Lucky 7 meme
1. Go to page 77 (or 7th) of your current ms
2. Go to line 7
3. Copy down the next 7 lines – sentences or paragraphs – and post them as they’re written. No cheating.
4. Tag 7 other authors. (I am not doing this – anyone who wants to do it can. Those who don’t want to don’t have to.)
I have two current manuscripts, both of which are in first draft form and aren’t really fit to be seen. They were written using Write or Die, which has no italics. So the //s are there to indicate bits that are to be italicised later.
The Pilgrims’ Tale is intended as a fairly serious historical novel. Elf Princes’ Quest is intended as what UtH was originally meant to be before it evolved – a fun little homoerotic potboiler with elves.
From page 7 of The Pilgrims’ Tale
“Not a warrior now, is he?” Cenred’s laughter turned on a pinhead into anger. “If he’d not been willing to bear the dishonour, he shouldn’t have let himself be captured. Look at him standing there, meek as a maid. Even now he could be fighting back. If he ran at us, we’d give him death. No, he chooses to be a real man’s whore with every breath he takes. I don’t give dog-shit what he was before. Now, he’s a coward. I hope the old man nails him so hard he can’t walk for a month, craven little lickspittle worm.”
Spit sprayed the side of Wulfstan’s face. He jerked away and wiped it, feeling filthier than it deserved. There was a shake in his fingers he hoped Cenred hadn’t seen, fruits of a strange, shrill panic under his breastbone he was surprised that no one but he could hear. /That could have been us. It still could be any one of us, if the Norsemen caught us. They’ve broken others, do you think they could not do the same to you?/
“She means to journey to Rome,” the sailor was saying, genial now he had the coins in his palm. “To make pilgrimage for the sake of her husband’s soul.”
The words conjured up a different world. All at once his mind was full of gold and white, the mother of God, serene and mild, and holy virgins whose maidenhead miraculously survived all the world could do to steal it. Washed clean, he thought /But of course, he is furious because he is afraid. Because no matter how he denies it, he knows this too could be him. And he would not have it so./
“Then,” said Ecgbert, smiling with the air of a man who has utterly routed his enemies, “I am all the more glad to have contributed to her weal.”
He held out his hand for the leash.
The slave did not look up again, but fixed his gaze on the rough rope in his new master’s hand and followed where he was tugged. They walked a little, further down the beach, away from the ships and the crowd, into the sparse dunes, where long grass hissed like snakes over tumbled stone.
From page 7 of Elf Princes’ Quest
His oystercard was good for another six months, thank God, so he hopped on the tube to get back, and half past one saw him opening up a second time, worried by the strange tinted look to the windows. When he opened the door, a roil of brown smoke billowed out, stinking of charred coffee grounds and melted electrical cable.
/No,/ he thought, in a childish protest that this was too much, as he ran through black fug into the little kitchen, and found the percolator – which he had forgotten to switch off – had boiled itself dry, and the jug was smoked brown, spackled all over with cracks. He could feel the heat from six feet away.
“The hand has to be open,” Sensei Richard had said, only two nights ago, “the body poised and the spirit at peace. If you’re angry when you fight, you will make mistakes. You’ll be hasty and slapdash, you’ll go for openings that aren’t there, instead of making them. You must be in control of yourself and your opponents. So, first center yourself.”
It came back now because Dave wanted to scream, wanted to snatch up that mocking pot and smash it on the ground, swearing all the while. Instead he breathed in carefully, and out, settled his weight, tried to be aware of the chi moving through his body like twined fibres of fine light.
Then he wedged the street door open and ran down into the cellar to turn off the power before he risked unplugging the thing. This day did not need added third degree burns or electrocution.
When he returned to a shop made greyer by natural light, there were two men by the till. He stopped on the second to last stair to watch them from behind the cellar door, and all the unfairness of today, the pity, the pettiness and the anxiety, balled themselves up and fell away. Suddenly he knew exactly what Sensei Richard meant by “empty.” On another occasion it would have been a revelation. Right now it was a distraction that fell away into silence as soon as it formed.
A burly one and a thin one. On the burly one, the place of hair was taken up by tattooed spiderwebs. Sovereign rings glinted on his fingers, and steel ones in his eyebrows.