Oh, the Wednesdayness

SO much Wednesday.

I didn’t link my WIPpet Wednesday offering back to the linkie-poo last week, because I knew I wouldn’t have time to visit everyone, and it seemed unfair to link and run. I’m going to make time this week, though, even if it kills me.

Okay, maybe not if it kills me. But even if it kills my productivity. 😉


Hey, speaking of productivity… I worked out a tentative schedule for next year, involving the release of two books, participating in two writing events (NaNoWriMo and JuNoWriMo), and drafting a third novel. I even colour-coded this plan so I could see what I’d be working on each month, and I scheduled in “read over edits, cry, regroup” at the end of February, just to be safe. I AM SO ORGANIZED.

It’s doable. It’s insane, but it’s possible. It’s also subject to change. If my TMJ is caused by stress, the next year won’t help, but what the heck. I said I was going to do this. I’m going to do it.


I got nothing done this past weekend. I think December is going to be a month of rest, once I finish this draft of Torn (one scene to go!). There’s just too much else going on. And that’s okay. January is going to be nuts, what with revising and pre-editorial edits for Bound HOLY CRAP WHAT AM I DOING.

*breathes into paper bag*

I may have gone into the wrong business.

WIPpet Wednesday

Moving on…

Remember 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 a man she hardly knows, against her better judgement. She got a little weirded out when he said he wanted to go swimming…

…and got quite a surprise when he resurfaced and revealed that he’s not human. In his defense, this is not an easy thing to tell a woman you’re growing fond of.

I know it needs work yet, but I kind of love this moment. Nox is usually such a hard-ass.

11 paragraphs for the 11th, and two bonus paragraphs because… um… I like them?

Suddenly I felt shy. “Can I see it?”

Kel grinned, then pulled himself out of the water and onto the rock. He rested his chin on his crossed arms and flicked his tail. “Go ahead.”

He was unlike anything I had ever imagined when people spoke of the mer-folk. There was no clear place where man ended and mer began. My gaze moved over the greyish skin that stretched over sleek shoulder muscles, then along the valley of his spine to that incredible tail. It was longer than his legs had been, ending in a thick, notched fluke that he moved slowly, rippling the surface of the water where it touched.

“Can I-”

“Mm-hmm,” he said, and closed his eyes. I reached out, hesitant, and placed my hand flat against his hip. His skin was as smooth as it looked, as flawless as his face and the rest of his body, except for a scar that curved diagonally around the side half-way down his tail. I traced the scar with my finger, and found it just barely raised over the rest of the skin.

“That was a net,” he said. “I was young and didn’t know any better. I got tangled, and the rope dug in. It only scarred because I was stuck for so long. We’re quite hardy, usually.”

“That must have been frightening,” I whispered, not wanting to disturb the near perfect silence of the forest. I shifted myself toward the end of Kel’s tail and he lifted it out of the water. I ran my hand over the fluke, then back up the centre of the tail toward his back. I could feel the bones there, just under the skin. He shivered, and I pulled my hand away.

“No, don’t stop,” he said. “It’s nice. Odd to have a human touching me when I’m like this, but good.”

I put my hand back where it had been and continued up. Strange how his body became more human as it got closer to the middle. I’d seen pictures of something called a dolfin, and its tail looked like his, but it didn’t have the narrowing at the waist, above what would have been his-

I jerked my hand away. I just touched his butt.

Kel rolled onto his side, propped himself up on one arm and gave me a lazy grin. “Time to get back? You must be getting cold.”

“Um, yes.” I was actually feeling fairly warm, but he didn’t need to know that. “I’ll wait for you to get dressed.”

I sneaked one more look before I left. His front was more impressive than the back. Stomach muscles strong from swimming drew my gaze toward his tail, which was flat and a lighter grey on the underside.

I wonder how–

I cut that thought off before it could start, and walked back into the woods far enough to give him privacy to change and dress. I’d have to be careful with this one.

I know how. I don’t think that’s appropriate to discuss here and now, though. Jeez, think of the children, guys.

So, WIPpet Wednesday. Swing by to see our host, K.L. Schwengel here, and find the other WIPpeteers here, adding their lovely goodies as the day progresses. Check early, and check often. If you want to join in… well, most of you know the rules. I really need a post to link to every week. Post a snippet of your work in progress on your own blog, make sure it relates to today’s date (somehow… heh), and link back. Make sure you like and/or comment on other WIPpeteers’ posts, too! What goes around comes around and all of that. 🙂

In other news: Snow. Yay.



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. www.katesparkes.com www.tanithfrost.com View all posts by Kate Sparkes

19 responses to “Oh, the Wednesdayness

  • Adrian

    I=not child! =P

    Also…the ending is totally where my thoughts were at the beginning lol. I love the description of him though. It’s really great; I can actually see what he looks like.

  • Eden

    Great description, Kate. I like how Kel drifts between the sensual feelings he’s clearly having and trying to be polite to Nox.

    And actualy, I’m with you on the “not revealing”. It gives me more chances to imagine things on my own.

    BTW, was it you that ordered the snow? I may need to ask Kathi if I can borrow her monkeys for that.

    • Kate Sparkes

      Oh, certainly not me! My son, maybe. He likes snow.

      Most of that stuff (the sex stuff, not the snow) is left up to the readers’ imagination in these books. Too much would seem out-of-place.

      • Eden

        Ah, well… I can’t blame your son. Mine has been just as eager for that white stuff.

        Exactly! There’s this fine dance a good writer dances between telling details and allowing the reader to fantasize. And too much is, well… too much.

  • Kate Frost

    This extract is great fun – fabulous descriptions and I love the way Nox’s mind works as she’s imagining what she’s just touched!

    So jealous you have snow.

  • Elaine Jeremiah

    Lovely extract Kate. I like how Nox is describing what she’s seeing so that the reader sees it too. Kel sounds like a hot merman!

  • Ruth Nestvold

    Really nice excerpt, Kate. Great interaction between the characters.

    But I’m especially impressed that you COLOR-CODED!!! I don’t even know how that goes. 🙂 Good luck with those impressive goals.

  • kathils

    BoundBoundBoundBoundBoundBou . . . um . . . oops. I was not just hopping around clapping my hands ecstatically. Okay, maybe I was. I might just have a teeny crush on Aren, but you knew that.

    Great excerpt. I love how you describe this and lay it out and then give us the internal musings. They pretty much mirrored my internal musings as well. Awesome.

  • Xina Marie Uhl

    Wonderful snippet! It really vibrates with emotion – tentative attraction and wonder. The descriptions are really vivid – a quality I find lacking in many stories. You’re skilled in it! Hurrah!

    I don’t know about everyone else, but I’m okay with posting and running. I usually don’t post until late Wednesday night and sometimes I can’t read everyone’s submissions, but I try. 🙂

  • Alana Terry

    Wow, color-coded writing goals? I’m impressed! I want to do JuNoWriMo again this year too. We’ll see how my wrists are by then! Hope the WIPpet rounds didn’t really kill you!

  • rosedandrea

    Yeah, I agree with everyone else, your description is amazing.
    I really am going to have to join WIPpet Wednesdays. You guys would totally keep me going on this book, while pushing me to be just that little bit better. 😀

  • ReGi McClain

    I know how, too. 😛 In my underwater sandbox, I had to differentiate between tritans and mers, so I worked out every detail, right down to mating rituals, so I could write the characters reactions to each other accurately.

    I like it. 🙂 I’m partial to sea-peoples, though. Meeting a real-live merman would certainly throw a girl off a bit, though. 🙂

  • melissajanda

    Wonderful excerpt Kate. You’ve got me hooked 🙂

  • WIPpet Wednesday: Dragon Country | disregard the prologue

    […] problems and trying to figure out exactly how much I have to know about mer anatomy for this one if Kel is going to… Well. Whatever. It’ll work […]

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