Category Archives: WIPs

Struggling with the Internet at Days Inn – Summit in Birmingham

For my May 13 minimum GOAL: 3 hours YES! I DID IT! But just barely, and not as productively as I would have liked. I worked on my story for a while, then did something drastically wrong which took out ALL the spaces between words for over 30 pages. I didn’t notice what had happened until it was (I thought) too late to “undo” the damage. So I started working through a word, a sentence at a time. I added to that time the time I spent reading some more of the stories in the book GRIM, and actually had my 3 hours, but it didn’t produce NEARLY as much “new” writing as I had hoped! Then, problems with the Internet . . . AGAIN — so I didn’t post this. I’ll just combine it with what I do today, Thursday May 14.

For my May 14 minimum GOAL: 3 hours. YES! I DID IT! Wrote some new material for my WIP. In fact, I put in some 5.5 hours between reading and writing. That totally makes up for the lost time day before yesterday. And I managed it, in spite of the Internet connection being even worse than yesterday. Now need to work on melding that, what little I did yesterday and the two chapters I’d written previously together. New fairy tales I read brought me to having finished all the short stories in the book GRIM. There were about three that I really detested (two for gross and/or gruesome elements and one for the modern-day frat boy talk which I didn’t think worked well n an “old” fairy tale. But most of them were good and two or three I ABSOLUTELY LOVED!


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Happy Mother’s Day from Alabama… Oh, and an Update

WRITING PROGRESS REPORT:  For my May 9 Minimum GOAL: 3 hours.

YES! I DID IT! I spent my first hour sorting out things I no longer needed in my story and getting things lined up correctly. Then I spent most of the final two hours fussing with character names . . . FINALLY got my 30+ characters with appropriate names both from the standpoint of the national origin, AND with meanings appropriate in SOME way to each of the characters. All of that also helps me to give an added level of meaning to the characters and therefore to the story itself. I had a little time on my hands this afternoon, and spent it reading another story from the book Grim, mentioned here previously. This was probably my favorite so far in the volume. It had the real feel and value of the old-timey fairy tales I read as a kid and drew memes and ideas for multiple old tales. Besides, it was just flat – out a fun read!


The Raven Princess ~ Jon Skovron

A queen with a crying baby girl is unprepared to care for the child, and wishes she could fly away with the nearby ravens. The wish comes true and the princess can only assume human shape for an hour at midnight. At age 18, she comes across a hunter in the forest who cannot bring himself to kill. She makes a bargain with him that could free her if he can wait until midnight, sans any food or drink. He promises to do so, but is tricked by an old hag (her sorry mother) into eating or drinking anyway. How he finds the Princess again, and whether she’ll have him or not after three betrayals . . . well, you’ll have to read it yourself. Memes from many old tales, with a feel of the real and old tales I read as a child. Cleverly done, even squeezing in a hint of the Princess on the Glass Hill.

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Updates on BB’s Status

For my May 3 Minimum GOAL: 1 hour

YES! I DID IT!  I continued working on the SITUATION/COMPLICATIONS. With only a 1 hour goal, I actually nearly doubled it by working WELL over the first hour.  Then I guess I flipped out, because I forgot to post it.

NOW, for TODAY, my May 4 Minimum Goal: 2 hours

YES! I DID IT!  I actually worked for six-and-a-half HOURS.  Went beyond the SITUATION/COMPLICATIONS. Added several new characters.  Came up with appropriate Welsh names for all of the well-over 20 characters, plus two French names, all appropriate to the character and the time period and place.  Came up with two important and key characters for the opening of the story.  Tomorrow, with a little clean-up on today’s work, (and packing to go on vacation Wednesday, getting meds. together, etc., etc., etc.) I should be able to rewrite the opening scenes with much more tension!


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Nearly Caught Up… No, Honest!


BB’s (possibly stolen) PROMPT for 04/03/15 ‑ tweaked to fit my own age after reading a blog by AnnDeeCanDee: Time goes so fast. I feel like I’m a 100 years old. I also feel like I’m 13 . . . I’m nostalgic for my childhood. Even some of my teenage years. I’m nostalgic for right now because I know it’s going to be gone before I know it. But I also don’t want to look like a grandma even though I have two kids, five grandkids, and two GREAT‑grands! At home, I wear the same clothes for days in a row and, at one time, my only hope was to have a boyfriend . . .

What does your character miss? What does your character wish would end? Does time go fast? Or go slow?

Lackley does not have land which she or her family call their own (thus her nickname Lack Ley). Her father is in the service of a King or minor Duke, lives on land afforded him, but without real ownership. He and all his family work the land they live on raising animals, crops to feed both man and beast; she is not unaccustomed to work and has never been coddled.

What does your character miss?
She images a much wider world out there ‑‑‑ one she’s never seen, but occasionally hears about from a traveling jongleur. When such a person or company arrives, all the village gathers in her parents’ home, which is, at least, larger than their own wattle and daub dwellings.

What does your character wish would end?
The boredom of caring for the land they do not own. As a VERY young child, she helped by digging up weeds, learning to tell the useful from the or poisonous. From there she graduated to the care of small animals, learned to diagnosis their condition, hurts, diseases; and how to destroy the diseased, salvaging anything which would not harm. The next graduation was to larger animals: helping with feeding, birthing, accidents, disease. She grew in responsibility, but thought there must surely be more to life than these struggles.

Does time go fast?
When she’s working, time goes by all too quickly. She must hurry in order to get her share of the next meal, or it will be gone, or given as swill to the pigs, or eaten by the voracious and multiple children belonging to the land’s workers in their village.

Or go slow?
When the traveling entertainers come to town, even time will scarce slow down. The colorful (if ragged) clothing, the tambourines and music, the singing, acrobats and jugglers, and, best of all, the story tellers can’t be given enough of her day. They appear suddenly, usually with little or no warning, and fade off into the night at the end of a mere day or two, unheard again for many a moon.

She doesn’t want to look like a farmer’s wife even if she has a family later on.

She has watched girls older than herself age all too quickly with the burdens of working the land, then adding one, two, three, many children to both care for and feed. It all takes it’s toll on every woman she’s ever seen.

Wears the same clothes for a week at a time.

She realizes, in comparison with the field workers, her clothes are in good order. But in comparison to the entertainers, they may be more “whole,” but they are drab and uninteresting.

One time her only hope was to have a look at the world before fading into a nothing.

Her dreams have often brought her, like the stories, a handsome prince to whisk her away from this predictable and drab existence. But she also knows her place within her world . . . this is not likely to ever be a dream come true. 

BB’s (possibly stolen) PROMPT for 04/09/15 – Have your character write her own obituary.

YES! I DID IT! L’Aquellian, known throughout most of her life as “Lackley,” bids a fond farewell to her family, friends and supporters. The second of three daughters, and the true leader of that trio, Lackley brought both sisters and their families into the compound she and her sweetheart/husband, Rich Weaver, carved out of nothing at the edge of the desert. The hard‑working couple first met during her year‑long tour of The Outside.

Always a believer in the lessons learned during her tour, Lackley chose to make something of herself, did so with the help and strong arm of her husband, and taught her son and two daughters to look for opportunities for growth wherever they were.

She felt strongly about learning about and knowing the true worth of The Outside, but also nurtured her own family, and many others as well, within the confines of The Wall, once she found it again.

Her Sailing Away ceremony will be held at River’s Bend on the edge of the desert, but within the confines of her compound. She leaves behind a strong family with a rich tradition of caring for their homes, their environment, their friends. Please join the mourners at sun‑up of the second day. Bring your own contained flame and bundle of fagots.

(Feel free to re‑use my prompts, modified to YOUR specifications ‑‑‑ I “stole” them too from Carol Lynch Williams, AnnDeeCanDee, Cheryl, The ABC Writers Guild and others . . . )

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Wednesday’s WIPs: Happy New Year!!! BB is the only one who’s been working through the holidays.

Easy as A, B, C . . . from HA, BB, JC, and CC

H.A. The Other Siders: “nothing to report.” (Warned everybody the last time.) J

B.B. gElf and the Legend of Jarra‑Jen:  HOORAY!!! We did it! We sent a manuscript of over 7,600 words and four chapters to The Dark Crystal contest website. The fourth chapter was all new as of today (Tuesday) and the first three chapter were much cut down and cleaned up.

Glass Mountain Princess: Now, finally(!) I can get back to my fairy tale mash up… but NOT tonight.

C.C. Ezzy Bear: We worked on Christmas joy.

J.C. The Shadow Master: And now we’re working on New Year’s hurrahs.

See you day‑after‑tomorrow for Friday Friends!

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Wednesday’s WIPs: We’re WIPpin’ in to Christmas Break!

Easy as A, B, C . . . from BBMill on the Floss

6. Fine old Christmas, with the snowy hair and ruddy face, had done his duty that year in the noblest fashion, and had set off his rich gifts of warmth and color with all the heightening contrast of frost and snow. ~ George Eliot, The Mill on the Floss

7. ~ To perceive Christmas through its wrapping becomes more difficult with every year. ~ E. B. White, The Second Tree from the Corner

8. I don’t want Christmas season to end, because it’s the only time I can legitimately indulge in one particular addiction: glitter. ~ Eloisa James, Paris in Love

These book quotes about Christmas were borrowed from‑book‑quotes‑christmas‑pictures/

To be continued when we see you day‑after‑tomorrow for Friday Friends!

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Wednesday’s WIPs: What Happened to the WIPs During NaNo?

Easy as A, B, C . . . from HA, BB, JC, and CC

H.A. The Other Siders: NaNo is OVER ! ! !  The book is now complete, but heavy editing is just around the corner.  I am about to do a Savage edit, but I’m not going to start the edit for two weeks because I need to let it simmer and settle.  I need to forget enough of it that I’m looking at it with fresh eyes.  Next report may be “nothing to report.”

B.B. gElf and the Legend of Jarra‑Jen:  With more than 17,000 words in this partial manuscript, I still need to activate some judicious cutting.  And that’s what I said two weeks ago as well.  I cleaned up parts of the story, wrote some more all for National Novel Writing Month.  I got the main story to be a little more cohesive and, hopefully, more character ‑ driven.  I plan to finish polishing the three or four chapters I’m allowed to send to the Dark Crystal contest, ending with tension which will, hopefully, induce the judges to want to see more.  Between these two manuscripts, I ended up with over 52,000 words for NaNo.

Glass Mountain Princess: Then I turned my efforts to writing this fairy tale which had been languishing in the background. I’ve straightened out more of the characters, and have given some real and up ‑ front time to the Main Character.  Previously he didn’t show up as being the “most important” — in other words, the MC until quite a ways into the story.  He also has more personality showing than before.  I like his more independent spirit now — he’s more than just the target of his mean brothers.  I also have introduced the Mountain Folk as more integral to the plot, which gives him friends — maybe even a “side ‑ kick” character as that relationship develops.  I’m going to let the gElf story sit and stew for a couple of weeks while I continue work on this story.  Then I’ll take two to three days to polish gElf, send him off, so I can return to the Glass Mountain Princess story.  I’d like to send it to the agent before the end of the year.  And THAT’S a lot of work ahead.  Hooray!

C.C. Ezzy Bear: I am a NaNo survivor — and winner! I almost completed the book—I have one difficult chapter still to write, maybe two.  I just barely made it through. Anyone who succeeds at NaNo deserves the Tee-shirt!  I’m NaNo exhausted, so I can’t even think of anything else to say.

J.C. The Shadow Master: After sharing chapter one with my 14 year old son I asked his opinion about the story and what, as a reader, he might expect would happen next.  Based on further conversation with him and the input of my wife, I am moving forward with chapter two and am excited about the new content.

See you day‑after‑tomorrow for Friday Friends!

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