Latest Entries »

Autism-Awareness

I was going to keep my WIPpet intro extra short this week, because my excerpt is long, but something happened Tuesday that upset me a lot, and I want to tell you about it.

Most of you know by now that I have four children. Some of you know that two of these children are on the autistic spectrum. So, you’ll all understand when I tell you it upset me deeply to learn that a company fired a friend of mine for being autistic. He got the job without any problem, later revealed his autism, and then was fired and told he could never learn to do the job. I am disgusted and discouraged. If you happen to do business with Quick Print of Tulsa, Oklahoma, please consider finding another company to give your money to.

Now that I’ve said my piece, onto

WIPpet Banner

My gratitude to K.L. Schwengel for hosting and to all of you for coming by to read my excerpt. :-)

Math = 1st digit of date + second digit of date – an arbitrary 1 = 2 + 9 – 1 = 10 paragraphs (under 500 words)

Character descriptions:

Arvid 5’6″, dark copper skin, long brown hair, brown eyes, athletic build.

Taiamuk 6’3″, long red hair, gray eyes, a multitude of freckles, numerous scars, muscles a la Jackie Chan. Notable scars include three stab wounds on his right side and a long, horizontal gash across his chest. Owns one piece of clothing: trousers.

Necessary Context:

  • This excerpt has been butchered to get rid of spoilers. Sorry it’s choppy.
  • The last chunk happened a week or two after the dance scene. (Forgot to mention that last week.)
  • This happens about 20 minutes after the last chunk.
  • Arvid found Tai.
  • She also found trouble.
  • Arvid’s people Do. Not. Cry. unless someone is dead.

A grip as determined as death wrapped around her arm. Tai, sword still in hand, hauled her to her feet and rushed her away from the fire. She staggered beside him, dizzy from inhaling smoke and drenched in sweat. Only his hold on her arm kept her on her feet until they reached the hut. Once through the door, she collapsed.

He shouted something and tugged at her clothes. They were freezing onto her. She pulled the dress off and crawled to the bedroll, where she huddled under the blanket until she got her other dress on.

Removing her boots took more care. The blisters on her feet had burst and the burnt leather took skin with it. Tai knelt in front of her and scooped a mixture of snow and herbs onto her feet. He winced on her behalf and babbled while he worked, his tone reminiscent of her mother’s lectures.

She wanted to ask him about the fire. Her words sounded as much like gibberish to him as his sounded to her, though. With time, they might learn, but winter would not last forever. She settled for searching his face instead. Droplets of what she assumed to be sweat or melted snow stood at the edge of his lashes. With clumsy, inexperienced hands, he wrapped strips of cloth around her feet.

They settled onto the bedroll and she saw the droplets still trickling down his cheeks. He was crying. Arvid brushed the tears away, wondering what loss caused this intense show of emotion. “Tai, what’s wrong?”

He replied with a string of words, none of which she understood. She shook her head to show her confusion and brushed away another tear.

Tai laced his fingers through her hair, closed his eyes, and set his forehead against hers. Arvid, exhausted and cold after her ordeal, let her eyes slip shut and soaked in the warmth his closeness offered.  She loved him. The realization made her heart ache, knowing spring meant separation, but for now, he held her. When his lips pressed into hers, she didn’t draw away. For a moment, she felt nothing but the sharp ache of impending loss and then he kissed her again, this time with such force it took her breath away. She gasped for air when he repositioned but tried to give back as good as she got.

He started untying her laces with expert dexterity, his fingers brushing skin as he worked. A war of apprehension and anticipation erupted in her thoughts, stealing pleasure from the moment. Already the shame and humiliation of her situation ate at her. Living together for survival might be forgiven by the elders, but not this.

She staid his hands. “I can’t.”

Tai sucked in his breath, closed his eyes, and nodded. With his arms wrapped around her in his usual, casual manner, he kissed her twice more on the forehead. “I understand.”

Der Kuss by Peter Behrens, 1898.

Der Kuss by Peter Behrens, 1898.

To join WIPpet Wednesday…

  1. Post a snippet of your WIP that relates to the date
  2. Thank K.L. Schwengel
  3. Link up here
  4. Enjoy good writing

WIPpet Banner

Welcome back! I haven’t done an official California trip blog post yet, but there’re a few pictures for you below. I hope you enjoy them.

Of course, what you’re really here for is WIPpet Wednesday. Woohoo! Thank you K.L. Schwengel for hosting.

Math = last digit of the year = 5 paragraphs

Character descriptions:

Arvid 5’6″, dark copper skin, long brown hair, brown eyes, athletic build.

Taiamuk 6’3″, long red hair, gray eyes, a multitude of freckles, numerous scars, muscles a la Jackie Chan. Notable scars include three stab wounds on his right side and a long, horizontal gash across his chest. Owns one piece of clothing: trousers.

Necessary Context:

A sharp, deep, late-winter cold has come to visit the mountaintop. The kind of cold that comes to remind you that Old Man Winter hasn’t cleared out yet, just as you’re letting your hopes of spring get a bit carried away. Bone-chilling and dangerous. Arvid and Tai have had a leeeetle misunderstanding.

Tai stared at her with his mouth open, stunned, it seemed, at her reaction. When he closed his mouth, the pain of rejection creased his forehead and hardened the lines around his eyes. He flung away the blanket, hung his sword across his back, and stormed out of the hut.

Arvid watched, feeling just as stunned as he looked when she scrambled away from him. The combined shock of cold from the open door and his sudden abandonment froze her in place for a moment before she jumped to her feet and ran out the door after him.

“Tai! Come back!” She looked around but the blizzard already obscured him from view. “Tai! Please come back!”

She dropped to her knees and searched for footprints. She found a partial one not yet covered pointing toward [someplace spoilery]. Without looking for more, she got to her feet and ran that way as hard as she could.

The wind drove snow in every direction, now whipping her dress out in front of her, now pulling it behind her. Snow soaked through her soft boots and flailed her bare legs and arms. She stumbled on hidden tree roots and rocks, and slammed into the frozen ground many times, but didn’t turn back. She had to find him, no matter what it cost her. She couldn’t lose him. Not yet. Not like this. Not after surviving this long because of him.

We spent as much time as we could at the beach. My sister, an artist, sculpted this lovely mermaid. If I remember correctly, we christened her Andine, after one of my children's favorite faerie tales.

We spent as much time as we could at the beach. My sister, an artist, sculpted this lovely mermaid. If I remember correctly, we christened her Andine, after one of my children’s favorite faerie tales.

305

We also visited Crystal Caves, in Sequoia National Park. This formation is called the Dragon. Sorry for the poor quality, but no flash allowed and we aren’t professional photographers.

357

And, of course,we saw a few big trees while we were in Sequoia. :-D

160

And that biggest birthday party ever I mentioned? It was a trip to Disneyland. This is Builder, my son.

To join WIPpet Wednesday…

  1. Post a snippet of your WIP that relates to the date
  2. Thank K.L. Schwengel
  3. Link up here
  4. Enjoy good writing

WIPpet Banner

Confession: For the last three posts, I was in California visiting my family. I didn’t want to publicly announce it until we got back because there are disturbed people out there who like to break into places.

Another confession: this and the last 10 posts were all scheduled in April. That’s right. I sat down and took a couple days to lay them all out, both as a way to procrastinate on editing something and for fear that if I waited until closer to our trip, it wouldn’t happen.

So I’m speaking to you from the past. Look at me and my bad self being all Time Lord. :-P I’ll post about my trip soon.

Much love to K.L. Schwengel for hosting this super fun blog hop. :-) Rules are below for anyone interested in participating.

Math = date – first and last digits of year = 15 – 2 – 5 = 8 paragraphs

Character descriptions:

Arvid 5’6″, dark copper skin, long brown hair, brown eyes, athletic build.

Taiamuk 6’3″, long red hair, gray eyes, a multitude of freckles, numerous scars, muscles a la Jackie Chan. Notable scars include three stab wounds on his right side and a long, horizontal gash across his chest. Owns one piece of clothing: trousers.

Necessary Context:

This is the third of three posts that come together to make a single scene. Tai, who is big on having fun, is trying to get Arvid, who is big on practicality, to have some fun, too. He succeeded in getting her to laugh and show him one of her people’s dances, which are much like hula. Then this. Heads-up, this is bare bones first draft.

Tai rested his forearms on his knees and watched without laughing. His smile faded, but not in a bad way. Arvid got the idea he wanted to hear the story and listened to her words despite the barrier of their languages. When she finished with the traditional bow, he stood and clapped.

“Teafshutayd” His eyes swept over her. “Ru’teh trushilan.”

Though she didn’t recognize the words, Arvid felt her cheeks warm at the tone in which he spoke them. He took her hand in his and put his other hand on her waist. She pulled away. He made no move to keep her near him, but held onto her hand.

“Ru’pudev zif ay.”

Dance with me, he said, she thought. Unless the story being told involved numerous characters, few Nairi dances involved working together. It seemed Tai’s people used dance in a different way. Curiosity piqued, she let him put his hand on her waist again.

He stepped toward her on his right foot. She stumbled back with the movement, recovered, and stared down at his feet. He chuckled and bent to put one of her feet on top of one of his, then nudged the toes of her other foot. She got the idea and stepped onto that foot as well. He wrapped his arm around her waist to keep her from falling off and counted a steady rhythm.

Between sleeping next to him each night and their sparring sessions each day, she’d grown used to their bodies touching, but this felt different. No practical purpose justified the way his strong arm embraced her or the gentle caress of his right hand holding her left. No battle awareness explained the way she noticed the contraction of his thigh muscles as they pressed against hers with each step of the dance. His skin gave off the fresh, clean scent of shineweed and the heat of their closeness seemed warmer than usual. A long, jagged scar on his shoulder where her right hand rested tempted her to run her fingers along it, to explore the different textures covering his oft wounded flesh. His lips drew her gaze until they stopped forming the words and he started humming a tune. She looked up into his eyes and saw them darkened and shining. He looked at her in a way that made her feel like he saw into her heart, or wanted to.

Embarrassed, as usual, she stepped off his feet and drew away from him.

To join WIPpet Wednesday…

  1. Post a snippet of your WIP that relates to the date
  2. Thank K.L. Schwengel
  3. Link up here
  4. Enjoy good writing
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,911 other followers

%d bloggers like this: