Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Weds ROW80 and sweet WIPpet . . .

I'm not setting any goals for Sunday at all. We have just two days left here in Galveston and fly home on Saturday. Give me a pass, please! We're dragging our visiting friends from Philadelphia to all our favorite places, so today a trip to Moody Mansion, lunch at Rudy and Paco's (unforgettable shrimp empanadas with cilantro cream), the sun finally came out, so we went swimming at 54 degrees. As my Swedish mother would say, "Ooofta!" Time for writing? Yes, early, early in the morning.

Today is Weds, that's WIPpet day, a snippet from current writing based on the date of February 25, encouraged by Kate Schwengel. So 2 - 2 = 0 + 5 = 5 paragraphs from Rivers of Stone, historical fiction set in Canada's Upper Manitoba, 1840s, as Catriona McDonnell, disguised as a boy, follows her husband into service with the Hudson Bay Company. In this excerpt, Cat starts work at the Trading Post at York Factory.

“Come along now," called Murray. "Cat's yer name?"
Cat nodded. Her stomach felt uncomfortably full after breakfast. She pushed a bit of bread in her pocket. No telling when she might eat again.
"Funny name, that. Back in Edinburgh, Cat is fer prostitute." He looked at her. "Yer lookin’ comely enuf to be a girl. Better keep close to yer brothers, especially on Saturdays. Kin you read and write? Do sums?" Without waiting for a response, Murray continued. "Expect ye can. One of the reasons we hire Orkneymen."
"My name, 'tis a nickname," Cat interjected.
"Well, it’s too late now. Ye'll be known as Cat.” Murray hurried along the parade ground. “This be our busiest time until the ship leaves. We got to repack every one of those crates they’re unloading from the ship. After they’ve been accounted for, that is.” 
Fur trading at Hudson's Bay Company Post (Wikipedia)
Wednesday's check-in for ROW80: Special thanks go to Cait Nolan who with ROW80, does inspire us to set goals and persevere, despite flu and birthdays! Since Sunday, I have had two good writing sessions and posted to the Writing blog (finally), "Wednesday Morning Chuckle: Are You a Princess Author?"
Internet is rather intermittent here, so I've fallen behind in reading posts by others AND in doing crits for NOVELS-L. Received some amazing crits on Chapter 4 of Rivers of Stone. Sometimes it takes me a few days to absorb sharply critical comments, but even gentle comments keep me focused on revising so that my writing reads with more logical consistency (if you can say that), deeper characterization, and tighter story-telling (always hopefully). 

Let us all face down our challenges and persevere! 

Read what other folks have written for Wednesdays' WIPpet HERE and how ROW80 writers have done since Sunday HERE.

17 comments:

  1. I like your handle on the dialect! Lovely!

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    1. Thank you, Alana. I try to strike a balance so that what the characters say shows a class division without breaking the reader out of the story (because the dialect is incomprehensible)! But my mother really did say, "Ooofta!" all the time. :)

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  2. I really like what I've seen of this story. =0) Poor Cat, though. Murray's implications about Saturdays bodes very badly for her. *shudder* I hope she can keep her secret.

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    1. Secrets generally are discovered . . . but not always. Murray does his best to protect her, but we're only in the first fifth of the story. Thank you, Regi.

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  3. Reading your WIPpets Beth is like traveling back in time. Good job!! :-)

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    1. Thank you, Cindy. That's a real compliment. I know I'm in trouble when (in real life), I keep thinking about how people lived back then. I am so grateful for hot water and indoor plumbing.

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  4. "Especially on Saturdays." Yikes. I like the honesty in your history, though. Good stuff!

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    1. Thank you for visiting, Abigail. Not sure I'm going to follow up on that particular bit of history . . . I'm interested in the issue/controversy over native wives during this period but hope I can do justice to native cultures.

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  5. Love reading your historical fiction - so well done. Looking forward to learning more after this exchange. Have a lovely break!

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    1. Thank you, Beverley. We just got home after a 7 hour plane ride! Sigh. But it's so good to be back in my office with 'real' internet connections.

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  6. I totally can't believe you went in the water....

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. Well the POOL was quite warm (about 85 degrees F). What was really cold was the dash up three flights of stairs after getting out of the pool.

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  7. I had to convert fahrenheit to celsius, but brrrrrrr, I also can't believe you went swimming!

    I really do like the way you handle accents. I've read books where characters are near-unintelligible, but you always make sure they sound *right* but are totally understandable. I feel for Cat though, that's a secret that'd have to be incredibly jealously guarded in those circumstances because otherwise it just doesn't bear thinking about...

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    1. Thank you for commenting about the dialogue. I think many writers struggle to achieve a good balance of clarity and that unique sound of people talking casually -- as we often do. I've been thinking about Cat lately and wondering if she would be more adventuresome than I have pictured her so far. Every time Dougal mentions he may have to leave, she worries about being abandoned. But, she's left family and friends, and she has put herself truly in a precarious situation, but there needs to be something gritty about her.

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  8. I always worry about Cat so much. This excerpt didn't help any. And I agree with the others, your mastery of the dialect is superb.

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  9. I can relate to your "finally" statement re: posting on your blog. I do fine keeping up when I'm guest posting, but I have definitely neglected my own blog and my website. Maybe next round.
    Kudos to you that you've kept writing - and early morning even. Good stuff!
    Anyhoo, all the best for the week ahead.

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