Sunday, August 8, 2010

Changes Blogfest

I went with a very basic change for my entry in Elizabeth Mueller's blogfest: a change of clothes. In a Cinderella-esque manner, the change of clothes is a complete transformation of the person.

Frances had been holed up in the country for the past ten years. She'd done her duty to her husband, her children, and the estate, but she was not happy. She decided to take a little break from it all and join Queen Elizabeth's court for a month or so before resuming her duties.
Of course, that meant shopping. And boy did she shop.

This is not a deep and meaningful part of the story. Her transformation happens slowly as she learns to find validation from within. This is just a pretty dress.

Below is an exerpt from Courtly Love. It lost all formating in the transfer.

(At this moment, Frances is being ushered to meet with a group of the Queen's elite. She is an integral part of planning a Masque.)

...There was no reason to be nervous. No reason at all. Completely absorbed in repeating this mantra in her head, she nearly jumped out of her shoes when she was gripped firmly on the elbow and exclaimed over. Mistress Parry. Relaxing somewhat, she tried to follow the flood of approving remarks about her remarkable transformation. Frances, still completely distracted by thoughts of the masque, took a moment to realize what Mistress Parry was talking about, and, remembering her new gown, allowed Blanche to lead her across the room to stand in front of a full length mirror.

Before her stood a beautiful young woman. The green of the gown turned her pale blue eyes into a striking aqua and the copper accents emphasized the strawberry tint in her fair hair. Her halo of golden coils reflected the sunlight with a faint glow, while her creamy complexion was enhanced by the sharp contrast against the emerald green gown. The woman in the mirror cut a very stylish silhouette and the form fitting bodice emphasized her slim torso and full bosom. The full skirts, aided by the bumroll and farthingale, made her waist look ridiculously tiny while the fitted sleeves made her arms appear slender and willowy. Even her hands, framed by the stark white wrist ruffs, looked elegant and feminine. In short, Frances could not find a flaw in the surprising visage in the mirror. Frances had never thought of herself as unattractive, but she had never considered herself beautiful. And she had definitely never thought of herself as sophisticated and stylish. The news of her transformation was a complete shock, one that she eagerly embraced. She allowed the image of herself to imprint upon her consciousness and turned to greet Mistress Parry and Her Majesty’s court.

The small circle of Her Majesty’s favorites blinked in surprise at the changes in their newfound country mouse. Frances beamed at them all, giving them a graceful reverence to show her respect for their rank, and waited to be recovered by the courtier of highest rank in the grouping, Baroness Sheffield.


Francine Howarth said...


I'm not in this blogfest but felt compelled to comment! ;)

Historical romance gets my vote every time and, this is a classic scenario where things could become a little uncomfortable for Frances.

She at court feeling like the dogs' dinner and catching the eye of the male fraternity, the Queen not amused and thinking how best to actually rid herself of such a beauty!

It was tough attending at the court of Elizabeth I, and she didn't much like competition, apparently.

Nice intro, and I hope you go far with this.

Nighfala said...

Really nice! I love historical fiction. Well done indeed.

Please stop by and check out my 100 Followers Contest. I'm announcing a new blogfest tomorrow, too!

Unknown said...

Nice! I agree with Francine... what a difficult position for her to be in! Either be a country mouse or be in danger of garnering too much attention - from the wrong parties... yikes! Cut-throat world out there at court!

Erin Kane Spock said...

I plan to use Queen Elizabeth,not as a primary character, but as a catalyst in varrying degrees in the 4 books (1 2/3 complete) planned. Each one will show a different aspect of Her, based on the heroine of that story. You are correct -- in this one Frances is too eye catching to be ignored completely. The Queen does not like the attentions of Her favorites to stray.

Raquel Byrnes said...

Great entry, ERin. I love her children's reaction. I also like your new layout and template a lot. Glad to see you on the meet and greet blog hop!

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