Wednesday, November 19, 2014

ROW80 Update: Nano and reality

Most of today I spent helping a friend with dementia prepare to leave her home. Not an easy day. So for the first time this month, I haven't made the quota for writing 1,667 words for Nano. Maybe I will catch up tomorrow. Most likely not.

Available on Amazon
My update for ROW80, is equally brief. Wrote some. Read some. Got two wonderful books in the mail. Sylvia Van Kirk's Many Tender Ties: Women in Fur Trade Society, 1670-1870, which I've already read via interlibrary loan, but now I can spend some time with this nice used copy.  

Kate Sparkes' Bound, the audio book, won in a virtual drawing, also arrived in today's mail. What a thrill. Her cover is fabulous! Why not check out this fantasy/scific read by an indie writer on Amazon? Just about perfect for a break from all those relatives next week.

Weds WIPpet, that snippet from a work in progress, still from my Rivers of Stone, is a little dark today. In today's excerpt of 15 lines (for November , the 11th month, plus 4 for the 4th week), Catriona confronts death in 1840s Upper Manitoba, where winters are far colder (temperature today is a chilly minus 4).

Inside the teepee, Cat sat beside Marie on a bearskin blanket, the smell of tobacco strong. She wasn't sure what to say. Marie's grandmother had walked away in the night, and no one could find her. 

Marie finally sighed. "We didn't have enough food. Sometimes this happens in the winter. The elders go away, so the young can survive."

"We had hungry times back home," said Cat.

"We shouldn't have to go hungry." Marie picked at a brown glass bottle. "Not when our men bring this home. It wasn't like this when I was a child."

"Things change," said Cat. "Not always for the best."

"She taught me how to work beads." Marie pulled out a heavily beaded small bag, the pattern a medley of flowers and birds in rich colors. "She made this one. Keep it to honor her memory."

"I will," said Cat. She held the soft deerskin bag on her lap and traced the design with her fingers. "Teach me, will you?"

"I will teach you, but not today. Not tonight. We wait until spring brings the flowers back, and I will take you into the woods, and when we find her, we will sing her spirit song and remember her. Then I teach you how to make the pattern of your heart."

Metis Bag (University of Oregon)
Read snippets from other writers have posted at Kate Schwengel's blog, My Random Muse.

Encourage other writers from A Round of Words in 80 Days HERE.

May the rest of November go well for you.


  1. Congratulations on winning the audiobook - I love to listen to audiobooks, and seem to be doing that more and more. Enjoy! I really enjoyed the snippet - I want Marie to teach me too!

  2. Great snippet! Love the beaded bag. A hard day for sure for you and probably more of them. Care for others definitely comes first. You'll get ahead of your goals I'm sure.

  3. Great snippet. Reminds me a lot of home.

    Dementia is one of the hardest things to watch because nothing can be done about it. Keep strong.

  4. I am sorry to hear about your friend. What a beautiful thing to do, helping her to get ready for her move. You got so much done even during this hard week! I hope you are giving yourself a big hug for all of it.

    That bag is stunning! I love how it fit into your WIPpet.

    Take care!

  5. I'm so sorry about your friend. What a tough situation.

    Loved the snippet. The beaded bag is beautiful; brings the words to life.

  6. I love the dialogue - the pattern of your heart. Nice work!

  7. Beautiful snippet, even if it is sad. It was lovely of you to help your friend like that. I don't imagine it's easy to leave home like that.

    Thanks for the shout-out. :)

  8. BOUND is a great story, you're sure to enjoy the audio book. :D

    "Sometimes this happens in the winter. The elders go away, so the young can survive." Ugh, this really tore at my heartstrings. And for it to seem like such a natural thing, wow. I also love the bead work being "the pattern of your heart". Moving piece, for sure.

  9. So sorry to hear about your friend. And what a sad excerpt, but so beautifully-written. Great job.


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