#WIPpitWed #AppalachianElementals 12/05/18: Book and Blade

It’s snowing here, and it looks like there’ll be more than a skift on the ground by morning. A skift is a dusting, in case you don’t know. Skifts are regular things here in Northeast Tennesse, but we get measurable snow a few times most years. I remember snows of up to three feet and years with only one or two skifts.

Like everything else, it all depends, but I didn’t find a wooly worm this year to know what that traditional form of weather prediction had to say.

Welcome to #WIPpetWednesday! Since Mama, Me, & the Holiday Tree has been released I’m again sharing from Keeping House, novel two in the Appalachian Elementals series.

I shared the prologue for Keeping House a while back (you can find it under #WIPpetWednesday under Topics to your right), so I’m currently sharing from Chapter One.

Here’s my WIPpet math for 12/5/2018: 5+1= 6 paragraphs from Keeping House, book two in the Appalachian Elementals series.

The Setup: I’m skipping ahead a bit. Cent and Stowne have spent some, er, quality time together, and now Stowne has two gifts for Cent before she leaves.

     “This is how we will share while you are away.” Stowne set a fat, handmade book by her head.

     “Honey, you shouldn’t have.” Cent pushed up on her elbows to hold the book, stroking its soft cover with her fingers. “Bamboo?”

     “Aubrey found it for me online. The inner paper is bamboo too. Do not open it now. This will be our nightly conversation. I have written the first entry so you know where to start. You can write your first response below that, and I will see it in my copy.” They produced a book identical to Cent’s, which they held out. “We can only write each other once a day for the magic to hold, but this will be how we speak privately to each other.”

     “Aw, I’m gonna miss you too.” Cent smiled as she tucked her wings under her shoulder blades and sat up. “What’s in your other hand?”

     “Protection.” Stowne’s smile faded. “I feel better knowing you will be carrying it.” They extended their hand to reveal a dagger covered by a deer-hide sheath. The metal glistened when she pulled it, but the blade itself was spiral, the quillon twisted gold, and the handle rare American Chestnut inscribed with sigils.

     “My love is with you.” Cent flipped the dagger to read the other side. “Our love is protected through hardship.” She peered up at Stowne. “This is one vicious-ass dagger. How’d you get it?” She held it up to examine it closer, her eyes growing large when she looked at them again. “You didn’t deal for this…” Cent’s mouth tightened. “Did you?”

Stowne dealt to save Cent’s life, but did they also deal to secure her adequate protection? Guess we’ll find out next week.

*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. The magic that each of these must hold… I’d be a bit more worried about that journal, Cent. Something about it tells me there will be things you don’t want happening in there.

    Can’t speak for your weather, but our wooly bears were coining up in early September here in the Heldeberg Mts.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It snowed on and off today, but most of it’s melted, our new access ramp aside, of course. That’ll thaw tomorrow (and we’re getting ice melt too).

      Cent and that journal. Written words from your lover can be romantic, but it can also create problems.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This book reminds me of the much more mundane version my friends and I had in primary school where we would write letters to each other in an exercise book and pass it back and forth. Cent and Stowne’s souonds much more intimate, though, somehow.

    btw, this comment would have come earlier but I got distracted googling how wooly worms predict the weather, as I had never heard of that before. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wooly worms are a long tradition. My Mamaw taught me about them. Whether they’re accurate or not, depending on who you ask.

      And that book… it should be a romantic thing, emphasis on should.


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