Sunday, June 29, 2014

Plot Bunny #3: First Scene

And I'm back with the first scene of How To Fix A Traffic Light (my working title)!  It's rather short, but I hope you'll enjoy.

               “Tommy!  You FOOLISH squirrel!  Do you WANT to cause an accident?!”
                Tommy jumped as the voice of his foreman Madeline exploded through his headset and hastily flipped the red light switch. For the thousandth time, he wondered why the Labor Distribution Association (LDA) had chosen him, the most awkward, daydreamy fellow in his class, to operate a traffic light--especially a traffic light at an intersection, where he had to control four at once.
                Maybe, he thought gloomily, the LDA wished to “improve” him, but if so, it wasn’t working.
                “Augh!”  Tommy half-groaned, holding his ear.  “What?”
                “I’ve been trying to get your attention for the past three minutes and seventeen seconds.  There’s been a malfunction in Number Three.”
                Tommy sighed. “On it.”  He exited the control room and climbed through the hollow pole until he reached the third traffic light over.  He clambered into it, peering at the wires until he found the problem: a loose wire.
                He supposed he really should have noticed this before, but thankfully he wouldn’t have to worry about that for a while.  He was relatively new at his job, and so Madeline was keeping a special eye on him.
                Obviously that had its drawbacks, but on the whole he was grateful for it.  Without her constant reminders to keep his mind on the task at hand, he’d probably have been fired already—maybe even sent to the forest to live among the wild squirrels.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Plot Bunny #3

Sigh, I am afraid that I won't be able to complete the Plot Bunny Challenge.  Life all of a sudden caught up with me, and my creative juices got tired. ;)
But I may continue this into July, because it IS fun and I need to get back to writing.  Without further ado, here is Plot Bunny #3!
I got this idea when my grandmother and I were sitting at a red light one day.  She jokingly suggested that there were little squirrels inside the lights that operated them, and of course I took that and ran with it.
Here's the book blurb:
Ever since Thomas Edison invented the first lightbulb with the help of a highly intelligent squirrel, every public electronic device has been run by said squirrel's descendents.   Tommy, a young and somewhat clumsy squirrel, runs his own little traffic light in an intersection.  When he stumbles (literally) upon a plot to oust the furry little operators, he must rise to the occasion and try to save their livelihood, as well as keep his intersection in order underneath the critical eye of a beautiful, extremely strict squirrel-miss. 
What do you all think?  Is it so weird you doubt my sanity?
I'll be back with the first scene tomorrow!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

It Would Appear That No Author Has Ever Mentioned Sunflowers

 ...AKA I tried to find a witty way of saying I've been given the Sunflower Award, but couldn't find any Suitable Quotes.  Thanks for awarding me, Emily!  Without further ado, here are her questions...

1. Les Misérables or Pride & Prejudice?
Nooooo.  Nonononono.  I can't answer that. :D (Melody, I can hear you laughing...)
Hmmm, but on the other hand, I hate leaving these sorts of questions unanswered.  Sooooo...I choose Les Misérables.  For one thing, it has a better musical, and for another, I could give up Mr Darcy, but Enjolras?  Uh-uh.  Negative.  Not happening.

But lest I get mobbed by angry Janeites...I DO prefer Jane Austen to Victor Hugo.

2. Who is your favourite period drama gentleman? (P.S. Yes, Enjo is a gentleman in this case.)
Ehmmm...I think it would have to be...Mr. Tilney, because he's my favorite Austen hero and Austen heroes are my favorite gentlemen. ;)


3. Who is your favourite period drama woman/girl? (P.S. Not just 'heroines'.)
 Hum.  Well, as you might have guessed from my profile, I like Jane Bennet--she is indeed a "dear sweet girl".  I'm also rather fond of Eleanor Tilney and Cosette.

4. What period drama character would you like to meet in person, and why, and what would you say to them?
Oooh!  Um.  I can't decide! :D  Lizzy Bennet would be an obvious choice, because she would be a delightful conversationalist, but on the other hand...Georgiana Darcy would be nice too.  And I WOULD like to meet some of the Austen heroes, only I'd probably just get all tongue-tied and not be able to say anything to them at all. 

5. What period drama actor/actress would you like to meet in person, and why, and what would you say to them?
Oh my friends, my FRIENDS, don't aaaask me!  Ouch.  Samantha Barks would be nice, or Aaron Tveit, or Matthew Macfadyen so I can grumble at him about knights in pajamas Benedict Cumberbatch, or maybe Dan Stevens.  Because his Edward is amazing. :D

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Yet Another Guest Post

Just dropping in again for a quick announcement: Hamlette at The Edge of the Precipice kindly let me guest post on her blog!  You can read my post here.
-Miss Jane Bennet

Monday, June 16, 2014

Guest Post!

Hello, everyone!  This is just a little note to let everyone know that the lovely Dashwood sisters over at the P&P95Forever Club have kindly invited me to guest post!  You can read my little rant here. =)

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Plot Bunny #2

This plot bunny came galumphing into my head one day after I'd watched Frozen.  I wanted to writeabout a blue cloak.  Then I had an idea for a story about a handmaiden who betrays her queen somehow, and I decided that she'd had to earn back the blue cloak of a Queen's Handmaiden.

That was where I ran into snags.  First, it was a sort of political intrigue story, but I decided that that really wasn't my thing.  So it became an action/adventure story...except I'm not especially fond of Amazon princess heroines.  After trying out a dozen ideas and discarding them all, I found a plot that I thought would work.  To be honest, I still don't have too many details worked out; this plot bunny is more of an idea that may someday come into being as opposed to something I've actually started writing.
However, that said, I've written too many book blurbs to count for this one, and here's my favorite...

The queen of Kiar has always appointed a small group of handmaidens to serve her until she marries.  These girls and women, known as the Sapphire Attendants, are her protectors, ambassadors, and caretakers.  Being chosen to join this elite group, composed of young girls from any class in society, is considered a high honor.
Fifteen-year-old Esme longs to be a part of this group and serve the queen.  She seems perfect for the role; her family has a history closely connected with the royal family, and she is skilled in politics.  When the new Queen Elise is coronated and selects Esme to be one of her handmaidens, she is thrilled.  But on the day when she is to don the blue cloak of the queen's honored assistants, she learns of a plot against the new queen.  Her pride causes her to make a foolish decision, and when disaster strikes, Esme is determined to make things right and earn the blue cloak of a Sapphire Attendant. 

Esme after her Mistake.
And here's the first scene:

 My name is Esmeralda Laureline Celandine Percy, and I am going to be an utter failure and make a fool of myself in front of all the world.
The aforementioned Esmeralda heaved a dramatic sigh and would have flung herself across her bed had she been in her bedroom.  She was not really nervous in the least (well, maybe just a bit), she had never felt like a failure, and nobody ever called her Esmeralda.  She couldn't be bothered to listen to her whole name anytime anyone wanted her, and so by the time she was five, everyone called her "Esme".  They really hadn't had a choice. 
Currently she was writing in her journal.  She supposed that it was a childish habit and wouldn't have time for it when she became a handmaiden (if she became a handmaiden, she reminded herself), but it was such a romantic activity and very soothing whenever she became nervous or angry. 
The latter happened more often than she would have liked.
No, I won't be an utter failure.  I am DETERMINED to be a handmaiden.  Ever since the Inspectors swept through (what a nice phrase) Kiar last year and picked ME as one of the candidates...well, I'm practically there already!  And I've been training for this role all my life.
What good fortune it is that I should have been born fourteen years before the old queen died!  Imagine, just one year later and I wouldn't be old enough for this task.
But indeed, I'm deeply thankful for this.  Oh, I know I'm so silly and butterfly-ish most of the time, but I truly do think that I can do this and pledge myself to the queen.
Oh, I hope I succeed!  Just think of what  Mother would say if I failed...
Actually, Esme didn't want to think about what her mother would say.  She put down her pen and and sat still for a moment.  Then she leaped up and checked her reflection in the looking-glass one more time.
Just as she had determined that she looked her best and that were no stray wisps of pale gold sticking out of her elaborately-arranged hair, her mother bustled in and began to do the same thing.  
"Esmeralda!  You do look lovely.  Oh, I'm sure you'll do well.  The queen will simply adore you, I'm sure.  But HURRY, darling!"  With an abrupt change of demeanor, Esme's mother looped her arm through her daughter's and almost dragged her from the room. "The carriage is ready and waiting.  Now, remember, DON'T crumple that lovely dress when you sit down...and let the footman hand you IN!  Don't leap in or out.  You MUST behave like a lady of society.  You're too...independent.  It's UNSEEMLY."
Esme sighed, half-smiled, and stepped into the carriage.  

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Beautiful People

When I was expanding my plot bunny yesterday, a certain character walked in and refused to leave.  His name was Matthew, and he had all sorts of persuasive arguments. "But you'll love me!  And I can add something to the story!  And have a romance and a happy ending!  And a whole character arc!  I WILL BE IN YOUR STORY WHETHER YOU LIKE IT OR NOT."
After that, of course, I had to give in, and Matthew, older brother of Edward, began to court his neighbor Irene just before the Great War.
So instead of writing down another plot bunny like I probably should, I'm going to do the Beautiful People link-up for him.

 1) What is their full name and is there a story behind why they got it? 
Matthew Benjamin Lawrence.  He was named after his grandfather.
2) How old are they, and when were they born? 
Matt is twenty, and he was born on February 2nd, 1897.
3) Describe their physical appearance. (Bonus questions: 1. What is their race/nationality/ethnicity? 2. Do you have a picture of them? If so, include it!) 
He's American, with some French ancestry.  He has dark blond hair and blue eyes and a very determined air in general.
And yes, I have a picture of him. :D  

4) Describe your character's personality first in one word, and then elaborate with a few sentences. 
Ehhmmm...noble.  Being upright and loyal and principled is very important to him.
5) What theme song(s) fit their personality and story arc? 
Hmmm.  Theme song.  Theme song..."The Color of Your Eyes," maybe.  Or "The Secret of Happiness".
6) Which one of the seven deadly sins describes your character?
Definitely pride.  He hates being undignified, and if he feels that his pride has been offended, he'll often just close up completely and give everyone the cold shoulder.  He can do it for weeks, too.
7) If they were an element (fire, water, earth, air), which one would they be? 
Hmmm.  Water, I think, though earth is a close second.
8) What is their favorite word? 
"Chivalry".  Also "laughter".
9) Who’s one person they really miss? (It could be someone who’s passed away, or someone they’re not close to anymore, or someone who’s moved away.)
Well, for most of the story he's away at war and misses his sweetheart Irene.  He also misses his sister Charity--he's always been pretty close to her.  And his mother, of course.  And he wishes his aunt Emma would visit more often; he's her favorite nephew.
10) What sights, sounds, and smells remind them of that person? 
The color red for Irene, and purple for Charity.  The scent of lavender for both of them...and Irene's handkerchief.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Plot Bunny #1: First Scene

Here I am, back with the first scene!
Dear Emma,
By the time this letter reaches you, you will no doubt have heard the news that America has declared war. 
Matthew and Edward are going to go, of course.  In just a few days--they'll be gone.  It'll be such a change...of course I have Charity...but what if she should lose a brother?  What if she loses both?
There are some times when I feel an awful sense of foreboding.  Oh, I'm proud; proud that my sons will go--proud that America is asserting herself--but...but somehow, it doesn't matter when I think that my starry-eyed Matt and little curious Edward will be gone.  Even if they should survive, I know what war is like.  I've heard tales...seen things with my own eyes...seen things that make me shudder to recall.
But there!  The war isn't even properly started yet, and perhaps I'm borrowing trouble.   I find that I get morbid and useless if I begin to think on these things too long.  But I HAD to talk to someone--and I've been trying to keep fear hidden--and I know I can always talk to YOU.  It's already a relief to have said it all out.  
Charity sends her love; she's getting to be a great help.  I know you prophesied over her cradle that she would grow into a great flirt due to those golden curls and big blue eyes, but her looks don't seem to be occupying her much--yet.  One can never be sure with sixteen-year-olds.
How is Carl?  Is his back still troubling him?  And are you well?
Ugh.  I can't keep up this talking of nothing when something of such importance and shadow is looming over my head every second of the day.  I know I shall find my courage and cheerfulness again in a moment, but just now I simply CAN'T.  It never was easy to pretend to you, Emma.
I am quite well, and believe me to be 
Your loving sister,

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Plot Bunny #1: Book Blurb

I guess that I've become too practiced in the art of chasing away plot bunnies, because as soon as I signed up for the Plot Bunny Challenge, all inspiration left me till today.
But in any case, I have a bunny now.  I was thinking about characters who place their patriotism above all else, and about how in general those characters have friends who are either on their side or don't care.
Then I thought--what if there was a person who'd taken duty to country too far or had been driven mad by it?  And what if that person had a friend who hated what he'd become?
Without further ado, here's the back blurb for what I'm temporarily calling Love From A Dying Friend:
James and Edward have been best friends since they were both five and discovered they shared a birthday.  When America joins the Great War, they are both determined to do their best for the country they love.
But just before Edward turns eighteen, he is told he is dying of consumption.  Forced to stay behind when James goes to war, his life is shattered, with no prospect of hope.
James, disillusioned on the battlefield, funnels all his rage and suffering into patriotic fervor that slowly destroys his conscience and his heart.
Life has lost all joy for these two boys, men before their time--but there's a God watching over them, and He has other things in mind for the sick and the soldier than despair.

It's going to be in epistolary form--I thought it might fit the plot and I've always wanted to try one. ;)  I'll be back with the first scene tomorrow!