Purchance to Dream: Late-Night Snippets

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It is 2:30 in the morning this time.  I think the coffee I had a billion hours ago is still exercising its powers over me, which it promised a billion hours ago it would not do.  But yours truly did want a chance to write a snippets post on the Macintosh while Tim is not using it, so I suppose now is as good a time as any. 

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.”
gingerune

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.
ethandune

"I thought I felt the house-bones shake. How are my sons of thunder?"
ethandune

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.
ethandune

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.
ethandune

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.”
ethandune

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. 
ethandune

Pleasant fellow, Coeur de Leon.” He kicked the door shut like a horse. “Puts me in mind of Periot Survance. You remember Survance?”
ethandune

"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. 
ethandune

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. 
ethandune

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.
Twelve.
A St. Jermaine.
-

7 ripostes:

  1. Ooooh, Jenny dear! What beautiful snippets. They were all so heart-warming, rich and full of the description and wit of dialogue I love in stories (both to read and write). Actually, you and I, I think we both have similar literary tastes - though should I say your 'average' palette is generally the sort of rich mud-chocolate delicacies that I eat and slowly the chew the cud on. ^_^ My, Ethandune sounds so lovely! I am glad you are writing away at it, though I dearly love Gingerune - but I understand, sometimes the upheaval of life's busyness and old routines call for us to pull up out fun writing babies and do a bit of relaxing stuff - because, we don't know how to stop writing! And no, I can't choose a favourite snippet this time (an often enough occurrence); they are all so intriguing and interesting and fun, though I have to say that this particular snippet caught me by the throat and wrangled my emotions in an odd, happy sort of way:

    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.

    Beautiful!

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  2. And my heart swelled to hear of your first castle visit in Scotland! Will you share photos on facebook? *pretty please*??

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  3. Just landed in a wood outside a fire swamp! And are you sure it comes down the line of the fathers? It could come down the mother's and this be a distant relative . . . that could make an astounding plot twist. (But you always know where you are headed with these, while we are left imagining.)

    I too am full of gladness that you are getting to visit some of these places. You can look at all the pictures of castles you want but until you stand looking out that small arrow slit with the cold damp of the wind rushing through the foot-thick ancient stones and feel that damp cold seep into your bones you don't understand the life and death that went on there. And even then it is but a partial understanding. Sometimes I think the desperate conditions of their life made them cling to life all the more.

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  4. We've been on a short roadtrip for family motives, and internet is mostly out of the question, but I managed to get a few bars of connection and thought I'd read these snippets. ;)

    Oh, Ethandune! I feel a little closer to it than the others, having been around since the start, rather than jumping in midway. I have to say, I think your snippets of dialogue are my favorites. The way your characters talk to each other is so natural, beautiful, and almost witty without directly being so. I love it! :) That isn't to say, of course, that your description was less than usual. I will always have room in my heart for plum-coloured shadows.

    And oh, that last one! I'm finding myself wanting to know what a St. Jermaine is, and why it's so significant; I love how you've created such a believable atmosphere.

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  5. Knowing them only from the snippets I've read here, I think Ethandune is my favorite of your novels. I completely agree with Bree about the dialogue. And so much of it is just...fun! Perhaps for-fun projects turn out to be the most fun to read.

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  6. Well, as usual, I find myself biting back a laugh and shaking my head. Your people, Jenny. ^.^ They make me laugh, even if they're being so terribly stubborn about it.
    "I thought I heard the house-bones shake; how are my sons of thunder?" Love that bit. All of it is, of course, Jenny-fine, but Ethandune makes me smile.

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  7. What ho, I know that photo!

    I think, from the little I've seen, I like Golightly best. ("I'm not his cousin. I'm Rainsby.") I understand the St. Jermaine bit, but not what's going on, so phooey; and sons of thunder - how apt. O.< Good stuff, keep it up! It makes things seem a little more normal around here when you continue posting snippets.

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