igenlode: The pirate sloop 'Horizon' from "Treasures of the Indies" (Default)

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(in the last year, rather than since the last time I did this in January 2015!) Read more... )
igenlode: The pirate sloop 'Horizon' from "Treasures of the Indies" (Default)
The concert went off quite well, the main issues being that (a) I forgot part of my costume and (b) didn't leave enough time to warm up my voice before I left home -- I was assured we would be able to warm up after the safety talk at the hall, but in fact we weren't!
Both of these were largely a result of the fact that I spent the final hour before the concert working feverishly to get This Mask of Death successfully uploaded for the fanfiction.net challenge, which I'm afraid probably says something about my priorities; ultimately, I'm a writer, not a performer.

In the event I managed to sing adequately 'cold', probably due to having been doing a lot of practice in the days beforehand; this time, however, the wobble did convey itself from my knees up into my voice, and I'll never know if that was the result of inadequate preparation or the stress of being billed as a solo performer with weeks of rehearsal rather than simply stepping in to take an emergency solo after a couple of days' intensive study, as in my previous experiences.

Some surprise was caused when I turned out to be the only performer to want to sing without a microphone (I've never been expected to sing with one), with some surprise being caused to me when I was asked nonetheless to step up and perform just six inches away from the object, despite having been informed that it wasn't switched on! I honestly wasn't sure if the result was due to the hall's being extremely resonant, or to my voice getting amplified, but I was assured that the mikes weren't in fact on. In which case I dread to think what it would have sounded like with them on...
(And it's not, so far as I'm aware, that I have a particularly loud voice, so the other students clearly weren't projecting at all; a totally different technique.)

Unfortunately I turn out to look like Eddie Izzard in stage make-up ;-p
Still, I managed to get back into my old concert clothes one more time, with rather less difficulty than last time in fact. Internet tensions have an unfortunate effect on my digestion, which does have a significant effect on my waistline :-(
igenlode: The pirate sloop 'Horizon' from "Treasures of the Indies" (Default)

Written for the Halloween Challenge at the Writers Anonymous forum on FFnet -- or, to be more honest, this is the scene I was planning to write as an in-fandom 'Halloween Special', and which I thought I might be able to shoehorn into the terms of the contest. I'm not really sure it will qualify (and certainly won't win on the stipulated grounds of 'how well the theme is incorporated'), since it's basically nothing to do with October or Halloween but just a retelling of the canonical graveyard scene from Leroux's book -- which, for some inscrutable reason, the author chose to present in the form of an after-the-fact police witness interview, thus stripping the Hammer Horror potential from the distinctly unnerving events actually implied to have taken place!

I have spent a good deal of effort on dithering as to whether I ought to take it up to the end of the chapter by including the last two scenes or not, or simply cut it off for better horror effect with the discovery of Raoul's apparently lifeless body as the finale. I was pretty much certain that the latter was the better course of action, but with the epilogue busy constructing itself in vivid impressions in my head, I made the mistake of deciding to write it out and then to ignore it. Unfortunately I enjoyed inventing Antoine far too much...

So I've more or less decided to enter the whole thing for the contest, which effectively constitutes a genre shift from pure horror to more of a focus on Raoul and Christine's relationship with one another and with her father. At least, that's my story and I'm sticking to it :-p
Horror/Romance won't do as a category, because there really isn't any bar Raoul's remembered frustration, but I think Horror/Family can be made to fit if we consider the quasi-foster-sibling relationship they have at this point.


This Mask of Death

“...je ne sais point jusqu’où s’en fut mon imagination, ni où elle s’arrêta...”


It was a cloudless night, with the moon riding cold and distant above, and the world was in the grip of a hard frost. Snow had fallen to veil the barren ground, and the ancient granite slabs that kept their sentry-watch across the moor — like so many cairns piled by the hands of giants — wore wind-blown drifts of white between their stacked stones, as if korrigans dwelt within and had stopped up the draughts with handfuls of snow in lieu of heather. But the biting breeze that had sprung up at sunset had long since ebbed to silence, and the high heath lay frozen and unmoving beneath the moon. Only the waves tossed endlessly in the bay far below, hissing with age-old hunger against their pallid fringes of sand.

And in the graveyard at Perros-Guirec, where the hill ran down to the sea, a shadow moved amongst the dead.

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igenlode: The pirate sloop 'Horizon' from "Treasures of the Indies" (Horizon)

I'm not entirely happy with this, which as can be seen didn't come out quite along the lines I'd originally intended it: the idea of Ellen as a twist at the end -- once I'd realised that she had died only a few weeks before the Hallowe'en in which the story was set -- came to me quite early on, before I'd started writing, but I'm not sure I really managed to dovetail together the two ideas. Scarlett can't wait to be rid of Charles, but the whole idea of needing to cover up the truth doesn't make so much sense once we see that she would be happy to completely ignore it where her mother was concerned... and I'm not sure that the intended implications (that Scarlett, true to form, ignores "unconditional love" when it is within her grasp and hankers for what she cannot have -- and that poor Charles' unrequited passion anchors him to earth in a way that Ellen's reunion with her dead lover does not) really come across...


The Paths of the Living

October 31st, 1864

There were no boys left in the South.

Of all the things that were so wrong — so very wrong — about that moment on All Hallows’ Eve when Charles Hamilton came again to her, standing hesitant in the doorway, somehow it was that thought which caught first in Scarlett’s weary mind.

There were no boys left in the South any more; only old men of sixteen or seventeen, grey-faced and haggard as the Cause that had drained the youth of a nation. And she herself was no longer the child she’d been when he’d married her. That pretty, heartless kitten was gone, and a scrawny half-starved creature stalked in her place, glaring through cat-green eyes. But Charles at twenty was still a boy, as unformed and innocent as the day he had left her... and as unchanged.

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igenlode: The pirate sloop 'Horizon' from "Treasures of the Indies" (Default)
I'm supposed to be doing a Hallowe'en challenge story -- I wasn't going to go for the challenge since "Hallowe'en" really doesn't feature either in my life or in the sort of fiction I read. But I acquired a copy of "Gone With the Wind" (a 50th Anniversary Edition, which dates it; we're rather closer to a hundredth anniversary nowadays!) and while re-reading the opening scenes I suddenly got the image of poor young Charles Hamilton coming back to Scarlett on the day when the dead walk, with Tara in ruins and the war lost... and somehow she has to get him back into the grave before he can realise what has happened. Her speciality, after all, managing husbands and covering up poverty and distress :-p

It's a long time since I read the novel: I found a great sympathy for Charles this time round. (I seem to be acquiring a weakness for Fictional Sweet Boys!) And I always did sympathise with Ashley Wilkes, having a much greater value for honour and loyalty than Scarlett ever did: she's a fascinating fictional creation, since the author makes absolutely no bones from the start about stating that her chief protagonist is a shallow, selfish and thoroughly dislikeable character, yet manages to get the readership to care what happens to her all the same. It's interesting to note on a re-read that Rhett Butler actually has a lot more respect and understanding for Ashley than one would think, save where Scarlett's actions towards him are concerned: I think both he and Ashley point out at one time or another in the novel that the two of them in fact have a good deal in common (and even self-centered Scarlett recognises that they are the only two 'adult' men she knows, whereas the others, even the greybeards, she can all handle as 'boys')

I'm not sure how much sympathy for Charles Hamilton I'm going to be able to express in this little scene, though, because it's more or less got to be written from Scarlett's point of view, and her reaction to unwanted dead husbands turning up is going to be "just one more unfair burden to be dealt with" :-(


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