WeWriWa—Summoned to the Emperor’s study


Welcome back to Weekend Writing Warriors and Snippet Sunday, weekly Sunday hops where writers share 8–10 sentences from a book or WIP. This week, I’m finally returning to my alternative history, Chapter 33, “The Emperor in Love.” Arkadiya Gagarina, a morganatic princess, has just recovered from diphtheria, and is now summoned to His Majesty’s study to be interviewed for the position of Tsaritsa. At 32, she finds this whole idea ridiculous, but she figures no harm can come of one interview.


Once Arkadiya had been pronounced fully recovered by all the palace physicians, and the tracheostomy tube had been removed, she was given orders to report to the main study for an interview with the Emperor.  Though she’d been given a brand-new wardrobe, she didn’t even glance at all the finery the Emperor had had delivered to her room after her recovery, and instead merely changed into one of her more formal outfits, a green velvet gown with long sleeves.  On her way to the study, she smiled at and made eye contact with everyone she passed.  During her month-long stay, many of these servants had attended to her, and she wanted them to have a good impression of her.

“Come right in,” he called when she knocked.

Arkadiya shut the door after entering the room, and the Emperor immediately rose from behind his desk and went towards her, smiling that odd closed-mouth smile.  She wasn’t expecting him to take both of her hands and kiss them in turn.  As this happened, she felt light-headed, and her heart beat a little faster, which she chose to attribute to still not having complete strength back.


On Monday, I’ll be starting a series on The Great Dictator at 75. I really feel like I’ve made the right decision in shifting the focus of this blog away from writing-related topics and towards more of my other interests. A lot of people reading my blog are probably learning about all these silent and early sound films for the first time, whereas they could get writing advice from anywhere.


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