A disappointing update and a return to the Dowager Princess

Even before the trip the the States, my desktop computer (aka my workhorse) was starting to act funky. It wasn’t any better when we got back. So last week, I finally gave in and ordered a new machine.

While I get a big kick out of new hardware, setting up a new computer with all my files and all my programs is a lot of work. And as far as progress is concerned, I’m back to where I was when we returned from the trip: barely making progress on the translation, and only getting around to writing a couple of times a week.

But I am writing this post on the new computer, so there is hope. I keep discovering programs I didn’t install yet, or peripherals that aren’t working for some reason (today it was the speakers, yesterday it was the printers), but those kinds of distractions should crop up less and less the longer I’m using this machine. Cross your fingers for me that next week I’ll have more to report than 7 pages of translation and 3 pages of fiction!

On to WIPpet Wednesday. Two weeks ago (before the new machine arrived …), we left Gaetano in Murano where he had just pricked his finger on the stem of the glass apple, with some interesting consequences. In this scene from Facets of Glass, he is reporting back to the Dowager Princess. I give you 10 short paragraphs for the 10th day of the month:

Gaetano gazed just past the top of Princess Zilia’s head and out of the high arched windows of her retiring room, his back straight, his hands clasped behind his back. He hoped he still looked like the devoted Foscari house guard the Dowager Princess took him for.
“I am sorry to say that I was unable to find the apple, Your Grace,” he lied.
He detected the faintest purse of her lips. “Did you look everywhere?”
“I hope Your Grace will forgive me, but I had no opportunity to look everywhere. The prince’s sister-in-law has been removed to a day bed in a small room off of the audience chamber where she fainted.”
“And where she must have lost the glass apple,” Princess Zilia murmured.
Gaetano nodded. “There was a constant stream of guests in and out of the room, coming to pay their respects to the signorina. I could only examine what was in plain sight. Please forgive my honesty, Your Grace, but I fear it would have looked suspicious if I had gotten on my knees and started crawling around on the floor.”
That got an unwilling smile out of her. “And I fear you are right, Gaetano.”
He resisted the impulse to heave a sigh of relief. “There is also the possibility that the apple was retrieved by servants cleaning the room, or broke when Signorina Dragoni fell.”
“But then you would have heard the breaking glass, would you not?”
“True. I had not considered that, Your Grace.” He hadn’t heard the leaves and stem break off, but that might well have been more of a tinkling than a crash. And by that time, he would have already been kneeling next to Minerva, calling for help.

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.

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17 thoughts on “A disappointing update and a return to the Dowager Princess”

  1. Congrats on the new computer. Hopefully all the problems that come along with a new gadget are worked out soon.

    It’s been a while since I’ve read from this piece, but I’m curious why Gaetano is lying–and what’s going to happen if/when he gets caught!

  2. I’m with you—setting up a new computer is brutal.

    I keep wondering when Gaetano is going to be caught in his lie. I think trouble lies ahead.

  3. Yay! New computer! I hope the transition is surprisingly simple.

    Gaetano, Gaetano, Gaetano. One day the princess will look in her magic mirror and you will be in deep doodoo. Or something like that. Not that he isn’t doing the right thing, as far as I can tell, but this does not look to end well for him without some assistance from someone. Is he the huntsman character, by any chance?

  4. Glad you were able to get the new computer up and running. I had that happen very recently and it can be a pain…but a necessary evil. Love the WIPpet! Very intriguing.

  5. I have that love-hate relationship with new computers as well. Software, drivers, booga-boos that crop up and have to be figured out… good times. I have to reformat my laptop and I keep putting it off. My desktop has become my workhorse again, so it’s not as though I don’t have a backup. It’s all the other things… *shudder*

    *claps loudly* Well done, Gaetano! But I fear for you, my boy. You’re treading a dangerous line here. He’s rather a cool liar, though. Makes me wonder if he does it often.

  6. Good luck with the new computer! I always miss my old computers, and like to keep using the old model as long as possible even after upgrading. Sometimes it’s necessary to go back on the old machine.

    I like the dialogue between them. He’s treading on thin ice, and had better hope he’s not caught out in his lies.

  7. So when (when, not if) he’s caught in his lies, will he have enough support behind him to save his neck? And… will he want to be saved? Or will he consider the sacrifice worth it?

    Sorry to hear about the computer. New machines always make me uneasy… It takes time to break them in right. New memory, new video cards… new operating systems (*shudders*)! I’m holding on desperately to my 9 year-old laptop because it is such a workhorse *crosses fingers, makes ritual gestures of apology to the Fates*

  8. I remember when this trusty Lenovo Yoga came in its box in the winter of 2014. I opened it, turned it on, let it do its startup stuff – and then stared blankly at its barrenness….

    And went back to using my bitty, scuffed up little ThinkPad…

    I’ve gotten it fixed up the way I like it, now, and I’m already dreading the day that I will need to upgrade…

    Transitions are hard. New computers are wonderful, but they’re like shoes or jeans or pillows – takes a while to personalize ’em!

    I hope your new machine fits like a glove, so to speak, very soon!

    As for the snippet, I wonder what would happen if she asked to see his hands? Would she be able to see the magical remains of whatever the apple did to him? Does she maybe already know he’s lying…?

    I like Gaetano. I want him to be safe (well, eventually, but not too soon, because, really, what fun would THAT be?)

  9. I really do like Gaetano, so every time I read these I’m always so concerned for him! Even if the Dowager seems to like him in her own way, he’s going to be in for it when she finds out he’s been lying… and I can’t decide if I’m looking forward to reading it or just terrified for him!

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