Summer Theme Excerpts – Travel #2

June 29, 2016 at 11:05 pm (Elliot, Fervor, Royce, Sam, Sarah, writing) (, , , , , , )

trans1As I gather my gear and ready for my trip, I thought I’d share an excerpt where some of my characters are doing the same…only I don’t have to steal any maps.  Today’s excerpt is from Transcendence, Chapter 7 – Recruitment:

As soon as Nathan returned, they started out towards the combination storage unit/residence. They travelled in pairs so as not to attract any significant amount of attention, with Sam and Angela leading the way, well ahead of the others and Royce at the rear, glancing over his shoulder as he went.

As they neared the building Sam searched the connection to see if Elaine and Elliot were inside. Fortunately, they weren’t. He and Angela slipped inside and he sent her up into the loft to throw down the storm gear while he searched for the records he knew Elliot had stashed somewhere around. He found them in a crate that had been hidden underneath the table where he had first seen the maps. The maps were no longer spread across the tabletop, stored in a plastic tube off to the side. Sam slid out the one with the route to Transcendence on it before pulling the file box out into the open.

“I hope these are one size fits all,” Angela said as she tossed down her fourth set of gear, trying to move as quickly as possible.

“I don’t think it matters. It might be a problem if they’re too small, maybe for Malcolm and Nathan, but otherwise we’ll rig them to fit,” he answered.

He flipped through the records, pulling out the files relating to everyone in his alliance, as well as for Katrina, Anthony and Grace. Then he noticed that Elliot had added to the collection. There were files about the Littles and various house families, information that Royce had retrieved from the Hub. Sam grabbed anything relating to the people in his alliance that was in those files as well. He didn’t get a chance to read any of it, because of the rush, but he thought it might be useful later.

“One more,” Angela informed him. “Then we pack it all up and we’re out of here. In and out, clean as…” She paused in mid-thought, and Sam didn’t think anything of it, partially because he had just made a discovery that had him perturbed.

“The blueprints, they’re gone! We need those. They show the layout of the buildings. They can let us see the security systems. How are we supposed to get Sarah out of Transcendence without them? They were here, with the other files. Where did they go?” Sam leafed through the papers a second time, searching frantically, but to no avail. He started to go through the entire box again, hoping that the records had been reorganized or maybe shuffled around for some reason. That proved futile as well.

“Sam…” He heard Angela descending from the loft, but didn’t stop long enough to look at her.

“I saw them with my own eyes at Elevation. Where could they have gone?” He was tempted to dump the entire box out onto the floor. He was certain that they hadn’t been left behind.

“Never mind them; we’ll just have to wing it. Be quiet, Sam. We have to go, we have to…” He heard rustling as Angela hastily shoved what she had gathered from the loft into a canvas bag, but she stopped suddenly and sucked in a quiet gasp. “Oh no.”

She had sensed trouble before she had heard it, which was why she had alerted Sam to danger a few moments before he would have known it was there by other means. When he stopped rustling through the papers he could make out the sound of voices raised in hostility. He felt around in the connection, easily identifying Nathan, Malcolm and Royce. He detected anger, frustration and defensiveness on their part along with some apprehension. He also noted the distinct presence of Elliot, the lone Connected latent, and one of the ghostly minds he suspected belonged to Elaine. Their diversionary tactics were in play.

That’s it for today.  I’m that much closer to my departure to France.  I’m looking forward to seeing family and the beautiful sights of Eymet. – More tomorrow.

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A Current Endeavor – Lucky Seven

July 19, 2013 at 10:24 pm (Elliot, Links, Royce, Sam, writing) (, , , , )


I just finished up Chapter 13 and it’s “Lucky Seven” time again. So I’m doing my part before I start into Chapter 14.

I was tagged by Bruce Blake. Thanks, Bruce.

The rules: Go to page 7, 70, or 170, of a current WIP or recently published book. Copy the first paragraph or seven lines. Tag 7 more authors to do the same.


From my WIP ‘Endeavor”:

“Can I come out yet?”

    Sam had been so distracted by Elaine being in Providence and the fuss over Leo and Faith that he had almost forgotten Three, still stranded in the hover. Elliot had not given him the okay to show himself yet. They wanted a chance to prepare everyone who had not yet met Three for what was to come. Sam hoped the fact that Royce and Elliot were willing to vouch for the Little-gone-wrong meant the others would find the wherewithal to view the mutant in a positive light, despite past clashes and appearances.

    “Wait. Give Elliot a moment. Nobody here has ever met anyone quite like you.”


Tag, you’re it: Jay Wilburn, Joseph Eastwood, Suzie Lockhart, T. Fox Dunham, Tim Marquitz, Thorgil Ragnarrsson, Ren Garcia

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Edit Fest – Down Time

May 22, 2013 at 11:19 pm (Elliot, Sam, writing) (, , , , , )

My best down times are my bus commutes and my lunch hours – no kids jumping up and down on me, no housework or accounting work demanding my attention and freedom to mostly do as I please. But that’s when another type of juggling act comes into play. Do I write, do I read, do I edit, do I draw…work on my blog or website…or do I socialize? It’s a tough choice. Whatever I choose is at the expense of the others.

I admit, drawing on the bus is less of an option, so if I want to draw I have to do it at home, surrounded by distractions, or sneak away at lunch. I’ve been trying to get a series of illustrations done and I have managed some at home, but I’ve also been escaping at lunch to the food court with my MP3 player and my sketch pad. I feel a little guilty when I do though. I know I should probably be spending some of that time socializing with my co-workers, but I’m being selfish with my time right now, and I do have quite a few illustrations I want to finish in the next little while.

Not much on the submission blitz update for today, other than the fact that I heard the one pro-rate venue I submitted to with only two open slots has already received over 650 submissions with more than a week before submissions close. Someone suggested I’d have a better chance of a win by buying a Powerball ticket – ah well.

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Adventures in NaNo-land – Weathering the Storm

November 22, 2012 at 2:40 am (Elliot, fantasy, Fervor, Links, Sam, writing) (, , , , , , , , , , )

Well, I’ve made it – I reached the 50,000 word mark which means I successfully completed this year’s NaNoWriMo as of day 21. That’s a great start, but my novel still has 9 more chapters to go, so I’m challenging myself to see how far I can get by the end of day 30.

I had help getting there today. I love writing action scenes, and had one at the end of today’s chapters. Those scenes just fly by for me, the words pouring out effortlessly. I’m all about the excitement.

It was a particularly interesting scene as well because it included something I mentioned in yesterday’s post. I had talked about climate and weather, and the end of Chapter 11 involved a pretty brutal storm.

One thing I’ve noticed that can be lacking in certain books with regards to realism is the weather. Unless your story is set in a very arid area, like a desert, there ought to be the occasional scene that includes inclement weather. I’m always perplexed by a novel set mostly outdoors, like many fantasy or adventure novels, where it never rains (or snows or hails or whatever other form of precipitation can be expected in the area described. ) I consider that a bit of an epic fail, not only because it’s not realistic, but the writer is losing out on a very effective plot device. It can even be one with symbolic value.

Take Golding’s Lord of the Flies for example. Rain has strong symbolism in that story. It’s a purge, a way of clearing away trouble, washing away the residue of bad things that have happened and starting afresh.

I used storms in a symbolic way in my book, Fervor. The storms were a portent of new things, a means of delivering things to an island that was near inaccessible. They delivered information to Sam, Elliot’s messages from the Mainland, and at one point they even carry Elliot to him in person.

There are many other ways to use weather to influence your plot. Bad weather can be an omen and carry with it troublesome things. If you have two characters having difficulty relating to one another, a storm can force them to take shelter together and have a bonding experience. A storm can cause a delay in a character’s progress, forcing them to take a step back and re-evaluate the way they are doing things. Bad weather can play the role of the catalyst, forcing a character to do something they might not otherwise do.

At the same time, I can understand a writer’s reluctance to include inclement weather. It’s messy. If not integrated properly into the plot, it adds complications. It can put a damper on plot advancement in a way some writers may not deem valuable. But not using it is a lost opportunity. Rainy or snowy weather adds realism, challenge and a change in perspective.

Here’s a sample of how I used bad weather in Chapter 11:

Something wet struck Oaván’s cheek and then landed in his hair. He glanced upwards. The rain had not waited for them to reach the waiting shelter of the petroglyph’s rock outcropping. It had already begun, the wind picking up as well. By the time they arrived at their goal for the day they would both be wet and cold, with little dry tinder and therefore no means to start a fire.

“This just goes from bad to worse.” He sighed. “I was hoping we might have the gods’ favour in this.”

“We can only count on that from Laib Olmai,” Lieđđi said. “He doesn’t control the weather. That’s Bieggagallis’s domain, and apparently, right now, he feels the need to make it rain.”

“And Biegkeålmaj feels the need to make the warm season winds blow,” Oaván remarked, “Only these winds are not so warm, nor is the rain.” He noticed an added chill to the air, a reminder that the warm season would shortly be coming to an end. “Let’s just hope that Bajanolmmai doesn’t choose to join them.”

As if in answer to Oaván’s words, the skies chose that moment to crackle and boom, making both him and Lieđđi jump. She turned and glared at him as if what he had said had invoked the wrath of the god somehow.

“Perhaps he considered that an invitation,” she grumbled. The rain was getting heavier and, along with the wind, it plastered her fine blond hair to her face.

“Let’s just hurry, shall we,” Oaván said, having to raise his voice somewhat to be heard above the increasing wind.

By the time they reached the edge of the meadow, the driving rains had them soaked to the bone and they both shivered from the cold. The skies were even heavier with shadow by that point, lit up on occasion by a flash of lightning in the distance.

“This is it!” Lieđđi called out to him. “It won’t be much longer before we’re safe within sanctuary and at least somewhat drier.”

“Let’s run then.”

They started their sprint across the open, grassy terrain. Normally, they would have made the trip to the other side quite quickly, but the rain had been coming down steadily for some time. The fertile soil of the meadow had readily absorbed the water, becoming more mud than solid earth. That mud now caught and pulled at Oaván’s boots and Lieđđi’s bare feet. It slowed their advance drastically, almost tripping them up at times.

You can find the rest of the chapter here:

More tomorrow J

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Lucky 7

June 21, 2012 at 11:26 pm (Elliot, Fervor, Fiona, Links, Sam, writing)

Tag, I’m it.

Bruce Blake hit me up to be part of this Lucky 7 meme. In Bruce’s words, here’s how it works:

  • Go to page 7 or 77 in your current manuscript
  • Go to line 7
  • Copy down the next seven lines/sentences exactly as they are
  • Tag 7 other authors

I know it’s not my usual blog day, but I skipped Monday’s review, so I’m game. I’m currently working on “Providence,” book four of my Fervor dystopian science fantasy, so let’s see what’s happening on page 7. My protagonist Sam is discussing with his closest friend a problem involving their Keeper, Fiona. Remember, this is first draft so it still needs serious edits:

He always felt better with Elliot around, someone older and more experienced – someone who was native to the mainland and had knowledge of the history and politics there. Elliot had been the one who had helped Fiona through her last bout of serious drama, when she had been having difficulty coping with her extremely accelerated change from child to adult. Sam was convinced that Elliot would know how to handle this too, or if not him, then possibly Elaine. Sam also knew that one of the reasons Elliot left Providence as often as he could find an excuse to was because he was not terribly comfortable around the refugees from Fervor, and had been hoping to have Elaine with him to make life in their safe haven more bearable. But she had chosen not to go with them, and had remained in Windlea instead, she claimed out of a sense of duty for her people from Elevation still there. Whatever her reason for staying behind, Sam was fairly certain it had been a huge blow to Elliot’s ego, and likely to his heart as well.

    “We can’t rely on Elliot to solve everything for us.

Now I pass the baton to seven others – how about:

DA Chaney

Ren Garcia

Tami Parrington

Michel Vaillancourt

Kody Boye

Jade Feldman

TW Brown

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Fervent Exposure – Elliot

March 12, 2011 at 5:08 am (Elliot)

Elliot, a technician on the mainland adds even more mystery to the story in Fervor when he shows a sudden interest in the children and their predicament. Without explanation he begins to intervene, investigating events on the island from his end and offering Sam, Fiona and Sarah hope where they had none. He sends them messages, delivered by stormy weather – the first one in response to an uncontrolled and freakishly strong outburst by Fiona that happens to reach Elliot, a latent telepath, along the coast of the mainland. Upon getting his first message, Sam and Sarah set out to the farthest reaches of the connection in search of him:

“He reached out and tried to brush at the faint contact there, but Sam realized that he had extended himself as far as he could go. Sarah was not equally limited. She inched past him, and barely touched that vague presence. Out of reach to Sam, he could not hear what they were saying. He was forced to relax and wait, hoping Sarah would be willing to pass along what E was telling her. After a few moments, she pulled back and they both restored their link with Fiona.

―His name is Elliot, and he is living on the mainland, on the closest coast to Fervor, Sarah informed them both. ―He used to be a technician here. He couldn’t tell me much. The strongest Watchers patrol the connection as well, roaming a circuit, and if he’s caught he’ll be sent away. Then he’ll never be able to help us. But he promised to keep sending messages, and to let us know what progress he is making.”

They learn little of Elliot’s personality from his messages, and even when they finally get to meet him in person, he remains gruff and reserved:

“He was dressed in a simple and strangely slick navy cover-all, looked like he was about a head taller than Nathan with a similar build, and had coarse, shoulder-length hair the same light brown colour as Sam’s. He also had facial hair, something that none of the children had ever remembered seeing.”

It is clear that he is not comfortable around children and he does not share his motives for helping them. He withholds other information too, frustrating Sam and Sarah in the process.

Next week – The Controls, Royce’s secret

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