Who I Shall Be: Writing Wednesday

All good things must come to an end, or at least change the day they appear on this website.

Welcome to Writing 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.

Striking Balance is about to enter the pre-production stage. Yay! Next week I’ll be sharing from another work so make certain you stop by to check out a bit of Science Fiction. That said, you’ll still be able to read from Striking Balance in my Saturday #Rainbowsnippets posts until the July release date.

This is installment fifty-three, “Who I Shall Be,” and it immediately follows where last week’s installment, “All or Nothing,” 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 beginning of this post, in orange, comes from last week.

     “Goodnight.” I lay quietly in the dark, listening to the voices, the laughter until I fall asleep and then I dream of Mutti, of her comfort.

     “Don’t let anyone change who you are, Beatrice.” She oft struggled with proper pronunciation, but she is the one who taught me to read and write in both English and German, a direct denial of my father’s wishes concerning my education. “Don’t let them change you. Trust you’ll find your way.” I had one of my sight dreams the night after she spoke those words and two days later she died in front of me, simply dropped, leaving me, her youngest child, alone with a rageful father who had only just learnt of my condition.

     Having sight that is limited to family deaths is a curse, and I refuse to further dwell on the subject.

     After we lowered Mutti into the ground, my father announced we would be traveling to Charlotte. I should have fled then but, rather, I followed out of fear of disobeying him, because I thought myself incapable of living outside his reach. Thankfully, only one surgeon agreed to alter my anatomy and even then “only after harvest.” So we returned home to Salisbury until October. By mid-September, the weight of my impending demise rattled me to my senses, and one night I hacked off my hair with the kitchen knife, went to the trunks tucked in our attic, donned my elder brothers’ outgrown clothing, and left, dropping my dark brown locks down the privy as I fled.

     I chose a man’s life out of necessity, out of self-preservation so a man is who I shall be.

I’m sorry you’ve been forced to hide so completely, Ben, more so that you’ve been so betrayed by those you should’ve been able to trust above all others. I’d hug you if you’d let me, but I suspect you’d question my motives.

It’s rather bittersweet to leave Ben in this state, but I know what happens. (insert mischievous grin) Your job, should you accept it, is to find out for yourself come July 21st when the Striking Balance is released. I’ll be looking for ARC readers in May/June, so if you’re interested, let me know.

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