WIPpet Wednesday and the Writer’s Rant

After reading Elaine Jeremiah’s recent post and her participation in K.L Schwengel’s WIPpet Wednesday, I couldn’t resist the urge to take part.

I needed the diversion, the thought of writing something that doesn’t make me want to bang my head against the wall (figuratively speaking). The final edit of Worlds Apart is not going well. My readers are waiting to get their hands on it, but I’m hesitant about sending it their way. I have a really strong picture of the main character in my head, but the world I placed her in doesn’t seem to fit. It’s a fun world, or I should say worlds, since the novel deals with alternate realities. But, as with all my characters, she responds to the environment I put her in and I can’t find a balance between her strength of will and the completely alien concept of interdimensional travel (her ability came as a surprise to her!).

So I’m putting it aside for a while, despite the fact I’ve given myself a deadline of November to get it published.

I’m also taking part in an anthology, a collection of Fantasy Romance stories. The excitement of writing something new adds weight to my decision to hold off on Worlds Apart! Perhaps if I write the first draft of the novella my mind will be completely clear and I can go back to it with a fresh pair of eyes. And I’m probably fooling myself. A huge part of me wants to run away from the characters in my head, even though I get so much pleasure out of them. I have an outline for the next Morgan and Fairchild series and book three of the Gifted is also vying for attention. I need a plan of action, and I definitely need to get inside Mishka Jenkins’ head because she would have a system I can use to help me focus. Since ‘borrowing’ someone’s consciousness is only available to me in Worlds Apart I’ll just have to ‘suck it up’ as my brother would say.

As I decided to take part in WIPpet Wednesday, here is an excerpt from the novella I’m writing for the anthology – as yet there is no title!


Tobias stood at the edge of the clearing and watched his partner work off the excess energy. A battle was coming, he could feel it in the air, in every fibre of his being, and he was ready for it.

“When you’re through with the peep show, how about you come spar with me for a while?” Monica said without turning.

The witch had eyes in the back of her head, he thought bitterly. She anticipated his every move. They either worked together too often, or he was getting old. Either way it made for an interesting practice session.

He watched her as he crossed the field, appreciating the fact she came prepared. Her uniform was custom made and, modified with a touch of magic, it clung to her curves. She was tall and lithe and exuded danger like a carefully applied camouflage.

Her dark, midnight blue hair was pulled back in a long plait that hung down her back. It was adorned with harmless looking jewellery, but Tobias knew it was an illusion. The hair was just another weapon. When she shot power into it, it would snap out like a snake, wrapping itself around her victim to cut off their circulation.


I hope you enjoyed the little snippet. Thanks to K. L. Schwengel for the opportunity and Elaine for passing the ball.

Thanks for reading.


33 thoughts on “WIPpet Wednesday and the Writer’s Rant

  1. Elaine Jeremiah says:

    Great excerpt Mel! I especially loved the part about Monica’s hair being another weapon – that was very vivid. You convey Tobias’s sense of powerlessness really well too (hope I’ve read that right!). I feel sucked into the world just in that short excerpt.

    I know what you mean about taking a break from one project to work on another one. I’ve done that – not for a while, but I have in the past and it does help. And WIPpet Wednesday is the perfect way to get a bit of your work out there for other people to read. So thanks for joining us! 😀

    1. mbarkersimpson says:

      Thank you for having me! I appreciate your kind words of encouragement on the excerpt. I’m excited about the anthology, so I’m glad it entertained 🙂 I have a tendency to write several different projects at once and every now and then I get a little overwhelmed by it all. I’m going to take a complete break from it and do a little reading!
      Thanks for commenting.

  2. Kate Sparkes says:

    “She was tall and lithe and exuded danger like a carefully applied camouflage.”

    ^Love that description. Even with nothing else, I’d get a fantastic sense of the character.

    1. mbarkersimpson says:

      Thank you, Kate. I’ve definitely fallen for her! I appreciate the comment 🙂

      I’m so glad I decided to take part today, I already met some great new authors. I love the cover of Bound and the questions you answered about the novel had me heading straight over to Amazon!

  3. kathils says:

    Welcome, Mel! Glad to have you joining WIPpet Wednesdays. 🙂 Great snippet. I love how much you tell us about the characters in such a short piece. I know you mentioned this is only a first draft, so I hesitate to nit-pick but I’m a ‘was’ freak and there are enough instances of ‘was’ in there to make me twitchy. 😉 But that could just be me. The descriptions are great.

    1. mbarkersimpson says:

      Thanks for having me 🙂 I enjoyed the first round! I don’t mind the nit-picking. My inner editor usually annihilates those pesky little words when I go back through, but then by the time I’ve finished with the second round it will be unrecognisable. I’ve stopped giving ‘her’ a red pen. She takes too much pleasure in tearing me down 🙂

  4. Mishka Jenkins says:

    What a brilliant excerpt, I don’t know why you’re worried about things, seems like it’s going great! 😀 That really was a solid piece of writing that left me wanting to know loads more! Your ability to add descriptions to get an instant picture in the reader’s mind is something I am envious of!

    And I’m not sure you’d want to be inside my head 😀 It’s a constant whirring around of what’s being planned next. I am far too obsessed with being organised!

    1. mbarkersimpson says:

      Thanks, Mishka, for your words of encouragement, and your endless support. And I’d love to access the planning machine that is your mind! Luckily, I have access to your words of wisdom and I’ve learnt a lot. You would be shocked to see how much better I am at organising things – it totally shocked me! 🙂

  5. Amy says:

    Hello! Nice to “meet” you! I love the description of her hair. I wish MY hair could be a weapon! I’m a sucker for stories about witches, so I’m looking forward to knowing her better. 🙂

  6. ReGi McClain says:


    I love the concept of weaponized hair!!! I, uh, ahem, have kind of a thing for hair. (Even my husband and son have long hair, let alone myself and my daughters. 😛 Although, my eldest is planning to donate most of hers soon. Cutting is allowed when it’s for noble purposes.)

    1. mbarkersimpson says:

      What a lovely and brave thing to do 🙂 I like long hair too! When I described my character to my youngest daughter, her response was…’so Rapunzel then!’ Not quite what I had in mind, but it’s the most interest she’s had in my stories so I mumbled something about her being a bad-ass version of the cartoon princess! 😉

  7. Eden says:

    Back in the earlier seasons of GRIMM, there was an episode with a young “wild-child” girl (she’d been abandoned in the woods and managed to survive to her teen years before being rescued) who used her braided hair as a weapon. It’s a cool idea.

    You’ve got a lot of projects going on, and that alone could add some serious strain to your focus. Here’s hoping you get some relief from the scattering soon. (You may even find that your character’s scattered feelings settle.)

    1. mbarkersimpson says:

      Thanks 🙂 You’re probably right 🙂 I’m going to burn out if I’m not careful and everything I write will be utter slop! I have started to sketch out a plan to help me focus – it’s long overdue 🙂

      I don’t remember the GRIMM episode, but I love the show so will have to go back to check it out. Thank you for commenting.

  8. shanjeniah says:

    A spankin’ new WIPpeteer! How very cool!

    My hair was never cut until I was 13 (my father liked long hair, and I didn’t get a vote). I wore it most often in a waist-length or longer braid. My hair is thick and strong – and now I’m wishing I’d thought to weaponize it, and that it came in midnight blue rather than blonde…

    I love this excerpt, and I’m with you on the many projects. I love having a buffet, so that I can rotate. The stories tend to feed off one another.

    You witch character reminds me of a taller version of this Vulcan woman I’ve been playing with in my WIPpets (well, more like I’ve been letting a certain Chief Engineer play with her, because how would I stop the two of them?!). Yup, about half of my projects are fan fiction – I’ll be giving those away free, for the joy of it.

    I hope you find WIPpet Wednesday fun and helpful. Welcome, welcome, welcome! =D

    1. mbarkersimpson says:

      Thanks so much for the welcome 🙂 My father liked long hair too. I think he actually cried when I had mine cut off!

      I like the hair as a weapon idea, I’m having fun thinking of different ways for her to use it in battle! Strong characters are a great deal of fun to write.

      Thanks for commenting. I’ll be checking out your Vulcan woman 😉

      1. shanjeniah says:

        My Vulcan woman is incredibly dangerous, but her hair is usually kept very short. She does have other weapons, though.

        I’m looking forward to seeing how your witch uses hers!

        I really do not miss all that hair, but there are some cool pictures of it, so I can remember it.

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