November is National Novel Writing Month, and this year I’m determined not only to finish which I always do, but to follow through to publication.
I’ve been participating in NaNoWriMo and writing my 50,000 plus words every year since 2004, but most of what I’ve written languishes variously in dark drawers or an old back up file or most recently my skydrive.
So here goes. Novel Title: The Yanks of Wadenhoe House
—We arrived late by cab. I felt like we were in a scary movie. This huge castle loomed in the night and the fog rolled along the ground all around us as we got out of the cab. Daddy, ever the practical joker, pointed at the carving above the entrance and said, “That is the ghost of Wadenhoe.” Mother told him to cut it out, but I had to pee too bad to be scared.
A maid opened the door and welcomed us; showed us to our flat (English for apartment); told us what time breakfast was served in the kitchen and left.
There were some white bread sandwiches on the coffee table. They were butter with cucumber and butter with ham; cut into fours with the crusts neatly trimmed away; and neatly stacked on a beautiful old plate.
We devoured them all, and Mom put us too bed. I could hardly sleep, and when she left the room, I crept to the window to look out. As I look back, I know now why I liked that shot in the first Harry Potter film so much. The one where he sits looking out the frosted window of his new home high in the castle.
The next morning I was ready to go before anyone and waiting impatiently at the door. We went down the rickety stairs to the better stairs and found our way to the kitchen, where the maids were scurrying around the long table delivering breakfast to our house mates.
At that time Wadenhoe House was managed by Mrs. Boothroyd (Mrs. B) and with two exceptions, all the rooms and suites were let out to Air Force families. The exceptions were a two men, one from Scotland, one from Poland. They were always referred to as Scot and the Pole – I never knew their names. The Scot, when in his cups, would change into kilts and serenade the whole house with his bagpipes whether they liked it or not. The Pole was quiet and always had a book in his hand.
Mrs. B introduced us around the table, and asked how we liked our eggs. I watched as the cook cracked these huge eggs into a bowl, added milk and beat them with a fork. She put them into the large iron pan on the old wood stove that occupied half the wall at then end of the kitchen.
Later when Mom found out they were goose eggs, she never ate them again…