WIPpet Wednesday: Back at it

*scrambles for something to post*

Yep, this one sneaked up on me, mostly because I fail at writing right now. Since I can’t handle that, I’m reading over Bound and making more notes (the never-ending cycle), which makes that my active work in progress, which makes that the one I’m posting from this week. Apologies to anyone who wanted more vampires, I’ll get back to them after JuNoWriMo. Probably.

Since I haven’t revised chapter 29 yet (and I’m fiddling with chapter divisions, anyway), let’s go with the 29th scene, which also happens to be the one I was revising when I decided to take a little break. Coincidence? Absolutely. 🙂

Just a few things you need to know: Rowan and Aren are on the road, trying to find a cure for her *mumble mumble* and headaches before Aren’s brother finds them, and he wants them because of all of THE EVIL REASONS (I swear it’s explained better in the story). They were stuck out in a rainstorm with a lame horse and with people chasing them, so when the opportunity to spend the night with a group of semi-nomadic performers presented itself, Rowan decided they should take it, in spite of Aren not wanting help from anyone he doesn’t know and trust. They were welcomed by a man named Bartilae, who is the community’s leader, and Rowan gave him fake names when she introduced herself and Aren. We already know that Bartilae’s daughter is named Patience… and I think that’s all you need to know. Oh, and this chapter is told by Aren.

A thin-faced girl with bright ribbons braided into her hair stumbled out of the crowd of running children and dropped onto the cushion between me and Bartilae. “Will we have a show, Father?”

“I think not tonight, my love. We haven’t unpacked here, an our guests are weary from their travels. Another day.” The girl pouted, and when the children passed by again she flounced off to join them. Bartilae sighed. “Sometimes I wonder why we name our children before we know them well. I’m not holding much hope of that one growing into hers.”

When the meal was finished, many of the adults bundled into their shawls, capes, or jackets and headed out into the storm. Two white-haired old women stayed behind, huddled close to a cluster of burning torches, and half a dozen other adults sat talking, occasionally sending curious glances our way. The tent smelled of damp wool and burnt wood, but it was far more pleasant than being outside.

Rowan scooted closer to me. “How was your meal, dear?”

“Just wonderful, Penelope, oh light of my life,” I replied dryly, and she stifled a giggle behind her hand. “Nice names. Where did those come from?”

“I once had a goat named Penelope.”

“And Doug?”

“I have no idea.”

I didn’t want to talk too much about what we were doing, not with other people possibly listening, but it couldn’t be avoided completely. “We can’t stay here. We know nothing about these people.”

She rolled her eyes. “Do you think everyone is after us? They’re Wanderers. I really doubt they’re working for Severn; they barely acknowledge a king on either side of the mountains. If anything, they’re staying out of it. They don’t know who we are, anyway. You’re too suspicious.”

“And you’re too trusting!”

“Well, I guess that evens it out then, doesn’t it?”

I didn’t know how to answer that. There wasn’t time to, anyway; a woman we hadn’t met yet was coming toward us with clothing folded over both arms. “Hello, my dears. I’m Alys. Jein thought you might like to borrow some dry things while your own are drying.” I reached into my pack. Everything was damp.

“Thank you,” I said, and she nodded.

“If you go through the door over there you can get changed in the storage space. It’s small, but I don’t suppose that will be a problem.” She winked, then walked toward the old women. Rowan flashed me a smug smile and carried both piles of clothing toward the storage room.

We took turns changing in a small space that was packed with piles of boxes and burlap sacks, and that smelled of onions and spices. Alys took our wet things and disappeared through another flap in the side of the tent, returning moments later. “How big is this place, anyway?” Rowan asked me, stretching to try to look through the doorway.

“It’s probably a few interconnected tents. I’m sure when you spend most of your time traveling, you figure these things out.”

“I guess. Bartilae was right, though. Odd time of year for them to be out. Wanderers only ever visited in the summer, back home.”

Patience dashed in out of the rain wearing a pink dress that she had to hold up to keep out of the mud, and a floppy red hat that dripped rainwater everywhere. She was followed by a motley band of seven other children, the youngest just a few years old, all dressed in odd and colorful clothes. “Ladies and gentlemen and extinguished guests!” she bellowed, and Alys chuckled. “Preeeeeesenting the finest show in the entire world!”

“Oh, I love the theatre,” Rowan said, and joined in the scattered applause that was nearly drowned out by the rain. Patience’s voice had no such problem. She bellowed out a rough program that sounded like it would drag on for hours. When she finished, Rowan clapped again, then stood. “Come on,” she said. “We should get better seats.”

“You’re joking.”

She frowned down at me. “Douglas Anderson, are you telling me that you’re too important and busy right now to enjoy a show performed by the great actors of the future?” Once again I didn’t know how to argue with her, and we took seats close to the area the children were clearing for their show.

I wish I could keep going; this leads into one of my favourite scenes in the whole book, an odd little semi-tangent with an entertaining and disorganized play, a bit of character development and OH THE FEELINGS, but I haven’t finished revising that yet.  It would be too long to post here, anyway.

So that’s it for this WIPpet Wednesday. This little party is hosted by K.L. Schwengel over at My Random Muse; stop by to say hi, and click on the linkie to see the other WIPpeteers’ posts and to add your own if you’d like to join in. The only rules are that you post a bit from a work in progress, and that it relates to today’s date on some way (29 lines, chapter 29, something to do with a 5 for the the month… WIPpet math is very flexible!)

For today’s #ROW80 update… sadly, I’ve got nothing. I’m taking this week to do a bit more reading and revising on Bound (maybe… this is not a good time for me to be judging my own work) and to get my notes in order for working on Torn next month. I’m hoping I’ll get my writing mojo back so I can do my 2,000 words a day for JuNoWriMo (and OK, am I the only one who says that and hears Agador from The Birdcage asking why I’m not writing more? “Why ju no wri’ mo? When ju gonna let me be in your cho’, huh? Wait, dere’s CHRIMPS!”)

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About Kate Sparkes

Kate Sparkes was born in Hamilton, Ontario, but now resides in Newfoundland, where she tries not to talk too much about the dragons she sees in the fog. She lives with a Mountie, two kids who take turns playing Jeckyll and Hyde, two cats, an intentional boxer and an accidental chihuahua. She's the author of the bestselling Bound Trilogy (mature YA Fantasy). www.katesparkes.com View all posts by Kate Sparkes

16 responses to “WIPpet Wednesday: Back at it

  • Emily Witt

    I am dying from the adorableness of “extinguished guests”. I would totally be with Rowan – I’m all about supporting up-and-coming talent. 😉

  • Raewyn Hewitt

    The goat called Penelope… *bwahahahah*. What a prince. The hardest thing about having a made up name is saying it with a straight face. When I was a student I worked at a call centre and had to choose a name, because there was already another Raewyn there. I really wanted to be Tallulah (because of the movie Cool Runnings… go figure) but I couldn’t get it out without laughing. In the end I had to use my must less funny middle name…

    By the way, you may be go through hard writing juju right now, but your writing is beautiful. Beautiful!

  • Kate Frost

    This is wonderfully descriptive and you totally brought the scene to life with the sights and smells of the travellers camp and its characters. Patience in particular is brilliant and I just love her dialogue towards the end: “Preeeeesenting…’ 🙂

  • L. Marie

    Love this!!! Especially: Bartilae sighed. “Sometimes I wonder why we name our children before we know them well. I’m not holding much hope of that one growing into hers.”

    And Patience will clearly be a breakout character. 🙂

  • Alana Terry

    I hadn’t heard of JuNoWriMo, so I’m so glad you mentioned it! I already wanted to make June my writing month anyway. Now I’ll have an official JuNoWriMo buddy! I especially liked the exchange between the dad and Patience. It was sweet and cute. I also appreciated the complete lack of gore (but still with a hint of danger). 🙂

  • jessicaminyard

    *goes and pouts in corner because there are no vampires*

    But this scene makes up for the lack of vampires, though! Rowan and Aren feel like old friends you haven’t seen in a while — they are both compelling characters. And this excerpt is beautifully descriptive. They play that the kids are going to put on sounds like it’s going to be fun. 🙂

  • ReGi McClain

    I really like this one. 😀 Those little kids are so cute! And the main characters posing as husband and wife adds a few chuckles.

  • ioniamartin

    You are so much fun! I love it.

  • elaine jeremiah

    I really enjoyed the characterisation in this. And you set the scene well; lots of good use of images to describe the place where Rowan and Aren are. Good stuff. 🙂

  • Eden

    I wonder if your Wanderers are in any way like mine–if so, Rowan and Aren are in for an interesting stay. In a good way…

    You have build a great sense of place in all your writing. Smells come through, distances,…

  • kathils

    Hurray, more Bound! Love the vamps, of course, but I’ve been waiting for more of Rowan. How true is this? “Sometimes I wonder why we name our children before we know them well.” Let me tell you, it holds true for dogs as well. Love the interactions here. And “extinguished guests” — bwahahahaha how cute.

    • katemsparkes

      One of my sons (Simon) has a name that means “he who listens” or “he has heard.” That kid tunes everything out, and I have to repeat myself three times before he listens to me. I wasn’t thinking about that when I named Patience, but… Yeah. *sigh*

  • Christina

    I really liked this – the kids were so cute! The details of the wanderers and the tent were lovely, from the sounds of it I would love to spend some time with them.

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