Monday, December 13, 2010

And So, Here We Are.

So I didn't finish NaNoWriMo. That's OK, though! it was my first try, after all. I am roughly 16,800 words through my novel (which I'm temporarily calling B and B), and that's huge as far as I'm concerned. 

Here is a snippet from the second chapter of my book, one of the "turning point scenes". What do you honestly think of the style and content? I'm looking for feedback.

   Gracia was a woman who knew things. All of Whitcrowe was aware of it. She was spoken of as a wise woman. An interesting lassie. A queer one. A woman ye would’na want to cross. She was sweet, pretty, plump, and hospitable. She was also Bess’s mother, and Cecily thought of her as a second mum.
   Bess’s face showed in the window before Cecily had even reached the door, and a line of concern spread across her brow as she disappeared to open the door. She stood there with her mother in the back, wringing her hands in her apron. “Dice and bones, Cessy, what’s bringin’ ye here at this time of night?”
   Cecily gave an uncomfortable look towards Gracia, who quickly put a hand on Bess’s shoulder and whispered something in her ear. Still frowning, her friend moved out of the way and Cecily ducked inside the entrance.
   The cottage was furnished almost exactly like Alis and Cecily’s, only with a tall piece of furniture from the wealthier days of Lander’s ancestors. Gracia intimated that they climb the ladder into the loft above and Cecily followed her up, carefully avoiding Bess. Once up in the sleeping-storage area, the two sat down on the floor and Gracia looked deep into Cecily’s eyes. “You’ve sought me out, Cessy? I can see you are terribly upset.” The girl gave a little nod and sat silent, rubbing the tips of her fingers with her thumb. “I understand that your mother is feeling no better?” Another nod. Gracia sighed. “Dearie, you’ll have to tell me what the matter is if I am to help in any way! Do you need food? Herbs? Any care that we can give?”
   Cecily shook her head and tried to articulate, “Ms. Gracia, I’ve tried so hard—prayed so much—said all I could,” she started to choke and Gracia laid one work-worn hand on her shoulder.
   “I’ve seen it all, dearie. You’ve aged several years over the past months, and I’ve been wondering if there’s aught the rest of us could do.”
   “Give me answers! That’s all I want. I’m tired of asking others for what I should be able to do by myself. I’m tired of going to someone else.”
   Gracia lifted one eyebrow and folded her hands in her lap. “Contrary to popular opinion, I am not a worker of miracles. I cannot heal the sick or answer great questions. But before the tears start up in your eyes again, I will share something I’ve learned over the years.” She leaned in close as if to give the full impact of her next words, “God does not share power. We have to make it from what we are given. We all have power, power that our vicar can only imagine. It is the energy to do great things, make things happen that would not happen otherwise. You’re afraid, aren’t you, Cessy? Do not be. This is all a part of learning. You must learn what kind of potential is in yourself. You don’t have to come to me, anything is possible if you will but think it so. Spend time thinking, Cessy. Cultivate that power. It will serve you well when the testing comes.”
   Cecily was perfectly still for several long moments without noticing the passing of time. It was something to think on, something different. She stood to go and Gracia went down the ladder before her. On her way out Cecily’s gaze met Bess’s and they smiled at each other. All would be well.

P.S. I don't exactly agree with some of the sentiments expressed! It's all part of my convoluted plot....

P.P.S. I have started a blog for this project:


Tim Shey said...

I am not good at critical analysis, but I liked what I read here. Very mature writing for an 18-year-old.

I am very well-read and I have a degree in English Literature from Iowa State University, so I know what good literature is.

When I was 21, I wrote a novella, but it never got published. In 1995 and 1997, I had a short story ("High Plains Drifter") and two poems ("Shiloh", "A Prophet's Eyes") published by Ethos Magazine, respectively.

In 2008, I had a book published: "High Plains Drifter: A Hitchhiking Journey Across America" (it is on my blog, if you want to look at the cover). It is on It is also on the Internet Archive, if you want to read it for free.

Abby Rogers said...

Thanks for the comments, Tim! I'm pleased to have my work read by a published author.

I will have to check out Dubliners!

God Bless,