Posted in Blogfest Entries, Life Writing, Marketing my Writing, Novel Excerpts, WIPpet Wednesday, Writers' Resources, Writing in Freedom, Writing Samples

The Palest of Blues: 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!

One year ago, I was at the airport with my family, feeling more than a bit harried as we began our transcontinental journey from a very frozen upstate New York to Oregon’s Willamette Valley, where my Accomplice hails from. They were graced with an early spring – everything was blissfully green and blooming, and we felt as though we had entered a different world.

Karina Karanova knows that feeling, I think. Removed from her workaday-and-then-some reality to the tropical hospice resort of Kifo Island, from her parents’ shop to a pottery studio,she’s more than a little disoriented, even before Donovan Nash shows up…

But maybe I’m getting a bit ahead of myself, here. First comes the premise of Sea Changes, the third-written, but chronologically first, of my Kifo Island Chronicles series-in-progress.

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 begin creating a revision plan before the end of March, and to begin revisions in small sprints as I enter my drafting-intense spring. That said, any and all input is gratefully accepted!

WIPpet Math:

  • Today is February 17, 2016.
  • I thought of subtracting the day from the month, but, once I looked at the next passage, I decided to just go with the date, so today, you get seventeen new sentences.

Context: Karina hates clay, but her mother’s demands aren’t negotiable. When a stranger comes to sit near her, their conversation, and the circumstances, trigger memories and emotions that shatter the walls she’s built around them…

The Palest of Blues

She had no cat-o’-nine-tails – but she had this damned lump of clay –

Karina launched herself at the hated substance. She wanted to tear the instruction book apart, wanted to give silent voice to her fury at that final bondage – but she was a dutiful daughter, or as close to one as she could be –

A scream shook and broke her, then another, and another –

Two gentle, paled hands took hers. “Shhh,” Donovan whispered. “This is very involved work, and I can see why you’re frustrated. But, if you’re determined to do this, pounding out all your progress isn’t going to work.” His thumbs stroked over the backs of her hands, softly, the way one might soothe a dying loved one. Karina looked at them, his pale clean hands holding hers, begrimed in clay – wet, drying, and flaking off alike – and something about it touched her in a new way, so that her gaze lifted, as though choosing for itself, to the place where his eyes would be if he –

He wasn’t wearing the shades. He was squinting a little, but, even so, Karina saw that his eyes weren’t pink, but the palest of blues – at least three shades lighter than her own.

“The light hurts you,” she whispered.

Donovan shrugged. His thumbs continued that slow, intimate caress, and Karina sighed out the last of the rage. “Doesn’t matter. It seemed more important that you be able to really see me.”

How did Donovan know what to do?

Can Karina keep her cool now?

Will she return Donovan’s caress?

What happens 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!

9 thoughts on “The Palest of Blues: Sea Changes (Kifo Island Chronicles Volume 1) for WIPpet Wednesday

    1. I want Karina to be happy soon, too – but that would hardly make a good story, now would it? And since the story’s the thing…well, maybe she’ll eventually be happiER….

    1. Thanks, Fallon. Hey, I forgot to ask – would you be interested in a TnT beta at the end of this month or beginning of next? Should be about 10K words, and it’s their origin story. If the title would help to entice you, it’s “First Contact, With Jazz” (which probably also gives you a clue…).

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