Wednesday Words #102 (12/7/2016)

Welcome to Wednesday Words!  Every Wednesday I will post some sort of prompt for a flash fiction piece.  The prompt will go live just after midnight Eastern time.

The prompt might be a picture, or it might be a list of things to include in a story, or maybe a phrase or a question or something from a “news of the weird” type thing, or a… who knows?

After that, it’s up to you.  But if you do use the prompt to write a bit of flash fiction (say, 500 words or so) I’d love to see what you came up with, so comment below with a link to where it is on your blog (or on WattPad or wherever).

(And a pingback to the post here where you found the prompt would be appreciated but isn’t necessary.)

Oh, and this isn’t a contest or anything.  It’s just a (hopefully) fun thing for all concerned.

And, hey, if it inspires more than 500 or so words, run with it!

a song on the radio
midnight
a frog

And, as always, I’d love to see what you come up with!

 

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A Day Off

I really need one of those.

I’m beginning to think that November hasn’t ended.  I still feel like I’m being run ragged with no time to just chill and catch my breath, and I desperately need a day to do that. Several days, actually, but I’ll settle for one. (I’m kind of hoping that it’ll happen on Wednesday, but I’m trying not to get too attached to the idea.)

In addition to some down time, I was hoping that with NaNoWriMo over I could get caught up on other stuff, but not even close.

Yeah, yeah, I know it’s only the fifth of the month, but today isn’t shaping up to be too productive either, and tomorrow we’re doing our Thanksgiving dinner because we couldn’t do it last month due to our schedules.

(Our first “Thanksgiving” with the dogs.  Dinner prep should be… interesting. And hazardous.)

Hopefully after dinner I can get caught up on the weekend blog hops, and schedule my snippet posts for the rest of the month, and do some other odds and ends of stuff.

Wednesday I really want to take a break from all things writing related, but I also really want to write and edit, so…

Meh.

We’ll see what I feel like doing on Wednesday. I’m too tired to plan that far ahead.

 

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Sunday Snippet December 4, 2016

Twelfth month, twelfth book of The Academy of the Accord series, bringing us to the end of a year of The Academy of the Accord.  I’ll still be working on editing, but probably not posting much from it until it’s ready to release.  That was going to be 2018, but don’t anyone hold your breath – there’s still a lot of work to do on this series and I’m now rather optimistically hoping for 2020.

I had a really hard time deciding what to post from this book.  Parts of this book have several different versions, so I have no idea if this will make it into the final version or not, but…

Jorsen and Autheren are on their way home from a summer with Jorsen’s family.   A village they have to pass through is under the control of the enemy so Yhonshel and Brythel have gone to look for them.

 

There were half a dozen fighters manning the gate, all them doing battle with one lone cadet.  Behind the cadet was the crumpled figure of an apprentice.

“Go to them,” Yhonshel said and Brythel nodded even though he couldn’t be seen, slipping around the fighters and coming in behind Jorsen. 

Jorsen was strong, and a skilled fighter, but he was badly out numbered and was hard pressed to hold his own, slowly losing ground as he struggled to protect his wizard.

“Want some help?” Brythel asked cheerfully as he dropped the invisibility spell.

The sudden appearance of a second cadet gave the men pause and Brythel moved forward confidently, pressing the advantage.

“I would hug you right now,” Jorsen muttered. “But I’m a little busy.”

Brythel laughed and cast a flame on the edge of his blade.  “You may want to put your weapons down and surrender,” he said. “It will be a lot less painful if you do.”

“Surrender to two cadets and a dead wizard?  Bah!”  The speaker lunged forward and drew back with a howl of pain as the flame from Brythel’s sword caught his sleeve.

“I told you it would be less painful,” Brythel said. “But you have to learn the hard way.”

“Dead?” Jorsen’s voice held a note of panic.

“Not dead.  Stasis spell.”

The man with the burning sleeve managed to pat it out, only to fall to the ground unconscious.

The man next to him turned to face a new enemy but there was no one there and he turned back to Jorsen and Brythel just as the fighter at the other end of the line fell.

“I’d ask, but I think I know the answer,” Jorsen said.

Brythel grinned. “So,” he said, parrying a desperate blow from a frightened opponent.  “How was your summer?”

 

 

 

 

Find more great reading
at the Sunday Snippet group.

 

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Rainbow Snippet for 12-3-2016

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Rainbow Snippets is a group for LGBTQ+ authors, bloggers, and readers to gather once a week and share six sentences from a work of fiction–a WIP or a finished work or even a 6-sentence book recommendation (no spoilers please!).   Check out all the other awesome snippets by clicking on the picture above.

I’m still posting from Onyx Sun, a science fiction novel that is currently in revision. The revisions are turning out to be more complex than originally expected so the release date is, um, to be determined. (I’ve given up trying to predict one, but now that NaNoWriMo is over I’m going to be diving back into work on it.)

I’m going to skip ahead a bit, bypassing some more problems related to Taliya and the ship – like Planetary Investigations trying to get her to turn it over to them again, and a plan to destroy it – and introduce another character, Ayess.

 

As she sat down across from him he acknowledged her presence with a deferential bob of his head.  “Mistress,” he said, his voice soft and sibilant.

“It’s Taliya,” she said, and he looked up at her, startled and uncertain.  “My name is Taliya, not Mistress.”  She smiled, studying him:  he was covered in dark grey scales, and large black eyes glistened in a reptilian head.  Powerful arms terminated in short, clawed fingers, and his chest was wide, narrowing toward his hips.  She could not see further than that, but she could see enough to know that she could not identify his race.

“I’m sorry, Ayess, but I’m not familiar with your race.”

“I am an Araxian.”

 

 

 

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50,074

I did it.

I hit 50K and I won NaNoWriMo again.  It wasn’t a pretty win, and not one I’m proud of, but it was a win.

And for the first time ever I’m glad it’s over.

November was a rough month all around and I’m beyond exhausted on all levels: physically, mentally, emotionally, and even spiritually.

I don’t think I’m going to set any goals for December. I need a break.

I’ll still be doing some work (I need to type up my handwritten notes for one thing) but I’m not giving myself a minimum word count or anything like that.  I’m gonna kick back and relax and do a little of this and a little of that.

And tackle some stuff around the house that has been let slide.

I’ll also be working on setting up my goals for next year.

Then in January I’ll tackle stuff full on again.

Of course, that’s what I say now.  But while I was making lunch a while ago I was thinking about diving into the first round of edits of Book 6 of The Academy of the Accord series, and getting the changes of the first round of Book 5 entered into the computer, and finishing this round of revisions to Onyx Sun and…

Yeah.  So much for taking a break.  Apparently my idea of taking a break from writing is to edit.

 

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Wednesday Words #101 (11/30/2016)

Welcome to Wednesday Words!  Every Wednesday I will post some sort of prompt for a flash fiction piece.  The prompt will go live just after midnight Eastern time.

The prompt might be a picture, or it might be a list of things to include in a story, or maybe a phrase or a question or something from a “news of the weird” type thing, or a… who knows?

After that, it’s up to you.  But if you do use the prompt to write a bit of flash fiction (say, 500 words or so) I’d love to see what you came up with, so comment below with a link to where it is on your blog (or on WattPad or wherever).

(And a pingback to the post here where you found the prompt would be appreciated but isn’t necessary.)

Oh, and this isn’t a contest or anything.  It’s just a (hopefully) fun thing for all concerned.

And, hey, if it inspires more than 500 or so words, run with it!

 

a Dalmatian
gloves
a piano

And, as always, I’d love to see what you come up with!

 

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Hopeless

I need 16,398 words for a win.  There are three days left counting today, which means I need to write 5466 words per day to make it.  With luck (and a lot of caffeine) I think I can still pull it off, especially since I’m off tomorrow with no plans to go anywhere.

And hopefully by then I’ll have shaken this migraine so I can actually be productive.

My new method of counting words that are hand written but not typing them, just marking a space for them and continuing on with writing the story, is working.

Of course, when it comes time to try to translate my handwriting into something approximating the English language I’ll be somewhat less thrilled with this method and will be wishing I’d done typed it while it was fresh in my mind.

And I’ll be crying an ocean when I have to try to edit this mess into something presentable and coherent.

Still, I seem to be slowly gaining ground and now that I’m seeing the glimmer of a light at the end of the tunnel I’ve even started looking ahead to next month.

So many things have been put on hold this month that I’m probably going to spend most of December getting caught up on stuff around the house, not to mention cooking and baking and decorating and shopping for the holidays.

And I need to get back into editing and revising and I’d like to get back into doing other crafts.

And, of course, I’ll be setting up my writing and editing (and other) goals for next year. I’d like to make them more realistic than this year’s but, yeah, good luck with that, right? I mean, I’ve already overbooked myself for December…

Hopeless.

I’m just hopeless.

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Sunday Snippet November 27, 2016

 

Eleventh month, eleventh book of The Academy of the Accord series.  (Unedited, of course.  My plans to edit a book a month were um… a little unrealistic.)

This follows almost directly from last week’s snippet.

Kordelm, Caristen, and Torlew have taken the apprentices, and Andrek and Oriteh, back to the school, leaving Wellhym in the town square with the cadets.

(Despite a lot of creative punctuation this is pretty long.)

 

Wellhym waited until they were out of earshot then rounded on the cadets.  “What were you thinking?” he exploded.  “Explain yourselves!”

None of them could meet his eyes. 

“You are Warders,” he said.  “Your job is to protect wizards, and that means preventing problems, not escalating them.  Was he presenting a threat? Was he?”

“He hurt Auth,” Jorsen said, and Wellhym could hear the distress in his voice.

“In the past,” he said more calmly.  “But today – was he posing any kind of threat to you or your wizards?”

“No, sir,” Jorsen admitted. “But Auth was so upset…”

“So you drew steel?”  Wellhym stared at him.  “Part of what you, as Warders, do is keep a situation from getting out of hand.  Yes, Auth was upset. But you weren’t alone, and even if you had been, your first responsibility is to your wizard, to calm him and make him feel safe and secure.  What would have happened if Autheren had gotten too worked up and had fire-balled Andrek?”

Jorsen looked down, his shoulders sagging.  “Yes, sir,” he said, swallowing hard as the implications sank in.  He could have lost his wizard… or been forced to run with him as an outlaw, outside the protection of the Accord.

Wellhym nodded, satisfied that the cadet would not make the same mistake a second time; he understood that it was Jorsen’s love for his wizard that had made him draw steel, but he couldn’t let that excuse the cadet’s actions.

“And the rest of you,” he said, turning to them. “There was no danger to your wizards so I have to assume it was your past history with Andrek that prompted your actions?”

His voice was cold and hard. 

“Yes, sir,” Draethlen said, still not looking up at him.

“Draethlen, you of all people should know better than to rise to any sort of bait from Andrek.  You had more sense as a first year cadet than what I’ve seen here today.”

“Yes, sir.”  Draethlen took a deep breath and finally looked up to meet Wellhym’s gaze.  “I’m sorry, sir.  It won’t happen again.”

“See that it doesn’t,” Wellhym growled. He turned to the others.  “And you two,” he said.  “I understand that you were just backing up your friends, but sometimes the best thing you can do to help a friend is to tell them when they’re out of line and need to calm down.”

“Yes, sir,” Terhesh and Rahmael said.

Wellhym shook his head.  “So, tell me what was accomplished here this afternoon?”

“Nothing, sir,” Draethlen said.

“No.  Not nothing,” Wellhym said.  “You let the past override the present, lost any semblance of good sense or self-control, put at least one wizard at risk of violating the Accord,”  Jorsen flushed at that line, “and caused a ruckus that nearly led to bloodshed in the town square.”

“Yes, sir.”  Their response was quiet, nearly inaudible. 

“Back to the school, all of you,” he said.  “Go directly to your wing and stay there until Kord, Cair, Tor or I tell you otherwise.  Understood?”

“Yes, sir.”

He watched as they moved off, subdued and dispirited, and he sighed, running a hand through his hair, suddenly feeling tired and worn down, and, uncharacteristically, in need of a stiff drink.  He sighed and slowly started after the cadets: there was something better than a stiff drink waiting for him at the school – his friends, and, more importantly, his wizard.  On the other hand, he was not looking forward to reporting this to Marsden so his steps were slow as he followed the cadets toward the school.

 

Find more great reading
at the Sunday Snippet group.

 

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Rainbow Snippet for 11-26-2016

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Rainbow Snippets is a group for LGBTQ+ authors, bloggers, and readers to gather once a week and share six sentences from a work of fiction–a WIP or a finished work or even a 6-sentence book recommendation (no spoilers please!).   Check out all the other awesome snippets by clicking on the picture above.

I’m still posting from Onyx Sun, a science fiction novel that is currently in revision. The revisions are turning out to be more complex than originally expected so the release date is, um, to be determined. (I’ve given up trying to predict one.)

Picking up from last week.

 

“Why are you so interested in buying my ship?  And more importantly, why was I being fired on yesterday?  ‘Misunderstanding’ or not, it was deliberate or else they would have responded when I hailed them.”

His annoyance was obvious, but only for a brief moment before his suave expression returned.  “The former owner of your ship was carrying something for my company.”

“Really?   If that was the case, if it was a legal cargo the arresting agency would have contacted your company when they confiscated the ship.  Derring Hessen was arrested for smuggling marjicia root.  Surely your company isn’t involved in anything like that?  Besides, my ship was thoroughly searched before I left Pendelia Four.  Apparently Planetary Investigations thought that I had something to do with the explosion that destroyed Vastyne’s, so whatever your people thought was on board, isn’t.”

Furious didn’t come close to describing the look that flashed across his face.

“Thank you for your very generous offer, Mr. Staunton, but my ship is not for sale.”

 

 

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A New Plan

I’ve been writing.  Not really gaining ground but holding my own and not falling any further behind.

I’ve written a couple short stories and have started a couple post apocalyptic dystopian type novels. (I can’t really call them “dystopian” because I just can’t seem to write “dark” enough for dystopia.  Is there a sub genre called hopeful dystopia?  If so, that’s what I seem to be writing.)

And I shared part of one of the novels and am now being urged to finish writing it.  I think I’ll need an outline and some background info on that first – I kind of wrote myself into a little more of a plot than originally planned. (Not that it was all that well planned, but still…)

Anyhow, now that I seem to have gotten that out of my system (at least for now) I’m back to the originally planned project for the month.  Will I finish it?  Oh, hell no.  But I am working on it and the words are coming better than they were before the detour.

And I’ve figured out a way to help my word count as well as the story progression.

I can get anywhere from 750 to 1000 words written (by hand) at work on a good night. What I’ve been doing is that if I hand write something at work I type it up when I get home, which is normally okay but since I’m so far behind it’s kind of a waste of writing time. So, for the rest of this month when I hand write stuff I’ll put a date on the top, and leave a space in the Word doc flagged with that date and just keep on writing.  I’ll count the words (it’s usually about 250 per page) and just copy and paste that many words from somewhere else into the end of the file. So sort of a weird combo of normal NaNoWriMo and being a Luddite.

But hey, whatever works…

And with this method I won’t worry so much about not being on my computer next Wednesday while I’m away from home waiting for Riley’s surgery. I can just write and count the words.

So, yeah, I have a plan!

And in addition to the plan, I have renewed enthusiasm for my original project.

I call that a win win.

And hopefully a NaNo win.

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