Current Hearts of Tabat wordcount: 85264
Total word count for the week: 10022
Total word count for this retreat: 10022
Worked on Hearts of Tabat, Christmas story for anthology (“My Name is Scrooge”)
Time spent on SFWA email, discussion boards, other stuff: 10 minutes, but I’ll give it an hour this evening
Other stuff: prep for Saturday’s class
Excerpt from today’s work, part of Hearts of Tabat:
At the head of the Tumbril Stair is a landing, stone-bannistered, which overlooks all of the city. From that central point, one can look right and see the Duke’s castle far atop the cliffs overlooking the city, and then fifteen terraces down, shelf after shelf, flat lines broken by avenues of flowering trees and other staircases small and large and immediately at hand the oily black iron lines of the Great Tram with its basket cars swinging up and down, laden with those who had the pennies to spend on such transport.
At the edge of the water lies the Winter Garden and then the bay. Retreat inward a little, and the gaze encounters the docks and warehouses that are the center of the city’s industry. Keep traveling leftward for more shelves, and the great clots of smoke that mark the Slumpers, and then the salt-marshes, planted thick with purple and green reeds, a single channel leading through them to allow ships to come down from the Northstretch river and reach the sea.
The five terraces closest to the water were the saltwater neighborhoods; above them lay the freshwater. In Tabat, one distinguished between saltwater and freshwater, from matters such as foodstuffs to professions (for pilots it was the most important distinction, and the most bitterly fought). Even the markets were separated by that division, with the Saltmarket hosting only wares that knew the sea’s touch: dried fish for chal (which always must be made with salt fish), and bushels of seaweed, dried and fresh, smelling tangy sharp and green, and the woven reed-ware — baskets and hats, parasols and stiff caplets, tight woven and rain-repellent — that everyone wore once the summer heat started, until time to burn them in autumn’s bonfires.
Saltwater tailors dealt with fabrics from elsewhere — silks and petals from the Rose Kingdom, cheap bright cottons from the Southern Isles — and freshwater with homegrown, wools and flaxy linens, stiff and glossy but prone to wrinkling and expensive to maintain.
The Nittlescents were saltwater merchants, their house built on trade, perfumes and attars. Adelina had done her turns in the manufacturing side of the house, but her nose was not keen enough to be a perfumer, and she preferred the numbered side of things, the flow of revenue and payments that was the ledger reflection of that industry.