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WIPpet Wednesday Has Come Again

Boy, oh boy, these Wednesdays sure role around quickly, don’t they? I’m a bit off kilter today since I woke up at 2 am and couldn’t get back to sleep until 5 am… and somewhere in that insomnia I thought it was Thursday. That’s one of the problems of working from home – you tend to forget what day it is and devolve socially altogether. The remedy for that is to get a bunch of dogs. I have three of them, at latest count.

Yeah, I know it’s a bit of a non sequitur, but that’s my story and I’m sticking with it.

Since the weekly work in progress snippet (thus, WIPpet) must have something to do with the date, today I’m posting eight lines (+1 for clarity’s sake) from the 27th paragraph of the epic fantasy novel I’m currently revising.

Bumbling young hero Lance has just been accosted by brigands.

            Very shortly they were shoving a bitter, dry plant down my throat. I choked and gagged, whipping my head around until they held me securely and forced the awful thing down my throat. After kicking and jerking for a while longer, I then slowed down and slumped over quite convincingly, my eyes still open, but inattentive.

            They tied my hands and threw me to the ground. I lay there perfectly still, the cool mud pressing against my cheek, while the others set about preparing their supper. We had used the kantas root at home as a poison to keep small animals from our fields, but given to a man in sufficient doses it produces a paralyzing effect for up to several days. Smaller quantities, however, produces a mild drunkenness. My friends and I had discovered this while chewing it in secret behind the smokehouse. Despite what I’d led my assailants to believe, the drug had hardly affected me, save for a slight throbbing headache.

What will befall him? Much excitement, for sure! Come join the fun, started by K.L. Schwengel by clicking below:

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26 thoughts on “WIPpet Wednesday Has Come Again”

  1. Bahahaha! It reminds me a little of the Wesley vs. Vicini scene in Princess Bride. 🙂 Love it! Clever kid.

    I sympathize with the weekday confusion. For several years Beloved worked Tue.-Sat. while I homeschooled the kids. I can’t tell you how many times one of my friends said “We could get together tomorrow around 10?” and I asked if they had the day off school. “Duh. It’s Saturday. The rest of us are on normal schedules, remember?” 😛

      1. Me, too! My Accomplice in Mischief is a chef, and has Monday and Tuesdays off. We unschool, so not even a “lesson” schedule to remind me what day it is. If I didn’t have access to calendars, I might never know!

        And this coming week – Labor Day, then my son’s birthday (#13!!!!!), then an extra day off for my AIM, then a trip to NYC…uh, yeah. I’ll be scheduling my WIPpet today, so that I don’t forget to post it! =D

    1. Haha! That’s a good one! I love Princes Bride. OMG I see from your profile that you live in Anchorage. I’m OBSESSED with Alaska! I watch Yukon Men, Alaska’s Last Frontier, and whatever other reality shows about the state that don’t bore me with stupidity. In fact, I’m starting a new series of short stories based on living in cold climates called Icebound. Maybe I could ask you for advice sometimes? (born and raised in Phoenix and now living in Southern California, haha)

      1. I’d be happy to answer any questions you have! But I should warn you, I’m one of the rather large number of people who settled here from another state (Cali, in fact). I only spent a couple weeks living in the boonies before moving to Anchorage. I have friends in the boonies, though, and know a few people who have spent significant time in the villages. If there’s a question I can’t answer, I can ask one of them for you.

        I can’t speak for her, but Alana Terry also lives up here. Our alter-egos are besties. 🙂 (So are our author-egos.) She’s spent more time than I in the boonies.

        1. Oooooh, thank you so much! I do so love the boonies, but I’m sure you have information that’s valuable just living in the city as well. Like, how long did it take you to acclimate when moving from Cali? Did you freeze the first winter? What are those winters like, emotionally? I’ve read that Alaska has the highest percentage of antidepressant users in the states! I imagine it’s a combination of the long darkness and the personality type that moves there?

          Thanks for the heads up about Alana Terry! I’ll bug her as well, haha!

          1. Acclimation:
            After 11 years, I’m still not completely acclimated. Following Alana’s example last year, I wore only a sweatshirt clear down to 32 degrees and did better last winter, but I still get cold even in summer. On the other hand, 70 on a sunny day feels nice – even hot, if there’s no breeze – when it would have been chilly when I was living in Cali. (I used to shiver violently at 60 degrees.) If there’s any cloud cover, though, I can’t seem to keep myself warm for long. Alana is much better acclimated than I. My husband copes with the cold well and my children (3 of which were born here anyway) are well-suited to it. The eldest doesn’t like it, but she’ll go skiing if she has the opportunity.

            Emotionally
            Antidepressants are very common. The problem stems from many factors, not the least of which is the extended hours of dark and light. Winters are murder for anyone who gets Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D.). In winter, it’s mostly because of the lowered levels of Vitamin D we make, but some of us need more than just Vitamin D supplements in order to function. It’s possible to be taking enough Vit. D and feeling fine, but not be truly functional. S.A.D. affects some people in summer as well as winter, myself included. However, summer S.A.D. produces a manic phase rather than a depressed phase. Suicide rates are close to equivalent in winter and summer.

            In Anchorage, a large percentage of the population is derived from military families and oil-company higher-ups that are moved every 3 to 4 years just like military families. Also, there are many “slope-families”. Military folks often bring their own issues with them due to the long periods of separation, frequent moving, PTSD, etc. Oil company families usually have it pretty good, but they experience the same family upheaval every time they have to move for work. Slope-families are usually long-term residents, but they have on-again-off-again schedules that involve the slope-worker leaving the home for two or three weeks at a time and then returning for two or three weeks, requiring constant adjustment. This puts a lot of strain on young families. To top that off, a lot of the work is seasonal and dependent on weather, so if you don’t make enough during your on months, your off months are going to be difficult. Adding the long, cold, dark winters doesn’t often help with any of those issues. The majority of people who move here on purpose, though, actually don’t have much trouble with S.A.D. Some of them stay specifically because they thrive on the extremes.

            For myself, winters used to cause a lot of dread. They were horrific, emotionally dark times that translated into a disaster of a home, terrible despair, and a lot of temper tantrums. I feared them so much, I’d start wilting in August. I can’t take anti-depressants (bad, Bad, BAD drugs!!!), so it took me a while to figure out what balance of supplements would work out. Once I got my personal formula down, though, they stopped being intimidating. Now they’re just annoying. 😛 After I figured that out, I discovered the summer S.A.D. That was easier to deal with.

            Even with all that, though, I didn’t want to leave. It’s a good place to raise kids if you take the time to look out for them. Especially special needs kids (I have 3). The state works hard to ensure that everyone has easy access to adequate healthcare and even provides generous school-stuff funding for homeschooling families, like us. 🙂 Essentially, if I want a certain therapy for one of my kids, he/she gets it. If I want a specialized curriculum, it’s mine. The only thing that’s tricky is specialized furniture. That takes hoop-jumping, but it can be done. And there’s no state or sales tax. 😛 (Of course, groceries cost an arm and a leg and good produce is difficult to get, but, you know, hey! Nothing is perfect.)

            Something: “Native Alaskan” means anyone born here, regardless of ethnicity; “Alaska Native” means Native Americans belonging to any of the Alaskan tribes.

            Anyway, that’s probably more than you were really asking for at the moment. I hope it’s at least a little interesting. 🙂

            1. WOW! So much great information here, Regi! I’m in awe of how you had the gumption to move to Alaska even though you got cold in CA! Great suggestion about wearing just a sweatshirt even to 32 degrees. I saw old pictures of the first Antarctic explorers and they also seemed to wear only their sweatshirts!

              I’m sorry to hear that you’ve struggled with SAD. I’ve had many, many struggles with depression myself and I wouldn’t wish them on anyone. One day at a time, I guess. Having three special needs kids must take a lot of coordination and energy. I’m glad the state is helpful.

              That’s interesting what you say about SAD making people manic in the summer. Our minds are such mysterious things, still.

              Thanks again, ReGi! Very helpful!

  2. That last part (like ReGi mentioned) reminds me of, “I spent the last 5 years building up a tolerance to Iocaine powder.” LOL! Too funny. I’m interested to see what happens next!

  3. I work full-time and I still have day confusion. The worst is coming in to work and thinking it’s Friday when it’s really only Tuesday or Wednesday. *sigh* Or when I wake up really early on the weekend and lay there trying to figure out in my sleep-addled brain if I’m supposed to be getting up and going to work.

    I see Ruth beat me to the punch on the ‘down my throat’ repetition. 🙂 I do have one other nit. “After kicking and jerking for a while longer, I then slowed down…” It’s rather too much telling and I’d rather you show this.

    1. Oops, hit ‘Post’ too soon. I do love that he’s pulling one over on them, though. I can’t wait to see how he gets out of this.

    2. Oooh – thanks for the crit! I do so need it and appreciate it loads!

      Alas, I’ve never really been a full timer; it exhausts me to the point of incoherence and unfortunately I have less energy than ever now that I’m in menopause. What’s THAT all about?? 🙂

  4. To me, the first paragraph felt – detached and almost out of his body. More of the type of sensory impressions in the second paragraph, like the feel of the mud against his cheek, would bring added life to it, I think.

    Maybe focus on other senses, Do these men stink? What do their hands feel like? does Lance suffer any abrasions in the struggle? Kick someone in the groin or the gut? A couple of small details would go a long way here.

    And Lance is certainly a clever boy. I think I like him!

      1. I’m happy to help – and I do tend to notice mistakes I make often myself. Noticing them in other’s work also helps me to notice them in my own – useful for us both!

        And another of many reasons I love WIPpet Wednesday!

  5. Okay, I’m a bit sadistic and enjoy when the hero gets in some trouble that lends him at the mercy of captors getting tied up or oppressed somehow. *grins* Yeah, it’s always been a kink of mine. Having said that, I’m sad that this dude is going to be getting away relatively soon. I like your description of the moment. I just wish he was in more trouble than it sounds like! LOL 😉

  6. Insomnia is the most awful thing. I hate staring at the clock and watching minutes go by. Then I’m afraid to fall asleep after a couple of hours and sleep in.

    The excerpt is very clever! I like when characters find unlikely paths out! Lol

    1. I hear you about insomnia! I had it again last night, but it was due to family drama. Sigh. Sometimes relationships are not easy. All is well now though so hopefully tonight I”ll be tired enough to sleep like a baby!

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