Hey Everyone!! :-)
Guess what?!? I've got news! I have finally started writing the second book in the Petri Dish Chronicles. I know, I know, took me long enough. But I started a new job after I finished the first book and it has taken me a while for my life to settle down enough to start writing again.
I hope to have this book finished and edited in time to release before the end of this year, but that job I mentioned is keeping me busy, so no guarantees. I know, I suck. Still, if you stay tuned to this blog, I'll keep you updated on my progress and slip you some peeks along the way.
Speaking of, today, I'm going to share the first part of the first chapter with you. It's not the whole first chapter, but hopefully it's enough to whet your appetite. ;-) As always, this is a first draft. That means it's subject to alterations, additions, and wholesale scrapping as the story develops and dependent solely on my whims. ;-) It also means there are probably mistakes in it, in fact I'd be astonished if there aren't, so please keep in mind many that rereads, edits, and rewrites will take place before it's released as a finished product. This is just to give you a taste, so bear with me. ;-)
Excerpt from Untitled Second Book in the Petri Dish Chronicles:
Dust and grit swirled around Petri as she lifted a hand to shield her eyes from the harsh glare of the star that the planet she was currently on orbited. In truth, it was one of three stars, but by far the largest. The other two had nearly burned themselves out and were well on their way to becoming black dwarves. They did little more than light the sky at night enough for most beings to navigate easily. It was almost never truly dark on this world.
Which was good, she reflected as she gazed out across the desolate landscape, since the remaining star made daytime travel difficult. It dried the lone planet that circled it and its older sisters to a world-spanning desert and create convection currents in the atmosphere strong enough to ensure that the parched soil remained suspended in a perpetual, whirling cloud. That is, when it wasn't busy coating anyone hapless enough to be out in it.
Sighing, Petri raised the scarf she wore to protect her airways over her mouth and nose and stepped away from the building she had just left. It had been almost three days since she had been outside its walls, and she half-expected that her friends would have left her here. It was what they wanted, after all.
Thinking about Chessie and Sadaka, Petri grimaced. She wasn't being fair to them. They just wanted her to stop arguing with Daji so much. Which made sense, considering that they only lived by his good graces. Still, he made her so angry sometimes she couldn't help lashing out. Sighing again as a nearly overwhelming exhaustion washed over her in spite of the way she had just glutted herself and her power, Petri remembered how frustrated she had been the last time she had seen him and stalked off his ship in a fit of temper. Sometimes she thought he was deliberately refusing to try to understand her point of view.
Stopping suddenly, she looked around again and realized the swirling dirt had disoriented her and she was going in the wrong direction. She peered through the haze trying to discern enough landmarks to make her way back to where she hoped the Ruba would be waiting for her. It wasn't easy, since there were several large, low-lying buildings in the small township and they all looked the same, low to the ground, with no sharp edges, and coated in the ubiquitous pale gray sand. Most structures only had their entrances above ground, as the constant erosion from the airborne grit wore down anything built on the surface.
The shipyard was similarly underground, with a landing panel that was only exposed to the elements long enough for ships to land on and take off from it. The rest of the time, the landing panel was sheltered beneath a structure that was indistinguishable from half a dozen similar buildings in the area. Huffing, Petri acknowledged that the planet had been named appropriately.
It was called Sheol, after an ancient, human mythological afterlife full of shadowy souls who ate clay and lacked self-awareness. Petri couldn't remember all the details of the myth, devoting time and attention to learning extraneous trivia was still a new concept for her and she hadn't quite mastered it, but what she did recall certainly seemed to describe this planet in astonishing accuracy. Even down to the lack of sentience in the local residents.
She couldn't blame them, this place was deadly dull and she'd go brain-dead too if she had to spend a week here, never mind years. That was why she couldn't understand why Daji was so determined to leave Chessie, Sadaka, and her on a planet like this. The thought of it was enough to set her temper off again and start a cold ball of panic building in her stomach.
Sound interesting? I hope you're as excited as I am to find out what happens next! ;-) Thank you all so much for stopping by today, and please stay tuned for more peeks in the coming weeks. :-)