Continuing this little experiment – a western written as a series of diary entries.
Saturday Jan 2nd, 1869
I said yesterday this is the ass-end of Texas but I’ve reconsidered. That wasn’t quite fair. This is more like a pimple on the ass-end of Texas. A very big ass, very small pimple.
Pa and Granpa built the house on a slope not far from Aransa creek but high enough not to be caught by the floods. There were better places but Granpa’s brother got those for his family. He and Granpa had a flaming quarrel about a month before and they still weren’t talking so when great-uncle grabbed all the soft land north of the Aransa, Granpa crossed back over the creek and found this little patch to the south. There’s good grazing, plenty of timber and he dug a good well that don’t run dry even when it’s hot enough to fry an egg on your hat. It’s a nice place, though small in comparison with some of the others.
Our house is like all the others – logs chinked with moss and mud under a board roof with a dirt floor, but because we was close to the creek we keep a barrel of sand to spread over the dirt. I don’t remember the old house as it was, because by the time I came along Pa had built more rooms. We have three now. One for living, one for Pa and Ma and one where Isaac and I sleep.
In our big room Ma’s favourite thing is a iron stove Pa found by the creek when he was collecting strays. It was with other scraps, a broken chair, bits of cloth, and he reckoned it must have come from a wagon. Maybe they ditched it because the wagon was broke or too heavy. Ma says some poor woman must have cried her eyes out over leaving it. It’s odd to think of that woman as we warm by her stove at night and Ma makes our food and we’ll never know who she was and she’ll never know how her loss makes our lives so much better. Where she is I hope she’s happy.
More next week – incidentally I’m sort of making this up as I go along, as you do, and just dipping into the history books/google when it occurs to me, so apologies in advance for any horrible anachronisms.
Read Full Post »
Another Saturday, don’t they roll round fast?
It’s snippet time again – a time when 30+ authors of LGBT themed fiction post six[ish] sentences of published works or WIPs and share them around through the magical medium of Facebook *rolls eyes a bit*. Click on the link about to go to the Facebook group where all the links are collected.
Okay, still with me?
I’m posting the next consecutive six from Calon Lan – a title taken from the old Welsh hymn which means Pure Heart – which is set during the Great War an shows a romance through the eyes of the married sister of one of the protagonists. Last week Alwyn had gone to the station to fetch his friend, leaving Bethan and Nye alone in the house.
They were tidy again and Bethan had prepared supper while Nye finished his work in the yard, before Bethan saw the first glimmer of light from the lamp on the trap. She peered into the gathering dark, wondering if she should call Nye in from where he was shutting up the fowls for the night, but then she saw him striding down the yard to open the gate. Bethan admired the spring in his step, knowing that she had put it there, then went to stir up the fire. She hung the kettle and swung it into the flames while listening to try and guess how long she would have before they came inside. Nye called a welcome, his voice small in the distance and she heard no reply that carried over the ring of Polly’s hooves and the grate of iron shod wheels on the cobbles.
She heard a soft mutter of voices, a louder comment from Nye then Nye appeared at the door with a canvas bag in his arms. He kicked the door shut behind him and rolled his eyes. “Your bloody brother,” he muttered and set the bag aside so he could stoop to remove his boots.
In case you want to know what Calon Lan sounds like this is the shortest vid I can find. The Welsh Youth Choir amusing other passengers at Buenos Aires airport on their way back from a series of gigs commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Welsh arriving in Argentina and settling in Patagonia.
If you don’t mind a longer version with pretty pictures of Wales there’s this one:
Read Full Post »
It’s that time of week again, where a couple of dozen authors writing books of LGBT interest post short excerpts of their published work or WIPs. Click on the graphic above to be taken to the Facebook group where all the links are compiled into a handy dandy time saving list!!
I didn’t manage to get as many read last week as I wished and don’t think I managed to comment to any, but this week I’ll try to do better.
I’m continuing with my snippets from Calon Lan, though I suspect that might have to just be a working title. Calon Lan is set during the Great War and tells of a male male romance seen through the uncomprehending eyes of the married sister of one of the protagonists. Apologies to purists but this week, to keep on with the strict as it comes approach, there’s a suggestion of m/f. You may wish to avert your eyes.
They worked hard that morning, ate an early dinner, then Alwyn went out to put the mare to the trap. Polly had been curried until her bay sides shone and her harness gleamed with oil. Alwyn had even taken the trouble to rub up the brasses and that made Bethan smile. So much had been done lately that had to be done and barely a thing for the joy of it.
Bethan watched from the window as Alwyn set off, holding Polly to a steady walk, though from the set of her ears she would have preferred to step out into the bold high-kneed trot she had been bred for.
Nye put his hands on her shoulders and ducked his head to look as well, his chin on her shoulder, breath warming her neck. “He’s not like to be home much before dark and Georgie is fast asleep.”
Bethan grinned. “And you’ve got an itch that needs scratching, is it?” she asked and chuckled as he chased her upstairs.
Read Full Post »
Saturday!! Hang on, it is Saturday, isn’t it? YES! Saturday so that means another snippet. But first an explanation.
Rainbow Snippets is a Facebook GRoup set up so authors of LGBT fiction can post six [approx] sentences of a WIP or a published work on their own blog then post links to the group to make them easier to find. Then we all read each others snips, comment if we have time, and get an idea of what books to look forward to. Click the image above if you would like to join in.
I have been posting bits of my Great War historical Calon Lan. The title is a reference to the classic Welsh hymn, often sung at rugby matches, the title of which means “A Pure Heart”. It tells of a romance between Alwyn and Joseph, two injured soldiers trying to recover from the war as seen through the eyes of Bethan, Alwyn’s married sister, who is completely ignorant that such a thing as love between two men could exist.
In this excerpt the day of Joe’s arrival is here and Bethan and Alwyn are preparing.
On the day, Alwyn helped her to change his sheets. They pulled them taut, tucked the blankets in then covered all in his freshly laundered quilt.
“You should sleep snug enough,” Bethan smoothed the quilt over the pillows, smiling at the bright little squares and diamonds of cloth cut from once cherished garments. When Alwyn didn’t reply she asked, “Will you walk to meet him?”
“Nye said I could take Polly and the trap.” Alwyn, who had overseen the birth, growth and training of Polly years before either of them had set eyes on Nye, didn’t seem to mind Nye’s unnecessary permissions. It was probably why they got on. “He’ll have bags. It’s not as though he’s coming for just a few days.”
This is a trap. They were the Smart Cars of the horsedrawn age.
Read Full Post »
Happy Saturday, folk. As ever it’s snippet day. click on the picture and it will take you to the Rainbow Snippets facebook group where a variety of authors post links to bits of published works and WIPs with LGBT protagonists.
Mine is a bit unusual in that my POV character is straight – the married sister of a soldier returned from the Great War with considerable emotional and physical scars. Bethan and her husband, who are hard-pressed to run the farm even with Alwyn’s assistance, have agreed that his friend Joe can come to help out.
They had a week to prepare. If the weather had been better Bethan might have suggested that they make a start on clearing out the little house on the other side of the yard. When she had been small the cowman had lived there with his wife and two nearly grown boys. But the boys had gone to Hereford and the railway, and the cowman had passed away quite suddenly so his wife had gone back to her mam’s. Bethan remembered how proud Alwyn had been to take over the milking, but she regretted now that they had allowed the little house to get so damp and drafty. With hard frosts most nights and the wind whistling through the broken shutters it just would not do.
“It’s no matter,” Alwyn assured her they pushed the damp swollen door closed. “We’ll scour it out when the weather improves but until then Joe can share with me. We slept close often enough in the trenches.”
I’m going through this story pretty much as it comes so if you go back to the first Rainbow Snippets post you can follow it from the beginning.
Read Full Post »
Click the image to go to the Facebook Group
Rainbow Snippets is where a group of authors post links to their work featuring LGBT protagonists. Each snippet has around 6 sentences and will be drawn from either a published work or something that’s still under construction.
I had a bit of a consult last week and some of the commenters liked the idea of carrying on with my Great War story, Calon Lan, which is set in Wales and describes a male/male romance from the point of view of the sister of one of the protagonists. Last week Bethan was contemplating the war and the effect it had on her menfolk.
Bethan took Alwyn’s reply to the postbox herself. Bonneted and scarfed against the cold with Georgie swaddled tight against her side in a patterned flannel shawl, she strode out across the mucky cobbles of the yard and into the still frosty lane. Just half an hour to blow the cobwebs away before she made a start on supper. It wasn’t until she had walked the half mile to the post box that she admitted to herself that curiosity was another motive. As she checked to make sure that stamp was fixed firmly she read the short message and smiled at the simple confidence of it.
We will be glad of you.
She popped the postcard into the box and turned for home with a spring in her step.
Read Full Post »
Here’s my snip for this week’s Rainbow Snippets.
Rainbow Snippets is a Facebook group where interested parties can share 6, approx, sentences of a published work or a WIP and other interested parties can read them. The only rule is that the protagonists of the book have to feature somewhere on the LGBTI+ spectrum.
So technically my story Calon Lan probably shouldn’t count because my POV character is a straight woman! But maybe it does because she’s observing the development – or is it a continuation – of a romance between her brother Alwyn and a friend. Here Alwyn is making a case for his friend to come and help on the farm, and it’s illegally long so it can finish off the section.
“A miner? What use will a miner be?”
“He worked with the ponies.” Alwyn glanced at Bethan. “He’s sleeping at his sister’s. There’s eight of them in the house. And he’s a good man. A worker.”
“And he’s a friend,” Bethan said. “Nye, why not? We could see how he does? Even if it’s only a few weeks?”
Nye’s fork paused on its journey to his mouth then lowered to his plate. He turned from brother to sister, his mouth tightening in the exasperated moue he always made when they ganged up on him. “Well.” His tone was grudging until she reached to touch his hand. “Ponies, horses – all the same, isn’t it, apart from the size.”
Read Full Post »