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Friday, April 17, 2015

Scary storms and their beaury

One of the themes for this month's blog is storms, and that resonated with me. Couldn't quite find the picture I wanted, and this is closest I could come to picturing St. Elmo's fire.. a phenomenon of nature that occurs occasionally. There is a good picture in Wikipedia, but I didn't feel free to use that one. The fire usually appears during a storm as a glowing ball of light. It appears on tall pointed structures such as church spires or masts of a shipand can be quite luminous. Sailors were in awe of it, as who could blame them when
every pointed surface is glowing with a luminous light.  The light seems to cling and dance, and can be a bright purplish tint. I've never been priveleged to see it, but it must be spectacular.  I had a lot of fun working St.Elmo's fire into the plot of Defiant Pursuit. I needed a natural disturbance in the plot. Well, an elf might have the power  to summon it close to the ship she wanted to board, but that's an author's privilege.

Here's the excerpt.
Minna had been in training as a priestess. She’d been walking along the beach near the harbor, confident she could master her latest assignment if she just concentrated. She was supposed to find a so the excerpt which I had so enjoyed writing...

She'd been asked for a solution to a theoretical problem of what to do with a priestess who harbored sexual longings for one of her flock. She remembered she’d answered honestly, saying if both parties wanted each other they should act on their desires. Life was too short to miss a true opportunity. At the time she’d thought this was surely enough to have her eliminated from the program, she found out later her honesty had made her the only novitiate to pass to the next stage. She also remembered the lightening illuminating the sky and the beach, and the spurts of flame flaring from all the masts in the harbor.

A little buzzing sound hummed around her.

She’d stood spellbound, as flames spurted the night was lit by glowing blue-violet flares. Perhaps the resplendent sight had influenced her answer, as she realized that life was too short not to enjoy all it could offer.

The glowing flames were the most beautiful sight she’d ever seen, and she’d stored it in her memory, asked questions, went to the library, and so found out about St. Elmo’s fire.

The fires were a plasma, as are flames and stars. No wonder they transfixed her that night long ago, and now once again the glowing flames spurted, this time from the every pointed surface on the yacht.

The riding mast seemed aglow, as she watched in fascination.What was this meaning to her loved ones on the yacht? She trusted Jake would know how to take advantage of the distraction, If he was able. She worried about what he might have suffered already at the hands of that monster Cibanoux. Cibanoux was capable of any cruelty, and Jake would be his primary victim.

She could not afford to even wonder about her darling nieces.

Bent over the oars, she rowed with all her strength, intent on getting to the yacht as quickly as she could.
                                              * * * * *

On board the yacht, Cibanoux flexed his whip and brought it down on the shoulders of his reluctant captain. To his credit the man did not lower his gaze, even though his eyes blazed his hatred of the demented man before him.

“I’ll not put my ship and all aboard her in danger by heading out to sea, sir. I don’t know what is happening. I’ve never see lights like this, and do not know what danger they entail. They’re blue in color, and dancing from the mast. We’re safer at anchor. If you eliminate me, I think you’ll find the rest of the crew will not follow you.”

I'm found at all the usual places. Would love to know if any of you have actually seen St. Elmo's fire? Please tell me all about it, if you have.


Cara Marsi said...

Jean, what a beautiful picture of St. Elmo's Fire. I've never seen it either but wish I could. I enjoyed your excerpt. Very cool how you incorporated St. Elmo's Fire into the story.

jean hart stewart said...

That was really fun to write. I needed something dramatic and St. Elmo's is that. Thanks for the comment.

Melissa Keir said...

I've never seen it. I wish I could too. Severe storms are so exciting! I love the cover of your book! All the best!

jean hart stewart said...

Thanks, Melissa. Storms are more fun to write about than to actually enjoy.

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