WIPpet Wednesday: Ick

I know, I know. I said I ran out of non-spoilery stuff.

That’s not a complete lie. Today’s snippet gives something away, but it’s not anything I’m particularly concerned with keeping a secret. If you’ve been following my WIPpet posts for a few months, you already know. But fair warning, okay? Stop here if you don’t want to know anything.

Because this week’s snippet isn’t from Aren or Rowan.

Ooooooooooooh.

In honour of Halloween (yes, that’s my tenuous connection to the date), we have a Potioner poking through someone else’s supply store-room, trying to solve a problem to pass a test that’s REALLY important to her. It’s for Halloween because… well, you’ll see. Long one today. Sorry. I’ve been good and posted short snippets lately. :)

Insert first draft disclaimer here. This part of the scene might be cut, or at least cut down. If not, it’ll need work. I had fun writing it, though, and it says a lot about this character.

The room has already been described. Picture a storeroom with shelves covering every wall, and shelves forming aisles through the middle, all covered in jars, bottles, baskets, boxes, and STUFF. For this character, it’s like being a kid in a candy store, but far less fattening. Also a bit more stressful at this point…

I continued through the room, reaching places we hadn’t seen the day before. She had everything organized by type of ingredient—flowering plants in one area, whole and in parts. Reeds in another. Catalysts. Null items that would nonetheless help in certain instances. Sands, waters, metals, slabs of stone, chunks of wood. Within each section, items were shelved by the region they’d come from, and seemed to be set out roughly in order of how powerful the magic within them was before interference from us. Simple enough, if one knew what she was looking for. Less helpful for me, who hadn’t the first clue.

At the rear of the room I came upon the animal ingredients. I’d never liked using them, but sometimes it couldn’t be avoided if one wanted a specific and reliable result. Eye of newt always impressed folk when they heard we’d included it. I preferred salamander myself, though I found the fiery little buggers difficult to come by. Bundles of feathers covered one shelf, labeled with hanging tags: red parrot was new to me. Eagle. Robin. Harpy. Aeyer.

I shuddered at that last. I refused to ask people to consume anything remotely human, and the Aeyer were far too close. Besides, where would one get the ingredients save for from a dead body? And to desecrate those… no. Even the harpy deserved better.

I pulled the curtain back on another section and leaned closer to read the labels, gasped, and let the curtain fall. Several deep breaths later, I pulled it back again. One jar of eyeballs had been labelled “human,” the other “human- MU.” The dried and stacked strips of skin had to be the same. Vials of dark liquid didn’t invite closer scrutiny, and I didn’t dare look closer at the shapes floating in the bottles at the back. I moved on, hoping my answer didn’t lie there.

On a higher shelf I found several small jars of gold-tinted liquid labeled “mer tears.” I didn’t try to imagine how they’d acquired those. In my admittedly limited experience with merfolk, I hadn’t found them overly keen on giving them up.

At least there were no eyeballs on that shelf.

Focus. I passed by those shelves and searched higher. Dragon scales in a rainbow of hues, radiating protective power. Unicorn tail-hairs and horn shavings. Horrid. A unicorn never shed its horn. The only way to obtain that would be to kill the beast. I turned away, but the jar’s contents called to me. I couldn’t help looking back, reaching out, and opening the dark glass lid. This would help. A unicorn’s deep magic would [redacted for spoilers--it would solve several of her problems]. It was the absolute simplest solution, and I hadn’t thought of it before because I’d never had access to the ingredients.

It’s here anyway. If the unicorn is dead, it’s dead. Just use it. Make the potion.

I reached my fingers into the jar. Even before I touched the thick slices of nacre-like horn, they glowed softly. The scent of an autumn wood reached my nostrils, thick and rich with moss and mushroom and rotting leaves. Pleasant, to be sure, and I felt my mind relax into it. There was a wildness to the magic, carried on the scent of the wind. I closed my eyes and found myself racing along the crest of a mountain ridge in the moonlight. The world was at my feet, and all of its magic coursed through my veins…

I snapped the hinged lid of the jar closed, and the experience vanished with the scent. A tear slipped from my eye. I’d seen a unicorn’s memory, felt her magic, and known she wasn’t a part of the world anymore. Stupid, perhaps. Sentimental. And yet I set the jar back on the shelf.

There had to be another way.

Hey, look. That came out to eleven paragraphs. It’s the 29th. 9+2=11. MATH.

For more (and hopefully shorter, I SAID I WAS SORRY) WIPpet fun, click here. If you’d like to join in on your own blog, post a snippet from your work in progress that relates in some way to the day’s date. Share there, link back, and be sure to visit the others. If you’re like our host KL Schwengel, you’ll have to choose just one of your multitude of WIPs to share. If you’re like me… well, it’s easier to decide.

ROW80 Update

Is anyone even reading this far?

*crickets*

I know, it makes for a long post. And hey, let’s make it longer! I’m procrastinating, you see. I have this battle scene to write, and I kind of haven’t done that on this scale before, and… well, you know. Why do now what you can put off until after the blog post?

Ugh. Fine.

Word counts have been pretty good, except for yesterday, because battle scene:

Wednesday: 3,199
Thursday: 5,293
Friday: ~3000
Saturday: ~3000
Sunday: 0 (family day, migraine, good times)
Monday: 4,014
Tuesday: 1129

This puts the manuscript over 108,000 words, and we’re not even climaxing yet.

Pretend I said that in a way that’s less creepy.

Beta reading is all finished up, and I don’t think anyone hates me. WOO! Listened to one writing podcast. Mostly, I’ve been wording with the words. And the wording has been swell. So… here’s hoping that next week’s update features a big, relieved announcement and me saying I’m back to pre-editor edits on Torn.

Glack.

If you’re curious about what the heck ROW80 is, check it out here.

And… that’s it. No big conclusion. Sorry. I gotta go do some research.

20141029-153026.jpg

Um… not at all like this.


NaNoWriMo Prep… or not.

Raise your hand if you’re participating in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) this year.

Okay, this being the internet (and me not being a creepy webcam-stalker) means that I can’t see you. So I guess commenting would be more appropriate there.*

Yes, it's going to be one of those posts.

Yes, it’s going to be one of those posts.

If you have no idea what I’m talking about, NaNoWriMo is an annual event during which writers all over the world (yes, even Antarctica one year) attempt to write 50,000+ words of a novel in one month. This equals 1667 words per day, assuming a steady pace and no days off. You can write the 50,000 in the first week and nothing the rest of the month if you want to. Or leave it all to the last minute, which is… it’s generally not a good plan. Trust me.

I’ve participated every year since 2010, when a (very) rough draft of the then-untitled Bound was my project. And then I lost almost all of it in a software-related mishap, but that’s another story. Since then I’ve won a few, “lost” one (though I don’t think anyone loses as long as you get some words down), and participated in several Camp NaNo sessions. I drafted Torn in 2012 and thoroughly revised it in 2013. It was much better the second time around.

Okay, technically revisions are not allowed by NaNo rules. But I did change/add 50,000 words, so I counted it.

And it looks like this year I might just be a NaNo rebel again. Or maybe not.

See, if all goes well, I’m going to have the first draft of my current project finished by November 1 or shortly thereafter. Even though I blasted past 50,000 words in a private NaNo in October, I can’t count any of those words for the event. So I can’t use that project.

I need to do another editing pass on Torn before it goes to my editor in December. I need to make a few plot and character adjustments to better lead into book 3, plant a few ideas in there to bloom later (being a time traveller is fun!), do a sweep for over-used words and other issues that are going to make editing more expensive. I have to start that ASAP.

And I can’t count it.

During Camp NaNoWriMo, one hour of editing = 1000 words on the progress bar. Not so in November. It’s unfortunate, but I don’t think I can take my cheating that far.

This makes it a little difficult to join in on the NaNo prep excitement. I miss it.

So Here’s What I’m Going to Do:

  • I’m going to bust my ass to get Torn finished quickly. I’m going to work every hour I’m at home without the kids. I’ll use NaNo word sprint events and Facebook write-ins to keep me focused, I will get organized before I start, and hopefully I’ll get it done in a week or two.
  • And then I’m going to start something for NaNoWriMo. It’ll be a late start, as I can’t have my attention divided when I’m editing as many people can.** I don’t know what I’m going to do yet. I might go back to my as-yet-unpublished vampires***, because I’ve had a lot of fun with that. I might buckle down and flesh out the plot for that gempunk thing I started for a flash fiction challenge. Maybe, if I just want to relax and play with something that will never see the light of day, I’ll get to that erotic ghost story. Why not have fun? I’ve been busting my ass to get the Bound trilogy done. I can’t stop writing, but maybe I can just play for a few weeks.
  • As for pulling off a win… it’s probably not going to happen this year. I have to make editing the priority, but that doesn’t mean I won’t be right in there. I’ll be participating in groups and forums if I find time, cheering my writing buddies on, neglecting the housework. I wish I could say I’ll go to write-ins, but we don’t get those out here.
  • But darn it, I’m going to have fun.

And then after that it’ll be just chilling and relaxing and…

*accepts note from disembodied hand*

Wait, no. After that it’ll be biting my nails while Torn is with my editor, then surviving enjoying Christmas, then the stress and pressure to get the edits done so that I can get it out to second-round readers and get proofreading done and formatting and figuring out promotional stuff and planning a party and uploading for pre-order–

Deep breaths.

So November should be a cakewalk compared to January and February is what I’m really saying.

It’s a good thing I like my readers. :)

For more on my experiences with NaNoWriMo and why it’s the only reason I ever wrote more than three chapters of a novel, see this post. I talk a lot about perfectionism there… we’ll have to revisit the topic some time.

If you’re participating, drop your username in the comments or just go ahead and add me as a buddy.

If not, we can still be buddies.

-

*Do you guys SEE how well my brain is working today? I know. It’s bonkers.

**I don’t hate you. I’m just jealous.

***Resurrection is the working title of the first novella, Sanctuary is the 1/3 finished second one. I’m starting to notice a theme…


Fall Into Fantasy: Strings by G. Miki Hayden

Welcome to the Fall Into Fantasy Tour, where we are keeping your mind off any end-of-summer blues and welcoming the cooler weather by introducing you to some incredible fantasy reads to curl up with and giving you plenty of chances to win awesome prizes!

Week 10: Strings by G. Miki Hayden


Robert, an ordinary boy, finds himself in a newly chaotic world. Buildings move when and where they please, and time jumps around according to no known laws of physics. For Robert, getting to his regular school in the morning is next to impossible. As for getting home…

But then, Holden—a boy he and his friend, Nila, meet in a cave—offers them a string. No, not twine, but a string of the kind that forms the universe. Teeny and tiny, and invisible to the naked eye, this string will take Robert and Mila to their homes and way, way beyond…

Accompanied by a memorable cast of characters, Robert and his friends follow the string on a journey across time, space, and dimensions to discover the answer to a mystery: Who has caused the world to fall apart?

Buy it from: Amazon  Barnes & Noble
Or add it on Goodreads

EXCERPT: 

Holden stood up, suddenly excited. “Yes, strings, Robert, strings. String theory says we live in a universe of multiple dimensions. Something is happening to the strings that form our everyday world, and now the universes are bleeding over into one another—merging. I have to figure out how to stop it, to separate the worlds again.”

“And we have to figure out how to get home,” Nila cried out. “What a mess everything is.”
The smoke from the small fire had made Robert’s eyes tear.
ABOUT G. MIKI HAYDEN


The author, G. Miki Hayden, strongly believes in alternate universes and has written about them in her adult novels Pacific Empire (which won a New York Times rave) and New Pacific.

“Nothing in time-space is fixed,” Miki says, a distant look in her eyes.
Miki won an Edgar for an historical crime story and has a couple of writing books in print.
At the moment, she generally lives with millions of other people in New York City in a three-dimensional, temporal world but is exploring other realms.
Find G. Miki Hayden online: http://gmikihayden.tumblr.com/
Want to get involved with the Fall Into Fantasy promotional tour?

  • Don’t forget to join us at the Facebook party here
  • If you are interested in joining up as a blogger, you can always sign up here. We are happy to welcome more bloggers into the fold as the promotion continues. 
  • If you are an author or blogger and want to sign up to help with the party, please fill out this form.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


WIPpet Wednesday: Just So We’re Clear

Wednesday AGAIN? Sweet fancy Moses, that goes quickly. And this means it’s time for WIPpet Wednesday, and another snippet from _____: Bound Trilogy Book 3.

According to the rules of WIPpet Wednesday we have to choose a snippet that relates to today’s date. Let’s do some math so I can use the bit that I want (because that’s pretty much just how we Wippeteers do): October 22 = 2+2 = 4 short paragraphs.

Another snippet from Rowan. I swear the whole thing’s not from her POV, it just so happens that she’s had the entertaining and non-spoilery snippets recently. We’ll try for Aren next week. Or… Well.

Just for fun, no other context. Have fun with that. :)

Her scaly lips opened into a grin, and Aren pulled me a few paces away.

“I need to say this aloud,” he said quietly, “just so I understand. We’re about to entrust our lives to a dragon and the tensile strength of a bedsheet?”

“No. A sheet of canvas.”

He paled. “I see. That makes me feel much better.”

Poor Aren. At least his life’s not boring, right? Given what’s happened in the last few days, be glad this is a cute snippet.

For more WIPpet goodness, click here to see what everyone else is posting. We usually get a mix of romance, fantasy, sci-fi, and other good stuff. I think we had 17 contributions last week (and yes, reading them does cut into my other reading time, but it’s so worth it). Thanks to KL Schwengel for hosting. As I understand it, she has recently been to the stockdog races, and… wait, that sounds wrong. And yet, so right… *imagines souped-up stockdogs zooming around a track*

Ahem.

Row80 Update (goals here)

So it was another good week. Word counts have been good:

Wednesday: none
Thursday: ~2,000
Friday: ~3,000
Saturday/Sunday: (off–and away from home, and serious migraine, and finished beta reading, and LEAMME ALONE, GOSH)
Monday: 6,077
Tuesday: 10,289*

So pretty good, except for last Wednesday. Want to know why?

I spent Wednesday on 12 pages of hand-written notes, and in those I outlined the rest of the book.

Guys. I know how the trilogy ends. Down to the last line.

Maybe I’m delusional, but I think it’s going to be fantastic. Exciting, surprising, amusing, romantic, heartbreaking, bittersweet, satisfying. If you all have half as much fun reading it as I did outlining, I’ll have done my job. The next few weeks aren’t going to be easy for me, and someone might have to come scrape me off the floor with a shovel at some point because of things, but the end result is going to be worth it. I mean sure, there are plot holes and issues in this draft… but it’s all fixable. It’s going to get there.

Ugh, such surprises I want to share with you. For anyone who’s impatiently waiting for Torn and then this one… I’m right there with you, trust me. Like, going BANANAS waiting to get them to you. But quality first. Only the best for y’all.

So anyway, that’s my update. Yaaaaaay! Here’s the link to the other ROW80 updates. I don’t get around to a lot of strangers’ blogs to comment on this one, but enough WIPpeteers do it that I don’t feel TOO guilty.

Thanks for stopping by and listening to me ramble. I hope you’re all having a great week!

-

*Most emphatically NOT a typo. Full disclosure: I’ve never done that before, and may never again. I have to stop and ponder too much to have a high enough per-hour word count. But things are getting exciting in the story as we near the climax, and I hit that zone you get into when you’re reading a book you really can’t put down. And then the word count hit 8,000, and I thought what the heck, let’s do this. I took breaks to feed the family and tidy the house, do a couple of loads of laundry and help with homework, and to watch a TV show with my husband. But otherwise, I was writing (see words per hour issue). It feels like a fine accomplishment, but I don’t think I’ll try for it again on a regular basis. I can’t have my kids watching this much Spongebob every day. Also, my wrists are KILLING me.


Fall Into Fantasy: Salvation by James Wymore

Welcome to the Fall Into Fantasy Tour, where we are keeping your mind off any end-of-summer blues and welcoming the cooler weather by introducing you to some incredible fantasy reads to curl up with and giving you plenty of chances to win awesome prizes!

Week 9: Salvation by James Wymore


 A man wakes on a frozen battlefield when a scavenging couple finds him among the dead. As they nurse him back to health, he is struck with the horrible realization he can’t remember who he is or anything about his past. Taken in by the kind pair, he begins helping with their farm. She even takes him to meet her family, especially her single sister. The ideal life offered in the high mountains of Winigh is shattered when he sees a transport bringing enemy monsters to the shores below. Cut off by high snow on the pass, their fate will soon be the same as the town his company failed to protect in the last battle, if this estranged soldier cannot help them fight off the next wave of invaders. Even worse, the people of the town don’t trust this Selene soldier. He has a strange resistance to their folk magic which some say make him as dangerous as the enemies preparing to destroy them.
Buy it from: Amazon  Barnes & Noble  Kobo
Or add it to Goodreads


ABOUT JAMES WYMORE

On a lifelong search for fantastic worlds hiding just out of sight, James Wymore writes to explore. With three books and six short stories in print after just one year, he continues to push the boundaries of imagination. Journey with him at http://jameswymore.wordpress.com
Find James online:




Want to get involved with the Fall Into Fantasy promotional tour?

  • Don’t forget to join us at the Facebook party here
  • If you are interested in joining up as a blogger, you can always sign up here. We are happy to welcome more bloggers into the fold as the promotion continues. 
  • If you are an author or blogger and want to sign up to help with the party, please fill out this form.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Bound Featured on TeamNerd Reviews!

So a few days ago I got a DM on Twitter from Bridget, who said she was from TeamNerd Reviews and that they were going to feature Bound on Thursday.

Cool!

She asked for a teaser to post with the information.

No problem.

Er… okay, a little bit of a problem. I’ve come to realize that almost every really juicy bit of this book contains SPOILERS. Big ones, small ones, itty-bitty ones, but always something.

But I did my best, I sent a few over, and she picked a good, reasonably-non-spoilery one to post. TeamNerd Reviews is a super fun blog where they not only review books but also feature authors, offer teasers, and discuss TV shows they love. Check them out!

Here’s the link to today’s post

Thanks, Bridget and Annabell!


WIPpet Wednesday: Mrowl

Hey look, it’s WIPpet Wednesday again! Which means it’s also garbage day… hang on.

*crashing noises*

*door slams*

*monster in the garbage can yodels with joy*

Sorry, I keep forgetting.

Anyway, for anyone who’s not familiar with WIPpet Wednesdays, this is the day when a fantabulistical group of writers shares a small snippet from a work in progress that relates somehow to the date, and we all link up here so we can share the fun. Today I have another piece from the third book of the Bound trilogy*. I wrote this last week, but it was too adorable not to share today. First draft, edited for spoilers. Rowan’s POV.

WIPpet math: 15 sentences for the 15th

We searched the house for clothes to wear while ours dried. All I could find was a soft cotton nightgown which covered me from neck to ankles in the least-flattering shape possible. I’d hoped to sneak back to my room without being seen, but Aren waited for me in the hall, arms crossed, leaning one shoulder against the wall.

He grinned and wiggled his eyebrows. “Damn.”

“Don’t even talk about it.”

“No, really. It’s good. Leaves a lot to the imagination.”

I mustered what dignity I could and held my head high as I passed him. “Goodnight, Aren. Have fun with your imagination.”

“Goodnight, Rowan. I promise I will.”

He’d been joking about the attractiveness of the nightgown, but that didn’t stop him watching me as I walked away. I smiled to myself as I closed the door behind me.

So there we go. Much sweeter than some of the moments I’ve been getting from characters lately.

If you’d like more WIPpet fun, click here to see what the rest of the crew is up to this week, and be sure to say hi on their blogs. If you’d like to join in, please do! You know the rules. Thanks again to our host KL Schwengel, to whom I say, “See, I was nicer to Aren this week! Please don’t hurt the guy I love in your books. Or the other one.”

Writer friendships are kind of screwed up. O.o

ROW80

Word counts are on track. Last Wednesday: 5,000 words. Thursday: 2,500 (this was my day to go to town, so I wasn’t expecting any). Friday:  5,000 words. Saturday: 4,600  Sunday: 0, but did some planning. Monday: 4,898  Tuesday: almost 3000 TOUGH words. Why do words get embarrassed and hide from me when things get romantic?

Things are getting tricky in the story now that I’m starting to pull together all the loose threads, play the wild cards, bring out things that have been in the shadows… pick your metaphor. It’s exciting, but it’s getting to be delicate work. I have a plan, anyway.

I have started beta reading (yay!) and am aiming for 2 chapters a day.

Listened to one podcast, not two, because my phone’s being a jerk about listening to them when I’m walking right now. But that’s something, anyway.

So there you have it. I hope you’re all having a good week and accomplishing ALL THE THINGS.

 

——

*I’m totally going to give up the name soon, because I’m really sick of typing that.

 

 


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