“117 Hours Before” Part Two WIPpet Wednesday 8/16/17


Last week was incredibly stressful, and this Saturday we escort our youngest son three plus hours away for his first semester of college. (no cars on campus until the junior year) We’re proud of him but keenly aware that he won’t be home until Thanksgiving. We plan to visit him at the end of September so we can be proper parental pains in his arse.

It’s our duty and pleasure.


…but I’m certain youngest son would disagree. He is eighteen years old, after all.

This week’s WIPpet* comes from Surrogate: Traditions, the third novel in the Surrogate Series.

The printed manuscript for Surrogate: Hunted, the second novel in the series, all 457 pages of it, currently sits on my dining table. I’ve corrected all the issues indicated in the print copy so I’m to the point of nitpicking. My time with the manuscript is limited.  Polishing your baby before its trip to the publisher is both the most satisfying and stressful part of the writing process in my eyes. I know the final editor will find issues, that’s a given, but I want as few as possible.

Okay, here’s my WIPpet math for 8/16/2017.

201+87+16=304 words from Surrogate: Traditions.

You’ll see two new characters in this WIPpet– Upland and Aerachin. Upland is technically Merch’s husband, the co-ruler of the Empire, (there’s a long story behind that) while Aerachin’s title is First Butler. He’s Upland’s lead servant, but, in reality, he’s Upland’s partner, his male companion for nearing five decades. Theirs is a May-December romance. Upland is a just over a hundred years old, and Aerachin is in his early seventies. Like Amna Dresh and Leigheas, Aerachin is part of the final Takla generation.

The Setup: Etain has taken a medication to calm her back spasms and is sleeping on the front room couch so soundly she is slow to awaken.

     “Wake up.” Merch kissed Etain’s forehead.

     I’m dreaming. She pulled up the blankets, hoping to recapture her imma’s feel.

     “Come on, baby.” Merch pushed back her overmane and kissed her cheek. “You need to wake up.”

     “It is too early.” She pulled the blankets above her head. “Medi is nowhere near ready for her song.”

     “It’s not…” Her voice and everything else drifted away. Etain didn’t hurt for once, didn’t—

     “Wake up!” Someone threw water in her face.

     “Diani Fash, how many times have I…” Etain sat up growling, convinced her eldest cub was up to his old tricks, but when she opened her eyes… “You are really here?”

     “Hey, baby.” Merch wiped the water from Etain’s eyes. “You need to wake up.”

     “Wh…what are you doing here at this hour?” Etain looked around the apartment. Merch stood by the couch with her hands folded at her waist– her worried as hell but trying to hide it pose. Dresh stood beside her, holding a glass of water in her hand. Etain looked past them to see Upland sitting in his air chair. Aerachin stood behind him. “Why is everyone here?” She yawned as she scooted to the nest edge.

     “No, dear child. It’s best if you remain sitting.” Upland reached up to squeeze Aerachin’s hand. The uncles. They were a sensitive pair— Etain’s affectionate foster fathers since she’d first arrived on Takran. She loved them dearly, but Upland didn’t leave his apartment often— only for important court dates and— Etain swallowed hard— emergencies.

     “Why?” She squinted at them then at Leigheas, who sat at the dining table with his head in his hands. Mother Medi! He’s crying! “What has happened?” She looked again. Leigheas. Merch. Dresh. Upland. Aerachin… “My cubs?” Her heartbeat echoed in her head. “Mateo?”

     “The kids are fine,” said Merch. “And so is Mateo.”

     “That is a relief.” But no one looked the least bit relieved. “Is Stra still downstairs?”

     Merch sat beside Etain and extended her arm. “Come here, sweetie.”

Read more WIPpet Wednesday’s from Surrogate: Traditions HERE.

WIPpet Wednesday is a blog hop hosted by Emily Wrayburn wherein writers share excerpts of their latest WIP. All genres and levels of accomplishment are welcome. The only stipulation is that the excerpt must coincide with the date in some manner. For example, on 10/8/14 you might share 10 lines from page 8, 8 paragraphs from chapter 14, or perhaps 18 sentences by doing WIPpet Math and adding the day to the month. We’re flexible like that



  1. Gosh, I can definitely feel the suspense… Seems like there is some upsetting news coming up for Etain.
    That’s going to be a big change now that your son is going to college. “Proper parental pains in the arse” I love that 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ah, sending a child out of the nest. I realized that school starts in two and a half weeks here, and my oldest “baby” will be in high school. Only 4 more years until we’ll be doing the trip to college (if that’s what he chooses).

    Love this snippet. I decided to go ahead and read, since I’m behind on finishing the first one. I meant to have it done yesterday, but this week…well, let’s just say that I get it about fatigue/pain/fog. I volunteered all week, spending all my spoons on that. This weekend, though, means nothing but books and blog posts.

    Anyway, yeah, I get the sense Etain’s about to hear something really bad.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh yikes. Sounds like something very Not Good is going down. It’s never a good sign when there’s an unusual gathering of people and they’re all too quiet.

    Liked by 1 person

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