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Category Archives: june crusade

update

I don’t think I’ll be getting to the other plot bunnies, even though I have them in my head, because of certain things that have come up with my main project – Vengeance Is Mine.  I started revising it a week or two ago, and my brain has started exploding with new plot ideas and characters and all that stuff, so I’ve spent all my writing time working with the revisions.  The biggest change is that the trilogy has shrunk to one book. I hate reading trilogies where the story could just as easily have been told with one book, and I feel that’s how VIM would’ve been, so I’ve changed that.  It’s more streamlined, interesting, not to mention easier to manage.  The story is still very big, so a sequel could be in the works as well, but I want to tie up pretty much everything in the first book.  I had a lot of fun with the plot bunnies I did write, but VIM is huge for me, and I want to devote all my time to it.  I do want to write about one particular plot bunny, so there’ll probably be one more post for that, but I’m not sure it’ll be in June.  However, I hope to bring you more updates on VIM (along with snippets), so there should be another post coming soonish.

Until then, happy writing!

Eva

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Posted by on June 25, 2014 in june crusade, random, vengeance is mine, writing

 

plot bunny #5: blood & rubies

no Pinterest board – yet.

The 1920’s have always fascinated me (let’s face it…all time periods of history fascinate me), and I enjoyed watching Downton Abbey for this reason (I didn’t adore it like so many people do, but it was enjoyable enough).  And, surprise, surprise, it inspired me with a story idea.  This particular idea was first realized as a short story (which you can read here, at the end of the post), and I had a lot of fun writing it.  Then, I decided to use it as a project for the Plot Bunny challenge, and ideas started pouring in thick and fast for a full-length novel.  I can honestly say that, so far, it’s the plot bunny that’s intrigued me the most.  Writing the snippet gave me a writer’s high (even if it may not look that good to you), and I get happy shivers every time I look at the above collage.  Basically, there’s a ruby ring with a history, blackmail, a thief/murderer (although not who you might think), and a gorgeous love story.  It makes me fangirl just thinking about it.  I miiight be doing this novel for NaNoWriMo, but I’ll have to work on the plot beforehand, since mysteries/thrillers still aren’t my forte.

The thief stared at her nails and shook her head.
“Ragged,” she muttered.
It was true, they were ragged. The late nights, endless days, fear of being discovered, and the need to keep up a constant pretence was wearing on her nerves, which in turn wore on her fingernails. Her usually polished look was starting to slide away, and it was only a matter of time before others started to notice.
Especially the person she most wished would never find out.
Her husband.
With a restless sigh she stood up from where she sat on the side of her bed and walked over to her tiny vanity. She threw herself into the elegant chair that sat in front of it, her flowing gown billowing around her. A nail file was in one of the drawers, and she pulled it out and set to returning her nails to their former glory.
The whole thing was a facade, really.
Being a dutiful wife to the best of husbands – Robert was that, certainly. Telling the servants what to do. Conversing with her mother-in-law with a guise of politeness. None of them knew what she was planning, or what she was capable, but the time was fast approaching . In truth, she would have to act swiftly to keep all of them safe, whether she really wanted to or not.
But, oh, how she wanted to act.
Right now, with decision, no hesitation.
The door opened with its usual creak, and in her mirror, she saw Robert enter the room.
“It’s almost dinner,” he said. “Just thought I’d come up to remind you.”
She smiled. “Thank you. I’ll be right down.” She kept her hands firmly in her lap and replaced the nail file. She was finished, anyway. Finished with hiding and waiting and not doing anything. Robert nodded and was about to leave when she turned around and caught his hand in hers. There were so many things she wanted to say, but she swallowed them all down, and instead said, “I’m ready now.”
“We’ll go down, then,” he said, smiling.
His eyes were so full of love and admiration and pride in her that she could barely stand it. Him discovering what she would do had never figured into her plans, but if he ever did, she truly believed she might kill herself. To see that look go out of his eyes and have it replaced by sadness, or even hatred would be more than she could bear. She was sure of that.
It did nothing to dissuade her, though. ~Blood & Rubies

I’m really happy with this snippet.  You?

Eva

 
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Posted by on June 19, 2014 in blood & rubies, june crusade, snippets, writing

 

plot bunny #4: six dancing princesses

link to Pinterest board here.

I wrote the snippet for this plot bunny this morning, and I’m not feeling all that inspired about it (such is the life of a writer…ups and downs).  Anyway.  My friend, Galannaley and I both really love the fairy tale called ‘Twelve Dancing Princesses’ and we decided together that we wanted to write our own fleshed-out version of the story.  We’ve cut down the number of princesses from twelve to six, since it’s simpler, but other than that, we don’t have much to go on.  Revolution, an awesome hero, a wedding dress that each of the princesses covet….it’s all a random mix of elements at the moment.  But I do love medieval stories, so I made this be one of my plot bunnies for the challenge.  I haven’t talked with Galannaley about any of the stuff I’ve written so far, but when we get together to collaborate again, things will probably change, so this is a rather exclusive sneak-peek.  Enjoy!

Once upon a time, there was a wedding dress.
It was the most beautiful wedding dress in the world, at least in the eyes of the girls who went to look at it nearly every day. Those girls were the daughters of the woman who had first worn it. She was a queen, and they were princesses. And all of them wanted to have the wedding dress for their own, even though it could only go to one princess. The one who showed herself the most worthy.
Each of them strove to live up to the standard their late mother had left.
Some succeeded, others failed, but only one would be chosen to wear the dress.
This is their story.

“Agatha, have you seen my hairbrush?”
The maid, Agatha, dipped a low curtsey. “No, m’lady.”
A scowl met her words, as Vivian, the oldest princess shook her head in disgust. “You’re supposed to keep track of these things,” she said, as she slouched down into a comfortable arm chair, one hand on her head. “How am I supposed to look presentable for the ball tonight if I don’t have my hair brushed?” She opened her eyes and glared at Agatha.
Agatha, however, was used to such looks, and she said, “One of the other princesses took it, m’lady. I believe it was Lady Kit.” The princesses were always borrowing – or stealing – each other’s possessions and it made one’s head spin to keep track of it all. Because of this, she’d started keeping a little blank book that she made notations in whenever she spied one sister making off with something of the others. Since she couldn’t write, she drew a sketch of whatever had been taken, along with a little mark for which princesses were involved – she had a special mark for each one.
“Well, go get it, will you?” Vivian asked, her tone fretful.
Agatha nodded, curtsied again, and went in search of Lady Kit. She had a good idea of where the princess was, having seen her only a few minutes ago, so she went straight to the lady’s room. Right before she entered, she listened for a moment outside the door. She’d learned from previous experience that if she entered without listening, the results could be embarrassing. One time, one of the princesses had been crying her eyes out, and Agatha interrupted her. It hadn’t been good.
This time, however, all she heard was light laughter and excited chatter. She knew that more than one princess was in there, and they were probably discussing tonight’s ball. The king had been planning it for months, and tonight was the night.
All the princesses were ecstatically excited. There were six princesses in all, and Agatha had gotten a head ache from all their squealing and chatter. Well, not all of them were like that. Lady Christina had been mostly quite, but, then, she often quiet. As the youngest and smallest, no-one paid much attention to her.
“Ladies?” Agatha said, opening the door.
“Oh, Agatha!” Lady Ella said, motioning Agatha over with her hand, as though she could force the maid over to her by the wind created by the motions. “Come over here and tell me which dress I should pick. I’ve narrowed it down to three choices, but I need to know for sure so that you can do my hair in the best way to complement it.”
Agatha walked over to look at the dresses laid out on Lady Ella’s bed.
The girls had other maids, of course, but Agatha was a favorite – although none of the princesses ever went outside the bounds of propriety and tried to initiate friendship – mainly because she could be trusted with secrets. All the princesses had at least one, and if they didn’t want to tell each other, the burdens fell to Agatha.
“Didn’t the king have a new gown made especially for each of you for the ball?” she asked.
Lady Ella flipped her hands dismissively. “Yes, he did, but the shade was off, and the brocade is too scratchy. I’ve still got it out. It’s this one,” she said, stroking the soft velvet of a gorgeous green gown. With her reddish-blonde hair and green eyes, it would perfectly match her complexion and overall look. Agatha knew that it was the right one, no matter what Lady Ella said.
Still, she glanced over the other two, just to make sure.
They were both elegant, beautiful gowns – one peacock blue, and the other a summery shade of yellow – but neither of them was quite right. So Agatha held up the green one. “This will best suit you, m’lady,” she said, then prepared for the storm of protests that would presently follow. They did, in short order. The brocade was still to scratchy, she’d asked for a brighter shade of green, and the velvet was rougher than she was used to.
Personally, Agatha thought the dressmaker had done a brilliant thing, whether by accident or design, by toning down the shade. Lady Ella would have looked tacky in a bright colour, but the more muted forest green was the perfect accent for her livelier nature. “I don’t see any brocade,” she commented, taking in the dress with a more critical eye.
Lady Ella rolled her eyes. “Of course not. It’s on the inside. I swear the dressmaker put it in there to torture me.” Agatha untied the dress and looked inside. Sure enough, brocade lined the bodice and everything else down to the skirt. Surely Lady Ella would be wearing a corset, in which case, Agatha saw no point in the brocade. Perhaps the dressmaker had put it in for no real reason.
“We could take it out,” Agatha said. “It’s not really needed.”
Lady Ella stared at her. “We’d ruin it,” she said after a moment.
Agatha shook her head. “Not if you took it back to the dressmaker.” On second thought, the brocade probably gave the dress a stiffness and body, but it wasn’t completely necessary. Then, she remembered her original mission, and looked around for Lady Kit. She sat a few feet away, watching the proceedings, and lazily brushing her hair with Lady Vivian’s hair brush.
Agatha sighed and prepared to take on another princess. ~Six Dancing Princesses

What are your thoughts on this?  I think I’ve definitely done better writing, but that was what I came up with.

Eva

 

plot bunny #3: our story, our year

link to Pinterest board here.

This story has been sitting in my brain for months (ever since I started collaborating on it with my dear friend, Sierra), and I’ve recently been given permission to work on it myself, so I rethought the whole premise (the main character falling in love with the reader) and discovered that I wasn’t ready to go into speculative fiction like that, so it’s turned itself into a more normal YA light romance novel.  I think I’ll have a lot of fun writing it whenever I get around to doing so, because it’s a lot brighter and happier than most of my story ideas.  Basically, this girl, Sadie, and her older sister, Dawn are orphans.  Sadie works part-time in a coffee shop (she and Dawn share an apartment, so that’s her contribution to the finances).  She frequents a used bookstore, and comes across this guy named Archer and his brother Ed in it one day.  She and Archer clearly like each other, but then Archer gets into a car accident and goes blind.  Most of the novel revolves around the repercussions of the accident and how love can still grow under the most difficult circumstances (that’s a wayyy oversimplified version of it, but this kind of thing is supposed to be simple, so…).  And here is Ze Snippet.

I stand in front of the old bookstore – Ye Olde Bookshoppe. I pull my winter coat more tightly around me as the wind whistles around the corner of the shop. I really shouldn’t be standing around out here, staring up at the antique sign and waiting for who knows what.
I step inside quickly and am greeted by the familiar tinkle of the bell set to go off when the door opens. The comfortable smell of musty old books greets me. There are hundreds of books stacked in great heaps on both levels of the store. I glance around, ready to make some new friends and meet some old ones – literary friends, that is.
Something makes me pause. The unfamiliar smell of food – hamburgers and fries, my sense of smell informs me – wafts across the close, stale air. Mrs Hudson, the proprietress of the bookstore, never eats in here and so, more than a little curious, I follow my nose.
It leads me straight to the front desk, the desk that’s usually covered with even more stacks of books, although these are mostly rare first editions, complimentary bookmarks, a few scattered business cards and several pencils and pens.
But now all the clutter is cleared away, the precious books are in a glass case under lock and key and there are two burger wrappers gracing the top of the desk along with a mostly empty milkshake cup and some bits of French fry. Sitting behind the desk is a young guy, probably close to my age, with dark hair and light blue eyes.
He looks up. “Oh! Um…can I help you?” he asks, trying to hide embarrassment under the guise of assumed professionalism. He looks nice enough but my main question is – what are you doing here?
“No, not really. It’s just-”
“Really. I can help you find a book if you want.”
“I thought Mrs Hudson was here?”
“No. Mom retired a few weeks ago. She left the store to me and my brother,” he explains. “You caught me on lunch break.”
“Oh, I’m sorry.”
“Don’t be. I was basically done anyway.” He grins.
“I see you’ve cleaned up all the mess,” I say.
“That was actually my brother. He’s sort of obsessive-compulsive about cleanliness. I’m more relaxed about it.” He laughs, waving his hand around to pull my attention to the wrappers and empty containers.
“I can see that. Well, I’m going to browse around.”
“Sure. And seriously, let me know if you need any help.” I nod. “And now I’d better get all of this cleaned up before he sees it.”
Leaving Mrs Hudson’s rather quirky son to clean up the mess from his lunch, I move deeper into the back of the bookstore, toward the classic books. I’m planning to purchase a few more Jane Austen books and Great Expectations if I can find them.
And then another guy materializes seemingly out of nowhere.
“Hi,” I say, not sure who he is. There’s a slight resemblance between him and the guy back at the desk so… “You must be, um, Mrs Hudson’s other son, right?”
He nods. “My name’s Archer.”
I hold out my hand, and he shakes it. “I’m Sadie.”
Archer nods, and then says, “So you’ve met Ed?”
So that’s his name. “Only a few moments ago. I didn’t know you were actually here.”
“Yeah, I spend most of my time inventorying and classifying the books. Mom left everything in a real mess so it’s a 24/7 job. I’ve got the comics and classics sorted out so far – now I’m moving on to biographies.”
I notice the three books in his hands. Jane Austen: A Life, Queen Elizabeth I – The Virgin Queen and Victor Hugo: Life Of France’s Leading Author.
“Don’t let me keep you from your work,” I say.
“Oh, it’s time for my break,” he replies. “Actually, thanks for coming here when you did. I work through my lunch break all the time, so the interruption was useful.” He gives me a warm smile. Genuine. The kind of smile that makes me want to smile back. So I do.
“See you later,” I say, as he disappears back up the narrow aisle, toward the front entrance.
He turns for a moment and wave. I find myself hoping that I’ll see him again.

I quite like it.  You?

Eva

P.S. I finished No Greater Love today.  Please don’t ask…

 

plot bunny #2: the war diaries

link to Pinterest board here.

I’ve already spoken about my source of inspiration for The War Diaries, so I’ll direct you to that post.

Now, things have already changed about the plot, and I’m sure they’ll continue to change, but this is the basic blurb I have right now.

Rose Baldock is a female journalist in Britain.  She has two great sisters, a loving father, and she’s more than a little in love with their across-the-street neighbour, Walter Hill.  But things are not so peaceful throughout the rest of the world, and when Britain declares war on Germany, Rose’s life is turned upside-down.  Her father sinks into depression, her sisters are no help, and Walter enlists almost immediately.  The only solace she has is in his letters.  They come just as he promised – once a week, every week.  Then one week they stop coming.  After two months of waiting, and exhausting every resource in an attempt to locate Walter, Rose leaves Britain for France – the place Walter had last written from – as a war correspondent.  But the war has just begun, and as it continues, things will become even more dangerous.

I hate writing book blurbs.  I’m sure you don’t want to know how long I slaved over that one.  It’s sounds terrible, but I hope you won’t think the excerpt is as bad.  I actually had fun writing it, and I want to write more.  I guess that’s the danger of this challenge.  Plot bunnies are irresistable once you truly start working on them.  Anyway, here’s the snippet…

September 4th, 1939

We declared war on Germany yesterday.
Father came running into the house, his face nearly as red as the phone box at the end of our street. Anneliese, Mary, and I all came as soon as we heard him calling for us. Anneliese hovered around him, while Mary fetched some water, and I helped him to a chair and pulled out a handkerchief. It took a few moments to get anything clear out of Father, but at last he was able to give the dreadful news.
My sisters and I exchanged glances. We’d all been expecting it, of course, ever since Hitler started his campaign across Europe, but to hear it actually happening was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. Almost as soon as he’d sat down, Father bolted back up again and was out the door, saying something about ‘finding out more news’ as he left. And we were left alone to our thoughts, and only our thoughts, since none of us said much, if anything.
After a couple seconds, we all went to our rooms.
I have no idea what my sisters did, but I prayed, and prayed hard.
Later that night, Father came back. He had no more real news, but he was more like his usual self, even bringing the three of us gifts. He often brought us little treats at least once a week – a habit he’d never grown out of from when we were little girls – and they were always appreciated, no matter how expected. This time, it was a good quality journal for each of us.
He patted my hand as he gave me mine, and then looked at the three of us.
“Britain is entering into dangerous times, but also historic times. It would be a fine thing for future generations if you each kept a record of our day to day lives. We’ll have newspapers to tell us about battles and victories – there will be victories,” he added, “but I’m sure your children will want to know what their mother and aunts did during this time.”
I hid a smile with my hand. None of us were even engaged, and here was Father, talking about our children and ‘future generations’. But I knew he meant well – we all knew – so I thanked him for the journal, even if I had little intention of keeping one. I was too shocked and worried and scared. War was a terrible thing – I hadn’t been around during the Great War, but Father had, and the stories he told had given me nightmares when I was little. And those were just the milder ones.
But now, sitting here in the cosy attic room with the slanted ceiling, I’m starting to feel more secure. Britain is the greatest country in the world. We’ll not give up, and we won’t be beat, so the entries in this journal won’t be all that horrible. If I was in one of the European countries that Hitler could invade at any moment, I’m sure I wouldn’t keep this journal. It would be too depressing for all those future generations. This, however, is an entirely different matter.
I faithfully promise to keep this journal until the end of this war.
I pray that it will come soon. ~The War Diaries

Thoughts?

Eva

P.S. In case you’re wondering, I did indeed do this particular plot bunny today, since it’s the anniversary of D-Day.  I thought it would be fitting.

 
 

plot bunny #1: celtic fire

link to Pinterest board here.

This project has been on my mind for a long time, so naturally, it was the first to be chosen for the June Crusade Plot Bunny Challenge.  It’s the only story in my files (so far) to have been directly inspired by a song.  I was listening to ‘Touch The Sky’ one day, from Brave, and I was wondering what it would be like to write a story set in Scotland, about a princess, only she wasn’t rebellious and independent and all those cliched things I hate about ‘strong female heroines’ these days.  So I got out one of my many, many notebooks and began scribbling notes down.  At first, the story was going to be really crazy with time travel and WWII and split personalities, but I eventually trashed all those ideas and started out fresh.  What if the princess who was so free to come and go as often as she wanted had a sister – a twin – who wasn’t able to?  Why wouldn’t she be able to?  The answer came to me straight out of the blue…maybe said princess is mute or deaf or blind, and everyone thinks she’s cursed, so they want nothing to do with her.  And her sister feels the same way.  Then, I listened to ‘Do You Want To Build A Snowman?’, from Frozen, and thought ‘What if the two girls were close as children, but then as they grew older, the non-mute one found that being associated with her sister wasn’t anything to be proud of, so she pulled away’.  And what if the pulling away – or her former contact with her sister – cost her the love of her parents, or a special someone she’s in love with?  I’m pretty bad at thinking up of good plots, so I’m not exactly sure where this is going to go, but I’ll share with you the first {very short} scene I’ve written.

The little girl nestled closer to her mother.
It had been a tiring day for both of them, and now that there was a moment to relax before meeting with the next set of guests, they were determined to make the most of it. Hidden away in a velvet-lined alcove, the two sat side by side on a soft bench. The mother’s arms were around the little girl, and as she hummed, she rocked the small body back and forth.
“Mother?”
“Yes, dear?”
“Why do all these people have to come to the palace anyway?”
The queen sighed and brushed a few strands of hair away from her daughter’s forehead. “Your father is the king, Cathwra. Because he is king, we can have all the nice food that Cook makes and you can have your own little room. If he wasn’t the king, we wouldn’t have to entertain all these guests, but we wouldn’t have all the nice things either.”
The little girl’s legs swung back and forth. She was so tiny, that even on the low bench, her legs refused to touch the soft carpet. She uttered a small sigh of her own, near identical to her mother’s, and stuck out her tongue at a passing diplomat. Thankfully, he didn’t see her, and neither did her mother.
“Why can’t Eithne be with us?”
“Questions, questions,” her mother said in a softly chiding manner. “Eithne isn’t here because, well, you are here. There’s no need to tire her out, especially in her condition, and the two of you look so much alike that I’m sure the guests won’t notice.”
“But-”
The queen stood up, quite suddenly, and gently pulled Cathwra off the bench. She smoothed her daughter’s dress, one that had become slightly rumpled, and then removed a small diamond pin from her hair and fastened it to the front of the child’s silk gown. “Do you like it?” she asked. In answer, Cathwra hugged her tightly and disappeared off into the banquet hall.
With a frown, the queen watched her go. The pin had been a mere distraction, but it had worked – the six year old girl had been easily diverted, and for that she was grateful. Talk of Eithne was uncomfortable, in many ways, and she had no wish to continue the discussion. She put a hand to her tightly pinned hair piece, and walked in the direction her daughter had taken.
It was time to rejoin the guests. ~Celtic Fire: Prologue

Of course, it’s only part of the prologue, but I’m happy with the start I made.

I’m still kind of lost, though.

Thoughts?

Eva

 
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Posted by on June 4, 2014 in celtic fire, june crusade, snippets, writing

 

will you join in our crusade?

Scribblings
Anne-girl, over at Scribblings Of My Pen & Tappings Of My Keyboard is hosting her third annual June Crusade.  I didn’t participate in last year, or the one before that, because I wasn’t all that into writing, but this I’m definitely going to be.  She always has a unique challenge for each of her crusades, and this year it will be plot bunnies (hence, the blog button above).  Yes, indeedy, those pesky little things that worm their way into our current works-in-progress, our hearts, and our minds.  But this June, instead of trying to push them away, I’ll be fully embracing them.  I’m not going to go over the rules, or any such things, since it’s all very neatly laid out in her blog post.  I’ve calculated that I’ll have to do a plot bunny every four days or so, and that won’t be a problem for me.  I’ll be posting about my progress as I go along, and I highly encourage all of you to join in this challenge.  It’ll be tons of fun.
Eva
P.S. The reason I haven’t been posting lately is because I’m nearing the end of No Greater Love and I don’t. want. to. talk. about. it.  Please bear with me, and I’ll try to get you an update soonish.