Wednesday, August 13, 2014

ROW80 Weds WIPpet and a little progress

Why am I thinking about Alice and the rabbit hole? I'm late, I'm late! 

August is rapidly heading to September, and outside, it's dark, and I can hear the geese honking, flying south.

Alice (White Ajah's Alice in Wonderland Event)
ROW80 Weds update: 
--Writing: Slow but still 600 words toward my goal of 1500 this week for Rivers of Stone. Research? Some. Not enough. Ordered an interesting nonfiction book on the fur trade, The Voyageur, a classic by Grace Nute.
--Marketing/Community: Steady. No reviews of indie books . . . yet. Confirmations of launch party for Years of Stone all green light. Set up reading for Sept at a great local book store -- with violin music at both events.
--Other: Does a breakthrough on quilting count? I've learned a new freezer paper-based method useful for those very tiny appliqué pieces -- on youtube, of all places. I'm deviating from the pattern (no surprise), but the work is pleasing. 

About that WEDS WIPpet: Start with the date: August 13, 2014 = 8 + 13 = 21, plus 1 more for the year, or 22 paragraphs from Rivers of Stone, my work-in-progress. BG: Cat, a young woman disguised as a boy, follows her husband to York Factory on Hudson's Bay in 1842. In this scene, Dougal, Cat's husband, and Colin, Dougal's 15-year-old brother, argue.

“You did pretty well today,” said Dougal.
Colin fidgeted. “I want to go on the Fur Brigade. I heard you’re going.”
“Nothing’s sure yet. Somebody has to stay behind with Cat.”
“I don’t care about her.”
“Hist. Don’t be saying that.” Dougal raised his voice. “Cat’s yer brother, and don’t forget it.”
Colin turned sullen. “You just think yer the boss of me.”
 “I’m sorry, Colin. What I mean is it looks like they’ll send me, but that leaves Cat alone. It would be better if you stayed.”
“If they ask me to go, I’m not staying.”
“I guess I understand.”
Colin flung his jacket on. “I’m going out.”
“Where you told me. Down by the encampment. They sit around, tell stories.”
“I heard they drink a little.”
“So what?”
“So, I don’t want a brother of mine getting into trouble. Would be worse than staying behind if an HBC officer catches you drinking.”
“They’re my friends.”
“They’re not yer friends if they lead you to drinking.”
“You can’t tell me what to do.”
Dougal stood. “I can as long as I’m yer brother.”
Colin stood as well, bracing his scrawny shoulders. “You aren’t Mac, and you never will be.”
The two men looked at each other.
Dougal sighed. “’Tis far too true. And where is Mac now? Rotting in a prison so far from here I don’t want to think about it. An’ I wish he weren’t. I wish he were here with us.” 

Check out what other ROW80 writers are doing the early part of this week HERE

Why not read a few of those snippets by other writers inspired by Kate Schwengel at Wednesday WIPpet HERE.

The enigmatic artwork of Alice comes from an interesting invitation to a Tea Party HERE.  


  1. I suspect I found a typo. Dougal refers to Cat as Colin's brother. If Dougal is trying to perpetuate that Cat is pretending to be a boy, then ignore that, it makes sense. However, if Dougal doesn't know Cat is pretending to be a boy, I suspect it should say sister. Either way, nice chemistry between the brothers. It came off as a very genuine interaction between the two.

    1. Thank you, Sirena. Dougal does know that Cat is a woman; he's married to her! He doesn't want anyone else to know! Good eye. These are early drafts, but it's great to get the feedback. :)

  2. Dougal seems like he feels personally responsible for everyone around him--he's very protective. Really good dynamic between these brothers; you can tell a lot about them from this conversation.

    1. Thank you, Amy. I thought too much dialogue, but I'm glad the emotions and relationships come through. I'm still working on 'getting' Colin!

  3. Flashback. I've had parts of this conversation with my siblings being that I'm the youngest of nine. No, in our family the youngest did not get spoiled. Not until everyone else moved out, and by then I was too old to appreciate it. ;) Nice interplay between the boys.

    1. Thank you, myrandomuse! I had sisters and still feel I don't always understand that masculine mind. So I'm building from the center of research about what adolescents go through. The scene feels unfinished . . . but that's why we have drafts!

  4. Colin seems to be having a problem adjusting to the changes in their family. It's got to be hard needing the comfort of peers and having an older brother who is desperately trying to be "in charge" that he can't give him the comfort. There's a lot of hurt in the world you're portraying, Beth. I do hope there's a happy ending in there somewhere.

    1. Thank you, Eden, for reading and commenting. Colin's adjusting to being uprooted from his family home in Scotland as well as this new harsh land in upper Manitoba in mid-19th Century, when each day required considerable effort to survive. So, yes, he's struggling. Dougal is also barely hanging on, with multiple responsibilities. In this setup, I hope the reader will wonder if and how they will survive what's next. Sometimes in historical fiction, we don't find happy endings. But my heroes will persevere.

  5. Nice sibling interaction in this scene, very realistic.

    But for some reason I wanted it to be less realistic and Colin to be a tad less selfish. :/

    1. Thank you, Ruth, for that vote for realism. Yes, I want Colin to be less selfish as well, but I want to defend him! He's 15, stretched beyond his capacity to think about others, eager to be on his own. And it's an early draft. Your comment keeps me focused on who he "really" is.


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