With No Variation: Sea Changes (Kifo Island Chronicles Volume 1) for WIPpet Wednesday

Welcome to WIPpet Wednesday, a weekly blog hop which encourages writers to move WIPs (works-in-progress) to publication by posting excerpts related to the date. We’re led by the capable fingers and open mind of Emily Witt.

I finally got around to see everyone last week! I’m glad, because, if I hadn’t, I would have sat this week out. Instead, I get to share another WIPpet, and some good news as well!

  • My short story, “Monday Morning Coffee” was just publsihed in the second edition of the World Unknown Review anthology! I’ve already acquired my Kindle copy, and look forward to reading ten great stories in the next few days! Psst…fellow WIPpeteer Fallon Brown is there, too!
  • My Lenovo Yoga laptop, out of commission since the end of August, is up and running again. I’ve got a lot of files to move from my Accomplice’s little Toughbook, but the cloud is making that a simpler matter, and I’m quickly getting used to my big and well-spaced keyboard (I’ve got thick fingers!), and how much larger yet lighter it is. I’d forgotten, or maybe started taking for granted, how modern, flexible, and downright fast this machine is! =)

But now, on to the WIPpet!

I’m serializing the first scene of Sea Changes, a Kifo Island Chronicles novel, where we meet our first of three POV characters, Karina Karanova. Here’s the premise:

In advocating for a dying girl seeking emancipation from controlling parents, can an overburdened young woman and a lonely young man find a future together?


This passage is NaNo rough, except for a change or two to avoid spoilers. My plan is to let this draft rest for December, and begin creating a revision plan in January. That said, any input is gratefully accepted!

WIPpet Math:

  • Today is December 16, 2015.
  • You get seventeen sentences. There’s one for each day of the month, thus far, and one more to celebrate the resurrection of my beloved Yoga!

Context: Karina is in a pottery studio, working with clay and hating it. She’s feeling the pressure of time, and the weight of guilt, and they’re showing themselves in rudeness to the studio’s very young owner.

With No Variation

Karina could feel her working up to something, but she did nothing to help. There was no time; she had to focus on this damned hunk of clay-

“Would you mind if I closed the blinds? I have someone coming over who prefers things darker than this -”

“I don’t mind.” Karina heard the sharp bite of her tone. That wasn’t polite, and either one of her parents would have told her that – likely with several lashes of the cat-o-nine-tails that hung in the doorway between the sitting room and the kitchen. But they weren’t here, and it had sounded like the child would have gone on and on if she wasn’t stopped. Karina had developed a sense for these things in her lifetime…

The girl didn’t say anything about the rudeness, though. When she moved away again, there was the sound of the shades being lowered, and a dim light over her work station became a little brighter with each, as though on some kind of sensor that could register the level of light in the room.

But that was hardly Karina’s concern. She had a job to do. Her gaze fell on the detailed plans – Mother had written them when she was well; that much was clear in the lists and the precise artwork. It had been Mother who had designed all their advertising, before the slow hand of death touched her with a long fingernail, and beckoned her to join him. She had lost the art, but not her discerning artist’s eye. Karina must make each piece exactly as Mother dictated, with no variation.

Why does the owner want to draw the blinds?

What is Karina required to make?

Why is her mother so exact?

Will Karina be able to follow the plans?

Some of these questions may be answered – and others will certainly be posed- next week, so be sure to come back then to learn more about Karina and her story.

Previous Karina WIPpets (chronologically):

And because it’s a season of giving, two more treats:

  • The last serialized snippet of my Trip and T’Pol story, “Mission Accomplished”, posts to #8sunday this weekend (not last week, oops!) Here’s the current, penultimate snippet, “We’ll Be Busted”, which goes live just after midnight on Sunday . There’s also a list so you can catch up with the previous posts.
  • Next April, I’ ll be Blogging From A-Z. I’ll be writing – wait for it! – Enterprise fan fiction stories. =D (I know; you’re all shocked, right?!) During my brainstorming, I wrote flash bits of stories that didn’t make my final cut. They’re rough and tumble, and I’m posting them daily, in canon-chronological progression. For each comment, I add a paragraph to the story (there’s a two-day delay, to allow comments to gather). All new writing is stream-of-consciousness, so there will be surprises for all of us!

Look for them here: The IDIC Romance Advent Calendar

Want more WIPpets? You can find them, and even add your own date-related excerpt if you’re so inclined, by following the little blue froggy from WIPpet to WIPpet to WIPpet!

In my mind, this song fits Karina. Finding it with a TnT video is a little gift for me – and maybe you, too!


  1. Congratulations on your published story! How exciting. I’m marking it down to add to my brand new Kindle. 🙂

    The snippet has me even more curious about what’s going on. Now I’m wondering what Karina’s relationship is to the unnamed Person Who Wants the Curtains Closed. And yes, I definitely want to know why she has to be so precise about what she’s making and why her mother has demanded it.

    • Karina’s mom is – exacting. Always has been, at least with Karina. There are cultural and personal reasons…

      Thus far, Karina has no relationship with UPWWTCC….that may change, though….

      And thanks! Hooray for new Kindles – I got the new Fire this year, and so did my daughter, and we’re both loving them for different reasons! Hope you enjoy my modest little story, and the rest of the book, too!

  2. I’ll add my congrats to your published story. Hooray!!! Now to the snippet: I really liked the external tension between the unnamed child and Karina over the work environment (so many questions built tension nicely). Add to that Karina’s internal turmoil, confronting death and also beginning to question (???) Mother’s dictates (perhaps)???? Lovely snippet. Back for more next week.

    • Thank you! It’s very cool, seeing my story in print. Maybe especially this one, which was first conceived before my 14 year old!

      The ‘child’ won’t remain unnamed forever – she plays an important role in this story, even though it’s not hers (she is a MC in another volume of this series).

      Karina’s tension is a seething thing – I don’t think she’s aware of how intense it is, or how deeply it’s affecting her.

      If you suggested to her that she was even anywhere near questioning Mother, she’d tell you sharply that she’s a dutiful daughter, and dutiful daughters do not question parental authority.

      Happy to hear you’ll be back! Mission accomplished! =)

  3. First off, congratulations on the anthology. Just put that on my ‘must get’ list.

    Second, I love this, “before the slow hand of death touched her with a long fingernail, and beckoned her to join him”. Sounds like Karina has had a hard go of things and they’re not getting much easier. She puts a lot of pressure on herself.

    • I’ve reread my story, which, of course, I see things I want to change. =) I’ve also read Fallon’s, which is amazing. I mean, I read the WIPpets she posted, but there’s So. Much. More. T. The. Story!

      I ‘m saving it for bedtime reading, so I haven’t gotten any further than that.

      I was hoping to convey that Karina’s mother is nearing the end of a long and terminal illness that’s made demands on her eldest daughter.

      Karina’s definitely led a difficult life, and things aren’t getting easier as her mother gets closer to death…

      An you’ve definitely nailed Karina’s character – not all the pressure on her is coming from outside.

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