December 19, 2010
My medieval Christmas music is still playing even though it is well past Thanksgiving and I can officially have modern Christmas music blaring. What could be more appropriate than to finally work on a Christmas themed story in Dahlquin? Last week at Monday Night writer’s group we did a writing prompt and I launched into the beginnings of just such a Yuletide tale.
I already know Eloise gives birth to her first daughter in December, what better Yuletide to commemorate? I know what music she would be listening to and singing and teaching her children. I’ll revisit the holiday celebrations of the period (always fun). But the stress, the conflict, the tension…what is at stake on every page, in every scene? Unlike her contemporary sisters whose holiday conflicts include searching for a parking space, hunting a ‘must have’ toy for her children, or the elusive perfect gift for her hard-to-shop-for father-in-law, nay, what confrontations must thirteenth century Eloise face to keep readers turning the pages.
Disease swept through the castle last winter, so plague is out. Rape, pillage and mayhem, not until Christmas day--no wait that is our house!
Her parents must be called away, to a dying sister north in the O’Connor’s lands. Roland, too, must leave mighty Dahlquin Castle during this most festive season, leaving Eloise rotund and physically vulnerable.
Never one to enjoy her ninth month incarceration, Eloise embraces her freedom forming a children’s choir, reciting Christmas stories and Yuletide tales, planning the banquets and feasts as the weather grows ever colder and the travel more perilous. Holding to the belief her mother will return in time to deliver this fourth child. Roland will find Val and both will be warmed and well fed through Twelfth Night.
With Eloise’s parents and husband absent, and her due to deliver any day, a mercenary force instigated by the opportunistic Scragmuirs lay siege upon Dahlquin Castle.
This is to be a short story. Short. Story. Requiring me to have a beginning, middle and end, a theme and a building story line with more and more at stake with every scene. A Scene Tracker and Plot Planner, with a viable yarn to spin.
Can I do this? Will I rise to the challenge as I know Eloise will? I better get started.