Maggie Robinson

Apr 8
Progress Report

I woke up the other morning at 3 A.M. and there she was, like an even ashier Cinderella. She was tiny, scrawny, brown and dirty. Her hair was a mess, her tongue as sharp as an adder. She was my unlikely heroine for my unlikely hero Andrew, and she was still nameless. I kept thinking of the fabulous Shakespeare Re-Told Taming of the Shrew. Shirley Henderson played Kate, and while a bit over the top, kind of fit my mental profile. So here’s when Andrew first meets Miss Peartree:
He tiptoed down the hallway as quietly as he ever had eluding a suspicious wife or husband, coming at last to the kitchen. A raggedy serving girl dressed in what appeared to be stray Tartans and tablecloths was bent over an empty fireplace, a pitiful pile of sticks on the hearth. At the sound of his footstep on the bare slate floor she turned and shrieked.
Some of Andrew’s childhood Gaelic had come back to him the further north he’d come. Immersion with the village women earlier had helped a bit too. “Gabh mo leithsceal.” Excuse me.

“Does bloody anyone in this bloody place speak any bloody English?” the girl muttered.
She looked like a street urchin. Her brown hair was a nest, her pointed, unfashionably brown face was smudged and her brown skirts muddied. She was so very brown. Surely she couldn’t be—
“Miss Peartree?” Andrew asked, praying not.

The little wren’s mouth hung open like a baby bird waiting to be fed. Then she looked like she tasted the worm. “Oh, good lord. Mr. Rossiter?” She curtseyed, nearly tripping on twigs.

A little later on in the day, she became Gemma, because she is a jewel just waiting to be polished.
Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night to write?

10 comments to “Progress Report”

  1. Elyssa Papa
     · April 8th, 2009 at 1:35 am · Link

    I have loved every single snippet you’ve shared with us, Maggie! Her name is fabulous and she is going to throw Andrew for many twists and turns.

    As to your question. Me wake up in the middle of the night to write? Why, I have no idea what you speak of. 😉

  2. Santa
     · April 8th, 2009 at 2:24 am · Link

    Gemma suits her to the ground, Maggie.

    I don’t necessarily wake up to write in the middle of the night. I finish up right about then.

    And I’m sorry to say I’m not finished – yet. I was yay’ing for the rest of us who get to read your treasures, not because I did something as fantabulous as finishing.

  3. Tiffany Chalmers
     · April 8th, 2009 at 5:38 am · Link

    God have I have. And I’m telling you, that half three in the morning is the Witching Hour! It’s always half three.

    I love Gemma 🙂 As you know. This is just one of them books that writes themselves because the characters are just amazing.

  4. Maggie Robinson
     · April 8th, 2009 at 8:00 am · Link

    Santa, I read somewhere online you’ll be done for Nationals.Good luck finishing, and take a bath for me when you’re through, LOL. Thanks so much for visiting me!

    Ely, I could never write all night like you do. I’m definitely not a night owl. I’m not even much of a day owl. 🙂

    Tiff, I must say the fingers are flying on this one. 11,000 words in 5 days. It won’t last though. 🙁
    I just love beginnings.

  5. terrio
     · April 9th, 2009 at 12:34 pm · Link

    Wow! You were so obviously meant to do this, Maggie. And the name and image fit perfectly.

    I haven’t woken in the middle of the night yet, but I have had to get back out of bed to write something down so that I can fall asleep. However, these days I fall asleep thinking about how to teach softball. *sigh* It’s always something. LOL!

  6. Maggie Robinson
     · April 9th, 2009 at 6:41 pm · Link

    How are the girls doing, Ter?

    I think of stuff all the time, but if I don’t write it down somewhere—poof, it’s gone. You don’t know how many fabulous ideas I’ve lost, LOL.

  7. terrio
     · April 9th, 2009 at 9:18 pm · Link

    We have a long way to go, Maggie. We worked on defense tonight but too many didn’t even come to practice. These kidlets don’t understand covering a base or where to stand and I can’t get them to stop playing in the dirt long enough to pay attention. LOL!

    I also had to politely ask a dad to stop helping as he was talking over me and making things worse. I don’t think he liked that very much, but if he wanted to be the coach, he should have stepped forward before.

    And if you’re still this fabulous while losing that many ideas, we have even more reason not to like you. LOL! Too bad you’re so dang sweet.

  8. Marnee Jo
     · April 12th, 2009 at 1:53 pm · Link

    I sleep like the dead.

    This is a wonderful snippet, Mags. She sounds fantastic. And Gemma’s a great name.

    11K in 5 days?! I’m impressed; awed. Mystified. 🙂

  9. Ericka Scott
     · April 12th, 2009 at 5:26 pm · Link

    Sorry I don’t stop by here often enough…but I loved the snippet and Gemma is a fabulous name.

    I don’t wake up in the night to write…I’m too busy sleeping (a teenager and two preschoolers keep me on my toes)

  10. Maggie Robinson
     · April 12th, 2009 at 5:46 pm · Link

    Ericka! So happy to see you. I’ve tried to cut back on all my tiptoeing around the Internet too. Now I read but don’t comment—kind of like eavesdropping, or crashing the party without bringing chips and dip, LOL. Are your covers still perfectly gorgeous? 🙂

    Marnee, I’m up to 19,000 now. It’s scaring the crap out of me too. But I always write a ton in the beginning. I’ll be bogging down soon enough, though. I wish I could sleep. Even if I take Tylenol PM I wake around 4 ish every single morning. Whether I get out of bed is something else again.