WIP Wednesday & Row80 Sep 11th

It’s kind of a depressing day. A lot of people are posting about 9-11 on the Facebook. I was in college when it happened. I’m terrible with getting up in the morning and I heard the radio DJs first talking about the Pentagon being on fire which I thought was odd because, you know, it’s the Pentagon.

Then I found out the rest. 😦

But it’s also made me think, that’s why our job as writers is so important. We have the opportunity to help change the world in a way many others can’t. We can bring people together and promote understanding so that events like these don’t happen to anyone else or at least happen less. And perhaps equally as important, to give people stories so they can internalize world issues and events and come to conclusions independent of what “news” outlets are telling them.

It doesn’t even have to be overtly political. We all have things we feel strongly about, and if we’re honest about them in our stories, we give others a chance to internalize those things. Often they do tie into what’s happening around us.

That’s why we owe it to our readers to become the best writers we can be. They need our stories to help make their worlds a better place, and in turn our world.

The Goals

1. Read at least 10 more Anton Chekhov short stories to add to my progress starting from 50 of 201. No new progress. 60 of 201. Read his stories here free!

2. Finish reading both The Fire in Fiction and On Writing. No new progress.

3. Submit Trick or Tree to another writing contest. Finish Dog Shy and write at least one other short story, all to be submitted to contests. No new progress.

4. Write a flash fiction story. 2 flash fiction stories written so far.

5. Do at least one thing every week that increases my fluency in Spanish and Japanese. This Sunday I went to a potluck at my neighbor’s house. She and her husband are both from Japan, so I got a little practice in. Mostly I realized how much Japanese I don’t know. But one step at a time, right? Check!

6. Finish feedback edits on SHADE and get it queried. I’m reworking the query letter. Some things have changed and I want the query letter to reflect it. Query letters are my least favorite part of the process, but some evils are necessary. Thanks to my revisions I jumped from 87K to 96K. Sometimes you have to add things to have the story make more sense. But I’m relieved it stayed under 100K which is the danger zone. I’m doing line edits, hoping to cut a few more words, but I’m doubting it’ll be more than 100. 😦 Still, 96K isn’t bad, right?

Bonus Goals. Clemmings hasn’t made much progress to be honest. Comic Con sort of got in the way. And now that I have my upcoming conference, SHADE will likely get all of the attention. But I’ll still try and get a little more in on it.

WIPpet Wednesday

But that doesn’t mean there isn’t time for an excerpt!Β  How about since it’s the 11th, 11+13 = 24 lines. Good? Done.

Stupid. I punch the bag, followed by a couple of swift kicks. Stupid, stupid. I jab it with my elbow and throw another couple of punches. Really stupid! I kick it hard, throwing all my weight into it, and the bag tears open. Well, that’s the end of my workout.

“Frustrated are we?” chimes a voice from my agency communicator.

“What do you want?” I bend over to catch my breath.

“Shouldn’t you be getting ready to head to the school? Today’s the big day. You’ll finally be a Dashing Daisy.”

I scowl. “It’s Lily Girl and shut up.”

“What’s up with you anyway? It’s not like you to let people get under your skin.”

“I know. I just hate bullies. And I hate that I’m giving into one. Oh, by the way, I wouldn’t be surprised if Mercedes wanted to track me at all times after today. Would you find me a place I can leave the school watch? If she knew I lived here….”

“Consider it done. You’d better get going. You’ve got major bodyguard duties coming up.”

“I’ll make a report tonight.” I head for the shower. The agency is right. Don’t let people get under my skin. Mercedes is a despicable human being. I knew that before I came to the school and I knew that before I started a war with her.

I let the water splash over my head and face. Alice’s hiccup giggle echoes in my ears. Maybe I should have taken a different strategy. But Alice will be hurt no matter what I do. And my feelings are insignificant next to the job. For a bodyguard, safety comes above everything, even if it means your subject can’t stand you. Even if Alice could understand, I doubt she’ll forgive me.

I finish getting ready for school, which for me means putting on the dumb uniform and not bothering with anything else. Charity will want to make me her own kind of doll, so no use putting in any effort this morning.

Based on last week’s entry, what do you think Mercedes is blackmailing Jade into doing? Any predictions as to how this will turn out?

Have you ever had to do something you knew would hurt a friend, but it had to be done? Have you ever had to work with a “villain” in your life? And how’s your Row80 coming? Better than mine I hope. πŸ˜‰

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29 thoughts on “WIP Wednesday & Row80 Sep 11th

  1. Oooh I’m intrigued, especially as I didn’t read last week’s excerpt (I didn’t take part last week). I like the aggression being taken out on the punch bag at the beginning; it allows us to see the frustration of your character without dialogue. Good stuff!

  2. I remember where I was. I was in Brazil. (You’re from Utah and I can say the 2 year thing and you’ll understand). Was walking down the street with companion, member said come over you have to watch this. On his little tiny 19 inch TV, I thought I was watching some movie. Then it hit that it was real. 😦

    I agree, we should be the best writers that we can, or even just work on being the best people that we can.

  3. I was in a hotel in Ogallala, NE on my way to Estes Park, CO with a good friend. It was weird completing the drive that day. And for the next week or so with no planes in the air. Not a one.

    Great excerpt. I wish I had a punching bag to take things out on and knew how to hit it without injuring myself. I love the look we’re getting at the crap side of being a bodyguard.

    • Thanks! Punching bags are great for taking out frustration. πŸ™‚ I think the important thing is to wrap your hands properly in the beginning and quit before you break skin. I love punching my bag although lately its been inaccessible due to lots of stuff being in our garage (long story). But that stuff should be gone soon and I’ll be back to my old ways soon. πŸ™‚

  4. I had a 9 day old nursling. I was hugely sleep deprived, and living just outside Yellowstone National Park. A neighbor came to our travel trailer, and said we were under attack. All I could think of is that Yellowstone is full of geysers and bison – why would anyone attack….?

    I cried my tears on my newborn’s face. I am from near Albany, NY, where the planes that hit the towers were said to have shifted course.

    Jeremiah’s life has always entwined with that day. We live in New York, now – drove here when he was only five days old, from Montana, and it was still strange and scary.

    There is an exhibit at the state museum…it’s accessible, but tucked away, and we go only if the children want to…it’s a place of heavy emotion, on many levels, and, with twisted beams and a battered fire truck, there’s no escaping the power of the tragedy.

    I feel I have two avenues to better the world – as a writer, and as a mother. I want to give the world joyful, kind, peaceful people, so I try to make their lives today those things….

    And to write stories that don’t flinch from hard things…and yet, even then, I aim for compassion…

    Because I think that compassion is the key to healing.

    Oh!

    There was a WIPPet up there!

    I like these new developments, and I am very curious to see what will happen next. The last line, in particular, intrigues….

    • I appreciated hearing your story and the honesty you exhibited even in this little comment section. Great writing, whether or not you intended it. πŸ™‚

      And thanks. I really need to get on writing the rest of this. Where does all the time go? Where?!

  5. I was house-tending and getting ready to babysit for a lady I had met will doing weekend parties in NYC. She called me up in a panic because a dear friend of ours took the PATH train into the city via the World Trade Center every morning for work, and he should have been on that train any normal day… That day he’d been running late and had to take a cab.

    The plane headed for the Pentagon flew over our area of Albany cty.

    Hmm, excerpt…. I don’t know what to think. I mean, I like it, but I don’t love it. I feel like Jade’s fury fades to easily from the banter with “the agency”. Just me though…

  6. I’ve spoken Spanish since I could first talk and English since I was four, and I feel in both languages I never know enough words… Don’t get me started on Japanese. πŸ˜‰

    Project Clemmings has me made of curiosity! I wants to know it all! Keep up the great work.

  7. Love the idea that she has to do something that she doesn’t necessarily want to for work.

    As for 9/11…I was in 7th grade, living in Montana at the time, and the entire town lost power that morning. However, I’m originally from the east coast and so my family knew people who died in the fall of the towers. My mother was also very close friends with the man who engineered the buildings. Her dad helped figure out all the heating and a/c for the buildings.

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