Tag Archives: recontact

“More precious than gold” : an update and an excerpt

We may already be two weeks into the New Year, but this “Invocation for Beginnings” just showed up on a list I’m on, and I had to share it:

Since I’ve gotten over the head cold, the year has been pretty productive for me. Here’s hoping I can keep up the momentum! Some of the things I’ve gotten done since my last update:

Yseult, Part IV – made the cover, formatted the text, and published the final installment of Yseult, Part IV

– published a new installment of my “Starting out as an indie author” series, “Why “write the next book” isn’t enough; Or: What to do if your books aren’t selling” — a long one, coming in at 2,000 words to add to my future how-to book. 🙂

– edited Recontact, the novella I wrote with Jay Lake, and submitted it to a traditional market

– organized upcoming promotions for 2 of my books

– wrote another 1800 words of fiction

That puts me a bit behind on my weekly word count goals, but given the fact that I got some important stuff off my to-do list, I can deal with being 200 words behind. 🙂

On to WIPpet Wednesday! I have come to the conclusion that I no longer care about spoilers. I figure, most of the people who read my snippets will probably have forgotten them when and if they read the books anyway. So I am just going to continue to move forward with Facets of Glass and not worry about giving away anything from the first book. So if you haven’t read Island of Glass, want to, and don’t want to know too many details from the second book, I suggest skipping my WIPpets as long as I’m still posting from book 2. *g* Math today: I’m giving you 15 sentence for the new year, plus 1 to finish the scene:

Gaetano often wondered why people still used the phrase “more precious than gold” when alchemists could now produce gold at will — as long as they had lead, that is, or whatever other base metals they needed. He wasn’t an expert, not having any alchemists in the family, nor any access to them, since the royal families of Venice controlled all magic in the empire.
He turned the apple in his hands, slowly beginning to appreciate the artistry of it. It was mostly red, but on one side, the color faded to green in much the same way as a real apple. And when he discovered the elaborately designed wormhole, he laughed out loud.
“Be careful with it!” the dowager princess admonished, her voice suddenly sharp.
At her words, he instinctively lowered the apple, looking to her for instruction.
“Here is the box,” she said shortly, her expression no longer warm. And to his surprise, he discovered wrinkles in her aristocratically beautiful face that he hadn’t noticed before.
Only he was standing above her now.
She seemed to notice the discrepancy at the same time he did and rose, taking the glass apple from his hands and placing it in the gift box. After closing it, she handed it back to him. “I want you to give this into the hands of Minerva of Murano and no one else. And do not wear your red and gold House Foscari uniform. My majordomo will find you something neutral.”
He nodded. “As you will, Your Grace.”
“Thank you, Gaetano,” she said, smiling again. But this time, he noticed that it did not seem to reach her eyes, and he found himself wondering why he’d felt so attracted to her when he first entered her audience chamber.

Please feel free to let me know if you stumble anywhere in the passage or there is anything else you think might improve by being changed!

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.

Slowly getting back to writing: My quarterly accounting post

Those who follow this blog will know that I took some time off from writing the last couple of weeks to give my mourning brain a break. When the mourning seemed to be going on a bit to long, I remembered the letter from Clarion West in my inbox and signed up for the Clarion West Write-a-thon again this year. That started on Monday, and I haven’t quite reached my goal of 500 words a day, but almost: 400 a day on Monday and Tuesday, and 500 on Wednesday. At least it’s helping with my main goal — getting back into writing regularly again.

Now for the accounting, my goals at the beginning of the quarter and what became of them.


– Work on writing related projects every day. Once the Big Translation Project is done, return to daily page goals.
I mostly did this, except for the first couple of weeks in June after Jay died. Life happens, and so does death, and sometimes we just can’t push forward with our goals as a result. Some things are more important than writing a few more pages.

– Move forward on A Wasted Land
I have done so, if slowly.

– Finish edits on Recontact (collab eith Jay Lake)
Finished a first round of edits and put the novella through the Villa Diodati workshop in Spain the beginning of May. I have yet to integrate the critiques I got there.

Finish edits on Island of Glass

– Start Facets of Glass
Started, yes, but barely. 🙂

– Write 2 new short stories
Wrote one and started a second.


Be done with the Big Translation Project by the end of April

Writing business:

Publish Island of Glass
DONE! Well, at least for the paperback. 🙂 I still have to arrange some promotion and set a date for the publication of the ebook.

– Publish Recontact (novella with Jay Lake)
I did not finish this in time, unfortunately. 😦 But since I didn’t, I think I may send it around to some magazines first. That might bring in more money for Jay’s daughter and widow than an ebook would.

– Publish “The Shadow Artist” as ebook

– Upload “Leaving Sweater” to Smashwords and make it free
Didn’t upload to Smashwords, but free books through Draft2Digital are now also going free on B&N, which is slowly making Smashwords obsolete, as far as I’m concerned, seeing as their Meatgrinder (their term, not mine) is so difficult to format for. I have better things to do than uploading a book half-a-dozen times. With Draft2Digital, if it doesn’t work the first time, it usually works on the second, and it’s a lot faster to boot. Anyway, “The Leaving Sweater” is now free on both B&N and iTunes. I just have to get Amazon to price match.

– Publish “Mars, A Traveler’s Guide” to Amazon and make it free

Make Author Page for Amazon.de
DONE! You can check it out here.

– Submit a short story a week to traditional publishers
Not quite. Only 7 story submissions this quarter.

– Start marketing my ebooks again
I’m afraid not. Which of course is reflected in my abysmal sales. But I am well aware that I have only myself to blame, and nothing will change until I put my marketing hat back on again.

I don’t have a lot of strike-outs above, but I’m ok with that. Like I said, death happens, and if I started kicking myself for crying too much because a friend died, what kind of person would I be?

And looking at my list, I managed to get more done than I thought, so I’m good. I hope everyone else is happy with their progress.

Jay Lake, June 6, 1964 - June 1, 2014

Sharing a bit from our collaboration process in memory of Jay Lake

I didn’t think I was going to post today for WIPpet Wednesday. I haven’t gotten any new writing done since Jay died, after all. Instead, I’ve been doing writing business stuff. That has to be done too, though, and when my creative brain is on strike, it’s a good time to do it. So in the last week, since Jay went into hospice, I did another complete editing pass of Island of Glass, got some of the formatting done for the ebook, and started working on the glossary. I also finished editing passes on two short stories I’m collaborating on with Sylvia Spruck Wrigley, one of my Villa Diodati writing pals.

But then it occurred to me that I could post an excerpt in honor of Jay.

Other than the loss of a dear friend, I’m kinda bummed that I didn’t get Recontact finished and published before Jay left us. Last year, I did get the collection of some of our previously published short stories finished, Almost All the Way Home from the Stars, but I had so many other plans for things to finish with him, and I just didn’t have the time. Last September, Jay wrote me in an email, “Let me know when you’re free to look at other projects.” But it wasn’t until January that I got around to tackling revisions of Recontact again — and it proved to not be enough. At the time, Jay wrote, “I’m about to fall down the medical rabbithole with a decent chance of never really coming all the way out again.” I should have taken those words more seriously. But regret is a very debilitating and useless emotion. I can’t blame myself now for something I can no longer change.

Anyway, in lieu something from me, I thought I would share a little from Jay’s and my collaboration process — as well as a short, completely unedited excerpt from him, once he took the ball and started running with it. Jay had the most amazing imagination of anyone I’ve ever known, as well as a way with words that humbled me. I’m not doing any math today; it’s three days since Jay died, and that is all the relation to the date that I need.

We started Recontact writing notes back and forth to each other in manuscript format using the Track Changes function of Word, which is why I can still reconstruct pretty much who contributed what in the brainstorming phase. We began with the vague idea that it would be cool to write a story about a lost colony. Here’s a short excerpt from some of our brainstorming as we fleshed the idea out:

Me: I know this has been done, but I’m thinking someone gave the natives some tech they didn’t have before, and being me, I immediately thought of some gal who couldn’t stand the way women were being oppressed. She gives them firearms of some sort, *this* causes a sort of civil war leading to a division in the country where first contact took place. (Might also want to think about the other kinds of cultures existing on this planet.)

Jay: [ male-female civil war? Like, if there were separated cultures to start with (I’m thinking hareem culture, or classical China with the “women’s writing”) ??? ]

Me: I don’t think it should be flat out male / female — there are men on our world too who fight for women’s rights, after all, out of a pure sense of justice. Just like there were whites who fought to free black slaves. Not quite sure about the details of this myself, though, just like getting gender stuff in. *g*

Jay: So I think given this background, we could have a very pertinent conflict revolving around a religious site a la Jerusalem, but the emphasis being a Second Landing rather than a Second Coming. Two societies / religions lay claim to the site where the stupid idiots who couldn’t follow rules first landed, but for very different reasons.

[ like the broken-backed hull of the original starship, frex…could get some real cool detail going there ]

Me: Yes, that’s a good idea — leftovers of startship of something is of huge religious significance and thus bone of contention.

We did this kind of thing back and forth for about two days, and then suddenly Jay added the beginning of a story in the most amazing voice, and it took off from there. I did my best to write in the same voice(s) Jay had created, and apparently (given feedback from beta readers and the Villa Diodati folks) it worked, since I’ve been told that — despite trying — readers haven’t bee able to figure out who wrote what. Right now, I can’t even remember myself.

This beginning, written by Jay, has survived almost verbatim in the present manuscript:

Unlike the prophets of the Fall and the Hard Moon, the Armsgiver had left no scripture behind. That had never bothered Melia. Every time she put on the Coat of Prayer and stood fasting and sleepless for three days and three nights during the dark cycle of the moons, the Armsgiver spoke to her.
It was never the voice others claimed, nothing like “the Armsgiver bade me take three sheep and make of them a feast for the Oaks Clan.” That was just venal politics and family pride wrapped in a snippet of invented holy writ. No, the Armsgiver quickened her heart, lent her certainty, steered her doubt.
That those gormless bastards along the coast had laid claim to the Armsgiver’s ship with their pointless little pretense at faith was only one more insult the world had heaped. Far more insulting was the recent recapture of Foigaard. Thirty seven women staked to the walls by their cunnies, left to bleed out the imagined sins of the Armsgiver’s daughters in vengeance for old slights never forgotten in the grudging minds of men.
This was why the Armsgiver spoke to her. And the new star in the sky, the one that moved faster than even the fastest moon, was her sign that time had come and more.
Melia walked the spiral stair around the heart-trunk of her house to the little conical attic where the crystal voice resided. If she’d properly understood what the Armsgiver had told her, if she’d studied what old papers still remained with a sufficiently devout eye, she might be able to talk to the women in heaven, and persuade them to her cause.

My task now is to get this thing finished and published. Jay deserves that. But I have to wait a little before I tackle it again, since it’s hard for me right now to have his / our words in my head.

I want to close with a lovely song about grief and loss that I’ve been listening to a lot lately, “Calm After the Storm” by the Dutch band The Common Linnets:

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.

Villa Diodati 12

Last week, I got back from the most recent Villa Diodati workshop, this time in southern Spain on the Costa del Sol.

Villa Diodati 12

It. Was. Amazing.

We were in a big, beautiful vacation home a 10 minutes walk from the ocean. The sun didn’t stop shining, except for one morning when it took a while for the haze to burn off. I added a day on the front and the back before the other workshop participants arrived and after they left, and I thoroughly enjoyed the amazing writing venue.

Writing in southern Spain

We talked.

We ate.

We drank.

We danced. No, really!

We even critiqued each other’s fiction. *g*

It might look like a party, which it was, but it was a writer party, where conversations continually revolved around writing projects, markets, marketing strategies, writing ideas, and words, words, words. I managed to finish the Big Fat Translation a couple of days before my flight, and the workshop was amazingly energizing. While I was there, Sylvia and I decided to take a shot at another collaborative story (during one of the many writing conversations), and since the workshop, I’ve gotten a big chunk of that done. I’ve also started analyzing the first draft of A Wasted Land and written a couple of new scenes. During the brainstorming session, I got some great ideas for the next book in the Glassmakers trilogy, and I started integrating those into my Scrivener file the next morning.

This workshop was a lot more informal than previous workshops. Normally, we critique in the mornings and do exercises in the afternoons. This time, we lazed around the pool or in the hot tub in the mornings, did our critiques in the afternoons, and had writing discussions in the evenings.

I put the first third of Recontact through the workshop, a collaborative novella I wrote with Jay Lake some time ago. While the feedback was largely positive, it has led me to the conclusion that I need to separate the prequel story and the novella proper after all. One of my beta readers also had problems with the change in style between what we had originally envisioned as the prequel story and the novella. And then during our marketing discussion, a number of markets were suggested for the novella that hadn’t existed when Jay and I first wrote it and sent it out to the few who would take 20,000+. All of which means I have a lot to think about regarding Recontact. 🙂

Naturally, we also played the Surreal / Surrealist Oracle, which has become something of a tradition at our workshop. (For instructions on how the game works, check out this blog post.)

A couple of interesting questions and answers from the Surreal Oracle:

Ruth: What’s your favorite orifice?
Sylvia: You really shouldn’t ask such a thing on a first date, ok?

Grayson: What would happen if GRRM found a small band of pygmies, all named Danyjon Targartron, camped in his back yard?
Jeff: The answer, as it is to most things, is hot chicks wearing styrofoam.

Steve: What’s the secret to a successful writing career?
Grayson: A bonfire will call the spirits, but you have to wear three pairs of underwear and shout “waha waha ooh” to get the bartenders to notice.

One of our evening writing sessions involved brainstorming a shared dystopian world that we all contributed story ideas to. I hope we’re able to follow through with it. I started my story (working title “Killing Twilight” and set in Forks, Washington) just after our first two members left us. Whether we will ever get around to doing the rest of the brainstorming, however, is another matter entirely. Now we are all back in our normal worlds, and there are many other things besides writing and writers clamoring for our attention.

But it was fun while it lasted. 🙂

Progress on various fronts, Spain workshop, and more Recontact for #WIPpet Wednesday

In the last week, my progress has once again mostly been on the translation, but I have good news — I’m done with the novel proper! All I still have to translate is the glossary and the list of characters. I’m hoping I can get that done tonight. Yay!

My writing progress has been limited to getting this revision pass of Recontact finished, a novella I wrote with Jay Lake. This round of editing too is done, although the novella is not. Next week, I’m off to southern Spain for the next Villa Diodati workshop, where my wonderful fellow expat writers will tear Recontact apart, so that I can put it back together newer and better.

This is where I will be come next Wednesday, working oh so hard on my writing:

Villa Diodati 12

Since I’ll be spending most of Wednesday getting there, and most of the Wednesday following getting back, I probably won’t be posting anything for WIPpet Wednesday the next two weeks. Instead, I may have a few pictures of Costa del Sol. 🙂

The WIP this week is still Recontact. My math for 4/23 goes like this: 23-4=19. So here are 19 sentences from the pov of Melia, a priestess on the planet of Bonifium:

Bent over her crystal voice, carefully sliding the prayer arm back and forth, Melia did not immediately register the ruckus in the courtyard below. She’d caught wisps of a noise which might be Holy Data streaming from the women in heaven. Like prayer, but aimed back down at the unworthy who scarcely had ears to listen.
She was focusing so much on the voice, it took a while for the noise of horses and new arrivals to disturb her concentration. When it finally began to penetrate, she reluctantly took the stairs down – with her hard face, the one that most people cringed from. All in her clade knew better than to interrupt when she was listening to her voices.
But in the courtyard outside, her anger slid away as fast as rain on tile. Her demi-sister Namma sat on a lathered horse, looking little better than her mount, while Petras the house-steward helped her dismount.
Namma had been in the command ranks at Fonstead – presumed lost in the siege.
“Sib!” Namma cried from the saddle, and slid off with a grunt. The fool Petras barely managed to catch her. Melia doused a surge of rage and ran to help.
“I was at Naxos Bay,” Namma got out. “They are back. I saw them.”
The cold stab which seized Melia’s heart could have come from a silvered knife tempered by moonlight and a man’s gut. She felt the surge of history moving, the sense of the land around her as strong as her own skin, the years marching through her thoughts on the feet of insects, until the potential of this moment felt fit to balloon her skin and spill out like light from all her pores.
“The Prophecy is fulfilled?” she gasped.
“The star, the strangers – it is the Second Landing. It must be!”

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.

#WIPpet Wednesday: An excerpt from Recontact and the first attempt at a cover

In the last week, I’ve switched from editing Island of Glass to Recontact, the SF novella I wrote with Jay Lake that I’ve mentioned before. So today, I would like to share an excerpt from that again. I’ve uploaded the first 9,000+ words to be critiqued at the next Villa Diodati workshop, but just in case anyone is so blown away that they want to read more, I intend to upload the complete novella as well. Not that I think it’s going to happen, but who knows, I might get lucky. *g*

Given some of the feedback I got from beta readers, I did some reorganizing and made part of the second section of the book into a prologue. Rog, the narrator of this section, is a pretty foul-mouthed guy, so if that offends you, you might want to skip it (and forgive the asterisks — I don’t want this site to end up indexed or anything). Since this is going to be the new beginning, I’m hoping it’s self-explanatory. So without further ado, here are 16 sentences for the 16th day of the month:

Rogelio Crandall-Yui

Hesperides loomed from the iron-gray waters of Naxos Bay, the rusting stub of her narrow neck a monument whose meaning had long been lost. Or transubstantiated, I suppose, if the old mission logs and current radio transmissions were to be believed. The people on this planet had hand-wound crystal sets and a lot of passion. Just no Tesla yet to get them firmly on the road.
They’d find their way.
Meanwhile forty billion jo-dollars worth of hardware from the Smith-Ayapurtam expedition had been rotting in saltwater for well over a hundred years. Even if we were interested in salvage, we wouldn’t be getting much more than materials reclamation.
Hesperides had become the door to the heavens, or the gates to a particularly dissonant h*ll, depending whose theology you believed. One side or the other was even now setting fire to something big farther west along the bay. I hadn’t had the opportunity to see a city burn before, but I suspected I was now.
By all the gods and martyrs, had we f***ed this thing up. I’d never seen a Recontact in such a mess. Not even Hy Wyoming, which was literally the textbook case in How Not To Handle Recontact. The broken-backed starship with the flowering vines growing all over her lee side, crewed now by pale yellow monkeys who fished from the blown hatches just above the waterline — she was the literalized metaphor of the state of relations between the world of Bonificium and the rest of humanity. Ruined, filled with monkey sh*t, with no way back to where things belonged.

My daughter and I have also come up with a first attempt at a cover:

Recontact by Jay Lake and Ruth Nestvold

Very happy for any and all feedback on both the excerpt and the cover. 🙂

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.

The first rose of the year

Just to show you how weird the weather has been this year, when we were in the garden yesterday, I saw that the first rose had already bloomed:

Arthur Bell Rose
Arthur Bell in my garden

Once upon a day, I used to spend the first couple of weeks in May in North Carolina for a big three letter company, testing translations of computer programs. While there, one of the places I always visited was the Sarah P. Duke Gardens at Duke University. The roses there were invariably several weeks ahead of those in Germany:

Fair Bianca Rose in Duke Gardens
Fair Bianca at the Duke Gardens

By the time I got back from the Triangle, my own roses were just starting to bloom. This year, most of my rose bushes already have buds, and I’m sure several of those will be blooming by the end of April.

My progress is not quite as rosy. I continue to move forward on the translation, but not as quite as quickly as I would like, with all the socializing going on with my daughter here. I don’t see her every day anymore, though, so that’s important.

On the writing front, I’ve switched temporarily from editing Island of Glass to editing Recontact. Another Villa Diodati workshop is coming up beginning of May, and I want to hand in the first several chapters for critique. Before I do that, I need to address the comments I got from my lovely beta readers. Thanks again, you guys. 🙂

So while progress is slow, it’s there. I’m happy with that, given everything going on at the moment.

Hope everyone is getting off to a good start this round!

Another excerpt from Jay Lake collab “Recontact” for #WIPpet Wednesday

This round of words, I’d been intending to get some new words written every day, but it hasn’t happened, or at least only rarely. Instead, I’ve been spending most of my time editing: first, Chameleon in a Mirror; then “An Airship for Elise”; and now, the novella with Jay Lake, Recontact. But for the time being, I am happy to say that Recontact is finished. I’ve sent copies off to Jay and my daughter, who will be helping me make the cover.

I also continue to make consistent progress on the translation. Less than 100 pages to go now! I may actually be able to finish it before the end of the round, as I wanted.

Now On to WIPpet Wednesday. Since Recontact is what I’ve been working on this week, that is what you get again. My math for today, 2/26, goes like this: here is an excerpt of 26 lines from Chapter 2. Sharan and Nowrie are watching a scene on a beach that will become very important for Sharan’s future actions:

A handful of Adyanii followed the crew into the pale sunlight, officers of the Partenos legion. She’d learned to recognize the uniforms. Someone in the original colony must have had a library of ancient Greek and Roman militaria, because these guys could have marched right out of history.
They strode up to the blue-clad crew and surrounded them with hands on swords. What were they to the Adyanii soldiers? Prisoners? Informers? Collaborators? If Becca truly was one of them, Sharan couldn’t imagine that she was helping the Adyanii.
Then Arnoldson walked out of the tent. There was no mistaking his forward-leaning stride or lank blonde hair.
At Sharan’s sharp intake of breath, Nowrie glared, shaking her head, one finger raised to her lips.
Sharan mimed a pistol with her index finger and thumb. “Him,” she said, voiceless as night air.
They had no captured offworld weapons — Arnoldson seemed to have kept that much of the Smith-Ayapurtam expedition’s protocols intact, even in the wake of his enthusiastic outburst of king-making. The range was several hundred meters. Nothing the Edarans had could reach that with the remotest accuracy. Besides which, Nowrie would not betray their position.
Oh gods, Sharan thought, what I wouldn’t give for a good rifle right now.
She used to be so dismissive of violence as a clumsy and hurtful solution to life’s problems. Once Arnoldson had spaced Mistress Ayapurtam, along with seven other undesirables — including two of Sharan’s closest friends from the Planetary Sciences section — she’d found her views rapidly changing.
Now the bastard had aligned himself with the roughest bunch of bully boys down here dirtside. Talk about reigning in hell instead of serving in heaven.
An accusing female voice rang out over the sands of the beach to their hiding place. Sharan couldn’t pick out the words, but she recognized the timbre and tone. It was Becca. She clenched her hands together, feeling helpless and afraid.
Arnoldson argued with the crew for a few minutes, then turned to look out over the water. He gave a single, sharp nod. The swords stabbed downward and blood flowed dark as sin in sunlight.
Nowrie clapped her hand over Sharan’s mouth and wrapped her in her arms as she was wracked by soundless sobs.

That’s it for now from Recontact — next week I’ll be back to A Wasted Land. But if you want to find out what happens, I’m looking for beta readers! As stands, the novella is just under 30,000 words; the RTF file has about 100 pages.

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. 🙂

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. 🙂