Sinew: Writing Wednesday

I’m hard at work at a new editing job (not my own work) and am helping my publisher prepare the booth for an upcoming event.

The work never ends, though you must do it slowly and at an acceptable pace when you’re disabled.

Happy Wednesday! My Wednesday shares have become shorter and serialized, and they’re currently 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 a 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 twenty-four, “Sinew” and it picks up directly where the last installment, “A West Country Seaman” 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.

The setup: One of Master Gow’s men, who Ben is not impressed by, has asked if his shoes need repair, so Ben is on his way back to the cabin to retrieve them.

Note: The part in orange comes from last week’s excerpt.

18th-century men’s shoes, though Ben’s would have been much smaller and probably with the simplest of buckles. (from

…I am not so easily swayed.

     “Yes, sir.” ‘Tis an odd request, but we get many from Master Gow and his men. They are seldom hurtful, and Master Gow sternly censors those who are. Mostly, they look out for us, which in turn ensures their interests. Our corn feeds the entire Gow family, the silage their livestock. and our tobacco sells for a good price, enough that Master Gow enjoys indulgences as a fine cock hat adorned with an ostrich feather and the embroidered linen coat he wears. But he does not always look this way. No, I have seen him in well-worn buckskin too, ready for a hunt, a common and I believe preferable look on his build.

     I scurry back to the cabin, pausing in the door when I see Ceardach applying salve to Conall’s scarred shoulder. The salve consists of rendered bear grease mixed with herbs by the scent, but I stare at Conall’s bare back, at the sinew that makes him, startling when I hear Master Gow clear his throat.

     “Aye, lad?”

     “Your British seafarer wishes to see my shoes.”

     “Ewin? Then get them.”

So we know a few new things:

  • Ben and Conall are well cared for by Master Gow.
  • Master Gow is well to do if not rich but not afraid of work.
  • The British seaman is named Ewin.

Until next week…


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