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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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Hi! Welcome back!

Last week, I rushed through everything, because I, uh, sort of blanked the whole concept of Wednesday. It happens. Maybe not to other people as often as it does to me, but, yeah… It happens to me a lot.

I think most of you know the WIPpet spiel by now: the talented K.L. Schwengel, the amazing WIPpeteers, the simple relate-to-the-date rule, the flying monkeys, etc. We hope you’ll join us. :-)

To avoid confusion on this post since there was a major typo in the last post, you need to know that the monsters are nocturnal. Sunset is as dawn to them. Hence, their “long night” is equivalent to our “long day.” Also, we are entering a stretch of writing I’m just not sure about. I felt like I needed to write it at the time, but all this may be cut. It’s the kind of thing writer’s write when they need to get to know characters, not so much when they want to entertain their readers. And yes. I’m aware of the plethora of adverbs. Consider them notes to myself to prioritize detail when it comes time to edit. Otherwise, enjoy, and feel free to shred.

WIPpet math = 9 paragraphs for September.

A spear butt tapped her on the shoulder. The monsters stood in formation. They looked expectantly at Arvid. She looked expectantly back at them. What exactly were they trying to decide?

An enormous monster at least fifteen feet tall moved to the front. It lacked the ridge of fringe and even in the dim light Arvid could see its skin was a monochromatic gray. It wore no jewelry and instead of a belt, it held its drab tan loincloth on with a simple length of yarn. The other monsters stepped respectfully out of the way.

“Human sow,” this one’s voice trilled several octaves above the others. Was this a female, then? “I have come to offer you my hospitality for the night, while the boars discuss your situation.”

A murmur went through the crowd, once again reminding Arvid of the whispering of the wind through the trees. The large monster ignored the sound. It reached out a claw, offering it to Arvid. Arvid stared at the formidable nails until they twitched with mild impatience. Finding herself without more viable options, Arvid accepted the claw.

With exceeding gentleness, as though it carried a priceless crystal vase, the monster cradled Arvid in its great arms. It hummed quietly, passing by the “boars,” as it called the others, without concern.

Arvid watched its face for signs of aggression. It remained impassive. A tune like the one her host hummed meandered through the air. The monster stopped suddenly in front of a large boulder and knocked. With a rumble that made the ground tremble, the rock rolled aside.

“Hullo, Namatha. Did the boars give you any trouble?”

“Of course not. Let me in, will you?”

The other monster moved out of the way to admit Namatha and Arvid, then rolled the boulder back into place. They stood in a hewn cavern large enough to hold all of Uttermost. Its tall walls rose a hundred feet or more and ended in a circle open to the sky. Spikeless, monochromatic monsters all dressed in undyed loincloths similar to Namatha’s moved about the single room tending large pots hung over fires, turning eggs in nests, or scrubbing laundry in cart-sized washtubs. Relatively small ones, about Arvid’s height, flitted here and there among monsters that stood as tall as huts. The quiet tune they hummed together echoed lightly off the walls of the chamber.

Admittedly, I may have chosen this picture more because I spent time holding a friend's itty-bitty today, but it does work alright with this scene, I think. I love the baby's bewildered expression, at any rate. :-)

Admittedly, I may have chosen this picture more because I spent time holding a friend’s itty-bitty today than because it relates at all to the scene. Still it does work alright, I think. I love the baby’s bewildered expression, at any rate. :-)


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