Thursday, March 5, 2009

Shadows on the Roses - A New Twist

It's Thursday morning and I'm in my office writing a murder mystery, Shadows on the Roses (working title)that I started last summer. It's the first Thursday I've had free to pursue my own writing this year.

January and February I taught Writing Your Life Story classes every Thursday from 10 am -12 noon. I'll be back teaching the first week in April but for now I'm going to spend every Wednesday and Thursday writing on my novel.

This morning I watched a red squirrel climb the Hawthorn tree outside my window, saw big fat white clouds gradually give way to off and on blue. The limbs of the fir trees waved to me with the help of a cold wind which hasn't yet made way for spring. I'm cold but my fingers still move; my goal for today; finish the first scene in chapter 13.

I'm experimenting with an idea that came in the night. It fed right into a new twist I think I can use to bring my heroine, Clarissa, and hero, Blake, together and at the same time tell a story within a story, I hope it works so here goes.

Chapter 12 ends with these words:

His {Blake's} answer was to cover her {Clarissa's} hand and the unusual ring with his own. For the first time since she looked into the angry eyes of the woman she had thought was her friend, she felt an unexpected comfort spread through her being. Blake had untangled the chain which now hung around her neck. Together they would untangle the mystery of Dirk's death. Maybe even solve the mystery surrounding the amber ring. But first she would listen to Blake's story.

She smiled up at him and held her cupped hand with the ring, close to her ear. “My mother always said, 'Everybody loves a story' and that's me 'to the T'as she used to say. I'm listening, Blake. Carry on.”


“Are you sure you want to hear a family story that for all I know might not be totally correct?” Blake asked. “Family history always get sort of jumbled, it seems to me.”

“That's probably true.” Clarissa settled her tea cup on the table in front of her and leaned back against the settee. “Why even people that are in the same family remember things differently. But that doesn't make it wrong in my way of thinking. It's only that they're human, prone to err. Besides, nobody ever sees everything the same way, that's for sure.”

She straightened her back. “Why just look at Joe and me. We don't even come up with the same year sometimes. He exaggerate sometimes too, but then there's me. I have an overactive imagination so I've been told. Lots of time I remember something someone told me and made the mistake of thinking I was there.”

Blake nodded. "Our family might have embellished our story about our great grandfather and the amber ring, too. But basically I do think the facts are right on.” He took a swallow of coffee and began his story:

“It all began with my grandfather who was born in 1894. Shortly after he was born his father and mother, their newborn son and one year old daughter moved from Portland to a small farm upriver that they'd purchased alongside the Willamette River. I think it was actually in your area, Clarissa, except it was probably on the other side of I-5.

“My mother said they owned almost 50 acres of virtually untouched timber. But there was no house on the property, not even a cabin so they spent their first couple of years in a tent that they erected as soon as they arrived. After that my great grandfather cleared out a grove of old growth timber where they planned to build a house. But great grandfather wasn't much of a manager when it came to money. Every penny he got from doing odd jobs for other farmers went toward buying horses. Horses, horses, horses; he was crazy about them.

“By the time the Klondike gold rush hit in 1897 they were still living in the tent. Whether or not the harsh living conditions influenced him to follow the gold I don't know but . . . .

To Be Continued....


Beth Niquette said...

I can hardly wait for you to finish. I am just dying to find out what happens next.

I liked the twist!

Catherine said...

Eva, Your writing is so lovely - the type of sentences one wishes to read aloud - "The limbs of the fir trees waved to me with the help of a cold wind which hasn't yet made way for spring." sigh. My soul has truly been refreshed today.
And your book... What a beautiful title - "Shadows on the Roses". Your story is very intriguing... I'll be checking back often to see how you are progressing :)

Linda said...

Hello Eva...I've happened on your blog after a recommendation from a friend. I've so enjoyed my stay today. I'm looking forward to finding out more about your new story. I'll be sure to check back often.

Marie Reed said...

I don't mean to bug you with a third comment but... I think that your writing style is magnificent! I am really swept away by the excerpts that you've written and can't wait to read more!