Friday, November 30, 2012

False Start Friday

It's the Grand Finale of False Start Fridays!  You can go here for a list of all the participants.  This isn't the beginning I was originally going to post, but as I couldn't find the one I wanted this is what you get.  Now I should probably mention that this isn't exactly a false start.  I hope that this will be the first chapter of book three in my trilogy, but unless I sell book one it will become a false start.  So here we go.  For those familiar with Far From The Sea, this is Paul's funeral.

It was a testament to the deceased that so many people came to the funeral.  The whole town had turned out and Rachael wondered if they had enough food at home to feed everyone when they came back to gossip and gorge themselves.  A small part of her realized that most of the people were truly sad to see him go and would bring their own contributions to the gathering but she was feeling uncharitable. All she could think of was that grandda was dead and that grandmother’s heart was breaking. So was her own.
Her eyes felt dry and tight but she looked up across the landscape to the horizon.  They wouldn’t see her mourn.  She would do that later, in private.  If she dissolved into tears now she was afraid she might never recover and she couldn’t let everyone see her like that.  Wouldn’t.  They had a reputation to maintain.  So she let her anger overcome her misery and glared at someone who had giggled a little too loudly. 
Sam shifted next to her and she could feel her mother’s arm go around him.  Mother gave him a squeeze then her hand found the crook of Rachael’s elbow and latched on as if the connection would give her comfort.  It didn’t.  Rachael still felt miserable and she wanted to shake her mother’s hand off but knew that wouldn’t be seemly.  It wasn’t long before the minister finished reading and closed the bible and her mother’s burning grasp was gone leaving her feeling even more cold and empty. 
Her family shifted, Little (brother) held up the bucket he had carefully carted from the farm.  Da had come in with the bucket before they had left and glanced at grandmother a little pleadingly.  “He would want some soil from the farm.”  Grannie had nearly broken down then.  It was only a supreme effort of will that she had blinked back the tears and stopped the shuddering.  She even managed a thank you and a twisted sort of smile that had made Rachael’s heart jump into her throat and try to choke her. 
Each family member took a handful of the soil from their farm until only Rachael was left.  The soil was cold and she almost gasped.  She hadn’t been expecting that.  Still her fingers curled around it and she lifted her hand out, dirt slipping from between her fingers.  Grannie stepped forward, not looking at anything but the hole at her feet. The soil trickled from her fingers then turning, she broke through the circle and walked away, head high. 
Rachael heard some gasps and a few murmured whispers. “Shocking.”  She heard one person say and her cheeks burned.  She wished she knew who it was, they would find out what shocking was if she had anything to say about it.  Her father sighed and looked at the crowd pleading for their understanding.  He dropped his handful quickly then followed Grannie out of the graveyard.  Mother marshaled the boys, letting them drop their handfuls together then poured her own in.  “We’ll miss you,” she whispered then taking Sam by the arm followed father.  Rachael was the only one left. 
Deliberately she stepped forward to the edge of the grave and raised her arm out in front of her, but instead of opening her hand to let the soil fall she looked at the crowd.  She met the eyes of each person.  Finally when each of them had looked away from her gaze she opened her hand and let the contents fall.  She had held it so tight it didn’t trickle with a pitter patter like her brother’s had, but fell in a chunk with a thunk that made her flush.  Sorry granda she thought, though she couldn’t look down at him.  She didn’t want to see the dirt on the pine coffin Da had made him. Abruptly she turned to follow her family.  She felt the eyes of the villagers on her back and she kept her head high as she marched to their wagon.  

Monday, November 26, 2012

Writing Blues

It can be hard to write on a Monday, even harder to get back into the swing of things when it’s the Monday after a holiday and maybe you haven’t written in a week or two. Not that any of you hard core writers would actually sacrifice your writing time for “life”.  Yep, me either.   

Still, supposing it had happened.  For me the best way to get back into it is just jump.  I open the manuscript, read a little before where I want to start working then plunge right in.  The first bit might not actually be good. Hey, who am I kidding, the whole first draft isn’t good.  But at least I’ll be writing again.  Supposing I had stopped that is.  

How do you get back into the swing of things?

Monday, November 19, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

It's Thanksgiving week here in the US and I'm going to be super busy with family.  I'll see you all next week, have a happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 16, 2012

False Start Friday

It's False Start Friday again.  Go here for  a list of other participants.  I'm going out on a limb here and really embarrassing myself.This is maybe my second attempt at a novel and I didn't have a clue what I was doing, as you can tell by the riveting dialogue.  Still, it's nice because it's shown me how far I've come. 

Abigail Bradford hated cantaloupe.  She didn’t like the flavor and she didn’t like the grain of the melon in her mouth.  Yet, here I am in the produce section picking out a cantaloupe.  She thought to herself.  She looked at the beige orbs, trailed her fingertips over the textured rinds, and sighed.   Looking around the produce section Abigail noticed that the pears were on sale and there were lots of nice Fuji apples.  Maybe I should get those instead. But thinking of her mother Abigail knew she had to come home with a cantaloupe or not come home at all.  She walked to the edge of the cantaloupe bin and let her eyes start searching the melons.
“Hello,” Abigail looked up into deep brown eyes.  “ I couldn’t help noticing that you’re choosing a cantaloupe.  Would you mind telling me how you know it's ripe?” 
            Abigail looked around the produce section.  Was he really talking to her?  “Excuse me?”
“I’ve never chosen a cantaloupe before.  I know there’s some trick to it, can you share it with me or do I have to join your cult first?”
“Hu?  Well, I mean, I really don’t belong to a cult, at least not that I’d admit to.” 
“Well, how do you pick yours?”
“I, well, I don’t know.  I don’t really eat Cantaloupe.”
His brow furrowed, “Then why are you buying one?” 
“My mom asked me to pick one up on the way over today.”  She hazarded another look up.  Besides his warm brown eyes he had a great jaw line, firm.”  She looked back down at the fruit and rushed on.  “I was just looking for a pretty one, you know round, good even coloring...” She glanced back at his face and blushed because he hadn’t stopped looking at her.  “But, well, I’m babbling.  Sorry I couldn’t help you.” 
            “How about you help me find a pretty one, then you don’t have to be sorry about it.”
            “Um....O.K. “ she said and tried to tell from his voice if he was laughing at her.  She didn’t dare look him in the face again.  Why, oh why, couldn’t she think of something better to say? 
            “How’s this one? “ He asked
            Well, it’s kind of flat on one side and the color is kind of funny, see how it’s a different color than the rest of them.  Never trust a fruit that is different than the majority.  Really, it’s kind of ugly.”
            “Well, I’ve never really looked at a cantaloupe in that way before.”  He held it up and squinted at it then put it back in the bin.  “So why don’t you like cantaloupe?”  He asked as they picked up the fruit globes turned them over in their hands and then returned them to the bin unexamined.  
            “It’s just not my favorite fruit to eat. I don’t like the flavor, but I love the way it smells.”
            “That’s interesting, you like the smell but not the flavor?  How did that happen?”
            “The smell has good memories associated with it.  It always reminds me of my grandmother’s house.  That’s the only reason.  Really I’m unenthusiastic about melons.”
“So, is here anything else you like about cantaloupe?”
“I like the rind.”
“Most people don’t eat the rind.”
“Not to eat” She was mortified.  What did he think of her?   “I like the texture, the way it feels.”  She needed to distract him; she was starting to sound like a fruit freak.  “Look here’s a pretty one.” 
            She held up a smallish globe.  “Let me see.”  He said and she let it roll into his outstretched hands without touching his fingers.  She noticed that there wasn’t a wedding band, then cursed herself for looking.   He hefted it, feeling the weight and examined it for flat spots.  “Well, It really is a pretty cantaloupe.  Maybe I’ll have to come out of the cantaloupe closet.  My name is Ethan by the way.”  He said holding out his hand.
            “Oh, nice to meet you, Ethan.” She shook his hand then quickly pulled back.  He really had nice hands.
            “And yours is...?”
            “Right, Abigail, Abigail Bradford, sorry.”  They stood there awkwardly for a moment.  “Well, I should get going.”  Abigail said backing away. 
            “I thought you said you needed a cantaloupe?”  He asked raising his eyebrows and one side of his mouth curving up in a smile.  
            “Yeah...I well... gotta go.”  She said again picking up the nearest melon, then turned and fled.