Saturday, August 22, 2015

Snippets of Story: Cottleston Pie

My August word-count goal of 10,000 words is coming along. Not terribly quickly, but it is mounding up, what with nearly 3,000 words in "Swing It" and another 2,000 in Cottleston Pie, not counting bits of it I am rewriting. For instance, I am switching the setting of Cottleston Pie from England (which wasn't necessary) to America, which means changing some terminology, holidays, etc. Still, after thinking on Cottleston Pie and deciding I wanted to add a couple of chapters from other points of view, I am focusing on wrapping that up and sending it to a final reader or two. I also read back through what I have in Scotch'd the Snakes and decided I need to find my notes and read up on who these important-sounding "strangers" are supposed to be up to, because I stopped writing mid-scene and quite forgot why or if they are important. Isn't that terrible? Should teach me not to suspend action for so long again. So today you get scraps of Cottleston Pie. Enjoy!

He thought he might say a few Clever and Weighty things, but the wren flew off across the purple morning and the King started his exercises: skipping thrice around the Cottleston Pie hill followed by jumping-jacks while humming “The Star Spangled Banner,” which was fantastic for getting your heart pumping if you didn’t suffocate first. When this was finished, the King did push-ups till his arms ached (after four-and-a-try, usually), and then he rolled around in the grass for a while to get the crackers out of his spine. At last, His Majeshty felt up for a stroll to clear his lungs so he’d be able to orate per usual, come breakfast.
-Cottleston Pie

"...if you’ve never taken a walk early in the morning by yourself, you can’t possibly imagine how new the world seems, how scrubbed up and polished, as with a chamois leather. Probably just for you, just this once. And yet every morning you wake up early, the world might look a little different – does look a little different – and so you form a habit of waking with it to see what clothes it puts on today because the one time you miss its wake-up face will probably be the freshest morning of all.
-Cottleston Pie

“An owlet.”
“Is what you look like,” the King said. “Or a quail. A small one. Such as might be fixed for my birthday. If you were a quail,” he said, feeling a breakfast-less cavity gape inside him, “I would not eat you. I am magnanimous like that. Kind to my friends. Gentle-hearted. Tender, I have been called now and then.
-Cottleston Pie

Privately, the King felt ready as a buffalo, but it wouldn’t do to lord such feelings over those of the weaker type.
-Cottleston Pie

"...The quickest way to get clean is to take a bath, and wanting to be clean, I took one this morning. But while I bathed – though half the trouble is getting back into them – I took off my clothes and my crown. I put my clothes on, thank heavens!” (And here the King scrabbled his robes around himself and looked severely down on Simpian for having even suggested he might do such a thing as forget) “But I left my crown at some point between scrubbing up and playing bear.”
-Cottleston Pie

About twenty-thirty-six hours later – it had taken the King quite a while to find his crown and even longer to find anything to eat – the King once again made his way down to the field where he’d left the orphaned cloud. It was still there, which it shouldn’t have been.“Good beans,” the King muttered. “I wonder what happened to the boy."
-Cottleston Pie


Esther Brooksmith (wisdomcreates) said...

Bravo, my good mate, for all the writerly work! Goals and such can be bears sometimes, but they feel so delightful when they've been accomplished. I...coughed (for I wouldn't do such a thing as laugh, you know) when I read that half your chapter wandered away from your brain when you weren't looking. Mine have done that from time to time. ;)
As a final note, I'd like to say that Cottleston Pie is looking exceptionally fine these days and I hope to see more of its shiny face soon.

Rachel Heffington said...

Thank you, Esther. :) This story has better bones than some. If I can polish it to my satisfaction, it will be a real ringer.

Skye Hoffert said...

Everything you write has this charm and art about it , that I just love. Great snippets.

Abigail Hartman said...

You are fabulous at writing smart-and-funny stories, especially for children (it's the incorrigible nanny in you, no doubt). I think the second-to-last snippet is my favorite - "But I left my crown at some point between scrubbing up and playing bear." - and the twenty-thirty-six hours.

...I feel for the King and his four-and-a-try push-ups. XD

Rachel Heffington said...

Skye and Abigail: you make me blush!
Abigail, I'm so glad you think they're smart AND funny. That's what I *hope* to accomplish, but sometimes I feel that the funny overpowers the smart. P.S. I'm glad I'm not the only one who empathizes with the King. XD

Jamie said...

I would buy this book, and I would read it, and then I would loan it to my favorite bookish friend under the age of eight. And I would make sure she gave it back, so that I could read it again. And so that she learns proper readerly manners and morals.
I'm so glad more and more of it is ready to meet the world!