Yes, we are approaching that crazy, hectic, warm and fuzzy, sometimes sad, time of year.
We take on SO many things, that often we don’t really enjoy what should be a time of peaceful reflection. Many of us are involved in school projects with our kids. Some of us are entangled in a writing frenzy, better known as NANOWRIMO.
Whatever your ‘extra’ responsibilities, you should take time for your inner joy. Whether it’s reading, shopping, restful walks in nature, or just visiting with loved ones, try to steal a few quiet moments for you. You are probably a care-giver for someone; a help-meet for your husband, a guardian to a child, or a dependable employee. In either case, if you don’t take care of yourself, you will not be able to do well for others.
Okay, now that I’ve done my best to ‘mother’ everyone, I’ll share a little something that brings me inner joy. It is an excerpt from the sequel to A Heart Made For Love. It is a ROUGH draft, so please be kind if you leave a comment, and I hope you do!
She untied the boat and continued rowing north, keeping close to the eastern shore. She needed a spot clear enough to pull the canoe in and hide it. She had rowed another half hour and her bladder was threatening to burst, when she smelled smoke. She looked at the moss and could tell the wind was coming out of the east. She must be fairly close to a camp or a house. Maybe someone who could help her find her way to Tallahassee. Another five minutes of rowing and she found an opening in the brush along the banks. She nosed the canoe in till it drug bottom then stepped out into the water. She tried not to break down the underbrush as she brought it up onto the bank. She managed to drag and carry it about twenty feet into the trees before she stopped to pee.
She walked back to the waters edge, cupped up a handful and drank.
“Alright, now we head inland and look for help.” She rubbed her belly, then place her bundle under one arm, and the lantern and knife in the other hand. She had fought her way through about a hundred yards of growth, when she came upon a narrow path.
“Well, what do you think?” Talking to the child in her belly had become second nature now. “It’s probably an animal trail, but at least it’s level. Alright then, it’s agreed, we’ll stay on the track.”
She finally stopped to lean against a tree and catch her breath. She looked up at the treetops. The wind had changed and was coming out of the north. At least, she thought it was north. The sun was up full now and she had been trying to keep it right on her face as she walked, and besides, she couldn’t smell the smoke any longer. She was about to step away from the tree when she heard something moving behind her. She froze. No. It couldn’t be him. No. There was no way he could have found her. Her heart was pounding so hard she was afraid it might burst. She turned and took off down the trail like a wild deer.
She was making so much noise she couldn’t tell if there was anyone behind, but she kept running. She was drenched in sweat, and her breath was becoming labored, when she suddenly burst through the trees into a large, wide field. Across the field, she saw a small cabin with a thin trail of smoke coming from the chimney. She ran a few more feet, when she heard a grunt. She looked over her shoulder and her blood froze in her body. A bear. A large bear, was lumbering out of the trees.
The woman took off running toward the cabin again. She didn’t think she had a good breath left in her, but managed a scream that rent the morning air. She could see a small figure outside the cabin now, but her eyes were on fire from the sweat running down her face, and she couldn’t tell if it was a man or woman. She had long since dropped her bundle and the lantern, but she kept a death grip on the butcher knife as she ran. Her breath was coming in short bursts of flame, and her legs had begun to quiver. She was only fifty yards or so from the cabin when the chain came untied from her waist and fell to the ground. Her right foot came down on it and her left ankle rolled. She was face down in the dirt, before the pain could even register in her fear-fogged brain. What little air she had left in her whooshed out, as her chest slammed into the ground. Her blood was pounding so hard she could not hear, but she could feel the rhythm of the bears gait in the ground beneath her face. She barely had time to think of dying when there was an explosion near her, followed closely by a second one, and a pained roar from the bear. A third explosion was followed by the earthshaking thud of the bear’s dead weight hitting the ground.
The woman managed to raise her head and look over her shoulder. She could see the bear not twenty feet from her. She turned her head back towards the cabin and saw two bare, black feet. She followed those feet upwards and saw a wizened little woman with white wooly hair. She was holding a gun that was almost as long, as she was tall.
“Lawd a-mercy! Child, you know how close you come to meetin’ yo maker?” The old woman lowered the gun to ground and leaned on it.
“That’s just too much ruckus before an ole lady done had her breakfast.” She now stood over the girl on the ground. “Oh, child, yo ankle ain’t lookin’ none too good. You hurtin’ anywhere’s else? Did that animal get you? And what you doin’ with a chain hooked to your leg, anyhow?”
I think maybe this is what my character may have seen as she paddled up the river.