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Great news! I finished drafting Queen of Bears!

*cue Kermit-esque arm-flailing*


You know what that means? I’m taking it off the WIPpets. Yyyup. Off it goes to steep a while before I touch it again. In the meantime, I’ll pull another sandbox out to play in for a bit. Before I do that, though, here’s the excerpt that comes right after last week’s. Now, I offer you a choice. I have a favorite scene that happens quite a bit later in the story than all this. I can either post that next week (warning, it will be loooong for a WIPpet) or I can just post what happens after today’s snippet.

I bow to the Grand Mistress of the WIPpeteers, our gracious hostess, KL Schwengel. To play along with WIPpet Wednesday, post a date-related excerpt of your work in progress and add your linky to the Hall of WIPpeteers. Or just go read the excerpts. There are lots of talented writers among the WIPpeteers.

Arvid finished her pastry and chose one of the widest belts in the pile waiting to be decorated. Her embroidery abilities were only passable; Mother never could get her to sit long enough to learn it well. Still, she supposed even her unskilled fingers were more suited to the task than the claws of the Petsuchos. But the flowers and scrolls her mother fussed over didn’t seem appropriate for a Petsucho boar. Animals, perhaps? Or maybe simple people designs?

Her mind wandered to Kiano and Oya. She reminded herself they were alright. Oya should be nearly home by now and Kiano would live to fight many more battles. He and Oya would get married and have a passel of babies.

Arvid dug a needle out of her pack, selected the finest wool the Petsuchos had to offer, and set to work. Petsucho cubs gathered to watch her fingers, crowding around until she found it difficult to move her elbows any direction without jabbing someone. Sows paused in their chores to peer over the cubs and whisper to each other. They spoke Nairi out of courtesy for her, but Arvid paid little attention.

Just as she finished a bell rang. Arvid held up the belt and smiled at it. Namatha’s face appeared next to her, scrutinizing the belt. “I would never have guessed that such tiny patterns would be so labor intensive. The night is over, Arvid, and the boars are calling for you.”

Dun dun duuuuunnnnn!!!!

So. What does everyone want? More of this scene? Or something a little further on?


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Welcome back to WIPpet Wednesday. Thank you, Sarah Hart, for posting your WIPpet early and thereby reminding me. :-)


I hope you’ve all had a lovely week. I have been writing on Queen of Bears like nobodies business to keep my mind off Faerie Blood while it’s at betas. Amazing things have been happening with the cover, so that’s helped, but overall, I’ve just needed to write. Poor Beloved is being so patient with me. And poor Arvid has been through a lot lately, let me tell you. I’ve done near killt the girl a few times.

Hats off to our lovely hostess, K.L. Schwengel. As per her one and only WIPpet rule, I offer you a date-related snippet of my WIP. (The game is open to all writers.) My date-relating goes like this: Oct. 15 → 15 → 1 + 5 = 6. There are 326 words in this snippet. See how that works?


          Arvid recognized her mother’s favorite herb mingling with the flavors of fish, lumproots, and redhearts. “It’s very good. My mother would love to have the recipe, if you don’t mind sharing.”

Namatha opened her mouth for a guttural rumble and swished her tail. “Let’s see what the boars decide first. There’s no point in giving you a recipe you may never get the chance to use.”

“So they’re trying to decide whether or not to kill me? Do they think I’m dangerous?”

“You yourself are not dangerous. That is obvious. Otherwise, they would have killed you while you slept. It is what you are going to do that is dangerous, and they’re deciding whether killing you will prevent that danger.”

“But Balak isn’t supposed to start a war with the monst- um… you.”

“Before King Valin, the Nairi people called us Petsuchos. I suppose it is a good enough name. Humans cannot speak in our tongue so there is no point teaching you our real name. But tell me, Arvid, doesn’t your prophecy say this wizard will destroy an entire people?”

“Not the Petsuchos. Only the Raven Nation, because of what they did to our women and children.”

“That is what makes you dangerous, Arvid. You do not understand. But now is not the time for philosophical discussions. It is my job to see that everything in this cave is done well and it is about time I heard the nestkeepers’ sunset report. Here.” She led Arvid toward a section of the cave occupied by several sows twisting yarn or working at looms. “I have seen beautiful patterns on the clothes of humans sometimes. Do you know how to make them? Sunrise will only delay itself all the longer if you have nothing to do, so why don’t you use those tiny little claws of yours to decorate a few belts for the boars.” With that, Namatha turned and walked toward a waiting line of sows.



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Hi! *waves enthusiastically* My brain is more or less dead after dealing with a big UGH today, so I’ll dispense with the usual formalities. Things be thus:

WIPpet Wednesday = Weekly bloghop for sharing a date-related excerpt of your WIP. Open to all writers.

K.L. Schwengel = our lovely, flying-monkey wielding hostess

WIPpet Math – the strange methods by which we relate our excerpt to the date. Today, 10 paragraphs for October plus 2 bonus words

Chubby Flashlight Fish – a bioluminescent fish which I mention here for no apparent reason.


The monster who let them in bent to look at Arvid. “Delicate, isn’t it? Maybe you’d better take away its little butter knife. You know what happened to Boinedal’s cub.”

“It is a she. And I think it’s full grown.” Namatha put Arvid down and stooped to look her in the eye. “You are, aren’t you? Full grown?”


“And do you have a name?”


Namatha wrapped a claw around Arvid’s hand in a motherly fashion. “Well, Arvid, as you may have guessed, my name is Namatha, this is Yapany, and this is the Sow’s Hall, where we females go about our business.” She led the way toward a long table that came up to Arvid’s shoulders. “I’m sure you must be famished by now, so Let’s see if we have something you can eat. Anything on this table is up for grabs at any time of the night.”

Tantalizing fragrances wafted off artfully prepared dishes. An Arvid-sized cub appeared out of nowhere and snatched a ball of pastry, nearly shoving it into Arvid’s face. “Here! Try this one. It’s my favorite. My name is Laneetee. What’s your name? I’ve never met a human cub before. Do you like hunting? Do you want to hunt filth bugs with me? I know where there’s a whole nest!”

Arvid tried to hide the shudder that crawled up her spine at the mention of a whole nest of filth bugs. Saving her from answering the enthusiastic cub, Namatha handed her a ball of the pastry. “Thank you for the suggestion, Laneetee, and for being so friendly to our guest, but this is a full grown sow. I don’t think she’s interested in  children’s games anymore. Go along and do your chores, now.”

“Aww!” Laneetee slunk off, mumbling something in her own language.

“Please forgive her. She means well.”

“She’s…” Adorable? Darling? The normal adjectives one used to compliment a knee-high child didn’t seem to fit the five and a half foot cub. “Spirited.” There. That was a compliment. Wasn’t it?

“That’s one way to put it. I think she’s right about that pastry, though. It’s filled with a kind of fish I’ve seen humans eat fish before. Have a taste. If you don’t like it, you can try something else.”


By the way, if you’re ever trying to write “bioluminescent” and your spellcheck goes nuts. It is spelled B.I.O.L.U.M.I.N.E.S.C.E.N.T. Also, Lanatee might get cut. What do you think?



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