This 8-10 sentence blog hop is hosted by The Weekend Writing Warriors. (Click the link for the list of participants, or rules if you want to join!)

This is a WIP, NaNoWriMo 2016, currently called River, Tree, Mountain. It’s science fiction, set on a colony planet, six generations in–with about 10% of the population born “marvels,” who have special abilities like dowsing, healing, or creating fire. The protagonist, Rekka, is a spark (fire), signed a contract with Brenton to provide him a child, moves in with him, and several weeks later, she overhears part of an angry phone conversation before he shuts the door–after trying to watch tv, she goes out to a nearby park to paint.




A few dabs of dark gray, and she was done. The fountain had been carved of a local stone, a medium gray, with stacked bowls shaped like curved leaves from a branch, forming a graceful diagonal line. The edge of the basin was carved elaborately with vines and leaves and fey, pointed faces laughing from gaps in the greenery. Too much detail to do in a watercolor of the size she was making, but she’d managed the twists of the vines, the suggestion of leaves, and splashes of darkness that formed faces if you looked closely.

“That was quick,” the man still watching her said.

“You have to be quick with watercolors, they dry fast,” Rekka said, deciding her therapeutic painting had done its job. She felt better about Brenton’s phone conversation, and able to face him without feeling awkward. It was silly to want so much of his time–they weren’t married, and even if they had been, everyone deserved time and space to themselves.

*    *    *

Life on the colony planet of Kaibou was going uneventfully until the second generation of colonists was born on the planet, at some, at a young age, began showing various psychic abilities. When those people, called marvels, grew up, many of them formed companies, building compounds to live in and raise their children.  Due to population diversity issues, many colonists have children using genetic bank material, or choose a succession of partners. Now on the seventh generation, marvels are born both within and without company walls, and all must work together to use their gifts and make a living on a still wild land. Some of these outsider marvels sign contracts with company marvels, agreeing to give them a child raised within the company, in return for a permanent home in the company compound, a stipend, and other concessions.

About Caitlin Stern

I have a MA in English, and have so many fantasy/urban fantasy WIPs it's not even funny. I'm an avid reader of science fiction, fantasy, mystery, romance, biography, fiction, and anything else that catches my interest. I collect books, and bookmarks I find that are visually appealing and useful.

24 responses »

  1. Ed Hoornaert says:

    On top of her fiery skills, she’s artistic, as well. Talented girl.

  2. What a woman. I fear her mate has problems to interfere with her life and I like the new man. Your description of her painting is wonderful.

  3. Author Jessica E. Subject says:

    Very intriguing with the relationship aspects, as well as this other man’s interest in her.

    • There comes a point in every relationship where you have to decide what you want–and whether the other person wants to give that to you. Rekka’s still figuring that out.

  4. Great snippet! Also, you inadvertently gave me inspiration for a new story that I don’t have time to write, but now won’t stop thinking about. *shakes fist* 😉

  5. Sue Barr says:

    Even if you didn’t have ‘abilities’, you still want to know more about the person you’re marrying. Her desire seemed quite reasonable.

    • She’s not going to marry him–she’s signed a contract to raise a child with him, and on this world, that only sometimes coincides with marriage.
      Rekka started out hopeful they might develop feelings, and Brenton keeps shutting her out. I agree, I think her wishes are reasonable, too!

  6. Andrea R Huelsenbeck says:

    So, Caitlin, do you watercolor? Rekka is thinking the same thoughts I think when I’m painting, such as how to give the impression of what I see if not the details…

    • I paint with acrylics, though I have tried watercolor and oil with less than stellar results. But I love art in all forms, so I like to give my characters a skill I don’t have. 🙂

  7. Hywela Lyn says:

    I really enjoyed this snippet, and the description of her painting – painting can be very therapeutic and I could visualize her work, thanks to your vivid description.

  8. Diane Burton says:

    I think she’s being more understanding than Breton is. Sure, he wants his space. Does he grant her the same? Good snippet.

    • Rekka would like a little less space, actually. But Brenton was very up front about what he offered, so all her hopes for more aren’t well supported.
      Or, she can spend some time with a handsome, friendly, muscular stranger. 😉

  9. Love the description of the fountain and the calming effect this creative interlude has on her. Very nice excerpt!

  10. daryldevore says:

    My husband also paints and it’s his alone time. But he dislikes water coloours for that exact reason – they dry too fast.

  11. Wonderful description, very easy to visualize.

  12. julieevelynjoyce says:

    Love the way you describe the scenery and her painting process. I’ve always been envious of people who can paint. I turned to sports instead. 😀

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