River People centers around seventeen-year-old Effie and eleven-year-old Bridget in the late 1890's. They must struggle to survive religious patriarchy and abuse at a time when women have few rights and society looks upon domestic abuse as a private, family matter. River People is a story of hidden strength that rises to the surface in even the most unyielding of circumstances.
Margaret Lukas taught at the University of Nebraska at Omaha in the Writers Workshop for over a decade. She received her BFA in 2004 from the University of Nebraska. In 2007, she received her MFA from Rainier Writing Workshop in Tacoma, Washington. Her writing appears online and in a number of anthologies. Her award-winning short story, “The Yellow Bird,” was made into a 'short' and premiered at the Cannes Film Festival. She is a recipient of a 2009 Nebraska Arts Council Individual Artist fellowship. Farthest House is her first novel. Her second novel, River People, is scheduled for release in February 2019.
#WritingCommunity #BQBPublishing. When writing, I make extensive notes even on single images. Cleaning, I found these on the snow dress:
"Bridget wondered, had the dress been to warn her of today? Was the future so much a part of today pieces of tomorrow—if one dared look—had already arrived? * Silent and empty, the dress shouted. Bridget sucked in a deep breath, wanting the story of the dress, and yet, it might be only snow. Cold vapor. Nothing. * It danced for her, came close. The way the owl had landed close and stared at her. Only a moment, before the bird lifted on great wings, but its visit left her touched. * Effie would think her foolish, and the thought made Bridget wish for Grandma Teegan. Grandma Teegan might not have an answer, but her face would soften, and she’d understand something had happened."
Several long paragraphs on these ideas were condensed into a few words. The snow dress feels like an entirely new piece of writing seeking its own place, perhaps in memoir.
Jake was nowhere to be seen, but she prayed he’d spent the storm in the trees, seeking what shelter he could. She’d return the pail, rewrapped her stinging toes, and go look for him. Stepping from the trees, a wide whirl of snow like a summer dust devil lifted off the frozen river. The shape, thin and empty, looked like Effie’s white underslip. The bit of ghost clothing danced onto the shore. Bridget stood fixed as it waltzed a few feet more before stopping and falling away. Was it an omen? If Grandma Teegan were there, she’d know. Would she say shadows around bodies aren’t the only warnings?