Chill Out Lizzie – WIPpet Wednesday

Tyntesfield TowerHello fellow WIPpeteers! This week has been a very good and happy one so far but it’s also one of change with my brother, his girlfriend and my little nephew moving from our hometown of Bristol to beautiful Carmarthenshire in Wales. It means that they’ll be 2 and 1/4 hours away by car instead of just 15 minutes but the time we spend with them will hopefully be quality time. No doubt they’ll be back to Bristol often and frequent trips to Wales to visit them sounds pretty blissful to me.

It’s all change for my characters in Time Shifters this week too. Without giving too much of the plot away it’s still 1471 and Maisie and Lizzie in their quest to rescue Danny (who’s still with the army marching to battle) come across Robbie, the Lord of Towcester. Maisie and Lizzie stay at his house for the night and the following 10 paragraphs from chapter 10 for the 10th July takes place in the morning after their first good night’s sleep in days.

I woke to a cockerel crowing. I was warm and cosy all snuggled up in bed and for a moment I believed I was at home on our farm. I almost imagined I could smell bacon frying downstairs. I waited until my eyes adjusted to the gloomy room. Yesterday morning I’d woken up achy and cold beneath a tree and now I was sleeping on the softest bed ever. Robbie had warned us that the cockerel started crowing before 6am. Who needed an alarm clock? I wanted to leave early to try and close the gap between Warwick’s army and us. I swung my legs out of bed and padded over to the window and drew the thick curtains. Grey light flooded in. I squinted but could only see trees poking through the mist. It didn’t look very inviting and half of me wanted to get back into bed. Instead, I cleaned my teeth, washed my face and started to put on the clean clothes that had been laid out for me on the chest at the foot of the bed. I’d gone from looking like a peasant to a lady overnight. The pale green dress was a bit too big with a high waist, square neckline and long, tight sleeves that covered my hands. There was a pair of soft leather boots next to the chest. I picked up a cap with a turned up brim, put it on and went to the window to see my reflection. I looked totally ridiculous.

My bedroom door slammed open and Lizzie stormed in red-faced and wearing a flattering gold version of the dress I was in. Hers had a jewel at the centre of the waistband.

“What am I supposed to do with this?” she said, waving a jewelled piece of fabric at me.

“Come on in why don’t you,” I said.

“Aaaghrr!” She paced across my room pulling at her dress. “I can’t even walk in this.”

“Chill out Lizzie, it’s just a dress,” I said. “I’m the tomboy remember. Anyway we can hardly walk around in trousers.”

“Tights. The men wear tights and the women wear poncey dresses.”

“I think you look really pretty in it.”

“Oh,” she said, turning awkwardly to face me. “Thanks.”

She was really pretty. Her hair was clean and brushed and lay straight against her shoulders. Mine was a mass of curls that bobbed up and down every time I moved.

Raewyn did a wonderful interview with me last Friday, so if you’ve not yet read it and have the time, then please do pop on over to her blog to check it out.

I will get round to reading everyone’s WIPpets but it may take me a couple of days to do so. And if you fancy joining in then simply choose an extract of your work in progress that relates (however loosely) to the date or write a completely new opening to a brand new novel and add your link to the linky over on My Random Muse. Thanks as always to K L Schwengel for hosting.

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  1. See, that’s exactly what I’d have a problem with — finding my only choice of garb to be a dress!! The horror. Especially when I’m planning on traipsing across the countryside. I love the way you capture the girls reactions to their predicament.

    I need to wander back to Raewyn’s and check out your interview.

  2. That scene made me laugh. (Seriously, dogs were like “WTF? Stop snickering and feed us!” and I was all “Still not food time, I shall snicker all I want!”) Though, I wonder if there’s a reason Lizzie’s dress has jewels and the green one doesn’t.

    • Glad it gave you a giggle even if it did confuse your dogs! The jewel on Lizzie’s dress does come into play a little later on in the novel…

  3. Wonderful descriptions and reactions! “The men wear tights and the women wear poncey dresses” made me laugh. I want this book to be finished already so I can read it!

  4. Another fab excerpt Kate. I love the descriptions of the room Maisie’s in and of her and Lizzie’s dresses. I like the way Lizzie feels awkward in hers and Maisie thinks she looks ridiculous in the one she’s wearing. And Maisie’s curly hair! She obviously doesn’t like it but I for one would have killed for curly hair when I was her age! :)

  5. I love the sudden change as soon as she is complimented. It’s so true how that happens!

  6. Poor lizzie. I know her pain. I despise shopping for clothing because, frankly, what AM I supposed to do with all those designed-to-look-good-on-supermodels-(maybe)-and-nobody-else clothes?

  7. I love Lizzie’s girly moment too… ‘really, I’m pretty’ *pats hair* ‘why thank you…!’ (obviously am paraphrasing very badly in Gone with the wind style… not sure what’s come over me).

    The things we make our characters do…!

  8. Potentially silly question: how did/does one clean one’s teeth in 1471? I love the dialogue, particularly “Aaaghrr!” That would be pretty much my reaction to having to trapise somewhere on foot in a “poncey dress”. (There’s a time and a place for dresses, I’ll admit, but this would not be it!)

    • How Maisie manages to clean her teeth in 1471 would give away a massive plot spoiler. 😉 Let’s just say that there’s more to their host Robbie than first meets the eye…

  9. It sounds as if your brother and his family have moved to a lovely area–I loved my time in Wales. Gorgeous countryside there.

    Pouncy dresses! I can so see this scene. And I can almost picture Lizzie’s expression as she describes the men’s leggings… She does have quite the animated face, doesn’t she? 😀

    Fun piece as always, Kate. Thanks for sharing.

    • Yes, the area in Wales my brother and his family have moved to is pretty gorgeous. It’s my brother’s birthday on Sunday so we’re (myself, my husband and our dog) are going over there to visit and have a nose around their house for the first time!

      Lizzie is always pretty animated – this was a fun scene to write. :-)

      • I never got that far south when I was in Wales, though I did spend two days hiking in Snowdonia. Post pictures (maybe not of personal family stuff, of course, but scenery–ooh!)… I’ plotting and planning my next UK visit, probably next year.

        It looked like it was a fun writing time.

  10. Great description and dialogue. You really give a sense of the characters’ personalities.

  11. Kate I honestly don’t know what I would do if my brother moved that far away. As for the dresses… Well I can sympathise there too. I’m surprised how many others felt the same! You certainly have me intrigued as to what is going on… Although I feel as if I need to go read some more excerpts… :-)

    • Yeah it is odd my brother and his family living a five hour round trip away but hopefully we’ll get to stay with them for a weekend sometime this summer. As for the WIPpet an extract nearly halfway through the novel is a strange introduction to the novel but I’m pleased you’re intrigued. :-)

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