Wednesday, July 11, 2012

What kind of a person doesn't give hugs?

You know the post I wrote a few days ago about actually finishing something this July?

Scratch that.

Yes, yes, that sounded defeatist.  I know.  But it isn't, honestly and truly.  It's just that finishing something really isn't my goal this July.  Rather, my goal is to begin something.  Some things, I should say.

There are currently three main ideas swirling around in my head, and I'm itching to get them down somehow, to start each story and let it begin to flow.  And right now, I don't want to tie myself down with an accomplishment goal.  I just want to write what I want to write.  Yes, I'm going to work on The Rochesters.  But I'm also going to work on The Butterwick Boardinghouse Detectives.  And possibly The Color of the Sky [vewy, VEWY tentative title there].  And you are going to be hearing a whole lot more about each of those projects.

So, to celebrate these beginnings, I give you July Snippets, paired with pictures that have been inspiring me lately.  (Most of the images are snagged from friends' Pinterest boards.  I don't own anything, nor am I making money of this, yada yada yada.)

“Oh, quite, quite.” Mr. Payter buried his face in his coffee cup. A sip or two of the honeyed coffee covered his embarrassment and he was ready to converse again. Most people do not put honey in their coffee, but if you tried to tell that to Mr. J. Paxton Payter, he would merely fix you with a stern and quizzical eye and demand why that prevented him from doing so.
~The Butterwick Boardinghouse Detectives

This highly interesting conversation (which, if you did not find interesting, you should go back and re-read in order to better develop your sense of humor) took place at a largish sort of dining table in a smallish sort of boardinghouse in a smallish sort of city. The name of the city is none of your business. If I did tell you its name, you would be on the next subway in no time flat, speeding your way towards the boardinghouse so you could get a hold of Miss McSmith for an interview and possibly even some photographs.
~The Butterwick Boardinghouse Detectives

“Sylvia Lemmins, you’re wanted in the headmistress’s office.” The buck-toothed fourth grader who delivered this ominous message stared eagerly around the ninth-grade classroom, hoping that her statement would induce the kind of awed titters and whisperings that it would have in her own classroom. To her intense disappointment, the ninth-graders merely glanced up from their maps and regarded her with something akin to annoyance.
~The Rochesters

Mrs. Buchran’s office had always smelled rather oddly of butterscotch candies, the golden oval Brach’s kind that took forever to suck and made your mouth feel quite bland for a good while afterwards.
~The Rochesters

Celia regarded Mark with her best Miss Manners look. “Please at least pretend you're civilized and close your gaping mouth. It’s open so wide I can see your tonsils.”
Mark snorted. “No you can’t. I had them taken out two years ago.”
~The Rochesters

Celia’s voice dropped to an awed whisper. “And then he said… you know… A Word.”
Alice raised an eyebrow. She did not ask what the word was, but Celia went ahead as if she had.
“You know. The word… the word Rhett Butler doesn’t give.”
If it were physiologically possible for Timmy’s ears to prick up, they would have pricked up. “What doesn’t Rhett Butler give?”
“Hugs,” said Alice quickly. “He doesn’t give hugs.”
Francie snorted.
“Well, he doesn’t,” said Alice.
Timmy wrinkled his nose. “What kind of person doesn’t give hugs?”
~The Rochesters

More than anything, she wanted to relax and lean back against the prickly plush seat, maybe even tuck her feet under her or draw her knees up to her chin. But such a thing was, of course, unthinkable. The train was too crowded with people. Maybe some of these people even knew Uncle Gregory—anything was possible. No, she wouldn’t disgrace her newfound family by behaving unimpeachably on the train.
~The Rochesters

But best of all were the days when Margot would pause before she spoke to drink in the smell of the sun on the earth. “It’s a blue sky today,” she’d say, and wait for Fina’s inevitable question.
“What kind of blue?”
“Rich blue, royal blue, a blue for a princess, and golden sun warming the blue and deepening it.”
Fina would find her way to the window and they would stand together, letting the sun warm their eyelids until Alienor came and the day had to begin.
~The Color of the Sky

“Souci’s eyes are your favorite blue,” Margot whispered.
Fina leaned closer. “Tell me about them.”
She grasped for words, but nothing came. “I—I don’t think I can.”
“Deep blue? Or pale?”
“Deep, very deep, nearly as deep as the shawl she wears.”
“I cannot see the shawl she wears.”
Helpless, Margot shook her head. “It is blue with a green thread running throughout… and a tiny touch of silver.”
“And her eyes are like that?”
“Yes, in a way.”
Fina sighed. “And her hair?”
“So black as to be almost blue when the light touches it.”
“Is everything around us blue, then?”
Margot leaned back against the tree trunk and gazed up through the leaves. “Yes… almost.”
~The Color of the Sky

Fina drew in a sharp breath. “You cannot read for yourself the… the Holy Scriptures of our Lord.” The words came out as little more than breath, but even the flames’ crackle kept no one from hearing.
“And why should I not?” Henri’s face was turned toward Fina, though his eyes searched the fire. “They are the words of God, breathed by Him alone—and am not I a man, whose very life was also breathed by God alone?”
~The Color of the Sky


Alexandra said...

The "WORD" excerpt had me laughing out loud. Cannot WAIT to read more. And the Color of the Sky sounds epic. I'm assuming the detectives one is different from your mystery?

LOVE this. I really, really need to post some about my story. :)

Miss Dashwood said...

Heehee, glad you liked the Word one. It made me giggle most exceedingly while I wrote it. :P And the preceding scene is funny too if-I-do-say-so-myself-(and-I-do).

Yep, the detectives one is different from the mystery... I'm actually putting the mystery on hold until next summer. The 2013 project. ;)

Rachel (Cynthia) Heffington said...

These are awesome, Amy-dearest! :) I do so admire your writing style! You make want to get back to my own writing--drat campaigning.

Miss Dashwood said...

Awww, thanks Rachie! I'm so glad you were able to post some snippets despite campaigning-- I adore what I've read of Scuppernong Days.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful snippets, Miss Dashwood! Your writing is wonderful, and I enjoy reading your blog! :-) In your July snippets, I especially liked the two about blue in "The Color of the Sky".

Keep up the good work, and best wishes for you and your writing.

A fellow writer,

P.S. Just a quick question: Do you find it difficult at times switching from one story to another?


Katy-Anne said...

I love "the Word" one. :)

Scullery Maid said...

This may sound unimaginative, but I love "The Word" one!
Dear me, who can this alarming man be, who says the word Rhett Butler doesn't give in the presence of a young lady? I am Positively Fainting to know(I was going to type Dying, but it occurred to me that I don't like the sound of that. What think you of my version?)!

Elizabeth Rose said...

These are amazing, Amy! Your writing style is so charming, and makes me want to read more. I think my favorite is "The Word" one. Oh my goodness . . . that was just brilliant. "You know. The word . . . the word Rhett Butler doesn't give." And then, "What kind of person doesn't give hugs?" I'm laughing so hard right now. :D

— Elizabeth Rose

Kathryn said...

All of these excerpts are captivating, either because of humor or because of just plain captivatingness. Well, I know that's not a real word, but sometimes you need to coin your own. I just want you to know that I was not going to follow this blog, because I try not to follow every single blog that I come across, until I saw your author list on the side. Not only do you love Charles Dickens, L.M. Montgomery, and Baroness Orczy, but you also have Agatha Christie up there. She is one of my favorite authors of all time, but a shockingly small number of people even recognize her name. I am so happy that she's here, and your taste in books has led me to join.
Okay, sorry for being long winded.
Thanks for the great post!

Cait said...

My favourite is the 5th one. For some reason, it just cracked me up. Your writing has a very definate voice! Very classic.

stopping by from the link-up! :)

Lilly said...

I loved the scenes with Timmy and the buck-toothed fourth. They were funny and amused me.

But the snippets from "the color of the sky" were something altogether wonderfuly different. I especially liked the first two about the color blue.
Bravo on being able to write so many different genres!


Miss Melody Muffin said...

Dear me, I wonder how I missed this post!

The first snippet made me grin, because my family is one of the few that do put honey in their coffee! (At least, my younger siblings do. I don't drink coffee for the most part.) Butterwick Boardinghouse Detectives sounds like it will be a highly entertaining book to read!

Hahaha! Mark is hilarious!

Like everyone else, I love 'The Word' snippet. And Timmy is so cute!

I'm very interested in Color of the Sky, my dear! I do so enjoy historical fiction!