You’ve Got Time – A WIPpet Wednesday Special

Boy do I have happy news to share!  Amid my newfound obsession with ‘Orange is the New Black’ (hence the title.  If any of you watch the show, I LOVE the theme song) I have made some awesome time for editing!  I feel quite proud of myself, because I have been binge-watching Orange is the New Black.

I have four chapters left before I can hand Spellbound over to Adrian and other beta readers.  Sooooo happy about that!  My goal is to join NaNo in July and write 30k for the month.  That would be a glorious start to the second book, ‘Captured’ in the How You Found Me series.  I need to do some plot structuring if I’m going to get that done.

The past two weeks have been wonderful.  Spent some great time with family and celebrating the hubby’s birthday and retreating to a bed and breakfast for some relaxation and fun, and just… loving life.

Also, I’ve got some exciting news.  I’ve been working with an illustrator, Mike Hamlett, and he’s going to have some character illustrations for me to show here pretty soon.  I will be able to introduce you guys to a few characters!  Sqweeee!

So onto WIPpet Wednesday.  It’s the 11th day, so here’s 11 paragraphs.  I’m giving you a little bit of action, and I think the piece explains enough information for you to understand what’s going on.

* * * *

It all happened so fast.  One instant Terry was turning around, frozen with shock at the unexpected appearance of the infamous Akira, the next instant he was blinded by a flash of green light that disoriented and stunned him.  When Fairview Park swam back into focus, James was unconscious on the ground and he, Officer Avery, and Aaron were surrounded by an army of minions, their arms held securely by thick grubby hands.

Akira’s emerald eyes glowed amidst the settling darkness, staring down at James like opalescent lanterns.  Terry could make out the deep forest green of her gown, glittering with jewels that sparkled like the stars now peppering the sky.  The gown cinched at the waist and flowed outward, the bottom of it billowing as she reached out her foot to kick James in the chest.  James didn’t move.

Terry cried out, struggling to untangle himself and help James, but this was not like the fight he’d had only moments ago.  Rough sausage-like fingers dug into his arms in a vice-grip he couldn’t break.  It confused him; he’d gotten out of their grasp earlier, so what had changed?  He could make out the dark figures of Aaron and Officer Avery struggling against the minions, but they weren’t making any headway.

The alien sorceress let out a throaty chuckle, her ears deaf to the sounds of Terry and the others.  Her gaze rested fixedly on the crumpled form of James.

“I finally have you, Red Defender,” she said softly.

At those words, Terry stopped his struggling, hanging limp in the grasp of the two minions.  A cold shiver raced down his spine.  What?

“You are going to watch this town fall at my feet,” Akira continued, addressing the unconscious James.  “You will see your fellow Defenders draw into my grasp, and you are going to witness their life squeeze through my fingers.  I have you!”  Akira laughed, hard and rasping.

James remained silent, unmoving.

Akira’s earlier words drummed against Terry’s skull, ricocheting like a ping-pong ball.  Red Defender, Red Defender. . .

James was the Red Defender?  All this time!?

Akira’s luminescent gaze trailed over and locked onto Terry, her white pointed teeth glistening.  “You,” Akira demanded, sauntering over to him.  She stopped a few feet away.  “I have been watching you.  You fight well—” she paused with a sneer, “—for a human.”

* * * *

Grammar question for you, because I’ve been back and forth on this.  Minion is technically a general term.  At first I was capitalizing it because that is their names and how I announce them.  In Spellbound, my villainess Akira has Minions, and Golems as her battle creatures.  In the piece, I have minion in lower case because I started to overthink the situation.  So I am asking you, writers, for your opinion on what you think would be grammatically correct.

Thanks KL Schwengel for hosting this each week, and please go check out the other fabulous WIPpeteers to see what shannanigans they’re up to.

iiiiiiii’m baaaaaaaack!!

Hello! I am off my hiatus! I took my test, and I get to wait ‘up to 8 weeks’ for them to mail results and tell me whether or not I passed. I feel like I did because I studied very dutifully, but there’s always that seed of doubt that says “You know for sure you got at least ten questions wrong. What if there were MORE, and you were over-confident and read the question wrong and you KNOW the answer but you didn’t MARK the right answer and they decided not to grade the test on a curve and they increased the percentage you have to pass and it’s 90% and you’re SCREWED.”

Yeah. Stuff like that.

But I think I passed.

If you see me crying on Facebook in a few weeks, you’ll know I didn’t.

But! I’m back! I have my life back! My husband has begged to teach me Magic, so I’ve played a few games because I CAN. And I’ve been editing again. I hope you all don’t mind that I still share Spellbound through its editing stages, because I want to be a part of WIPpet, and I haven’t written anything new from my Superman fanfiction story, so… I still want to share Spellbound. In my head, the story is complete, but it is NOT finished.

So I present to you on the 21st of Wednesday twelve shortish paragraphs of Spellbound, because 21 backwards is 12.  From a while back, you may recall that James had an ex-girlfriend, Rachel.  I shared a scene where she came out in telling him she knew he was gay.  Because of your responses, that scene with Rachel was originally very short.  I expanded it and shared with you the full scene.  Well, now I am sharing with you another scene that I felt was needed for their character background: the break-up.

So here it is.

* * * *

James grimaced as a particular memory wormed its way to the surface.

                  “What about him?”

                  Rachel pointed to a blond-haired guy sporting a black fedora.  A checkered black-and-white collar popped up beneath a bright purple V-neck sweater vest and denim jeans with embroidered back pockets. 

                 “He’s probably gay, look at how he walks.”  Rachel tilted her head to the side in contemplation while staring at the retreating form.  “And he’s cute, if you’re into that kind of thing.”

                James sighed and rubbed tiredly at his eyes.  “No, I’m not.  Look, Rach, I know you’re trying to help, but I don’t think I’m there yet, okay?”  He felt like a broken record, repeating the words he knew she would toss aside. 

                “Why not?” Rachel quipped with her usual comeback. “It’s more common than you think.  Nathan’s one of my favorite hair stylists and he’s flaming gay and so open about it.  And there’s three guys in med school who are gay, and they’re the biggest cry-babies in class.  Harper’s Grove is ready for you, James.  Your friends would be, too.”

                James snorted. “I’m not like that guy, Rach,” he said, pointing to the blond-haired man in the fedora.  “There’s no way in hell I’d ever wear an outfit like that, and I’m definitely not attracted to someone who dresses like that.  It’s great that you know people who are openly gay and in touch with their feminine side, but just. . . let me figure this out on my own, okay?  I’ve got it.”

                Rachel stared at him, her mouth creasing in a frown.  “You’re just lying to yourself, James.  You’re lying to me, and any other future woman you go out with.  It’s not who you are.  Who cares if you don’t fit the gay stereotype?  Just come out about it, you’ll feel better—”

                “Will you please stop talking so loudly?!” James hissed under his breath, watching a group of nearby teenagers very closely.  “This isn’t your life you’re messing with.  It’s mine, and I am not ready to go there, all right?” he said crossly.

                “Just tell someone then,” Rachel pleaded, not backing down.  “Anyone!  You know I’m leaving in a few weeks for Boston for my residency there.  I’m not going to be around.  You need someone here who’s on your side—”

                “I’m fine, Rachel,” James cut in, standing abruptly.  “Thanks for all of your help and understanding, but please, please, just leave it there.  Let me handle this on my own.  You’ve been great, but. . .” James blew out a decisive breath and bent down to hug Rachel. “Good luck with everything.  You’ll make a great doctor.  You care about people a lot, so. . . just keep doing your thing.”

                Rachel pulled out of the hug, looking at him with wide eyes.  “Are you saying goodbye?”

                James nodded sadly.  “Yeah, I am.”

* * * *

KL Schwengel, you are da bomb!  Fellow readers, please go visit my fellow WIPpeteers at the link.  They are equally bomb-ish.  *grins*

 

Book Tour for Forever Burn by Adrian Smith

Hello all! Fellow WIPpeteers, I thank you for your support and understanding in the comments you left me from the last WIPpet I participated in. I apologize for not responding back, but please know your support touches me. My studying is going well, and I’ve been doing a bit more editing lately, too.

But!

This post is really about a book tour that I have joined, spotlighting our very own WIPpeteer, Adrian Smith.

ForeverBurnTourButton

You may remember a month-ish ago that I posted the announcement release of her second book, Dying Embers.  GREAT as it is that she has released a second book in the trilogy, I think you may be like me and wonder what the first book was about, hmm?

Well, in joining this book tour, I was given the opportunity to read it in exchange for an honest review.  However, if YOU would like the chance to receive a free copy of Forever Burn, the first book in Adrian’s trilogy, there is a rafflecopter link at the bottom of this post that gives you that very opportunity to win one!

Firefighters are trained to keep calm in the face of extraordinary events, but James was never prepared for this.

Saving people is a regular practice in a firefighter’s line of work; it is not something extraordinary or unusual. Just routine. James has been trained to respond to emergency calls and what to do in difficult situations. For James, the most important part of her work is that she knows how to run into a burning building to save a life. She is a firefighter not for the glory and not for the honor. She is there to make a difference.

Working hard has always been a common practice for James, but when her secret significant other is pressuring her to solidify their relationship, tensions start to rise. James is being pushed into turning her life upside down and inside out. She can’t stop disturbing dreams about a little girl she saved from a house fire years prior. She struggles to find balance through the pressures and stressors of her daily life, but she still can’t shake the ill-fated feeling that something is wrong.

Now, for my honest review:

When I read the first chapter, the action and suspense drew me right in.  James is trapped in a burning house, trying to find a girl. It turns out to be a dream, which I was really happy about because I just couldn’t see how James was going to make it out alive.

From there, the next several chapters are slower in pace, though there is some action mixed in with the firefighter calls James and the crew answer.  I never really knew that firefighters do more health and rescue calls than fire calls, and Adrian depicts this in her story.  You get to see a glimpse into the life of a firefighter while they wait at the fire station for that 911 emergency bell to ring.  The life is a little more mundane and ordinary, depicting firefighter heroes as normal people.  I enjoyed that, while at the same time, I really wanted action!

That’s when the story picked up.  James rescues a little girl from a burning house, the same little girl that has been in her dreams, haunting her.  That little girl comes into her life, and the action picks up. *claps hands*

The relationship between James and her significant other, Addison, intrigued me.  There isn’t a lot of romance in their relationship, something I enjoy as a reader.  Without that element, I was pulled into a different kind of relationship I don’t see a whole lot of, so it was an opportunity to witness what made these two characters click.  They are both tough Alpha women, which I believe Adrian depicted with specific purpose.  You will not find any weak princess calling out for a knight in shining armor in Forever Burn.  James and Addison are the exact opposite of what most women are portrayed as in stories:  someone needing the man to help them out.

It was lovely to see their strength of character.  At the same time, I really wanted to shake James and yell at her a few times.  She’s a private, secretive person who doesn’t trust easy.  She REALLY could have trusted a *wee* little bit more.  But it’s a story, right?  Gotta have some moments where the character keeps the situation rolling.

Adrian writes in third person omniscient, and in case you don’t know what that means, it’s where you get inside the head of all the characters in the story and the POV (point of view) can switch around at the drop of a hat.  That made following who said what in dialogue a little confusing, and when I was intrigued to follow more internal POV from one character is when it switched to another character. *frown* I especially wanted more of an internal POV from a character by the name of Rob.  I have heard on good faith, though, that in Dying Embers, I get that wish.  Rob’s character is around a lot more, and so is his POV.  *claps hands*  I like Rob.

What most intrigued me about this story is the paranormal element to it.  James and Addison have special gifts.  Other characters that you meet in the story have different special gifts.  If you’ve ever heard or seen the show “Heroes,” then Forever Burn is a story you will enjoy.  I wished I could have been given more of a closer background history of all these gifted people, but that’s what the first book is meant to do, right? Keep you wanting more.

Success.

And the ending…. grrrr.  That is all I will say.

One more final thought:  Go buy this book!  Or enter for a chance to win a copy!  *points to the link below*

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Adrian, keep doing what you’re doing, because you are a fabulous writer 🙂

A New Horizon

Happy WIPpet Wednesday everyone!!!!!!!!

If you didn’t see my post from yesterday, please check it out, or better yet, head over to KL Schwengel’s page, because she has a cover for her new book Emergence to brag about.

The battle for Ciara's power has drawn the full attention of the Emperor and the Imperial Mages, forcing Bolin to put duty above safety and take her to Nisair. It won't be an easy trip, even with an Imperial escort and a Galysian elder accompanying them. Especially since Donovan has found himself some new allies, one of who wields a dark magic that has literally gotten under Bolin's skin. For Ciara, coming to terms with the increasingly tangible manifestation of her power could destroy her. Even if they make it to Nisair--something that grows more unlikely by the day--there is no surety of safety for Ciara, or any of them. Not with Donovan willing to gamble everything to achieve his goals, or Bolin's uncharacteristically reckless behavior, the result of which is the attention of something that has everyone worried. Loyalties will be tested, lives will be lost, and no one will emerge unchanged as they find things are not always so clear on the line dividing Darkness and Light.

The battle for Ciara’s power has drawn the full attention of the Emperor and the Imperial Mages, forcing Bolin to put duty above safety and take her to Nisair. It won’t be an easy trip, even with an Imperial escort and a Galysian elder accompanying them. Especially since Donovan has found himself some new allies, one of who wields a dark magic that has literally gotten under Bolin’s skin.
For Ciara, coming to terms with the increasingly tangible manifestation of her power could destroy her. Even if they make it to Nisair–something that grows more unlikely by the day–there is no surety of safety for Ciara, or any of them. Not with Donovan willing to gamble everything to achieve his goals, or Bolin’s uncharacteristically reckless behavior, the result of which is the attention of something that has everyone worried.
Loyalties will be tested, lives will be lost, and no one will emerge unchanged as they find things are not always so clear on the line dividing Darkness and Light.

 

Now, onto a little bit of sad news.  I may be in hiatus for the next month and a half.  If I take time for anything, it will be editing, but mostly, I am dedicating my time toward studying for a certification test for my work.  The test takes place in May sometime, and if I pass, it will earn me a financial increase.  It’s something I need to do.  It doesn’t mean I won’t be plugging away at writing, but I would feel awful for participating in WIPpet Wednesdays and not taking the time to reciprocate the much-appreciated gesture of reading your work as you are reading mine.  I need to dedicate time to studying, so therefore, that is why you may notice another (longer) absence from me.

Remember that post at the beginning of the year, where I mentioned the month of December had been particularly hard on me?  I want to let you know I’m doing better.  MUCH better, actually.  There was that pesky thing called anxiety/depression, and I finally went on medication.  It has helped me out in the way I have needed it, and let me tell you, it feels liberating.  I am beginning to love myself.  That’s hard for me to do, believe it or not.  It’s a vulnerable thing to confess to, but. . . I suppose I’m feeling reckless.  Or insane.  Or maybe the new ruby red slippers that I have were more magical than my other ones.  Either way, onto WIPpet Wednesday, eh?

This is again from my Superman fanfic, Will You Be Mine.  It’s March 12, so 12 paragraphs from chapter Four.  Clark is with Miss Wingham, inside the mansion that he has seen from his dreams.  Dreams that involve a distressed female spirit asking him to help her.  Miss Wingham has pulled out a Ouija Board so that the two of them can try and call the spirit out to communicate.

* * * *

He heard Miss Wingham take several deep breaths before she called out in a low, solemn whisper.  “We call upon the spirit of Amelia Rose Palliser Johnston and invite you to commune with the living.”

Quite suddenly, Clark felt a light tug on his right pants pocket.  A moment later a burning sensation started, like a small pinprick that steadily grew until it felt like a cigarette lighter was attempting to brand itself into his skin, a highly unusual sensation for Clark’s alter ego to experience.

“Ouch!” he exclaimed, letting go of the planchette and clapping a hand over his thigh.  Immediately the burning stopped, but under Clark’s palm, he felt a small bulge from inside his pants pocket.  Miss Wingham looked at him with mild curiosity as he reached in and drew out the only object that was in his trousers: a clay-red metal band.

What in the world?

Clark stared at the ring in flabbergasted awe.

“What is that?” Miss Wingham asked.

“It’s a . . . ring,” Clark answered lamely.

“Yes, I see that,” she replied a bit tartly.  “I was asking what significance it has, why you pulled it out so suddenly into our séance.”

“I’ve only seen this ring in my dreams,” Clark replied softly, more to himself than to her.  “Rose.  She . . . she showed this to me.  How did it end up in my pants pocket?  There was nothing in there.”

At those words, Miss Wingham’s pale blue eyes lit up.  She took a sharp intake of breath.  “She’s communicating with you already, don’t you see?”

Clark looked at Miss Wingham in bewilderment.  “With a ring?  Why this?  What am I supposed to do with it?”

“Rings generally have only one use, Mister Kent,” Miss Wingham replied dryly.  “My guess is she wishes you to put it on.”

* * * *

Thanks to all you fellow WIPpeteers out there!  You guys are awesome.  Go check these guys out at the link.

WIPpeteer Cover Reveal!

*squeeeeeee!* Guess what? GUESS WHAT???

I. Get. To show you….

KL Schwengel’s new cover from her soon-to-be-released book, Emergence.

SQUEEEEEEEEE!!!

KL Schwengel hosts the dear-to-my-heart WIPpet Wednesdays. Thanks to her, I’ve gotten to know quite a few awesome writers and been a part of a weekly blog event that has encouraged me to keep writing and gives me a guilty conscience when I don’t.  The guilty conscience bit is my own doing, not of the WIPpeteers by any means, but I need that push in my mind that says “other people are writing, so get to it!”

The lovely KL with one of her gorgeous Australian Shepherds.

The lovely KL with one of her gorgeous Australian Shepherds.

Want to Know About KL?

K. L. Schwengel lives in southeast Wisconsin on a small farm with her husband, a handful of Australian Shepherds, Her Royal Highness Princess Fiona the Cat, and assorted livestock. Growing up as the youngest of nine children, and the daughter of a librarian, Kathi spent many hours between stacks of books, and secluded away in dusty archives, drawn to tales of medieval heroes and conquering knights. With so many characters and ideas spinning in her head, she had to get them onto paper or risk what little sanity she possessed. She has been penning wild tales of magic and mayhem as long as she can remember, but opted to follow her artistic muse first. After earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts and spending many years working as a freelance artist, grocery clerk, art teacher, graphic designer, stable hand, advertising account coordinator, dog trainer, and process technician (among other things) she answered the call of her writing muse. When not writing, Kathi trains and trials working Australian Shepherds, still paints, dabbles in photography, graphic design, and anything else creative her assorted muses send her way.

Kathi’s work is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, and other on-line retailers in both paperback and e-book versions. Signed copies are available via her blog.

*Ahem*

Without further ado, I present to you her book cover of Emergence!

Ta-Da!

The battle for Ciara's power has drawn the full attention of the Emperor and the Imperial Mages, forcing Bolin to put duty above safety and take her to Nisair. It won't be an easy trip, even with an Imperial escort and a Galysian elder accompanying them. Especially since Donovan has found himself some new allies, one of who wields a dark magic that has literally gotten under Bolin's skin. For Ciara, coming to terms with the increasingly tangible manifestation of her power could destroy her. Even if they make it to Nisair--something that grows more unlikely by the day--there is no surety of safety for Ciara, or any of them. Not with Donovan willing to gamble everything to achieve his goals, or Bolin's uncharacteristically reckless behavior, the result of which is the attention of something that has everyone worried. Loyalties will be tested, lives will be lost, and no one will emerge unchanged as they find things are not always so clear on the line dividing Darkness and Light.

The battle for Ciara’s power has drawn the full attention of the Emperor and the Imperial Mages, forcing Bolin to put duty above safety and take her to Nisair. It won’t be an easy trip, even with an Imperial escort and a Galysian elder accompanying them. Especially since Donovan has found himself some new allies, one of who wields a dark magic that has literally gotten under Bolin’s skin.
For Ciara, coming to terms with the increasingly tangible manifestation of her power could destroy her. Even if they make it to Nisair–something that grows more unlikely by the day–there is no surety of safety for Ciara, or any of them. Not with Donovan willing to gamble everything to achieve his goals, or Bolin’s uncharacteristically reckless behavior, the result of which is the attention of something that has everyone worried.
Loyalties will be tested, lives will be lost, and no one will emerge unchanged as they find things are not always so clear on the line dividing Darkness and Light.

Head on over to Kathi’s site and read the first chapter of the new book, available exclusively through her.

Want to get in touch with her?  Here’s a few places she hangs around:

Blog: http://myrandommuse.wordpress.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KLSchwengelWrites
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/kathils01/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/KLSchwengel
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6871795.K_L_Schwengel

Wall of Editing and new chapter additions

burningchapter8

*ahem* This chapter has been loooong overdue to come off the Wall of Editing.  I finally finished the read-through today, and um… may have felt a bit happy to watch chapter 8 of Spellbound burn before my eyes.

I’ve had another few weeks of absence among WIPpet Wednesdays because I haven’t been pushing myself to do much editing or writing.  My dreams, though, are inspiring me to act on my muse.  You see, I tend to have creative dreams.  And I can remember a good amount of plot and development, and it feels like I am a director/actor/editor in my dreams.  I sit back and watch from an audience point of view, or I switch and become one of the characters, or I decide I didn’t like the scene I just lived and do it over again.

So these creative dreams have finally pushed my muse out toward my fingertips, and I decided to write.  If I was becoming too lazy to edit, then I would write.  So I wrote two chapters to my Superman fanfiction, Will You Be Mine.  Chapters Eight and Nine are brand new, so if you are in the mood, please feel free to head over there and give it a read.  Granted, this is just for fun, so grammar errors and other faux pas are likely to occur.

And now!  For the WIPpet part, I give you 6 paragraphs from Will You Be Mine.  It’s the 5th day in the month, and I thought to myself, ‘Hey!  You get a bonus paragraph, because really, it’s only one line.  So you get a bonus line.’

Clark has had haunted dreams where a ghost is pleading with him to find her.  She has shown him a large mansion, so he has sketched it and shown it to Lois, expressing to her his thoughts about trying to help this ghost.

* * * *

“Be careful, Clark,” Lois warned.  “You don’t know what this ghost girl wants from you.”

Clark had expected this kind of reaction from his wife, and he had to admit, she was right.  Their life tended to attract killers and thieves and all sorts of hoodlums.  He reached out for her hand and squeezed it reassuringly.

“I know,” he said.  “I don’t even know what this girl thinks I can do for her, but it’s clear she’s not at rest.  For right now, all I want to do is see if I can find out if the house in my dream even exists.  If it does, I want to know its background and see if she’s tied to it somehow.  Then I’ll move forward from there.”

Lois bit her lower lip, something she did when she was uncertain about things.  “Why did it have to be another ghost coming to bother us?  Wasn’t dealing with one enough?” she fretted.

“I wish you could have seen the look on her face,” Clark said.  “Her sadness pierced right through me, Lois.  I’ve got to try.  I don’t think she’s going to leave me alone until I do.”

Lois gave a soft sigh.  “I know.  And I understand, I do.  Just . . . still, be careful?”

* * * *

Go look up the other WIPpeteers at the link to follow their musings, and if you aren’t aware, our WIPpet host K.L Schwengel has a new book, Emergence, that will be released soon!  Want details?  Me too!  I *might* have some cover reveal details coming up next week.  You won’t want to miss it 🙂

Sunday, Monday, Happy Days! Tuesday, Wednesday…Happy WIPpet Days!

Hello everyone!  I’m a little late to the party, but I made it nonetheless.  I can’t quite say that I’ve been able to CRUSH chapter eight with my hand of editing, but one more read-through, and I can rip that sticky note off the wall faster than the rippling, stinking wind of my hubby’s farts.

*smiles innocently with wide, sparkling eyes*  What?!  Trust me, I really do love him a lot, farts and all. *places hands demurely in lap as a sophisticated, proper lady would do*

Straight to the heart of WIPpet, because I’ve a few more things I want to do before bedtime.

WIPpet math: The 12th day of Feb which is the 2nd month, so 12-2=10.  You get ten shortish paragraphs from me.

Terry has just finished besting James on the dojo.  James is impressed with Terry’s style of karate, but mentions in casual conversation that the moves Terry used would not be allowed in a standard karate competition.  After Terry loses a bit of focus secretly admiring James’ physique, this is his response:

* * * *

Terry shrugged, forcing his thoughts back onto the present conversation.  “Those moves wouldn’t be illegal against Akira’s minions.  A lot of these kids are signing up because they want street-smart defensive fighting.  Competition rules don’t exactly matter to an alien force.”

James looked thoughtful.  “Minions may be stupid, but they’re a lot stronger than they appear.  Street-smart karate is one thing, but thinking they have what it takes to go up against one of those things?  I don’t want my students searching out the opportunity.”

Terry shook his head.  Here it went again.  Though they had formed a fast friendship, when it came to martial arts, this differing opinion always came circling around. Terry felt that in Harper’s Grove, where danger was more imminent than other places, karate should be taught with an added realistic approach that would enable further knowledge on how to best defend oneself, especially outside of competition challenges.  James, on the other hand, felt that to stray from traditional teaching, too many students would inflame themselves with ego that teaching how to go up against Akira’s forces meant that they could go up against her forces.

For a karate sensei who taught self-defense and self-reliance, it was a protectively narrow-minded and hindering perspective, Terry thought.  Instead of hashing into the disagreement again, however, he decided to hit on the other topic James always steered artfully around.

“Tell me again, because I keep forgetting, how strong are minions?”

James’ smile was a bit too sharp, and it didn’t reach the eyes—those soft, hazel eyes Terry pretended not to notice half as much as he did.

“You’ve seen the footage of them.  The news is always showing it.  You know.”

“Yeah, but you’ve seen them,” Terry countered.  “You’ve been there.  Yet, you don’t ever talk about it.”

James shrugged, stepping off the dojo and reaching for his sweat towel and water bottle.  “Not much to talk about.  I don’t know why you like to bring it up.”

“You saved a life,” Terry answered.

* * * *

Drop by KL Schwengel’s site, as she so generously hosts this each week. and be sure to check out the other WIPpeteer’s imagination at this link!

*Achooooo!* Where’d all this Dust Come From?

*Blows nose, politely turning away to discard the tissue and mop up the nostrils* Man, who knew dust could collect on one’s website when it doesn’t get much use? I need to hire someone to clean! Or… I guess I just need to post more.

WIPpeteers, I am back…again. Yeah, I could give you excuses reasons why I haven’t been around, such as my bunnies ate my story and so I couldn’t post anything.  Or the FACT that Godzilla came into my town and climbed on some cardboard buildings and caused the power to go out (but it ONLY affected WordPress, because my visibility on facebook is due to my awesome smart phone that kept internet) and I am just now safely back home in a new cardboard house that hasn’t been destroyed, and the power has been restored.

Or… maybe the simple truth is I haven’t been working on any writing/editing because I’ve been lazy and at the same time feeling quite content with life and just not kicking myself hard enough in the butt to get my story any further toward completion.

So!  Yesterday I edited.  My Wall of Editing (*echo* Editing! Editing! Editing!) is now one sticky note less.  See???

*points to upper left-hand corner* NO chap 7 there!  Where did it go? Hmm...

*points to upper left-hand corner* NO chap 7 there! Where did it go? Hmm…

It has been CRUSHED by the mighty hand of editing! Yee-haw!

It has been CRUSHED by the mighty hand of editing! Yee-haw!

So, onto WIPpet Wednesday.  I present to you eight short paragraphs.  It’s the 5th day of Feb which is the second month into the new year.  2+5=7, and I’m throwing in a bonus paragraph because, well… they really are quite short.

In Spellbound, Terry has just finished his Karate lesson with 7-year-old Greg, but Greg isn’t leaving yet.

* * * *

“Do you have any questions?” Terry prodded.

Greg’s eyebrows furrowed.  “Will these moves help me against a minion?”

Terry matched his pupil’s expression, pausing for a moment of contemplation.  “Hmm,” he said slowly.  “Well, if I were a minion, and I saw you, I suppose I might want to grab for your throat.”

Terry made a slow and deliberate move for Greg’s throat, giving the boy enough time to react by using the upper body block, which effectively stopped Terry from grabbing the targeted area.  He withdrew his hand, his expression still focused and thoughtful.

“Well, since that didn’t work, and if I were a minion, I would want to try grabbing your waist next.”

Again, he kept his movements slow enough for Greg to react, but this time the boy was ready and much quicker.  The lower body block stopped Terry from going for Greg’s waist.  Although a real encounter with a minion would most likely not fare in his pupil’s favor, the point in this demonstration was to show Greg the beginning steps of putting the lesson into practical use.

Terry stepped back.  “Does that answer your question?”

The hint of a smile pulled at his pupil’s lips, and the boy nodded silently.

* * * *

KL Schwengel hosts this fabulous weekly event, but be sure to check out the other WIPpeteers and their WIP’s at this handy-dandy link.

WIPpet into Gear

Happy New Year WIPpeteers! I know, I sort of disappeared for a few weeks, and if it hadn’t been for Adrian, I would have been vacant this week as well. Thanks deary for reminding me!

My absence has been due in part to the holidays, but to be honest, I sort of retreated into myself for a while. There were some personal challenges I encountered, and instead of thinking up fantastic stories and tackling the job of editing, what I dealt with was my own self. Writing took a back seat, as did socialism. I became my own worst enemy, and after succumbing to it for a bit, I decided that I needed to deal with tackling that side of myself rather than letting it overcome me.

My WIPpet piece I present to you is one paragraph because it is one month into the new year. After James broke up with Rachel, he threw himself into his role of Red Defender, and this piece somewhat mirrors myself, which is why I chose it.

* * * *

To keep himself from going insane, he dove into his role of Red Defender, of protecting Harper’s Grove. He took extra night shifts and paroled the streets or spent time at the Outpost, which was command center to the Defenders. He was grateful Gordon hadn’t asked any personal questions; his leader simply assigned tasks that kept his mind occupied.

* * * *

Short and sweet. Like James though, I’m figuring things out, so not to worry. KL Schwengel, thanks for hosting! Please go follow the link to read what other WIPpeteers are conjuring, it’s highly entertaining 🙂

Five Mistakes KILLING Self-Published Authors

This is great advice!

Kristen Lamb's Blog

Rise of the Machines Human Authors in a Digital World, social media authors, Kristen Lamb, WANA, Rise of the Machines

When I began writing I was SO SURE agents would be fighting over my manuscript. Yeah. But after almost thirteen years in the industry, a lot of bloody noses, and even more lessons in humility, I hope that these tips will help you. Self-publishing is AWESOME, and it’s a better fit for certain personalities and even content (um, social media?), but we must be educated before we publish.

Mistake #1 Publishing Before We Are Ready

The problem with the ease of self-publishing is that it is, well, too easy. When we are new, frankly, most of us are too dumb to know what we don’t know. Just because we made As in English, does not automatically qualify us to write a work spanning 60,000-100,000 words. I cannot count how many writers I’ve met who refuse to read fiction, refuse to read craft books, and who only go to pitch agents…

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