I love Brian Crain’s music, and over the past few days, I have been working on listening to this playlist while I have been writing. (It is nine hours long, and I am at about the four-hour mark.) I find this music calms and focuses me, and those were two things I needed heading into the last few day of November.
November is National Novel Writing month — a month in which writers pledge to write novels of at least 50,000 words. I considered taking the challenge, but when I mentioned it to my husband, he thought it would be better if I did not attempt such a feat. He knew that with all the other things I had to do this month, adding such a daunting challenge would only cause stress, frustration and a cranky wife. So, instead, I set my goal a bit lower…a novella of at least 30,000 words… and last night, I made it! The first draft of the No Other Choice is complete and ready to begin the polishing process.
I am including an excerpt below, but remember, excerpts from this part of the story may contain spoilers. So, read at your own risk!
Starting next Monday, I plan to take a break from posting song and story connected music for a few weeks. Instead, I will share some of my favourite songs of the season.
“BRIAN CRAIN – 143 Song Golden Collection, 9 HOUR Piano Music Playlist for Studying.” YouTube. YouTube video posted by YirumaCollection, 13 Nov. 2014.
From No Other Choice:
Rycroft pushed the door open slowly and shivered slightly at the coolness of the air. He held high the candle Mr. Bennet had given him as he looked around the room. He saw her in the corner. Curled into a ball in a large chair. Her face was peaceful and her shoulders rose and fell as she breathed slowly and steadily. He placed the candle on the table. It must not have been so dark when she first entered, for a candle sat unlit next to her. “Mary,” he called softly as he shook her shoulder gently. “Mary.”
Her eyes fluttered open for a moment, and she smiled at him before closing them again.
“Mary, ” he called again. “You must wake.”
This time, her eyes snapped open. “Oh,” she said as she pulled herself into proper posture. “I did not mean to fall asleep. I only wished a few moments of quiet.”
Rycroft chuckled as she immediately checked her hair. “Not a strand out of place,” he assured.
”How did you find me?” she asked. “Has everyone arrived? What time is it?”
He still her hands. “Your father told me I could find you here. I came early, which I know is poor form so do not lecture me.” He smiled at the scowl she gave him. “It is yet an hour before the others arrive, and an hour and a half before we dine.” He rubbed her fingers with his hands. “Your fingers are so cold. I am surprised you do not catch a chill napping in here.”
“The rest of me is quite warm,” she assured him. “It is only because my fingers were outside of my coverings.” She tried to pull her hands out of his. “We should not be here alone,” she said softly.
“We have permission from your father,” he replied. “Your mother and sisters think I am in your father’s study. We are safe.” He sat back on his heels where he kneeled beside her chair.
“But someone may come looking for me,” she argued.
He shook his head. “Mrs. Darcy will see that they do not.”
“And why is that?” asked Mary.
“I have asked her to see to it.” He shifted trying to make his position more comfortable.
“So, you have purposed to have a private conversation?” Her heart raced slightly at the thought.
He smiled. “I have.” He hoped that the slight widening of her eyes and the faint pink tinge to her cheeks were signs that she would welcome his addresses.
She tipped her head to the side and raised her brow as she smiled at him. “Then, you may wish a chair instead of the floor for comfort.”
“Very true.” He rose from the floor and pulled a chair close. “I am not sure how to begin,” he said as he sat down. “I wish to marry you, you see, but to just say so seems rather direct and not at all the thing.”
Her mouth hung open for a moment before she closed it and gave a small shake of her head. “It is most certainly direct,” she said.