Weekend Writing Warriors: You spent time in hell

balmy palms
Photo courtesy Flickr cc; Marc Cooper, Balmy Palms

Hello again, friends and followers. It’s time for another post for Weekend Writing Warriors, the blog hop where writers share up to 10 sentences from an original work of theirs then hop around to visit and comment on each other’s excerpts. Fun? You bet! Fantasy to historical to romance to sci fi, we’ve got it!

Background for this snippet: Devorah and Kazimir have gone back to their apartment after capturing a high-ranking demon at the angels’ request. Kazimir engaged in some, well, behavior during the capture that wasn’t agreed upon . He and Devorah are visited by a “supervisor” angel who reads Kaz the riot act. He says he had a perfectly good reason for what he did, and was planning to explain. The angel called Nanshi is the first speaker here. You can find previous excerpts here.

“Seeking permission after the fact has never been acceptable. Nor has allowing personal revenge to take precedence over Crosser directives, which you clearly have been planning to do for some time. You spent time incarcerated in hell because of misdirected personal motives, is that correct?”

I could hear the clock ticking from my bedroom down the hall. Finally Kazimir said, “I wouldn’t exactly call it that.”

“You have the capacity to learn from your mistakes, which does not seem to be occurring. We placed great trust and confidence in you, Mr. Barsukov. While you have served well, you have also made a series of decisions, capped by these most recent, that lead us to question your integrity.”

Ooops! These angels get pissed. Hopefully Devorah will also learn something from this . . . ya think? –Nah, where’s the fun in that?

Treated myself to a hot fudge sundae Saturday evening, because 85 degrees; that’s about 30 for those of you who do Celsius/centigrade. I will never complain about heat or humidity again, no sir, not after two record-breaking winters. I love summer anyway -smile-

I write in Word with each chapter in a separate file. I recently compiled them all into one file and the word total came out to a little under 83k. Not too shabby for a first novel, particularly since I’m still tweaking it. I’m purposely leaving some room because I’m sure there are places where more worldbuilding needs to happen. I used to think I had a fair sense of what was necessary in my stories and what could be left out, but have realized that’s so not true. In a broad sense, yes, I can tell which plot points need to be fully shown and which can be condensed, or that some scenes have too much dialog. But pinpointing exactly which sentences should be deleted, or which should be expanded on, is actually not an easy thing when you have a whole novel to think about. There are so many nuances affected by what a writer leaves in or takes out. I’ll be glad to get other eyes on this thing!

If you’re in the U.S. and celebrating Memorial Day, be safe. This weekend tends to bring out the “firecracker crazies.” And spend a few minutes contemplating what our military service people have given up because they went out to do what you and I couldn’t–fight real battles, face real bullets and bombs, conquering their own fear in the process. My father served in World War II. He refused to talk about his experiences except to say he saw horrible things. It must have given him the dark edge we saw from time to time. How different would he, and so many others, have been if war had never happened? Worth thinking about.

Thanks for visiting my blog, I appreciate it.


Weekend Writing Warriors: What the hell was that?

Well friends, I hope whatever your current season is that it’s treating you better than spring in Western New York. Outlying areas may see a freeze tonight. *sigh* Today was rainy, gusty, and chilly–but on the upbeat side, I’ve spent the afternoon editing/revising additional chapters of my novel-in-progress, Night Shift, from which I present 8 more sentences. Oh dark fantasy’s not really your thing? That’s cool, visit Weekend Writing Warriors for excerpts from the whole range of genres. A bunch of us share snippets and comments every week. Seriously, other than writing, it’s the most fun I have in the week!

Skipping ahead a bit, Devorah and Kazimir are returning to their apartment. It’s late at night. Being humans who are also demons has disadvantages: you never know who or what might be lurking in the shadows, waiting to spring with weapons conventional or otherwise.

When we turned onto our street, I scanned the nearby porches, knowing Kazimir would be keeping an eye on the spaces between the parked cars we passed. He’d taught me a few tricks in case anybody tried to grab me but it was best to avoid trouble. Human thugs weren’t all we needed to look out for; rival demon groups had been known to attack each other.

My gaze was drawn to a porch across the street. Something lay on one of the steps, a deeper black than the surrounding shadow. It oozed up onto the porch floor and disappeared.

My eyes popped wide open. “What the hell was that?”

Probably something unconventional! Maybe don’t cross the street, ya think?

I expect to have 27 chapters once I’m done with this draft, and I’m on chapter 21 today. I’m still focusing on the plot rather than the prose, because it’s annoying to craft gripping or soaring prose only to cut those scenes because the plot has to be changed. Wish me luck! Thanks for visiting today, your comments always make me smile 🙂

Weekend Writing Warriors: He makes me want to be with him

treble & bass clef heart

Hello folks, it’s time for Weekend Writing Warriors again, my favorite time of the week! It’s the blog hop where writers share up to 10 sentences of their own work, peeps like you read and comment, then they visit your blog where they read and comment. It’s pretty cool exchange, and you’re liable to find your next favorite writer this way 🙂

Okay. Here in the U.S., May 8, 2016 is Mother’s Day. Because my current WIP Night Shift is kind of at variance with the overall theme of Mother’s Day, I’m going to post something completely different. It’s from a sort of monologue one of my characters shared with me, something I didn’t expect her to do but it’s helpful to get insight into the mind of any character. The character is Sophie, the novel-in-progress she appears in is called Street Glass. Some of you may remember that I posted bits of that a couple years ago, although I don’t think I introduced Sophie back then.

In this excerpt, Sophie is talking about her boyfriend, Sandy. Both of them are rock musicians in separate bands. It’s the old story of two people who had a fling then fell in love. These two fall so hard they eventually marry. That not only surprised both of them, I didn’t see it coming either 🙂

What I love about Sandy is that I can cry to him about my troubles, just looking for sympathy, and he gives me what I need. He doesn’t try to automatically fix everything, he seems to know when I need to let it out and when I really need help.

And he doesn’t compete. He’s not insecure because he’s got a solid career of his own. He knows what he’s good at. My other boyfriends have complained, “what have you got two careers for anyway? You always put that ahead of me.” Sandy’s not like that–he’ll tell me “I’ll miss you every night that you’re not with me, and I hope you can join me sometimes.”

It’s a whole different world with him. He makes me want to be with him more and maybe doing some other things less.

Aw 🙂 Sophie can be stubborn and too ambitious for her own good, but she knows a good thing when she finds herself in the middle of it.

Happy Mother’s Day, whether your children have two feet or four, are covered in skin or fur or feathers! Or scales, I don’t want to leave out peeps who have pet reptiles! Pets are an awful lot like human children–they need love and attention, food, good housing, trips to the doctor, they put things in their mouths that they’re not supposed to, they get home schooling, some pets wear clothes! And many pets do talk back, take my word for it! I hope all of you have just the kind of day you want. And thanks for visiting my blog, I surely appreciate it.