Sour Attitude: Writing Wednesday

Busy week, but aren’t they always? The anthology I curated and contributed to (edited and designed the cover for too, thanks for asking), Haints and Hollers: New Ghost Tales from Appalachia (link to the right), will be released next Monday, September 23rd. It’s already doing reasonably well in preorders so I’m excited to see what it might do after the release. My fingers are crossed.

Happy Wednesday! My Wednesday shares have become shorter and serialized, and 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 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-seven, “Sour Attitude” and it picks up directly where the last installment, “Old News” 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: A confrontation is brewing between Ben and Ewin.

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

A root cellar, for those who might not know.


“I see that.” Ewin shakes his head as he turns my shoes in his hands. “Elven shoes. Such tiny feet for a grown man. Pray, boy, what’s your age again?”

“Old enough!” I am absurdly defensive when others question my age. “And worth my salt.”

“I see but a speck of shite with a sour attitude.” He turns toward one of the wagons, flipping one of his braids behind his shoulder as he goes. “Ceardach!”


“Sour wee shite here has a bumblefoot.”

“Then fix his shoe, an’ he has a name, ye fool. ‘Tis Benjamin.”

So Ewin and Ben are already on each other’s bad sides. I wonder if Ceardach can defuse the situation.


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