Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Snippet: Something going on between you two?

Never fails; I get 3/4 through a book and ideas start pouring in for the next one. Distracting, but I'd better get them down before I forget. Shozan needs a story. Framing a title with my hands like a picture frame: "The Sky Lord". Has a nice ring.

***


This is a snippet from Breaker's Ruin, book 2 of the Convergence Series and a work in progress. Book one of the series, Bramble Burn, is available wherever ebooks are sold.


Scott looked between them with interest. “Something going on between you two?”
“Yes.”
“No.” Daisy frowned. “Don’t be stubborn.”
His eyes narrowed. “If Luke will agree to remain in dragon form, ready to snatch you away, you may go. I’ll accompany you. Between the two of us, you should be able to survive an hour.”
Getting a dragon to do anything he didn’t want to was a big deal, so she didn’t try to negotiate. She could do that later. “Great!” She turned to Scott. “Tell me which weeds were a concern.”
He waved a hand. “All of them. I’m no gardener. In fact, I toyed with the idea of paving the whole area, but Juniper talked me out of it. She says grass and trees will deflect the summer heat, and she suggested edible landscaping.” He grimaced. “I don’t want to deal with dropped fruit, but she had a point about the need to hire landscapers anyway.”
“Definitely,” Daisy agreed fervently. “Food security is a big thing.” The Convergence had disrupted transportation and the food supply, and the world was still recovering. Although rationing had mostly ended, there were shortages, and home gardens were important. “You know, with your skills, you could make an amazing greenhouse.”
“Yeah.” He didn’t look thrilled. “Maybe later. Anyway, the weeds tend to disintegrate when they leave the Quarry, so you’ll have to take pictures or video if you want to show Juniper. Let me know which ones I can smother.”
“Sure. I’ll work up a written report. I also brought some special sample bottles that might preserve the plants. I’ll let you know how that works.”
“Great. I appreciate your trouble.” He slid a gold coin across the counter. Pre-payment. Have fun.”

Daisy waited until they were on the roof, safely out of earshot, before commenting, “He doesn’t have many social skills, does he?”

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Snippet: What are you doing here?

This is a snippet from Breaker's Ruin, book 2 of the Convergence Series and a work in progress. Book one of the series, Bramble Burn, is available wherever ebooks are sold.



Two men stepped out into the gently dished roof that probably housed a water catchment system. As they got closer, she recognized Breaker’s scowling face. Was he following her?
“What are you doing here?” she asked as she slid off Luke’s back. Her brother assumed human form, his expression equally curious.
“I’m one of the co-owners of the Quarry,” Breaker growled. “Geiger didn’t tell me you were coming until a minute ago.”
Confused, she looked at the rock mage. Scott Geiger was dark haired, lean but fit. His dark hair was short and he appeared in his late twenties. Tall, he had a harshly cut face most would call ugly. A rough cut black gem on a leather thong hung around his neck and a rustic stone baton was sheathed at his belt.  He was also on crutches, his right leg in a brace. “I thought you owned the Quarry?”
“It turns out I’m not much for the minutia of city planning,” he admitted. “I’m great at shaping stone, but the monsters are a bit much. Lord Verbreaker here has been very useful. He says you’ve met?”
She flushed, unwilling to go into detail. “Yes. What did you do to your leg?”
He sighed. “Rock trolls. Why don’t we go inside so I can sit? You want anything to drink? We’ve got coffee, tea, water…”
“Good coffee,” Breaker clarified. “Juniper gave him some.”
“In that case, sure. It’s a bit brisk for flying,” Daisy said gladly, shedding her coat and gloves as they entered a warm stone stairwell lit by window slits invisible from the outside. It ended in a landing with a hammered copper door that opened into a spacious apartment. The walls were a light brown with wide veins of shiny gold running through the walls, reflecting the light from the tall, narrow windows.
“Pyrite. Fool’s gold,” Luke whispered. “Pretty, though.” The living room couches and chairs were black iron with leather cushions and the coffee table was black iron with a beaten copper top. The kitchen countertop was also beaten copper, and the cabinets had been formed of polished brown stone. Copper pots hung from a pot rack and white appliances completed the light-filled kitchen.
“Wow! I’m impressed.” She perched on a bar stool and ran her hand over the countertop.  She frowned when he set his crutches aside to hop around. “Do you need help?”
“I’m good,” he said, sliding over a steaming mug. He placed the tea pot on the counter and handed Luke a cup. “Help yourself.”
“Now that you’re settled, I want to know what you think you’re doing,” Breaker said sternly. “This isn’t a suitable place for you to work. What was Juniper thinking?”
“I brought Luke,” Daisy said calmly. “I’m not reckless. Besides, I thought Scott would be with us. No one told me he was hurt.”
Scott shook his head ruefully. “Sorry. I’m out of the field until I’m able to run for my life again. Truthfully, I’d rather concentrate on the building anyway. I just got the sewer and filtration systems up and running, and we’ve got electricians coming in soon. They’re dragons, so I won’t have to babysit them. No offense intended.”
“Dragons,” she said slowly. “Are you building a dragon city here?” She looked at Breaker.
“Dragon and human,” he answered. “But the Quarry isn’t safe enough for humans yet, and that means you.”
“But you’re not in charge,” she said sweetly. “Are you? Scott invited me, and I’m ready to get to work. Luke won’t let me get hurt.”
Breaker swept Luke a brief glance. “I’ve had two experienced dragons injured here in the last two weeks, and they were in dragon form at the time. I think Luke would agree that’s unacceptable.”
Scott held a hand to prevent an escalating argument. “Whoa! She doesn’t have to go deeper into the Quarry. What about the area around the towers? She can give me a heads up on the weed situation; tell me if I should choke them out. Maybe she’ll have a few ideas for the park, too. I have a black thumb, but surely there’s something that will grow there.”
Daisy looked at Breaker. “I’ll even let you tag along to make sure nothing eats me,” she said with a charming smile. “In fact, I’m sure you’ll insist on it.” He didn’t look impressed, so she said seriously, “I’m not suicidal, Breaker. I’m happy to listen to orders as long as they’re designed to keep me safe. I believe you’ll do that.”

Dogs, neighborhood, Breaker

Jack ripped out his tubing, so I get to apply hot packs twice a day and pick off his scabs so the wound will drain. Oh, joy.

Stitches come out in two weeks.

Speaking of dogs, oiling the coat with veggie oil before shaving makes the fur come off slicker than snot. Mowed of two inches of fluffy, curly hair, our terrier mix looks naked. John's banned me from shaving his face ever again. Not saying he's ugly, just...less cute. Plus, now we can see he's a bit fat, so less kibble for him.

Been getting a lot of urgent knocks on the doors later. One neighbor lost his dog, the other needed help fetching his step-dad's motorcycle. His step-dad wrecked, is in the hospital with a cracked skull, broken ribs and a concussion, last we heard. The bike fared better, but it was a goat rope fetching it. It took two trips to find it, since a kindly fellow (the one who reported the accident) had stuck it in his garage so someone wouldn't steal it. It wasn't until he called to give the pick up info that they were able to go back out and get it.

Breaker's story is going well. Daisy's having a Job of it, but instead of biblical disasters, she's being hit with the kind of things that happen to families all the time, one after another. Time to see what the girl who had the perfect life is made of.

I suppose I'd better post a snippet :)


Monday, July 13, 2015

Pergola done, dog got hurt

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Have you seen the movie UP? Good flick.



The pergola frame, built of 6x6 posts to withstand our high winds, is up and stained and looks great. Our anniversary, Seth's 18th birthday and John's 42 birthday (all last week) were great. There was just one thing...

Our Australian Shepard, Jack, jumped over the tongue of the trailer the morning of John's birthday and sliced his belly open on the hitch. 22 stitches, 2 staples and a cone of shame later, the poor guy is healing up. Thankfully, I'd had the urge to shave him the week before (stupid wheat seeds were trapped in his coat, digging into his skin) so the vet had less hair to deal with. Also, it couldn't have happened at a better time, since the vet had just opened and we were only a mile away. So far his tab is $325 (thank you, emergency fund and Dave Ramsey). We go in tomorrow to see if he needs follow up work. I hope they remove the surgical tubing drain, because when we give him breaks from the cone, that's what he wants to tug on. Also, it leaks. Good thing we have hardwood.

Thanks to the cone, we have a new term. Now when Jack crashes into furniture with his "lampshade" headgear, Buck the dog or our legs, we say we've been "coned".

Yep, it's been an interesting, mostly good, vacation.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Distractions

So I sit down at my computer, rereading where I left BR at, and my youngest calls. There's an issue. I listen, but he has to go, someone is coming, he doesn't want to be overheard. Fine. Start to work. He calls back. Same issue, wants to discuss in greater detail. Do my best to advise, talk about boundaries and why rescuing is bad. Advised him that sometimes we just have to do the best we can and pray for grace. Also, the trip is short; three weeks and he'll be home. Enjoy the good parts, soldier on. Also said a short prayer with him, asking for grace and wisdom. Nice to know Someone with more patience is on the job, because I can't keep thinking about this and do my job.

Ugh! So much for a peaceful summer without interruptions. What the heck was I writing, anyway? Tempted to quit and stick with housework, but I want this book done.

We just bought wood for a pergola to shade the back of the house (and grow kiwis), so a paycheck would be nice. John's out working on it now, since he took a some time off from work for vacation. Home Depot has made this a frustrating project for him (online ordering for pickup did not go well), but progress is slowly happening.

On the plus side, beautiful summer weather, no mosquitoes and plenty of AC. Also, Master Chef tonight!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Cherries

It takes a while to wash and pit a flat of cherries. My pitter does six at a time, but it's a workout. Since I was making rhubarb sorbet, I made one batch with cherries, the other with mixed berries. My kitchen smelled heavenly. Looking forward to the next batch of fruit.

Tonight we're having stirfry with sausage and bok choy with a side of cantaloupe smoothie. I love summer!

Back to dragons. Gotta sort out this plot.

Snippet: The Quarry

This is a snippet from Breaker's Ruin, book 2 of the Convergence Series and a work in progress. Book one of the series, Bramble Burn, is available wherever ebooks are sold.


Monday morning, Daisy flew with her brother to the Quarry. From the air, she could see fields of grain stubble, some of which had been plowed and planted with winter wheat. There were scattered houses and a cluster where the small town of Airway Heights clustered around Highway 2. Beyond that was the commercial airfield with its red and white checkered water tower, right next to the air force base.
One the opposite side of the road lay the Quarry. Smoke rose in lazy curls from steaming pools of lava and mud, and she could see the shadow of darting things hunting in the concrete ruins.
Which only made the six story towers of basalt more impressive. Octagon shaped, the dull, charcoal colored towers had polished, faceted black window trim, and the polarized windows reflected pink, purple and turquoise. There were four of them, one per city block. Roads and sidewalks had already been laid in that section, and there was a park in the center with stone bridges, benches and sculptures. The bare dirt where there should be grass and lack of trees gave it a harsh, unfinished look, which only made the tethered BAT overhead look more colorful. Floating at 3,000 ft, the helium tube had a wind turbine suspended inside and stubby stabilizing fins. It was also painted like a Chinese dragon.
“That is so cool,” her brother murmured, a trickle of smoke escaping his mouth. “Now I’m looking forward to meeting this guy.”
“Look at that,” Daisy said, knowing it wasn’t necessary to raise her voice with dragon hearing. “He built an arena. I wonder what for?” The coliseum had a ring of basalt pillars for the outside, and the seats were ash gray stone overlooking a sandy floor. Eight towers with private viewing boxes provided an excellent view…if one had dragon vision.
“Sports. Monster trucks, gladiator fight pit, dirt bikes… Cool.” Luke sounded intrigued.

Luke circled around, heading for the tower with a large red, decorative tile on top with a white number one. A quick look showed each tower had a distinctive tile, reminding her of dragon house numbers. Had he designed the towers with dragons in mind?