When some writers begin a new work, many throw themselves headlong into the story. They will it to sweep them away in the same way they hope it will sweep away readers.
And then there are writers like me launch headlong into doubt. The only sweeping that happens with my writing is sweeping the kitchen so I can avoid writing.
Prolific I am not. In one of the previous Austen Author blogs, I’m quoted as saying I was going to finish the third novel of my trilogy or die. I wasn’t kidding. To that end, I’m endeavoring to be more constant in my work so it’s appropriate that I write Austen’s Constant Hero, Frederick Wentworth.
This is a blatant ploy to keep my hand-in-the-game and let readers know I am working. I thought you might like to see the progress I have been making.
All of these approximately 200 words sections are the three different openings of A Word, A Look, the third volume in the Frederick Wentworth, Captain series.
Opening Number One:
February 09, 1820
Sir Richard, 38 gun frigate
Wentworth descended the companionway with the grace of a man completely at ease on a ship. It was his fondest hope that the short, graceless ship’s surgeon, Mr Hannigan, who trailed behind, would catch his foot and stumble—but certainly not fall—whereby giving the captain some relief from the man’s incessant prattle.
“I am certain, sir, you will agree that Llewellyn is grossly overstepping, and overstating the need to move your wife to the sick-berth.” The man neither stumbled, nor fell, and was right on the captain’s heels. There would be no respite owing to an accident.
The ever-vigilant Marine opened the door to his cabin. The man was nothing more than a scarlet blur as the captain strode by without slowing. The door to his bedchamber was standing wide open. He surveyed the scene. Aside from Anne’s absence, the only thing that registered in his mind was a bloodstained sheet lying on the floor by the bed.
“I told you, sir, she was taken down to the sick-berth. I must say, sir—”
Wentworth turned. Hannigan thought better of continuing on with whatever unremarkable thought he might be preparing to give voice. As Wentworth headed to the door, he took a perverse amount of delight in the sight of the stout fellow practically throwing himself out of the way. Continue reading
Today is Elizabeth Elliot’s 226th birthday. I don’t have the money to pay a public performance fee for Happy Birthday, so if you all would just hum it to yourselves, that would be great.
I’ve said before that I occasionally toy with the idea of contemporizing Persuasion. When I do I am usually at a loss when it comes to Elizabeth. As with all of the characters who have few pleasing qualities, and no skills because of the time period, how to I faithfully bring them into the 21st century?
I’ve imagined Elizabeth as an investment banker who makes her life in Singapore, leaving Anne to take care of Walter Elliot. I have made her the least talented, but most demanding daughter in a family of actors much like the Barrymores or the Carradines. Come to think of it, perhaps she could be fashioned into a female Charlie Sheen! /scribbling notes/ With the help of a friend, I even envisioned her as a gum-smacking, big-haired, over-tanned beautician in a small-town salon. Continue reading