Welcome back to Weekend Writing Warriors and Snippet Sunday, weekly Sunday hops where writers share 8–10 sentences from a book or WIP. So I don’t give away everything, I’m skipping a number of pages past the last snippet from my alternative history. Arkadiya has considered the matter and accepted Aleksey’s proposal, though she still refuses to call him by a nickname or use ty, the familiar form of “you.” He’s told her the truth about his hemophilia, though she doesn’t yet understand what it really means.
Arkadiya has been presented with a short-sleeved yellow taffeta gown and told His Majesty insists she wear this dress for their engagement photographs, in her best color and a modern style. Very reluctantly, she’s shed her usual long sleeves, but she’s not revealing the secret about her arms just yet.
The Semicircular Hall, Copyright Vitold Muratov
Arkadiya strode into the Semicircular Hall, her hands clasped behind her back. Her betrothed, several servants, and a photographer stood near the central doors of the apse, which overlooked a terrace and the beautiful Aleksandr Gardens. The garden wasn’t cultivated this far into October, but it was still a beautiful view. A turquoise divan had been set up near the doors, and was flanked by large white urns of multi-colored orchids.
“Perhaps His Majesty should sit and Her Highness should stand beside him,” the photographer dictated. “His Majesty is so tall, and if he’s the one standing, or he’s standing next to Her Highness, the height difference will look exaggerated. Your Highness, would you like to put your arm around His Majesty and stand very close to him? I still can’t believe you’re seven years his senior instead of a few years younger.”
“You really don’t need to call me by an honorific,” Arkadiya tried to protest. “I’m not used to being addressed like an actual princess.”
One of the official engagement photos of Aleksey’s paternal grandmother, Princess Dagmar of Denmark, and her first betrothed, Tsesarevich Nikolay Aleksandrovich. Russian history would’ve been so much different if the reform-minded Nixa hadn’t died of meningitis at 21, since both the reactionary Aleksandr III and the disastrous Nicholas II would’ve been kept off the throne.
How did those of you who did NaNo make out? I got my win on Day 23 again, and had 71,040 words by the end (including the table of contents and the character list as far as characters introduced so far). My conservative guesstimate for the fourth volume with my Russian characters is 350K, so that’s just a drop in the bucket! I rewarded myself for my win with a navel piercing, something I’ve been wanting for a really long time.
Don’t believe the myth that only teenage girls with size six bodies get this piercing! My piercer (our area’s only APP-certified piercer) helped me to select a gorgeous curved barbell with purple opals, based on my signature colors and what looks good with my features. I now have ten piercings—three sets of earlobes, my left nostril, my left rook, my right conch, and my navel. My next piercing will be my left tragus, since 11 is my lucky number and I want #11 to be something special I don’t already have.