On taking a guilt-free break – WIPpet Wednesday and a ROW80 check-in

Welcome to another round of WIPpet Wednesday, a feature created by K. L. Schwengel. This week I’ve been editing The Fractured and, as I wrote a new section, I thought I would share with you. I kept the maths simple, and used fifteen paragraphs to align with the date.

Maddison roamed the great halls, her eyes blind to the ancient beauty of her surroundings. Instead she was tormented by memories of Tobias Locke, the half-blood leader of the Enchanted League.

He needed her help. Tobias trusted few outside the league. As a freelance hunter, she regularly crossed his path. More than once they had formed a tentative alliance, a partnership of sorts.

She hadn’t accepted the assignment. Yet. She would, despite the fact he was an ass. An ass who had kissed her and completely changed the rules of their relationship. He hadn’t just crossed the line, he’d obliterated it. And the worst part. She had enjoyed the kiss. His sensuous mouth had dominated her dreams ever since he’d so carelessly laid one on her. Though at least the fantasies held back her nightmares. Perhaps she should thank him for that. Beating him bloody probably didn’t count.

“Who crapped all over your day?”

She turned to Jonas, their self-proclaimed matriarch at hunters-are-us. He was the only human among their band of merry fighters.

“The Enchanted League,” she grinned at him. “But you know I never turn down a paid gig.”

“Or the chance to get your hands dirty,” he said, eyebrow raised when she opened the electronic door with the flick of a wrist.

“Well there is that.” She laughed, falling into step beside him as they made their way down the long stretch of corridor.

After the demonic war, a battle which had devastated the mortal realm, buildings like this one were all but extinct. Once a prominent part of the community, the town hall was now a base of operations. The former meeting rooms they passed had been transformed into living quarters and housed the mercenaries fighting to keep people safe.

For the most part, humans kept to the major cities. They lived a kind of ignorant bliss; aware that monsters were real, yet convinced they were safe now the war was over.

“Have you thought any more about the Alliance?” Jonas asked, and she wasn’t fooled by his casual tone.

The Race Alliance existed outside of the mortal realm, and had been established to keep order. They had shown an interest in her skills. In a way she was being head-hunted by the big leagues.

“You know me.” She shrugged. “I like my freedom.”

“I get that and, don’t get me wrong, you’re one of the best freelancers we have…”

She stopped outside her room. “But?”

“But I don’t want you to waste an opportunity. The Alliance would be lucky to have you.”

I know you were probably hoping for more from Obadiah, and I haven’t forgotten about him. I’ll probably share him next week, he’s been getting up to mischief 🙂

So, that just leaves my update on ROW80.

I still haven’t made a great deal of progress. My daughter was thirteen yesterday and I’ve given her my undivided attention for the past few days. We’ve had fun, and best of all, the break from writing was guilt free. For the most part I’ve achieved my blogging goals, and though my writing hours leave a lot to be desired, I’m ahead in terms of editing. So, it’s not all doom and gloom, as it was on Sunday!

I hope you’re all have a good week, and look forward to catching up with you soon.

Thanks for stopping by.


52 thoughts on “On taking a guilt-free break – WIPpet Wednesday and a ROW80 check-in

    1. mbarkersimpson says:

      Thanks, Callum. I think we all work incredibly hard doing what we love, but I appreciate the encouragement, as always. It did feel good giving time to my daughter, because there are moments when I get a little lost in other worlds, or when I’m trying to juggle things. I even took time out of my day job, which she appreciated. I needed that too. I’ve been busy recently. She had a lovely day, thanks. I think I was even ‘cool’ for a few hours there 😉

  1. Elaine Jeremiah says:

    Great excerpt Melissa. I liked the little bit of back story you give, it makes this piece intriguing. I like the character of Maddison, her confidence and the way she holds her own in conversation with Jonas.

    I’m glad you had a good time with your daughter. Turning thirteen is an important landmark in anyone’s life, so it’s lovely that you were able to spend some time together. 🙂

    1. mbarkersimpson says:

      Thanks, she thoroughly enjoyed herself 🙂 She might give me a few headaches (mainly in the form of phone-calls from school!) but she’s one of my bright, shining stars and it was great to spend time together.

      I’m glad you liked the excerpt. I like Maddison too. It’s always a pleasure to spend time with her 😉

  2. Jacqui Murray says:

    Thirteen! A teenager. Despite beliefs to the contrary, both my kids were wonderful teens. They get to a maturity where they can evaluate, analyze, and carry on a pretty interesting conversation. To this day, I love chatting with both of them.

    Not that they call often enough.

    1. mbarkersimpson says:

      That’s lovely to hear. I have two teenaged girls now and there’s never a dull moment! They are my most precious gift and, you’re right, we have some pretty interesting conversations 🙂

    2. shanjeniah says:

      *hugging Jaqui!*

      I love my teen-for-a-month. He’s even cooler than when he was smaller than me, and the glimmers of the man he’ll be fascinate me. He’s always been a deep thinker, and that’s gotten more sophisticated lately.

      I’ll bet the break enhances your writing- and that you would have really regretted that time if you hadn’t spent it with her…

      And surprise kisses that reshape reality…gotta love those! =D

      1. mbarkersimpson says:

        You do have to love those! I have a soft spot for Maddison and though I haven’t got her completely figured out yet, she’s due a few surprises!

        I love my teen-for-a-day too 🙂 She has lots of character and I know we’re in for some fun times ahead!

  3. Ruth Nestvold says:

    Taking a break for an important event is necessary at times! It’s one of the reasons I try to make weekly word count goals more important than daily — when events like that sidetrack me, I can usually make it up in the course of the week.

    Nice snippet with lots of interpersonal conflict going on!

    1. mbarkersimpson says:

      Thanks, Ruth, that’s sound advice. I’m no good at setting goals, because I put too much pressure on myself. The ones in my head are loose and free. I suppose the same can be said for those written down and I hadn’t thought about it that way. I will try to give myself a little flexibility to take the pressure off. I like the idea of prioritising weekly goals – that will definitely work for me.

      I’m glad you liked the snippet 🙂

  4. sirenarobinson says:

    Unless Jonas is a woman, which since you referred to this character as he, I don’t think he is, you mean he’s the patriarch, not the matriarch. Other than that, I love big, meaty excerpts, and this one certainly was. Nicely done! I can’t wait to see more next week!

  5. Jae says:

    I’m one who believes we should always put family first. I’m sure your daughter appreciates it. Besides, I think it’s a saw-sharpening thing to do for your writing. You’ve got to take time out for life because life is what gives us inspiration to write. 🙂

    1. mbarkersimpson says:

      Absolutely. I totally agree with you. It was good for all of us (my eldest daughter too – whose 15). They are both used to my trips into other worlds, but we treasure our ‘uninterrupted’ time. I’m good at that balance at least!

  6. Denise D. Young says:

    I hope your daughter had a wonderful birthday. It’s great to take a break every once in a while. I think it feeds our muse and lets us come back to the page rejuvenated. It’s also great that you didn’t feel any guilt about it–spending time with family should always come first.

  7. Tammy J Rizzo says:

    Mel, that’s fantastic that you were able to spend time with your daughter guilt-free! It can be hard to say no to guilt – I think feeling guilty about falling short on our goals can actually be a comforting thing to some of us. I can’t quite articulate what I mean, exactly, but so many of us spend so much useless time wallowing in guilt for things that we don’t need to – it simply MUST be comfortable, some how, you know?

    I’m sure you’ll do wonderfully well with your goals, since you’re obviously working on balance. 😀

    1. mbarkersimpson says:

      Thanks, Tammy. I know what you mean. It’s a familiar feeling, one we revert back to, which is a kind of comfort. It was nice to spend time with my girls and spoil my youngest daughter on her birthday. Thanks for your words of encouragement. I don’t always get the balance right, but I try and that’s the main thing 🙂

      1. mbarkersimpson says:

        We’re going to the coast. It’s a little cold, but we go for the illuminations – the town is lit up every year and it has a nice feel to it. We’re also going to an amusement park, called the Pleasure Beach – no sand but plenty of fun!

  8. Adrian says:

    Interesting…I love the reaction to the kiss she has. It really is authentic. Can’t wait to see what she decides and where she goes! And guilt-free breaks are awesome!

    1. mbarkersimpson says:

      Thanks 🙂 She drove me a little mad over the kiss! Sometimes I struggle to understand her and it makes it harder to get in her head. It was pretty awesome to have a guilt free break 😀

  9. ReGi McClain says:

    Happy birthday to your teenager! May you and she enjoy these years in not-rocky fashion. 🙂

    So, guy she doesn’t like kissed her and now she’s going to go work for him. Oh, I don’t see that leading to sexual tension. Nope. Huh-uh. Ain’t happening. 😛 😉

    1. mbarkersimpson says:

      Lol 🙂 Their scenes together are fun to write! Though to digress as I normally do, I’ve had to put it down for a while – ever since my sister introduced me to Once Upon a time. I can’t get Hook out of my head! I want to write about a pirate who calls everyone ‘love’.

      Thanks for the birthday wishes. Our road will be a rocky one, I’m sure. The times we don’t get on each others nerves luckily outweigh the drama though!

  10. rachelalsowrites says:

    *Offers chocolate*.

    Guilt free breaks are fantastic. Enjoy yours! I know I’m enjoying mine! Happy birthday to your daughter as well!

    I really enjoyed this excerpt too! The characters seemed really complex and interesting! Can’t wait to read more!

    1. mbarkersimpson says:

      Thanks, Rachel…there’s nothing like sharing chocolate! There’s left over cake from the party too so if I could I’d ‘beam’ that over.

      I’m glad you enjoyed the excerpt. It’s a new scene and I think it brings things together 🙂

  11. mrschmoe says:

    I’m late as usual. Happy birthday to your daughter, I liked the excerpt. (Y)

    Here’s a random scene,
    The young girl licks the top of her teeth. “I never knew kissing a boy would make mouth feel so minty.” as she grins, a twinkle on the corner of her teeth, look at those pearl whities.

  12. Kristen says:

    Aw, happy birthday to your kiddo! My youngest turns three on Sunday. Great month for birthdays. Also, like this excerpt of yours – good working in on back story, I think, without info dumping. Best wishes for awesome progress the rest of the week! 🙂

    1. mbarkersimpson says:

      Thanks, Kristen. I need a kick to gain some momentum this week! I’m starting to get a headache with all I have to do! Plus I heard back from one of my betas and it looks like I have more work to do to make the Fifth Watcher ready for November. Hey ho – onwards and upwards 🙂

  13. awrenwriting says:

    The world from your wippet sounds interesting. Nothing wrong with taking a small break to spend time with the special people in your life, I’m sure she appreciates it more than you know 🙂

    1. mbarkersimpson says:

      Thanks, Mishka. She had a great time. We went to the Pleasure Beach yesterday and had great fun – that concludes her celebrations…I’m exhausted! I’m glad you enjoyed the WIPpet – such lovely feedback, thank you 🙂

  14. Amy says:

    See, now after reading this and the comments about matriarch/patriarch, I was actually thinking I liked that “he” was the “matriarch.” It gave me visions of a man who is more mother-hen-ish than fatherly, and it made me smile. But that might not work with either his personality or the story. 🙂

  15. mbarkersimpson says:

    I have to admit, I gave that some thought! It was actually a mistake – I was thinking of a person I know and her personality traits so wrote matriarch because she was in my head. Maybe a Freudian slip 🙂

  16. kathils says:

    “ever since he’d so carelessly laid one on her” I love that. Like she had nothing to do with it, right? Uh-huh.

    Glad you and your daughter got to spend some time together. That’s an important thing to do. 🙂

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