Weekend Writing Warriors: Odd Duck (Cold Front)

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I hope everyone had a restful Easter/Passover/Spring-Shaped Candy Day last week. I don’t remember much about it, but I woke up Monday morning in a nest of pastel wrappers . . .

Since I don’t want to give away the rest of Tom’s conversation with Travis the killer werewolf, I’m skipping ahead to a conversation Tom is having with the ever-delightful Ms. Merrok, who is curious—by which I mean suspicious to a paranoid degree—about the reasons a wereduck might have for butting into what she believes is pack business.

This isn’t the beginning of that conversation, but it fits nicely into eight sentences, so I went with it.  Tom has the first line:

Cold Front
“If it weren’t for my brother, I wouldn’t care.”

“I assume you’re referring to Bryan Bleddyn?”

“Bryan Mahon,” I said. “He was adopted.”

“By non-pack,” she said, “under human law.”

“Our parents stepped in when your pack abandoned him. Did your family speak up for him, Ms. Merrok? No guest bedroom at your place?”


Yeah, the chill here is going both ways . . .

Part of the tension in this story is the conflict between the human and were communities, who don’t always obey the same laws of government or biology.  Since humans, for the most part, have no idea that were-animals are a Real Thing, it can get both tricky and frustrating.

And dangerous, too.


I have a question:  Do any of you use Scrivener?  If I make it to my goal at Camp Nanowrimo, I can get a good deal on the software.

It seems like a sweet program with some excellent features, but I thought I’d ask.


“Cold Front” image was released into the Public Domain by its creator, Fawcett5.


45 thoughts on “Weekend Writing Warriors: Odd Duck (Cold Front)

  1. So adoption happens in the were/human divide?

    I have Scrivener but haven’t used it much yet. Partly because I may need a computer again soon, and I don’t want to waste the software on an old computer.

    See you at Camp Nano!

    • Tom and Bryan’s adoptive parents aren’t actually human (or one of them isn’t, haven’t decided), so it’s more of a species divide. But they’re all trying to pass in a human world, and humans have a thing for paperwork and counting children, so it’s easier to follow their rules and file adoption papers.

      I didn’t know Scrivener only allowed one installation. Hmmm. That might be a consideration . . .

      Thanks, Ana! 🙂

  2. I like the premise that weres and humans play(sort of) by the same rules in different worlds. When the worlds intersect it gets really interesting. And of course, I love Tom. 😀

  3. Yeah, put your money where your snout is, Merrock! Not everyone is lucky enough to be raised by wolves. 🐺

    I love Scrivener so much! I doubt I could ever have managed writing my book without it.

      • It backs up automatically every few seconds and it’s very hard to delete anything accidentally.

        What I like best is that you can organize everything in chapters and scenes and choose how you want to see it- in outline form, or a 3×5 card view. Then it’s totally easy to drag and drop into whatever order you want.

        Oh, and it formats to various ebook formats almost effortlessly. Once click and it’s ready for kindle, with table of contents.

        I’m sure I only use a fraction of the features it has. Definitely give the free sample a try!

  4. Burn! I hope we get to see her reaction.

    I have Scrivener and it intimidates me. LOL I really want to use it to organize The Academy of the Accord novels, but I keep getting lost in it. I need to do more tutorials, and start something brand new in it to get the feel for it before putting my series into it.

    (I get a code every Camp and regular NaNo — if you don’t make it and need one, hit me up.)

    (Also, the 30 day free trial is 30 days of use, not 30 calendar days, so give it a try.)

    • She’s not unreasonable, Paula, just . . . opinionated. 😀

      Thanks, Paula–I don’t know if I want to use something that needs a series of tutorials, but I’m tempted by those promises of organization . . . I may give it a try for the next project and see how it goes!

  5. I’ve always wanted pet ducks and my own little farm, but I don’t know what I’d think if I discovered I’d adopted a wereduck!

    I’ve heard both positive and negative things about Scrivener. I’m a dinosaur who still longs for the simplicity of MacWriteII and ClarisWorks, and even AppleWorks, but I’m not entirely content with the current version of Pages. I still need to go onto my old computer when I need to use Word for hyperlinking a table of contents and converting into HTML. Thankfully, I never updated my old computer’s operating system to a version which wouldn’t allow me to open Word 2004, which is the case on my new computer.

    • Maybe, “What is that baby doing in that nest?” 😀

      I use MS Office at work and home, so I’m used to it, but some of Scrivener’s features look like they might be time savers.

  6. “No guest bedroom at your place?” <– That snarky little comment was so perfect–and it adds to his character. I like Tom!

    I've never used Scrivener. I planned on buying the software after Nano last fall, but never got around to it. Maybe this fall.

    A friend from high school contacted me a while back and asked about writing software. She wanted to write a memoir. I told her about Scrivener and that many writers swear by it. I also added that I'm still chugging along with Word. I heard back from her a couple of months later. She loves Scrivener. And she's a Nurse by trade, not a techy type.

    If you get it, please write a post about it. I'd love to get your take. Reading PT's take gives me pause…

    • Thanks, Teresa! I’m glad you like him–he’s fun to write and tough to edit. 😀

      Paula did say there’s a thirty day free trial–maybe I should watch the videos first? If I do end up trying it, I’ll definitely do a post. 🙂

  7. Oh my, great tension that leaps off the page. Love seeing Tom getting a little snippy;).
    Re Scrivner, I have it and I have used it for one story. I liked it, but in the end I stop using it because learning how to make use of all the features to their full potential took too long;). I write in sequence so Word works great for me. I may go back to it as I’m looking at mixing up my process.

    • Thanks, Tina! Sometimes it’s tough to get him to stop sniping. 😀

      See, that’s what I’m afraid of . . . but I don’t write in sequence, so a program that can help me keep track is a Great and Good thing.

  8. The fascinating backstory here, re humans vs were (and the humans not even knowing the were exist) adds complexity to a tale I was already enjoying the heck out of . This new information makes me want to read the entire story even more can’t wait, I love the WereDuck! Great snippet.

    • Thank you, Veronica! 🙂

      I ended up exploring the resentment and friction between all the different groups in this a little more than I’d originally “planned”. It’s been interesting, if not entirely relevant to this story. 🙂

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