Happy Victoria Day! Today, the plan is that I will be spending some time in the garden with my husband getting some things cleaned up and planted. I am not a great gardener, but I appreciate a good garden — and writing scenes that happen in gardens (see the excerpt below). I also appreciate lovely, relaxing, imagination-stimulating music. The video below is the soundtrack that has been playing in the background as I wrote this week.
Crystalkaleidoscope. “Pachelbel in the Garden (relaxing Music, Sounds of Nature).”YouTube. YouTube, 11 Apr. 2014. Web. 20 May 2017.
Pachelbel’s Canon in D is a favourite of mine, so I was delighted to stumble across this music on YouTube this week. It makes great background music, so click play and read on to see what I managed to accomplish this week.
It was another good productive week for me. I finished edits on Better Than She Deserved. I got the print copy of At All Costs finished, proofed, and approved — it is all ready for release day this THURSDAY! [You can get your copy at this link.] 🙂
And then, I managed to almost finish writing the first draft of the story I started last week! It is amazing how just a couple thousand words a day adds up! It appears that it is going to be a short novella, but I never expected it would be very long for a couple of reasons. First, I
like LOVE novellas, and I tend to write what I like. Second, it is the first story of this type that I have written, so short seemed a good place to begin my learning journey. (Of course, I might find I like writing these just as short novellas — there is a very good chance that might happen.)
Now, having reached nearly the end of that story, I am faced with the need to design a cover and give it a title. I had given it a name that went well with the idea I had in mind as I began typing words into my document. However, the characters as I got to know them lead me down a different path. So, that title no longer fits the idea of the book. I think I am going to call it His Beautiful Bea because the main element that I took from Mansfield Park when planning this story was to model my heroine after the quiet, reserved Fanny Price. I have tried out a couple of other ideas and my mind keeps coming back to this one.
So, here is part of a garden scene from His Beautiful Bea that I wrote this week:
“Did I not say she would win?”
Bea’s already flushed face grew warmer at the note of pride in Graeme’s voice. He was always the first to congratulate her on a game well-played — and not just when she was playing against another. He even managed it when she had beaten him at something.
She took a seat on the lawn a distance away from Graeme and Felicity were playing. Everett and Grace sat with her. They, of course, were cheering for Felicity to win. Bea gasped as Graeme nearly missed returning a volley and then clapped her hands and shouted a well done.
Hearing her encouragement, Graeme could not help the smile that spread across his face. He gave the shuttlecock a resounding thwack and sent it flying out of Felicity’s reach. He turned and bowed to his audience of three. “Miss Tierney,” he said extending his hand, “I believe this game is ours.”
“So, it is,” Bea said as she allowed him to help her to her feet. Then she took her place and play began. It was not a short game. For though, Graeme was finding it challenging to keep his eyes where they should be since Bea was far more delightful to look at than some feathered object, he managed to school himself well enough to send many returning volleys.
“Oooh,” Bea cried as her ankle turned, and she went sprawling on the grass, the shuttlecock laying just in front of her racquet. “Blast,” she muttered as she pulled herself up to a sitting position.
“Careful,” Graeme was at her side. “Do not rush in rising.”
She huffed. “I am well. I am not happy, but I am well.” She brushed at the few bits of grass that clung to her.
“Your arm is bleeding,” Graeme said, pressing his handkerchief to the scrape just below her elbow on her right arm. “You should have let that one pass,” he chided softly.
“Is she injured?” Max asked. “It was a spectacular move,” he added as he crouched down next to his sister.
Graeme chuckled. “It was a very graceful leap.” He lifted his handkerchief to examine her scrape. “We should see that this gets cleaned and dressed. Hold this.” He pressed the cloth firmly against her still bleeding arm until her hand came to cover his, and he slipped his hand out. Then, he grabbed her right arm above her elbow as Max took her other arm and together they helped her rise.
Bea’s ankle hurt when she placed her full weight on it, but she attempted not to grimace and draw attention to it. However, her efforts were not enough for her pain to go unnoticed.
“Did you turn your ankle?” Graeme asked as he swept her into his arms. “It is my doing,” he said to Max, who looked a bit put out that his sister was in Graeme’s arms. “I shall see her to the house as penance.” He waited, not breathing, for a moment until Max gave his approval. He would have allowed Max to carry his sister if Max had insisted, but he would not have been happy about relinquishing her. It felt good to have her here in his arms. Perhaps his friend was correct. Perhaps he did need to win Bea’s heart — not to protect it from being broken, but to protect his from such a fate, for he could not imagine allowing another man — not his brother or even hers — rendering the service he was currently providing. He could not countenance the idea of her in the arms of another.
“I can walk,” Bea protested. “My ankle is only a little sore. If you allowed me to lean on your arm, I should be able to make it to the house without a problem.”
“And how are you going to lean on my arm when your hand is required to press a cloth to your arm which is bleeding?” he asked as he began toward the house.
“I could tie the cloth around my arm.”
He shook his head. “No, you must allow me to be the gallant knight.” He winked at her.
She sighed. “I feel foolish.”
“You should not,” he answered, tightening his hold on her to press her closer to him. “You have saved me from playing another game.”
She leaned her head against his shoulder. “You could have allowed me to win. Then you would not have had to play another game.”
He chuckled. “I rarely allow anyone to win.”
She laughed. “And you see where that gets you — either playing more of a game which bores you or carrying foolish females about the garden.”
“First,” he replied, “I do not find the game as dull as the company I was forced to keep while playing, yourself excluded, of course. And second, I do not carry foolish females — ever. Had a foolish female fallen, I would have very ungallantly begged someone else to carry her or sent for a footman.”
“Thank you. You always know what to say to make me feel better.” She smiled up at him from where she rested against his shoulder. “The only other people who can do that are Max and my father.”
He nodded his acceptance of her praise. “I am honoured to be in such company.” He gave her a squeeze. “And just like them, I would do anything to protect you.”
Her head rubbed against his shoulder as she nodded. “I know,” she whispered as the truth of that statement settled into her heart.