Charles Web Journal

My blog is intended to show how I construct and write a historical novel. It will be a journal of my daily writing activity, as I write a new historical novel.

Name:
Location: Evansburg, Alberta, Canada

I am a retired school teacher with a B. Ed in English literature a B.A. in History. After a long career as a teacher of English and history, I now write historical novels based on Canadian history.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

A Lost Dream

Daniel’s dream of going to the Klondike is shattered when he becomes ill and cannot leave with his newfound partners who turn out to be scoundrels who sell his horses and their grubstake to others who want to go to the Yukon.

Although he and his father-in-law report them to the police, they have disappeared without a trace. Because he cannot go, Geraldine is happy about the turn of events.

Her father, Edouard Beauregarde, who helped Daniel acquire the necessary gear and equipment, is not happy since he lost a considerable amount of money, as did Daniel

Thus ended Chapter Eleven.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Ready to go

Daniel is excited about going to the Klondike but he has to acquire the necessary gear and equipment, which he finds more difficult than he first thought. None of the merchants will give him credit, and his two partners, Ray Andrews and Harry Svendsen, have any money or credit.

He decides to ask his father-in-law, Edouard Beauregarde, to grubstake them. To his surprise, Edouard agrees for one fourth of any profit or gold that the find.

So they get together the equipment and gear they will need as well as six horses of which Daniel supplies four. The weather turns nasty with a spring rainstorm that delays their departure. As the day ends, Daniel feels that he is getting a cold.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Permission granted!

Daniel wants to convince Geraldine that he should go to the Klondike to search for gold. He is sure that he will make a fortune and be able to make a better life for his family.

Although Geraldine is unconvinced and unsympathetic, he is able to persuade her to let him go if he makes arrangements for someone to do the farm work while he is away for the summer only.

Daniel agrees and then plans to gather an outfit of packhorses and equipment for mining and the trip.

Gold fever is an exasperating and contagious disease; Daniel has a bad case of it.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Gold fever

Daniel has dreams of becoming a millionaire by going to the gold fields of the Yukon, so he goes to Edmonton to learn about the way there. Some of the prospectors do go from Edmonton, but few make it to their destination due to a variety of reasons: ignorance, poor transportation, poor equipment, poor companions, and scoundrels who cheat them.

In Edmonton, he sees an outfit heading out and he knows that they will never make because they are ill prepared for the journey.

He then meets a couple of seasoned prospectors who appear to know what they are doing. He asks to join them, but they do not want a greenhorn as part of their group.

Obviously, gold fever has affected Daniel and his usually sensible think has taken leave. When the malady strikes, it is like any other disease; it has to run its course, whatever that might be.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Goldseeker

Today I started Chapter Eleven, The Goldseeker, 1899. Daniel and Geraldine are married and have just had their second child, Emily, who was preceded by Robert, now fifteen months old.

The Klondike Gold Rush is at its peak and people are still streaming to the Yukon, some of them through Edmonton.

Suddenly, Daniel is gripped with gold fever and wants to leave his homestead to venture into the far off gold fields to make his fortune.

Geraldine is alarmed at Daniel’s sudden desire although he plans to take his family with him. She feels that they are prospering on their small farm and it is a comfortable home for them.

Gold fever is an interesting phenomenon; motives for chasing the yellow metal are many and varied and not always reasonable. I suppose that is the only way to justify Daniel’s unexpected desire.

I’m eager to continue with this chapter as I explore Daniel’s motivation and aspiration.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Murder

Geraldine comes to warn Daniel that John is dead, and the police think that he was murdered. The police arrive and arrest Daniel for the murder of John Winter.

Daniel is tried, but the evidence is inconclusive and he is freed. Thus making it possible for him and Geraldine to marry. So ends Chapter Ten.

This summary of what happens seems vague and unrealistic, but it is written as show rather than tell. Although in 1896 mainly the North West Mounted Police who were often the prosecutor that represented the Queen who represented the government administered justice in western Canada, they attempted to be fair and impartial. Often the defendant, in this case, Daniel, was his own defender as very few competent lawyers were available.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Separation

Yesterday, Daniel and Geraldine, after many trysts, decide that they cannot live this way anymore. So they go to John Winter and proclaim their love for each other with Geraldine leaving him. John erupts in anger and threatens to kill Daniel. They become involved in a fight.

I’m not sure where it is going to go. Certainly, it’s unlikely that Daniel and Geraldine will live together as their standing in the community, the church, and with the families will be not only frowned upon but also stigmatized.

In any case, Daniel moral beliefs as well as Geraldine’s may this scenario unlikely, at least in the culture and mores of the times. Although others might act differently, it is not so with them.

All in all, it is a dilemma that I will have to solve.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Consummation

Today, as Daniel worked in his garden, he had a surprise visitor. On the way back from delivering freight to the police post at Fort Saskatchewan, Geraldine stopped by to see his homestead. At his invitation, she stayed for tea, but the tea turned into a sexual encounter that neither planned, but their mutual attracting resulted in a scene that neither expected.

The pledged their love for each other, are frustrated by their guilt and the impossibility of their situation. Now that they have consummated their love, they realize that they were meant for each.

That’s what happened today!

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

The meeting

Daniel’s encounter with Geraldine has a profound effect on him, as he cannot get her off his mind. In desperation, he arranges to meet with her. To his surprised, she agrees. They realize that they are in love, but a love that cannot be fulfilled as she is married to John Winter.

Both are frustrated by their situation; Daniel because he must live without her; she because her conscience and faith will not allow any other course.

This meeting only proves that they cannot change their situation although they love one and other. Any other course of action would stigmatized them and ostracize them. That is the dilemma in which they find themselves.

Have they acted foolishly or sensibly? What can they do now? What will they do?

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Chapter ten begins

Today I started chapter ten. Daniel, to forget his grief over the loss of his wife and child begins an orgy of work on his homestead, his fields, his garden, his buildings, making his farm one of the best in the neighborhood.

On a trip to Edmonton to purchase some much-needed supplies, he accidentally encounters Geraldine Winter. To his surprise and astonishment, the meeting brings back memories and emotions that he thought were dead. She as well relishes the encounter and hints at problems in her marriage to John Winter.

I’m not sure how this will develop, but we do learn that John is ill, or appears to be so. Will this affect the relationship between Daniel and Geraldine? I guess I will just have to see what my characters will do with the situation.

Monday, May 09, 2005

The End of Chaper Nine

I’m back after being away for a week.

Today I finished chapter nine.

Harriet lost their first child but is pregnant again. This time the pregnancy goes well and to full term, but it ends tragically. Both she and the baby die. Thus ends chapter nine.

It seem rather trite to sum it up in such a mundane manner, but I suppose events like that were a matter of course in those days in Western Canada, probably on all frontiers in North America.

I know it was part of the history of the period, so not uncommon.

Tomorrow I begin chapter ten.