October 13, 2015

I’m usually kind of timid about sharing about my work now that I’m an adult. (But what if people think I’m a showoff? Eeep!)

And I’m even more timid about sharing my old, amateur artwork. *gulp*

But just for once I am going to shout, “Who cares! I LOVE MY BOOK and I’m going to share it anyway!!” and boldly talk about this product of my creative passion, because I love it, and I think all writers should be in love with their works and have a passion for what they’re writing. 🙂

I was inspired by a hashtag that was going around Twitter the other day – #ILoveMyWIPBecause. Writers were sharing their favorite things about their works-in-progress.  I posted a few…but ultimately I thought it would be fun to go beyond 140 characters at a time, and instead post tiny snippets from the story to display each reason why.  (Also, one of my new Twitter friends asked if I had any excerpts on here, and I realized I really don’t share many of those!)

So here are a few snippets from my book that will hopefully be entertaining and intriguing. 🙂  Some of these are from the current draft and some from the one directly previous, since my current draft is incomplete.

For context, this is YA sci-fi…I like to call it portal sci-fi.


1. I love my WIP because of the adorable, close brother-sister friendship of my main characters, Kevin and CatherineCatherine concept sketch

“Are you done yet?” Kevin inquired. “I need to take my shower.”

“Yes, yes!” She swung away from the counter in mock drama. “Bathroom’s all yours. Good grief! Take it and welcome!”

“My humble thanks, milady.” He grinned, holding back the door so she could slip past him.

2. I love my WIP because of Thraunya, my snarky INTJ girl with a bionic arm (oh yeah, and she’s venomous too, in the very literal sense of the word…this snippet doesn’t do her justice) 😀

An old sketch of my character's metal arm.He straightened in his seat and met her clear green eyes in renewed determination. “Exactly. I’m all right, thanks. I’ll get over it.”

“Ah, I’m sure you will,” she said loftily, shutting her bag again. “I’m more concerned about the lasting ill effect of your pride.”

3. I love my WIP because…HETHS!

[The Heth] was huge, easily three times [Kevin’s] length if he included the tail, with a strong body as big around as a large barrel. Although shaped like a lizard in some ways, there was little reptilian about it. The ruff around its upper neck pulsed a little, laid back like a cautious dog’s ears, but as Kevin came closer it stiffened with interest, standing out to look a little more like the frill on a triceratops. The Heth’s fur was tawny with a reddish tinge, and it had a sharp snout and black eyes that shone with curiosity and evident friendliness.

Heth, saddled for two riders - drawn by me back in 2009.

4. I love my WIP because everyone’s keeping so many secrets (hehe)

“What’s eating you?” Catherine dribbled another cupful of batter onto the griddle.

Kevin ground the heel of his hand against his forehead, aching to speak the truth. This is my life now. He settled for a half-truth.

5. I love my WIP because I love writing action scenes

Heth and Rider, by Gary Kwapisz (I won a sketch from him awhile back)

Heth and Rider, by Gary Kwapisz (I won a sketch from him awhile back)

Kevin gave him no time to consider. Breathing through his teeth, he leapt onto a nearby rock and whipped his blade through the air, catching the Drivv across his bare ribs. The [Drivv’s] spear swung to meet it too late, but the haft gave Kevin a numbing blow across the shoulder. He was thrown off balance. One of his feet slipped off the edge of the rock into the deep water.

6. I love my WIP because…SQUEE, I just love my world!!

Here, the greenness could be both tasted and smelled. It almost hurt the sense of sight to look at it. The richness of the place seemed to permeate him, cleansing his lungs with every breath. Above the trees soared stark cliff faces, smooth like sandstone, but dusky purple, and streaked with other shades of the same color – hues that, being his mother’s favorites, reminded him strikingly of her.

Kraesinia's purple mountains.

Kraesinia’s purple mountains.

7. I love that I’ve finally unearthed Kevin’s true personality – he’s gone from pseudo-INFJ (influenced too much by my own personality) to a full-fledged ENTJ, and I love it

An old sketch I drew of Kevin.“Your father was a gun kind of guy.”

Kevin looked up in confusion.

Across the top of the box, Lieutenant Dianucci squinted at Kevin in the sunlight. “He liked the Jaicoss, the longer two-handed model. Used to grip the Heth with his knees and just shoot.” He raised his hands in a pantomime, pulling an invisible trigger that would have sent the blast through Kevin’s chest if the gun had been real. “Terrible shot, though. He was better with the blade – if he’d ever use it.”

Kevin bristled. What’s he getting at? “Well, so am I. But I didn’t join the army to replace my dad…sir.” Remembering the officer’s status too late, he tacked on the honorific as an afterthought. It sounded much more scathing than he intended.

Dianucci’s dark eyebrows pulled closer together. “Well, that’s good, since apparently they find him irreplaceable.” He turned and strode off into the crowd.

Kevin stared after him, forehead scrunched in confusion. “What’s his problem?” he muttered.

8. I love my WIP because teleporting is cool

Kevin studied his face in the dim mirror and took a deep breath. Learning at the Academy about the teleporting technology – and how it split your body at the atomic level and transported it from one world to the other – did not make him inclined to start the process again for himself.

He drew himself up, directed a thought to the teleporting chip, and pressed his finger to the hidden patch behind his ear.

The world seemed to split.

9. I love my WIP because of Uryaldis – who is awesome and funny and chill and intense (soooo ISTP) and has the weirdest name that I keep around anyway, because reasons 😀

Uryaldis Ryvoth“See, this is why you’re the rash youth, and I’m the age and experience,” [Uryaldis] said, nodding sagely at him.

“I notice you didn’t try very hard to dissuade me.” Kevin grinned. He dug his toes into a crack in the rock and groped for another good hold.

“I tried my best,” Uryaldis said with a mock sigh, “but you wouldn’t listen.”

10. I love my WIP because of the juxtapositions of the many settings: ordinary earth, harsh battlefields, glamorous palaces

Modern, everyday earth:

The house looked same as ever, except Mom’s front flowerbeds were wild patches of overgrown and dying plants, and the stucco walls were dirty, whipped by the dry, smoky winds of a rainless California summer.

Brutal warfare:

As she watched, a round blur of orange rose from the bottom of the mountain. It streaked over the upper valley, seeming to pick up speed as it came nearer and nearer to the transports. Riders shouted and ran. Heths fled. Like a flaming meteor, the spectacle ploughed into the ground and exploded with a violent crack. The sound of the explosion and its invisible touch rippled outward; she felt the heat of it lash her face as a flurry of dust and flame shot in all directions.

Glamorous palaces:

As the sky grew darker, the lights dimmed, and Kraesinia’s stars became more visible through the skylight. Most of the food was gone and the plates empty, and the servants brought out platters of fruit-filled pastries shaped like crescent moons. Conversation sank to a satisfied murmur.

The Nemerriss and Ryvoth Mansions

And finally, I love that my WIP because it has been in my heart for 10 years and counting, and has only gotten deeper and better. I can’t wait, cannot WAIT, to share it with everyone someday. 😀

More stuff about my book, if your interest is piqued:
The blurb is here.  For a more extended excerpt, see here.  For interviews with Kevin and Catherine, click their names.  And here is a fun post of haikus for each major character. 🙂


  1. This was awesome. Your world is rich and I can’t wait to visit it. Thanks for boldly sharing!

  2. Thanks for sharing! It’s important, I think, to love it – that love comes out in the writing of it!

  3. Ahhhh, this is all great!

I love to hear your thoughts!

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