Sunday, August 7, 2011

Slow progress, but progress at least


The antagonist in The Death of the White Rose is Vilma Espin.  She was an integral part of the Fidelistas in the Sierra Maestra Mountains, eventually marrying Raul Castro, the current president of Cuba. In reviewing the first 28,000 words, I realized that more focus had to be brought on her activities that took place outside the presence of the protagonists. While she was a real person and took a historically important role, her character in the novel is entirely made up and plays a role I only imagine she could have played, had she ever met the heroes of my story. I managed to get down 750 words about her exploits in the Sierra Maestra before my eyes started to close. The day job just gets in the way constantly and by the time I have a chance to write, I'm beat.

A word about the heroes--there are two of them. The first one the reader meets on page one. His name is Pedro Villanueva, a Catholic priest, age 36. Pedro is not happy being a priest, and he only entered the priesthood to make his parents happy. That reason does not seem to fulfill him at the time he first enters the story. He's happiest when sailing a sloop on Havana Bay, as a member of the Havana Yacht Club, a membership paid for by his parents. While he enjoys the sailing, he is troubled by the fact that the club is a whites-only enterprise, making him feel that he is violating his principles. The other club members are proud of the fact that Batista was denied membership due to his being mixed race. The second hero is Maria Guerra, the chief auditor of El Tribunal de Cuenta, the Cuban IRS. She is the third highest ranking person at El Tribunal under Batista, although she is a secret supporter of Fidel Castro. We meet her for the first time at a meeting of Fidelistas called by Vilma to gather supplies to smuggle to the rebels in the mountains.

I hope this brief character introduction will help understand the process and progress of the telling of the story. For now, my eyes once again are shutting and I am signing off.

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