Sparklies, Gotta Love ’em

Tomorrow I’ll be hitting the road for Colorado with two of my friblings. My sistas. Not related but as close as my siblings, closer than some to be honest. We’re heading to the Australian Shepherd National Specialty in Greeley and I won’t be getting back home until the 29th. That means I won’t have much time to visit the other WIPpeteers this week (though I’ll try) and I likely won’t have a WIPpet next week. *boo, hiss* *hangs head* Yes, I know. I will have my laptop and WiFi but down time will be at a premium.

So as to not abandon you completely, I will be handing the Blog over to the fantabulous Steve McHugh on Monday, 9/23. Steve is the author of the Hellequin Chronicles and has visited the Blog twice before, here and here. So stop in and show him some love as he talks about going from Indie to Traditional publishing.

Now, on to this week’s WIPpet. 9/18/13. I’m going to exercise creative WIPpet math (9+18+13) and give you the next 40 lines of Fortune Favors the Cold  because, between working on Emergence and getting ready for CO, I’ve been a writerly sloth. If you recall, we left Lanster dangling over the edge of a cliff with an unknown threat below. Again, my disclaimer, this is rough, first draft stuff here. To refresh your memory, we ended with:

 “Stay there.”

“Really, Branson? Really?” Lanster’s voice held a rising note of panic. The rope jerked again. “Did I mention they can jump? And that they appear hungry? Did I mention that?”

And now we continue with:

“No. Just hold, is all.”

Branson rolled to his side and fished around in his bag. His questing fingers landed on a small, smooth orb about the size of an eyeball. He withdrew it, holding it between thumb and forefinger, marveling as he always did at the array of colors encased in its shimmering black surface. You could buy just about anything in the Dunward Market, including enchanted items such as the shimmer ball he now held. One of only three remaining in his pack. He hated to waste it so early in their venture and made a mental note to pick up some more once they got back.

“Some time in the next breath would be nice,” Lanster said.

“Bury your eyes.” Branson spoke a word of Arcane, reached out with his arm, and dropped the shimmer ball straight down past Lanster, ducking his head back as soon as he released it. He’d watched the first shimmer ball he ever used do its job once: Couldn’t see anything but spots of light for a good seven days afterwards.

Plink.The ball landed far below.

Sizzle, crackle.

Silence.

Branson ticked off a ten count in his head. Even with his face buried in his arms and eyes squeezed shut he knew when the shimmer ball ignited. Screeches filled the cavern, punctuated by Lanster’s string of loud, multi-cultural curses. The lad had a gift for foreign tongues, that he did.

A wave of heated air gusted past, ruffling his hair before the cool of the cavern returned.

Branson blinked. “Alive yet?”

“Me or the others?”

“Both.”

“Me, yes, but singed, thanks much. The others, not so lucky.” The rope gave a final twist, then went slack. “I’m down. Leg it over before more of them things think I make an easy snack.”

Branson resituated his pack across his shoulder. Without standing, he grabbed hold of the rope and rolled off the ledge. His heart thumped a little as it always did when he first took the drop. He’d no fear of heights. Falling, on the other hand, always worried him. That first moment of strain across his shoulders when nothing but his strength and a length of spun fiber lay between him and a dusting sent a rush through him every time.

He hand-over-handed his way down in short order, dropping the last half a rod to land lightly next to Lanster. The lad had the torch in one hand, his falchion in the other, its polished blade reflecting the light. Sweat plastered his blond curls to the side of his face and dragged a line of dirt along his jaw.

Now, go forth and WIPpet and I’ll try to visit one and all.

chapflourish

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21 responses

  1. “He’d no fear of heights. Falling, on the other hand, always worried him.” I understand this completely. Love the shimmer ball!

    Have fun on your trip, we’ll try not to get into too much trouble while you’re gone.

    September 18, 2013 at 6:58 am

    • Thanks, Kate. Made it back safe and sound last night (Saturday) and now I’m playing catch-up! Whew!! But the trip was great fun. Not much writing done, except for one short scene on the way home.

      September 29, 2013 at 12:26 pm

  2. My favourite line has to be ‘the lad had a gift for foreign tongues’. It’s a nice way of putting it. 😀

    September 18, 2013 at 7:02 am

    • Hee, hee. Glad you thought so. 😉

      September 29, 2013 at 12:31 pm

  3. “The lad had a gift for foreign tongues, that he did.” I actually laughed out loud at this. Enjoyed this one.
    Hope you have a good trip

    September 18, 2013 at 7:42 am

    • Thanks! The trip was awesome . . . now for the recovery phase.

      September 29, 2013 at 12:32 pm

  4. I gotta get me one of them shimmer balls! Wooo wee. Great scene. Nice tension and resolution.
    Yes, have a great trip!!!

    September 18, 2013 at 8:38 am

    • A shimmer ball would come in real handy every now and again. I have to believe they’re not cheap, though.

      September 29, 2013 at 12:32 pm

  5. I love their dialogue, how it’s distinctive and different from what we would normally hear, yet still clear enough that we understand what they’re saying and what they’re meaning.

    September 18, 2013 at 9:57 am

    • I’m glad you understand what they’re saying. I’m throwing in a little thieve’s cant because it’s who and what they are. I’m hoping it’s still clear what they’re getting at.

      September 29, 2013 at 12:34 pm

  6. Jae

    Great visual excerpt. My only nitpick was in the second paragraph about here: “marveling as he always did at the array of colors encased in its shimmering black surface. You could buy just about anything in the Dunward Market, including enchanted items such as the shimmer ball he now held. One of only three remaining in his pack. He hated to waste it so early in their venture and made a mental note to pick up some more once they got back.”

    I don’t have a problem with this generally, in fact I think it’s well-written. But it seems like this is an intense situation and this slows the intensity down, maybe too much like exposition. Just my nitpicks though, you know your story best.

    September 18, 2013 at 12:19 pm

    • Good point, Jae. I’d agree with you if it weren’t for the fact that Branson is the type who would do just that. He’s not in any immediate danger, and even though Lanster is on the verge of panic, he’s not really that close to being eaten. It takes a bit to get Branson worked up and I’m trying to relay that. But I’ll definitely have to keep an eye on the situations. Maybe cut them back a hair.

      September 29, 2013 at 12:37 pm

  7. I’m enjoying this a lot. One question and it might sound like I’m nitpicking, but I had to reread this several times to understand. I DID understand afterwards but maybe you might like to take a second look (I know this is draft):
    “Branson resituated his pack across his shoulder. Without standing, he grabbed hold of the rope and rolled off the ledge.”

    I didn’t seem clear but he was on his knees or on his butt, or on his side or….See what I mean. Other than this, I’m in the front seat with my popcorn, waiting for more. 🙂

    September 18, 2013 at 2:43 pm

    • Thanks! And feel free to nitpick away. 🙂 I see what you mean. Valid point. I’ll have to make a note of that and fix it when I get to editing stage.

      September 29, 2013 at 12:38 pm

  8. *smirk* Gift for languages. Love the enchanted grenade. 🙂

    I hope your sheepdog competition goes well. 🙂

    September 18, 2013 at 8:34 pm

    • Thanks, ReGi. 🙂 I think I could make a bundle on shimmer balls if I had the magic to actually construct them.

      September 29, 2013 at 12:39 pm

  9. *holds out hands, and turns on the puppy dog eyes* Can *I* have an orb grenade, pretty pretty please?? It would make an awesome little giveaway for when the book is completed and you need to market. The first ten people get an orb grenade and also the book!!

    Kidding aside, loved the dialogue (though the difference in it made me need to read things a little slower so that way my brain didn’t skip words and mix up the order because it’s lame like that) and I don’t think I care to know what the orb grenade blasted into oblivion with its light.

    September 18, 2013 at 11:55 pm

    • Who knew a little ol’ sprakly ball would be sooooo popular. 😀

      I’m glad to be getting positive comments on the dialogue. It’s a risk, blending in the thieve’s cant, because the oddness of it might turn some readers off. I’m trying to use it sparingly and make it sound natural enough that I don’t leave readers scratching their heads.

      September 29, 2013 at 12:48 pm

  10. As always the description in this is lovely and I really enjoyed the dialogue. I totally agree with Branson, it’s not heights that bug me – it’s the fear of falling and dying. Trying to explain that to people is tough though because not many get it!

    September 20, 2013 at 1:04 pm

    • Thanks, Christina. I love that you get the bit about not being afraid of heights. I actually said that to someone and they just couldn’t figure it out. LOL. Oh well.

      September 29, 2013 at 12:51 pm

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