Cat Girczyc

About Me

Display Name

Cat Girczyc

Twitter Handle



What's New

My Progress

My novel “Azurite” is at 65,000 words now. I’d like to use Clarion West to help me get to a full draft!

What I Write

Writing Sample

I lay on the rocky shore in a very old and very painful body.
“If this is what being a hundred years old feels like, I don’t want it!
“Hugo, help me—” I pleaded, foolishly.
He smiled, “Sadly, you must help yourself, Carter. Please hurry, I have a feeling in my head that something large has happened. It’s like the buzzing of bees between my ears. Very unpleasant. We need to get back to the Castle immediately.”

I crawled to my feet.

“Don’t you have a transporter or something like that? A moving spell?”

Hugo shook his head and packed up his specimen bags.
“But how did you get me from the kitchen at work?”
“Many preparations were needed, after I found the spatial-temporal connection landed there. Someone else built it. I had to do years of research to reach in to it. And getting out was not certain.”
“So you had no real idea if we would be back here or blown to our component atoms somewhere between here and there? Brilliant! Really! Wizardry will never cease to amaze me! No idea?”

“Uh, well,” Hugo hesitated, ”Yes, I suppose, as such, yes some ideas from some sketchy notes left by my predecessor here, such as they were. Sorry. Look on the bright side–it worked! I will stay here to teach you all about wizardry, then, later we can send you to WALPUT for a term or two! I’m going home, of course, I have some flower gardens to attend to.”

“OMG Hugo, if I wasn’t 700 years old with creaky elbows, I’d punch you!”
“No, I don’t think you would, Carter. You are a pretty civilized person.” Hugo began to walk down the steep inclined path leading to the Castle.

“But I-” I stopped as it came to me. “Magic of this land, you’ve made me old, now make me bold, full of ideas and tanned!”

“Tanned?” Hugo said, “Like a deerskin? That sort of sunburnt skin look?”

Suddenly, I was up and 34 years old again, feeling strong, blonde, and no longer the white pale of a typical dev guy. I look good with a tan, Yvonne always said so.

Hugo laughed. “That is good. You look like a farmer. You will attract the local girls now!”

“But the best thing is I’m full of ideas! I can suddenly connect the dots!” I was happy. “I can help you, with the magic – at least some of it- it’s like programming. It’s rule-based, right? You can make it do what you want with instructions. If, then, else, not or! I can do it! I can see how you do it!”

“Uh, not always that logical,” Hugo said, “But if I help you, your magic learning will progress quickly.”
“Good,” I said, “Because the more I understand, the more likely I can help!”
When Hugo and I returned to the Castle, it was in an uproar. There were guards everywhere carrying swords and maces. The footmen were all armed. A boy from the kitchens ran out to Hugo and told him he was immediately required by Adama.
There was a new sign “Household Operations Headquarters” on a room, usually used as a weekend sitting room by the servants.

To me, it looked like a medieval rec room. Adama was standing behind a large oak table with papers and weapons on it. The walls were covered in shields. There were a lot of chairs and comfy sofas and, it has to be said, the Cook’s knitting bag was on one, but otherwise, it was a pretty convincing war room.

Once there, Adama said, “Martin’s Gran’s been killed and the Earl of Jonquille did it! Shot her right out of the air!” She was highly colored and not happy, stalking around the room with determination.

I was flabbergasted, “The air? Shot her? With what? You’ve only got swords here.”

“Rocai has him in the dungeons!” Adama said, whipping around the long table.

“Hugo, if this man is not going to be any help, he may as well go to the farmyard and help the swineherds!”

“Oh, Madame Adama, he’s going to be a great help! I know! He fixed my compass! He’s understanding more and more of magic every moment. Not only that, but look at his skin- he did that himself with magic!”

“Great another bloody fool narcissist!” I suspect Adama liked my new look, not as mushroomy as previously, but she’d never tell me that!

“I am not, Madame! I just pointed out that you don’t have any guns! How did the Earl shoot the Grandmother?” I was direct.

“With a blunderbuss.” She gestured to an item under guard in the corner.

Carter walked closer to it. An early gun, complete with trumpet-like barrel. “Why don’t you all have these?” Carter fingered it. It looked seriously dangerous.

“Prohibited weapon, for one thing. Uses gunpowder which is very dangerous! I wonder where he got it? Totally outlawed here. We’re a legally pseudo-medieval kingdom with magic.”

“But why shoot a Granny? No offense and I am aware that the Grandmothers here are very powerful mages, but why not Rocai?” I asked, “He’s got a great Castle to steal.”
“My very question,” Adama said, “Maybe the Earl thought to steal the magic himself? When Bea got the magic from the Grandmother, it whiffled down to the stone and went right into her–maybe that evil rat faced Earl knew! Maybe we should lock her up as well? I would–except her father’s a Duke and it’d start a civil war!”

Adama was still stalking around the room, angrily. I was a little bit afraid. She was definitely the General of the place. I wondered where Rocai got to at these times.

“Look, we, myself and Hugo here, will help all we can, Madame Adama.”

Hugo looked up as he had been in deep thought.

“Sticky legal wicket, isn’t it? An Earl. A Duke’s daughter, wife and other daughter somehow involved. The death of a Mage.”

“Yes,” Adama collapsed in a large comfy armchair. “What should we do?”

“What if I call in a Dragon Barrister to help with it? As a sort of negotiator, and to argue the Castle’s side if the aristocrats bring in their heavy guns.”

“No one’s seen a dragon barrister in a hundred years here. Could you get us one? Really?” Adama was pleased.

Hugo nodded.
“Is that a real dragon or just a very good lawyer?” I asked, “You know, where I’m from, these things tend to be metaphorical. As in a mean lawyer, not, you know, actually a dragon lizard.”

Hugo, the footmen and guards laughed at me a little.

“Not here,” said Adama. “Smallish dragon meaning more or less large human-sized, green scales, hard teeth, some fire-breathing capacity. Very brilliant and as a negotiator, unparalleled.”

“I’ll go summon one then,” said Hugo. “Carter, come along, you can learn a lot here.”

“Will there be any actual fire-breathing?”

“Not if we’re lucky, depends upon what he or she ate recently. Oh, and remember to step BACK if a dragon opens his/her mouth in anger!”

“Do you really need me? Cause I could be more use helping Adama here, maybe. Hugo took me by the hand.

“Yes. Two steps back, to be precise. And I should get us some flame-retardant robes if housekeeping has any.”

We left to summon the dragon.

What I Write

Cat is currently writing a fantasy novel set in a software company and a bioengineered wizard world.


Cat Girczyc is a professional television writer with 15 produced TV scripts to her credit. In her TV career, she’s written dark fantasy, anime, docudrama, legal drama, science fiction, and children’s television. Her poems and short stories have been published in both SF and mainstream publications. Upcoming publications: 2 poems in Tesseracts 20 edited by Spider Robinson and James Alan Gardner and 1 short story in Polar Borealis Magazine.

My Write-a-thon Goals

Writing Goals

Finish the first draft of my novel in the works.
I have a 65,640 word draft. Ideally, the first draft should be 80 to 90 thousand words. Then I need to rewrite. For Clarion West, I want to get it to ‘the End’ at least once!

Fundraising Goals

To help Clarion West raise funds for sf/f writers and instructors. It’s such a good cause!