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An extract from "The Carnival is Over" at precisely the point where I decided to go ahead with linking Nell to Erica, the female flyer from my previous Nanowrimo novel. I remembered I needed to get an extract up from a mandatory check-in challenge over at writerverse.

This is taken from a much longer day in the novel (a day I am still writing) but the section here is relatively self contained.

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This entry was originally posted at http://alicia-h.dreamwidth.org/42049.html
Extracts from my nanowrimo novel (tentatively titled "The Carnival is Over" after The Seekers' song) from each day since the 4th of November, which is rather lucky as days 2 and 3 were rather unproductive! I'll be tidying up this with headings, summaries and such tomorrow and, all going well, I should have a fifth extract at some point as well.
edit: they're all up now and everything's neat and tidy.

Title: The Carnival is Over
Rating: PG
Original/Fandom: Original

Word Count: 390
Warnings (Non-Con/Dub-Con/etc): drug use (weed)
Summary: Folk singer Quin Shakespeare muses on the times he's visited England.

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Word Count: 559
Warnings (Non-Con/Dub-Con/etc): none
Summary: During her recording session, a grieving Rosemary Hope is shocked to see the face of a man who should not be there.

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Word Count: 309
Pairings (if any): Nell/Quin
Warnings (Non-Con/Dub-Con/etc):
Summary: Nell meets Quin Shakespeare for the first time.

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Word Count: 742
Warnings (Non-Con/Dub-Con/etc): none
Summary: Nell and the band meet Malcolm Green, the man who wants to be their manager for some reason.

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Word Count: 582
Warnings (Non-Con/Dub-Con/etc): none
Summary: Nell listens to Joan Baez's version of The House of the Rising Sun (and some waffling about her landlady's cats' names because I needed the word count damnit! ;-D )

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This entry was originally posted at http://alicia-h.dreamwidth.org/40611.html

Challenge #17a: Zoom in/Zoom Out - Part 1

Title: Felix
Word Count: 2065
Rating: PG
Original/Fandom: Original
Pairings (if any): Felix and Avery (in a way)
Warnings (Non-Con/Dub-Con/etc): none
Summary: A servant cannot enjoy his holiday in Whitby, feeling lonely and out of place in much the same way as he does during his work.

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This entry was originally posted at http://alicia-h.dreamwidth.org/39942.html

I Do Love Song Drabble Challenges

writerverse Challenge #36: Earworms and Daydreams
(Write stories for the first five songs that shuffle/random brings up on ipod/itunes/etc. and only write for the length of time the song plays.)

Title: She Speaks Like Silence
Word Count: 85
Rating: G
Original/Fandom: Hamlet
Pairings (if any): Horatio/Ophelia
Warnings (Non-Con/Dub-Con/Underage): none
Song: Bridget St. John – Love Minus Zero, No Limit
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Title: Words to Pay the Debt of Silence
Word Count: 51
Rating: G
Original/Fandom: Original
Warnings (Non-Con/Dub-Con/Underage): none
Song: The Monkees – Words
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Title: Pickers and Stealers
Word Count: 103
Rating: G
Original/Fandom: Hamlet
Pairings (if any): Hamlet/Rosencrantz/Guildenstern
Warnings (Non-Con/Dub-Con/Underage): none
Song: Nickelback – How You Remind Me
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Title: Fathers
Word Count: 43
Rating: G
Original/Fandom: Hamlet
Pairings (if any): Ophelia/Hamlet
Warnings (Non-Con/Dub-Con/Underage): none
Song: Jo Stafford – Old Joe Clark
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Title: To Speak of Horrors, He Comes Before Her
Word Count: 111
Rating: G
Original/Fandom: Hamlet
Pairings (if any): Ophelia/Hamlet
Warnings (Non-Con/Dub-Con/Underage): none
Song: Townes Van Zandt – Our Mother the Mountain
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In My Heart's Core

For writerverse challenge 33.
Title: In My Heart's Core
Word Count: 2499
Rating: PG
Original/Fandom: Hamlet
Pairings (if any): Hamlet/Horatio, Hamlet/Ophelia, Horatio/Ophelia
Warnings (Non-Con/Dub-Con/etc):
Summary: The events surrounding Hamlet's play to catch the conscience of the King from Ophelia and Horatio's perspectives.

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The Sun, The Moon and The Truth. Wisdom, Compassion and Courage. Reflection, Imitation and Experience

In life there is an almost unacknowledged rule of three. Buses often come in threes, if they come at all. My love life has been following this universal law. I love three men. This is not entirely true because, of course, I love my father, I love my brothers and I love the young man I have taken under my wing as my stepson. Yet I have three men who may now be my husband but for certain circumstances.

Captain Haber is back on that Godforsaken island. He's doing his job for his army, just as I'm fulfilling my own patriotic duty to help you and your men. All those enemy soldiers guarding those tiny scraps of land and trying like hell to find a way to a way to use them. They're all just trying to do their job.

I know full well the ones in charge here decided those islands weren't worth fighting for almost as soon as they got wind that that bastard was after them. They washed their hands of them and decided to let the islanders get on with it. Exactly as I've done, I suppose. In my own small way.

In the end Dr De la Mare turned out to be as foolish as I am and I don't know what's become of him. He may have reached Britain's shore. He may have perished in a storm partway across the channel, along with his rickety sailing boat. I think I would have married him. Eventually.

And you, Peter. You may have to scramble at any moment or we may have the rest of the night together. This is how our lives will be, at least until this war ends. Every time you or I take off, you to fight them and I to ferry another silent, unfamiliar and defenseless plane to wherever it needs to be, we don't know if we'll make it back this time. Or the time after.

I do love you. I'm just scared.

This entry was originally posted at http://alicia-h.dreamwidth.org/38839.html
The Interview Meme with Erica Gardner (an original character - she is a pilot stuck on one of the Channel Islands during the German occupation when she would prefer to be back in Britain ferrying planes with the Air Transport Auxiliary)

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Also, I've written out some thoughts about why Erica chose to move to the Channel Islands to live with her fiancé at the time she did in response to one of the commenters in the writerverse bookclub community (where challenge responses are posted) wondering about it.

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There's no use worrying about the weather outside right now. The spring is coming in sneakily as summer but we have to put up with the rain in between bouts of bright sunshine.

Autumn and winter passed isolated from me in my depressed state. I suppose it helped moving somewhere slightly new. I hope not for a simple circle of seasons now but something more akin to a spiral. Perhaps one with corners that stand out even to my dulled brain.

Without a spark is there anything worth putting down. Of course there is but there needs to be a fire to blaze so strongly that the light and heat must escape somewhere it can leave its mark when the initial flame has died. I'm surprised though to find that I keep finding embers that have not quite died. They invite me to stoke them back to life. It won't be the same fire it was at first but I must remember it will be born from the ashes and will find the fuel the old one failed to find.

Under the lighthouse I've found treasures that make my heart ache for the person who lost them. The door is closed to all who would pry. The window I see high above me is cracked from some unknown trauma inflicted either from the inside or out. Her little sister still lines up after all these years. If I could have only discovered the secrets of the modern Pharos.

I've discovered I cannot function without something on in the background. Radio, audiobooks and music. It has been the same for me since the start when it came to me on cassette tapes that are long gone, even the mystery version of Pandora's story where the horrors of the world had insect wings that fluttered against the box's lid and voices that begged and wheedled to be set free.
My room torments me when it gets into a state and yet it takes me days before I can see a way to cut through the mess. Now I need to teach myself to throw things away. It's hard for me but I must learn this lesson before I start thinking it's a good idea to hang on to real rubbish. But where do I draw the line when I still have scribbled notes for a course I will not be returning to.

And the books. So many books and I'm always buying and borrowing more. Is my stepmum right to despair?
The tears I shed for you were the ones I shed with you. I'll share this with you too, that we were together in spirit and soul as siblings as much as lovers for there were times we were closer than friends but did not consummate that closeness.

The storm carried us away until we were lost, tossed upon the seas, swept up in the waves. Another time I walked in the snow until it was so thick upon the world that I could not distinguish a single landmark or find my way home. I always preferred being lost to knowing every step of the way instinctively.

The water is wide, I cannot get over. Not yet, not without our boat we bought together and row it in harmony until we reach the other side. That oak tree we carved our full names on as children when we played at being engaged for the first time and optimistically double-barrelled our names at 7 and 9 still stands as a testament to the falseness of childhood fantasies of romance.

Sorrow follows me everywhere I choose to wander, dogs my trudging footsteps everywhere I'm forced to flee in the direction of. The sand records my slowing steps for the briefest time as I walk towards the sea. The waves threaten to erase my most recent progress long before they can wash away my old traces that they can use to follow me easily. It is a constant race against the water.

If I can turn back and jump on a train now, I could be somewhere new by nightfall. Somewhere old perhaps. I have not been home in nearly half a decade now, not really home in any sense that I intend to stay there. I can outrun the sunset if I can only catch up to the chugging train.

When I sent our children away, I told you and myself that it was all for their own good. They must learn to fend for themselves. It wasn't even for themselves, not when you really think on it. They got their food and beds and education handed to them. They had it far better than we had ever hoped to. We weren't to know what would happen out there. We weren't to know what would happen over here either. I've called to them at nights countless times. They grow impatient with me. Their voices tell me to hush. They tell me to let them be.

When their apparitions visit me, I am shocked by their filthy faces, clear in the candlelight. They tell me I am imagining it. They are completely clean, they tell me. The rain that pours relentlessly through the hole in the ceiling washes it all away as we stand there. We are all new now. Even you and me.

The children's visits are proof of that. They don't even cry these days.
Title: The Game
Word Count: 110
Rating: G
Original/Fandom: Original
Pairings (if any): None
Warnings (Non-Con/Dub-Con/etc): None
Summary:"Tell me, did you enter The Game with a specific game plan in mind?"

"Everyone says I came here with a game plan. That isn't true. Some people certainly entered with personal game plans. Others arrived saying they only wanted to have fun and faced their captors without anger or regret.

"I can be any piece you need me to be. I take my voted position seriously. Every time. I have been every single piece you see on this board, excepting one.

"Tonight I will take on my role as that final piece. I have never lost our game. I don't survive out of choice but through inherent skill I could not fight before.

Tonight, my capture will end the game for us all."
Child of the nineties
Harks back to earlier times
Sounds of the sixties

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