I haven’t featured an excerpt in a month!
Keeping up with my NaNo-PAWN count on my third book while editing my first book, plus critiquing for others adds up, people! And real life is in there, too.
So here’s a little scene later in The Unraveling that I’ve just reworked after a crit partner noted I could show more emotion. In it, the Victorian Annmar realizes her proper city upbringing has left out so much that’s important in Blighted Basin.
“Alike?” Annmar wrinkled her nose. “But you know so much about country life—”
“And you know so much about life in the city. I would be a fish out of water there, and I want so badly to visit.”
Annmar eyed the redhead. Mary Clare had a point. “Well, society is complicated, but most city dwellers do master its rules. I could teach you.”
“Just like I can teach you about the Basin. It’ll grow easier, really. Why do you doubt we’re alike?”
She should just tell her. “You also know so much about boys. And I…don’t.”
Mary Clare smiled. “Boys are easy, too.”
Annmar shifted her gaze off, flicking glances around to the groups and couples, some flirting, some showing off in hopes of flirting. It’d be years before she could do that. She sighed. Or at least months.
Mary Clare nudged her. “Step one, you talk to them. You find the one interested in the things you are.”
She glanced around again. “I can do that.”
“Good for you. Practice on Henry. He’s so young, he’s safe.” She turned. “Henry?” The blond boy turned and, with a big smile, edged closer. “Can you show Annmar the table with the cookies?”
“You bet. Need to head that way myself.”
Mary Clare gave her a little push and she followed Henry up to the bunkhouse and food tables. She felt silly nodding along to his chatter. What should she say? Then, he offered her a sugar cookie. “These are good, but my favorites of Mrs. Betsy’s are the chocolate chip raisin oatmeal. Which are yours?”
Annmar blinked. She had to say something. “I—uh—I haven’t been here long enough to have those, but I like these fine.” That answer came easily enough. She took the cookie, and suddenly her tongue loosened. “They look like the moon, though not tonight.” She held hers skyward towards the crescent moon.
“I can fix that.” Henry grinned and took a bite of his, then held out the bitten cookie.
Thanks for reading!
Good news on my PAWN writing: A fellow @NaNoWordSprints writer assures me I can count my words written in November as NaNoWriMo achievments, even though I had my world and prior Blighted Basin books written. And on that note: NaNo, take me away!
I’ve been writing every day for 14 days on my PAWN – Playing Along With Nano story – the one that isn’t really Nano credible because it’s one I’d started before Nov 1 (story here). Yet, because of my travels over the last year (another story!) I needed the daily discipline NaNo encourages in writing. Today I crossed the 40K line and am snoopy dancing with excitement! Join me? :)
Have you posted a NaNo photo? Or are you floundering like I was? The instructions are blessedly clear that the photo must be 100 x 100 pixels and less than 30KB. But how to do that? I vaguely remembered my NA kid’s instructions and another writer friend and I stumbled through the steps with success.
Though my dear NA kid thinks I’m a Luddite and nuts for posting these instructions, I know they will help someone! Sorry, I only know how to do this via MAC Preview.
Open a copy (Don’t want to mess with the original!) of your photo in Preview. Open Tools on the Menu bar and choose Adjust Size.
In the window that opens, select ‘Custom’ in the top bar and in the below and to the right, ‘Pixels.’ Note my original photo is 163KB–no wonder it wouldn’t load!
Next type in your desired pixel size – 100 x 100.
Click ‘OK.’ The photo adjusts and–voila!–we have a 10KB photo! Rename this copy, with the size so you can find it at a glance.
It loads in a snap onto the NaNoWriMo website, giving your buddies a brighter view of you!
* But finding this location is tricky, one of my CPs Nooce reminded me in the comments. On the top bar, click where it says “Hello, Your Name!” That opens your account settings. Scroll down. Under ‘Picture’, click ‘Choose file’ and then upload the photo you have renamed. Be sure to hit ‘Save’ at the bottom afterwards.
I save my various social media photos in a file. Both the original, duplicates to work with and the reductions. It’s a time saver when you open up on the next site.
I signed up for NaNoWriMo. Then realized I couldn’t. I’m far enough along in The Binding, my head is filled with the story. I want–I need–to write on it. For NaNo that writing can’t really count for a ‘win’, not when other NaNo writers start from scratch. So The Binding it is. I’ve decided to call my month ‘Playing Along With NaNo”…er, PAWN.
But I love those tracking graphs NaNo provides! I bet there are any number of word trackers available online, however it never occurred to me to look them up. I made a donation to NaNo and will use theirs to see if being accountable to a writing tool motivates me. Crazy? Well, convenient.
On the first day of NaNo yesterday, one of my RWA home chapters, the Washington Romance Writers, sponsored our first Write-in, complete with meals. We provided the snacks and drinks. Our wonderful hostess provided two floors of seating for 40 writers from 9 am to 9 pm. Writers could choose comfy chairs, a seat at the table, or a spot on the floor (though no one did: plenty of seating), in solitary corners or the ‘conversation room’, in seating groups or lining the dining room table.
I was writing by 10, set my timer for 15 minute sprints and took many stretching breaks, including a short walk. I had conversations also, at lunch, mid-afternoon and dinner. But mostly I sat in a great antique rocker in a lovely corner and fast drafted. (Here’s my selfie with my iPhone3–that’s why the photos aren’t the greatest.)
I accumulated far more than my goal–8K, I’m proud to say. When I entered that word count in the NaNo chart, I was amused to see at that writing rate, I should finish in 7 days.
Woo-hoo, if only it were so easy. But for my PAWN project, I’m willing to shoot for the recommended minimum each day. Best wishes to all those undertaking the NaNoWriMo challenge!
I’m excited to reveal the cover of one of my co-authors on the Science Fiction Romance Brigade. KG Stutts’ highly anticipated sci-fi novella series, Amethyst Chronicles: Winter’s Kiss launches on November 21st. KG Stutts is the author of the Mirror series. This spin-off series takes place over a thousand years after the third in Mirror trilogy, Mirror Reformed (out January 16th).
Amethyst is a secret team of genetically enhanced humans which is Earth’s greatest defensive weapon. Leading the team of super soldiers is Ember Wilson, a tough woman with a huge chip on her shoulder. The team gets their name from the after effect of the Genesis Project which turned their eyes and even their blood purple.
For decades, Earth has been ravaged by unpredictable weather which began to cause crops to fail. Most of the planet’s food sources have deteriorated. Dr. Clayton Rudo has proclaimed he has the means to save the soil. He has created a weather machine to regulate and help replenish. But Ember knew the truth. He didn’t want to save the planet. He wanted to control it. Amethyst destroyed the machine, but was placed in stasis. Two years later, Rudo recreated the device and has frozen Washington, DC and the west coast of the United States.
General Tom Blanchard brought Amethyst out of stasis to work with an elite Air Force team, led by Major Liam Ross. Tensions between Ember and Liam rise as they butt heads. Can they work together before Earth is completely under ice?
Join the Facebook Launch Party on Friday, November 21!
About the Author:
Growing up in Texas and later South Carolina as the youngest in a house full of science-fiction fans, K.G. Stutts had her natural curiosity and imagination nurtured since birth by family movie nights where they would watch Star Wars, Indiana Jones and even timeless Disney favorites.
A prolific writer of sci-fi, romance and mystery, K.G. draws much of her inspiration from those amazing works that gave her an appreciation for telling rich, compelling, character-driven stories for all audiences. She is also a contributor to http://iwassociation.com and http://thewritingnetwork.com and is a proud member of the http://www.sfrcontests.blogspot.co.uk/
She lives in North Carolina with her husband, Brad and works for a customer service call center full time. She’s a lover of Star Wars, Star Trek (original, TNG, and Voyager), Stargate SG-1 and Atlantis, Muppets, Garfield, Disney, Indiana Jones and is a big football, wrestling, and hockey fan.
A lab technician carefully brought Ember Wilson out of stasis. Liam stood back as her team surrounded the final pod. Her violet eyes fluttered open and Liam’s hands began to shake. He couldn’t believe how stunning she was.
“What the hell?” she groaned.
“You’ll feel sick to your stomach for a moment, but it will pass,” Lewis informed her.
“My head,” she muttered, rubbing her temple. “What did that empty-headed, bureaucrat ass kisser Blanchard to do to me? How long have we been out?”
“Two years,” he replied.
“Wilson, take a second to get your bearings,” Morris said.
“You’ll feel back to normal in a moment,” Nova added.
She scanned the lab, coming to a stop the moment her eyes locked on the General. Her foot pressed against the back of the pod, her eyes wild with anger.
“You son of a bitch!” she yelled as she used her foot to launch herself in the air.
Nova and Morris caught her before she could reach Blanchard. She kicked and screamed for freedom but the duo wouldn’t budge. She jerked against the hold they had on her arms, spitting and cursing.
“I know,” Lewis calmly said as he stood in front of her. Her foot was inches from his chin when she kicked. “Hey, it’s okay. I know. But there are more pressing matters at hand than him.”
“Rudo?” she asked through gritted teeth.
“You got it.”
“You moron!” she shouted, looking over Lewis’ shoulder to Blanchard. “You had the chance to stop it before he could act but you were too much of a coward!”
“Sorry? Sorry?” Her voice was nearly shrieking. “Not yet, but you will be.”
This weekend I made progress on my WIP, The Binding. In this last book of my trilogy, things are heating up for the hero and heroine, Daeryn and Annmar. This scene is from Daeryn’s point of view:
“You have to go, I understand, but…” Her voice dropped. “I’m going to miss you.”
He pulled her to him, and not as gently as he should. “I’m going to miss you. But it will make me run faster.” Her body against his—a faint growl escaped his throat. He ran his fingers into her hair, knocking her hat and pins askew. But Annmar lifted her face, no protest on her lips.
Her lips… He bent and caught her bottom lip between his and sucked it—for just a moment before he captured both. Her hands slid up his chest and clung to his shoulders. Her honeyed vanilla scent filled his nostrils.
She sighed and pressed herself to him, her body warming his chest, his… front. Her mouth opened in a small pant. His tongue flicked to trace the smooth inner edge.
Her breath caught.
He stilled. Ah…damn.
But the next moment she tilted her head, bringing them closer. Her tongue touched his, ever-so-carefully. She explored his lips, his gaping mouth, and back to his tongue again. Soft pokes, then with the faintest of moans, her tongue swirled into his mouth—
Sweet Creator. Another rumble broke from his throat.
She laughed and nipped at his lower lip.
Thanks for reading!
I’ve decided to return to posting snippets on a regular basis. Too long between and I fall completely out of the habit! This one’s from The Binding.
The dark entrance of the small stone chapel opened to a lit nave. Annmar lifted her gaze and gasped. Pinpricks of blue light sparkled across the round room. One leaped, trailing a line of blue headed straight for her. She stumbled.
Mary Clare caught her arm. “Annmar?”
She blinked. The light had quickly faded, like a shooting star. But the twinkling of blue continued flickering up and down the stone support columns. It wasn’t just the sight from her Knack, nor a result of the sunlight angling under the roof through long… She peered upwards. “Those aren’t windows, are they?” she whispered to Mary Clare.
“Just openings. That’s why most Creator chapels have fallen to ruin. Open to the rain, thatched roofs, mud walls which paint only protects so far. Only those pillars of bluish stone have held up in most chapels. It’s crazy. I mean, who puts up a half-open building, and round at that? Those old worshipers didn’t have much sense when it came to construction.”
A warm September breeze whipped through the chapel, bringing the fresh scent of trees and earth and water to Annmar. She sighed. “It’s beautiful. The materials are—” She glanced at the other grievers around them. Someone might overhear if she told Mary Clare what she saw. “—perfect for the building. The symmetry is incredible. An old master must have designed this one.”
Mary Clare sniffed. “In Blighted Basin? I don’t think so. Can we get a seat? Daeryn is waving to us, if you haven’t noticed already?”
Thanks for reading!