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!

 

22 comments:

  1. Working face to face is always different. Thank you for sharing!

    www.ficklemillennial.blogspot.com

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  2. I feel for you. My hubby had to do a lot of traveling for his job, but you've gotta do what you've gotta do. Now... get back to that writing!

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  3. Traveling takes it out of you, although in-person is so much better.

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  4. Gina, we're always encouraged to use alternatives to physical travel, but the technology simply hasn't matured to be a proper replacement.

    Susan, getting back into the groove today :)

    Alex, it is better when you need to make sure you have good understanding of complex issues.

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  5. Will the two young children change her opinion of the crime? Better question: does she dare let them change her opinion?

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  6. Oh, that is a rough snippet! The children clinging to her. That is sad. My thoughts are going all different directions. Are they her children? Did she steal from the box so she could afford to feed them?

    I can't recall this detail from the story. I might need a reread. :-)

    And I still have to write a review for AOH. :-)

    I am behind. ~Sigh~

    I hope you get some rest, Ian, and then get back to writing! It's frustrating to have to ignore the muse. ;-)

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  7. Oh, regardless of her crime, that has to be a hard sight to see for her. I'm curious how she will react.

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  8. Ed, her opinion of the whole set-up is already clear, and she doesn't like it one bit. An earlier chapter, before she switched places, showed her avoiding this corner of the square.

    Teresa, Well rested, thank you, and getting back into the groove.

    Jessica, very hard for her indeed.

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  9. You brought a frightening situation to this. Exceptional writing.

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  10. Back in 1986, I forgot to pay for a speeding ticket and ended up arrested for my heinous crimes against humanity. There was a young woman in the courtroom who had been arrested for shoplifting. She had stolen a bottle of baby aspirin for her daughter. Fortunately, the judge was a fair-minded fellow. He fined her five dollars, suspended the sentence, and gave her instructions on how to contact social services for assistance.
    Somehow, I don't foresee the laws in your setting being quite so benevolent!

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  11. I feel sorry for all of the ones in the punishment stalls, but especially for the mother and children. I can't wait to see how Shayla handles this.

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  12. Charmaine, I hope my author manipulation is showing through too much :)

    Cara, you got that right!

    Elaine, I hope her eventual handling satisfies you.

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  13. You certainly give us a clear picture of the terrible regime the people currently live under. Powerful snippet.

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  14. While it might've been costly in many different ways, the workshop sounded like it was worth it in the end.

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  15. So awful for those imprisoned. You painted a horrifying picture.

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  16. I agree with Karen--you do paint a horrifying picture of cruelty. Shayla herself would strongly object, but the character she's playing wouldn't, except for this woman. How awful for her children to watch her humiliation.

    You & I are in the same boat, Ian. Not a word written since the end of Jan. I hope the conference was worth the time. I didn't have the excuse of outside work. I was enjoying vacation. Now it's back to work time.

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  17. Veronica, showing the regime was one of the purposes of this scene, alongside showing Shayla's conflict under cover.

    Lynda, we figured we need more of these workshops to keep the project on the rails. Likelihood of travel approval, though, is minimal :(

    Karen, glad you think so :)

    Diane, we'll see more of the contrast in characters soon.

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  18. The personal meeting does offer so much more in so many ways. Despite the 'costs', it sounds like a successful workshop. Loved reading the excerpt!

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  19. Tonja, nothing can match face-to-face meetings, and that's coming from a profound introvert :)

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  20. I like face-face, and I think it builds much stronger connections. Thanks for the excerpt. Seems you find time to do a lot.

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  21. Lee, I don't think it's a matter of finding time, so much as choosing to make time. It helps that I'm not a big TV watcher, which can be a huge time suck :)

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  22. Hi Ian - I'm going backwards or forwards ... hope to be in line soon! Otherwise - I'll be in the square or in Cara's court - neither of which I wish to be!! Cheers Hilary

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I also try to respond to comments. I usually do so during the early evening (Pacific time) which may be many hours away from now!

So if you leave a comment and return some time later and I haven't responded yet, please don't think I'm ignoring you. I'm not. Honest.

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