Friday, September 28, 2012

A Life in the Service by Roberta Pescow: Guest Post, Excerpt: RABT Tour Stop


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YA - Fantasy (Novelette)
Date Published: 6/21/12


Jenny accepts the fact that she was born into a domestic race for a life of domestic work. In return for this loyal service, the householders provide food, protection and shelter. Jenny's earthy spirituality and gentle nature allow her to be content with her lot, even when her situation is far from ideal. But during a terrifying fire, Jenny accidentally becomes separated from her master and mistress. 

Out on the street with no identification, Jenny finds herself an unlikely fugitive with no protection from a dangerous world. The experience shakes her beliefs to the core and causes her to question everything she has ever known. Follow Jenny's adventures in strange world of inequality that is a lot closer to home than you think. This novelette is approximately 12,000 words in length.

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To my amazement, the rats appeared to be as afraid of me as I was of them, and they made a hasty retreat. Still shaking, I approached the garbage can and reached toward the lid. In my uncertain state, I was clumsier than I would have liked. I’m embarrassed to say I dropped the lid and tipped the entire garbage can over with an awful clash. I had but a moment to grab a loaf of challah before a group of workers came rushing out of the bakery to investigate the commotion. I ran like the wind, even though my feet hurt terribly, and luck stayed with me in that none of them had the time or inclination to pursue me any distance.

    And so I found myself back at the enormous cardboard box, sitting in a corner and munching on sweet, fresh challah bread that was only very slightly burned at the crust. Actually I felt quite pleased with myself. Adrenaline still surged through my brain, making the sky seem brighter, the air fresher and even the bread sweeter than I could have ever imagined. I had never felt so alive! Perhaps my mother was wrong, I thought, and I could work things out on my own after all.

    One of the legends of our people is that long ago, when the earth was young, our first ancestors had no association at all with the householders. They survived only by their strength, their cunning and their skills. But then, the legend has it, something was altered in our line and we no longer were born with the attributes necessary for survival. Thus, we were forever destined to serve the householders, who in return, maintain us. Perhaps this story is true, or perhaps it is not. Domestics have served householders ever since the beginning of our known history. But on that morning, with stolen sweetness still warm on my tongue, I began to believe there was something to that old story, and that at least some tiny vestige of our proud, ancient ancestors coursed through my gentle veins.

My Writing Quirks and Must-Haves

By Roberta Pescow

All human beings are quirky, and I've been told I have more quirks than most. Be that as it may, that quirkiness definitely extends to the way I write. So here are a few of my writing quirks – see if you share any of these or they at least give you a smile for the day:

I like to put my feet up: I don't know what it is about sitting at a formal desk that makes me feel not particularly creative and kind of trapped. Although sometimes I end up working at my desk, when it comes to fiction and even non-fiction writing, I'm much happier on a laptop, somewhere where I can sit back put my feet up. My favorite writing spots are the living room couch and the comfy chair in my little reading nook (a glorified alcove in the stairs!). If it's warm enough to write without shoes on, so much the better J

Nighttime isn't the right time: Right or wrong, I'm just not a night person and it's very rare that I feel even remotely inspired to do anything creative after the sun goes down. Yes, I know it's downright weird, but my most productive writing hours are in the late morning to early afternoon. For me, nighttime is the time to hang out with my family, curl up with my dog and, well, sleep!

An open window helps: Bright outdoor skies make it challenging to see the screen on my laptop. So even though I'd love to write outdoors, I usually don't. The next best thing is to sit by an open window where I can still see the sky and feel the air. (Hmm, with a backlit screen, perhaps I should rethink the whole night thing and consider writing under the moonlight…)

Having my dog around helps too: Strange as it sounds, when my dog comes to sit with me, I enjoy the writing process even more. I love how she can be so close to me and still allow me my personal space…if only humans could learn to do that…

I like things quiet: Even though I love music, I've found trying to mix it with the writing process just doesn't work for me. I'm happiest writing when I'm only listening to the sounds of nature through an open window.

I guess everyone has his or her own unique approach to the writing process. One of the nicest things about being a writer is getting to indulge all of my quirks and do things just the way I like best. I hope all the writers reading this are enjoying the same luxury J 

About the author: Roberta Pescow is a freelance writer with articles featured on over 200 websites nationwide. She is also a jazz singer with Narrow Escape Duo, performing at venues in and around Northern New Jersey. Roberta is a proud mother of two, and holds a 2nd degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do. As a long time vegetarian, she has a deep love and respect for all creatures. When she gets some free time, Roberta also enjoys sculpture, photography, reading, swimming and quiet time with family, friends and her beloved dog, Summer. 

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