Nudge nudge. See that header? Yeah, well, that’s as close to the cover for Striking Balance as you’re going to get for the foreseeable future. It’s gorgeous if I do say so, but I take great pride in my creations if for no other reason than the amount of time I put into them. (It’s also the reason I don’t make covers for anyone outside of the small publisher I work with. It’s too much time and effort.)
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. I’ll be finishing the tale during NaNoWriMo, and it’s scheduled for a June release from Mountain Gap Books.
This is installment thirty-two, “Good Riddance” and it immediately follows where installment thirty-one, “Stupid Boy” 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: The first line, in orange, comes from last week’s share, and it’s Master Gow speaking about Ewin, who he has just banished to the fields overnight.
“Tell Ewin g’night, everyone.”
“Good riddance,” mumbles Alexandria, and Ceardach echoes her sentiment, prompting a stern look from Master Gow.
“Night?” Conall releases his hand from my mouth when Ewin has faded.
“Calm yerself, lad.” Master Gow passes me the jug. “All these years under my employ and yer still full of more life than yer size warrants.”
I would reply as I truly want, but I am not so angry that I have lost my senses. “I had simply borne enough of his taunts, sir.” I drink then return the jug. “Thank ye.”
“Ah will take it.” Alexandria pours a bit in the earthenware mug between her knees. “Relax, Benjamin. Yer shoulders are fillin’ yer ears.”
“Yes, miss.” But I can neither relax nor let my guard down because every time I do something such as this happens. I am attacked, cornered, provoked. My size has its advantages and disadvantages alike, but I keep having to prove myself with my fists.
I shake out my hands and stare into the fire, sighing when calm washes over me.
It seems like Ben’s always ready for a fight even when he’s not, doesn’t it? Methinks that’s called hypervigilance, but I wonder what made him that way. (Walks away with an author’s knowing smile.)
Until next week…