Thursday, February 2, 2012

February Snippets of Story

I encourage you all to join in Katie's Snippets of Story event at Whisperings of the Pen!  If you'd like to find out more about it, go here.  I don't know if I'll participate in this every month, but I thought I'd give it try, at least for the first time.  Looks like fun!

(By the way, most of these snippets are coming from my NaNoWriMo story, Only A Novel, which was formerly titled What Would Elizabeth Bennet Do?)

There is something about snow that makes everyone discard his or her dignity and just enjoy the moment. Elizabeth knew perfectly well that it was not proper for a governess to be running around the garden with her charges, (hadn’t she gotten in some trouble for running a couple of months ago?) chasing snowflakes and shrieking with laughter, but for the time being she did not care. Not the least, tiniest bit.
~Only A Novel

She had only just crossed the threshold into the dining room when a hoarse, harsh cry split the air and Mr. Crimp’s dreadful, rusty red parrot came diving at her head.
Elizabeth screamed. She hated to scream, and did it only under the most trying circumstances. This, she felt later, was a circumstance deserving of a good healthy shriek. She was not alone in her screaming; Isabelle was treating the company to a demonstration of her lungpower, and Mrs. Crimp was making unearthly squeaking noises as the parrot dove around the room.
Elizabeth, her heart pounding nearly in her throat (something she had always read of in novels, but had never before thought to be physiologically possible) covered her head with both her hands and shrank back against the doorframe in a very cowardly manner. She later made excuses for herself (to herself), saying that if the bird had managed to entangle itself in her hair, she would have laid down on the floor and died.
Which would not have been a dignified thing to do.
~Only A Novel

Elizabeth searched under her table, under her bed, under her pillow, under her lamp, behind her ear and finally under Lavinia’s letter until she found her pen. It had been under Lavinia’s letter. Naturally, whenever she lost something she always found it in the last place she had looked.
Well, of course the last place she had looked had been the place she had found it, for after she found it she need not look for it any more.
Though geometry had been one of her best subjects, logic had never been her strong point, and she returned to her page with her head in a bit of a muddle.
~Only A Novel

They pulled to a stop at an intersection. Elizabeth pulled her head back into the brougham and straightened her hat. Wisps were already escaping from her French twist, and she had been so proud of it only an hour ago. It was no light feat to do one’s own hair so prettily without even Jenny’s help. But the wind rushing past the window had no regard for her hard work and, indeed, seemed to scorn it.
~Only A Novel

“LaVEENia, darling,” squealed the tallest of the group, a sallow-faced young woman attired in an unflattering shade of gold. “How lovely to see you, you look simply lovely, darling, and who is this lovely little friend of yours, how lovely to meet you, you sweet thing!”
Elizabeth, who did not particularly relish being dubbed a sweet thing, politely took the young lady’s hand and shot Lavinia a beseeching look.
~Only A Novel

“And may I introduce,” said Lavinia quickly, “Miss Vivian Applethwaite, Miss Annette Pickering—my dear friend Miss Elizabeth Markette.”
“Delighted,” said Miss Applethwaite.
“Charmed,” said Miss Pickering.
Elizabeth sought for a synonym. “Enraptured,” she said solemnly, shaking hands all around.
~Only A Novel

With great effort, Miss Ballantyne managed to squeeze out two or three tears. Usually the tears were quite effective, but today her friends--and even her sister--seemed made of stone. She offered another injured sniff. In honor of the day, she was wearing her best black bombazine, the one trimmed with delicate fluting all around the waist and hem... so tasteful and so appropriate to the memory of poor dear Humphrey. And yet no one had complimented her on it, nor even seemed to notice how well the fine black material set off her complexion. She had always looked well in black.
~Untitled Story for Rachel's Contest

Miss Waxington drank tea and coffee—in the same cup—every morning for breakfast, and the other teachers were so polite that they never said anything about it to her. The students were not so polite, but they were so in awe of their teachers that they never said anything to Miss Waxington either.
~It's Thursday Again

In the mathematics classroom, Miss Box rapped firmly on the table. “Young ladies, may I introduce to your our newest pupil,” she said.
“Good morning Miss Box,” droned the students. Then they realized that she had not said “Good morning, class,” and they looked at each other sheepishly.
~It's Thursday Again

“Of all the dreadful, rude, insufferable creatures I have ever met in all my life, Annette Pickering is the worst. Don’t try to think of anything nice to say about her, Elizabeth, you’ll only hurt your brain.” If Lavinia could be said to plop, she would have plopped onto her chaise longue. “I didn’t want to say anything in front of Mother, of course. Thank you for not saying anything when I lied through my teeth at dinner and told Mother we had a perfectly lovely tea. I can always count on you, Lizzie.”
~Only A Novel


Anne-girl said...

Love the one about Good Morning Miss Box. I can hear Dad's voice saying "Good-morning Sara".

Hayden said...

This is great. You're so talented! :)

Julia Rogers said...

COMPLETELY enchanted with all your snippets!!!!! I just about had a fit laughing over them!!!! You are a MOST delightful writer!!!! such wit!! =)

Miss Dashwood said...

Haha, that scene from "A Little Princess" was actually what inspired this part. :)

Aww, thank you! You are very kind. Are you going to do Snippets?

Thank you! You're so sweet--I'm glad I could make you laugh. :)

Rachel Heffington said...

I really am "enraptured" to quote your own self. :D I dearly love to laugh, as I'm sure you know, and these little things delight me. Oh Miss and Anne-girl and I would be great friends if we ever met one another. I just know it. :)

Maria Elisabeth said...

So lovely and humourous. I like your renaming of your nano novel too. 'Only a Novel' sounds like a perfect title.


Miss Laurie of Old-Fashioned Charm said...

My dear Miss Dashwood, you are a genius! I greatly enjoyed reading these snippets, thanks so much for sharing them with us!
"Only A Novel" is a lovely title, though it makes me think more of Northanger Abbey then Pride & Prejudice. ;)
I love all of these snippets immensely but I think my favorite is the one from the Untitled Story because the style is rather reminiscent of Elizabeth Gaskell! Wow! You are so clever!

Miss Dashwood said...

I agree, I think you and I and Anne-girl would all get along absolutely fabulously!

Maria Elisabeth,
I'm glad you like the new title!

Miss Laurie,
I'm so glad you recognized that "Only A Novel" is from Northanger Abbey! Actually that's part of the theme... that the whole story is a lot more like Northanger Abbey (a heroine who wants everything to be like a novel) than it is like Pride and Prejudice. ;)

Alexandra said...

LOVE the snippets! Would love to read more...just sayin'. :-)

Anonymous said...

Oh, Miss Dashwood. I would like to take a few moments just to sit in complete and utter awe of these dear little snippets. You write with such a fluid, lovely charm. You write with such a endearing sense of wit. I absolutely adore your writing.

Please keep joining Snippets! I would greatly enjoy reading more of your dear stories!

Miss Dashwood said...

Thank you!

Katie S.,
Thank you so much for your comment! My sister introduced me to your blog and I absolutely adore your writing style. Thanks for hosting Snippets, it's such fun! I'm looking forward to next month already.

Julia said...

I am really looking forward to the finished "Only a Novel". The snippets are most tantalizing!! :D

I awarded you! See my blog for details. :)

Melody said...

Ooh! There was one quote there at the end from "Only a Novel" that I hadn't read yet! ;-) ;-)

I'm glad you seem to be deciding to call it that. I think it's a great title. =)