Sharp and Jagged Words: 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 took an intermission from Sea Changes last month, because I wasn’t quite ready with the rough revision of this scene. I’d intended to share the three scenes NaNo-rough, but this one…well, it was way too jumbled up to share with anyone!

So Trip and T’Pol came out to play for a month, while I got things squared away with this, the final scene I’ll be sharing, at least for now.

Nuff said. Let’s rejoin Ava Garcia  in Sea Changes

Ava grew on me during the writing of her story. She was a constant revelation. Her story, and her struggle are compelling, and, for me, they go beyond the issue of whether people should be allowed to choose the manner of their death. She encapsulates my personal attitudes about how children deserve to be treated. It’s an honor to share her voice with you!

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?

WIPpet Math:

  • Today is September 7, 2016.

  • I‘ve got 4 paragraphs today. Seven plus nine equals sixteen; sixteen divided by four is four. Why four? I don’t know, really, except maybe that September is the fourth to last month of the year.

Sharp and Jagged Words

Ava was drowning. No. She was asleep, and it was only a dream; she’d learned how to let go of nightmares when she was six. She’d read about it on her tablet, when she was supposed to be sleeping. “So that you’ll be able to get good grades, get into a good school, and have a successful life one day.” There was Mom, by the side of her bed, lecturing her as she took the tablet away, while Dad sneered about her being a “little baby who still sucked her thumb.”

She tried to tell them, yet again, that she learned more on her own than she ever did in school – but they didn’t hear her. They never heard her. So she kept on sneaking that old tablet into bed, so she could learn while they thought she was asleep, but now she was.

caught. There was a huge fight, with both of them screaming.

Screaming, and not seeing that she was drowning, because they were too busy blaming each other for the fact that their daughter ‘”doesn’t take her damned future seriously.”

She wanted to scream right back at them, tell them how she was drowning, how she was drowning in an ocean of their sharp and jagged words. But she couldn’t draw in enough air around the thick words caught in her throat, slicing at her.

Is Ava actually drowning?

Did she scream at her parents?

Will she be safe when she wakes up?

Next week, we’ll learn more.

To read previous snippets, click the button (there’s a list at the bottom of this post):


Want more WIPpets? Click the button below, and even add your own date-related excerpt if you’re so inclined!













  1. It’s a little unfair for me to comment since I already know the answers, but… I have to say, even barring how I believe parents should treat their children, I find how Ava’s parents (especially her father!) treat her beyond how I think any person should treat any person….Butthen, that’s probably a good deal of f the point…. there are far too many parents (still!) who treat their children as possessions and objects and not as fellow human beings

    • Yes, That’s it, exactly. Ava’s parents, whether unconsciously or otherwise, do treat her like a possession or a project. It’s ingrained in our culture – it’s all over the mainstream media – ways to "get" your kids to do this or that. Whether overtly or less so, the implication is that kids can’t be trusted to make good decisions without being manipulated.
      As you know, we live very differently here – and, for the most part, my kids make their choices with increasingly good and more mature judgment. Sure,there are mistakes – but that’s true for all people, of any age.
      I hope that Ava’s story will maybe be a gentle nudge for parents who can see it.
      And Ava’s father – there’s a backstory there, for sure….he’s not the type to let it loose, except in this type of behavior.

  2. Edie Brickell!!! 🙂
    I love this snippet, and I love how much you think/write about the dignity of children. This is how we’ve tried to raise ours, giving them choices and respecting their decisions. Ava has a much tougher choice than ours have ever had, but the message is the same. I really think this might be what makes a difference at the school my kids now both attend–the dignity of the students is prioritized, even with the pressures to have top test scores.

    • I kinda loved Edie even before she sealed the deal by marrying Paul….and this song – it kind of fits where Ave is right now.
      I wasn’t raised with the dignity I strive for with my own kids, which has a lot to do, I suspect, with my understanding how important that can be. I can tell when others are also committed to treating children as the equally human beings they are from birth. It’s wonderful that you’ve found a school that supports their dignity, and even better that they’re there not because you required it of them, but because they chose freely.
      Ava’s situation is urgent. It’s really a matter of whether keeping her alive at any cost is more important than that she have autonomy and a quality of life while she’s living….

    • Yup. Love me some Edie. Her hubby’s not so bad, either!
      I’m sorry I didn’t get to this comment sooner. I meant to, before Sunday – and that’s the day our Corki-dog died. After that, things got a bit off-kilter for all of us. We’re adjusting now, but being socially active online was more than I could manage this week.
      I love that you love and recognize the deeper message here. Not having had the benefit of a childhood remotely like that we’re giving our children, it’s a topic I’m fiercely passionate about. Ava’s choice is a very tough one – but maybe that’s why it compels me so much (that, and, unlike when I drafted it last year, I know have a twelve year old daughter of my own. I think she’s capable of deciding something like this, with guidance, and time to think it through, change her mind, learn more….I hope that we’d be able to grant her the right to make that choice.
      As for your kids, it’s wonderful that you’ve found a school that respects their personhood, but I think that’s not quite as important as your willingness to support their choice to attend school, and, I suspect, to come home again if that’s what they wanted to do. So many kids don’t have the choice – kids in school, and homeschooled, too.
      If either of mine wanted to go, I would support them, even though I’d be personally sad to lose their companionship and be such an active part of their learning. We’re lucky that we’ve recently found a local homeschool community center with lots of a la carte options for Lise. She’s making new friends and is very happy. =)

Take a chance! Type something in this box, and see what happens! =D

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.