WeWriWa—Principled pain tolerance

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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 right after last week’s, when Sonyechka’s 16-year-old sister Irina and 15-year-old cousin Platosha came to take her to the ladies’ room for first aid. Sonyechka’s first pain noises came when Platosha brushed black iodine all over her hand, prompting Platosha to comment on her high pain tolerance.

“I didn’t want to look like a baby in front of everyone. Showing weakness is bad, particularly when most people already think girls are inferior to boys. That’d give them even more reasons to treat us unfairly.”

Platosha puts numbing ointment over all the gashes, then finally wraps up Sonyechka’s hand. “You’re a very lucky girl. No cute older boy ever helped me up when I fell on a skating rink, at your age or any other time.”

“I wasn’t paying attention to what he looked like.”

Irina smiles. “You won’t think like that very much longer. Before you know it, you’ll have crushes on boys, and fantasies of marrying them.”

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WeWriWa—A very high pain tolerance

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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’s helpers introduced themselves as twins Poliksena and Adrian (though the reader knows they’re not true twins). Family friend Iliana asked if they were born in the U.S., and Poliksena said they were born in Prague, though their parents immigrated from Russia years earlier, and returned to the U.S. shortly after their birth. They didn’t learn English until kindergarten.

Sonyechka’s 16-year-old sister Irina has come to help her, along with their 15-year-old cousin Platosha.

Irina immediately takes Sonyechka’s left hand and skates off with her, Platosha supporting her from the other side.

“Thanks for helping,” Irina calls back.

“Some people on this rink are crazy,” Platosha says. “A lot of New Yorkers in general are crazy, but people often lose their senses and common decency in a crowd. I doubt someone would’ve done that in the days of skating on ponds.”

Platosha gets her purse from the bag check, then shows them the way into the ladies’ room. Irina rinses off Sonyechka’s bloody hand, washes it out with hot water and soap, and blots it dry with a hand towel from an attendant. Platosha then coats it with black iodine, which produces Sonyechka’s first pain noises.

“I would’ve been screaming since that mudak ran your hand over,” Platosha says. “You’ve got a really high pain tolerance.”

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In December, I was chosen as one of the ten winners whose stories will be in this year’s Insecure Writer’s Support Group anthology, Masquerade: Oddly Suited. It releases 30 April, and the genre is young adult romance, with the theme of masquerade. My story is set in 1767 Charleston, featuring a character I created at 5-6 years old and thought I’d shelved forever in 1992. This is our cover:

WeWriWa—Introductions

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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 her future husband Adrian pulled her up and asked if she feels dizzy, light-headed, or nauseous. Sonyechka said only her hand hurts, and her cousin Isidora went to get her older sister Irina and some gauze.

This has been slightly tweaked to fit ten lines. Klarisa and Iliana are the little sisters of Canadian Army medic Yuriy, whom some of you might remember from previous snippets.

“I’m Poliksena, but everyone calls me Polya,” the strange girl says, “and this is my twin brother Adrian.” She pronounces it with long As. “What’s your name?”

“Sofya, Sonya for short.” Sonyechka dares not tell these sophisticated teenagers her true nickname. She is called Sonya every so often, and knows she’ll have to graduate to the more mature nickname full-time in a few years, since no one takes a teenager or adult with a babyish nickname seriously.

“Were you born in this country?” Iliana asks.

Klarisa looks at her warningly but gently. “That’s not a polite question, Yana. Some things we never ask anyone, particularly not when we’ve just met.”

WeWriWa—Sonyechka meets Adrian

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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 Lyuba and Ivan’s next-youngest child, Sofya (Sonyechka), was knocked over at Rockefeller Rink. The offending skater then skated over her hand.

An unfamiliar voice shouted at the guilty party to watch where he was going, and skate into someone his own size. The offender said “Accidents happen” as he skated off.

The boy who comes to Sonyechka’s aid will become her husband in the future sixth book (set from 1957–64). Their complicated, passionate romance will be one of the two main storylines.

Sonyechka looks in the direction of the unfamiliar voice and sees a brunet boy who looks a bit younger than Irina, with a redhaired girl about the same age. Though the boy wears black skates like all the other boys and men, his companion has malachite green skates with turquoise blue laces. She also stands out with her ultramarine ski jacket and what look like boy’s pants under her knee-length red skirt.

“May I help you up?” the boy asks. “No insult to your friends, but I think I’m stronger than they are.”

Sonyechka nods, her hand still throbbing. The boy lowers himself to his knees, hooks his arms under hers from behind, and pulls her up. His companion quickly helps him to support Sonyechka.

“Do you feel light-headed, dizzy, or nauseous?” he asks.

WeWriWa—Run over at the rink

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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, I’m shifting to Chapter 52, “Lyuba’s Golden Jubilee,” of my WIP, A Dream Deferred: Lyuba and Ivan at UniversityIt’s December 1949, and the Konevs have gone to New York City to celebrate Lyuba’s 50th birthday. Lyuba, Ivan, and their youngest daughters are staying at the Waldorf–Astoria.

While Lyuba and Ivan spend the day before Lyuba’s birthday with their friends and relatives, their daughters Irina and Sonyechka go skating at Rockefeller Center with cousins and family friends their age. Sonyechka, who’s just turned eleven, is having a great time until she encounters a very rude skater.

Sonyechka raises her right leg to copy the more advanced skaters gliding along on one foot, and leans forward as far as she can. She then tries copying the jumps she sees, making sure to stay as low to the ice as possible. Most of the time, she lands on two feet, or very shakily and sloppily. She’s thinking about how to execute a one-footed spin with one leg out, in a crouching position, when a boy about Irina’s age knocks her forwards onto the ice and proceeds to skate over her right hand. Sonyechka’s hand throbs in agony, blood gushing from it.

“Why don’t you watch where you’re going?” an unfamiliar voice shouts in a Russian accent. “Skate into someone your own size!”

“Accidents happen,” the guilty party calls as he skates off.