My Life/Working Notes – July 18, 2014

Kine - Title PageBy the time you read this post, I’m hoping that the first draft of THE book – you know, the one that’s taken me months, so far – The Branded Rose Prophecy – should be finished.

It’s that iceberg principle all over again. It took weeks and weeks to get the research, plotting and outline done. It took a few weeks for the manuscript to gather pace and get moving (beginnings are such delicate things – I think Frank Herbert said that, too). But once I got rolling on the story, it went fast.

I did a word count projection and if I stick to my daily word count, I should be finished by the end of July.

I write posts ahead of time. It’s a defense mechanism I’ve learned from maintaining a blog nearly ten years now; you never know what is around the corner, and having posts already lined up means you can coast for a bit, deal with family emergencies, etc., and then get right back to posting again, when everything has calmed down.

We had one such emergency just last week. Mark phoned me at work: “Um…I think I broke my ankle.”

Me completely panicked: “Where are you? I’ll come and get you.”

“Driving to hospital.”

And just FYI, it was his right foot. He drove with his left, then hopped into the ER.

Men…

As it turned out, it was “only” a bad sprain, and he ended up on crutches for a while. As I write this, we’re moving into THE weekend: The weekend when all the renovations go into full swing. We both have a week off work (Mark has two), and the entire main floor of our house gets completely gutted, then built up again from the studs out.

I’ve had readers ask for pictures. I’ll add pics to this post before it goes live.

But whether he does the renovations himself, or directs me depends on how much Mark can stay OFF his foot this week. We’ll see.

I’m also gearing up to do the cover for The Branded Rose Prophecy. I want to do something very special for this one, so I’m thinking hard. Stay tuned – I’ll let you know fairly soon what’s going to happen around the cover.

And just to keep you humming, here’s another flash snippet from the book (also completely unedited!)

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An Excerpt From: THE BRANDED ROSE PROPHECY
Copyright © TRACY COOPER-POSEY, 2014

“Whenever you get back, Charlee,” Darwin prompted her softly.

Charlee blinked and refocused on him. “Jeez. Sorry,” she said, straightening up and squaring up the notebook in front of her.

Darwin closed the text book, keeping his finger in the page they were up to. “That’s the third time you’ve zoned out on me. Do you want to quit for today?” he asked her, not unkindly. Charlee was the sort of student most teachers dreamed about – self-directed, disciplined and a mind like a crystal-sharp razor.

But it was a lazy, warm Saturday afternoon. The sound of kids playing out on the street, where a fire hydrant had popped its cap, the rushing sound of the water, and the soft tinkle of Anna-Marie’s wind chimes in the open living room window were distractions of their own. He had a beer chilling in the fridge, to drink after Charlee’s lesson and his throat contracted at the thought of the cool liquid hitting the back of it. “It’s a hot day. We can always pick this up again next week,” he told her.

“No, I’d like to finish, if that’s okay?” She gave him a smile. “I won’t zone out again. I promise.”

He opened the book again. “Something wrong, Charlee?” God knows, with her family, anything could be wrong. Her drunken mother falling down stairs and breaking a leg. Her father was losing weight the way a wilted flower shed petals, and looked just as dried out, too. The way Lucas was filling out around the shoulders and shooting up toward the ceiling, he would be creating his own mischief sooner, rather than later.

“Nah, it’s nothing,” Charlee said. “Just a book I’m reading.”

“They give you interesting books at school?” He often rolled his eyes at the education system’s idea of appropriate reading material for school kids.

“I got it from a friend. It’s a history book. Pliney the Younger. It’s sort of about that volcano. Pompeii.”

“Vesuvius is the name of the volcano,” Darwin corrected her absently, while he considered the matter. “Pompeii is one of the cities it destroyed. You’re reading Pliny? Who gave that to you?”

“A friend.”

“Who likes history?”

“He knows a lot of history,” she replied. “But he doesn’t think much of history books. He says that everyone who ever wrote a book about ‘real’ events is a flat-out liar.”

Darwin grinned. “He might be right. Did he say why?”

She nodded and reached for another cookie. He always laid out six of them, but she would only ever take three. “He said that people who were writing about events that they saw happen are all mixed up about it. They could be writing about it because they were slaves and didn’t like what happened to slaves, so whatever they write will make slaves look good and slave owners look bad, which isn’t the way it really happened, but who knows the truth if they’re the only ones who wrote about it? And if they didn’t actually go through the events, then they’re using someone else’s opinion about what happened and that’s even worse.”

It was a simplistic model of the subjectivity of historical records, but it was workable and it had struck the right note with Charlee. She was thinking about the veracity of what she read, now. Darwin felt a grudging respect for this friend of hers.

“If he dislikes history books so much, why did he give you one to read?” Darwin asked curiously.

She munched, then shrugged. “He says everyone should know history. Because if you know what happened in the past, then you won’t go and do the same stupid sh… stuff again.”

Darwin recognized Edmund Burke’s philosophy. Those who don’t know history are destined to repeat it. He nodded. “He sounds like a smart boy, this friend of yours.”

Charlee hesitated, then she nodded. “He is.” She finished the cookie and wiped her fingers of crumbs. “Can we finish?” she asked, touching the geometry book.

Darwin picked up where they had left off, with the very basic history of Euclid and his measurements, and realized what had prompted her trip down memory lane. And while they finished the lesson, he wondered who her friend was, that knew history was usually a pack of lies, but also the most valuable information in the world? That didn’t sound like any ten year old that Darwin had ever met.

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