*wrings hands in anticipation*
I don't usually like to share my writing until it's done, but....guys, I'm about half way through!!! HALF WAY THROUGH. I've never stuck with one of my stories for so long!!!
The first snippet I'm going to share is part of the very first scene in the book. :) When I was interviewed on Naomi's blog she asked us interviewees to share the first line of our current WIP. I did, and promised her I would eventually share "what Harold put his foot down on". haha So, Naomi dear, this is for you!
"I put my foot down on this!" King Harold pounded the table for emphasis. "You're nearing twenty-one years. If you don't choose for yourself we will choose for you."
Henry watched the dark oak table slowly cease trembling. If only things could stop as easily as that table.
"Henry, look at me when I'm speaking to you. " Henry clenched his jaw and looked into the stormy face opposite his. His father's eyes softened and he seemed to deflate. "Oh, son. You know I don't want to be unjust towards you. I just wish...it's just..." he sighed, rubbing his temples with a care-worn hand. "I'm getting on in years-"
"Father, you're not-"
"I'm sitxty-two, Henry. Men younger than I die every day. The point is, I want....I need...to see you happily married and...providing an heir...before I die."
(I know the whole "you-must-marry" thing is cliche, but it really worked for my story, so....yeah)
Lying in her bed, Alethea watched the yellow curtains at her windows flutter in the breeze. She imagined they were a banner waving in the wind. She saw the crest of Linden embroidered on it, a red tree atop a hill. She then saw it torn and stained, fluttering alone in the middle of a still and lifeless battlefield. She cringed and bit her lip. She'd never experienced war in her lifetime, but she knew of the devastating effects it had-especially on families. She suddenly bit back a sob as the thought struck her that her brothers would fight. The thought that one of them may not return was even worse.
The sun was still low in the sky and dewy cobwebs glittered in the tall grass. Gray morning mist limited her view, casting the sun into a hazy glow amid the pink clouds. To the west the sky was dim blue and she spotted a few lone stars still twinkling. At last she felt free and a bit more peaceful. She was completely alone and yet felt less lonely than she did in the crowded ball room last night. Out here she could pretend her family was back at the castle. In the castle, she could only feel like an outsider.
The wet grass brushed her skirt and dampened her shoes. She breathed the cool air in deeply, but the sun was quickly warming her shiny gold head and turquoise covered shoulders. It is going to be a warm day.
Alethea found herself heading for the beech tree she and Henry had raced for the other day. As she approached, she noticed a shape sitting beneath its branches. A few more steps and she realized it was a man. She paused, unsure if she should continue. The thought hit her that it could be Neven and she quickly turned around. She had no desire to be alone with him in an empty field. She didn't want to admit it to herself, but something about him frightened her.
"So you're telling me-" the clash of swords interrupted Arthur's sentence, "That your parents-" clang! "are holding a week long party-good thrust!- just to find you a wife? Oof!" Arthur held up his hand for a pause as he fell to the ground.
Henry snorted and grinned down at his friend. Beads of perspiration trickled down his forehead. "Well, they didn't describe it quite like that. More as..." he leaned against a rain barrel. " 'A chance for you to meet more people your age and to have fun.' "
"You mean more women your age!" said Arthur with a grin.
Arthur sat silently for a moment after Letha had gone, his mind brooding over how to tell his mother of his dilemma. He jumped, startled, when he felt a touch on his shoulder. Mary looked down at him quietly. "What's troubling you, son? I knew the moment I saw you something was on your mind." Arthur exhaled and leaned forward, elbows on the worn wood table.
"Oh, mother. I asked Letha to give me a few moments to tell you but now that it's just us I can't find the words."
"Just tell me."
Arthur shook his head ruefully. "Mother, I'm in love."
"Well! What's so terrible about that?"
"I'm in love with the woman Henry has chosen to be his future wife."
I hope you all liked it! I really hope I can finish the first draft this year. It's just so incredibly exhilarating to be this far with a book....it's definitely the best I've ever written so far, even though I know I have SO MUCH room for improvement.
I'd like to share more about some of my characters sometime....pick someone from the snippets and I'll do a post on them! :)