June #WIPjoy: The Cost of Two Hands


Author Bethany Jennings created a fun hashtag challenge for writers, with a different prompt about your WIP (work-in-progress) every day. I’m so excited. This exercise not only allows me to share my story with you, but it prompts me to twist my brain around for different perspectives on the story.

If you want to join in visit Bethany’s Twitter profile (@simmeringmind) to see the pinned list of daily prompts!


One: Intro Week

Tell us about your WIP:

The Cost of Two Hands is my WIP. It is a Faerie Story set in a world overtaken by long harsh winters. Jonah is salvaged off the Streets and comes to live in Greenhome where he must learn to control his uncanny ability to get into fights. Settling in, Jonah struggles with making friends and learning how to read. Back on the Streets petty wars are started by petty men. The starving shadow of Jonah’s old Gang reaches out for Greenhome while on the horizon kidnappers appear drawn by the scent of children: born and unborn alike.

Share your Protagonist’s awesomeness:

What I love the most about Jonah  is that even as he discovers he is something mighty and magical, his main concern is living up to being Jonah Soul’s Man. All he wants to do is live in light of the sacrifice made to him. What he comes to find out about himself is far less important to him, than what was done for him. I also love how he has embraced using his abilities to get into fights for the good of others.

Share a line showing your WIP’s Atmosphere:

White flakes trickled down from the flat, steel-gray sky. Brittle branches tingled stiffly in the wind. Gray sky above the gray naked branches, and white below, white falling, all lined and encased in silver ice: the world gone monochromatic.

Share a line showing your WIP’s main emotion:

“Root and water,” he muttered.

“You’ve said that before,” Presto said. “What does it mean?”

“Roots that are deep don’t fear the wind. Trees by water don’t wither.”


Two: Character Week


The character you relate the most to and why?

I relate most to Jonah. I wrote him as a semi-allegory for a new believer and have poured into him a lot of what it’s like to be converted as a child. Obviously, with more magic and with a far different lifestyle than the one I had growing up. I also love him cause he’s not afraid to fight for those around him. This is something Soul develops in him. I love that Jonah is always ready to defend the ones he loves, with violence if necessary.

A character who shares a flaw with you.

I literally have no idea how to answer this one. My writing style doesn’t really lend itself to me thinking about flaws and strengths that often. Adele is the character with the most flaws and on some level I guess I understand her. I would willingly sacrifice almost anything in the name of peace. I hate conflict. I view this as a flaw cause there are things worth fighting for. Adele willingly sacrifices what she knows is right for what she thinks is the greater good. That’s as close as I can get.

Did you base anyone off a real person?

Yes. Axe is based off of Matt Axelson who was a Navy Seal in Afganistan. He died during Operation Red Wings and is know from the movie Lone Survivor. My character Axe isn’t a whole lot like him other than looking the same and knowing random bits of quotes and things. This is my way of honoring this American hero.

Share a line that shows a character’s sense of humor:

Presto is all about the sarcasm:

“What’d I miss?”

“Nothing,” Presto grunted. “We were waiting patiently for your return so we could communicate with Oak in words instead of smoke signals.”

Which characters would you want to be roommates with?

Kelby, my sharpshooter. She’s brave, loyal, comes with a paint pony named Sackett, and is an excellent shot. I think we would probably have a lot of fun together . . . wait, she may be my alter-ego . . . does wanting her as a roommate make me a narcissist?

Share a line that makes you want to hug a character.

Bree looked around the tent. The bright morning sun flooded in down the hole at the top of the teepee. Boys with bare chests—clean for the first time in how long?—sat around her. The light gleamed in eyes of all shapes and sizes and across smiling faces. They all looked at her. They’d had their time running wild and now they wanted, needed, a mother’s tender touch. A kiss for their hurts. Someone to see and exclaim over their amazing acts. Someone to care for and to take care of them. They wanted a mother. Bree bit her lower lip. “Go and come back then,” Bug translated for Eagle. “Go and come back. We will still be here. We are always here.”

“I can’t. I just can’t. I have to go back.” She pointed to the marks on her face.

“Mighty Eagle says you should stay here,” Bug translated. “Here you will have many sons to replace the ones who didn’t grow up. Won’t you stay?”

A minor character with author-head canon you enjoy:

Haze. He is in charge of the defenses of Greenhome. He paid the cost of the crimes of a handful of kids from Gang Red including Cid, George, and Silas with his eyes. (Not his sight.) This is as much as you can piece together from the story. He himself was salvaged from the Streets by a cranky old man with a big white beard at Christmas time. Soul sent the old man to save him, indicating Soul is much older than he appears. Haze, though wild and disrespectful, brought joy to the cranky old man: each saving the other. Haze and Soul are best friends now that Haze is grown up. They remind me of friendships like Spock and Kirk with Haze being Kirk and Soul being Spock.

Thanks for reading! Check back later for the rest of June’s #WIPjoy. If this peaked your interest at all, you can read a sample chapter here. Also follow me on FB for updates on how the writing is going. The link should be on the left side.

King’s Speed!