More from Island of Glass for #WIPpet Wednesday

My daughter arrived for a visit from the States on Monday, and this morning, she and I had the youngest in the family because of a strike in the city day care centers. In the afternoon, I did some translating, but then I had to take a break to sleep off the effects of having to look after an energetic four-year-old until early afternoon. In the evening, my daughter and I went out to dinner together to what has long been one of our favorite restaurants here, Stadtgraben. And it was wonderful as usual.

With everything that is going on right now, I’m still working on the latest revision round incurred by the comments of my last beta reader for Island of Glass. So since that’s all I’ve been doing creative writing-wise for the last week, I will be returning to the novella this week. Which is appropriate, since the original short story was inspired by a trip I took with my daughter to Venice almost a decade ago, where we stayed on Murano.

Santi Maria on Murano

I was utterly fascinated by the history of glass we learned while we were there, and it inspired and fed into the story.

Anyway, I’m not going to give you any complicated math this week, just 26 sentences for the 26th day of the month. In this scene, Chiara has presented herself to Prince Vittore of House Foscari with the gift she made for him, inspired by the events of the last scene I shared:

Chiara bowed her head in acknowledgment. “May we inquire as to the exact nature of the crime of which he is accused?” she asked diffidently.
The prince laid the box on a table, removed the wrapping, and began to push aside the wood shavings. “Why, attempting to sell Venetian trade secrets, of course.”
Her heart sank, and she clutched her hands in the folds of her silk skirts. That was much worse than simply violating the ban on leaving the islands of Venice. “My uncle would never sell trade secrets,” she protested. “After all, it is in his own best interests if the glassmakers of Murano create glass that is in demand throughout the world. As long as we are the only ones with the knowledge to make cristallo, our wealth will continue to grow.”
“Then what was he doing on the mainland in Padua, can you tell me that?”
Chiara was considering the wisdom of pointing out that Padua was part of the Venetian Empire, when the prince pulled a velvet-wrapped bundle out of the box and pushed aside the fabric.
Prince Vittore held the glass slipper up to the light streaming in from the high arcade windows, turning it in his hands to inspect her handiwork.
“It is one of a matching pair,” Chiara hastened to tell him.
“Beautiful,” he murmured reverently, and Chiara could feel her cheeks grow warm. He looked from the glass slipper to her face, his gaze intense. “From your hand, Maestra?”
She nodded.
“I’d heard rumors that the young maestra of the Fenice Glassworks did brilliant work.” He laid the shoe on a low table beside him and reached into the box for its twin. “Had I known how brilliant, I would have made your acquaintance long before this.”
He might be paying her a compliment, but she couldn’t help thinking that his voice had a slimy quality, reminding her vaguely of a reptile. “You do me too much honor, my prince.”
He pushed aside the velvet, his eyes still holding hers, and his expression had turned speculative. “Talented and beautiful,” he murmured. “A very intriguing combination.”

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. 🙂

21 thoughts on “More from Island of Glass for #WIPpet Wednesday”

  1. Oooh, lovely use of a real experience in fiction. Seamlessly done! I love the way the glittering of the glass is emphasized as is the prince’s very real interest in her.

    I’m envious of your trip with your daughter! I was in Venice in 2001 and that was ages ago. I must return! If only it weren’t so far away … love the photo of the building as well.

    Have fun with your daughter and the 4 year old. My grandson is almost 3 and my goodness does he have a lot of energy.

  2. Blech. *shudder* Having someone you think is slimy holding your hands and making googoo eyes at you is unnerving. Quick! Someone needs to burst into the room with a hilariously awkward statement. A child perhaps? Children always have beautifully humiliating things to say. 🙂

  3. Hmm…I get the feeling the prince is going to make Chiara’s life complicated, if not downright unpleasant. Her repulsion comes off very well. And I feel as though the prince is a hungry dog who suddenly spotted a steak he’s thinking of devouring.

    How do you pronounce Chiara’s name? Is it a soft ‘ch’ or a hard? She-ar-ah? Key-ar-ah? Altogether different?

    1. Hard — your second guess was right.

      Glad the repulsion works in the version. I took an older version to a workshop once, and everyone kept asking me why she didn’t want to marry the prince. Sometimes I’m just too subtle for me own good.

  4. I have a horrid feeling that the prince is going to make an offer to “help” Chiara’s uncle somehow and that she will bear the brunt of it. 😦

    Lovely image… I never made it south of Milan, but Venice is definitely on my bucket list of places I would love to see.

  5. Lovely excerpt Ruth. I got a great sense of Chiara’s unease and awkwardness. I’m guessing this isn’t the last conversation she’ll be having with the prince! 🙂

  6. ummm I don’t think Chiara and Prince Creeptastic are going to have a fun and happy relationship. It’ll be interesting to watch it.

    Great excerpt!

  7. My inner voice is saying, “This prince is not so princey.” Of course, no real prince is princey. Only Disney ones are. So this prince is more real, I guess. He shouldn’t be trusted!

    Keep up your great work. 🙂

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