Saturday, June 23, 2012

Attempting Jane Austen

I have been trying to write a story much in the way of Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility, as it is one of my favorite stories, but I have taken some creative liberality with the story. I do hope that my readers will be okay with that. I want to stick with the basic idea but in order to stay true to my voice have decided to change some of the plot points.

This scene is one of my creative liberalities... Laurel, the eldest gets sick, this is to motivate Emmy growing up a bit. In this scene Emmy has gone back home to fetch mother with Ethan Foster's help.

I love the picture below (even though it is the wrong era for my story) it reminds me of Emmy sneaking off into her woods.

Emmy could not recount all the word she said to her mother she just remembered falling into her mother's arms weeping. They had arrived after dinner so it was too late to start back to Boston but Mrs. Pembers had the cook make them a light meal but Emmy ate only two bites before she felt sick to her stomach. The next day Fiona spent the day making arrangements for Gloria to stay at a friend's house and she made sure a nurse and doctor were on call in case anything happened to Grandma Danford. Mrs. Pembers said she could handle everything but Fiona felt better knowing the house was well maintained. Emmy still didn't eat much of any meals and went to bed right after dinner exhausted from not being able to sleep the last couple of nights. She still could sleep though and until the sun rose. She just paced the floor. Once the sun was up she got dressed, did her hair and snuck outdoors to her woods, the only place she felt she could get peace.

            "Ah Miss Emmy there you are," Mr. Foster said finding her in the woods.
            "What are you doing here?"
            "Your mother sent me looking for you. She said you would be here?"
            "Is everything all right?"
            "Oh yes. She wanted you to know she would be ready in the hour and then after lunch we should take off."
            "Who can think of food at a time like this?"
            "You must stay healthy Miss Emmy, you will be no good to your sister if you too are ill."
            "I am no good here."
            "Yes you are, you are bringing her mother to her."
            "Yes I am a good messenger."
            "Miss Emmy you are much more than a messenger."
            "Not much more."
            "What would your sister say if she heard you talking like this?"
            "First she would be upset I was walking in the woods and getting my dress dirty. She hated these woods."
            "Really? When I was here last she seemed rather fond of them."

            Emmy remembered that conversation from what she overheard, Laurel had spoken more to Ethan than she had to her own sister about her desires. Then she remembered what Laurel had said about her being so naïve. Emmy couldn't help but giggled when she thought about she had acted.

            "What are you giggling at?" Mr. Foster asked.
            "I overheard one of your talks, when you and Laurel walking out here once, she called me naïve and how I had my head in the clouds most of the time. I guess I was, I guess I am naïve and a silly dreamer. You see, I never had to grow up Laurel was always grown up for the both of us."
            "I think you are pretty grown up."
            "Only because I have to be, if Laurel was healthy and strong , I would still be in my ignorant ways, but circumstances have charged and the world feels so different now."
            "But still you find comfort in these woods? Miss James, I mean Mrs. Danford can dress you up in fancy clothes and teach you how to do your hair and your sister's sickness might have forced you to grow up but don't ever lose what makes you, you. These woods, your stories and your heart for adventure that is truly who you are and all the rest is just additional."
            "You were not here for Miss James' trip, who told you that?"
            "She did, she boasted about how she had dolled you up but I rather prefer you with your hair down and rather unruly then a doll who looks too perfect to touch."
            Emmy turned around feeling a flush upon her cheek. "You shouldn't talk that way."
            "In what way?"
            "It is almost flirtatious and anyone who didn't know you were in love with Laurel would question your loyalty." She had said it faster than she could think and now that it was there she couldn't take it back.

            She turned back around to face him. "I am sorry Mr. Foster, I should not have accused you of flirting you are only too kind. Please don't tell my sister about any of this."
            "I won't."
            "Especially not about-"
            He cut her off "Don't worry Miss Emmy, I will not say a word, discretion is my greatest flaw. But I am surprised for a girl who lives in the clouds how well you notice things here on earth."
            "I do not mean too."
            "It was all right, " he turned around and walked away leaving her in the woods by herself.

Monday, June 18, 2012

A naive writer's advice

I am not a published author, so you can take my advice with a grain of salt and I won't be offended. But in my years of writing I have discovered a few things.

1. Writing is a lonely job. So I say find a group of writers to hang out with, not just bloggers but people in real life. A few weeks ago a woman from my church started a Facebook page for people who go to my church who want to be writers. While yes it is a Facebook page, I see these people at least on Sundays so it is great to have them in real life and virtually give me advice and support. I think for our sanity writer's need support, while friends are great, a little group of other writers is great. So if you are a writer- find other writers, take up seats at a coffee shop and just be there for others. 

2. Be okay with crossed out pages. I don't know how people write by looking at a computer screen. I can only be inspired when I am hand writing stories... I know it takes me a long time to write because of this but I love to write in journals. For a long time I hated when I written something then crossed it out, I am slightly a perfectionist and I didn't like the way it looked to have it crossed out, but now I have embraced it. I would rather cross things out and make them better than be stuck with something I don't like. 
A page from my story notebook
3. Just write. Sometimes easier said then done. Lately I have really been pushing myself to write and finish my story but sometimes my brain is stuck so I give myself time to go for a walk, read a book or just watch TV but at the hours I know I think best creatively I "force" myself to write. Find the hours you think more creatively, find a spot you like to sit and write. For me it is 10PM to 1AM (I don't know why is late) and the corner of my bed. I have a day bed and I find the top corner of my bed the best place to write. Also make sure to give yourself time to not write, if needed.

4. Embrace your voice. In school teachers always said that they can know when you plagiarize because it doesn't sound like you. I think this is very true in all writing. We are each given our own thoughts, our tone and our own writing style. As much as I would love to write like Jane Austen, where paragraphs could last for pages, I am not Jane Austen and that is not how I write. So instead of pushing myself to write long paragraphs I have to write my own way. Also embracing your voice is writing what you are passionate about even if you think you are the only person who will like it.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Free write Friday

This week's feature is from a while back but I thought it was interesting plus it has a major tie into one of my new obsessions.... can you guess.... The Hunger Games.
(Don't worry I won't give away any spoilers)

I follow this blog called Creative Writing Prompts and on April 20th it had one that used the theme of the Hunger Games... no there weren't any kids fighting to the death. I was a really interesting prompt so I thought I would do it. 

“As long as you can find yourself, you’ll never starve.” - Suzanne Collins, The Hunger Games

Poetry and Essay prompt: Think about things that fill your emotional hunger. What, besides food, keeps you alive? Free-write a list for one minute. After a minute is up, pick one thing from your list and start an essay or a poem.

To read more click here

I didn't need to think of list I knew what it was that kept me alive, it is writing. I know I should say my friends and my family. That is a much better answer but it is not what came to my mind first. My writing came to my mind first. When ever I need to escape into a world that is all mine, that no one can touch, screw up or destroy I have my writing. I have my own little world and that is where I can go and no one can hurt it. Maybe it is not my writing that keeps me alive maybe it is my imagination, it has been with me before I sat down and wrote a story. It was there with me through all my years of playing dress up and playing barbie. Most girls just dressed up their barbies but I acted out stories with my barbies long before I put pen to paper. I know some people as they get older they seem to lose that world of play and make believe. They slip on their grown up clothes and have more practical aspirations but I still get to lay in fields with daisies and dandelions that dance around me. I still get to wear fine ball gowns and fall in love with a prince. I could go to the moon and back if I so wanted to. I need only pull out a pen and paper and there I will be in my own little world, tucked away from it all. I guess I couldn't live with out my imagination and my writing gets me there.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

"It would all end well"

This is not the end of my story but at the end of this part Aunt Iris believes this  will all end well and I thought that it would be a could title for this section of the story. I have found this quote on Pinterest and right now things are not okay in the story so it is not the end. But as I think about the end of my story I do wonder how everything will be okay. Life doesn't always have ends so as a writer I have always been stuck with thinking how ends are going to happen in stories.

The next day Emmy felt better until she remembered what happened and where she was. She was Aunt and Uncle's house knowing that her cousin Julia was probably just waiting for her to come just waiting for her to come out of her room so she could rub it in Emmy's nose. Emmy flashed back to that first party she had seen Julia at when she looked as if she was tenderly guarding a secret. At that time Emmy almost believed her to be sweet but now it all made sense Julia was guarding her secret about their engagement. Then at the rehearsal dinner how quick she was to tease Emmy for the way Caleb acted, it was all a fun joke to Julia. Her head now pounded and requested her breakfast in her room.

            "How long is going to stay," Julia moaned at breakfast.
            "She just fainted just last night darling," Victoria said.
            "I know but with the announcement last night I really thought we could start planning the wedding."
            "If we start today or tomorrow it will not make that big of difference. You have plenty of time till June."
            "June?" Julia moaned again "I want to be married as quickly as possible, I do not want to wait till June."
            "Yes June, Nicholas and Kathryn will not be back from Italy till at least March and March is far too cold. Besides how would it look if we took the attention from Kathryn, she deserves some time to be the bride of this family. I had to wait eight-teen months before my mother and father even announced my engagement after my sister was married. We announced your engagement barely a week after Nicholas and Kathryn's wedding because you moaned and begged so much but you will not beg your way into getting us to push up the wedding."
            "Then what if Caleb and I eloped?"
            "Then your father will cut you off without a dime and I hardly expect Mr. James can afford to risk it."

            Julia threw herself on the chair she felt she could hardly risk having Emmy and Caleb in the same city for one more day. While he acted coldly to her outwardly Julia felt from the way he talked about when they were alone that he could possible still have feeling for her and Julia would not risk him falling for her again as he did in Pine Haven. By then Julia knew a bit of the true story of Caleb's financial situation, only Mr. Danford made sure to know the whole truth before anything was settled, but Julia loved him with all her heart and did not care how little he brought to the table so Mr. Danford agreed as long as the money remained in Julia's possession and Caleb followed strict guidelines would they consent. Mr. Danford required that his future son-in-law start his new business and head quarter it in Boston so Mr. Danford and Mr. Danford's investors could watch it closely. Also if in three years the business had not done well Caleb would work for Mr. Danford in order to make sure his daughter was well provided for. Julia did not know of this arrangement for all she talked about was how wonderful life would be like in New York. Until June, Caleb would live in New York closing up his New York office and settling up his accounts. Caleb owed some money around town and there Mr. Danford helped him too. For all this Mr. Danford thought Julia's wedding cost him more than he would think but Caleb was always a smooth talker and had been able to convince Mr. Danford it would be worth his investment. Mr. Danford was quick to protect all his investments stating that if anything unsettling happened before the wedding then both Julia and Caleb would be left without a dime, making elopement impossible for the couple. Also if Caleb ill treated Julia in any way during their marriage Mr. Danford had every right to take his money away from Caleb. Julia told her parents that this was true love and she thought her parent were going to extreme measures. Still Mr. and Mrs. Danford would not acknowledge the engagement until after Caleb signed off on all of this, which he had done the night of the dinner party. And Julia had to follow her parents orders so the wedding date was set for June twelfth.

            Since Emmy had not been able to come down for breakfast Aunt Victoria thought it was best to keep Emmy at their home for the day giving her rest. Emmy felt as if Aunt Victoria was doing this completely out of family obligation, it would never look right for a family member to cast out their relative while they were ill. It wasn't that Emmy was ill she couldn't face her cousin and the gloating that would come if she saw her cousin. However she could not stay in this house another day so the next day she got up her strength came down to breakfast, acted pleasantly enough whenever anyone brought up Caleb's name which Julia did a lot she tried to change topics. After breakfast she asked Aunt Victoria if she could return to Mrs. Dumont's home. Aunt Victoria worried a bit that Emmy was not quite ready. Emmy assured her she was plenty healthy to satisfy Aunt Victoria to invite Mrs. Dumont to tea and then Mrs. Dumont could see Emmy safely home. Aunt Victoria consented to this arrangement and wrote Mrs. Dumont quickly about it. Emmy could see that Julia was cheerfully smiling. Emmy thought that it was because she wanted to gloat but Julia wanted her to leave so her mother and her could start planning her and Caleb's official engagement party.

            There is little conversation to record from that day Emmy tried to stay far away from her cousin as possible. She wished she was back in Pine Haven at least there if she wanted to away she could hide in her woods and none really came looking for her. Here in Boston the houses were smaller with maids running around everywhere and at every hour. She could not even escape outside for people crowded the sidewalks, carriages and motor coaches filled the streets, there seemed to be no place of absolute solitude and right now that is what Emmy needed. She need to get away and try to process it all that had happened in the last forty-eight hours for none of it made sense. Though Caleb never had said it he certainly acted as if he loved her, he had hinted at them running away together. surely that must of meant something. Then she came here to see him  so cold and distant did not make sense and now to learn he is engaged to her cousin it was all mind boggling. Uncle Charles had said they didn't want to announce their engagement till after Nicholas was married, could they could have been engaged that when time in Pine Haven? Was his flirtation to her been all a joke between Julia and Caleb? None of it made sense and in her time of needing her woods she was far away from all she knew. Her only comfort in that day was seeing Aunt Iris who promptly took her back home after tea.

            "Aunt Iris, I am so happy to be back, that house was torturous for me I do not know if could survive much longer. It tool all the strength I had to act normal so Aunt Victoria would allow me to come back."
            "Yes I am sure the news of your cousin's engagement would be quite unsettling."
            "It was and how I longed for my woods to escape into."
            "I would then encourage you to go back to Pine Haven but I feel luck has changed for Laurel. Mr. Foster came by today and stayed almost an hour and half."
            "Yes he came under the pretenses of seeing you but he did not seem to hesitate staying when he learned you were still at the Danfords."
            "Did he say anything else about the party?"
            "Very little, just that before the announcement you were the talk of the party."
            "Anything else?"

            "No he just made sure to tell us that he made sure you had a wonderful evening." Emmy gave a sigh of relief. "Though Alfred did tell me about the gossip of you and Mr. Foster being a couple. Do not worry I did not tell Laurel, who would believe it anyway Mr. Foster so clearly has eyes for Laurel."
            "Thank you Aunt Iris, I was so humiliated when I thought people thought that about Mr. Foster and I. I could not bore to think what Laurel would do if she knew the gossip. I did not even know Mr. Dumont had heard the rumors he seemed so immune to it that night."
            "Alfred always knew everything, just certain things he cares not to talk about and to him had no validity so he cared not to pass it on."
            "I am very thankful to Mr. Dumont's modesty."

            Laurel and Emmy were happy to see each other again. Laurel was sorry she could not be there to pick up her sister, Aunt Iris was still concerned over Laurel's health and could not take any risk. Emmy understood perfectly, she told Laurel how awful it was to be in that house and how she kept replaying the announcement over and over again. Emmy wished she had never gone to that party, how she had longed to see Caleb James, and now every memory of him hurt. The only good news was that he returned to New York on the first train yesterday so she would not have to see his face. Laurel stroked Emmy's hair much in the same way mother had always done. Laurel knew mother would know the perfect thing to say and all Laurel could think to say was how everything would be all right. That wasn't true, she knew and Laurel doubted rather her sister believed her. You could never tell a crying girl that it would be all right because at that moment it felt as if the world would cave in. Laurel knew all this but still was all she say.

To read more of "It would all end well" click here

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Blogging Break

I have loved this picture for so long I am glad to use it
Hey lovely Readers,

My mind is having sort of mental block so instead of writing some post that are not good quality I am taking a little break from blogging right now. I feel like I am a little burnt out from all the commitments I have and some other personal things going on that I can't really think of something to write about. I think taking a little break from blogging is the best thing for me.

I will keep working on my story and updating the parts I have typed up. But I think right now I just need some time to write my story and make that the prime focus of my free time.  To follow my story click here... Sisters of Pine Haven.

Thanks for your understanding,


Friday, June 8, 2012

My Day in New York City

Our view of the city coming in from train
My mom has been visiting Boston and on Wednesday we took a day trip to New York. We went to go see a matinee of a play my mom wanted to see but we also got to see a little bit of the big city. We mostly stayed in Midtown so this map should help as I talk about different locations.

We started our morning very early in the morning taking a 7AM train down to New York City. It is amazing how much you can do in a day when it starts at 5AM. We arrived in New York (Penn Station) close to 11 AM and the show was not until 2 so we had some time to kill. First thing we had to do was just get our barings. I know New York is on a grid so it is easy to find your way but I haven't been to New York in almost 5 years so I got turned around bit. 
At the theater in front of the sign
The first thing we did was find the theater. It was located between 6th and 7th Avenue and on 44th Street. Then we went on search to find something to eat. We weren't hungry yet but we wanted to know where to go. And our search for food gave us a little time to wonder around. We saw Grand Central Station. Mom told me how in the 60s the city thought about tearing it down because no one really used it but how Jackie Onassis helped save it... good job Jackie because this building is beautiful and deserves to be preserved. 

Then after lunch we had enough time to go to the New York Public Library. 

A man and his lion
I am sad to say as a future librarian, I had never been to this library, which is a true beauty. I have now seen the famous lions and the beautiful lobby. Now on my next trip to New York I hope to explore the stacks a bit. Then we went to the play. 
End of the Rainbow is about Judy Garland staying London while she is doing a five week show at the Talk of the Town. It is to be her big come back tour. However she struggles with her drug addictions. With her is her new fiance, Mickey Dean, lets just get it out in the open is a big jerk, and her loyal pianist friend Anthony. 
Tracie Bennett as Judy Garland
Okay that is the most basic plot line. So here are some of my reactions to the play. First if a play could be rated R, this play would be because they use the F word A LOT. That was hard for me to stomach because I have grown up idealizing Judy Garland from some of the movies I love most, Easter Parade and Meet Me in St. Louis. So to learn she was addicted to pills and alcohol, it kind of hurt. But Tracie Bennett who played Judy Garland played the character so sympathetically I felt sorry seeing one of my childhood heroes so fallen.
Judy Garland in Easter Parade... one of my favorites
My mom and other people in the audience, I was probably the youngest, kept mentioning how the actress had the characteristics of Judy Garland down so well it was almost as if Judy Garland was on stage. The play ends in New York in September but then goes on tour, if you go see it prepare yourself because you leave the theater saddened but also amazed at powerful-ness of the story. Here is a link to the New York Times review of End of the Rainbow if you want more of a critical view of this play. 

But I will not end this post on a sad note. After the play we still had some time to walk around so we walked to Rockefeller Center.

Then as we walking back to Penn Station we walked through Times Square. There were all these cartoon characters out there and I got my picture with Elmo. My mom took this picture with her phone and we sent it to my sister and niece as my niece loves Elmo. 

Then we got back on the train and headed home. I know I didn't see much of the city but I felt like I saw a lot for one day. So thanks New York City for the great day. 

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Ugly Betty is my Hero

Since school has ended I have become obsessed with the show Ugly Betty. I don't know how I missed it when it was originally on TV because it is the kind of TV I love, a mix of over dramatics, a great sense of humor and at the end of the show a heroine any girl should look up to. Very basic plot Betty Saurez who is not the typical beauty with her big glasses, her braces, and her own sense of fashion. Betty works at a high end, trendy fashion magazine where she is the assistant to the Editor-in-Chief, Daniel Meade, and dreams of one day being an editor and having her magazine. Basically she does not fit into this world of high end fashion and her "friends" Marc and Amanda frequently tease her for her fashion and her "large" size. 

So why is Betty my hero? Well that is easy in a world where she is teased constantly and pushed around she always has an up-beat, go getter attitude, and she always the gentle heart person you can't help but love. She doesn't let the negativity of the world get to her and no matter what she keeps pushing through. I love that she doesn't get absorbed into the fashion world and she still stands on her own two feet. She has dreams and pursues them with a great passion.

Even though she does not always fit into the world around her she makes friends, Christina, a true friend who helps Betty through the world of Mode. Amanda and Marc who have a love/hate relationship with her but at the end of the show are her dear friends. Also through the show she has five love interest. Walter, who is safe and secure but Betty realizes she wants more than her safe and secure life. Then comes Henry, who is an accountant of Mode, the cute adorable geek, who is the love of Betty's life.
Like any melodramatic show, the producers will not let the pair of lovers come together with out a few trials one being a pregnant ex-girl friend, the other being a more daring love interest Gio. So Betty and Henry come together then fall apart and then he comes back during critical moments, or what is known in the TV world "sweeps". The next love interest is Matt Hartley, who are cute together, can never work things out and eventually he moves to Africa.
But then comes Daniel. Through out the seasons, Betty and Daniel have some tender moments, the producers don't make this plot line a "will they or won't they." Daniel starts off the show as a womanizer and while he has swings of wanting to settle down he frequently goes back to his womanizing ways when things go bad in his life. Also Betty is so different then his typical woman I think it takes him awhile to see the beautiful woman she truly is. 
While Betty does ultimately get a physical make over, her spirit and passion stay the same and that is what I love about her. 
This post has been a lot about her love interest, and while that helps good TV, it is not those story lines that make Betty a hero of mine it is her view on life. She doesn't let the negativity of the world get her down, she makes mistakes and sometimes she gets her priorities messed up but at then end of it she still the go-getter Betty which is what I loved about her.

As I was thinking about this post, I was watching the last season on YouTube. There is this episode  "All the world's a stage" where Betty is dating this play-write but they have to hide their relationship. At the end of it she is kind of down on herself, she feels like she is the dork with glasses and braces. She has that her identity and all the negative connotations that go a long with it. In this moment she can't even see herself as beautiful.

Go to minute 4 and watch her and her sister's conversation.

It is a nice moment. To see this positive up-beat girl have a really tender moment where she admits her fear of being "ugly" but she wants to change her view point not only on the world around her but also on her own life. 

I think what I got most out of Ugly Betty was not to let the negative things in your life get you down you have to still go after your dreams. Then to realize if the negativity is coming from with in you have to change your story. (Easier said then done, I know.) Any way if this summer you are looking for a good woman role model look to Betty Saurez. (You can find most episodes on YouTube.)

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Garden Spells... A good beach read

On Sunday I finished reading Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen. As you know after finishing Mockingjay I was having a hard time moving on, I tried to read Henry James but I could not get into it. Sorry Henry James, I tried but didn't succeed. Any way, searching for a new book I went to my "books to read list" it was made awhile ago but feels good to cross books off my list. Then I went to the library to see if I could get my hands on some of them. This book has intrigued me over and over again yet I couldn't get myself to read it, mostly because it is not historical fiction and for a long time that was all I was reading. This year I am reading new novels and that means expanding my choice in books so I thought I would give it a try. I picked up it on a Tuesday night and finished it on Sunday. It was an easy read, not too much depth or intriguing plot lines to follow and you finish the book feeling a bit hopeful in love and a sisterly bond so if you are looking for a book to take to the beach this summer I recommend it.  

When I was flipping through the book to see if I should check it out, I liked the idea that it was about sisters and right now as I am writing about sisters I was intrigued to read a book on sisters. Plus being from the library, I felt comfortable checking it out and if I didn't like it I could easily return it but I did like it. It is about two sisters who mother abandoned them and then died when they were young. The oldest, Claire, is now afraid to let any one into her life because she is afraid to lose them and the youngest, Sydney, left home fresh out of high school to see the world but ends up in an abusive relationship so to escape she moves back home. These sisters must bond together and must open their hearts to let new love in. And there is a little bit of magic thrown into the plot. Not like wizards or anything like that but the Waverlys are known for their garden and the food that they make is not like any other food it reveals emotions, secrets and desires. Also they have a tree, that is magical by throwing its apples at them, and when one eats the apples it shows them their biggest moment rather it be good or bad. I don't want to give away too much off the plot. I found this other review of the book that I will warn does give some spoilers away at Reading and Reviewing.

I can't say it is the greatest book I have ever read, but am intrigued to read other books by Sarah Addison Allen. This may not be a work of great literature but I would throw it in my beach bag and escape into the little world of Bascom, North Carolina.

Monday, June 4, 2012

The Engagements


The second part of  "The Sisters and the Engagements"

The next day Laurel came down stairs and saw a few of Aunt Iris' friends but in the afternoon she adjourned back to her room and she did not feel well enough to go to Uncle Charles' and Aunt Iris' dinner party. Aunt Iris did not feel comfortable leaving Laurel alone so Emmy was attended to party by Mr. Dumont. Mr. Dumont was not the most sociable person so people were a bit surprised to see him without his wife but accepted him just the same. Emmy apologized to host and hostess for the change of plans. Uncle Charles paid no mind and Aunt Victoria was sorry she didn't know of her niece's sickness, when she said this she almost had a look of remorse so Emmy believed her. The when she was out of the receiving line she looked around and realized besides Mr. Dumont she knew no one in the room. She recognized some of them from the wedding but could not think of the names to go with the faces so she didn't feel comfortable approaching anyone. She saw Caleb standing in the corner talking to another group of men, she caught his glance for a bit and smiled. He smiled back but then coldly returned to his conversation.
"Miss Emmy," it was Mr. Foster.

"Mr. Foster, I did not know you would be here."

"Your aunt was kind enough to invite me. She needed a seat filler," he giggled a bit.

"Aw for me it was a family obligation."

"Where is your family?"

"Mr. Dumont has been pulled in with the other married men. Laurel was not feeling well enough to come and Mrs. Dumont stayed home with her."

"Miss Cromwell is sick?"

"A slight fever, the doctor said she would be fine."

"You called a doctor?"

"Yes Mr. Foster but like I said, he said she will be fine she just needs rest."

"Are you sure?"

"Yes, he is coming back next week to check up on her but Dr. Clark has been Mr. and Mrs. Dumont's physical for years he is completely trustworthy." Emmy saw Ethan's face change to worry over this conversation she lightly touched his arm. "If you want Mr. Foster, I can send word when Dr. Clark comes back."

"Yes Miss Emmy that will be nice."

"Now, Laurel told me for me not to be worried about her and told me to have a good time, I suggest you to do the same."

"Of course, I cannot having you go back to your sister with a bad report and since Mr. Dumont is preoccupied it is up to me show you off. Come on we can be second string invites together." Mr. Foster then stuck out his arm so he could escort her around.

"Thank you Mr. Foster," Emmy smiled one of her sweet smiles.

When they were at Pine Haven she saw Mr. Foster as a quiet and reserved man almost to the point of boredom and could never figure out why Laurel liked him. Though after few minutes with him she saw a soft side of him that was very caring and he made her laugh more than once through the night the night with his little jokes. And he did his job of showing her off to all her the best of society.

Eventually Aunt Victoria came up them. "My dear Mr. Foster, thank you so kind for entertaining my niece. Now Emmy tell me all about Laurel," she took her arm and started to pull her away.

"Mr. Foster please find me after dinner," Emmy said before she could get away.

"Yes Miss Emmy."

When they were out of hearing range Aunt Victoria gave her real reason for pulling Emmy away. "Be careful Emmy dear, people are whispering."

"Whispering about what?"

"You and Mr. Foster, what else?"

"What else indeed, he is a good friend of the family."

"Yes everyone knows his connection to your family. Sitting with you at church, spending the day at your house and now you guys are joined at the hip."

"What? You must be joking."

"We all thought it was your older sister he admired but now you are raising questions and I must say it is quite unbecoming for a young lady especially a young lady being just presented into society. You cannot chance ruining your good reputation before you have one."

"Aunt Victoria, I think you are worrying too much. I do not have any intentions towards Mr. Foster as far as I am concerned he and Laurel are meant to be together."

"Then behave better."

"Yes aunt," Emmy said as the dinner gong rung.

Mr. Dumont was good for being at her side two seconds later to escort her into dinner. He apologized for leaving her alone but Emmy told him it was alright. He either didn't hear the whispers going around or he did not care, both of those reasons made sense for Emmy and she was glad he didn't have any time to ask her follow up questions.

Though Emmy felt like a second string invite, she got a high seat of honor sitting at the right hand of her aunt. It was only correct that Emmy be giving a high spot of honor, after all she was the niece of the host and hostess but it was nice recognition. She might have had a high seat of honor, her aunt paid little attention to her and Emmy's other dinner partner was Reverend Cole, who was at least a hundred and had no interest in speaking. She looked diagonally across the table and saw Mr. Foster who sat three seats away Mr. Foster who sat three seats away from her on the opposite side allowing no conversation to happen but he smiled at her then rolled his eyes at the conversation his dinner partners were having. Both girls looked like persnickety girls that cared more about the fashion of the party than having an actual intelligent conversation.

"Why would he be so sweet to me and be so concerned about Laurel if he was engaged to another girl. No it could not be right Caleb must have been wrong," Emmy thought.

"Well cousin, you are getting some whispering about, I hope you are proud of yourself," Julia said after dinner when the men and women separated.

"All the whispering is ridiculous, I have no attentions towards Mr. Foster as I told your mother."

"I hope not you would not want to crush her sister's heart."

"I have no attentions."

"You are such a good, sweet, innocent girl and way too idealistic."

"Thank you cousin."

"It will not do at all if you plan to stay in Boston. Everyone know to survive in the real world you must be sweet and innocent on the outside and cunning on the inside."

"Perhaps then I don't belong in Boston."

"Perhaps not."

"But while I am here I will learn from your ways and then all the men will want me."

The words could be sweet but the tone was far from anything sweet. Emmy could not tell you what it was about her cousin that brought out the worst in her. She used to love her cousin but after this summer she saw her cousin as a manipulative person always looking for trouble. Emmy thought her cousin would be great as a Shakespeare villain, much in the vein of Iago from Othello.

After Emmy and Julia exchanged their pleasantries the men returned to their women. No one could miss what happened next Caleb nodded to Julia when he came in the room and she cut through the party to him. Uncle Charles then clinked his glass calling the attention to him

"If my wife could join me, we have some pleasant news to announce," Aunt Victoria joined him in no time. "We kept it quiet till our eldest, Nicholas, was married bit now we are pleased to announce our daughter Julia will be marrying Mr. Caleb James."

The room began spinning for Emmy. All the claps and clinks of glasses blurred together and she felt her knees go weak. Her vision then got hazy and then she was gone. The next thing she knew she woke up in one of aunt's guest room.

She had collapsed, and unlike Laurel who gained consciousness right away Emmy stayed out while Mr. Foster picked her up and at Aunt Victoria's insistence carried her up to a guest room. Then he was ushered out of the room so the maids could take off her dress and loosen her corset. Of course they thought it was her corsets pulled too tight, it was frequent for girls to lose breath with their corsets pulled too tight even with the more natural form styles that were in fashion.
Little did they know Ethan Foster paced in the hall outside of Miss Emmy's door till he heard that she was alright. Mr. Dumont was there too but he just leaned against the wall not saying much.
"How is she doing Mrs. Danford?" Ethan asked she came out of the room.
"She is awake now."
"Good, then I think should order my motor coach and we can bring her down when it arrives," Mr. Dumont said calmly.
"I do not think that is a good idea, I would not want to upset her, I think she should spend the night her. We will send word after breakfast if she is up to leaving," Mrs. Danford said.
Before Ethan could say he agreed Julia was at the top of the stairs.
"Mother, come quickly the guest are talking about leaving. This is my night and I will not let Emmy is fainting ruin it," Julia had her temper fit tone.
"Alright, darling, alright I will be right down."
"No mother, I need you now or else this whole night will be ruined."
This is left the gentlemen alone.
"Mr. Foster thank you for being so concerned over Miss Emmy, I am sure my wife will want to express her thanks as well, they meant the world to her. When she is home please come by."
"Thank you Mr. Dumont. Please send her my regards and give Miss Cromwell all my best wishes for her to feel better soon."
" I will. I'd better be off, I am sure by now Mrs. Dumont would have received word of Miss Emmy and I will have to calm her down."
Both Mr. Dumont and Ethan Foster snuck out of the party. Mr. Dumont did it quickly after saying his farewell to Ethan but Ethan stayed a bit, he could not leave the house thinking any second he could be needed to fetch a doctor, or send word to the Dumonts, or really anything. Then Mr. Danford came up stairs a little sloshed from the festivities below. Mr. Danford was usually the first one to turn in, he stat it was because he had business to attend to but in reality he was either too bored or too drunk or both to be in a party mood.
"Go on son, go on home, we will notify you right away if she gets worse," was all he said when he passed by Ethan Foster in the hall.
"Yes sir."
Then Ethan slipped out. It was warm October night which was uncommon for how late in the season it was. The summer air had disappeared but there was still a sense of warmth that lingered. Because of this walk home. The Danfords lived near Berkley on Commonwealth and he lived near Dartmouth on Marlborough, it would not be worth hassle of ordering his automobile for the five blocks. Plus his thoughts were preoccupied and he needed the walk to clear his them out. They should have been on Miss Emmy after all she was the one that fainted, but Laurel was stuck in his brain. He pretended not to hear the whispers at the party as a man it was easier to ignore idle gossip. He had though, everyone snickering at his behavior to Emmy calling them suitors and making other false accusations. How would he ever be able to explain it to Laurel? She had seem so cold the other to him and now this would not help her thoughts of him. He thought he could put it all behind him, he never should have sent her the book, it would just give her hope and he could not lead on like that. The news of his engagement would crush her.
To read more click here

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Sister Saturday

I have been trying to find a picture that captured some of the sentiment of the following scene from my story... but I could not. However, since this scene is about sisters finally bonding together I thought I would share some of my favorite pictures of my sisters and I (okay the middle one is not my sisters but Edwardian appropriate).

I have two lovely sisters both who inspire me probably more than they know. 
For Pic in middle 
So here is the first part of my edition "The sisters and the engagements"

Once dinner was over Emmy politely excused herself to Laurel's room. Laurel was not awake but Emmy didn't care she undid her shoes and let down her hair and pulled up close to her sister.

            The next part was all said in a soft whisper as to not disturb her sleeping sister. "Oh Laurel I have not been a good sister, I don't know what happened to us we used to be as thick as thieves. You were always my best friend the one I told everything and sometimes I miss you. I guess you grow up after father died making sure our family kept above water. You were always there for us, always the head strong, common sense one, that we depend up to get things right and I was the non-sensible, foolishly idealistic one and after father died I just wanted to escape into a dreamy world of fantasy. It was a world of fantasy. It was a world we once shared but then you faced reality and I never could. Oh Laurel, I am sorry for any of my foolishness that I caused you pain, I am sorry I am not more dependable like you, I wish I could be?"

            "Don't be," Emmy looked and saw Laurel looking at her.
            "I am sorry Laurel, I didn't mean to wake you."
            "I am glad you did. Emmy don't be like me I am too structured and everyone thinks I am too unfeeling. I am sure that is what drove Ethan away."
            "What do you mean?"
            "I could not express my feelings to Ethan Foster not to him, not even to my sister or my mother because I am so structured I couldn't let someone know my heart. When I saw you gave your heart so openly to Mr. James I admit I was a little jealous of your spirit and heart."
            "Yes, while sometimes you don't always think before you talk and you act as if everything was novel, you have such a passionate spirit."
            "Don't wish that, it sometimes causes more regrets than happiness."
            "We just need to figure out how I can be a little bit more like you and for you to be a little bit more like me then we will be the perfect puzzle piece."

            Emmy looked into Laurel's eyes and saw a happy tenderness she had not seen in a long time. The girls curled up next to each other for the night and the morning Laurel was able to come down for breakfast. Aunt Iris was so happy to see some color in her niece's cheeks she made sure to serve them an extra large helping. Though Laurel's color had returned she felt tired after breakfast and went back to bed.
            "Aunt, we have to figure out if what Caleb told me about Mr. Foster being engaged is true or not."
            "How are we going to do that? Spy on him."
            "No, I don't know."
            "Sweet heart I think we should stay out of Mr. Foster and Laurel's business."
            "I wish I could but she is my sister, I cannot risk seeing her potentially having her heart broken."
            "Emmy dear I know you mean well but I hate to admit it but broken hearts are a part of growing up. As much you like to live in a hopeful romantic world sometimes relationships do not work out and Mr. Foster and Laurel might not work out," Aunt Iris saw Emmy's face go sad. "Then again they could live happily ever after and if they are meant to be together they will be without our meddling."
            "All right Aunt Iris."
            "You promise Emmy you will not interfere."
            "Yes aunt I promise," Aunt Iris lifted Emmy's chin to look into her eyes.
            "Eyes never lie," was an expression Fiona was always telling Emmy and whenever she wanted to know whether Emmy was lying she looked her square in the eyes.

            Emmy was not lying this time she promised her aunt that she would not meddle and she would not meddle no matter what her romantic heart told her to do.

To read about the surprise engagement that is to follow... click here