Yikes! It’s much harder than I thought, writing a book fifteen times faster than my last one. Where do the characters live? What do they look like? Why is she taking a mule train instead of riding the train? Will they even like each other?
So many questions to answer – so little time. Anyway, I finished 12 Pages, four less than my purported new schedule but months’ worth on my old schedule. Does that count for something?
Here’s a sneak peek. Let me know what you think.
Alda tucked her elbow into Bessie’s flank and jabbed. “Bessie, if you don’t get a move on soon, I’ll whoop ya until …” Until what? Until nothing. Alda and the mule both knew the threat was emptier than a rusted tin pail. They hadn’t moved an inch in over an hour.
Pushing tawny curls up into her bonnet, Alda turned and rested her back against the mule. The relentless Missouri sun brought rivulets of sweat to her forehead in place of the curls. She slid down the mule’s back leg, landing with a soft whump on the dusty ground. Smoothing the green calico of her dress across her lap, Alda stared out across the tufts of thick, prairie grass. A small, brown lizard skittered up to her boot and then disappeared under a bleached stick.
“Fools’ notion,” mamma had said, no more than a week before. And maybe she’d been right – God rest her soul. Why would a woman Alda’s age, with no experience, attempt to drive the most stubborn animals ever created half way across the country?
A low cough broke into her thoughts.
Alda jumped up, dusted her backside and scrutinized the man smiling at her across Bessie’s back.
"Mam.” He tipped his black Stetson her direction. Dark, chestnut waves dusted the top of his shoulders and a two inch scar followed the curve of his right jawbone.
Was the warm twinkle in his eyes on her account? Alda squared her shoulders and straightened her back.
“Could you use some help?” the stranger asked as he wrapped the reins of his mount around the saddle horn.
“I’ll be fine, thank you. I wouldn’t want to hold you up, sir.” Nor was she going to admit to needing assistance.
He swung a leg over and jumped to the ground. “I’m in no particular hurry.”
Have a great Week!