Hurricanes and Fortitude


Since the world is talking about Hurricane Isaac, I thought I’d post an excerpt from what I’m working on right now. FORTITUDE, set in 1898, is a story about sixteen-year-old Claire O’Farrell—a first generation Irish-American living on Dauphin Island, Alabama (which is currently without power and the only road to the bridge is flooded.) The following is taken from the first chapter, when Claire is returning home from a visit to town.


“Lose your sea legs already, Claire? You look a wee bit green.” [Pa asks.]

 I only shake my head and try to breathe. My bones feel hollow, as if they aged three decades in as many minutes. But the feeling passes as the miles from Mobile increase and the miles to Dauphin Island decrease. The silent shadow of a brown pelican passing overhead, the smell of low tide and all the comforting details of shore life revive me body and soul.  I am able to ignore Joe’s persistent gaze and relish in my pa’s quiet strength.

I decline Joe’s offer for help back to my house and enjoy the last few minutes of peace on my way past the cluster of village buildings bordering the shell mounds. When the palmettos begin to thicken, I slow my pace and veer down our drive.

Dauphin Island has wonderful trees–and one was the starting point for my story. May all the trees weather yet another storm.
For more cool trees and pictures about FORTITUDE, check out



6 responses to “Hurricanes and Fortitude”

  1. This was breath taking. You had me in the scene with rich imagery. Your command of language has grown by leaps and bounds.

    1. Thank you!

      1. Will you read my latest Lee Thames blog? Let me know if it posted. I couldn’t find the post or save button. Its title is My Last Link With Joe. It is also on Facebook.

  2. I wish you the best as you finish this novel. The hurricane was a perfect backdrop for sharing your story.

    ~ Michael <
    The Color of Sound

  3. I’m excited about this one! What’s the word on Corroded being published? I’m anxious to read that one to!

    1. Sent out query letters/sample chapters to four publishing companies last week. Hope to know something by the end of the year.

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