyes met. It was only as she was stepping into the cottage that she realized that she’d never given the young man her name.

Will Karina and Donovan meet again?

Has Donovan’s kind openness helped?

Will Karina return to the pottery studio?

What happens next?

Well, remember I said that I had a bonus for you? Here’s the first paragraph of Scene Two, which belongs to Donovan, who’s proven himself pretty popular already:

Donovan pulled his golf cart up as close to the cottage as he was able. It was midmorning on Kifo Island, and warm already for mid-October. It had all the hallmarks of another hot, sultry, and potentially deadly summer.

Next week, we’ll see where Donovan is headed, and maybe get a clue about why…

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!

Crouched and Unmoving: #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

Last week, I wrote that things were falling back into place. This week, it’s more torn apart. My Accomplice is on vacation, and there are things I’ve wanted done in my study that he’s planning to help with this week. So I’m moving everything out of about a third of the room, organizing and decluttering as I go. Fortunately, the standing desk I ordered last week arrived today, and he assembled it for me, so I have a mobile work station to use while the improvements are made. It’s a bit of an adjustment, but I’ve been wanting to sit less, and this is a step in that direction, aside from the fact that I’m going to have a considerably more functional study when everything’s finished (which, since I’m typing this on Wednesday night, it may well be before you read this).

And so, all other things aside, it’s time for Eight Sentence Sunday, where I’m sharing “A Splash of Red” in its entirety. This surreal fantasy story is 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 nine-sentence 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 last week, the little girl was somewhere in the woods, and the woman was learning to breathe while she coped with the threat of a stooping hawk.

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

Crouched and Unmoving

I give all I am to flowing and running – and the hawk lifts, joins its mate, wheeling in the bright sky, vivid with sharp menace, feathers brighter than the changing leaves. I run, flow, and listen, afraid to call out for her lest the hawks hear me and use me to find her.

I feel her, leading me into the woods, into her own inner wilderness. Here, somewhere, she has taken refuge, only there was no refuge from the hawks – for these are no natural creatures. Their sustenance is the purging of their rage, born of their long-festering wounds. They wheel in the bright sky, vivid with sharp menace, feathers brighter than the changing leaves.

A splash of red ahead, crouched and unmoving, half under a decaying log. My breath gasps to a halt. I try to listen, but all is the surging of lifeblood in my ears, and the wind of a change I may be too late to stop.

Previous “A Splash of Red” snippets:

Is the little girl all right?

Will the hawks leave them in peace?

Can the woman win the child’s trust?

Can they heal together?

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?

Shattering the Dam: 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!

After two weeks of visiting all the other WIPpeteers, I paved the road to failure with good intentions last week. Not only didn’t I make the rounds; I haven’t answered comments yet, either. My mission to practice revision became immersive, and there’s been blogging and planning a short story for submission to a contest with a deadline at the end of the month. There’s been moving firewood and hometending and writing group, and the new crit group a few local peeps, including me, began at the beginning of the year. And then there were these weird internet glitches…

So, now it’s just before midnight, and Wednesday is nearly here. I’m hoping to get this post and my ROW80 update done and posted before I sleep – not sure if that will happen, but that’s what I’d like to do. I’m also hoping to move the three crit projects forward, and maybe…

See?

There’s where I run into trouble- there’s always something else I want to do…but, for now, I’m just going to focus on this WIPpet.

Today, I’ve got more from Karina Karanova in Sea Changes, and so it’s on to the WIPpet!

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 let this draft rest for the rest of the month, and begin creating a revision plan in February. That said, any input is gratefully accepted!

WIPpet Math:

  • Today is January 20, 2016
  • Today, you get nineteen new sentences –plus the last one from last week , for context and to make twenty.

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.

Shattering the Dam

Nyet.” It could be hard, still, sometimes, to shift from Russian to English. Karina shook her head, for emphasis, and waved a clay- coated hand at the plastic coated instruction booklet – more like a book, really – that Mother had insisted she follow precisely. “No, I mean. I am to create this.”

I understand a smattering of Russian. ‘Nyet’ was the first word I learned, but I won’t bore you with the story.” He rinsed his hands at the nearest of the little faucets spaced along the trough, and wiped them on a soft rag. “Would I be intruding if I asked to take a look? Sometimes, two heads are better than one, to get the ball rolling.”

Karina’s mind supplied mental images, the way it always did when she heard American metaphors. Given her mood, maybe it shouldn’t be surprising that she imagined someone bowling with her own head as the ball…”If you wish,” she told the young man. “It seems certain that I won’t be able to make use of them, at least until I learn how to contain my emotions well enough not to destroy anything I manage to achieve.”

She put her head into her hands, knowing that she was getting clay in her hair, and, in this moment, simply not caring. Tears were threatening, but Karina was determined not to let them fall. Nyet. A dutiful daughter should take joy in tending a mother, even through an illness that had gone on so terribly slowly, even through the deep depressions and frequent rages that had come along with it.

Even when it was a bondage she hadn’t sought, and one that had swallowed up the whole of her own living, and still demanded more, more, and yet more –

It broke from her in a crashing wave of feeling, shattering the dam she’d held against it for twelve years.

Will Karina’s tears help?

Will Donovan be comfort or distress her furher?

Will Karina ever get past hating the clay?

Will she be able to do what her mother demands?

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!

“Nyet”: Sea Changes (Kifo Island; 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.

I got to everyone‘s WIPpet again this past week! It’s a trend…maybe…

I’m posting this either late or early, depending on your perspective, because I’ve been up all night, reading here. I’ve found the place for The IDIC Romance to put down roots…it may branch out, but first, it needs to be planted in rich, fertile soil…and now I know where that is – so stay tuned for more on that in the coming weeks!

I’m tired, blissed out on TnT, and a bit incoherent. I want to dive into revisions for “Mission Acomplished” and “Scavenger Hunt”, and not stop until they’re all ready to go…

But for today, I’ve got more from Karina Karanova in Sea Changes, and so it’s on to the WIPpet!

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 let this draft rest for this month, and begin creating a revision plan in February. That said, any input is gratefully accepted!

WIPpet Math:

  • Today is January 13, 2016 –and a happy birthday to my big brother!
  • Today, you get thirteen 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’s just introduced himself as Donovan Nash, and claimed that death is the admission price for life. Here, Karina’s response…

“Nyet”

Karina watched as he rolled the clay into a ball. She wondered what he was making, but she’d asked too much already. She needed to focus on this damned lump of her own. It wasn’t going to sculpt itself.

“Sometimes I come here when I need to beat something up, too.”

“What?”

The young man – Donovan – gestured at the lump in front of her, and only then did Karina realize she’d undone any progress she’d made. She swore softly, but at length, in Russian.

“I take it this wasn’t your goal?” Donovan was smiling a one-sided smile at her; Karina thought she liked it even better than the first. She took a deep breath, imagining his eyes sparkling behnd the shades. Hadn’t she heard somewhere that albinos had pink eyes – or was that just mice?

“Nyet.”

What will Karina say next?

Will Donovan press for details?

Will Karina ever get past hating the clay?

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!

Taboo Subject: 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.

Another week, where I meant to get round to see everyone. I meant to…really I did. Things got fershizzled with the holiday, and my Accomplice having extra days off…

So, this week, I’m going to visit everyone on the list – and read your last posts, too…really. Truly.

I mean it.

But now, on to the WIPpet!

I’m serializing the first scene of Sea Changes, where we meet our first of three POV characters, Karina Karanova. Here’s 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 let this draft rest for December, and begin creating a revision plan in January. That said, any input is gratefully accepted!

WIPpet Math:

  • Today is December 30, 2015.
  • Today, you get thirty sentences.

Context: Karina is in a pottery studio, working with clay and hating it, when a new guest who doesn’t like sunlight comes in. Karina tries not to stare, but finds it difficult…

Taboo Subject

“It’s all right to look at me, or to ask me questions.” His voice was soft, with amusement layered over pain. “Most people have never seen an albino before. I don’t mind talking about it, but I do mind being stared at or ignored because I’m different.”

So gentle, that voice – yet, there was something in it that suggested he’d been both stared at and ignored more often than he liked.

“How can you live here?” She hadn’t meant to blurt it out like that, but the young man had come to her table, and he sat down a little ways from her. It seemed like it would be a greater unkindness to ignore him, and she had been staring, even if covertly.

He chuckled, a pleasant sound, a little deeper than his speaking voice. “Oh, it’s not as hard as you might think. Sun hat, umbrella, shades, and a truly ridiculous amount of high-SPF sunscreen. And I don’t go out in the middle of the day, ever, unless it’s an emergency.”

Karina looked up at him. She couldn’t see his eyes, because of the dark glasses he wore. But he was smiling at her, and she decided that she liked the way it changed his face. “Aren’t you afraid?”

“Of the sun, or of dying?”

Karina didn’t know what to say to that, so she bent over her work as though he wasn’t even here. Soon, too soon, Mother would call for her, and then she’d have to report on what she’d accomplished during her first day at the pottery studio.

“Damn, I hate clay,” she whisperhissed through teeth she’d clenched to keep the thought in. Another failure. That would have earned perhaps a dozen lashes, even if she’d long since stopped being a child.

“Then why are you – ” Karina stared at him, trying to send the wordless messages that would silence him. “Ah, I see. Taboo subject. Don’t worry; there’s a lot of those in a place like this. I won’t pry into anything you don’t want to talk about.” He smiled and dug a handful of clay out of the bucket that sat in the trough running the length of the table’s center. “How about I just introduce myself and answer your question?”

Why does Karina not want to talk ?

Who is this man?

Why would someone with albinism live on a tropical island?

Will Karina make progress on her project?

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):

And now, for something completely different:

Over the last months, I’ve been gradually planning for next April’s Blogging From A-Z Challenge.

I’ll be writing – wait for it! – Enterprise fan fiction stories. =D (I know; you’re all shocked, right?!)

The planning yielded more stories than I need, so I decided to share the ‘extras’ as they are. All month, I’ve posted one every day, in a canon-chronological progression. For each comment, I add a paragraph to the story (there’s a two-day delay, to allow comments to gather) – and you can find all of them at The IDIC Romance Advent Calendar.

Tomorrow, the last post goes live – but the calendar itself will remain, so you can read whenever you feel the need for a bit of TnT.

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!

A Good Daughter: 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, over at A Keyboard and an Open Mind.

I’m still not doing so well at visiting. My schedule is off, and I’ve had many Other Things going on – outings, homeschool reports, extra blog stuff, and, of course, all of those things I set aside for NaNo…oh, and there’s this: I’ll be joining fellow WIPpeteer Fallon Brown and various others in the pages of the second edition of the World Unknown Review anthology! I’d hoped to do more submitting this year, but one acceptance is way better than none!

If I don’t get round to everyone this week, I’m going to take next week off, in the interest of fairness. Since I don’t like to upset my blogging routine that way, that ought to be incentive enough to get me out on my self-appointed rounds.

But now, on to the WIPpet!

I’m serializing the first scene of Sea Changes, where we meet our first of three POV characters, Karina Karanova. Here’s 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 let this draft rest for December, and begin creating a revision plan in January. That said, any input is gratefully accepted!

WIPpet Math:

  • Today is December 9, 2015.
  • Today, you get nine sentences. I know that doesn’t sound like much, but there’s a bit of potential compensation if you read through, or scroll down…

Context: Karina is in a pottery studio, working with clay and hating it. She’s feeling the pressure of time, and the weight of guilt…here’s the last sentence from last week’s post, before we go on to the new.

But this first hour had shown her that what Mother wanted from her was going to take much longer – especially since she could only work while Mother slept.

And now, the new words:

She wouldn’t think about the fact that that had been the only time when she was free to do as she wished, and that now even that small time was gone. No, she wouldn’t think about it, because a good daughter wanted to serve her parents, honor them, respect and obey them.

She wouldn’t think of her seven younger siblings, either, or let herself wonder why it was her and not any of them to whom this duty fell.

The girl came back into view. “Excuse me, Miss -”

Karanova,” Karina supplied automatically.

Karanova.” The child seemed to be tasting it on her tongue. “That’s a lovely name.”

Why does Karina try so hard not to think?

Who instilled her idea of what a ‘good daughter’ is?

What does the girl want?

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):

I’ll be offereing the last serialized snippet of my Trip and T’Pol story, “Mission Accomplished”, over at #8sunday  this weekend. Here’s the current, penultimate snippet, “We’ll Be Busted”, to hold you over until the finale goes live just after midnight on Sunday . There’s also a list so you can catch up with the previous posts.

And now, that compensation I mentioned:

Over the last months, I’ve been gradually and sometimes sporadically planning for next April’s Blogging From A-Z Challenge (no, I’m not usually so far ahead, but last year travel and circumstance derailed my best intentions, so I decided I’m not going to repeat that experience!).

I’ll be writing – wait for it! – Enterprise fan fiction stories. =D (I know; you’re all shocked, right?!) But there are so many of them in my head that I needed to cast a wide initial net, then gradually cull the clamoring idea-catch. And that left me with a nice little assortment of wriggling little stories that didn’t make it to the big time, this time.

So I decided to share them as they are. All through December, I’m posting one every day, in a canon-chronological progression. For each comment, I add a paragraph to the story (there’s a two-day delay, to allow comments to gather) –

the fun part is that I have no idea what direction these little guys will swim…look for them at The IDIC Romance Advent Calendar.

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!