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I've been in a writing slump lately, and I need your help! I know exactly what I WANT to work on - a due South Quest story that I've been writing off and on for YEARS. (Yes, Luzula, the one you beta'd last year.) Here's the opening scene.

Ray woke up hot. He’d been cold for weeks, bone-deep Arctic cold, but now he was sweating, trying to unzip his sleeping bag with hands that wouldn’t work.

“Ray?” Fraser said from his sleeping bag on the other side of the tent, sounding wide awake in the black dark. “What’s wrong?”

“Hot,” Ray muttered. “Can’t – ”

Fraser was at his side, hands moving along the bag and then touching Ray’s forehead with cool fingers. “You’re burning up,” he said, calmly, and Ray wondered dizzily if Fraser would throw him in the snow to put out the fire. Fraser fumbled around the tent, rushing to get the camp stove going. Finally it caught, and Ray squinted up at Fraser.

“I need to examine you, Ray. It might be a bit chilly.”

Fraser unzipped the sleeping bag and opened it up. He took off Ray's hat and ran his hands through his hair, down his neck, and then Fraser sat Ray up and took off his shirts. Ray kept still as Fraser peeled him out of his sweat-soaked layers. He tried to apologize, remembering that sweating in your clothes was dangerous up here. Fraser paused and cleared his throat.

“I’m afraid that bite you got from Pierre while breaking up his fight with Diefenbaker the other day has become infected, Ray. It’s rather serious, and we’ll need to get you some medical attention as quickly as possible.”

“No problem,” Ray said, cackling. “Just call 911; they’ll have me at UCH in no time.”

Fraser tried to smile.

“Just kidding, Frase, I know we’re … what … 3 days out from the nearest town?”

Fraser nodded distractedly, pulling off the rest of Ray’s clothes and putting him into dry ones before zipping him back into his sleeping bag, snug as a bug in a rug. It would’ve been nice, if Fraser hadn’t looked so freaked out. Finally, Fraser pulled the map out from his pack and spread it out on the floor of the tent.

“There’s nothing closer,” Ray said. He was a little fuzzy, but he knew that. They’d been real careful stocking up in supplies this time, because they wouldn’t see another town for a week.

“There’s a settlement just upriver from here,” Fraser said abruptly. “It’s not on the map, but I can find it easily enough.”

Ray tried to think that through. “You been there before?”

“Yes,” Fraser said quickly, in that way he had when he wasn’t mentioning something important. Ray glared at him. “Thirty years ago,” he amended. “But I’m sure I can find it.”

“You must’ve been just a kid,” Ray said through chattering teeth, feeling the cold again.

Fraser nodded, unzipping his own sleeping bag and laying it over Ray. “My mother’s people. They don’t ... welcome outsiders.”

“Fraser, you got family up here? Not just Maggie? That’s great, buddy! Let’s go visit,” Ray said muzzily, and then the tent went dark.

I need people to express some enthusiasm about this, so I can get off my ass and actually finish this draft this weekend. Any takers? I'm going to go to bed and hope that someone leaves me messages of encouragement so when I get up I can get myself in gear.




( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 25th, 2012 12:30 pm (UTC)

*cheers you on*

Edited at 2012-02-25 12:31 pm (UTC)
Feb. 25th, 2012 12:38 pm (UTC)
Get to work, woman! Stranded, hurt, worried, mysterious town that Fraser doesn't want to talk about? I'll read it!
Feb. 25th, 2012 12:39 pm (UTC)
Fraser's mom is kind of a mystery, all things considered. I like the idea that her roots are just as much of a mystery here as well (and found myself thinking that yes, she's an alien -- that explains so much).
Feb. 25th, 2012 01:18 pm (UTC)
*points to icon* More, please and thank you kindly!
Feb. 25th, 2012 04:13 pm (UTC)

Yeah! What an intriguing beginning! More, please? Loved the mystery of Fraser's mom's family. (and adored the detail of one of the sled dogs also being named after a Canadian Prime Minister. That made me go \o/ !! ::grin:: )

Feb. 25th, 2012 05:30 pm (UTC)
Oh yeah, we need this story. I am especially intrigued by learning more about Caroline's background. Pleeeeeease? *bats eyes enticingly*
Feb. 25th, 2012 07:31 pm (UTC)
Danger? Mystery? Fraser's mom's family? Yes, please! *bounces*
Feb. 25th, 2012 09:30 pm (UTC)
I am deeply intrigued! And entirely prepared to be enthusiastic in your direction! *nodnodnod*
Feb. 26th, 2012 09:45 pm (UTC)
Yes! Please do finish it. \o/ Also, please to get a second opinion about the stuff that didn't quite make sense to me, because it might make perfect sense to someone else. I hope my beta wasn't discouraging, and I hope you get some writing energy going.
Feb. 29th, 2012 11:03 pm (UTC)
Okay, seriously, I want more of this. A lot more.
Mar. 22nd, 2012 08:29 pm (UTC)
Threatening you with my broom to continue this fic! (But threatening in a this-is-for-your-own-good way XD.)
Apr. 6th, 2012 03:51 am (UTC)
Just back from BP and dropping in to give you more fic-finishing encouragement!
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )