My dad called me this morning to point out that I haven’t posted to my blog in a while. (Hi, Dad!) It’s only literally been a week since my last post, but maybe it was a long week.

In my life, the week included a lot of writing, some good time with a writing friend in Merritt Island, and an unfortunate gluten-reaction. I’m assuming now that it was a gluten-reaction, because yesterday I was pretty sure I would never feel healthy again and today I feel pretty okay. The fast recovery, for me, is one of the hallmarks of a gluten response. There’s no long, lingering malaise, just a reasonably swift move from “I’m clearly seriously ill” to “hmm, I think I’m okay.”

I’m glad I got back to “I think I’m okay” today, because I decided last night that I might have to reschedule Thanksgiving, which I could obviously do — none of my guests would be heartbroken to eat their turkey on Saturday or Sunday instead of Thursday and no one is traveling long distances to join us — but still, there’s something nicer about celebrating holidays on the day when everyone else is celebrating, too.

The combination of being sick and hitting the murky middle of Cici was not particularly good (nor tremendously bad) for my writing goals. Cici is currently floundering around in a spaceship, contemplating her life and ethical choices. I suspect that if I ever decide to let some beta readers have at her, the honest responses will range from “it drags a bit in the middle” to “it gets really boring at about 35K words.” Fortunately, it’s NaNo and I don’t need to care about that — all I need to do is keep pouring words out onto the page and hit that end-of-the-month writing goal.

After that, I can think about what comes next for Cici, whether she gets shared with a few friends or revised mercilessly or stuck in a random folder on my computer, to languish unseen. Or, possibly, sent off as-is (more or less) to drift unnoticed on the sea of casually self-published books available on Amazon. She’s not in a genre likely to sell much, so it doesn’t make any practical sense to spend months polishing. Plus, I’ve got other impractical promises to keep regarding my time, notably for poor Fen who has been waiting years for her turn on the screen. But Cici has some very entertaining moments, at least to me. It’s been lovely to be flat-out amusing myself with my words and not worrying about anything else.

Another snippet:

She screwed up her face, wrinkling her nose. Her mouth felt weird. Her lips, in particular. She tapped them with her fingers.

Yep, weird.

She tapped her cheek. Also weird.

“Was that drink poisonous?” she asked.

Huh, those words had popped right out, too.

“The algaro? No.” Seven returned to his chair and frowned at her. The other two were doing something with the trough and the dogs were doing something, too — eating, probably. Cici hoped they weren’t eating the people. But she couldn’t hear any screaming, so they were probably fine. Her eyes didn’t want to focus and it was taking all her concentration to keep Sevyn in sight.

“Feels like poison,” she said. She didn’t feel particularly emotional about it. She would have thought that being poisoned would be upsetting, but she didn’t feel upset. She felt quite tranquil, really. But maybe that was a side effect of the poison.

“It is not poison.”

“Alcohol is poison, though.” Cici tapped her other cheek. Did they feel different, her two cheeks? Was one more numb than the other? She tried the first one again. No, they were about the same. Both feeling very weird.

“Algaro is fermented blood. The level of alcohol in it is very minor.”

Cici stopped tapping her cheeks and replayed his words in her head. Fermented blood. Fermented…

“Ew!” She jumped to her feet in protest and nearly fell over. Her feet were numb, too. “Fermented blood? Why would you feed me that? That’s disgusting!”

“It is an honor offered only to Players.” Sevyn put his hand out as if to steady her, but Cici batted it away.


They were blood-drinkers.

There ought to be a name for that. A disgusting name. A name that implied horrible things.
A name that revealed them for the monsters that they were.

“Mosquitoes,” she spat out. “You people are mosquitoes.”

Yep, I make myself laugh. 🙂