From her home in the forest, writer Marsha Ward offers up an eclectic collage of musings on life, insights into the writing process, sample scenes and snippets from her work, book spotlights, and author interviews. Now including "The Characters in Marsha's Head."
EEK! I've been super busy this week with a family member, and forgot to post anything. Here's a part of a scene from Spinster's Folly where Marie Owen is on a trail drive with her brothers. ~~~
When Pa called, “Mount up,” at the end of their noon rest, Marie hauled herself up into the saddle with shaky arms. The noon break hadn’t been long enough to restore the strength she’d lost as the morning waned. How she would keep up with the steers for the rest of the day was uncertain to her mind, but she surely wasn’t going to voice her doubts in this company.
Fortunately, Pa’s next words were to Albert. “You take drag this afternoon. Marie can ride in your place.”
Mentally thanking her father, Marie rode to where the steers had been grazing as she rested. How do I get them started? she wondered, but Clay came along and answered that question by riding up to the rump of the nearest animal and prodding it into motion with his foot. “Get ‘em movin’. You don’t have a rope, so twist a stick off a tree to poke ‘em with, or use your foot. They’ll follow this critter, once he’s going down the trail.”
“Is he the leader? The spotted one?” She gestured toward Clay’s steer.
“Yep.” Satisfied with his efforts with the first steer, he started in the direction of another, then wheeled his mount and returned to Marie’s side. “Do you want me to get you a stick?”
“Might as well,” she answered, heading toward a brown animal. “Could be my feet won’t work as well, bein’ smaller’n yours, by far.”
Clay twisted a branch off a nearby willow and stripped off the leaves with his pocket knife. He brought it over to her, and gave it to her with a smirk. “It’s going to bend a bit, but should serve the purpose.”
“You think this will serve?” she exclaimed, bowing the branch nearly double.
“Whip ‘em on the rear, if they won’t get movin’ fast enough,” he said, laughing.
“Oh bother,” she said, and shrugged her shoulders. “Men and boys will be the ruination of me yet!”
“We’re meant to torment the female of the species,” Clay said, and rode off to his position.
“You do a right good job of it,” she mumbled, and used the willow slip to good effect.
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