Wednesday, March 17, 2010

'Tis a Grand Day to Be Braggin'

We all know the Irish have the gift of gab, and love to tell a tale or a boast or two.  So let's all kiss the Blarney stone today and brag a little about our works in progress.

Post a SHORT excerpt of which you are particularly proud in the comments section.  Try to pick something that is illuminating about your characters, your setting, or your plot and will hook us into wanting to read more.

Here's mine:

The gryphon’s eyes caught his gaze and held it, and he knew that it saw everything that was in him, for good or evil, what had been in the past and what would be in the future.  He was laid utterly bare, utterly helpless.

And then it asked him a question. Not just any question, but the One Great Question that cannot be put into words, and is asked of every mortal soul during its walk upon the earth. It is the Question that pulls at the very fibers of the heart, and in answer to which one must either yield, or resist forever.

Faldur yielded, laying his sword on the ground at its feet. His heart turned to water and his bones to straw, but he surrendered himself to Heaven, willing to give up not just his life, but his very essence, in order to serve. The gryphon raised its head and uttered a single, musical cry that seemed to shatter him like glass, and at the same time make him whole.


  1. this is still a little rough punctuation-wise, but here we go. it's a scene from the 2nd draft of Blackheart.

    Arathor put down the axe and looked at his hands. Blisters were just beginning to form.

    ‘Jedzah mar kava,’ he said.

    The blisters didn’t heal.

    He said the words again.

    The skin didn’t change.

    He flexed his hands at the growing discomfort, then noticed a sudden ache in his knuckles. If he hadn’t known better, he would think he was showing the first signs of his age. That wasn’t supposed to happen.

    ‘Jedzah mar kava,’ he said with more force.

    The ache persisted. It didn’t make sense. Descendants of Alardin were always able to heal themselves and Arathor hadn’t been able to heal any wounds in the last few days. Was this related to the warning in his nightmares?

    You will lose everything.

    A dark figure had pronounced the curse in a rasping voice. Arathor had tried to thrust his sword into the warrior’s chest, but his arm seemed bound to his side. The figure moved closer and reached for Arathor’s neck. All Arathor could do was wait for the hand to cut off his air supply.

    Just as the fingers started to squeeze, Arathor had woken up.

    The panic he’d felt just after the nightmare returned. Like a constricting snake, it wrapped itself around his mind, squeezing until he couldn’t think. It moved into his chest until it was almost impossible to breathe.

    Get yourself under control.

    He went back to chopping wood. Hard work and exhaustion always drove away his anxiety. The longer he chopped, the greater his anxiety grew. His mind wouldn’t leave the problem alone. Why was he having these dreams?

  2. and i forgot to say, nice job on what you shared.

  3. Very nice, Michelle. I remember when you were struggling to get to know Arathor. You seem to have succeeded very well! I like the way the internal conflict is embedded in the scene.

  4. Great scene, Christine. Freakin' awesome.

  5. Thanks, Mitch! You always have something nice to say.

    As I re-read it, I think I could take out about five commas.

  6. So, what is the One Great Question?

    Just joking. Here's mine: Beth, through no fault of her own, is on the run. She needs to disguise her appearance.

    Boots was almost empty; I realized it would have been better to come at lunchtime and merge with the office workers. I must start thinking more, planning ahead, if I wanted to survive.

    I walked along the hair colour section. I’d never dyed my hair – I didn’t know where to start. Something cheap…Boots’ own brand made a big thing about covering grey hair, which was hardly an issue, so I rejected it though it was only £4.95. I wanted one that was quick to use. They all claimed to be simplicity itself, but the instructions told a different story, and some you had to open the box to read.

    ‘Do you need any help?’

    I jumped. ‘No, I’m fine, thanks…’

    A young assistant had appeared silently by my side. I folded the paper and shoved it back into its box. She smiled and moved on. Hurry up, if I hang around she’s more likely to remember me. I made an instant decision: Nice ‘n Easy Perfect 10, in black. £6.99. I picked it up and went to the makeup shelves. My usual foundation…bloody hell, it was £12.99! I get it on eBay for £5.99. I stared in dismay. If I got that and the hair dye, that was £19.98, and I needed a kohl pencil, and I’d only got £21.87, and I was already hungry.

    The pencil was £4.49.

    Tears filled my eyes. It wasn’t fair, I shouldn’t be here, I should be at my desk at the Institute now, with a home to go to after work and friends and a bank account and a credit card and a life… I wanted to slump to the floor, sobbing and howling like a toddler, until someone came and gave me my life back. With a huge effort, I controlled myself. I was shaking. I blew my nose, breathed deeply, then turned and went towards the cashier, slipping the kohl pencil up my sleeve.

  7. Great scene. I loved it! I am sorry I have not prepared anything for your post. I wanted to thank you for visiting my blog and for guiding me to the helpful article. Thank you!

  8. That was really fantastic, Lexi! I could really identify with your MC. Oh my goodness, I opened a box of hair color and read the directions in the store just last week. I still ended up orange instead of blond. *sigh* Just in time for St. Patrick's day. Now I'm a redhead.

  9. Christine, no pressure! Thank you for coming by. I love your blog.

  10. Christine H, I'm sure you look great as a redhead. Change is good!


I apologize for the word verification. I hate it, but the spammers made me do it.