Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Snippets of story and a question

Here are a few bits and pieces of what I’ve been writing lately, joining up with Katie at Whisperings of the Pen.
But, strange to say, he did not want to go back to England. His bachelor existence seemed narrow and uninteresting after – what? He had been perfectly content with it before. 
Where was Mademoiselle de Marle this lonely night? He caught himself short. What had made him think of her? It was no concern of his. In all probability, her hurried departure from Lady Ffoulkes’ was only for the sake of some sick relative or other; nothing whatsoever important to him.
The spring night was cold and clear, and Hastings pulled his riding-cloak a little closer as he walked along the narrow, squalid street. 
- A Woman in Shadow


Hastings gazed back at them for a moment. “Yes, it shows a high degree of sense to be so thoughtful,” he murmured under his breath. “It is most patriotic to give your victims a chance to flee before denouncing them, thereby saving for the agents of the Committee of Public Safety much time otherwise occupied in arrests, don’t you think?”
He laughed, but it was not altogether a pleasant laugh, and the look he threw back at the inn-keeper and his wife was hardly as affable as Marthe might have imagined.
- A Woman in Shadow

“You!” she said.
“Yes, me. My leave is not over yet. Can I see Miss Randall?” he said hurriedly.
“See Miss Randall!” Anna did not know what to think. This man was here at the door and he just asked calmly if he could see Bertha. While all the while she was upstairs in a delirious fever and with who knew how many broken bones! “See Miss Randall!” she repeated with a bitter laugh. “No, you can’t see her. You ask to just come for a little visit while all the time she’s dying upstairs!” and she shut the door in his face.
But his firm hand wrenched it open and he stood again in the doorway, still holding his horses bridle. “Is that true?” he said breathlessly. “You must be lying to me. Tell me it isn’t true!”
“It is true,” said Anna, surprised at her own calmness. “She went walking in a thunderstorm and was hit by a tree. She is in a delirious fever.” And she tried to shut the door, but he held it open. “Is there anything I can do?” he asked. “Go for the doctor – anything?”
“The doctor is here and you can leave me alone,” said Anna and shut the door. Then she buried her face in one of the kitchen chairs and cried. 
- Love and Laughter (my nano novel, working title)

They heard the door open and Meredith started. “You were supposed to go walking with them,” she said at last.
“Well, I didn’t,” he said blithely, “but I can take you for a walk.”
“Let’s go out the back door,” Meredith said as she smiled and gave him her arm.
- Love and Laughter


“What do you recommend I do?” he pressed.
I recommend you do?” said Anna, who felt an intoxicating urge to tease him, “I did not think that young men consulted their young ladies’ friends as to every single detail of their courtship.”
“Well,” said Edward Wynne impatiently, “That would be all very well if Bertha – I mean Miss Randall – knew I was courting her, but she doesn’t.
- Love and Laughter

“A prisoner, chief,” said MacPherson.
“Another prisoner! This is a night of wonders,” remarked Robert of Killikonck. “My men used to be better at hiding themselves, so that they had no need to capture those who happen to see them.”
“Chief,” said MacDougal humbly. “We sort of couldn’t help it. The lady almost fell down from the sky.
- The Killikonicks

“It is hardly needed, I think, Madame, for me to tell you that offering bribes and selling state secrets is a dangerous occupation.”
“Selling state secrets, girl!” interrupted the lady with hauteur. “I do not sell. I give, and that for the good of my country.”
“That may be,” answered the girl coolly, “But if you continue here your country will have to do without you. Trust me and I will bring you to a place of safety.”
The lady slowly put her hand on the desk. “But how do I know that I can trust you?” she asked at last.
“That’s just it, Madame. You don’t,” the girl rejoined simply. 
- A Woman in Shadow


Now, to all of you who managed to read this far (a gold star for you!) I have a great big question.

In the middle of writing A Woman in Shadow, I have an enormous problem that’s keeping me from continuing. I am desperate for information – any information – about the Huguenots (French Protestants) in France during the reign of Louis XV. I am also hunting madly the names and texts official proclamations, decisions, and debates from the Committee of General Security or the Convention (but not the Committee of Public Safety, because if I let that in Chauvelin would sneak in with it and I am adamant that he will not be allowed into my novel) for the months of April, May, and June 1794. I am especially looking for the full word-for-word text (but preferably translated into English, my French is mauvais, to say the least) for the Law of the 22nd Prairial, along with who advocated it, who didn’t like it, what they said about it, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

If you do have information, or know of any books or websites with that do, I will be oh-so-grateful and spontaneously send you dozens of virtual hugs over the internet.

One more thing, for any of you that are still reading (you are still here, aren’t you?) I have one more question to ask. What do you honestly think of my writing? What do you think are my good points? What needs to be improved? (Actually, that was three questions, but just don’t notice, please.)


Have a lovely day!

Oh, and by the way, the Sydney Carton post seems to have been my 100th, but unfortunately I didn't notice at the time.

3 comments:

Alexandra said...

WOW, I really enjoyed these! LOL about Chauvelin. :-P Ummmm...any French Revolution stuff I know is TSP related (surprise, I know) sooooo I don't think I'd be able to help. But if I come across anything, I'll let you know!!!

Thanks so much for sharing these! And congrats on 100 posts!

Kira said...

I absolutely love all your snippets of stories, and immediately wish to read the entire book! You're a splendid writer!
Unfortunately I know nothing of the period in time you're asking about. I hope you find some answers though! :)

Lilly said...

I really like your snippets!

I don't know anything about the Huguenots thought. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Huguenot Does this help?