Jul 17

The Dun Mare’s Grandchild, Episode 4

Posted: under Background, Story.
Tags: ,  July 17th, 2016

When the storm passed, they rode on, over the melting lumps of ice and the wet grass.  Oktar’s sheepskin, sodden with rain, hung over his horse’s rump; he walked, leading his mount, his bare feet so cold from the ice he could not feel the bruises.  His grandfather rode ahead, not speaking to him, but muttering continually to the horses, who bobbed their heads as if they understood.

Home was too far behind to imagine, that cold night.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Jul 12

The Dun Mare’s Grandchild 3

Posted: under snippet, Story.
Tags: ,  July 12th, 2016

When he had the flasks full; Oktar splashed back to hand them up.  His feet were bruised by rocks, aching from cold.  His grandfather looked down at him.  “Drink one swallow.  Then give flask. Catch your horse.”

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Jun 26

The Dun Mare’s Grandchild, Part Two

Posted: under snippet, Story, the writing life.
Tags: , ,  June 26th, 2016

As light revealed the land around them, Oktar knew they were north of the town, riding north, winterwards as the horsefolk said, and the reason he hadn’t been able to feel the rein was that he had none–his grandfather held Oktar’s horse’s rein as well as his own in his one good hand.  The horses moved at a brisk walk, ears forward, alongside a stone wall with sheep on the other side of it.  Oktar turned to look behind.  Nothing of the town showed but a blur of smoke in the distance.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Jun 18

The Dun Mare’s Grandchild

Posted: under Excerpt, Story.
Tags: , , ,  June 18th, 2016

“Again?” Oktar’s mother glared at him. “Bloody nose, black eye, shirt torn, a complaint from the judicar–you’re a disgrace!”

“They said we were dirty stinking horse–” he paused; the word they’d used was forbidden. “–droppings,” he finished.

“You should ignore them,” his mother said. “They are ill-bred; you should not dirty your hands with them.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Dec 31

Happy New Year

Posted: under Cold Welcome, Life beyond writing, snippet.
Tags: ,  December 31st, 2015

Though it’s tempting, in the current state of the world, to follow that up immediately with “As if…” actually I do always hope that tomorrow, next week, next month, and a New Year will see changes for the better.   And sometimes it happens.  Sometimes there’s a breakthrough, not only in science or technology, but in the hearts of individuals…and then those individuals’ internal breakthroughs propagate through those near them.  Not always, but sometimes.

What I hope for all of you reading this, in the coming year, are those inner changes that bring you closer to the person you were meant to be: a person with agency, a person with dreams and goals so exciting that you break through whatever has held you back (if anything has; some of you are full steam ahead already.)   I hope for all of you an environment that enables your growth.  Friends that care for you, and you for them.  Health, physical and mental, and health care for those times when health needs help.   Mentors, and mentees (if that’s the word): people who help you expand your lives and people who need your help to expand theirs.  Beauty, whatever beauty is to you–a view, a particular mug, a flower, a color that lifts your heart whenever you see it–indoors, outdoors, everywhere.   Enough of what you need, whatever that is.   More than enough, of love.

I am grateful for you, for others, for the natural world, for the cultures that lie behind us.  This world, this–as one of our prayers says–“our fragile island home.”

Let 2016 begin on the stroke of midnight in whatever time zone you’re in…but a new year begins every day.   May it be a good year for you. Read the rest of this entry »

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Apr 30

Over the Hump…And a Snippet

Posted: under snippet, the writing life.
Tags: , ,  April 30th, 2015

NewBook is now over the hump in rough draft, having crossed the 60,000 word midpoint for this book.   Its first 40,000 words or so have been reworked to improve characterization (which will lead to smoother progress later on. )   It’s unusual for me to have the mid-book slow-down due to characterization problems, but so it was this time.  I expect another slow-down period transitioning over the 2/3 to 3/4 finished problem area, but–if I fixed the characterization problems–that one will be plot related and usually means a mistake made between now and then.

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Mar 30

The New Book: First (I think) Snippet

Posted: under snippet.
Tags:  March 30th, 2015

The new book, having slowed down to take a deep breath in medias res, as it were, with some brainstorming, more research, and hard thinking going on, has now reached 280 manuscript pages (some out of order) and is moving again–though the Holy Week services and car problems will slow it down again this week and I have a house guest next week.  Still.  Moving along, new ideas flowing.   So I think it’s time for a snippet that may or may not survive later editing.  (This is the first, very rough, draft, after all.)

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Jul 06

A Snippet from the Future

Posted: under snippet.
Tags:  July 6th, 2014

I’ve been working on the Cracolnya story, as much as I can–mostly cleaning out the typos and first-draft awkwardness that I usually don’t bother with until later, but work on when stuck.   And I’ve been visiting various forums where I’m registered but where the old computer system had become incommunicado (“your browser is out of date; please update to the current version…”)   So there I was on Book Country, where I’ve dabbled in advice to those who ask for help with something, and decided to post a bit of dialogue, as the forum leader suggested people do.   It’s only fair that you folks get to see it too. Read the rest of this entry »

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May 01

May First Already??

Posted: under snippet, Story, the writing life.
Tags: , , ,  May 1st, 2014

How did that happen?   I keep combing Crown, looking for possible snippets  that aren’t spoilers, but…the last book in a group is more spoiler than anything else.    Especially for a group of readers who are as sharp as you folks, who seize on the slightest clue and go straight to intelligent speculation.  Even when you’re off the mark, you’re interestingly off the mark (and sometimes, I confess, make me wish the story itself had gone that way.)   Hence the shortage of snippets from Crown.

What I can offer, sort of, is snippets from stories that will turn up in the related short fiction collections and background information that might lead…anywhere.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Apr 14

Easter Basket: Egg-shaped Snippets

Posted: under Crown of Renewal, snippet.
Tags:  April 14th, 2014

As the rest of my week will be solidly busy,  here’s an Easter treat…little snippets from here and there.

All snippets have the potential to be a spoiler for someone,  though I try hard to keep them “clean,” so crack open the chocolate rabbits, candy eggs, and so on with care.   Some are from earlier drafts and may not be exactly the same in the final book.  They are not in order, either.

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