“Without Tethers and Poisons”: 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 nimble mind of Emily Witt.

I made it to everyone last week! Before the weekend was over, even!

It helps that I’m settling into my new June focuses, and finding something of a rhythm. Yup, it’s the rhythm of Paul Simon’s new album, Stranger to Stranger. It varies, with driving beats, lyrical grace, short and longer tracks – there’s a certain amount of lovely chaos in it that suits me perfectly – and it’s Paul Simon, my all-time favorite singer/songwriter, so there’s that.

Anyway, I think I’ve got the hang of this transition from Story a Day May to JuNoWriMo and noveling. I’m finding a pace, moving between projects, and I can finally see my way to finishing the rough draft of A Rising Tide and the plotting of the next project on my summer schedule, The Far Shore.

But I’m getting a little ahead of myself, here…

Because now it’s time to rejoin Donovan Nash and Ava Garcia in Sea Changes.

Donovan is one of my favorite Kifo Island characters. He had a major supporting role in both of my previously drafted Kifo stories. Now, he gets his own (well, shared with Karina and Ava, but still, he’s finally the star he was always meant to be!)

For those new to this story, 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. My plan is to begin creating a revision plan within the next few months, when all 24 scenes have passed through my local crit group. Of course, that means I’ll have to do the rough revision pass on this one, so I can, you know, SUBMIT it….)

That said, any input is gratefully accepted!

WIPpet Math:

  • Today is June 8, 2016
  • I‘ve got 11 sentences today. Why 11? Well, because I had the wrong date, and 11 sentences brings us to a very nice stopping place (from my perspective, but maybe not yours…) Or, we could say that it’s because I added the 8 and 6 from the day and year to get 14, then subtracted the 2 and the 1 from the year, leaving us with -presto! – 11 sentences. Wouldn’t be true, but we can still say it, right? =)

Donovan and Ava are exploring a possible working relationship. Donovan has asked Ava what she wants and needs.

“Without Tethers and Poisons”

“I want to live. I want not to have leukemia – but those are wishes no one can grant, not even that fairy godmother in all those ridiculous princess stories my mother read to me whether I wanted to hear them or not. What I want most is to live and die somewhere beautiful. Somewhere without tethers and poisons. Somewhere where walls and elevators and hospital policy don’t separate my from the rest of the world, ‘for my own good.’ Somewhere just like here, where someone like you might be my friend, and occasionally even hug me.”

Her eyes were still wet with tears, but, for the second time today, Donovan encountered a stranger who met his eyes without fear or surprise or revulsion. He thought he loved her for that, and it decided him.

“Whatever happens, Ava, I’m in this with you. I don’t need to hear anything more, but I will need access to your medical history, if I’m going to be the best support person I can be – “

“It may take longer to read it than I have left to live,” the girl said, and she sagged back against her chair as though in mute testament to the living of those records.

Will Donovan be able to help Ava reach her goals?

Should she have the right to refuse further treatment?

What will Ava’s medical records reveal about her status?

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 of Donovan’s story.

To catch up with Donovan’s scene, just follow the links:

And now, a friendly reminder:

If you’re enjoying my Kifo Island posts, and would like to see the evolution of two upcoming novels, The Far Shore and Tsunamis, I’ll soon be posting an index for my Story a Day May 2016 vignettes (OK, maybe soon is a relative term. Maybe we should go with ‘eventually’ instead….

Want more WIPpets?

You can find them, and add your own date-related excerpt, by following the little blue froggy from WIPpet to WIPpet to WIPpet!




  1. I’d say I wished Ava strength, but it’s not quite what I mean, and all the other possibilities seem so restrictively bound… and yet, for this case I think it needs to be a very precise term. It’s not a physical or an emotional strength to deal with her health or future… It’s a need to be strong enough to love and let go and and hold on at the same time.

    All I can say, I guess, is >>hugs<< Ava

    • This reminds me of one of the few pictures we have of Jim and I together with Elijah. I titled it “Holding On Letting Go” for exactly those reasons. I can say that Elijah is definitely the inspiration for Ava. It’s a very narrow precipice, to be the parent of a dying child…

      And Ava? Strength, she’s got in spades, even or especially now. It’s love and beauty and freedom she’s been missing – so I’m going to wish her those, instead. ❤

  2. I am truly enjoying reading about Donovan and Ava. True, I am a hopeless romantic, but this story has drama and suspense as well as caring from both Donovan and Ava who are, for me, the protagonists.

    Great lines coming from Ava today. I love how she explains what she wants. She’s emotional and Donovan is drawn to how she looks at him without fear or maybe it’s without pity.

    Shalom aleichem,

    • Might be both. And they are two of the three protagonists, indeed.

      Don’t worry, Pat, you will get your romance – later. Unfortunately, that thread isn’t in the first three scenes, which I’m sharing here.

      I am starting a beta-readers list, though, if you’d like to get your hands on the entire work in progress. It should be done by year’s end.

      I’n glad that the drama and suspense already come through. =)

        • Why thank you. I can’t imagine it being before the end of the year. I have lots of things going, and they rotate month to month.

          You are #2 on my beta list! =)

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