Tag Archives: blood

WIPpet Wednesday – Awkward Spoiler Avoidance Edition (and a lesson learned)

WIP it… (duh nuh nuh nuh)… W-WIP it real good!

Sorry, I was tired of getting Devo stuck in my head every time WIPpet Wednesday rolled around. Thought I’d try Salt n’ Peppa. You know, instead of “Push It”.

It’s not actually better. Live and learn. *sigh*

WIPpet Wednesday is the day where we post a snippet from a work in progress that relates in some way to the day’s date. I’ve been having a lot of trouble participating lately, because a) I’m busy, and I don’t post if I know I can’t get around to comment (though I sometimes miss a few who post late–sorry! I’ll try harder!), and b) I’m seriously running out of spoiler-free snippets from Torn.

Like… even saying who’s in it is a spoiler, aside from the obvious suspects.

So here’s what we’re going to do. I’m going to share a big snippet, and I’m not going to say who’s in it. The POV character (herein referred to as “I”) is female and a Potioner, and that’s all I’m saying. The other party in the conversation is a dude, and… we’ll call him Y here.

Warning: If you’ve read Bound and really don’t want to know whether certain species are going to show up again, skip it. You’ll probably guess. I doubt anyone will be disappointed, but there you have it. 🙂

Okay, it’s super obvious. Just don’t say I didn’t warn you.

19 (short) paragraphs. WIPpet math: 1+1+8+2+0+1+5 = 18, plus one to grow on.

I’d only need one more ingredient. I brought out one of the daggers that my unfortunate soldier friend had left behind.

“Can I help?” Y’s voice drifted from the trees behind me.

“You’re getting quieter,” I observed. “I barely heard you coming.”

Y stood up straighter. “I’m working on it. I don’t think I’ll ever be as graceful on land as I am in [awkward redaction], though. What are you doing?”

“Trying to be prepared. You might not want to see this.”

The shadows covered much of his face, but I caught the concerned furrow of his brow. “Do you want me to leave? Whatever it is, I can handle it.”

The firm set of his jaw and the look in his eyes told me he wasn’t lying. I wondered what he’d seen in his life. Such a strange man. I couldn’t deny I was glad to have his assistance, and his company. Something about him calmed my mind, even as his presence tended to do the opposite to my body. I could ignore that, though.

“You can stay, if you want to,” I said. “Hold the bowl for me.”

He stepped into the clearing and cupped the bowl in his hands, holding it out from his body. “Like this?”

“Perfect.” I slipped off my cloak, then tried to roll up my sleeves. They were too tight. The whole thing would have to go. I thought about asking Y to close his eyes. We didn’t need to complicate things further.

Don’t be silly, I told myself. You’re both adults. He’s seen more, and probably prettier.

Y’s eyes widened as I unbuttoned my shirt, then swallowed hard as I slipped it off, leaving me in a thin under-shirt in the cold woods.

I waited for his gaze to return to mine. “Don’t [oh, so very redacted] go around naked most of the time?”


I raised my eyebrows, and fought back a smile when his eyes wandered again.

“It’s just different with you,” he said. “It’s fine. Carry on. Please.”

I took a deep breath and traced the tip of the dagger over the skin of my arm, trying to decide on the best spot to get what I needed while doing the smallest possible amount of damage. I settled on the top of my forearm and stroked the tip of the dagger gently over my skin once, twice, three times, building my nerve.

“Use my blood, if you want,” Y said.

“No. Thank you. I’ve had worse injuries.”

“So have I.”

Well, my work here is done. Smoothly done, Sparkes. SMOOOOTHLY DONE.


For more and probably less awkward WIPpet Wednesday fun, scoot on over here to the linkie, and feel free to join in on your own blog. Thanks to KL Schwengel for hosting!

But seriously, guys, I think I’m out for a few weeks.

ROW80 Update

On the only goal that matters at the moment: Still editing. I think I have about eight chapters left to go, only two of which are full rewrites.


Yes, it makes things harder. Yes, it’s more work than I thought I’d be doing two months shy of the projected publication date. It’s going to be worth it, though.

I’m done stressing about dates. Some people might be irritated if things are delayed by a week, but once the book’s out, no one will care. As I’ve said before, I’m not half-assing anything to meet a deadline.

My readers deserve my best. No shortcuts.

For the record, there will be no promises, speculation, or hints about the next book’s release date until after edits (professional, not self-edits). We’re looking at the same kind of space between books as we were this time, but beyond that, my lips are sealed.

Having a deadline is motivating, but it’s useless when it stresses you out too much to do anything.

Consider that a lesson learned.

ROW80 posts or to learn about the event, click here



WIPpet Wednesday – Ouch

Remember yesterday when we were talking about violence and all of that fun stuff?

Here’s a chunk from chapter 10 for you. It’s starting to feel weird posting all of this stuff when most of you don’t know what these people look like, or why they’re doing all of this, but I guess that’s part of the fun. We never said these would be stand-alone pieces, did we? But I’m starting to think I’m ruining it. Might be about time to start posting from another WIP.

Note to self: start another WIP.

We’re a long way from the safety of last week’s flower garden now… (warning: there be gore ahead)

“Would you let me die now?” he asked, after I’d put the last of the food away. He sat on the far side of the fire, shirt sleeves rolled up to his elbows.

“What do you mean?”

“If you saw me injured and dying again, what would you do? You said that if you’d known who I was that day you’d have left me to your friends. Has that changed at all?”

I had no idea what he was getting at. Stupid me. “I still don’t know you very well.”

“Knowing what you know now.”

“I… no. I might still turn you in, but if I saw you hurt like that again, I don’t suppose I could leave you.” I didn’t like the way he was looking at me. Not threatening, exactly, but he looked half-insane in the flickering firelight.

“I believe you.” In one smooth motion he reached into his knapsack, produced a long, dark-bladed knife, and plunged it into his left wrist. I screamed. He gasped, then pulled the knife through the flesh of his arm, twisting it near his elbow. The blade must have been sharper than any I’d ever come across before; it cut through muscle and tendons like they were liquid. Blood gushed from the wound.

“What the hell are you doing?” I yelled, and jumped up from where I had been sitting. Aren held his arm away from the blankets so that his blood poured onto the ground, burning on the fire-baked rocks.

“This is up to you,” he said, speaking as calmly as he had when we first met. “You probably have a few minutes, but I’d appreciate it if you didn’t leave it for too long.”

“No.” My legs went weak, and I had to sit down and push with my feet to back away. “You’re crazy.”

“And I’m dead if you can’t manage a repeat performance. I…” He grimaced. “Gods, that hurts.”

I tried to tell myself that he was tricking me, that this was some kind of illusion, but as his eyes became glassy and his breathing shallower it became harder to believe that. “You ass,” I whispered, and he tried to laugh.

“Rowan, I can’t-”

“Shut up.” I picked up the knife and used it to cut into a thin cotton blanket so that I could tear a ragged strip off of it. I dropped the knife and kicked it onto the woods.

He looked at the fabric in my hands. “You don’t need to do that.”

“I said shut up!” I felt sick at the sight and smell of blood. Panicked tears made the world tremble in front of me, but I managed to start wrap the cloth tight around the butchered arm to try and slow the bleeding.

Aren placed his other hand over mine. “Don’t. You can do better than that.”

I pressed the heels of my hands to my eyes and tried to clear my head, then grabbed Aren’s injured arm in both hands and squeezed. He yelled. “You deserved that,” I whispered.

Don’t forget to check out all of the other WIPpeteers’ posts for this week (head over to My Random Muse and click on the link), and to join in if you’d like. The rule is that you post a bit of a work in progress that somehow corresponds to the day’s date (so for today, 10 lines, 10 paragraphs, etc.). Thanks for stopping by!

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