So I applied butt to chair (after beefing about it all on Twitter and this blog), and produced words enough to get to 60K, at which point the vista of 80K opened up, dizzying and tempting…
Writing buddy Devin Harnois gave me a really sick, crass suggestion for the confrontation scene. Here’s the quick sketch-between-the-lines of Elsa’s father, who’s going to be at ground zero for this bawdy Gothick situation comedy:
Henry frowned. “I told Philippa. And then she told me that you’d told her, years ago.”
“I didn’t think it was fair for her to be in the dark,” Elsa said. “I wouldn’t have known myself if Kirsten hadn’t told me. And I understand why your mother wouldn’t have gotten into details. And it was Philippa’s choice, really, if I was going to be in your family circle, and I didn’t want it on false premises.”
Remembering Heinrich, she added, “I don’t want anything on false premises.” Not even an eager seventeen-year-old who took her for a goddess… too much like the reverse of the coin with her father, the charismatic professor who dazzled up-and-coming students. An interdisciplinary scholar, so his field of candidates was all the broader: Aurelia the geometer, and Kathe, the linguist. Quiet, odd, eccentric women, whose abstracted unworldly brilliance was three-quarters of their appeal.
“He was nothing but false premises,” Kirsten said. “At least mother raised us to know that type.” Yes, Kathe had brought up her daughters to be somewhat more canny than she had been.
Henry said, “She told me when I was fifteen, right after we came back from Hadrian’s Wall. She said that it was not possible for me to know my father, because he had been married to someone else. I suppose she thought I would draw the conclusion myself. At any rate, she hoped I would not grow up to be that sort of man.”
“She never raised the subject again.”