I hope the folks who have started with me on our journey will continue to do so here...
Wednesday, May 7, 2014
Guest blogger Sophie Bowns - "Teddy,Part 1"
Its 4:10 pm
Looking outside at a beautiful spring afternoon...the robins are chirping,the sound of lawnmowers is filling the air with low buzzing noise and kids are outside enjoying the open air.
I am really liking the idea of guest bloggers. To find someone whose writing you really like and respect is a good feeling. To have them accept a invite to submit a guest column is (to me anyways) is quite the honor. There are a lot of great voices out here in the blogsphere whose writing is just so good.....like today's guest blogger, novelist Sophie Bowns from the United Kingdom.
I ran across Sophie in a blogging group where she was promoting and sharing her new ebook, "Azure". I took a peek at her blog and was impressed with how dense her writing was despite at the same time,being sparse. Its a skill I wish more writers had,too many fall in love with the sound of their keyboards and don't know when enough is enough. The trick to me as a reader is to be entertained and left wanting more....I think Sophie does a excellent job of that and its one of the reasons I asked her if she like to contribute a guest blog. I am so glad she said "Yes". And I think after you read her entry,you will be glad as well!
Below is the first chapter of her new work, "Teddy".
“Now you shall go there, and you…”
Theodore noted the soft pitter -patter of footsteps and glanced up from the book collection he was arranging with pride, upon the hand carved bookshelf. He held a cluster of the leather-bound books under one arm as he stood on his tiptoes in attempt to reach a higher oak shelf. A gentle cough and a small knock followed the steps. “Mr Howard, I am here.”
“Good afternoon. Might I speak with you, your Grace?”
Theodore’s solemn expression unnerved Mr Howard a little and he was immediately washed with a wave of guilt as he watched him push the final book into place. He glanced up at the slim man with salt and pepper hair. “I am sorry to have to interrupt you, but..” “Has my Mother sent you?” “Yes, she has in fact.” “Oh dear. What could I have possibly done now?” “Well your Grace, it is only natural for Mother’s to worry and..”
Theodore shook his head, seating himself in one of the high-backed mahogany chairs by the window. He glanced at the chess board and selected a piece making his next move. He gave in and folded his arms, distracting his glance to the acres upon acres of palace gardens. The rays of sun highlighted the beads of water among the blades of grass and there, they shone like delicate little pearls. “Queen Evangeline thinks you spend too much time reading.” “Reading is an academic pastime is it not? One can learn a great deal from indulging in a little literature each day. I study as I read.” “Oh why of course your Grace, but Queen Evangeline is..” “She is impatient and scolding.” “Forgive me your Grace; I was only suggesting that; your Mother is first and foremost the Queen.” “Why state the obvious, Howard? Well, I am very sorry that I am a disappointment in her eyes.” “I only suppose that she assumes that a young man of 14 should have his mind-set on other things of greater importance such as..” “Here we are again, speaking on the subject of marriage. Time and time again Mother mentions Jane Mallis! She is apparently quite the mysterious beauty.” “She has a title.” “Mr Howard, we haven’t even been introduced.” “But you will, in time. I hear that she is one of the most eligible women in the country.” “Oh and pray tell me, why is that?” “Because, your Grace she is a Lady; an only child like yourself whose family has an annual income of just over one thousand pounds a year.” “One thousand?” Theodore whispered, initially struck by the news. He composed himself and shook his head. “I have promised that I would never let myself become overcome.” “Overcome?” “Yes; enraptured by a woman’s fortune and beauty. So much so, that I’d forget myself. If I had my way, I would-”
Theodore did not continue. Instead he rested his elbows on his thighs and placed his head into his hands. “Everyone expects me to grow up so quickly, I am only 14 years old. Mr Howard, what were you doing at this age?”
Mr Howard thought for a moment. “Well your Grace, I was working on a farm.” “Aha! Doing what exactly?” “I was farming your Grace.”
Theodore’s mouth spread into a wide smile. “Ha! Specifically Mr Howard, please.” “Well now your Grace, let me see.” “Please sit down for five minutes Mr Howard.” “Why of course.”
Mr Howard smiled and obeyed, with great duty. “We were always expected to rise early.” “Oh?” “Yes, every morning we would waken at 4 o’clock in the morning to organise things.” “Gosh, it would have still been dark!” “Yes, indeed your Grace. We would have to release the cows into the field and then milk them, feed the chickens and pigs all before half past 5.” “Gosh. I wouldn’t have survived.” “Why, your Grace?” “Well, I suppose that I am not accustomed to such things. This is my life and it’s one that I have to follow.” “You do not like it, your Grace?” “I accept it.”
Mr Howard’s face fell, a little hurt by what Theodore had just said. “You feel that you have to accept me?” “Mr Howard, you are our most loyal servant and I trust you entirely. You are a credit to our family, I more than accept you. You’re a friend and you have my utmost respect. Please forgive me? I do fear that for a moment, I sounded like my Mother.” “There is nothing to forgive.” Mr Howard smiled. He loved the wise young man in front of him, like a Father would love his son. Prince Theodore was kind, caring and wise beyond his years. “I just wish that Mother would let me mix with other children.” “The Baroness brought her son last week, did she not?” “Yes, but Laurence has status and I found him quite..” Mr Howard nodded in agreement. The child was a handful to say the very least. “That boy is very wild, but I think you managed splendidly.” “You think so?” “Yes, anyone else who had just had a whole jug of milk spilt over them might have been furious. But on the contrary, you were gracious and composed.” “Ah no, that was just an accident and he is only 8 years of age. It could have easily been the other way around. I do not feel that I shall ever be gracious.” “If you don’t mind me saying, your Grace; I think that you’ll make a wonderful king.”
Theodore shuddered at the word. ‘King’ what on earth would that entail? He witnessed his Father’s anguish and he was away so often. ‘Will I ever be good enough?’ Theodore thought. “Now then, I do believe that your Mother would like to see you in her parlour.”
Queen Evangeline stirred her tea 6 times precisely, ensuring that the large lump of white sugar had dissolved into the hot liquid. She pursed her lips and stared at the clock. Where were they? Theodore knocked on the oak door, pressing his ear to it. “You may come in now. Ah at long last! Theodore.” “You wished to see me, Mother?” “Did I?” “Mr Howard said..” “Must you question everything Theodore? You are quite out of line really. Children should be seen if they are good-looking, clean and well dressed. They should most certainly not be heard.” “Yes Mother.” “Pray tell me, what have you been doing today Theodore? Not filling your head with those foolish books again, I hope.” “I find Grandfather’s first editions very comforting.” “Comforting?” Queen Evangeline laughed. “How can you find peace in a book?” “In lots of ways, like..” “Hmm, what about the garden?” “What about it, Mother?” “Have you been outside today?” “Yes Mother; I took it upon myself to study and paint the Red Admiral butterfly which had taken the liberty to perch itself on a poppy for me.” “I don’t think butterflies could..” “Forgive me Mother; I was simply making a little joke.” “Please don’t interrupt Theodore.” Queen Evangeline sighed, shaking her head. “I-I apologise.” “Would you care to be seated? Now then Theodore, I wished to speak to you on the subject of Jane, or should I say; Lady Jane Mallis.” “Mother!” “Theodore, she is to be your betrothed. Do not say Mother in such a tone. You have a lot to learn my son. Why, when I was your age I was already engaged to your Father. We were promised to each other at the age of 8.” “Oh heavens! You were just little children.” “Yes Theodore. We were still babes in arms.”
I am working on my next "8 Questions with......" interview. I am going to change things up a little bit and I hope it pans out. I also have Susan Smiley coming back with the sequel to Oliver's story coming up.
So thankful for all the kind comments as of late....been making writing through this time a little easier.
If you are on Twitter,follow me @Jinzo_2400
Christine C. - Inspiring? That is high praise indeed!
Mike White - Maybe we need to start a "horror community" *LOL*
Elissa - Sorry for the bad reminder last night,it really is a small world! Richard Von B - Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions Sophie - Thank you for "Teddy".
Sue E. - Coffee was excellent,see you Saturday.
Nancy G - finding my way,one step at a time
David Fales and Bene Benwikere - Good luck in the NFL Draft tomorrow! Spartan Strong!