He’d Ruled Her Life: 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

Hi there!

It’s been an eventful week for me, so far:

  • I bought tickets for my daughter and I to attend a Welcome to Night Vale Live Show, All Hail, which will, we assume, deal with the Mighty Glow Cloud.

  • After a very dry December and January, February has brought snow! Sunday, we received about a foot of the white stuff. Our yard has gone from blasé brown to winter wonderland!

  • I’m very, very close to finishing the first draft of my sixth Kifo Island novel (like, within 2,000 words, maybe less than a thousand)!

  • I’m in the midst of some serious hometending.

  • Epiphanies large and small seem to be drifting as high as the snow, just now!

But, all that aside, it’s Wednesday again, and that means another WIPpet (Work-in-Progress snippet).

We’re still with Ava Garcia  in Sea Changes, from my Kifo Island series. We’re getting close to the end of the scene, and then I’ll be moving on to something else…I’m not sure what that will be yet, and you can help me decide.

Do I offer more marketable fiction, or would you rather have some more of my TnT fan fiction for a while? Something that’s in revision, or something newly created? One-shots, or, like this, something I share extended portions of in serial fashion? Drop your ideas in the Suggestion Box below!

Now, back to Ava, who really doesn’t have time to wait…

She was a constant revelation during the writing of her story. Her struggle goes 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?


This passage has been rough-edited (trust me, you don’t want to see the muddled-beyond-hope original version! I’ll be creating a more structured revision plan once the 24 scenes pass through my local crit group (proceeding very slowly), and I’ve completed Holly Lisle’s How to Revise Your Novel  class.

Your input is gratefully accepted, and might go a long way toward making this a better novel!


Ava’s father just made a salacious accusation about her and Donovan.

WIPpet Math:

  • Today is February 15, 2017

  • I went with a Valentine’s theme, for 2 paragraphs.

He’d Ruled Her Life

Donovan my sweet, don’t assure him of anything.” What did it matter that she’d been drowning? She wasn’t dreaming now. Ava stared at her father as she reached out and put her hand on Donovan’s arm. He’d ruled her life, all her life. It was time to stand for herself, put him in his place – out of her life, and her death. She stroked her hand down Donovan’s arm. “Especially when it isn’t true – “It took most of the energy she had left to reach out and disconnect the call.

Donovan was staring at her. Only then did Ava realize he wasn’t happy with her. She hadn’t meant to go so far… “I’m sorry.”

What will Donovan say?

How will Ava’s father respond?

Can Ava fix this?

What happens next?

Come back next week to learn more!

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


  1. I actually had to read this twice to figure out if I was reading it correctly, but then it fell into place for me that this was Ava’s way of getting one up on her father. I can see why Donovan would be bothered by it, though, the way she ended up going about it.

  2. It’s interesting reading this (and I do like the tweaks you’ve added since the original version) and knowing what is going to happen but seeing it in a halfway state from the draft I remember. The effect is much more subtle this time, but still… poor Donovan. I mean, yes, I feel bad for Ava, but I find it strange still that she would even think of making such a presumption.

    • I don’t think Ava even saw it as a presumption, and I’m pretty sure she wasn’t thinking clearly – remember, she’s jetlagged, in a new environment, exhausted, and maybe still a little in the dream state.
      All this, and her father definitely pushes her buttons.
      And Donovan already offered physical contact, so the touch doesn’t come out of the blue, even if it’s not at all what he intended to offer.
      From living with a girl who is now just about exactly the same age as Ava in this scene (although she wasn’t when I wrote/revised it), I can say that there is a tendency to catch the surface of adult behavior, without always being able to understand or predict the deeper currents, connotations, or consequences of that behavior.
      Ultimately, it’s an impulsive way to give her father the finger, so to speak, and to get the last word before she ends the call and leaves him hanging. She doesn’t think it through; she just acts.

  3. Ah, I love Ava so much. Reading her story has been so good and helped me think a lot about how I interact with my own kids–and what I’d do if one of them was faced with Ava’s situation. I’m glad she hung up on her father.
    Yay for snow! We finally have some too. My opinion is if it’s going to be this cold, it at least needs to be pretty!
    I’m definitely in favor of more T&T, always. I like when we get a serial story; something to look forward to each week.

    • I love Ava, too! It probably doesn’t hurt that, right now, she and Lise are the same age. I’m predisposed to love her! I think hanging up might have been her best bet, at this point. I’m glad she was somewhere where she had that choice, and that she’s spurring you to think about your own kids and your interactions with them – that was one of my hopes in writing this draft! =D
      I so agree about the need for cold to be pretty. We were talking the other day about how the yard looking brown is just kind of depressing, but that, with a blanket of snow, it’s lovely and bright and kind of uplifting.
      Thanks for the TnT vote. Early indications are that they are what people are wanting, so they’re definitely in the running. I have plenty enough of them that I could start a serial that lasts a few years, so I think deciding WHAT to share might be the trickier prospect!
      But that’s a question to ask next week. =)

  4. I think she did the right thing hanging up on her father. Not sure why Donovan’s upset about, though. Hm… And a foot of snow?! 😮 Wow! We don’t get much snow at all where I live.

  5. Very glad she ended that call.
    Well, you know I’d love more TnT 😉 I promise, T’Pol, I’ll keep my hands to myself. 😀

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