alicia_h: (Pilot)
Title: Trespassing
Prompt: Trespassing and Laughter (as well as 2 and b from this prompt from [community profile] stayintheroom on dreamwidth)
Bonus? No
Word Count: 878
Rating: PG
Original/Fandom: Original (German occupation of the Channel Islands)
Pairings (if any) Erica/Haber
Warnings (Non-Con/Dub-Con etc): none
Summary: Erica doesn't mean to spy or trespass or intrude, she just wants to see him.

'Does it count as trespassing if you lot were, strictly speaking, trespassing first?' I ask with hopes of getting some sort of reaction out of him. Anything would do. )
alicia_h: (Erica)
The Sun, The Moon and The Truth. Wisdom, Compassion and Courage. Reflection, Imitation and Experience

In life there is an almost unacknowledged rule of three. Buses often come in threes, if they come at all. My love life has been following this universal law. I love three men. This is not entirely true because, of course, I love my father, I love my brothers and I love the young man I have taken under my wing as my stepson. Yet I have three men who may now be my husband but for certain circumstances.

Captain Haber is back on that Godforsaken island. He's doing his job for his army, just as I'm fulfilling my own patriotic duty to help you and your men. All those enemy soldiers guarding those tiny scraps of land and trying like hell to find a way to a way to use them. They're all just trying to do their job.

I know full well the ones in charge here decided those islands weren't worth fighting for almost as soon as they got wind that that bastard was after them. They washed their hands of them and decided to let the islanders get on with it. Exactly as I've done, I suppose. In my own small way.

In the end Dr De la Mare turned out to be as foolish as I am and I don't know what's become of him. He may have reached Britain's shore. He may have perished in a storm partway across the channel, along with his rickety sailing boat. I think I would have married him. Eventually.

And you, Peter. You may have to scramble at any moment or we may have the rest of the night together. This is how our lives will be, at least until this war ends. Every time you or I take off, you to fight them and I to ferry another silent, unfamiliar and defenseless plane to wherever it needs to be, we don't know if we'll make it back this time. Or the time after.

I do love you. I'm just scared.
alicia_h: (Pilot)
The Interview Meme with Erica Gardner (an original character - she is a pilot stuck on one of the Channel Islands during the German occupation when she would prefer to be back in Britain ferrying planes with the Air Transport Auxiliary)

Read more... )

Also, I've written out some thoughts about why Erica chose to move to the Channel Islands to live with her fiancé at the time she did in response to one of the commenters in the writerverse bookclub community (where challenge responses are posted) wondering about it.

Read more... )
alicia_h: (Default)
The 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 5th drabbles have characters from Circumnavigate Infinity (my Occupied Channel Islands/Flyer/Lighthouse story) and the 4th drabble has Mycroft Holmes and John Watson from Sherlock. The lines in bold were taken from a previously posted drabble, as per challenge destructions. Enjoy!

First Drabble )

Second Drabble )

Third Drabble )

Fourth Drabble )

Fifth Drabble )
alicia_h: (Pilot)
This is in response to a challenge at [ profile] writerverse to write a story inspired by three randomly generated words or phrases. Mine were "Bus Stop", "Traditional Values" and "Shout".

I would have paid no attention to the woman had she not been sitting at the bus stop. Going by her appearance, she was one that perfectly boring housewife set that I dread socialising with for fear that I will become one when I finally consent to marry Simon. His grandmother's wedding dress came out of hiding the other day and I dearly wish it would crawl back there. It currently lurks of the cracked and crooked hook on the back of my door. It is waiting to be taken out to be professionally cleaned and tailored to fit me. I wish the door hook would snap in two and tear the ghastly white shroud to unrecognisable shreds.

Read more... )
alicia_h: (Pilot)
I've had a good day. I went across to the doctor's at 10 to book an appointment, primarily for my bruised elbow and back combo from tumbling down the stone steps in the woods whilst carrying a box of books, but also the doc I'm seeing is the one who referred me to therapy/counselling/whatever you call it for depression. He had asked me to book an appointment for after I started my counselling but between searching for jobs, searching for somewhere to live, moving my copious amounts of stuff and being a bit useless at making appointments, this was my first proper chance to actually do that. Well, I tried yesterday and the lady on reception said that they were only booking urgent appointments. It was a different lady today and she did what you're actually meant to do when booking an appointment and look for the next available time, which is next Monday evening. This actually works well for me because the elbow and back will have either healed or not but on the counselling front I've got an appointment for that earlier on the same day, so it'll be on the surface of my mind when I update my doc about life, the universe and counselling.

After I'd sorted that out, getting rid of a huge weight of worry while I was at it, I wandered down to the canal (taking care on the evil steps!) and up to Milnsbridge to have a gander at the charity shops. I bought a few books from the second of the two I found. When they're going at 30p each, I'm not going to argue. One of them was actually 50p but another one was knocked down to 10p because it's short and looks a bit scruffy, apparently. They've put a Star Trek DS9 episode guide/companion book (along the same lines as the Buffy Watcher's Guides) to one side for Friday because I didn't have enough money in change to buy it then and the one cash machine in Milnsbridge was broken. It really is a teeny tiny place.

When I got home I spent a couple of hours finishing off "I Capture the Castle". I fell absolutely in love with the book while I was reading it and I'm lending it to one of my friends next week. I need to stick the first three pages back in first since they randomly fluttered out when I was about halfway through.

I waited until I'd finished reading it before going outside. We share the same communal back yard area as my old place, just further down and with a picnic bench in the bit outside ours which earns this house definite brownie points. One of my housemates has the back door in her room. It'd be lovely to be able to step from my room to the garden but the room I'm really coveting is the one in the house next door, slap bang in the middle of the old house and new house. It has a double garden door set in an archway and the little stretch of garden outside is shaded by tall bushes and it has an overall feeling of a fairytale grotto. I know my housemate has her eye on it so I might see what happens with that and ask about going in it whenever she's ready to move on, which would certainly be at least as far into the future as my current lease running out and hopefully give me time to get a job that would cover the higher rent for a larger room with a back door. It's worth asking the landlord when I get him round to move one of the bookcases up from the empty room downstairs (the one without a back door). I want to be able to dream and plan and save up for my little fairytale grotto.

I started reading one of my new books outside in the glorious sunshine. This one is called "The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society" and it is not one of the books I'd decided I was definitely going to read next. It's told through letters and one of the letter writers shares tales of German occupied Guernsey, so it should be both quick going and relevant to my alleged novel.

I did get some writing done, somewhere between it going cold and the sun setting and the stars coming out, and writing by lamplight and starlight until it was too cold to stay outside even with coffee and a blanket. I've definitely been influenced by my reading today because my first bit of writing had Erica writing a letter to Hauptmann Haber that she knows she has no way of delivering before she sees him again in person. In my second piece Erica's writing had a bit of a feel of Cassandra from "I Capture the Castle" but, from what I've read of my November writing, she's always been a bit like that anyway.

I'm typing those up tonight after I've taken a long enough break from looking at my notebook. Hence the journal update. The second piece, which is for the "bus stop", "traditional values" and "shout" random prompts and is due to be submitted before five in the morning, definitely needs to go up before I go to sleep and I might as well do the letter at the same time and work out if I've unconsciously fulfilled the requirements for another challenge. I'll share the part of my nano writing I've been reading as well, but that can't count towards any of the challenges as I'm only making tiny edits where it desperately needs it.
alicia_h: (Pilot)
Title: Freiheit (Freedom)
Prompt: Silver lining
Word Count: 505
Rating: PG
Original/Fandom: Original
Pairings (if any) none
Warnings (Non-Con/Dub-Con/RPF etc): none
Summary: The day the flyer escapes, the sky must be a perfect blue. There should be no clouds. Not even those with silver linings.

I despise anybody who trots out the old saying that every cloud has a silver lining. They do not understand that to us any cloud signifies a lost day of flying. I know people who often comment on the beauty of clouds, particularly when they are fretted with silver, gold or red. What I see when I look into the sky is a warning for oncoming storms or else a vast and impenetrable sheet of grey. Then I would inevitably return to my book with it's complicated diagrams or else lug another can of oil in the direction of the hangar as I readied myself for taking apart the engine for the sake of practising putting it together again. I think now I initially threw myself into those countless hours of grease and sweat, and constant patronisation, for the sake of never wasting another day away from the planes.

When I moved here to marry him, I expect I was imagining an endless string of sunny days. Clearly I'd hoped that we would be far enough from the mainland to escape the irksome mercurial weather that is the bane of British flyers. We have had such runs of cloudless days. The one I remember most vividly was the week the invaders landed.

I wonder at the tales of heroism I overhear from their flyers as I flit between mechanics and engineers, playing the island floozy for the sake of a few nuts and bolts and being able to watch them work. I must always remind myself not to respond to the men unless they address me in English, even as I listen to one crew telling another how they decimated the factories in my home town.

Con is on hand to extract me if I get too crowded by airmen coming to gawk at the girl with streaks of grease on her dress. The others appear to treat him with far more respect than his rank and age would demand. I know it is because they are wary of his father and stepbrother. They ought to be wary of me as well, though I'll take care to ensure they never realise that. I will let them assume we are lovers for I know that will allow me to continue haunting the airport like a harmless ghost.

It's strange how little I mind them thinking that. I could never see Con in that way, though he has the same eyes that first drew me to his father. They are the colour of the sky on the perfect day for flying. In Con's eyes I see that he is constantly sizing up and evaluating everyone and everything he encounters. In those eyes I try to read what he thinks of me, if I am still the potential stepmother he wants to worship or if I'm the woman who will callously abandon them all when my plane is finally fixed.

Con is a fool to help me. He must know that, when our situations are reversed, I cannot help him.
alicia_h: (Pilot)
"He's a strange little fellow."

"Strange? How so?"

"He's spent half the time he's been here refusing to answer any questions but suddenly he just opened up. The problem is he keeps lapsing into German whenever he gets too excited and I have to keep asking him to slow down and repeat himself in English. I can't help feeling a bit sorry for him to tell you the truth. He gets this desperate look in his eyes sometimes, like he knows exactly where he's going after we get through with him."

"Why do you want me to see him, Peter?"

"Officially because you're a convenient and trustworthy interpretor. He can rabbit away all he likes in German and you can tell me what the blazes he's saying."

"And unofficially?" Erica prompted.

"He asked for you. Someone delivered your message the other day while I was in with him and he got excited and a little agitated. He seemed to be convinced your name was Haber. That's his name, by the way, Haber. We got some of them on their way back from Sheffield and he was one of the better flyers among them. Executed a perfect landing with smoke pouring out of his engine and handed himself in as quiet and calmly as you please."

"You said he thought my name was Haber."

"Yes and he was really rather insistent. I told him in no uncertain terms that I wouldn't let him see you if he kept up with that nonsense. Now if tell me you're secretly married to a German flyer who was barely out of short trousers when you were learning to fly, I'm going to look a real fool."

"No, no I'm not married to him. I'm his stepmother."

"Stepmother? Then what happened to your young doctor? I knew you'd taken his name but I had no idea if he didn't make it out with you or he didn't want to leave when you did... but you're implying now that you married a Jerry while you were stuck out there. I'm not sure if... Well, I think, my dear, you owe me an explanation and perhaps a stiff drink if that will make the whole thing easier to swallow."


I started this for the prompt "I will always find you." at [community profile] stayintheroom but what I've got so far doesn't really fit. I'm pretty much just toying with an idea for how to start off a short story version of the novel that I began in November now I have my main strand of plot more or less worked out.
alicia_h: (Default)
I'm making a final two day push towards 50 000 words. I may not make it but the panic and the need to get something written has helped me break out of my little cocoon of first person perspective that I've been building around myself. I've finally screwed up the courage to say sod it, let's give Erica a bit of a rest for the last couple of days and find out who these other characters are.

I've ended up writing about Simon de la Mare. He was originally called Simon Tavener but this name fits him better. It was on a webpage listing common names in the channel islands and there is the obvious connection to Walter de la Mare, whose poem The Listeners has resided firmly in my head since we learned to recite it at school a decade ago. And while I try not to feel old, I want to plough on and add that the name means 'pond' so there's the obligatory Doctor Who reference without me ever intending it to be. It also feels very suitable for a man who has spent all his life living by and more or less in the sea.

Anyway, this is what I've written about Simon in my fevered nanowrimo catch up tonight. I must warn you that it's rough, repetitive in a few places where I was looking for ways to express certain thoughts, typos probably abound and there aren't any paragraph breaks bar one near the top, so I'm sorry for any injuries to tired eyes that might cause.

Read more... )

We at the very least I know Simon better and that's exactly the sort of help I need from my frantic scribblings at this moment.

25565 / 50000 words. 51% done!
alicia_h: (Default)
I've solved my title problem for the time being by taking one of the thousands of titles shared on the nanowrimo forums.

My story's title is now:
Circumnavigate Infinity

I'm starting to get a better hold on some sort of plot, though it may turn out that what I've been writing this month is a smaller slice of the whole story than I expected. It was already alongside the Greek Myths stuff, which was supposedly being narrated by my main character. It's possible that I may have a third section on my hands that is more science fiction, though again possibly a science fiction story written by my narrator. I don't know.

Talking of my main character, she's carrying off a romance with someone she wasn't supposed to be interested in or even particularly like. Maybe I should have expected that. I did have the idea that he was interested in her but now it definitely seems to be a mutual and genuine attraction. And yet she's still marrying her fiance for some reason.

I was actually quite shocked at how tense things have become between her and her fiance. I really liked the first scene idea I had with the two of them - meeting in a cafe and swapping postcards before they even talk talk to each other. So the question I'm asking myself at the moment is how do they go from love at first write to a long term romance and engagement to wanting to get married to growing frustrated and resentful to her falling in love with a German army captain to them (possibly) getting married after all. And then there's beyond that point, because there definitely is a beyond.
alicia_h: (Writing)
I've got 20000 words of my NaNoWriMo novel written so far. This is not at all bad considering I'm an expert in the arts of procrastination and oversleeping. It does mean that, if I want to hit the target of 50000 words, I have to pull my finger out and write over half the book in just over a week and considering I'm meeting with someone for coffee on Thursday and going shopping in Leeds with someone else on Saturday, there's a slim chance that 30000 extra words is not the most realistic goal in the world. However, if I push myself to get as close to that as possible I'm more likely to give myself the extra push on to reach it.

Regardless of whether I 'win', I've still got 20000 words of a story set during an historical event that I knew nothing before I started trying work out where the lighthouse in my story was supposed to be and ended up placing it on a rock a few miles off the coast of one of the channel islands. The rock is at the moment vaguely based on Les Casquets which is 13 km off Alderney, while my island is probably not Alderney. My lack time time to research thoroughly means that the island I'm keeping in mind is the fictional St Gregory from Island at War with some details borrowed from Whitby, Reeth and Huddersfield. Once I can get into describing it a bit more, I'm sure I'll have a much better mental picture of it to work from.

What was I forgetting? Did someone say plot? I'm sure there is one… somewhere in that mass of words. It's a little lost at the moment but it'll pop up when it's needed.

A lot of what I've written is snippets of scenes and scraps of sentences. I jump around my various ideas a lot and often go back to those old ideas later and write most new stuff to the end of the document, unless I'm purposefully going through to see what I can add to certain bits and pieces. Yes, the editing is going to be very fun indeed… um… okay… Don't Panic!

20161 / 50000 words. 40% done!

(I do wish that my macbook wasn't making me want to tear my hair out. It keeps highlighting things randomly as I type which is not what I want at all.)
alicia_h: (TARDIS)
Daedalus, father of Icarus, presented his son with his greatest invention: a set of wings constructed painstakingly from the fallen feathers of the birds in the skies over Crete by day and sealed to the wood and copper frame with the wax of the candles that lit the workshop by night. Daedalus gave his son freedom in the form of flight. His breath caught as Icarus bravely stepped forth, up the steps to the window.

Read more... )
alicia_h: (Writing)
I've made a start on my NaNo novel. I'm nowhere near the word count at the moment because I've been poorly since I got home from a friend's house on the last day of October. What I don't have in words at the moment, I'm making up for with an almost crystal clear image of my two main characters exchanging postcards in a Paris bar or cafe and carrying on a whole written conversation before they ever meet face to face. My next idea was of the man (a keen pharologist and later a lighthouse keeper) trying earnestly to convince the woman (a flyer along the lines of the lines of Amy Johnson and Amelia Earhart) to marry him while she avoids answering but at the same time persuades him to let her fly him back home.

I've been glancing over Amy Johnson's wikipedia page and it tells my that her husband (another famous pilot - Jim Mollison) proposed to her mid-flight, eight hours after they first met. The parallels seem to be drawing themselves without me even knowing the original circumstances all that well. This story has to be worth sticking with, I'm sure of that now.

I have a couple of different ways the events that follow could affect the rest of the story but what I'm going to do as I write on with both in mind. Eventually I might see if one explanation is favoured or if the ambiguity works best. There's even a possibility that I'll discover whether it's me or Schrödinger devising this plot.

I have just two more things to add for now. One is another interesting fact about Amy Johnson - she went to University in my home city of Sheffield and the other is that when Tuesday arrived, the actual beginning of story turned out to be my flyer telling the story of Daedalus and Icarus. I still have this first part to pick back up when I have energy tomorrow. At the end of her telling the myth, my idea was for her to talk about her father, who was very important in inspiring and encouraging her to fly. It's possible that throughout the story she'll paint herself in the role of Icarus and she at last feels a connection to Daedalus when she says goodbye to her lost plane.


alicia_h: (Default)

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