WIPpet Wednesday

WIPpet Wednesday

After a week where my characters were on sabbatical, probably hiding somewhere from the stress cruising non-stop through my brain, I am back. It is a raw passage, taking us back about 20 years from the earlier snippets. I am having a hell of a time capturing the first moments of the long relationship between Christine and Eustace, but well, here is a beginning. 

I offer 17 sentences for 1+3+1+2+1 +8,  and adding 1 to finish out the thought.

“Please come in,  Eustace, “ Tomasso said.  “We can talk here.  My daughter is practicing her secretarial hand, but she is  discreet.  Christine, come meet monsieur Morel, who is the bailiff of Senlis, and a diplomatic messenger for the king.”

Christine curtseyed, “I am pleased to meet you, monsieur Morel. My father has given me your poems to copy.”

Eustace reached for Christine’s hand to raise her to her feet. She was young, with intelligence shining in her eyes, and a pleasant face. “And what did you think of them, demoiselle?”

“I like love poems better,” she said, blushing prettily, “mostly because Maman does not despair of me so much with those.”

Tomasso laughed.  “My wife is convinced that I treat Christine as a son, because I teach her unseemly things.”

Christine added,  “Maman thinks I should find my spinning as interesting as science, since science will not train me for marriage.”

“I write of marriage as well, demoiselle. Perhaps you’d like that piece more than my other poems.”

Christine looked at him without a trace of shyness. “Most men do not write to my taste on marriage, but I would be happy to read it,  monsieur.“

WIPpet is a weekly bloghop hosted by Emily Wrayburn. The only requirement  for joining in to post a snippet and that the snippet have something to do with the date. Feel free to head over to the WIPpet linky to  add your own, or visit other members, or both.

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WIPpet Wednesday

WIPpet Wednesday

This week, I am doing a few things differently with my WIPpet. I am not combining it with any other posts, so that no one needs to navigate through a longer post. Also, I am putting this on a blog where I used to post snippets, but have neglected for too long. Here’s to change and regeneration.

WIPpet is a weekly bloghop hosted by Emily Wrayburn. The only requirement is that the snippet have something to do with the date. Feel free to head over to the WIPpet linky to  add your own, or visit other members, or both.

My selection follows immediately after last week’s, where Christine ended by calling Eustace a “ridiculous old man.” I offer 12 sentences for 1+1+7+2+1, dropping the 8 from the date.

That ridiculous old man was also sitting at a desk looking at a piece of parchment. Or actually looking through it, remembering.  Madame du Chastel, although then she was Tomasso’s daughter, Christine, was transcribing a student’s text.  She looked up and smiled in greeting. Briefly, Eustace could not move, could not greet her, could not even smile. A slight shiver traveled down his body then left, freeing him to smile in return.

“What are you copying today, demoiselle?”

“Nothing of yours, monsieur,”  she said, suppressed laughter gleaming in her eyes. “This is much nicer than your poems about the English.”

“You should be kinder to your elders,” he responded, taking the quill from her hand.

Shaking himself out of the reverie, he read the letter again. “Dear teacher and friend.”

Words from the Nerd Side

Fee and fees

Courtesy of Melinda Van Lone

Why is there a picture of a cow underneath the title “Fee and fees”? Because the word comes from the Old English word, fioh, féo, meaning cattle or property. Trace it back far enough, and one arrives at Latin pecū, which also means cattle.  The Latin word for money, pecūnia, also ties cattle and wealth.  In modern English, we get “fees” from the Germanic roots of our language, and “pecuniary” from the Latin roots, but they both lead us to money and cattle.

However, I don’t think I can take Bossie to the bursar at the University to pay my son’s fees for his summer classes.  It is an entertaining thought, though. To be fair, the use of fioh or féo to mean movable property has been around for some time. The Oxford English Dictionary gives the first use of féo as money as the Codex Aureus, circa 870; the earliest usage of féo as moveable property is in Ælfred’s translation of Boethius’ Consolation of Philosophy, circa 888.

I went to graduate school at Indiana University in Bloomington, getting (among other degrees) a certificate in medieval studies. The street running by several of the undergraduate dorms, ending near the Libraries, is Fee Lane. I always wondered why it was called Fee Lane.  It seemed an insensitive reminder to parents of the cost of higher education.  It was only when I team taught a class in Medieval Legal History that my esteemed and learned colleague told the class the history of “fee.” Now I share it with you, as the beginning of a dive into etymology and the intricacies of the English language.

Is there a word you want to investigate?  Leave it in the comments, and I’ll see what I can do.

life

Return from the Mist

Although most people quote the saying, “Time flies when you’re having fun,” I find time also flies when I am stressed, depressed, or busy with not-fun stuff. Last year about this same time, I posted plans for changes to this blog.  Then life slid into an ocean of fog and mist, and I realized with a frisson, that it had been a year, when Eli, of Coach Daddy, asked me to contribute to one of his six-word story posts.

Sure, I have excuses, many of them viable–surgery in January, work craziness in the summer, but nothing is really persuasive. I stopped blogging because I felt I had nothing of interest to say. However, I now know that I write to think about things, and perhaps I am not the only person struggling with the same things.

I do not plan to be political, although I have no problem being contentious. I tend to be more concerned with life, the humanities, and a life well-lived, with strong opinions for which I feel no need to apologize. Feel free to come along for the ride.

EM

life, Uncategorized

Gratitude III

In this post, I want to thank all my writer friends.  First, Jan, who was the first to encourage me to write something to post for a small group; an online friend in the UK, whom I had the good fortune to meet in real life during my visit to England last February.  I like to think that the two of us encouraged our mutual friend, Elaine, to start writing as well.  To them, and to the rest of my friends in that online community, thank you so very much for believing in me. You are counted among the best friends I have; I just wish we lived closer to one another.Last summer, I was looking for an online writing community, as living in the hinterlands of Florida meant the closest real-life group was forty miles away.  I stumbled across A Round of Words in 80 Days, which struck me with its reasonable goal-setting and ability to tweak them.  I lurked for a few weeks, then joined in when Round 3 started on July 4th. I was a sponsor for Round 3 and 4 of 2011; it was a great experience, and it helped me meet a lot of people.; I encourage you to try it, if you’re interested.I was blown away by the support and camaraderie of the group. Helpful links to blog posts outlining writing tips, suggestions for books to read, courses to take, all poured into my mailbox. As I grew more comfortable sharing my personal story, I received more support–virtual cheers when I succeeded at something, virtual hugs when I failed, but encouragement through it all.  I have met C. M. Cipriani in real life, as it turned out she lived only 45 minutes away from me.  She put ROW80 well, saying, “These are friends; I feel like I know them, even though I’ve never met them.” I know exactly what she means; I feel as though I know several of you. Thank you all for taking the time to come by to support, encourage, bolster and chide.

Finally, I would like to finish thanking the people who follow my blog.  This post will catch me up, so I can copy L. S. Engler from now on, thanking followers as they add themselves to my blog. I’ve included some information about their blogs, if they have one.

Cheryel Hutton http://cheryelhutton.wordpress.com/ working on her third novel, talks to dragons, and they talk back

Ramesh Nanda http://rameshnanda.wordpress.com/ blogs mash-ups

Tiffany A. White http://tiffanyawhite.wordpress.com/  blogs TV reviews and things that make you go  “Ooo”

Thea Atkinson http://theaatkinson.wordpress.com/ author of short stories and novels;  writes about the writing life

Catherine M. Johnson http://catherinemjohnson.wordpress.com/ everything about writing for children

Talin Orfali http://talinorfali.wordpress.com/ blogs about life, posts recipes

Coral http://alchemyofscrawl.wordpress.com/ posts book reviews

Julia Indigo http://juliaindigo.wordpress.com/ blogs about the writing life

Six Sentence Sunday

Six Sentence Monday

I know it’s not Sunday, but I posted non-fiction yesterday, so I’m plunging into the deep end with some fiction today.

He was lost before the music ended.  Her delicate, but not fragile, hand disappeared in his, starting the nerves tingling all the way up his arm. His other hand covered over half of the small of her back, the warmth of which raised his heart rate to a level he hadn’t felt recently save in combat. Even worse, the crush of the dance floor drew them closer together than was truly proper; although the joyousness of the celebration cancelled the affront, it didn’t relieve the chaos swirling through him as they were inexorably pushed chest-to-chest by the crush. For his own sanity, and to have any hope of talking to this vision, finding out her name before she disappeared back into the dreamland from whence she came, he leaned down to her ear, savoring the excuse to inhale the spicy-sweet fragrance of her, “Let’s go outside for some air.” She tipped up on her toes to answer, “Yes, please,” totally unaware of what her sweet, warm breath on his face was doing to him.
Six Sentence Sunday, travel

Six Sentence Sunday

The parking lot for the Alachua Sink looked unimpressive; cars parked on the dirt under the live oaks. Next to a bulletin board full of announcements and brochures, a sign stuck into the dirt pointed, warning that the observation deck was a half-mile away. The path meandered off into the woods, with few signs of human habitation. Soon I crossed the Hawthorne Trail, a popular bike path that replaced an unused railroad line; its pavement new and bright, a stark contrast to the sandy dirt path that crosses it. Around another couple of turns, I walked underneath a train trestle, rails gone, gravel sidings disappearing into the grass, which was left to grow tall and heavy with seeds. Trees have fallen and been left where they lie, obscured by Virginia creeper and hanging vines as thick as my wrist, looking like those in the early Tarzan movies.