Google+ The Bluestocking Firefly: June 2010

Friday, June 18, 2010

Mice and Minuets

When Alison Mutton did this wonderful illustration (, I just had to write something to go with it. She's been illustrating my characters for years; I figured it was about time to return the favour. I wound up with a five-page piece involving Jane (the mouse in pink), who had been abandoned at the altar by Mr. Hale (the one in blue), a story wherein Mr. Hale gives a ball so that he may endeavour to re-court Jane, as it were, and win her over once again, despite his past failings. Maria, Jane's sister, and Frederick Weston, Maria's suitor, round off the set of four in the drawing. I don't usually write talking animals; at least, I haven't since I was probably in middle school, so it's been awhile. But I was fairly pleased with the piece - it incorporates the mannerisms of both the Regency and the mice, I think.

This is the section that is most clearly inspired by Alison's piece (I obviously have no idea how one actually dances a minuet, and I didn't bother to look it up...oh well):

'Tell me, Mr. Hale,' Jane said, picking up her tail for a complicated turn, 'where have you been these past months? Your absence has been noted.'
'I am a very busy mouse, Miss Elliot,' Mr. Hale replied. 'My presence has been required in town a great deal of late. However, my sister Augusta suggested that I was perhaps too much out of the public's eye, and thus I have given a ball.'
'Your sister is wise for such a young age,' Jane said. She caught Maria's anxious eye and twitched an ear at her in reassurance. 'It is a pity not everyone in a family can share such traits.'
Mr. Hale's coattails flared out behind him as he stepped and turned, bringing him back in line with his partner. 'Do you mean to suggest that I am not wise, Miss Elliot?' he asked, an unreadable expression in his bright eyes.
'Merely an observation, and one that I think proves true more often than not.'
'I see. I should not fault you if your meaning was aimed at me, as I do believe it was.' The dance carried him away for a moment, and when he returned, he continued, 'There are many moments in which I must recognise that I am not an especially wise mouse.' He raised his eyes to meet hers. 'Particularly in the last several months.'
'I'm afraid I don't know what you mean,' Jane said, though she was almost certain she did.
'Walk with me,' he said, and to Jane's surprise, he stepped out of the dance and walked towards the door, holding his tail up out of the way so it would not be trod on. Left without a partner, Jane had little choice but to leave the dance as well. She could feel Maria's gaze on her back, but she held her head high, willing her ears not to quiver and give away her nervousness.
Mr. Hale led her out into the garden and indicated that she sit on a bench. He remained standing, however, his paws clasped behind his back.

I have not done a great deal of writing recently, and so unfortunately I have little to show. I have been toying with the idea of writing a romance novel (hmm...), but on the other hand, I would also quite like to return to my Regency novel and work intensively on that, as well. But I have another two and a half months of summer stretching out in front of me, of course, so...we shall see!