I'm going to start with a big huge thank you to my 41 (!) followers and all my blog readers, because I HIT 10,000 VIEWS THIS WEEK!!!!
THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!
As an extra token of gratitude, I'll share another snippet from SOI before I delve into the main event (Lady Lilliwen already gave me her permission, so we're good).
“What do you think this one is like, Eirwy?”
The Princess Eirwen got up from her chair, setting aside her embroidery work. She laid her hand on her sister’s shoulder as she looked at the approaching woman.
“From the looks of her gown and her figure, I say that she will starve us out.”
“Oh Eirwen!” Her middle sister Gwen gasped. “How can you say so? If Mother heard you say such things…”
“Mother isn’t here, Gwen.”
Gwen lapsed into silence as their 6 year old sister Mairwen grasped her arm and directed her attention out the window again.
Eirwen viewed the rest of the parading ladies with some disdain. To her, they were just little pinpricks of light. They were not the bright sun that her mother was.
Can someone please explain to me why in the world fictional step-mothers are regarded as such an evil?
I mean, every single blasted fairy tale has them as being evil and jealous. To the point when children hear that they are getting a step-mother, they make attempts to sabotage things.
Now, I know that not every woman is an angel from heaven.
But come on....
When a mother dies, it leaves a hole. A hole that cries to be filled.
I think Danielle can agree with me here:
Because the mother is considered by many Catholic writers to be the "heart" of the family.
It takes a special kind of woman to take a family that has had it's "heart" torn out of it, and reconstruct it again. It takes a strong woman to take children of her husband's and support them through their life struggles without the benefit of knowing them since they were conceived.
I think it's time to rebel against this stereotype of the evil second wife/stepmother. The one that comes in and destroys her new family upon entering.
With that....please let me introduce to you a new character from Seeds of An Orchard Invisible...
Lady Lilliwen is the half-sister of my antagonist, Ceinwen. Lilliwen is a legitimate daughter of a baron of Cymru (Wales), while Ceinwen is illegitimate. Thus, Ceinwen acts a sort of lady-in-waiting to Lilliwen. Lilliwen makes friends with Eirwen fairly early on, and it is she that her father plans to marry. Unfortunately for them, Ceinwen...hem....interferes.
This post-climatic scene takes place after Lilliwen returns from a rather unexpected journey, and Ceinwen gets her initial desserts. I believe it really captures Lilliwen's character when she's faced with the worst.
He caught sight of his lady, whom he loved with great devotion still. Immediately his face crumbled into sadness. “Lil-Lilliwen.”
She kneeled before him and offered him her hands in an act of homage. “My lord. Tis well that you chose your daughter before me.”
He gripped the gentle hands tightly. “Lilliwen….I have wrought a terrible evil against you and against my house.” The great king of Glywysing cast his eyes down into his lady’s beautiful blue-green ones. “I can offer little to you in retribution for the shame and sufferings that I have brought upon you. If only…” His voice cracked into silence and he averted his face.
Lilliwen rose and placed her face close to Aneirin’s as his grip weakened. She placed her left hand on his right cheek as she whispered softly, “Shh, beloved. It is all right…I forgive thee from my heart. I hold nothing against thee.” She fervently kissed his other cheek as he embraced her.
He stepped back after a minute, and raised his hand to his beloved’s cheek. “It will be months, maybe seasons before the annulment can be granted. Will you wait for me, beloved, unworthy though I am?”
Lilliwen gave him a beautiful smile and nodded. He thanked her with a kiss to the forehead and left.
Lilliwen turned to Eirwen, with her eyes shining and a kind smile. “Come, love. Walk with me.”
Eirwen laid aside her work by the window and followed Lady Lilliwen out to the Queen’s Garden.
As they stepped out into the sunshine, Lilliwen turned to look at Eirwen again. She quickly grew alarmed as she noticed Eirwen’s eyes were dark and her face was grim. “Eirwen, dearest, what is it?”
Eirwen’s clipped tone revealed to Lilliwen that it was more than nothing behind that scowl.
“Eirwen…are you sure that it’s just nothing?”
“Eirwen…tell me please.”
“No.” Eirwen crossed her arms, as if trying to keep the clawing mass of emotion inside of her.
Lilliwen spotted a bench and motioned Eirwen to sit on it. “What is wrong, dearest?”
Eirwen’s eyes begged for the tears to be released. Words started jumbling in her brain and then spilled out of her mouth entirely without her consent. “Why..why did you…forgive him? He deserves…I would have…thrashed him good!”
“Thrashed who, Eirwen?” Lilliwen’s voice betrayed her shock, but she remained standing.
Eirwen's scowl seemed set in stone. “You know who. He doesn’t deserve you after what he’s done. He and that witching wh-”
“Eirwen!!” Lilliwen’s shocked face broke Eirwen’s reserve even faster.
“She has hurt him grievously! She doesn’t deserve life or forgiveness, she deserves a hearty smite! And he has hurt you even more grievously! Don’t tell me that he hasn’t! I know he has!”
Lilliwen gazed at the daughter of her heart with pity and tears. “Two people have been wronged today, dearest…why drive them against each other? Oh Eirwen….what dragon has thee in his clutches?” Lilliwen reached to wipe the angry tears falling on Eirwen's cheek.
Eirwen gazed at her with burning heart and quaking hands, then broke away from Lilliwen’s gentle embrace towards Queen Heulwin's garden. Lilliwen saw wisdom in keeping counsel in her heart and a silent prayer on her lips.
So....what do you think of her?
So....what do you think of her?