Saturday, July 13, 2013

Sweet Saturday Samples - July 13, 2013

Welcome back to Sweet Saturday Samples.Today's offering is a new scene I wrote this week for my work-in-progress, Gone for a Soldier. Bear in mind that it might or might not make it into the final product, but if it does, it will be in Chapter 1.

Rulon had just passed the fried potatoes down to Ben when he leaned back from the table, straightened his shoulders, and cleared his throat with emphasis.

"Got somethin' to say, brother?" Ben asked, his eyes twinkling in the lamplight.

"I do," Rulon declared. He fiddled with his fork, then laid it on the table. "I'm fixin' to get married."

Peter was next down the table from Ben. "Maybe in a year or two," he jeered.

"No. As soon as Mr. Hilbrands gives me his consent."

Pa raised an eyebrow. "How long do you reckon before he gives you an answer?"

Rulon wagged his head. "I don't know, Pa. He had a reluctant spirit about him."

Ben chuckled. "Mary don't have much age on her, brother. She ain't but a year older than James, and he's a veritable baby."

"Am not," James countered from across the table.

"Are too," said Peter, grinning widely.

"Quiet," Pa thundered, slapping the flat of his hand on the table top.

Ma spoke up. "Rulon, when did you ask him?"

He looked at his mother. "Today. In town. When I read the news, I figured it was time."

"What news?" demanded his sister Marie.

"Abe Lincoln asked for troops to put down the secession," he said. "I'm going for a soldier, as soon as I can find a troop of cavalry." He picked up his fork, held it for a moment, then stabbed it into his potatoes. "I want Mary to wed me before I go."

"Oh Rulon," said Ma. "You're too young."

"Ma." The distress on her face disturbed him. "I have to marry her some time. Better now than later." Or never, he dared to think.

"To be a soldier," she said, her voice low.

"I'm almost too old," he huffed.

"Can I go, Ma?" Albert was only ten.


"They'll need drummer boys. Or fife players."

"You don't play drum or fife, either one." Carl reached out and attempted to deliver a blow to Albert's ear, but Albert ducked as Pa pounded the table again.

"Food's getting cold," Pa declared. "Discussion's over."

Rulon raised his fork and bit into a mouthful of potatoes, wishing he hadn't even begun to broach the subject. What an unruly bunch! he thought of his siblings. The sooner he was off on his own, the better.


Thank you for visiting. I love to read your comments, so if anything in the sample compels you to speak up, rest assured that I eventually read what you write and will reply, if needed. Questions? I'm open to them, too.

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  1. I love this scene! It tells so much about the famly Rulon comes from and tells us more about what's going to happen. I love the family dynamic here - you can tell a lot about a character by how he interacts with his family. Thanks for sharing!

    1. :-) Thank you, Patty!

      The Owens surely would have been labeled "rowdy," if not sneeringly called "dysfunctional" in today's terms. Writing this scene about the Owen family took me back to the wonderful times I shared around the table with my own family. I'm not saying we were anything like this scene depicts, but the sense of love and family values, and struggling to grow up, be on our own, and become useful men and women is the same. We were an adventurous lot, and the Owen family is nothing if not adventurous!

  2. Marsha, My comments would echo those of Patricia's above, almost exactly. Also wanted to tell you I read Spinster's Folly and enjoyed it. Aaaah, the old phrase, how well it fits: "So many books, so little time." Actually as an author, and I expect it is the same for us all: "So amny books we want to write and so little time." :-)

  3. This is so good! Definitely makes me want to read more.

    1. Thank you, Valerie! I'm writing as fast as I can. I want to know how it all turns out, too.

  4. Precursor to big adventure, so it seems. I can tell you have fun writing your story. Nice job.

    1. Thank you, Renae. Every writer should be so blessed. It certainly helps during the dry spells and the mud-slogging periods that such scenes just pour out!

  5. Love struck his heart or a desire to leave the nest ...can't wait to read how the family response to his desires. Love the interaction between the family members. I felt like I was siting at the table.

    1. Thank you, Pamela! The family dynamic was so fun to write.


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