Daggers, Blood-Red Shields And Thundering Stallions

"For You have armed me with strength for the battle..." Psalm 18: 39

Glad as I am to be doing these final edits on my short story, A Love That Never Fails, I have been feeling quite homesick for the comfort of my old, well-loved story. In other words, I really miss working on The Crown of Life! But there is comfort in the fact that as soon as these edits are done, I will have a completed little story, and after that more time to dedicate my free hours to the tale I truly love, the tale that though is unfinished and seems a long way from feeling finished and whole, I feel a special bond to. Anyhow... I think you can see that I am missing it, so I will stop chattering and bewailing the fact that I have done very little writing on The Crown of Life this month and can't really share that many snippets for Katie's July Edition of Story Snippets. To make up for that though, I have sneaked up some bits and pieces I have written from the last few months and placed them here in with the selection of July Snippets. Besides that, there are a few snippets from my short story that I am allowing you to peak at and also random bits and pieces from some scribbling I got to do on Escape from Vanity (that story still remains an enigma to me as I am sure it does to you). All that aside, I do hope you enjoy this edition of snippets. Writing is an art... and sometimes it feels like an art of war, because you have to fight and battle all the time for the right words to evoke the exact emotions, moods, pictures, and scenes you want to pass on to the readers. I am learning how important it is to weigh every word, and make sure each single word earns its rightful place on the page. Otherwise, fight for a better word!

July Snip-Whippets

"How I will speak daggers to her!" he spun about, his eyes pinning Valerius' with the fierceness of his gaze. An oppressive, black silence rifted more then the distance between them. Valerius turned, and laid his hand on the shoulder of his friend. 
"But use none, oh Flavius son of Gaius." 
- The Crown of Life

“It does not befit a prince of the realm to stammer when the strength of justice and right is behind his sword.” 
 - Escape from Vanity

"Oh! Valerius, sometimes, I fancy how wonderful it would be if our letters could be dispatched with the speed of white lightening, the speed of the thundering stallions, or with the speed of a few days instead of long and painful months; but alas! I find myself fancying all too often of late. If I had my wish, and fancies came true, you'd have returned by now and come back to me. But.... one day, I know you will. One day.  
Signed with all my love, 
Claudia Albinus." 
- The Crown of Life 

His mother lifted a hand to his chin, gazing up at his face. The dark blue of her gown, like the misty shade of his eyes, rustled in a silent whisper of royalty and strength. 
“Your faith in him is shaken, is it not?" 
Escape from Vanity

It finally dawned on her, standing amidst the tears and farewells of so many, what was really happening. Jane was leaving England, her grandmother and heading to a place she'd scarcely heard of before to relatives she never knew existed. She bit her lips; she wasn't the only one. She had to be strong. 
A Love That Never Fails 

The sloping brown hills, like guards to the region, could be seen quite clearly by late morning. With the sun beating down upon them fiercely, and the hooves of their horses gathering up a cloud of hot dust all around, they plodded their way down the country highway that slowly narrowed itself into a gravel path as they reached Capernaum. From their vantage point they could see the town's many thatched houses, climbing up the side of the hill tier upon tier, shining together as a white jewel, the whole location nestled at the cove of a magnificent sea of turquoise... the Sea of Galilee.
 - The Crown of Life

Jane hesitated, fingering the thick lace of the shoes she'd worked so hard for, the shoes she so badly needed. It glared at her brightly, taunting her with her need. She self-consciously stared down at her own shoes, faded and ugly with the soles worn-thin with much use. 
- A Love That Never Fails

Her face seemed more pained then ever he recalled, as her gloved hands clung to the mirage of red and yellow colours on the window. 
Escape from Vanity

"It is now your time, Taurus Elnath. The hour of the Bull-rising is nigh at hand.” 
Escape from Vanity

Julius, standing at a ledge facing the horizon, breathed deeply the air, moist with autumn rain. The Isle of Britannia was one of harsh beauty, of green sloping meadows, jagged cliffs and moors covered with bracken, heather and moss. And it stirred his soul, in a way he could not understand. - The Crown of Life

“But I will ride with you,” Flavius rebutted, though fear was battling for mastery over the fierce pride of his cry. “I fear nothing but the bitterness of being robbed of my revenge at the last.”
 - The Crown of Life

The only tangible images before him were that of blood-red shields, spears of war, grey flagstones and harsh commands. The Roman eagle's piercing eyes tried to pin down and hold Valerius' heart within its brutal, knife-edged clutches, but nothing could for long restrain the memories he had of his loved ones or the deep stirrings of his own heart.
-The Crown of Life     

The first snippet was inspired from reading a quote by Shakespeare. 
 "I will speak daggers to her, but use none."
 - Hamlet


  1. These are excellent, Joy! excellent! They have a refined skill about them and a touch of archaic prose that befits the times you are writing about. I caught the Shakespeare reference (you and I: he seems to be getting into our literature); and I must say that my favourite quote was this one:

    "Julius, standing at a ledge facing the horizon, breathed deeply the air, moist with autumn rain. The Isle of Britannia was one of harsh beauty, of green sloping meadows, jagged cliffs and moors covered with bracken, heather and moss. And it stirred his soul, in a way he could not understand."

    Of course. :P

  2. Oh my goodness! Joy! These are wonderful! :) I particularly like the first and last! And I know what you mean by feeling homesick for the old tale. I have that same connection with 'Journey of Hope'. It's like you stay snuggled up, content in a wonderful little tale for a while, and it's hard to wrench yourself away from the comfort of it. And no matter how long you stay away, or how lovely the other story you're working on may be, there could never be another place in your heart for that one lovely story that you've grown so close to, that you KNOW. :) Anyway, keep up the good writing! And thank you for the sweet comment on Nicki's post. We both greatly enjoyed it! :)

  3. Dear Joy,

    This selection of snippets was very enjoyable to read! I appreciated each one of the metaphors, similies and illustrations, and also the beautiful descriptive language.
    That Shakespeare quote is so good, isn't it :). The way you used it was very affective. Especially how you continued the 'daggers' theme with the word 'rifted' - that 'belonged', didn't it!

    Thanks for sharing!

    God bless,

  4. Marvelous, Joy! I especially like the second snippet from Escape from Vanity :)

    "Writing is an art...and sometimes it feels like an art of war, because you have to fight and battle all the time for the right words to evoke the exact emotions, moods, pictures, and scenes you want to pass to the readers."

    That is so very, very true. I think sometimes that writing, and writing from the heart, is one of the most torturous and rewarding things a person can do...and I would never want to do anything else :)

  5. Thank you so much for your encouragement, Jenny! Your sweet comment warmed the cockles of my heart to say the least, and to see you follow my little blog just made me rush into my sister's room and shout gleefully, childishly... "Sarah, Sarah! Jenny followed my blog!!"

    I am glad you enjoyed those snippets, especially that one with Julius and Britannia... of course :D. I am really enjoying writing this prologue chapter set in Britain with Julius because I won't get the chance to write in Britain again in the story... and I dearly love Ancient Britannia :p.

    Oh and the Shakespeare reference! Did you know that it was through noticing how skillfully you allowed him and other 'Greats' to colour your literature so beautifully that allowed me to be brave enough to write that first snippet at the top.

    I am so exciting, but don't ask me why! Thanks for commenting again, Jenny :).

  6. Aww, thank you, Emily! I enjoyed sharing these snippets and I am glad you liked them :).

    It is so hard to tear oneself away from that Beloved Old Tale, isn't it! And you're right... it almost feels like "home" which I am sure only sounds positively silly when I say it, but still is true nonetheless, at least for me!

    Those characters become close friends; their struggles, hopes, fears and dreams your own; their dwellings and experiences as real as the ones that are so. Ah, it is a wonderful thing being a writer!

    You're welcome, Emily; I had a lot of fun reading Nicki's post. She made me laugh :).

    God bless and thank you again for your sweet comment.

  7. Dear Maddy,

    Oh, I am really glad you enjoyed reading these snippets! Thanks for your lovely comment. It is a sure blessing and encouragement :).

    Yes, when I read that quote by Shakespeare it really stood out to me as amazing; it would be something Flavius would say about Anthea too, so I am so glad it really fitted!

    If anything else it was fun to write those snippets, and I am happy you liked them, Maddy.

    God bless!

  8. Thank you so much, Annie :).

    It is encouraging to know you liked that snippet especially! I truly have no idea where this story will eventually lead me, but we'll see where the Lord will lead :).

    Oh, it sure is, isn't it; writing from one's heart is the most amazing and difficult thing ever, but I am grateful the Lord allowed me to be a writer and is teaching me. He is so good!!

    Many blessings, dear friend, and thank you for your lovely comment and e-mail as well (which I shall endeavor to answer within the not-too-distant future as the Lord gives me the time!).

  9. You are most welcome, Joy! :)

    I completely understand about having to juggle things around on a busy schedule. Just take your time replying to my email, my dear. It's quite all right if you are unable to answer promptly. I can always do with cultivating more patience anyway ;)

  10. Thank you, Annie :). I shall try and not wear out your patience too much... your e-mail is on my top "to-do lists", but I look forward to answering it, because it was a lovely e-mail!

    God bless.


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