scribblemyname: (k&t)
(but somehow my brain didn't get the memo)

En brief, I had a lot of issues with Tracing Trouble after I got the fic done enough to post for heroinebigbang and as the art never showed up despite promises, I'm about ready to yank the thing, which I'm not happy with anyway. Somehow working on this very late rare pair treat got me thinking and I apparently realized I needed to see Cate and Killinger meeting to get Tracing Trouble to come together correctly.

Thus, words. 1487 words and counting. Oops.

“Catherine April,” Killinger named her coolly.

The face of the Rebellion, the woman who had stood at the front of treaty negotiations to lock the Thorn Republic out of half of their own territory.

She flicked an eyebrow and corrected to, “Cate.”

Her gaze flickered over the entire office quickly with an efficiency familiar to Killinger from when she had once audited military installations and programs for the Thorn Republic.

Cate tilted her head slightly, the calculation becoming clear in her expression. “Ilsa Killinger, registered situational empath, founder of the Special Unit, approved by treaty law for law enforcement against special type humans, married. Correct?”

Killinger studied this young woman for a long moment. For all the impression of professional adult she gave, it struck her that Cate was likely not twenty years old. “Are you trying to intimidate me?” she asked, unruffled by the exchange.

Cate shrugged, indifference clear. “You are not a woman easily intimidated.” She settled into a chair and leaned back, expression shifting again, flickering to a matter-of-fact practicality that was decidedly less irritating. “I am joining your unit because our people did not reach our quota for remaining in the business,” she said bluntly. “You were expecting a volunteer, but we have none available willing to do the dirty work you’re going to need. I know the law inside and out.” Having been instrumentally in drafting and negotiating it, that was doubtless true. “It will be easier for both of us if you know where we stand.”
scribblemyname: (delta)
Apparently, I once started an AU where Clint rescued Natasha from Odessa and it wasn't a SHIELD job the Soldier shot her on.


He finds her bleeding out and half dead, blood bubbling up through her stomach and abdomen and the name of a ghost a whisper on her lips.

He looks at her, dying slowly in misery, with eyes still too alert not to see him and try to track his movements as he comes in close. There is pain in her eyes, betrayal, but no fear.

"Natalia Romanova," he says quietly as he crouches down beside her.

She's still lucid. He can see understanding flickering in her eyes and hear the gurgling under her ragged breaths.

He was left to bleed out once, that look of betrayal in his eyes. He says it because he thinks it and because he will follow up on it, "You deserve better than this."




His name is Clint Barton. He is a SHIELD agent, and she is the target he has been tracking for the last six months. She is wanted in more than a dozen countries. She is beautiful and lethal. Her palms are bloody, her ribs bruised, and there's a car at the bottom of the cliff. She dragged her charge up here to the top again with her own strength, only to be shot and left dying.

His brother left him on the ground once, blood gurgling up in his throat. Clint should have died that day, and he won't do the same to anyone else. Not even the Black Widow.




"Don't save me," she whispers through hoarseness when she finally wakes days after he brought her in and the medical team operated.

He sits up a little in the uncomfortable chair he'd nodded off in. He almost tells her it's too late, but she won't thank him for it. He shrugs at last. "You deserve better than this."




She hates the word. He sees the anger and resigned displeasure in her eyes as she goes through therapy, and her physical weakness buys them time to acquire her loyalty. At last, she tells him he has no need to acquire it.

"I owe you a debt."

Clint jerks back violently. "You don't."

Natasha just stares at him impassively, immovably. "You saved my life. I was your target."

"I didn't sell you into SHIELD slavery," he retorts. "Work here if you want to, but you don't owe me anything."

She tightens her mouth into a grim line but refrains from further comment.
scribblemyname: (calligraphy)
So [livejournal.com profile] geckoholic tagged me and I was already working on this, so here goes.



Pull seven lines from the seventh page of your WIP, then you're supposed to tag seven other writers.



Tracing Trouble

The mental pause had stretched and her brother was getting impatient. Cate...

Don't call me that, she snapped far more harshly than she had at Jarod, the backlash more stinging in a mind that had always been open to hers, her brother claimed even before they'd been taken and modified.

He wasn't Royce to her, wasn't Vision, and she wasn't and shouldn't be Cate to him. You're my brother.

It was a thing untouched by anything that had ever happened to them—from when they were ripped violently from their family and lost their birth names to when they claimed names born of who they were as team operatives. She could not call him by his birth name: Royce. That person wasn't hers. She could not call him by his name among the teams: Vision. That person belonged to his team, and she'd never been allowed to be that. Her brother belonged to her, and she'd never needed a name to fumble along their link and find him.






And tagging [livejournal.com profile] in_the_blue, [livejournal.com profile] hiddencait, [livejournal.com profile] theladymore, [livejournal.com profile] morbane, [livejournal.com profile] trovia, and whoever else wants to do this. Most of the others I would think to tag have either been tagged or really write shorter stuff.
scribblemyname: (616 hawkeye)
I've got a lot of somethings on the docket and a lot of fics in progress, but here's a snippet that I just liked, so wanted to share.




Kate usually used other people like furniture, curling up on them or throwing her legs over Clint's, but Natasha had moved into her usual space on the couch and stretched out over Clint more expansively than even Kate would have.

"Um, guys," Kate said, holding the popcorn bowl hostage and ignoring the wagging dog at her feet. "Show's about to start."

It was time for the Dog Cops season finale and Clint had taken it as a given that she was joining him.

Natasha moved her legs forward four inches, taking Clint's with her and leaving just enough space for Kate to crawl behind if…

She gingerly stretched her legs out over the Black Widow's.

"You can sit all over him," Natasha said, "as long as you don't walk all over him." She reached out and tucked her fingers into the popcorn bowl for a few kernels.

It wasn't actually Clint that Kate was worried about.

"She's like a cat," Clint commented, pushing his knee up to bump Natasha, whose expression turned indulgent at the gesture. "If she lets you sit on her, she's chosen you."

Small relief.

"Or else she's secretly plotting to kill you," he just had to go and add.

He snaked his hand into the bowl and stole some popcorn with a grin.

Kate's eyes slid to the side to study Natasha with deep suspicion.

Natasha smiled.

scribblemyname: (hawkeye ultron)
I have writing priorities. This isn't on them. At all. But it's a snippet anyway, so I thought I'd share. Sequel to "Mindmate Ahoy."


There's a ghost in the ship's mental space. It bumps into Kate's consciousness, and she shudders as if burned. Her thoughts shrink from it. It bounces away into the memory archive.

It's not Clint. She knows Clint and his self-deprecating, cocky confidence. She knows his way of getting stuck on a train of thought, his quick tactical thinking, the way he lives in the moment because the past has a way of swallowing him whole. The ghost is not Clint. Clint is missing, gone, and her entire being aches with the hole only he can fill.

Her body moves through the physical space of the old starship, Hawkeye, passing wood and metal struts and worn fixtures. Her mind moves through the computer system more quickly; it's a part of her. She finds her way to the kitchen without thinking and hears whining. A dog.

Hot tears blur her vision. She hurries through the kitchen to the door on the other side where Clint's old quarters are a complete mess, but there's Lucky curled up in Clint's bullseye hoodie on the floor, crying for his master.

Kate curls up beside him and wraps him in her arms. He's warmth and soft fur and wet tongue, and the sound that he makes echoes what's in her heart.

scribblemyname: (buried: under the rubble)

I’ve been fighting not getting sick lately, so there’s cause for the radio silence. Yes, I’ve posted fanficcy things. Brain’s not all the way there, but I’ve got to be actually gone in order to not be able to do a decent bit of fic. Original fic? Yeah, right. Reading? Can’t concentrate well unless I’m hanging on a heavy knowledge of canon’s scaffolding. Proofreading? Considering asking for an extension and this is a paid job. Poetry even? Yeah, no dice. Crossposting even aforementioned fanfic properly? Hah.

En brief, that’s where I’ve been.

The inspiration’s cranked, just not the execution. I’ve been nibbling at several major projects to see which one will actually let me bite. Haven’t made it far, though I’m in love with the ideas for sure. I’d like to wrap up Son o’ de Guild too. That would get a lot of pressure off for all the abandoned fics, just too scared I’ll throw myself out of the decent Clint/Natasha vibe I’ve got going before I wrap up some other much shorter pieces that I’d like to.

I wonder if I’m a story commitment phobe. Probably not. I just lack that delightful ability to stay focused on a story after I’ve mentally figured it out. Go figure.

Have a snippet:

One moment, Alaine was wrapped in the blinding white light of a gleaming apartment light, begging the child beneath her hand not to die. She was pouring life into an empty hole, feeling it slip through her fingers and out of the body that needed it so badly. The next moment, the entire room was swathed in black darkness except for Devon’s meagre flashlight shining over her hands.

It startled the little boy and startled Alaine, cutting their connection.

“D—!” she swore. Don’t die, don’t die, don’t die. Trust me! “Who turned out the lights?” Alaine demanded aloud, but she didn’t have much spare room for the question or the faint murmuring of Devon’s answer against the blur of sliding into the slippery mind of her charge—playing catch in the tiny sparsely grassed backyard, picking up his father’s gun… She lost herself in the child, holding with a touch that had no fingers or hands, only the pounding, blending of a healer merging her body’s resources with his.

She felt something shoving heavily against her.

Breathe. She breathed, in and out, into the child. Fingers gripped painfully into her shoulder, yanking against the connection. Don’t die on me. Breathe!

Abruptly, Alaine fell away, connection broken as Devon’s voice came clear in her ears, shouting at a volume that made hearing his words impossible. She barely glanced at him, then scrambled away and threw up on the floor beside her. She gagged and retched for what felt like long minutes, and even after she stopped, her entire body trembled. Someone had opened a couple of lantern lights. The yellow glow made her eyes ache, and medical sirens wailed too close to not hurt her ears in her weakened state.

Devon pushed her up gently and put a bottle to her lips.

She wanted water. It wasn’t water. It was the horrible nutrient-rich formula they gave to healers after they nearly passed out. She sucked in a few mouthfuls, ignoring the way it dribbled down her chin.

Devon’s mouth was a grim line again. The emergency medic had tried in vain to keep her from overdoing it ever since she’d been assigned to work with him last year.

She rolled her head slightly to one side, and it nearly sent her heaving again, but she breathed steady, shallow breaths and forced her vision to focus on the little boy she had tried to save. He was breathing—barely, but he was breathing.

 

Originally published at Liana Mir. You can comment here or there.

scribblemyname: (writing is promiscuous)

I've got a handful of stories that are on the table right now:

  • belated Yuletide gifts (1 or 2 will do, she's not picky)
  • the collaboration (she's patient, which is good because I'm deep in revision/formatting wonderland)
  • Splintered Gates (which is my learning how to write on a tablet book)
  • Collateral Damage (the follow-up to Dowse and Bleed)

I've had an 4100+ word opening to Collateral Damage from before that phrase appeared in Dowse and Bleed, but I didn't know which direction to turn after that because it starts out from the perspective of Andre and Shift instead of a direct head-on with Rachelle. Which meant I hadn't the foggiest idea whose story it was and why. I only knew what was going on: the crisis.

Today, I went for the dubious option of just pick one. Here's the snippet:

Breathe. This was not supposed to happen now, not so soon, and not like this.

It was an effort to breathe, to shift gears from the world as Rachelle had always known it. Cycling was survival. She had to move the flood of genetic entries through her vascular system and into archive as soon as possible, or the backup would overwhelm her veins, which could only handle so much. But this day had been coming a long time, and it hit her hard when she incorporated one more entry into her own permanent genetic makeup and then felt that harsh inability to breathe that it was the archive out of space.

Don't cycle. Don't cycle. Back up, spin the paddles, find a shield and stop her own genetic flow. How can you deny your very bones?

Originally published at Liana Mir. You can comment here or there.

scribblemyname: (gambit: movieverse)

Yesterday, I actually got a lot of various scenes written. Now just to get the books and stories pulled together, huh? :rolls eyes at self:

Lovemark the Seasons

I wanted to love you because that's what you wanted, but... "I don't really do in love."

Words don't always make sense, and your stormy eyes told me these ones hadn't.

Exasperated, I sighed and tried again. "I love my brother, but I'm not in love with him."

"Yes..." You still weren't getting it.

"I can love you without falling in love with you." Moments ticked between us. Wrestling angels of understanding, and I knew I wasn't helping, but. "You're not my brother."

Everything is Blood

Russian snow—she still had to snap Niko out of the Red Room in his mind whenever they worked on Russian snow—outside on the ground and more of it falling from a stone-grey sky. Her leg was propped up on a chair, her crossbow completing her arm at one side. The other hand filled out paperwork. She'd been hunting this trail for weeks now. This wasn't a simple job, put an arrow in an enemy or a terrorist and stop the bad guy in his or her tracks. She preferred the simple jobs. You're just a girl with a bow. This wasn't what she'd signed up for.

Mother and daughter traveling on the train, in cars, over the national borders, seeking asylum, refuge, what? It didn't matter. One of them was Collie's target and the only complication was which.

The Rothnen Cycle: Blood

"Thinking on what might have beens?" Kyrieh asked gently.

Casaia shrugged, brought the analytical gleam back into her eye. "Not really. Renaiven and I could never have been."

Kyrieh's eyebrows came up and Casaia realized her friend had never know the exact relationship that hadn't occurred.

[untitled]

No team is family as a group. One bond leads to another and to another. This one would do anything for that one and the links form a chain which eventually circles the entire Department. Whisper called Shift called Thought called Vision called name after name and operative after operative with the word that now was the time they had all been waiting for from forever ago when they were children and swore one day this would be over.  Tracers moved into computer files their admins had never known they hacked. Voluntary teams turned involuntary and used every. single. privilege, every single access point into the systems designed to control these living weapons. Trip wires and triggers promised certain retribution should certain things be done. Law books were opened, loopholes exploited, implants deactivated or interfered with in whatever fashion wouldn't kill the one who wore them.

This was the biggest mission of the teams' collective lives. They hadn't been taught how to fail.

Originally published at Liana Mir. You can comment here or there.

scribblemyname: (buried: under the rubble)

Not all stories ask permission nicely to impinge upon my inspiration. No, they barge in and take over! We're at 2000+ words and counting.

Have a snippet:

"Storm."

He is just coming out of the conference room and glances down at her before they fall into step on the way to their team area in the underground military facility. They don't speak until they're on home turf, out of the way where it's safe, and Storm discharges enough electrical energy into the security system to kill any tracking or monitoring.

Whisper shows him the file. Code 48. The Department's way of cutting its losses and abandoning a compromised operative to their own fate.

Storm's jaw clenches. Alpha Wolf doesn't deserve this. "You know what you're asking?" he demands of her. Countering direct Department orders always results in punishment, and Storm has always deliberately made sure he took the heat for all of them. It is the way of the third ranking, which Storm now occupies. He has always had the temperament for it.

But Whisper shifts her head slightly to one side in a negative, bigger picture in mind than what he's implying. "Storm," she says softly, sotto voice, and his eyes darken as he listens. "I'm not asking."

Compromised operatives do not have family. They were stolen as children and have never been a liability for their knowledge, only the physical evidence of genetic manipulation and government illegal activities their bodies represent. Human weapons. Red Wolf, her lover whom she calls Alpha, has a family. He knows everything there is to know about too much classified information.

"I lost the Christian," she whispers.

The first man she had ever loved died while infiltrating a terrorist cell. Storm held her through that storm, anchored her grief after she had wiped out every person related to the Christian's death. He hears what she has not said outright. They're going to kill him.

She didn't ask Storm before she took on an entire terrorist organization and became known as the first ranked assassin in the Department. She isn't asking now if they can save their leader.

"Do you know what you're saying?" Storm raises his eyebrows, incredulous, because he does. This will require more than just defying orders and intercepting the kill team. They can't just extract him. They have to keep him alive and either out of the reach of the Department and their handlers or of his family who is now rushing to his side.

Whisper nods. "Shift owes me."

They're going to have to burn the Department to the ground.

Originally published at Liana Mir. You can comment here or there.

scribblemyname: (rescue)
This entry is part 37 of 37 in the series 365 Challenge

It's been a while since I started the 365 Challenge, wherein I write a piece of fiction or poetry for each day of the year. You will note on the challenge page that longer works of fiction/poetry count as multiple pieces. This was to preserve my sanity and keep life realistic.

Then I got a job. At first that was too hectic and crazy to write at all. Then there was the story from inferno, a short that went long and is now threatening book status. The muse and I are in negotiations. Then there were seven or so finished stories that I marked "unfinished" because I wasn't happy with them yet. And needless to say, the story count does not reflect the number of days that have passed.

But on the bright note, I foresee catching up. If I write 2 count every workday, I'll be caught up by the end of the year and can even keep my weekends free. In a manner of speaking. I tend to write more than I can post during the week, so on weekends, I tend to post all the stories hanging around waiting.

And I'm writing a novel. An AU novel. An experimental novel. One I shouldn't be touching with a ten-foot pole. The muse and I are still negotiating.

Have a snippet:

Teaching autumn gave way at last to winter and blew me with a snowy gale back into my favorite coffee shop where ice melt dripped from coats thrown over the backs of wooden chairs onto the coffee-brown matte floor. Three weeks ago from those crisp autumn days and slowly but surely, my open books on the lower counter gradually shifted to thick, already damp rags on the upper bar.

The day you stepped inside the glass was fogged and bitter cold. Black coffee burbled in the makers on the back wall, and girls’ laughter tumbled about with the rich aroma of roasting grounds.

I wiped down the long counter, wet with coffee drips and damp jackets, as I watched your group of young men gather around table five. You lay down your netbook computers, notebooks, and pencils with a small, talkative clatter, filled the chairs with your presence, the shop with the friendly ambience of your laughter.

You were the blonde one, clearly a brother in arms or fact to the dark-haired one at the head of the table. A few glances around at the others, your friends—questions, answers—and then you came up to the counter and leaned against it, tall enough to bring you closer to me than I liked.

“What can I get for you?” I asked, keeping my voice pleasant and laying aside the rag.

Most people would have smiled, but you didn’t. Something intense burned behind your eyes but all you said was, “You’re the barista?”

Coffee beans became rich, black beverage behind me where the other girls poured out cups of espresso, macchiato, latte; yet, you asked. Crazy you, I raised an eyebrow at the question.

Then you smiled, dimpling on one side and not the other. You rattled off a list of eight drinks and then said, “And one for me. Got any suggestions?”

How about you? Any illicit projects thrown in by the muse?

Originally published at Liana Mir. You can comment here or there.

scribblemyname: (ruffled feathers)

So there's a couple of memes that I decided to edit into this: I'm going to post the first lines of all my WIP that have a complete draft but not a revision I like yet. Now to just get some edited!

Seven Days. Waiting to Wake

"You have seven days. Live them."

Breath. [ Jaguar's story ]

Jaguar kneels over the small sleeping form of her young brother.

Breath. [ Ivallyn's story ]

The Collector, Mavren, looked up from the counter when the tiny brass bell tinkled over his opening door.

Breath. The Great Cat and His Soul

Here in the land of the five cities, long before the king and the princes, the queen and the princesses, there was an emperor and empress and a little empressina.

Breath. Artisan's Breath

Alya carefully creased speckless cream linen over the perfect white parchment of her letter—the way her mother taught her.

Kingdoms and Thorn. Dowse and Bleed

Rachelle waited until the restless aches dancing through her upper body were outright pain before she finally forced herself to quit making endless cups of coffee and fished a mottled green star out of the embossed pink tin she kept on the granite kitchen countertop.

Vardin. Lifetaker

Kirana pressed her hand tightly to the young boy's chest, her own chest feeling squeezed as life wrung out from between her fingers and into his body.

Kingdoms and Thorn. [ Teller's Story ]

Word came at dawn of the newly outfitted military station in Westerfields, that vast uninhabited territory between Glaston and Edyll, both kingdoms cities.

Faeology. Edge of Salvation, Edge of Fear (expanded)

Markus and Shellayne hated each other, but as the only arcana-keeper interns available, they were stuck closing the Library of All Knowledge.

Got any first lines to share?

Originally published at Liana Mir. You can comment here or there.

scribblemyname: (Fedora!Riley: 919)

Snippeting because the monstrosity that is “Dowse and Bleed” is not yet done. I swear this story hates me. It’s a bleeding mess with a protag who refuses to tell it any other way. Ah, well. We’re at 4000 words and counting.

“Hang on a sec,” she muttered, drawing sharp glances from the rest of the Unit. “Running a normal.”

None of them had seen her do it, assumed there was nothing valuable in a regular human type genetic pattern for her to run, just query, but he gave, he gave, and she hated him for it as much as for anything he took.

She settled indian-style on the ground, bent her head to knees, and tangled hands in the lengths of her hair. He’d always liked her hair. “This won’t be pretty.”

It wasn’t. It was a mess of color, sensation, memories gained from every time she read him with a hundred different gifts, every time he touched her when she was cycling—she hated that his was the only touch that could actually make her feel better. Harshness melted into self-loathing, crisscrossed with a moral standard far too high for all the things they’d done, the sharp taste of blood and violence bleeding into tender, brutal intuition—intuition that ran in the family. She grasped for it with another processor’s power, one she rarely pulled, and there. She had it. It was hers.

She threw back her hair and stood, clenched hands, clenched teeth to hold onto a pattern that could only last but seconds, and there it was, the tension hanging in the air. “It’s not a shield,” she said. “Jarod, get me labeling from under the window.”

He settled down beside her and ran through the data he’d been tracking from each one of them, moving back to Rachelle’s chip when they were checking the exit point. “What am I looking for?”

“You’re not.” She peered over his shoulder. “Does this pull my identification methods?”

“If you speak guanine, adenine, thymine, cytosine.”

“Lucky for you, I do.” She glanced over the long list of every residual scrap of genetic material that bit of sidewalk had on it, comparing it to the stuff she had right here. Two and a half matches. This could get dicey.

Prompted by pygmymuse

Originally published at Liana Mir. You can comment here or there.

scribblemyname: (loaded gun: wake up call)

Some short stories are not polite. They plant their roots and spread and grow like weeds to take over far more space than they were ever alotted. “Dowse and Bleed” is one of those stories.

Killinger was the oldest of them, well into her late thirties and clearly resigned to her chosen deal, her chosen work. She stepped out into the middle of the room without hesitation and half-shut her eyes, immersing once more into the emotional layout of the room, meticulously checking for intensity and time-induced fade.

Mira and Rachelle uncurled slowly, pulling hands out of pockets, from under arms, reaching to brush with unwilling fingers, passing a bare hand inches away from the detritus in the room. Rachelle had the advantage: she didn’t have to touch an object physically to get a read on it. Mira had the advantage: she didn’t have to cover her skin to avoid a read.

Rachelle checked the door, pulled in a new entry and compared the time-fade from one to the other. “Might have exited through here.” She shrugged.

Mira followed her and wrapped her hand around the handle. She held on for several moments, then shook her head. “I should feel something.”

“Unless Weller was unconscious and our man is too cold to leave traces,” Rachelle pointed out.

Killinger glanced at Jarod, but he was focused on reading the inputs from their chips.

“Well,” Mira resigned herself with a single clipped syllable. She pulled her purse over her head and handed it to Jarod, who took it absently and slung it over one shoulder. Mira buttoned up her coat to keep it out of the way and flexed her fingers. Then she delicately touched one finger to the door handle and started walking, tracing that one finger around wall, furniture, cabinets, counter—circling the entire apartment before she stopped on the bathroom door. She wrapped her hand around the handle and grimaced. “Here.”

Originally published at Liana Mir. You can comment here or there.

scribblemyname: (bookish)

Written Work of the Day

The muse has kept her promise, though she must keep on with keeping it, and here is a snippet of genuine new material within this mishmash of sketch that's coming together.

Philip was glad to see Josh. It was good to see Josh. He was justly surprised at how many others held his time.

“Enough women?” he asked after the last bag was unpacked, their parents were in bed, and the hostess complimented.

Josh chuckled. “There's men too, but in Vardin, women are responsible for people.”

“And you're people?” skeptical.

“Got it in one. The men...” Josh's face closed. “They have their work.”

Philip prodded. “Which is?”

“Ivrat.”

“English, Josh.”

“There isn't English. Not for that.”

The sketch is moving forward oddly and the word count is doubtless thoroughly incorrect, but here it is anyway.

 
41158/120000 words. 34.3% done.

Vardin Word of the Day

ivrat. householder: household (law, culture, tradition, or customs)

Rec of the Day

Rabia Gale is offering a giveaway on her gorgeous new book coming out, Mourning Cloak. Please go check it out!

Mourning Cloak by Rabia Gale

Originally published at Liana Mir. You can comment here or there.

scribblemyname: (Default)

She was a smaller child than Monkey when first her people left her alone beneath those leaves and ordered her to bring home meat. A tiny thing, she was fearful of the dark, for her eyes were black and human, prey not predator.

Yellow eyes startled her out of the night. The jaguar shifted forward from the undergrowth and picked his way on great paws to breathe against her shoulder in a voice she should not have been able to understand. “What is this soul and skin you wear?”

That was when she knew she was Jaguar, when she lifted her small hands to his great shoulders and embraced the beast, breathing back, when she learned how the jaguar hunt.

— from “Breath from a Stone”

Originally published at Liana Mir. You can comment here or there.

scribblemyname: (feeling thoughty)

Snippets from the Ficlet o’Clock

At the Door – beta edits complete

She came to the door at midnight, white hair trailing over her long white skirts, mouth wide open, hand raised in supplication, Come with me.

— prompted by Rabia Gale

Breath from a Stone – drafting

She crouches before the fire on the other side and lays her spear over her bare knees. “You can breathe from the stone?” she asks.

The old man laughs. “Cannot all the breathers?”

Jaguar flashes him a smile, all sharp white teeth, then closes them as if she has bitten flesh. “Not the breather I slew.”

— prompted by Rabia Gale

[ working title ] – drafting

The two young women did not get along, but no one, not even Professor Xavier, knew because let’s face it, sweet and lovely Jean Grey was above all that and would never stoop to telepathic revenge, and beautiful, patronizing Emma Frost would never soil her perfection by engaging with those who were beneath her, at least not without sufficient provocation, worthy of losing her reputation for ladylike behavior. But internally, the study partners were vicious, exploiting every advancement in their race to become the most powerful telepath. Their mutual hatred and ambition served them well: it drove their performance and outward smiles until…

Well.

— prompted by lithiumlaughter

Originally published at Liana Mir. You can comment here or there.

scribblemyname: (ruffled feathers)

Tea and Ficlets is clearly turning into Tea and Short Stories!

Snippets:Read the rest of this entry  )

Originally published at Liana Mir. You can comment here or there.

scribblemyname: (teadragon)

My characters are beverage drinkers. From Clark Gabrin with his “fine decantation of valuable stimulants and nutrients” designed to taste like an Earl Grey to the national Vardin beverage, sluscheta; to Shelley Huntington’s addiction to all things coffee, tea and coffee seems to show up all over in my fiction.

Myself, I am a bit of a tea connoisseur. The family cupboard has always been stuffed to the brim with assorted teas, mostly supplemental or Celestial Seasonings, and my father’s pantry contained even more exotic varieties, including coffee alternatives, such as Roma and Pero. When I opened up shop in my own pantry, I included hefty doses of tea for both healing and flavor. An introduction to a local tea room owner led me to fall in love with rooibos as well. So, when my characters began showing personality through their choice of beverage, not only did it not really take me by surprise, but it made for a delightful round table of who likes what and what that says about them.

Read the rest of this entry  )

Originally published at Liana Mir. You can comment here or there.

scribblemyname: (beta: without you)

So on Write a Book with Me, Kirsten asked for snippets and shared an amazing one of her own. I went ahead and went out on a limb (for me, anyway) and shared the first bit of Storm, the new bit of the overhaul of my Vardin novelverse into The Rothnen Cycle.

I wasn’t expecting much; I’ve been scared to really go where this book goes, but her response just about choked me up and told me I am finally doing this right. It’s still scary, if I’m honest, but I hope that I can keep doing, reaching down into the real parts of this story that draw me and compel me and share them, no matter how much I worry that it’s going to go down wrong.


She fell into sleep wearing her usual blonde braid and her long, flannel nightgown. She woke to a rocky beach with her golden hair loose and blowing in the softly singing winds and wearing a simple cream-colored dress under a dark cloak. He was there. He was always there, waiting for her. A little older than she was, maybe twelve or thirteen, and visibly too thin without his shirt. He liked to hang his bare legs in the water and let the water and wind ruffle his hair into unkempt auburn. He liked to sit just in front of her and grin when she wasn’t being serious.

But tonight—or day, the sun was glimmering softly over here through a haze of beautiful blue so intense, it seemed she could swirl her finger in it—she was serious as she settled her cloaked back against the large rock leading upward toward the cliffs. She was serious often enough to know he would not laugh or grin, but listen to her intently, like his life hung upon her words.

“What day is it?” she asked, softly, like speaking too loud would change his answer.

It was an old question between them, something worrisome and weary filling the gap between.

“The seventeenth,” he answered solemnly.

“What month is it?”

He waited a moment, dark eyes holding hers. “The second.”

The same day. She slept and awoke and it was all her own life. It bothered her.

He was all pent-up, restless energy and stepped up as if to go, but she caught his hand and held it tightly. He let her and sat beside her while she waited for the ache of confusion within her to leave her for the winds and drift away.

Originally published at Liana Mir. You can comment here or there.

scribblemyname: (mood: fire)

So from Rabia Gale:

1. Go to page 77 of your current manuscript/work-in-progress (or page 7 if you don’t have 77).
2. Go to line 7.
3. Copy down the next 7 lines, sentences, or paragraphs, and post them as they’re written.
4. Tag 7 authors, and let them know.

I’m sure you all know my current novel-length WIP is Summerlight, no matter how recalcitrant and shifty mess that work is turning out to be. :grumbles at book: :book grumbles back:

So it’s not 77 pages yet. Here’s on page 7.

They seem to be rather divided about that.

You always were the one who believed in fairies.

Love always,
John

Miles stopped reading. “The letter is dated from just over nine months ago, about three weeks after I heard from him last.” The crinkles about his eyes were back, but this time he was frowning, as if in pain.

Rob considered the timing. His mind immediately began to calculate the potential dangers and some of the strange things they could be expected to take seriously.

“Do you really think we’ll see dragons?” Josh asked, aiming his question at Miles, the more credulous of the men.

Now for my seven writers:

Tag in_the_blue, pygmymuse, lithiumlaughter, arliddian

Let’s stick to four.

Originally published at Liana Mir. You can comment here or there.

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