Posted in 1950s, Couples, Fourth Russian novel, Historical fiction, Writing

WeWriWa—A surprising gift

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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’s snippet comes right after last week’s, from Chapter 55, “The Streets of the Future,” of my WIP A Dream Deferred: Lyuba and Ivan at University. This chapter, which closes Part I (to be published as Volume I), is mostly set over Orthodox Christmas 1950.

Twenty-year-old Bogdana Sheltsova, who survived two horrific, life-altering events six weeks apart, is now living with her aunt Fyodora in Ditmas Park, Brooklyn. She didn’t expect her friend Achilles to visit with roses and a gift bag after their last encounter in the underground clinic where Achilles assists.

Achilles insists he sees Bogdana as a beautiful soul who’s just barely begun to breathe, but Bogdana can’t bring herself to share those sentiments. Her aunt just stepped in to invite Achilles to go skating with them at Prospect Park.

This has been tweaked to fit ten lines.

“Sure, that’ll be fun, and perhaps Bogusya would like a skating partner.” Achilles smiles at her again. “Please, Bogusya, open the bag; I want you to see what I got you.”

Bogdana reaches into the bag and pulls out a blue velvet box. When she opens that, she finds a flat, heart-shaped rose quartz on a silver chain.

“You’re getting a patient jewelry? That really violates the doctor-patient relationship! At least I made the request I did in a purely medical context, and didn’t see it as sexual at all!”

Fyodora raises her eyebrows. “What in the world did you ask for yesterday, or don’t I want to know?”

Posted in 1950s, Couples, Fourth Russian novel, Historical fiction, Writing

WeWriWa—A soul who’s just begun breathing

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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’s snippet comes right after last week’s, from Chapter 55, “The Streets of the Future,” of my WIP A Dream Deferred: Lyuba and Ivan at University. This chapter, which closes Part I (to be published as Volume I), is mostly set over Orthodox Christmas 1950.

Twenty-year-old Bogdana Sheltsova, who survived two horrific, life-altering events six weeks apart, is now living with her aunt Fyodora in Ditmas Park, Brooklyn. She didn’t expect her friend Achilles to visit with roses and a gift bag after their last encounter in the underground clinic where Achilles assists.

Achilles, so named because his heel was torn up by forceps at birth, has just told Bogdana there’s no such thing as getting a lady too many flowers.

“I’m no lady, and you damn well know it. I’m a cheap slut who disgraced herself, not once, but many times.”

“I’ve never seen you like that at all.” Achilles smiles at her. “I’ve always seen you as a beautiful soul who’s just barely begun to breathe.”

“I’m a damaged slut.” Bogdana takes the flowers into the kitchen and fills a vase with water.

“Mr. Medved, we’re going skating in Prospect Park,” Fyodora says. “Would you like to accompany us? They can rent you skates if you don’t have your own.”

Posted in 1950s, Couples, Fourth Russian novel, Historical fiction, holidays, Writing

WeWriWa—Unexpected gifts

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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’s snippet comes right after last week’s, from Chapter 55, “The Streets of the Future,” of my WIP A Dream Deferred: Lyuba and Ivan at University. This chapter, which closes Part I (to be published as Volume I), is mostly set over Orthodox Christmas 1950.

Twenty-year-old Bogdana Sheltsova, who survived two horrific, life-altering events six weeks apart, is now living with her aunt Fyodora in Ditmas Park, Brooklyn. Bogdana and Fyodora were discussing skating at Prospect Park when the doorbell rang and Bogdana found her friend Achilles with roses and a gift bag.

The last time Bogdana saw Achilles, who’s also a med student and her cabbie, she made an extremely unprofessional request which Achilles turned down in horror. She’s shocked he sought out her company after that scene in the clinic.

“Thank you for thinking of me, Mr. Medved, but you made it clear our professional relationship cannot continue. You can leave the flowers and present with my aunt, and I’ll get you the presents I bought you and your daughter.”

“Come here, Bogusya,” Achilles calls. “I came to see you because I like you so much. I never said I wanted to stop being your friend or that I hated you.”

Bogdana tentatively steps forward and accepts the flowers. “You’re always so thoughtful. I hope you haven’t spent too much money on all these flowers.”

“Money’s no object when it comes to making you happy, and there’s no such thing as getting a lady too many flowers.”

Posted in 1950s, Couples, Fourth Russian novel, Historical fiction, holidays, Writing

WeWriWa—Bogdana’s Christmas surprise

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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. For my Orthodox Christmas-themed snippet this year, I’m sharing something from Chapter 55, “The Streets of the Future,” of my WIP A Dream Deferred: Lyuba and Ivan at University. This chapter, which closes Part I (to be published as Volume I), is mostly set over Orthodox Christmas 1950.

Twenty-year-old Bogdana Sheltsova, who survived two horrific, life-altering events six weeks apart, is now living with her aunt Fyodora in Ditmas Park, Brooklyn. Bogdana mostly lives in the guesthouse, but she’s been prevailed upon to join her aunt’s family in the main estate for Christmas. Her discussion with her aunt about wearing old-fashioned skating boots to Prospect Park was interrupted by the doorbell.

This has been slightly altered to fit ten lines.

Bogdana goes back to the Christmas tree in the sitting room when Fyodora goes to answer the door. She has no intention of trading her ankle-length grey wool dress for a skating outfit she can comfortably move in, and doesn’t care if she’s the most unfashionable person on the rink. Those people ought to be more concerned with their own affairs instead of gossiping about someone else’s.

“Bogusya, Dyed Moroz has a surprise present for you!” Fyodora calls.

Bogdana clenches her fists. “Don’t tell me you paid some old man to dress up like Dyed Moroz and come to deliver a gift. I’m too old for that silliness, and even if I still believed in Dyed Moroz, nothing could change my melancholic mood. The die was cast that disgusting night, and nothing can ever change it.”

“Please, come take a look at your present before you decide it’s worthless; something tells me you’ll really, really like it.”

Bogdana returns to the front entryway, and immediately looks away when she sees Achilles standing there, holding a large bouquet of red roses in his right hand and a small gift bag in his left hand.

Posted in 1950s, Couples, Fourth Russian novel, Historical fiction, holidays, Writing

A black cat meets a gladiator

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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. Since it’s October, I’m showcasing Halloween snippets.

This comes from the start of the fifth section of Chapter 83, “Halloween Happiness,” of my WIP A Dream Deferred: Lyuba and Ivan at University. It takes place over Halloween 1950. This week’s snippet starts as successful local pinup model Lyudmila Kotova (née Vishinskaya) arrives at a Halloween party in Minneapolis and meets her future second husband.

Lyudmila and her identical twin Raisa impulsively married men they don’t love just to finally beat it out of their small rural town, and only belatedly realised what a mistake they made. Raisa’s husband has become increasingly abusive, while Lyudmila’s husband left her barely enough money to live on when he re-enlisted in the Army and deployed to Korea.

This has been slightly tweaked to fit ten lines.

Lyudmila gives her cheetah-trimmed sable to the coat check lady at the Halloween party. Though the building has central heating, Lyudmila shudders. Her black cat costume consists of a strapless bathing suit with a sewn-on tutu and long, curled tail, peep-toe heels, bicep-high velvet gloves, a headband with fuzzy cat ears, round onyx earrings, and a black pearl choker with a silver tag advertising her as Very Naughty Kitty-Cat. Lyudmila notes with pride how she’s wearing one of the sexiest costumes. Many of the other pinups are wearing more modest costumes, as though they don’t routinely show as much skin as possible during their photo shoots. That’s not how one gets positively noticed by higher-profile photographers and agents.

“Lyudmila Kotova?”

Lyudmila looks to her left and sees a very tall, handsome man with deep blue eyes and sable hair like her own, in a gladiator costume. His upper arms and legs are quite muscled, much better than Denis’s physique, and the cranberry cloak brings a splash of color to the otherwise all-black outfit. Almost as an afterthought, Lyudmila realizes he pronounced her name with a Russian accent.