Back to A Wasted Land, and another #WIPpet Wednesday

After getting Chameleon in a Mirror off to my beta readers last week, I returned to A Wasted Land. First, in order to get may head back into the project, I did some editing of scenes leading up to where I left off. As a result, the added word count is modest: 2,000 new words to Kustennin’s story. The ongoing, long-term translation is also keeping me pretty busy. More on that eventually, since it’s also an indie experiment, but not today. It’s late now in Central Europe, and I don’t have enough brain cells left for a longer, more involved blog post. 🙂

For my excerpt for WIPpet Wednesday this week, I give you 11 sentences from scene 9 (9-11). This is shortly after the last scene from A Wasted Land that I posted, in which Celemon confronted her betrothed with his infidelity. Now they are at the church, and Aurelius is being forced to marry the woman he slept with.

Gildas turned to Aurelius. “Do you confirm that you have had carnal knowledge of this woman and that she is with child?” he asked, his voice exuding disapproval. Of course, Celemon too disapproved, but she had little room in her heart right now for anything besides hurt and anger — and she a brave front to maintain. Still, she doubted if she could ever look down on anyone quite the way Gildas did, even if she were standing on the top step of a basilica. Gildas was the same age as Celemon, barely eighteen, but already he had developed the attitude of disapproval it took others decades to cultivate.
Bethan’s blush was turning from a becoming pink to a deeper shade of red, one of uncomfortable embarrassment, her smile fading with the priest’s explicit accusation. Celemon couldn’t help wondering if marriage to Aurelius was what she had wanted all along – but now she was being confronted with what her wish come true would mean for the rest of her life.
Aurelius did not answer Gildas’ question until his brother Iddon prompted him with one elbow.
“Yes,” Aurelius ground out.
“Then let us sanctify this union to ensure the legitimacy of the unborn child.”
As Gildas began to speak the Latin words, Aurelius stood stiff and angry at Bethan’s side.

WIPpet Wednesday is the brainchild of K.L. Schwengel, in which we post excerpts from works in progress (WIP) that somehow correspond to the date. Join in the fun and add your snippet here!

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12 thoughts on “Back to A Wasted Land, and another #WIPpet Wednesday”

  1. Ah, poor Bethan. But only a little bit as I don’t get the feeling she was innocent in all this. I feel for Celemon who puts on such a brave face. I wouldn’t even want to be there witnessing it if I were her.

  2. I’m happy the baby gets legitimacy, if that is important (and, by context and historical period, I am thinking that it is….). But a child growing up with such anger, bitterness, and regret all around…that makes me sad.

    Did I miss the beta-reading window?! I was offline a lot of last week…if you still want more readers, you can email me at memismommyatyahoodotcom…I am already doing one beta reading, but it’s not long,and I should have it finished by the end of the month at the latest. I’m also pretty good at reading multiple projects at once. =D

    This is an excellent and evocative excerpt. So glad you’ve joined the #WIPpeteers.

  3. Having only read Yseult and half of Shadow of Stone so far, I’m glad to see that Kustennin is getting his own story. I just wish I was seeing more of him now… 🙂

    Seriously though, I love the way you evoke the historical context of the story through the characters feelings, Ruth. This piece does have the WIPpet curse of feeling a bit hard to pinpoint (I don’t have a good sense of setting here), but I’m sure that would be fixed in the final piece.

  4. I like the way we get the sense that now Bethan’s wish is coming true it might not be all rosy for her – a lifetime together is a long time when they’re having to marry because of the situation they’ve got themselves into. Poor Celemon having to witness this and try and be brave at the same time.

  5. It’s kind of nice to see a man forced into a marriage rather than a woman forced into a marriage…just saying. Also…I like that it doesn’t seem as though this entire thing is going to be resolved just because of the marriage.

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