Sunday, September 5, 2010

Chapter 20, In Progress!

Working title: "Sing Him To Sleep."

wordcountometer = 70,600!

Brief excerpt:

The queen was given a free hand to make the fortress into a festive place. Branches of evergreens had been brought from the forests and tied into great swags with ribbons of red and white to adorn every window facing into the courtyard. Bunting of red, white and gold hung in the corners of the yard, around the great marble planter and over the doors that opened into the great hall. Danish soldiers were everywhere, their armor polished bright and decorated with red and white ribbon as if they were not men at arms but a child's toys. The smell of mulled sack, fresh evergreen boughs and roasting meat filled the air.

"It is like unto a hunting party in a forest," a passing noblewoman remarked. "Gertrude is very clever. I will not be surprised if a live stag is chased down the halls, the king loosing arrows at it."


  1. Now you must know I do know things Mr. Bailey, but I do not know what "mulled sack" is unless you're trying to be pithy in a 15th century kind of way. Pray tell.

  2. Sack is a white wine from Spain. I believe it's related to sherry. Mulling, of course, is warming the wine and flavoring it with spices. Shakespeare mentions it in Twelth Night ("I'll go burn some sack") as well as in both Henry IV and Henry VI.

  3. Very nice. My favorite is the "toy soldier" description. :)

  4. Apart from the fact that I skipped breakfast and found the idea of Danish soldiers disturbingly delicious...

    ...I love the evocation of smell in this description. Often over-looked apart from cliche passages about coffee, breakfast meat, or pipes.

  5. Michelle: I am trying not to post anything that will be a spoiler this close to the end of the book. Look for my excerpts to get shorter, and less frequent. Alas. I like the "toy soldiers" image, too.

    Nevets: Danish soldiers for breakfast? With coffee or tea? I'm pretty good with the sense of smell in my writing; what I need to work on is the sense of touch, the tactile stuff, the weight of objects and the feel of things under the fingers and against the skin. My writing tends toward the internal experience of life, and I have to keep pushing the work into the physical world. Some day, hopefully, it will be a habit.

  6. If it were an afternoon or evening thing, tea might be a good choice, but in the morning I'm pretty much strictly a coffee person. Tea engenders reflection. Coffee inspires it.

    Alas, I know all too much what you mean about the tactile stuff. Not only do I suffer from from a similar emphasis on internals, but for various reasons I try personally to touch as little as I can. That makes tactile description difficult to come by and also a bit skewed.