Reflective of my headspace of late, I've taken to writing short excerpts for Glitch wip and [mostly] out of order bits for Oracle wip. I've also done some brainstorming for my Reaper wip and written odds and ends for wips that don't exist yet. Here's everything so far, in case you missed it.
in which there is a cyborg named sacha and a shapeshifter named cipher
[[ cw: cyborg slavery and related issues of agency ]]
.01 -- sacha’s jerked rudely and abruptly out of stasis, which immediately puts her on the alert because fitz may treat her like a thing, mostly, but he wakes her like he would anyone, with a nudge to the shoulder and not a zap to her temple port.
her eyes fly open and she’s met with a figure dressed in and masked by glitch-wear, which only heightens her alarm. her arm whirs as it calibrates, the pump in her heart picking up speed and filling her with adrenaline. she doesn’t swing immediately only because she doesn’t have enough intel on what’s happening to know if that’s the right move.
the stranger raises his hands palm outward in that universal sign that means ‘i’m harmless’ and also ‘don’t attack’.
❝There is something in her chest cavity, pulsing, glowing through her skin. It moves like a frightened animal. It is definitely not her heart. ❞
Her heart is in her hands, porcelain and perfect and utterly still, just as it should be.
Alyss is quietly pleased. She had no idea if the spell would work for herself; the old queen only ever cast it on other people, to own their hearts and command them as she would, a punishment and a service all at once.
There’d been a chance this spell would’ve killed her, but Alyss was--had been—destined to die anyway, so what did she care about the risk?
But she’s not dead after all. She’s holding her own heart, and she’s breathing and living and thinking, no empty shell like the Queen’s Cards. And now she’s unkillable.
Unless, of course, someone gets a hold of her heart. But they won’t. She’ll bury it, out in the garden of poisonous blood red roses, right in the (hah!) heart of the maze where nobody will go and where no one will find it. She’ll bury it in soil and spells and a chest, and she’ll live forever.
Alyss is the author of her own fate, and nobody else is.
The thing in her chest flutters and shifts where her heart used to be, settling into its space. Alyss wonders if it’s her soul. If, without the burden, the foible, of her heart, she can feel it now. She wonders if it’s at all affected by what she’s done.
She decides she doesn’t care if it is, nor how.
Fictober is a challenge where writers respond to a prompt a day for the whole of October.
This year's prompts are from Deep Water Prompts on tumblr.
This prompt fill is also a glimpse into the backstory of one of my characters in Oracle.
❝My mother’s study was full of porcelain hearts, thousands of them, crafted in stunning anatomical detail.❞
I used to study them all, as a child, in their careful placements on little velvet cushions on the shelves, shining sleekly in the sunlight that poured through the tall windows. They were so beautiful, all unique somehow, and all looking so real. I was entranced by them, by their delicacy as much as by their forbidden nature. I was never allowed to touch any of them.
“Once broken, they can’t be mended,” my mother would say. “No matter how skilled the craftsman, how cleverly sealed or joined or glued the fragments, there would always be a fault in them.”
“Even with magic?” I’d ask.
“Magic can’t fix a broken heart. It can only unmake it, or change it, but then it wouldn’t be the same heart, you understand? And it would always have once been broken.”
Oracle, A WIP Introduction
In a world of magic that runs like lifeblood through the very earth, Ro is a rare outlier: a null. Magic doesn't affect her or work for her; she instead cancels it out. This comes in useful; as an assassin, Ro slips through all magical defences and snares easily.
When two different contracts come her way, requesting that she assassinate Queen Alyss of Miraré's oracle for a truly obscene amount of gold, Ro happily, eagerly accepts the assignment. For one, she's never killed an oracle before. For another, the reward is practically a king's ransom, and Ro loves nothing as much as gold.
It takes months, but eventually Ro gets herself into the perfect position to kill the mystical oracle...only she hesitates. Not out of any moral quandary, but out of curiosity.
And that single hesitation has far reaching consequences for an entire universe, because the oracle isn't an oracle. He is something else far more influential than that, whether he knows it or not...
Alyss | also called the Red Queen, ruler of Miraré through usurpation, one-time destined saviour of the world, currently attempting to forge an alliance with Teimor.
Ro | also known as Carrow, a null and assassin whose moral compass points to 'gold' or 'would be fun', depending on the situation.
Sage | an oracle who isn't, motivated by a dual desire for revenge and finding a way home, full of secrets.
Fintan | leader of the Order of the White Hare, a rebel organization dedicated to removing Alyss from the throne, also known as Fin.
Jac | Ro's one-time guardian and current liaison for assignments.
Topsy-Turvy & Upside Down
Well, I'm back after another long absence. Raise your hand if you're surprised. No hands in the air? Yeah, I didn't expect there to be. You know the drill: I had a crisis, shut everything down, ran away until I felt better, and came back, shamefaced but determined not to pull the same stunt again.
Anyway, you're not here for my personal woes, you're here for writing! Presumably. I don't know if anyone's still around, actually, but if I shout into the void, perhaps the void will shout back a welcome.
So. You may be wondering what's with this post's title. Well, it references both my recent mental state and also the states of two of my wips: Chronicles of Mourra and Wonderland.
Guess what! The plans I had for both? Shattered. On purpose. I picked up both wips, threw them at a metaphorical wall (aka my debilitating writer's block), shuffled through the pieces, picked up the shiniest, prettiest fragments, got a new frame and some glue, and made two different mosaics.
This extended metaphor is getting away from me, so let me speak plainly. Neither of these wips were working for me, so I took what I liked best of them and made something new. Wow, that sounds way easier than it actually was. In reality this took me literal months and serious angst to do.
Let's jump right into it, shall we?
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Featuring prompt fills, excerpts from my wips, posts about my writing process, and more.