Progress on various fronts and an excerpt from Recontact (with Jay Lake) for #WIPpet Wednesday

Since last week, most of my progress has been on the translation. I have no new words to report, but I did get “An Airship for Elise” finished in time to submit to “Women Destroy Science Fiction” and I’m very happy about that. I also had the girls a couple of times in the last few days, and that eats into writing time a lot. But it’s too fun to miss. Lately, Mira has been getting into learning how to write letters. Here’s a work we produced together yesterday:

I wrote the “Oma” on the top line in the middle, and the “Mama” on the bottom line, the rest is our newly minted four-year-old. (Don’t ask me what the third letter on the middle line is — sometimes she just makes them up.)

Anyway, on to my own progress rather than that of my granddaughter. After “An Airship for Elise” was finished and sent off, I returned to the project I mentioned a while back with my writing buddy Jay Lake, who has terminal cancer. No one knows how much more time there will be to finish it so that he’ll get a chance to see it published. So I hope my readers who want more of A Wasted Land will forgive me for not returning to that project just yet.

The book I’m putting together now consists of a short story and a novella that Jay and I wrote several years ago, both about first contact gone horrendously wrong. Together, they come to about 30,000 words, a good length for an ebook, I think. Several generations have passed between the two, but thematically they are both concerned with almost the same thing, first contact and second contact on one planet, and what it did to that planet’s culture, so I think it will work. I’m considering calling the whole “Recontact” but I’m open to suggestions.

No intricate math today; I’m just giving you 19 sentences for the 19th of the month from the beginning of the story:

Sharan plunged through the woods with the blind panic of the murderously pursued. The trees on this world were both more brittle and spongier than she was used to, and she left a clear trail of bent branches and shattered twigs.
If Arnoldson took up the hunt, it wouldn’t matter. He could track her with everything from sniffers to orbital reconnaissance. The bastard had all the power of the starship Hesperides and her bird-mad AI at his disposal.
Right now it was the locals here on the planet of Bonificium with their bronze-bladed spears and square shields who wanted her blood. She’d be just as dead from their sticks and stones as she would be from an orbital burn, but at least she had a better chance of escaping them.
She crested a low rise at a dead run only to lose her footing. The ground slipped away from her like a steep bank on a winter lake back home, and she was down. Mud? It was the dry season. Sharan grabbed for traction only to have a sandaled foot slam down painfully on her fingers.
A woman with deep brown eyes and miserably ragged hair stood over her, wielding a long crude knife. Sharan’s captor laid a finger across her lips and faded backward into the leaves and shadows at the side of the trail.
The others were too damned close behind. She could hear the men shouting as they ran. Sharan scrabbled again for purchase in the muddy trough where she’d fallen, only to smack herself hard behind the ear on a rock.
There was nothing for it but to lay tight and cover her head with her hands.

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. 🙂

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19 thoughts on “Progress on various fronts and an excerpt from Recontact (with Jay Lake) for #WIPpet Wednesday”

  1. I love this, “the blind panic of the murderously pursued.” What an awesome phrase. This is wonderful stuff and I can’t wait to read it in its entirety. This is a great voice as well. And I like the way she’s just a bit cocky about how she should be able to avoid the locals and then fails at doing just that.

  2. Sorry to read about your writing buddy’s poor health, Ruth. My sister in law is going through the same with her best friend. The excerpt is wonderful, I’m sure it’ll make a very fine ebook and add to your collection of very fine works. I confess to stumbling over this: “She crested a low rise at a dead run only to lose her footing” No idea what it means. Might just be me?

    shahwharton.com

  3. It’s definitely got a strong style, Ruth. I love the situation that Sharan is in now (well, not literally, but it definitely made me want to keep reading). I really hope you get it finished and published soon for Jay’s sake. (Speaking of which, any news on that fundraiser he had going to try the experimental therapy; I see he’s doing the NIH meds but not how everything else is going… Well, except he’s at a Bill Heck state as opposed to William Hell… and yet, he still gives a huge link salad for his readers.)

  4. Love the meme “WIPpet Wednesday”. I love chase scenes. Yours was very engaging and your granddaughter’s early scribbles are really cute–a literary masterpiece in the making, just like Oma!

  5. I also love the opening line; it gives a very clear image of the frantic running with lungs burning and legs aching but pushing on because there’s no other choice. There’s some intriguing set-up as well; just why is she running and who is this mysterious captor?

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