Not enough hours in the day during November. Just passed the 40,000 word mark in my NaNo project – I’m happy with the way things are flowing and that I’m getting words down without being overly concerned with getting the right words on the first draft. In some spots I knew what emotional content I wanted so stated it baldly. I had make it more subtle in rewrite.
The same with inserting my research material. I have lots of facts and info on coal mining in the mid 1920‘s but rather than going to it constantly as I spew word I can put in correct terminology later. I remind myself I’m not writing a how-to-manual either or a historical thesis on social life of the time – this is fiction.
I haven’t been able to find a way to fit in all my research – some of it would, I think, take over or call for more attention that my story needs – there had been an influx of blacks from the Caribbean imported to work in the coal mines – there is a great story there and I think even alluding to it would be unfair to their story.
I’m also enjoying how scenes write themselves. When the miners went on strike they, at one point, rioted and looted & burnt down the company stores. My male protagonist gets caught up in this and we see events for his pov. In a later scene my female pov becomes an observer of the fire – but I wanted her to become more active but how? – well why not a burning building with a baby inside.
melodrama that fits the writing of that era – she rescues the baby but gets snagged on the stairs trying to get out – my male protagonist steps up and frees her – information I didn’t have when I started the looting of the store. Now I can go back to his pov to add that rescue.
It was night when they came to the surface with the rest of their level’s day shift. Birk headed straight to the wash up room after he hung his work clothes on their hook and pulled them up to the ceiling.
This was when he moved as fast as he could. The first in got the cleanest water. At first he wasn’t sure where the blood in the bowl was from then he recalled the dust up with Clancy. Showed him this little guy can’t be dealt with that way.
He glanced up at Clancy who was opposite him splashing water onto himself. He was trying to wash the grime out of his red hair.
“Yer hair will be black fer’ver m’son.”
“Only those don’t know how to wash have that problem.” Clancy replied.
“Get a move on,” one of the waiting miners shouted. “Some of us got dust to wash outta our arse hair too, you know.”
The miners laughed.
Birk dried himself quickly and got back into into his overalls and shirt. He could smell the clean of the shirt. His body ached for that big bed. Ah yes that almost made the day bearable now that he had that all to himself. Something to look forward too. No snoring Geo to deal with ever again.
“Same time tomorrow, soft arse.” Birk gave Clancy one last shove. “Keep pissin’ on them hands too or ya won’t last the week.”
Jake was at the exit gate waiting for him. Birk couldn’t wait to to tell him about the new guy he was breaking in.
When he got home he tugged off his work boots and socks. Tossed the socks and his face rag into a bucket and poured water over them. He’d scrub them out in the backyard later.
Blackie was home sitting at the kitchen table.
“Gotta another new guy. Why do I always get’ em. Manny got that sweet job in the yard. When’s the union gonna do something for me beside taking dues. I shoudda had that spot, you know. That Red Mac never liked me much.”
“My fault b’y.” Blackie nodded his head. “Should a been a mick. Not yer fault he takes his direction from the priest. Manny was the priest’s pet. You know that. Probably told Red Mac the devil would get him if he didn’t do right by Manny.”
“What about right by me. I’s been there longer ‘n him, too. But I showed that new guy his place fast enough.”
His mother came in from the backyard with some carrots from their garden.
“Jus look at these.” She held up a some stunted roots. “Soil here’s so bad nothing grows. I tires every year and its the same.”
Maddy followed her in with some daisies.
“Thank you little miss.” Birk reached for them.
“They’s for Geo.” she hid them behind her back.
“I should a guessed. How long for we eat?”
“When they get here. Sheila bringing a fish stew she made to thank me for the cake I baked.” His mother wiped at the table.
“I’ll be above.” Birk went to the stairs. “How’s Sal?”
“Still the same. Sat up for a spell though to look out the window. Weather’ll be fine soon to take her outside for awhile. Sunshine’ll fix her up fast.”
Birk went up to his room. Before he went in he looked in on Sal. She was propped up with a couple of pillows stroking the hair of a rag doll his mother had made for her.
“How’s my sweet sister today.” He said gently as he sat on the end of the bed.
“Don’t” Sal flushed in alarm. “Don’t get that dirt on dolly.”
“I …” Birk stood and walked out of the room.
He splayed on his bed and stared at the ceiling. At least his room didn’t want to be rid of him like his sisters did, like his new workmate did.
He drifted off to sleep to be wakened by loud laugher from below. His brother had arrived with his new wife. Same old Sheila but new all the same. He went down to the kitchen.
Someone with his back to Birk was talking to Blackie. The someone turned around. It was Clancy.
“Good, great news come rejoicing.” His mother said happily. “Yer brother has found someone to board here. Say hello to Clancy Sinclair.”
“We’ve met.” Birk said. “Board here? Where?”
“My room,” Goe said. “Thas a big bed. Yer used to sharing it.”
“Yeah with me brother not some soft arse who thinks I’m no better than a rat.”