I’ve been a bit under the weather recently, which has slowed up my progress on writing projects enormously. I’m still staying mostly on schedule with the translation, but I’m largely stalled out on A Wasted Land, and not as far as I would like to be on the two novellas I want to publish soon, Island of Glass and Recontact. Most of what I’ve done in the last week has been working on a final editing pass for Island of Glass. I’d been hoping to get it finished in time for my niece’s birthday, since she was my first beta reader and really loved it, but it won’t happen, unfortunately. So Miranda will just have to live with a late birthday present.
I’ve also been searching for a map of Venice that I could include, and I found this lovely 16th century painting by Ignazio Danti:
What do you guys think, it that too confusing? There’s a simpler map on Wikipedia that has been released into the public domain, but of course it has the connection to the mainland that didn’t exist in the (fantasy) historical period in which the novella is set.
Since Island of Glass is what I’ve been working on for the last week, that is what I will take my snippet from for WIPpet Wednesday. My math for the 19th of March 2014 is as follow: 19 – 3 – 2 – 1 – 4 = 9. So here are nine paragraphs from Island of Glass. In this scene, Chiara has just consulted the “Princes of Oil” with her godmother, prophesying help from birds, which doesn’t seem to make much sense:
She sat down on a bench in the square, wondering what would happen now and what the birds could possibly do to help. It seemed hopeless. Pigeons were everywhere, but as soon as they noticed she had no breadcrumbs to toss on the cobblestones, they lost interest in her and went cooing in another direction. Those birds did not appear inclined to reveal anything to her.
Then she heard a raucous cawing. She glanced up to see a magpie, carrying a wide object that glinted in the afternoon sun. As she watched the bird, she heard another loud caw from a different direction, and she turned to see a second magpie dive for the loot. The first bird swerved away, heading straight for her head. Chiara ducked, protecting herself with her forearms. It was a good thing she had, because something hit her right arm and clattered to the ground.
Clattered. Not a bird. She lowered her arms and opened her eyes. On the cobblestones in front of her lay a shoe.
She bent down and picked it up. It was a man’s jeweled evening slipper of blue satin with a red heel, laced up with brightly colored ribbons. A shoe fitting for a man of the highest fashion — or a prince.
The battling magpies landed on the opposite side of the Campo, still squabbling. Chiara rose and wandered across the square, shoe in hand. Signora Gutfe said the birds on the Campo would help her; perhaps what they were fighting about would be the key.
As she approached, the magpies flew away, squawking in protest. They left behind a small pile of pebbles, clear and shiny, except for the spots where they had been dirtied by the grime of the square. Chiara crouched down, taking some pebbles in her free hand and rubbing them between her fingers. Clear crystal. They would be perfect for making glass.
She glanced between the smooth stones and the aristocratic slipper the magpies had nearly dropped on her head.
Bring the prince something he had never seen before, something only she could give him.
She smiled. Of course! She would bring the prince glass slippers, created by a maestra of her art.
WIPpet Wednesday is the brain child of K. L. Schwengel. If you’d like to participate, post an excerpt from your WIP on your blog, something that relates to the date in some way. Then add your link here — where you can also read the other excerpts. 🙂