Hello, dearest readers!
I have not forgotten about you, I promise. Honestly, I became really homesick when writing the Nutcracker post (I made 2 other posts, which were meant to follow Part 1), and I started missing home (NB) so much, that I didn’t want to write or do anything anymore.
Thankfully, I got over that rough patch, and turned to a dusty old goal I gave to myself back in December: publish a little story.
This probably won’t extend to a full-length novel. I have plans for some, but first, I needed to prove to myself that I could plan and execute a story, and publish it for you all to see.
This story (since it’s not a novel, but not technically a short story, I’ll just stick with “story” for now), is a work in progress. It’s not completed, but I know what will happen and how it ends. I wrote a lot in Moleskine notebooks during class in high school, went back to it a little bit during my summer breaks during university, and was excited for this time in my life (no school!) to just write and finish it.
The idea for this story came to me in the fall of 2011. Our family lives about a 5 minute drive from the King’s Landing Historical Settlement (check out its website!), and I absolutely love it. We have lifetime passes, I did the visiting cousins summer camp when I was younger, we always attended the Christmas supper, and the sugar bush in the spring. During the Thanksgiving weekend, they also held lunches and live auctions.
In 2011, that Thanksgiving weekend, it was sunny, the leaves were yellow, orange, red, and dancing in the wind, and I saw the most handsome actor. They have people dressed in period clothing, acting out their character, and “living” at certain houses in the village. I didn’t know who this certain character was, but it was a tall young man, dressed in a more dapper fashion than the other men, holding the arm of a young lady, and tipping his black top hat at everyone.
Just like that, I had a main character, and a whole narrative and plot around this story set in the 1790s in the area that I’m from, Upper Kingsclear, New Brunswick.
I won’t spill any more about the story, but here’s an excerpt:
Some humility now and then kept bold young Mary in her place. As she grew older, she understood that she couldn’t be a burden on her family, especially given the fact that she had not yet married and moved out of the family house like her three older siblings had already done. Ann married a man from Parrtown, and she moved there with her 3 children. Eleazar was 22 and lived with his expecting wife, Sarah. Bradford, 21, and Alicebell (formerly Grieves) were expecting as well. Joanna, of course, was about to be married off, and even 13-year-old Edmund believed he already found “the girl of his dreams,” as he said.
In 1794, the small conglomeration in Kingsclear, nestled along a bend in the Saint John River, had about 25 full family houses, a general store, an apothecary, a schoolhouse, a church, a blacksmith, an inn and pub, a carpenter shop, and more houses being built for newly married couples. These couples were the children of the settled families, who built houses on their own land or on a section of land belonging to their fathers.
Just to give you more ideas on what kind of story this is, this is just a simple story, set in a simpler time. It’s for anyone nostalgic for a better time, of farming (if that’s your thing, like it is for me!), and for those who enjoy historical fiction. I just thought it would be cool to read something set at the time when Kingsclear (and New Brunswick, really) was established, thanks to the arrival of the United Empire Loyalists from the United States. I’m not of Loyalist descent, but I’ve lived in Upper Kingsclear, NB, my whole life, and there isn’t anything I love more than that area. I also love history, so I thought I’d mix the two together.
Now, here is a link to a public folder I created, 1794, which contains 2 PDFs. One is the “roadmap,” if you will, to the families of Kingsclear in the story. They aren’t made up, technically. All the names, ages, and ethnicities came from the 1851 Kingsclear census – I simply picked the ones I wanted, and plopped them in 1794.
The other PDF is Part 1 of what I’ll share of the story this week. As I said, it’s a work in progress, so there may be little mistakes, and there are some parts I’d like to add in the middle, but ultimately, every time I publish a part, you are welcome to read it if you want, and you are certainly welcome to comment or email and give me anything you want! Suggestions, corrections, additions, anything! I’d love hearing from you. :)
(A quick note on the PDFs: they’re on Google Drive, and I found that they take a long time, for me, to load, simply for me to view it. However, if you download it (the little arrow over a line that appears when you hover the mouse over the PDFs), it’ll be a PDF right there on your computer, phone, or iPad, and ready for reading!)
For further inspiration, here is the Pinterest board I’ve made for the story, as well as a little YouTube playlist that always gets my in the writing mode for this story (heads up, there’s a lot of fiddling and jigging, but that just reminds me of days at King’s Landing, which I love!).
Happy reading, and I’ll see you soon! I hope to post another excerpt and part next Monday, but if not, a few days later.