Weekend Writing Warriors: We’re only going to get one shot

Happy end of February, everybody! Got ourselves an extra day of it though. Still feels like a novelty, even after all these years.

Are you ready for more Weekend Writing Warriors? We’re the blog hop for writers (and readers) where you can find excerpts from published works and those still in the birthing process 🙂 In almost any genre you can think of, too, so be sure to visit the home page.

For my post this week, I’ve skipped ahead a few paragraphs from last time. You can find previous excerpts here. Devorah and her mentor Kazimir have been asked to help the angels capture the demon Thaumiel. Kaz shows her the website for an ecclesiastical conference happening soon in their city; she reads the guest of honor list and asks if that wouldn’t attract other demons as well. Kaz answers:

“That’s where my familiarity with him comes in. I’ve tracked him over four continents. He’ll stake his claim on this and everybody else will clear out. He’s a lieutenant colonel, high enough to make more than half of hell obey him and the others have different preferences. But we’re only going to get one shot at him and there are potential issues that need to get resolved.”

He pushed the laptop at me, grabbed his phone off the bedside table and started pacing. I plugged the cooling pad into the computer. It beat me how fire-aligned demons like Kazimir didn’t fry their electronics.

I guess that’s part of being a demon! Devorah is the lowest level of rank in the demon hierarchy and Kaz is only 2 levels above that – what do you think their chances are of capturing a lieutenant colonel? Any better if they get some help? I bet you can guess!

Thanks for visiting my little blog today. That comment box down there is just waiting for you to add something – so don’t be shy!

Weekend Writing Warriors: All that pain was my fault

Happy third week of February, friends! We’ll get through this winter yet! If your climate is already mild, well, get out and enjoy it — after, that is, you check out other writing excerpts at Weekend Writing Warriors!

Continuing on with the same scene from my work in progress, the novel tentatively titled Night Shift. Kazimir told Devorah that the demon Thaumiel was responsible for his wife’s death. I’m skipping most of the explanation he gives, except to say that Kazimir admits to going on a weeks-long rampage through the countryside, burning forests and villages (he’s actually part human and part fire-aligned demon).

Devorah sits beside him (he’s sitting cross-legged on his bed with a laptop) and says she understands how hard it must have hit him to find his wife dead. But he objects to that sentiment:

“No you don’t. I was a demon then, it didn’t bother me the way your dad’s death bothered you. But then I realized something.” He dropped the computer next to himself on the bed then pulled it back onto his lap. “I was up on a hillside looking over the smoldering remains of a village and I could hear people sobbing. Lamentation torn straight from the bottom of their broken hearts. I did that. All that pain was my fault.”

And that is why he joined the Crossers, the organized group of demons who have regained some of their humanity and now work against the Dark from the inside. He’s got a lot to make up for.

I’m so pleased that you took a few minutes to stop by today and maybe leave a comment. I will return visits, though it may take me a day or two to do it. Sunday is part of Hockey Weekend Across America and I need to watch hockey!

Weekend Writing Warriors: why is this so important

Hi friends, I’m back with another excerpt for Weekend Writing Warriors, the blog hop that serves up dish after tasty dish of food for your soul, whether you’re a writer or just a reader!

I’m sure there will be plenty of romantic snippets this week, with the Valentine’s holiday. I’ll leave that to other writers — I like to be different 🙂 I’m skipping ahead some paragraphs from my last excerpt. The angel Adrael has requested help from Kazimir, Devorah’s mentor, to capture the demon known as Thaumiel. Kaz left the room and Devorah wondered what he’s put out about. When he returns, he’s in better spirits. (Devorah is the POV character)

“Angel, it’s gonna work this time — spasibo.” Kazimir lifted the glass of vodka in salute then drained it.

“Wait a minute,” I said. “You talk to Adrael like he knows why this is so important to you, but I don’t. I need to know if I’m going to be involved.”

He smacked the glass down. His whole body seemed to tense up. “Thaumiel’s responsible for my wife’s death.”

How’s that for a Valentine’s day downer? LOL! In my defense, I’m not writing a romance, and there’s little of the warm fuzzies that other writers will have for you today. I suppose I could have posted something from the sex scene 😀

You can find other excerpts from this story here.

Thanks for visiting. I try to run a neat inn!

No new thing under the sun – or is there?

Writing flowWriting: so many of us who do it have a love/hate relationship with the process. I like my story; Night Shift is a fantasy set in a modern-day fictional U.S. city which removes the hard work of creating a whole new world, which authors of stories set on alien planets need to do. The story has some religious questions which I find fascinating to explore. The story is told through the eyes of the female main character, and I get to make her somebody I would look up to in real life: doesn’t let people walk over her but has many of the same flaws as the rest of us. I adore character-driven stories, and am having a blast with the dynamic between Devorah and Kazimir.

Yet – the story falls short of some big dreams of mine. It’s set in an American city rather than a lesser known city in another country. As a reader, I love to read about places I’ve never been to.

The female main character is a blonde, blue-eyed Caucasian. Well, in my defense, I did that to contrast with her demon persona. You wouldn’t know she was a demon if you saw her strolling down the street in human form, you would just notice a blonde, blue-eye Caucasian chick. And I’m sure some readers will roll their eyes over that.

Kazimir could be described as the proverbial bad boy turned mostly good. There’s enough of an edge to make him unpredictable. Oh golly, not that again! In my defense, he popped out of my head that way, fully formed, like Athena from Zeus. His personality clicks with Devorah perfectly. But I’m sure some readers will roll their eyes over that also, and if I read that in a book nowadays, I might roll my eyes too.

What’s at stake in this story? Humanity! All the demons in hell might overrun the Earth and Satan might grab everybody’s souls! *sigh*

Well, that’s not all there is to the story, of course. Some of it’s very personal for Devorah as she tries to find out who really killed her police chief father, and why, and how to fix what’s happened to him after death. The angels in the story have a few flaws themselves; they exaggerate and do some subtle coercion because the end justifies the means. By the end of the story, it could be said that Kazimir faces bigger changes than Devorah.

A writer friend of mine reminded me that there really are no new stories, it’s the spin we put on the old ones that make them fresh and interesting. I hope readers will think my novel has an interesting enough spin to spend a dollar or two on it – but that’s yet to be seen. If you’re a member of Scribophile and are interesting in critiquing an early draft, you can “favorite” me or send me a message to find out which groups I post chapters to. Sincere, polite crits are always welcome.