5,277 words as of 6/28!
12,392 words as of 7/2.
26,668 words as of 7/11. Here’s an excerpt:
The crackling of the fire sounded very loud in the silence that followed this declaration. Kip’s self-assurance weakened, but against the certainty and authority of these men, he reminded himself, he should set all the masters of the College as well as the might of the Empire. Next to such institutions, the crusade to overturn them took on a quixotic air.
Here’s an excerpt from near the end of what I have now:
They had entered the dining area, a large room with tapestries hung around the walls and a dozen or more long wooden tables around which clustered people in black robes with various colors of trim around the sleeves and collars, filled with the smells of bread, roasted fowl, boiled vegetables, and tonic water. The oldest people sat at a table removed from the others to Kip’s left; he assumed those were the masters. White-shirted students sat in pockets here and there but did not seem to be separated from the apprentices. And every single one of the people at the tables was human.
Kip stopped for a moment but Cott pulled him forward, still talking about their Christmas feast and how the hall would be decorated for it. Around them, heads turned and conversations stopped as Kip walked by, keeping his tail tightly curled against his body. As they passed, his ears caught mutters from behind, swiveling automatically to focus on the words until he consciously pointed them forward again. “…bringing his new calyx down…” “…never know what he’ll do next…”
“Come on.” Cott pointed toward a table whose end was empty. “Just sit and they’ll bring you lunch.”
The woman who came to serve them dropped a plate of food in front of each of them and walked off without reacting to Kip’s presence at all. Cott, despite his earlier worry about the kitchens not serving Kip, talked cheerfully throughout the meal.
Throughout the hall, as Cott talked, Kip watched apprentices and masters walk up to each other, or walk up to greet someone sitting to eat. The whole gathering felt very collegial in a way that his dining tent never had, and he envied it. He also noticed that nobody walked up to Cott, not for the entire duration of the meal.
As they got up, Kip asked, “Is Master, ah, Gogin? Is he here?”
“Gugin? Oh, yes, the spiritual work.” Cott peered at the farthest table. “No, but I can take you by his quarters. Oh, Master Albright is here. Master Albright!”
He called across the hall, and from the far table one of the people lifted his head and then rose to meet them as Cott pulled Kip across the room. As they drew closer Kip made out a face that reminded him of Patris’s, with silvery hair in a large mane, but Albright also had a long beard and an olive complexion and a more pensive expression, where Patris always looked nervously angry.
“Penfold, is it?” His voice felt like it emerged from the bottom of a gravel quarry.
“Albright. Pleasure to meet you. Thank you for bringing him over, Cott.”
“Of course, of course.” Cott beamed.
“I hope you might be free for a meal tonight, Penfold. I have one or two matters I would like to discuss that you may be able to shed some light upon.”
This was something of a surprise; Kip had expected another “how does a Calatian learn magic” dinner. “I will do the best I can, sir.”
And then Albright spoke in a very low growl in the back of his throat, a sound that Kip’s ears picked up but that Cott, standing two feet away, did not appear to hear at all. “Cott will try to come,” Albright’s whisper-growl said, “but you must not allow him.” And then in his regular voice he added, “Meet me at sunset at the base of Lord Winter’s Tower, the side facing the village. Do you understand my instructions?”
“Yes, sir,” Kip said, his ears sweeping back.
“Very well. I will see you then.” And Albright turned and strode back to his meal.
“I did explain about you being indisposed last night,” Cott said as they left the dining room. “But he’s not angry. He always sounds like that.”
“Thank you.” Kip stared down at the top of Cott’s head as the sorcerer led him from the dining hall. Was it possible that the people in the hall were staring at Cott rather than him?
What I Write
Here’s the beginning of my QDSF story, “Two By Two”:
I stared at the words; he saw my reaction and added, If we want them?
“Yeah,” I said, and then looked away under the weight of all the other things we couldn’t air out on this crowded bus.
|What I Write||
I write mostly fantasy and contemporary fantasy with a focus on personal relationships. I like including animal themes (under a pseudonym I write furry fiction as well) and exploring non-traditional relationships.
“Two By Two,” in Lightspeed Magazine’s Queers Destroy Science Fiction
“The Lovely Duckling,” in Kaleidoscope
“Chasing the Spotlight,” ROAR Volume 4 (Coyotl Award Winner)
“Erzulie Dantor,” Apex Magazine
Common and Precious, Sofawolf Press
My Write-a-thon Goals
A few years back, I worked on a novel draft called The Tower and the Fox (since renamed The White Tower), and while that book looks for a publisher, I’m getting to work on the sequel.
Tentatively titled Demons Within and Without, it follows Kip, our fox-person protagonist, through his time at Prince Philip’s College of Sorcery in 1815, as talk of rebellion heats up through the American colonies. Kip’s people, called Calatians because they were created by a sorcerer named Calatus back in the early 1400s, are a tolerated underclass and none has been a sorcerer before, but Kip’s obvious talent and the desperate need of the college have brokered an arrangement. Now an apprentice, Kip still strives to be taken seriously as a sorcerer. His mastery of fire is a blessing and a curse; it’s a rare talent, but also one he must wield with great caution, because the headmaster is itching for any excuse to expel him. The fire of rebellion is similarly dangerous as it spreads through the college, and the enticement that a free American government might treat Kip’s people better puts the fox in a serious dilemma: support the Crown and be loyal to his profession, or support the rebels and be loyal to his people? Throw in Kip’s friends with their own troubles (including an otter-Calatian, an Irishman, and the first female apprentice), a mysterious attack on the college that the sorcerers haven’t yet found the source of, a voice that speaks to Kip from the walls of the tower, a ghostlike apprentice who lives in the orchard, and Kip will have plenty to keep him busy at school.
As you can tell, the second book is mostly ideas. I’m attending a workshop at KU’s Center for the Study of Science Fiction during the last two weeks of June, during which I hope to get the plot hammered out better. Following that, I’d like to get 40,000 words done on the manuscript by the end of the Write-A-Thon period.
I’d love to raise a thousand dollars for the Write-A-Thon!