Works In Progress

Hope

“I did everything God asked of me, and He took away everything I loved.”

In 1920, tomboy Hope Marie MacDonald turns thirteen, and is deemed a woman in her mountain community. Guided by the custom of her Scottish ancestors and the strict tenets of her Protestant religion, she knows what God expects of her: to become a housewife and mother. Although she wants to be both of these, Hope struggles with her new role, reluctantly exchanging her trademark overalls and her love of trapping for dresses and more womanly pursuits, and losing much of her stubborn self-confidence in the process.

When a devastating storm destroys Hope’s family’s crops and kills much of the livestock, they face foreclosure. Believing that the only way to save their farm is to produce a larger crop, they propose to rent fallow land from their neighbor, ABSALOM NEVILLE.

Absalom wants only one thing in return: Hope.

Hope is horrified but she wants to do what she can to protect her family from destitution, and she believes it is God’s will that she marry Absalom. More than that, it is her paralyzing fear of  God’s displeasure that drives Hope to acquiesce. What she doesn’t anticipate is the escalating physical abuse that traps her in shame and keeps her bound to a man who steals her spirit and threatens to take her life. But without him, she and her children will be ostracized by the community, thrown out of the church, and perhaps thrust into even worse poverty.

Caught between her demanding God, a tyrannical husband, and the community that expects her allegiance to both, can she leave? Not unless she can overcome the paralyzing fear of stepping outside the boundaries that have been ingrained in her since childhood.

But when Absalom does something even God wouldn’t condone, Hope must finally stand up for her children and herself.

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(Working Title) And Know They Love You

When eleven-year-old Martha Andrews starts a quilt from scraps of a kerchief given to her by a runaway slave, she could never have imagined its longevity and the importance it would hold for her family. The quilt survives and grows as the family endures the aftermath of the Civil War. In subsequent generations it is torn and mended, nearly destroyed by a devastating fire, slashed in an angry dispute, and tattered from neglect, yet each generation tenderly restores the damaged fabric, adding their own scraps of memory. Nearly one hundred fifty years later, Martha’s great-great-granddaughter rediscovers the quilt and through it, reconnects with the family she left behind years before.

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(Working Title) War Sonnets

In the sweltering jungles of the Philippines, a young American Soldier and a Japanese fighter use the power of poetry to survive the World War II Battle for Luzon.

Leal Baldwin does not want to be his father, but he believes he has no choice. In the impoverished farming country of the 1930s, there are few alternatives for a young man with neither money nor experience. When he is awarded a scholarship to a prestigious university he sees his chance. But Uncle Sam comes calling and Leal is sent to train in Kansas and Texas, eventually ending up in the South Pacific at the height of the war with Japan.

Thirty-one-year-old Tadashi Abukara loves farming, believing it brings him closer to the Shinto spirits. He has married and has a newborn son when Emperor Hirohito calls upon him to defend Japan from the U.S and their allies. Tadashi desires to serve his emperor honorably, even if that means self-sacrifice, but he finds himself fighting a losing battle with enemy soldiers, nature, starvation, and disease. All his efforts focus on returning to the infant son he barely knows.

When Leal and Tadashi meet in the jungles of Luzon, only one will survive. But their poetry will live forever.

War Sonnets is a dual-POV WWII narrative connected with haikus and sonnets written by an actual WWII veteran.