Archive for 'snippet'
Wednesday, May 15th, 2013
I’m having doubts. This is the latest snippet. Does it make you want to read forward? Do you connect with Taryn at all? (I know, small snippet, but what’s your reaction?) I know it’s rough, so bear with me.
At the mention of the Brody name, Taryn went rigid. “That’s enough,” she said, pushing abruptly to her feet and collecting up her dishes. “I don’t need to hear any more.”
“What?” was Granger’s bewildered reply.
“I don’t need to hear any more,” she said, then turned around, folding her arms over her wrinkled blouse. “I don’t want to hear any more. Finish your pie and your coffee and get on with you.”
“But— I have to tell you. You’re on the list.”
“You know. The List. The Book List.”
He cast a look around the kitchen as if searching for the incriminating book. It lay on the end of the kitchen island, beside a vase of white camelias. The edges of the flowers were turning brown and starting to curl. It seemed like an omen.
Granger’s gaze skimmed right over the book without seeing it. Hard to believe, given that it was bound in wood with traceries of silver curling across it like whisps of mist. Dotting the cover and set into bezels of silver were cabochons of amethyst, tiger eye, agate, moonstone, and a dozen other stones Taryn had yet to identify.
She’d left the damned thing— Taryn let out a quiet sigh. She couldn’t remember where or even when she’d even picked it up, much less actually put it somewhere. It didn’t matter. The book followed her. Silently demanding. Open it. Write in its blank pages.
When gators tanned their own hides and turned themselves into boots, Taryn thought sourly and focused back on her guest. Invader. Granger was eyeing her with frowning sterness, like a father about to give his daughter a lecture. Or so she supposed. Her father had scarecely ever noticed her, much less lectured.
A spider slid down a thread directly above the sheriff’s head. A black widow, by the looks of her. She hung there, waiting silent vigil. If he were to threaten Taryn, the spider would act. She wouldn’t be the only one. A swarm of delicate spider feet tickled up Taryn’s legs and over her lap, climbing up onto the underside of the table. A silent, deadly army. Whether he knew it or not, Granger was in serious danger.
Tuesday, April 30th, 2013
Got an email from a colleague tonight, which speaks to the title of this post. I won’t say anything about its content here, except what’s in the title, but I have to say I’m struggling with a reply. Which is to say, I’m struggling with not answering. Because frankly, there’s little point. It’s a lot like discovering that the Internet is WRONG and MUST BE CORRECTED. Banging a head on the wall, which only hurts my head. I’m taking note that Karma will take a bite out of his/her ass and trying to push it out of my head. I should note that the email was not to me, but the whole department.
And so, focusing on me and my writing, A snippet from my WIP
Taryn jerked awake, heart hammering against her ribs. She leaped up from her sewing table and stumbled over the piles of fabric surrounding her chair. She caught herself with a hand on the table and froze, her skin prickling. She strained to hear sounds of an intruder, but the thud of her blood through her veins drowned out all else. Her gaze darted across the cavernous room, searching the shadows at the far end where her sewing light didn’t reach.
Misty red and blue light pulsed through the space, turning the massed humps of clothing and fabric crowding the room to threatening monsters. She shivered and straightened her spine indignantly, spidering her fingers across her table to find her shears. Her jaw jutted furiously. This was her house and she’d be damned if she’d let some possum-faced coward slink about in the middle of the night and intimidate her in her own home.
Friday, October 19th, 2012
We’ve got a showing on the house on Monday. That means I have to clean this weekend. I mean, really clean. Plus rake leaves. I have some help from children, but mostly it will be me. Plus I start a new block on Monday, which means prepping the course and all that. I mean, I’ve been getting ready, but I have to get more ready and things printed and so on and so forth. So keep good thoughts for the showing.
Otherwise, I’ve been getting some writing done and wrangling kids. They’ve been out of school for a couple of days and having lots of fun with friends. Also there’s the whole doing laundry, feeding them, being mugged by dogs, and all that sort of thing.
And now, for your snipped of Blood Winter:
“What is this stuff?”
As Tyler complained, he brushed at his clothing. A streak of bright red dust clung to the shirt wrapping his lean, muscular frame. His long blond hair was tied at the base of his neck, and he sported a Three Musketeers-style mustache and beard.
Max sipped at the concoction in her glass, wincing at the thick, syrupy taste. Now that food was getting a lot harder to come by, Magpie, a Circle-level witch and the covenstead’s cook, had come up with a high-calorie drink made from honey, berries, and who knew what else. It tasted like the worst kind of cough medicine, but Shadowblades and Sunspears didn’t have much choice. They needed a minimum of twenty thousand calories a day each to fuel the spells that created them, and going to Costco or Walmart for tubs of peanut butter and pallets of power bars was no longer an option. The Ugly Juice, as everybody was quietly calling it when Magpie’s back was turned, was the only answer they had come up with.
“Maybe you rubbed up against something,” she suggested unhelpfully as the red smudge refused to budge. “Or someone.” She lifted a brow suggestively.
“The same something—or someone—you rubbed up against?” He glared at her arm. His blue eyes burned in his narrow face, and he spun a knife around the fingers of his left hand. It never seemed to leave his grip anymore. Like a deadly security blanket. He was perpetually angry, always needing to move. As if he was hunted.
Max glanced down at herself and frowned. A streak of red dust ran down her forearm. She wiped at it. The stuff might as well have been spray paint. She shrugged and gave up. “Probably something one of the witches concocted. Likely Kyle,” she said, wincing again.
Her brother had all the power of a Triangle witch and all the training and self-control of a toddler. He tended to experiment with spells before considering the consequences, with frequently messy and sometimes dire results.
“He needs a keeper,” Tyler said, taking half a biscuit drenched in gravy and offering it to the beast lying at his feet.
The Grim stared up at him with unworldly green eyes for a long moment, before closing Tyler’s entire hand in her jaws and scraping off the biscuit, leaving welts across his skin. The creature was at least two hundred fifty pounds of pure muscle and stood about three feet tall at the shoulder. Her bearlike fur was blue-black, developing into a ruff behind her heavy, square head. Her tail curled around her legs.
“Nice doggy,” Max said, eyeing the scrapes on Tyler’s hand. His healing spells kicked in instantly, and a moment later they vanished. “What’s she do when she’s pissed off at you?”
He looked down at the Grim. The beast looked like a cross between a dog and a bear, but she was something far more magical and dangerous. Not to mention unpredictable, moody, and very possessive of Tyler.
He grimaced, and then the corner of his mouth turned up reluctantly. “It’s not what she does when she’s pissed that’s the question, it’s what she does if she isn’t. That I’m still waiting to find out.”
Max snorted. “You do seem to attract sketchy women.”
“I was thinking of the witch-bitch herself. Giselle.”
He chuckled. “You’ve got a point there. Apparently, I like hard-assed women with vicious tendencies.”
“Good thing, too, given that you’re surrounded by them. And sleeping with one,” she said, jerking her chin at the Grim. “Does she hog the bed?”
Tyler winced. “More like I am the bed. I usually wake up with her sprawled across me and with a mouthful of dog hair.”
“Shut up. What about Beyul? Alexander’s Grim doesn’t exactly strike me as the sort to sleep at the foot of the bed.”
“He likes the couch.”
“What about Spike?”
Spike was a Calopus and looked a lot like a silver wolf, except for the two thin horns that curved from her skull and the multitude of poison spines along her back, chest, sides, and tail. She had taken a liking to Max and had become her regular companion. Just at the moment, she slept under the table, her chin resting on Max’s foot.
“The couch is big enough for her and Beyul both.”
“You and Alexander are probably too loud and energetic for either beastie to sleep well if one of them tried to share the bed. But maybe they like to watch,” Tyler said, waggling his brows up and down. His knife still spun between his fingers.
Max flushed despite herself. She wasn’t used to having someone special in her life and in her bed. Ever since becoming a Shadowblade, she’d kept everyone at arm’s length, resorting to one-night stands to scratch her sexual itches. But then Alexander had come along and changed all that. Sort of. She was still trying to figure out how not to fall back into the habit of closing him out. During the days in bed, when she could float on the amazing feelings he awoke in her, things were just about perfect. But then nights came, and she had to deal with all her fears and knee-jerk patterns of shutting down rather than dealing with too many conflicting emotions. Alexander had a lot patience, but it was running out. After that— After that was something that was starting to give her nightmares.
“Maybe they do watch,” she said with a shrug. “’Course, I wouldn’t know. I keep busy, you know.”
“Which reminds me, where is the fair Alexander tonight?” Tyler glanced around at the other tables in the covenstead’s dining commons, where several other Shadowblades and Sunspears were eating. “You didn’t forget to unlock his handcuffs, did you?”
“No, just wore him out. Turned him into a puddle of satisfied man-goo.”
“Way too much information,” Tyler said, sitting back and making a face.
Monday, October 15th, 2012
First, I have an interview up on Short and Sweet Reviews. Come visit! . Come visit and see what I have to say. You might find something out about me you didn’t know . . .
In other news, I may be feeling better. I took a long walk with the dogs today, accomplished some writing, showered, shopped for groceries, did laundry, did parent teacher conferences (which for the middle schooler was looooong because you walk from classroom to classroom and wait in line with other parents for your five minutes. No appointments). I also did homework with girlie and listened to the boy play his clarinet. So busy day. I did have some sleepy moments in there, but given that I didn’t sleep that well last night, it counts as much improved.
And a snippet from today’s writing. I know I’ll be playing with it to clarify pronouns as much as possible, but here for you anyhow:
“Come on, then,” he said. “Don’t just stand there. You want me. Come get me.”
The one on his left lunged first. Terval stepped into him, snatching his arm as it swung down. He yanked the other man across his body, twisting his arm up behind him as he sent the other man careening into the attacker on the right. He felt bone break. The cudgel fell to the floor as his attacker let out a shriek of pain.
“I told you to come get me. I didn’t say I would make it easy,” Terval taunted. The center attacker smiled in an almost friendly way and inched closer. Meanwhile the man on the right had untangled himself and dropped his whimpering companion to the floor. He now turned his attention back to Terval who had edged toward the balcony doorway.
Both of his attackers lunged at once. Terval sidestepped. The center man grappled him around the waist, slamming him against the still-closed door to the balcony. The breath exploded from Terval. He drove his knife into the attacker’s back up to the hilt, then kicked out and shoved him into the third attacker, even as his cudgel crashed into Terval’s shoulder. Pain erupted in his arm and then it went numb.
Wednesday, September 12th, 2012
Read in a student paper today: “he had Ivies coming out if arms.”
–I rather think that could be interesting in a story, actually. It’s far more interested in the IVs he undoubtedly had.
Read in a student text today: “So, um, can’t make work today because my boyfriend came to purpose to me.”
–Purpose sounds quite dirty, doesn’t it? We also admired the tone, which was quite bland for getting purposed (or even proposed to).
Have a post on Magical Words today about comparing and despairing or inspiring.
He eyed the merti board. A frown creased his forehead and sat back up. For the second time that evening, a chill raised gooseflesh on his skin. In the pattern of play Yeron had made was an arrow made of opals pointing to the northeast.
Coincidence. It had to be. Or more likely, silverborn insanity.
Or maybe it was prophecy. The possibility skittered through Seavik’s mind. Then he shook himself, wincing at the lance of pain that ran through his belly. He swiped an impatient hand over the board. Stones clicked and rolled across the floor. Foolishness, he scoffed at himself and lumbered to his feet.
But as he retreated to his chambers, he wondered . . . .
Wednesday, June 13th, 2012
I finished the revisions of Blood Winter. Unfortunately, or fortunately, depending on your perspective, I cut a whole lot and added a whole lot. At least half of the book is new. There’s a whole other blog post to be written about that. For now, I wanted to post a scene that I loved and could not save. It just didn’t fit, along with many others. I hope you enjoy:
Alexander’s teeth clamped on the spoon and he felt the metal bend and perforate. Slowly he pulled it out of his mouth. “Yes,” he said. What did Oz know? What had she told him? Giselle did not actually like Alexander much either. She was willing to use him, mostly because she had no choice, but because she had won him from another witch, and because she could not control him the way she could Oz, she did not trust him.
“Get out of the way, you mountain of testosterone,” came Lise’s voice from behind Oz.
Alexander grinned as Oz staggered forward and then whipped around. Lise stood behind him, unfazed by the violence rippling through his body. She stood five foot nine with a delicate face and a slender body. Her burnished walnut hair fell about her shoulders in rich waves.
Not long ago, she had been turned into something resembling hamburger by a rising Fury. Alexander could not look at her now without the memory of her mangled form filling his mind. It put him more on edge. He should have protected her, not that he could have.
Logic did not matter. He should have done better.
She glared at the three men, her eyes brilliant blue. “Holy shit, how can you three breathe with all that male hormones flying around in here?” She waved a hand in front of her face to disperse invisible fumes.
Thor chuckled. “Don’t look at me. I don’t have a rooster in this fight.”
“Cock,” she corrected. “And I’ve not yet met a man who doesn’t have his in every fight,” she said. “Don’t feel bad that yours is just smaller than the other cocks on the playground,” she said with syrupy sweetness, patting his shoulder in mock sympathy.
Thor snorted and choked on his peanut butter.
Alexander grinned despite himself and Oz chuckled as Thor bent double, great coughs bellowing his ribs.
“Someday that mouth of yours is going to get you in real trouble,” Oz said to Lise, reaching out to take a power bar from the cupboard.
“What else is new?” she said. “Is someone going to give him mouth to mouth or something? Before he dies?”
“Not me,” Oz said, biting into the bar. “I’m not kissing him.”
“Nor I,” Alexander said, licking peanut butter off the spoon, forcing his tense muscles relax.
“Well don’t look at me,” she said, brushing imaginary lint off the front of her shirt. “I don’t kiss men. Women taste better, smell better, and they are soft in all the right places.”
“Can’t argue with that,” Oz said with a wolfish grin.
“Nor can I,” Alexander said, humor rising up through the shroud of worry that encased him.
Thor at last straightened, his voice raspy. “I wouldn’t want any of you kissing me anyhow. Specially Lise. She’d probably bite off my tongue.”
She patted his butt. “No probablies about it, Tex. Now, aren’t you two supposed to be getting into bed? Dawn is just about to break. If you fry inside the RV, we’ll never get it clean.”
“You’re concern for us is overwhelming,” Thor said, grabbing a jug of lemonade and sweeping up the rest of his food hoard into his arms.
“Somebody has to care,” Lise said with a pirate smile. “Where are we?”
Alexander explained. “Do try to hurry,” he added. Then as an afterthought, “but do not drive us into trouble.”
“Can’t have it both ways,” she said airily as she pulled a hunk of cheese out of the small refrigerator. She whipped out one of her knives and sliced off a piece, as she headed to the driver’s seat. “Either you want to go fast or you want to go safe. Which will it be?”
Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012
“Just because you’re winning don’t mean you’re the lucky one.” Guns N Roses
Now the snippet:
“Let’s get these bodies in the ground. Simon, go bring back the backhoe.”
As the others obeyed, she and Alexander wandered around, accompanied by Beyul and Spike. They came to the spot where the red-haired preacher had suddenly appeared. Max stared at the broad circle of red dust on the dirt road, then squatted and touched it, rubbing it between her fingers. Where it touched, it didn’t come off.
Beyul sniffed it and padded through it. None of it clung to him. Spike sneezed and edged carefully around the circle.
Slowly Max stood and looked up at Alexander. Her expression was troubled. “This stuff is all over Horngate. It’s all over us. Somehow he got inside the mountain. Before the wards broke. He got in without tripping any alarms.”
“How is that possible?” Alexander asked, unease prickling along his neck.
Max shook her head. “That’s just it, Slick. It isn’t.” She looked back down at her fingers. “What the fuck are we dealing with?”