Category Archives: Works In Progress

Tuesday’s tip-o-the-hand

sausage_stuffer_colorized

This is supposed to be terrible. Original clip art: Flickr

It’s been a lousy spring around here. A bit of good news was that my mom doesn’t have to have chemo after colon surgery. Yay for that. Other than this, all is rattling on as before. That being said, the best I can do for a post, (hoping to get back into the swing of things. Again.), I have a bit of writing from a new project.

I referenced this new story back on March 6th. Time flies don’t it? I showed how a piece of writing changes as you discover things about the story itself and the characters. Even the title is up for grabs.

The first title of the piece was “Though I Had A Son.” Then it was changed to, “Anne Elliot’s Most Degrading Alliance.” Now, it’s “In Favor of His Constancy.” You, the reader, aren’t supposed to see any of this, but what the heck, this is sausage making, people, watch and be amazed!

The following is not a rewrite, but was fun to write. I hope you enjoy it.

In this story, “In Favor of His Constancy,” Lady Elliot (Anne Elliot’s mother) is alive. This scene takes place after she finds out that her dear friend, Lady Russell, was instrumental in breaking off Anne’s engagement to Captain Frederick Wentworth.

“Elizabeth, see reason. The man is handsome and a force to be sure, but even you must see that he is not Anne’s equal in rank or refinement. It would ever be a wedge between them.”

Elizabeth paused, then faced her. “Rank and refinement. Those are words you are happy to use when speaking of marriage. Admit it, you did not think me refined enough for the Baronet of Kellynch Hall.”

Lady Russell now paused. Her right brow raised, and her lips tightened.

“In every way, the Stevenson money was superior to his rank. Even if it was earned in trade and farming. I was besotted enough with a pretty face to accept a proposal. But when reason, in the form of dark doubts loomed, you stood me and them with a bright light of reason to convince me that I must keep my word.” Her hands were trembling, and she could feel a flush overtaking her. She took a seat at her dressing table.

“And I was right to do so. You had an obligation to fulfil. Your reputation was at stake and you were prepared to ruin it. As your dear friend, I could not allow that to happen.”

“I could have broken it off with little damage to my reputation.” Lady Elliot turned to her friend. “When, after a few years, you comprehended the deep unhappiness that my choice had brought me, did it give you pause?”

“It did.” Lady Russell pinched seam of the thumb of her right glove. Poorly made. “But when I realised you would have children from the match, no matter your feelings about him.”

It was deep grief she felt for her friend. There were no children with Sir Henry Russell. Whose fault it was, was immaterial. Elizabeth’s children were lavished with gifts and praise from Jane. Her particular favourite was Anne. This might account for her friend’s razor-sharp dislike for Captain Wentworth. She did not wish her daughter to suffer her fate. And yet.

STUFF

“He is still beautiful, even at his age, but his looks are so negated by his deficiencies.” Lady Russell says nothing, and Lady Elliot looks at her and realizes something. “So that is it. You are still smitten.”

Jane fidgets uncharacteristically.

“You are still in awe of that pretty face.” Lady Elliot rises and approaches Lady Russell. “Though, I see you are not so besotted as to do something stupid if I am called out of this life.” The revelation was not surprising but was more a relief. It cleared the air and would allow them to have an honest friendship now, and not one couched in suspicion. Her hands still trembled, and she would have to call for Trotter to help her change into a fresh dress for dinner. Jane still said nothing. “And that is because you can admire him from the comfort of Henry’s good management.” She took her seat once more. “You are far smarter than me. Better to view some beauties from a distance. And in this case, not have to live with the consequences of his vices.”

Yep, POV problems, notes to myself about the scene rather than the scene itself, and a sentence that makes no sense whatsoever! Again, this is sausage. I’ll work on this and post the rewrite next week.

Oh, and I’m still not in love with the title. Stay tuned.

Later.

Advertisements

A Plan of His Own Making, part 2

You are welcome to read this story here, HERE or at Beyond Austen, depending on which format you like.

Plans of His Own Making

In 1808, newly promoted Captain Frederick Wentworth is impatient to have a ship. He and Commander Timothy Harville figure posing as smugglers to catch the real thing in the act will grab the Admiralty’s attention. They set out on the frigid Irish Sea at Christmastime to put their plan into action. Anne Elliot’s father is pleased to find passage to Dublin so cheap at the holidays. He is not so pleased when all are taken captive by a band of smugglers. Or rather Wentworth posing as one.

A Plan of His Own Making is a Persuasion What-If in which Frederick Wentworth literally saves Anne’s life and saves her from murderous smugglers, and in return, Anne does likewise for Frederick.

PG-17 for adult situations and mild sensuality

This story is posted free-of-charge to readers, but is understood to be a rough first draft. As it is a work-in-progress, it’s all up for grabs and is subject to change when going through the rewriting process. In other words, what you read here may not be in the final, published edition. You are free to read and link to but please do not copy any of the story. It goes without saying there will be boatloads of misspellings, grammar goofs, and the occasional glaring continuity error; these will be fixed in final editing so just read and enjoy. — SK

From last week’s post:  The man did nothing for a moment. The torture built when he pulled her even closer. She tried to jerk away only to stumble against the chair. He pulled her slowly back to himself.

*

Wentworth tarried below deck after leaving Sir Walter. The hurt and anger of that summer sprang to a full blaze when dealing with the stupid and repellent father.

He entered the room and dismissed the guard. For some time he stood studying the bound and hooded woman.

Wentworth was sure the voice was Anne’s. The woman was her height, but more slight, more insubstantial than the Anne of his memory. However, she might be the younger sister and it would not be unusual for siblings to look and even sound very much alike. If this was Anne Elliot, Continue reading

A Plan of His Own Making

You are welcome to read this story here, HERE or at Beyond Austen, depending on what format you like.

Plans of His Own Making

In 1808, newly promoted Captain Frederick Wentworth is impatient to have a ship. He and Commander Timothy Harville figure posing as smugglers to catch the real thing in the act will grab the Admiralty’s attention. They set out on the frigid Irish Sea at Chritmastime to put their plan into action. Anne Elliot’s father is pleased to find passage to Dublin so cheap at the holidays. He is not so pleased when all are taken captive by a band of smugglers. Or rather Wentworth posing as one.

A Plan of His Own Making is a Persuasion What-If in which Frederick Wentworth literally saves Anne’s life and saves her from murderous smugglers, and in return, Anne does likewise for Frederick.

PG-17 for adult situations and mild sensuality

This story is posted free-of-charge to readers, but is understood to be a rough first draft. As it is a work-in-progress, it’s all up for grabs and is subject to change when going through the rewriting process. In other words, what you read here may not be in the final, published edition. You are free to read and link to but please do not copy any of the story. It goes without saying there will be boatloads of misspellings, grammar goofs, and the occasional glaring continuity error; these will be fixed in final editing so just read and enjoy. — SK

A PLAN OF HIS OWN MAKING

Chapter 1

Christmastime, 1808

“Last chance to get out, Harville,” Captain Frederick Wentworth said. He looked through the glass and counted seven reefers tending the sails, idlers on the deck, and two landsmen along with the captain on the quarterdeck of the Baron’s Bride. He thought little of a captain who would share the hallowed quarterdeck with passengers.

“Thank you for the offer of escape, sir,” Commander Harville murmured. He was taking notes and not paying close attention.

Wentworth lowered the glass. “When I conceived of this plan to get us some notice from the power’s-that-be, I was a mere babe as to the grotesque devices smugglers use to keep themselves safe, such as taking on passengers.” He raised the glass and looked again at the deck of the Baron’s Bride.

Harville underlined something, tapped a period into place, and closed the notebook. He tucked it and the pencil in his breast pocket. “You must admit, sir, innocents make excellent cover.” He took out a smaller, less costly telescope with which to study the ship.

Wentworth laughed out loud. “Ha! Some ‘innocents’ are not what they seem.”

Harville and Wentworth had begun hunting their prey when the Baron’s Bride first left Minehead the morning before. Oh his first, distant view of the trio, he’d recognised them as the Elliots of Somerset. Sir Walter and eldest sister, Elizabeth Elliot, had been unmistakeable. Both father and sister were wrapped in purple wool and while he sported a tall beaver, perched on the sister’s head was a contraption resembling the very animal. The Captain couldn’t remember the precise remark, but Harville had made an extremely amusing comment about it all. Wentworth had enjoyed a few moments watching the pair skitter around like clumsy children skating on a millpond. “Serves them right,” he’d muttered. They were too vain to give up wearing fashionable shoes with smooth leather soles. Solid, commonplace boots would have given them purchase on the wooden deck wet with sea water and rain. This obvious was not an option.

Though he’d tried, he’d never gotten a clear look at the second woman in the party. For a short while he presumed the woman naturally would be Anne. However, the woman kept a conspicuous physical distance from the others, and her noticeable deference to them made it simple to dismiss her as Miss Elliot’s maid. Wentworth hoped it was so for he’d no desire to come in contact with Anne Elliot ever again. Moreover, if the girl was Anne, good sense would dictate giving up this particular operation. If it was not Anne, he would be wasting a prime opportunity to pillage the records of one of the most prolific smuggling captains presently working the Irish Sea.

Setting aside the possibility of Anne Elliot’s presence, the precise and cold hatred for Sir Walter Elliot swept over him with the same force it had the day before. That such active revulsion was still alive in his breast was truly alarming.

“I noticed those ones earlier,” Harville said. “Well-dressed. Must be some bloke not wishing at Christmas to pay the full freight to Dublin.”

“Rest assure he’s a shoddy soul looking only at what he’s charged. There’s not a thought in his head the ship might be smuggling something like gun powder.” Wentworth motioned for a sailor to join them. “We can only pray that White Hall will see past our own shoddy business and give us a nod of appreciation.” He gave orders to man the guns.

“Aye, sir. Fortunately for us, the likes of Captain Conard Williams and others of his slippery sort has heard we’re in the local waters.”

“Yes, fortunate indeed. We’ve got a reputation in just a few days. I told you that plucking ‘em off one-by-one and letting ‘em try to figure out who we are was the quickest way to gain their notice. None of that going around and laying hints we’re interested in joining an established crew.” Despite his earlier proclamation of shock concerning smugglers taking on passengers, he could feel no pity for this small-minded country noble. The ladies he had a bit of sympathy for, but not for the first time in history were poor unwitting women trapped in the midst of an exceedingly dangerous game of cat-and-mouse.

Harville cleared his throat. “I bow to your masterful reading of our fellow bandits, sir. You were right as usual.” He snapped his glass closed and slipped it in his pocket. “She’s rigged and ready to fly at a moment’s notice.” Continue reading

And Now A Word From Our Sponsor

And Now A Word From Our Sponsor is the story of a soap opera about to sing its last note. The cast and crew is hoping the return of Frederick Wentworth, reprising his role as a dashing hero, can save the day. Anne is hoping his return doesn’t mean she’s going to have her heart broken again.

Chapter 1

Anne Elliot paid the cabbie and entered the building housing rent-controlled, relatively cheap artists lofts, business offices, and the studios of Russelliot Productions. “Hi, John,” she waved as she passed security. She punched “up” on the elevator.

She wasn’t looking forward to the day. What little dialogue her character, Rebecca (Becky) Lindsey, had was filmed the day before. Today would be endless response shots to the dialogue of other actors. And she would also be one more body to bulk up the crowd for the huge party scene. For the past two days she had taken every opportunity to stay off camera so she could tug at the hideous green floral Alexander McQueen knock-off she’d been given. All the time wearing a pair of cheap high heels that hurt her feet.

The doors to the elevator slide open and she was relived to see she was making the ride to the sixth floor alone. When she’d first started as the innocent and fragile ingénue on the afternoon soap opera, For None But You Alone, Becky’s wardrobe been tailored to her slender frame. An important party scene would warrant a custom-designed dress with matching accessories. Back in the day, trendy designers vied to seeing their name roll on the closing credits.

In the early days of the show, Anne was the artless virgin, representing all that was good and moral in the fictional town of Kellynch Cove, Anytown USA. As the young lead, hers was the human face of a small coastal village, most noted for vacation houses and fishing shacks, which was quickly transforming to an up-and-coming arts community. The basis of the serial was the clash of the traditional, blue-collar solid citizens with modern, sleek sophisticates. For several years the show had been popular with all the right audiences, upper class women with money, college students with earning potential, and even a contingency of performance artists who could watch the show in the afternoons because they worked at night. Usually waiting tables.

After ten years, the show was losing ground with every demographic. Continue reading