Guest Post — Darlene Franklin
Today I’m happy to welcome author Darlene Franklin as she discusses her 50th book, Mermaid’s Song. Read all the way through to the end to find out how to enter to win a free ebook copy.
A funny thing happened on the way to Mermaid’s Song.
When I was invited to write a retold fairy tale, I chose Little Mermaid instinctively. I tweaked the story until I had a French-speaking Acadian who is shipwrecked off the coast of Maine. She is silent because no one speaks for French.
I quickly realized the difficulty I had created for myself. My heroine couldn’t speak. For someone who uses as much dialogue as I do, that presented a BIG challenge.
Justine learns English by the point-and-repeat method. One of my favorite scenes started out as a humorous incident. Justine says, “I eated the beans.” Noble shows her examples of irregular verbs ending with the “eat” sound and the “eap” sounds, which brings them to “weep/wept.”
Here’s what happened:
The verbs were the hardest. Justine thought through what she wanted to say. “I eated beans yesterday.”
Puzzlement showed on everyone’s faces. Noble recovered first. “You ate beans yesterday.” The men had to leave shortly after that, but the exchange stayed in her mind long after they’d said goodbye. Justine was bothered by it throughout the day. Ait. The word didn’t follow the pattern.
Noble must have been thinking about the same thing, because he returned from work with a list for them discuss, verbs that sounded like “eat.” He spent the hour after the meal teaching them to her.
Eat had a unique variation: I eat, I ate, I have eaten, I will eat, I am eating.
Several words worked the way they were supposed to: seat, weed, reap, among others. There seemed to be as many variations: I meet and I met. I keep and I kept. I read the Bible yesterday and I read it again today.
When they discussed Bible reading, he removed the book from the shelf and wrote John 11:35 on the paper. Justine flipped through the pages until she reached the fourth gospel. She had difficulty finding the verse, only two words hidden among longer verses.
Noble held his fingers a short distance apart. It was short, yes.
Justine recognized the names Lazarus, Mary, and Martha, and wondered if this was the account of the brother’s death and Jesus raising him from the dead.
She reread verse thirty-five. Jesus—wept? Like kept?
Jesus weeps? She wrote on the paper and said it aloud.
“Yes.” Noble took the pencil and drew a picture of a bearded man’s face who was crying. He drew a line from weep to the tears.
“Jesus—wept—about Lazarus.” She’d done it!
“Yes, Jesus wept about Lazarus. Well done.”
Pressure built behind Justine’s eyes. Jesus had wept, grieving with Mary and Martha, understanding their pain. Had He looked down on her when the ship disappeared into the depths of the sea, taking her family and village with it? Had He wept then?
Yes, Jesus had wept with her. She couldn’t hold the tears back. Noble sat next to her, and she rested her head on his shoulder. “It’s a good thing that you are weeping. If Jesus, the son of God needed to weep, so must you.”
Her tears increased, but she found peace in Noble’s presence.
Best-selling hybrid author Darlene Franklin’s greatest claim to fame is that she writes full-time from a nursing home. Mermaid Song is her fiftieth unique title! She’s also contributed to more than twenty nonfiction titles. Her column, “The View Through my Door,” appears in five monthly venues. Other recent titles are Small Town Romances and Maine: If there’s romance…it must be Maine. You can find her online at: Website and blog, Facebook, Twitter, and her Amazon author page.
All her Christmas books are on sale for 99 cents until the end of the month.
Enter to win an ebook copy of Mermaid’s Song by answering the following question:
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