Tuesday, December 4, 2018

#006 Inside the Emotion of Fiction - Robin Jansen's "Ruby the Indomitable"

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**Robin Jansen’s Ruby the Indomitable  is the sixth in a never-ending series called INSIDE THE EMOTION OF FICTION where the Chris Rice Cooper Blog (CRC) focuses on one specific excerpt from a fiction genre and how that fiction writer wrote that specific excerpt.  All INSIDE THE EMOTION OF FICTION links are at the end of this piece. 
     The CRC Blog welcomes submissions from published and unpublished fiction genre writers for INSIDE THE EMOTION OF FICTION.  Contact CRC Blog via email at
caccoop@aol.com or personal Facebook messaging at https://www.facebook.com/car.cooper.7

Name of fiction work? And were there other names you considered that you would like to share with us?   Ruby the Indomitable

Fiction genre?  Ex science fiction, short story, fantasy novella, romance, drama, crime, plays, flash fiction, historical, comedy,  etc.  And how many pages long?   Ruby Red is a fictional character. The setting is based on a true historical event. It’s the end of the Orphan Train run in the mid-1920s. This fictional story is told through Ruby’s eleven-year-old eyes. After Ruby is taken in as a maid and finds little hope of being anything more. Soon she makes a risky move by faking insanity. After being expelled from the household, she sneaks onto a train heading west where she meets adventure, encounters peril, and discovers new hope.

Has this been published? And it is totally fine if the answer is no.   If yes, what publisher and what publication date?   The publisher is Manor Publishing LLC   October, 2016  https://manor-house-publishing.com/jml/

What is the date you began writing this piece of fiction and the date when you completely finished the piece of fiction?
   Normally, my books take 6 weeks to 6 months to complete before they are ready for my publisher. After that, there are edits and rewrites, the design of the book cover, which is always thrilling to see. If you stick to deadlines, the complete process can take a year. However, Ruby the Indomitable took years. The historical aspects needed to be spot on. The result is a sound book with historical details and accurate information. It all began in a middle school reading when I took my class for our weekly visit to the library. Perusing the shelves, I saw a book titled, The Orphan Train (by Christina Baker-Kline). (http://christinabakerkline.com/) I checked out all the books that had to do with it, which were not many.  I learned that “homeless children roamed the streets of New York City from the late 1800s through the 1930s. Death and disease were heaped upon poverty and overcrowding, causing thousands of children to be abandoned and left to fend for themselves. 
Adding to the malaise, boatloads of European immigrants flooded the American shores and soon succumbed to the same adversities, leaving thousands of children parentless. Few accounts are found of the Orphan Train that carried white skinned children out into the heartland of America to find new families. History hints that the dark skinned children were placed into wealthy households for servants.

One of my beloved children is African American. I thought about Kimberly and wondered what might have happened to her had she lived in those days. This book is based upon history but I put my daughter into the shoes of Ruby and watched what happened as I told the tale. (Robin with daughter Kimberly.  Copyright permission granted by Robin Jansen for this CRC Blog Post Only)

Where did you do most of your writing for this fiction work?  And please describe in detail.  And can you please include a photo?   I did most of my writing for this book while I lived in a tiny apartment in Denton, Texas and then finished it when I moved into my home. (Left:  Robin building her new home in March 0f 2013.  Copyright permission granted by Robin Jansen for this CRC Blog Post Only) 

What were your writing habits while writing this work- did you drink something as you wrote, listen to music, write in pen and paper, directly on laptop; specific time of day?   I wrote directly on my laptop whenever I found the time: midnight, daybreak, after work, on weekends.  I also carried a paper and pen in case a new idea or inspiration came along. I drank a lot of tea. (Right:  Robin writing in April of 2017.  Copyright permission granted by Robin Jansen for this CRC Blog Post Only) 

What is the summary of this specific fiction work?   What is the summary of your fiction work?  Only one real memory with her mother remained: young Ruby standing in front of a bookstore, holding the hand of a woman in a red coat. After being rescued and taken in by servants, Ruby feels safe for a time. Then in 1920, during the hard winter in New York City, eleven-year-old Ruby is sent packing from the mansion where she’s been a servant since the age of six. A bleak future forces her to sneak onto a train where she discovers hope in Denton, Texas—only to have her newfound happiness shaken to the core when a poor working class section of town known as Quakertown (https://localwiki.org/denton/Quakertown) is razed, causing black families to lose their homes. Now, Ruby must choose between the new family she has come to love and the place where people say she belongs.

Can you give the reader just enough information for them to understand what is going on in the excerpt?   The excerpt is from the end of the book. It shows the close knit relationship that developed between the woman and the young woman. Love is colorblind.  

Please include the excerpt and include page numbers as reference.  The excerpt can be as short or as long as you prefer.   Page 240 “Okay. I will ask you right now. What do you want, Ruby?”
“I want to hear Mr. Frank’s stories when he gets back home from his trips. While he’s gone, I want to walk barefoot along dusty roads with you. It’s okay if I limp down them. I want to sit in between you and Mr. Frank at church and look up into the balcony where the negroes like me sit and wave at them. And maybe one day, some will be brave enough to come down from that balcony and sit with us on the main floor of the church. I want to say my prayers each night in my own room, not in someone’s left over room. This Christmas, I want to see an ornamented tree in the front parlor and call it the Christmas Room just for that occasion. Come spring, I want us to plant seeds on Andy’s special place. That’s what I want.”
“Oh, Ruby, that’s exactly what I want, too!” Marie sat forward and opened her arms up. Ruby went to Marie, tripping over her heart on the way. “Am I really home?”
“Yes. You’re really home for good.”
Marie looked at Ruby’s beaming face. Ruby’s skin didn’t need to be like the pale breath of winter’s snow, nor Marie’s skin the color of coffee for everything to be fine. Ruby made everything fine. Marie reached out and lovingly gave Ruby’s hair a tug. “I wish I could put the gold from your heart onto your
skin so everyone could see your worth. While you were gone, Ruby, my heart ached so badly. Now I know God was only digging new wells inside of me to hold all the overflowing joy I’ve found with your return to me.”
“I love you, Mrs. Marie.”
“And I love you, Ruby.”
“But I hear a problem in your voice.”
Marie looked down and twisted a loose knot on the bedspread.
“I’m afraid for you. See, I have these awful spells at times that pull me so far down that I think I can’t climb back out.” Marie’s arms went limp.
“Mrs. Marie, when you start to slide, I’ll pull you back

Why is this excerpt so emotional for you?  And can you describe your own emotional experience of writing this specific excerpt?   My daughter and son came to me by way of adoption. I love them as much as if I carried them beneath my heart. They are my precious jewels. (Right: Daughter Kimberly with mother Robin.  Copyright permission granted by Robin Jansen for this CRC Blog Post Only) 

Other works you have published?   It is important to note that I write under two names Robin Jansen and Robin Shope.
A trilogy:  The Chase    The Replacement   The Candidate
A trilogy:   Journey to Paradise,  A Christmas Edition,   The Valentine Edition, The Easter Edition
Wildcard;   Passages;   Wynn in the Willows;   Secrets;  The Debutante Murder

Below:  Robin Jansen in November of 2018.  Copyright permission granted by Robin Jansen for this CRC Blog Post Only

My residence is Denton, Texas, but I grew up in Chicago and Delavan, Wisconsin.  A 1974 graduate of UW Whitewater, I taught high school in Ottawa, Illinois. After I married, we traveled the world as missionaries for several years before settling in Texas. I have two grown children, two fabulous grandsons, and three naughty rescue dogs. After being in education for forty years, I look forward to retirement. What is next?


001   11 15 2018 Nathaniel Kaine’s
Thriller Novel
John Hunter – The Veteran

002   11 18 2018 Ed Protzzel’s
The Antiquities Dealer 

003   11 23 2018 Janice Seagraves’s
Science Fiction Romance
Exodus Arcon

004   11 29 2018 Christian Fennell’s
Literary Fiction Novel
The Fiddler in the Night

005  12 02 2018 Jessica Mathews’s
Adult Paranormal Romance
Death Adjacent

006  12 04 2018 Robin Jansen’s
Literary Fiction Novel
Ruby the Indomitable

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