Posted in Life Writing

WIPpet Wednesday: Upon Waking

It’s #WIPpet Wednesdayagain!

The purpose of K.L,Schwengel’s brainchild is to encourage writers to move their WIPs to publication by posting excerpts related to the date.

Until July, I will be posting excerpts from two of my Trueborn WIPs (works-in-progress);

  • Chameleon’s Dish, Trueborn Weft Series fantasy novel.

  • Bounded by a Nutshell, a Trueborn Warp Series Star Trek fan fiction novel.

These two series are interwoven. The plan is to offer the Warp Series fan fiction freely, and eventually publish the original fantasy Weft Series for sale.

This week, we return to Chameleon’s Dish. I played with the math a little to choose today’s passage: Trouble is, I had the day wrong once again (I drafted this post and last week’s together, and I didn’t joy down how I played with the erroneous date).

So, today is June 12, although I thought it was the 11th, and there are 14 very short paragraphs. If you like jumbling numbers, have at it! =)

We are back with Henry, a boy of about 11 years, living in Elizabethan England, near London, and the mysterious girl-child he rescued…a girl he has named Nockatee (which is Seminole Indian for “I don’t know”, although I don’t know how Henry came to know that…yet.)

Nockatee has been with Henry a day or two, and wakens to find that she has damaged a book he loaned her.

This scene appears as originally written, cleaned up a bit for an audience. I think it’s only fair to say that I have had a few plot tribbles occur since, and this scene may look quite different in the next draft…


She awoke, the corner of the book jabbing into her cheek painfully. So it had been real, and not a dream….but now, some of the pristine pages were bent and wrinkled from her sleep…..

Henry was sitting in his chair beside the still-blazing fire, and it did not seem that he had slept more than a few moments, given his bleary look.

“I damaged your book. I’m sorry. In the bundle are some coins; I do not know how they are valued or what worth they might have, here. But you may take them in payment for this book.”

“I give it to you as a gift, Nockatee. I love books, but I don’t think I need this one as dearly as you do. It minds you of your father, does it not?”

The tone in his voice said he already knew it was so. “He used to read to me,” she said, uncertainly. She had a dim shadow memory of a tall, quiet man with a sonorous voice who made the stories seem as though they were playing right there in her mind as he read. He was warm and comforting and patient, and she learned much from the time with him.

“I miss him – and I can scarce remember him……..” A tear fell on the page, and she was surprised by it. “I am not given to tears,” she said.

“You have lost your father, your home, and yourself, Nockatee. Tears seem to me a fine way to cleanse some of the hurt of it. Are you hungry? – there is more bread and cheese, and if you feel like it, dried meat, as well.”

It’s an Open Invitation to join us!

She looked around her – her eyes obeyed her better than she remembered them doing, since she awoke in his company. It was a small but comfortable room, with one bed, but no mattress….no, there was a mattress, but he had brought it to her…..

“You have not slept, Henry.”

He seemed surprised that she had noticed, and more surprised that she spoke it. “It didn’t seem wise to leave you asleep without a watcher… must have injured yourself in the fall – ”

“I do not fall.” She wasn’t sure how she knew that, but she knew it to be true. She would not have fallen, unless something had forced her from her branch.

He didn’t ask her how she knew, or act as though he didn’t believe her, and that made her like him even more. He nodded, and said, “Your injuries seem great for a simple fall, Nockatee. I wondered if something happened before, while you were in the tree – something that took wakefulness from you and smote you to the ground. Do you know why you were there?”

Something about his calm and measured attention to these unknown matters of her life, the way he was working through the mystery, tugged at her soul familiarly. It minded her of someone, but she did not know who, now.

~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~


Comments? Questions? Observations? I love feedback! Drop it in the comment receptacle below – and click on the button above to read more great excerpts from other #WIPpeteers!


I am myself. I own my life, and live with three other people who own theirs. My intention is to do only those things that bring me joy, and to give myself wholly to those things I do. Writing has been my passion throughout my life, and this will become the home for my writing life...because it brings me great joy!

18 thoughts on “WIPpet Wednesday: Upon Waking

    1. Sys,

      I think it will get deeper, with more foreshadowing (that book turns out to be pretty danged important, on several levels). I love this bit, and I think I will love it even more post-revision….

    1. Gretchen,

      I think she might not encourage it, at least not if that was all I posted!

      Honestly, I usually don’t post these WIPpets to this blog – I have a hobby blog for my noveling, which I use most to work things through for myself, and to chronicle the journey of completing a double series.

      This week, though, I accidentally posted it to the wrong blog.

      I do seem to get very positive feedback, and lots of activity, when I share my WIPs, both fiction and poetry. I like the interaction, and the insights, so I will likely continue to share some of my projects as I play with them, as part of my various blog offerings.

      I like learning from those with more experience than I have, but I am also instinctual, so I seldom take in any advice unexamined. Sharing these tidbits feels right, and so I am sharing them. Feeling that it’s right means a lot to me.

    1. Elaine,

      If you get a stack of comments from me, it’s because WordPress doesn’t appear to be posting them (but then, it might be…).

      Thank you for your comment. Since this is a rough draft and the first historically based story I’ve attempted, you’ve given my confidence a big boost!

      I hope to answer some of your questions, and, of course, have you posing even more new ones.. =)

      1. Hi sorry to take so long to reply. I’m still learning the ropes with WordPress and sometimes it doesn’t do what I want it to, so I can sympathise! 🙂 Glad my comment was helpful. I think WIPpet Wednesday is a great way for us writers to boost each other’s confidence.

        1. Elaine,

          I noticed that WP changed its layout…that might’ve had something to do with it. Facebook always seems to be filled with glitches when they make changes, too.

          I remember when I was new to WordPress. It was huge and scary-seeming. Little by little, I got to know it better.

          I am loving WIPpet Wednesday. Every comment seems to be useful, and I find myself looking at each passage, and by extension the entire story, in a new way. I’m also feeling braver about sharing, which is kind of an essential for publishing!

          Glad I didn’t bomb you with numerous versions of the same comment!

          1. Like you were, I’m gradually getting the hang of WordPress too. The Blogger blog I had before was a lot simpler, but seemed to have less features than WordPress does. WP takes some getting used to but I find that googling a problem I’m having with it helps a lot. It’s great that you’re enjoying WIPpet Wednesday. 🙂

          2. Elaine,

            It didn’t bother me. =)

            I still have my original Blogger blog (, if you’re interested). Its focus is on our unschooling/family life -lately, just Wordless Wednesday pictures, to give an idea of what we get up to.

            It doesn’t have as many features, and I will be moving it to WordPress over the next few months (It’s nearly 10 years old, so a bit of a daunting undertaking).

            WordPress is wonderful for flexibility – but there is definitely a learning curve. I’ve had good luck looking things up as they occur, too.

            i really am loving WIPpet Wednesday,and that I get to meet so many nifty folks with rampant imaginations because of it, and improve my writing at the same time! =D

  1. I love the name Nockatee and the meaning behind it. I also like that you have no idea how your character knows it. 😀 It just validates the fact that our characters are out to make our grey matter ache. This is a great excerpt.

    1. Kathi,

      Good thing I like achy grey matter, no? =D

      I learned what Nockatee met when my husband and I worked one winter at Everglades National Park. We bought a documentary about a couple who spent over two years roughing it in the mangrove swamps and the Keys with what they could pack in a flat-bottomed canoe they named – yup, Nockatee.

      I suspect that my child named herself that because, at this point, she has very little idea who she is, and perhaps her father, who found that she enjoyed learning such tidbits and often used them in her play, might have known it, and shared it with her…

      But they haven’t told me for sure, yet, so really, that’s just a guess…

      I live for those moments when the characters come to life, and this was definitely one of them! =D

  2. Anything set in Elizabethan England (whether historical or fantasy fiction) has my attention. I love the period and I got a real sense of it here with their dialogue and the description of the room and what Henry offers her to eat. Lovely.

    1. Kate,

      For me, it’s a Shakespeare thing. And an Eden Mabee thing, because I was wandering aimlessly through NaNo with no story whatsoever -over 30,000 words of wandering.

      Eden and I have been friends since we were very small, and one night, I dreamed that she and I were walking at the Albany Rural Cemetery, chatting while our kids played, and I was telling her about my troubles with the draft.

      She listened to me for a while, then turned to me, and said, “You know what you need to do, don’t you? You need to burn down the Globe.”

      At that moment, in the dream, I felt a jolt of truth go through me, and it was still there when I woke up.

      And, not to give too much away, but there will indeed be a theatre fire….

      I am so glad that my research paid off in more than fascination. I did quite a lot of reading, last summer, and even my kids got into it, reading Shakespeare with me and learning about eating habits. I’m a long way of feeling I’ve got the language to flow naturally (and Nockatee’s won’t be the same), and I tend to only use the sketchiest of details in early drafts.

      I had a blast writing this, and am enjoying sharing bits and getting to revisit them, especially since I will be revising Chameleon and Bounded in August and September.

        1. It’s going on hiatus for July, so that I can share my CampNaNo efforts. It will be back, with Bounded (its fanfic sibling) for August and September. October….I’m not sure yet…

          So very happy you want MORE! =)

    1. ReGi,

      Yes, he really is! I know there are some shadows in there, but, so far, I haven’t seen them.

      And I could tell you what happened to her, but it wouldn’t be as much fun as letting you find out for yourself. I can tell you this much, though – Nockatee is right. She does not fall.

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