Monday, November 23, 2015

How's the NaNoWriMo coming?

Actually, not so good. I'm probably not going to hit fifty K for the first November in... well since I started. Still, The third Kundalis book is on the page. At least, the beginning of it is. So that's something. If I keep plugging away at it, hopefully, this one will make its deadline.

So... Chuck Wendig, (my dark god, don't tell him) has asked for excerpts and I do whatever Chuck says... also don't tell him that. You can read everyone's excerpts by following the links in his comments here: http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2015/11/23/nanowrimo-challenge-a-snippet-of-your-work-if-you-please/

Here is mine.
:)
It's rough, this is Nano people.

Kundalis: book three

The Ryegrass rest stop stayed busy year round. Central Washington didn’t exactly have much to offer, in particular on the dry hump of scabland rising above Vantage, but to anyone crossing the state from the wet, Seattle side to the wheat infested east, usually ended up winding down this particular hillside toward the Columbia River Gorge below.
I watched the traffic from a distance, perched on top of a 300 foot wind generator while my Kundalis dragon flirted with the gigantic white blades.
Bored.
“Li should be back soon.” I held a thin silver wire toward the sunlight and poked the tip into a blue glass bead. My jewelry kit sat beside my knee. A tackle box I’d found back at school in Cheney, the green case sported enough compartments for my tools, wire, findings and as many colored beads as I could pack into the little plastic squares. “We can head for home as soon as we’re done with the interview.”
Home is also boring.
I ignored the jab and strung two more glass orbs onto my wire. Then I fished out my needle nose pliers and began to twist the piece into a dragon that only slightly resembled the snakey blue monster currently complaining in my head. The pendants had been born out of my own boredom. Not that I liked to admit aloud that Blue was correct. Li had been the genius to suggest selling them online, and with the help of the ravenous media, our financial problems had been sorted out in the frenzy of Kundalis mania.
Which only lasted a few months, thank god.
You miss it.
“Only when our sales dip.”
Blue twined between the blades of the wind generator and twisted his huge head in my direction. Thank god no one else could see him. The patronizing look he favored me with wouldn’t be easy to live down in public. His whiskers trailed away like ribbons on either side of his dragon smirk, and I wondered, suddenly, what would happen if one got caught in the mechanism.
Nothing. I am not physical at the moment.
“Let me fantasize, brat.”
Li is back.
I stopped myself from saying, good. Glad to see Li was a new thing for me. Since our crew had all bolted with Doc, however, any company counted for something. We’d spent months in a state halfway like hiding out and the other half like being on tour. I did my best to plead to the media’s sense of intelligence, and Li spent her time proving to me that the media had no intelligence.
I’d manage to get an article with a shred of fact published, and she’d show up with a stack of papers about whacko dragon attacks, secret agendas and instructions on how to protect your children from being assimilated by our Kundalis cult.
Had to love Li.
She keeps you grounded.
Fair enough. The dragon had me there. Not that I’d ever needed grounding before he’d spawned from my navel like a rotten, sass-mouthed tumor. I twisted the wire into a curling tail, added a final smaller bead, and clipped off the excess wire. In my palm, a two inch mockery of my Kundalis caught the light and flashed from its facets. Li kept me grounded? Interesting. I was pretty sure I wanted that to be Doc’s job.
I set the pendant into the bottom of the tackle box, on top of the other four I’d finished before Blue got impatient. Before I could decide to close up shop or start a new one, my partner in crime shot past our perch like a cranky, Asian bottle rocket.
Li liked taking her dragon in a lot more than I did. Her black beastie could make her invisible, could put out fires, and when Li was feeling spunky, allowed her to pass through solid objects like smoke. Right now, however, she was more than visible, she hovered over Ryegrass like a anti-gravity goddess, long hair streaming behind her and nothing beneath her feet but open air and the transparent support of her Kundalis.
She lifted slight arms over her head, spun a little pirouette for effect and then lighted like a bird on the white housing in front of me. Almost blocking my view of Blue’s face, almost less annoying than my own dragon’s condescension.
“I got the papers.” Li took a step and her dragon slipped away, wafting out and upward until it stretched over her head like a black ribbon and left her less glowy, but just as snotty as ever. “Next time you fetch.”
“Sure.” I didn’t have the energy to argue with her today, or maybe, I’d just learned that agreeing saved me a lot of headaches. I cut a new piece of wire and picked up the pliers again.
“We made the A’s.” Li dropped a stack of local newspapers and then sat cross-legged across the box from me. “But Teddy’s been banished to D section.”
“He won’t like that.” I twisted a dragon snout out of wire and slipped an onyx bead on in honor of Li. “Poor Teddy.”
Li snorted. She spun my tool box around and fished inside. “We got ten more orders.”
“Really?” I set my half formed pendant down and reached for the top paper. “At least the attention is doing some good.”
“Good picture of you too.” She kept her voice level. It was hard to tell what Li was thinking on a good day, but I suspected she hid a barb in the comment somewhere.
I ignored it and opened the newspaper, separating out section A and scanning the pictures. A month ago anything about us made the front page automatically. Two months ago we were the front page. Ever since Teddy and Rick Waters outed the existence of dragons on the late night news, my Kundalis might as well have been a Kardashian.
I hardly think.
I might have only imagined a note of pride in that. It washed away quickly enough when I found the picture Li had referred to. Definitely a barb, though she’d opted to let the photographer do her nasty for her this time. I looked like a circus freak in the photo, despite the title claiming: Metaphysical Heroes Assist with Wildfire Battle. Why did they always catch me with my mouth hanging open?
Because you never stop flapping your jaws?
I growled at my dragon and Li flinched. At least our public image was pretty. I could live with that. Li and I had worked our asses off all summer to live with that.
I might have helped a little.
“Shhh.” I closed section A and flipped the rest of the paper over. The back page, and no photo either. Poor Teddy. I read his article rather than stare at my own hideous image. Our self-appointed spokesman had gone from starlet to snore faster than I’d expected, but then, he hadn’t taken his monstrous white Kundalis in yet. He couldn’t control her, and so, he couldn’t back up any of his talk with the fancy show that Li and I always managed to pull off whether we liked it or not.
Teddy couldn’t fly. He couldn’t shoot lighting from his palms. As far as I could tell, all he did was talk and cause me trouble.


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