WeWriWa—Imre’s dangerous mission

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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 switching back to my hiatused WIP, The Strongest Branches of Uprooted Trees. I unfortunately lost the entire file on my computer in August 2017, but thankfully had a near-complete backup on my flash drive. It’s missing about two to five thousand words, but it could’ve been so much worse.

This comes from Chapter 45, “Imre’s Revenge,” set in November 1945. While 17-year-old Csilla and her friends have been smuggled out of Hungary and into Italy before the Soviets could completely take control, Csilla’s new boyfriend Imre begged off on going with them.

Imre claimed important business in Budapest, among other reasons, but he truly planned to go to Csilla’s hometown of Abony to recover important possessions she hid before being taken to the ghetto. Matters are complicated by Csilla’s old house now being owned by a gendarme who tortured her.


Downtown Abony, Hungary, Copyright Civertan Grafikai Stúdió

Csilla’s house was near the avenue’s genesis, not too far from the intersection with main thoroughfare Szolnoki Út, and just a bit before the intersection with Cserép Utca. It was a simple one-story brick edifice with a wooden door and yellow shutters. There was dim light behind the windows, but not much noise. The chain-link fence around the backyard wasn’t padlocked, so all Imre had to do was push down on the tension band and swing open the latch.

He didn’t dare try the back or side door when he knew full well the house was occupied, so he dropped to his knees and crept along the back of the house till he found a slightly ajar window. He pushed it the rest of the way open and slid inside, onto the top of something he quickly realized was a modern washing machine. It would’ve been much worse if he’d landed on a blazing coal heater or boiler. Landing on the washing machine also meant his entrance hadn’t made much noise. There was no time to wonder whether this time-saving wonder had belonged to Csilla’s family, or if the gendarme’s family had added it. Imre was only here to dig up the valuables hidden underneath the coal.

WeWriWa—A secret connection

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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 helper Adrian complimented her and her sister Irina on their fancy, custom-dyed skates and told Sonyechka he hopes her hand heals soon. Now Irina, who’s old enough to understand certain things and keep important secrets, realizes just who Adrian and Poliksena are.

As Adrian skates after Poliksena, it dawns on Irina that these must be the shunned Anya and Alya’s children. She doesn’t envy them, having to keep so many secrets at all times, spin plausible cover stories, and avoid other topics altogether.

“What a nice young man,” Platosha says. “I wonder how he and his sister know our family.”

“Probably from church,” Irina lies. “It’s probably one of those cases where someone remembers or knows you a lot better than you do them. I’d surely remember someone with an unusual name like Poliksena.”

“That’s the kind of boy you need to date when you’re old enough, Sonyechka,” Beatrisa says. “Adrian is very mature for his age. I assume he’s about fifteen.”

Anya and Alya are longtime friends of Lyuba’s who were shunned from their circle after their lesbian relationship was discovered on Coney Island in 1923. In 1927, out of desperation, Lyuba came to them to beg for financial help, and was told they’d forgive her and give her money regularly if she came for weekly visits and genuinely rekindled their friendship. All these years, Lyuba and her four oldest children have kept their friendship a secret from everyone.

A gay friend provided the material for an artificial insemination at a radical underground clinic, and they publicly pass Adrian and Poliksena off as children they adopted in Prague. A few extremely trusted people know they’re natural children, but not about the lesbian relationship.

IWSG—March odds and sods

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The Insecure Writer’s Support Group virtually meets the first Wednesday of each month, and gives participants a chance to share struggles, triumphs, quandaries, and fears. This month’s question is:

Whose perspective do you like to write from best, the hero (protagonist) or the villain (antagonist)? And why?

I enjoy both for different reasons. While everyone likes the story of a hero or shero, it’s also great fun to read and write a villain’s side of the story. It lets the mind go to very dark places, and understanding what motivates a villain helps to elevate her or him beyond a one-dimensionally, cartoonishly evil caricature.

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I’m very, very, very happy to report I finally seem to be back to regular journalling with Khanada, the journal I started 23 September 2008. Thanks to my dysfunctional, co-dependent, unhealthy, dead-end, “What was I thinking?!” relationship with Sergey, I stopped journalling in March 2009 and didn’t return till May 2012.

I was sporadic until July 2013, when I returned to Khanada as an outlet for my emotions re: the off the charts drama, more Orthodox than thou antics, and nitpickiness wrought by my roommate. After she thankfully broke her lease and left me alone, I continued journalling, but the length of entries and overall commitment began waning, and in August 2016, I stopped and became sporadic again.

I turned back to Khanada when Peter Tork recently passed, and have been writing every day since. Much of this is everything I failed to record when I was with Sergey, similar to how my entries in my fifth journal, Prudence, were at one point devoted to writing down previously unrecorded memories before I forgot them.

If you’re wondering, Khanada is pronounced Ka-NAY-da, not like Canada. Since my third journal, I’ve named them after songs—Cecilia, Rita, Prudence, Rael, Athena, Emily, Zelda, Eloise, and now Khanada. Future names will be Mary, Suzanne, Magnolia, and Marlene.

Not only had I never heard of her namesake song when I began her, I’d have laughed in your face if you told me which band I’d take her name from. I just celebrated my eighth Duraniversary on Valentine’s Day. Obviously, I didn’t name Khanada for quite a long time.

I’ve been regularly journalling since 8 September 1989, the first day of fourth grade. I’m upset I fell off the wagon so badly thanks to putting Sergey and his 1,001 issues first, and being unable to regain my normal momentum for a long time, but all I can do now is move forward into the future.

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I’ve been working very prolifically and steadily on my WIP, my fourth Russian historical, A Dream Deferred: Lyuba and Ivan at University. I’m hopeful I’ll finally be finished by the end of the year, since there are less than 20 planned chapters left.

I need to start writing my A to Z posts for both my blogs. Once again, the theme on my secondary blog will be less intense and involved. Some of the posts on my main blog will be taken from salvaged pages from my old Angelfire site, with necessary edits and expansions.

On Monday, I’ll be discussing the third book to recently come under fire from a Woko Haram struggle session pre-publication. This time, there’s a delicious Schadenfreude twist. I’m told a fourth book may fall victim soon too.

Do you journal? Have you ever fallen away from anything writing-related and had a hard time making your way back?

WeWriWa—Fancy skates

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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 one of Sonyechka’s helpers, Poliksena, asked if her family are the Konevs from Minnesota. Sonyechka’s sister Irina nodded and asked if their families are acquainted, and Poliksena only said that’s a very long story.

“I like your skates, Sonya,” Adrian says as Poliksena skates off. “Your sister’s skates are nifty too. I thought only Polya dyed her skates fancy colors.”

“I love making my own fashions,” Irina says. “Who wants to have plain white skates like everyone else when we can have eye-catching colors like turquoise and royal blue? I’d rather be one in a million than one of a million.”

“That’s what my parents say too. It’s nice to blend into the crowd and be just like everyone else, but human beings aren’t supposed to be like coins who come out of the mold identical. I hope your hand heals quickly, Sonya.”

WeWriWa—A strongly left-handed family

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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 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?”