One of the reasons I downloaded Windows Live Writer is because I was trying to copy and paste some large pieces of text into Blogger and it just did not like it.
After doing a little bit of Googling I found someone who was recommending Windows Live Writer as a solution. Blogger is full of all sorts of strange glitches, so it will be interesting to see if this makes life easier when it comes to writing and editing my posts.
I thought that I might share some of the work that I have been talking about on the blog but has not as yet been published. Here is the beginning of The Dead of Winter. As I have mentioned before, it is set in Victorian England and is the story of an orphaned boy who goes to stay with his strange guardian in a moated manor house in the flatlands of East Anglia during a cold and snowy Christmas. Just as they are approaching the house at night, the boy sees a woman loom out of the darkness towards the carriage. . .
We are still at the final edit stage, so this is not necessarily the exact version that will appear in print. It may even have the odd spelling mistake or grammatical error in it. It will be published in 2010 by Bloomsbury. Hopefully this won’t put you off buying it!
My name is Michael: Michael Vyner. I am going to tell you something of my life and of the strange events that have brought me to where I now sit, pen in hand, my heartbeat hastening at their recollection.
I hope that in the writing down of these things I will grow to understand my own story a little better and perhaps bring some comforting light to the still-dark, whispering recesses of my memory.
Horrors loom out of those shadows and my mind recoils at their approach. My God, I can still see that face – that terrible face. Those eyes! My hand clenches my pen with such fearful strength I fear it will snap under the strain. It will take every ounce of willpower I possess to tell this tale. But tell it I must.
I had known much hardship in my short life, but I had never before seen the horrible blackness of a soul purged of all that is good, shaped by resentment and hatred into something utterly vile and loveless. I had never known evil.
The story I am to recount may seem like the product of some fevered imagination. But the truth is the truth and all I can do is set it down as best I can, within the limits of my ability and ask that you read it with an open mind.
If after that, you turn away in disbelief, then I can do naught but smile and wish you well; and wish too, that I could so easily free myself of the terrifying spectres that haunt the events I am about to relate.
So come with me now. We will walk back through time and as the fog of the passing years rolls away, we will find ourselves among the chill and weathered headstones of a large and well stocked cemetery.
All about us are stone angels, granite obelisks and marble urns. A sleeping stone lion guards the grave of an old soldier, a praying angel that of a beloved child. Everywhere there are the inscriptions of remembrance; of love curdled into grief.
Grand tombs and mausoleums line a curving cobbled roadway, shaded beneath tall cypress trees. A hearse stands nearby, its black-plumed horses growing impatient. It is December and the air is as damp and cold as the graves beneath our feet. The morning mist is yet to clear. Fallen leaves litter the cobbles.
A blackbird sings gaily, oblivious to the macabre surroundings; the sound ringing round the silent cemetery, sharp and clear in the misty vagueness. Jackdaws fly overhead and seem to call back in answer. Some way off a new grave coldly gapes and the tiny group of mourners are walking away leaving a boy standing alone.
The boy has cried so much over the last few days that he thinks his tears must surely have dried up for ever. Yet as he stares down at that awful wooden box in its frightful pit, the tears come again.
There are few things sadder than a poorly attended funeral. When that funeral is in honour of a dear and beloved mother, then that sadness is all the more sharply felt and bitter-tasting.
As I am sure by now you have guessed; the lonesome boy by that open grave is none other than the narrator of this story.