The turret, and more from A Wasted Land for #WIPpet Wednesday

Since the turret I mentioned in my WIPpeteer interview seems to have been a big hit, I decided to start this post off with a picture:

The turret

It is a rather modest turret, as turrets go, and far from castle-like, but it still makes me happy on a regular basis when I’m walking up the street for home. (For those who were also excited about the parrots and missed that post, I have pictures of them here.)

My progress so far this week is a bit less exciting. I know a number of you caught my post about my friend Jay Lake, who is officially dying of cancer now. Anyway, the latest news had me redefining my priorities a bit, and I started to put together another book of our stuff, this time two connected pieces, one short story and one long novella, about a first and second contact gone wrong. All I’ve done until now is gotten them into a file in Scrivener, but it still took up a lot of my writing time the last couple of days, since I also wanted to have the file formatted right for an ebook once I’m done with a complete editing pass. The stories have had various names over their different incarnations, but right now I’m referring to the whole as “Recontact.”

As a result, my progress on the new word front has been very modest: 400 words on A Wasted Land since Sunday. But I also had the birthday of a newly minted 4-year-old to contend with yesterday:

4!

Have I mentioned before that she’s on the energetic side? AND it was her birthday …

Anyway, on to the main business of the day, WIPPET WEDNESDAY! My math goes like this: 1 + 2 + 2 + 1 + 4 (1-22-14) = 10. So here you have 10 paragraphs from A Wasted Land:

Kustennin nodded. “I should lead the scouting party.” He glanced briefly at his mother, almost embarrassed at what he was about to say. Normally, Kustennin was reluctant to use the powers he had inherited from Yseult of Eriu, but at the same time, he was well aware that there were times they could be a powerful ally. He knew his hesitance was far from logical. In the end, it came down to one thing: his image of himself as a warrior, not a magician.
“I have some of my mother’s powers of changing,” Kustennin added “I could cloak a small party in illusion, if necessary.”
“And I have the ability to help you,” Taliesin said. “We could travel to Venta as a group of traveling minstrels.”
“Wouldn’t that be dangerous?” Celemon asked. “What if one of you were recognized?”
Taliesin shrugged. “Less dangerous than for a band of enemy warriors in Cerdic’s territories, I’d wager.”
“Who said anything about going to Venta as minstrels?” Kustennin tried to repress the frown he could feel lurking in the muscles of his forehead, but he wasn’t sure if he was successful.
Taliesin clapped him on the back. “Why I did, my liege!”
Kustennin doubted if anyone was Taliesin’s liege — when it came right down to it, he didn’t even know which part of Britain was the bard’s native kingdom. He knew that sometime before entering his mother’s service, Taliesin had been a bard at the court of Maelgwn in Gwynedd, where he had dared to speak a prophecy of the new king’s death and had to flee for his life. But where Taliesin was born and who on the island of Britain he might truly consider his king — of that, Kustennin knew nothing.
“Consider,” Taliesin continued. “If we travel to Venta as players and entertainers, there will be no need to hide and sneak. We can walk around the city in broad daylight, even play for the soldiers — perhaps even Cerdic himself.”
Kustennin saw Taliesin glance around at the others standing near where the soldiers had begun putting up their tents. Yseult, Cador, and Bedwyr were strangely quiet. Finally, Cador broke the silence. “That disguise can be very effective. We used it once ourselves.”

WIPpet Wednesday is the brain child of K. L. Schwengel. If you’d like to participate, post an excerpt from your WIP on your blog, something that relates to the date in some way. Then add your link here — where you can also read the other excerpts. :)

Related posts:

A brief update, and Celemon among the horses for #WIPpet Wednesday

- Back by popular demand: An excerpt from A Wasted Land for #WIPpet Wednesday

- Research, lack of words, and another #WIPpet for Wednesday

- More from A Wasted Land for #WIPpet Wednesday

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About Ruth Nestvold

Ruth Nestvold's short fiction has appeared in numerous markets, including Asimov's, F&SF, Baen's Universe, Strange Horizons, Scifiction, and Gardner Dozois's Year's Best Science Fiction. Her fiction has been nominated for the Nebula, Tiptree, and Sturgeon Awards. In 2007, the Italian translation of her novella "Looking Through Lace" won the "Premio Italia" award for best international work. Her novel Flamme und Harfe appeared in translation with the German imprint of Random House, Penhaligon, in 2009 and has since been translated into Dutch and Italian. She maintains a web site at www.ruthnestvold.com.
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16 Responses to The turret, and more from A Wasted Land for #WIPpet Wednesday

  1. Kate Frost says:

    Glad you shared a photo of you infamous turret! So sad about your friend too.

    I get the feeling fun and games and perhaps a little bit of danger will ensue on their journey to Venta as traveling minstrels? Good stuff.

  2. kathils says:

    I really wish there was a “Love” button instead of just ‘like’. Kustennin is outnumbered in this one, I think, and none too happy about it. I can really hear Taliesin’s voice here, “Taliesin clapped him on the back. “Why I did, my liege!”” Excellent.

    The turret is most awesome! So sorry to read the news on Jay. I don’t know him, but I’ve seen bits and pieces of posts regarding what he’s going through, and I’ve been to his blog on occasion. A brave, brave man.

  3. Emily Witt says:

    I love your turret! It is adorable!

    Taliesin’s plan makes a lot of sense to me but I can’t help thinking that sometimes the best laid plans end up going awry.

  4. Amy says:

    Ha! I like how cleverly Taliesin just slips that plan in. How premeditated was that? Though I do sense something going awry when they actually carry it out. :)

  5. Eden says:

    I missed the posts earlier this week… so sorry to hear the news about Jay. I know it’s not unexpected, but losing a friend is never happy no matter when it happens. The fact that it is cancer and all that implies… May he enjoy his friends and family to the end. May he pass peacefully in his sleep with some good books at his side.

    And may Kustennin find some peace with his abilities and his power. He deserves it… after you’ve put him through the wringer a bit longer.

  6. I love including architecture in stories; besides mythology, architecture is one of those research subjects I can just get lost in. Sometimes the houses, buildings, etc. feel like they ought to be characters in their own right.

    So sorry to hear about your friend, Ruth. That’s awful news.

  7. Widdershins says:

    About the going slower than expected thing: I heard a saying quite a while back that made sense to me. It went something like this – Be not afraid of going slowly, be afraid only of standing still.

  8. ReGi McClain says:

    Haha, Taliesen. Someone beat you to the punch on that one. :-) That actually sounds like a fun way to spy on things. Provided they’re actually pretty good performers. ;-)

    Your granddaughter is very cute. :-)

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