Tag Archives: #wippet

First results with Pomodoro, and an excerpt from Island of Glass for #WIPpet Wednesday

Today I’ve been applying the Pomodoro technique for the first time to try and become more disciplined about the tasks on my to-do list, and I’m quite pleased with the results so far. Once I’ve been working with it longer, I will write a post on it in more detail, assuming it continues to work for me. 🙂

Most of what I’ve been doing today, however, has been the Big Translation Project. I don’t have much in the way of new material for A Wasted Land, although I’ve spent a lot of time on it in the last few days. But that was whipping the prologue and first chapter into shape for the next Villa Diodati workshop, coming up on October 18. (While writing this post, I just noticed that we are now mentioned in Wikipedia — how cool is that? *g*) This will be the first workshop in over a year. I am the ostensible workshop dictator, but recently I’ve been putting all my energy into my “indie career” (whatever that is), and I’ve gotten very lax about my dictator duties, meaning nothing happened for a long time. But earlier this year I appointed a Vice Dictator, and now we finally have another workshop scheduled. It will be fun to babble, er exchange critiques with a bunch of crazy writers again!

Anyway, since I don’t have any new scenes to offer for WIPpet Wednesday, I decided to offer the first 9 sentences (for Oct. 9) of Island of Glass — also a WIP, after all, if a lot farther along than A Wasted Land:

Chiara wiped her hands on her apron and lifted the goblet up to the light, inspecting her work critically. The fluted glass flared out like a lily beginning to bloom, and as hard as she tried, she could find no discoloring or bubbles. She breathed a sigh of relief; a nearly perfect piece. It would command a high price among the nobles of Venice and beyond.
The work of the Murano glassmakers was in great demand throughout the world. Their craftsmanship was the basis of their riches — and their curse. Out of fear they might reveal trade secrets, the laws of La Serenissima decreed that members of the glassmaking families of Murano were never to leave the islands of their lagoon. Murano glass was more precious than gold, after all. Anyone who knew the recipe of the alchemists could make gold, but only the artisans of Murano could make glass so fine, one could nearly touch one’s fingers together on either side; cristallo without an imperfection or blemish, clear as the sky, with a sparkle to rival that of diamonds.

For WIPpet Wednesday, those who want to participate post an excerpt from a current WIP that somehow relates to the date. The rest of the snippets can be found here. Thanks to K. L. Schwengel for creating the meme!

More from A Wasted Land for #WIPpet Wednesday

I’m not getting around to much blogging these days other than WIPpet Wednesday, it seems! I feel dreadfully behind on just about everything, like I will never be able to catch up. But at least I can post an excerpt. 🙂

On WIPpet Wednesday, a bunch of us writers post something from a Work in Progress, a passage that is somehow related to the date. You can view the other excerpts here, and you’re welcome to join in the fun!

My math for today: 9+25+13=47. I’m giving you a short excerpt from page 47 of A Wasted Land. In this scene, it’s about a week since Kustennin was elected Pendragon, and he, his family, and some of his closest comrades are discussing what needs to be done:

“Speaking of horses, you might want to consider appointing a new Master of Horse,” Bedwyr said.
Cador threw up his hands. “Do not look at me, I beg you! I will of course go to war with you, but I do not want a role again that will take me away from my family for long stretches of time.” Riona had abandoned her own chair to climb up into her father’s lap, and Cador was doing his best to push his wine glass out of her grasp.
Kustennin smiled. “I think it would be in my own best interests not to take you away from my mother. Or my little sister.” He reached across the table and chucked Riona under the chin. She batted his hand away with a spoon, laughing.
He glanced around the table, wondering who he could appoint as Master of Horse. None of those he most trusted had the same knowledge of horseflesh as his stepfather had, as Cai once had.
Except perhaps Cai’s daughter Celemon.
For whatever reason, not even Celemon’s brother Garanwyn knew horses the way she did. Perhaps it was because Celemon had been hanging around in the stables while Garanwyn was training to become a warrior. Or perhaps it was because Celemon had been in fosterage with Cador, while Garanwyn had been fostered with Aircol in Moridunum — and now knew boats better than he knew horses.
It was unfortunate Kustennin couldn’t make Celemon his Master of Horse. Or could he? Who was to say that the person filling the position had to be a warrior? Wasn’t a knowledge of horses more important?
But before he made any decisions, he would speak with Bedwyr. He was somewhat worried that a desire to have Celemon by his side might be clouding his judgement.

By popular demand, more from Kustennin for #Wippet Wednesday!

Ok, I admit, “popular” is a bit exaggerated — I think it was a sum total of one person who wanted to see Kustennin again. But I’m an obliging soul (sometimes), and one is enough of a demand for me. 🙂 So in honor of the date, 9-18, here are nine short paragraphs from page eighteen of A Wasted Land. In this scene, Kustennin is at the horse fair of Durnovaria to try to find some likely mounts for their mobile troops, the basis of much of the British military success in the previous Pendragon books:

Bedwyr was just taking the mare’s reins from her former owner when Kustennin felt a commotion behind him. He turned, but there was nothing there. It was his power of knowing again.
Then, in a distance, he heard the cry go up: “Raid!” followed closely by: “Saxons are attacking!”
Bedwyr hurried for the mounting block Kustennin had so recently used and swung himself up onto the newly purchased mare. “I hope I can keep myself on her back, even without a saddle, until I reach the camp of the soldiers traveling with us,” he said. “You locate the rest of our party at the horse fair. We will meet against the enemy.”
Kustennin nodded. People sometimes found it odd that he, the king of Dumnonia, so readily took orders from Bedwyr, who had only a modest seat in Gwent. But they had been fighting together for so many years now, and Bedwyr had decades more experience. For Kustennin, the old warrior had very nearly taken the place of Arthur.
He commandeered a likely looking dark bay stallion. “I will either bring him back to you when we have put the raiders to flight, or compensate you for him after the battle.”
The owner nodded unhappily and shouldered an ax, obviously prepared to do his best to defend Durnovaria.
The horse fair had been transformed into a chaos of running people and horses. Kustennin went in search of the other members of their party. “Cador! Judual!”
“Kustennin, here!” Cador and Judual had also “borrowed” mounts from the merchants with horses for sale, and together they started to ride in the direction of smoke rising near the southern gate of the city.
“Wait,” Kustennin called out. “If it is a raid, would not the Saxons target the horse fair itself?”

WIPpet Wednesday is a nifty meme where a bunch of us writers share something from their current Work In Progress that somehow relates to the date. It’s the brain child of K. L. Schwengel. If you want to join in the fun or just read the other excerpts, the linky is here.

Back to A Wasted Land, and another #WIPpet Wednesday

After getting Chameleon in a Mirror off to my beta readers last week, I returned to A Wasted Land. First, in order to get may head back into the project, I did some editing of scenes leading up to where I left off. As a result, the added word count is modest: 2,000 new words to Kustennin’s story. The ongoing, long-term translation is also keeping me pretty busy. More on that eventually, since it’s also an indie experiment, but not today. It’s late now in Central Europe, and I don’t have enough brain cells left for a longer, more involved blog post. 🙂

For my excerpt for WIPpet Wednesday this week, I give you 11 sentences from scene 9 (9-11). This is shortly after the last scene from A Wasted Land that I posted, in which Celemon confronted her betrothed with his infidelity. Now they are at the church, and Aurelius is being forced to marry the woman he slept with.

Gildas turned to Aurelius. “Do you confirm that you have had carnal knowledge of this woman and that she is with child?” he asked, his voice exuding disapproval. Of course, Celemon too disapproved, but she had little room in her heart right now for anything besides hurt and anger — and she a brave front to maintain. Still, she doubted if she could ever look down on anyone quite the way Gildas did, even if she were standing on the top step of a basilica. Gildas was the same age as Celemon, barely eighteen, but already he had developed the attitude of disapproval it took others decades to cultivate.
Bethan’s blush was turning from a becoming pink to a deeper shade of red, one of uncomfortable embarrassment, her smile fading with the priest’s explicit accusation. Celemon couldn’t help wondering if marriage to Aurelius was what she had wanted all along – but now she was being confronted with what her wish come true would mean for the rest of her life.
Aurelius did not answer Gildas’ question until his brother Iddon prompted him with one elbow.
“Yes,” Aurelius ground out.
“Then let us sanctify this union to ensure the legitimacy of the unborn child.”
As Gildas began to speak the Latin words, Aurelius stood stiff and angry at Bethan’s side.

WIPpet Wednesday is the brainchild of K.L. Schwengel, in which we post excerpts from works in progress (WIP) that somehow correspond to the date. Join in the fun and add your snippet here!

Excerpt from “Chameleon in a Mirror” for #WIPpet Wednesday

I finished the read-through / editing pass of Chameleon in a Mirror yesterday, but it was late, and I didn’t have any brain cells left for contacting my beta readers. I did that just now.

I did a complete overhaul of the novel earlier this year and sent it to a writing buddy for a critique exchange, but he became a brand new daddy last year, and he’s pretty swamped, so it’s back to the drawing board. Since it had been several months since I’d last looked at it, I figured I could read it with (relatively) fresh eyes, and I did find several things to change. I’m sure my beta readers will find many more. They haven’t read it umpteen times like I have. 🙂

Anyway, since CIAM is what has been taking up most of my time for the last week (besides the long-term translation job, the garden, and the grand-daughter), I figured I would share an excerpt from my Aphra Behn time travel for WIPpet Wednesday this week. WIPpet Wednesday is the brainchild of K.L. Schwengel, in which we post excerpts from works in progress (WIP) that somehow correspond to the date. So I give you 9 sentences from chapter 4 of Chameleon in a Mirror. In this scene, our heroine Billie has accompanied Aphra Behn to a sitting for a portrait being done by Mary Beale:

Billie turned away from the portrait abruptly and pretended to examine some of the works lining the walls. Here the room looked almost like a museum, and she wished it were; then she could walk out the door, straight into smoggy, twenty-first century London, Aphra or no Aphra. Part of her was stunned and amazed that she might possibly (very likely?) be here, in Restoration London — with Aphra Behn, no less. And her hostess had been charming, showing her the sights whenever her schedule allowed. Billie had passed on the bull-baiting, the bear-baiting, and the Charing Cross freaks, but nonetheless, the past few days had been like wandering around an open-air museum, although it would still take some time to grow used to the stench.
But even on the trip to Vauxhall, gazing after the floating music hall on the Thames, or strolling through the gardens, there was the constant awareness in the back of her mind that she didn’t belong. Ambling along the streets of the open-air museum of Rhodes had not been as mind-blowing. All the tourists, just like her, were a constant reminder of the twenty-first century, even if the place looked like it had hardly changed for hundreds of years. And she had a return ticket to London.
This trip, she had no idea how she was supposed to get back home.

And here is the portrait of Aphra that Billie turns away from:

Aphra Behn by Mary Beale

Other than CIAM and translating, I haven’t made any progress on my other goals in the last week. I put A Wasted Land on hold until I could get this book out of the house again. I really want to have at least one new novel to bring out before Christmas, and this one is a lot farther along than any of my other projects. My apologies to those who are waiting for a new book in the Pendragon Chronicles series, but one of these days, I want to start making money at this writing business again. 🙂

Brief update, my first #wippet Wednesday, and a blog hop reminder

Funny how an upcoming vacation can be so much work. As I predicted recently, in the last few days, I’ve had very little time for writing. Instead, I’ve been writing emails to vacation rentals, printing out Google Maps directions, putting together a folder with all the info we need in hard copy, making last minute arrangements here at home, that kind of thing. I made a big dent in my to-do list today, but I’m still not done. And until now at least, there was simply no time for writing today.

So my progress on A Wasted Land so far this week is a modest 1200 words. I will get back to experimenting on myself once vacation and family time is over.

I ran into many intriguing excerpts last week, so I thought I would give Wippet Wednesday a shot myself. Here are 17 lines from page 7 of A Wasted Land:

Horses, a Pendragon, a bard: they needed all of that and more, preferably yesterday. Repressing a sigh, Kustennin wheeled his mount around — and caught sight of a rose bush in full bloom against one wall that had escaped the conflagration. The bright red of the roses were an incongruous splotch of color in the midst of the blackened ruins. But once he’d noticed the rose, he saw other signs of life among the ruins. A shoot of ivy snaking up one wall. Patches of weeds and grass pushing up through the dark earth here and there in the courtyard. Yellow dandelions a stark contrast against gray and black.
Life always found a way. But would it be the life Kustennin and his family and allies wanted to live?
As he began to ride out of the ruins and back to his men, he felt something like a tickle of awareness at the back of his mind. He pulled up his gelding and turned in his saddle.
A lone figure appeared in the ruined gateway leading to the blackened orchards to the north, casting a long shadow across the courtyard of what remained of the outbuildings. A man, a bag over his shoulder and a lute slung over his back.
Taliesin.

And just as I added that quote, our Internet went out, which means I will be posting Thursday rather than Wednesday. 😦 This has happened a couple of times recently. If it keeps up, we’re going to have to look for a new provider, sigh.

The fantasy blog hop I’m doing this week now has a few more blogs to visit now, if you are so inclined:

Chrystalla, the lightbulb behind the blog hop, expounds on elves who are hotter than most.

How to Tame a Dark Elf.

Ryan Sullivan expounds on the magik system in Valkia.

Annette Gisby talks about Fantasy and Faerie.

Tiffany Turner expounds on elves being more than they seem.

Anna KYss has posted her Top 5 Faerie Lovers list.

Keese has posted nearly everything you need to know about the Ecology of the Tresolmi Elf (excellent guide, should you be entering that dimension soon).

And yours truly talks about the inspiration for the Feahd Ree magic system in Yseult.

This will probably be my last writing-related post for a while. When next I show up in the blogosphere, I’m more likely to be sharing pictures of fjords and waterfalls. 🙂