Soon the Moon Will Smoulder

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and the winds will drive
yes, a man grows older
but his soul remains alive
all those tremulous stars still glitter
but I will survive
let my heart grow colder and as bitter
as a falcon in the dive
"It makes things seem a little more normal around here when you continue posting snippets."
Ethandune is now roughly 68,140 words in size and I think I am approaching the endgame.  Phew! My perception is so skewed: it feels like a tiny, baby creature and the thought of handing it off to my beta-readers for editing makes me feel shy and I want to yank it back, protesting that it isn't done yet because no story of mine can possibly be this brief.  But it is, and I think my beta-readers and prospective publishing houses are probably relieved for that!

some snippets

He rolled over so that his face was lost in the pillow: I could hear him muttering a malignant equation under the more unhappy patterns of the twelve houses.
ethandune

God and Goddgofang alone knew where that man was headed. We heard a door bang, and the rest of us knew only that he was gone. 
ethandune

Open or shut?” asked Goddgofang.
“Shut,” said Golightly. He came back. “But he keeps pretty geraniums on the steps.”
Goddgofang pushed back his long-coat and thrust his hands into his front pockets. “It salves my soul to know the High Sheriff of Ethandune is kindly toward his botany.” 
ethandune

“—And so I think he misses much which he might have sniffed out if only he had the knack of the hunt. He’s a tender of souls, by the twelve houses, not a carnivore such as ourselves. He hasn’t got the blood for it.”
ethandune

I saw his profile gash with a smile, driving the deep lines back into his cheeks. Odd—for the first time, in that chancy electrum light, I noticed that he had silver colour winging in the dark brunet hair at his temples. Odd that I had never noticed that before.
ethandune

Goddgofang lifted himself up in the stirrups to get the belt round his waist properly. “This is Kiss. She hasn’t seen a lot of wear yet: she is a pretty young thing. My father gave her to me on my entrance to the University.”
ethandune

The day remained clear and warm; it was a shock urging our horses into the dark, damp close to Vergreen Street and feeling the ancient, bloodless shadows sift across our skin. We came out in a blustery flurry of windy sunlight and climbing hydrangea, turned south, and rode into Coeur de Leon’s yard to find Deborah in stall and Goddgofang just mounting the doorstep.
ethandune

The young man laughed, white about the mouth. “Poor Mamma! She could make a dragon sit and stay and play dead.” 
ethandune

"I once bit Grimms when I was quite small. He still has the mark to prove it. I do not remember why, only I remember that I was furious and—hell!—it felt good to sink my teeth into his hand.”
ethandune

I rubbed down, steaming like a horse, and rolled myself into my clothes; Goddgofang affixed my braces at the back, pulled the strap back, and let it go, sending a sharp crack through the room and a beautiful rage flooding through my brain.
ethandune

The voice hardened. “Please do not coddle me, Simon.”
ethandune

[His] face was a death-mask of white, freckled skin and the fine-boned construction of skull. Without that dashing smile, I came to see how terrible his countenance was: grim, rugged, unmerciful: like one of the ancient conquerors whose names still lived in...history and whose blood was draining from a head wound into his son’s lap.
I saw the likeness of his brother in his face.
ethandune

Sophia? Sophia does not buck. Are we speaking on the same cousin? Tall, genteel girl—Helen of Troy.”
-
"That man will kill us all."
"And we will let him."

4 ripostes:

  1. As one of your readers, I would say I prefer the longer ones. None of your books ever last long enough! (And no, I am not wishing to kill you - just giving you the reader's perspective.) It is not possible to read them slowly and at a measured pace. Once I hit the end third or so I find myself racing to the end to find out what will happen - all the while trying to tell myself to slow down so it won't be done so soon. And I almost always have to go back and reread that section because I get so caught up in what is happening that I forget to edit so have to go back through it and do what I was supposed to be doing. However from Indi to Rhodri and Adamant to Ella, I enjoy them all - the length is always correct for the story being told.

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  2. I love reading your snippets. They're so rich and different. :)

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  3. Mom F - I have a feeling Ethandune will not take you long to proof-read.

    Ashley - Thanks! I always strive for diversity in my choice of prose.

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  4. Perhaps it is purposeless to say how delightedly shocked I am at how quickly Ethandune is coming along, is near end sight and is a nice compact little kitten all within the space of a fleeting month or two. That's splendid, splendid!!!
    I DO have to wonder though, now that you mention beta-readers (can I be one, pretty please?!!) and sending off to publishers (Yaayyy!), is Ethandune connected in any way to your three previous novels - Adamantine, Plenilune and Gingerune - as in, are you thinking of trying it out for publishing before the others?

    As to the snippets, magnifique!! I LOVE the sound of Ethandune, and the snippets are so richly beautiful and shining with a sort of archaic splendour... :). Each snippet was great, but I especially loved, this one:

    I saw his profile gash with a smile, driving the deep lines back into his cheeks. Odd—for the first time, in that chancy electrum light, I noticed that he had silver colour winging in the dark brunet hair at his temples. Odd that I had never noticed that before.

    Beautiful!!!

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