Thursday, April 26, 2018

Meet Norman Pedersen from my Alaskan Waters Trilogy

Allow me to introduce another character from my Alaskan Waters Trilogy:

Hi, I'm Norman Pedersen. I am the younger son of a wealthy Norwegian family in Oslo at the turn of the twentieth century. As is the custom, my eldest brother, Arne, inherited the family estate when my parents died when I was but a youngster.

Arne's overbearing wife made life miserable for my sister, Alma, and me. When she married Tennes against Arne's wishes and moved up north to Narvik, I ran away and joined them. They live a simple life on his farm, but they love me and are happy to share what they have with me.

Northern Norway (Narvik in center) Courtesy Google.com
I'm so glad I took the leap. Ya! In church I met the girl of my dreams. Kristina! Her golden hair frames a fair face with rosy cheeks and pearly white teeth that sparkle between sweet, smiling lips that need no lipstick. And her eyes are as vivid a blue as the fjord that spreads out at the feet of Narvik.

How I have missed her these past months while working on board the Viking shipping salted and dried codfish from the Lofoten Islands to Bergen, one of the foremost fish markets of the world.

From January to April, fishing boats from Narvik follow the cod migration to their spawning grounds among the many islands of the Vesteralens--four large islands of the Lofoten group, with smaller ones between that trail off into the Norwegian Sea like a gigantic backbone from northern Norway's broken coast. I hired on as deckhand to the Viking's crew.

Narvik, Norway Courtesy Google.com
The long summer days are finally over. As much as I love the sea, all I can think of right now is seeing Kristina. As I stand at the bow, rope in hand, ready to jump to the dock as soon as the Viking nudges into its mooring in the harbor at Narvik, I pull up my collar against the chill Arctic winds that sweep up the fjord.

Something catches the sunlight and flashes out a miniature beacon from the bluff overlooking the docks. I glance up and spot a girl buffeted about by the stiff breeze, her dark skirt billowing out behind her as she gazes across the water. I know it's Kristina. She always wears her mother's large silver brooch at the throat of her shirtwaist. I hope she's looking for me.

My heart swells in anticipation of being with Kristina again after my long season at sea. In spite of the biting wind, I warm at the thought of kissing her. Maybe this time I'll get up the nerve.

But what can I offer her? She's accustomed to all the comforts her wealthy uncle/guardian provides. I have no property, no house, and no opportunity to purchase land even if I had the money. There just isn't enough land to go around. Unless you are the eldest son, you inherit nothing.

Alma and Tennes are talking about selling their tiny farm and going to America, the Land of Opportunity. But I don't even have enough money to buy their farm. And it's too small to make a profit. They scarcely get by even with my contribution now that I have a job.

Maybe I should go to America too. No! How could I ever leave Kristina?

   
Norman's story comes to life in Book Two, A Star to Steer By, in my Alaskan Waters Trilogy. These books are available in paperback and e-book. To learn more about them, check out my website, www.annaleeconti.com.


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