Thursday, December 6, 2012

Read-along: Chapter 5

Don't forget, if you answer at least one question on the text a day for the whole week, you'll have your name entered in a drawing at the end of the week. Want to win an autographed copy of Veiled Rose, Moonblood, or Starflower?

And please tell your friends that Heartless is still available for free e-book download through the end of the month. Now is the time to start reading the Tales of Goldstone Wood!

Back to Heartless . . .


Fencing: For those of you who don't know, this scene of Felix going to practice fencing is directly responsible for me meeting my husband! After writing the first draft of this scene, I decided I should probably try to take fencing class myself in order  to write it with a little more conviction and knowledge.

And guess who happened to be studying fencing at the club where I signed up? You can read the whole story here if you like. J

Swashbuckling romance aside, Felix's scene in the soldiers' yard is one of my favorites. It's fun to get Felix's perspective on Aethelbald, and the scene itself is full of funny moments and action. I like seeing Aethelbald in the teacher role. He's a good influence on pestly Felix, I think.

Una's tapestry: Poor Una really seems to hate her tapestry, doesn't she? Personally I enjoy embroidery and quilting, though I probably have better needles and thread, so I shouldn't judge.

Una's tapestry gives us our first glimpse of yet another famous figure in the world: The Bane of Corrilond. The red dragon is scene raining fire down upon the heads of little stitched soldiers--little bean-men, as Una thinks of them, since they look like beans stacked on top of each other with twig arms and legs. It's a dramatic story, but a comic rendition, and Una is obviously less than impressed by the whole business.

But all of this is foreshadowing for a character we will meet in just another few chapters . . . and a character who will be important in books to come!

Supposedly the scene of the Bane of Corrilond is taken from an epic poem. Can you guess who wrote that poem? (Is he possibly even now sleeping at the foot of Una's bed under the covers?)

Monster's bath: In the context of what we learned in the previous chapter--that Monster is not only a talking cat, but Sir Eanrin, a servant of Prince Aethelbald--the idea of Una scruffing him and dragging him away for a bath just tickles me! Poor ginger cat.

Felix and Aethelbald talk: When Aethelbald and Felix take a break, we get a little more information about Aethelbald and his followers via their subsequent conversation. We learn, for instance, that the knights who came with Aethelbald are not originally from Farthestshore, but from many varied countries.

We also hear our first rumor of King Vahe of the Veiled People . . .

Arpiar: In this conversation, we also learn a little more about Arpiar, which was mentioned by Torkom in Chapter 1. We learn that it is the land of the goblins, and the Oeric originated there. But, according to Prince Aethelbald, Oeric is not a goblin.

An important arrival: And right at the end of this chapter, we glimpse the second of Una's princely suitors. Gervais, Crown Prince of Beauclair, rides up with his entourage, ready to pay his respects. Will he win Una's vulnerable young heart? Before quiet Prince Aethelbald even has a chance?

We'll have to watch that drama unfold tomorrow . . . 

My personal favorite lines:

He lunged again and struck the dummy in the shoulder. It rocked about, its blank face spinning balefully before him, and Felix suddenly wanted very badly to whack it a few times over the head. (p. 59)

Felix sneered at him. "Everyone's a critic."
"Yes," Aethelbald said, "but no one else, I gather, has bothered to voice his criticism." (p. 59)

That morning Una woke freezing. Nurse scolded her, saying it was her own fault for letting in all that unhealthy fresh air when sensible people would have left the windows shut. Monster refused to leave his next beneath the covers at the foot of the bed, obliging the maid to make the bed around him. (p. 62)

Nurse caught her and made her sit down to her tapestry stitching.
"It'll steady your nerves," Nurse said.
"I'll impale myself." Una's skill with a needle was feeble at best and worsened by her strong dislike of the pastime.
"Nonsense," Nurse replied. Against this argument there could be no rebuttal, so Una took her place (p. 62).

Questions for the text:

1. What do you think Prince Aethelbald meant when he told Felix that Oeric wasn't a goblin?

2. Could you relate to Una as her poor mind goes back over and over the embarrassing events of the night before?

3. On the whole, do you think Monster enjoys being a housecat? Why or why not?

Reader Questions

"In which book (book 7, book 8...) do we get learn the full story of Eanrin's eyes getting destroyed by...?" -- Hannah

I really shouldn't say! It might spoil the suspense of all the other books. Every time my husband reads a new manuscript of mine (he gets to read them even before the editors), he's always on edge about Eanrin's fate. I feel a little mean . . . but really, would you want me to destroy one of the most suspenseful threads in the series?

"Also loved all the lines you mentioned. Aethelbald is remarkable by being so unremarkable. Subtle reference to Isaiah 53:2:3?" -- Meredith

Yes, it was. But not in a "planned" sort of way, if that makes sense. It just worked so well with the character, and later on I realized why!

"Do you have a specific actor or anyone picked out that is your vision of Aethelbald?" -- Clara

You know, I never have an actor in mind when I write my novels. I get asked in interviews who I would cast, so after the fact I'll go searching around for someone who might work! But when I write the books themselves, the characters are just themselves in my head.

But my husband said that he pictured Clive Owen as Aethelbald when he first read Heartless. So I guess I'll make Clive Owen my pick as well!

What do you think, readers all? Who would you pick?

Reader Sharing

Yesterday, I asked if any of you talented artists wanted to tackle an illustraton of Una's canopy, depicting Lumé and Hymlumé. Well, talented Kathleen, one of our award-winners from the last fan art contest, took up the challenge and, this morning, sent me this beautiful piece!

Thank you so much, Kathleen! I love it.


Courtney said...

Ugg.. I just posted but it did not go through...

Ok so

#1. I think he is talking about who he is as a person.

#2. Oh my gosh yes. When I do something stupid I think about it a lot. I usually end up letting it go later or I try to "fix" it.

#3. I would think he gets to do pretty much what he wants so he probably likes it.

I think that Clive Owen would be pretty good as Aethelbald. I was wondering who you would choose as well. I am also wondering about Una and Lionheart. =D

Hannah said...

No problem about keeping my question a secret, Anne! If it was my story I'd want to keep the suspense too! :) I'll just have to be patient.

1. I agree with Courtney about Oeric.

2. When I embarrass myself, I play over what I did over and over again, sometimes making myself quite miserable. Sympathies to Una!

3. Eanrin probably enjoys the chance to relax. I mean for a cat it's a pretty ideal life. Fresh fish every roam of the castle and grounds...soft blankets...adoring owner, I mean servant...
On the flip side though, Eanrin is also a man and at the beginning it might have been hard to remember to stay a cat. He also is Una's guardian and thus must stay around Oriana. I doubt he likes being tied down like that, although I know he understands the importance. But probably the worst part would be the baths (He simply hates water!) and of course...sigh... he can't sing his songs anytime he likes.
Of course, he can sing as a cat, which come to think of it, probably sounds as beautiful to him as when he is a man! :)

Jill Stengl said...

I really like Kathleen's illustration! And Clara's song--I've listened to it several times already. There is so much creativity in this Goldstone Wood blog community. I love it!

Bookishqueen said...

2) I could relate to this because when I have something embarrassing or upsetting happen to me, I tend to think about it over and over, trying to figure out what went wrong.

Anne Elisabeth Stengl said...

I can't even TELL you how many sleepless night's I've spent rehashing embarrassing or frustrating events. Sometimes even embarrassing/frustrating events of YEARS ago! So I definitely felt my little heroine's agony when writing this bit. So glad to know I'm not alone . . . though I do feel bad for all of you fellow rehashers as well. :(

Anonymous said...

First off, I'd never heard of Clive Owens before, but as soon as I saw him it was like Aethelbald straight from my reader's-vision. Wow.

1)Well, remember what happens with...'them' in the end of 'Moonblood'. " 'More so than you think.'" And Oeric is not a goblin. He serves Aethelbald.

2)Yes. I would want to curl up in my bed for... maybe a week. And my pillows would be nothing more then beaten up lumps.

3)No. Like my cat, he enjoys the 'house' bit, but not the cat part.

A question: I heard you were going to have audio books for 'Heartless' and etc. Who would read them?

Becky said...

1. Aethelbald knows the real Oeric.

2. Yes, I definitely can relate to Una's re-hashing of her embarrassing events, or often in my case, misspoken words, or unspoken words. I thank the Lord for His grace!

3. While in the castle, I think Monster makes it a point to enjoy its comforts. I've heard it said, and I believe it, that cats are "connoisseurs of comfort". But I think he equally enjoys the adventures of being outdoors.

Kathleen: Your illustration of Una's canopy is beautiful, and I can totally picture it in Oriana Palace.

Clara: Hannah and I finally were able to hear your song, and I'm so glad we did!(After pushing about every possible button on webpage, I think I finally tricked the computer into letting play your video.) Your voice is so pretty and enchanting.

I agree with Jill about all the creativity on this blog! I love it! I'm so glad Anne Elisabeth shares it all.

Anne Elisabeth Stengl said...

Yes, many of my "Goldstone Wood Imps" are writers, artists, muscians, poets . . . So many forms of creative expression! It just blows me away.

What kind of creative expression to you all like to pursue? We know Kathleen likes to draw, and Clara sings and plays guitar . . . Tell us about you!

Emily Bennett said...

2. Oh most definitely! I go over things that have happened recently quite a bit in my mind, especially if they're embarrassing! The good thing about it though is that it helps me not make the same mistake twice!

Victoria said...

1. I believe that Aethelbald meant that Oeric did not have the poor character associated with goblins.
2. YES! Just was doing that today.
3. I personally believe that Monster really likes being a housecat. The role seems to fit him.

The picture of Aethelbald in my mind is most similar to that of a younger Colin Firth...seems to fit the "kind, boring face" description.

Victoria said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Victoria said...

Clara said...

Becky: Thank you so much!!! You and Hannah are so sweet.

Kathleen: Apart from having a beautiful name, you have amazing artistry skills! I love the picture. (you should look up the song by John McDermott that's called Kathleen. It's because of that song that I like the name so much!)

Victoria: Colin Firth would be good! In my mind, I kinda pictured Aethelbald as more of a Tom Hiddleston. (I think that Tom Hiddleston could play any part in anything and be perfect!:) Although Clive Owen in pretty good too...

1. I think that he meant that Oeric is better than the other goblins, and not fit to be called one.

2. YES I COULD!!! Oh the nights where I lay awake thinking "Why did I say that??" or, "Why did I DO that??" Ha ha...I think everyone has problems with that.

3. I think that he does. Eanrin loves being pampered in his human form, and even more so in his cat form, so, yes, I do think he rather enjoys himself. (aside from the horrible baths Una gives him!)

Meredith said...

Hello, everyone. Thanks, Mrs. Stengl, for answering my question. Isn't it amazing how things are not explicitly planned but how God somehow weaves something into creative works we'd never thought about? Incredible!

1. Like all the other comments, I think Aethelbald was saying that he doesn't view individuals by their outward appearance but by their character. Also, it seems as if Sir Oeric maybe could have been tempted to embrace goblin ways but maybe Aethelbald saved him. It's all in who we follow.

2. I'm always beating myself up over embarrasing moments, so, yes, I totally related to Una in this scene.

3. I think Monster enjoys being a house pet despite the occasional, (well, perhaps not so occasional), indignities. The bathing sceen cracks me up every time! I know he loves Una and, I'm sure it's grudgingly, but Felix as well.

Chapter 5 is one of my favorites, and loved listening to the story of how you met your husband! How sweet!

Still trying to listen to Clara's song and will let you know my thoughts once I figure out why my computer is being so contrary. I love to sing, too. God bless.

Anonymous said...

1. I think Aethelbald was referring to Oeric's heart.

2. I've never been in that situation, but I can relate. I just have to keep telling my self that God has forgiven me; my fault or not.

Q. How many drafts did it take you to reach your final manuscript?


Becky said...

I absolutely loved the fencing scene with Felix and Aethelbald! If I had happened upon this scene in Oriana Palace, I would have rushed to find Una, and insisted that she come watch...and listen. "Una can't you see how wonderful he is?" I know, I'm such a mom! :o)

Christa said...

I just wanted to say that I don't think Clive Owens could play Aethelbald. He just isn't, well, "normal" looking. =P

Anna C. said...

3. I think it depends on the day... Living in the palace as a cat has its perks, like awesome scraps from the table and comfortable places to sleep. There's also about a million different places to hide around the castle. But sometimes Monster might feel being a housecat is below his dignity... like when Una gets the irrepressible urge to give him a bath. :P

Jennette said...

Oh no! What happened to my response? I will have to retype it up tomorrow. Running out of time now. Bummer.

Molly said...

2. Oh yes. When something embarrassing happens to me, I think about it over and over and keep thinking that it could have happened differently...but it didn't, of course.

3. I think sometimes Monster likes being a housecat and sometimes he doesn't.
I think he likes being one when he can go on adventures and no one hauls him back because he's a cat.
When he's tired of being one, it's because he doesn't...well, just sometimes he might want to be something else.

Jennette said...

1. he was referring to Oeric's heart.

2. Yes, I do the exact same thing, but as I've gotten older I'm trying to let it go and not dwell on it too much. What's done is done, can't be undone.

3. I think Monster enjoys being pampered, but I think he likes to wander, travel, etc, according to Starflower, but then his eyes have been scratched out, so it might have tampered his desire to go traveling about.

Camryn Lockhart said...

#1 - I think Aethelbald meant that Oeric isn't one of Vahe's people. He's a knight of Farthestshore, not a goblin of Arpiar.

#2 - Yes, I could completely relate to Una! Down to the very last part where she decides to bathe Monster to get her mind off things.

#3 - Ha, I think Monster enjoys being a housecat when he can sleep in a nest of blankets all day without disturbance. I think his opinion drastically changed the moment Una snagged him out of his lovely bed and dragged him off for a bath. Haha! It's funny knowing that he's Eanrin and being treated like a pet.

My favorite line was in the very beginning:
'Felix disliked few things in life more than sparring by himself in the practice yard.'

My brothers and I made wooden swords and would fight each other. But when they weren't around to beat up, I was forced to fight an invisible opponent and when your blade doesn't bounce off of another, it's very difficult to actually learn how to fight. ;P