Julie Weathers

I Did Something Right

He stretched out his legs and stared at the bulky farmer boots. Thirty years ago he had ridden into this land with the slim black boots of a far rider, silver spurs at his heels and a song on his lips. His hair was longer then; unbound and spread like molten copper across his forest green cloak. His muscles were hardened and lean from riding and fighting since he was old enough to sit a horse.

“Wild people,” these city dwellers who had never roamed the plains free, following the herds, called them. “Wild people” welcomed as heroes after helping the king defeat the demon armies. A place deep in his soul longed to be unfettered once again. He ached to abandon the homespun for leather.

This is a description of Gentyl’s father. I’ve been told it’s the right way to describe a character without leaving their POV. It warms my heart to know I did something right. Unfortunately, I have no idea how or why I did it. It just came out.

I have to confess I’m about to go bonkers. I guess I’m going to have to buy an antenna for the television. With the move, I refuse to pay the cable to set up an account and all that goes with it. Even if I weren’t protesting it since it was part of the rent when I moved in. Now they have stopped that and raised the rent $125. Yes, petty I know, but it’s the principle of the thing. It’s not so much I watch tv to any large extent, it’s just the noise in the apartment. This apartment is very dark anyway, so no noise and no light tend to make me feel like I am in a tomb.

On the plus side, I think I finally have five opening pages that might entice an agent to ask for more. It meant cutting out the barn scene, but I can add those bits in later.

I’m going to have to read through Paladin again and get back to stitching. October will be here before we know it. I will probably start critiquing stuff in the writers workshop on Books and Writers and start posting chapters so I can get the edit done and start shipping to Kiersten for the final edit.

I ran down to get the mail last night before I went to work out. Sifting through the mail and not paying attention to where I was going, led to me stepping off the sidewalk wrong. My knee is badly swollen and apparently I twisted the hip out also. I just want to go wrap up in a giant heating pad. My gp wants to take a look at it before he recommends a specialist. Now I just need to wait for the insurance company to decide they will actually cover me after I have been paying premiums for nine months. If I can’t prove I had insurance prior to being covered with them I apparently might have all kinds of pre-existing conditions they won’t cover. *rolls eyes*

So, in the meantime I take lots of Aleve and hot baths. Hopefully, it will be calmed down enough so I can start working out again Monday. I used to have a fairly high pain threshold, but I think that disappeared somewhere. Now I just want it to stop.

I also have discovered I have a very bad relationship with commas. Almost lethal and certainly immoral at the least. I use them like an addict uses drugs, frequently with little regard to what is good for me. Worst of all, I don’t use them where I should be using them. It sounds like a very bad relationship to me. I may have to join Commas Anonymous to kick the habit.

This Post Has 19 Comments

  1. sorry about your knee/hip, julie 🙁

    i fell on my left elbow slipping on ice last winter, still half a walnut-size lump, shocks me with pain when i forget and lean on it… no breaks/fractures, just the damn lump… so i sympathize

    yes, that description is MURDER! 🙂

    what with all you’re going through, you amaze in your ability to continue writing!

  2. Tony, sorry about the elbow. That has to be irritating and painful. Knee has calmed down enough I can walk relatively painlessly. I’ll just keep taking Aleve and try not to go sideways until I can get it fixed. Should be back to walking and workouts Monday.

    I’m glad you liked the description.

    As for the writing, I gave up a house I love and my horses so I can write. I danged well better make it worthwhile.

  3. thx julie… i lean on it a lot, being right handed, and i think that irritates the healing

    good that you’re coming along with the knee, how’s the hip?

    no question of your writing talent, just the wee matter of getting that elusive ‘break’, but i’m sure you’ll do well….

  4. Yes, aggravating the injury hinders the healing.

    Hip is better. It’s a nerve in the lower back that attacks me from time to time. Someday I will get it looked at again, but I’ve already spent 65,000 on it at one point.

    I’m happy to hear your faith in me. I confess there are times I wonder.

  5. one of my colleagues, is just awful with, commas. i don’t understand, how his brain works. he’s, a really smart guy, but, it’s like, he sprinkles them in, almost totally randomly.

    [just joking. with all the commas, not about my colleague.]

  6. “one of my colleagues, is just awful with, commas. i don’t understand, how his brain works. he’s, a really smart guy, but, it’s like, he sprinkles them in, almost totally randomly.”

    Whoa! Moonrat sighting.

    I’m glad I’m not the only one. Oddly enough, I was a staff writer for seventeen years for a magazine, but, apparently, their “style” isn’t popular or I have forgotten everything I knew. I think mainly I have become so self conscious about it I started adding commas just in case.

    I have to say I loved that video you put up. I seriously was crying. Cool stuff.

  7. ah yes, them thar infernal COMMAS… i think too many are missing in stuff i read online, so i add em 😉

  8. “ah yes, them thar infernal COMMAS… i think too many are missing in stuff i read online, so i add em ;)”

    I have a bad habit of wanting to add them when I feel a pause, justified or not. It’s really odd because at the magazine I just did it and normally did it correctly. Now, I have over corrected in the book and I went too far the other way.

  9. Commas . . . I know what you mean. They are my enemy.

  10. “Commas . . . I know what you mean. They are my enemy.”

    I think I’m getting better, but I don’t trust the sneaky little twits.

  11. Evocative, but some of the connections need work. Here’s a quick crit.

    1) He stretched out his legs and stared at the bulky farmer boots.

    okay

    2) Thirty years ago he had ridden into this land with the slim black boots of a far rider, silver spurs at his heels and a song in his heart.

    “song in heart” may be a cliche, but in this case it’s not bad. In this sentence, you segue from present to past.

    3) His hair was longer then; unbound and spread like molten copper across his forest green cloak.

    Great line, still poised between present and past. “Molten copper” is a great description, but if this is internal to him, does he really think now that his own hair looked like that then? If you are trying to build arrogance, that’s a good start. If not, maybe save the phrase for a later POV or dialog? It can work, but only if the rest of the paragraph is smooth as silk.

    4) Muscles hardened from riding and fighting since he was old enough to sit a horse.

    sentence fragment. The time frame on this clause confuses me as a reader. No “now” words, no “then” words to place the time, and no verb in the sentence. The minimum change you can make is to change the semicolon in line 3 into a comma, then change the period to a comma, and link to line 4 with “and his muscles were…”.

    5) Wild people they called them, these city dwellers who had never roamed the plains free, following the herds.

    “They called them” is really a problem. First of all, in three words you have two different new plural type of people. There is no group of people earlier in the paragraph, so there is nothing for the “they/them” to latch onto.

    Is he a farmer or a city dweller now? Or does he, after thirty years, stil think of anyone who lives in a house as a city dweller?

    If they are using the words “wild people”, it should be in quotes or italics to set it off as a term.

    It might be that you need a sentence in between 4 and 5 to introduce an old friend character, so that there are two “wild people” to be referred to at this point. Or you can do a paragraph break and a reframe at this point. Whatever works.

    6) Wild people welcomed as heroes after helping the king defeat the demon armies.

    good, and quick.

    7) A place deep in his soul longed to be unfettered once again.

    good as is, although “deep in his soul” approaches cliche.

    8) He ached to trade the homespun for leather.

    good as is, although a verb that meant “trade back” might improve it.

  12. Ouch!!! I’m coming to this a bit late, so I hope the knee is much better now.

    I loved the excerpt. It has a nice flow to it. I agree with Anon about the molten copper/green cloak (vivid image, BTW) because it probably wouldn’t be something he’d think about himself. And I was a little confused by the sentence: Wild people they called them, these city dwellers who had never roamed the plains free, following the herds.

    Not sure who “they” or “them” is, and there’s no clear connection between the opening phrase and “these city dwellers.” It sounds like someone is calling the city dwellers wild people, but I’m not sure that’s what you meant.

    But all that is just cosmetic stuff. The description at heart is sound and lovely.

  13. Beth, thanks.

    I am still struggling, as you can tell, with the mechanics of writing.

    I hope this doesn’t sound egotistical, but when my hair was long I often thought of it almost as an auburn cape. Not so much a glorious sight as the way it felt, since I could feel it hanging against my shoulders and past my waist. I suppose when I pictured a young Gaeryn, this is what came to mind. However, I have to keep in mind people will not have me around explaining things, so everything needs to stand on its own.

    I’m still fighting the blood and guts battle with the query letter. Am I allowed to say I hate this? I’m determined to figure it out even if it doesn’t make it to Janet Reid’s workshop.

    I would LOVE to be in Jack Whyte’s master class, but the chances of making that are pretty remote.

    Knee is still bothering me. I’m going to have to go under the knife before it’s all done, I’m sure. Hopefully, they can just do a day surgery thing and get it done. Too many horses and too many falls tend to haunt a person as they get older.

    “Not sure who “they” or “them” is, and there’s no clear connection between the opening phrase and “these city dwellers.” It sounds like someone is calling the city dwellers wild people, but I’m not sure that’s what you meant.”

    No, “they” is the Tamarls or city people. “Them” is the M’eiryn or wild people. I need to straighten this up, obviously. It made perfect sense to my fevered brain, but that is what other eyes are for.

    Thanks for visiting and commenting.

  14. I need to fiddle with that a bit more. It’s still now quite there.

  15. Hmmm, Anon is onto something. I hadn’t thought about the scene this comes from. He is visiting with a madam in a brothel who is M’eiryn also. She can easily add a comment about what he looked like years ago, especially since he comments on her looks.

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