Tuesday, April 12, 2011

new novel bits

At 117, 000 words, I have not yet finished my book, October... wow, is a lot going to have to be cut from that one, I think.  Anyway, I've started writing the sequel to it, despite its not being finished yet.  Thought I'd share a little of that new writing, and maybe you could tell me what you think.

Working title: PATRIA

Chapter 1 The Station


Siquee Adante sat on the wooden bench outside the FastStone train depot. The seat was curved from so many backsides waiting in its hold. He wore his best leathers. Buckskin britches and jacket, and a colorful ribbon shirt his sister had made for him many years ago, grown faded and soft in blues and yellows. In his hands he held a homemade dream catcher that he had crafted during many a lonely night without Patria.

The road was his home for many months out of the year, and it was only once in a blue moon that his path crossed close enough with Patria, so as to allow them time together again. Having never legally married, they were nevertheless half-sides, together now for over thirty years.

He hummed a little song as he waited, and tapped his foot. His long hair had several more streaks of grey in it than the last time he‘d seen her. He smiled, thinking of her hair, already shining like silver.

His fingers played with the dream catcher, and he frowned at spots he thought could have been crafted better.

He rose now and then, looking down the tracks, though he was aware of having arrived early.

His nose caught the fragrance of snow on the air, and this was not unusual. The season was never late in coming. It was good. Winter always brought Patria back to him.

He could see her in his mind’s eye, ever young, with brick colored hair ; her rich earthen eyes seeing more than just your face.


They first locked eyes at a dance he was performing with his troop in Raleigh, West Virginia. Each time he turned the circle towards her direction he found himself staring into those eyes, and yet he did not miss a step.

When the dances were over, and other troops took the center ring, he walked in what he thought was her direction. She did the same. Come the long way around they were within eye distance again, and he felt as if he were still dancing.

She was traveling with her sister, Siima, a raven haired beauty, herself. But Siquee’s eyes were for one woman only.

“Patria?” he asked, when she told him her name.

“Yes, Patria!” she laughed. She was direct right from the start, and it made Siquee’s heart laugh and leap.

“My name you can say! Not your name! Sookie?”

This made Siquee laugh out loud, and he repeated his name to her several times until finally she was able to say it. He told her she smelled beautiful, like a flower he could only imagine. She beamed.

“Where are you from.” Siquee asked.

“Oh, I am from everywhere.” she said in her exuberant way, but giving a dark eye, and not saying.

“What does this mean, this Siquee?” she asked, changing the subject.

“An arrow goes straight over the ridge.” Siquee said.

Patria raised her eyebrows.

“Patria means me, I am Patria.” She said.

Siquee could barely look into those cavernous eyes.

“Good meaning.” he said seriously, shaking his head in agreement.


He could feel the train beating in the earth long before he could see it coming.



Patria Solvania bathed in a tub of elderberry bark and cinnamon,
wildflowers, and sage. It was an old recipe for a bath that her and her sister, Siima, God rest her soul, would bathe in before a day or night out on the town. You could smell this flowery earthen fragrance before even seeing the two of them. They could find their way back to each other by the scent upon the air.

She hoped the train would not erase her scent.

She dressed in raw silks, sewn together by her own hand, gathered throughout, with stars embroidered upon them. She made a whooshing sound as she moved. Her silver hair was braided to one side. She penciled in her eyebrows, where she had all but lost her hair, and put on her barely pink frosted lipstick. She made up like this everyday working in the store, but this time it was different for her, more special.

“So, Samson,’, she said to the white cat, ‘you be good for Optavia, yes? Be nice to doggie, too!” She cuddled the cat under her chin, and Samson purred and pushed his head into her chin.

“I’ll give him lots of love, Patria, I promise.” Octavia said.

Octavia and Wesley were a couple from the village who were friends with Patria. They would be watching her coffee and herbs shop while she went to be with Siquee.

They drove her to the train station in Westwood, Colorado, and bid her farewell.

Patria knew that Siquee would feel the rumble of this train long before it pulled into the station at FastStone.


  1. It is lovely, Barbara! If all of the words are this good, then 117,000 might not be too many!!

  2. I want more, Barbara. Keep writing. I need to buy the book. Are these two in the first book?

    You captured my interest with this excerpt, for sure. xxx

  3. Oh thank you, Dinamarca. Patria is in the first book, not Siquee. That one is based on Octavia as the main character.

  4. Love it. I'm a big reader and your words really drew me in.

  5. Love it Barb! I will follow and be waiting to buy the book when it becomes available. Good stuff!

  6. Thank you, Yvonne and Wendilea, I'm glad you enjoyed it!

  7. you sure have a way with words. beautiful prose.

  8. That was great!! I know you can do this you have always had a way with words... xoxo

  9. Bravo ~ so proud of you! Keep it coming ~ ^_^

  10. I hope to, Carol! Thanks so much for reading.

  11. To be short and to the blunt point. I want BOTH books, not for The Small One (my wife) but for ME. She can read them after I'm through. I love what I've read and want more.

    Y'all come see us when you can. We've given the Cats full reign over the BBCW Blog Spot. Wish them luck. First post today.

  12. Well, if the first one ends and the second one gets some steam, then I'll be sure to get you some copies!
    I see Rowdy got the spotlight today... deservedly so.

  13. Wow! I want to read more.......

  14. Thank you, Mim, I was just writing more, as a matter of fact. But I doubt I will publish more here. Just wanted to get a little idea of what people thought of the tone of what I'd written so far. Now the hard work comes.

  15. Barbara, I decided not to wait till tomorrow to read in case I forgot. You write beautifully! I found it very intriguing. I was trying to place the characters in time and noticed that I had a hard time doing it. The way that Patria speaks...and the frosted pink lipstick. But it seems to be frontier times. So I'm guessing that this is fantasy? I would love to read it all!

  16. Thank you for reading despite your tired eyes! How interesting you thought frontier time... it is actually modern day, circa 1985, but Patria is a gypsy and Siquee is a native american so their histories walk with them.
    I am still finishing up the previous novel, and this new one will take quite some time to write a first draft.


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