Posted in 1940s, Couples, Fourth Russian novel, Historical fiction, Igor Konev the younger, Left-Handedness, Violetta, Writing

WeWriWa—Not a born levsha


Welcome back to Weekend Writing Warriors and Snippet Sunday, weekly Sunday hops where writers share 8–10 sentences from a book or WIP. This week’s snippet comes right after last week’s, as Igor reassured Violetta his older brother Fedya didn’t share any personal stories about her. Igor then realizes something is different about her now than when he last saw her in childhood.

This has been slightly modified to fit 10 lines.


My Sennelier soft oil pastels, the same brand Violetta uses. Her pastels are just regular soft pastels, since Sennelier’s oil pastels weren’t created till 1949 (for Picasso). The original soft Sennelier pastels were created in 1900 for Degas.

“Say, I remember sitting at the children’s table with you at my oldest sister Tanya’s wedding. I was so jealous when you talked about how fun summer camp was, since I didn’t get to do that out in farm country.” Igor watches her blending the blues. “I don’t remember you being a levsha then; maybe I just wasn’t paying attention, but that’s the kind of thing that’s always stood out to me. Levshi notice their own kind immediately, while right-handed folks usually care less.”

“I wasn’t always a levsha.” Violetta puts down her blender and picks up a nasturtium orange pastel. “I had a very serious injury to my right arm when I was twelve, and after I recovered, I had no choice but to switch my dominant hand. Drawing is what helped me gain strength in my left arm and hand. If I had stayed right-handed, I doubt I’d be an art student today.”


On Saturday, 4 June, And the Lark Arose from Sullen Earth (the long-delayed Volume Two of the story of Jakob DeJonghe and Rachel Roggenfelder) will be released. It’s available for pre-order now. I’ll announce more details on Monday’s post. I always like my release dates to be dates important to my characters, and 4 June is the day Jakob and Rachel reunite after 13 months apart. It’s the story of their first proper year of marriage, Jakob’s first year in America, a lot of culture clashes, and Rachel’s search for a midwife.


I started reading at three (my first book was Grimm's Fairy Tales, the uncensored adult version), started writing at four, started writing book-length things at eleven, and have been a writer ever since. I predominantly write historical fiction family sagas/series. I primarily write about young people, since I was a young person myself when I became a serious writer and didn't know how to write about adults as main characters. I only write in a contemporary setting if the books naturally go into the modern era over the course of the decades-long stories being told over many books. I've always been drawn to books, films, music, fashions, et al, from bygone eras, and have never really been too much into modern things. If something or someone has appeal for all time, it'll still be there to be discovered after the initial to-do has died down. For example, my second-favorite writer enjoyed a huge burst of popularity in the Sixties and Seventies, but he wrote his books from 1904-43, and his books still resonate today, even after he's no longer such a fad. Quality lasts for all time.

17 thoughts on “WeWriWa—Not a born levsha

  1. Wow, he is very observant! But, I guess most left-handers were trained to use their right hand early on back then. It is rare that it would occur the other way.


    1. As a sinistral chauvinist, I always have lots of left-handed and ambidextrous characters. Igor’s namesake, the great-uncle he never met, was left-handed, as are his father, both of his brothers, and his two youngest sisters. Several members of the family’s youngest generation are also left-handed, as well one of as Igor’s brothers-in-law. His mother is left-handed as the result of a serious accident she suffered ten years ago.


  2. I tend to notice lefties, because I teach and they sign the roll each day while I watch (to make sure they sign their name and no one elses!). So I’m amazed at how many left-handed people there are at my school! I’m glad Violetta could switch her dominant hand. That can’t be easy.


  3. So what seems like a curse might be a blessing. I broke my dominant wrist in college and had to learn to write with my left hand just to keep up. Great snippet, Carrie-Anne.


  4. Interesting in the way switching hands switched her her brain’s orientation to be artistic. I’m “not righthanded,” a phrase I read somewhere to describe someone who isn’t ambidextrous but does a lot of things with my left hand.


  5. I imagine if I’d had to switch my dominant hand from the right at 12 years old, I might still consider myself a “forced” leftie. Hand dominance is so pervasive. Great details in this scene, am really enjoying watching these characters continue to interact.



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