Writespiration #85 Snippets of You

snippets of youAs I write this, it’s actually last Wednesday. I am feeling a tad overwhelmed with everything I am trying to do, so you’re going to help me with a prompt for next week.

The weekly writespiration is a platform of inspiration for writers but also an opportunity for writers to share their work. So. This week, I want two things from you:

1 – The title of your current WIP – if you’re working on more than one, just choose the one you like the title of best. Or if you like, make a title up.

2 – A 150 word snippet from your current WIP. If it is part of a series, feel free to post links to amazon for the first book (only) in the series and I will add it for people to have a look.

Please note – I will be using your titles in next weeks challenge, so if you are not happy for them to be published as part of a challenge, please do not enter them, and perhaps choose another title you are happy to share.

If you want to join in, either post your entry at the bottom, or in a blog post with a ping back so I can find it.

Here’s Mine:

My Book has a working title of Keepers, which is part of the Fallon trilogy. Whether it will stay as Keepers I have no idea. But here is the first 156 words of my novel:

Mother’s shoe rapped against our train’s wooden floor. Once, twice, three times. I stole a glance at her. Arms folded, eyes narrowed to slits. I’d pushed too far. Nibbling the inside of my lip I glared at my friend Bo, hoping for support; she shrugged and looked at the floor. Helpful. Well, I wasn’t giving in. This was my Keepers Ceremony, and I wanted to feel like myself when I walked in.

“Bo?” I said, trying not to let the fire raging in my chest burn her name.

“I’m staying out of this.”

Mother’s foot stopped tapping. I closed my eyes, preparing for the onslaught.

“You listen to me, Eden East. You’re not attending your Keepers ceremony wearing those disgusting boots and filthy combats. I forbid it.”

I cringed as Mother spit my full name and wiggled a finger in my face.

“But…”

“NO, Eden. This isn’t just any ceremony and you’re not just any Keeper.”

Sacha Black © 2016 all rights reserved

Last week I asked you to grab the nearest book and choose words according to a set of numbers.


First in to last week’s entries is Ellen with the words: Grafaganana, San, the and Florentine.

The Dragons love song

He woke Garfaganana
To sing him a song.
A dreamy one of love
That he knew all along.

A melodic tune named simply “san”
It was crooned in Florentine hills.
By lovers sunning themselves
on padded window sills.

Romanced, he swooped her
Through a portal to his lair
Where he crooned his love
While brushing her hair.


Next up Bill, with a beautiful and emotive poem using the words: Decades, Tiny, My and Disappointed

Moments

I look ahead and MY world
seems destined to dissolve
into tiny fragments,
shards of unexamined lives,
comfortable experiences
I will not enjoy,
lips, untouched,
skin, sweet skin,
wine left wanting.

I look back,
nostalgic, of course,
and vaguely disappointed
at myself,
at the hurried loss
of the decades,
my times,
which I let aimlessly let slip by
like grains of sand,
why,
always,
grains of sand?
Why?

I am stilled
by an inertia,
of moments
yet to be,
never to be
for me.

Moments!


Next up Lori Carlson with the words: War, Give, to and compelling

Battle Cry

“If they want war, we’ll give them war!” the leader says as he stands on a stage before the crowd.

We all jump to our feet and cheer, “Give ’em hell!”

The leader, now red-faced, continues, “We’ll squash them like bugs!”

We all chant, “Termites, termites!”

By now we are a frenzied mess. Shouts, screams, and chants echo through the auditorium. The leader has given another compelling speech. We pile out of the meeting hall pumped and ready to fight. We each return to our rooms, turn on our computers, and log in to the game – Exterminator Warriors!


Next in Jane, with this hilarious entry, love the phrasing towards the end!

“I’m sorry Mr Tibbs, but your proposal is really just too disadvantageous for us.”

“You wha’?”

“Unfavourable.”

“You mean like the odds is too short?”

The man in the suit got to his feet, his right hand stretched out in a gesture of dismissal. “If you like. I’m sorry, but…our image… You understand?”

Vic shook the hand as if he was being offered a bouquet of live wires. “I’ll take ’em back then.”

The suit held the door open. “If you would be so kind. The young lady at reception will show you where they are being…held.”

Vic stuffed his hands in his pockets and stomped back down the corridor. Pompous prick! He’d rather pay some flash business with fancy machinery. Well, stuff him. The girl at the desk looked at him as though he had a cowpat plastered over his head.

“If you’d like to follow me, please.”

She picked her way along a tarmac strip out the back of the main building to what looked like a large garage and produced a key. While she unlocked the doors, Vic gazed at the vast expanse of green that surrounded the commercial unit and sighed. The five of them could keep that trim, the bushes too, no problem. The girl pulled open the doors and stepped back.

Vic clicked his tongue. “Come on, girls, Pedro, home time.”

The receptionist moved quickly out of the way, but not quickly enough.

“Erk!” she shrieked. “It spat at me!”

“Sign of affection,’ Vic said and yanked on Pedro’s halter. “If ever your boss changes his mind, decides to go green—”

“He won’t.”

Vic shrugged. “Well, fuck me sideways, what a surprise. His loss. C’mon you lot.”

He headed off towards the road, the five llamas trotting after him.


Next up Ladylee and you have to go check out the bonkers photo that accompanies her story

Kelly kept tossing and turning in her sleep. The place was still vivid in her mind and she was thinking of some ways to help them. Her Mum took her to one of the trailer parks in the neighbourhood and she would not believe what she was seeing or smelling. The dirt, the stench all over and unused appliances just on the streets. There was even a toilet bowl there. Ah! she thought of a brilliant idea. So the next day she went back to the place and planted some flowers around. It was triumphantly accepted by the community.


Next in, Bré with this brilliant and slightly horrifying entry using a PC ad from a newspaper! Her words: free, laptop, company & contribution.

My boyfriend Roger got me a job in the company where he works. Don’t worry we won’t be working together, he actually just got a promotion. He’s on the road a lot while I’m in the office. It’s a pretty sweet deal I get a free laptop and phone, they just take a small contribution out of my wages each month.

I was looking through my new laptop and came across some photos. Someone must have had it before me. I couldn’t help but browse. Some were work photos, holiday snaps, dark ones I couldn’t make out. And. Is that a body? I flicked to the next one and gasped. I slammed it shut.

I asked Rachel in IT do they recycle laptops. “Yeah, when someone leaves the company or upgrades” I was debating showing the photos to the police but wanted to have a name. I asked who owned the laptop before me. “Ha what a coincidence. Roger did.”


Next up, Pat, my lovely Rough Writer from Carrot Ranch. Pat gets bonus points for using the words in the same order! His words were: ought, silly, But, understanding

Leave to Dance

I ought to know better. When I had the silly whim to join in the line dance at my son’s senior prom, I knew there would be fallout. Chaperones were not supposed to dance, just stay near the doors in case of uninvited guests, or at the punch bowl to prevent any… amendments.

But that song is my favorite, and Max knows it. He saw my foot start tapping, and the aborted movement toward the line that was building.

He shook his head, then gave me leave to dance when I saw no scowl in his expression, but understanding.


Next in is Geoffle, with this umm…. delightful little Easter piece! His words were: Forensics, Which, As, White

‘How long before it reaches the surface?’

‘I’d say we have twenty minutes.’

‘Do we know what it is? Have forensics been contacted?’

‘They’ll not touch it until it’s surfaced. All we can do is wait and see. Whichever way it turns out, they’ll be someone disappointed.’

‘So should we just sit here? Or come back?’

‘Let’s sit. It’s not as if we have anything else to do, and personally I’m as keen as anyone to find out of the Easter Bunny lays white or milk chocolate eggs.’


Ritu joined in this week using these words: Anastasia, year, on gives

Anastasia sat there looking at the TV, listening to the inane ramblings of the latest politician to give his opinion on how he would run the country.

Every election year there was the door to door canvassing for votes, debates on the telly, the promises, yet no matter who got voted in, she was never any better off.

Seriously. Who gives a toss about her?


Helen in next with this gorgeous piece that left me wanting more. Her words were: Human, on, whispering, have

His mask glittered, curving papier mache making him appear more than human. She knew she looked the same, laughing as they wandered hand in hand, heels clicking on the cobbles, past whispering lamplit canals and down narrow passageways, crumbling plaster puffing into dust as they passed.

‘We have to go back.’ He checked his watch, anachronistic under the satin cuff.

She stopped, laughter leaving her. ‘Time won’t wait, will it?’

‘It never does. We have only so long before it catches up with us again.’

He twisted the dial and she felt time stretching elastic, the world turning to grey.


Sarah up next with two entries, and a wicked cool source for her words – the periodic table no less!

First from a children’s book of the Periodic Table of Elements. (5-7-5 haiku) Words:
And, Pewter, Form and classification.

Classification:
Unknown. New life form. Composed
of gold and pewter

***

Second from Sophie’s World by Jostein Gaarder. Words: Guards, To, Sleep, Disappeared

Fears plagued me throughout the night, clawing their way into my subconscious.

I often woke screaming.

He bought me a dreamcatcher, feathers dangling from a woven web meant to trap the nightmares.

Sweet dreams, he claimed, would be filtered from the bad and drip down to me.

The dreamcatcher was broken.

Or I was.

I still screamed. Until May. That’s when they arrived. The Guards. They didn’t speak but I knew they would protect me. Allow me to sleep.

It was November by the time I could make it through a night. It was November when the Guards disappeared.


Kim in next with this wicked little rhyming poem. Her words were: had, some, saw, disappointed.

Disappointed

With the shadows

And the ghosts that didn’t come

Disappointed

With the nightmares

You know I wanted some

Disappointed

In boring dreams

Mirrors of unimaginative reality

No horror to wake me

Make me

Feel alive

If I had

You might be

Reading

This poem


Last but by no means least,  Judy, and apologies as I missed her entry last week. So first her Black out entry:

As I sit there watching the big screen

All settled in for the night

Everything’s suddenly gone quiet

And someone has turned off the light.

The pitch black makes me feel nervous

I don’t like being here on my own

I can’t haven’t got any candles

And the where in the hell is my phone?

It feels like the set of a movie

Where the killer is hiding upstairs

Waiting until the right moment

To capture his prey, unawares

My heart is starting to race now

My throat is all parched and dry

I need to go to the toilet

And I’m just about ready to cry!

When, suddenly a massive explosion

Of light and sound dims my fears

I can relax and calm down now

As the opening credits appear.

***

Now to her second entry for this week, her words were: voice, the, years, representative

I have found that over the years

That voice that I had disappears

Sometimes it is sweet

and each note it will meet

And others, well, just cover your ears!

 

A representative came calling one day

And set out his wares for display

But the stuff he was selling

Was not that compelling

So I told him to go on his way!


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73 comments

      1. Okay Sacha, here’s mine:

        Title: Under Stone (Book 4 of The Ambeth Chronicles)

        ‘So why are you dressed like that?’ said the girl next to him, sliding close, dark hair curling around her freckled face. She ran a hand across his leather breastplate. ‘Not that I don’t like it or anythin’.’ She giggled and he snapped his teeth at her, laughter rumbling in his chest.
        ‘It is what I wear when I hunt,’ he said, putting his arm around her as he took another swig from the bottle, enjoying the sweet taste.
        ‘And have you found what you were huntin’ for?’ she asked, reaching up to steal a kiss, mouth soft against his beard.
        ‘Easy, Carolyn, leave some for the rest of us,’ said the girl in the front seat, flashing her eyes at him as he lifted his head.
        ‘Oh, don’t worry,’ he said, meeting her glance with a scorching one of his own. ‘There’s plenty of me to go around.’

        It is a series, so the link to book one, Oak and Mist is myBook.to/oakandmist

        Sorry! No more Silver and Black at this point 🙂 xx

  1. Very intrigued by your opening. 🙂

    Here’s mine.

    It’s from a novella in my Warlock Case Files series. (It was supposed to be a short story, but it had other ideas.) The title is The Case of the Prejudiced Ghost.

    The snippet is from later in the story and is a tiny bit longer than 150 (176). I hope that’s okay. It didn’t break well at 150.

    ____________

    Orange, green and a sickly purple dominated his aura, but that wasn’t what worried me. A surge of dark gray was forming in the center of his “body,” and I knew what that meant.

    “Paul, incoming!”

    That was all I had time to say, but I trusted it would be enough for my partner. I dropped to the floor and rolled for the nearest item of furniture, a low bench that looked like it belonged in a dining set. What was it doing in an entryway? I crawled under it as best I could, rolled myself into a ball and covered my head with my arms.

    I was aware of Paul moving behind me, grabbing Gerome and crouching down to cover the man with his body.

    Just in time.

    Items started flying. Peeking out from behind my shielding arms, I saw a huge flat-screen TV–good to know Gerome’s priorities with his ill-gotten gains–followed by a… VCR? Really? So old school. A beat up couch was next, along with a new-looking recliner.

    ____________

    Link to the first book in the series: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B006OSLW18

    Thanks so much for the prompt!

  2. Hi Sacha and everyone,

    I am working on a number of projects. Drawn Towards The Sun is anticipated to be the prequel to my first novel, Like a Child to Home. I have borrowed lines from a song, California, by the late lamented Canadian folk artist, Stan Rogers, to serve as titles for what might eventually be a trilogy, time and skill permitting. My main character is a social worker, Wally Rose. This snippet is a little over 200 words…sorry and currently begins chapter fourteen…

    “On the day that his family got the devastating, yet not unexpected, news, Gordie Dumont’s grandfather, his father’s father, Clarence Elijah Dumont, took the boy hunting. The trip had been planned for some time and his grandfather would not be dissuaded, even with the arrival of the report that his mother had died in some ratty hotel in downtown Winnipeg. The city was always full of peril and the Dumont family had come to expect that the precarious habits of Estelle Dumont might someday take her away forever.

    “We will be back in a week,” Clarence had quietly but authoritatively declared. “Maybe a week. It depends on the hunting. It will also depend on how well the boy walks in the forest. No matter what, the fishing will be good. The fishing is always good for me.”

    Everyone knew that the fishing wasn’t always good for Clarence. They had occasionally heard him confess that the fish just weren’t biting this or that time. It was something he said to remind one and all that most of life was a game of chance. He knew that fish, like people, had a sense of humour. Sometimes, fish, wittingly or otherwise, simply needed to remind mankind that humans weren’t in charge and keeping out of sight of anglers hammered home the point.”

    Here is a link to Amazon and my first novel:

    https://www.amazon.ca/Like-Child-Home-Bill-Engleson/dp/1460219287?ie=UTF8&*Version*=1&*entries*=0

      1. It could be going a little faster. I get side-tracked with more immediate writerly gratification…flash fiction and such.
        Glad you enjoyed my snippet. I have to confess there aren’t a lot of laughs in the new book.
        Take care…

  3. I left my snippet earlier, I thought, but WordPress made me go through login hell when I submitted it. I thought it was lost, but when I tried to submit again, it said it was a duplicate. I’m not seeing it in the comment list. Did WordPress swallow it up?

    1. No, it’s there I haven’t approved it yet. I moderate all the comments so that I reply to every bring and don’t miss any. But I also work full time and I’m a mum, so I’m not always hot on getting them done the same day. Sorry. Give me another 24 hours and everyone’s submissions will be up, had a bit of a rough evening. Apologies again.

      1. No need to apologize. I only asked because of the WordPress thing. I totally understand having a life outside of blogging. Thanks!!!

  4. This was great seeing everyone’s entries 🙂

    Here is my WIP. It is actually something I started as part of a writing challenge and have been going with, so I don’t have a title. Let’s just call it “All aboard!” Thanks, look forward to reading everyone’s entries 🙂

    It was time to go on board the train. Mother grabbed her cases and disappeared ahead of us. I shifted Saffron one more time and lifted Poppy up to my other hip.
    “Ok Finnick, I need you to hold on tight to my coat pocket. Do not let go no matter what.”
    We got on board and finally found Mother sitting in the last carraige. She was talking to a Steward, her hand lightly pressing aganst his arm. A couple of minutes later he came back with some juice boxes and sandwhiches. Mother didn’t give him money.
    “Is daddy going to come visit?” Finnick pipes up. He’s trying to open his juice box. “Oh yes. We will write to him and tell him our new address.” I take Finnick’s juice and pierce the straw through. I hate when she says things like that. Finnick hasn’t seen his daddy in almost two years. Since he got tired of Mother’s dramas. I haven’t seen my own father in almost ten years, for the same reason.

    1. WOW Bré you are such a talented writer. I knew from the arm hold that something was up, its so subtle and telling. I love how you just know there’s darkness to this story, the fact a child knows too much. Love stories like this. Thank you so much for sharing.

      All Aboard made me giggle. That’s the first two words in one of my son’s fave books! 😀

  5. Hi Sacha!

    I have already posted the prologue of the children’s novel I am currently revising, so here is a snippet from the YA novel I started a while ago, entitled The Haunted Tide. I’m about halfway through now, but had to stop to revise the other one.

    I’ve taken my snippet from near the end of Chapter 1, the morning after a storm and a spring tide that caused the sea defences of a North Norfolk village to break. The protagonist has taken her dog for a walk on the beach.

    ‘Then I heard it. A high, keening chorus drifting in from the sea. A haunting sound that clawed at my heart. There was more than one voice; they blended together in a chilling hymn with no words. As the volume increased, it was hard to tell if the voices were on the beach or in my head. That’s when I noticed it. At first a cloud in the distance, it shifted shape, a thick mist skimming the waves, rolling onto the beach. It sneaked across the sand and surrounded me, its damp fingers brushing my face. My mouth dried up and a frosty rawness crept over my scalp. I couldn’t see through the swirls of vapour but I could just make out Jasper’s familiar yap, faint and muffled.
    I peered through the muggy mist, torn with terror, unable to work out how close the sea was or how far it was to the dunes. Shuffling in the shifting sand, I focused on the muffled yapping. Where was he?’

      1. Thank you, Sacha 🙂 I have to admit I’m a bit frustrated that I’ve put The Haunted Tide on hold for a while – I love the story so much. I’m currently editing my other novel, putting an anthology of poetry together and writing new poems every day because I will be so busy in May and June! I don’t know how I ever found any time for anything when I was teaching!

  6. I hope you feel less-whelmed soon, Sacha. Best wishes with Keepers. You’re off to an intriguing start. Who’s going to win the battle of the minds?

  7. Buster and Moo

    “This will be good, won’t it? Like a fresh start.”
    “Fresh start?” Mervin frowned.
    Landen added hurriedly, “We need a new name. Buster is ridiculous, don’t you think?”
    Mervin seemed lost how to respond.
    Unspoken words sat between them. Why that phrase? He’d used it a lot after her second miscarriage, when she’d said she wanted to try for a partnership. Absently she touched her stomach. Had he made the connection? Briefly she was back in that hot sunny consulting room, a lifetime before.
    She jumped as he said, “He’s just a dog, Lanny, not some existential thinker. Does it really matter?”
    “Something that fits his character.”
    Mervin tilted his head. “Those spots make him look like a pig. What about Oink?”
    “You aren’t serious?” She paused. “He’s more like a cow anyway.”
    Mervin shrugged. “Ermintrude? Flossy? Daisy? Are they too girlie?”
    “What about Moo?”

  8. Hey Sacha – here’s my contribution. It’s from Book 2 in my middle-grade series, The Christie McKinnon Adventures.

    Title: The House That Wasn’t There

    The wagon pulls over in front of a drayman’s cart and reins to a halt at the top of Raeburn Place. The wizened old driver jumps down with a flourish that belies his years. “On ye go,” he says, cheerfully waving a hand towards his passengers. The pair clamber off the back, shaking jackets and trousers in a bid to rid themselves of the black dust.

    “Wouldnae bother, pal.” The driver pats one of the sacks of coal. “Stuff gets intae yer skin.” As if to demonstrate this, he spits in his hand and wipes it across his sooty face. “See? I’d hae less o’ this muck on me if I’d hae gone doon the mine.” He laughs good-naturedly.

    The young man shakes the older man by the hand. “Thanks for the ride.” He glances down at the boy at his side. “We’ll let ye get off, then.”

    Link to Book 1 – The Hounds of Hellerby Hall
    http://amzn.com/1519671415

    ta
    Colin

  9. Oooh. This is fun, Sacha. The book is Oathbreakers, second in the Rose Shield Serial. Here’s the snippet:

    Darkest Night.

    Contrary powers waged war in her skin. Her shield, the rose birthmark encircling her eye, the singular force that had mangled her youth, was the realm’s secret salvation. Or so her mentor dreamed. Catling’s reflection brushed fingertips along the petals’ imperfections, edges tattered, small holes where pink skin shone through.

    Her shield severed the influence controlling a kingdom, broke the sway that moved the heart between love and fear, a body between pleasure and pain, life between healing and death. Vianne had sighed with relief to find the shield intact.

    Catling turned in the mirror, her underdress unbuttoned and draped around her waist. A garden of luminescence carved her back, colors climbing her neck and capping her shaved head. Vines curled, wending through flowers, dragonflies, and a crimson bird, its wings flared.

    Red feathers, the distilled hue of death.

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