I feel like my novel is FINALLY coming along – with an idea of where I’m taking it, and the sunshine to revel in, I’ve been writing more these past few weeks. Which, helps me feel a little better about possibly actually finishing this at the end of July! It’s still highly unlikely of course, but at least it seems a little more realistic. The discouraging thing about writing it with a pencil and paper rather than here on my super-fancy laptop is twofold:
1 – i still have to type it.
2- it looks like i wrote SO much, when in actuality it’s only a couple hundred words.
But, there’s something about physically writing over typing for my brain to kick into gear.
I did want to share a snippet of my novel with you. I hope you enjoy!
“The train was running late, much to Amelia’s delight. It was the only thing to be happy about while she sat with her aunt in the covered carriage while Grace went to get their tickets and have the luggage boy handle their bags. The rain was coming down in sheets, causing many of the travelers to hide away in the station house or their carriages as Amelia was doing.
“I do hope this lets up soon. I don’t like the thought of you traveling in this. Any sort of thing could happen.”
“It suits my mood today.” Amelia pulled her gloves on a little tighter and shifted her shawl, betraying her restlessness.
Aunt Angie only nodded her head in agreement and stared out at the empty platform. They had already said their good-byes, she giving advice on travel and Amelia reminding her not to read the Jungle Book without her. So now they sat, both quiet and sad, for the train to come and complete their loneliness.
“Mrs. Barrington, Miss Hughes, the train is almost into the station.” Grace’s voice was muffled as she hollered through the pounding rain and carriage door.
“Well. I guess I’d better go. Good-bye Aunt Angie.” They made a mad dash in the rain to the covered section of the platform, and then boarded the train. Inside it was humid and ripe – one because of the rain and the other from the never-ending stream of travelers. At first the smell threatened to overwhelm both girls, but by covering their noses with scented handkerchiefs they were able to find seats and settle in without fainting. Both sighed in relief after cracking a window,
“We’ll all catch pneumonia with that window open, girl.” A crackly voice behind them muttered.
“You’ll watch how you talk to a lady, or you’ll be removed from this train.” The ticket master’s voice whipped through the car.
“Meant no disrespect.” The crackle this time held more deference and sobriety.
Unaccustomed to being defended in such a manner, Amelia gaped at the ticket master as he came alongside them and apologized, “Such a lady as yourself need not worry about how you will be treated on this trip, miss. Just let me know if you need anything.”
“Th-thank you.” Grace handed him their tickets as Amelia stuttered her reply.
Amelia spent most of the ride comparing the difference in traveling as a lady and when she came before as a young country girl. Before she knew it the day had flown by and they were once again being pounded on by the driving rain while they hurried to the station house. To her relief, Horace was waiting for them with the carriage. They had only gotten it a few years ago, her mother had pestered her father until he relented and got the covered one. For once, Amelia was thankful for her mother’s relentless pursuit of keeping up appearances. To have ridden in the open carriage in this downpour would have been miserable. Any niceties were passed over in the rush to get home, Horace handing them into the carriage and then climbing in front to drive it. As they drew closer, Amelia grabbed Grace’s hand. The familiarity of the neighborhood barely penetrated the fog that was filling Amelia’s vision.
“Mother’s excited to see you, by the way. She’s cleaned everything from top to bottom. And you know she only does that for Aunt Angie.” Horace slapped the reins on the horses then continued, “How is she, by the way?”
“Aunt Angie? She’s…she’s doing well. We have read so many books this past year, and are going to start The Jungle Book when I get home.”
“Leave it to you to tell me how she is by what you’re reading.”
Grace chuckled and glanced at Amelia.
“You don’t have to agree with him, Grace. You’re supposed to be on my side.”
“You have said that you can tell if you’ll like someone by what they are reading.”
Their bantering was cut short by arriving at the house. Soon she was settled near the fire with a cup of tea steaming beside her, Grace was similarly set up in the kitchen. Amelia wished she could also take refuge there, but her duty was to her mother and so she sat quietly, listening as she was told all the little bits of gossip from the past year –even if she had already heard about it through their letters. She sat ramrod straight even though she wanted to curl into the cozy chair. That was one thing about her new dresses, she couldn’t slouch in them. The corset kept her back straighter than it ever had been. Sipping her tea, she tried to focus on what her mother was saying but found her mind kept wandering to many afternoons confined to this same chair as her mother entertained.
“I see you’ve finally learned to sit straight.”
“That puddle you left in the entryway will probably ruin my floor.”
“Why you came on a day where it’s raining like this is beyond me. Why, when Mrs. Smarks’ daughter came home for a visit she came on the most beautiful day in summer. We were all able to stop by the house and wish her well. No one will be coming by to see you, I dare say.”
“No, Mother.” Amelia wasn’t sure how it was her fault that it was raining but kept her thoughts to herself. As the afternoon wore on, it occurred to her how frequently she had to do something to keep from speaking out – take a bite of a pastry, sip her tea or even on occasion, bite her tongue. When the well of words had run dry, she was dismissed upstairs to dry off and rest until her father got home. Grace had been sent up earlier to unpack her bags. As they had no extra beds in the house, none for servants anyway, both girls were sharing Amelia’s bed for the visit. They would find that sharing a room each visit would strengthen their friendship.”
Honestly, I keep trying to make her Mother NICE but she just won’t go for it. She keeps being stubborn, selfish and, well, vain. sigh. Sometimes.