February 28, 2014

February Snippets

pinterest: wordcrafter
If my labels are accurate, it's been a full year since I did one of Katie's snippets posts.  Several reasons for that, I suppose: most of last year was full of Tempus Regina, and after a certain point it became difficult to share from that without spilling lots of beans.  I and my characters were in Scotland at that point (I mean story-wise, not myself physically).  Interestingly, we are now in Scotland again, only about fifteen hundred years removed from Regina's time.  Do I have some special love for Scotland...?

Second reason for the lack of snippets posts is simply that I haven't had anything to share, unless you want to read papers on Anabaptist martyrs and 17th Century anti-papist polemics.  This is, naturally, sometimes discouraging and frustrating, although of course absolutely necessary.  So to keep the creative juices flowing - and not go beserk and kill anyone - I've pulled out Wordcrafter and begun rewriting it from the ground up.  This is a dabbling kind of thing and I don't know how serious I am yet, but at 10,000 words, I figured I could scrape together a few things to post.

snippets for february

“You never mentioned your name, did you?” 

Still I felt him looking at me; his face flashed by in the tea, there and then broken, there and then broken. One second. Two seconds. Three seconds. “…Ethan. Ethan Prince.” 

“Ironic,” I said, without looking up. “My name is Justin King.”

- wordcrafter

The chain of the tea-ball still hung over the edge of my own mug and when I prodded it, the dregs rose up strong and dark and forbidding from the bottom. Nnh. There was not enough hot water in the kettle for a second mug, and barely enough leaves in the tin. I could make my guest his cup, but it was coffee-strong Ceylon or nothing for me. 

Well, then, I would take it coffee-strong.


Fortunately I had flour and eggs and the last of a carton of milk, so that with some imagination and fudging—and altogether too much tripping over Ethan, who seemed not to know how to get out of the way—I threw together something like toad-in-the-hole. 

“Heavy on the flour,” I said ungraciously, dumping his steaming plateful at Ethan’s chair— “light on the bangers. I’m running low. Eat up.”


“The—tattoos,” I managed, while Ethan got a glass and fiddled with the sink. “Where did you get them? Last time I saw something like that was in a book on the Celts.” 

 He jolted the handle round and the water spat out with a bang against the metal side, spraying him liberally; he hissed and gentled it back to a more reasonable stream, though it still overflowed his tumbler. Then, shutting off the tap and shaking the water off his hands, he answered, “Maybe I got them from the Celts, then.”


There were very few things in this world for which a brandy and soda could not atone.


The sprawling gravel drive was full and guests had begun to park in odd out-of-the-way corners; holding my breath as though it would make the car smaller, I squeezed between a sleek black Jaguar and a sporty thing I only afterward realized was a Lotus. 

 “Scratch one of those,” I remarked, “and we’re both dead.”


...But in the Fairbairn’s foyer, with the black velvet of his tunic melting into the shadows and the chandelier caught in the dash of gold brocade, he looked like a matador sprung out of the ring. And there was, too, something remarkably Castilian in the cold arrogance with which he surveyed Fairbairn: lips drawn, upper canine balanced light and sharp on lower, eyelids low and flickering. He did not like what he saw, and—my heart took a tumble into my cramped and empty stomach—he was making no bones about it. 


"Someone must have told you it was a masquerade, Mr Prince."



  1. I got very excited when I saw you were doing a snippets post, Abigail - it's been so long! I've missed your beautiful writing.

    Rewriting Wordcrafter from the bottom up - that sounds quite a task. The more I consider it, the more I'm thinking I ought to do that with Psithurism. I will, at least, get something written besides my academic assignments that way...

    I love the snippets about the Celtic tattoos and the coffee-strong tea. As I said, I've missed reading bits of your writing monthly - I hope that with writing Wordcrafter you'll be able to share a leetle more with us every now and then. :)


    Everything - the tea, Justin's ungracious, awkward manner, Ethan's dark unflappability, the cars, the tumble into the stomach, brandy and soda - everything is beautifully written, with such pathos, and pizzazz, and I love it!

    "You'll wake up the WHOOOOLE neighbourhood! WOOPEE! ...Neighbourhood."

  3. ^^^ Jenny. XD
    And yes. I've missed you around this writing world. I kind of looked at this on my sidebar and blinked and thought, "Holy Moly, m'boy, I've missed this." ^.^ I had forgotten how good you are, and now I terribly want to read Wordcrafter. The Celtic tattoos and the car parking did it for me.

  4. Wow I'd forgotten how much I love your writing. You have been missed in your absence. The last one was my favorite. I should dearly love to know it's context.

  5. Snippets of Wordcrafter look so dearly homey and familiar over here. I've missed your writing, Abigail. I'm in a similar place of essays trumping personal writing, but it is so, so good to read your words again. Your style is wonderful, your description is wonderful, and you are wonderful. ^.^

  6. Ohh, I missed you so much - both on your blog and with the snippets and things. I was half-sleepliy browsing facebook when I passed your link, and I am afraid it took a moment to realize you had written a snippets post. Of Wordcrafter. Yayy, I am so glad.... because ya know what?? I think I've never been as piqued by an un-published novel as I have been by Wordcrafter. I am so glad you are pulling it out again, because there is something really beautiful and raw and powerful in the bits and pieces we've read over these past years from this lovely novel. I love your characters - Ethan, Justin, etc... and ha! I never realized that there is a Prince and King in the mix ;).

    These snippets... they're are wonderful, dear! So descriptive, character-warm and interesting. The one with the tattoo was brilliant... I am really partial to Ethan, I must say ;). And also, the way he's fumbling with the sink/tap, and Justin is doing this awkward contemplation of tea and coffee.... you write so beautifully, deftly weaving your pen - 'tis like magic! :D

    I can relate to uni being so taxing and the frustration of not having that creative time available. Schoolwork has been really high and up with me too, and I haven't had much time to do more than dabble. Oh well... all we can do is try and make use of the unforgiving hours given to us!!

    And Scotland. 'Nuff said.

  7. When it comes to wordcrafting you're definitely unbeatable! Excuse the cheesiness, it's just that your voice has turned me half-wordless.

  8. Justin! Ethan! I love these new snippets. I can't believe how I missed this post. "Maybe I got them from the Celts." :D


meet the authoress
I am a writer of historical fiction and fantasy, scribbling from my home in the United States. More importantly, I am a Christian, which flavors everything I write. My debut novel, "The Soldier's Cross," was published by Ambassador Intl. in 2010.
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published writings

The Soldier's Cross: Set in the early 15th Century, this is the story of an English girl's journey to find her brother's cross pendant, lost at the Battle of Agincourt, and of her search for peace in the chaotic world of the Middle Ages.
finished writings

Tempus Regina:Hurled back in time and caught in the worlds of ages past, a Victorian woman finds herself called out with the title of the time queen. The death of one legend and the birth of another rest on her shoulders - but far weightier than both is her duty to the brother she left alone in her own era. Querying.
currently writing

Wordcrafter: "One man in a thousand, Solomon says / will stick more close than a brother. / And it's worthwhile seeking him half your days / if you find him before the other." Justin King unwittingly plunges into one such friendship the day he lets a stranger come in from the cold. Wordcount: 124,000 words

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