Wednesday WIPpet

Wednesday already?!!? Dang. Well, that came up quick. I hope everyone’s been enjoying the WIPterviews. If you missed Monday’s with Alana Terry shame on you. Go enjoy it. Now. I still have quite a few to go and so far everyone has survived. Although there seems to be a problem with socks and ruby slippers. Don’t ask me, I just write here. I was asked by a few WIPpeteers if I would be answering the WIPterview questions myself. Here’s what I decided instead. You guys get to WIPterview me by leaving a question for me in the comments section. Once I get through all the WIPpeteers, I’ll post my answers. Yeah, we’ll have a nice group visit. I can move the coffee table and bring in some extra chairs . . . it will be perfect.

Also, thanks to a comment by the awesome Kate Sparkes, I’m going to add a WIPpeteer page with links to whatever published works the WIPpeteers have out there. If you’d rather not be included just let me know and I’ll have the flying monkeys take care of it.

Now, on to the main event. My WIPpet. Well, I’ve been banging my head against CB’s plot problems and hitting the December 31st deadline is starting to look like a lost cause. I’m not throwing in the towel yet. I’m stubborn that way. Could be I’m just over-thinking. That happens. Anyhow, for today 12/11/13 I’m going to employ some WIPpet math and give you 20 sentences from page 36 (12+11+13=36 and 20 for the year).

. . . I still had to traverse a labyrinth of ships and barges in for repair, as well as the assorted lumber, masts, and sails piled around them.

Skipping Stone occupied space at the far end of the yard. She’d been pillaged for useful bits and left to rot. Weeds grew through and around her skeletal frame, and she had long since listed onto her starboard side, the frame built to support her keel nothing but a distant memory. The smuggling holds could be reached either by a hatch on her bow near the anchor ring just above the water line, or a similar, well-disguised hatch on the deck.

I gave a coded knock on Stone’s hull with the pommel of my dagger and waited, counting breaths, then gave another single knock. Water lapped against the pier behind me, the raised voices of workers arguing drifted down the docks, and from inside Skipping Stone’s hull . . . silence. I rubbed my jaw, fighting the cold sensation in the pit of my stomach that had been lodged there like a chunk of jagged ice since the night Capper Nogg threw coin my way. That coin may not have been spelled, but damn if it hadn’t been cursed.

Doesn’t mean she’s dead, I told myself. She’s probably come and left.

And then, because the gods so love to stick it to me, a sliver of moonlight cut through the thin clouds and fell on a dark smudge in the exact spot Tam would have put a hand to trigger the mechanism that unlocked the hatch.

“Damn the gates.”

My hand hit the same spot with a bit more force than required, the mechanism clicked over, and the top of the hatch opened just enough to be seen. I slipped my dagger in the crack and pried it up far enough to get my hand in, pulling it open the rest of the way. We kept a supply of mage lights tucked on a narrow shelf inside the opening and I snatched at one, tapping the rune on its side to bring it to life. A careless thing to do without dropping into the hold and pulling the hatch closed first, but I didn’t care.

The ship’s unnatural angle had caused the walls of the hold to become the floor. I scrambled along, hunched over in the close confines, ignoring my aching leg because the mage light had shown more blood spots. Too many.

There you have it. Don’t forget, Friday is another WIPterview. Oh, and just because The Desolation of Smaug is due to be released (although I won’t get to see it until the 21st) and because I absolutely love this song, here’s I See Fire. I love this song, did I mention that?


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  1. Hooray for WIPpeteer linkage!

    I love your descriptions in this snippet. Brought me right into the scene, and reminded me of the shipwrecks around here (though I’d say ours look a bit different, being more rusty than rotten).

    • WIPpeteer linkage . . . sounds like something we’ll need to keep well-oiled. 😉

      Have you ever explored the shipwrecks? Or is it too dangerous? I’d love to go crawling around in them if they’re on shore.

  2. Great excerpt!!! I love your wrecked ship details! So vivid.
    And what a gorgeous song. I can’t wait to see The Hobbit.

    • I must have listened to that song on repeat for half a day! LOL I’m impatiently awaiting the delivery of the soundtrack. *taps foot* It was supposed to be here already.

  3. I love that Skipping Stone is a character in and of itself. It really adds to the scene.

    And interviews…I’ll get it to you soon. =P

    • Oh, don’t worry, I’ll be sending out reminders when i run low again. He, he. *knock, knock* “Who’s there?”

      I always think of ships as living beings. Well, sailing vessels, anyhow. I think I was a pirate in a previous lifetime. One of the things on my bucket list is to go on a cruise on a working sailing ship.

  4. Is it because the doors were left open a bit too long here at Bruegger’s or because of that scene that I am shivering? *brr!* That was intense.

    Okay.. question: what inspired you to get flying monkeys? Do ou have a contract with a zoo someplace for maintenance? And more seriously: when did you realize you wanted to be a writer?

    The song was really nice… must listen to it again where I’m not having The Eagles blasted over the restaurant loudspeakers (despite headphones).

  5. Fabulous details and scene setting in this extract. Really vivid – you totally drew me into the scene.

    I will think of a WIPterview question for you…

    • Thanks, Kate. My description of where the hatch was and the holds seemed bulky. I’ve got it clearly pictured in my head and was hoping it came across.

  6. Blood spots. That sounds ominous. I wonder what’s in store for this character (whose name I can’t remember!!)? Vivid descriptions of the boat, really brought it to life for me. 🙂

    • Can’t remember my character’s name?!!? *whump! passes out*

      Driev is the narrator. He’s a bit worried about what’s in store for him as well.

      • Thought it might be Driev but wasn’t sure *hangs head in shame*. In my defence I did check your intro to the excerpt but couldn’t see a mention of a name. Anyhow like I said, good piece with great mystery. 🙂

  7. Kathi, I love the way you ground the reader with physical details. Very good reading. I wish I could do that in a first draft! I tend to leave the details for later. 🙂

    And wow, that song is lovely. Great guitar too. Thanks for sharing. 🙂 I think I have to find that on iTunes …

    • Thanks, Ruth. This is a carefully constructed first draft since I’m on that crazy deadline. So I spend a little more time on it than I normally would. Otherwise my first drafts don’t read quite like that. In fact, I very rarely show a true first draft to anyone. *shudder* They’re terrible.

      Isn’t that song incredible? I shouldn’t have, but I read through some of the youtube comments. Oi. Some people just can’t accept a song for a song. Criticizing the choice of artist, the words, the style . . . I, for one, think it blends perfectly with Jackson’s adaptation. Even as a stand-alone I would easily mark it as a favorite.

  8. It’s interesting to read you writing in first person! Good luck with those plot points and looming deadline. You can do it!
    My WIPpet interview question for you is what embarrassing quirk do you have that none of us would expect?

    • I don’t normally ever write in first person, so it’s still rather weird for me. I still find myself occasionally slipping and have to go back to replace ‘him’ with ‘I’.

      Oooh, you guys are coming up with some doozy questions!

  9. Lovely snippet – fraught with doubt and dread! And wow, that song is haunting. Thanks for posting it!

    As for your interview question … What is the piece of writing/novel/story/etc you are most fond of, and why?

  10. Oh No! Something yucky must have happened to Tam! *sigh* I’d really love to read more of this particular WIP. Guess I’ll have to wait. 🙁

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