Beautiful People - Margaret Coventry

And Guinevere - call her not back again
Lest she betray the loveliness Time lent
A name that blends the rapture and the pain
Linked in the lonely nightingale's lament...

I've been busily working on Plenilune, typing and brainstorming (more brainstorming, I think, than typing), and I've been a little melancholy that I haven't been able to share much with you peeps. It's a terrible balance of keeping you informed and not giving too much away. Well! well! we get on, Margaret and I, and all the many, merry rest of us. This Plenilune cast seems to grow larger by the day. You ought to see my "wall" of notations - and I do not mean Facebook walls. My mother-in-law purchased a pack of violently pink, heart-shaped sticky-notes for me on which I have been jotting down bare thoughts and pasting to my wall so that I don't miss them in the rush of writing. My favourite notation is the single word WIDOWMAKER which, on a pink heart, is hilarious. But I digress.

Beautiful People! After a long holiday hiatus, Georgie and Sky have picked it up again. I think I will continue this January edition with Margaret Coventry still, as she is certainly a harder character to crack than her sweet-spirited cousin.

Margaret Coventry, sometime Lady

1. If the character's house burned down, and she was left with nothing but the clothes on her back, what would she do? Where would she go?

Margaret would probably understand intuitively that she had lost everything and manage from day to day with a chilly persistence at surviving. She has never not known money, but though she would not acclimate herself to scant means willingly or even joyfully, she could do it gracefully. As for where she would go, the most logical choice would be Lookinglass.

2. Is she happy with where she is in life, or would she like to move on?

Margaret is not happy where she is. She has spent her whole life not being happy with where she is and wishing to “move on.” But she is now a very grown-up twenty years of age and it has come home to her, with a very nasty clarity, that not only can she not possibly be happy with where she is, but there is nowhere for her to “move on” to.

3. Is she well-paid?

Being a lady of leisure and comfortable in society, Margaret is used to an allowance but she is never paid. I suppose the question can be best answered by saying Margaret has never lacked financially.

4. Can she read?

Oh yes, and though (as I have mentioned before) reading has a tendency to put her to sleep, she has occasion to find solace in the familiar Englishness of Shakespeare.

5. What languages does she speak?

Probably stronger than a lady ought, but Rupert provokes it. Oh, you mean foreign languages. She speaks French passably and a little German (enough to call for tea and coffee and ask where the next rail station is) and even less Italian. She did try at her language studies and French was not hard, but German, perversely, resisted her attempts to be understood.

6. What is her biggest mistake?

I don’t think I could tell you that. I don’t believe she has made it yet.

7. What did she play with most as a child?

Two dolls from Greece and a worn-out hobby-horse that had one stark brown button for an eye. The other stark brown button had long since been lost.

8. What are her thoughts on politics?

Margaret hardly knows anything about Plenilune politics. She hardly knows who is who and what office does what, or where anything is. The only two things she is clear on at all is that she hates being in them (the politics) and that Rupert must be got out of them.

9. What is her expected life time?

I don’t know whether to laugh at this question or not. Around Rupert, Margaret is never sure. She knows what sort of a man he is, but she is not certain he could actually be brought to the point of killing her. This open-ended coffin definitely keeps her on her toes.

10. If she were falsely accused of murder, what would she do? How would she react?

Margaret would say nothing, and she would maintain the most perfectly cold silence until the accuser was removed from her presence, and then she would turn to someone—probably Skander Rime—for assistance. But that seems hardly likely an occurrence. I don’t think anyone would dare accuse Rupert by association that way.

"The cow!" he growled derisively as the comitissa withdrew. "The cow would think to jump the moon!"

5 ripostes:

  1. The sticky notes were in response to a comment you made some time ago (and I have forgotten now) but they seemed apropos at the time. Glad to know I have contributed in some small way to the writing we all enjoy so immensely! Your writing is a gift - thank you for sharing it. (Let me know when you need more sticky notes ...)

  2. Ahem. Your answer to the languages question made me laugh rather more heartily than it should have, probably. Margaret may be a lady, but I'm afraid I am not.

    Margaret Coventry is the sort of person you can never post too much about. Where she is concerned, each new revelation reveals another mystery. Of course this may be put down mostly to the inherent mystery of Plenilune, but you know as well as I do that the characters make the story. And this character's story intrigues me no end.

    I'm now profoundly interested in Lookinglass. I don't remember hearing about it before this, but the name of it is all charm and whimsy, and I want to know if it looks and feels like its name.

    Please give Margaret my regards! I would say, "all my love", but somehow I doubt she would accept such a free-and-easy sentiment.

    What ho.

  3. Ah, Lookinglass! I wish you could see it, Megan. It is a very fine place; a little precarious-looking, but very old and elegant and proud of itself and, a bit like its master, ready in a hesitating sort of way to be warm and friendly with you, if you will be warm and friendly in return. It would be such a fine thing to go over the whole place with you. I would be your little martlet and show you all there was to see - which is a good deal! And like Scrooge and his accompanying spirits (scotch or whiskey, you may choose) we could watch the goings-on and not bother a soul - or get trod on by one, as to that. And if I am not very careful I will get very excited in a moment because I can't talk of Plenilune without hurling some kind of blazing medieval tapestry at your face, dancing on it, and saying what a splendid romp everything is.

    Nope, too late. I'm gone.

    Margaret Coventry, for no reason I can put a finger on, is the foremost among those characters hard to crack open in Plenilune. I don't know if it is because she is so important or because she is so different from myself. Oh, I know her. I know her better than I know the fox, who is cheeky and slithery and dodgesome in the extreme. And yet...the moment you leave her you wonder, "What was she really like...?" Truth to tell I am half afraid of this cast, this menagerie, this pantheon. They really go above and beyond me. I don't know if I will be able to do them justice.

    Why, she wondered, do I always feel as though I were in the middle of a conversation between people, a conversation which I can neither hear nor understand, but people seem to assume that I can?

  4. (For the record, scotch is whiskey, as are rye and bourbon.)

    The secret to understanding German is not to try to force it to florid pretension, but to put it to needful, purposeful use, and in its stolid utility a deep, surprising elegance will emerge. The same, incidentally, is true of mathematics.

    Tiefe Brunnen muss man graben
    Wenn man klares Wasser will

  5. I think she would have done well with German, or German would have been useful for her, but she never picked it up. As for scotch and whiskey, the words had always floated by un-synonymously. Thank you for the correction.

    Actually, it would be really cool to have a book of drinks, just to know. And all the glasses that go with all the drinks. And how the drinks are made from various plant matter... That would be a fun study. Along with perfumes. I want to study perfumes.