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Re: Uvaabniq/Shoulder of Mountain - Chapters 1-3 (Rod)

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  • albiaicehouse
    Carol, Thank you for the wonderful feedback. I used it all. Rod
    Message 1 of 6 , Mar 27, 2012
    • 0 Attachment
      Carol,

      Thank you for the wonderful feedback.

      I used it all.

      Rod

      --- In ticket2write@yahoogroups.com, "carol_emt87" <carol_emt87@...> wrote:
      >
      > Rod,
      > One of the things you might consider is to view your novel the way a director looks at making a film. Let me explain a little further. Pretend you're the director. What do you want your audience to see right up front and what do you wish to reveal slowly until the audience goes "Aha!" Personally, I like to start my stories with a panorama and description of the scene—setting the stage—thus giving the reader a sense of place. The reader knows or gets a sense of where they are and what the characters will be dealing with. For example, in Uvaabniq/Shoulder of Mountain, the novel could begin showing the climb area from a distance and then focus in on the main character, or an object, or a lost climber. Choose something to heighten the drama.
      > Carol
      > I've included some specifics for you to consider about the first chapter
      >
      >
      >
      > "Where the hell is Stefan?" Joshua shouted above the roaring din, still
      > clutching the flexible solar collector to his chest. (Unless you intend a lengthy prologue, I think we need to get some sense of place in the opening scene—what type of sound is the "roaring din?" I suggest the word "wind" would serve you better here. And "still clutching" might be just need to be "clutching" instead because we have no frame of reference for what Joshua was doing before the first line.)
      >
      > Matie torqued her head around to survey (this phrase seemed a little too wordy for me. Maybe something like "Matie looked around the small vibrating nylon tent." We get the picture from that.)the cramped quarters within the vibrating nylon sides of the tent. Joshua had just come in the tent and Dirk was already there. Out of habit (nervously?) she reached up to pull her fingers along her dark (braided, pony-tailed?) pulled-back hair, but her mittens, gloves, and padded nylon hood were in the way.
      >
      > Dirk, his tousled straight shoulder length hair forming its own tight hood of hanging black shafts, said even toned, "He left with you."
      >
      > (If these guys just came in, show them doing something, sitting down, getting something to drink, going through their gear—some sort of action)
      >
      > Joshua spat back, "NO! He didn't. The last thing he said he was going to chip some rocks."
      >
      > Matie said, "Well, Dirk is right. He was going up slope the last I saw him,
      > right behind you."
      >
      > "Crap!" exploded Joshua as he flung the solar collector into the shaking side of the tent (behind the pocket computers—do we need to know about this?). After the impact, the black and silver collector and thin black lead cord half floated, half slid down onto the floor of the tent and Stefan's backpack. Joshua trembled with frustration at the unsatisfying slump of the gear.
      >
      > Matie turned away from him, yanked the outer mittens off her glove covered hands, and started digging into one of the silver and fluorescent orange packs.
      >
      > Joshua locked a stare at the back of her head and blurted, "What are you doing?"
      >
      > (The setup to the Matie's dialogue is too long. It slows the action and tension created) She flicked her head toward her closest shoulder to him, but swung back to her methodical search, and said, in a voice which was hard to hear with the gathering wind pelting the tent sides, "I'm going out to find him."
      >
      > Joshua snapped back too quickly with, "You can't go out there. No one should go out there. Once you get beyond an arm's reach you'll be totally lost."
      > Matie pulled the checkered black, silver, and white coil of cord out of the
      > pack. She turned and thrust it out toward Joshua and said, "That's why you are going to be holding the other end of this rope. I can follow it back to you and the tent. And in this ripping wind," she paused briefly to fling her free hand sideways with force, while she continued with, "It might keep me from blowing off this God forsaken rock, too!"
      >
      > Joshua stared at the coil and blurted, "I have one in my pack too. We'll both search while Dirk holds the ends of our ropes and stays at the tent."
      >
      > The first chapter, which wants to establish tension, conflict, and of course, action misses the mark, but not by much. Maybe a paring down of some of the descriptors—ie color of the climbing ropes, how and why Matie turns her head—and add some stronger verbs (ie thrust shove bombarded etc).
      > I believe you did say that this is the first draft of your novel. I think it needs a good solid combing and perhaps a good trim. Don't overdescribe the scenes and character's actions. Leave room for imagination to run around under the text. We tend to overdo when less is usually so much more. I hope this helps.
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > --- In ticket2write@yahoogroups.com, albiaicehouse <no_reply@> wrote:
      > >
      > > Chapter 1
      > >
      > > "Where the hell is Stefan?" Joshua shouted above the roaring din, still clutching the flexible solar collector to his chest.
      > >
      > > Matie torqued her head around to survey the cramped quarters within the vibrating nylon sides of the tent. Joshua had just come in the tent and Dirk was already there. Out of habit she reached up to pull her fingers along her dark pulled-back hair, but her mittens, gloves, and padded nylon hood were in the way.
      > >
      > > Dirk, his tousled straight shoulder length hair forming its own tight hood of hanging black shafts, said even toned, "He left with you."
      > >
      > > Joshua spat back, "NO! He didn't. The last thing he said he was going to chip some rocks."
      > >
      > > Matie said, "Well, Dirk is right. He was going up slope the last I saw him, right behind you."
      > >
      > > "Crap!" exploded Joshua as he flung the solar collector into the shaking side of the tent behind the pocket computers. After the impact, the black and silver collector and thin black lead cord half floated, half slid down onto the floor of the tent and Stefan's backpack. Joshua trembled with frustration at the unsatisfying slump of the gear.
      > >
      > > Matie turned away from him, yanked the outer mittens off her glove covered hands, and started digging into one of the silver and fluorescent orange packs.
      > >
      > > Joshua locked a stare at the back of her head and blurted, "What are you doing?"
      > >
      > > She flicked her head toward her closest shoulder to him, but swung back to her methodical search, and said, in a voice which was hard to hear with the gathering wind pelting the tent sides, "I'm going out to find him."
      > >
      > > Joshua snapped back too quickly with, "You can't go out there. No one should go out there. Once you get beyond an arm's reach you'll be totally lost."
      > >
      > > Matie pulled the checkered black, silver, and white coil of cord out of the pack. She turned and thrust it out toward Joshua and said, "That's why you are going to be holding the other end of this rope. I can follow it back to you and the tent. And in this ripping wind," she paused briefly to fling her free hand sideways with force, while she continued with, "It might keep me from blowing off this God forsaken rock, too!"
      > >
      > > Joshua stared at the coil and blurted, "I have one in my pack too. We'll both search while Dirk holds the ends of our ropes and stays at the tent."
      > >
      > >
      > > Chapter 2
      > >
      > > The three figures were congregated outside the tent door after Dirk emerged. The arctic wind was still light, only 20 miles per hour with few gusts. For the sake of stability, they were lucky to have such light wind, but in terms of visibility, the driven dry snow was on the edge of classic whiteout conditions. Having worked in Alaska, they knew to stay within arms length of each other at all times.
      > >
      > > As was previously agreed, Joshua led them slowly to the tent stake up slope. He crouched and literally dragged his mittenned finger tips across the tent fabric, but was careful not to step onto the tent bottom edge.
      > >
      > > Once they reached the upslope end of the tent, they huddled close and Joshua handed the end of his rope to Dirk.
      > >
      > > Joshua shouted first in Matie's ear, "Don't pull too hard, especially when you're at the end of your rope. And if you find Stefan first, bring him back here and pull on my rope, if Stefan hasn't already, to signal I should come back here." Then he repeated the idea in Dirk's ear for him to hear.
      > >
      > > Joshua patted Dirk's shoulder and then turned to Matie. He plunged forward and hugged her just long enough to feel her form through their bulky parkas.
      > >
      > > Joshua backed a half step away from Matie and turned so he was going up the slope of the invisible ridge. He wished they brought walkie-talkies on the expedition but there wasn't supposed to be a reason for such a small group to separate. He paused and looked back. Nothing was visible, not even a faint outline of Dirk or Matie. The fact not twenty minutes earlier he had covered the same ground with relative ease put a knot in his gut. He had known they should be getting close to the new top of the shattered mountain and, in the thinning gray mist a half hour ago, he had hoped to at least get a glimpse of the peak. But the ice pellets had turned tiny first and then started to have huge flakes in the mix, and he had turned around. By the time he scrambled down to the tent it had been a dark form looming in the swirling dense flakes.
      > >
      > > He turned and squinted up the slope, but the driving snow stung the left side of his face and all he could make out were the wrinkles of the stones at his feet.
      > >
      > > Now squatting down so he could lean forward and support himself on his left arm, he clutched the rope coil in his right hand and started to crab his way up the ridge. He had been trained about whiteout conditions by the station Health and Safety Officer, and once at an old debris field he'd been caught in what he had thought was a white out. But that had been different. First, the white wasn't total. He had seen dark forms among the white static once he was close to them. Also, the land had been basically flat so there were no footing surprises.
      > >
      > > On the mountain, the slabs of sedimentary rock were flat, then changed unpredictably. A tripping shelf, a drop down, a crevice, sloped ground, an unstable stone: any of these could be beneath his every footfall or groping left hand.
      > >
      > > Joshua thought, if Stefan followed training, he would stay put once he could no longer see.
      > >
      > > Stefan was crazy about his geology. He'd already collected twenty pounds of rock chips and the crew hadn't reached the interesting part, the part where the top of the mountain had slid off.
      > >
      > > With Stefan's bliss so tied up with the freaky land slide, he probably went straight up the ridge, like Joshua had himself, to get to the layers of rock at the slide. But Joshua wondered how he hadn't seen Stefan as he came down the ridge. Joshua had been focused on two things. He had watched the ground most of the time and he had looked up periodically to check on his line toward the tent.
      > >
      > > Still, Joshua remembered not looking for the tent for a longer stretch while he tried to cover a lot of ground. He had tended toward the east side of the ridge and had to descend on a sharper line to the west as well as south to get himself centered on the ridge, as the tent was more or less in the center of the ridge. Joshua had thought at the time, at least the tent being centered on the ridge would make the tent easier and safer to find if visibility degraded. The two sides of this ridge were treacherously steep here.
      > >
      > > So if Joshua's trip had veered off center to the east, maybe Stefan had tended toward the west side of the ridge and these differing paths could explain why Joshua never saw or encountered Stefan while Joshua returned to the tent from up slope.
      > >
      > > Joshua turned and headed to the western side of the ridge. Unfortunately, this track took him into the teeth of the driving west wind.
      > >
      > >
      > > Chapter 3
      > >
      > > Matie felt Joshua separate from her and she watched his form disappear into the driving snow as he stepped through the icy curtain. She turned and slapped Dirk on the shoulder twice and shouted, "Here I go." As she turned upslope and faced the featureless white, she felt a wave of wobbliness pass through her, so she bent her knees and looked down. The coils of rope looked a little uneven so she concentrated on fixing those to be even loops.
      > >
      > > She knew she would feel better in an airplane because instruments can be trusted more than what her body was telling her about which way was up.
      > >
      > > But instruments are extended objective senses that rely on gravity while the craft is separated from the earth. Here she was in touch with the ground, and so was Dirk, still standing behind her.
      > >
      > > She had the rope too. Not the useless coils, but the umbilical connecting her to Dirk and the tent, a mother ship to return to. She realized the coils were not useless either. They would indicate how much free rope remained and how much was passed out between her and Dirk. There were too many coils to count in the dimness caused by the blinding snow, but estimating how much remained of this meager 100 feet of rope would be her guide to distance from Dirk at the tent. The change from the original number and weight or coils would be her guide to that distance.
      > >
      > > She decided to explore by walking in sweeping arcs. The first arc was laughable, being about four feet from Dirk, but since seeing even four feet was impossible and Stefan could be anywhere upslope, she did it anyway.
      > >
      > > She froze in her tracks as she realized Stefan could have missed the tent and walked right by it.
      > >
      > > She pushed down the panic and firmly told herself that possibility could be dealt with later, if they had no luck upslope.
      > >
      > > Even though she couldn't see up from down, after a few of her arcs she could tell when she started reaching the steep side slopes of the ridge. This made her feel better as in her earliest arcs she had been guessing she was working upslope. Only the orientation of the tent had been her initial guide as to direction.
      > >
      > > Suddenly, her feet caught on Joshua's rope. Though surprised, snagging his rope thrilled her, as she knew from the orientation of Joshua's rope approximately where he was out ahead of her and upslope.
      > >
      > > Then on one arc, she felt the turn induced by her rope become sharper than before. She kept one hand on the place in the rope she'd been holding and used the free part of this holding hand and her other hand to go back down the rope toward the tent. She found the rope had snagged something which stuck up from its surroundings. Maybe it was a stone, but the flowing white gauze was particularly dense along the ground forming a moving carpet with a fuzzy nap. She lifted the rope over the impediment, and then moved back outward, paying out the rope until it was slightly taut again. If this rope kept snagging on things, her method was going to be exceedingly slow. However, it was thorough and in a blinding white out, with Stefan's life at stake, she could not think of any other way to search.
      > >
      > > The repetitions and the regularity allowed her to relax a little. She tried to put her calmness out into her groping around with outstretched arms and peering down in front of her on each of her arcing sweeps.
      > >
      > > She knew if she didn't find Stefan with these curves, and Joshua didn't find him with his apparently random forays, they would have to tie their ropes together and one of them would have to do these arcs with the longer length. She prayed Stefan had come down within range for them to find him.
      > >
      >
    • albiaicehouse
      More importantly, I am using the concepts of what you showed me to go through the whole novel. Thanks so much! Rod
      Message 2 of 6 , Mar 30, 2012
      • 0 Attachment
        More importantly, I am using the concepts of what you showed me to go through the whole novel.

        Thanks so much!

        Rod

        --- In ticket2write@yahoogroups.com, albiaicehouse <no_reply@...> wrote:
        >
        > Carol,
        >
        > Thank you for the wonderful feedback.
        >
        > I used it all.
        >
        > Rod
        >
        > --- In ticket2write@yahoogroups.com, "carol_emt87" <carol_emt87@> wrote:
        > >
        > > Rod,
        > > One of the things you might consider is to view your novel the way a director looks at making a film. Let me explain a little further. Pretend you're the director. What do you want your audience to see right up front and what do you wish to reveal slowly until the audience goes "Aha!" Personally, I like to start my stories with a panorama and description of the scene�setting the stage�thus giving the reader a sense of place. The reader knows or gets a sense of where they are and what the characters will be dealing with. For example, in Uvaabniq/Shoulder of Mountain, the novel could begin showing the climb area from a distance and then focus in on the main character, or an object, or a lost climber. Choose something to heighten the drama.
        > > Carol
        > > I've included some specifics for you to consider about the first chapter
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > > "Where the hell is Stefan?" Joshua shouted above the roaring din, still
        > > clutching the flexible solar collector to his chest. (Unless you intend a lengthy prologue, I think we need to get some sense of place in the opening scene�what type of sound is the "roaring din?" I suggest the word "wind" would serve you better here. And "still clutching" might be just need to be "clutching" instead because we have no frame of reference for what Joshua was doing before the first line.)
        > >
        > > Matie torqued her head around to survey (this phrase seemed a little too wordy for me. Maybe something like "Matie looked around the small vibrating nylon tent." We get the picture from that.)the cramped quarters within the vibrating nylon sides of the tent. Joshua had just come in the tent and Dirk was already there. Out of habit (nervously?) she reached up to pull her fingers along her dark (braided, pony-tailed?) pulled-back hair, but her mittens, gloves, and padded nylon hood were in the way.
        > >
        > > Dirk, his tousled straight shoulder length hair forming its own tight hood of hanging black shafts, said even toned, "He left with you."
        > >
        > > (If these guys just came in, show them doing something, sitting down, getting something to drink, going through their gear�some sort of action)
        > >
        > > Joshua spat back, "NO! He didn't. The last thing he said he was going to chip some rocks."
        > >
        > > Matie said, "Well, Dirk is right. He was going up slope the last I saw him,
        > > right behind you."
        > >
        > > "Crap!" exploded Joshua as he flung the solar collector into the shaking side of the tent (behind the pocket computers�do we need to know about this?). After the impact, the black and silver collector and thin black lead cord half floated, half slid down onto the floor of the tent and Stefan's backpack. Joshua trembled with frustration at the unsatisfying slump of the gear.
        > >
        > > Matie turned away from him, yanked the outer mittens off her glove covered hands, and started digging into one of the silver and fluorescent orange packs.
        > >
        > > Joshua locked a stare at the back of her head and blurted, "What are you doing?"
        > >
        > > (The setup to the Matie's dialogue is too long. It slows the action and tension created) She flicked her head toward her closest shoulder to him, but swung back to her methodical search, and said, in a voice which was hard to hear with the gathering wind pelting the tent sides, "I'm going out to find him."
        > >
        > > Joshua snapped back too quickly with, "You can't go out there. No one should go out there. Once you get beyond an arm's reach you'll be totally lost."
        > > Matie pulled the checkered black, silver, and white coil of cord out of the
        > > pack. She turned and thrust it out toward Joshua and said, "That's why you are going to be holding the other end of this rope. I can follow it back to you and the tent. And in this ripping wind," she paused briefly to fling her free hand sideways with force, while she continued with, "It might keep me from blowing off this God forsaken rock, too!"
        > >
        > > Joshua stared at the coil and blurted, "I have one in my pack too. We'll both search while Dirk holds the ends of our ropes and stays at the tent."
        > >
        > > The first chapter, which wants to establish tension, conflict, and of course, action misses the mark, but not by much. Maybe a paring down of some of the descriptors�ie color of the climbing ropes, how and why Matie turns her head�and add some stronger verbs (ie thrust shove bombarded etc).
        > > I believe you did say that this is the first draft of your novel. I think it needs a good solid combing and perhaps a good trim. Don't overdescribe the scenes and character's actions. Leave room for imagination to run around under the text. We tend to overdo when less is usually so much more. I hope this helps.
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > > --- In ticket2write@yahoogroups.com, albiaicehouse <no_reply@> wrote:
        > > >
        > > > Chapter 1
        > > >
        > > > "Where the hell is Stefan?" Joshua shouted above the roaring din, still clutching the flexible solar collector to his chest.
        > > >
        > > > Matie torqued her head around to survey the cramped quarters within the vibrating nylon sides of the tent. Joshua had just come in the tent and Dirk was already there. Out of habit she reached up to pull her fingers along her dark pulled-back hair, but her mittens, gloves, and padded nylon hood were in the way.
        > > >
        > > > Dirk, his tousled straight shoulder length hair forming its own tight hood of hanging black shafts, said even toned, "He left with you."
        > > >
        > > > Joshua spat back, "NO! He didn't. The last thing he said he was going to chip some rocks."
        > > >
        > > > Matie said, "Well, Dirk is right. He was going up slope the last I saw him, right behind you."
        > > >
        > > > "Crap!" exploded Joshua as he flung the solar collector into the shaking side of the tent behind the pocket computers. After the impact, the black and silver collector and thin black lead cord half floated, half slid down onto the floor of the tent and Stefan's backpack. Joshua trembled with frustration at the unsatisfying slump of the gear.
        > > >
        > > > Matie turned away from him, yanked the outer mittens off her glove covered hands, and started digging into one of the silver and fluorescent orange packs.
        > > >
        > > > Joshua locked a stare at the back of her head and blurted, "What are you doing?"
        > > >
        > > > She flicked her head toward her closest shoulder to him, but swung back to her methodical search, and said, in a voice which was hard to hear with the gathering wind pelting the tent sides, "I'm going out to find him."
        > > >
        > > > Joshua snapped back too quickly with, "You can't go out there. No one should go out there. Once you get beyond an arm's reach you'll be totally lost."
        > > >
        > > > Matie pulled the checkered black, silver, and white coil of cord out of the pack. She turned and thrust it out toward Joshua and said, "That's why you are going to be holding the other end of this rope. I can follow it back to you and the tent. And in this ripping wind," she paused briefly to fling her free hand sideways with force, while she continued with, "It might keep me from blowing off this God forsaken rock, too!"
        > > >
        > > > Joshua stared at the coil and blurted, "I have one in my pack too. We'll both search while Dirk holds the ends of our ropes and stays at the tent."
        > > >
        > > >
        > > > Chapter 2
        > > >
        > > > The three figures were congregated outside the tent door after Dirk emerged. The arctic wind was still light, only 20 miles per hour with few gusts. For the sake of stability, they were lucky to have such light wind, but in terms of visibility, the driven dry snow was on the edge of classic whiteout conditions. Having worked in Alaska, they knew to stay within arms length of each other at all times.
        > > >
        > > > As was previously agreed, Joshua led them slowly to the tent stake up slope. He crouched and literally dragged his mittenned finger tips across the tent fabric, but was careful not to step onto the tent bottom edge.
        > > >
        > > > Once they reached the upslope end of the tent, they huddled close and Joshua handed the end of his rope to Dirk.
        > > >
        > > > Joshua shouted first in Matie's ear, "Don't pull too hard, especially when you're at the end of your rope. And if you find Stefan first, bring him back here and pull on my rope, if Stefan hasn't already, to signal I should come back here." Then he repeated the idea in Dirk's ear for him to hear.
        > > >
        > > > Joshua patted Dirk's shoulder and then turned to Matie. He plunged forward and hugged her just long enough to feel her form through their bulky parkas.
        > > >
        > > > Joshua backed a half step away from Matie and turned so he was going up the slope of the invisible ridge. He wished they brought walkie-talkies on the expedition but there wasn't supposed to be a reason for such a small group to separate. He paused and looked back. Nothing was visible, not even a faint outline of Dirk or Matie. The fact not twenty minutes earlier he had covered the same ground with relative ease put a knot in his gut. He had known they should be getting close to the new top of the shattered mountain and, in the thinning gray mist a half hour ago, he had hoped to at least get a glimpse of the peak. But the ice pellets had turned tiny first and then started to have huge flakes in the mix, and he had turned around. By the time he scrambled down to the tent it had been a dark form looming in the swirling dense flakes.
        > > >
        > > > He turned and squinted up the slope, but the driving snow stung the left side of his face and all he could make out were the wrinkles of the stones at his feet.
        > > >
        > > > Now squatting down so he could lean forward and support himself on his left arm, he clutched the rope coil in his right hand and started to crab his way up the ridge. He had been trained about whiteout conditions by the station Health and Safety Officer, and once at an old debris field he'd been caught in what he had thought was a white out. But that had been different. First, the white wasn't total. He had seen dark forms among the white static once he was close to them. Also, the land had been basically flat so there were no footing surprises.
        > > >
        > > > On the mountain, the slabs of sedimentary rock were flat, then changed unpredictably. A tripping shelf, a drop down, a crevice, sloped ground, an unstable stone: any of these could be beneath his every footfall or groping left hand.
        > > >
        > > > Joshua thought, if Stefan followed training, he would stay put once he could no longer see.
        > > >
        > > > Stefan was crazy about his geology. He'd already collected twenty pounds of rock chips and the crew hadn't reached the interesting part, the part where the top of the mountain had slid off.
        > > >
        > > > With Stefan's bliss so tied up with the freaky land slide, he probably went straight up the ridge, like Joshua had himself, to get to the layers of rock at the slide. But Joshua wondered how he hadn't seen Stefan as he came down the ridge. Joshua had been focused on two things. He had watched the ground most of the time and he had looked up periodically to check on his line toward the tent.
        > > >
        > > > Still, Joshua remembered not looking for the tent for a longer stretch while he tried to cover a lot of ground. He had tended toward the east side of the ridge and had to descend on a sharper line to the west as well as south to get himself centered on the ridge, as the tent was more or less in the center of the ridge. Joshua had thought at the time, at least the tent being centered on the ridge would make the tent easier and safer to find if visibility degraded. The two sides of this ridge were treacherously steep here.
        > > >
        > > > So if Joshua's trip had veered off center to the east, maybe Stefan had tended toward the west side of the ridge and these differing paths could explain why Joshua never saw or encountered Stefan while Joshua returned to the tent from up slope.
        > > >
        > > > Joshua turned and headed to the western side of the ridge. Unfortunately, this track took him into the teeth of the driving west wind.
        > > >
        > > >
        > > > Chapter 3
        > > >
        > > > Matie felt Joshua separate from her and she watched his form disappear into the driving snow as he stepped through the icy curtain. She turned and slapped Dirk on the shoulder twice and shouted, "Here I go." As she turned upslope and faced the featureless white, she felt a wave of wobbliness pass through her, so she bent her knees and looked down. The coils of rope looked a little uneven so she concentrated on fixing those to be even loops.
        > > >
        > > > She knew she would feel better in an airplane because instruments can be trusted more than what her body was telling her about which way was up.
        > > >
        > > > But instruments are extended objective senses that rely on gravity while the craft is separated from the earth. Here she was in touch with the ground, and so was Dirk, still standing behind her.
        > > >
        > > > She had the rope too. Not the useless coils, but the umbilical connecting her to Dirk and the tent, a mother ship to return to. She realized the coils were not useless either. They would indicate how much free rope remained and how much was passed out between her and Dirk. There were too many coils to count in the dimness caused by the blinding snow, but estimating how much remained of this meager 100 feet of rope would be her guide to distance from Dirk at the tent. The change from the original number and weight or coils would be her guide to that distance.
        > > >
        > > > She decided to explore by walking in sweeping arcs. The first arc was laughable, being about four feet from Dirk, but since seeing even four feet was impossible and Stefan could be anywhere upslope, she did it anyway.
        > > >
        > > > She froze in her tracks as she realized Stefan could have missed the tent and walked right by it.
        > > >
        > > > She pushed down the panic and firmly told herself that possibility could be dealt with later, if they had no luck upslope.
        > > >
        > > > Even though she couldn't see up from down, after a few of her arcs she could tell when she started reaching the steep side slopes of the ridge. This made her feel better as in her earliest arcs she had been guessing she was working upslope. Only the orientation of the tent had been her initial guide as to direction.
        > > >
        > > > Suddenly, her feet caught on Joshua's rope. Though surprised, snagging his rope thrilled her, as she knew from the orientation of Joshua's rope approximately where he was out ahead of her and upslope.
        > > >
        > > > Then on one arc, she felt the turn induced by her rope become sharper than before. She kept one hand on the place in the rope she'd been holding and used the free part of this holding hand and her other hand to go back down the rope toward the tent. She found the rope had snagged something which stuck up from its surroundings. Maybe it was a stone, but the flowing white gauze was particularly dense along the ground forming a moving carpet with a fuzzy nap. She lifted the rope over the impediment, and then moved back outward, paying out the rope until it was slightly taut again. If this rope kept snagging on things, her method was going to be exceedingly slow. However, it was thorough and in a blinding white out, with Stefan's life at stake, she could not think of any other way to search.
        > > >
        > > > The repetitions and the regularity allowed her to relax a little. She tried to put her calmness out into her groping around with outstretched arms and peering down in front of her on each of her arcing sweeps.
        > > >
        > > > She knew if she didn't find Stefan with these curves, and Joshua didn't find him with his apparently random forays, they would have to tie their ropes together and one of them would have to do these arcs with the longer length. She prayed Stefan had come down within range for them to find him.
        > > >
        > >
        >
      • Henry Sanders
        Clockwork Spells and Magical Bells an anthology of fiction and poetry is in paperback at....   Amazon.com   www.Barnes and Nobles.com   Kerlak
        Message 3 of 6 , Apr 1 7:43 AM
        • 0 Attachment
          Clockwork Spells and Magical Bells
          an anthology of fiction and poetry is
          in paperback at....
           
          Amazon.com
           
          www.Barnes and Nobles.com
           
          Kerlak Publishers.com
           
          Check it out for great
          fiction and poetry.
           
          Thank you
          Henry Lewis Sanders
          Blood Journey A Vampire Novel
          Dark Eden science fiction poetry
           
          both in paperback at
           
           
           


          --- On Fri, 3/30/12, albiaicehouse <no_reply@yahoogroups.com> wrote:

          From: albiaicehouse <no_reply@yahoogroups.com>
          Subject: [ticket2write] Re: Uvaabniq/Shoulder of Mountain - Chapters 1-3 (Rod)
          To: ticket2write@yahoogroups.com
          Date: Friday, March 30, 2012, 5:25 AM

           
          More importantly, I am using the concepts of what you showed me to go through the whole novel.

          Thanks so much!

          Rod

          --- In ticket2write@yahoogroups.com, albiaicehouse <no_reply@...> wrote:
          >
          > Carol,
          >
          > Thank you for the wonderful feedback.
          >
          > I used it all.
          >
          > Rod
          >
          > --- In ticket2write@yahoogroups.com, "carol_emt87" <carol_emt87@> wrote:
          > >
          > > Rod,
          > > One of the things you might consider is to view your novel the way a director looks at making a film. Let me explain a little further. Pretend you're the director. What do you want your audience to see right up front and what do you wish to reveal slowly until the audience goes "Aha!" Personally, I like to start my stories with a panorama and description of the scene�setting the stage�thus giving the reader a sense of place. The reader knows or gets a sense of where they are and what the characters will be dealing with. For example, in Uvaabniq/Shoulder of Mountain, the novel could begin showing the climb area from a distance and then focus in on the main character, or an object, or a lost climber. Choose something to heighten the drama.
          > > Carol
          > > I've included some specifics for you to consider about the first chapter
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > > "Where the hell is Stefan?" Joshua shouted above the roaring din, still
          > > clutching the flexible solar collector to his chest. (Unless you intend a lengthy prologue, I think we need to get some sense of place in the opening scene�what type of sound is the "roaring din?" I suggest the word "wind" would serve you better here. And "still clutching" might be just need to be "clutching" instead because we have no frame of reference for what Joshua was doing before the first line.)
          > >
          > > Matie torqued her head around to survey (this phrase seemed a little too wordy for me. Maybe something like "Matie looked around the small vibrating nylon tent." We get the picture from that.)the cramped quarters within the vibrating nylon sides of the tent. Joshua had just come in the tent and Dirk was already there. Out of habit (nervously?) she reached up to pull her fingers along her dark (braided, pony-tailed?) pulled-back hair, but her mittens, gloves, and padded nylon hood were in the way.
          > >
          > > Dirk, his tousled straight shoulder length hair forming its own tight hood of hanging black shafts, said even toned, "He left with you."
          > >
          > > (If these guys just came in, show them doing something, sitting down, getting something to drink, going through their gear�some sort of action)
          > >
          > > Joshua spat back, "NO! He didn't. The last thing he said he was going to chip some rocks."
          > >
          > > Matie said, "Well, Dirk is right. He was going up slope the last I saw him,
          > > right behind you."
          > >
          > > "Crap!" exploded Joshua as he flung the solar collector into the shaking side of the tent (behind the pocket computers�do we need to know about this?). After the impact, the black and silver collector and thin black lead cord half floated, half slid down onto the floor of the tent and Stefan's backpack. Joshua trembled with frustration at the unsatisfying slump of the gear.
          > >
          > > Matie turned away from him, yanked the outer mittens off her glove covered hands, and started digging into one of the silver and fluorescent orange packs.
          > >
          > > Joshua locked a stare at the back of her head and blurted, "What are you doing?"
          > >
          > > (The setup to the Matie's dialogue is too long. It slows the action and tension created) She flicked her head toward her closest shoulder to him, but swung back to her methodical search, and said, in a voice which was hard to hear with the gathering wind pelting the tent sides, "I'm going out to find him."
          > >
          > > Joshua snapped back too quickly with, "You can't go out there. No one should go out there. Once you get beyond an arm's reach you'll be totally lost."
          > > Matie pulled the checkered black, silver, and white coil of cord out of the
          > > pack. She turned and thrust it out toward Joshua and said, "That's why you are going to be holding the other end of this rope. I can follow it back to you and the tent. And in this ripping wind," she paused briefly to fling her free hand sideways with force, while she continued with, "It might keep me from blowing off this God forsaken rock, too!"
          > >
          > > Joshua stared at the coil and blurted, "I have one in my pack too. We'll both search while Dirk holds the ends of our ropes and stays at the tent."
          > >
          > > The first chapter, which wants to establish tension, conflict, and of course, action misses the mark, but not by much. Maybe a paring down of some of the descriptors�ie color of the climbing ropes, how and why Matie turns her head�and add some stronger verbs (ie thrust shove bombarded etc).
          > > I believe you did say that this is the first draft of your novel. I think it needs a good solid combing and perhaps a good trim. Don't overdescribe the scenes and character's actions. Leave room for imagination to run around under the text. We tend to overdo when less is usually so much more. I hope this helps.
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > > --- In ticket2write@yahoogroups.com, albiaicehouse <no_reply@> wrote:
          > > >
          > > > Chapter 1
          > > >
          > > > "Where the hell is Stefan?" Joshua shouted above the roaring din, still clutching the flexible solar collector to his chest.
          > > >
          > > > Matie torqued her head around to survey the cramped quarters within the vibrating nylon sides of the tent. Joshua had just come in the tent and Dirk was already there. Out of habit she reached up to pull her fingers along her dark pulled-back hair, but her mittens, gloves, and padded nylon hood were in the way.
          > > >
          > > > Dirk, his tousled straight shoulder length hair forming its own tight hood of hanging black shafts, said even toned, "He left with you."
          > > >
          > > > Joshua spat back, "NO! He didn't. The last thing he said he was going to chip some rocks."
          > > >
          > > > Matie said, "Well, Dirk is right. He was going up slope the last I saw him, right behind you."
          > > >
          > > > "Crap!" exploded Joshua as he flung the solar collector into the shaking side of the tent behind the pocket computers. After the impact, the black and silver collector and thin black lead cord half floated, half slid down onto the floor of the tent and Stefan's backpack. Joshua trembled with frustration at the unsatisfying slump of the gear.
          > > >
          > > > Matie turned away from him, yanked the outer mittens off her glove covered hands, and started digging into one of the silver and fluorescent orange packs.
          > > >
          > > > Joshua locked a stare at the back of her head and blurted, "What are you doing?"
          > > >
          > > > She flicked her head toward her closest shoulder to him, but swung back to her methodical search, and said, in a voice which was hard to hear with the gathering wind pelting the tent sides, "I'm going out to find him."
          > > >
          > > > Joshua snapped back too quickly with, "You can't go out there. No one should go out there. Once you get beyond an arm's reach you'll be totally lost."
          > > >
          > > > Matie pulled the checkered black, silver, and white coil of cord out of the pack. She turned and thrust it out toward Joshua and said, "That's why you are going to be holding the other end of this rope. I can follow it back to you and the tent. And in this ripping wind," she paused briefly to fling her free hand sideways with force, while she continued with, "It might keep me from blowing off this God forsaken rock, too!"
          > > >
          > > > Joshua stared at the coil and blurted, "I have one in my pack too. We'll both search while Dirk holds the ends of our ropes and stays at the tent."
          > > >
          > > >
          > > > Chapter 2
          > > >
          > > > The three figures were congregated outside the tent door after Dirk emerged. The arctic wind was still light, only 20 miles per hour with few gusts. For the sake of stability, they were lucky to have such light wind, but in terms of visibility, the driven dry snow was on the edge of classic whiteout conditions. Having worked in Alaska, they knew to stay within arms length of each other at all times.
          > > >
          > > > As was previously agreed, Joshua led them slowly to the tent stake up slope. He crouched and literally dragged his mittenned finger tips across the tent fabric, but was careful not to step onto the tent bottom edge.
          > > >
          > > > Once they reached the upslope end of the tent, they huddled close and Joshua handed the end of his rope to Dirk.
          > > >
          > > > Joshua shouted first in Matie's ear, "Don't pull too hard, especially when you're at the end of your rope. And if you find Stefan first, bring him back here and pull on my rope, if Stefan hasn't already, to signal I should come back here." Then he repeated the idea in Dirk's ear for him to hear.
          > > >
          > > > Joshua patted Dirk's shoulder and then turned to Matie. He plunged forward and hugged her just long enough to feel her form through their bulky parkas.
          > > >
          > > > Joshua backed a half step away from Matie and turned so he was going up the slope of the invisible ridge. He wished they brought walkie-talkies on the expedition but there wasn't supposed to be a reason for such a small group to separate. He paused and looked back. Nothing was visible, not even a faint outline of Dirk or Matie. The fact not twenty minutes earlier he had covered the same ground with relative ease put a knot in his gut. He had known they should be getting close to the new top of the shattered mountain and, in the thinning gray mist a half hour ago, he had hoped to at least get a glimpse of the peak. But the ice pellets had turned tiny first and then started to have huge flakes in the mix, and he had turned around. By the time he scrambled down to the tent it had been a dark form looming in the swirling dense flakes.
          > > >
          > > > He turned and squinted up the slope, but the driving snow stung the left side of his face and all he could make out were the wrinkles of the stones at his feet.
          > > >
          > > > Now squatting down so he could lean forward and support himself on his left arm, he clutched the rope coil in his right hand and started to crab his way up the ridge. He had been trained about whiteout conditions by the station Health and Safety Officer, and once at an old debris field he'd been caught in what he had thought was a white out. But that had been different. First, the white wasn't total. He had seen dark forms among the white static once he was close to them. Also, the land had been basically flat so there were no footing surprises.
          > > >
          > > > On the mountain, the slabs of sedimentary rock were flat, then changed unpredictably. A tripping shelf, a drop down, a crevice, sloped ground, an unstable stone: any of these could be beneath his every footfall or groping left hand.
          > > >
          > > > Joshua thought, if Stefan followed training, he would stay put once he could no longer see.
          > > >
          > > > Stefan was crazy about his geology. He'd already collected twenty pounds of rock chips and the crew hadn't reached the interesting part, the part where the top of the mountain had slid off.
          > > >
          > > > With Stefan's bliss so tied up with the freaky land slide, he probably went straight up the ridge, like Joshua had himself, to get to the layers of rock at the slide. But Joshua wondered how he hadn't seen Stefan as he came down the ridge. Joshua had been focused on two things. He had watched the ground most of the time and he had looked up periodically to check on his line toward the tent.
          > > >
          > > > Still, Joshua remembered not looking for the tent for a longer stretch while he tried to cover a lot of ground. He had tended toward the east side of the ridge and had to descend on a sharper line to the west as well as south to get himself centered on the ridge, as the tent was more or less in the center of the ridge. Joshua had thought at the time, at least the tent being centered on the ridge would make the tent easier and safer to find if visibility degraded. The two sides of this ridge were treacherously steep here.
          > > >
          > > > So if Joshua's trip had veered off center to the east, maybe Stefan had tended toward the west side of the ridge and these differing paths could explain why Joshua never saw or encountered Stefan while Joshua returned to the tent from up slope.
          > > >
          > > > Joshua turned and headed to the western side of the ridge. Unfortunately, this track took him into the teeth of the driving west wind.
          > > >
          > > >
          > > > Chapter 3
          > > >
          > > > Matie felt Joshua separate from her and she watched his form disappear into the driving snow as he stepped through the icy curtain. She turned and slapped Dirk on the shoulder twice and shouted, "Here I go." As she turned upslope and faced the featureless white, she felt a wave of wobbliness pass through her, so she bent her knees and looked down. The coils of rope looked a little uneven so she concentrated on fixing those to be even loops.
          > > >
          > > > She knew she would feel better in an airplane because instruments can be trusted more than what her body was telling her about which way was up.
          > > >
          > > > But instruments are extended objective senses that rely on gravity while the craft is separated from the earth. Here she was in touch with the ground, and so was Dirk, still standing behind her.
          > > >
          > > > She had the rope too. Not the useless coils, but the umbilical connecting her to Dirk and the tent, a mother ship to return to. She realized the coils were not useless either. They would indicate how much free rope remained and how much was passed out between her and Dirk. There were too many coils to count in the dimness caused by the blinding snow, but estimating how much remained of this meager 100 feet of rope would be her guide to distance from Dirk at the tent. The change from the original number and weight or coils would be her guide to that distance.
          > > >
          > > > She decided to explore by walking in sweeping arcs. The first arc was laughable, being about four feet from Dirk, but since seeing even four feet was impossible and Stefan could be anywhere upslope, she did it anyway.
          > > >
          > > > She froze in her tracks as she realized Stefan could have missed the tent and walked right by it.
          > > >
          > > > She pushed down the panic and firmly told herself that possibility could be dealt with later, if they had no luck upslope.
          > > >
          > > > Even though she couldn't see up from down, after a few of her arcs she could tell when she started reaching the steep side slopes of the ridge. This made her feel better as in her earliest arcs she had been guessing she was working upslope. Only the orientation of the tent had been her initial guide as to direction.
          > > >
          > > > Suddenly, her feet caught on Joshua's rope. Though surprised, snagging his rope thrilled her, as she knew from the orientation of Joshua's rope approximately where he was out ahead of her and upslope.
          > > >
          > > > Then on one arc, she felt the turn induced by her rope become sharper than before. She kept one hand on the place in the rope she'd been holding and used the free part of this holding hand and her other hand to go back down the rope toward the tent. She found the rope had snagged something which stuck up from its surroundings. Maybe it was a stone, but the flowing white gauze was particularly dense along the ground forming a moving carpet with a fuzzy nap. She lifted the rope over the impediment, and then moved back outward, paying out the rope until it was slightly taut again. If this rope kept snagging on things, her method was going to be exceedingly slow. However, it was thorough and in a blinding white out, with Stefan's life at stake, she could not think of any other way to search.
          > > >
          > > > The repetitions and the regularity allowed her to relax a little. She tried to put her calmness out into her groping around with outstretched arms and peering down in front of her on each of her arcing sweeps.
          > > >
          > > > She knew if she didn't find Stefan with these curves, and Joshua didn't find him with his apparently random forays, they would have to tie their ropes together and one of them would have to do these arcs with the longer length. She prayed Stefan had come down within range for them to find him.
          > > >
          > >
          >

        • carol_emt87
          Rod, One of our group members turned my fiction writing around several years ago. He said, Look at your poetry. Now write your prose like you write your
          Message 4 of 6 , Apr 1 8:44 AM
          • 0 Attachment
            Rod,
            One of our group members turned my fiction writing around several years ago. He said,"Look at your poetry. Now write your prose like you write your poetry." And it worked, so I'm glad I was able to help, nudge or jumpstart your editing.
            Most of the time, and I'm just as guilty as any other writer, we work so hard in our writing process that objectivity to our own work vanishes and it takes a fresh perspective from another writer to put us on the right path. The reviewers got you thinking and I offer my perspective. Some of the greatest writers will tell you that the great writing begins with the first editing process. Hey, if it was easy, everybody would be doing it, right?
            Once again, I'm glad I was able to help in any way, shape or form. Do keep us posted on your progress. The concept and story sound quite plausible and interesting, and I look forward to reading the completed work.
            Always,
            Carol



            --- In ticket2write@yahoogroups.com, albiaicehouse <no_reply@...> wrote:
            >
            > More importantly, I am using the concepts of what you showed me to go through the whole novel.
            >
            > Thanks so much!
            >
            > Rod
            >
            > --- In ticket2write@yahoogroups.com, albiaicehouse <no_reply@> wrote:
            > >
            > > Carol,
            > >
            > > Thank you for the wonderful feedback.
            > >
            > > I used it all.
            > >
            > > Rod
            > >
            > > --- In ticket2write@yahoogroups.com, "carol_emt87" <carol_emt87@> wrote:
            > > >
            > > > Rod,
            > > > One of the things you might consider is to view your novel the way a director looks at making a film. Let me explain a little further. Pretend you're the director. What do you want your audience to see right up front and what do you wish to reveal slowly until the audience goes "Aha!" Personally, I like to start my stories with a panorama and description of the scene�setting the stage�thus giving the reader a sense of place. The reader knows or gets a sense of where they are and what the characters will be dealing with. For example, in Uvaabniq/Shoulder of Mountain, the novel could begin showing the climb area from a distance and then focus in on the main character, or an object, or a lost climber. Choose something to heighten the drama.
            > > > Carol
            > > > I've included some specifics for you to consider about the first chapter
            > > >
            > > >
            > > >
            > > > "Where the hell is Stefan?" Joshua shouted above the roaring din, still
            > > > clutching the flexible solar collector to his chest. (Unless you intend a lengthy prologue, I think we need to get some sense of place in the opening scene�what type of sound is the "roaring din?" I suggest the word "wind" would serve you better here. And "still clutching" might be just need to be "clutching" instead because we have no frame of reference for what Joshua was doing before the first line.)
            > > >
            > > > Matie torqued her head around to survey (this phrase seemed a little too wordy for me. Maybe something like "Matie looked around the small vibrating nylon tent." We get the picture from that.)the cramped quarters within the vibrating nylon sides of the tent. Joshua had just come in the tent and Dirk was already there. Out of habit (nervously?) she reached up to pull her fingers along her dark (braided, pony-tailed?) pulled-back hair, but her mittens, gloves, and padded nylon hood were in the way.
            > > >
            > > > Dirk, his tousled straight shoulder length hair forming its own tight hood of hanging black shafts, said even toned, "He left with you."
            > > >
            > > > (If these guys just came in, show them doing something, sitting down, getting something to drink, going through their gear�some sort of action)
            > > >
            > > > Joshua spat back, "NO! He didn't. The last thing he said he was going to chip some rocks."
            > > >
            > > > Matie said, "Well, Dirk is right. He was going up slope the last I saw him,
            > > > right behind you."
            > > >
            > > > "Crap!" exploded Joshua as he flung the solar collector into the shaking side of the tent (behind the pocket computers�do we need to know about this?). After the impact, the black and silver collector and thin black lead cord half floated, half slid down onto the floor of the tent and Stefan's backpack. Joshua trembled with frustration at the unsatisfying slump of the gear.
            > > >
            > > > Matie turned away from him, yanked the outer mittens off her glove covered hands, and started digging into one of the silver and fluorescent orange packs.
            > > >
            > > > Joshua locked a stare at the back of her head and blurted, "What are you doing?"
            > > >
            > > > (The setup to the Matie's dialogue is too long. It slows the action and tension created) She flicked her head toward her closest shoulder to him, but swung back to her methodical search, and said, in a voice which was hard to hear with the gathering wind pelting the tent sides, "I'm going out to find him."
            > > >
            > > > Joshua snapped back too quickly with, "You can't go out there. No one should go out there. Once you get beyond an arm's reach you'll be totally lost."
            > > > Matie pulled the checkered black, silver, and white coil of cord out of the
            > > > pack. She turned and thrust it out toward Joshua and said, "That's why you are going to be holding the other end of this rope. I can follow it back to you and the tent. And in this ripping wind," she paused briefly to fling her free hand sideways with force, while she continued with, "It might keep me from blowing off this God forsaken rock, too!"
            > > >
            > > > Joshua stared at the coil and blurted, "I have one in my pack too. We'll both search while Dirk holds the ends of our ropes and stays at the tent."
            > > >
            > > > The first chapter, which wants to establish tension, conflict, and of course, action misses the mark, but not by much. Maybe a paring down of some of the descriptors�ie color of the climbing ropes, how and why Matie turns her head�and add some stronger verbs (ie thrust shove bombarded etc).
            > > > I believe you did say that this is the first draft of your novel. I think it needs a good solid combing and perhaps a good trim. Don't overdescribe the scenes and character's actions. Leave room for imagination to run around under the text. We tend to overdo when less is usually so much more. I hope this helps.
            > > >
            > > >
            > > >
            > > >
            > > > --- In ticket2write@yahoogroups.com, albiaicehouse <no_reply@> wrote:
            > > > >
            > > > > Chapter 1
            > > > >
            > > > > "Where the hell is Stefan?" Joshua shouted above the roaring din, still clutching the flexible solar collector to his chest.
            > > > >
            > > > > Matie torqued her head around to survey the cramped quarters within the vibrating nylon sides of the tent. Joshua had just come in the tent and Dirk was already there. Out of habit she reached up to pull her fingers along her dark pulled-back hair, but her mittens, gloves, and padded nylon hood were in the way.
            > > > >
            > > > > Dirk, his tousled straight shoulder length hair forming its own tight hood of hanging black shafts, said even toned, "He left with you."
            > > > >
            > > > > Joshua spat back, "NO! He didn't. The last thing he said he was going to chip some rocks."
            > > > >
            > > > > Matie said, "Well, Dirk is right. He was going up slope the last I saw him, right behind you."
            > > > >
            > > > > "Crap!" exploded Joshua as he flung the solar collector into the shaking side of the tent behind the pocket computers. After the impact, the black and silver collector and thin black lead cord half floated, half slid down onto the floor of the tent and Stefan's backpack. Joshua trembled with frustration at the unsatisfying slump of the gear.
            > > > >
            > > > > Matie turned away from him, yanked the outer mittens off her glove covered hands, and started digging into one of the silver and fluorescent orange packs.
            > > > >
            > > > > Joshua locked a stare at the back of her head and blurted, "What are you doing?"
            > > > >
            > > > > She flicked her head toward her closest shoulder to him, but swung back to her methodical search, and said, in a voice which was hard to hear with the gathering wind pelting the tent sides, "I'm going out to find him."
            > > > >
            > > > > Joshua snapped back too quickly with, "You can't go out there. No one should go out there. Once you get beyond an arm's reach you'll be totally lost."
            > > > >
            > > > > Matie pulled the checkered black, silver, and white coil of cord out of the pack. She turned and thrust it out toward Joshua and said, "That's why you are going to be holding the other end of this rope. I can follow it back to you and the tent. And in this ripping wind," she paused briefly to fling her free hand sideways with force, while she continued with, "It might keep me from blowing off this God forsaken rock, too!"
            > > > >
            > > > > Joshua stared at the coil and blurted, "I have one in my pack too. We'll both search while Dirk holds the ends of our ropes and stays at the tent."
            > > > >
            > > > >
            > > > > Chapter 2
            > > > >
            > > > > The three figures were congregated outside the tent door after Dirk emerged. The arctic wind was still light, only 20 miles per hour with few gusts. For the sake of stability, they were lucky to have such light wind, but in terms of visibility, the driven dry snow was on the edge of classic whiteout conditions. Having worked in Alaska, they knew to stay within arms length of each other at all times.
            > > > >
            > > > > As was previously agreed, Joshua led them slowly to the tent stake up slope. He crouched and literally dragged his mittenned finger tips across the tent fabric, but was careful not to step onto the tent bottom edge.
            > > > >
            > > > > Once they reached the upslope end of the tent, they huddled close and Joshua handed the end of his rope to Dirk.
            > > > >
            > > > > Joshua shouted first in Matie's ear, "Don't pull too hard, especially when you're at the end of your rope. And if you find Stefan first, bring him back here and pull on my rope, if Stefan hasn't already, to signal I should come back here." Then he repeated the idea in Dirk's ear for him to hear.
            > > > >
            > > > > Joshua patted Dirk's shoulder and then turned to Matie. He plunged forward and hugged her just long enough to feel her form through their bulky parkas.
            > > > >
            > > > > Joshua backed a half step away from Matie and turned so he was going up the slope of the invisible ridge. He wished they brought walkie-talkies on the expedition but there wasn't supposed to be a reason for such a small group to separate. He paused and looked back. Nothing was visible, not even a faint outline of Dirk or Matie. The fact not twenty minutes earlier he had covered the same ground with relative ease put a knot in his gut. He had known they should be getting close to the new top of the shattered mountain and, in the thinning gray mist a half hour ago, he had hoped to at least get a glimpse of the peak. But the ice pellets had turned tiny first and then started to have huge flakes in the mix, and he had turned around. By the time he scrambled down to the tent it had been a dark form looming in the swirling dense flakes.
            > > > >
            > > > > He turned and squinted up the slope, but the driving snow stung the left side of his face and all he could make out were the wrinkles of the stones at his feet.
            > > > >
            > > > > Now squatting down so he could lean forward and support himself on his left arm, he clutched the rope coil in his right hand and started to crab his way up the ridge. He had been trained about whiteout conditions by the station Health and Safety Officer, and once at an old debris field he'd been caught in what he had thought was a white out. But that had been different. First, the white wasn't total. He had seen dark forms among the white static once he was close to them. Also, the land had been basically flat so there were no footing surprises.
            > > > >
            > > > > On the mountain, the slabs of sedimentary rock were flat, then changed unpredictably. A tripping shelf, a drop down, a crevice, sloped ground, an unstable stone: any of these could be beneath his every footfall or groping left hand.
            > > > >
            > > > > Joshua thought, if Stefan followed training, he would stay put once he could no longer see.
            > > > >
            > > > > Stefan was crazy about his geology. He'd already collected twenty pounds of rock chips and the crew hadn't reached the interesting part, the part where the top of the mountain had slid off.
            > > > >
            > > > > With Stefan's bliss so tied up with the freaky land slide, he probably went straight up the ridge, like Joshua had himself, to get to the layers of rock at the slide. But Joshua wondered how he hadn't seen Stefan as he came down the ridge. Joshua had been focused on two things. He had watched the ground most of the time and he had looked up periodically to check on his line toward the tent.
            > > > >
            > > > > Still, Joshua remembered not looking for the tent for a longer stretch while he tried to cover a lot of ground. He had tended toward the east side of the ridge and had to descend on a sharper line to the west as well as south to get himself centered on the ridge, as the tent was more or less in the center of the ridge. Joshua had thought at the time, at least the tent being centered on the ridge would make the tent easier and safer to find if visibility degraded. The two sides of this ridge were treacherously steep here.
            > > > >
            > > > > So if Joshua's trip had veered off center to the east, maybe Stefan had tended toward the west side of the ridge and these differing paths could explain why Joshua never saw or encountered Stefan while Joshua returned to the tent from up slope.
            > > > >
            > > > > Joshua turned and headed to the western side of the ridge. Unfortunately, this track took him into the teeth of the driving west wind.
            > > > >
            > > > >
            > > > > Chapter 3
            > > > >
            > > > > Matie felt Joshua separate from her and she watched his form disappear into the driving snow as he stepped through the icy curtain. She turned and slapped Dirk on the shoulder twice and shouted, "Here I go." As she turned upslope and faced the featureless white, she felt a wave of wobbliness pass through her, so she bent her knees and looked down. The coils of rope looked a little uneven so she concentrated on fixing those to be even loops.
            > > > >
            > > > > She knew she would feel better in an airplane because instruments can be trusted more than what her body was telling her about which way was up.
            > > > >
            > > > > But instruments are extended objective senses that rely on gravity while the craft is separated from the earth. Here she was in touch with the ground, and so was Dirk, still standing behind her.
            > > > >
            > > > > She had the rope too. Not the useless coils, but the umbilical connecting her to Dirk and the tent, a mother ship to return to. She realized the coils were not useless either. They would indicate how much free rope remained and how much was passed out between her and Dirk. There were too many coils to count in the dimness caused by the blinding snow, but estimating how much remained of this meager 100 feet of rope would be her guide to distance from Dirk at the tent. The change from the original number and weight or coils would be her guide to that distance.
            > > > >
            > > > > She decided to explore by walking in sweeping arcs. The first arc was laughable, being about four feet from Dirk, but since seeing even four feet was impossible and Stefan could be anywhere upslope, she did it anyway.
            > > > >
            > > > > She froze in her tracks as she realized Stefan could have missed the tent and walked right by it.
            > > > >
            > > > > She pushed down the panic and firmly told herself that possibility could be dealt with later, if they had no luck upslope.
            > > > >
            > > > > Even though she couldn't see up from down, after a few of her arcs she could tell when she started reaching the steep side slopes of the ridge. This made her feel better as in her earliest arcs she had been guessing she was working upslope. Only the orientation of the tent had been her initial guide as to direction.
            > > > >
            > > > > Suddenly, her feet caught on Joshua's rope. Though surprised, snagging his rope thrilled her, as she knew from the orientation of Joshua's rope approximately where he was out ahead of her and upslope.
            > > > >
            > > > > Then on one arc, she felt the turn induced by her rope become sharper than before. She kept one hand on the place in the rope she'd been holding and used the free part of this holding hand and her other hand to go back down the rope toward the tent. She found the rope had snagged something which stuck up from its surroundings. Maybe it was a stone, but the flowing white gauze was particularly dense along the ground forming a moving carpet with a fuzzy nap. She lifted the rope over the impediment, and then moved back outward, paying out the rope until it was slightly taut again. If this rope kept snagging on things, her method was going to be exceedingly slow. However, it was thorough and in a blinding white out, with Stefan's life at stake, she could not think of any other way to search.
            > > > >
            > > > > The repetitions and the regularity allowed her to relax a little. She tried to put her calmness out into her groping around with outstretched arms and peering down in front of her on each of her arcing sweeps.
            > > > >
            > > > > She knew if she didn't find Stefan with these curves, and Joshua didn't find him with his apparently random forays, they would have to tie their ropes together and one of them would have to do these arcs with the longer length. She prayed Stefan had come down within range for them to find him.
            > > > >
            > > >
            > >
            >
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