Posted in 1840s, Anne Terrick, Historical fiction, holidays

WeWriWa—1841 begins


Welcome back to Weekend Writing Warriors and Snippet Sunday, weekly Sunday hops where writers share 8–10 sentences from a book or WIP. This year’s New Year-themed snippet comes from probably the only book I’ll ever write in first-person, Anne Terrick: A Bildungsroman. I created Anne’s original incarnation when I was 5-6 years old, eventually made her into a 19th century diarist, and then shelved her in 1992. In 2017, I finally resurrected her.

For different reasons, Anne and her sister Abigail really stand out in 1840s Congregationalist Boston, and in a home ruled over by their petty tyrant of a father. After a series of extremely dramatic events, the sisters find their freedom in Oregon Country, along with a bunch of other black sheep in their family and circle of friends.

Dave is an orphan whom Mr. Terrick took on as an apprentice to his general store when Dave was twelve years old. Anne has had a crush on him for a long time, but since she’s six years younger than Dave, he doesn’t notice her in that way yet.

This has been slightly tweaked to fit ten lines.

January 1, 1841, Friday,

Last night’s Watch Night service left everyone quite tired, but we weren’t allowed to sleep past 8:00. Except Father, that is. His store isn’t open on New Year’s Day, but he briefly woke up to bang on everyone’s door before going back to sleep himself. He’d know if anyone else went back to sleep too, so we had no choice but to dress and go down to breakfast.

Alice and the other servants had a festive meal waiting for us—apple pie; spiced apple cider; balls of sweetened dough stuffed with currants and fried in hog’s fat; toasted bread covered with melted butter, cinnamon, and sugar; applesauce; fried eggs in tomato sauce; and Herb’s very favorite, mincemeat pie. Much of our food comes from our modest garden and farm, and is stored in our smokehouse, larder, and pie safe during the months when the land is dead; other food is acquired through store customers trading in exchange for goods.

After breakfast, Dave’s current young lady came to the house. I was afraid Father might awake and punish him for daring to admit one of his lovers in broad daylight instead of keeping her in the barn for the usual few hours under cover of darkness, but Father remained asleep.

“I really wanted to walk to the pond together,” the young lady announced. “Meeting there isn’t as romantic.”

Posted in 1840s, Writing

IWSG—A NaNo rebellion dictated by circumstance


The Insecure Writer’s Support Group convenes the first Wednesday of every month, and lets participants share their worries, insecurities, triumphs, hopes, and fears. This month’s question is:

Win or not, do you usually finish your NaNo project? Have any of them gone on to be published?

I finished the first and third years I unofficially participated, with Little Ragdoll and Journey Through a Dark Forest. LR released 20 June 2014. The second year I unofficially participated was Justine Grown Up, which is still on hiatus.

My first year officially participating was my alternate history And Aleksey Lived, which is also on hiatus. I do intend to get back to it soon, since I’d like to have it finished for a 17 July 2018 release, the 100th Jahrzeit (death anniversary) of my protagonist.

In 2015 and 2016, I worked on A Dream Deferred, which still isn’t finished. I’m really embarrassed it’s taking so long to finish, given my normal writing speed.

By the way, I’m still looking for people to interview for the climactic “Sing Blue Silver Snowstorm” chapter of JGU! The details are on my sidebar, if you or someone you know were at the concert.

I’d planned to add 50K more to Dream Deferred, but given the snail’s pace my wordcount has plummeted to, I’m taking a break to recharge my passion and motivation. It’s not that I lost interest, just that my current circumstances are a giant obstacle.

I’m resurrecting Anne Terrick, whom I created as Ann-Ann at five or six. She went through quite an evolution before ending up in the 19th century, and has been shelved since 1992.

Since this old draft is in storage 900 miles away, along with most of the rest of my stuff, I’ll be going by memory. I’m using the basis of her story and little things here and there, not attempting to recreate everything.

I’ll be aging Anne up a little, and setting it over a longer period. She’s still a tomboy with dreams of running away to the wilderness to start a new, freer life.

I’m adding a stint in Boston boarding school; a forced marriage to a nasty retired sea captain forty years her senior; and a birth which almost kills her, ending in the extraction of the baby with a craniotomy hook.

Her love interest, David Myles Hoe, will have his surname changed to Howe, and I’m making him six years older and her father’s assistant in the family store. In spite of my own personal feelings, it’s historically accurate for the man to be a little older, and a girl to desire an older partner.

Because I don’t trust myself to write 50K under my circumstances, I’m being a NaNo rebel by also working on creative non-fiction. I’ve been planning a series on The Jazz Singer‘s 90th anniversary for two years, and have at least twelve topics.

I’m committed to researching and writing this series, and don’t want to push it off till December or give it less than my full attention. I’ll also be working on my other blog posts for the rest of this year.

I can’t get out of this area, and my parents’ house, soon enough!