Saturday, February 16, 2019

WWW and it’s snow joke

http://www.wewriwa.com/

Weekend Writing Warriors is a weekly blog hop where participants post eight to ten sentences of their writing. You can find out more about it by clicking on the image.

Continuing a chapter from Ghosts of Innocence, Shayla has stolen the identity of a new high-ranking Imperial appointee, Brynwyn bin Covin. She’s been met by a soldier (Kurt) from the Imperial Palace Guard, who’s escorting her to the Palace. They have just stepped outside while Shayla’s baggage is loaded into the car. Kurt spotted a row of punishment stalls across the square, and Shayla realizes the crowd will expect her to inflict some pain on the prisoners there.

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Shayla sorted through her money and selected a small silver coin. This would be a heavy jolt. Prisoners occasionally died from neural stimulation, despite the safety limits built in, but her briefing notes had been very clear regarding Brynwyn's harsh views on duty and discipline. She had to stay in character.

"Leave my mommy alone!"

Shayla looked down, surprised, at the tiny bundle of fury pummeling her with minute and ineffective fists.

One of the duty guards pulled the child away. He raised his fist to cuff the young boy, but Shayla held up a cautioning finger. The guard bowed his head. "As you wish, Magister Summis."


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When we moved to Canada, everyone talked about the long winters. “Not so,” we said. “We’re settling in Victoria, BC where people move to to escape the winters.”

Thing is, Victoria isn’t geared up to deal with snow like the rest of Canada. Most winters we’ve been here we’ve had snow, but it’s always been one dump, one day of traffic chaos. Then the roads are cleared and things settle down. It all looks pretty for a couple of weeks then it melts.

Last three years or so we’ve seen a change in the pattern, to snowfall spread out over multiple days causing fresh problems every day. This past week is a case in point.

Friday I happened to be working from home, catching up after my trip to Ottawa that I mentioned in my last post. During the day, about 5cm fell which I cleared from the driveway before Ali got home. Sunday night the storm hit. About 30cm which closed the highway that night. We dug ourselves out in the morning and I managed to get into work by mid-morning. It takes the three of us somewhere between 2 and 3 hours to shift that amount of snow from our long driveway.





Very scary drive home Monday in near-whiteout conditions. Lots of cars abandoned by the side of the road. Ali and Matthew were home (schools closed) and cleared the drive for me. Tuesday morning - another 30cm overnight and another 2-hour workout to dig ourselves out again. Wednesday was fine, but slippery slushy stuff started falling Thursday. Not much, but enough to be dangerous - probably more so than a proper snowfall. Our drive opens out near the bottom of a hill, and even crawling down at less than walking pace I couldn’t make the turn into the drive. The car just slid sideways. Managed to correct and carry on down to the bottom, then came back up and reversed into the drive. Yes, scary. Another brief workout Friday morning before getting to work.

Looks like we’ve got a reprieve for the coming week, with the possibility of more to come next weekend. We’ll see.

Of course, I’m still thankful to be living in relatively mild Victoria. Much of the country has had it a lot worse, so I can’t really complain. Wherever you are, I hope you’re staying warm and dry and safe!



Saturday, February 9, 2019

Weekend Writing Warriors February 10

http://www.wewriwa.com/

Weekend Writing Warriors is a weekly blog hop where participants post eight to ten sentences of their writing. You can find out more about it by clicking on the image.

Continuing a chapter from Ghosts of Innocence, Shayla has stolen the identity of a new high-ranking Imperial appointee, Brynwyn bin Covin. She’s been met by a soldier (Kurt) from the Imperial Palace Guard, who’s escorting her to the Palace. They have just stepped outside while Shayla’s baggage is loaded into the car. Kurt spotted a row of punishment stalls across the square, and Shayla realizes the crowd will expect her to inflict some pain on the prisoners there.

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Shayla started at the far end of the line, scrutinizing each prisoner and reading the placards in front of them. Some met her gaze, some looked away, expressions a mixture of pleading, defiance, resignation.

Theft from a market stall... Insulting the personage of the Emperor... All petty crimes. One in particular caught her eye though. Stealing from the Temple collection box. Brynwyn would not approve of that. She looked at the young woman standing, naked and manacled, before her. She ignored Shayla, murmuring instead to two young children clinging to her.


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After months of consistent progress ahead of schedule, my writing took a big hit this week. I was out of town for in-person workshops for a major project I’m working on.

Working face-to-face gives you a level of understanding you simply can’t get from teleconferencing. The technology is great for routine discussions, but it blocks the subtle cues of posture and eye contact that can ring warning bells that people may be using the same words but they’re reading different meaning into them.

With collaboration from provinces across Canada, getting people together like this is costly in travel, but those kinds of misunderstandings can prove fatal to a complex multi-million-dollar project.

It’s also costly in personal terms. Traveling from Victoria to Ottawa is an all-day process. Then the workshops themselves. Then returning home, leaving late afternoon Ottawa time and getting home after midnight local time. Tag on an evening beforehand of sorting out and packing clothes, papers and laptop, and a day afterwards of catching up and recovery from sheer exhaustion. Net result, an entire week gone by and not a word written.

Have to do better this weekend!

 

Saturday, February 2, 2019

Weekend Writing Warriors February 3

http://www.wewriwa.com/

Weekend Writing Warriors is a weekly blog hop where participants post eight to ten sentences of their writing. You can find out more about it by clicking on the image.




Continuing a chapter from Ghosts of Innocence, Shayla has stolen the identity of a new high-ranking Imperial appointee, Brynwyn bin Covin. She’s been met by a soldier (Kurt) from the Imperial Palace Guard, who’s escorting her to the Palace. They have just stepped outside while Shayla’s baggage is loaded into the car. Kurt spotted a row of punishment stalls across the square, and Shayla realizes the crowd will expect her to inflict some pain on the prisoners there.

=====

She tried to ignore the stench of urine and excrement while she thought. How would Brynwyn behave here? She was sure that Kurt would be taking note of her actions. He may appear to be genial and bumbling, but she had felt him observing her. Who might he be reporting to back at the Palace? If nothing else, people there would be curious about her. She was an unknown from the Provinces taking up a senior public appointment. Whatever she did here, whatever she said, every word, every gesture, would find its way to attentive ears in time.


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