I dusted off Gold Hill and read it over. The time it rested was sorely needed as the scene order changes I had made during revision five needed to be undone in several spots . After nearly a month, I am pleased with the way Gold Hill has shaped up. I submit to beta readers in a few days and hope for the best. Here’s a little snippet:
We reached the end of the trail after a grueling 90 minute hike. The blonde and I were both winded. Of course, the boys were in better shape. Perhaps I should join the swim team or play volleyball. Or hike more. Or something. This huffing was embarrassing. My hair was plastered to my sweaty skull and my shins, arms, and hands were covered in scrapes. We turned off the trail toward the cave while I worked to master my breathing. Showing weakness was not my thing.
Evidence of the tramp’s temporary presence lay scattered about the cave entrance. The mouth itself seemed innocuous. It had been altered from whatever original state the miners found to a smooth tunnel approach with a squared entry and mostly straight sides. Rotting beams framed the entrance. Warning signs were posted, weathered and rotting on their uprights, all faded save one showing a recent slap of paint. A year had softened the stink of the grizzly wafting from the cave. Jimmy stepped right in.
“It’s safe, guys,” he said after a moment. “It’s a natural cave, not dependent on timbers.” I went forward, Cassandra on my heels. Nate hesitated, then folded his lanky frame to pass the entrance. Jimmy removed a ball of twine from his pocket and tossed it to Nate.
“Tie that around something solid.”