This is not the song I had thought I would be sharing today. However, when it popped up in my YouTube notifications, I changed my original plans because I have heard this on the radio lately, and I have been eagerly awaiting the video so that I could share it. I love how upbeat both the tune and the words are. It’s a great pick me up song for any time of the day, but I do think Monday mornings are probably more in need of picking up than most (except maybe Wednesday afternoons as your energy flags in that midweek slump — or is that just me?)
TheWashboardUnion. “The Washboard Union – Shine – Official Lyric Video.” YouTube. YouTube, 21 July 2017. Web. 22 July 2017.
So, while you’re tapping your toes to this happy song, let me tell you briefly what I have been up to this past week in my writing life.
During my editing block:
First, I finished first round edits on Henry’s story and sent it to my first reader, who messaged me that she enjoyed it and has some notes for me, which we will discuss probably this evening.
Then, I pulled up the copy of His Beautiful Bea with all its line edits and began a final read through of that before working on the formatting. It looks like everything but the print edition should be ready for release day, August 1, 2017. (Hopefully, by the time this post goes live, both the e-book and print files will be uploaded and just awaiting review and proofing for appearance.)
I also sent out a sneak peek at chapters one and two of His Beautiful Bea to my mailing list, and I set up a Touches of Austen Readers Group on Facebook where readers can discuss elements of Austen they find in the book as they read.
Note: If you would like to read my explanation of what the Touches of Austen Collection of books is and the first chapter of His Beautiful Bea, you can do that at this link: His Beautiful Bea Preview
I’m rather excited about taking this step into writing Austenesque stories. I just hope I survive the Mrs. Bennet-like fit of nerves that accompanies doing something new!
And then in my writing block:
I’m still working on what will be my next Dash of Darcy novella. I think I might have finished the cutting and splicing of the previous stories into the new story phase at least for now, and depending on how long this story ends up being in the end, I am at the “one-third to one-half done” mark. 🙂
The excerpt below is an entirely new part that I added to the story this week. (No, the story does not yet have an official title. 🙂 )
EXCERPT from Dash of Darcy #4:
Elizabeth turned toward the lane as Miss de Bourgh drew near in her phaeton.
“You must join me.”
The ease and liveliness of Miss de Bourgh’s tone and features startled Elizabeth. Until this moment, Miss de Bourgh had always looked serious and aloof, but she seemed neither of those things at present.
“I am an excellent driver,” Miss de Bourgh continued. She drew her horses to a stop beside Elizabeth. “Please, I have been wishing for an opportunity to speak with you, but between my mother and your cousin, I have not found a moment to do so. Please join me.”
There seemed no way of objecting without offending, and so, Elizabeth accepted and climbed into the carriage.
“Have you ever driven?”
“Oh, my dear Miss Bennet, you must learn. It is the absolute best thing in the world to be trotting down the lane on your own ─ no maid, no footman, no mother.” She winked, shocking Elizabeth. “It is here that I am allowed to be me ─ just me.” She sighed. “You must understand the feeling. What with so many sisters and all.” She glanced at Elizabeth expectantly.
“Oh, I do,” Elizabeth agreed. “That is one reason I am so fond of walking.”
“I knew it!” Miss de Bourgh cried with a great deal of delight. “I should like to take a great many rambling walks just for the solitude of them, but my health will not allow it. And so, I must find my pleasure in my phaeton.”
Elizabeth stole a sidelong glance at the lady beside her. This was not the Miss de Bourgh she had come to know.
“Do not worry, Miss Bennet ─ might I call you Elizabeth?”
“Good.” A smile split Miss de Bourgh’s face. “And you must call me Anne. I think we will be good friends.” She turned her attention back to her well-trained horses.
Elizabeth suspected the creatures could traverse this road in the black of night and without a single command from their mistress.
“As I was saying, I have not lost my senses. I know I am normally quiet in company, but you have met my mother. Can you blame me for holding my tongue to avoid a lecture?”
Elizabeth joined her in a laugh. “Mothers can be a source of great distress for their daughters, can they not?”
“Oh, indeed!” Anne agreed. “And my mother will expect me to return in thirty minutes time and if I have not, she will send out half the household in search of me.”
Elizabeth considered how trying it must be to have a mother who was so vigilant. Lady Catherine was nearly the opposite of Elizabeth’s own mother. Mrs. Bennet was only vigilant when it came to daughters whom she knew would marry well. Therefore, she had never been overly concerned with Elizabeth, and since Elizabeth had refused Mr. Collins’s offer of marriage, Mrs. Bennet was even more certain that her second daughter would never marry.
“I have sought you out on purpose,” Anne said in a hushed tone as if the trees near them might hear her and tell tales. “I have sent a letter to my cousin, Mr. Darcy, and asked him to call on you, and when he does, you must make him love you.”
The horses’ feet rose and fell four times before Elizabeth could find her voice, and as it was, all her mind was able to do was form a question. “I beg your pardon?”
Anne, who had watched Elizabeth’s surprise with such keen interest and obvious amusement, smiled broadly and repeated herself. “You must make my cousin fall in love with you although I dare say it shall not be hard work. He seemed to pay a great deal of attention to you. I had half hoped he would declare his unwillingness to marry me on this visit, but he did not.” She sighed. “It is a pity he did not. What a stir it would have caused!”
The excitement in Anne’s voice reminded Elizabeth for a moment of her youngest sister, Lydia.
“You do not wish for him to marry you? I had heard you were betrothed,” Elizabeth said cautiously.
She had assumed that bit of Mr. Wickham’s tale had been untrue since Mr. Darcy had offered her marriage not even a week ago, but she had intended to ask Mr. Darcy about it when she saw him in town, just to be certain. Apparently, she would not need to bother if Anne was, so to speak, tossing the gentleman at Elizabeth’s feet.
“Oh, dear, no! Darcy is so stodgy, so proper. I long to be free of the overbearing not tie myself to it forever.”
I’m quite liking this Anne. You should read the letter she sent to Darcy! I think she might need her own story.