Music Monday: Starlit Dream, Peder B Helland

This week, I spent a lot of time with “relaxation” music playing in my office. Why?  One word. Edits. 🙂

SoothingRelaxation. “3 Hours of Beautiful Relaxing Instrumental Music – Study, Relax, Background ★31.” YouTube. YouTube, 19 Mar. 2016. Web. 25 June 2017.

I have decided to give my story His Beautiful Bea one more going over before I send it off to be checked for commas, spelling, word usage, and the like.

I’m attempting to add a bit more emotional depth to the story. This story does not contain an enormous, spectacular conflict.  There is conflict, but it’s internal to the main characters.

I would describe the story as a gentle realization of love. Nothing horrible happens.  No one faces death or disowning.  There are no refused proposals. The setting and the action of the story is all rather pleasant and agreeable. The battle lies in the hero recognizing those odd feelings for what they are while the heroine grows to understand that what she thought was love, was nothing more than infatuation.

In my opinion, this is the sort of story that needs extra attention paid to the emotional details, and that is what I am trying to do on this last pass through my manuscript — give those details the attention they are due. Will I be successful? I don’t know because each reader will have to decide that for him or herself.  I can only make certain the story is to my liking before I send it out into the big, scary world. 🙂

All the attention to minute details and being self-critical required when editing tends to leave my brain in desperate need of soothing.  However, when you add the fact that both the story I am editing and the one I am writing are “new forms” of stories (one being Austenesque, which I have never done, and both based on Mansfield Park instead of the more comfortable Pride and Prejudice), and you get one very stressed out Leenie! 🙂 Therefore, relaxation music was NECESSARY.

The above composition was what was playing during my last writing session on Friday when I was writing the excerpt below.

EXCERPT from Henry: To Prove Himself Worthy:

“Miss — plays very well, does she not?” Constance whispered in the pause between one lady leaving the piano and another arranging herself at her harp.

Henry nodded his agreement.

“And she is lovely and very proper.”  A strange flutter of something settled around Constance’s heart.  She had decided as she has sat in front of her mirror having her hair pinned into place, that it was time for her student to begin practising his skills on ladies that were not her and in situations that were confined to dancing.  She bit her lip as Henry agreed.  She was most likely just nervous about sending her student out to be tested.  She was not one who liked to fail, and should Henry fall short in any way, she would feel like she had failed.

“You should approach her at the intermission,” Constance suggested.  “She is not being courted by anyone in particular even though her dowry is sizeable and her accomplishments nearly without fault.  However, she is quiet and such reserve is somewhat off-putting to many gentlemen.”  She turned and smiled at him.  “I know, you will succeed where others have not for you are most amiable. Miss ─ will have no difficulty conversing with you.”

“Is she dull?”  Henry whispered as he turned his head to observe the lovely Miss –.  She had a slight figure, not as well rounded as Miss Linton’s but pleasing, and her expression as she spoke to the older lady beside her was open and sincere.

“No, I have never found her to be,” Constance replied.  “However, I find fascination in things that others might not, so you will have to judge that for yourself.”

“You are not dull.” Henry shot her a smile, which was returned.

The first notes of the harp filled the room, and Constance touched her lips lightly indicating that their conversation was over for the moment.  The musician was proficient, and her song was beautiful, but Henry only half listened to it. His mind was otherwise occupied — first, in contemplation of how Constance’s lips should feel if he were to place his finger on them, and then, by the unsettling knowledge that he would likely never know both because her brother would kill him if he were to attempt to discover such a thing and because she seemed eager to have him on his way.  Why else was she suggesting ladies to him?  He knew eventually, he would have to venture beyond the comfort of Constance’s company, but he did not feel prepared to do so.  In fact, his whole being clenched in aversion to the idea.

He leaned towards Constance.  “Must I approach her tonight?  Mightn’t we just begin a list of options, and then I can begin another time?”

Again, she lay that finger on her lips.

“You do not know my preferences,” he whispered.

Her brows furrowed with annoyance, and her lips pursed, but she made no other reply. She would not. During a performance was not the appropriate time to be speaking of such things — which Henry should know.  Perhaps her student was not yet ready to present himself to best advantage among the sort of lady he claimed to be seeking.  Maybe they should just discuss the possibilities and make a few introductions tonight.  A child was not required to know how to read Shakespeare after a few lessons.  He would be given time and opportunity to practice and improve.  Perhaps that is what Henry needed — a gentle, considerate coaxing into society at large.

“Very well,” she said, during the next break between musicians. “I will continue to point out those who I think are good choices, and Aunt Gwladys can make introductions as needed. Then tomorrow, we shall meet, and you can give me your list of preferences.”

For the second time since he had sat down next to her this evening, he breathed a sigh of relief.  This time, not because he feared her brother, but because he would not have to face being push out of her society for a while longer.

~*~*~

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Leenie Brown

Leenie Brown fell in love with Jane Austen's works when she first read Sense and Sensibility followed immediately by Pride and Prejudice in her early teens. As the second of five daughters and an avid reader, she has always loved to see where her imagination takes her and to play with and write about the characters she meets along the way. In 2013, these two loves collided when she stumbled upon the world of Jane Austen Fan Fiction. A year later, in 2014, she began writing her own Austen-inspired stories and began publishing them in 2015. Leenie lives in Nova Scotia, Canada with her two teenage boys and her very own Mr. Brown (a wonderful mix of all the best of Darcy, Bingley and Edmund with healthy dose of the teasing Mr. Tillney and just a dash of the scolding Mr. Knightley).

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