I’m going to try something new! I have a free downloadable novella called Write to Me. If you subscribe to my newsletter (don’t worry it’s not that often and has useful stuff in it), you’ll get the whole thing right away. But…I’m also going to release it post by post in a serial novel way – like Charles Dickens used to do.
Anyway, I hope you enjoy it and share it!
Please comment below on what you think of installment one. And if you want a copy of the whole thing, go ahead and subscribe by clicking on the subscribe button to the right.
July 18, 1807
Greystone Manor, Lincolnshire
You may find it odd that I am writing you. I would be surprised if you even remember me. Tibby (my governess, Miss Tibbets) has told me that you likely shall remember me however, even if I do not know why you should. She has also told me that I must learn to write letters as it is a social obligation. You are the only person she could think of to have me write, so it does not make any sense to me that in future I should suddenly have such social obligations in the form of letter writing. I know we are some kind of cousin to one another, and we met when I was three. I must admit don’t remember you at all. I am sorry if that offends you.
I do not know what to write to you exactly. I imagine you aren’t terribly interested in what goes on here at Greystone. I am not always interested in what goes on at Greystone and I am living here! Tibby says I could perhaps tell you more about myself. You may not be very interested in me either, however I have no better ideas.
I am nine years old and an orphan. I don’t like the word orphan because it sounds very sad, and I suppose it is, but it doesn’t make much of a difference in what I do every day to be perfectly honest. I live with Tibby and the servants of course, and my trustees live in London and take care of my fortune. Mr. Markham, the steward takes care of the estate which is also a part of my fortune.
I have a pony named Buttercup. I will include a drawing of her because it is much easier for me to draw things than to describe them, for do you not think that even were I to describe her, you might find you have pictured something entirely different?
I am running out of space on the page if I am to also use a part of it for the drawing of Buttercup. So I will close my letter now. Except I would like to ask you if you could please write back? I must continue to write as a practice Tibby says so you will be getting more of these letters. I do understand that since you are nine years older than I am you may have other social obligations of your own to attend to, and if you do not have time I would understand. It would however be exceedingly kind in you to write even just a paragraph to me.
My sincerest regards,
Anastasia Camille Abbingdon
July 30, 1807
I must write again for my lesson today. Tibby offered me the choice of writing to you or writing to the vicar’s wife to thank her for the book she lent me on Sunday. I chose to write you because I do not really care for the vicar’s wife, or the book she lent me and I don’t particularly want to write fibs to anyone and most especially a vicar’s wife. There is likely something even more wrong about lying to anyone connected to the church, don’t you think?
I have tried to picture you reading my letters. Tibby cannot remember what you looked like when you and your father came to visit Greystone when I was three. She thinks you maybe had sandy hair and were polite. I expect that describes a great many young men however, and you have likely changed in the six years since you were here. If you have just a minute or two, might you at least send me a quick description of yourself? A drawing would be even better, but not many people feel very able to draw. Did you like my drawing of Buttercup?
It is warm right now in Lincolnshire, since it is the middle of the summer I think that is to be expected. What is it like right now in Oxfordshire? Tibby said that you are likely busy with your studies since you are still at the university even though the term isn’t in session. I don’t really understand what that means, so you can explain it to me someday.
Thank you for reading my letter. I hope I don’t become too much of a nuisance.
My Sincerest Regards,
Anastasia Camille Abbingdon
August 25, 1807
Queen’s College, Oxford
I must apologize for letting so much time pass before responding to your letters. I am delighted that you wish to correspond with me. I will warn you at the outset that I am not considered the best of correspondents however.
I did very much enjoy your drawing of Buttercup. She seems a wonderful pony and you are very talented at drawing. I feel that if I were to see her grazing in a field I would know her instantly.
I understand the sadness of being an orphan, for you see I am one myself. Even though I am so much older than you are, it is still a sad word. I was desolated to hear of your father’s death several years ago, for he had been kind to me when my own father and I visited that one time when you were three. I do remember you. You have a great many black curls from what I recall and very interesting golden eyes. That is what has stuck in my memory of you at any rate.
I must go now, but I promise to write again soon.
Sinjin Antony Rensalaer