March #WIPjoy (Part 3)

Courtesy of Pinterest.

Courtesy of Pinterest.

March #WIPjoy (Part 3)

To see Part 1, click here.

To see Part 2, click here.

Moving on to the third part of the March #WIPjoy created by author Bethany Jennings. If you want to join in the next go around visit Bethany’s Twitter profile (@simmeringmind) to be updated on the next #WIPjoy!

In January, I used my WIP The Cost of Two Hands (Book1). This month I’m using The Sparrow and The Star (unfinished Book 2). I will try to refrain from huge spoilers.

 


 

Line Love Week

  1. Share a line about a cool setting.

They trooped out the door into an orange and pink sunset, a soft warm breeze, and a view Sparrow could hardly comprehend: Metropolis. A city that wasn’t bones but bright, polished metal stacked up in row upon row before her all copper, gold, gunmetal grays, and silver. Tall square buildings with round caps, thin curved buildings, large windowed globes standing on thin stalks, spiraled buildings like sharp curls, and unusual shapes she’d never heard of made a unique skyline as far to her left and right as she could see, dotted with bright hot-air balloons.

  1. Share a line (or several) that makes you smile.

“Well, well, well, by the beautiful Sundance’s golden hair, I must have struck a chord with that one.”

“Who’s Sundance?” Sparrow ran her sleeve across her face.

“Who is Sundance? Do you not know the stories of the Guardians of the Material World?”

“I have no idea what you’re talking about.”

“No idea!” the snail huffed. “No idea!? Genesis? Quinn? Ronan? The Justicar? Crow and Olive? Please tell me you’ve heard of Crow and Olive?”

Sparrow shook her head wanting to get back to the Sons of the Dragons.

“Jack? Have you heard of Jack the Wolf and his Unlit Companion?”

“No…”

Ebenezer groaned. “I have suffered a mortal wound.”

 

  1. Share a line that makes you feel the pain.

A keening wail came from just ahead. Royce’s hair stood on end. He’d never in his life, even as his parents died and his siblings were taken, even as the leader of the Dragons, even when they found Tom-ears’ boy among the Clowns, heard a sound like the breaking, ripping of a soul. He rushed forward. In the gloom and smoke with the fire burning to their right stood Skip. His gun hung from the tips of his fingers and fell. Ash shifted into the air as it struck the ground and bounced. The horrible sound continued to rise from Skip. Pink’s face drained of all color. Malarkey, Shifty, and Babe hurried to his sides.

 

  1. Share an intense line.

Girls with faces wrapped in scarves, hair shorn, and round wide eyes, poured from the Mall and raced towards the battle.

 

  1. Share a line about love.

“Yes, you do.” Mrs. Cummbers broke in. “You surely do, child. But, you aren’t saved, Adele, by what you did or didn’t do, or by what you will and will not do.” Mrs. Cummbers took Adele’s hand. “You’re saved by my salvage. I already took your punishment for you. You made the choice to do what is wrong and you will have to bear the consequences of that, but I already took your punishment.” She pointed down to her legs which no longer worked. Very gently, she pulled Adele into her arms. “Now it’s time to do what’s right.”

“‘Not to earn my salvage, but because of my salvage’. That’s what Jonah said.” Adele’s eyes glistened in the lights gleaming in the night.

 

  1. Share a line that amuses you.

“Genesis save me,” Ebenezer swore. “I’m not ready yet, Sacrifice. She can’t communicate very clearly.”

“Okay, okay.” Sacrifice disappeared then returned. “I’ll be back. You know how Heart is.”

“Silly boys, give a snail a chance.”

  1. Share a line that wrings your heart. (SPOILER ALERT)

The body. Soul looked at the body. He saw gray skin, scarred. He saw disheveled brown hair and a pointed nose.

“Oh King!” He rushed towards Cry of the Storm. The disk Jonah meant for him to have at Christmas thumped against his thigh as he ran. Dead. Dead. Dead, it said with each strike. Soul pulled Jonah’s cold body off the back of the horse who danced to the side. Soul gathered Jonah’s body close, rocking his boy, trying to warm him. Haze bent down one hand on his shoulder.

“It’s my boy, Haze. They killed my boy. They killed him.”

All the Feels Week

  1. What kind of relationship is at the heart of your WIP?

Love in many different forms is at the heart of my WIP. I have a handful of romances, but I have many more elements of friendship, brotherhood, loyalty, parent/child, and love as a choice made, not so much a bubbly emotion.

  1. If you could enter your WIP for a day, what would you do there?

I would split my day between riding Cry of the Storm through the snow, and curled up somewhere in Greenhome with a hot apple cider and Lazarus at my feet with all my heroes around me.

  1. How do you feel about your WIP right now?

I vacillate between absolutely adoring it and feeling overwhelmed by how much work is still left to be done.

  1. Have you ever cried about this WIP? Why?

Funny enough, I was just working on a single sentence and started crying…so yes, I’ve cried over this story. You should know, I cry pretty easy. Commercials can make me tear up. This story takes place after the apocalypse for a handful of people. The worst thing that could happen, did happen to them. That’s how Book 1 ended. Book 2 starts with the aftermath of the loss of families, homes, and friends. Added to that is the upswing of the story into a little bit of hope. Sometimes hope is as painful as loss. Lots of tears. Some happy. Some sad.

  1. What makes you the proudest about this WIP?

I’m not really sure how to answer this question, so I’m going to reword it. The things I’m most thankful for about this WIP are how far it’s come even with all my health issues which sometimes keep me from writing at all, or limit me to only a few minutes here or there. (50,000+ words) I’m also thankful I get to work around so many Christian themes, Christmas, and that at some point I will get to introduce a group of characters that I love, who I thought would never see the light of day.


 

Thank you so much for reading about my WIP. I love sharing it with the world!

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March #WIPjoy (Part 2)

Courtesy of Pinterest.

Courtesy of Pinterest.

March #WIPjoy (Part 2)

To see Part 1, click here.

Moving on to the second part of the March #WIPjoy created by author Bethany Jennings. If you want to join in the next go around visit Bethany’s Twitter profile (@simmeringmind) to be updated on the next #WIPjoy!

In January, I used my WIP The Cost of Two Hands (Book1). This month I’m using The Sparrow and The Star (unfinished Book 2). I will try to refrain from huge spoilers.


 

Fear Week:

  1. What fears do your characters overcome?

My characters overcome Fear himself:

“What have you done!?” Fear screamed at the children who should be huddled in servile slobbering masses at his feet.

Christopher raised his rifle. “We stopped being afraid.”

He fired.

Fear fell dead in the Streets.

 

  1. Share a cliffhanger!

(For some reason this was very hard for me.)

The world spun. The lights marring her vision from the slapping expanded into whole suns flashing, blinding her. Her head dropped to her chest. One more. She had one more thing to say to Purity. Forcing her tongue to work, Sparrow said, “You want to know what happened in Greenhome. Soul’s boy killed your Clowns. He armed kids with big guns and they destroyed your precious Clowns. You take them from their homes, but these kids fought back.”

“Soul?”

Purity spun around. Another brighter light flashed across Sparrow’s vision and everything went black.

 

  1. What scares you most about writing this story?

Mostly, I’m terrified I won’t be able to draw all the strings together into a satisfying tapestry. But, in reality what scares me the most is that I’ll fail my characters and that I will fail to communicate the idea of a just war. We live in a day and age when all war is thought of as evil, but there are things worth fighting for and things worth dying for, there are things worth standing up to.

  1. What scares you the most about sharing your story with the world?

There are two things that scare me. First, gracefully and confidently handling negative critiques. I have to remind myself that not everyone has to love it even if it is my soul exposed. Second, watching the meaning I intended it for be turned into different meanings for other people. One of the great beauties of art is how personally it applies to others, but that’s also one of the scary parts. Watching people read into your work something you didn’t intend will happen. I just hope I can refrain from letting that get to me, instead embracing it as something amazing.

  1. Share a line about fear.

Fear’s mark on Jonah’s face had been a child ripped from the arms of a woman. Born and unborn, had they all not been ripped from the arms of their mothers. A vile hatred of all that was killing, all that was war, all that was what Jonah was best at overwhelmed him.

(These questions about fear are a hard for me because in my story Fear is an actual person who feeds on the fear of the children around him. They deal with him in externally, not internally.)

18. Are your characters brave in any way you wish you were?

I hate conflict and would rather sacrifice what I want in order for everyone to be happy than stand for what I want. This can be a great asset because I think of others before myself and I can enjoy a wide range of people. But, there are times when I think it can be cowardly. There are times I wish I had spoken up for what I believe instead of keeping my mouth shut for the sake of peace in a relationship. My characters are not as adverse to conflict as I am and more willing to stand up for the truth.

  1. Has writing this book made you braver?

Writing this book has given me more confidence in my voice and it has given me more confidence in the concept of the Just War. I don’t know that that has made me any braver. I do hope that someday it will give boys and girls, young men and women, a chance to practice being brave.

 

This is an extra thought I had when thinking about my MC’s fears:

Jonah’s main fear is friends dying because of something he does. Two of his friends have already paid this ultimate cost for his decision and more may have to. He overcomes this fear reminding himself that if they don’t fight, even more children will die. He clings to the fact that the King (Christ) put him on the Streets and made him the one in charge. Jonah trusts the King didn’t make a mistake choosing him. It’s hard to say if he ever overcomes this fear. I don’t think he does. I think as long as he has to order his friends into battles, he will always struggle with the knowledge that he’s sending them to their deaths.

 

March #WIPjoy (Part 1)

Courtesy of Pinterest.

Courtesy of Pinterest.

Back in January, author Bethany Jennings created a fun hashtag challenge for writers, with a different prompt about your WIP (work-in-progress) every day. She’s done it again for the month of March. I’m so excited. This exercise not only allows me to share my story with you, but it prompts me to twist my brain around for different perspectives on the story.

If you want to join in visit Bethany’s Twitter profile (@simmeringmind) to see the pinned list of daily prompts!

In January I used my WIP The Cost of Two Hands (Book1). This month I’m using The Sparrow and The Star (unfinished Book 2). I will try to refrain from huge spoilers.



 

Intro Week: Tell us about your Work in Progress: The Sparrow and the Star:

1. What WIP are you sharing about this time? Name, genre, blurb?

This month I’m going to share about The Sparrow and the Star, the sequel to The Cost of Two Hands which I shared about in the #JanuaryWIPjoy. It’s a Literary YA fantasy. I don’t have an official blurb for it yet so here’s a start:

When everything went wrong, hope blossomed. The Artists have returned and Pain’s power slipped between his fingers. But, on the horizon Purity and her Clowns loom. What happens to the lost children when they turn 18?

2. How long have you been at this labor of love? What stage are you at?

I started working on TSATS in 2014, but had to set it aside as Book 1, The Cost of Two Hands, required a major rewrite. Then my health went south slowing the rewrite down. I was able to restart working on TSATS late last year, so I’ve really only been working on it about four months. I’m totally in the rough draft stage. This story is developing as I write it. It’s supposed to cover 3.5 days and I’m on the .5 day. I haven’t even started Day 1 yet. And I’m at 44,000 words. Lol.

3. Describe the book’s atmosphere or mood in 5 words.

Cold darkness laced with hope.

4. You might enjoy my book if you like ___________.

I’m really not sure how to answer this question. It’s like a literarily written Hunger Games minus the anti-hero of Katniss. It may be similar to The Wingfeather Saga by Andrew Peterson. Any of my readers want to comment on this??? (Two comments on this: one suggested it was like The Horse and His Boy set in Dickens’ London, the other that it was like Quintessence by David Walton. These are much closer to the mark than the Wingfeather Saga.)

5. Name a song that reminds you of your WIP.

There are two songs that remind me the most of my WIP. The Call by Regina Spektor and I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day by Casting Crowns.


Protagonist vs. Antagonist Week: Jonah vs. Purity:

6. Show a line that showcases you protagonist’s personality.

This isn’t a line…cause hey, I’m a writer. So here’s a paragraph of Jonah’s dialogue. And um…SPOILER ALERT:

“You want to know what’s wrong with the Streets?” Jonah stepped towards him, towering over the boy who he once wanted to be just like. “No one values life. Life is cheap. Life doesn’t matter. Not yours. Not mine. Unborn come up with skills and no one cares. Kids starve and no one cares. You want to change that? Then you start respecting those who died with you, for you. Nothing, and I mean nothing, is without value. The little girls who you abuse. The smaller boys you beat up. The ones who sing and draw and dance that you terrorize and even kill. You’re just like him.” Jonah pointed to Fear’s body. “You’re just like Cagen and Pain. You don’t care about anything but what you can get out of it.”

7. When is your protagonist maddening to you?

When we both forget his body is a machine and he tries to sigh, or smile, or breath, or cry or even glare at anyone…and then we both remember he can’t.

8. What is most loveable to you lately about your protagonist?

I think it’s watching him spread hope in the dark place he once lived. I just finished reading an autobiography of Earnest Gordon who was a WW2 POW forced to help build the Bridge over the River Kwai. He was saved along with many other men in that camp and it spread a beauty and light over all their suffering. That has greatly influenced my protagonist and his actions in Book 2.

9. Share a line that shows off your antagonist, Purity.

Purity grabbed her face. “Does a mother explain herself to her sons?” She shook Sparrow’s head. “What did you do to them, you vile girl?”

10. Could you ever be friends with your antagonist?

Absolutely not. I do have villains that are less villainous, like sub-villains that I could be friends with, but the great antagonist of the story? Absolutely not. That’d be like being friends with Sauron. And yes, I know this puts me in the ever shrinking camp of those who like purely evil villains. In my defense, I have both the understandable villains and the unimaginable.

11. What makes your antagonist so formidable?

My antagonist is the ruler of one of the few remaining cities and she commands a group of boys called the Clowns who kidnap children to use as slave labor. But what makes her truly formidable is the ignorance she encourages in her people. She wants them to not know and not care. They are to enjoy life and not think about the children running around doing their bidding, or the fact that they no long have children of their own. Her true power comes from ignorance.

12. What’s put the two at odds?

My antagonist uses children as slave labor in her city. She sends out the Clowns to kidnap those children and this puts her in Jonah’s path. Jonah has no intention of letting her take more children and as the story unfolds, he works with the Dragons to get the ones she has taken back.

 

I hope you enjoyed this set of thoughts about my WIP. Maybe it even sparked your interest in my story! 🙂

I will continue to post sections of these as the month moves along.

Thanks for reading!