Silver moonlight flooded the worn path from the stone terrace, through the beds of hibiscus, and down the manicured lawn, but Sarah had no need of it. She knew the lawns and paths and gardens of Raven’s Nest as well as she knew her own, despite the passing of years. She could walk the land blindfolded, and she would know every step just by the scent hanging in the air. Her bare feet sank into the thick carpet of grass, blades tickling the bottom of her feet, when she veered to the left, heading through the canopy of wisteria, straight for the folly.Built more than a century before she was even born, it was designed to mimic the the great house, down to the ornate door knocker. As children, they often escaped here to hide from the governess the boys allowed her to share. She snorted rather indelicately at the idea of being allowed the education the boys gladly shirked.The snap of a branch close by caught her attention, and her head snapped up, memories forgotten. She froze, heart racing in her chest.Was it a poacher?Carefully she inched toward the stone building, glad to see it looming ahead of her, and not fallen into disrepair and ruin. Rupert had cared for it after all.No, she reminded herself, he is home now. The responsibility lies at his feet.She was just a few short feet shy of the thick door when a flash of movement at the corner of her eye alerted her that someone was close. She sucked in a large breath of air, head swinging to the sides as she sought escape. She needed to hide.Or run. Yes, that would be…Her thoughts trailed off as a figure stepped from the small copse of trees that led to the bond. Stratford. Her heart, that feckless creature within her chest, cried at the sight of him, drinking in every detail. She found herself unable to look away from the rigid muscles of his lean, bare chest; her eyes followed the trail of dark hair to where it disappeared in the falls of his trousers. The moon, full and bright above, cast a silver glow across his bronzed skin, and she swallowed, throat suddenly dry.“Hello, Red.” He tossed her the cheeky grin she remembered so well from their youth.“Do, do not call me that, my lord.” Her heart might be a traitorous beast, but at least her brain was sensible enough to put an icy distance between them.He tsked. “When did we let such formalities grow between us, Red?” He came to a stop before her, cupping her chin with the hand not grasping his boots. She looked into the unfathomable depths of his muddy eyes, calling herself ten times a fool as she wished and hoped and prayed he would lean down and sweep his lips across hers.Wrenching free of his grasp, she twisted away from him. “There is more than just formalities between us, my lord. There is time, and – and…” She trailed off, unable to finish the accusations her brain would fling.“And? Time and – what, Sarah? Surely not time and distance. I am here, in the flesh. In the now.”“You left me, damn you.” She hid her face, lest he think her tears caused by longing or anything akin to it. Lest he think them caused by anything other than the mounting frustration. “We had a deal, my lord. Crossed our hearts, and swore it would be forever.”He closed the distance between them, and she felt the warmth of his flesh through the thin muslin of her nightrail as he enveloped her in his strong arms, crushing her to his chest. The whisper of his lips against her fevered brow sent a frisson of heat through her.“I had no choice, Sarah. Surely you see that now?”“I see nothing but the man who swore he would rather die than leave me. The man who slipped away in the dead of night just hours after leaving my bed. You left me with no one.”“Rupert was -““At war, my lord. Rupert left the next morning, thinking you just sleeping off a hangover, and I was alone again.” She allowed herself the comfort he offered, resting her wet cheek against his chest. In a small voice, one she hoped he did not actually hear, she added, “It was never him anyway. Only you.”
Ugh. I had to buy a new desktop the other day. Since I do almost all of my writing on my delicious little Lenovo laptop – no, all of the actual writing, to be honest – anyway, the desktop is for research, iTunes, photos, school work, etc… You know, basic shit that doesn’t require a lot. So, I bought some cheapo Acer Aspire tower for $250 from Walmart.
Moved everything I wanted to save to OneDrive… and it’s all updating. I might not be patient enough for this. At least I’m getting rid of all the crap, though 🙂
So, the second week of school is going strong. So far, I’m on schedule, if not sleeping much. I’ll get better at this but Wednesday’s likely won’t be my weekly update – I have work, gym, and school… looooong day!
I’ve decided Saturday is devoted almost exclusively to writing – I’m hoping for 3500 words, which is possible. With no distractions, and good notes throughout the week.
I’m working on Chapter One right now – and plan on having it done by Sunday evening to keep up with Bryn Donovan’s writing schedule. So far, I have two paragraphs. But, 3500 words is far more than I need for a chapter, so I’m good…
Yesterday, I introduced my version of Gaston on a friend’s blog for Work-in-Progress Wednesday. That, of course, isn’t all of the scene, but it’s what I shared.
So. That’s where we are. What are you doing with your writing right now?
Think you’re busy? Too much packed into your day?
We’ve all been there, right? Especially those of us who write while still managing to work a full time job (or two). I know I have a planner that I stick with, and I’ve got myself scheduled pretty tightly from 7 am to 10 pm. That’s bedtime for me. 10 pm. Only, not tonight. No, tonight I came home from work, went to the gym, then went to WalMart for the weekly lunch shopping. Didn’t get home until 9. It is now 9:53, and I am still eating this salad. (Srsly, why are these so huge and so cheap??)
But today I had to do some research for my current project, A Lady’s Wager. See, almost all of the book has to take place within a ten day span during the Season of 1816. So what kind of activities would throw this couple together, I wondered. Now, I’ve read my share of Regency’s. But I seriously had no idea. Not a single clue.
So again, I ask you – do you think you’re busy today? Check out the activities available for a woman of the Ton.
Wake up sometime before 10 am because
10:00 am – Riding in Hyde Park
Home for breakfast, which might be a simple affair or a full blown fancy schmancy affair.
Then, pay bills or write letters or shop or call upon very close friends
Then, luncheon – after which the men go to their manly pursuits, leaving the woman to choose from afternoon activities such as:
– cricket matches
– promenading in the Park
– attending scientific lectures
– small musicals and concerts
– dramatic matinees
– races (presumably horse, but what about rowing?)
– lawn tennis, lawn bowling
– garden parties
– a trip to the cafe or to a men’s club (where a woman could be invited to dine prior to an outing)
THEN, another turn about Rotten Row in the late afternoon – walking or riding.
5 pm – Afternoon tea, again either an informal affair or a crush
7 pm – dinner, formal, dozens of guests with footmen and waiters
Then, off to the theatre, opera, or a private soiree
And all of that? Just a warm up for the man balls, routs, and soirees that start anywhere from 10 pm to midnight, and go until 3 am.
The good news is that I do not believe I will have a problem creating ten days worth of varying activities. But seriously. How did they do it? I would die.
Now then, it is Tuesday. Tidbit Tuesday, to be exact. Here is today’s Tidbit. It is one of those pesky scenes that came to me out of order. I’m not sure where it will occur, but I do know it is a Garden Party, so check that off the list!
“Oh, I would not know. I’ve not ever left London.” The words were said so nonchalantly, he almost didn’t pick up what she had actually said.
When he did, he slowed to a halt next to her. A couple moved around them, the willowy brunette stifling a low giggle. The lawn of the large garden tucked away behind the Hatford’s mansion was freshly mown, leaving behind that unmistakeable of cut grass. Perhaps they would have a bit of summer, after all, thought Stratford. Then, Sarah’s words came back to him.
“You mean to tell me that you have never left London? Not even to take the waters or to join some house party?”
Sarah looked away, her gaze fixed upon her hands. “Not even once, Major.”
He knew she had recently lost a fiance, which was bound to be a sensitive subject. “But surely you attended, erm, that is to say…” He broke off before finishing. How to broach the painful subject? Was it not bad enough that she had loved before him? That she still wore the muted colors of half-mourning?
When she looked up, sadness muted her emerald eyes. He cursed himself ten times a fool. One did not – could not – woo a woman by reminding her of a painful, or tragic, loss.
So, yesterday I posted:
Conversations. Dialogue. I kind of feel like I suck at it. Especially when I compare my writing style to that of published authors. And it isn’t so much that the conversations I’m writing suck, but rather that I pepper my prose with bits of dialogue rather than peppering my dialogue with bits of prose. So how do I fix this? Well, what I’m going to try to do for now is create the ‘rough draft’ version of just the dialogue in my notebook. Then, when I go to put it into Microsoft Word, I’ll pepper in the prose. The action, the movements…
Surely you remember this. No? Well, follow the link, or see the above. Whatever.
Anyway. I actually sat down and created 4.5 handwritten pages of dialogue yesterday. Prior to this, I had struggled with the scene and could barely make my way to the 500 word count mark. Today, I am not done with the scene (perhaps 2/3 done) and I have already reached 1028 words. So, just with this one technique, I have more than doubled my word count. I don’t know about you, but I find that awesome.
Now, I will admit that it is hard to recreate what was going on in my head as yesterday I wrote down only the dialogue. That can be overcome, however; especially since when I move words from pen and paper to Word or yWriter, I always find myself changing things a bit. It’s almost like a mini edit of the super-rough draft to the rough draft. Next time though, I know to make notes of thoughts, feelings, etc.
So yes. It is Sunday. Tomorrow, I start my new job (squee). I am both terribly excited and terribly nervous. My first job in over 3 years where a uniform is not required. But, it’s also out in the boons and I won’t have time for lunch, so I’m taking my notes and working during lunch.
Of course, no writing prompt again this week. I have a problem. I set these writing goals and then break them. It’s because I see writing as something fun, something creative. Not something that gets a deadline or a minimum word count. Even if my book gets picked up, I hope this never changes.
So, off to watch one more episode of CSI before calling it a night. Perhaps I’ll find some relevant writing prompts and throw them in the bucket, lol.
Have a good night!