Fire, What's Up Wednesday

What’s Up Wednesday #6

WUWWhat’s Up Wednesday is a weekly meme geared toward readers and writers, allowing us to touch base with blog friends and let them know what’s up. Should you wish to join us, you will find the link widget at the bottom of Jaime’s post. We really hope you will take part!

What I’m Reading

As I’d hoped last week, I started to love Breaking Beautiful more when I got into it, so much so that I read the entire back half in one sitting.

I read most of Winger, but had to put that aside for a couple days. I really like it – it sort of reminds me of Looking for Alaska, both in the boarding school setting and a male MC struggling to find himself. But The 5th Wave is due back to the library, and there’s no way I’m waiting in that holds line AGAIN, so I started that and hopefully I’ll be able to finish that in the grace period before I have to start paying fines…

What I’m Writing

I finished writing those two new chapters of SHARDS before sending them and a rambling, panic-ridden email to Laura because I don’t feel super great about them but they’re sort of important. (It might’ve consisted of a lot of I’M THE WORST WRITER EVER type things.) I also finished rewriting Chapter 3 of FIRE.

This week I want to

  • make progress on these last few chapters of SHARDS. I actually sort of like editing because at this point I’m mostly looking atready-set-write-button things on a word choice and sentence level, and since I’ve got a poetry background, that’s really fun for me.
  • I’m doing Camp NaNo this month so I can finish the rough draft of FIRE (currently at 13.8k), so I want to make a dent in that.
  • make a working (read: vague) outline for OPAQUE, the sequel to SHARDS.
  • rewrite Chapter 4 of FIRE.

I’m keeping my weekly goals intentionally vague because I have no idea what my schedule for next week will be yet…

Last week I promised another snippet of FIRE if I finished Chapter 3, so here’s one. This is the beginning of Chapter 2, so this is the aftermath of Aimee’s mother’s execution. She and her younger sister, Erin, are discussing what happened.

“When do you think all of the fuss is going to die down?” Erin asks over breakfast two days later. One of our kitchen maids had gone out earlier this morning to pick up our household’s ration of flour and eggs, and when she got back she’d told us about all of the people whispering as she’d walked into the warehouse on the edge of the city, pumping her for gossip about how Devin Byrne’s orphaned daughters are doing.

“Whenever we cease to be interesting.” I push my empty coffee cup across the scarred wooden table our father had built himself. “Who knows when that will be?”

Our city-state isn’t prone to scandal. It could take years before the hullaballoo over Mother’s magecraft goes away.

My sister pushes her mostly uneaten pancakes and eggs away and rests her head on the table.

“You need to finish that,” I tell her. “You know we can’t afford to let anything go to waste, especially not if there’s another drought this year.”

Erin rolls her eyes at me. “You’re one to talk.”

I grimace, but shovel cold scrambled eggs into my mouth all the same. There has been less of everything the past couple years, especially this past year. For half the year it does nothing but rain, and when the growing season is in full swing, it stops, with not a drop of rain for months. Because of this, everyone’s rations have gotten smaller.

“Why do you think she did it?” Erin asks once she’s scraped her plate clean. I’m staring down at the last mouthful of rubbery egg, trying to convince myself to put it in my mouth even though my stomach protests. The egg slides off my fork and I look up.

“Does it matter?”

The fact that she’s talking about this now has caught me off-guard; it’s the first time my younger sister has brought the subject of our mother up. Mostly she just sat there in the darkness of her bedroom, staring at the wall and occasionally humming lullabies to herself. She wouldn’t even read her books, her favorite hobby.

I should be glad she’s talking again, but I don’t want to discuss this.

“I think it does,” Erin says. Her fork falls to the plate with a clatter. “What if she had good intentions? Why did she have to be killed for that?”

“What good could come of practicing magecraft?” I snap. “Haven’t you paid any attention?”

Magecraft has been banned these past three hundred years; mages are extinct. Alma, our city-state, made sure of that at the end of the War. Mages were the ones responsible for the War to begin with, the ones responsible for our world’s destruction. There is no good that could come of practicing magecraft.

What Inspires Me Right Now

People who stand up for what they believe in. I don’t want to make this political since that isn’t the purpose of this blog, but I watched the end of the Texas filibuster last week, and I was really inspired by the fact that one person was willing to stand for thirteen hours without food or water to stand up for what she believed in. And, failing that, the people in the gallery who cheered for fifteen straight minutes because they wanted to make sure they were heard.

What Else I’m Up To

I worked basically all weekend. Since we’re so close to the border, lots of people come down from Canada to shop, so it was really busy since it was Canada Day. And aside from that…not much. My roommate and a couple friends and I did have a Star Trek marathon on one of our days off – like, the original series from the 1960s. Mostly we made fun of their fashion choices.


21 thoughts on “What’s Up Wednesday #6”

  1. I love the dynamic between these two. Their interactions seem really natural, and I would definitely read more. Great teaser, as always!

    Also, I agree, that is really inspiring. I went to THON last year, which is a Penn State organization that raises money for pediatric cancer, and once it starts you’re not allowed to sit down. I think the longest I stood for was twelve hours/even with food (gatorade and trail mix) it was still pretty hard. So I can imagine how tired she must have been. I think her dedication to standing up for what she believed in can be applied to all areas of life (including writing). If you really want (or believe in) something, you have to work hard for it.

    It looks like you’re making a lot of progress. Keep up the good work! And good luck with NaNo/your goals for this week! 🙂

  2. So glad I’m not the only one who sends panic-ridden ramblings to CPs. 🙂 I sometimes send two of the same sections – one without my neurotic comments, one with.

    Also, I am DYING to know more about this story! The concept sounds INCREDIBLE!!! Great snippet, btw! And I’ve been enjoying the Twitter parties with you and others – I’m inspired by your progress!

    1. Recently I sent an email to one of my CPs with “HALP” written in the subject line. Which is more or less what all of my CPs can expect, come to think of it.

      Thank you! Unlike my other WIP, Aimee’s voice came to me easily, while her story has not. Having everyone cheering me on is inspiring me to keep going with it 🙂

  3. I’m definitely intrigued by this snippet! And congrats on the progress on both WIPs this week. Good luck finishing your rough drat!

  4. Panicking emails to CPs are what CPs are for. 🙂
    That lady filibustering in Texas was damn inspiring!
    I hope you have a marvelous writing week and a happy Fourth of July!

  5. Congrats for all the progress you’ve made on your various projects this week, Stephanie! I hope your schedule this week doesn’t stifle your momentum. 🙂

  6. Congrats on finishing chapters, even if you aren’t sure about them. I think that’s totally normal. Or, at least, I know I go through that ALL the time. You’re not alone! You have some great goals for yourself this week, and vague is probably where it’s at. I think my specific goals are starting to cramp my style a bit. :/ Thanks for sharing another snippet with us! 🙂

  7. The fillibuster has to be the weirdest, legit government tactic in practice. It’s just so bizarre, and seems like it points toward an ineffectual system, but, well, I suppose it has its merits. I hate how some bills that start out one way are loaded with a bunch of random extras, or weird tag-ons that change the entire purpose of the bill. I feel like I have to get all sides of the story anytime one of these big issue bills come up because one side says x, the other y, none of it makes sense. Anyway, I also found the fillibuster inspiring, and that so many people turned out for it.

    You’re fortunate to have a writer friend to bounce those ideas off of. I’ve worked with several people over the years but haven’t quite found that one writer I’ve really connected with.

    1. I guess the purpose of a filibuster is to protect the minority? But I feel like these days it mostly gets abused and makes it more difficult for things to get done. It’s a strange mechanism, that’s for sure.

      (Look at me, finally clearing out my inbox…oops :))

  8. I have been known to send three drafts (back to back) and change nothing but a word between. To me, one word REALLY matters. I think this is normal, or I tell myself that so I don’t feel so obsessive. Still loving your excerpts!

  9. Ooh, I really like this snippet. All the detail makes it read a bit like historical fiction (my favorite!) with the added twist of fantasy. I’m picky about my fantasy reading but this seems like one I would really get into!

  10. I am loving everyone’s snippets! I really enjoy the set-up you have going on here, and the relationship between the sisters 🙂

    I know what you mean about the filibuster being inspirational. The day after, I was at work and after an hour I just kept thinking, “She stood for HOW LONG?!” Incredible.

  11. Lol, library fines are fantastic motivators, aren’t they?
    And I know I’ve probably said this about your other snippet(s)…but what you shared was so intriguing! I like how you’re expanding your world, but keeping everything meshed together so well. And Aimee seems very much like an older sister should/would be. Keep up the good work!

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