Sneak Peek: If I Should Die, Chapter Three

I hope you enjoy this Friday’s Sneak Peek If I Should Die, Chapter Three. If I Should Die is my current primary WIP (work-in-progress). This sneak peek is part of a six-week project in which I share parts of this story. I look forward to your comments and reactions.

This yacht looks similar to Miranda’s. It is for sale in Portland.

What’s the Book About?

Miranda has built a successful Freedom Waterway across the inland waters of the United States. Refugees from the religious oppression of the Fellowship find safety and freedom aboard her boats. But now her brother needs rescued so he can complete his mission. She’s committed to helping him, but she’s a peace-loving woman. Will she resort to violence and save lives or stick to her principles and sacrifice many?

ReCap

Chapter One: Miranda pilots her yacht, the Lady Angelfish, up the Missouri River to rescue her brother, but the U.S. Coast Guard and a Second Sphere agent stop her for a “routine” inspection.

Chapter Two: Irene, Miranda’s sister, can’t believe she’s the wife of the newly appointed Prophet. Nor can she believe she’s at the White House sitting with President Joseph Kennedy Jr. But there are drawbacks to being the Prophet’s wife. When she’s offered a role in a new “secret” project, she’s more than intrigued.

Fellowship symbol rendered by Lynette M. Burrows © Robert Burrows this is part of a Sneak Peek: If I Should Die, Chapter Three of the Fellowship Dystopia Series...

Sneak Peek: If I Should Die, Chapter Three

By Lynette M. Burrows © 2020

Dark thunderclouds and rain blanked out the world beyond the Lady Angelfish, except when a burst of lightning cracked. Beryl did a practiced two-and-a-half step timed with the rock and sway of the boat and followed Miranda out onto the deck. A gust blew the rain slicker’s hood off Beryl’s head. Drenched in seconds, the wind blew and glued a wisp of hair to her face. She smiled. What happened to her didn’t matter. Miranda, on the other hand….

“You will get yourself captured or killed.” Beryl shouted over the torrent of rain drumming on the deck.

“He’s my brother. I can’t leave him out there,” Miranda’s shout cut through the wind that whistled around the Lady’s cabin.

“He hasn’t signaled. Maybe he was delayed.”

“Or captured, or in danger, or—his batteries died while waiting for us.”

“Maybe he’s hunkered down until the storm passes.”

Miranda looked up from the swim platform to Beryl. “You got somewhere else to be?”

She answered with a smile. I won’t leave you, Miranda. Not like she did her daughter. You want your brother? We’ll get your brother. She gripped the rain-slicked safety rails and descended the three steps to the swim platform. Waves broke over the platform. Flooded her deck shoes. Chilled her feet.

Miranda untethered the dinghy from the edge of the Lady. The little boat swung in the wind, held only by the crane-like davit. She punched the davit’s control and lowered the dinghy into the water.

Beryl grabbed the closest edge, the boat’s gunwale, pulled it close to the platform.

Miranda climbed in and struggled against the wind to detach the boat from the davit’s lifting harness.

The dinghy’s a large target. “It’d be safer to swim or walk across.” Beryl side-eyed the shore less than fifteen feet away. Too dark to see what waited there. “Anchor a little closer—”

“I will not risk taking the Lady closer to an unknown shore. The current’s strong, but you and I could swim it… and I know David is a strong enough swimmer. But are you prepared to carry the refugee through this current?”

Beryl screwed her mouth to the side, acknowledged Miranda’s point.

Miranda released the lifting harness, then grabbed the swim platform railing to hold the dinghy in place.

Beryl climbed aboard.

The wind buffeted them and the little boat bounced unnaturally. Thunder rumbled long and loud. And the rain drilled them and sizzled on the gurgling river water. It tested Beryl. Her smile faded and she white-knuckled the gunwales.

Miranda grinned and guided the boat toward shore. The little boat’s trolling motor fought the chop and slowly crossed the water.

Beryl had never grown to love life on the boat, not the way Miranda did. But Beryl tolerated it, would continue to tolerate it, for Miranda.

Three feet from shore, Beryl took her pistol out of her holster to keep it dry. Hopped into knee deep water. She gasped. Chill bumps raced along her skin. Determined, she sucked in air and pulled the dinghy behind her. In three strides, the waves lapped her ankles. She gave the boat a mighty tug and beached it. Hand up to Miranda for “stay put.” Pistol safety off, trigger finger alongside the trigger guard, she stepped further inland—barrel first.

A Work-in-Progress

What you read here is a work-in-progress, meaning it’s an early draft. It has not had the final edits and polish that the published version will have. Some things may end up on the “editing floor” and not appear in the book at all. If you missed the earlier chapter, you can catch up. Chapter 1. Chapter two

Readings

Originally, I had intended that this series of posts would be an adjunct to videos of me reading these chapters aloud. As you know, my video production came to a screeching halt on the first week because of technical issues. The good news? I overcame the technical issues. Video one is out. I hope to “catch-up” the recordings in short order.

In video one I read the entire first chapter of If I Should Die.

Stay Tuned

I hope Sneak Peek: If I Should Die, Chapter Three brought you a little break from the fear and difficulties surrounding the C-19 virus crisis. Please stay aware of how stressed you are. Take breaks from the 24-hour news. Use the telephone or internet to stay connected to your friends and loved ones. Find a small pleasure and a moment of gratitude every day.

I take pleasure in my morning cup of coffee, in the comic antics of my dogs, and in communicating with my friends and loved ones. Thank you for coming by—for reading—for listening.

In these trying times, one can’t predict what will happen next. The plan is that If I Should Die will be published in the late fall of 2020. Stay tuned here for reports on my writing progress.

The sneak peek at chapter four will posted here next Friday. Please leave a comment to let me know how you are doing.

Hits, Misses, and Challenges

It’s the beginning of a new quarter. Time to review the hits, misses, and challenges of my intentions for the last quarter. And as everyone knows, the last month of the last quarter was a doozy. This whole first quarter challenged me in unexpected ways. 

image of an open journal with a black pen lying on the page--I keep a journal so I can record hits, misses, and challenges--do you?

1st Quarter Intentions

If you recall from my post describing intentions, I make a list of intentions for four areas: Making, Managing, Marketing, and Home. At the end of each quarter I review my intentions so I know what my hits, misses, and challenges were. So you can follow my analysis, here’s my list of intentions for the first quarter of 2020.

Make: 

  • Resolve problems with the first half of my WIP. 
  • Finish the first draft. 
  • Blog three times a week. 
  • Publish three monthly newsletters.

Manage

  • Change to a different email service.
  • Finish an online copywriting class.
  • Read a book once a month.
  • Make regular Social Media posts.

Market

  • Complete a second class on Amazon ads.
  • Get new covers for My Soul to Keep and Fellowship. 
  • Print new bookmarks.
  • Increase the size of my mailing list.

Home

  • Bring my husband home from the rehab center.
  • Rearrange the bedroom to make it more caregiver friendly.
  • Prepare a garage sale.

1st Quarter Hits

Make: 

  • I figured out the problems with my manuscript and have made some forward progress. It’s fun to write again, and I am pleased with the work I have done to this point. I think my readers will enjoy this next book.
  • I blogged three times a week. Frequently I wrote the blog on the day I posted it, but each of them were posted before my noon cut off time. I count that as a win.
  • I published on newsletter and have another one that will go out next week.

Manage: 

I signed up for a new mail service.

Market

  • The second ads class was amazing. It taught me many things.
  • I’ve selected my new cover artist.
  • Many thanks to the Voracious Readers who joined my mailing list this quarter. I deeply appreciate the reviews you gave My Soul to Keep.

Home

  • My husband came home from the rehab center at the end of January.
  • The bedroom got rearranged. And it is more caregiver friendly.

1st Quarter Challenges

Being able to bring my husband home again was a joy and a lot of work. I did not anticipate how much his care needs had increased. And the sheer number of doctor’s appointments and home health appointments alone were a challenge. It was difficult to find the time and the energy to write. About the time I finally found a rhythm that allowed more writing time, COVID-19 became my next major distraction.

Fortunately, my family and friends are all safe and self-quarantined. Some are essential workers though, and while they are being careful, they are in harm’s way.

1st Quarter Misses

Make:

  • Completing the first draft of the novel was a big miss.
  • The newsletter was a partial hit in that I got one out.

Manage

  • Learning how to move my blog post emails and newsletter to a different email service has been postponed. 
  • I did not finish the online copywriting class.
  • Reading took a big hit. I started one book and still have not finished it.
  • Make regular Social Media posts also is a miss. Writing comes first, so this one I consider a lesser miss. (If that makes any sense.)

Market

  • It took a lot of studying dystopian novel covers, deciding what I liked and didn’t like, and lots of discussion with a dear friend before I knew what I wanted. So no new covers yet. But they will be awesome.
  • Printing new bookmarks obviously must wait on the new covers.

Home

The preparation for a garage sale has stalled. It’s hard to be motivated to prepare for something when the date is nebulous.

Second Quarter Intentions

Image of a bulletin board with a yellow post it that reads "make things happen"

Since I missed many of my intentions for the first quarter and life is uncertain now, I’m scaling back a bit.

Make: 

  • Finish the first draft of If I Should Die.
  • Blog two-to-three times a week.
  • Produce a monthly newsletter.

Manage: 

  • Work with the new cover artist and have at least one new cover by the end of the quarter.
  • Learn the new email service.

Market:

I will await new covers before I attempt to make new intentions for marketing.

Home: 

Once a month I will remove one bag of items we wish to donate. 

Hits, Misses, and New Opportunities

For me, reviewing what I’ve accomplished helps me keep things in perspective. It also helps me learn where I spent most of my energy. That knowledge helps me adjust, if needed, so I can set intentions that are reasonable. 

Want to learn more about intentions? Read Orna Ross’s posts.

Not everyone uses the same method to track what they want to do and what they accomplish. There are many roads to reach your destination. And I’m fascinated by the different methods people use. Do you set intentions or goals each month? Do you track your progress? And do you assess what your hits, misses, and challenges? If you don’t, how do you recognize new opportunities and set your intentions for the next month? Whatever your process is, I wish you the best for your work, your play, and your health.

First Woman of Color Elected to Congress

Women of History are strong women who have marched before us. Patsy Takemoto Mink is one such woman. A political pioneer, Mink was the first woman of color elected to Congress. She was an ardent advocate for marginalized groups. She fought for equity, education, environmental causes, and social justice. 

First woman of color elected to Congress, Pasty Takemoto Mink

Early Life

Patsy Takemoto was born on Dec. 6, 1927, in Paia, Hawaii. As a young girl, she first noticed the inequality between people who owned Maui’s plantations and the workers. the haole or white people owned the plantations. The workers were Filipino and Japanese. Inequality and injustice came up close and personal after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Her father was detained questioned simply because of his Japanese heritage. She’s been quoted as saying the experience made her realize “that one could not take citizenship and the promise of the U.S. Constitution for granted.”

Education and her First First

A junior at Maui High School, Mink became the first female class president. She graduated Valedictorian of the class of 1944.

She started pre-med at the University of Hawaii. When WWII ended and travel bans to the U.S. Mainland were lifted, she transferred to Wilson College in Pennsylvania. But Wilson didn’t have all the courses she needed. So she transferred to the University of Nebraska in Lincoln. And there she, a woman of color, faced discrimination first hand. 

Then Mink developed a thyroid condition that required surgery. She went back to Hawaii.

In 1948 she graduated from the University of Hawaii with a bachelor’s degree in zoology and chemistry. And every medical school she applied to rejected her.

Still wanting to find a place of service to people, she was admitted to the University of Chicago Law School in 1948.

Marriage

She met John Mink, a geology student at Chicago U, playing the card game bridge at the International House. They married on January 27, 1951, in the campus chapel. She graduated from law school that year but continued to work in the law library at the university.

Their daughter Gwendolyn Rachel Matsu Mink, was born on March 6, 1952. The family moved to Honolulu six months later.

A New Direction

While in Hawaii, Mink passed the bar exam. She was the first female Japanese-American to pass the bar, but no one would hire her. One source says it was because she was in a biracial marriage.

So Mink became a private-practice attorney. She was the first woman of Japanese ancestry to practice law in Hawaii. She worked in private practice from 1953 to 1964. Then one day, a friend invited her to a meeting about reforming Hawaii’s Democratic Party. That meeting changed her life.

Political Career

She organized the Oahu Young Democrats in 1954. She served as the national vice-president for the organization. And then on November 7, 1956, she won a seat to the House of Representatives for the Territory of Hawaii. She became the first woman of color elected to Congress,

Patsy T. Mink Papers at the Library of Congress, Public Domain

Then, in 1959, she was elected to the territorial Senate. March 1959, Hawaii became the 50th state and she no longer had a job.

In 1962, Mink was elected to the Hawaii state Senate. She held that seat until 1964. She was elected to the newly-formed second seat to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1964. She held that seat until 1977.

She ran as an anti-Viet Nam war presidential candidate in the Oregon primary in 1972. But she lost to Sen. George McGovern.

She co-authored a bill in 1972. Title IX mandated equal funding for women’s academic and athletic programs in institutions receiving federal money.

In 1973 Mink asked Congress to begin the impeachment process of President Nixon. She wanted the American public to finally know the truth.

She ran for the U.S. Senate in 1976. Defeated by war hero, Masayuki “Spark” Matsunaga, she packed up her D.C. Office in January 1977. President Carter asked her to be the Assistant Secretary for Oceans and Environmental Affairs. And she quit after less than a year when she discovered she had very little decision-making power.

Back to Law

Mink resumed her law practice and teaching position at the University of Hawaii. Then in 1983 she won a seat on the Honolulu City Council. She served two terms. She ran unsuccessful campaigns to be Governor of Hawaii in 1986 and Mayor of Honolulu in 1988. 

In 1990, Matsunaga died in office. That prompted a special election. Mink won the seat in the House of Representatives in 1991. 

Women of the 89th Congress
National Archives and Records Administration / Public domain

In 1995 she helped found the Congressional Asian Pacific Caucus. Health, immigration, affirmative action, and English only legislation were among the agenda items she supported as chairperson of the caucus.

In February 1997, she introduced a bill that would speed up the naturalization process by eliminating literacy and civics tests for certain categories of legal immigrants. 

She continued working in Congress until her death.

They admitted Patsy Takemoto Mink to Straub Hospital on Aug. 30, 2002, with chickenpox. She died of viral pneumonia on September 28, 2002.

When Mink died, her name was on the ballot and it was too late to remove it. She was posthumously re-elected to Congress by a wide margin.

Legacy

Patsy Mink persisted. She was a political pioneer, a woman of firsts. And she continually worked to better the lives of marginalized people. 

After her death, Congress recognized Mink for her efforts. They renamed Title IX the Patsy T. Mink Equal Opportunity in Education Act. She was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2014.

Trailblazer

Strong women blaze trails for those who follow. Patsy Takemoto Mink was certainly a persistent trailblazer. She was a political pioneer and a woman of firsts. As the first woman of color in Congress, she paved the way for other women. Thank you, Patsy Mink, for your tenacity, your integrity, and your persistence. 

If you liked this post, you can read about other strong women. A doctor a Native American, an astronaut, and a Nobel Peace Prize winner are some of the strong women featured on this blog. If you prefer strong women in fiction, check out my dystopian novel, My Soul to Keep