September 2016 Spotlight ~ IvIn Excerpt and Theme
Well, it’s once-again time for our monthly spotlight! Just in case you need a refresher, here’s the first spotlight post where I explained what a spotlight is, where I got the idea from, etc.
This month I’m going to be sharing a little bit of my novel, Ivy Introspective, which is hopefully coming out sometime in early 2017. I actually only have eight days until I’m either going to finish IvIn and burn my house to the ground.
Don’t you mean “or”?
What’s the difference?
Well, if you don’t say “or,” then … you’re going to burn your house to the ground either way.
Oh. Whatever. “I actually only have eight days until I’m either going to finish IvIn or burn my house to the ground.” Satisfied?
Somebody tell me they got the kinda-sorta reference! Please? Hasn’t anyone else watched that amazing, stupid, wonderful, hilarious movie?
Anyway, I need to inspire myself to finish Ivy Introspective. So I’m writing this blog post (which was scheduled for today anyway) in hope that by telling you about a certain part of it and sharing an excerpt, everything will be all right. Somehow. Magically.
But before we begin, I want to bounce a couple ideas off you? Ready? *grabs ideas and prepares to throw* Set? *aims carefully* Go! *throws ideas at readers* *readers run away screaming* That bad, huh? 😉
Seriously, though. Here are the ideas:
- Serial story? About a newspaper man living in Philadelphia (works at the Gazette!) in the 1870s? (What? I have to chase them plot bunnies …) Good idea, bad idea?
- Should I actually tell you all my plans for novels related to The Chronicles of Alice and Ivy or should I leave you in the nice, comfortable dark where things make sense?
Help me out here, guys! 😀
Now onto the excerpt! Keep in mind, this is feeling not thinking! 😛
[Warning! Spoilers for TDS!]
The two o’ clock train jerked to a stop in the Edinburgh train station. Passengers began spilling out. A man, a woman, and a little girl stepped down from one of the first-class compartments. The man went about gathering the luggage while the woman clung to the girl’s hand, both of them exploring the station with their eyes. Long before the woman lost interest, the girl did. She turned her gaze upwards, examining the clouds, then downwards, examining the pavement.
“Everything will be sent on to the hotel,” said Mr. Charles Chattoway, returning to his sister and niece.
“Good. Then we can go now?” Miss Christina inquired.
“Of course. Ivy, let me have your other hand. No, I can’t carry you; you’re too big a girl for that. I know your legs are cramped from sitting, but you just have to make it to the carriage.”
Ivy sighed and clung to Mr. Chattoway’s hand until they reached the conveyance, where she settled in the seat.
“Are we expected, or do we have time to freshen up first?” Miss Christina asked her brother, touching her hair with her fingertips.
“We have a few minutes to stop at the hotel, yes. But you probably won’t want to settle in too much; you’ll be staying at McCale House.”
“Yes. I just hope the room is sufficient.” She frowned. “I can’t believe I let myself get talked into staying here with Ivy an entire year!”
“What better things did you have to do?” asked Mr. Chattoway.
Miss Christina sighed. “That’s not the point!”
“What is the point, Christy, darling? I’ve missed it.”
“The point is, I might have had better things to do.”
“Molly was ill. You don’t think she wanted to be ill, do you?” Mr. Chattoway demanded.
Miss Christina hesitated. “Yes. But, still. This is going to be extremely boring, Charlie.”
“Perhaps. But you have your novels.”
“One can only read the same novel so many times.”
“I’m sorry. I suppose you wanted to be in London for the Season?”
“Well …” Miss Christina hesitated, “Not exactly. I’m many years too old for that. But … I had hoped that … well ….”
“That you’d meet someone in London? A male someone?”
Miss Christina blushed. “You can’t blame me for hoping.”
“Maybe you should just resign yourself to the way things are.”
“Maybe. But … well, I don’t see why this has to be the end of my life. I’m not ready for it to be the end yet. I haven’t lived even a little.”
“Yes! You know I’ve never even been kissed?”
“That’s not a surprise as you’ve never been courted,” Mr. Chattoway observed. “In fact, very few men have shown an interest in you, Christy. But that’s not your fault. I blame it entirely on Molly. She was always too beautiful to let other women in the room be.”
“Which is why I thought I might have the tiniest chance now. I know I’m not very pretty -”
“Why do you think that?”
“Oh, I know you think I am. You’re my brother, my older and only brother, and that’s your duty. But I mean to other people.”
“I’m sure you are to other people!”
“I think you’re a little biased. And I know I can be silly sometimes, but -”
“You’re not silly! You’re high-spirited and happy.”
“You are! I’m sorry, but I can’t stand by and hear my sister insulted, even by herself!”
“Then why do you think I should ‘resign myself to the way things are’ if I’m so pretty and have such a wonderful personality.”
“Because men are too idiotic to see that.”
“But you are a man!” Miss Christina exclaimed, breaking down and laughing.
“I’m your brother. I know you. But other men don’t. That’s your problem. And Molly has always told you to tone down your youthful exuberance, which is your most attractive quality.”
“My ‘youthful exuberance.’ Frightening,” Miss Christina commented. “I sound like a sixteen-year-old.”
“Oh, you are! You always will be, and I don’t want that to change.”
“But that was twelve years ago, and I can’t stay a dozen years behind my time forever.”
“I like you that way,” said Mr. Chattoway. “I think anyone would. And it’s not that you’re immature … it’s that you’re innocent.”
“Which is another word for naïve.”
“No, it’s another word for perfect.” The carriage halted; Mr. Chattoway jumped up, making it clear that the conversation was at and end.
Has anyone else been super-excited to have something happen to Miss Christina? Or Miss Chattoway, as her official title would be now, I suppose (although I’ll be calling her Miss Christina in IvIn so not to cause unnecessary confusion … and because they still called Julia “Julia” after Maria married in Mansfield Park, and Jane Austen knows what she’s doing. 😉 ).
Now I get to ramble just a bit. But not much. After all, I did classifying this under ‘writer wramblings,’ so I have to make good my category. 😉
WARNING!!! RAMBLINGS AHEAD!!!
Ha! I lied. These aren’t actually ramblings. They’re organized thoughts on the subject of “changes in Ivy Introspective’s plot.”
On the other hand, I’m kind of rambling about the changes in Ivy Introspective’s plot … so yeah. It’s a half-truth. There is reason behind the ramblings. But they’re still ramblings.
As I write, the plots of my novels always seem to change. For instance, Adele was once-doomed for a miserable ending. Was Adele truly miserable at the end of TLOTV? Not really. And when I started writing TDS, there was no Mrs. Knight! That’s right. She kind of … popped up while I was writing.
And she ended up being so awesome that I couldn’t take her out.
In IvIn, there has been similar crazinesses. To start with, why does Miss Christina get a story at all? She’s obviously doomed to be this lame old maid who does nothing with her life but tote her nieces around … or is she? And Mr. Parker? He didn’t really need to have anything to do in IvIn, yet he gets a whole subplot devoted to him. And Miss Selle? She was just a minor character who I didn’t intend to do anything with. And now? I’m developing her. I’m spending valuable time on her.
Time I should be spending eating candy.
All that is just on subplots, so obviously the main plot – that of Ivy going to Dr. McCale’s – has really evolved while I wrote.
And I thought evolution didn’t exist … you learn something new every day …
For instance, Violet Angel just appeared out of nowhere. She’s another resident at Dr. McCale’s, and, unlike Ivy, she really is crazy. I suppose I should say ‘mentally ill,’ but … yeah. Political-correctness is waaaay overrated. Anyway, Violet and Ivy strike up a friendship (well, they talk anyway … and Ivy considers Violet her friend, but Violet is … Violet). There are other things, too, like Ivy’s love of music, but I won’t tell you all the details or you’ll have no reason to read the book! 😉
I recently decided on the underlying theme I want Ivy Introspective to have.
Everyone is precious.
Everyone is worthwhile, everyone is important, everyone is precious in God’s eyes.
This may or may not be permanent … but that’s what I’m going with in the first draft at least. 🙂
What do you think?