And I'm back with another Character Encounter! CE is a monthly link up hosted by Kenda Ardnek at Knitted By God's Plan. It is great fun and I encourage you to try it with some of your characters.
This month the challenge that goes along with the CE is, (in Kendra's own words): This month's character has to be one that you think about a lot, have
much of his or her story plotted out, but have never actually sat down
and written anything with them.
That made this month tougher for me. There are practically none of my chracters who I haven't written anything about. My usual way of fleshing out a character is writing a bunch of random snippets with them.
Sooooo... this month's character isn't one I've not written anything about. But, it is one who I've written very little about. It is a story I had begun as a collaboration with a younger sister. She lost interest and I picked up her part of the story, too. The first draft was started several years ago, but it's time to throw it out and completely restart the story. One of these days....
Aigoo, this shoulder and hip sure are being troublesome today. I drop down onto the sofa in the living room and ease myself flat on my back. Who would have thought that one slip on the winter ice would have left me feeling so sore?
Well, you did grab onto the fence, my other inner voice reminded me. That was how you wrenched your shoulder.
Ummm, right.... My brain was already jumping ahead to the chapter of Pearl of Loyalty I needed to go write, as soon as my sister Billie was done with her turn on the family computer.
I wonder why Alejan didn’t just tell her to....
Someone comes down the hall from the side door and into the room. That must be Billie. No one else wears high- well medium- heeled shoes in the house. I still do not understand how she can wear those things day in and day out.
There is a moment of silence and I wait for Billie’s teasing comment about my prone position. Instead I hear skirts rustling as she sits down in a chair.
That’s strange. She isn’t wearing a skirt that rustles... unless she’s dressing up for some reason. I peek my right eye open and look across the room.
The next instant, I’m bolt upright on the sofa, wincing as my shoulder and hip complain. Both my eyes are wide open, fixed on this stranger in our living room.
She is young, probably in her late teens and is dressed in a pale yellow Colonial era gown. Based on the elegance of the outfit, I deduce her family is well off.
I’m speechlessly looking her over. She rises gracefully from the chair, curtsies to me and then sits back down.
“Miss Melody,” she says, and her voice is low and cultured. “I am pleased to see you.”
My mind races. Obviously, she knows me. Who on earth could she be? She has to be one of my characters, because no one else would address me so easily. What stories do I have set in Colonial times... aha, now I remember!
“Miss Anne Gardner?” I ask.
She smiles, “Yes. It has been long since we have talked.”
“Yes. Yes it has,” I relax back against the sofa. “How have you fared in that time?”
“It has been dull at our home. If you recall, you left us anticipating the ball at the Carters. Or, in the case of my father, elder brother and I, not anticipating the ball.”
I shake my head. “I’m sorry. So much has happened since I left you and I just haven’t found the right mood to return to your story.”
“I merely wondered if you had forgotten us,” she tilted her head.
I sigh. “No, though your story has lain dormant for a long time. But it isn’t just yours. I haven’t touched any of my historical fiction stories in a long time, not even Gemini.”
“Aye. Nearly everything you write now is fantasy, or a sub-genre of fantasy, as with your science fantasy Loyalty series, or your newest story about lions and roses.”
“True,” I nod. “It does seem that most of my stories are fantasy now.”
“And yet historical fiction was your first love,” she reminds me.
I shrug my right shoulder, “True. But, when I started reading fantasy with Narnia two years ago it completely changed my writing. Nothing seemed to compare to the experience of making up practically every detail of a world, unbound by previous history. Actually, no, I guess I trace my love of fantasy back much further than two years, to when I first read about King Arthur. I had started my Three Kyngdoms story long before I read Narnia. But, since my plunge into fantasy literature and worlds, it seems like the only stories that flow well are fantasy. I do take an occasional journey into science fiction and historical fiction, and even more occasionally a jaunt into contemporary,” I defend myself.
“I do hope you will eventually write our story?”
“I will, I promise. Only it probably won’t be this year. Maybe next year, though.”
“We will endeavor to wait patiently, since I have your promise you will write it and not forget us completely.”
“You have my word,” I say again. “I just do not know when it will happen.”
“Then I shall leave you to your rest. It has been good to visit with you, but I should return before Andrew ventures into mischief or Emma sits too long poring over her dresses, deciding which one to wear to the ball.” She rises and curtsies again. I stand up and attempt a curtsy but it is clumsy next to hers.
“Fare thee well, Miss Melody.”
“Fare thee well, Miss Anne. Tell your family I look forward to seeing them again.”
I lie back down on the sofa. My mind now drifts over her story, The Broken Circle, and the tale it tells of a group of friends caught in the swirling maelstrom of the American Revolution. Their conflicting loyalties, their friendships, their pains, their joys.
She is right, I do need to pay some attention to my historical fiction stories.
Miss Melody Muffin