The slither of ice down the spine.
The way the heart seems to stop beating for a millisecond before it begins a frenzied gallop.
The sort of sensation that writers must call upon when creating tension.
Do tell, my dears! Has any one of you ever listened to a novel read by a darkly dangerous voice whilst driving? I do not mean, my loves, in a chaise, or phaeton or similar elegant equipage. I mean in a four wheel drive. That is not to say, you understand, a four in hand. A four in hand would be matched blacks, or greys, or even bays. No. Quite simply I mean an auto-mobile. Terrifyingly and quite simply so.
Guy reached over my shoulder the next day and hoisted my saddle onto Monty’s back and I pulled the girth under the belly and cinched it up. Seeing that Guy had saddled his own mount and was even now amongst the merchants holding the animal by the reins, I took the opportunity to find a boulder on which I could place my foot and then stretch to the stirrup and climb aboard. All without attracting undue attention.
Once upon a time, in an unfamiliar land called Eirie, a young man decided he must find out how far the land and sea stretched from his very feet. Thus began the life of Gervais the Explorer, later in the annals of Eirish history known as Gervais the Cartographer.
And still we traveled. Monty’s coat was slick with sweat despite our midday rest. He had astonishing stamina and as I looked between his ears, I marveled at the war-horses in front of me. I could only imagine the courage and steadfastness that rushed through their veins.
Occasionally, Sei Shonagon would veer into a more detailed journal entry instead of her sharp little vignettes. They could be four or five pages long and invited the reader deep into her life – details of speech, mannerisms and settings all wrapped up in her sometimes gentle, often acerbic point of view. This latest Pillow Book of Prudence will depart from the norm and journey into a longer journal entry in deference to Sei Shonagon.
Twitter has been a voyage of discovery for me. More often than not I feel as if I’m in a wild, foaming sea and all that holds me up is a little life-jacket. Not one of those that have pull-cords to inflate and whistles to attract attention either. My life-jacket is essentially a kayaking life-jacket – a collar. Pretty simple and basic.
As I stared up at the campaign horse, the flames of the torchères in the livery yard made him look like some giant creature of the Apocalypse. Shadows jumped and flickered and thoughts of Moncrieff receded unhappily to the back of my mind whilst I contemplated the mountainous shape in front of me. I sighed as I thought of my little grey mare on whom I could spring bare-back if I chose and I would almost have given in to all my woes, if the bristly lips of my mount hadn’t brushed over the top of my hand as it lay on the hitching rail. The animal was infinitely gentle and I lifted my eyes to his, what I could see of them in the dark, and would swear he sent me a message back. ‘Do not concern yourself with things you cannot change, mistress.’
It’s in the news amongst friends and aquaintances and for every good reason. Richard Armitage has been cast as the ‘haughty’ (Tolkein’s words, not mine) Thorin Oakenshield, dwarf leader. Thorin is a key character in The Hobbit, partnering Bilbo Baggins through the story to the bitter, most bitter, end.