Sunday, March 4, 2012

Breaking a rule deliberately

In Maid of the Midlands, I have taken poetic license and written dialogue in Mary Queen of
Scots' words. After immersing myself in Antonia Fraser's book about Queen Mary,
I felt that I could see into queen's mind and heart and speak her thoughts.
Perhaps I've missed the mark, but this book is my interpretation of how she
would have reacted in this situation. Four digital copies of Maid of the
Midlands will go to the lucky winners who comment today.


Matilda sat on a stone bench
in the gardens, secluded from the worshipers coming and going. It had been five
days now since she left the castle, and she must catch up to the queen's
company without delay.

The noise of the street
vendors told her the city had awakened, and she walked toward King's Square,
hoping for a bit of luck in finding food this day.

As the maid strolled along
she heard the faint sound of music and followed it until she saw an unkempt
minstrel strumming a gittern and singing mournful ballads. From time to time a passerby dropped a penny
into a cup beside him. She moved closer
to listen while a plan formed in her mind. Her own lute was among the few possessions contained within her shawl. And she had brought her cup for
drinking. She would proceed to a place
some distance and try her luck with a song.

Matilda chose a busy corner,
near the entrance to an alehouse in Jubbergate. She took up her lute and timidly strummed a few notes. Then she began to sing. Some stopped to listen, and when they moved
on, a few left coins. Encouraged, the
maid continued singing every merry tune she knew. At last her repertoire exhausted except for
the ballad taught her by Willy Douglas, she began the sad refrain.


Catherine Lee said...

That's a lovely excerpt of the maid playing her lute and singing for her supper. Will we learn the words of her sad ballad?

Linda Swift said...

Cahterine, I hate to disappoint you but unfortunately I was unable to find a ballad that fit the story that well, so I cheated! I think you would enjoy the book anyway. Good luck!

makenwords said...

Very intriguing. I'm with Catherine, lyrics would be very cool. The excerpt is great, I do want to read this one.

Debby said...

this sounds great. Did you include the lyrics to that last ballad?
debby236 at gmail dot com

Linda Swift said...

Thanks for stopping by, Linda M. and for your nice comments. If you like a sweet love story with accurate historical facts except for the words I put in Queen Mary's mouth, I think you would enjoy this book. Sorry about the ballad. I searched a long time but just didn't find what I needed for this story. So I left it to the imagination. Maybe I'll have a contest later on and give a book to whomever comes up with the best ballad!

Linda Swift said...

Debby, I think I just answered your question in the last comments I made to Linda M. I know! I'll just have that contest and then include the balld in the sequel which also has Jondalar and Matilda as characters, as well as the next generation of their three children. Will that be a solution everyone can approve of?