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Archive for June, 2012

I’m in the middle of one novel. It consists only of:

“1779

Catherine Saunders nodded with satisfaction as her latest arrow hit the target dead in the centre. She adored archery and was presently enjoying an unbroken run of seven perfectly placed shots. She gestured to a waiting boy and he ran to retrieve her missiles.

“I wish you would pursue a more ladylike hobby, Miss Catherine,” her governess complained. Now it was summer she was obliged to stand outside daily whenever Miss Catherine decided to practice.

The boy gave Catherine her arrows. She took aim. “Other ladies do it as well.”

“Those other ladies have learnt it from their brothers,” her governess replied. “You have none. You do not even have sisters.”

Catherine hit her target again. “Miss Havers, you tell me that fresh air is beneficial.”

“I mean walking or sitting reading,” Miss Havers told her. “Not this. It is not suitable for a lady. I have no idea why your father allows it.”

“He found it preferable to my suggestion of fencing,” Catherine replied. She smiled as she remembered her father’s reaction to that.

“Oh, Miss Catherine, I am sure you say these things to tease me,” Miss Havers protested. “Why must you behave in this fashion?”

“I am suffering from extreme boredom,” she replied. She shot another arrow and sighed when it missed. “Now see what you have made me do.”

“I do not see any benefit in this activity,” Miss Havers told her. “None at all.”

“Why should there be a benefit? I see no use in my art and piano lessons,” she said. “It is enjoyable to be sure but little beyond that.”

“Your lessons seek to make you accomplished for the gentlemen,” Miss Havers replied. “Archery does no such thing, as I see it.”

“Oh come, Miss Havers, it means I can shoot any unsuitable man,” Catherine smiled.

“Miss Saunders! That is not suitable talk for a lady.” Catherine only grinned wider. Teasing Miss Havers was her only source of amusement now her parents spent most of their time in London.

“Perhaps I am not a lady.” She aimed at a nearby wall and looked annoyed when the arrow just dropped to the floor. “What a pity! I was hoping that it would ricochet. Imagine that, Miss Havers, I aim for the wall and still hit the target.”

Miss Havers did not approve. “I must write to your father.”

Can’t concentrate on it but the idea is there! J

And editing my 2010 NaNo novel (still…), an extract:

“”I have a list,” Lord Thomas announced as he entered the prince’s room with Lord Samuel. “I think it to be a sufficiently varied and exhaustive list of single ladies.”

“Well then, continue,” Prince Charles told them.

“First we have the ladies of the court,” Lord Samuel started. They had categorised every lady they could think about (in the nicest possible way, of course). “Lady Matilda?”

“A pretty face,” Prince Charles said. “I like her personality but have misgivings about her suitability as queen. I want somebody who will be interested in my kingship. Lady Matilda seems a little…empty-headed.”

“Lady Joanna?” Lord Thomas said.

“Oh dear, I do not wish to be unkind but there is a reason she is unmarried at 39,” Prince Charles said.

“Perhaps she is just misunderstood,” Lord Thomas said. “She is from a good family and is not unpleasant looking.”

“She throws shoes at servants,” Prince Charles reminded them.

“Good point,” Lord Thomas said. “Lady Beatrice?”

“Not bad,” Prince Charles said. “I like that she is well-versed in poetry and philosophy. I would have no objection if my uncle suggested her.”

“Has potential then,” Lord Thomas made a mark against her name. “Lady Beulah?”

“Is she the one with the, ahem, tail?” Prince Charles asked. They nodded. She suffered from one of the more unfortunate side effects of mixed marriages. Her father was a successful fawn that had been elevated to the nobility. “Ah. I am afraid I must be rather shallow on this one. I know she keeps it hidden under her gown and that she has a pleasant countenance and good brain but it would always be there. Lurking.”

“I quite like the idea,” Lord Samuel said. “Lady Winifred?”

“I like her,” Prince Charles said. “She is witty.”

“Another possibility then,” Lord Thomas said. “Lady Bridget?”

“Isn’t her aunt a banshee?” Prince Charles asked. They shrugged. “Yes, she is. That’s why Lady Bridget shrieks when she senses bad news. I don’t think I could cope with that.”

“Lady Francesca?” Lord Samuel asked. Prince Charles shook his head. “Why not? She’s gorgeous.”

“She’s completely vacuous,” Prince Charles said. “I want to be able to respect my wife. She once asked why her pet rock wasn’t growing.”

“Lady Susannah then?” Lord Thomas asked.

“No, too unpleasant,” Prince Charles said. “She is a conniver. I don’t like her.”

“Lady Jocosa?” Lord Samuel said.

“They she is a witch,” Prince Charles commented. “I am not sure what I feel about that. I see flashes of a very dark personality.”

“That is our list of court ladies finished,” Lord Thomas said. “Up next we have the noble ladies of Pomeravia not often seen at the palace.”

“Lady Genevieve?” Lord Samuel said. “She is from one of the northern shires.”

“I don’t know her,” Prince Charles said. “Do you?”

“Her mother is a distant cousin of my father,” Lord Samuel said. “From all accounts she is pleasant.”

“Too vague for me at present,” Prince Charles said. “If she attends the ball we shall see.”

“Lady Coralie of Bouidagne?” Lord Thomas said with a flourish. She was a very well-known beauty.

“You mean my cousin,” Prince Charles reminded him.

“Oh shit,” Lord Thomas looked at his notes. He put a line through her two sisters as Prince Charles rolled his eyes. “Err? Lady Fenella of the Marshes?”

“Engaged,” Prince Charles told him.

“No she isn’t,” Lord Samuel protested. He then remembered a joust held in her honour where the chosen ‘hero’ of the day had been her future husband. “Yes she is!”

“Not doing very well, are you,” Prince Charles remarked. “Next.”

“Lady Madeleine of Firsenia,” Lord Thomas said.

“We went to university with her brother?” Prince Charles wondered aloud. “Brief recollection but nothing concrete. A maybe.”

“Foreign princesses next and other distant noble women,” Lord Samuel said. “I believe Tom already mention Princess Ailitha.”

“Yes and I have no objections,” Prince Charles said.

“Bloody gorgeous,” Lord Thomas said. “But then fairies always are.”

Prince Charles groaned. “Don’t get him started on fairies. I suppose the next ones on the list are also fairy princesses. Go on then.”

Lord Thomas grinned. “Princess Celestria, Princess Ilaria, Princess Fiera, Princess Roseia and Princess Liora.”

“No, maybe, evil, yes, perhaps,” Prince Charles said in return. “Carry on.”

“Princess Caroline of Slaithland,” Lord Samuel said.

“Ha!” was all Prince Charles said to that. “Next.”

“There is a princess beyond from a land beyond Thyrsovia,” Lord Samuel said. Thyrsovia was the darkest and wickedest land. Apart from its inhabitants very few people dared to venture there.

“Too risky,” Prince Charles said. “Any land beyond Thyrsovia is uncertain. We don’t know where their loyalties lie.”

“I thought that would be the case,” Lord Thomas said “I could not even find out her name for certain. It is either Avila or Aviva.”

“Right, what is next?” Prince Charles asked as his mother came in.

“Good evening, boys,” Princess Edith said. She looked curiously at the list in front of them. “Are we planning something?”

“We are going through Prince Charles options for a bride,” Lord Thomas explained.

“Ah. Rating girls,” she said. “I do hope that somewhere there a group of ladies doing exactly the same thing to you.”

“Lord Thomas was ready to suggest all three daughters of the Duke of Bouidagne,” Prince Charles told his mother.

“Oh really?” Princess Edith said. “I am sure my brother will approve. I only hope it was to be complimentary.”

“Have you seen my uncle the King?” Prince Charles asked her.

“Yes, I have just left him dictating an invitation to the ball,” Princess Edith replied. “Soon everywhere will be abuzz with gossip.””

Perhaps posting extracts online will encourage me to stop dallying and write.

Yeah right!

Hey, at least I finished my 2011 NaNo attempt!

Oooh shiny things!

 

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