I am now very glad for Ethandune's existence. In the past series of weeks I have been far too stressed to handle the severity of Gingerune with any degree of diligence, but I have desperately needed to write. So for the past few days I have been able to plunk down with my "for-fun baby" at the kitchen table, which gets lovely sun in the morning when the Glaswegian weather has any sun, and churn out a few pages of Ethandune. Otherwise, I have been quietly thinking about Gingerune and planning the next stages.
In case any of you were wondering, while Gingerune does feature a Ginger, Ethandune has nothing to do with an Ethan. Must keep you on your toes.Saturday took me out by train to Edinburgh Castle, the first castle of my real-life experience. It was a nippy, half-light, half-cloud affair, full of rough cobbling, teeny arrow-slits letting out upon a stupendous view of a green, violently hilly countryside and a visage of the sea. It won't help me much for Gingerune, but the Ethandune Etc. part of me was soaking it up beneath a steady shivering and avoiding of the dense crowd.
some snippets from this side of the pond
It was true, and stung the way he said it, but she was angry and her brain was alarmingly clear. “We are all playing a game and diving between the horns of the bull. We can only be sure that we do our best at it.”
My heart began to sing. The spring term was behind us, summer was ahead: a summer full of lazy fishing and riding about the countryside, perhaps even a descent upon Maresgate and the fashionable seaside parties that went there during the dog-days of the year. The summer stretched ahead of me, sharp and sweet like the blade of a knife, and I took the stairs downward two at a time, teeth biting back a spasm of laughter.
"I thought I felt the house-bones shake. How are my sons of thunder?"
I was allowed to lie on the grass in the deep plum-coloured shadows, chin in my palms, gazing levelly at the beautiful picture caught before me in bright bronze and purple and almond. The sounds of their voices were mellow and familiar, and for being only fourteen, I was desperately in love with them as a man is desperately in love with his home country. My throat constricted and I plunged my face in my arms, unable to watch them for long.
Goddgofang leapt to his feet, followed by Golightly and myself, and stepped out of the ring of lantern-light, whistling by way of salute and taunt the ominous second verse of Tam Lin’s ballad.
“I don’t keep servants,” he said as he lit the lanterns and followed us into the stable. “It’s just me here—and Kara, when she comes to clean and cook. She is in the kitchen now.” I caught a glimpse of his face, lean and lined with age, turned to look back at the back stoop of the building. The lantern-light turned his hair electrum-coloured. “I suppose she ought to know I have people for supper.”
It was then borne in on me that many Carmarthen slaves were mute and I guessed that the beautiful woman, who in her younger years could have been the star of a warlord’s harem, had an empty mouth.
“Pleasant fellow, Coeur de Leon.” He kicked the door shut like a horse. “Puts me in mind of Periot Survance. You remember Survance?”
"I am too big of a personality to interrogate the man on the street. Heaven built my spirit to move in gilt halls. Which is why,” he added, leaning forward, “I have people like you.”
“Art very magnanimous,” replied Aaron Golightly.
I turned at the sound of Goddgofang’s voice, level and harsh. In that instant, with his profile etched in white marble against the dark room, he looked like the portrait of his uncle in the tower back home.
I bore him to the ground, my knee on his chest, and took hold of his ears. With a vengeance I slammed his head into the tiles. “Show me your hands!” I roared.
The bloody little bantling tried to wrench out of my grip, but failing, feeling my full weight crushing in on his sternum, he complied, twisting his hands up above his face for me to see. In the half-light and trembling of our bodies, it took me a moment to drag their blurred image into view.
A St. Jermaine.