Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Murder By Pumpkin - Excerpt!

Teaser time! Today's the day for a novel excerpt - this time, a snippet from my still-untitled parody of fairy tales and detective fiction. I started this novel a few months ago and haven't had much time to work on it: so far it's my "fun" project. I've never done a parody before, though I've a passion for reading them, and Leonie, with her snarky-yet-introverted personality, is completely unlike any character I've ever met. It's been brilliant fun!

Now, I'm thinking of taking it seriously...and wondering if it ought to be a serious project at all. Hence my casting the opening few pages up for review! What do YOU think? Want more?

***

Lady Leonie L'Amarr was having a very bad day.


That's how I'd begin it, if today were a novel and if I were writing it. Which of course I would be since nobody else does. But on re-read, that sentence doesn't begin to do today justice. I'd write:

Lady Leonie L'Amarr was having the most miserable, perfectly putrid, absolutely awful and completely contemptible day of her life.

There. That's more like it.

It has been the rottenest day ever. First, I was promoted. Some may rejoice and throw balls when they are promoted. I feel like jumping into a swamp. Because, you see, I was lady's maid to Her Highness Princess Albania Whitefrog, a youngish woman of few brains but amiable intent. Serving her required little work and no mental exertion. Besides, she frequently took long naps in the afternoon, which gave me time to kill off a few more dukes and duchesses before putting the kettle on for tea.

And today, this morning which promised to be full of sunshine, birdsong, and a tour of the torture chamber, proved to be miserable when I got the notice that I'd been promoted Up two Levels. I am now lady-in-waiting to Her Highness Princess Welberta Quillnose. Princess Welberta's amiable intent has not been in question since age three, when she pushed all three of her larger (also male) cousins into the well, and then dropped in her pet piranhas. She is, also, unfortunately for me and for her cousins, not dumb.

In fact, she is considered to be the most intelligent woman in the land. “Welberta doesn't miss
anything” is the word whispered behind palm plants at the balls.

So here I am. The one person in the palace with a secret (well, the only important secret, the only one worth keeping) and I will be locked in mortal combat with Welberta the Clairvoyant Cousin-Killer.

Oh me.

The news about Welberta, however, was only the beginning to my shining day. The second bit of wonderment occurred when I opened my Box of Weapons and discovered that chapter 3 was quite as horrible as it had been when I'd shut it up in there the night before.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. I should explain a few things first. If I am going to keep this diary...journal...book of events...or whatever it is, I should do it properly.

It would be a first.

So then. I am known (because it's my name) as Lady Leonie L'Amarr. I'm of common birth, with just that drop of royal-ish blood somewhere in my ancestry (not pedigree, I'm not royal enough for that) to allow me to serve those with more royal blood. Hence my existance as lady-in-waiting.

I celebrated (with a new bottle of ink and second-hand sheaf of paper) my twenty-third birthday five months ago. I like lizards and spiders and things that go bump in the night (usually royalty stumbling home from a ball) and I enjoy sunshine in moderation. Thunder is excellent at all times, and a good smashing hailstorm does wonders to wake up the world. I have a passion for poached eggs on toast and cannot bear snail soup. Which is another reason to be thankful for not being royal. I cannot bear porridge either, which is a reason to be thankful for not being common.

In matters of looks, I'm tallish, with sticky-out elbows and long toes. My fingers are long as well. I have long
straight brown hair. In a book, I would have ginger-brown hair, or autumn-brown, or hair the color of leaves in a stream.

In reality, it's just brown.

My eyes are indecisive, much like me, and change from green to blue to brown on a whim. Some say it's with my moods, but since last time I looked in a mirror, carefully feeling cross, they were brown, and the time before, blue, I feel my orbital color is not a safe meter of my mental state.

My face is oval, with a chin that juts, and I have interesting cheekbones, one slightly dented from a run-in with a wall. Overall, my physical appearance is one to attract little attention, a tendency I cultivate. Invisible ladies-in-waiting get into less trouble.

And they have more time to write.

Which brings me to the purpose of this journal—diary—shall I just call it my List of Rants? I like that. Very well. The purpose of this List is (when not being a list of rants) for me to collect my thoughts on people, and cutlery, and life in general. The purpose of such a collection brings me back to my horrible day.

Because it was today I finally realized that I am going nowhere as a writer.

9 comments:

TraciB said...

More, Nina! I definitely want to get to know Leonie better. Your writing style is perfect for parody, and this promised to be a great story.

Nina Hansen said...

Oh, thanks for much for the comment and encouragement. :) I'm going to start working on this again...

Elisabeth said...

I like it. I like it a lot! I'd definitely read more.

Tell me, do you find writing in first person like this so easy? I'm doing a comedy piece in first-person and have enjoyed it tremendously. I don't know how well I'd do writing something serious that way, but I love the technique for something funny.

Nina Hansen said...

Oh good! So glad you like it.

Normally I find writing in first person incredibly HARD, but in this case it really is easy! I think perhaps it's easy because this is more of a diary, it's more of someone "talking", and thus I avoid all the pitfalls of normal first person.

Katherine Sophia said...

Fun! That was definitely enjoyable, and I would keep reading if there was more. :)

Kayla said...

I love you, Nina! You never fail to make me smile! I MISS YOU! I ALWAYS want to read more of your stuff!

Nina Hansen said...

Yay, Katherine!

*hugs* Love you too, Kayla! I want to read more of YOUR writing as well!

Scarlett M. said...

Has an "I Capture The Castle" vibe - quirky first person narrative that shocks you right when you think it's going to be familiar. Fantastic, Nina. :D Keep writing!

faj9778 said...

IS VERY GOOD..............................

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