Draft Novel to Blog: “Clementine”

31 Oct

Draft to blog day! I will continue to write the draft to blog – I won’t always make it weekly, but I will keep writing it until I am Done.



Clementine wakes up afraid. The edges of her dream aren’t soft and fuzzy, but sharp like shards of glass. She can’t remember what she’d dreamed about; she can only feel it in her bones, all the way to her marrow, deep and cutting. She rises from her bed, stiff jointed, jerkity, and heads to her little kitchen. She cuts on the fire, places a pot of water on to boil, and spoons coffee into the old drip coffee pot. The world feels strange and unreal. Clementine doesn’t like it. Her world is always just what it is—solid, there, the same, twirling round and round just as it always does. The birds always sing. The sun always comes up strong over the mountain ridge. The ground always under her feet. That bad dream makes Clementine feel as if she were still asleep and floating around barely touching the floor.


She stands at her sink, looking out at her herb garden. If she had burned some lavender and drank peppermint tea before bed, she may not have had that dream, but who could know when a bad one come calling? She’d do that tonight, along with some rosemary by her bed. But tonight is a long way off. What to do now to stop the sharp corners of the bad dream from poking her upside her head? Alfalfa ashes! She’d sprinkle alfalfa ashes all around her house. And a bit of fennel over her door. That oughter do it. She shuffles back to her bedroom, takes a dab of lemon balm, and smears it on her chest, closes her eyes, inhales it deep into her lungs. There. Tween and twixt all that, Clementine’s bad dream, and any bad things that stayed round with it, will fly off into the wind.


Back to the kitchen, Clementine pours the boiling water over the coffee grounds, and while they drip, opens the ice box to see what she will fill her belly with. A good breakfast will help. Eggs, toast, strong black coffee. That’s what she needs, along with the rest. She shuts the icebox. Something about today.


She pulls open her junk drawer and fiddles round until she finds the calendar. Looks at the date. “Wale,” she says to the bird setting on the window sill, “No wonder! I forgot all about what today come, but I should’a known something else was up not usual.” The bird cocks its head and spears her with a beady eye, then it flies off and away.


Halloween never set well with Clementine. She doesn’t like going into town and seeing the ugly masks looking at her all googly eyed. She never has no kids coming up her mountain begging for candy, since she is too far off for them, so she doesn’t get the sweet part of Halloween either. How could she have forgotten what day it was? She could’ve taken care of the bad things before she went to bed last night. It isn’t that spirits, especially bad ones, come out more on this day, it is all the thoughts of the people calling them into an uproar,  making the spirits think it was time for them to make more mischief and stalk around and act ornery—showing off to the humans, they are.


Clementine pours coffee into her cup, sips it, then sets to work. She’d have to use her dried herbs mostly, since the garden wasn’t full right now, but that was just as good, maybe better. Maybe she’d make an herb pillow to sleep on tonight. Clementine takes the mortal and pestle, puts in the dried lavender flowers and lightly crushes them, then she pours that into her burning bowl. She’d burn that tonight. She then winds string around fennel and St. John’s Wort to hang above her door. She next roots for the alfalfa ashes, there they are, right behind the lamb’s ear.


With her bounty in a basket, she stomps the dirt from her feet and goes back inside her little house. She is hungry. Three eggs, two pieces of toast with marmalade will do it. And maybe a wedge of apple pie, just because she feels like it.


The smell of lemon and lavender, of fennel, of good herbs, of the eggs crackling in the skillet, and the toast toasting, of the slice of apple pie warming just a bit—all of it makes Clementine smile. “Silly old me,” she says. “I’m a silly old woman.” But she knows. Clementine knows that sometimes the dead aren’t still. Sometimes the dead have business. Sometimes the dead are happy, but sometimes the dead are mad. And worst of all, sometimes the dead won’t leave a person be until they get their message across, and for the dead to speak to the living isn’t an easy thing. They search for the one who’ll hear them, sense them, and sometimes that person surely is Clementine.



hmm. After just writing that, I have a thought come to mind: will there be a hint of the supernatural in Clementine? How far do I want to take this? What is happening here? I don’t know – guess I’ll have to keep writing and see. I do know that Clementine knows all about herbs and things of that nature – she’ll have to teach me more as I write. But what of the "dead talking to her" thing? I’ll find that out, too I guess.



Green Tip of the Day: Visit: Reduce your footprints blog; Easy ways for each of us to reduce our footprint on the earth


Healthy Living Tip of the Day: Are you breathing properly while exercising? Don’t hold your breathe, especially when lifting heavy objects – you can raise your blood pressure if you hold your breath while heavy lifting. During exercise, concentrate on learning how to breathe–fill your ribcage, then tighten the belly as you exhale. One way to "learn" how to "remember" to breathe is say your counts aloud – "One…..two…" You have to breathe in to prepare to speak and then as you speak the number you breathe out – just a simple way to "remember" to breathe.


Writer’s/Editor’s Tip of the day: Gumbo Writer: Creating Vignettes


3 Responses to “Draft Novel to Blog: “Clementine””

  1. Small Footprints October 31, 2008 at 12:20 pm #

    Whenever I get a book, I read the first page.  If it doesn\’t "grab" me in that first few paragraphs … I put it back.  "Clementine" hooked me immediately.  I can\’t wait to see what happens next … and what a perfect day to introduce her to us.  I love the way you write … I\’m there … seeing her kitchen … smelling the herbs and then the coffee.  Writing dialect is so tricky and you do it wonderfully!!Oh thank you … you can link to my blog any time you wish … I\’m honored!!  I love getting traffic to my site … but more than that … I think green living is so important.  I\’m all for spreading the green word and … well, maybe if we all pull together, we can make something happen!  Have a wonderful fall weekend on your mountain!Small Footprintshttp://reducefootprints.blogspot.com

  2. Gumbo October 31, 2008 at 9:30 pm #

    Love me some Clemmie! I wonder if ghosts will sit on her porch rockers with her? :) Hugs, Angie

  3. caroline November 1, 2008 at 11:09 am #

    Maybe Clementine has \’the sight\’ re author Sharyn McCrumb\’s \’Nora Bonesteel\’.  The first McCrumb book I read was The Rosewood Casket and I\’ve been hooked on McCrumb\’s stories ever since.

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