Wednesday, 21 May 2014

New Story Snip! ROW80 and Nature Photos

Catching up!

Slowly, but surely. I'm still working my way through A to Z Challenge posters and commenters, but I did catch up on all the blogs I was due to visit as part of my minion duties!

Here are a few of the new bloggers I met:









I've also moved a little further on one of my ROW80 goals, which is to participate in the May exercise on the writers' forum.

Here's a brief description of the exercise:
"The Power of Place.

How does a writer go from a generic "dark and stormy night" to creating a world that is so real, so tangible and vibrant that readers and characters alike live in it?

This power of place goes beyond simple world-building such as sketching maps of towns or creating blueprints of buildings. It goes beyond a mention of the weather, or the mountains, or the sunset reflected in a lover's eyes. Those are all good, but it gets better.

Setting is more than just a backdrop for plot and character. It’s another tool in the writer's toolbox that works hard at multitasking."
For more of the description, as well as the guidelines, come visit us on the Forum!

Today I managed to type up the scene I'll be submitting for the exercise, a brief snip from Larksong, my NaNo story from last year.

This story takes place the summer before World War I and features two characters who think they know what hardship is. By the end of the summer they've learned that not only are they stronger than they believed, but just how much they'll need that strength in the months to come. And, of course, it's a romance!

I've shared a brief snip featuring Larksong's Alice and George before, and now here's the scene from the May exercise (the bird reference is to one of the pets in her Nanny's menagerie):
Alice woke in the half light of morning needing the chamber pot. She felt for it under the bed, eyes half lidded, still snatching at a dream of Nanny B that had left behind a pervading sweetness, though already the details were beyond recall. 
Dawn had come and gone outside, though it was early yet. Early morning chill fogged the edges of her window. Far out on the lake an intrepid soul was fishing off the Mary Louise. George. 
There was no mistaking that stubborn outline, quite apart from the leg in its cast, propped on the gunwale at an angle that jarred the idyll of the misty morning lake. 
It was the work of a moment to shove the pot aside, exchange night rail for frock and slippers, and -- somehow remembering her woollen shawl at least -- tread softly down the stairs. 
Turning the key in noiseless increments, she slipped through a crack of doorway and, once out of doors, flew like Oscar the budgie down the lawn and through the tree belt.
Once on the dock she trod softly, lest George catch her at unawares and discover how eager she'd been to join him. She halted at the end, slippers soaked in dew from her mad dash, and watched.
It would not do to disturb the clear unrippled surface of the lake, nor the surrounding firs that gazed solemnly at their reflections. The sun had not yet broken through the morning haze. All was glassy and rough-edged, like a creature startled in a den it had not meant to be found in. A lone loon called to the east. 

George floated in the midst of the scene, ram rod straight, though no one was about to take notice of his posture.

Yet as his boat spun a lazy circle above an unseen current, she glimpsed his set jaw and the thin line of his mouth; he was hurting, and clenching his teeth against it. 

As the boat completed its turn, he saw her, and was apparently as reluctant as she'd been to disturb the raw morning, for he gave no sign or greeting.
Or was it that he did not want company, least of all hers?
She should have kept the peaceful sight of him from her window to herself, and not come down to uncover or disturb his tryst with pain.

Meanwhile, more photos!

lakeside morning

a pot of chocolate mousse! (couldn't fix the sidewaysness)

lakeside morning panorama

this niche reminds me of an Ent house

another United Nations peacock!

advancing on a statue...

one stone, the other feathers; two statues -- or so it seems...

another lakeside morning

amazing rainbow after a recent rain shower

if I could have run out and jumped on that pot, would there have been a pot of gold on it?

tried to get a shot of the full arc; hope you can see it!

Which stories are you working on?
Do you have a snip or favourite line to share?

17 comments:

M Pax said...

Beautiful photos. The Rainbow is so pretty. :D

I consider setting another character and an important one.

Carol Riggs said...

I love that statue!! and the one where the peacock is nestled in beside the wingtip is even more awesome. Great juxtaposition. Great idea juxtaposition too, stone vs actual feathers.

I liked this excerpt--such a great MOOD. Very nice. :)

Ryan King said...

Looks like you're making pretty good progress on catching up. Love the "Ent" picture. It does conjure up ideas!

Denise Covey said...

Great photos Deniz. You inspire me to post more on my blog, but because I'm posting on Pinterest and Instagram I tend to forget to post pics on my blog. Love the snippet of story.
Yes, setting. I just got my manuscript back from an editor. One of the things she complimented me on was my lush settings. Ha ha.

Denise

Neurotic Workaholic said...

Great excerpt! It's very detailed. I need to work on setting too; I read over some scenes I wrote and realized it was like a bunch of talking heads, because I didn't include enough details about the background.

Beth Camp said...

The excerpt shows a lovely attention to setting and ends with such mystery. I really want to know why George is hurting! And more about Alice and George. How often have we wanted to run down to the lake in such a romantic moment, forgetting all, and yet to be drawn up short. An intriguing excerpt. I did like the photos as well, especially that enigmatic peacock.

Donna B. McNicol said...

Great post...and GORGEOUS photos! I haven't looked around your site yet to figure out where you are. I'm in Ecuador...guess I should pepper in a few more photos of living here.

D.B. McNicol
Romance & Mystery...writing my life

LuAnn Braley said...

I enjoyed your description of the setting. It was an integral part of the story, without being interminable. A well-achieved balance.

Shan Jeniah Burton said...

Oh! I love the way you used setting here. especially the jarring notes that speak of tension and risk. The angle of George's leg, his clenched jaw, his tryst with pain. I may pop in at the Forum for June...May's a little booked up.

My recent favorite setting line, from my Enterprise fan fiction:

"He looks out again at that chaotic field, and thinks about a complicated woman."

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Deniz - you're always so busy with your writing and learning .. and then letting us know about Geneva with the pics.

The weather - those heavy showers and storms and I'm sure if I looked I'd see a rainbow somewhere! Wonderful you were able to capture the whole arc ...

Cheers and all the best - Hilary

Jack said...

AMAZING snippet!!!!!!!!!!! It left me wanting more, and I love it when that happens 8-D

Kelly Steel said...

Lovely photos and great post.

Medeia Sharif said...

Beautiful pics.

I always like to read about what you're writing.

Amy Jarecki said...

Lovely excerpt and pictures :-)

klahanie said...

Hi Deniz,

That's awesome you met all those fellow alphabet challenge folks. You certainly seem very busy.

Very interesting read. However, I have no idea what "ROW80" means.

The photos are superb. The rainbow symbolic of your Switzerland adventure.

My stories are not actually being written by me. Thank heavens for a superstar dog to do that for me. She tells me that we should get in touch with our inner child as she has done with her inner puppy.

Gary :)

Sheena Simpson said...

Lovely writing as always from you. And the pics are inspiring. Love, love, love, love the statue.

Deniz Bevan said...

Thanks so much everyone. Very happy you enjoyed the snip!

Books I'm Reading and Finished Books

  • The Magician by Somerset Maugham
  • The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien (annual reread)
  • Beowulf and Sellic Spell by J. R. R. Tolkien
  • ***Reading At Intervals***
  • Parade's End by Ford Madox Ford
  • The War of the Ring - Book 8 in the History of Middle Earth series by Christopher Tolkien and J R R Tolkien (reread)
  • What to Expect in Baby's First Year
  • Baby's First Year for Dummies
  • 11 Doctors 11 Stories by various authors (including Neil Gaiman)
  • Nightmares and Dreamscapes by Stephen King
  • Creed or Chaos? by Dorothy Sayers
  • The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien manuscripts edited by J. D. Rateliff
  • Moby Dick by Herman Melville
  • Lessons for a Sunday Father by Claire Calman
  • The Jerusalem Bible
  • ***Finished Books***
  • Rogue Spy by Joanna Bourne
  • The Hotel New Hampshire by John Irving (skimmed last third)
  • A Matter of Grave Concern by Brenda Novak
  • Fatal Fallout by Lara Lacombe
  • secret beta read!
  • The Heart of Christmas by Brenda Novak
  • Deadly Contact by Lara Lacombe
  • Carry On, Jeeves by P. G. Wodehouse
  • The Floating Admiral by the Detection Club, including Christie, Sayers, Chesterton, etc.
  • Brief Lives, Sandman 8 by Neil Gaiman
  • Liza of Lambeth by Somerset Maugham
  • The Mapmaker's Daughter by Laurel Corona (I give up on finishing this; skimmed to the end)
  • Childe Harold by Lord Byron (listened to the parts of it set in Switzerland read aloud)
  • Written in My Own Heart's Blood by Diana Gabaldon
  • My Dancing Bear by Helene de Klerk
  • The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith
  • The Silver Sword by Ian Serraillier
  • Jane of Lantern Hill by L. M. Montgomery
  • Tu Vas Naitre by Sylvia Kitzinger
  • Goodbye To All That by Robert Graves
  • secret beta read 2!
  • Trust Your Eyes by Linwood Barclay
  • The Caliph's Vacation by Goscinny (Iznogoud series; Canadian translation) (reread)
  • Neither Here Nor There by Bill Bryson
  • Le Tresor de Rackham le Rouge by Herge (Tintin series) (reread)
  • Le Secret de la Licorne by Herge (Tintin series) (reread)
  • L'Affaire Tournesol by Herge (Tintin series) (reread)
  • The Bum by Somerset Maugham (short story)
  • The Colour of Magic, Discworld 1 by Terry Pratchett
  • Fables and Reflections Sandman 6 by Neil Gaiman
  • Doctor Fischer of Geneva or The Bomb Party by Graham Greene
  • Once Upon an Heirloom by Kait Nolan (novella)
  • The No-Kids Club by Talli Roland
  • Snip, Snip Revenge by Medeia Sharif
  • Journey to an 800 Number by E. L. Konigsburg
  • various Neil Gaiman short stories on the An Evening With Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer album (reread (well, this time in audio))
  • And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie (reread; actually this was an older edition, published under the original title of Ten Little N******)
  • Dumb Witness by Agatha Christie (reread)
  • Never Saw It Coming by Linwood Barclay
  • How To Fall In Love by Cecelia Ahern
  • biographical note on Lord Peter Wimsey in reissue of Clouds of Witness by Dorothy Sayers (on Gutenberg)
  • One Hundred Names by Cecelia Ahern
  • Notwithstanding by Louis de Bernieres
  • The Eyes of the Dragon by Stephen King
  • Temptation by Sandy Loyd
  • The Incorrigible Mr. Lumley by Aileen Fish
  • Effie's Outlaw by Karen Lopp
  • Breathing Lessons by Anne Tyler
  • The Christmas Crossing by Bev Petterson (short story)
  • secret beta read!
  • An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth by Chris Hadfield
  • Forgotten by Catherine McKenzie
  • Arranged by Catherine McKenzie
  • Emil In the Soup Tureen by Astrid Lindgren
  • Whales by Jacques Cousteau (excerpt essay from his book)
  • Tutankhamen's Tomb by Howard Carter (excerpt essay from his book)
  • Ice Dogs by Terry Lynn Johnson
  • Everything's Eventual by Stephen King
  • Go the F*^$ To Sleep (board book)
  • Green Eggs and Ham by Dr Seuss (reread) (brought to you by Neil Gaiman: http://www.worldbuilders.org/our-next-stretch-goal-unlocks-at/neil-gaiman-reads-green-eggs-and-ham)
  • The Sagan Diary by John Scalzi
  • mini Twitter stories by Talli Roland (available here: http://advice.uk.match.com/dating-advice/enjoy-valentine%E2%80%99s-day-and-get-mentallydating?utm_expid=55691082-15.2L0G0ictTcSJ4BI9Srh77A.0&utm_referrer=http%3A%2F%2Fadvice.uk.match.com%2Fdating-advice)
  • The Book of Jane by Anne Dayton and May Vanderbilt
  • Chicken Soup for the Soul: O Canada The Wonders of Winter
  • Beloved Demons by Anthony Martignetti
  • Hands-on Therapy by T L Watson
  • Let Me Make Myself Plain by Catherine Cookson
  • The Razor's Edge by Somerset Maugham
  • Mystery of the Fat Cat by Frank Bonham
  • Spin by Catherine Mckenzie
  • Virgins by Diana Gabaldon
  • The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen (reread)
  • The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs
  • The Ghost in the Window by Betty Ren Wright
  • The Progress of Love by Alice Munro
  • The Treason of Isengard - Book 7 in the History of Middle Earth series by Christopher Tolkien and J R R Tolkien (reread)
  • The Tales of Beedle the Bard by J. K. Rowling (reread)
  • Behind the Lines (poems) by A. A. Milne
  • the Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling (reread)
  • Chicken Soup for the Expectant Mother's Soul
  • see the 2013 list and statistics at http://thegirdleofmelian.blogspot.ca/2014/01/toast-to-professor-books-read-in-2013.html
  • see the 2012 list and statistics here http://thegirdleofmelian.blogspot.ca/2012/12/the-hobbit-review-and-year-end-books.html
  • see the 2011 statistics on http://thegirdleofmelian.blogspot.ca/2012/01/books-read-in-2011-statistics-fourth.html
  • see the 2011 list at http://thegirdleofmelian.blogspot.ca/2012/01/books-read-in-2011.html
  • see the 2010 list at http://thegirdleofmelian.blogspot.com/2010/12/books-read-in-2010-listed-here.html
  • see the 2009 list at http://thegirdleofmelian.blogspot.com/2009/12/books-read-in-2009-part-ii.html
  • also in 2009 at http://thegirdleofmelian.blogspot.com/2009/12/books-read-in-2009-part-iv.html
  • see the 2008 list at http://thegirdleofmelian.blogspot.com/2008/12/books-read-in-2008-part-ii.html
  • also in 2008 at http://thegirdleofmelian.blogspot.com/2008/12/books-read-in-2008-part-vi.html
  • also in 2008 at http://thegirdleofmelian.blogspot.com/2008/12/books-read-in-2008-part-iv.html