10 December 2016

A Holiday Ramble From the Author

Hi, everyone! Winter here, and I want to have a little chat with you all under the cut. If you only have time for a glance, just know that there's no bad news about me or the story ahead.

13 September 2016

How to Choose

"Men at some time are masters of their fates."

October 18th

When the fashionable noble houses had fled their ancestral lands to build newer and better family seats in the capital, the House of Gloucester had stayed put. Lord Gloucester would forever be merely one of a crowd if the family had followed fashion. On his ancestral lands in the Cirenwade district, he was a king. Numerous generations on, Lord James Gloucester currently reigned over a quasi-court comprised of his extended family and local gentry who had outgrown the inelegance of nearby Port Gale. Though he lacked a throne room, the lord's study, a lonely place with no buffer and no escape, loomed as large as any royal audience chamber ever had.

After twenty-eight years of these command performances, Neve still hated to be summoned. It was so often a waste of patience and time. Her father-in-law liked to assert himself, and one method of doing so was to call for a person and then make them wait in the hall. Exceedingly rare was the occasion when a caller was admitted immediately. How many hours of her life had she spent here, pressing her child's hand - usually her son's - between hers and assuring them that all would be well? Her son was in the study without her today. Fortunately, God had blessed her with a wonderful distraction.

25 July 2016

Fair Sun

Author's note: The images in this chapter are not necessarily literal illustrations of the text.

"A heaven on earth I have won by wooing thee." 

October 1st

Verona had extinguished the last embers of summer. Each day, sun and warmth grew more scarce. Frost would soon blanket the northernmost regions. It would not take long for the cold air and cool light to sweep south and stake winter's claim. Paulina and Mercutio, however, were still living in the warmth of summer. A skeptic could have pointed to the cozy chamber and overlarge fireplace with which they were spending this night, just as they had for most of their short marriage. The poet would have looked to the couple. And, as it so happened, they were very fond of poetry.

20 June 2016

Ladies of Esteem: Part Two

"Put thyself into the trick of singularity."

September 16th 

Juliette approached the great hall with her head held high. Inside her, trepidation sparked and ate away at her confidence, one crumb at a time. Beyond the doors, the war council awaited her arrival. It was comprised of good, trustworthy people: her husband, her siblings and their spouses, her aunt and uncle Gale. These were people she loved. Their opinions and good counsel, offered in earnest, proved that they loved her as well. She didn't want any of them to be disappointed; after this meeting, some could be.

08 April 2016

Ladies of Esteem: Part One

"Inure thyself to what thou art like to be."

September 14th

Anne hadn't been able to resist. She had felt the chill the moment she stepped into the chapel; it poured out of a secret door in the wall that had been left just barely ajar. As a means of granting her daughter permission to solve a household crisis in the middle of their visit, Anne had declared she would be happy to spend a little time in prayer. Against the mystery of a secret door, prayers took second place.

Confirming that the chill was sweeping up from a crypt was a disappointment. A secret door in a novel, if it didn't open into a chamber ready for a lovers' tryst, almost always led into a crypt. Truth in literature, I suppose. But Anne had to grant that it was a superior example. The Fitzwilliam crypt was a solemn, boring place. It was almost unworthy of the spit she had bestowed upon it the one time she visited to gloat over her father's tomb. As far as crypts went, this one was stunning. Even when they're dead, the Capulets must have their dramatics.

Will my children lie here, too?