Sunday, September 16, 2012

Sunday morning . . . early.

It's 4:30 am. A motorcycle revs up and burrs through the night, the sound irrevocably splitting my eyes open. And I begin think what to do -- meetings, public relations projects, deadlines, and the marketing plan (when all I want to do is stay home quietly and write).

I open up my e-mail to find Karen Huber's post about stillness. The Power of Pause. Emptying the mind. Lovely evocative photographs that remind me we can find quiet.

This week I subbed a new opening chapter for Years of Stone to the NOVELS group on the  Internet Writing Workshop and got some generous and helpful feedback. My book now opens at the moment people abandon ship. Cries and screams. Crashing waves. A tenuous rope holds ship to shore. Sailors carry children on their backs and pull their way to safety. Women cling to the rope. A few -- terrified and cold to the bone -- can't hang on and are pulled away in the sea. And the ship goes down.

I found this photograph online of women in 1860 at Scratching Sydney's Surface and am struck by how unique each woman's face is. Of course, they would be, just as we are today, but I have to work hard not to generalize the past, as if all women had that patina from Romantic painters. But they did not. These early suffragettes ultimately brought women the right to vote. Their determination can be seen in their faces, even as their clothing reveals adherence to Victorian codes of dress and decorum.

ROW80 Update: Sadly missed Weds check-in but I have made some progress in writing, reading, and research. Marketing? Less so. Our major quilt show comes up in October with about 5,000 attendees. Should I invest in bookmarks???


  1. Good luck with the quilt show AND the writing! :) And yes, quiet is important. Exciting times do not tend to be productive times ...

    Have a great week!

  2. Oh, I love the pic. History fascinates me because essentially is the stories of people, and people are interesting. That photograph reveals that each woman has her own story.

    Best wishes for a great writing week!

  3. Anonymous7:31 AM

    Thanks for the blog mention, Beth! So glad you liked the post. I want to check out your Internet writing workshop site as it sounds as if you are finding it quite helpful, although none of my work is ready for critique.

    I missed this past Sunday's ROW 80 update and will finish out the round with tomorrow's update. I really love the history that you layer through your work but as I believe I've told you, I am a real 19th-century fan.

    Again, really appreciate the blog mention.


  4. like the sound of that opening - very dramatic-and ordinary people living ordianry lives and in reality changing so much - social history/ancestor history such delights - keep smiling off to read Karens post - thanks

  5. Beautiful ROW80 post, Beth. I just kind of sank into your writing. The Power of Pause, love that. I need that. Thank you for sharing the picture, my imagination is running away with stories. 5,000 attendees, I'd say a big yes on the bookmarks.

  6. What a wonderful photo. It's got the imagination going. A BIG yes to the bookmarks.
    Hopefully see you in round four.
    Also thank you for your comment on my blog.