Snippets of March

12 April 2014

This past month has seen more Rifles in the South Field progress than several previous months combined, and reader, it feels good. It's hard to break down those layers of dust and churn them into words, but to see this story finally taking shape overwhelms me. Perhaps that's one of the curses and mercies about loving a book long before it finally blooms properly on the page: it becomes so vivid and real in your head that it's difficult to translate into syllables. But God is gracious and bit by bit, it's happening. A month ago I shared that I began re-writing Rifles from square one. Here are some of the most recent fruits of my labor.

mad march snippets
click here to link up at Katie's blog!

Don’t let the copper in your hair loose the leash on your tongue.”

You can’t honestly be saying you would allow hundreds of your countrymen to die for His Majesty before you’d spill one drop of your own precious blood?”
That was exactly what Kenneth was saying, but of course Alec mustn’t think it.

Susannah pressed a hand to her temple where a group of tiny soldier-steps seemed to congregate. She needed to leave the dining room, to escape the stale scent of whispered secrets and gauzy masks. Glancing back at the table, she noticed her glass of topaz Madeira, the light from the setting sun flitting through its untapped depths. It would be just the thing to calm her fluttering worries. In no time she had snatched the goblet up and tipped it to her lips. The liquor slid down sharp and sweet.

It’s no use trying to be good at something that’s too far from your grasp, my girl.”

And you are suggesting that I retire as well?”
“Aye. Or else you will fall asleep facedown in the middle of your book with all your candles burning, and I’ll wake to an empty shell of a home.”
“You paint a dire picture, daughter. Ought I to have more credit than that?”
“Perhaps,” she allowed, straightening the rug on his study floor with her foot even as she spoke. “It all depends.”
“On?”
“What you were doing this evening.”

Even the books lining his shelves seemed to turn their spines in disgust.

I hunger for more than bread and water, my lord.” Her tone was a low purr.
“I am no lord.” Still, he rather liked the appellation.
“You are Master Hughes, the son of the late general, are you not?”
There it was again; the unconscious connection with his father. Was he no man in his own right save for the status gained through his lineage?
“Tonight I am just Kenneth.”

There was something horribly familiar about this pasture, and even strewn as it was with horse carcass and slaughtered soldiers, she recognized it easily. Had she not ridden through it every morning? These were her fields; this was her land.
I’m home, she thought, and the words had never sounded more awful.

Hughes!” he heard a man’s voice calling him over the racket of a horse’s hooves. Kenneth turned around quickly, reluctantly, and glimpsed the speaker approaching him on a mount the color of burnt sienna. The acid visor fell once more over his face.

The door that closed in her wake extinguished a lone candle’s flame, but Mr. Dixon did not notice.

The bleak sun shone down from a sky as flat and colorless as steel. Dank heat wrapped clammy fingers around each throat and crumpled stalk. A fitful breeze stirred through dry trees, tossing up the heady scents of blood and gunpowder that cloyed the air. The atmosphere waited, every nerve tensed for action.
And then the inevitable shot came that cracked and split the stillness.

5 epistles:

  1. I don't want to call these lovely, though I do really like them, because they are too powder-smoked and gory for such a nice term.
    They're bloody brilliant. XD

    ReplyDelete
  2. My, these are such good snippets, Elizabeth. Very intense, and I can feel the powdery-smoke, the stakes raised high, and the suppressed emotions right beneath the surface, like burnished copper and spice. Well done, these are well-written indeed! It is wonderful that you've had the opportunity of writing in Rifles lately, and making some head-way. I am very much eager to read this book, mind you, very much indeed =).

    “Don’t let the copper in your hair loose the leash on your tongue.”
    *love it!*

    ReplyDelete
  3. These. These are so Elizabeth-styled and I love them. Intense, yes. Beautiful, yes.

    "They're bloody brilliant."

    Gee, Bree, I don't know why I like that so much. It's perfect. ^.^

    ReplyDelete
  4. Elizabeth Rose, your writing gives me thrills and chills. Your words are beautiful. I'm an admirer of details worked carefully and expertly into prose, and your writing is overflowing with these gems. " . . . the stale scent of whispered secrets and gauzy masks." This bit of description caused my throat to constrict with the closeness of the room, my head to throb with the pressure of your heroine's headache, and my heart to race in desperation at the realization that something was terribly, terribly wrong.

    I enjoyed every moment of these snips. ^.^

    ReplyDelete

"Gracious words are like a honeycomb; sweetness to the soul and health to the body." —Proverbs 16:24

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