The Keeping House blog tour is finished, things have calmed, and I’m well into my next writing project, this one. Striking Balance is over 60K in length now but it’ll eventually wind down and probably suffer some cuts because that sometimes happens.
Happy Wednesday! My Wednesday shares have become shorter and serialized, and for now, they’re coming from my current WIP (work in progress), Striking Balance. You’ll be able to find all the ones that pertain to Striking Balance under the Categories drop down to your right.
Striking Balance is an M/Queer Historical Paranormal Fantasy story set within my Appalachian Elementals series. It’s a freestanding tale, so you don’t need to have read the other stories within the series to delve into this one.
This is installment nineteen, “Spring Restock,” and it picks up directly where the last installment, “Nary a Pound or Inch,” ended. The main character in Striking Balance is Benjamin (Nub) Schnell, the possessor of secrets twice his size and seeming age. He’s been working for nearly a decade on the same small farm as his friend, Conall Baldwin, who acts as the farm’s manager. This story begins during the American Revolutionary War years, 1779 to be precise, in the Nolichucky river basin of Northeast Tennessee.
This picks up with the last line from “A Fine Scottish Gentleman” and we now know the speaker, the owner of the farm Ben and Conall work, Master Gow. The first line, in orange, comes from last week’s post, and it’s Master Gow speaking.
“Nary a new pound nor an inch on ye.” He sounds disappointed but then he nods and looks outside to where others are waiting. How many, I can’t tell yet, but they have Conall’s attention. There are oxen too. I hear them snorting and rattling their yokes. Peg whinnies and stomps agreement from the barn and then a horse whinnies just outside the cabin, so I know they’ve brought multiple carts.
“You’re two days early, sir.” Conall works at making himself presentable while I cross my legs and look out the door toward our privy.
“Go, lad, before ye drown us all.” Master Gow’s in a good humor today so I slip out the door and dash toward the privy with a smile on my face, catching glances of those who’ve also come. Four men and a woman, and they’ve come laden with dry goods. It’s time for our spring restock, an event that always brings us happiness.
I shut the door and lower my breeches and… I’ve never been happier that I placed a full door on this privy so no one can see which way my feet turn when I drop water.
Privacy is a real problem when it comes to outhouses. I remember using my granny’s when I was young. Spiders. Bees. No fun whatsoever. But I think Ben’s got bigger problems to contend with than a few insects, don’t you?
You can check out the other stories within the Appalachian Elementals world by clicking one of the covers to your right. Cleaning House: A Contemporary Appalachian Fantasy, is #1, Keeping House: a Paranormal Appalachian Fantasy, is #2 and was released July 8th, 2019, and Mama, Me, and the Holiday Tree is a sweet little novella that tackles holidays and family relationships between two characters within the series.