Today’s song is one that YouTube put in the “You Should Watch This” (or as they call it Recommended) section of my front page about a week ago, and it has been replaying in my brain a lot — over and over and over. That has, of course, led me to rewatch the video and reinforce that replay. 🙂 It’s a “vicious” cycle, but one with a purpose — a writing purpose.
JoJoMasonVEVO. “JoJo Mason – Something to Wrap My Heart Around.” YouTube. YouTube, 09 June 2017. Web. 08 July 2017.
When I heard the song, it just seemed to embody the sort of idea I wished to convey for the hero in my current work in progress, so listening to the song was a great way to focus my mind as I got ready to write this week (before I switched over to the instrumental music for writing.)
And it was a great week of writing for me. The best I have had in about two months!
The result is that the first draft of Henry’s story is complete! Completing that draft is always an exciting moment. Of course, that means I must now start first round edits on it — that part is not as exciting. LOL I am hoping that if all goes well, this story will be available in August.
That is what I have to work on this weekend (I am writing this on Saturday) — planning.
I have once again finished all the projects that were on my 90-day plan (all the sticky notes on the calendars above my desk have been removed!), and I must create a new 90-day plan. The only things I know for certain will show up on the plan for August, September, and October are the publication of His Beautiful Bea as well as Henry’s story in August and the final Thursday Three Hundred post of With the Colonel’s Help (with publication shortly after). So the slate is pretty blank. I have a list of things from which to chose —
Another Dash of Darcy story
One of the stories that have been circling in my brain and follow Henry’s story
Another Touches of Austen story based on Sense and Sensibility
Some short stories
There’s that list of plot bunny ideas I could revisit
Though I have all those options, I’m always open to suggestions of what readers would like to read, so feel free to drop ideas in the comments if you would like.
Now, for a bit of what I wrote this last week. I can’t share what I wrote in my last writing session as that was the conclusion of the story and, unlike me, not everyone likes to read the end of the book before reading all the rest of it. 🙂 So, I will give you what I wrote in my first writing session last week…which happens to star the young lady the Henry has found his heart wrapped around.
On a personal side note: I’m rather excited about this book. I know I started out very nervous about it, and those nerves are still there. However, the story was great fun to write, and I actually found myself liking this Henry Crawford and was happy to see him finally get his HEA. Hopefully, when it is ready to publish, there will be readers who will also be ready to take a chance on a reformed Henry. 🙂
AN EXCERPT from Henry: To Prove Himself Worthy:
“Are you looking for someone in particular?” Mr. Delaney did not seem particularly impressed by Constance’s scanning of the ballroom as they lined up and waited for the music to begin.
“No, I am just taking it all in,” she lied. She had hoped to see Henry among the gentlemen of this set, but he was not there. He was somewhere else and in danger of falling prey to whatever scheme his sister and her friend had hatched. However, not wishing to offend her partner any further, Constance turned her attention back to the group of which they were a part. “The candles make everything fairly sparkle, do they not?” she asked Mr. Delaney, earning a smile from the gentleman.
“And the decor,” Constance continued. “Such flower arrangements! I dare say it is the most beautifully decorated ball I have been to yet this season.”
The gentleman across from her shrugged. “I do not find it any more exceptional than most,” he replied. “But then I am a gentleman and such things do not always catch our attention the way they do for a lady. Ladies are far better suited for noticing such things. It is part of their delicate nature, I suppose.”
“I suppose,” Constance agreed, his slightly condescending tone grated. It appeared as if Mr. Delaney was not the sort of gentleman to think highly of ladies. He would definitely not do as a suitor. She allowed her eyes to wander down the line of dancers as she asked, “Do you like art?” The music began as her eyes fell on a person who might be of some use in protecting Henry ─ if she could just get him to think of something other than himself for a moment.
Mr. Delaney spoke at length ─ broken as their conversation was by the steps of the dance ─ about art and what he thought constituted a great artist. It came as no surprise to Constance that the man preferred scenes of hunting and sport to those that featured softer objects such as flowers and pastoral scenes.
Constance did her best to keep the conversation going without arguing too often with him over what truly made a piece of art captivating. She worked her way through the steps and turns of the dance. Finally, the pattern placed her where she had wanted to be.
“Mr. Edwards,” she said quickly as they joined hands, “I have need of your assistance.”
His brows rose. “How so?” he asked before they parted.
A few steps later, she was once again near enough to speak to him. “I am going to the retiring room after this dance.”
They were parted for a moment. There was but one more chance to speak to him before the figure would return her to Mr. Delaney.
“There is an alcove just past it. Meet me there.”
A roguish grin curled his lips.
She shook her head and scowled lightly at him as he moved away.
He shrugged but gave a nod of his head.
For the remainder of the dance, she split her attention between her partner and trying to find either Henry or his sister in the people standing about but could not. It was with a great sigh of relief that she made her final curtsey and was returned to her aunt’s side.
“Mr. Delaney cuts a fine figure,” her aunt commented as the man departed from them.
“His figure may be fine, Aunt, but his intellect is wanting.”
Aunt Gwladys chuckled softly at the comment. “You are a very strange sort of girl, my dear. Most would only wish for a handsome husband with a handsome bank account.”
“Yes, well, I wish for both of those and a handsome mind,” Constance replied with a smile. “Now, I really must go freshen myself,” she whispered behind her fan.
“Can it not wait. Mr. Emerson was asking after you. He might return.”
“No, it cannot wait. I will not be long.” She held her breath, hoping that her aunt would allow her to go alone. Providence must have heard her plea, for just as her aunt looked ready to say she would accompany her, Mrs. Barrett, wearing a very pleased smile approached, and Aunt Gwladys suggested that Evelyn accompany Constance.
Constance linked arms with her dear friend and pulled her close as they walked. “I am going to meet someone after we have visited the retiring room,” she whispered.
Evelyn’s eyes grew wide. “A gentleman?”
Constance nodded. “Mr. Edwards.”
“I need his help.” Constance leaned closer and whispered to her friend all she had heard pass between Miss Crawford and the lady in blue.
“How dreadful,” Evelyn said as they entered the retiring room. “I will go with you to meet with Mr. Edwards.”
Constance gave her friend’s hand a grateful squeeze before they parted to attend to their needs.
Constance held onto Evelyn’s arm tightly as the two of them slipped behind the curtain that hung in front of the alcove. She was certain her heart had never beaten so quickly or as loudly as it was at this moment. To be found in an alcove with a gentleman such as Mr. Edwards would do neither her nor Evelyn any good. Her brother had cautioned her on many occasions that Mr. Edwards was only to be spoken to in the light of day and in a public place. And if at all possible, she was to stand next to her brother while conversing with the man. Apparently, the rumors that circulated among the young ladies were not as fanciful as she had at first assumed. The man was a rake of the first order.
“I was beginning to think you were not coming,” Edwards said with a smile.
“I told you I was going to the retiring room ─ which I did.” She was surprised at how her voice did not betray the unease she felt. “Now, we only have five minutes.” She huffed as she saw his eyes taking in the length of her friend. “Mr. Edwards, please, if I could have your attention.”
He turned his eyes back to her. “Are you not going to introduce me to your friend?” he asked.
Constance’s eyes narrowed and one brow rose as her lips pursed in displeasure. “No,” she replied, “I am not. If you wish to be introduced to my friend, you must do so through a proper channel.” She lowered her voice just a bit. “My brother had told me the sort of man you are, sir. I will not subject my friend to knowing you because of my actions.”
Edwards chuckled. “Linton warned you about me, did he?”
“Yes, many times,” Constance replied.
“Then why have you not stayed away? I was under the impression that you were a very proper chit.”
Constance smiled. “I am. However, I am also an intelligent chit.”
His brows rose at her use of the word chit.
“And,” she continued, “you have just the reputation and skills I require.”