Six Sentence Sunday – 4/15/12

Today is #sixsunday where writers share six sentences from their work. I’ll share a snippet from my time-travel romance WIP titled MUST LOVE BREECHES, which is now out in query land! (You can see the other entries here.) Yesterday, it finaled in the Georgian/Regency/Victorian category for the RWA Hearts Through History chapter contest!

I am currently looking for Beta readers. If you’re interested, let me know. I’ve stopped querying to see how this batch takes and so this new round of Beta reading will be to help me tighten up what problems will have come to light.

Here’s my pitch/logline: When a thoroughly modern girl finds herself stranded in 1834 London, she must find a way home while navigating the pitfalls of London society, resisting her attraction to a hunky lord, and ultimately having to decide when her true home lies. 

In Chapter Three, Isabelle is trying to show Ada Byron that she’s from the future. After walking her through a lot of her behavior that might have been strange to Ada, she pulls out her final proof, her phone. She knows Ada is fascinated by math, and so in this snippet, she’s showing her the calculator. I’ve had a lot of different Beta readers and Critique Partners read this scene, and not ONE picked up on the little pop culture reference, so I’m putting it out there now (hint, it’s in the numbers):

“See these little numbers here? I’m going to add forty-eight plus fifteen hundred and sixteen.” Isabelle punched buttons as she talked. “And the screen here shows the answer.” Isabelle peeked at Ada to gauge her reaction. Ada blanched again and her hand trembled as she held it in front of her mouth.

As always I welcome constructive feedback. Thank you! And don’t feel bad if you don’t get the reference. I didn’t want it to be obvious since it’s not something Isabelle would know of, it’s more of a wink-wink to the reader from me… UPDATE: If you’re wanting to know, some commenters have figured it out and left some veiled hints, just don’t get lost while reading them.

To see snippets from others who are participating or to sign up yourself, visit here.

Thank you to everyone who comes by and comments each week! 

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85 Comments

  1. Ok. I still don’t get the pop culture reference. Looked at each number separately, and added them together, and I’m drawing a blank. Honestly, when I read it I was too focused on Lord Hot Stuff to notice any numbers. :)

    Reply
  2. Jessica Subject

     /  April 15, 2012

    Her reaction is great! And congrats on finaling! :)

    Reply
  3. I would love to read this. Regency is right up my ally. I wrote a short story like this once. It was called “An Indian, A Vampire, and Regency England.” I know, terrible title, but I never really went anywhere with it…and it was a musical. I’d like to see what you did with the story. I am also preparing 6sentences so keep your eyes peeled.

    Reply
    • Okay, I thought this first post didn’t get published. Sorry for the redundancy. You don’t even have to approve this one.

      Reply
  4. I would love to read this novel. Regency is right up my ally. I wrote a short story like this a whlile back but I never did anything with it. It was called “An Indian, A Vampire, and Regency England.” I know, terrible title, but…gasp…it was a musical! Keep your eyes peeled for my six sentences. Thanks for the post.

    Reply
  5. indylinda

     /  April 15, 2012

    Okay, I’m also clueless about the pop culture reference, although digging around your blog, I suspect it’s a Firefly thing perhaps? I don’t know for sure, though, because, I’ve never watched the show. (Ducking flying tomatoes here.)
    Anyway, it’s a great snippet! Looking forward to reading more.

    Reply
    • Nope, not Firefly :) But I was actually glad none of my CPs and Betas caught it because it is not a reference that Isabelle would have known, so it’s more of a wink to anyone who happens to catch it.

      Reply
  6. Great reaction! I really enjoy your sixes :)
    I have an idea about the pop culture reference, but I’m usually LOST when it comes to these things.

    Reply
  7. Here are my 6 sentences. This story is called “The Claiming.” It is about a dying race of alien men who ask the US government for 5,000 women so that they may repopulate their species in exchange for advanced technology. The US government agrees to send 125 girls as a first wave. This scene takes place just after the first 125 were made aware that they were now new members of the Mabon race.

    “Are you going to put it on,” he asked, his voice low. Claire slapped the shiny new bracelet flat on the table and raised her head.
    “Are you going to make me?” she asked keeping her voice calm.
    “Of course not. It’s a gift.”
    Claire stood carefully, her eyes were dark as she tossed the bracelet back at him. Error dove for it struggling to keep it from hitting the ground.
    “You can keep your shackles…Doctor. I refuse to live in your goulog peacefully. Unless someone starts answering all my questions, it’s going to be a very rough existence for all of us.”

    Okay, I did a few more than 6 sentences, but I’m sure you can handle it.

    Reply
    • The Doctor’s name is spelled Erron. My phone turned it into Error which is in fact an error.

      Reply
    • Great 6, I don’t think I’d take to being one of these 125 placidly either… And LOL on the error– autocorrect can be infuriating sometimes!

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing!

      Reply
  8. Okay, I didn’t get the pop culture reference either. Went a bit over my head, but love Ada’s reaction. I can imagine the shock of seeing such a thing back then. Great six.

    Reply
  9. You’re asking WRITERS about NUMBERS?! Sorry, I don’t get it either. :( But I do love this six–it does a great job of demonstrating the things we take for granted. Even our parents had sliding calculators–I can ony imagine the shock of someone from several generations before that.

    Reply
  10. Oh, hey, I get it! And I’ve never even seen the show. Cool six! I love time travel stories.

    Reply
  11. Very interesting six. What happens when her battery goes dead. LOL! Nice job!

    Reply
  12. I didn’t get the pop culture reference either… but how fascinating for Ada to see something from the future. Congratulations on finaling! :)

    Reply
  13. Didn’t get it, Angela, but now I’m dying to know. Great six though. I love the snippets each week on this book :)

    Reply
  14. Ursula Grey

     /  April 15, 2012

    Not sure about the pop culture reference either, but love your six…as always. Great work, Angela:-)

    Reply
  15. Nice six, Angela. And I get the numbers reference, too, though it took me a while (First off, I thought it was something to do with Shakespeare’s birth dates but that was all wrong!)

    Reply
  16. Skye Warren

     /  April 15, 2012

    Ahh, I don’t get it either! But then I don’t watch a lot of movies or TV or video games…. so that’s probably why! I do that, too, though – put in a lot of little reference to shows or books or music. No one ever gets it unless I point it out! Oh well, it’s still fun to write!

    Reply
  17. Well, I don’t get the reference either but, as always, your six has great flow. It isn’t easy to convincingly pull off time-travel. Great job and huge congrats on finaling. That’s fantastic news!

    Reply
  18. I don’t get the pop culture reference either, but I don’t watch much TV. :( Still, this is a great way for her to show she’s from another time! Well done! :)

    Reply
  19. I have no idea what the numbers are referencing in pop culture. The only pop culture numbers thing I can think of if Rubik’s cube (and that’s 30 years ago now, so not so “POP”). Love Ada’s reaction to the technology. Great six!! And Congrats on finaling in the contest!!

    Reply
  20. Not sure I’ve got the wink too, me and numbers = zero, lol. But love the idea of the phone – they used that on an episode of Supernatural to demonstrate that they came from the future, and the guy from the past got the date from the phone, and he mailed a parcel to be delivered to one of the boys on that specific date, even if it was 2 centuries later *okay, sorry, Supernatural fangirl geek moment here*

    Love your six. And if you’re not hard-pressing for feedback right away, I’d gladly take a look at your ms. Let me know :) xoxo

    Reply
  21. I don’t get it either. But then I put all sorts of jokes into my writing that are just for me. And I’m older than the rest of you so I may not be in on the same pop culture. Wouldn’t a calculator scare someone in that time period?? Also I’m looking for readers for Nineteen Hundered. It’s a short story but trying to get as many as I can

    Reply
  22. The phone is definitely the best way to prove you’re from a different time. I mean, especially if she had a camera? She’d be burned at the stake, or something—wrong time period, I know. :) But a great six, nonetheless! So glad I get this in entirety instead of chunks now!

    Reply
  23. I would think that a phone/calculator would certainly astound someone from the past. I also am clueless about the pop culture reference.

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  24. Excellent reaction to modern technology. ;) Congrats on finaling in the contest!

    Reply
  25. Monica Enderle Pierce

     /  April 15, 2012

    Nope, I didn’t get it either. But I don’t watch much TV, so that’s probably no surprise. I do hope Ada doesn’t faint. I seriously concerned about her right now. LOL!

    Reply
  26. Love the reaction here! I didn’t get the reference either, but after reading some comments I do now. Then of course I went back and read it again and had that AHA moment LOL. Great six!

    Reply
  27. I’ve picked up hints about the reference but still lost. (No pun intended ;) ) I enjoyed the six but I’m curious as to how her battery has lasted? I’m not sure how long she’s been there, and there’s surely no way to recharge her phone. Sorry, left brain is overriding right brain today–as I watch my phone recharge… :D

    Other than that, I really like her ingenuity in proving her point. I wish I had time to beta read. I’d volunteer if I did.

    Reply
  28. Ada’s reaction here is priceless :) Great six!

    Reply
  29. Best of luck in query land; I have really enjoyed all your snippets.

    Reply
  30. Ha! The Lost digits! I wouldn’t have expected them though had you not hinted of their presence, especially 1516 vs. 15 and then 16.

    Reply
    • I LOVE easter eggs in stories by the way. Good for you! I put a few in my own that I know no one will get. I did have to fight with the editor for a few to stay, making them as seamless in the story as possible.

      Reply
    • yeah I did that on purpose to hide it some more because I didn’t want it to be obvious :)

      Reply
  31. Guess she’s a little early for Farraday–he might have been able to figure a way of recharging her phone–but boy, would that change history. (The battery’s dc, after all.) The pop reference? Nada.

    Reply
    • actually she’s not too early for him– I toyed with the idea of having someone help rig up some batteries, but then I couldn’t think of a compelling reason why she needed it recharged…

      Reply
  32. Is she lost in time or just stranded? :)

    I’d love to beta this, If your dance card isn’t full. And congratulations on finaling!

    Reply
  33. Wildcat's Wife

     /  April 15, 2012

    I hate to add and certainly don’t want to add while reading a novel. LOL. (kidding) Is this imperative to the plot? If not, toss it. Can you use another reference? Simple is better. I’m excited about this woman time traveling to London and meets a Lord. I could get lost in that story!

    Reply
    • It’s not integral at all, but hopefully I made it obscure enough that a reader wouldn’t even pick up on it. It’s just an Easter Egg. I’ve had lots of CPs and none even noticed it, so I think I’m safe. Everyone just assumes it’s a random number. BTW, did you mean to use the word LOST in that last sentence? ;)

      Reply
  34. No idea about the reference, but loved Ada’s reaction to the phone.

    Reply
  35. Yeah, me and numbers… I’ll leave it at that. Pop culture? Do you mean the pop group Culture Club. Boy George? Not my niche either. Sorry. Nice six though. I think it would be fun to ‘show’ someone I’m from the future with some fantastic gizmo! Ada’s reaction is very believable. Congrats on finaling. Thanks for visiting my six today. :)

    Reply
  36. I love this scene and her reaction. Very clever reference, too. ;)

    Michelle :)
    http://www.michelle-pickett.com/blog

    Reply
  37. I so love this story and all the aspects! Terrific six, as always…

    Reply
  38. ashlynmacnamara

     /  April 15, 2012

    I didn’t pick up on the reference until I saw the comments, but I’m not much of a TV fan. I’ve heard of Lost, but I’d never have gotten the numbers associated with it. Congratulations again on your final. I’m looking forward to reading more of this on the crit loop.

    Reply
  39. Jo-Ann Carson

     /  April 15, 2012

    I don’t get the reference, but I looove the writing.
    Best
    Jo-Ann

    Reply
  40. Didn’t pick up on the clue but am enjoying your story! Ada is appropriately overwhelmed as Isabelle is gently trying to convince her. Great six!

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  41. Liked that she’s trying to show off a calculator :-)

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  42. Squeeee Ada Lovelace!!! So that’s where she got her ideas from. Brilliant! As for the numbers I’m lost!

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    • Yay, an Ada fan! And on the numbers, you unintentionally got it: “As for the numbers I’m LOST” heehee

      Reply
      • LOL I thought capitalising it might be too much of a giveaway – likewise comments about the puzzle you hatched or that there are so many answers it could be a lottery. God I miss Sawyer!

  43. I’m blushing here. I always watched Lost, but I didn’t recognize the numbers. Super six.

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  44. Great six! Lost numbers–clever sneaking those in. lol

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  45. Congratulations, Angela. Way to go!

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  46. OK, I can’t say I blame Ada. Even now, I find myself think, “shoot, this is the future! look at the blink things! where are the flying cars?”

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    • I know, friends of mine have been saying that for years too: “Where’s the flying cars we were promised?” — but I just saw an article last week that there are now some prototypes being tested :)

      Reply
      • Not necessarily good news, flying cars–imagine the horrors of three-dimensional rush hour. :)

  47. Hi Angela! Like your Six and the premise for your story as well. I didn’t get the numbers reference, but I watch very little TV-I’d rather write :) I’ll pop by again.

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  48. Wasn’t 1564 the year Shakespeare was born? Not really pop culture, but it’s the only thing that came to mind. Fun six, Angela. I’m always fascinated by this aspect of time travel, convincing someone you’re from the future.

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    • Nope, not ole Shake a Spear — some others have commented, ’tis LOST and the infamous number sequence 4, 8, 15, 16 etc., and the superstitious part of me is wary of typing out the rest, LOL!

      Reply
  49. Kylie Scott

     /  April 15, 2012

    Great six, Angela. I’m thinking all the puns on the numbers have been done? Excellent job sneaking them in there and congratulations on all the finals.

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  50. Jennifer Lowery

     /  April 15, 2012

    Awesome description! Awesome six!

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  51. Great scene. Didn’t get the ref until someone mentioned LOST. Fun. Great six.

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  52. Well, I think I figured it out from reader comments, but I’ve never watched that show, so I wouldn’t have made the connection, even if I realized there was a connection to make! LOL

    Great six! I just loved Ada! Even if she was a secondary character, I really enjoyed her scenes!

    Reply
  53. I don’t get the pop culture reference either, but I loved this snippet! Picturing her showing off a phone after traveling back in time… priceless!

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  54. Very intriguing idea to plant a “puzzle.” I didn’t get it at first, but finally, recalled watching the episodes. Quite crafty of you. :) Best of luck with your queries.

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  55. Cute scene, though I didn’t get the reference since I don’t watch much tv outside of the educational channels.

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  56. This is fun! I’ve liked the snippets where she was experiencing the past, but it’s great to have her show them what the future has in store too. :) I had to think about the LOST reference — I loved that show. What a great idea to put in something like that!

    Reply
  57. siobhanmuir

     /  April 15, 2012

    I think it’s great that you include both references for the history buff and the pop culture set. Good six, Angela. :)

    Reply
  58. Congrats on the final. Good luck in the contest! I have to be honest, I didn’t get the reference, but I also didn’t watch LOST. Still a great snippet!

    Reply
  59. I can’t imagine seeing something from the future so far out of the realm of imagination. What a great six! (And I missed the reference, but I don’t watch much TV. I did enjoy reading through comments trying to figure it out, though!)

    Reply
  60. Yeah, I never would have gotten that because I’ve never seen the show. My sister would have though, and she will be loving your book too.

    Reply

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