It is done (for now). I’m through with Keeping House and it’s off to my betas. Whew! What a relief, kinda sorta. Actually, I’m nervous to the point of nail-biting, more so than I generally am when a book goes off to my betas (probably not because I think I say this every time LOL). I know Keeping House has some great content, but I’m unsure about the whole. The one person I’ve read it to, my alpha, loves it, but we’ll see about the betas.
So where am I going next? Another novella, I think. It’ll be about a character I first introduced in Mama, Me, and the Holiday Tree who’s a secondary character in Keeping House, Bea Gow. Bea is short for Beatrice. I was going to write the story from her husband, Conall’s, POV, but I don’t think I can pull off a believable cis man’s perspective. He was the only one speaking to me about the story until recently, so I was leaning toward him, but now Bea’s finally piping in, and I believe her take will be the more interesting of the two. Hmm, I might switch between the two, I dunno yet, but I’ll let you know soon enough.
Bea and Conall’s friendship and eventual love story is a very different one, but everything I tend to write is somewhat twisted and different, so that’s nothing new (insert cocky smile here).
This week we’re picking up where we left off in Chapter Two. Cent and Betty are talking about one of the homestead’s two house spirits when, low and behold, look who appears.
(Betty speaking) “Gotta watch out for Birdie. She’ll rearrange your room if she can.”
“She got it (the wardrobe) half-way across the bedroom last night before Stowne stopped her.” Cent sighed. “I heard you talking to her while you were sewing the other night, but I didn’t know you were workin’ on this.”
“Why else would I have volunteered to do your laundry while you were at work?” said Betty. “Birdie’s full of questions about the sewing machine. I think we need an old treadle so she can wax nostalgic.”
“A Singer or a Howe.” A mist formed in front of them, congregating into a translucent elderly woman wearing a faded blue, ankle-length calico dress dotted with tiny white flowers. “Don’t get me no dadblamed White brand.” Birdie’s bare feet disappeared before they touched the floor. “You hear?”
“Sure thing, Birdie.” Betty winked at her. “I’m doing the looking, remembah?”
“You talk funny, but you’re a good ‘un.” Birdie turned her skeletal face to Cent. “And you’re goin’ away for a bit, so maybe it’ll be a lil’ quieter ‘round here.”
Cent blew Birdie a kiss. The homestead had one more permanent spectral resident, Brownie, but Cent had never actually seen them. She’d seen Brownie’s work though, and always told them thanks when she woke to find a chore finished but no one willing to take credit. “You know you’re gonna miss me.”
“I’ve been missin’ the quiet.” Birdie’s form collected into an orb that drifted toward the kitchen. “Singer or Howe.” Her voice faded with her.
Hey, a spirit wants what a spirit wants. But what would you want to take with you to your afterlife? Me? Hmm. Books. Lots of books. But they might be rather ponderous to carry around, so… oh, heck, I don’t– I know! If I get stuck here instead of moving on, I’ll haunt a library so I can read to my heart’s content.