Friday, February 26, 2010

Meleah's Western Part 13

Hello Meleah's Western Fans,
Yes, I do have the next part ready for you, but I really hope some one or several some ones will ask some questions. I got them this far, but I'm not sure what is going to happen next. I'm hoping that on Sunday I'll have a long, quiet afternoon where I can work on more of the Western.

I hope to get started on some short stories again soon, so come back and see what I posted. Of course at the rate the days are flying, I don't know if I'll have anything written.:} I don't see how they can go by so quickly! I mean, good grief! James is turning 2 today!! Wasn't Krista just born? And I know J & M were just married a year or two ago.:} But, such is life. I had better get used to it as I see no indication that the days are going to slow down any.

But be that as it may, I will no longer keep you waiting for Part 13. Enjoy!

Part 13

Sally struggled to keep her eyes open, but it was hard work. Leaning back in her chair she yawned. Ty smiled, took the empty cup from her hand lest she drop it and glanced around the room. Aunt Leah must have also been watching Sally for she remarked, “It’s gettin’ rather late an’ Sally an’ I’ll be headin’ off ta bed. You three men folk can bed down anywheres yer a mind to in here or up in the loft. Pa’s got a heap a skins stacked over yonder. Come on now child.” She gently helped Sally stand up and began guiding her out of the room into a small bedroom. “I reckon the men folk can get along all right without us now.”

For several minutes after the ladies left the room, the three men sat in silence. It was broken at last by Uncle Matt. “I reckon you’ll be wantin’ ta turn in soon. We can have all the time we want ta talk in the mornin’ for it don’t seem’s though yer goin’ ta be a leavin’ soon the way that storm is blowin’.”
Carson glanced at his young companion’s face and noticed how worn he looked. “I aim ta turn in, now’s I’m thawed out. What ‘bout you, Ty?”
With a startled look, Ty raised his head, “What’s that?”
Carson chuckled, “I was jest suggestin’ ya turn in ‘fore ya tumble off yer chair.”
Ty gave a tired grin and rose to his feet. “Reckon yer right.”

It wasn’t many minutes later that two distinct snores were heard issuing from the loft as Uncle Matt blew out the lamp and stretched his old limbs on a pile of skins near the fire and closed his eyes.

It was broad daylight, or would have been had it not still been snowing, when Sally awoke from the first real relaxing and restful sleep she had known since her father had been taken sick. The sleep she had back at the cabin had been one of exhaustion, and she hadn’t felt much refreshed when she had awakened. Now, however, things were different. There was no need to worry about them coming for Ty. There was a woman to talk to, and no one was ill. With great rapidity she dressed, brushed her long dark hair back from her slender face and twisted it into its accustomed knot at the back of her head.

Stepping out of the small room, she paused to glance about her, for she had been so tired the night before that she had scarcely noticed anything. Now she saw a simple room with a table and a few wooden chairs pushed off to one side. A cook stove, over which Aunt Leah was bending, stood over against the wall opposite the outside door. The fire blazed brightly in the fireplace, and curtains hung on the three windows. There was even a gaily colored rug on the floor which Sally noticed with a smile of satisfaction. She wouldn’t mind staying here for a spell; she wouldn’t mind at all. Just then her attention was drawn to a tall, broad shouldered youth who had entered the door with an armload of wood. There was something about him that made Sally stare. He was clean shaven, and his eyes looked bright and cheerful. With a few strides he had crossed the room and in no time at all had stacked the wood neatly in the wood box. As he stood up, he glanced over and saw her standing in the doorway regarding him in bewilderment.

“Well, I see ya decided ta get up after all,” he chuckled. “I reckon ya’ll have someone ta feed those flapjacks to, Aunt Leah.”
“Ty?” Sally questioned in astonishment. With a sudden rush she had her arms around his neck while he swung her around the room. She was laughing and finally managed to gasp out, “I didn’t know ya until ya spoke. Ya look,” she paused for the right word. “Ya look so young, Ty. Not like ya did the night ya came home. Then ya looked nearly as old as Uncle Bob.” She used the childhood name she had long called her father’s friend and smiled over it tenderly. “I feel much too old to be yer little sister,” she remarked, suddenly pulling her hair out of its unbecoming knot and shaking her head to let it fall loosely about her shoulders and face.
Ty laughed and gave her a brotherly kiss. “Now ya look like the little girl I left long ago. Go eat yer breakfast ‘fore it gets cold,” and he gave her a gentle shove to the table.

Aunt Leah was regarding them with bright eyes. “Land sakes!” she exclaimed “You two younguns sure know how ta stir things up. Ya look a might more chipper this mornin’ than ya did last night.” She looked at Sally. “Did ya sleep well?”
Sally sighed in contentment. “I don’t remember when I’ve slept that well. But,” she added looking around, “where are the others?”
“Out,” Ty told her. “Takin’ care of the stock. I was picked ta bring in the wood. I reckon though that they’ll be in ‘for too long.”

Almost as though they had been waiting for those words, the door was flung open and two snowy figures came in stamping snow off their boots and shaking it from their hats and coats.
Sally sprang from her chair and ran to fling her arms around Carson as she used to do when a small girl. “I never really greeted ya back at the cabin, Uncle Bob,” she said. “I was so worried then, so I reckon I ought ta do it now.” She gave him a hearty kiss.

Carson pressed a kiss on one rosy cheek and then the other. Holding her off at arm’s length, he studied her. She was a lovely combination of both parents he decided, and a warm smile crossed his face.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Meleah's Western Part 12

Good Morning Readers,
Once again it is a cloudy Friday morning. At least we had sun the last two days! And it is just supposed to rain and not snow this time. We'll see what happens. I really have been floundering about on the sea of writing this past week or so. I have written two short calendar stories and have two Meleah's Westerns written. I also got my assignment done for a writing club, but I still feel like I haven't written anything! I think part of it is that I don't have any long book to work on. After spending 5 years working on a project, I feel rather lost without it. So, last night I started the sequel to "Home Fires of the Great War." :) I had to write something. I'm not sure of the style I'll write it in or the main conflict yet, but I'll keep working. At least it gives me something long to write. Some of you are probably wishing I'd just write Meleah's Western. Well, I would but this story doesn't like to be written too much at once. It is like some good soups, it has to simmer a while.:) Besides, I write that on Sunday afternoons. What would I write the rest of the week?

But enough rambling. Those of you who are fans of or who just follow Meleah's Western, will be delighted to learn that the winner of the quiz has requested that story for this week and next. I hope you enjoy this next part of it.

Part 12

For nearly five long hours the trio had been riding. Carson and Ty were carful to leave behind a trail that was so confused it would take a skilled tracker and broad daylight to follow it. Ty hoped fresh snow would cover them though before anyone tried it. Darkness had closed in around them some hours before, yet they continued to push on with a steady pace.

Sally was cold, stiff and weary. Her eyes were heavy. She didn’t know how Ty and Carson could tell where they were. For all she knew they had been merely riding in a circle. The wind began to blow. Carson glanced up at the sky and noticed the clouds moving in.
“Looks like we’re goin’ ta be gettin’ some snow, Ty,” he called back softly.
“Good,” was all the reply Ty gave.
In silence once again, the three companions rode. Sally shivered as the first snow flakes began falling, and the cold, icy wind stung her cheeks. She bent her head and with stiff fingers pulled her wrap closer about her.
“You all right, Sally?” the voice of her brother startled her, for she had not noticed him ride up beside her.
She nodded. She wouldn’t let him know just how cold, yes, and frightened, she really was. She knew that sometime they would stop and make camp. They would have to for the horses couldn’t go on much farther. But how could they camp in this weather? The wind was driving the snow against them with increasing fury, and no stars were now visible.

Carson’s shout startled both Ty and Sally. “I see a light. We’re most there.”
Urging their horses on, the brother and sister caught up with Carson, and Ty demanded to know where they were.
“It’s the cabin a some folks I know. They’re right nice people an’ they ain’t goin’ ta mind some visitors.”
“Make sure it’s safe first, Carson.”
Carson nodded and rode on, with Ty and Sally following at a slower pace.

Only a short time later, all three had reined in before a small cabin. The door was open in welcome, and light shone out through the blowing snow. Ty helped Sally dismount, for she was so stiff and cold she could scarcely move.
“Take the horses to the stable over yonder,” the deep voice of a man called over the wind to Carson and Ty. “Then come in and thaw yerselves. Ma ken take care a the lady.” With that he drew Sally inside and shut the door.

A stout motherly woman with white hair and soft grey eyes bustled about Sally, taking off her wrap and bonnet, pushing her to a chair before a roaring fire, and removing her shoes. “There now, deary, you jest sit there an’ warm up a bit. The coffee’ll be ready in two shakes. How far have ya come? Hard ridin’ in a storm like this, ain’t it?” The woman talked on. She could tell Sally was exhausted and didn’t feel like talking. In a matter of moments she placed a cup of steaming hot coffee in Sally’s icy hands. “Now jest drink this. It’ll put new life in ya. There ain’t nothin’ like a good hot cup of coffee ta warm ya right up.”
With hands that trembled from cold and exhaustion, Sally lifted the cup and gulped down a mouthful of the hot liquid. It felt wonderful, and she closed her tired eyes. With a sigh of satisfaction, she began to relax as the fire, the coffee and a blanket she felt being tucked around her shoulders began to banish the numbness.

After several minutes, the door was opened, and in stamped Carson and Ty. They were both covered with snow.
“Now, Pa,” the motherly woman directed. “Help them get out of those snowy coats while I pour some more coffee for them. They must be ‘bout frozen. Get those boots off so yer feet can thaw. Now,” she ordered, “get over here ta the fire, both of ya. Well, at least you can walk. The poor girl was scarce able ta move! Here’s yer coffee. An’ there’s more of it when ya want it. Pa, why don’t ya put another log or two on the fire.”
As the woman had talked, Ty and Carson had sunk into chairs before the fire and taken the steaming cups offered them. Ty, sitting beside his sister, glanced at her pale face anxiously while inwardly he chided himself for giving in to her pleadings to go along with him. “It’ll be too difficult for her. I should have left her with the Harnnards,” he thought.
As though she could read his thoughts, Sally gave him a tired smile and said softly, “I’ll be jest fine once I get warm, Ty. An’ I wouldn’t have stayed behind on any account.”
Ty reached out his hand and gave hers a gentle squeeze.

A silence descended on the small group. Even the woman grew quiet once the others were situated to her liking with hot drinks and a blazing fire. Her husband had seated himself on a bench at the table and was smoking his pipe. The woman sat down across from him with her knitting.

At last Carson half turned in his chair.
“I reckon I ought ta introduce ya to each other, though I reckon I never was good at that type a thing. These here are my friends, Ty an’ his sister, Sally. Ty, Sally, that is Mr. an’ Mrs. Shaw.”
“Goodness sakes, Bob!” interjected Mrs. Shaw. “Ain’t nobody calls us that ‘round here. The folks that know us at all call us Uncle Matt an’ Aunt Leah an’ we don’t want no other names.”
The older man removed his pipe and drawled, “That’s fer sure, so don’t ya go an’ be forgettin’ it, Bob Carson.”
Carson grinned and reached out to pour himself some more coffee. “Aunt Leah,” he remarked, “ya sure make the best coffee anywheres. An’ that’s the truth.”

Come back next week for part 13

Friday, February 12, 2010

Quiz Answers!

Wow! That was the most comments I think I have ever received on this blog at one time! Thanks everyone who took a little time to take the quiz. It sure was fun to check each person's answers when they came in. Many of you thought alike on some of the answers, but no one got all 13 questions right. One person only missed one question and one other person only missed two. And they are . . .

Wait! I think I should tell you the answers first and perhaps you can figure out if you were one of the top two.:) Are you ready?

Question #1:
Where did I write most of my book?
Many of you guessed (A) at my desk. Ugh! I'm sorry, but my desk does not inspire me with creativity and most of the time I can't even see the top of it. (B) Outside. Well, I think I wrote a little there, but it is too distracting. (D) On the floor. I did write quite a bit on the floor, and it was a great place to do research with so many books. But (C) on my bed is the very best place for me to write. It seems to be the one place in the house where I can write and have lots of ideas. I LOVE to write on my bed!

Question #2:
What time of day was most of the book written?
(A) Morning, well, now and then if I was in the middle of a good story, I could write then. (C) Late at night. You know I never tried it. I thought about it a few times when I couldn't get to sleep, but I never got up to do it. (D) Afternoon. That is the absolute worst time for me to try to write. I have tried over and over, but with the same results. (Unless it is Sunday afternoon and then it works for a Western.) My mind is shut down and refuses to work. So, the answer is (B) Evening. After supper and especially after I'm ready for bed, all the creative gears start turning and before long I have a story.:)

Question #3:
Having spent 5 years working on my book, in which of those years did I write the most?
(E) I wrote over half of it last year in 2009

Question #4:
Which was my book written mostly with?
(A) Pencil and Paper was a good guess, and if I had written most of it before 2009, that answer would have been correct. (B) I don't think I wrote any with a pen unless it was notes. (C) I can not compose a story on the computer. Sorry. (D) NEO! That is the answer. And many of you were wondering what on earth a NEO was. Well, my simple version is "an electronic typewriter." It is an amazing thing I found in a writer's magazine, researched it one day and ordered it the next. It runs on 3 AA batteries for 700 hours! I have had mine for over a year and use it all the time and the batteries are only about 1/2 used up. NEO has 8 files you can use and you don't have to worry about saving anything as it will save it as you type. It does spell check, is light weight, doesn't get hot on the bottom as there is no light and is very sturdy. Krista and James love to type on it. It is the best invention since sliced bread.:) Can you tell I like my NEO? Oh, you can then transfer whatever you have written to the computer or right to the printer. If you love to write, I'd would recoment a NEO!

Question #5:
Which part was the easiest to write?
As I was Emma, the answer was (A) Emma's letters.

Question #6:
In doing my research I have been to:
I'd love to go to (A) Nova Scotia or (C) France, but I have been to (B) Codell. Grandpa took me. It is a 4 hours drive from KC. I would love to go again as it was nearly 100 degrees then and we didn't see a single living soul in the town. Does anyone want to go with me?
The only church in town

This is the main street with the post office

The Codell School. Rebuilt after the 1918 cyclone destroyed the other.

Memorial by the school

Question #7:
If I wanted to know something about my characters I would:
(C) Ask my characters. I really would. I know all kinds of things about them that aren't in my book. It is rather funny to think about asking my characters, but it works. Try it some time.

Question #8:
I always made my characters do what I wanted. I did NOT! They refused sometimes! I tried to put Alan in the Navy. After all he is a fisherman, but no, he would not stay there but kept getting off and playing his bagpipes until I let him join the army.

Question #9:
Whenever I sat down to write, I already knew what I was going to write. Nope. Many times I just had to wait and see what my characters did.

Question #10:
My least favorite place to do research was the internet. That is the truth! I do NOT like trying to find things on the internet. I never can find what I want without spending hours . Give me a book anytime.

Question #11:
I still have stories that I didn't get to put in my book. What a question! Of course I do! Like the USS Covington, and more "Ted, Fred, Larry and Jim" stories, and the African front, and the runaway horse, and . . .

Question #12:
My characters were almost as real to me as my family. They sure were. I miss them now that I'm not writing about them.:{ I lived with them and watched them grow up for 5 years!

Question #13:
I now have shelves of research material for WWII. Only three people seemed to realize that that said World War 2 and that my book was about World War 1. No, I have not been collecting books for the next war, though some of the ones I have will work for then too.
Top two shelves

How is that for a pile of research and writing things?

And now, if you haven't figured out the winner, it is Hannah Covington! Good job, Hannah! What would you like me to post the next two weeks? And Amber Covington only missed 3 questions! You almost won, Amber.:) I hope you enjoyed this quiz and will come back for whatever Hannah requests.

Friday, February 5, 2010

The Quiz!

Good Morning once again,
Today is rather like last week, only it is rainy instead of snow and ice. It is supposed to snow and sleet, but it hasn't yet. I haven't gotten a lot of writing done this week as for some reason I couldn't seem to get my brain to work right. Hopefully I have it fixed now.:)

I hope you are all ready for this quiz. It isn't very long, but we'll see how much you know.:) Leave you answers in the comments before next Friday. Next week I'll give you the right answers and let you know who the winner is. And just to add some fun to it, the winner will get to decide what they would like posted the following two weeks. They can choose anything from:

Short stories w/no pictures
Short stories with a picture
Meleah's Western
Something I had written when I was very young

So, if you would like to decide what you want to read, give the quiz a try. And yes, the winner could pick two weeks of the same thing.:)

Now get ready, get set, Go!

Home Fires of the Great War

1. Where did I write most of my book?
A. At my desk
B. Outside
C. On my bed
D. On the floor

2. What time of day was most of the book written?
A. Morning
B. Evening
C. Late at night
D. Afternoon

3. Having spent five years working on my book, in which of those years did I write the most?
A. 2005
B. 2006
C. 2007
D. 2008
E. 2009

4. Which was my book written mostly with?
A. Pencil and paper
B. Pen and paper
C. Computer

5. Which part was the easiest to write?
A. Emma's letters
B. Maria's letters
C. The background
D. All the "letters" from everyone else

6. In doing my research I have been to:
A. Nova Scotia
B. Codell
C. France
D. None of the above

7. If I wanted to know something about my characters I would:
A. Make something up
B. Ask Mom or Sarah what they thought
C. Ask my characters about it
D. Think about it and then shrug it off

8. True or False
I always made my characters do what I wanted them to do.

9. True or False
Whenever I sat down to write, I already knew what I was going to write about.

10. True or False
My least favorite place to do research was the internet.

11. True or False
I still have stories that I didn't get to put in my book.

12. True or False
My characters were almost as real to me as my family.

13. True or False
I now have shelves of research material for WWII.

Come back next week and see how many answers you got right and who the winner is!