Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Snippets of the New Vivi & Farnham!

"Novelists who have struck a snag in the working-out of the plot are rather given to handing the problem over in this way to the clarifying action of the sub-conscious. Harriet's sub-conscious had other coffee to clear and refused quite definitely to deal with the matter..."
-Dorothy L. Sayers Have His Carcase

Most writers have periods where ill health or injury keeps them from much productivity. Most, however, don't gain said injuries from slamming the pad of their pointer finger in a metal post-office door. I have my finger bandaged up and finding that I actually can type because my pointer finger-nail is sufficiently strong and long to allow me to press the keys gingerly without intrenching on the split-open territory. I have officially begun Scotch'd The Snakes: the second Vivi & Farnham mystery. When I began Anon, Sir, Anon, I started by writing the finding-the-body sequence. This time around, I began with a letter. A letter documenting a plague of flies. It might not sound like an auspicious beginning, but it does work well, given the circumstances. I am still feeling my way into this story and haven't entirely tacked down the workings of the plot so I'm afraid you'll have to satisfy yourself with knowing that:
A.) This time it's a case of definitely-attempted-but-not-successful-murder
B.) Someone you'll love after reading Anon, Sir, Anon is a key suspect
C.) It has much to do with Scotland...after a fashion.
I've written only bits of things--none of which really have much at all to do with the actual mystery, but characters are vital so instead of actually telling you anything more about it, I've picked out some snippets of story I managed in September and I'm giving them to you today as a gift for this fine first day of October:

Dear Walter,
    The flies are horrible this time of year.
-Scotch'd The Snakes

Dear old uncle has a new play on. In times of yore, I would have thought that the same sort of thing as what Uncle Hugh meant when he said he had a new deal on. It’s not. It’s rather...well, it’s rather in the vein of feeling the approach of a sneeze and knowing a summer cold will soon follow.
-Scotch'd The Snakes

When childhood diseases came sweeping down London-town each year, Walter had always been one of the lucky few to escape the customary fortnight of bedrest. How well she remembered his impossibly healthy grin as he rode his bicycle round and round and round the garden in circles below the nursery window, and not from motives of entertaining his sick brother and girl-cousins who had all been tossed together in the sickroom like so many mismatched shoes in a car boot. No, the grin was triumphant and Walter Topham seemed to the captives a perfect bicycle-riding Alexander.
-Scotch'd The Snakes

“Considering who you are, Genevieve, you’re probably the last person I’d hit up for advice on wedded bliss.”
If he’d brought his fist into her teeth, it would have shocked her less. “That was low, Walter.” Her voice bent at the end like a twig snapped in two. “That was very low.”
Silence spread heavy wings and flapped a time or two, stirring the dim air of the chamber. Vivi dipped the cloth back into the basin and swished it in the herbed water. The tightness of being scorned knotted her breath, but quietly, deftly, Vivi wrung away the bitterness with the water and folded the cloth on the basin’s edge.
“You have been ill.” False cheer rattled the soul like bad news. “You are not yourself or you would not have said that.”
-Scotch'd The Snakes

A young woman, sturdy, free, and brazen-looking, continued her progress up the row. It did not seem to concern her that she found a stranger in her path.
It seemed the girl might pass without speaking, but Vivi smiled and addressed her: “How d’you do?”
Nipping off her pace, the young woman stopped. She bit free her glove and tucked a riding crop beneath her left arm. “Warmish day, isn’t it?” Her blue eyes seemed unafraid of raw manners as she poured curiosity over Vivi. “Sultana’s Rhombus nearly pitched me at Norton Bavant but I threw the balance forward and it ended nicely. Quite nicely. Wish there’d been an audience.”
-Scotch'd The Snakes

Could one feel a color? If so, Vivi felt quite sure she had turned a spirited shade of beet. “I’m his...cousin. Genevieve Langley.”
Delaney tossed her head in a confident laugh. “You really mustn’t mind me, darling. Walter used to dabble so, but that’s only because them other girls didn’t know how to bridle him. I do. Heaven’s gates, I do. And scarce a day goes by I don’t remind him of it. Bally men.” She took the crop from under her arm and touched the leather tassles to Vivi’s shoulder. The accompanying wink struck Vivi as friendly, which startled her. She had not thought Delaney Graham’s opinion of her very chummy. “Walk with me.”
-Scotch'd The Snakes


Abby said...

This sounds exciting. These snippets are lovely (So far, Walter seems like something of a beast). And I really like the title too. :)

Hayden said...

Oh, sounds great! I'm really looking forward to getting a copy of Anon, Sir, Anon. And the new snippets are great- I love your writing style:D

Quick question- are your titles for this mystery series (which I love by the way) quotes from something? I'm just asking because I'm in the middle of penning a group of mysteries with titles all taken from quotes from Shakespeare and other classic literature, and your titles sounded like they might be Shakespearean, but I wasn't sure :)

Rachel Heffington said...

Hayden, they are all Shakespeare. :) Farnham is a Shakespearean actor and has a game he plays with friends that is a sort of "finish the quote" thing and the book is full of references so I have a list of titles from Shakespeare I intend to use as the series progresses. :)

Elisabeth Grace Foley said...

Intriguing! And so is the idea of a merely attempted murder—I'd like to see more mysteries with different twists on the crime, rather than standard murder every time. 'Tis what I've tried to do with Mrs. Meade.

Rachel Heffington said...

Elisabeth: I noticed and liked that in yours. Things don't always go off without a hitch, do they? Also, crime is a far broader spectrum than murder. I am interested to see where it goes. Might hit you up with some questions at some point and see if you can't help inspire me.

Elisabeth Grace Foley said...

Sure! I'd love to chat about mystery sometime.

Incidentally, I see now that I'm going to have to read more Sayers soon. :)

Lady Bibliophile said...

Someone I love after reading Anon, Sir, Anon, is a key suspect?!

Anguish. How can you do this.

There is only ONE I most assuredly do not want to be a suspect. If they are all right, I can bear anything. :)

Walter and Delaney sound like intriguing people to meet! Can't wait. Happy writing!


Morgan said...

Awesome! Can't wait to read more!!

Rachel Heffington said...

Elisabeth: You must. She's skillllllllled.