When I write, I like to have instrumental music playing. This is not news to those who have been following my blog for any length of time. 🙂 I have several playlists of music that I can choose from when I sit down to write. Often, I pick randomly. However, for this last story — the one I just finished the first draft of this week — I couldn’t pick a random piece of music. This story demanded I listen to Brian Crain.
29briancrain. “Brian Crain – Wind.” YouTube, YouTube, 26 July 2016, www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wfu6k8IGOXU.
There were two albums my brain favoured for this story. One was Piano and Light. The other, which contains the above song, was Piano Opus. A few minutes of closing my eyes and listening to either of these albums seemed just the thing to let my brain know it was time to write. Even when I sat down to write this blog post, I put on “Wind” and before the song was half over, my brain had calmed and was focused on writing. I think it is amazing how our bodies can learn to react to signals like that!
Now that you know why I am sharing this particular piece of music, let’s move on to the writing news for the week and then enjoy a story excerpt.
Tomorrow, Tuesday, August 15 from 3-5 pm EST, Zoe Burton, Rose Fairbanks, and I are hosting an Austen in August Garden Party on Facebook. There will be opportunities to share some favourites, test your knowledge of Jane Austen’s novels in a scavenger hunt, and (hopefully) pick up one of our books in a giveaway. Giveaways (7 of them) will be scattered throughout the time, and you will have to be present to claim a book. You can join the party here:
Henry: To Prove Himself Worthy is now available for pre-orders with a release day scheduled for August 29. You can pre-order that book at this link:
(Oh, by the way, this is one of the books I will be giving away at the party tomorrow.)
As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, I have completed the first draft of Unravelling Mr. Darcy. I have let it sit for a couple of days, and will begin working my way through the first round of edits this week.
While it was sitting, I started writing what will be the next Thursday’s Three Hundred story which is called Confounding Caroline and is excerpted below.
AN EXCERPT from Confounding Caroline:
Fitzwilliam Darcy handed his coat and beaver to Bingley’s butler. “I had hoped you would be home, but I did not expect it,” he said in greeting to his friend who leaned nonchalantly against the door to the sitting room he had no doubt just exited since the lamps were still lit. “Reading?” he asked with some surprise as he took note of the book in Bingley’s hand.
Bingley shrugged. “I do read on occasion.”
“I would not wish to keep you from your amusements.” Darcy smirked slightly. If he knew his friend, Bingley would likely not mind the disruption. Bingley preferred people to books.
Bingley shook his head and chuckled. “Come, my study would be more comfortable than the sitting room, and less likely to be invaded by females should Caroline return early.”
“I am surprised you did not accompany her to the Graham’s soiree.” Darcy followed Bingley into the study.
“I have had my fill of ferrying her around only to have her turn up her pert little nose at every gentleman she meets, so I sent her with Louisa and Hurst.” He tucked his book away on a shelf behind his desk, and then opening the door on the right side of his desk, he pulled out a bottle of amber coloured liquid and two glasses. “I find I tire of society. It is always the same. The same ladies in different dresses with different coloured hair and hats, but the same gossip, the same weather, the same pleasantries. It’s just the so much of the same, over and over and over and over.” He handed a glass to Darcy and smiled. “Besides, if I am not mistaken, I will not be the only one who will enjoy this Caroline-free evening.”
Darcy chuckled “The quiet is agreeable to me, but you have never enjoyed silence as much as I.” There was something different about Bingley the last few weeks. He did not smile as much as was his normal wont, and he did seem to tuck himself away in his study more and more. Darcy swirled the liquid in his glass and threw one leg over the other. The leather squeaked as he shifted in the chair across from Bingley.
Bingley sighed. “I find I am longing for the country, but Caroline will hear nothing of leaving town when there are so many functions to attend.” He took a draught from his glass. “If I thought she meant to find a husband, trotting her around to the various venues might not be so bothersome, but she is not intent on snaring anyone by you.”
Darcy nodded slowly. Caroline had not been reserved in demonstrating her preference for him over every gentleman she met. “A title and a larger fortune might dissuade her.”
The hint of bitterness in Bingley’s laugh surprised Darcy almost as much as Bingley’s wishing to leave town and avoid society. These were not Bingley actions. They were behaviours that were more likely to be attributed to Darcy rather than his gregarious friend.
“She is as stubborn as a mule,” Bingley muttered, “and almost as bright.”
Darcy’s brows rose. He had heard Bingley complain about Caroline before but never about much more than her incessant need to purchase fripperies and dress, or the way she nattered on about this person or that person. There was something decidedly wrong with his friend, and Darcy had a sinking feeling that he knew just what it was.
“You surprise me. Was it not you who claimed to be happy wherever you were, be it town or country?”
“That was before,” Bingley said over the rim of his glass.
“Before what?” Darcy prodded.
“Before I took an estate.” Bingley shifted in his chair uneasily, studying the painting above the fireplace for a few moments before allowing his attention to return to his friend. He watched Darcy’s foot bounce up and down slightly, and sighed deeply.
Darcy surreptitiously glanced at his friend. He recognized Bingley’s sigh for it was the same groan of uncertainty that had taken up residence in his chest. It was a new and unwelcomed feeling, and it was not something he could command away, though he had tried. He had not been able to erase it with busyness or wash it away with drink. There remained only one option. It must be acknowledged. The root of it must be exposed.