So for this Works-in-Progress Wednesday, I don't have a particular project to post about...
I have five.
Five projects I would count as "current" because I'm actively adding stuff to them. (One of them I ended up hauling out of the "Projects for the Future" folder because someone wanted to collaborate on a project and liked my idea!) Three novels and two fanfics. (One for every weekday... or something...)
What are they? In alphabetical order:
1. "Alice's Adventures in Storybrooke"
Type: Fanfiction (link: https://www.fanfiction.net/s/10288355/1/Alice-s-Adventures-in-Storybrooke)
Fandom: ABC's Once Upon A Time + Once Upon A Time in Wonderland crossover
Summary: Due to the unfortunate deficiency of the Once Upon A Time in Wonderland spin-off series, coupled with disappointment over the lackluster "crossover" with Once Upon A Time the spin-off contained, I took it upon myself to write a crossover that both accomplished the story the way the writers intended... but also actually crossed-over the characters themselves and not just the world (with a smattering of new characters where needed).
Beginning at the end of Episode 8 of Once Upon A Time in Wonderland, this story takes off by splitting up the group: Will Scarlet/Knave of Hearts ends up in the Enchanted Forest after being turned into a genie, where he meets up with childhood friend Jasmine and agrees to help her find the man she loves, Allan-A-Dale; Anastasia (Tremaine, step-sister to Cinderella; also formerly the Red Queen of Wonderland) heads to the Enchanted Forest to find Will, and must compete with her sister Drizella who wants the genie for herself; meanwhile, Alice and Cyrus are in Storybrooke, where Jafar has taken over in his pursuit of Cyrus, not knowing that the genie curse has been transferred to Will and freed Cyrus. Let the fun and games begin!
Excerpt: Standing at the edge of the road, Regina happened to spot a strange sight: a white rabbit, three feet high, dressed in a white suit, just in the act of creeping down an alleyway just ahead. Carefully, Regina followed the Rabbit as it darted to a narrow doorway beside the Rabbit Hole tavern.
"Curiouser and curiouser," she murmured to herself.
Outside the mysterious apartment, Regina heard some crashing and banging inside as she approached the door, but then all was still. She carefully pushed the apartment door open. In spite of the dingy facade, the apartment inside was actually quite nice. It was full of boxes, as if whoever lived here didn't have time to completely move in before they left...
Regina checked the address label on one box: Mrs. Ginger, Cherry Tree Lane. She smirked; more likely these "moving boxes" had come off the back of a truck.
The persistent beating of a heart distracted her from her musings. The noise seemed to emanate from a wall nearby; her magical powers heightened her sensitivity to such things. Regina followed the noise to a panel with several dart holes and a picture fastened to it. She observed the face in the picture: the expression was haughty, and she wore a crown, but it was definitely the desperate blonde she had seen with Alice and Cyrus. But if there were only two now, where did she go?
The telltale heart beat on, and Regina wondered if someone was hiding behind the panel-though the heartbeat wouldn't be so loud if it were still in a body.
Using a knife, Regina cut a neat hole around the picture. Sure enough, a glowing red heart-box winked at her from within the wall. She remembered the woman's plea: "He's Will Scarlet; have you seen him?"
She was looking for Will Scarlet; could this be his heart? Regina tucked the box under her coat and snuck out of the apartment, making her way not back down the street she came from, but out toward the family Mausoleum. She would need to hide this in her vault, in case she needed leverage in the future.
2. "A Writer's Tale #1: The Dragon's Quest"
Type: Novella (link: http://upstreamwriter.blogspot.com/p/serial-saturdays.html takes you to the Serial Saturdays page, where you can find the whole series titled "A Writer's Tale")
Summary: I originally wrote this for a NaNoWriMo challenge, as a single serial novel... and now I'm expanding it into a series of novellas. This particular installment will be the first, and it takes place in the fantasy "genre-world." In it, the author receives a challenge from her editor to create something "new and original and completely unexpected." When she tries to take his advice, she ends up crossing through a door and into a different world, in this case a fantasy one where humans do not exist. Can she find her way back, or is there something she must do first, some reason she has been "sent" to this world?
Excerpt: Whatever the hanging fruits were, they smelled like every kind of fruit combined and over-ripened. I reached up to pick one. I flinched and pulled my hand away. Something touched my finger! It had long, thin limbs and stood out black against the vibrant fruit; it looked like a spider almost as big as my hand. Oh gross! I hate bugs. The four-legged spider-creature slowly worked its way toward my side of the fruit. I held very still, hoping that it wouldn’t sense me and just continue on its way. It reached the front of the fruit and stopped. No sooner had I discerned it’s bulbous yellow eyes and the wide, malicious grin than the thing launched straight at my face with a high-pitched squeal.
I could never quite make out how they did it, but somehow these squealing creatures hoisted me up as high as the treetops. A group of creatures came down the vines toward my head bearing a large yellow fruit. I cringed as their sharp foot-claws scrabbled over my scalp. Several of them climbed down the side of my face (pulling out hairs as they did) and pulled down on my lower lip, forcing my mouth open as the others crammed the fruit in as far as it would go. A burst of juice gushed out of my mouth and dripped down my neck. I tasted sour, rough rind and overripe melon. Cackling and chattering, the little creatures scurried away and left me hanging high in the treetops. The golden sunlight dimmed and then went out entirely, as if a switch had been thrown. As I watched the ground below, a fog seeped in, combing over the grass and shrubs with a nearly-audible whisper. It billowed and climbed the trunks of the trees. Within minutes my vision was nothing but grey cloud. My eyelids began to droop as the warm, cloying air filled my lungs. I closed my eyes—
Summary: Once upon a time... Wordspinners abounded. They were the Tale-Crafters, the people who could fashion raw materials into useful tools and items merely by telling a story. By and by, the people stopped listening to the stories these Wordspinners told, stopped using the items they crafted. Very soon, telling tales became as witchcraft to the people, and they stopped imagining things beyond what they could perceive with their senses, and they turned the Wordspinners out of their villages. Ten years after the last Inkweaver departed from the village of Mirrorvale, a "sensible" young woman discovers an unfinished tapestry left behind. Intrigued by the story she finds there, the girl decides to embark on a journey to find the Inkweaver and finish the tapestry. Little does she know just how far this simple tale will take her...
Excerpts: I've posted several excerpts from my story on this blog. Follow this LINK to access all the ones I've posted so far!
4. "PotterLock Down"
Type: Fanfiction (link: https://www.fanfiction.net/s/10219492/1/PotterLock-Down )
Fandom: Harry Potter + Sherlock crossover
Summary: Inspired by a meme in which Voldemort "consults" with Moriarty over how to defeat Harry Potter... I decided to pursue that vein, crafting a story in which Moriarty, as a distant cousin of the Dark Lord ("Your father, Tom Riddle Sr., had a cousin Wilhelmina Riddle who married Seamus Moriarty—my grandfather. That makes us third cousins, if you're wondering...") agrees to infiltrate Hogwarts and isolate Harry, making it easy for Voldemort to vanquish his enemy once and for all.
Enter Sherlock Holmes... the only man ever to outwit James Moriarty time and again--and perhaps the only person capable of preserving Harry's reputation... and his life.
Excerpt: They emerged at street level and the tall man guided Harry to a small table outside a cafe.
Harry did. The man took the seat opposite him.
"Right then," the man began briskly. "That was by far the most disturbing tube ride I've ever taken. You're a young man with a very singular scar the likes of which I can think of only three ways you might have gotten it, and none of them are plausible at your age and social class. You seemed unfazed by that thing that tried to kill you, and yet you showed more surprise at my intervention. The woman called you Harry, yet I could tell you trusted me-a man who just happened to sit in the seat next to you on the subway-more than you trusted her. Would you mind explaining any of these things to me?"
Harry watched the man; his perceptions were as keen as a detective, yet he made no mention of working with or for the government at all.
Just behind him, he saw a tall man dressed all in black suddenly fold his newspaper and lock eyes with him. Another dark-clad man came out of the cafe and scanned the tables, stopping when he spotted Harry. Harry grasped the man's hand.
"I'll explain everything; but we have to run!"
The man jumped to his feet and pulled Harry down a side street. "This way! I know where to go!"
Harry and the man dodged down side streets and through alleys, shaking their pursuit. Finally, the pair slowed, and Harry saw the man stumble against the wall. His breathing was raspy and very labored. Harry saw the fingernails turning a dangerous shade of blue.
"Sir?" he stepped around to face the man.
The blue eyes came up and met his. "Have to get... Two-Two... One-B... Baker S-Street! Two blocks down, one North-"
His eyes rolled back, and he would gave fallen if Harry had not been there to catch him.
For the first time in his life, Harry Potter hailed a cab. The compact black vehicle pulled up to the curb.
"Where to, gov?" the cabbie asked.
"221B Baker Street," Harry answered. "Hurry!"
5. "The Red Dragon of Wales"
Summary: This one is going to be the collaboration with another writer... once we actually start collaborating. (You know who you are!) It's potentially going to be one of a series of books based in the nations of the United Kingdom.
In the future, information is both currency and prestige. Knowledge is literally power. And the one man in Wales who has the capacity and access to everything the whole nation knows is the Security Chief of the Welsh Representative Assembly at Cardiff, Colonel Whitaker. But there is one man who knows the secrets Whitaker keeps from the world, and secrets the Assembly members pray and pay dearly to be able to take to their graves:
Adam LaRouge, known professionally as Drake Ross, once a well-paid member of the WRAITHS (Welsh Representative Assembly Information Technology Hit Squad) for Members of the Assembly, now forced, through a change of fate, to roam the underbelly of Wales, hacking, spying, witnessing...and recording information, hunting down that One Big Scandal that would leverage him back into the upper levels of society.
One night, a strange young girl comes to him with an odd request. So begins a journey that will threaten Drake's beliefs about himself and his choices to their very core. Can the Red Dragon defeat his old enemy, or will he himself be overcome by what he assumed would be a simple task?
Excerpt: Drake studied the scrolling text on the screen before him. The perpetrators’ names were encrypted in case the authorities ever manufactured a cause to seize his externals (though it would have to be an extreme cause indeed to induce the hardiest of the lot to descend to the Streets for any time at all, much less as long as it would take them to find him in particular), but his receptacle had been outfitted with a special translator feature that decrypted the symbols recognized by his eyes before it registered on his brain. Each translation felt like a jack-hammer trying to bore a hole through his skull from the inside. Gloria Withers… Maxwell Forsythe… Conrad Yates… Reginald DeWitt… Deirdre Thorne… Ursula Pyke…
“Lame, lame, boring… Lame!” Drake muttered to himself. These were the usual suspects. Nothing surprising or insidious there! One good draw and every mention in every tabloid on the westerly breeze downloaded to his receptacle. These ones were too much in the public eye to be hiding anything. Angrily, Drake slapped the side of his comp-unit.
“Move faster, you git!” he growled.
“What’s got your wires crossed?” A cheerful voice rang out from the door of his bunker. Drake saw the tea-tray first, borne by the unquenchable Eillwyn. She it was who stayed by her mother’s side during the most tenuous hours of Drake’s early re-boot months. When her mother needed to leave the totally-dependent man and look after the house, Eillwyn it was who assumed the role of continuing to nurse him and feed him and teach him. Her brothers didn’t want anything to do with a grown man who behaved like a born idiot and had as little control over his emotions as the power of speech; his lolling eyes, animal-like grunts, and grasping, crushing grip made them nervous. Eillwyn alone saw the man inside, and patiently coaxed him into the open. A few times, Drake caught himself wondering what it would be like to have feelings for the girl so lately grown into a young woman.
Today was not one of those times.
“Brothers back yet?” Drake groused as he watched Eillwyn placidly pouring the tea for him and preparing it just the way she knew he liked it.
“I haven’t seen them,” she answered, handing him the cup with a smile.
Drake accepted it with only the merest twitch of his lip, more of a sneer than a smile.
"It's out there, Wynnie, I can feel it just--" he measured a space with his fingers just in front of his receptacle, indicating the fringes of his cognizance.
Eillwyn shook her head. "Why must you keep digging around in the muck like this? Why not use your skills and cred for good things, to help people?"
Drake remained sullen. "B'cause that's not me; I don't help people—I never have. I'm meant to stop people, and ultimately to stop Bloody Whitaker."
"Then stop him by winning people over, not by out-scandalizing him!" Eillwyn watched the symbols stream over the old battered comp unit. "You'll never find the scandal you're looking for, not without a mega-cred card like his. You know what Father says: for every bug you squash, there is always another one crawling back into the shadows."
As if to illustrate her point, one adventurous insect chose that moment to make its way out of a crack behind the comp. Idly, Drake wadded his paper napkin into a marble sized ball and pitched it at the bug. It landed on its back upon the desk. Very carefully, Drake pulled out a long, flat memory stick and laid it over the bug's body. Its legs flailed, but the stick pinned it to the desk. Moving with all the measured precision of a surgeon, Drake very easily plucked half of the flailing legs off, in no particular pattern.
"But there's more than one way to kill a bug," he informed Eillwyn. "You don't have to crush it," he pulled off another appendage, "you can simply take all its legs off," he completed the last two removals, "and leave the creature to starve to death." He used the memory stick to turn the bug back onto its belly in the middle of his saucer, where it sat, unable to move, wagging its antennae pitifully. Drake took particular care in resting the base of his cup on as much of the unfortunate insect as he could.
Eillwyn shuddered at the crunch it made, but Drake only grinned the wider.
"And then you kill it," he finished.
[For more excerpts from "The Red Dragon of Wales", go HERE]