10,000 Words

Well once again my blog has not been updated for a long time.  But this weekend I past a milestone in the writing of my book.  My book is based on family history but there is more about that in my previous post.

I have written 10,000 Words!  Quite an achievement, I guess.  Only 60,000 or so to go.   But just at the moment I am suffering from a serious case of impostor syndrome with a good dose of lack of inspiration.

But  still, I am putting words on the page and we know that to be a writer you have to write.

I have also just finished Creative Writing Stage 1 course with the Australian Writers Centre.  There was some great content in the course and lots of stuff I will go back over.  They allow 12 months access which will be good.

Anyway I thought I would post a short passage from the book which I am relatively happy with so here it is….

Harriet sat by the open fire stirring the pot, the contents of which were meant to feed the entire family. To the water she had added what little barley meal she could spare, a turnip and some salt. She sighed as she thought of her son Robert, far away in Port Phillip Bay.  They had recently received a letter from him which had informed them that he had arrived as a free man and had obtained land to set up a farm.

A farm, on his own land.  It was unheard of here in Radnorshire, where the rents were steadily increasing and each time they were collected she wondered when they would be turned off the land because they couldn’t pay. 

Was this the solution? Should she and her husband pack up their remaining family and try to get a passage to this new land?  There were free passages to the new colony of South Australia. From there they should be able to continue on to Port Phillip Bay.  

Her husband, Albert, came into the house after ten hours working in the fields to try to get the seed in the ground.  They had had bad season after bad season with no improvement in sight.

“Should we leave Albert” whispered Harriet, as she ladled the meagre soup into a bowl and added a piece of dry bread to supplement his meal.

“This is our home, Harriet,” replied Albert.  He was a man of habit and Harriet knew he would take some convincing.

“But Robert has land, his own land, can you believe it.  We could do well in this new country. William and George could come with us.  There is land enough for all.”

“But to just pack up and leave everything, I’ve heard tell it is a long and harsh journey,” said Albert still far from convinced that this was a good idea.

Soon William and George, strong young men, not yet beaten down by the hard work and repression that was taking its toll on their father, arrived for their meal.  As Harriet dished up their meals they joined in the conversation. William was a spirited young man and had more than once, joined the protests. 

“We will never beat the tyranny here,” he declared.  “I say we go!”

“What do you think George,” asked his mother.

George was getting serious with a pretty young woman who lived nearby. 

“I don’t know that I could leave Susannah,” he said sadly, although deep down he craved the adventure and opportunities that the new land might offer.

“Susannah could come too,” said his mother gently, “You should marry that young woman.  You have kept her guessing far too long already.”

George blushed but said no more. His mother knew that he secretly longed to marry Susannah but felt he had nothing to offer her.   If they decided to make this voyage then there could be hope, but would Susannah see it that way?

It was frightening but Harriet felt it was their only option.

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