WIP Wednesday Chapter 3

WIP-Chapter 3

It was hard motivating myself to sit at my desk and write another chapter this morning (I’m several chapters ahead of the snippets I post. I wrote chapter 4 this morning and maybe I will get some of chapter 5 done today too. Bonus!). I reserve Tuesday mornings, and possibly afternoons, for my writing. I teach writing classes at a local university and by the time I’m done talking in class and/or reading student work, I’ve got nothing left for my own work. So Tuesday mornings are sacred and all mine.


This chapter shifts back to 1975 and Terri’ s point of view. Terri is a widow and must move back, with her daughter, to Terri’s childhood home, a move she loathes to make, but must.

Chapter 3 Snippet

I laughed. “No. I lived in a house. We just can’t see it from here.” I climbed back into the car, wincing as I bumped my ankle. I drove a bit farther, stopping just before the road dips and begins to slip down into a small valley.

Below was the land that had been in my family for generations. A land grant as payment for fighting in the Revolutionary War, the farm had remained in family hands through the generations, tied to the land in ways many in Buck’s Eye were tied to their property — through family that never really seemed to leave.

“It looks like our other house,” Chelsea said, and in many ways it similar to the one we’d left — white farmhouse with wraparound porch, a barn not far from the house, a small shed. This farm had some differences — a small fishing pond where I and my grandfather spent hours with fishing line dangling into the water, not too concerned with whether or not we caught anything. When he passed, he was buried in the small family plot set back into a stand of birch trees a short distance from the house.

The faint slam of a door reached us up on the knoll and a small figure stepped out of the shadows of the porch, shading her eyes as she looked up the road. One oak tree stood beside the steps; not two. The missing tree reminded me things had changed while I was gone. My grandmother’s beds of irises, daylilies and morning glories were covered in grass. The farm pond’s bank was bare — only four grey, splintered posts remained of Grandpa’s small fishing dock.

“There’s Grandma D,” Chelsea said.

“Yes, it is.”
“She has horses!” Chelsea said, clapping her hands. “Look Charlotte!” She snatched the small rag doll off the seat. “Horses!”

“Where?” I asked. I didn’t see any horses; never had, even though the phantom herd I’d heard my mother talk about was an intricate part of my childhood.


WIP-by the chapter

One of my writing goals this year is to complete my own never-ending story; i.e. finish the novel already. To help me along, aka a cyber kick in the pants, I signed up for a writing challenge. (Search #52 week writing challenge for all kinds of good stuff, including the initial post). This week, I’m posting a bit of a sample from the chapter, from my still doesn’t have a title, personal never-ending story or my Work In Progress.

The novel is a fictionalized account of local historical events.

Synopsis-as the novel is now

The novel moves between two time frames and two points of view. The first chapter introduces us to the main character Terri and her daughter Chelsea. The time frame is Ohio, Summer 1975.

This sample shifts back in time and is in third person point of view. The main character is Joshua (have yet to figure out a last name).

Joshua is a Revolutionary War veteran and as payment for his service, he was granted land on the Ohio frontier.

This is also a newer chapter, so it is still in a rough draft stage.

Chapter Two-sample

In spite of the high, fast-moving water, the trip across was quick and uneventful, thanks to the skill of the rafter taking them across. Sarah hadn’t waited until they were on the other side of the river to get off the wagon. She stood beside it, holding onto the wagon frame while planting her feet as wide as she could. The baby inside her belly flipped and poked, swimming in a pool of it’s own.

“You seem to like the water,” Sarah said, rubbing her belly and groaning a bit as a foot or an elbow poked her in the side. “You’ve not been this active since Fort Pitt,” where the wagon had crossed both the Monongahela and Allegheny rivers on it’s journey to the Ohio frontier. She wasn’t sure where her husband’s parcel was located; she just hoped it was far from the river.

“Need a ride across the river,” said the small man, jumping off the raft and walking up to the wagon. It wasn’t so much a question as a statement.

“Yes, we do,” replied Joshua. “I’m here to settle on my land grant.”

“War vet, then?” replied the man, leading the horses onto the raft.

“Yes sir. Fought with the Virginia boys,” Joshua replied. “And I’m here to claim my payment.”

“Not the first,” the river man said, as he started the raft across the river. “Several have come here ahead of you in the last few weeks. The raft bumped up against the landing on the other side of the river. “Welcome to Buck’s Eye,” the river man said as he tied off the raft.

“Buck’s Eye,” said Joshua and Sarah at the same time, but in different tones of voice. Joshua sounded happy, while Sarah asked a question.

The river man led the horses up the bank while Joshua helped Sarah. When they reached the road, Joshua took control of the team and the river man walked toward a few trees instead of back to his boat. Joshua and Sarah watched as he bent over and picked up something from the ground. As he walked back, he wiped it against an already dirty and tattered shirt before handing it to Sarah.

She turned over the brown object with a tan mark on one side.

“Buckeye,” the river man said. “You’ll find the trees and their nuts,” he nodded at Sarah’s hand, “all over.”

“That’s where the village got it’s name,” Sarah replied.

“Indeed,” the river man said. “Looks like the eye of a buck if you think about it.” He pointed toward the small cluster of cabins. “You’ll find some supplies there and answers to questions,” he said. “I need to get back to my boat.”

Everyone has an author shrine, yes?

Book Talk

Author Shrine

Everyone has an author shrine located in their office and/or library, yes?

Shrine-Laura Ingalls Wilder books and photos on shelvesMy Laura Ingalls Wilder shrine

My shrine, so to speak, consists of two shelves I bought on Etsy from this shop.

On one shelf is LIW’s Little House series and the other shelf holds I Remember Laura, Little House in the Ozarks, and the wildly successful Pioneer Girl The Annotated Autobiography. Two black and white photos finish off the shrine-one of a young LIW and the other when she is older. They are reproductions I found on eBay.

Shrine Little House books and photo of Laura as a young woman

Laura as a childhood companion

Laura Ingalls Wilder is the first author I can remember that swept me back in time, first to the dark woods of Minnesota, to different homesteads on the Plains, and finally to a farm in the Ozarks of Missouri. There may have been four girls–Mary, Laura, Carrie, and Grace–in the books, but in my mind there were five because I was right there with them.

Shrine-Photo of Laura Ingalls Wilder and books about her

Laura as author

LIW started her career as an author later in her life. I started my career as author and instructor later in life as well, going back to school in 2007 and by the time I was done, had a BA in English and an MFA in creative writing. She hit her stride later in life, and I find I am hitting mine. If she could pursue a career in publishing after raising her family, so can I.

Still reading after all these years

I’m still reading her books after all these years and they still draw me in. The annotated bibliography was a fascinating read for me, letting me into parts of her life LIW had not included in the her children’s books because she didn’t think many of what she witnessed in her life wasn’t appropriate for children.

While I have plenty of favorite authors across many genres (you’ll be introduced to many of them in upcoming posts), LIW will always be my all-time favorite because she introduced me to the concept of powerful storytelling; sweeping up a reader into a world she can only experience through words.


Pink Post-its, Permanent Markers, and Mountain Pose

Workspaces of the famous

I don’t know about you, but I’m intrigued by the workspaces of other authors. Buzzfeed has quite the list. All sorts of styles are here, but none with large, pink post-its.(more on that in a bit).

My workspace

I had to have some of the drywall in my office repaired, which meant I had to clear out my office of most everything it held. It also meant I didn’t have to put everything back in. I now have a much more functional space. I can actually see the floor and my desk, and things are, for me anyway, much more organized.

L-shaped desk with storage is where I work and no pink post-itsPart of my author shrine is visible.

Pink Post-its and permanent markers

Along with my rearranging, I opened up wall space. I now use pink post-its and permanent markers to track issues with my writing–questions that pop into my head, thoughts/insights about plot and/or characters, or anything else I don’t want to forget while writing. I can add more post-its if needed. The markers don’t smear and work great, after making sure they didn’t bleed through the paper and onto my newly repaired wall.

But pink?

Why not? I wanted color on my walls and this serves a dual purpose–color and function. What I didn’t realize until I slapped the first post it up–they fade. The post it on the left has a darker spot. That’s where part of the packaging shielded the top sheet from light. Store light, apparently, since these were in the back of Staples.

pink post its

And Mountain Pose?

I’ve started taking yoga classes to loosen up tight muscles and have adapted the mountain pose when I’m working at my standing desk. My standing desk is the black think on the left, in the above photo, holding my laptop. If I want to sit, I can either lower my standing desk or move over to the standard desk.

I have a lot of natural light that comes in my windows and some fun stuff on my walls–like this sign. It’s still a work in progress, but it’s a fun work in progress.

sign and storage on the wall in my office tiny pink post it flag on one of the pages