Tag Archives: wippet wednesday

More excuses and more from Ygerna for #WIPpet Wednesday

The last week has been filled up with marketing business and Christmas shopping, and my word counts have suffered accordingly. I had two 1000 word days in the last week, but I also had a couple with next to nothing, when I was formatting Looking Through Lace for Createspace, and everything else surrounding the new cover. The new ebook cover is now live, but the paperback is not yet available. I will let you know when it is.

I also managed to get a BookBub ad for Chameleon in a Mirror in the UK only, and I spent some time on various discussion boards, trying to figure out if it would be worth it. Pretty much everyone agrees it is, so I plopped down my $100 for an ad on January 5th. Maybe it will even get my sluggish UK sales going a bit. 🙂

Summary for the week: formatting, marketing, and 2900 words. 🙂

With that out of the way, I can offer you a little more fiction for WIPpet Wednesday. Today, I’m giving you 6 short paragraphs for the 6 in 16. This snippet comes directly after the one I gave you last week from Ygerna:

“My third eldest daughter, Ygerna,” Erbin said.
She stretched out her hand. “It is good to see you again. Welcome to Dyn Tagell.”
Uthyr took the proffered hand with both of his, hands so large they engulfed hers. “We have met before? I find that hard to believe. I am sure I would have remembered a young woman so beautiful.”
Ygerna felt herself blushing yet again — and wished her complexion did not always betray her so. “Several times, Dux. But if I remember right, the last time was over two years ago now, at the funeral of my brother.”
Vortigern’s chief commander released her hand and tilted her chin up with one forefinger. “Ah, yes, I think I recall a red-headed hoyden who might have been you. But now you are a woman grown. Forgive me for not immediately recognizing you.”
She stared into the Pendragon’s eyes, flustered, confused, and strangely happy, her heart beating so fast she could feel it in her chest. Her betrothed, Gurles, had never made her feel this way.

Tintagel, Wikimedia Commons
Tintagel, Wikimedia Commons

Emily Witt is our host for the snippet sharing session, in which we post an excerpt from a WIP on our blog, something that relates to the date in some way. If you want to play too, add your link to the Linky.

Word counts slowing down, and more from Ygerna for #WIPpet Wednesday

For the last week, I’ve been catching up on other things, like marketing, that I mostly ignored during Nanowrimo. Since my last update, I’ve gotten another 4100 words written. Not as much as I would like, but at least it’s still steady progress. Seeing as the hubbie and I went out for a long bike ride on Saturday (yes, the weather here in Central Europe is still good enough for that); we had kids and grandkids over on Sunday for cookies and home-made ice cream; I got some more ads and a free promo for one of my books organized; and tomato sauce from fresh tomatoes from the garden made — I think I can be happy with that word count. 🙂

Ygerna is coming along nicely, and I’m still feeling enthusiastic about the project. That makes me hopeful that I can fill in all the holes I left in the Nano draft by the end of the year. Wish me luck! 🙂

On to the excerpt for WIPpet Wednesday. For the 9th day of the month I’m giving you 9 paragraphs. This excerpt comes immediately after the one I gave you last week.

Just before they reached the courtyard between the upper and lower hall, Ygerna grabbed Geraint’s hand and pulled him up short. She smoothed down the front of her dress, pulled his tunic into a semblance of order, and brushed his curly blond hair away from his forehead. “You must join the wedding party as befits a relative of the bride, looking respectable.”
He tugged on a lock of red hair that had escaped from her braid. “So should you.”
Ygerna grinned. “How right you are, little brother.” She wound the stray strand around her braid and tried to tuck the edges in somewhere before taking his hand again.
When they joined the rest of their family, her mother gave her a stern look.
Argante shook her head. “Where have you been, Ygerna?”
There was no time to answer, even if Ygerna had been inclined to do so, which she wasn’t. The first guests were already entering the courtyard as she and Geraint took their places next to their sisters according to age, with Argante at the head and Blodewedd between them. Names passed by in a blur as she curtsied and kissed hands and murmured words of welcome along with her mother and father and siblings.
That is, until Uthyr, leader of battles, stood in front of her. Suddenly the event was no longer a blur of unfamiliar faces. The Pendragon of Britain was the most handsome warrior Ygerna had ever seen, tall and muscular, with penetrating blue eyes, golden blond hair, and a short-cropped beard in the British fashion, not like her clean-shaven father who kept to Roman ways.
“Ah, the spy with hair the color of glinting rubies,” Uthyr murmured. “If you want to remain unseen, you should consider covering your head.”
Ygerna blushed and rose from her curtsy.


This gal is a little like I imagine Ygerna. Licensed through Shutterstock.

Emily Witt is our host for the snippet sharing session, in which we post an excerpt from a WIP on our blog, something that relates to the date in some way. If you want to play too, add your link to the Linky.

P.S. After posting this, I got the new cover designs for “Looking Through Lace” — you would be doing me a huge favor if you would click to the next post and vote! Thanks in advance. 🙂

On Words, #WIPpets, and Freedom for #Nanowrimo

I haven’t posted on my blog for over two weeks, oh dear. But I had a good excuse: Ygerna and Nanowrimo. 🙂

Portrait of a Woman by Charles Allen Winter, often cited as Igraine

After I finished the translation of the second Viking book, I plunged into the Pendragon Chronicles prequel with a passion. (I can do alliteration!) And with the help of Freedom, an app that turns off the Internet, I actually managed to make the 50,000 words, for the first time in several years.

I bought Freedom quite some time ago, but this is the first time I’ve used it extensively for writing purposes. It is now definitely going to become part of my writing routine. With Freedom and no distractions, I can get 500 words written in 30 minutes when I’m on a roll. Of course, many 30 minute sessions I only got 250-300 words, but most days, I didn’t need more than 4 sessions (2 hours) to get my daily word count — and I was way behind as a result of the translation.

Of course, being a winner doesn’t mean I’m done with the novel. It’s still full of notes to myself and research ideas. At some point I will have to do a major slash and burn session. But with Freedom, I suspect the loss will be less than usual, since I couldn’t access the Internet during many of my writing sessions. I kept trying to remind myself that most readers won’t care if the historical background isn’t as accurate as in the other books — and many will be relieved. *g*

Besides, with this prequel, I have the advantage of all the research that has gone before. Of course I don’t remember everything, but often an earmarked book or an Internet search will bring back a lot.

That means that progress for the last two weeks was well over 25,000 words. And during that time I also did (a rather neglected) promo for Yseult — which still managed to get it over 100 sales and boost its rank to #4 in Arthurian fiction. 🙂

On to WIPpet Wednesday! Emily Witt is our host for the snippet sharing session, in which we post an excerpt from a WIP on our blog, something that relates to the date in some way. If you want to play too, add your link to the Linky.

My math for today: 12 sentences for the month, plus the last sentence from the last post for the sake of continuity, since I haven’t played for a while. Ygerna and her little brother Geraint are watching the guests arrive arrive for the wedding of their older sister:

“Do you think one is Uthyr, leader of battles?” he asked.
She squinted, trying to see the wedding guests better. Not that it would help much — it had been nearly two years since she had last seen Uthyr, the Pendragon of Britain, not since the funeral of their older brother, Tudwal. Nonetheless, she well remembered his commanding presence and golden blond hair.
Then a figure neared the land bridge that matched her memories. She pointed. “There, I think that could be the Dux Bellorum.”
At that moment, the blond warrior looked up and spotted them. He grinned and nodded in their direction. Now Ygerna was almost certain it really was Uthyr. She blushed and lifted Geraint back off of the wall. “Come, we should join the rest of the family to welcome Argante’s wedding guests. Race you!”
How embarrassing to be caught spying on the arriving guests like a child! What would the Pendragon of Britain think of her? In a matter of months, Ygerna would turn fourteen, the age of choice for a woman. She was betrothed to Gurles, a neighboring prince from the stronghold of Dimilioc. They were to be married at Christmas in front of the impressive basilica of Isca.
And Argante had barely spoken to her for a week after the announcement was made.

All comments welcome!

Changes for #WIPpet Wednesday, and a brief update

For Nanowrimo, I have temporarily set aside the second and third books of The Glassmakers Trilogy and turned to a prequel to The Pendragon Chronicles, Ygerna. Just for fun and inspiration, before starting it, I slapped together a cover:

Ygerna

I wasn’t actually intending to use it for publication, but now I find that I’m liking it better than I expected. What do you guys think? Can I use it? If so, what changes would you still suggest? (I definitely don’t want to keep the corset, frex, since that doesn’t really fit in 5th Century Britain. *g*)

On to the first excerpt! I’m going to make it easy on myself and begin at the beginning with the first 11 paragraphs for the 11th day of the 11th month:

Weddings can be anything from dazzling to excruciating, but more often than not, they are at least memorable. By the look of the guests arriving at Dyn Tagell, this wedding was shaping up to be particularly dazzling.
Ygerna’s little brother Geraint tugged her hand. “I can’t see!” he complained.
She chuckled and took pity on him, lifting him up and settling him next to her on the stone wall. He was big for a five-year-old, and it took some effort. Soon, she would no longer be able to carry him around at all.
“Will the High King be coming to the wedding?” he asked.
“I don’t know.” She wiped sweat from her brow with the back of her hand. It was unseasonably warm for May on the coast of Dumnonia. But perhaps the sunshine would reconcile Argante to having her wedding here in this coastal fortress rather than the capital city of Isca. There had been many tearful arguments on that count between her and their parents, but their father Erbin had been adamant — with Pict and Erainn pirates haunting the western coast of Britain, he could not afford to be away from his strategic summer stronghold during the raiding season.
“King Vortigern is very busy,” she added.
“So is Papa,” Geraint protested.
“True enough.” Resting one arm on the stone balustrade, Ygerna peered down at the newly arrived guests. From their vantage point above the land bridge, they could see the parties crossing to the promontory singly and in pairs — given how narrow the passage was, little more was possible. Sunlight glinted off the jewelry of the richly dressed men and women, but from this distance, she couldn’t recognize any faces.
She pointed. “Look, there’s the Pendragon banner. But I can’t tell if the High King is of the party.”
Geraint leaned forward, and Ygerna wrapped a protective arm around his waist to make sure he wouldn’t tumble down the side of the cliff.
“Do you think one is Uthyr, leader of battles?” he asked.

Here, BTW, is the book description I put up on the Nano site: “When young Ygerna first meets Uthyr, Pendragon of Britain, she is dazzled by the handsome and famous warrior. But when Uthyr interprets admiration as consent and takes her by force, Ygerna’s hero worship turns to hatred.
“And she will do anything to get revenge on the man who got her with child and ruined her life.”

As you can tell, it’s a rather radical reinterpretation of the Uthur and Igraine story, but I never bought that one in the first place, so I’m making it my own. 🙂

As many of you know by now, K. L. Schwengel is stepping down from the post as Head Wippeteer and handing the reins over to Emily Witt. Huge thanks to Kathi for keeping it going for so long. It’s been a grand time. 🙂 But it’s not over! The rules will still be the same: post an excerpt from your WIP on your blog, something that relates to the date in some way. Then add your link to the Linky. I do hope this change won’t mean the beginning of the end for our little blogging community, so do keep playing, everyone!

Update: I’m a bit behind on Ygerna in Nano terms, but the site tells me that my daily average is 1200 words, so I’m quite happy with that. I still have about another 5 pages to translate on the Viking novel, after which I can hopefully make up for lost ground. But my marketing efforts have largely come to a halt, and my sales are suffering accordingly. I don’t seem to be able to do all three effectively at the the same time, translating, marketing and writing. One of them always seems to suffer. So that is something I still need to work on.

Riding down Golden Lane for #WIPpet Wednesday

Mea culpa! It’s been a while since I participated in a Round of Words or WIPpet Wednesday! The thing is, I just haven’t had the time to make the rounds of other bloggers, and if I can’t do that, I feel bad about posting.

So why have I been so busy? Well, I’m still not done with the translation, but it’s close now! I’ve also been doing a lot of experimenting with marketing, to try to lift my books out of obscurity. It’s working, kind of, but it takes a lot of time and effort. Finally, I’ve been prepping a novel idea for Nanowrimo, and I plan to dive in with lots of extra energy once the translation is finished — only a matter of days! In the meantime, I’ve managed to get a few pages done a day so I don’t fall too far behind. You can find me on the Nanowrimo site here. On Nano, I’m Specficrider if you want to be buddies!

On to WIPpet Wednesday. Weeks ago in Facets of Glass, we left Gaetano arriving in Prague and trying to find his way around. By now, he has found the Goldmakers’ Street (Golden Lane in real life). My math today for 11/4 is 1+1+4 = 6 paragraphs:

He found the Friedrich glass shop between two “Alchymista,” one selling gold and one selling potions. He wondered which of the two did better business. While bigger than most of the other houses on the street, the glassmaker’s establishment was much more modest than the Fenice Glassworks where Chiara Dragoni had once been a maestra glassmaker of Murano. Gaetano asked himself what made her flee from such wealth to such simple circumstances.
He dismounted, tied the reins of his mare to a post, and pushed open the door. A tinkling bell alerted someone in the back rooms of the shop of his arrival, and an older man with thinning hair hurried in in, wiping his hands on his apron. He said something in Czech or German, and Gaetano shook his head. “Do you speak Italian?” he asked in that language.
“Only a little bit,” the man said in strongly accented Italian. “I will get someone to help you.”
Gaetano nodded his thanks. “Grazie.”
The old man disappeared through the doorway. Soon the curtain twitched again, and a young woman appeared, smiling pleasantly — at least until she saw him.
Chiara Dragoni — lost in the lagoon of Venice, and found again in a small glass shop in Prague.

Golden Lane, Prague
Golden Lane (Goldmakers’ Street) in Prague

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.

Gaetano goes to Prague for #WIPpet Wednesday

I skipped last week again and opted for a quarterly wrap-up instead. The thing is, I really have to concentrate on getting this translation finished, and blogging is not high on my list of priorities at the moment. But I will continue posting excerpts at least every other week. Not only do I want to keep in touch with other WIPpeteers, I also like the way it keeps me focused on this project.

So for today I’m giving you three paragraphs from Facets of Glass for the 3 in the day of the month. This is the beginning of a new chapter, and finds Gaetano on his way north to commission a glass coffin — and find Chiara:

Before setting out on his journey to Prague, Gaetano had been assured that his command of Italian and French would be sufficient during his travels. Unfortunately, his French was much worse than he had thought — at least when he tried to understand what passed for French among innkeepers on the road — and after leaving the borders of the Venetian Empire, speakers of Italian were much less common than he would have expected. The rest of his journey took him through the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation, where German was the predominant language, and speakers of Italian rare.

At least his French began to improve with practice, and the farther north he traveled, the better was his command of the lingua franca.

He had been hoping that communication would become easier when he reached the imperial city of Prague, but here too men and women on the street spoke only some guttural language Gaetano couldn’t understand, either German or Czech. He couldn’t tell the difference and he didn’t care. All he wanted was to find someone who spoke a civilized tongue, and who could point him in the direction of Friedrich Glassworks.

Prague
A trip to Prague, almost 10 years ago now.

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.

Arguing about a mirror for #WIPpet Wednesday

I am slowly getting back into the swing of things again. Not only did I do a lot of marketing organization and research last week, finish my weekly page counts on the translation, and makes lots of jam and jelly out of a small percentage of our tons of apples (as well as relish and pickles from zucchini and cucumber), I also got 2700 words written. 🙂 That’s not where I want to be yet, but given that it is fall, and there’s lots to do in the garden, I’m inclined to cut myself some slack and be happy with the progress.

I’m already way past the projected word count on Shards of Glass, and while the end is in sight, I don’t think it’s going to come in at under 40,000 words. At the same time, I’m itching to get back to other projects. There may be some jumping back and forth in my near future. *g*

With that brief update, let us move on to an excerpt from Facets of Glass for WIPpet Wednesday. This snippet comes immediately following the one I gave you two weeks ago. The Dowager Princess has just learned the name of Chiara’s place of work in Prague with the help of the magic mirror. 16 sentences this week for the 16th, plus 2 to end the scene:

“If you have enough information, perhaps it would be possible for me to take the looking glass back to my own establishment?” the witch suggested. “You can still consult it at any time, Your Grace.”
The Dowager Princess gazed at the witch, while the image of the narrow street in Prague slowly faded in the smooth glass of the mirror. “As I told you when you first brought it,” she said slowly, “I do not want anyone else accessing its magic at this time.”
“I could make it available only to you.”
What was it that Vanna did not understand about her request to keep the mirror here in the Foscari palace?
“Is my steward not paying you enough?” Zilia asked.
Vanna glanced at the mirror. “It is not that. I am worried that something may happen … to it.”
Good, so their mutual distrust of each other was established. But it would be foolish of Zilia to allow the mirror to be damaged — she was still in need of its services. “Rest assured that I will see to it that nothing becomes of your mirror, Vanna.”
“Very well, Your Grace.”
Perhaps this was no more than an attempt by the witch to wring more money from her for keeping the mirror in her rooms? Well, Zilia was feeling pleased with what the mirror had shown them, she would afford to be generous. “I will instruct my steward to pay you more as long as this mirror remains with me. I hope that meets with your approval.”
“Thank you, Your Grace.”

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.

Cover voting for Chameleon in a Mirror now open!

I’m late, but at least I’m showing up for the party. 🙂 So, as I predicted, I haven’t gotten a lot of writing done in the last week. I’ve done a lot of visiting with the visitors, kept up on the translation, and managed to write at least 100 words a day on Shards of Glass, to make sure it stays in my subconscious so that I can jump right back in when things calm down here again. I have also set up a 99c sale for Yseult for next week, for which I had to get the promotion organized. Also, my daughter helped me out with tweaking the new cover designs for Chameleon — and whipped together a third based on our old design, just simplifying it. Here is what can now be voted on:

Cover designs for Chameleon in a Mirror

You can take the poll here.

I have also uploaded all three covers individually to the Rate Book Cover site to see how they do on a “graded” scale. You can find the three covers above here, here, and here.

Do please vote and rate. It shouldn’t take much more than a minute of your time, and you’ll be doing me a huge favor. 🙂 Thanks in advance!

Now on the WIPpet Wednesday. No math this time: we’re nearing the end of the month and the end of the scene in Facets of Glass, so I have to decided to use that as my excuse to give you the rest. 🙂 For the sake of context, I’m also providing the last paragraph from the previous excerpt. After this, we will be returning to the evil Dowager Princess again for a while.

“Yes, but please do not tell anyone,” he said, addressing Anastasia again. “I might be accused of practicing magic illegally. In exchange, if you have not found a way to lift this spell by the time I return from Bohemia, I promise to do everything in my power to help you.” But what? He had no magic, and no access to those who did.
All he had was the trust of the Dowager Princess. He would need to use it well.
Anastasia nodded. “I can see that it might lead to problems for you.”
And you must promise me that you will not kill my step-sister, came Minerva’s voice in his head.
“That is an easy promise to make, seeing as it is impossible.”
I do believe that you truly do not know Chiara is in Bohemia.
He stared down at the prone form. If Minerva’s step-sister was alive and in Bohemia, it could only mean that his journey there to commission the glass coffin was a pretense.
And the Dowager Princess did not trust him as much as he thought.
But he could speak of neither without revealing too much to Anastasia.
“No, I didn’t,” he said. “Thank you for telling me.”
“Telling you what?” Anastasia demanded.
“That she is grateful to me for making it possible for her to speak with you,” he lied.
Anastasia’s eyes teared up. “I am grateful as well.”

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.

More covers, more progress, and more from Gaetano for #WIPpet Wednesday

As I pointed out in my last post on this blog, the cover of Chameleon in a Mirror didn’t do so hot at a cover rating site, so I decided to try a couple of alternatives. I’ve been tweaking them a bit since, and here are the results:

Do let me know what you think! When I have a chance, I plan to upload them as well to the cover rating site to see if they do any better, but the next week and a half is going to be crazy. We have a number of guests from the States arriving, and there will be a lot going on.

With all the work on covers and packaging that I’ve been doing recently, I haven’t been breaking any records on the new words front. But I did manage to get my quota of 2500 words written on Shards of Glass. It’s already several thousand words longer than I originally projected, and new scenes keep popping up, demanding to be written as well. It will be interesting to see how long the book turns out to be.

Since it is Wednesday, that means it is also time for an excerpt from a WIP for WIPpet Wednesday. Since Gaetano is a popular lad in these parts, we’re sticking with him for now, following wherever he needs to go. This snippet is 19 sentences long for the 19th of the month — plus 2 to end the paragraph. It follows directly after what I gave you last week:

Gaetano suspected that the dowager princess would somehow ensure that her daughter-in-law would be unsuccessful, but he didn’t want to tell her that. “It would be worth a try, Your Grace.”
“Would you tell her for me that I will consult witches in addition to doctors on her behalf?”
Tell her thanks, but I can hear her just fine.
“Signorina Minerva wishes you to know that she is grateful, and that she can hear what you say, she just cannot speak.”
“Except to you,” Anastasia said thoughtfully.
He nodded.
“Then I will be requiring your services on a regular basis to accompany me to Murano to speak with my sister,” the princess said.
“I am afraid that will not be possible, Your Grace,” Gaetano said. “The dowager princess will soon be sending me to Bohemia.”
Bohemia? Minerva called out in his mind. Is Zilia sending you to murder Chiara?
“No,” Gaetano said. “That makes no sense. How could she?”
“You truly are speaking with my sister,” Anastasia murmured.
“Yes, but please do not tell anyone,” he said, addressing Anastasia again. “I might be accused of practicing magic illegally. In exchange, if you have not found a way to lift this spell by the time I return from Bohemia, I promise to do everything in my power to help you.” But what? He had no magic, and no access to those who did.

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.

Book covers and an enchanted hero for #WIPpet Wednesday

I missed last week again, sorry. I was finalizing the paperback version of my latest collection of short stories, Oregon Elsewise, containing previously published works set in the state where I grew up — and that in many ways still feels like home. While I was at it, I decided to also finally put together the new paperback version of Almost All the Way Home From the Stars, the collection of published science fiction stories I wrote with Jay Lake. The original paperback version was done by Draft2Digital, and I was never completely happy with it, so doing it myself has long been on my to-do list. At the same time, I tweaked the cover a bit, trying to make the font stand out more. Here’s what I have now:

Collection with Jay Lake, new cover

For the sake of comparison, here’s the old:

I was noticing that in thumbnail, the font on the old version was looking unfinished somehow, so I decided to mess with it. Happy to hear any feedback you might have!

With all the work on formatting interiors and creating / messing with covers, I haven’t gotten a lot of writing done in the last week or so. Last week, I managed 1600 new words on Shards of Glass. I also did some editing, and cut 2000 words from the manuscript — which means I ended up with a weekly total of -400 words! 🙂

For Wippet Wednesday, we will back up and return to the previous book, Facets of Glass, which is also still in draft mode, so I’m not cheating. I’m just waiting to finish this last book before I go back and start on the edits of the second.

Two weeks ago, we left Gaetano talking with the unconscious Minerva while her sister watches in amazement. This excerpts picks up exactly where that one left off. Today I am giving you 12 sentences for the day of the month, plus 1 to finish the paragraph:

“Who are you speaking to?” Anastasia asked.
“Your sister. She asked me if I am the one who enchanted her. But I have no magic.” Nor did the dowager princess. But she had access to a bevy of witches and alchemists to turn lead into gold and beautiful young women into living corpses.
“Do you have any idea who might have done this to my sister?” Anastasia asked.
“No,” he lied. He still had to stay on the good side of the dowager princess. And he couldn’t trust Anastasia to keep his suspicions to herself.
Anastasia clapped her hands to her cheeks. “Enchanted! Perhaps I can find a witch to lift the spell.”

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.