What was I listening to this week while I was writing? This beautiful, relaxing, and imagination-inspiring piece of music. And thanks to such lovely music and a few snow days, I had a very productive week. So, click play and while the music plays, let me tell you a little about my week and share a sample of what I wrote.
Helland, Peder B., Soothing relaxation. “Beautiful Relaxing Music: Japanese Music, Chinese Music, Romantic Music, Meditation Music ★106.” YouTube. YouTube, 30 Dec. 2016. Web. 19 Feb. 2017.
To be honest, last Sunday seems like two weeks ago rather than just one. (I write these posts on Sunday’s usually.) We were in the midst of a very, very snowy period here in Nova Scotia. In about seven days, we went from no snow to about a metre of snow, and that spring that the groundhog said would come early looks incredibly far away! However, the last couple of days have been fairly sunny and on the warm side of freezing so things are melting slowly.
While I may be pining for green grass and spring flowers, the snowy days did afford me some extra writing time as schools were closed for three days. So, while my sons shoveled and played video games, I strapped myself to my desk chair and took care of business — a lot of it!
On the publishing side of work, So Very Unexpected made its ebook debut this week on Tuesday and was featured in my post on Austen Authors. The print version also debuted this week, but later than expected as the storm that started on Sunday shut the city down for a couple of days, and my proof copy was delayed in reaching me. However, both print and ebook versions are now available.
Writing wise, I started a re-read of Listen to Your Heart. That book is going to be put in an anthology, and I am taking one more swipe at picking up remaining errors — not that I will catch them all.
In addition to starting the re-read of that book, I also worked on the next Dash of Darcy book called Discovering Mr. Darcy. I am happy to report that I managed to write just under 8,000 words and have completed the first draft. It is now sitting for a few days before I begin going through it to add in the bits and pieces of description and whatnot that I missed on the first pass.
For me, it seems the editing process is less about cutting things out than it is about adding details in. Once I have a second go at that manuscript, it will be off to my first reader so she can tell me what I might still have missed as far as plot goes, and for me and my many charts and list, that is where the publication process begins.
And that was my week — other than getting things ready for the blog and to share on social media and other rather mundane businessy type things and squeezing in some homeschooling on the non-snow days.
Below is a portion of what I wrote this week. Remember, I was writing the ending of this book, so read at your own risk of spoilers. This scene is where Mr. Collins, who discovered Elizabeth and Darcy in a compromising position, finally decides to see reason.
EXCERPT from Discovering Mr. Darcy:
Mr. Collins remained melancholy for a full three days, only cheering up enough to do a credible job of playing the part of a carefree parson as required for services. On the third day, after he had finished his duties at the church, he seemed to have resolved whatever matter was causing him discomfort and, unfortunately for Elizabeth, found his tongue. Many were the comments about propriety and the recommendations of books that should and should not be read by ladies who aspired to such lofty positions as the niece of an earl. He could not stress to her just how important it was that she do her best to secure the Bennet family name as one worth of consideration for positions of honor.
“And your sisters,” he said as the party from the parsonage walked to Rosings to spend the evening with Lady Catherine, “they could benefit from some instruction. It is not outside the realm of possibility that your mother would insist upon at least one of them attending a school if it meant the possibility of an excellent match. Why with the name of Fitzwilliam and Darcy attached to her relations, she would be worthy of perhaps a baronet’s notice even without a fortune to her name. Connections, you see, are quite valuable.”
“Mr. Collins,” Charlotte said in a low voice. “It is not for us to arrange the disposal of all Elizabeth’s sisters.”
He harrumphed. “Her father had done a poor job of it thus far. He thinks them capable of selecting their own match, yet he does not present them in greater society than Meryton. A shabby job he has done,” he muttered, “a right shabby job.”
“Mr. Collins,” Charlotte’s voice remained soft but had taken on an edge. “I begin to think you unhappily married.”
This comment brought an abrupt stop to the progress of the group.
Elizabeth and Maria drew back a short distance to give a perceived amount of privacy to the couple.
“My dear,” said Mr. Collins. “Mr. Bennet’s best decision was to allow his daughter to refuse me.” He patted her hand and drew her a step closer to him. “You are my blessing.” He lifted her hand and gave it a kiss.
Elizabeth’s mouth dropped open slightly as she saw her friend duck her head and blush.
“Very well, you are forgiven for your foul mood,” said Charlotte. “Do not fear about your cousins getting married. I am certain that they will all eventually find a home. They are far too pretty to be left sitting on the self. And do not forget that having friends with such connections will do my sister no harm.”
“Ah, you are wise,” Mr. Collins muttered as he resumed walking. “Yes, yes. I had thought this arrangement to be a potential disaster, but perhaps I have been seeing it from the wrong perspective. It is perhaps the benevolence of the Lord Almighty being poured out on his servant.”
“Indeed, it might be,” said Charlotte.
The remainder of the walk was made in silence as Mr. Collins waxed eloquent on the many unusual working of Providence in setting His good and proper plans into action. They had nearly reached the steps at Rosings when he was finally reaching the end of his circle through the many acts of God in ordering and directing his children. “And we must remember that it was a harlot who was used to shelter Joshua and Caleb, and even the mighty King David stumbled.” He nodded in agreement with himself as he continued the thought, “therefore, it is not unthinkable that He should also use a wayward cousin to bring great blessing to our family.”
“Mr. Collins!” Charlotte removed her hand from his arm. “I will not listen to you speak of Elizabeth or Mr. Darcy in such a fashion. As has been explained previously. Elizabeth was led astray by Colonel Fitzwilliam and locked — trapped — in that room with Mr. Darcy. She did not plot to capture him.” She lowered her voice. “And there was not seduction.”
Mr. Collins shrugged. “Perhaps, but it was still highly improper for her to be kissing him, and in such a fashion!”
“Very well, Mr. Collins, I will allow that kissing might not have been proper. However, I do think I remember someone kissing me when I had agreed to marry him, and I dare say hypocrisy is not becoming.”
Mr. Collins’s eyes grew wide and his face became quite red. “I shall remember that,” he muttered. Then, turning to Elizabeth, he added, “You are forgiven your folly.” Before Elizabeth could respond, he was up the steps and knocking at the door.
Charlotte stepped closer to Elizabeth and Maria. “All will be well now. He will write his pleasure at your good fortune to your father,” she flicked her brows up quickly, “without any mention of impropriety. One must always know how to guide her husband if he seems to be going astray.” She winked and turned to follow her husband into Rosings.
And all was well, or as well as one might expect with a man such as Mr. Collins. It appeared from the way he sought out Mr. Darcy to praise him that evening and the flattering comments he made about Elizabeth that both she and Mr. Darcy had been restored in his good opinion. However, the colonel did not fare so well. He was watched with suspicion.
That night, upon returning to the parsonage, Mr. Collins sat down and wrote a most satisfactory letter to Mr. Bennet declaring the joyful news that Elizabeth’s father should expect a call from a particular gentleman for a very specific purpose.