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December Fate

I started Christmas shopping.

It was a dismal affair. Mainly because my inner Grinch decided to come along with me. In fact, I had quite an entourage roaming the mall with me, once you figure in the fictional characters that are always lurking at the back of my consciousness.

As usual, I began wondering what Rose would be doing. But instead of her being knee-deep in gift-giving ideas, I found her in a much messier bog.

Believe it or not, Christmas is hardly an afterthought for Rose this time of year. There’s no tree yet. No decorated house. If she’s making presents, she has started them, but gifts are a task to be addressed when the other chores are finished.

No. Early December has Rose knee-deep in the gory, cold, slushy mess of hog butchering. And I think she’s a bit traumatized by it all. Continue reading

First Meetings (part 3)

If you’ve just joined us, Rose and I have been talking about how she and Harold first met, an exercise suggested by the editor to whom I pitched my story idea at the recent writers’ conference I attended. It’s turned out to be a rather long, drawn-out story. You can catch up with Part 1 here and Part 2 here.

ROSE: I’m afraid this is taking much longer than you had expected. Shall I go on?

TM: {nods} Please. You had just fainted when you saw the mess on your hands. Continue reading

Aside

First Meetings (part 2)

If you recall, Rose and I have been talking about how she and Harold first metan exercise suggested to me by the editor that heard my story pitch. When we left Rose last time, she had stopped mid-story for a glass of lemonade.

I don’t know about you, but the wait has been excruciating.

Finally, I’ve pinned her down for more…

 

After some coffee—strong, because that’s what Rose thought I meant when I said something “stronger”—we settle on the porch swing. The sun is low on the horizon and I’m wishing I’d brought a sweater with me. Evenings get chilly in a hurry this time of year.

ROSE: Now, where were we?

TM: You had just found yourself face to face with—

ROSE: Oh, yes! Well, I wasn’t sure what I was face to face with. This… thing… covered in muck and blood stood outside a dilapidated shed. Continue reading

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First Meetings

I recently attended my first writers’ conference. One of the many firsts I experienced while there was pitching my story idea to an editor, Brenda Copeland. In the midst of my rambling, often incoherent, story pitch, she asked me a question I couldn’t answer; “How did these two characters meet?”

It’s an important question, given the disparity in their social classes, Harold being from what some would call the ‘wrong side of the tracks’ and Rose being significantly higher up on the social ladder. So, I decided it was time that Rose clued me in. We sat down and had a little talk…

TM: Since we’re exploring your former life, do you mind if I ask how you and Harold met? You have to admit, you two aren’t the average farm couple.

ROSE: Hmmm… The day I met Harold… {smiles, nods her head} At the time, I thought it was the worst day of my life. Continue reading