Wednesday Stuff: Sniffly-Snuffles Edition

Yep, I have the sniffly-snuffles. The common cold. My nose is running, better go catch it, ha ha, I KILL ME. It could be a lot worse– I don’t have a fever or a cough. But you know how it is:

(I’m not actually that bad. My older son is, though. “I’m SICK! I’m really SICK!” is a common refrain every winter.)

Anyway, tanker-truck loads of mucus aren’t going to stop WIPpet Wednesday, or even a less-than-stellar ROW80 Update. Because book kittens… or something.

And as Kristen Lamb reminded us today (go read it!), in every complaint there is something to be thankful for. I am thankful for these sniffly-snuffles, because they mean I am breathing, and I’m thankful that my health is good enough that I’m not worried about my illness being something much worse.

WIPpet Wednesday

Let’s see… math. The 27th, minus eleven for the month, and… minus sixteen for the chapter number.

That leaves us with one paragraph, the first one to come from a new character.

Because I did that. I can handle three POV characters, but I think that’s my limit for this trilogy. Or possibly ever.

I’ve never liked surprises. I don’t remember much about my first home or my first family. But I remember leaving, being wakened from sweet dreams and taken from my warm bedroom out into the cold night. My mother held me in her lap as we rode in the back of a wagon. I remember the smell of hay, and horses, and the driver’s pipe. My mother cried every day of our journey, until I thought she’d never stop. That was the first surprise I remember, and I haven’t had many pleasant ones since.

Hmm. That last sentence should maybe be its own paragraph, for impact. Maybe the first sentence, too. Well, that’s how early drafts go, right? More for you this way, anyway.

So there you go. There was another scene I just finished that I REALLY wanted to share from, but it would make even less sense out of context than this did. Boo.

Want to see who else is WIPpin’ it good this week? Head on over to the linkie, and be sure to share some comment love! And thanks to K.L. Schwengel for hosting. Speaking of whom…


I’m going to stick this down here. On Monday it was my turn in the hot seat for K.L. Schwengel’s WIPpeteer interview series. You can see that here. She was nice, didn’t release her flying monkeys on me, didn’t let them fling poop. I was nervous about that. I DID get turned into an evil, sock-stealing supervillain in the comments, but what can you do? I should have costume designs finalized by next week.

In other news, I’ve hit a post-win slowdown in my word count. Instead of riding the wave of NaNo glee, I’ve kind of not written anything since Thursday. Why? Because weekend, because children, because we had people coming Tuesday to do a walk-through of the house, see what needs repairing, and I assume to spy on us, make sure we’re not screwing the place up too badly. This meant I had to clean the place up AND (more importantly) get the kids to clean up the basement.

It was a DISASTER. There were threats, there were garbage bags, there were angry faces. I’m not proud of that, but there you go.

And after that was done, the kids wanted to do some Christmas decorating. The cats approve of the blanket I put out:


The big guy there, Charlie, is terrified of Lucy, the smallest cat in the house. He looks uncomfortable because he wants blanket, but he fears her wrath.
Her adorable, fuzzy wrath.

Then on Monday I was going to get back to my regular schedule, only to find that Ike didn’t have school that morning… a fact I discovered only after dropping him off at school.


So we had a morning together, and I got nothing else done.

Tuesday was house inspection morning, and I had a short nap in the afternoon, and then kids all evening when AJ was at work, and then I had no mental energy left. And that was that.

Also, the dog ate my homework, and now I’m all out of excuses.


“Did not.”

I need to get round to more ROW80 blogs this week. I’ve been slacking off since I’ve had NaNoWriMo goals taking up my time, but that’s not an excuse any more. If anyone would like to join me in making the rounds, you’ll find the links here. 🙂


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 five cats, two dogs, and just the right amount of humans. USA Today bestselling author of the Bound Trilogy (mature YA Fantasy), Into Elurien, and Vines and Vices. Writing dark, decadent, and deadly Urban Fantasy as Tanith Frost. View all posts by Kate Sparkes

19 responses to “Wednesday Stuff: Sniffly-Snuffles Edition

  • Kathy

    So far, I have managed to avoid the common cold but I had a sinus headache last night that is now the reason I am up at almost eight in the morning my local time doing the ROW80 rounds and going, “…should I go back to bed or should I go to McDonalds and then go back to bed…”

    If it makes him feel better, you can tell Charlie that he’s not the only grown cat afraid of a smaller cat. I used to have an adult male cat who would back down from the kitten who had been born prematurely and who was therefore even smaller than a regular-sized kitten.

  • Gloria Weber

    I can see why this character doesn’t trust surprises. I distrusted circuses for many years due to a similar thing.

    My writing/ROW80 week was just as off course as yours. It is just that time of year, I guess.

  • Michael McDonald

    At least it’s ‘only’ a cold! When I was a paid employee I used to look forward to ‘sick days’ as there was nothing better than a day at home and still getting paid. It’s amazing how your priorities change when, as a writer, you still have to work when you’re sick!

  • L. Marie

    Hope you feel better soon. You deserve a break. You challenged NaNo and won. Maybe after a day or so, you can get back into it. I reached my semi-NaNo goal of 30,000 words. Haven’t written much ever since. And the next five holiday days will involve even less writing, since my family and I will be traveling.

  • Ruth Nestvold

    Hey, at least you got the 50,000 words! I’m still not sure if I’m going to make it, what with turkey and all.

    I liked the snippet, and I agree with you that the first sentence should be a separate paragraph. Not sure if you should use that technique too close together, though, so maybe not the last.

  • kathils

    Sure, blame the dog. I suppose next it’s going to be the poor dog who has taken all the socks? Some people. Where are my monkeys? I think they could do with a little visit to Newfoundland.

    A third POV? Who dat? Nicely done and now color me completely intrigued.

    • Kate Sparkes

      Oh, you’ll see… Some day. 🙂

      I wouldn’t recommend sending monkeys. The dragonlings are hungry.

      (Jack dog didn’t steal socks. My family did once have a Cocker Spaniel who would swallow them whole and poop them out the same way, though. Kinda gross… I dunno why I said that. I need sleep.)

  • Eden

    Your new character sounds like she/he’s had an interesting life already. And here you go trying to make it more interesting… Wasn’t that a curse of some kind “May you live in interesting times?” or something like that?

    The post-wordcount slump… Been there. Sounds like you’ve had a LOT of distractions though, so I can totally see how you’d have gotten off course. You should probably try to grab even five or tend minutes a day though somewhere, just to say you wrote. Just to keep your hand in things… You know. That sort of thing.

  • Xina Marie Uhl

    Lovely snippet – you really bring the senses to life with your writing!

  • Beth

    What if the first sentence were deleted? Then we’d be right with that little kid bundled into a wagon without quite understanding what’s going on. The final sentence resonates with the adult narrator’s interpretation and can even stay in the same paragraph — if you like. I’d rather say I didn’t have an experience like this one, but I did. It was terrifying. Of course, a bogeyman was coming after us. Interesting that the snippet doesn’t reveal the why of the mother leaving. Just her tears. But quite an interesting intro to your character. And what a collage of images and experiences that make up real life. Lovely cats and dog. Lovely kids. Congrats on reaching your NaNo goal!

  • Alana Terry

    Aww, poor thing. What a lot of wallop on one paragraph!

  • ReGi McClain

    (Which WIP was this one from?)

    Poor, um, Someone. That sounds unpleasant. Why did they have to go, i wonder? Hay and a smoking driver, huh? And crying all the way? Probably the Victorian era and probably due to some great loss, yes?

  • Oh, the Wednesdayness | disregard the prologue

    […] the character I (sort of) introduced a few weeks back? This week’s snippet is from her again. Nox has just gone for a sunset walk in the woods with […]

  • WIPpet Wednesday, Backstory Edition | disregard the prologue

    […] In any case, here’s the first (3+12-2-0+1+4=) 18 paragraphs from a young lady named Nox who’s rather near and dear to my heart these days. Things haven’t been going so well for her since… well, since she was quite young, as she discussed many Wednesdays ago. […]

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