Posted in Blogfest Entries, Challenges and Contests, Marketing my Writing, Novel Excerpts, WIPpet Wednesday, Writing in Freedom

Shattering the Dam: Sea Changes (Kifo Island Chronicles Volume 1) for WIPpet Wednesday

Welcome to WIPpet Wednesday, a weekly blog hop which encourages writers to move WIPs (works-in-progress) to publication by posting excerpts related to the date.We’re led by the capable fingers and nimble mind of Emily Witt.

Happy Wednesday!

After two weeks of visiting all the other WIPpeteers, I paved the road to failure with good intentions last week. Not only didn’t I make the rounds; I haven’t answered comments yet, either. My mission to practice revision became immersive, and there’s been blogging and planning a short story for submission to a contest with a deadline at the end of the month. There’s been moving firewood and hometending and writing group, and the new crit group a few local peeps, including me, began at the beginning of the year. And then there were these weird internet glitches…

So, now it’s just before midnight, and Wednesday is nearly here. I’m hoping to get this post and my ROW80 update done and posted before I sleep – not sure if that will happen, but that’s what I’d like to do. I’m also hoping to move the three crit projects forward, and maybe…


There’s where I run into trouble- there’s always something else I want to do…but, for now, I’m just going to focus on this WIPpet.

Today, I’ve got more from Karina Karanova in Sea Changes, and so it’s on to the WIPpet!

In advocating for a dying girl seeking emancipation from controlling parents, can an overburdened young woman and a lonely young man find a future together?


This passage is NaNo rough. My plan is to let this draft rest for the rest of the month, and begin creating a revision plan in February. That said, any input is gratefully accepted!

WIPpet Math:

  • Today is January 20, 2016
  • Today, you get nineteen new sentences –plus the last one from last week , for context and to make twenty.

Context: Karina is in a pottery studio, working with clay and hating it, when an albino man sits near her, and begins a conversation. He’s just introduced himself as Donovan Nash, and they begin a tentative conversation as Karina’s frustration and distraction lead her to unintentionally destroy the project her mother has ordered her to make. Donovan asks if that was her intention.

Shattering the Dam

Nyet.” It could be hard, still, sometimes, to shift from Russian to English. Karina shook her head, for emphasis, and waved a clay- coated hand at the plastic coated instruction booklet – more like a book, really – that Mother had insisted she follow precisely. “No, I mean. I am to create this.”

I understand a smattering of Russian. ‘Nyet’ was the first word I learned, but I won’t bore you with the story.” He rinsed his hands at the nearest of the little faucets spaced along the trough, and wiped them on a soft rag. “Would I be intruding if I asked to take a look? Sometimes, two heads are better than one, to get the ball rolling.”

Karina’s mind supplied mental images, the way it always did when she heard American metaphors. Given her mood, maybe it shouldn’t be surprising that she imagined someone bowling with her own head as the ball…”If you wish,” she told the young man. “It seems certain that I won’t be able to make use of them, at least until I learn how to contain my emotions well enough not to destroy anything I manage to achieve.”

She put her head into her hands, knowing that she was getting clay in her hair, and, in this moment, simply not caring. Tears were threatening, but Karina was determined not to let them fall. Nyet. A dutiful daughter should take joy in tending a mother, even through an illness that had gone on so terribly slowly, even through the deep depressions and frequent rages that had come along with it.

Even when it was a bondage she hadn’t sought, and one that had swallowed up the whole of her own living, and still demanded more, more, and yet more –

It broke from her in a crashing wave of feeling, shattering the dam she’d held against it for twelve years.

Will Karina’s tears help?

Will Donovan be comfort or distress her furher?

Will Karina ever get past hating the clay?

Will she be able to do what her mother demands?

What will happen next?

Some of these questions may be answered – and others will certainly be posed- next week, so be sure to come back then to learn more about Karina and her story.

Previous Karina WIPpets (chronologically):

Want more WIPpets? You can find them, and even add your own date-related excerpt if you’re so inclined, by following the little blue froggy from WIPpet to WIPpet to WIPpet!


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!

8 thoughts on “Shattering the Dam: Sea Changes (Kifo Island Chronicles Volume 1) for WIPpet Wednesday

  1. “She put her head into her hands, knowing that she was getting clay in her hair, and, in this moment, simply not caring.”

    Awww, Karina. Hugs for her!

    This is really good, Shan. The pressure on people caring for someone with a drawn out illness to always be cheerful, strong, selfless, and accepting is just ridiculous. People don’t understand how it can suck your life away.

    1. Tell me about it. My first fiance had cystic fibrosis. A few months before his death, we calculated that we were actively engaged in therapies over ten hours every day – and I worked full time, besides…

      I think some of that comes out in what Karina’s thinking, here, and the emotions she can’t control, at least not while playing with clay.

      And she could definitely use some hugs. BTW, I’m right now writing a story where T’Pol could use some very gentle, Vulcan-friendly embracing, too. It’ll be up in an hour or two.

    1. I can honestly say that I have agreed with that statement since I was 15. My best friend since forever (think age 9), gave me Contraband as a wedding gift. =)

      My very favorite from them is “Still Life”. Gives me chills every single time, and I’ve written stories inspired by that song.

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