Tag Archives: parrots

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:


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

The Parrots of Bad Cannstatt

A couple of days ago, this is what I saw when I looked out of the window of my study:

The Parrots of Bad Cannstatt

The Parrots of Bad Cannstatt

They make an insane racket, but every time I see them it makes me happy. They’ve become kind of a mascot for me, the way they’ve made a home for themselves in the cold, gray city. They don’t migrate — they can’t fly far enough. I find it amazing that they can survive a German winter.

A lot of locals can’t stand the Papageien and their loud screeching, but I even forgive them that. We’ve got good windows, and they’re a cheerful spot of color on a gray day.

I’ve written about the parrots of Bad Cannstatt before, for the speech I gave the one and only time I was a Guest of Honor at a con. Afterwards, it was published in the Internet Review of Science Fiction, and you can still read it in their archives. (It’s pretty long, so I won’t reblog it here.)

With parrots sitting around in trees outside, things have to be good, right? And they are. The still unnamed mystery is coming along wonderfully, and I am now at 35,700 odd words for the month — almost caught up with where I should be for Nano! I still don’t know what the mystery is going to be, but I figure when Nano is over, I can sit down and do some brainstorming. Amber can keep running without me knowing why. 🙂

I’ve also made the changes in Island of Glass suggested by my beta readers. One more read-through and an editor, and then I will hopefully still be able to publish before Christmas!