Showing posts with label Daphne. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Daphne. Show all posts

Monday, September 8, 2014

Writer confession... I am a bad writer

Okay I saw this picture on Pinterest and loved it... Though it was a little out of date for the setting of my story I thought it was perfect for my characters. So I went to pin in on my "Lovely Inspiration" and when Pinterest asked me to describe the pin I thought "wait what are my character's name?" I mean I know my main character's names (Mattie and Shane) but I could not think of Mattie's sister's name... Daphne.

Whoa that's bad and I hung my head in disappointment trying to think of when was the last time I truly looked at my story. I could make an excuse of being on vacation and almost as soon as I got off the plane I was in moving mode. But still I have 100s of pins about how writing a daily thing... and for me its just not. I feel like a bad writer.

As I am transitioning back to school it feels like a good time to get a fresh start and I want write the promise that I will write every day... but knowing the reality of working and hopefully finishing my thesis won't leave much time for my creative writing. However, I know escaping into my writing will help me stay sane. So my goal is to make time to write and post parts of my story as frequently as possible. (I know that's vague but I am trying.)

Something to remember...

To begin with here is part of my story of my working title "Grand Days"...
An idea for Cranston Court
Cranston Court stood as relic to the Tudor era with an almost gothic feel to it. At least on the outside on the inside it looked more like a French palace, or so Mattie imagined, don in the Rococo style as if Louis XVI would come in any moment. Lady Welford was an American Heiress through and through and had mad made the talk of the country when she refused to move into Cranston when Lord Welford inherited it. She insisted for many modern improvements that were common in America. This included new pipes, better fitting windows to block the drafts and dumb waiters so food would be warm when it reached the dinner table. This was before Mattie was born but it was still gossiped about the village.
Daphne and Mattie followed Parker up the back stair case from the kitchen to the third floor. Mattie was puzzled where they were going to find dresses for her and Daphne for Lady Welford only had one son. Amongst the splendor of Cranston Court Mattie began to feel the shabbiness of their attire even if they didn't have any mud stains on them. She felt certain that she would never fit into the grandness of a place in this and she felt certain that whatever she did would bring shame to Lady Welford, and she did not want to do that after all Lady Welford was already being so generous to them. Even Daphne who far outweighed Mattie in beauty looked a bit faded against the grandeur of Cranston. After passing through a long corridor that took them to the end of the house and into a wing that was barely touched, Parker stopped at a door.     

He didn't open the door but spoke in hushed by very firm voice. "This was my sister, Aurora's room. I am sure my mother, Lady Welford, would like it to be left they way you found it. Get dressed quickly. Food will be in the nursery shortly."
When Parker opened the room, the creamy pink color that covered the wall almost made it shine against the dark interior of the hall. The room was so dainty  and sweet with comforter, the curtains, and the pillow all matching in a cheery flower print. Mattie quickly noticed the little doll with curly brown ringlets sitting in a high chair in the corner with a bassinet in the middle of the room all the perfect size for the doll. And in the bassinet there was light pink blanket that matched the colors of the with the initials APW stitched on it. The one thing Mattie noticed the most was the lack of dust, which seemed astonishing for the corridor looked as if no one ever touched this part of the house. Everything though in this room looked as if it had been cleaned all the time.
"Mathilda! Don't touch anything," Daphne snapped at her as she was staring at the doll.

For the story to be accurate it must be noted that even though no one was listening the girls spoke in a whisper as if someone was.

"I wasn't, I was just looking. Don't you find it a bit curious that we have known the Welford family all our lives, at least Parker, and we have never heard of this Aurora Welford. I always thought Parker was an only child."

"No Mattie, it was not curious at all. You only make things curious because you don't occupy your time with more important things. You read too many novels and it has affected your sensibilities. Now we have to find something to wear, we don't want to keep them waiting." 

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Feeling stuck....

I wish I looked this happy writing. Even when I love a story I get stuck and I have to step away and get some perspective, or find something that helps me with my inspiration. Mostly for this I turn to Pinterest. I collect many things on Pinterest from my love of Edwardian fashion, to beautiful country side landscapes, and my obsession with certain TV shows and movies. Sometime it is just filled with beautiful nature scenes. 

In my story The Grand Days I will admit I have gotten stuck. I am trying to write about Mattie's first time in London and all that she experiences. And while I have spent hours on pinterest looking up ideas I am not sure what I want to happen here.  So I need to step back and think things through. I think I want to develope Daphne a bit, develop her into a softer character. She has been rather harsh in the past.

One thing that has helped me in the past of getting unstuck is to spend lots of time typing up my story (as right now most of it is still hand written). Doing this somehow gives me focus on what my story is about and helps gives me insight into what to do next. 

Looking up pictures has been awesome...
Crowds at Paddington Station- July 2, 1908
Life is like that sometimes... In the recent past I have felt "stuck". I have wanted to do things in my life but because I still have to finish grad-school I haven't been able to do. Sometimes I let myself get down on the feeling of being stuck because I anticipate the future being so much better. However, I have had a personal conviction that I live so much in hopes of the future instead of enjoying the present. (I am trying to work on that more.) Though there are things I want for my future... I can't let my desire for those things stop me from living now. I have found the best cure for getting out of the "stuck" feeling is taking a step back, reflect on what is going on, and praying God to use me in this moment.

I am not feeling so "stuck" now... I more feel like things are shifting. In my church our pastor has left to move back to Illinois and that feels like a huge shift because he and his family have been a part of my life for 7+ years. Hank baptized me. Also my community group (Bible study) is taking a formal break for the summer (first one in years) and I have started attending a new group at Park Street church. Personally I feel things are shifting. I have been in grad-school for so long (at least it feels that way) and now I only have my thesis to write. But I am wondering if the library world is where I see myself... I don't know. As I have posted about I want to use my passions for God's Kingdom but I am not feeling passionate about Library stuff. I kind of would like just to write to my hearts content and be of service to people (over coffee, missions or whatever). I have been praying about this and more asking God for my heart to stay steadfast in him. 

I am excited more and more about my story of Ginny and Essie (still untitled) I am using some autobiographical things from my own life and Ginny will be facing some questions I have faced and continue to face. I hope using my love of writing stories and my faith will be a good outlet. 
Not really related to post but awesome Roald Dahl quote

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Writing Wednesdays

Previous post Fun writing Friday
~~~~~~~~Summer, 1910~~~~~~~~~~~
  It was a typical summer. Mr. and Mrs. Harrington had spent the season in London as they typically did attending the most fashionable events their money could afford. After a short visit to Southerton they left their children to attend a hunting party in Scotland. Mr. Harrington claimed it was important for his business connection, but business was hardly on his mind as enjoyment was his true pursuit. Mrs. Harrington was perfect partner for Mr. Harrington on this as she great joy in frivolity. Mr. and Mrs. Harrington also agreed that they found their four children to travel with especially when they had Mrs. Gardner, a diligent care take to watch over them. So the Harrington children spent most of their summers alone. As it was the last bit of summer Marcus and Parker were to return to Eton College in a few weeks and the children made every effort to make the most of it.

                On this particular day Marcus, who was sixteen and should have known better had stolen Mr. Harrington's new atlas from the library and perched himself on a large rock that for years had been called Captain's Throne. When they were younger Marcus, Parker, and Shane had formed an explorers club and swore they were going to see the world and find new lands. Over the years only Marcus kept this dream alive but once Marcus showed the boys the new atlas with its gold trimmed papers and new country lines, the explorers talked as if they were children again.

                "Everyday people are discovering new lands and we can be the next great explorers!" Marcus spoke daringly to his comrades.
                "There are no new lands, Marcus, just government powers changing hands," Parker snorted.

                Thomas Edward Parker Welford, Parker as we called him was far too sensible for the dreams Marcus talked about. He never seemed to have much in mind for progress and change. He was the Earl's heir and found it only decent to keep up traditions. Sometimes Parker sounded as if the Jacobins were still beheading nobles and if progress maintained they would be coming after him and all nobility.

                "That's not true look at these parts of Africa and the Indies that haven't been touched by any Europeans. We could claim them."
                "We cannot claim them, we are servants to his majesty and if we find any new land it will belong to the Commonwealth, not to us personally," Parker was quick to respond.
                "He's right you know," Shane said.

                Shane Gray, who was then seventeen, and practically a grown up in the eyes of Mattie. They had all grown up together so the age difference did not always matter but sometimes Shane was far more logical than the rest of them. He was usually the voice of reason between Marcus' idealism and Parker's sensible and rather harsh thinking. Though Shane was reasonable  he too had grand ambitions of leaving his servants status and know the world's options so he often favored Marcus' ideals over Parker.

                "I for one cannot imagine having any interest in seeing such barbaric places," Daphne said in a conceited tone.
                "Well no one asked you," Marcus shouted down to her.

                Daphne, who was the fifteen, was in a phase of becoming a young lady. Her dresses were now at least ankle length and if she attended a dinner she could now wear dresses with a demi-train. She now constrained herself to tight fisted rules of propriety. She could no longer go tramping through the woods, or wading in the creek. She would not allow her dresses to have a mud stain or a rip. Though Mattie could never remember a time when Daphne was ever so careless as to stain or rip her dress. Today Daphne was wearing her cream shirtwaist blouse  with a light violet skirt, and highly impractical shoes. Daphne had tried to climb the rock and be a part of the explorers club but it was impossible in her outfit that she wouldn't dare ruin.

                "Be nice to her," Shane said. "Women cannot imagine the thrill of discovering new lands."

                Shane, the real reason why Daphne wanted to climb on Daphne on Captain's Throne. They had grown up together and for the most part Shane was like an older brother to her but last winter Shane saved Daphne's life (as she put it) and now she was head over heels in love with him. Though Daphne never admitted it and thought it was a great secret. Unfortunately for Daphne all the party had know about it, even Shane, however he was close to three years her senior and he hardly noticed her. That didn't put Daphne out, she did everything she could to get Shane's attention. In that morning she had spent two hours primping herself for our hour or so in the back woods. She had braided her hair down her back making sure her curls were perfectly around her face. She had even put on some of mother's rouge and perfume. It had not made the impact Daphne had hoped for, for Mattie had heard Shane snicker about how the rouge made her look like a clown and the perfume had made him want to chop off his nose. At that moment Mattie had wanted to push Shane in the creek with all the sisterly affection she could muster.

                Besides Shane's harsh jokes, that Mattie had overheard, Shane barely noticed Daphne that day because of Mr. Harrington atlas. Daphne had been left to her own devices of picking flowers to determine Shane's feelings. A waste of a good flower Mattie thought. Mattie was too young, at twelve to understand, why her sister liked a boy especially when it was so clear he did not like her in return. Shane had actually had had a crush on Susan Sedly, a girl from town who had paled around with Daphne  during picnics and such. Though Daphne dissolved all kindness towards her when she found out Shane kissed her at the May Day picnic. Even though Daphne had heard that Susan had given Shane two hard slaps she still did not renew her kindness. Now for the past few weeks Daphne had heard nothing of Susan's name from Shane and that made Daphne hope again. Mattie silently laughed at Daphne's behavior and how idiotic it all seemed.

                Though nothing extraordinary happened, and the days all seemed to blend together one right after the next with a few minor highlights of the years that passed, in all this these were the grand days for the Harrington children at Southerton. Without Mr. and Mrs. Harrington present they were under the  care of Mrs. Gardner, and in the heat of summer she was known for taking long naps and expected the children to do the same. Instead many times they snuck a few pastries and would run away to the back woods not stopping for any breath. It was here they would plot out the grand adventures they desired for their lives.

                Mattie, was at the age when the idea of adventure began to creep into her brain. She loved her home of Southerton Greens and really could not imagine her life apart from it. It had been in the family since Charles II and while it wasn't grand like Cranston Court it was still a prized estate. Southerton was built in the high days of Georgian Architecture with tall columns along the front making it look like a Romanesque temple in a beautiful English garden. Large enough that on miserably cold or weary rainy days Mattie still enjoyed finding nooks and crannies to hide in for hours on end. Mattie's grandfather used to tell her that Southerton wasn't just a home or an estate it was part of her blood as a Harrington. She remembered those words clearly and could never really envision leaving but still dreams of exploration began to creep into her mind and she started to imagine what the world beyond Southerton looked like. 
Mattie running to the back woods

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Writing is a puzzle


Classes are over, and I know I have to work on my thesis, but I'd rather be working on my story, but I believe writing as always kept me sane so I feel like that justifies me spending some time getting in some fun writing.

As I wrote on my last post I find inspiration for my story on Pinterest. Over the last couple of months when I have not been wanting to work on my thesis I have been working on re-writing my story of Mattie Harrington. I have shared the first paragraphs of this story in my "Beginning Again". However, right now I am jumping ahead...

One of the changes I have made in this story is changing it from a first person perspective story to a third person perspective. Through this I have been adding little details and also remembering details. One detail of my story is that Southerton does not keep horses so whenever Mattie wants to go riding she has to go to Cranston Court, which allows for lots interactions with Kelby. However, when I was originally writing this story I had written that Mattie had snuck out of the house early and went for a ride and in that she has an accident. I realize how can she get in a horse accident when she doesn't own a horse. If she went to Cranston to borrow a horse, Kelby would have gone out riding with her and this would prevent the accident... so I was stuck. What to do?
Then a few days ago I found this picture on pinterest and it was like a light bulb came on... she can easily crash a bike. Now I have to figure out the details of how to get the bike into the story. (I think Daphne will bring it back from London). I also have to figure out why Mattie goes for a bike ride, usually when she wants to clear her head she goes for a walk, why would she chose a bike that day?

Here is a few lines I have written for Kelby and Mattie in 1921, I will have to see how to fit into my story... 

"Do you remember the day you got this," he stroked the side of her forehead feeling the scar beneath his thumb

"Yes I fell from that blasted bicycle."

"I knew then. As soon as I saw you fell, and thought you could have ded. I knew then, I ran to you faster than I had ever ran. I came to you and I called out, 'Mattie, Mattie, sweetheart'. It was foolish but then again it wasn't. You are my sweetheart and I felt from that day on I could not do without you."

He kissed her scar and she wanted to melt in his arms. "I guess I owe that blasted bike to letting me know of my affections," he whispered. Mattie giggled at joy in this moment. 

Sometimes these moments of inspiration are like a puzzle that you have to put together. 

To follow the progress of my story just follow the label "Grand Days" (that is my working title of my story)
Yes it is Joey and Pacey from Dawson's Creek but I thought it was good for Mattie and Kelby.
Sorry link no longer works but this pic was too good to pass up on.

Monday, July 15, 2013

A Debuntante through the years

Edwardian Debutante


I am sorry I have not posted much of my story here... I have been writing I promise. As I have said in the past I usually have to write out my story in my notebook and then I type it up. Unfortunately with the heat wave we have had in Boston  and also due to some of the emotional issues I have shared I have not had the energy to sit at my computer and typed it up. As I have postponed my thesis I want to spend more time fun writing and then typing it up. In my story I am up to the year 1913. Daphne, the oldest daughter is now being presented into society. I was first introduced to the idea of a debutante through Gilmore Girls... though the debutantes have changed over time there definitely something very traditional about them.

I know it is old fashioned but there seems something about a girls debut that seems so nostalgic. In the books I have been reading The Dream Kingdom and The Restless Sea the author Cynthia Harrod-Eagles makes a girl's first season to be the height of their life. It is also a pivotal point in a girl's life... it is here the girl can finally leave the home and perhaps have some adventure. It is also during the season a girl had hopes to find love and marriage. (I had truly wished Downton Abbey had shown Lady Sybil's season.)

The book To Marry an English Lord writes "In the June fortnight between the Derby and Ascot, the seasons reaches its peak. Invitations like in stacks on silver salvers just inside every front door. More dinners, parties, balls, concerts, teas, breakfast even, than anyone can possibly attend. The aristocracy socializes morning, noon, and night, going without sleep for the sake of another dance or one last hand of 'baccy'" (p. 25).


And now it is Daphne's turn to partake...

          It was now the early spring of 1913.  My sister, Daphne, was now eighteen and the height of her beauty and was preparing to be presented in society. Lady Adelaide had slowly come back to us, though she was forever weakened. She could be lively when she need be. Lady Adelaide had generously invited the position of tutoring and hosting Daphne for the season. When I asked her if she was sure about this position knowing how her heartache when Aurora died, she promised she was certain. Daphne was to attend the best of society. Father grumbled at the dressmaker's bill but mother  knew it was all the key to getting Daphne married off well. Mother wanted Daphne to be the talk of the town and mother was repeatedly telling Daphne she had the beauty to capture a viscount or earl if she put her mind to it.

      Daphne and I spent most of the spring practicing dancing and other refined manners. Mother though t best that I too be prepared for my debut. Of course by the time my presentation would come we would be at war and the season was hardly thought of. However, for now I was happy to have such an open time at Cranston Court. I enjoyed being able to see Lady Adelaide most everyday and I felt our presence was a comfort to her since Lord Welford had been splitting  his time between York and Manchester only rarely coming to Cranston. Parker was away at University and even when he had a holiday he spent it with some of his classmates. Marcus did the same.

      "Men were not to stay at the home," she once told me. I never knew if that was meant to console her heart or just a truth.

      And as Parker and Marcus were away Lady Adelaide enrolled Shane and Kelby to be our dance partners. Until now I only saw Daphne having a crush on Shane but it was during our time at Cranston I began to see Shane had feelings for Daphne. It all came on gradually it would be hard to pin point when I first notice an affection between them. Then one day we were dancing and the floor was too slippery and Daphne tripped and he gallantly picked her up and carried her to the sofa. I am sure any man would have done the same but there was a look that I saw pass between them. After that it was only looks I noticed. They had to be discreet as it would bring ruin to both Daphne and Shane if a servant to fall for a lady. While at this point it was only looks I never imagined either one of them would act on it. Daphne knew the desire mother had for her life and Daphne was the finest defender of propriety. So the moments of their affection would be off the page if it wasn't for my for my vivid imagination.

This has been particularly interesting in writing this part as my story is told from first person perspective, Rose's perspective and she is not with Daphne. So far letters have told the events of what is going but I need to think of other ways... perhaps more will be told when Daphne returns home.

Besides the books I have listed there have been some websites that have been quite helpful...