Incorporating the Words Home, Rain, & Soil in My Novel

Carolyn’s Online Magazine (COMe)

Incorporating the words



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The Free Associations of the 3 Words


I quickly scanned the WordPress writing prompt today, free associationand interpreted it as asking that we write a post using the three words home, soil, and rain.

Since I’m concentrating on finishing the first draft of my historic (romance) novel it came to me that I could do a scene appropriate for part of my book, a part which echoes almost to a “t” the theme of Enoch Arden, a narrative poem by Lord Alfred Tennyson. It was published in 1864 during his tenure as England’s Poet Laureate.

That the poem and the story in my novel are, line by line (I did the comparison in Enoch Arden and Louis des Isles: Story Plots), are virtually similar except for the introduction and ending is, one might say, coincidental. It might also be said I copied the story from Tennyson because it has all the elements of a good story.

In my defense, the story of Mary and Louis as told in my novel is a true story. And it occurred seventy years before Enoch Arden was published.

Perhaps Tennyson based his story, in part, on what happened to Mary and Louis.

800px-George_Goodwin_Kilburne_Enoch_ArdenEnoch Arden, a painting by George Goodwin Kilburne

Mary leaned against the door of her Trenton, Maine, home. Her head was bent and her cheeks were wet from the tears that mingled with drops of rain that should have been snowflakes. The dark gray clouds backlit by a full moon did nothing to cheer her heart, which was as brown as the soil beneath her feet, as gray as the rocks cropping up from the ground.

There was an edge to the black mantle the darkness lay over her slumped shoulders this dark night. No pure white snow cover, protecting her like it protected the soil. Just a palpable gloom that penetrated deep, deep into her heart.

Louis, where are you? What has happened to you? Mary cried out, knowing that the weathercocks, pointing their ghostly fingers to the dangerous seas, had no answers.

Eighteen months had slipped under stormy and fair skies since Louis had sailed for France to collect his inheritance. Her family and friends tried to soothe her tears as month after month passed and there was no word. Oh, there were speculations that his ship sank to the bottom of the sea and all its human contents became fodder for the fish. Could the rumors be true? Must I spend the rest of my life without you, the sunshine of my life? Will the storm clouds ever cease? Others speculated that the ship was seized by pirates who slaughtered all humans on board. Louis, you are so gentle, no warrior are you. Mary shuddered at the thought which caused the doors of her abysmal gloom to swing wide open, releasing her wretched sobs.

She attempted to wipe the tears off her face before she pulled her worn shawl tightly around her shoulders by wrapping her arms over her chest, as if to experience the closeness that drew her to Louis more than a decade ago—a lifetime ago. She bent down and ran her fingers through a small puddle which grew bigger with her tears. She stared intently at the soil that clung to her nails. She paused long enough to let her sobs die down, then stood slowly. Perhaps when the snow arrived she’d be able to accept her fate, and her grief would abate.

She heard her youngest child, who was prone to nightmares, cry out at the moment the clouds parted, allowing the moon a brief appearance. Her time to grieve this night was ended. She shuffled inside, picked up a candle, calmed herself, and went to soothe her child. Tomorrow was another day.


Now that I wrote something that I might be able to incorporate in my journal I will turn to the January 26, 2015, WordPress prompt, free association, to read what it actually instructed: Write down the first words that comes to mind when we say : . . . home, . . . soil, . . . rain. Use those words in the title of your post.

Home: where the heart and family are.

Soil: the source of our sustenance (contrary to what some children think, green beans do not grow in cans)

Rain: the essence of life



Enoch Arden and Louis des Isles: Story Plots


“George Goodwin Kilburne Enoch Arden” by George Goodwin Kilburne – Bonhams. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons –


About carolyncholland

In several if my nine lives I have been a medical lab technician and a human service worker specializing in child day care, adoptions and family abuse. Currently I am a photo/journalist/writer working on a novel and a short story. My general writings can be viewed at My novel site is
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1 Response to Incorporating the Words Home, Rain, & Soil in My Novel

  1. Pingback: Home, Soil, Rain | The Bohemian Rock Star's "Untitled Project"

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