The Seamstress – second version

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on Pexels.com

My first memories are of mother singing, while working backbreaking labour to make cloth and clothes, a living.
She tended sheep for wool. Worked the fields for cotton and flax. Studied by candlelight; nimble fingers at the spindle or loom, on plants for true dyes, how to operate hothouses for silkworms.

I picked the skills alongside the usual walking, talking, growing. By my eight summer, I was the second best seamstress in The Nine Villages.

Mother decided she had nothing more to teach, so she set about finding an apprenticeship. Tenacious and fearless, she worked every wealthy customer she’d ever had, until an Dutch fashion house replied.

Preparations ensued. Train and boat timetables studied, then tickets procured. New clothes measured and sown. A new trunk, valise and writing desk bought. A hat, I never wore a hat before.

As summer became autumn, harvest took every waking hour. There where cotton to pick, flax to beat until soft, potatoes, carrots and turnips to dig up. Each night I fell into a tiered stupor, dreaming of big steam engines, even bigger boats, a metropolitan filled with canals and worldly people. All the things I, who haven’t been beyond The Nine Villages, where soon to experience.

Then awoke to mothers breakfast litany “…always remember to measure twice, both consumer and pattern, before ever cutting cloth”

When the harvest moon rose full over the henge. The villages gathered to celebrate. Big bonfires, tables laden with food, cakes and sweets. Barrels of ale and cider.
The grateful evocation to the Goddess for Her Plentiful Bounty.
And I had one last familiar tradition before departure.

© RedCat


Next lesson in WRITER’S WORKSHOP I, Week 2, Batting Practice.

My first version had 299 words, this one has 269. I revised this a lot like I revise poetry. By looking for non-essential words. I also tried to me mindful of the advise below.

Take the piece you wrote for the prompt, “measure twice, cut once,” and try to cut at least 10% of your word count. Remember to look for places where you can alter your phrasing to give the sentence clarity. Rephrase your adverb descriptors: very funny = hysterical, very pretty = beautiful, very hungry = famished. Simplify confusing sentences, and they will impact your audience. You are crafting this version FOR your audience. Have fun and feel free to comment on your approach to this challenge.

The Seamstress

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on Pexels.com

My first memories are of my mother singing as she worked backbreaking labour to make cloth and clothes, a living for her brood.
She tended sheep for wool. Worked in the fields for cotton and flax. Studied by candlelight; nimble fingers at the spindle or loom, on the best plants for true dyes, or how to operate hothouses for silkworms.

Naturally, I picked the skills up with the normal walking, talking and growing. By my eight summer, I was the second best seamstress in The Nine Villages.

Mother decided she had nothing more to teach, so she set about searching for an apprenticeship. Tenacious and fearless she worked every wealthy customer she’d ever had, until an Dutch fashion house replied they had an opening.

Preparations ensued. Train and boat timetables studied with regards to the harvest, then tickets procured. New clothes measured and sown. A new trunk, valise and writing desk bought. A hat, I never wore a hat before.

As summer became autumn, harvest took every waking hour. There where cotton to pick, flax to beat until soft, and of course potatoes, carrots, turnips to dig up. Every night I fell into an tiered stupor only to dream of big steam engines, even bigger boats, a big city filled with canals and worldly people. All the things I, who haven’t been anyplace but The Nine Villages, where soon to experience.

Then awoke to mothers breakfast litany of “…always remember to measure twice, both consumer and pattern, before ever cutting cloth”

When the harvest moon rose full over the henge. The villages gathered to celebrate. Big bonfires, trestle tables laden with food, cakes and sweets. Barrels of ale and cider.
The grateful evocation to the Goddess for Her Plentiful Bounty.
And I had one last familiar tradition before departure.

© RedCat


Written for WRITER’S WORKSHOP I, Week 1, The Fastball at Go Dog Go.

I’ve never participated in a writer’s workshop. So it’s a bit of butterflies, but mostly anticipation to grow and learn.

Writer’s Workshop I prompt:
Use the prompt “measure twice, cut once” to inspire a short story, 150-300 words long, fiction (any genre) or nonfiction allowed. Your response should be in first/second draft form. Don’t worry about putting that final polish on it. We will be working on it throughout the month.

WRITER’S WORKSHOP I, Week 1, The Fastball — Go Dog Go Café

Something to think about: My stepfather, a custom home builder, taught me the basics of carpentry: “measure twice, cut once.” Sounds simple enough, but it takes discipline and an investment in time to slow down and repeat the measurement, and the power saw can be unforgiving. Many are the boards wasted by a few mismarked […]

WRITER’S WORKSHOP I, Week 1, The Fastball — Go Dog Go Café

I’ve never participated in a writer’s workshop. So it’s a bit of butterflies, but mostly anticipation to grow and learn. And fully in keeping with my new self compassionate thinking that I should try things I’ve previously shied away from.

Hadera, Israel

I were looking at this weeks Friday Fictioneers prompt, and found another that seems inspiring. It’s not one photo. It’s one place, seen trough Google Maps. Sounds fun!

Now go take a virtual stroll, while I rewrite my first draft.

WHAT PEGMAN SAW

Today Pegman journeys to the port of Hadera, Israel. As always, walk around until you find something that inspires you to write up to 150 words, then share it with the other contributors. Remember that reading and commenting on the other stories is part of the fun.

Contributions have again been declining, so Pegman may go into retirement soon. I’d encourage you to show your support for this prompt. Thanks.

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weekly challenge: THE ANIMALS OF CLIMATE CHANGE — earthweal

By Sherry Marr It has been a hard month, with kangaroos and koalas burning, suffering and dying in the Australian wildfires. Due to drought (and unregulated corporations buying up fresh water sources), rivers are drying up. Thousands of platypus have perished, among the billion beings lost. I nearly lost it when someone proposed shooting 10,000 […]

weekly challenge: THE ANIMALS OF CLIMATE CHANGE — earthweal

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