Uncategorized, writing

Dubious Math and a Work in Progress

Happy Wednesday! Today is the day that our most excellent monkey maven, K.L. Schwengel, has designated as WIPpet Wednesday, which involves posting a date-related snippet of one’s work in progress. I’m working on an alternate history of sorts which takes place in a slightly different version of the world from 1880-1930. The theme is that it involves icy regions of the earth – the Antarctica and the Arctic and other desolate and fascinating places and the people who inhabit them (thus, the series is called “Icebound”). Here is the beginning from volume 2, “All Mouth and No Trousers,” currently in progress. My math is suspect, but involves: 27 lines (11+19+2+0+1+4-1)

Commandant Gorge Elderbatch didn’t actually read the letter from his wife until two days after receiving the bundle of mail. He was sitting in his office, laboriously attempting to compose and inspiring speech after delivering the latest round of orders to attain the impossible, create triumph out of disarray, and endure the unendurable for the sake of God, glory, and Shepherd’s Pie. A waft of Mrs. Elderbatch’s perfume rose from the crisp, neatly handwritten letter. She had told him the name of the perfume countless times, but he never could remember it. Something like Athena’s musk or St. Brigid’s Rose Arbor or maybe it was Henley’s Delectable Concoction. Whatever the name actually was, he conjured in his mind and image of his stately, rather prudish, carefully manicured, and pleasant smelling wife. He read the letter all the way through, blinked, wiped at his eyes – for they seemed to suddenly blur everything – and sat for a moment staring at his office wall before reading it again, slower this time.

Dear Gorge,

It is with little regret and great satisfaction that I pen this letter to you now. By the time you receive it, I will have left behind our modest home at 10 Will Bury Ln. and arrived at the sprawling veranda of Rodrigo Rodriguez Scardina’s cattle ranch in Brazil. You and I will have at last ended this farce of a marriage officially – for the vicar Williams assures me that your desertion of me and the children to that God-awful southernmost post is more than cause enough to file for divorce. If it is not, however, adultery on my part should seal the deal entirely. I warned you that if you left you would live to regret it. I imagine you assumed that threat was not something I was prepared to enact.

Miss Electra Yellowsmile appeared in the doorway, her luminous blue eyes attentive. “What was that, sir? I didn’t understand what you were saying.”

It was at that moment the Gorge realized he had been reading the letter aloud. There seemed to be something wrong with his vision, which blurred and sharpened at irregular intervals. And there was a most tremendous throbbing in his temples the likes of which he had never experienced before. A voice rasped out:

“Mrs. Felicia Elderbatch has filed for divorce.”

The voice was a man’s. Since only he and Miss Electra occupied this room, logic told him that the voice was his. It got louder.

“She has taken Phebe, Edward, Maurice, Andrew, Prudence and even Methuselah the dog to South America to live with some bloke named Rodrigo! Do you hear me, Miss Yellowsmile? My wife has left me and filed for divorce!”

“Oh,” Electra responded, a dimple appearing in her pixie-like chin as she frowned, lips downturned in a perfect half-arc. “How very unwise of her.”

Join us if you’re game.

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writing

Tempus Fugit! And works in progress ….

Hello all!

I hope November is treating you right. I’m trucking along. I joined a “mini” NaNoWriMo challenge over on Livejournal with a goal of 750 words per day. I’ve made it every day so far although I can’t say it’s always been easy. I did switch to writing a nonfiction article for several of the days in order to get me through over the weekend. Whatever works, right?

I want to let everyone know about a promotion opportunity that I’ll be participating in this year – and that you can participate in as well. It’s called READ TUESDAY and it takes place on December 9, 2014. Learn more on the website http://readtuesday.com/

Now for my work in progress (WIPpet) which is supposed to take place on Wednesday every week. I’m just a little early. And we’ll gloss over the fact that I haven’t participated at all for the past two weeks. I’ve been doing stuff. Making mosaics of dubious quality, selling cockatiels, riding bikes with my dogs, taking painkillers for an ornery hip, and eating FAR too much. Among other things. And time management? So not my forte. Or even calendar management. I should just accept that about myself and remain an intermittent participant, it seems.

Ahem.

Okay, K.L. Schwengel is the organizer of this weekly affair, which involves posting a date-related snippet of one’s work in progress. I’m working on an alternate history of sorts which takes place in a slightly different version of the world from 1880-1930. The theme is that it involves icy regions of the earth – the Antarctica and the Arctic and other desolate and fascinating places and the hunky dudes people who inhabit them (thus, the series is called “Icebound”). Here is the beginning from volume 2, “All Mouth and No Trousers,” currently in progress. For your enjoyment here is 11 sentences for the month of November and an extra sentence as a bonus. Some of you may remember Electa from previous snippets. Written quick and dirty, without editing, which is probably all too apparent. Oh, I should probably note that I know nothing about military ranks, British or otherwise, but that is something I will fix before finishing the story.

Of all the foes Commandant Gorge Elderbatch had fought in his thirty-odd years as a British naval officer – enemy combatants, pirates, insubordinates, pestilence, penury, and probably some other he couldn’t think of off the fly – one stood out above the others. One who was the most difficult, the most intractable, the most completely infuriating. That one was his secretary, Miss Electa Yellowsmile.

Oh, she looked harmless enough. Young enough to be his daughter – twenty or twenty-five at the most – all of 105 pounds soaking wet, most slender and willowy, doll-like with her perfect blonde hair and clear wide blue eyes, her long and delicate fingers and tapping away on the Smith Premier typewriter, unfazed by his rather imposing (if he did say so himself) presence. 

“You will most certainly retype that order, Miss Yellowsmile,” he instructed, jabbing his finger at the trash bin like a bayonet. She had taken one look at the order for two boxes of premium cigars and six tins of grade A snuff and ripped it down the center before depositing it in the waste can.

Outrageous! Indubitably and irrefutably outrageous!

Electa continued typing for several excruciating moments, posture erect, crisp lace collar shockingly white and open slightly to reveal the unblemished skin of her pale neck. Her eyes flicked to his scribbled notes at her right and her smooth, painted red fingernails created a discordant staccato on the keys with practiced efficiency.

“Miss Yellowsmile, do me the honor of looking me in the eye when you commit mutiny!”

That got her attention.

That’s it for this week. Join in if you like:

Uncategorized, writing

Greener — no, Whiter Pastures

Happy Wednesday, everyone! Last week found me freaking the heck out over a hellacious car repair bill and other personal drama and I was a bit of a basket case. I didn’t even answer comments to my post – my apologies! This week has been much better, though. I’m a freelance writer of various educational projects but I’ve been getting burned out on that front lately. I’ve done a few children’s nonfiction books work for hire (my name wasn’t on them) and I so enjoyed them that I’ve really been wanting to do more – and Tuesday I was offered that chance for a new client. YAY! And this book will actually have my name on it! Amazing!! I’m jazzed.

Source
Source

Wednesday is the day I join K. L. Schwengel‘s band of merry writers in doling out a date-related snippet of my work in progress. Today I have 18 paragraphs from my story Whiter Pastures. Don’t worry – they’re mostly short. Florance is struggling with a load of coal when …

She had gone no more than a dozen yards when suddenly the weight in her right hand vanished.

“Let me help you with that, miss,” said a warm, strong male voice.

“Oh!” Florance squeaked in surprise. “Why thank you, sir.”

A flash of white teeth and a cheerful grin. Lively brown eyes met hers.

“My pleasure, you can be sure.”

She glanced at him as they walked. Younger than her, most probably. A foot taller at least. Thick dark hair neatly combed back around a zigzagging side part. And a face that she found utterly, completely, transformatively gorgeous in all ways. She tried to control her burgeoning excitement. He must have arrived on this morning’s ship. She would certainly have recognized him otherwise.

Source
Source

On the steps of the administration building he paused, looking out at the post as people scurried about hatless and in shirtsleeves. At 35° she was practically sweating herself.

He looked vaguely troubled. “I was sure it would be different here.”

“In what way, sir?”

His eyes flickered to hers, and he gave a rueful smile. “Greener.”

She didn’t understand for a moment. Out here, green was for tinned vegetables and putrefying wounds, nothing else. Then she realized what he meant.

“Glory be, not another one! No one told you that you are headed to Mason’s Point and not Mason’s Mill?”

He shook his head mournfully.

“And that Mason’s Point lay in Antarctica?”

“Australia… Antarctica. They sound a bit alike.”

No, love, she thought. They really don’t.

“If it’s any consolation, you’re not the first to have made that same mistake.”

“I’m afraid I need a bit more than consolation right now,” he said, looking rather crestfallen about the whole situation.

That’s it for this week. Join in if you like:

Uncategorized, writing

Switching Gears Yet Again

Welcome to another version of WIPpet, the work in progress extravaganza run by the intrepid K.L. Schwengel. To participate, make sure the snippet of your work in progress has something – however tenuous – to do with today’s date. I’m going short and sweet today, and switching gears as I do so frequently. Last week I posted a bit from my children’s nonfiction history book – thankfully I was able to send out the requested chapters to an agent who displayed the barest hint of interest in it, so now there’s nothing to do but wait and drive myself up the wall, or work on something else entirely. This snippet is from Whiter Pastures, the first volume of my Icebound series, which is a sort of alternate history of the polar regions of the planet from about 1880 – 1930. Here is 18 sentences (10 + 8 = 189) from the story’s beginning. All comments, reactions, whatever are welcome. Oh, and the rather unusual spellings of the names are intentional.

The coal pan in the bottom of the room heater had jammed again. Florance tried all her usual fixes: shoving it in further and yanking it out quickly, shimmying it from side to side, wedging the metal handle of her favorite scrub brush in it to pry it open, but nothing would work.

“Do you have to make such a racket, girl?” Electa said in a voice which somehow managed to communicate boredom, disdain, and irritation all at once. She didn’t bother looking up from her typewriter. She was plucking the keys one by one, hunting and pecking for each one as if she were a particularly choosy hen searching for the perfect piece of corn.

Florance gritted her teeth. Electa knew her name – Florance had informed her of it on at least three separate occasions – but she couldn’t be bothered to call her anything other than girl. When she deigned to speak to her at all, that is.

It vexed Florance that people insisted upon referring to her as a girl when eternal spinsterhood was drawing ever nearer the closer she got to 30. Florance knew the reason for it, though. She was a rather quiet person usually, not a stupid one. The help always had to scurry around – seen but not heard — while the decent people went on with the important work. Her ability to be so very invisible had brought her here to begin with, after all.

With a discordant screech, the coal pan slid free, unbalancing Florance so that she landed squarely on her bustle. Coal dust puffed up in a cloud around her. Florance sneezed. Electa rolled her kohl-lined, brilliantly-blue eyes in exasperation.

That’s it for this week. Join along if you like:

Uncategorized, writing

Bring Out Your Dead! The WIPpet Version

Oh, dear. I’ve once again missed a couple weeks of WIPpet Wednesday! *flogs self with wet noodle* I’m afraid I’m chronically overscheduled and that catches up to me on a regular basis! Today I’m participating, though. Hurray! I’m afraid I’m going to inflict a rather morbid snippet on you today, though. I’m working on a children’s nonfiction book about the Black Death and the 1918 Influenza Pandemic. There must be some gruesome children out there somewhere that want to read such a thing, right? 🙂

Since today is October 1st, I will post the first 10 paragraphs of Chapter 2. This is nonfiction but I think you’ll see that it does use some fiction techniques. Please let me know if you think this is too heavy and dark for a 12 year old. And any other observations you might have as well, of course!

Agnolo di Tura knelt next to the grave, shoulders slumped and head bowed. His shovel cast aside, he smoothed the last of the rich black soil to form a mound. His eyes burned, but he did not weep. Perhaps he had, at last, run all out of tears.

Nearby, two mongrels fought over the bright blue sleeve of a woman’s dress that stuck out of the ground. One of the dogs had unearthed it from a hastily buried corpse. Snatching up a nearby dirt clod, Agnolo threw it at them.

“Go away, you cursed beasts!”

The clod broke apart at the feet of the dogs, but it was enough to startle them into stopping their fight. Tails tucked and ears flattened, they separated and slunk away a few feet, watching Agnolo with suspicion.

He got to his feet, and took a few steps toward them, repeating, “Go, I say!”

One trotted away, its black tail held high. The other, a small brown and white speckled female, withdrew behind a clump of bushes. She might have been some lady’s pampered lap dog in former days. Now, though, her ribs stuck out from hunger and her coat no longer shone. She would be back after he left. At least she could not get at his child, buried before him. He had made sure to dig the grave deep enough and to fill it in with care.

He had done the same for his other loved ones, including his wife. Graves lay clustered under an oak tree where in happier times, the family had come. The hill overlooked Siena, a fine spot for picnicking while the children laughed and played games around them.

The Beginning of the End

The numbers of the dead had grown so large with such terrible speed that burial had become an option instead of a necessity, as it once was. Once, the dead would be carried through the streets on a platform called a bier, the priest at the head of the line chanting prayers. The death bell would sound. Weeping family members would follow. The corpse would then be buried in the cemetery, in holy ground.

With frightening quickness, that all changed as the plague devoured one after another. One bier now held two or three corpses, often members of the same family. Husband and wife, brother and sister, father and son, and so on. A funeral procession winding through the streets would be joined by two or three others spontaneously. One funeral, then, might start out to bury one or two people, and end up burying six or eight. One grave would bury several people. Then, that would not do. Trenches were dug and hundreds were buried at one time, piled one on top of another like goods on a store shelf. No one could find a priest to speak over the graves. Carts rattled through the streets, piled with corpses. People left their dead in the doorway to be picked up and placed on these carts.

When the plague first came back in May 1348, it seemed no different from other plagues. They came from time to time, an unfortunate fact of life. Some would recover from the sickness, and others would not. Soon, though, the horror of the Black Death became clear. No one had ever seen anything like it before.

Come join the fun, started by K.L. Schwengel, by clicking below to read more excerpts from works in progress, or if you’re feeling REALLY daring, post your own:

Uncategorized, writing

Whip It – WIPpet Good … and a Request!

I always want to belt out Devo on Wednesdays, for some reason. Before I get into the work in progress snippet (WIPpet), I have a request to make. I’m trying to get a couple of my short story collections free on Amazon (US, UK, CA, etc.). In order for Amazon to do that, I need different people to report that there’s a lower price on the collections elsewhere. So what you would do is visit the link associated with your country:

The Ruling Elite and Other Stories

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00NBLUWA8

http://www.amazon.ca/dp/B00NBLUWA8

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00NBLUWA8

http://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B00NBLUWA8

and scroll down to the PRODUCT DETAILS section. If you are logged in, you should see an option that says, “tell us about a lower price.” Click it and fill out the short form. You will need a link for the free copy, which is here: https://itunes.apple.com/ie/book/ruling-elite-other-stories/id909160062?mt=11 or http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-ruling-elite-and-other-stories-xina-marie-uhl/1120171102?ean=2940046102932

I also have a need for the same to be done for this collection (US is already done):

A Fairy Tail and Out of the Bag

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Fairy-Tail-Out-Bag-ebook/dp/B00KF4KWJK/

http://www.amazon.ca/Fairy-Tail-Out-Bag-ebook/dp/B00KF4KWJK/

http://www.amazon.com.au/Fairy-Tail-Out-Bag-ebook/dp/B00KF4KWJK/

It is FREE over here: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-fairy-tail-and-out-of-the-bag-xina-marie-uhl/1119478347?ean=2940045937207 and https://itunes.apple.com/ie/book/a-fairy-tail-and-out-of-the-bag/id878181819?mt=11

Hugs, kisses, and big, giant THANKS for helping me out!

Now, to my WIPpet. It is a short 10 sentences (for the 10th day of September) of The King’s Champion. Young Lance is training to be a member of the prince’s guard.

One morning, Uffen, who had the annoying habit of bursting into cheerful song at the crack of dawn, bounded up while I lay on my cot rubbing sleep out of my eyes.

            “We’re having a war!”

            Fear squeezed my stomach. I sat straight up. “The king has declared it?”

            “No, you dolt. A practice war. Many of the city guards will join us.”

            “Not to mention the prince,” Shar commented. He was standing in front of the open door, scratching his crotch.

Come join the fun, started by K.L. Schwengel, by clicking below to read more excerpts from works in progress, or if you’re feeling REALLY daring, post your own:

humor, Uncategorized, writing

Action on the Training Field

Who’s having a good week? I am, and I hope that you are, too! I’ve been making my way through Rayne Hall’s Twitter for Writers and really enjoying myself as I dip my toes back into those fast-moving social media waters. I actually have a strategy this time around which is good because Twitter is all too easy to spend hours and hours on each day.

Today I am posting from my YA epic fantasy novel The King’s Champion. Here, bumbling young Lance, newly arrived in the city from the countryside, tries out his grandfather’s sword. In true WIPpet (work in progress snippet) fashion I have added up a bunch of numbers related to the date to figure out how many paragraphs to post: 9+3 (month and day) +1 + 4 (last two digits of the year) = 17. Don’t worry, though, most of the paragraphs are not very long at all.

As always, I am embarrassingly grateful for constructive criticism and comments.

The sounds of sword fighting wakened me early the next morning. Staggering upright, I dressed, splashed water on my face, and went outside the barrack, yawning.

Carter and the others from yesterday stood on the training field in front of the barrack, fighting each other in groups of two. Carter shouted a suggestion here, an encouragement there, in a loud voice. He glanced over and saw me.

“Boy!” he boomed. “Do you want to try out that half-wrecked twig of a sword I saw you with yesterday?”

“Yes, sir!” I cried, my heart leaping in anticipation.

I ran inside, threw on my boots, and grabbed my sword. Outside, Carter broke up the duo fighting nearest him.

“Kenton, go a round with young Lance, here,” he told one a squat, dark-skinned man nearby.

Kenton looked at me and grinned, revealing a broken front tooth filed to a point like a spike.

I took up a stance in front of Kenton. He scarcely gave me a moment to center myself before he rushed at me, howling. I let out a surprised cry as he launched a stroke designed to chop off my head. Survival instincts flaring, I ducked and elbowed him in the gut. Skittering backwards, I let fly with a wild chop that sliced clean through a hank of Kenton’s thick dark hair. The men standing around us fell abruptly silent.

Kenton froze, then put a hand to his hair in dull surprise. He turned to me with a snarl of rage.

“I will chop you up into little pieces for that, boy.”

A wild exhilaration filled me. “Try and I’ll trim your whole head!”

Kenton gave another roar and unleashed a vicious round of blows at me. I fended them off with limited success, catching a jab in the ribs, a slap on the arm and a ringing swipe to the head. I managed to get in a good swat to his right side, unbalancing him. Backing up quickly, I found myself near the barrack wall. Shaddai! I took a few steps forward, trying to reposition myself.

Kenton snorted like a mad bull and pawed the earth. Lowering his head, he ran at me, powerful legs pumping his body forward with tremendous speed. I believe he intended to hit me in the stomach and knock the wind out of me. That might have worked if I hadn’t twisted aside at the last instant. Kenton hit the barrack wall head on. He sprawled on the ground, semi-conscious.

The others surrounded me, laughing and patting me on the back. Carter came up also, grinning.

“Good job, lad.”

I looked worriedly at Kenton’s inert figure. “Is he–?”

“Oh, don’t worry about him. Marl, Uffen, haul Kenton over to the doctor. He’ll be all right. He’s strange about his hair, that’s all.”

Come join the fun, started by K.L. Schwengel, by clicking below to read more excerpts from works in progress, or if you’re feeling REALLY daring, post your own:

Uncategorized, writing

Let’s Try This Again … WIPpet!

Today is Wednesday all ready! Man, the weeks go flying by these days. I spent the last week productively, however. After pondering on the comments everyone made on the beginning of my epic fantasy novel last week, I decided to rewrite it. It just lacked energy and humor and it didn’t really grab the reader. I hope you’ll all let me know what you think of this beginning instead. The connection with the date is that (mumble mumble, flails around for something) I’m posting it today, on a WIPpet day!  *grins and cringes*

Chapter 1

Take it from me. Adventuring all by yourself sounds better than it really is.

First, there’s the hunger. Just how many rutabagas and strips of dried pork can you carry? Not more than a week’s worth. Hunting and gathering may yield a straggly bunny or two and a few handfuls of cranberries shriveled and dried on the bush … nowhere near enough.

Next, there’s the confusion. I lost the trail several times despite the map father had scratched out on a deer hide back in my village.

I hardly need to mention the general discomfort of sore feet, attacking chiggers, rancid waterholes, and disturbingly close howls of wild beasts as I tried to sleep.

Last night, thunderstorms got added to the list. Specifically, crashing, freezing, hide-in-a-cave and shiver-all-night thunderstorms that leave slippery, splashing, stinking mud puddles everywhere.

Immediately after sighting the three riders heading toward me, I tripped and skidded into one of these very puddles. I leapt to my feet, not even taking time to curse over the soaking.

“Ho there, young sir!” boomed a big, dark-faced fellow a few pounds too heavy for the comfort of his horse. His teeth gleamed in the noonday sun. “Taking a bath, are you?”

“Err … ho there!” I called, grinning like an idiot and waving so energetically that water sprayed in ten foot arcs from my sodden shirt.

How I longed for companions on my lonely journey! Or, failing that, at least a shared meal.

The only other person I’d met on the road so far was an aging prostitute riding a sway-backed mule. She tried to trade for some of my rutabagas with her body. I couldn’t have run away any faster even if my hair was on fire.

All at once, I remembered the traditional greeting. “Welcome in Shaddai’s peace.” 

The riders each wore scraggly, faded leathers. Their unshaven faces and dirty, weary-looking mounts told me that they had been traveling for a while. Not that I looked much more respectable, with mud dripping off my tangled hair.

They formed a semi-circle around me. The one who had hailed me lost his smile. “Shaddai’s peace? A pox on it!”

Alarm squeezed me low in the gut…

Come join the fun, started by K.L. Schwengel by clicking below:

Also, who’s on twitter? Please leave your username in the comments and I’ll follow you.

 

 

Uncategorized, writing

WIPping up a Frenzy

Hello my friends! Today is a WIPpet day (work-in-progress snippet, to those who are new to this word). It is posted as part of a challenge hosted by K.L. Schwengel, and needs to have something to do with today’s date (8/13…8+13 = 21). Therefore, today I’m posting 21 sentences from the beginning of a fantasy novel that I’m currently revising/fretting about/screeching incoherently due to and I would REALLY appreciate your reaction to it since this selection is from the very first page. Mainly, I’m wondering if it’s something that entices you to read more or not and what questions it brings to mind.

I had just picked myself out of the mud puddle I’d stumbled into when I spotted the riders. Freezing in place, I strained to make out who they were, wondering if I should conceal myself until I got a better look at them. Under normal affairs, I’m not quite so wary. But since I had left my village and traveled alone across the wide, wild expanse of country between home and the thriving capital city of Lor, I had learned the benefit of suspicion.

The riders consisted of three men on horseback, traveling from the west across a wide, empty meadow toward me. Hiding, I decided, would profit nothing. They must have seen me already. I stood revealed at the base of a gentle hill, for once bare of thorn bushes, gnarled trees, and annoying rocks–everything but mud. If all went well I might have found companions on my lonely journey; or perhaps at least a shared meal.

As the three neared, I saw that they wore scraggly, faded leathers. Their unshaven faces and dirty, weary-looking mounts told me that they had been traveling for a while. I didn’t look all that respectable myself, with mud-covered boots and breeches and a tattered shirt.

A rusty, deep voice called out, “Ho there, young sir!”

“Ho there!” I replied, and then gave the traditional greeting, “Well met in Shaddai’s peace.”

The riders formed a semi-circle around me. The one who had hailed me, a big, dark-faced fellow a few pounds too heavy for the comfort of his horse, said, “Shaddai’s peace? A pox on it!”

I observed them. The man on the speaker’s right had orange-red hair and an explosion of freckles covering his face and arms. The third man was swarthy; likely a desert dweller, the first I had seen.

“Look, it’s one of them cowardly farmers from the Golden Hills,” Red-hair sneered. “Out picking flowers for your mother, whelp?”

Visit my fellow WIPpet participants here, or join the fun yourself:

 

Also, my WordPress account seems to have gotten disconnected from my twitter page (which was down for a while due to a hacking I experienced but is now up again at @xuwriter) and it doesn’t seem to want to be reconnected even when I refresh it. Has anyone else dealt with this?

Cover reveal, Uncategorized, writing

Revive Us, Oh WIPpeteers!

Hello my friends! I have been absent for a long time now, either leaving on long road trips or heading down to San Diego for the pop culture explosion that is Comic Con or laboring on other projects that have somehow kept me from posting.

Today is the day of the week where I share a little snippet of my work in progress, thus, a WIPpet. It is posted as part of a challenge hosted by K.L. Schwengel. My WIPpet needs to have something to do with today’s date. And so, today’s snippet relies on WIPpet math – the sixth paragraph on page 8 (for 8/6/14). I’m revising this fantasy novel and it is giving me absolute FITS. I second guess myself so often and worry and fret and in general make myself a mess. Anyhow, I think I know the best path to take now, after much agita. Time will tell, I suppose.

Anyhow, in this scene young Lance has been drugged by some brigands but has managed to escape. He’s staggered through the wilderness until …

I don’t know how much time went by, at most possibly another day, for I vaguely remember night falling again. I remember nothing else, save one muddled instance: someone bending over me, a hand grasping my chin, and raising my head. A blurry face stared into mine. Vague alarm clawed at my mind, but I couldn’t seem to summon the energy to struggle. After a moment, I could no longer even keep my eyes open.

The world drifted away and I knew no more.

Visit my fellow WIPpet participants here, or join the fun yourself:

In other news, just last night I published another free short story collection (this one accessible to my non-American friends!) over this away:

Ruling Elite_small

Oh, dear, I just realized that I forgot to credit my cover artist – the indubitable Karri Klawiter. I’ll have to update the file. Anyhow, isn’t she fantastic? Here’s the blurb for the collection:

In The Ruling Elite and Other Stories by Xina Marie Uhl and Janet Loftis you’ll find a collection of short fiction that fuses fantasy with history and anthropology. Hidden within the pages are a slave-mercenary struggling to save the life of his mistress, a palace guard defending his city against the destroyer of prophecy, a wanderer who brings more than just past grief into the lives of four sisters, two men who go on a dangerous hunt to kill the witches destroying their village, an outcast trying to outwit the village oracle and get justice for her murdered mother, and a captain who discovers how high the cost is to return the dead to their rightful homes.

Available now for free at Smashwords