#WIPpet Wednesday #Amwriting 12/06/17: Blackberry Stains

(working cover)

Oh, the holiday season. So much to do. I just don’t have the spoons these days, but I still try. I really do. Right now, I have a turkey roasting in the oven. Not for any family get-together or the like, mind you, but because this fourteen pound ice bird has been lurking in the bottom of my deep freezer far too long… since last holiday season to be honest. It’s time for it to go so I have room for the, um, next big birdie. Turkeys are cheap this time of year, and I’m a bargain shopper, okay?

Don’t judge me.

This week’s WIPpet Wednesday* comes from my Appalachian contemporary fantasy, Cleaning House. I’m over 85K into the manuscript and hope to have the initial draft finished by the end of this year. Cleaning House is scheduled for release by Mountain Gap Books on October 1, 2018.

Here’s this week’s math. 12/06/2017: 1+2 + 3 (add two zeros to that for 300) 6+7=13, 13-2=11  and that means 311 words from Cleaning House.

The Setup: Cent, all of seven years old in this flashback, is on the homestead in Hare Creek. She’s supposed to be helping Mama and Aunt Tess pick bush beans when she sneaks off to her special hiding spot, but the blackberries she’s picked along the way have stained her shirt. Cent’s scared that Mama’s going to punish her for ruining the shirt and is scrubbing on it alongside the homestead’s springhead when a mysterious but familiar voice comes to her rescue.

     “Take the pebbles I gave you, rinse them in the spring, then rub them on the spots. Your mother will not be angry then, and she will allow you to stay the night with Tess.”

     “How do you know?”

     “I know many things. Please do as I ask.”

     Cent went to work on the spots, rubbing the pebbles against the fabric. “It ain’t workin’!”

     “You must tell the spots to go away as well,” replied the voice. “Command them to leave, and they will.”

     “Spots don’t care what I say. They’re just spots.” Cent rubbed even harder at the purple patches. “Gosh-awful ones.”

     “Rubbing too hard will make holes so stop, listen closely, and repeat what you hear.” The voice rustled Cent’s hair this time, filling her nose with a fresh, earthy scent. “Spots. Spots. Leave my shirt. Color the leaves. Stain the dirt. Return to the earth from where you came. So mote it be.”

     “Mote?” Cent had heard Aunt Tess say mote before, and that gave her confidence. “Spots. Spots. Leave my shirt…”

     “Color the leaves. Stain the dirt.” The voice encouraged. “Close your eyes, Centenary. Think hard and will the spots to disappear.”


     “Because you want the spots gone.” The voice sounded ready to burst into laughter. “Say the words, please. Color the leaves and stain the dirt.”

     Cent squeezed her eyes shut. “Color the leaves and stain the dirt.”

     “Return to the earth from where you came.”

     “Return to the earth from where you came.”

     “So mote it be.”

     “So mote it be. Now what?”

     “Blow on your shirt really hard then open your eyes.”

     Cent did as she was told and cracked open one eye to see her t-shirt. “They’re gone!”

     “Yes, they are. Now put the pebbles back where you got them. Gentle. You should not disturb the ground any more than necessary.”

*WIPpet Wednesday is a blog hop hosted by Emily Wrayburn wherein writers share excerpts of their latest WIP. All genres and levels of accomplishment are welcome. The only stipulation is that the excerpt must coincide with the date in some manner. For example, on 10/8/14 you might share 10 lines from page 8, 8 paragraphs from chapter 14, or perhaps 18 sentences by doing WIPpet math and adding the day to the month. We’re flexible like that.


  1. That’s… pretty magical. If only Cent can call up on the power of these rocks to fix her grandma’s homestead situation…

    I hear you on the bargain shopping! It’s the bane of our freezer’s existence too.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.