Tomorrow I’ll be hitting the road for Colorado with two of my friblings. My sistas. Not related but as close as my siblings, closer than some to be honest. We’re heading to the Australian Shepherd National Specialty in Greeley and I won’t be getting back home until the 29th. That means I won’t have much time to visit the other WIPpeteers this week (though I’ll try) and I likely won’t have a WIPpet next week. *boo, hiss* *hangs head* Yes, I know. I will have my laptop and WiFi but down time will be at a premium.
So as to not abandon you completely, I will be handing the Blog over to the fantabulous Steve McHugh on Monday, 9/23. Steve is the author of the Hellequin Chronicles and has visited the Blog twice before, here and here. So stop in and show him some love as he talks about going from Indie to Traditional publishing.
Now, on to this week’s WIPpet. 9/18/13. I’m going to exercise creative WIPpet math (9+18+13) and give you the next 40 lines of Fortune Favors the Cold because, between working on Emergence and getting ready for CO, I’ve been a writerly sloth. If you recall, we left Lanster dangling over the edge of a cliff with an unknown threat below. Again, my disclaimer, this is rough, first draft stuff here. To refresh your memory, we ended with:
“Really, Branson? Really?” Lanster’s voice held a rising note of panic. The rope jerked again. “Did I mention they can jump? And that they appear hungry? Did I mention that?”
And now we continue with:
“No. Just hold, is all.”
Branson rolled to his side and fished around in his bag. His questing fingers landed on a small, smooth orb about the size of an eyeball. He withdrew it, holding it between thumb and forefinger, marveling as he always did at the array of colors encased in its shimmering black surface. You could buy just about anything in the Dunward Market, including enchanted items such as the shimmer ball he now held. One of only three remaining in his pack. He hated to waste it so early in their venture and made a mental note to pick up some more once they got back.
“Some time in the next breath would be nice,” Lanster said.
“Bury your eyes.” Branson spoke a word of Arcane, reached out with his arm, and dropped the shimmer ball straight down past Lanster, ducking his head back as soon as he released it. He’d watched the first shimmer ball he ever used do its job once: Couldn’t see anything but spots of light for a good seven days afterwards.
Plink.The ball landed far below.
Branson ticked off a ten count in his head. Even with his face buried in his arms and eyes squeezed shut he knew when the shimmer ball ignited. Screeches filled the cavern, punctuated by Lanster’s string of loud, multi-cultural curses. The lad had a gift for foreign tongues, that he did.
A wave of heated air gusted past, ruffling his hair before the cool of the cavern returned.
Branson blinked. “Alive yet?”
“Me or the others?”
“Me, yes, but singed, thanks much. The others, not so lucky.” The rope gave a final twist, then went slack. “I’m down. Leg it over before more of them things think I make an easy snack.”
Branson resituated his pack across his shoulder. Without standing, he grabbed hold of the rope and rolled off the ledge. His heart thumped a little as it always did when he first took the drop. He’d no fear of heights. Falling, on the other hand, always worried him. That first moment of strain across his shoulders when nothing but his strength and a length of spun fiber lay between him and a dusting sent a rush through him every time.
He hand-over-handed his way down in short order, dropping the last half a rod to land lightly next to Lanster. The lad had the torch in one hand, his falchion in the other, its polished blade reflecting the light. Sweat plastered his blond curls to the side of his face and dragged a line of dirt along his jaw.
Now, go forth and WIPpet and I’ll try to visit one and all.