Sunday, February 27, 2011

Rambling Becomes a Sunday Habit and A Good Cause.

It’s Sunday again. Once again Deb and I have been homebound. Partly because the weather and partly because I had to both drop Io off at her work and pick her up.

Unlike last weekend I have barely been productive at all. I have thought a bit about my WIP but have barely put finger to keyboard.
I have spent a bit of time visiting blogs but all in all I have pretty much wasted my day.

However, while blog hopping I noticed Margot Kinberg is holding a charity raffle at her blog Confessions of a Mystery Novelist. Her raffle called Do the Write Thing is to raise funds for the New Zealand Red Cross to help victims of the Christchurch Earthquake.

What she wants is for Authors to donate copies of their book/s to use as prizes and for people to spread the word by posting or Tweeting about the raffle.
I’ve offered a copy of Veiled in Shadows and I am of course only too happy to do my bit to spread the word.

A piccie from my archive
A New Holland Honeyeater in the Rain

Now on with my ramble.
I am I think as ready as I can be for the job interview I have on Tuesday. Deb and I have run through questions we expect I’ll get and I’ve worked out responses.
Of course there are always surprises.

Deb and I finally picked out a present for Io’s impending 21st Birthday.
Deb took the opportunity to drop a few broad hints as her birthday is later in March.

Now I have said I haven’t done any writing but that is somewhat of a lie I have just spent half an hour tinkering with a section of my WIP featuring Valentina and Penelope.

So because I have been thinking about them an extract.
Valentina and Natasha have met Penelope at a canteen…

Valentina Meshcova
Berlin 1948
'I'll order us some tea, or perhaps you would prefer coffee?'
'No I'll order it, with my army identification I don't have to pay.'
Natasha piped up, ‘And something to eat!’
‘A glass of milk, you have to eat your supper in a while.’

As I stood at the counter waiting for the tea I casually watched my friend sitting at the table.
She laughed and tickled Natasha under her chin. She seemed to dote on the little one. But then like me Penelope must have been approaching thirty and like me she might never have children of her own. My friend leant close as Natasha explained what she had been drawing on a precious piece of paper with her favourite possession a little box of color pencils. How I had scoured the city to find her those pencils.

My friend, was it too soon to call her a friend? For six weeks I had known Penelope, but really for six days, Sundays.
Or more realistically for ten or twelve hours at a beach or in a meadow, or as now in a Soviet canteen for workers.
What did I know about her?
She didn't seem to work anywhere. She was well fed, well dressed for the ruin that was Berlin in the late 1940s and very beautiful.
Almost out of place really.
I pondered what I knew about her.
Apart from the fact that she had lost her husband in the war she had said nothing personal. Our conversation usually revolved around Natasha and the moment.
I shrugged off my doubts.
Perhaps it suited both of us to exist in the present.

With her beauty and her apparently privileged lifestyle she was probably what the Red Army termed a 'Campaign Wife'.
Some general's companion until he could return home.
If that was her situation I could easily accept she was coy about her circumstances.
I saw no shame in such a choice, I had seen too many corpses between Moscow and Berlin to any longer think antiquated morals should stand between a person and survival. But everyone’s idea of pride is different and perhaps pride held her from saying more.

Natasha, her face serious continued explaining her drawing.
As for me, I was happy to live in the moment.
I had no future mapped out, the war had taken my future.
And the past.
No one wanted to talk about the past.
I existed day to day.
But maybe, just maybe that was enough.

Penelope met my eye, her smile was warm. Something in that smile, that look, tickled my memory.
I had felt this about her before, it was stupid but I was sure I knew her from somewhere before.

But that was impossible.

I carefully carried the mugs of tea and a glass of milk back to the table.
'I have the strangest feeling about you.'
Penelope’s brows arched, her lovely smile again, 'What funny feeling?'
'I feel like… I feel I know you from somewhere else.'
'Yet we never met before that day at the lake.'
'No, but...'
'Maybe I remind you of someone else?'

13 comments:

Old Kitty said...

Why can't Penelope and Valentina have children of their own as they approach 30? Awww! Just curious!!!

There really is something shifty with Penelope isn't there?!?!?!?! Very intriguing!

Yay for you for donating your book to this fab cause!!!

Take care
x

Jai Joshi said...

There is something curious about Penelope.

Good luck with that job interview and thanks for letting us know about the raffle.

Jai

The Words Crafter said...

Mysterious and unsettling. I just hope she isn't evil!

Christine said...

It's great that you offered a copy of Veiled in Shadows for Do the Write Thing.

I love that Honeyeater with its beady eye and flash of yellow in its feathers.

A second dollop of good luck wishes for Tuesday!

Hannah Kincade said...

Good luck on the interview and thanks for the excerpt!

Theresa Milstein said...

How nice of you to donate a book. I'm glad money is being raised for the earthquake victims.

That is the cutest bird.

Lynda Young said...

I have days where I can't seem to be able to get anything done. Most weekends are like that ;)

I LOVE that pic

Jemi Fraser said...

I hope Margot's charity raises a lot of money!!

Good luck on Tuesday!

LTM said...

love the excerpt, and I do think that's a great way to raise money. Super that you joined the cause. Best~ :o)

Al said...

Hi Jennifer,
Trust you to ask difficult questions :-)
I can see I am going to have to post about Valentina’s thinking about 30 year old women.
Do you really think there is something up with poor innocent Penelope? :-)


Hi Jai,
Jen seems to think Penelope is fishy too.
Thank you!

Hi Words,
Not another person who is casting dark looks at poor Penelope?
Evil probably depends on your definition. :-)

Hi Christine,
It seemed the least I could do.
I love New Hollands they are so cute.
Thanks!

Hi Hannah,
Thank you and you are welcome!

Hi Theresa,
As I said above it is the least I can do, and if we are lucky it might raise more money than I can afford to donate.
It is cute isn’t it?

Hi Lynda,
Those days are all to common for me.
Thank you!

Hi Jemi,
I am a regular on Margot’s blog, but it was actually yours that alerted me to the raffle.

Hi Leigh,
Thank you!
As I have already said it is a great cause and it is the least I can do.

Margot Kinberg said...

Al - Thank you so much for helping to pass the word about Do the Write Thing. I appreciate it very much! Even more so, I appreciate your kind donation :-). That really means a lot to me.

Al said...

Hi Margot,
You are most welcome. I am only too happy to help.

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