Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Row80 Weds Zero Dark 6 am

This morning in Galveston, the sky turns from black to a pearly pink very quickly, the ocean, flat, calm and deep blue. So I do write dark stuff. I wish I didn't sometimes, for my characters get into such pickles. And have few resources. In another week and a half, we will return north and face winter. I will miss the palm trees.

Today's WIPpet Wednesday, and I've made a commitment to participate in Kate Schwengel's generous community of writers who share snippets of their work-in-progress, based on the date. February 18 = convoluted math for me. Shorter would be division, so 18/2 = 9 sentences.

This snippet is from Rivers of Stone. Catriona, disguised as a boy, has traveled from Scotland with her husband, Dougal, to work for the Hudson's Bay Company. It's a cold August, 1842.

“Push off,” cried one of the sailors. “We’re ashore tonight.” The men laughed and shoved the boat away from the Prince Rupert.  Cat took great breaths of air, thrilled to be smelling fish and birds and something different, something that smelled of the land.
As they drew closer to shore, a polar bear sat in shallow waters at the mouth of the Hayes River, catching fish and swallowing them whole. “There’s fresh meat for us,” one of the sailors said. The bear watched them pass, its giant jaws moving. Cat marveled at its size.
The boat turned into the Hayes River. One of the men shouted, and they all saw a black roof, then a sprawling, two-story white building, and the finger of a long dock reaching out to them.
David Hogg, Polar Bears Fishing (Flickr
ROW80 Update since Sunday.
WRITING 
--Revise Section 02 on Rivers of Stone. First read through of 13 chapters done. Revise Chap 3 (Sec 01) based on crits from NOVELS-L 5/9 done.
--Read Elizabeth Lyon's Manuscript Makeover. Half-way through Chap 5 on story structure. Dense and thought-provoking. I think I'll be on Chapter 5 for awhile.


COMMUNITY
--Blog 3x week. 2/3 this week so far. Read others' posts x6 weekly. 4/6 so far. Participate in WIPpet Weds weekly. That's today. Done.
--Crit drafts by other writers 1x weekly. 1/1 done.

--Social media: Twitter x3.

MARKETING 
--Draft marketing plan w/action steps by month. In progress.
--Evaluate possible ads: Collected background on 3 out of 5. 

--New goal: Read one book/article on marketing.

Once while camping in British Columbia, we watched brown bears sit in the middle of a river, catching and eating salmon. They'd simply break the fish in half, rip out the fish eggs, and toss the broken bodies of the fish back into the river. They ignored the tourists well back on the banks, until someone brought a dog. That's when we left.

May doubt not be your companion this week -- and your reading and writing week go well.

Check out what other ROW80 writers are up to HERE and read other WIPpets HERE.

19 comments:

  1. Cheers to you, Beth! I fight the battle and am winning too! :-)

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    1. Thank you, Cindy. One day at a time. A few words tighter. A draft closer to final. Hopefully, writing that means something to someone. May your own writing go well.

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  2. I like the descriptive phrasing. It is a little bit like John Steinbeck...gives you the sense of the scene.

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    1. Thank you for visiting and commenting. Actually, Steinbeck and Hemingway are two of my favorites -- adding Ken Follett as well.

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  3. Galveston sounds wonderful. I just returned from a cold, snowy walk with the dog, so I'd welcome a view of palm trees right now. :)

    I've only seen bears in the wild a couple of times, and then only a glimpse. Brown bears catching salmon sounds amazing to watch.

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    1. We go back to possible snow at the end next week, so I'm going to get sunburned and walk my feet off! Re the bears, I'm just appreciating again how what we experience shapes our writing. I did get some pictures, but the experience of trying to get close-ups led me to get my first digital camera -- with zoom! Have a good week!

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  4. Nice snippet. I can almost feel the cold air on my face (and that's saying something, since it's nearly 30 degrees Celsius here already and it's only nine in the morning! Another hot Sydney day on the way).

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    1. Marina, I hope to visit down under one day, that land with summer in winter. My current story set in Hudson's Bay features a February average of minus 27 C (that's minus 16.6 F), so I'm glad you felt the chill. Have a good week writing!

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  5. I liked your WIPpet. Looks like you are making good progress on your goals. Good luck from a ROW80 blog hopping friend.

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    1. Thank you for stopping by! Writing from a very different place physically (with many distractions) makes any progress feel slow . . . but steady. May your own writing go well.

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  6. Being Australia, the brief time I spent in Canada was spent being terrified of running into bears. Haha.

    I like the description of the moving up the river, particularly that you mention the scents. All too often we forget to include that in our descriptions.

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    1. Thank you! I read somewhere recently we should try to use every sense except sight (because that creates a filter). Alas, I am far too guilty of the 'she saw' . . . revision, revision!

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  7. So descriptive, it felt almost like being there. Congratulations on your goal progress, and your anecdote about the bears with the fish sounds like such an incredible thing to witness.

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    1. Thank you! Seeing the bears in the river eating salmon at the end of summer with a park ranger reassuring us (a crowd of about 20) was unforgettable. The bears were so sated, the ranger said we were in no danger. That is, until the dog arrived.

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  8. You're making good progress. Great photos. Loved your snippet - description well done.

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    1. Thank you, Bev. ROW80 helps keep us all on track, even when this twice-weekly check-in is a little hard to do. Have a great week writing.

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  9. Great description and very appropriate for me right now - this is my 5th straight day of being snowed in!

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  10. Hah, I totally know what you're talking about with the bears. Alaska has their fair share as well! Great descriptions. Looking forward to reading more.

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  11. It's been cold enough here that I keep expecting to see a polar bear when I step outside. ;) Rather glad I haven't. As usual, a wonderfully descriptive scene that sinks us right in the moment.

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