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Wedding, 1 holiday, and 2 birthdays down, but the craziness continues around here. Today is Artist’s birthday and we have the biggest plans ever for celebrating. For those of you who don’t know yet, I have four children. On my author social media, which is super-dee-uper public, they go by Reader (girl, 13), Artist (girl, 11 today!), Builder (boy, 8), and Giggles (girl, 6).

A slice of birthday cake for the talented K.L. Schwengel, our gracious hostess.

Math = month + last two digits of year – date – 1st digit of year = 7 + 15 – 1 – 2 = 19 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:

Happens after the last post. This is the first of three WIPpets that make up one scene.

Arvid unfolded the rag she kept the candy in. One piece remained. She thought she made an even number. She and Tai each got a piece the night before, and the night before that, and the night before that. She stared at the candies, brows drawn, and tried to figure out where she lost count.

The candy disappeared. Arvid sighed. That solved that mystery. She folded the rag and gave Tai the kind of exasperated look she gave Kiano whenever he ate all the pie.

Tai smiled and held up the piece of candy. “Ru’tam cheash ish.”

Arvid rolled her eyes. She stopped fighting for candy years ago. She threw the rag into the bath water to soak until morning.

Tai dropped his shoulders and tilted his head to one side. “Ru’tam, Ayrvid. Ru’gir zif ay.” He smiled, lifted the candy again, and wiggled it in the air.

Arvid stuck a hand on her hip and quirked her eyebrows. “No.”

Tai waved the candy in her face. “Ru’azaif ru’zad ish.”

Irritated with the behavior and seeing the chance to test her speed, she snatched at the candy. He pulled it back as she brushed his fingers, but she raised her eyebrows, impressed with her own improvement. A little while ago, she would not have been able to touch him at all.

His smiled broadened. “Good. Ru’tehayd luvshik.” He held the candy out again.

Arvid pushed his hand away and shook her head. “Once is enough.”

Tai’s shoulders drooped again. “Ayrvid, ru’zikt shayn an. Ru’gir loof kirdch.” He set the candy against her lips.

She drew back and gave him a confused look. “What—“

He slipped the candy between her teeth. She wrinkled her nose and shook her head again. He was so weird. He treated everything like a game, be it sparring or filling the water barrel. She thought this last display topped them all, though, for childishness.

Then he started hopping and twirling around the room, all the while humming something, and she corrected her opinion.

She rubbed her hands over her face and groaned. She recognized dancing when she saw it, but this bouncey, twirly, leapy stuff looked nothing like the graceful dances she learned as a child. On his next spin past her, Tai swooped down to haul her up by the waist and pulled her into the purposeless movements with him.

“What are you doing! Let me go, you big lug!”

“Ru’pudev zif ay, Ayrvid.”

“I don’t want to dance.” She punctuated each word with a tug away.

He let her go on the last word but kept humming his silly tune and prancing about the room.

Oh, come on. It's not THAT bad.

Oh, come on. It’s not THAT bad.

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

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And the craziness has officially begun. Apologies in advance if I don’t make it around to everyone. Many thanks to K.L. Schwengel for hosting.

Math = 2nd digit of date = 4 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 takes place after the last post and is a follow-up on a moment that is too spoilery to share. In truth, so is this, I think, but it’s an important step in Arvid’s character development. Since I’m sticking with her for a bit longer and hoping you will, too, I decided to risk the spoilers. Note: The Heart Glimmer is a reddish star that shines directly over Hyarta, the town Arvid comes from.

Bathed and wrapped in their blanket that night, she contemplated what happened. When she looked at the Heart Glimmer and thought of all she lost, she yearned for death, but then Tai smiled, and she forgot the wish. Judging him asleep, she rolled to study his face and wondered what made her want to please him. She anticipated his departure in spring, after all. She’d be a fool to allow herself to get attached. On the other hand, warriors did not fear loss. If his presence kept her from committing a heinous crime against herself, she needed to appreciate it.

He opened his eyes. “What?”

Embarrassed to be caught staring, she shifted her gaze to look over his shoulder and shook her head. He pulled her closer. For the first time, she nestled into his arms to share all the warmth available. “Thank you for being my friend.”

She doubted he understood all her words, but he nuzzled the top of her head and whispered his favorite phrase. “Ay’nay ru.”

Antares-01w

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. :-) Things are getting a little crazy around here. My stepsister’s wedding, four birthdays, Father’s Day, and Independence Day are all crammed into a three week period so we’re getting geared up for all that fun stuff. Before I go do that, though, I’d like to thank K.L. Schwengel for hosting WIPpet Wednesday. Apologies in advance if I am slow to get around to everyone.

Math = 2nd digit of the date = 7 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:

Takes place after the last post. Arvid collected some sap to boil down for candy and she has just finished collecting some snow to pour the syrup over. It’s not very exciting, but it sets up a scene I plan to share later. Rough draft with spoilers cut, so please forgive choppiness.

She grabbed the bowl and went back inside. Tai watched with his head tilted to one side and his brow crinkled while she poured the hot syrup onto the snow to make swirling patterns. He leaned close to the bowl, getting in her way until she shooed him off. Warm, familiar feelings bubbled up in her, stirred by memories of evenings spent making candy with Oya while their brothers pranced nearby, eager to be the first to get a piece.

She poured off the last fluid bit of syrup. No matter what, some stuck to the pot. In the morning, she’d add water to melt it off and make a sweet tea. For now, she lifted a candy and offered it to Tai. To her dismay, her stomach squiggled with nervousness. The realization she put value on his opinion outside of sparring made the feeling worse, so she put on her neutral battle expression and held her breath, hoping to keep from revealing the embarrassing desire for approval.

He turned the piece of candy around to study it, holding it in front of the fire to see the way the light filtered through the amber swirls. After an experimental nibble, he tossed the piece into his mouth, closed his eyes, leaned back on one elbow, and stretched his legs out in front of him. “Mmm. You cook good.”

For a heartbeat, Arvid kept the delighted smile off her face. He barely deserved her respect, and that only as a fighter, after all.  But she relented and gave up. Tai returned the smile and reached for more.

Arvid snatched the candy away. “No more tonight.”

Tai rolled his eyes, sat up, and ruffled her hair. “Ru’teh’n masik chup. You good.”

She batted him away, much to his amusement. While he took the first bath, she wrapped the candy in a clean rag, covered the pot for the night, and piled on the logs necessary to keep the hut survivable until the sun rose to warm the world again.

Image from http://fodmapliving.com And seriously, it took too flippin' long to find a picture I liked. I seriously considered making some syrup swirls myself and then taking a picture of them for you. There are days I'm like, "I need an illustrator." So that's what I'm gonna do if I'm ever rich and famous. Hire an illustrator.

Maple Caramel image from http://fodmapliving.com
It took too flippin’ long to find a picture I liked. I seriously considered making some syrup swirls myself and then taking a picture of them for you. There are days I’m like, “I need an illustrator for my blog.” So that’s what I’m gonna do if I’m ever rich and famous. Hire an illustrator.

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
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