Five Royal Princes Part Three

Ludmilla shares a chamber with Sophia. The servants are available on a moments notice, but Sophia is comforted by having Ludmilla there to talk to during the long lonely nights.

In the silence of her own chamber, Irina writes in her diary.

Dear Vasilly,

We enjoyed a day of extraordinary entertainment this day. Katrina took over for mother and had the seamstress measure us for our summer trousseau. I don’t know where Katrina goes but she manages to be very aware of the current fashions and is able to make us somewhat connected to the outside world.

I must pay mind to Katrina’s schedule and perhaps learn how she manages to get around the guards and locked doors. In the near future she promises to teach us some dances. She is always singing and twirling around. Elizabeth seems to come alive when Katrina brings her lively spirit to us.

I miss the days when I used you see you, I only can catch a glimpse of the guard when I am out on the balcony and peek from behind the screen.

Sophia, poor soul has no interest in the frivolous activity, and Ludmilla hasn’t joined me in some time. Elizabeth however, has an interest in one of your fellow guardsmen, the one who leads the second column in procession. But he does not compare to you. I live for the day I should see you in the Grand Hall as I used to before our confinement. I still see your smile and admire your bravery and have hope that the future will change for us.

P.S. I have given Elizabeth a copy of “Romeo and Juliet” by William Shakespeare. I am teaching her to read just as Katrina taught me.

The physician ,entered the rooms of the princesses to see Sophia just as the Tsarina had promised. A change in diet and walking is prescribed. The Princesses are to be taken by carriage to the Verdant Forest, where the guard will monitor the perimeter to assure the privacy of the Royal sisters.

Katrina has managed to make a picnic of it and an excursion the princesses will not forget. If she has her way this will continue through the warm summer and fall.

Five carriages and the Stretlsy Guard set off for the Verdant Forest. The Tsarina chose to ride with Elizabeth and her maid servant, if this venture works out, she may approve of its continuance.

The guard surrounds the perimeter of this acre wood, recently cordoned off for the sole purpose of Sophia’s health. Six elite guard members line up outside the stalled carriages. One by one the princesses are guided out of the carriage and covered from sight by their personal servants. They are led down the path to the clearing where tables have been set up and food and wine are placed for their enjoyment.

Immediately Ludmilla takes Sophia by the hand and walks her down a path to do some exploring. Katrina disappears and isn’t seen or heard from for the duration of their adventure. Irina wonders if Vasilly is among the guard just down the path or stationed at the perimeter of the forest. Irina decides to find out and Elizabeth is hot on her heels.

The Tsarina seats herself at the table where a delicious feast has been set out and works on her cross-stitch.


Five Princesses part two

Elizabeth Alekseyevna rallies her sisters who are lounging in the solar, well, the ones who are most often there, sharing the same existence.

“Mother has come to join us for our noon meal.” she announces.

The Tzarina Oxana Villovanivitch Brulinskia is seated at the well provided table with six place settings, wearing a lovely brocade burgundy red gown with a gold sash and her coronet of gold and ruby adornment.

Instantly the princesses know the details of the Tsarina’s day to come by her mannerism and her dress.

“Oh mother, where is father today?” asks a dismayed Elizabeth.

The youngest of the five princesses who seems to cling to the personage of her father the most, enters the room to embrace her mother who only waves her away to take her seat. Next to enter is Sophia escorted by Kersey, her personal maid servant.

“Oh, Sophia dear, are you having an unfortunates morning? I will seek out the physician for you on my way to the Ministry this afternoon. Please do sit down.”

Irina and Ludmilla hurry in to the room and take their places. The sixth setting remains empty.

“Anyone aware of Katrina this morning?” The Tsarina inquires.

“I saw her this morning, she was in her night shift and was hurriedly gathering her belongings together with the help of Mierda. But I have not seen her since.” Irina offered.

With that the servants arrived as if on cue to serve the remaining obedient daughters of the Royal Brulinskia Family.

“Mother,” Irina inquired. “You will be long at the Ministry this afternoon? Will you be able to join us? We will be looking at the fabric selection for the new gowns we were promised.”

“No, dear — perhaps tomorrow. I have a full day scheduled today and I hope to spend some time with the Tzar.”

Katrina enters the room, no attempt to apologize for her late arrival. She simply asks the servant to heat up her soup and asks for a fresh roll to go with it. The other sisters look at their mother and back to Katrina who sees no issue with her rude behavior.

“I have arraigned to have the seamstress join us after our meal, she will bring some new patterns of Western Style dresses all the fashion amongst the Boyar this season.” Katrina announces.

The brilliance of this girl cannot be matched in this room. In one grand announcement; she lets her mother off the hook for the guilt of making the girls wait an indeterminate amount of time for the one pleasure they have had to contemplate in months, she also gets a pass for her tardiness and not a question concerning her whereabouts all morning. — genius.

Vasilly Starostenko drains his fifth shot of vodka and slams the glass down shattering the glass and cutting his hand. He hardly notices but gets his blood all over the woman he has been tempting to disappear with him to the rooms upstairs. His time is short, his presence is required in the early morning hours as one of the Elite Royal Guard known as the Stretlsy. He will be successful as he is in most of his conquests.



Five Royal Princesses

Five Royal Princesses sit in the chambers of the castle in the vast domain of the Brulinskia regime.

In the top floor of the residence of the Royal Family of Rus live the five sisters of the prince, Pietro Brulinskia. The Tzar is a good monarch and cares deeply for his people, but he is not well. A hereditary illness plaques him and his weakness has returned, he is sound of mind however, he uses his generals and advisers to complete the duties he cannot.

The sisters live a life of cloistered anonymity. Their servants and family are the only ones who see them. When they must leave the secret walls of the castle to move to another residence they are covered from sight. Each assigned a servant whose primary concern is to keep them concealed.

This existence is expected of them, they will live their entire lives this way, with no hope for an outside life. No marriage to be arranged, no profession, no education and no voice.

Two exceptions: Katrina is not of a docile nature. She has fought the tradition of her station in life. She has managed to steal out and reap some of the same benefits as her brother, the prince. He actually enjoys her company, she is bright and determined. She challenges him and speaks frankly, he is not used to that.

Her willful nature is not expected and has never been corrected. This life she has been destined to will not hold her. Being the eldest of the five girls has allowed her childhood to extend longer than the rest. She had witnessed the lives of the other residents of the castle longer than her younger siblings who were sequestered as a group when Ludmilla, the middle child was twelve.

Irina is only second to Katrina. She had learned from her older sister. but does not show her independence outwardly. She has a diary. She writes daily of her observations, her sisters activities and her thoughts of this most restrictive and enviable  lifestyle of luxury and wealth, — unless you are the one that has to live it. Before she was sent into obscurity at the age of fourteen she had tasted enough of the natural existence of  any young woman to realize the unnaturalness of living such a life isolated from the world. Especially Vasilly, he was a young man of the Royal Guard who was twenty-four years old. He was unaware of the attention he was receiving from the impressionable young Princess Irina. A striking figure in his Royal Guard Uniform, he would wink at the princesses and show a bit of humanity, which was mostly lacking considering the severity of the military presence. His smile is what Irina dreams of most, a most unfortunate turn of events.

Dear Vasilly,

The month of March has come and gone. I have completed the cross-stitch I have been working on with Sophia, she is still doing her best to keep the stitches perfectly lined up but needs my assistance from time to time. We have had Kerzey measure it to be hung, it really is that lovely. The physician that tends our father the Tzar, also tends Sophia. They share the same degenerative illness. That leaves the Tzarina (mother) to claim that her blood has nothing to do with Sophia’s episodes.

Ludmilla has been quiet and sad lately. She cries when she thinks we are not looking. I must close for now Vasilly, till next time. You and I will keep our secret.

Irina puts down the diary and quickly hides it away. She remembers how her carelessness almost ruined her private relationship with her not-so imaginary acquaintance and confidant, Vasilly.

Trying To Discover My Inner Blatherskite

Not good in crowds, I will open up and talk incessantly with a close friend but not much elsewhere. So I was surprised when I started to write my story that there was no loss of words. I just kept writing. My first draft was rife with “difficulties” that were easily remedied and on the fourth pass I was confident that it was acceptable. My father was an English teacher and I compliment him on some of the good decisions I made in proofreading the story.

Currently I am about half way through Part Three on the third pass correcting glaring errors and checking timeline issues. One more pass and I will print it out and add it to the completed first half of my story ready to be read by an agent.

I have not let the fact that I have submitted ten sample pages to an agent and have not heard back. I will try again. The next agent I am looking at requires a different submission style. Query letter, Synopsis, and a four page sample from the first chapter.

It is strange how my characters have come alive and I am almost fighting for their existence as I am for my own.

More Thoughts

For some time now — actually forever. I thought the ideas rolling around in my head were of interest to me only. I have had this story I thought should be written but not by me. The person who needed to be written about is my mother. She grew up in a very unusual time. She experienced the Depression, WWII, lived on a farm, and was very much “alive.”

I thought, and told her so, she should write the book. she loved to talk, she told me her stories and as she got older she repeated them over and over, my mind is filled with those stories almost verbatim.

She could be the nurse in the VJ Day embrace, she saw the medical field grow in an exciting time, women were still dying in childbirth at the beginning of her nurses training and by the end of her life, hearts were being successfully transplanted.

The young girl in my story started taking on the characteristics of a strong woman with a dynamic personality. She proved to be the vehicle.

Part four takes on a little diversion into her life and I was so excited to take some of the stories and turn them into another time and place.

Back to Blogging

I spent a great weekend with Catherine and her family. She is such a wonderful sister to go through the first half of the book helping me proofread. It took quite a few hours but we did laugh, eat and drink. Now that the first two parts are done I think I will send out another query letter since I never heard a word from the first one. I can see fault with my letter and have made some changes. The next agent is asking for the first few pages, whereas the last agent wanted ten pages which I sent a ten page chapter randomly. Not sure if that was a good idea either. I’ll need a synopsis, a bio and the query letter. I would also like to attend a conference which I am looking into. I am also planning a trip to do research, not sure if that will get done or not.

Currently I am re-reading Part Three from the ending to the beginning to focus on syntax then I will read it one more time before printing it out and going to Catherine’s for coffee. Then I will do the same for Part Four. The book is finished with maybe a tweak here or there but the process is just beginning.

Heading to Connecticut

I am getting ready for one of those weends I spoke about in my last post. My sister, Catherine, and I are getting together to “fine tooth comb” Part One of my epic novel. I am preparing for another query letter and attempt to have someone take a look at my “10 page sample” no matter how many times I go through my files I still find corrections to make. I recently read a book where the author was writing about an author who typed pages and printed them out directly for submission to her agent. I doubt I will ever have such command of the English Language that I can go from brain to paper with no errors. I write frantically (so far) no concern to names or details, I usually clean that up in my first read over, I have a system where I read through four times then print it to paper and still have glaring errors, I realize a writer can be highly critical of their own work, I find it necessary to put it aside for a week or so then go back. “Did I write that?” I find myself saying sometime (pretty clever).

I have Part One and Part Two of my story ready to travel with me and I hope to have some concrete finality to the first half of my story.

Blogging doesn’t come easy … I am usually a private person of few words. In fact in college I could never complete one “blue book” while other students went back up to the professor for a second and third.

I do have something to say however, so I will challenge myself and keep writing. It’s like a golf swing, if you keep at it long enough it becomes second nature — like breathing.

This is me, spilling my guts.

In January I started a project. It was just something to do to get quality time with my sister. I thought writing a novel by posting paragraphs back and forth further embellishing the story, so as to inspire a more creative exchange – might be fun. I e-mailed a prompt and she e-mailed back a paragraph with a twist steering it off the course I was planning. Then, I e-mailed a second paragraph, most likely throwing her a curve as well, and she sent back another — several days later.

I was so worked up that I cheated, and wrote another three pages. I probably overwhelmed her because she encouraged me to keep on writing, so I did. Three months later I had what I thought was a pretty good sized book (28,000 words). I presented it to my sister thinking she may jump in and enjoy doing research, editing, etc. in the hope we would spend creative weekends together, but there wasn’t the “fire” I had experienced. She continually encouraged me and actually read the story, liked the characters, and theme. The syntax however was getting in the way of the readability. Since then “Part One” has been gone over three times and there are now four parts and 130,000 words.

I have written some letters, stories, newsletters in my lifetime, but nothing like what I experienced this past winter and spring. I have been told my letters made her cry,I won a contest by writing a letter to a radio station, and I wrote countless articles for my company newsletter. My novel is complete. I just need to tweak Part Four and do some research to confirm the facts of what I have written. I would like to attend a writer’s conference.

It’s true what they say about the “trance” writer’s get because I can still sit down and write, yet not really knowing what will end up on the paper. Memory DNA? That is an awesome thought.