Posted in 1940s, Fourth Russian novel, Historical fiction, Writing

WeWriWa—A strongly left-handed family


Welcome back to Weekend Writing Warriors and Snippet Sunday, weekly Sunday hops where writers share 8–10 sentences from a book or WIP. I’m currently sharing from Chapter 52, “Lyuba’s Golden Jubilee,” of my WIP, A Dream Deferred: Lyuba and Ivan at University. It’s December 1949, and newly-11-year-old Sonyechka has been knocked over and had her hand skated over at Rockefeller Rink.

This week’s snippet comes a bit after last week’s, when Sonyechka came back to the rink after her sister Irina and cousin Platosha gave her first aid. Sonyechka’s helpers, Adrian and Poliksena, have waited to see if she’s alright, and Irina said the hand that was injured isn’t her dominant hand.

This has been slightly tweaked to fit ten lines.

Adrian smiles at her. “I’m left-handed too.”

“All three of our brothers are southpaws, and so are both our parents and youngest sister, though our mother’s a switched righty. One of our older sisters taught herself how to write left-handed, to impress our father. Her husband’s also a southpaw. So far, we have four southpaw nieces and nephews.”

“Do your teachers bully you?” Sonyechka asks. “The teachers at the stupid school I’m leaving were so mean about it, and one of them broke my baby sister’s arm to try to switch her.”

Poliksena looks at them more closely. “Are you by any chance the Konevs from Minnesota?”


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.

10 thoughts on “WeWriWa—A strongly left-handed family

  1. My mother was left-handed and seemed to be proud of it. Being a leftie turned out to be an advantage for her as a juggler. I don’t think anyone else in my immediate family is or was left handed, but I guess I never paid attention to it or cared.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out


  2. Interesting that they might know og each other! My mom and aunt are left-handed. Though the school made my aunt use her right hand. By the time my mom was in school, they’d stopped that practice.


    1. Tamara came to the defense of new girl Yaël, whom the teacher was also picking on, and the teacher (who was loosely based on my own second grade teacher, but much worse) snapped and twisted Tamara’s arm behind her back. She got more and more out of control, and gave her a stroke by kicking her in the head and ribs afterwards and bashing her head against the floor. She invited the other students to join in.


  3. I hope that teacher who broke the kid’s arm was arrested or something. Very vivid detail! My wife’s a lefty and I’m a somewhat confused righty who does many things left handed. In perfect Mendelian fashion, one of our four children is a lefty.


    1. The teacher who broke Tamara’s arm also gave her a stroke, broke many other bones, and knocked out or chipped ten teeth by bashing her head against the floor and kicking her in the head and ribs. She also invited the other students to have a turn. The Minnesota school board got involved, and Governor Youngdahl was contacted about the matter. Though the fictitious town of Melville saw nothing wrong with those actions, all their schools were shut down for an investigation, and the teacher was arrested.


  4. My dad always used to say “southpaw” for left handedness.

    This is a good reminder of how heard it used to be on those dominant with the left hand. The world is still set u against them. Take scissors, for instance. And one time without thinking, I bought my husband a calligraphy set. (facepalm) that was clearly designed for a right handed writer.


  5. That’s terrible that the teacher broke the girl’s hand because she was left-handed. Unbelievable!
    I’m left-handed. Luckily, no one tried to force me to be otherwise. Though I do quite of few things right handed too.
    My husband is right handed but played kickball with his left foot. 🙂


  6. Both my sisters are lefties. I’m ambidextrous as is my oldest. He had a terrible time in school because he’d cut and color things with the hand closest to the work and his teacher had a fit. We both do things with either hand (except write).


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