Today, we have a little twist to the Music Monday video selection. This is the most recent addition to my Music Meets Movies playlist on YouTube. I find this playlist to be a wonderful place to take a few minutes break before I begin writing or between writing activities such as switching from editing to writing.
Catchingraindrops24. “Elinor & Edward | It’s You.” YouTube. YouTube, 04 Oct. 2014. Web. 01 Apr. 2017.
I find listening to song lyrics is a great source of creative inspiration — especially when they are paired with lovely images from a favourite Jane Austen adaptation. However, I can’t actually listen to music with words when I write because it is too distracting, so I leave them for those times when I’m not writing.
For the past three weeks, I have been trying out a new routine for my writing work time — breaking it into sections dedicated to various things that need doing. Two of those sections are editing and writing new things. When I have to transition from editing to writing, I need to have something to calm the critical section of my brain and help me relax into the creative part of my brain. Music works very well for this.
During my editing time slots this week, I was able to complete the first round of edits on At All Costs, and in one writing section, I wrote its epilogue. That story has now been sent off to my first reader, and I am waiting to get her comments back before I will touch it again. I will be putting Discovering Mr. Darcy in the editing time slot this next week as I got that manuscript back from my second reader. Hopefully, I will have news about a preorder of that book by next Monday.
My writing time this week focused on Not An Heiress, the sequel to Discovering Mr. Darcy, and I managed to add about 8,000 words to it. I think I am on the downward side of the story hill and should have the story wrapped up in another week or a bit more. And then it can slip into that editing slot.
Below is one day’s worth of words from my writing times this week, and, I think, the song above matches up pretty well with what has been happening in this section of the book. (I also happen to envision Mary as looking a lot like Elinor in this version of Sense and Sensibility.)
A Word of Warning: I am at least halfway through this story, so, as always when we get to the second part of a story, this excerpt will contain spoilers.
EXCERPT FROM Not An Heiress:
“You are looking well,” said Darcy as Richard entered his room. “A bit disheveled but your mood does not appear to be as foul as it was last night.”
Richard ignored him completely and set about readying for the day. Captain Stone had laid out all the shaving things he needed.
“Do you wish me to do it, Colonel?” Captain Stone held a towel in his hand.
Richard nodded and, removing his shirt, took a seat, tipping his head back and closing his eyes.
“Are you tired, sir?”
There was a hint of impertinence in the younger man’s tone, and Richard opened one eye and scowled at him.
“Do I smell lavender?”
Richard could hear Darcy chuckling. “Not unless you have put it in that soap you are smearing on me,” Richard growled.
Captain Stone sat the soap and brush on the table and picked up the blade. For a moment the only sound Richard heard was the scrape of blade against stubble.
“I am certain I smell lavender, and there is none in the soap.”
Richard opened an eye once again to peer at the man in displeasure. “You will smell only what I say you will smell, and you do not smell lavender.” He, of course, smelled lavender as well. Mary had used some lavender cream when preparing for bed. It had made her skin smell as lovely as it felt.
“You cannot tell a man what he can and cannot smell,” goaded Darcy.
“I believe I just did,” Richard retorted. “And if he knows what is good for him, he will only smell what I say he smells.”
“Right, Colonel,” Captain Stone agreed. “I shall ignore the smell of lavender.”
Darcy chuckled while Richard growled. Richard wished Darcy would just get on with offering his assistance once again, for he was certain his cousin was going to do so. It was not as if Darcy needed to wait until Captain Stone was gone. Richard was certain every man and maid in the house knew of his being locked in the library with Mary.
His eyes popped open, and he studied his man as Captain Stone finished the work of shaving him. “Did you know of this scheme?” he asked. It had been Captain Stone who had assisted him with this scheme to lock Darcy in his room with Elizabeth.
“What scheme would that be?” Captain Stone asked cautiously.
“The one where I was locked in the library with a young lady for the night?”
“Of course,” Captain Stone replied as he wiped any remaining soap from Richard’s face and neck. “We all had our instructions just like last time.” He turned to put things away, but not quickly enough for Richard to miss the smirk he wore.
“And you did not inform me?”
“No, sir. I dared not.”
Richard rose from the chair and began the rest of his morning ablutions. “You dared not?” he questioned.
“Forgive me for saying so,” said Captain Stone, ” but your aunt can be terrifying when she chooses.”
Richard, half dressed and half clean and about to clean the remaining portion of himself, stopped. “My aunt?”
“Yes, sir. It was she who gave the instructions.”
“No sir. It was your aunt.”
Richard looked at Darcy. “Was it not you who locked the door?”
Darcy shook his head. “Lady Catherine spoke to Elizabeth and me yesterday on our arrival about the possibility of needing a scheme to see you happily married, but neither Elizabeth or I agreed to assist her until today, which was obviously too late. You had already been trapped.”
“Aunt Catherine locked us in?”
Darcy nodded and rising from his seat, paced to the window. “She says that no one need know of the situation if you and Mary have not come to an agreement. She assures me no one of the household will whisper a word.” He turned toward Richard again. “Will there be a wedding?”
Not wishing to have this discussion while he was naked, Richard continued with what he was doing and then tugged on new trousers and donned a shirt before he answered. “I believe there will be.”
Richard was not looking at his cousin, but he imagined Darcy’s look of surprise that matched his tone when he asked, “You do not know?”
He sighed. “Mary seems hesitant.”
“Have you offered then?”
Oh, he had offered — at least three times before she had accepted him last night. “And she accepted as long as I promised not to eventually hate her for not being an heiress.” And he had promised more than once that he would love her despite that fact.
“I still stand ready to assist,” said Darcy.
Richard nodded slowly. Perhaps he should consider accepting the help. Perhaps then, Mary would not feel insecure. He shook his head. She would likely feel guilty for having caused him to do something he did not wish to do. “I cannot accept it at present.”
“What will you do?” Darcy asked.
Richard shrugged. “There are charities where I might be of use. It is not a grand country-altering method of seeing the lot of those in need improved, but it would be something. And I am not without contacts, I can petition those who have seats to make change.”
“With your father’s support thrown in, it might work,” Darcy agreed. “However, if you do decide in the future that you cannot abide such a life, you need only ask.”
Richard thanked him as he shoved his foot into his boot.
Darcy waited until Captain Stone had quit the room before asking what he truly wished to know. “You do love her, do you not?”
Richard nodded, there was little point in denying it.
“And you are happy?”
“Happier than I ever thought I would be.” It was the absolute truth. Although at one time, Richard had expected to be completely happy marrying an heiress of a compatible and pleasant nature for her wealth, he had, over the course of the few months, realized that no matter how pleasant the lady, he would not truly be happy without Mary.
“Then why do I feel as if you are not as happy as you should be? Does she not love you?”
“Yes, and therein lies the problem.”
Darcy ‘s brows furrowed. “How is that a problem?”
Richard blew out a breath. “It is a problem because I fear she loves me enough to refuse me so that I might pursue politics.” He paced to the window and looked out. A seat in the House of Commons would be a great prize — an achievement of which he had always dreamt, but it would be hollow. He could work toward bettering the lives of the less fortunate, but what of his own life. A wife that would attend functions with him and then likely leave him to himself except for dutifully providing an heir. He turned toward Darcy. “How did I ever think that a seat would be enough?”
Darcy grinned widely. “Duty often seems like it is enough until we meet the woman we cannot do without.”
“Indeed,” said Richard. He walked to his bureau and retrieved the letter he had been writing last night.
“Aunt Catherine will be waiting,” cautioned Darcy as he saw Richard preparing to complete his letter.
“Frankly, I do not care,” he replied with a wicked grin. “You may tell her that since I had to wait a full night to be released from the library — where, by the by, there is a very grievous lack of biscuits — she can wait until I am ready to see her. Now, if you will give me a few moments, I have a task to complete.”
Darcy shook his head. “She will not be pleased.”
“Again, I do not care,” said Richard.
“Very well, but please for the sake of the rest of us, including Mary, do not make us wait too long.”
Richard held his pen suspended over the inkwell. “I would like to see Mary before we beard the dragon.”
Darcy shrugged as he opened the door. “Then you best hurry.”