And Now For Something Totally New

If you recall, last week I mentioned something new I’ve been working on. It’s a fantasy piece; more the Sword & Sorcery type than the Epic/High type. I’m writing it in first person which I rarely ever do. Read: basically never. I’ve added it to my list of projects because . . well . . . I’m insane.

Does that really come as a surprise to anyone? I mean, how many projects am I juggling? And, oh, let’s not forget the whole flying monkeys thing.

Okay, what really prompted me to dive into it was word that Angry Robots has open submissions until the end of December. Well, I had a piece that is half written and mostly thought out, and just sitting in a virtual pile of dust shedding huge tears at being neglected. For some reason, the Angry Robots news made me think of it. That, in turn, made me think, “December 31 is quite a ways off.” After which, I stopped thinking altogether and just started writing. So, yeah, I plead insanity. I don’t even have a title for it yet. At the moment it is known merely as CoinbladeWhat’s a Coinblade, you ask? Sure you did. I heard you. A Coinblade is a professional, elite, assassin.

The fun part about CB (as I’ll now refer to it) is throwing in bits and pieces of thieves’ cant. Don’t know what that is? Here is a good link that I refer to frequently. Like most of my main characters, Driev Talbert is damaged goods (and for those who are curious, his name is pronounced Dry-eff, roll the r and emphasis on the last syllable, but don’t feel bad if you don’t get it, most people he knows pronounce it Drife and he’s just gotten used to it). He’s been through some hell and trying to claw his way out when his past comes back to bite him. Hard. ‘Why’ is just one of the questions he’s looking for the answer to.

So, for 11/13/13 I could give you the opening 13 lines . . . or the first 13 sentences of page 11 . . . or the first 11 paragraphs of page 13 . . . or just something totally random. I think . . . the first 11 sentences of page 11 to celebrate the 11th month of the year. I offer you no explanation to put it into context because that’s how I roll. I will tell you that Driev is sitting in a chair and the cord is laying across his leg.

When faced with a venomous snake poised to strike it’s best not to make any sudden movements. Any movement at all, including breathing, could very likely be your last. The copper and burgundy strands of intricately intertwined silk shot through with threads of spun, obsidian, mage glass couldn’t strike like a snake, but that made it no less deadly.

I froze; arms only partway forward, elbows thrust out from my sides like a bird’s wings caught in mid-flight. If I could have slid out from under the cord without disturbing it I would have. Following which, I would have promptly bolted for the door. My mouth discovered a whole new level of dry, and my chest began to ache from lack of oxygen. I fed it a quick, shallow gasp, slid my right hand to the small of my back where I kept a short knife, and thanked some random god I hadn’t been disarmed. Lifting the cord on the tip of the blade I flicked it onto Dell’s desk.

“Motherless whoreson,” I said, my voice hoarse and shaking, barely above a whisper. My eyes refused to leave the cord, as though it might leap back at me.

And because the chorus of this song, and the general theme, sort of fit Driev and the world in which he lives, I leave you with:

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  1. Ohhhh fun! Great descriptions here. Love the idea!

  2. It certainly has your usual flair. You must really like bad boys. You do them well.

  3. I love that word you coined–coinblade. Glad you’re submitting this in December! Wow. You are prolific!!! And Driev is very compelling. I agree with Josh. You’re great at the bad boys.

    • Thanks. I’m still trying to figure out if it should be capitalized. I’m terrible at that sort of thing. Like the nickname for the city guard, heavers. Cap or no cap?

  4. The video won’t work in my country. 🙁 Anyway, great excerpt. I would not want a snake (if that’s what it is??) on my lap either funnily enough! I admire/am amazed by your ability to juggle so many projects at once. One at a time is enough for me!! 🙂

  5. You are amazing. I hope everything goes well with the writing and submission process!

  6. Mage glass and silk threads… I’m getting a sense here that Driev best be watching his back now. Whoever prepared this little present for him, they probably have several more treats like it waiting…

  7. Wow, what a gripping scene full of suspense and intrigue to start us off with! I am in agreement about your ability to write a compelling bad boy.

    I have to admit, though, as you describe this cord that is laying across Driev’s lap that he’s watching like a hawk, it took me back to an obscure memory. Did you ever watch the 60’s show ‘Batman?’ The one that went ‘BAM’ and ‘ZONK!’ and where Robin almost always got into trouble and had to be rescued? Yeah, well there was this one episode where Robin fell on the ground and tripped the wire for a killer bee to come out. It’s slowly inching its way closer to him, and he can’t move because of the wire (if my memory is accurate) so as Driev is thinking of a snake ready to strike, I was thinking of the ‘awful killer bee’ ready to strike Robin.

    Yup, obscure memory, but your description sounds much more intense than Robin’s attempt to flee the bee, I promise 🙂

    • *ZAP* *POW* Holy fried eggs, Batman! What’s going on?” LOL Oh yeah, I remember that, sad to say. I’m not sure I recall the killer bee episode, but I bet I could track it down on You Tube. It just amazes me sometimes, what people think of when they read something. 😀

      And who said Driev was a bad boy? Okay, fine, he sort of is. But he’s trying.

  8. I think you ought to teach the flying monkeys how to write. They can take some of the burden off of you. 🙂 Good luck with all of your projects, I know balancing them can get tricky!

    • You know, those darn flying monkeys aren’t the most biddable creatures around. They feel as though they’re entitled to something other than . . . well, being a monkey with wings.

  9. Gah! Snakes! Motherless whoreson made me laugh. 🙂

  10. Ooo… fun! I like it. 🙂

    • I’m actually having a blast with it. Scary.

      • Scary because… you are getting a little too into your character and are having trouble distinguishing between the two of you? Or am I the only one who’s done that?

        • Scary because it’s coming together too easily. I’m suspicious. *eyes manuscript warily and pokes with pencil*

          Anyway, I never get too into my characters. Nope. Not me. But I do think they get too into me. Mwahahahaha

  11. Cool idea and compelling excerpt! Agree with the others who say Coinblade is great. I had some problems parsing the last sentence of the first paragraph, I think it had something to do with the comma placement.

    Good luck on getting it done in time and submitted to Angry Robots!

  12. Thanks, Ruth. Um . . . yeah . . . that last sentence is a bit of a clunker. I played with it a couple times but I’m still going to have to go back and fine tune it before I send this baby off.

  13. Ack! I’m okay with snakes, but make them venomous and… nope, I am no longer so cool with them. That cord that Driev is dealing with sounds like a piece of work, and I don’t blame him one bit for being so worried about it.

    Thank you for that link of thieves cant. I’ll have to save that in case I need it 😀

    Oh and Motherless Whoreson is being added to my list of things to yell at other motorists when they cut me off in traffic.

    • Motherless whoreson is Driev’s favorite. It really does roll off the tongue. Inventing curses that sound like a curse but don’t use the eff bomb takes some doing. ReGi gave me a couple good links to Medieval cursing, though. So it helps.

  14. Oooh! I love obsidian, and my daughter loves venomous snakes….so this was already cool.

    I really wanna know what that cord was intended to do, and why….and how Driev managed to get in that chair, with the cord on his leg, but left with his knife.

    I am way intrigued.

    And I love this bit:

    ~~My mouth discovered a whole new level of dry, and my chest began to ache from lack of oxygen. I fed it a quick, shallow gasp,~~

    I can feel this!

    As another juggler of many things at once, I tip my imaginary hat to you! I say dive in, surrender to the claws, and see where it goes!

    Oh, and share more with us, please! =D

    • Since you asked so nicely, I will share more with you on Wednesday. 🙂 I have given myself completely to Coinblade at the moment. Okay, still side editing going on and trying to get Emergence ready before the end of the year, but MAINLY CB. I am determined to get it done, read, edited, and submitted before the end of December. *head, desk*

  15. Pingback: Where’s Driev? And Who Is He Anyhow? |

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