Sunday Sneak Peek 7/28

Sneak Peek Sunday is a weekly blog hop in which writers are challenged to post six paragraphs, no more and no less, from a published work or work in progress and then invite other writers, readers and random bloggers to read, critique and comment. Visit their site by clicking on the button below for a list of other participating writers and share the love! Today’s Sneak Peek, like all my snippet-producing posts for the immediate future, is from The Last Hour of Gann, picking up where yesterday’s WeWriWa left off and continuing with Wednesday’s Hump Day Hook. So read, enjoy, and don’t forget to let me know if you want to enter my Gann Giveaway!

Sneak Peek Sunday Banner

“You want to do like Mama did,” said Amber, ruthless and calm as her stomach churned. “You want to be a whore.”

“I…”

“How are you going to fuck men—”

That flinch again.

“—for money—”

Nicci broke, tried to get up. Amber caught her by the wrist again and held on in spite of her sister’s squirming efforts to tug free. She hated this, hated herself, but she kept on talking and her voice never shook. Sometimes you had to say the bad stuff, right, Mama? Right.

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13 responses to “Sunday Sneak Peek 7/28

  1. Like I said in the previous post about truth being painful, but damn…you gotta feel for the girl! Please allow me an entry.

    • Oh jeez. Some of them come with their names. Taryn MacTavish, for example, has been Taryn from the moment Care and Feeding of Griffins first came together. Her sister, Rhiannon, I plucked from a newspaper photo of the local girls soccer team. Every single girl had a name I would consider unusual to say the least–Shawlise, Emmalina, Aisha–and there were three Rhiannons. Three, on a team of, like, twelve. Tonka and Antilles both came to me in a dream a long, long time ago. Tonka’s mate was originally named Van to kind of keep up the car joke, but I mispelled it the first time I wrote it–Ven–and I liked it so much, I kept it. Olivia was always Olivia; the rest of the women were pulled from my handy-dandy Baby Name book (the one by Sue Browden). In The Scholomance, as I think I’ve said before, Connie was always Connie. She comes from a recurring nightmare in which she is lost somewhere in some horrible place–a haunted hospital, catacombs where the dead walk and necromancers think they control them, a massive industrial complex overrun with aliens and their human thralls–and I have to find her and get her out. I have never found her in any of the dreams. Anyway, I went through a number of names for Mara and was finally flipping through that Baby Name book when I saw Mary. I tend to avoid extremely commonplace names when I write, the same as I avoid really unique ones, but when I saw the definition–from the bitter waters–I felt Horuseps’ hand on my shoulder and heard his dry voice whisper, “O my bittersweetness,” and knew I’d found the One.

      Amber Bierce and her sister, Nicci, were also from a dream I had–a dream in which a small group of people awaken to find themselves on an alien planet and hike across it to find the portal home. I didn’t think there was much of a story in that at the time, but I never forgot the characters or the way the group’s small society began to crumble. I was reading Ambrose Bierce at the time; I’m pretty sure my subconsciousness just feminized his sarcasm and pointy edges. In the dream, she was anything but a hero. Really just a background bitch. In the dream, they found a native–a lizardlike alien named Dumaka (I call Meoraq’s race in The Last Hour of Gann the dumaqs in homage) who acts as their guide. The finer points of what eventually became the world of Gann I culled from another dream, in which an alien world was inhabited by three races–the humans, who dwelled within the walls of great, round cities and did the industrial work; the Crawl, mutants or monsters or something vaguely humanish, swaddled in rags, who scuttled around outside the walls, ostensibly working fields and tending livestock, but possibly cannibalistic and really creepy; and the Haakoni, wolfish men (and women, maybe, although I never saw any) who are the only ones on the whole planet who are allowed to carry weapons and who can kill with impunity, who can demand anything they want of anyone they meet, and who act as conduits for the living gods of that world.

      Getting away from names there…back to the question. When I was in the fourth grade, my Language Arts teacher (if L.A. is unfamiliar to you, it’s kind of a junior grammar class: spelling, vocabulary, lots of reading and asking questions about what you read) spent half the year with a creative writing curriculum. Seriously. Half the year. And for one entire month–I want to say it was February, but it was a long time ago–she taught nothing but how to find names. Think about that. Every day, a different way to think up a name and to fit that name to your character. Every week was a slightly different theme–one week, it was modern names; the next week, ancient and foreign names; the next week, fantasy and future names; the last week, nature and totem names. It was amazing. She made us think for the first time about the fact that names have meanings and that you can use names to subtly influence the way the reader perceives the character. She might not appreciate the shout-out, coming as it does from a writer of sci-fi and horror erotica, but I honestly think I would not be the writer I am today without Mrs. Dyson-Bunsen, or Mizz DB, as us kids called her.

      Oh, and before I forget entirely, you are entered!

  2. As a teacher I have 2 things to say; the first is your dreams are so interesting. My most interesting dreams are that I’m teaching in front of a class of 7th graders and my shirt is unbuttoned and I may or may not have a bra on. Secondly, I love that you remember Ms. Dyson-Bunsen and her lessons. I’m pretty sure my students will not remember the scripted Common Core lessons we are being forced to teach this year.

    • One thing that life has taught me is that we never really know what people will remember about us in ten or twenty or fifty years. The smallest things can have the most profound impact.

      …and thank you, by the way, for being a teacher. There are certainly more glamorous jobs around, but none that have more potential to inspire greatness in others. I bet that if you asked a hundred people to name the ten most influential people in their own life, every single one of them would name at least five celebrities…and at least one teacher. You rock.

  3. Ok well I’m envious of your dreams now, mine usually are too incoherent to follow once awake let lone inspire awesome books (also hindered by the fact I don’t write, lol)
    May I have an entry please?

    • No lie: Some of my dreams come complete with opening and closing credits. They are always very vivid and I’m usually able to retain details for a long time after awakening. I like to think of them as movies for poor people.

      Another entry for Rue!

    • Quite a few of the authors I’ve spoken to are very vivid dreamers. Also, we tend to have “unusual” dreaming traits, i.e., we dream in color, can read in our dreams, can clearly recall dreams hours or days after we’ve awakened, and can lucid-dream (kind of a dream-hack).

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