I am approximately 10% through the revisions for Striking Balance, and I’m loving what I’m doing. That said, I know I’ll hit a rough spot sooner or later.
Welcome to my 124th #Rainbowsnippets*. This one, as always, is uniquely mine, but there are lots of other great snippets to read so after you finish here click the FB link at the bottom of the post to discover other great LGBTQIA authors and their works.
Striking Balance: The Peculiar Making of Beatrice Benjamin Sophia Scott Schnell Gow is a queer Historical Paranormal Fantasy set in, you guessed it, Appalachia. This Appalachia, however, is the frontier, and the story takes place during the Revolutionary War era and the time after, meaning the late 18th century. This explains the narrator’s voice. If you’ve read the letters and journals of the period, you’ll recognize it as reflective of those.
This week I’m picking up where I left off in Chapter One. The part in orange comes from last week’s post, Naysayer, and it’s Conall, Ben’s direct supervisor, friend, and housemate, speaking.
“Might I eat in the kitchen?”
“No! You’ll eat like a proper adult.” Conall has become angry with me, his frequent state when I prove resistant to dining at the Alcott’s home, so I spring from the tree to stand before him. I hardly reach his chest even when I stand upon my toes, a significant difference, which is why he oft calls me Nub.
“I’ll go wash then.”
“Wet your hair and pull it back nice.” He follows me toward the cabin. “Wipe your shoes and brush your coat too.”
Tiny History Lesson: Coat equals jacket here. Everyone wears a decent jacket out to dinner, right? Yes, even in 1779, but you didn’t wash anything unless you absolutely had to, so you brushed things like your wool coat to keep them clean. Ben is lucky in that he has a pair of work breeches, a pair of good trousers, two shirts, a scarf, a cocked hat, two work caps, leather gloves, and that coat in need of brushing. Cloth was widely homespun and everything had to be handstitched. The common person had one, perhaps two sets and those were considered high in value. In fact, clothing was listed by item in period tax records because of its perceived value. Ben owns two full changes of clothing plus some. Not everyone had this privilege, especially a farmworker. So why do people in historical novels seem to have so many clothes? I believe we make assumptions concerning clothing based on our modern times and on the fact that so much (but certainly not all) of the historical fiction we read deals with royalty or people of wealth.
*RainbowSnippets is a safe and welcoming space for LGBTQIA+ authors, readers, and bloggers to share 6 sentences each week from a work of fiction—published or in-progress—or a book recommendation. Feel free to join in.