Woeful Wednesday ROW80 and WIPpet

Yes, a very woeful Wednesday. Yesterday I was putting the finishing touches on Emergencegetting the ARCs ready to send out. I wasn’t satisfied with the last couple paragraphs. The ending felt a little bit like…

At least to me. Which isn’t a bad thing. But it wasn’t the right thing. So I spent some time on my break at work tweaking the last two paragraphs and adding another 800 or so words. It was a thing of dark perfection and foreboding, with lines like, “He dared to breathe only because he refused to die. He had come too far to give in to that petty master.” When I went to open the file at home, to convert it to my ARC…IT WASN’T THERE!!! Even though that blankity-blank-blank-bleep-bleep work computer claimed to have saved it, IT DIDN’T! It saved something I did after that. My ARC of Emergence? Poof!

I’m working on recreating it. It’s like trying to reconstruct a smashed vase.

Okay, so, ROW80 Check-in, right?

  • Emergence: Did nothing on the cover, and, well, the above explains the rest.
  • Still need to hammer out some semblance of a cohesive plot for CBC. 
  • Added more words to the first draft of CBC but I didn’t track how many.
  • Didn’t spend any time with Medieval Swordsmanship.
  • Exercised Monday and Tuesday. Getting my eating back on track.

Okay, WIPpet time. The date is 01/15/14 Hmmmm…..okay, I’m going to give you the first 29 sentences (+ two extra because I liked where that ended better) from page 1 of CBC since I have totally rewritten the beginning to give more of a feel for Driev’s current life.

Moonless nights, only the stars for light, when the darkness is thick as a cloak smothering sight and sound, those are my favorites. Those are the nights it’s possible to move unseen and unheard, flitting from one shadow to the next as nothing more than a wisp of thought.

It is a sad but true fact that the gods don’t give a rat’s balls what I favor.

Perched on a rooftop, huddled beside the chimney for warmth, I pulled my scarf tighter about my neck, and glared at the full moon. The Silver One, her Holiness of the Dark, may bless the edge of a fine blade with her kiss, but she’s no friend to the shadow trades.

I tipped my wine skin back for another pull, frowning when it offered up nothing more than a whiff of the ambrosia it had contained. Damn the gates, I should have brought more. It’s not like the job demanded the utmost skill or concentration. A bantling crack could manage it without getting nabbed. In truth, it was a waste of my talent, but my purse bore a striking resemblance to my wine skin at the moment, minus the pleasant aroma. Hope of refilling one depended wholly on refilling the other.

Voices rose from down Tartan Road, magnified by the sharp, cold air to make it sound as though they came from right beneath me. The water clock on Sounder’s Hill had long since chimed third watch. Not too much longer before it would sound fourth watch, and with it would come the false dawn. Soon after that, the bustling of Runoff coming to life for another day would claim the stillness. I needed to be on my way back to the Tart by then, prize in hand.

I rolled my shoulders back, and pried my head from between them, working the stiffness out of my neck, and shivering as the cold slid beneath my scarf. The houses across from me were no different than the one I sat on: two story, dilapidated, half-timber structures containing shops and homes, wedged up tightly against one another in a sagging row. A line of drunks propping one another up. Most of them with just as little to offer. Not that any building in Runoff had much to offer. In the hierarchy of Mossrae, Runoff stood only a turd’s width above…well, a turd. All bad things flow downhill after all.

The pale, flickering glow of a low-trimmed lantern appeared through the cracks of a shuttered window directly across the way.

“About time,” I murmured, my breath frosting through the silk mask covering the lower half of my face.

I edged away from the chimney to squat on the lip of the roof. The lantern bobbed out of sight, and a moment later the door to the house opened with a protest of cold, rusty hinges. A man stepped out and stretched, grumbling under his breath. He pulled his heavy cloak close around his hulking frame, stomped his feet as though they were already cold, and gave a sharp whistle. A lanky hound trotted out to join him before he jerked the door shut.

They had just stepped into the road when the hound lifted its broad head and scented the air. I narrowed my eyes at the creature, willing it to be gone.

Don’t forget, we had a great WIPterview with Shan Jeniah Burton on Monday, and we’ll have another one on Friday.

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  1. Noooo!!!!! There’s nothing worse than losing work. And recreating it never matches the first stab (or so it seems. Sometimes the result comes out even better 🙂 ) You can do it!!!

    Fantastic WIP this week!

    • Thanks. What’s worse is I took a stab at recreating it last night and it’s not on my jump drive again. Good thing I saved it as another file name on my laptop at home. *sigh* I’m not sure why, but this file apparently doesn’t want to save. I checked properties and it’s not marked as ‘read only’ so that’s not the issue. Dang technology.

  2. Oh I feel your pain losing your work. And trying to recreate it is always so darn difficult – hope you managed to succeed.

    As for your WIPpet – lovely first paragraph and the second made me giggle. So atmospheric, the scene-setting is great and I absolutely love Driev’s voice.

    • I did recreate it. I’m happy with it, except for the last line. The last line isn’t bad, it just isn’t the original last line. Do you think I could remember what that was? Nnnnnooooooooooooo, of course not.

      I’m glad the second paragraph got a giggle out of you. 🙂 Fully my intent. And hopefully sets the voice a bit.

  3. Arrrrrrggggh!!!! Computers are a necessary evil. But they make life hard sometimes. Ugh!

    Your WIPpet has great descriptions! I love how you get into Driev’s head. Utterly love this: “My purse bore a striking resemblance to my wine skin at the moment, minus the pleasant aroma. Hope of refilling one depended wholly on refilling the other.”

  4. Hmmm, Driev’s day sounds like it was going about as well as yours. *gets it like only another writer can*. I once lost a piece ironically entitled the Lost Scroll of Josiah Daffyd. I did rewrite it, eventually, but it left some deep scars… Good luck!

    • Yeah, it’s a blow to realize something you worked…nay, slaved over like the proverbial hot stove on a sweltering summer day…has been eaten by Cyber Munchers. And then have the hubby look at me and just not quite get it…that didn’t help any.

  5. Another thoroughly excellent scene, Kathi! I want to take lessons from you on creating details to ground the reader. 🙂

    But ack and expletives on loosing work! I’ve been known to cry when that has happened. I have a story, though, that just might cheer you up. At a university where I used to work back in the day, when people were just beginning to use computers — but not German literature professors, since they didn’t believe in that new-fangled crap — someone stole the briefcase of the head of the French department. Which just happened to contain the typescript of a new book he was working on …

    • Ha! You keep that up and I’m going to blush. 🙂

      Did the head of the French dept. ever get his transcript back? I think I would have tossed myself off a cliff.

  6. Ack! I’ve never had that happen with a WIP, but too many times to count with work-related reports. Work reports still require using Word, the program from hell. The havoc that plays with large files is criminal. 🙁

    Maybe you really have a ghost in the machine messing with this story!

    • Something seemed to be wrong with the file because when I tried to save it at home I had the same issue. I had to rename it. Then it saved. So all those times I hit the save button it wasn’t doing it. Grrrrr

  7. There must be something in the stars–both our ROW80 check-ins for today had the word “woe” in the title. So sorry that you lost your work. I know how frustrating that feels.

    BTW, I love the passage from your WIP. The voice is really strong!

    • Oh no! Hopefully yours wasn’t all that woeful. I’ll breeze over to commiserate. 🙂

      Thanks. This is the first time I’ve done anything of length in first person. It just seems to flow, though, so I won’t argue.

  8. Are you serious!?!? I really hope you mean you just lost the 800 last words, not the ENTIRE thing.

    • Just the last 800 words. I think I would have fallen on my sword if I lost the whole thing. I almost did that once when my jump drive fell in the sink. Thankfully it was okay once it dried off. Since that scare I’ve gotten better about backing up big chunks.

  9. Auugh! Good luck rebuilding what you lost!

  10. Ooo… I like “protest of cold, rusty hinges.” That’s exactly how I feel when I’ve been outside in the cold-cold for too long.

    I’m glad you got your story rebuilt already. What a pain.

  11. The dog will ruin all the things! Sure, a dog’s hearing, sight, and back can go out, but its nose takes forever to die! Says she with a near blind 14-year-old, basset mix with back problems and suspected hearing issues. Only her nose is as good as the day we got her (when she was 6). The wine should flow!

    I totally hate when programs lie and say it saved, but it didn’t. The only thing worse is when a file gets corrupted. That’s the evilest juju in the land! Hope things are moving forward now and that the work computer is behaving.

    • Hee, hee. Yes, damn those dogs with their excellent schnozzes. My oldest will be 15 come July. He’s delusional, I fear, but very happy and content. Doesn’t hear very well. I’m not sure he sees so good. But, boy, let him come along to “help” with chores and he’s bouncing around like a puppy! When his mother was 17, you could explode a bomb next to her and she wouldn’t wake up. Lay a piece of popcorn on the floor a few inches from her nose…oh yeah, wake up time!

      Ah, yes, corrupted files. And then they to try to show it to you in a series of strange, alien-looking symbols. “Is this the file you would like to recover?”

  12. I hate losing work like that. So bummed for you. 🙁 I’m sure it’s a pain to recreate everything, but you’ll get there.

  13. Joining the chorus of mourners for the Lost Words. I once had a cat named Lost Boy (I worked for a vet, and that was the moniker he earned when he strayed onto the property.)

    Wonderful cat – kept getting lost, until that last time when he never did get found….

    I can’t believe I am the only one who hooted at *Runoff stood only a turd’s width above…well, a turd. All bad things flow downhill after all.*

    I must be the only immature person in all of WIPpetland! =)

    I do so love Driev! And this – this is spectacularly engaging, I’ve been reading Robert Jordan; and this is on a par with his best descriptions. =D

    • Maybe you’re just the only one brave enough to admit you hooted at that line. I snorked when I wrote it.

      Aw, poor Lost Boy. 🙁 Maybe he found a new island somewhere.

      Robert Jordan. Wow. Thanks. *blushes modestly* I love Driev, and I have many words written, but I’m plot waffling again. There’s just something missing…but I shall beat it into submission because I’m enjoying it too much to give up.

      • Maybe I’m just immune to that kind of embarrassment – there’s been lots of fart talk around here, lately.

        While I was typing the last comment, it occurred to me that this snippet has the flavor of one of Mat’s darker scenes. Only Mat’s a lot softer than Driev; for a few books at least.

        I know you’ll figure out what’s not there, and add it, in delightfully deviant Driev style!

        • I have four brothers. Bodily functions and the discussing of them ceased to embarrass me eons ago. Plus, I raise dogs and sheep. You should hear some of the mealtime conversations we’ve had.

          I’m hoping I figure it out soon.

  14. Sorry to get here late, but life has been giving me a lot of personal experience with things “that run downhill…”.

    Ugh! even losing 800 words is brutal (and I totally get the whole Disney-ish thing… so not what I’ve seen of your style, Kathi). I think we’ve all been there at least once. (And wuss that am, I pouted and wept a whole day when it happened to me.)

    And I’m joining Shan in adding that that was close to my favorite line… I have to say close because there were so many great quotes this excerpt. Driev is such a pisser!

    • He’s a sarcastic, sour, shit, that’s what he is. But I love him. 🙂

      Sorry to hear things are…running downhill. Hope they start heading back the other way really soon.

      • You know his best. You probably love and hate him completely.

        Things are starting to look up. I was able to get out of the house today and catch up with stuff. It’s a start. 😀

  15. Great excerpt Kathi. I like the way you set the scene so well and descriptively, with Driev sitting in the dark alert to his surroundings. I also thought it was funny you likening Runoff to a turd! Good stuff. 🙂

  16. Oh noes, that is truly woeful! 🙁

    But I really do love this excerpt. Especially the opening lines, and the comparison between the wine skin and his purse.

  17. Pingback: Muted Popcorn Play -ROW80 Update 1/20/14 | shanjeniah

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