Hello everyone, Winnie Griggs here. Today I want to talk a little bit about foreshadowing. It’s a wonderful literary device that, when used effectively, can really make a story resonate with a reader, can lead to a head slapping, “I should have seen ...

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  1. Foreshadowing
  2. Weekend Edition
  3. Don't Nickel-And-Dime This by guest blogger Kathleen D. Bailey
  4. Let's Talk #ownvoices
  5. Setting the Scene
  6. More Recent Articles

Foreshadowing

Hello everyone, Winnie Griggs here.  

Today I want to talk a little bit about foreshadowing. It’s a wonderful literary device that, when used effectively, can really make a story resonate with a reader, can lead to a head slapping, “I should have seen that coming” moment.







First, what is foreshadowing and why might you want to use it?
Foreshadowing is the planting of a hint or warning of something to come later in the story. These hints can be overt, used by the author to create tension or anticipation, or subtle if the author wants to plant clues without being obvious.


The functions of foreshadowing include:
  • to provide clues or hints about things to come
  • to add an extra richness and dimension to your story for readers, even those who don’t consciously pick up on these hints
  • to provide a reward for those readers who are paying close enough attention to ‘get it’
  • to enhance the tension and/or anticipation in the readers
  • to provide a page turning quality to your story as the reader becomes eager to find out if they’ve interpreted your foreshadowing device correctly
  • to support a future ‘surprise’ occurrence so it doesn’t strike the reader as coming out of left field


So now that we know what it is and why a writer would want to use it, how would one employ it effectively?

First you need to decide what you want to foreshadow.
Of course, not everything needs to be foreshadowed. In fact, some stories don’t lend themselves to foreshadowing at all. Some surprises and twists work better coming out of the blue. And other events are not significant enough to warrant foreshadowing.

You also don’t want to wear out your reader with too much foreshadowing – doing that would mean you are overloading the story with set-up and are not providing enough story. This can make your story seem eye-rollingly melodramatic.

Foreshadowing should relate to something significant to your story - something improbable you want to lay a foundation for or a big event you want to subtly build toward.
However, this requires that you know what these ‘significant’ events are. So that may mean the foreshadowing info doesn’t get woven in until the second or subsequent passes.


There are two types of Foreshadowing

  • Direct Foreshadowing
    This is intended to be recognized by the reader as such and points to an impending situation or problem. This future circumstance isn't spelled out in great detail (or it wouldn't be foreshadowing) but there is enough information to lead the reader to author-directed suppositions. You can do this in a number of ways, including:

    Use of dialog – have characters discuss upcoming events, character attributes, or plans.

    Use of objects – show a weapon, letter, mask or other such item that is an obvious portent of something to come.

    Use of character reactions – have a character react to something or someone in such a way as to indicate there is more than meets the eye
  • Subtle or Covert Foreshadowing
    This is foreshadowing that you want the character to miss until the event it was building toward actually occurs. You can accomplish this by

    burying your foreshadowing breadcrumbs amid other details

    by having the information presented as trivial or in an offhand manner,

    by having the hint presented in a context that hides its true meaning or importance. The movie Sixth Sense provides a masterful example of this.
      


The mechanics
  • Do your foreshadowing as early in the story as possible.
    The farther the breadcrumb is dropped from the actual event or reveal, the more impact it has. And also make sure you scatter those breadcrumbs throughout, don’t drop them all in one place. But remember to use moderation – use just enough to make certain your reader doesn’t feel cheated by a twist she could never have seen coming, but not so much that your twist loses its punch.
  • Make sure the payoff fits the buildup
    If you’re going to foreshadow something, the readers, especially those who have been doing the work of finding your hidden breadcrumbs, are going to expect those breadcrumbs to not only lead somewhere, but to lead somewhere that wows them. Don’t disappoint.


Check it again - Is it relevant and organic
  • Does this bit of foreshadowing have the intended effect: If you’re trying to build suspense have you been explicit enough? On the other hand if you’re trying to lay groundwork for a plot element down the line, have you been subtle enough not to tip your hand? 
  • Either way, have you woven in your foreshadowing element seamlessly or does it feel forced? You need to make certain you are staging things appropriately for the intended payoff.


 

 


So that’s a quick overview of the art of foreshadowing. Foreshadowing is a skill that requires practice and finesse. If not done carefully it can do more harm than good to your story, rendering it melodramatic, overly predictable, lacking believability or too forced.
So what other tips do you have to offer on this topic? Or do you have any fabulous example from either books or film that you’d like to share?

      

Weekend Edition


  



If you are not familiar with our giveaway rules, take a minute to read them here. It keeps us all happy! All winners should send their name, address, and phone number to claim prizes.  Note our new email address and please send your emails to Seekerville2@gmail.com







Monday: Last Monday Mary Connealy talked about Setting the Scene. The winner of a signed copy of Aiming for Love is Samantha!

Wednesday: Oh, sorry! I was on the farm and forgot to post our two winners for our #ownvoices talk! Winner of Toni Shiloh's "Once Upon a Christmas" is Dalyn! And winner of Belle Calhoune's "Reunited at Christmas" is Lila!

Friday: Carrie hosted our very own 'Kaybee', aka Kathleen D. Bailey to celebrate her debut novel & share some of her journey and what God taught her along the way. The winner of an ebook of Westward Hope and a basket of New England goodies is Jeanne Takenaka!



Monday:  Winnie Griggs is popping in on a special day to discuss Foreshadowing - what it is and how to incorporate it into your work effectively.

Wednesday:  Pam Hillman will be our hostess today.
  
Friday:  Missy Tippens will be posting about a wonderful, inspiring story she heard recently at a conference! She'll also be talking about how we get our story ideas (with thanks to a blog reader who wrote to the Seekerville email addy with a question). And so you can keep track of all the wonderful and interesting story ideas that strike you, she'll be giving away a dot-journal to one commenter!










Winnie Griggs is excited to announce she has a new release coming November 1st.  


Sawyer Flynn vows to see that the man who murdered his brother pays for his crimes, but becoming the sole caretaker of an orphaned infant sidetracks him from the mission. Sawyer can’t do it all—run his mercantile, care for the baby, and find justice for his brother. He needs help. But notfrom Emma Jean Gilley.

When her father flees town after killing a man, Emma Jean is left alone to care for her kid brother, but her father’s crime has made her a pariah and no one will give her a job. Learning of Sawyer’s need, Emma Jean makes her case to step in as nanny. 

Sawyer is outraged by Emma Jean’s offer, but he’s also desperate and he reluctantly agrees to a temporary trial. Working together brings understanding, and maybe something more. But just when things heat up between Sawyer and Emma Jean, the specter of her father’s crimes threatens to drive them apart forever.

You can learn more or pre-order HERE















      

Don't Nickel-And-Dime This by guest blogger Kathleen D. Bailey




Happy Friday, Seekerville!

Carrie here - I have the utmost privilege of welcoming 'the author formerly known as kaybee' to the blog today. That's right, Seekerville's own Kathleen D. Bailey (a faithful commenter under the handle 'kaybee') has just released her first novel, and we are thrilled at the chance to help her celebrate!

Michael once betrayed Caroline in the worst possible way.
Can she trust him to get her across the Oregon Trail?
Can he trust himself to accept her forgiveness and God’s?




Take it away, Kathleen!

~*~*~*~*~

For years, my father-in-law drove a vehicle which we famously referred to as the “Chinese Junk.” It was a 1960s station wagon that, with judicious replacing of parts, he had kept functional well into the 80s. He eventually got a better car for himself, but he kept the Chinese Junk as a spare and his children and extended family drove it when we were between vehicles or having our vehicles worked on. (We do not go to the kind of places that have loaner cars, sigh.) Toward the end of its life you had to connect two wires under the hood to start it, but there was no question in any of our minds that the Chinese Junk worked.

My father-in-law nickeled and dimed that car for years. The Junk gave up its particular ghost when the mechanics in the family couldn’t FIND parts, but even then it refused to die and it’s rusting somewhere in a secluded part of my brother-in-law’s property. Now that was a car. And also, probably by today’s standards, not legal.

You can nickel-and-dime a car, but only for so long. Trust me on this. Eventually even the Chinese Junk had to be retired, though family members still raid IT for parts.

But there are other areas of our lives where we can’t take the nickel-and-dime approach, and we shouldn’t.

Not Depressed Enough?


I stood up with eagerness as the medical researcher came back into the room, but her expression told me I had nothing to be eager about. “You didn’t qualify for the depression study,” she told me. “The doctor said we need someone who’s actively depressed.”

She said she’d try to get me a check for the time I spent on the screening, and as I walked out to the reception area she patted me on the back. “Look at it this way, at least you’re not depressed.”

Indeed.

For several years my husband and I have done medical research trials to help with an ever-expanding budget and ever-shrinking paychecks. I had had my eye on this one for catching up on our property taxes. But as I started my car, I knew that God would provide for the taxes in His own way and His own time.

It wasn’t always that way.

We have struggled financially for most of our marriage, from Dave’s college days to the Great Recession, which never receded fast enough for me. I clipped coupons, looked for deals on everything, and found secondary ways to make money. When I had full-time jobs, I always freelanced around the side; and when I lost one of those jobs due to budget cuts, I never collected a dime of unemployment. At one point during the laid-off years, I had six different income streams. At once.

But they never did what I hoped they would.

I would plan on a certain check to come to take care of a certain need, and when it came, another, more urgent need nudged it out of the way. So I’d roll the need over to the next freelance check, bonus or medical trial compensation. And the “need” would get eaten up by something else, a still more urgent one.

There was never enough to go around, and my plans for what there was always fell through.

This financial patchwork quilt, with plenty of holes, extended into our sixties. When friends paid off their children’s student loans and their houses, I continued to scramble for freelance jobs. Sometimes I got them, sometimes I didn’t.

Until the day I was grousing about yet another need going unmet because another need had superseded it. And the Lord spoke to me. Not a burning bush thing, I’ve unfortunately never had those, but it was clear enough: “Kathy, you are never going to nickel-and-dime your way out of your financial problems. If you could, you would have done it by now.”

Whoa.

Was that what I had been doing? I’d thought it was Good Financial Planning.

And maybe it had been, but God had a bigger plan. A spreadsheet I couldn’t argue with. I still plan, but I’m a lot more flexible in allowing Him to meet our needs. Because He will. In His time and His way.

I asked myself what else I’d been approaching this way, or seeing other people dealing with in the nickel-and-dime way.  

Mysterious ways


Could you nickel and dime a marriage? Could one go into that most intricate of human relationships with a checklist?

Only if one or more of the parties walked away with a broken heart.

If Dave or I had had a checklist, we wouldn’t be here today. Not together, anyway. There is no earthly reason why we should be married, or even a couple. But God wanted it that way, and the three of us are greater than the sum of our parts.

In writing (yes, I knew we’d eventually get here), I held to a punch-list format for years and years. If I did everything right, whatever “everything” was at the time, I would snag THAT editor, THAT agent, or THAT door would open and I’d walk in and not look back. I schmoozed and slaved. Boxes were checked. Formulas got followed, disciplines observed. But formulas and checklists don’t always follow the patterns of an industry in flux. Because there aren’t any patterns. Houses close or merge, agents burn out, trends flow away from my genre.

There is no formula for being published. There is only writing, hard work and God.


Being “anxious for nothing”


But God wasn’t done with me even then, as He pointed out that we can’t nickel-and-dime our salvation, either.

I thought I’d mastered that one. Raised in a liturgical church, I’d looked for salvation through sacramental observances and good works for most of my childhood and teen years, and thrown that off in the tumult of the 60s. When the Lord found me, a drugged, directionless little hippie girl, I learned that the road back wasn’t paved with good works, and I joyously accepted salvation by faith.

But there was still a lot to learn, and as with my finances, the idea of doing it myself wouldn’t go away. When there was a need I tried to fill it, even when He had other plans. I was Doing and not necessarily Being.

Until I couldn’t. Age caught up with me, along with a demanding job, and I couldn’t necessarily Do. Who would Do if I Didn’t?

I could never be good enough, smart enough, “Christian” enough for God. And He knows that. He knew it when I was born, He knew it on that fateful Friday 2,000 years ago. But that’s never been what He wanted.

We can’t nickel-and-dime the way to heaven. But when faced with the sacrifice of everything He was in spite of everything we are, really, who would want to? Wouldn’t you rather be loved with an Everlasting Love than check off, or be checked off a punch list?

He wants me, and you, to Be first.

And He’ll take it from there.

~*~*~*~*~



Kathleen Bailey, known locally as “Kaybee,” is a journalist and novelist with 40 years’ experience in the nonfiction, newspaper and inspirational fields. Born in 1951, she was a child in the 50s, a teen in the 60s, a young adult in the 70s and a young mom in the 80s. It’s been a turbulent, colorful time to grow up, and she’s enjoyed every minute of it and written about most of it.

She attended a mixture of public and parochial schools, graduating from the University of New Hampshire in 1974 with a bachelor’s degree in English Literature. She married the Rev. David W. Bailey in 1977, and they lived in Colorado, Wisconsin and Michigan before returning to their home state of New Hampshire. They are the parents of two adult daughters.

She has worked as both a staff and freelance journalist. She semi-retired in 2017, in order to devote herself to a growing interest in Christian fiction. She has won or finaled in several contests, including the 2018 American Christian Fiction Writers Genesis contest.

She blogs on other writers’ sites and on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. She is involved in an active critiquing relationship with another author. A member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, she participates in continuing education, judges writing contests, and continues to enjoy the world of words.

Bailey “sailed off the island” Sept. 20 with the publication of her first novel, “Westward Hope,” by Pelican/White Rose Publishers. She is contracted for the second book in the series, “Settler’s Hope,” and also has a novella with minor characters from “Settler’s Hope” to be published in Pelican’s “Christmas Extravaganza.”

Bailey’s work includes both historical and contemporary fiction, with an underlying thread of men and women finding their way home, to Christ and each other.

For more information, contact her at ampie86@comcast.net; @piechick1 on Twitter; Kathleen D. Bailey on Facebook and LinkedIn; or at www.kathleendbailey.weebly.com.  

~*~*~*~*~

What about you?
What's something that maybe you've been trying to nickel-and-dime in your writing or in life?

 Comment for a chance to win an ebook of Westward Hope by Kathleen D. Bailey!
                                                                                                                                                                                   

      

Let's Talk #ownvoices

#ownvoices

What is it? 
Why does it exist? And what does it mean? What does it mean to authors of color? All authors? Is it good? Important? Is it fair?

#ownvoices came about as a Twitter hashtag to draw attention to the lack of authors of color in traditional publishing.

It exists because publishers may hesitate about producing books with what they fear is a narrower focus. Will white people buy books with black characters? 


Will authors of color find an audience that crosses all types of people? And is it wrong for white authors to write black characters?

Of course not. That’s silly. Just as silly as me saying black authors can’t write white characters because people are people. God made us all and just changed the wrapping from time to time. But what’s been lacking is opportunity, and that’s clutch. So talking about #ownvoices helps open those doors of opportunity and for the next two days we’re conversing with four great gals, Belle Calhoune, Stacy Hawkins Adams, Toni Shiloh and Patricia Woodside… And anyone else who stops by! This is Ruthy talking. You hear from me all the time… for the next two days, it’s their turn.

Welcome, ladies.

Belle Calhoune is a Publisher’s Weekly best-selling author of inspirational and heartwarming romance. Raised in a small town in Massachusetts, Belle had the pleasure of growing up right across the street from a public library. Married to her college sweetheart, Belle has two lovely daughters and two very spoiled dogs. She is a member of the RWA Honor Roll and a recipient of the Angeline Bishop award for multicultural series. She’s published 40 novels with four additional books being released in 2020 and 2021 from Harlequin Love Inspired.



For me, own voices means I can write characters who reflect my own diversity as well as being able to present a snapshot of the world I inhabit. It’s an opportunity as an author to represent people of color in my romance novels. It’s important that readers see and understand that diverse people love just as hard as the rest of the population.

I’ve been fortunate in that Harlequin Love Inspired has allowed me the freedom to write diverse stories. In my current series, three of the four books have diverse main characters. With my Indie books I’m able to write diverse characters to my heart’s content. Thankfully, things are changing in the publishing industry and more doors are opening for diverse projects. I am personally experiencing this (as well as a host of my diverse author friends) and I’m really excited about this trend in publishing. I’m seeing lots of new contracts and wonderful opportunities emerging for diverse authors.


Ruthy note: One of Belle's opportunities included THIS! Seeing one of her books be made into a movie! Love, Alaska premiers later this month, one of the first Harlequin movies from Brain Power studios!!



  And from Toni Shiloh:


Toni Shiloh is a wife, mom, and Christian contemporary romance author. Once she understood the powerful saving grace, thanks to the love of Christ, she was moved to honor her Savior. She writes to bring Him glory and to learn more about His goodness.


The first time I saw #ownvoices a feeling of excitement flew through me. And yeah I may have did a fist pump. I'm all about the writing community coming together to show the diversity of the world. I love seeing that unity, but there's something special about #ownvoices. Of seeing covers with ethnic people written by an ethnic author. It's not something that's prevalent in the world which is disheartening in of itself. So when I see #ownvoices, when I see authors of color writing characters of color, I know we're one step closer to closing the gap between how the world is presented to us to how it truly is. Diverse.
From Award-winning author Stacy Hawkins Adams:


Two people can be sitting side by side in a classroom, work setting, social space or airplane seeing and hearing the same message, yet experiencing it in different ways, based on their life experiences, their socioeconomic status and yes, often their race. Because in our nation, race does play a factor in how life is experienced.

All that said, those same two people can be reading a great book, caring about the main character’s arc of growth and how she (or he) pushes forward or prays her way out of a challenging situation and feel the exact same way about that character when they reach The End – feeling satisfied with her growth and or her happy ending. Suppose this book featured a character whose hair color and skin hue wasn’t immediately defined? Suppose the two people reading it didn’t even care by the time they read far enough into the novel to realize that while they were Caucasian, they were reading about an African American protagonist, or vice versa?

This supposition isn’t far-fetched. During the season in which I penned seven novels and one nonfiction book – 2004-2016 – I often heard from women readers about how connected they felt to the characters I created and how surprised they were to learn that the lead character was of an ethnicity different from their own. The richness of the plot and transparency of the character’s journey had pulled them in, and by the time they realized the difference, it didn’t really matter.  A few also candidly shared with me that the covers of my first six novels, which featured African American men women or men, had caused them to hesitate before borrowing from a library or buying the books; but the plots had intrigued them enough to try.

I share this not to cast judgment or cause consternation, but to point out the fact that when given a chance to focus on one’s humanity and on issues that are common to all, readers can and will find a common reason to keep reading and cheering on (or lecturing) characters, until journey’s end. Because of this, I’m an advocate for ensuring that diverse stories and characters are published widely and widely read. For, the more we’re able to show how much we have in common through the power of storytelling, the more we can build bridges and connect more fully with each other in reality. That’s a worthy goal for those of us committed to writing about faith.

My publisher and I wound up listening to readers’ feedback, and my seventh through ninth novels featured covers that reflected the themes of the book without showing faces – allowing readers to “see” themselves in each story in some way. The characters were indeed African American (mostly), with other ethnicities featured as warranted; yet as with my previous books, the character-driven plots carried the story, and readers were willing to go along for the ride.

Therefore, my #ownvoices desire is that even as we acknowledge the publishing industry being a business, where bottom-line sales figures matter and drive the charge, we consider ways to elevate stories and publish writers who reflect humanity, in all of its shades, hues and cultures. Given that we each have distinct experiences with individuals within and outside of our race or culture, we writers have unique opportunities to dissect those experiences  in our own unique ways and stories – ways that I’m confident will help readers learn, grow and consider their own journeys of intersectionality – faith-wise and beyond.




And from editor/author Patricia Woodside:


As an author, Patricia Woodside has been published in several
anthologies, including How I Met My Sweetheart, The Motherhood Diaries 2 and All I Want for Christmas.  A longtime book reviewer and blogger, her reviews for Fresh Fiction, SORMAG and her former blog, Readin N Writin with Patricia, continue to be quoted. She is a freelance editor and owner of Story Dazzle Editing and Publishing Services, using her talents to help new and published authors of fiction and non-fiction polish their work to a dazzling shine.  In her spare time, Patricia is an avid reader and the administrator of the Facebook writer accountability group, Writers Writing Forward.

What #ownvoices means to me is telling and receiving the stories of those who have been marginalized as told by them in their own words presented through their own lens.  It means not having to jump extra hurdles to be seen and heard.  Having doors open wide for us to enter and present our authentic selves.  Not tailoring our message or presentation to meet anyone else’s expectations of who we should be, what we should say, and how we should feel, but saying what we need to say the way we need to say it. There has always been literature by and about people of color. #Ownvoices allows us to pursue mainstream opportunities while also creating our own arenas, not because we have to but because we choose to.  To my mind, #ownvoices doesn’t mean others can’t imagine, envision and create characters unlike themselves, but it does mean the creators do their homework—researching, observing, questioning, exploring and collaborating in support of the development of genuine, realistic art.

Ruthy again: 

Let the conversation begin. The gals will stop by and answer questions and share more thoughts today and tomorrow... And we have two giveaways. Belle and Toni have both donated a book to give away. From Belle we have this:

And this beautiful just-released anthology from Toni Shiloh:

Coffee's on!

And the donuts/doughnuts are on the back table.

Let's chat.

      

Setting the Scene

Driving around my home this time of year is a deep pleasure.
The corn is coming out of the fields, see the picture above, the bit of green left? As soon as that's gone...and it is in some fields, the harvest begins.
It made me think about scene setting.

My new book Aiming for Love just released and this is one of the few times I've actually taken a research trip, specifically got on an airplane and flew to the place my book was going to be.
I'm putting up these pictures because I'm enjoying 'setting the scene' for my home in Nebraska...for you.
This is a bean field but what I enjoy about this picture is the rolling hills stretching as far as the eye can see, covered in soybeans. I know people consider Nebraska a flat state, but honestly, where we live in the bluffs near the Missouri River, it's not flat anywhere. One of the reasons we have beef cattle is because there are so many steep, rocky stretches. Good for grazing but impossible for farming, but lots of farming goes on in the 'friendly' stretches of land, like that in this picture.
When I sent to Durango, Colorado...in January...I got a good dose of winter in that part of the world.
We had a really lovely day in Durango. Inspired by a train trip through the mountains the day before...that didn't go up very high...we rented a car and headed for Silverton with a notion to go all the way to Telluride. You understand I've almost never heard of any of these places before I started setting my book. We're near Mesa Verde...but we managed to pick a time when the GOVERNMENT was shut down and couldn't go there.
But the mountains called to us and we set out, only to discover that as we climbed, the snow began to fall. YIKES. OH YIKES.
I'm not kidding YIKES!
We reached Silverton after a LONG TREACHEROUS RIDE. Winding mountain roads, cliffs lining the road that seemed to drop FOREVER. 
My cowboy driving, knuckles clenched tight on the wheel.
Me with my usual wit and wisdom saying things like, "If we survive this, it's gonna be a great story." (and here I am telling it).
But my heroines, the Nordegren sisters, have to contend with winter in the mountains and it really helped to see it. (I kept telling myself that as we drove!)
We reached Silverton...Telluride was farther and higher and well...we decided to eat and then go back down. When we finally waded through the heavily falling snow to a charming little restaurant,
the waitress told us we needed to get out fast before the roads closed.
OK she may not have said those EXACT words but we got the message!!!
sigh
agreed
I love, love, love this stretch of land along a highway that stretches south of me. Flat land with crops and up behind them beautiful bluffs, covered with trees. In a few more weeks these trees will be on fire with burning red maples and vivid sunlight colored cottonwoods, burnish oak and walnut, mountain ash covered with bright orange berries, each tree turning on it's fall colors, side by side, making the most beautiful landscape.
Golden rod, the Nebraska state flower, growing in the road ditches. A weed that exists to make us sneeze and make the world more beautiful.
I'm talking about snow in the mountains and using pictures of autumn colors in the bluffs just because I wanted to share these pictures and test my own skill at setting a scene.
The road ditches this year were a particular delight, layers of tall sunflowers and short ones, then the golden rod in front. Soon the Sumac will bloom and it's a stunning bright red.

Sunflowers...they were particularly bright and plentiful this year.
As we made our way down, down, down that mountain from Silverton to Durango...well, it was honestly terrifying and pretty stupid to have gone up there.
We're too old to live a risky life!!!
I swore that off long ago.
Oh, who am I kidding, I swore that off when I was about six.
But we made it down. Here I sit typing as living proof.
And as I wrote my books for this series, I remembered snow so thick you could barely see a dozen feet in front of you.
Snow that comes in feet instead of inches.
Mountain roads with drop offs so sharp, if someone fell off one it's conceivable they could vanish until spring...maybe forever.
These are cattails. 
Sharp, pointing reeds and a heavy, woody spike bearing that soft, furry brown head.
They grow in wetlands and this year ditches have stayed wet most of the time. And as they go to seed in the fall, that fur breaks open as if the insides were swelling, and a puff ball of 'cotton' emerges. After a time this hot dog shaped cotton ball all blows away, seeding next years crop. As soft and pretty as dandelion fluff.


A closeup of a bean field ready for harvest. They are green bushes as they grow.
But in the fall, all the leaves are shed leaving a single stock with soybean pods clinging, waiting for a combine to come and rip through them.
Soybeans are in so many things. Soy sauce, but soy oil, if you check labels, is almost everywhere. It's also a near perfect animal feed. And the hulls holding the beans and the chaff inside the hull, can be collected and sold as soy hulls. It's a major component of our cow's diet. A big truck comes loaded with soy hulls, they are full of nutrition and roughage that helps make their bellies work better.

Setting the scene.
It's tricky because you don't want to linger overly long. That gets boring and a reader will often set the book down during a long stretch of scene description.
Setting the scene..just like all other aspects of the writer's craft...needs to be done just right. Enough but not too much.
Selecting the words with skill. Adding, cutting, revising, painting pictures with words.

Tell me about your work in progress.
Describe the scene, whether it's a pretty drawing room, a rugged mountain pass, a small town bakery, a day care, a hospital ward from the 1920s.
What words do you choose?
Leave a comment to get your name in a drawing for a signed copy of
Josephine Nordegren is one of three sisters who grew up nearly wild in southwestern Colorado. She has the archery skills of Robin Hood and the curiosity of the Little Mermaid, fascinated by but locked away from the forbidden outside world--a world she's been raised to believe killed her parents. When David Warden, a rancher, brings in a herd much too close to the girls' secret home, her older sister especially is frightened, but Jo is too interested to stay away.

David's parents follow soon on his heels, escaping bandits at their ranch. David's father is wounded and needs shelter. Josephine and her sisters have the only cabin on the mountain. Do they risk stepping into the world to help those in need? Or do they remain separated but safe in the peaks of Hope Mountain?
      

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