A glance at my blog-planner for today shows this is the day for an update on the WIP, namely, The Legacy of Diamond Springs.
The main progress has been adding/subtracting characters and refining same. I always liked Torr Whittaker, investigative reporter for Behind the Story Magazine which--he is careful to point out--is not a tabloid! His potential love interest, the younger Jewel Ainsleigh, not so much. Hopefully I’ve kept her weakness--that being how she was overprotected and allowed to think of herself as fragile--while showing her potential to rise above all that in a crisis.
And crises abound at Ainsleigh College of which her father Barrett is the heir-apparent-president. I like Barrett, a gentle scholarly man who’s never been appreciated by his family. First of all, the small but exclusive college is in dire financial straits, not because of mismanagement but because it has retained its independence by not accepting federal funds.
The college evolved from a boys’ school just after the Civil War when Barrett’s great-grandfather had to come up with some way of generating revenue to pay the taxes on Diamond Springs Plantation to keep the carpetbaggers and scalawags from wresting it out of the family’s control.
I also like Cordelia Pendleton Wainwright “Corey” whose ancestors were brought as slaves from South Carolina to Mississippi in the 1840s. With a master’s degree and a diploma from Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, she has never forgotten--and always loved--Barrett Ainsleigh from their days as children together. Now widowed, she has returned to Ainsleigh College to accept the position of Director of Food Services and associate professor of household arts and sciences. But her main job has been to raise Barrett’s daughter Jewel after the abrupt departure of her mother.
I made some changes to Corey--she’s a strong woman, but she’s vulnerable, too, when it comes to the two people she loves most in the world: Barrett, the husband she could never have, and Jewel, the daughter of her heart.
There are other characters--good, bad, just plain evil, obsessed, and some you’ll have to figure out on your own
|Alistair Ainsleigh, who didn't want the college but used it for his own good|
|Geoff Ainsleigh, Alistair's son, up to no good for Jewel or anyone else|
|Miss Eleanor Pickett who wants to save the town's history but may cost Jewel her life|
And there are family secrets, not completely buried with the dead. Looming over all is Ainsleigh College, a cultural icon in the state, the center of the town’s history and current economy, and perhaps one of those institutions which has outlived its usefulness and spiraled into a danger for everyone associated with it.
By getting away from the house, I’ve hacked out a an average of 2500 words a day this week. Somehow sitting in a public place like a fast-food restaurant energizes me. Home can be too quiet to be motivating, although I look forward to returning to its peaceful confines at the end of the day.
The ‘end of the story’ is coming up--and then it’s time for rewrites of the rewrite and edits! I’m sure I’ll be cringing at what I wrote and how I wrote it, but at least the saga will have ended.