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The Coffee Shop => The Gallery => Topic started by: Skip Slocum on November 29, 2013, 08:46:28 PM

Title: More Tool of the Trade / part two (780)
Post by: Skip Slocum on November 29, 2013, 08:46:28 PM
With all the quiet around the house these days, its a bit easier to write. I'm still fleshing out this story and would love to chat about it if you want. This is the next 780 words after Jake cut his hair and shaved  his mustache. Part one is this thread --> http://mywriterscircle.com/index.php?topic=50904.0

I wanted to start throwing in a few twists. So here's what I've come up with so far.

...
He broke camp in the predawn morning with a pot of stew meat, a bag of fresh jerky and a roast for the spit. He followed the left bank of the river like the major told him. The first bridge he came across would lead to the back of the house.
The river grass was thick and hedged along the bank and the shadows black enough Jake wasn’t going to risk stepping off into deep water. By the time he found a break in the foliage where he could safely water his horse and pack-mule, the sun was cutting its first rays through the valley.

He filled one canteen while the sun lit the dusting of fly-seeds coming off the trees. They seemed to hang motionless over the green banks and black waters as if they were left over from some enchanted dream – some mysterious forgotten place in time. A place of peace he’d always dreamed of finding.

By the time he’d finished filling his second canteen, looking toward the sun made him squint. Between the glare on the water and the dusting of seeds in the air he caught a glimpse of movement on the other side of the river. Instinctively his hand dropped to his gun.

Stepping from the trees, a beautiful girl appeared. She couldn’t have been much older than twenty one or twenty two. Even if she’d been fully dressed, Jake would have been hard pressed not to look but this beautiful creature had stripped herself of everything but a waist-slip petticoat.

The sun shone a golden radiance haloing through her long brown hair and pierced her slip as if it were a thinly veiled curtain of white lace and mist.

Clearly she believed she was alone for her morning lavation – at least until Jake's horse nickered and bobbed his head in the air. Beauty looked right at them and straight into Jake's eyes. She covered herself by curling her arms inward. But she didn’t scream and she didn’t look away.

Jake stood averting his eyes down toward his boots in an apologetic gesture. Before he realized what he had done, he found himself with hat in hand as if he passed this beautiful rarity on the streets of a township. With his heart racing he couldn’t help but look again, but she was gone. Not a sound, not a trace, as if she’d never been there in the first place. He began to argue with himself, she was real wasn’t she?

That glorious vision real or imaginary burned its way into his memory – the shimmer of seedlings dancing all around, the sparkling water, flash-glitter and blinding, the golden halo in her hair and above all else, the look she gave him. She didn’t seem to be angry. Maybe she realized he’d been just as surprised to see her as she was of him.

The bridge must have been over a mile and a half farther down the road but Jake couldn't have told a soul what he’d passed along the way.

Mr. Owens greeted him near the stables. “Glad you made it. The boys are anxious to meet you. We’ve been telling ‘em about your corn-cakes.” He gestured to a small clap-board cottage. “This one’s yours. The coal pits, and woodpiles between you-” He pointed to the larger building across from pit and brick oven. “- and through there is your kitchen and mess for the boys.”

Jake followed Mr. Owens in through the back door of the kitchen and on through into the dining hall. There were two or three boys sweeping and three more scrubbing the long table that divided the room. Mr. Owens went on through and out the front doors onto a wraparound porch with a dozen or so chairs and benches lined up along the wall. The Major met them with a smile and shook Jake’s hand again. “I’m happy you decided to come on.”

Jake looked out toward the corrals and saw more boys no older than fifteen or sixteen. He furrowed his brow and almost mumbled under his breath. “Boys – cook for the . . . boys? As in real boys?”

The major chuckled. “Yes son, this is Major Sam’s home for orphans and wayward boys.”

Mr. Owens grinned. “We take ‘em in, clean ‘em up, give them discipline, book learning and teach ‘em to farm and ranching. Doing the Lord’s work in the land of the wicked.”

Jake was trying to hold back a smile and trying not to shake his head when that beautiful young woman rode up. She glanced his way again but this time she was fully dressed. The major helped her down from her side-saddle.
“Let me introduce you to my daughter, Miss Abigail-Grace Reno.”
Title: Re: More Tool of the Trade / part two (780)
Post by: wanderer on November 29, 2013, 09:13:00 PM
Some sentence structure I would change but I always leave that up to style preferences. Others can comment on that. I really like the story and it flowed nicely. I got the feeling the girl was an Indian, but the last part when the daughter was introduced...maybe it is her? If the girl was bathing I would think she was swimming in the water and would be drying herself with a towel?

Like the subtle twists.  ;)
Title: Re: More Tool of the Trade / part two (780)
Post by: Skip Slocum on November 29, 2013, 09:26:49 PM
I got the idea from a wallpaper picture on my computer. The puter cycled to that pic and I said, 'Ericka, I finally found a home for you my little chick-ah-dee.  ;D
Title: Re: More Tool of the Trade / part two (780)
Post by: 510bhan on November 29, 2013, 10:11:57 PM
The sun shone through the thin slip and haloed a golden radiance through her long brown hair. <---- sounds like the sun is shining through her slip and haloing stuff within it . . . bizarre image, I'm sure you can see doesn't look good.

The sun haloed a golden radiance through her long brown hair. It made her thin slip translucent.  :-[


Beauty looked right at them and right straight into Jake's eyes.
Title: Re: More Tool of the Trade / part two (780)
Post by: Skip Slocum on November 29, 2013, 10:18:07 PM
ooo  :-[ 000 you're right, I'm gonna go fix that without holding off. LOL thank you.  ;D ;D
Title: Re: More Tool of the Trade / part two (780)
Post by: Skip Slocum on November 29, 2013, 10:30:37 PM
Thanks Miss Sio, whew, yeah that wasn't quite the imagery I was going for. Here's how that line reads now -->

-- The sun shone a golden radiance haloing through her long brown hair and pierced her slip as if it were a thinly veiled curtain of white lace and mist.

Clearly she believed she was alone for her morning lavation – at least until Jake's horse nickered and bobbed his head in the air. Beauty looked right at them and straight into Jake's eyes. --
Title: Re: More Tool of the Trade / part two (780)
Post by: 510bhan on November 29, 2013, 10:44:29 PM
 ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) That's better.
Title: Re: More Tool of the Trade / part two (780)
Post by: Skip Slocum on November 29, 2013, 10:53:07 PM
I think so too. Thank you!  ;D
Title: Re: More Tool of the Trade / part two (780)
Post by: 510bhan on November 29, 2013, 11:09:01 PM
Don't forget the apostrophe for: Jake's horse. ;)
Title: Re: More Tool of the Trade / part two (780)
Post by: Skip Slocum on November 29, 2013, 11:11:16 PM
 ;) I'm on it. Thank you. Are you over that cold yet? And back to writing?
Title: Re: More Tool of the Trade / part two (780)
Post by: 510bhan on November 29, 2013, 11:12:43 PM
Lurgy free now, thank you. I'm anxiously waiting for time to go by so I can look at Muriel 2 again and begin editing. In the meanwhile, doing some short stories. ;)
Title: Re: More Tool of the Trade / part two (780)
Post by: Skip Slocum on November 29, 2013, 11:19:00 PM
That's kinda what I'm trying to do with this. Figured I should give Matt and Megan a rest and try to create some new characters with different mannerisms and speech patterns. Sort of jump out of my comfort zone an exercise something new inside. 
Title: Re: More Tool of the Trade / part two (780)
Post by: 510bhan on November 29, 2013, 11:26:42 PM
That's good. I still keep thinking about Muriel but I was so in the zone when I wrote it and it's different to anything else I've done -- with multiple POVs and all, I'm not sure if I'm the one to fiddle with it. Been reading lots of crime books and it seems to be on a par with the ones I've enjoyed . . . written by men, and the only thing I can see that mine doesn't have is detailed fight scenes, real dust ups. But there's no need for that in mine -- there's the Enforcer hanging Lenny, the bar scene where there's a scuffle and Allanagh trailing Carrie down the stairs but nowhere else demands fistcuffs, it's more psychological battles. ::)

I am getting fed up with reading what established authors can get away with, yet us newbies are all recommended to steer clear of . . . passive phrasing, overlong sentences, prologues, info dumps, irrelevant padding [allegedly to add characterisation but I'd dispute the way one guy in particular handled that -- and he's a literary critic as well as an author]. Grrrr :( >:(
Title: Re: More Tool of the Trade / part two (780)
Post by: Skip Slocum on November 29, 2013, 11:31:53 PM
Yup, you're feeling better. But letting the story simmer on the shelf a few weeks, whew, well at least for me, it worked wonders to finding mistakes and sentences with twin subjects.
Title: Re: More Tool of the Trade / part two (780)
Post by: 510bhan on November 29, 2013, 11:34:42 PM
I'm being good, except I have to laugh, everything I write is dark or horrible, yet I'm quite a happy person. ;D ;D ;D ;D
Title: Re: More Tool of the Trade / part two (780)
Post by: Skip Slocum on November 29, 2013, 11:39:13 PM
 ;D ;D Whee haw! "Luke, come to the dark side . . ."  ;D
Title: Re: More Tool of the Trade / part two (780)
Post by: 2par on November 30, 2013, 07:20:36 AM
Siobahn, Hawthorne wrote a lot of sad stuff, but it was said he was a very happy person.
Title: Re: More Tool of the Trade / part two (780)
Post by: Gyppo on November 30, 2013, 09:38:10 AM
What we write and what we are need not be the same. Although, for some reason, many non-writers like to believe it is.

Gyppo
Title: Re: More Tool of the Trade / part two (780)
Post by: Alice, a Country Gal on November 30, 2013, 10:44:57 AM
Sorry Skip, the slip stopped me cold. In (what I think is) your story's time frame, women and girls didn't wear 'half slips.' Their undies consisted of full slips for dresses, and only the well to do could afford something thin and see-thru. Or, they wore pantaloons that came below the knee with a short plus the top was more like an undershirt of today, some with frills and lace.

That said, the rancher's daughter might have been able to afford finer material for her clothing, so it might well have been of a fine, soft texture.

I know it may be just a little thing, but thought I would mention it.
Title: Re: More Tool of the Trade / part two (780)
Post by: Skip Slocum on November 30, 2013, 11:05:44 AM
Shoot yeah, this is a good point. We as writers must match the times to avoid the jarring. I know, took me long enough to learn this one  ;D ;D

Let me sip some more coffee and ponder this part -- wording wise. I would like to keep the accidental intimacy.

And giving every character a purpose I figure Miss Abigail could be the school marm.

Also, Jake having zero experience with 'little brothers' and going instantly to having 12 to 15 of them might help me write some comedy, frustration and the like. 
Title: Re: More Tool of the Trade / part two (780)
Post by: Skip Slocum on November 30, 2013, 12:12:21 PM
I changed the slip description, I'm still working on the wording but called up a few images on google pics as well. Here is the description for this garment.
***

Petticoat ca. 1860-1865 via The Costume Institute of The Metropolitan Museum of Art “This petticoat features whimsical eyelet embroidery with birds, the form of which is inspired by folk embroidery, and fruit on the vine. A well-loved form of decoration on nineteenth century clothing, eyelet embroidery is a time-consuming process which involves cutting holes out of the fabric to form the desired motif, then meticulously stitching around the hole to complete the design.”

http://www.pinterest.com/leeetz/petticoats-and-bloomers/
Title: Re: More Tool of the Trade / part two (780)
Post by: bri h on November 30, 2013, 12:48:33 PM
Hey Skip. I like this as well as the first part, although . . . Not a sound, not a trace, as if she’d never been there in the first place. reads as poetry to me, it kinda takes me out of the rhythm of the story. And . . .she was real wasn’t she? Would these words not be better served as italicised, seeing as how they're thoughts? Just a couple of things for you. The rest is fine to me. Bri.
Title: Re: More Tool of the Trade / part two (780)
Post by: Skip Slocum on November 30, 2013, 01:17:49 PM
Hey bri, I was trying to show Jake as a closet romantic to set the stage for what's to come. Let me ponder that part. it might be a tad too sing-song for prose. Now the italics part I've got to think on a while because I've always felt that POV character and the narrator can at times share one voice. (I'm not closed off to that change though.)

Miss Alice -- okay, I tried to add sleeves, bows and ties but it all started sounding jumbled (more than it probably does now.) ha.

Anyway, I did some work on that part of the story but in light of what I found out, I went with the half-slip (not calling it that of course) Also cut that section into two paragraphs since it was starting to run long. Here's how it reads now in my copy.

***

...
Stepping from the trees, a beautiful young woman appeared. She couldn’t have been much older than twenty one or twenty two. Even if she’d been fully dressed, Jake would have been hard pressed not to look at this stunning creature.  She had stripped herself of everything but a delicate petticoat leaving her completely naked from the waist up.

He watched her lift the underskirt to keep its hem out of the mud as she timidly tested the soft shoal of the riverbank with her bare feet. Crouching, she dipped a cloth into the cool water. The sun shone a golden radiance, haloing through her long brown hair. The light pierced her thin garment as if it were a mere veiled curtain of white lace and mist. Her youth required no stays or binding corsets to enhance what the almighty had bestowed.

Clearly she believed she was alone for her morning lavation – at least until Jake’s horse nickered and bobbed his head in the air.
Title: Re: More Tool of the Trade / part two (780)
Post by: wanderer on November 30, 2013, 01:30:21 PM
I checked all my references and don't think the word "slip" would be used to refer to a garment in the 1800's. About what year does this take place?
Title: Re: More Tool of the Trade / part two (780)
Post by: Skip Slocum on November 30, 2013, 01:38:28 PM
Good hit. I can change 'slip' to

'underskirt'

Origin:
1860–65; under- + skirt


Thank you.  ;D
Title: Re: More Tool of the Trade / part two (780)
Post by: bri h on November 30, 2013, 01:44:07 PM
I think 'petticoat' would read better mate, B
Title: Re: More Tool of the Trade / part two (780)
Post by: 510bhan on November 30, 2013, 01:49:37 PM
Petticoat is used in the previous sentence.
Title: Re: More Tool of the Trade / part two (780)
Post by: Skip Slocum on November 30, 2013, 01:52:32 PM
But I've used petticoat in the previous sentence already. 'Underskirt' will keep me from repeating myself, yes?

-- She had stripped herself of everything but a delicate petticoat leaving her completely naked from the waist up.

He watched her lift the underskirt to keep its hem out of the mud as she timidly tested the soft shoal of the riverbank with her bare feet. --


Miss Sio posted right before I hit enter.  ;D
Title: Re: More Tool of the Trade / part two (780)
Post by: bri h on November 30, 2013, 01:54:30 PM
Yes, I see that, underskirt works fine. B
Title: Re: More Tool of the Trade / part two (780)
Post by: Skip Slocum on November 30, 2013, 01:57:21 PM
And 'riverbank' is one word so I just repaired that as well.
Title: Re: More Tool of the Trade / part two (780)
Post by: bri h on November 30, 2013, 01:58:20 PM
And 'riverbank' is one word so I just repaired that as well.

Well that would depend on where you stash your money, wouldn't it. ha ha
Title: Re: More Tool of the Trade / part two (780)
Post by: 510bhan on November 30, 2013, 01:59:56 PM
 ;D ;D ;D
Title: Re: More Tool of the Trade / part two (780)
Post by: Skip Slocum on November 30, 2013, 02:03:38 PM
Yupper.

-- Three outlaws robbed the Lincoln county river bank last Thursday. They shot two tellers and a dog during their getaway. --  ;D
Title: Re: More Tool of the Trade / part two (780)
Post by: Gyppo on November 30, 2013, 03:52:17 PM
The dog's feline companion and best friend is relentlessly pursuing the robbers across the desert.

That's right.  The 'pussy' is in hot pursuit.


Sorry, couldn't resist.

Gyppo
Title: Re: More Tool of the Trade / part two (780)
Post by: Skip Slocum on November 30, 2013, 03:54:31 PM
 ;D I was going to try expanding on your joke but maybe I'd better just smile and leave it there.

 ;D ;D ;D
Title: Re: More Tool of the Trade / part two (780)
Post by: bri h on November 30, 2013, 04:42:23 PM
Innit amazing what you can start with an innocuous little sentence?  ;D

GOD I LOVE this site. The creativity is so refreshing.
Title: Re: More Tool of the Trade / part two (780)
Post by: Skip Slocum on November 30, 2013, 04:44:32 PM
 ;D me 2
Title: Re: More Tool of the Trade / part two (780)
Post by: Skip Slocum on December 01, 2013, 11:09:30 PM
I haven’t written any today while enjoying Bunny’s company and having her all to myself for once.

However, she finally ducked out to do some shopping this evening and I’ve been pondering the ‘Miss Abigail Reno’ character of this story.
While Jake discovering the girl bathing might tantalize male readers with this accidental intimacy, I’ve been trying to get into ‘Miss Abby’s’ head about the incident when everyone comes face to face for the first time.

1.   I figure she would have naturally been embarrassed – that’s a given.
2.   She doesn’t know the Jake character yet and might try to downplay or mask her reaction.
3.   She probably wouldn’t want her father or Mr. Owens to know what happened.
4.   She might try to size up the Jake character quickly while.

What I’d like to try is having Jake’s internal dialogue and him attempting to surmise what some of Miss Abby’s stern looks might mean. I’d also like to have the dialogue between the four characters be calm and even keel on the surface while Jake and Abby’s portion is laced with flirting on his part and veiled warnings on her part.
Title: Re: More Tool of the Trade / part two (780)
Post by: bri h on December 02, 2013, 02:54:24 PM
Do Jake and Abby 'do the deed' eventually? If so, you might want to put some flirty double meaning banter into the conversation. Yes?
Title: Re: More Tool of the Trade / part two (780)
Post by: Skip Slocum on December 02, 2013, 03:30:13 PM
Eventually I want them to get together but I'm trying for a rocky beginning and work through the angst and awkwardness of their first unofficial meeting. I've been working on it today. Trying to flit back and forth with politeness spoken while she stabs him with a poison eye if her father or Mr. Owens catch wind of this. Let me work it a bit more trying to clean it up so it read smooth and hopefully without words spelt backwards.  ;D 
Title: Re: More Tool of the Trade / part two (780)
Post by: 2par on December 02, 2013, 09:04:44 PM
Boy, that whole part sounds so great.
Title: Re: More Tool of the Trade / part two (780)
Post by: Skip Slocum on December 02, 2013, 09:18:50 PM
 ;D I'm working on it.

Right now it feels like something isn't quite right yet, with Miss Abby. It might be an old guy trying to think like a young girl. Ha  ;D ;D