Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Conquest 47

Went to Conquest 47 over the weekend.  It was good to see some people I knew, but the con was distressingly thin of people. 

I hope that it's just because folks are saving their money for Worldcon in August.  I'd hate to think Conquest is struggling to survive.

Here's a video I took of R2D2.  Someone went to a lot of time and trouble to build these.

video



Friday, October 16, 2015

NANOWRIMO, or SELF INFLICTED TORTURE

Thinking about trying --- once again!---to do NANOWRIMO this year.  I did get one novel out of the experiment ----but finished it long after November of that year.

I have an idea for a novel -- I never lack for ideas ---- so maybe I'll give it one more shot to try and finish within the month.  I also like to pull my teeth without anesthetic. (grin)  I'll be, of course, posting snippets here.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Friday Snippet - Nikky and Tasha's Story

Dad is in the hospital.  He had an area of cancer cut from his leg and then skin-grafted, and the doctor warned it would take a long time to heal.  He's 80 -- having to lay still until the skin graft takes is not his cup of tea.

Here's a snippet from a half-completed novel --- one of these days, I need to finish it.  Rough draft, please don't quote or repost.

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            Nikky drew in his breath.  Those rich brown eyes and that lovely face.  He couldn’t be mistaken.  The girl he had seen a year before in a nobleman’s house.  The one who had introduced herself as Tasha.
            Berated by his mistress, the lead bearer swung the chair around.  Unable to bear the disappointment he saw on the girl’s face, Nikky darted forward and thrust the red feather at her.  The girl gave a start, searched his face, then eagerly took the feather.
            The woman gave a loud scream.  “Get away!”
            Nikky jumped back from the chair and lost himself in the crowd.
            “Wait!”
            “Don’t call after him, Tasha!  What are you thinking!” the woman shrilled.
            “What’s your name!” Tasha’s voice called out after him.
            “Is that the kind of girl you are?  Taking presents from a lowborn?  Throw it out!”
            “No, I won’t!”
            Nikky passed beyond earshot, his cheeks burning and his heart pumping in his chest.  He ran until he could run no more.  He found concealment under a porch and lay in the gloom, panting for air, fright mixed with exultation on his face.  Regardless of what came of it, she had accepted that feather from his hand.  She had taken a gift from a ragged, scruffy Lowertown boy.  He expected every minute to be dragged away and punished, but he also felt as if he could leap the surrounding buildings and fly away.
            True night had fallen when Nikky crawled out from under the porch at the Seaman’s Shanty, a tavern not far from the Waterfront.  A drunken sailor bumped into him and set up a clamor.  Nikky slipped into the concealing night, heart in his mouth, imagining strongarms coming at him from all sides.  They would haul him before the Families who would look at him with their cold, cruel eyes and sentence him to death for daring to look at her….
            Expertly avoiding the con artists, the pick pockets, the nightwomen, the muggers and ruffians, Nikky crept back to the spice shop as the first fingers of dawn lightened the sky.  He could hear Gerring’s snore at the back of the shop.  Nikky had no doubt that Gerring would find out what he’d done, but he had at least a short reprieve until the sky fell.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Friday snippet - Changing things up

Instead of a snippet from the WIP, here's a snippet from a completed novel that I am in the middle of revising.  Hope you enjoy!

First draft, please don't quote or repost.  Thanks!

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"This Winterlord," Katie said when she had returned.  "How can he help me?"

Treyga shrugged as she continued to harness the dogs.  "The Winterlord has dominion over much of Snow.  He knows what happens in Snow, and he will know of Yule Ghosts, and where they may be found, if anyone does."
                  
She buckled a harness in silence for a moment, then said, "It is said he is only partly human."

Katie thought about that.  "What's the part that's not human?"

"Rumors say that the current Winterlord's father found a wife among the Delven.  They were happy for awhile, and their union produced a son, who is now the Winterlord.  But the wife did not prosper in Snow’s southern regions.  She pined for the deep cold and the ice palaces of the north.  She stayed as long as she could, but eventually she left."

Katie thought about asking what the Delven were, but she was reluctant to reveal to Treyga just how ignorant she was of everything in this place.  Instead, she said, "That sounds really sad."

Treyga patted the lead dog on the head.  She took one final look at the fire's remains to make sure no embers remained, then they were on their way once more.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Friday Snippet - Something's Amiss at the Jail

First draft.  Please don't quote or repost.

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Anabelle had just taken off her half boots when an air elemental showed up, wafting around her bedroom in a distressed manner, tugging at her dress and the bedclothes. 

“Ethereal?” she asked.

“I am Ethereal, Fire Maiden.”

The sound –faint and distorted without the amplification of the horn – came to her ears.

“What do you wish of me, Air Spirit?”

“The Other wants you to come.  People are frightened.”

Anabelle recognized the name the elementals had given Jonathon. 

“Where?” she asked, already putting her boots back on.

“The place of people holding.”

The jail. 

“Thank you, Ethereal.  You have done well.”

And, for a wonder, it had.  The air elemental’s attention had not wandered and it had not forgotten it’s task.

Ethereal caressed her cheek, and disappeared.  Flicker came from somewhere, feeling her impatient anxiety, and nearly set her chemise on fire.  She quelled his exuberance, and put on the shirtwaist and jacket she’d just taken off.

Anabelle went downstairs and found Clare in the kitchen supervising the new cook she had hired.

“I’m going out.  Something is going on at the jail,” Anabelle told Clare.  “You’ll stand ready in case I need you?”

“Of course, madam,” Clare said, and gave a sharp nod.  “Becky can see to the house.”

Anabelle gave Becky an uneasy glance, wondering what the woman thought of that, but apparently the woman accepted her new elevation in stature and duties with stolid composure.

It wasn’t until Anabelle stepped out the front door that she realized both her horse and her gig were still with Jonathon at the County Sheriff’s office.  With a muttered word she’d learned from the hound-chasers during childhood, she started off at a cracking pace toward the office and jail.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Friday Snippet

Conversation between prisoner & sheriff.

First draft. Please don't quote or repost.

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“Sheriff?”

He turned his head to see Walcott standing in the doorway.  The deputy looked uncomfortable.

“What is it, Walcott?”

“That groom from Gorham Manor wants to talk to you.  Says it’s important.  I told him you were due your supper, but he’s pretty agitated.”

Jonathon glanced at his pocket watch in surprise.  Where had the day gone?

“I’ll see him.  If he wants to talk, I guess we’d better listen now before he changes his mind.”

Jonathon followed Walcott to the jail cell in back of the building.  As jail cell’s went, it wasn’t much, just bars closing off an area ten feet square in the room.  The cell contained primitive facilities consisting of a sink and a portable privy.  No matter how much they tried to keep it clean, the faint odor of human waste lingered.

Eldon Wethers sat on the bench bed that sat against one of the two brick walls of the cell, shoulders slumped, whole attitude despondent.  When he saw Jonathon, he stood up and moved to the bars, facing sheriff and deputy.

“Well, Wethers?”

“If I cooperate, will you get me out of this cell?” Wethers said, voice low and intense.

“There are worse places you can be,” Walcott said, voice disgusted.

“Look, I didn’t kill Miss Gorham, but maybe I can tell you who did.”

Jonathon raised his eyebrows and grabbed a nearby chair, sitting down.  He crossed his legs and stared at Wethers.

“You have my complete and undivided attention.”

“There’s just one thing.  You have to guarantee my safety.”

“From who?” Jonathon asked.

Wethers opened his mouth, but a cry of surprised fright came from Walcott.  Jonathon turned his head and gave his deputy a look, then followed Walcott’s transfixed gaze.

The water in the bowl of the privy stood up in a column, defying gravity, and wavering about like a snake’s head before striking.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Friday Snippet

This snippet follows this one.

I need to get moving on this story.  It seems like I'm stuck in first gear.   Daniel is Anabelle's & Jonathon's deceased son.

Rough draft.  Please don't quote or repost.

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“Did you know that Jonathon has arrested a groom from Gorham Manor named Wethers?  He thinks the man had something to do with Minna’s death.”

Father Ollister gave a quick frown.  “Eldon Wethers?  Did he confess to something?”

Anabelle thought that an odd choice of words.  “Well, no, not that I know of; I think it highly unlikely that he killed Minna.  She drowned, Father.  Someway, somehow, she drowned.  Only a powerful Waterwitcher could have done it.”

“Drowned?” he repeated sharply.  “That’s how she died?”

‘Yes.  It’s not common knowledge, and I doubt that Lord Gorham is talking.”

Something about that news seemed to worry him but he said nothing.  She briefly toyed with the idea of demanding, as King’s Special Examiner, that he tell her, but she knew the old priest would not reveal what he considered privileged information.

“Can you tell me anything which might help with this investigation, Father?”

He opened his mouth to speak and a board creaked outside the door.  Holding up a hand to keep the priest silent, she got up and opened the door very quietly.  No one was outside the door.  A quick look down the hall did not reveal anyone lurking.



When Anabelle turned to Father Ollister, he shook his head.

“The walls have ears here,” he said in a guarded voice. “Seek me out in my gardens.  I work and pray there of a morning, and if we are spied upon, at least we will not be overheard.”

Digesting the implications of that, Anabelle shelved the idea of asking him about the smuggling ring and gave him a slow nod.  “Mornings are not my cup of tea, but I’ll force myself to get up and come see you in the next day or two.”

As she turned to leave, Father Ollister’s words followed her.

“You need to tell Jonathon about what really happened to Daniel, Anabelle.”

She fled.