I believe this rewrite has worked out the worst weaknesses of the previous draft. I’ve got a list of places to send it, along with my other ocean story, “Shimmers and Sea Stars,” so that’s part of my plan for tomorrow. I’m working the weekend so Thursday is going to be writing/marketing day, with a break to sand my new (old!) desk. I’m looking forward to having my new (antique) writing space, and promise to take a picture of it when it’s all set up in front of the window.
Below, an excerpt from the rewritten first scene of “Fish Girl and the Kapok Spirits.”
She smiled at the bark faces of the jumbies in their kapok home as she capped the water bottle. “Hits the spot, doesn’t it?”
There was a ringing laugh behind her and Cora jumped, spinning back around to face the bend in the trail. Sitting on a downed branch was a man, his white teeth shining in his dark face almost as brightly as his pale brown eyes did. The islander laughed again as she flushed.
Cora pulled herself together and crossed her arms. “Something funny?”
He shook his head, but was still smiling widely. “Nah, not so funny. More like surprise. I come up the trail here, this early I don’t expect too many other people. Don’t see too many of you pale northern folk who know about the jumbie tree without a Ranger tellin’ you, neither.”
Cora shrugged and tried to convince herself that the heat in her cheeks was from the weather, not embarrassment. “I figure, no harm done, right? If the jumbies are thirsty, they’re set, and if not, the tree will appreciate it.” She shouldered her backpack and added, “How did you get so close without me seeing you, anyway?”