Month: February 2014

Feeling Let Down: WIPpet Wednesday

It’s been a rough week. We lost a beloved friend to cancer, and it hurt. And in a cruel double-whammy we also saw the legal system fail spectacularly. As a lawyer I’ve seen it before, but rarely in such a cruel fashion. Going through a week like this makes you realise you need to cherish the ones you love, and that the truth will always be the truth no matter how many people choose to ignore it.

I chose today’s WIPpet because Aiden is about to be let down too. (For those of you who’ve been following the WIPpets , this is a much older Tobias). This passage is taken from The Legend of the Kings (Book III of the Heartstone Trilogy):

“It’s a nice theory.”  Tobias stood up, his head was really throbbing now and he was keen for the interview to be over. “But I’m not sure it changes anything. Even if Josiah sent a message, it was clearly lost with that Fells person.”

The triumphant grin faltered.

“But it changes everything. No one’s even found a trace of Josiah. But if he sent a messenger – he must’ve found something. Something to get rid of the dragons. And now we know where to look.”

As Tobias looked down into Aiden’s face, he suddenly saw where this was going, and his heart sank.

“The dragons need to be defeated once and for all, and the Boundary has to come down.”

“Aiden…”

“I need to find him Tobias. We can’t go on like this – trapped behind the Boundary.”

“No.” That one word, flat and absolute, seemed to pull Aiden up, and for a moment he stared at Tobias, his expression registering surprise then disbelief.

“But I’ve been called to Quest.”

“I don’t think…”

“How else would I have found the record? And the dreams…” He was pleading now, an edge of desperation in his voice.“I’ve had the same dream over and over. The Guardian Stones are lying on the ground and the dragons are gone.  It’s hard to describe, but in the dream I feel free – the whole Kingdom feels free. And when I wake up I’m drawn back to the Boundary, the Legend and what happened to Josiah. It must be the call, I feel compelled to follow it through.”

He was clearly sincere. Tobias could see the sheen of tears, the dark shadows beneath his eyes, the grief etched into his face. For a moment he looked so young and vulnerable, Tobias felt his heart ache. He moved around the desk and laid a fatherly hand on Aiden’s shoulder, and when he spoke his voice was calm and measured.

“I know you want there to be more. I know what happened to your father… your family has been difficult. But this isn’t going to bring them back. The fact is we need the protection of the Boundary. It’s not perfect, but it keeps the dragons at bay. You’re reading too much into this.”

“Please. Please Tobias. I really think the One God is calling me. Won’t you even think about it – pray about it?”

Aiden’s words touched a nerve. The Overseer was the only person who could validate a Holy Quest, and the responsibility was serious. If someone thought they had been called, an Overseer was bound to check the scrolls to see if it was consistent with the holy teaching, and then spend time in prayer to confirm his finding. But as soon as the thought crossed his mind Tobias pushed it away. This wasn’t the same thing at all. This was a young man whose grief was driving him to look for answers in an ancient legend. He didn’t need to seek the will of God, that much was pretty clear. But for Aiden’s sake he needed to put a stop to this now.

“Aiden there hasn’t been a true Quest in over 400 years.”

“But -”

“I’m sorry.  But I can’t confirm it.  It’s terrible what happened.  To Josiah, the man in the scroll, your family… to all of us stuck between the dragons and the Rohe.  But you need to let it go.”

But of course he won’t, because he has hold of the truth. I know how he feels.

WIPpet Wednesday is the brainchild of the talented K.L. Schwengel. The idea is that you share a portion of a work in progress that has some link to the date (and that link may be very tenuous… we are dealing with creative types). Then head over to this linky and join in the fun. The WIPpeteers are a friendly, fun and encouraging band of writers from a diverse genre base. *waves*

By the way if you want to check out my interview with Kathi and her band of flying monkeys click on this link (Dad this was for you)!

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Suffering in Silence – WIPpet Wednesday

Today I felt like licking my wounds and curling up in the fetal position; an hour or so in the dentist’s chair will do that to a girl. But when you’re a Mum, even if you’re feeling fragile, you just have to suck it up and get on with it. At least I was feeling sympathetic towards some of my more vulnerable characters.

In this kindly spirit I’ve chosen two of my long-suffering characters to star in today’s WIPpet, once again from The Legend of the Kings.

Aiden and Callum have had a very abrupt sort of meeting in Cannondale which resulted in Callum taking Aiden back to Aradawn, the family sheep station. Callum is a man of few words (this passage is quite chatty for Callum) and Aiden isn’t really sure why Callum appears to be helping him. Despite the somewhat touchy subject matter, this conversation marks a positive turn of events for both characters.

In fine WIPpet tradition, I give you 7 paragraphs (5 for the date + 2 for the second month):

They travelled in silence until they lost sight of Cannondale.

“You’re not just another religious freak – you meant what you said about Daniel Fells.” Callum spoke matter of factly, his gaze fixed firmly on the road ahead.

“I don’t think he killed Josiah, if that’s what you mean.”

Callum didn’t respond, but his shoulders relaxed slightly. Taking this as a good sign Aiden plowed on. “There was a note in the archive saying Daniel Fells disappeared two days before the storm. If that’s true he would’ve had to ride hard to reach the Fulton River Ford by the night the storm struck. The Upland Road’s bad enough now, I don’t imagine it was any easier going back then. Apparently the family insisted Daniel was innocent and argued for an investigation.”

“But they didn’t believe them.” There was a hard vein of bitterness in Callum’s voice.

“No. But they should have. It was weeks before the family found his body. It seems to me his behaviour was so out of character the family didn’t think he’d be anywhere near the Fulton River.” He looked over at Callum who was holding the reins in a death grip.

“Your family name wasn’t always Fraser was it?”

Hmm, what do you think?

Many thanks to Kathi Schwengel for hosting WIPpet Wednesday. It’s a great way to share those early drafts, and meet some really great (and encouraging) writers. If you want to join us, just post your own WIPpet and head over to this linky.

For those of you who haven’t seen it yet, Kathi also interviewed me over on her blog last week. Check it out here – it was a lot of fun! I think I may have been the worst person ever at the lightning round… It’s a bad habit from my lawyering days – always trying to clarify… *sighs*

Happy writing!