Thanks so much for inviting me to All I Want and More! I love your idea of writing a love letter between the characters, and it seems like a natural choice to have the gothic writer, Selina Ashby (the heroine), write the letter. Personally, I write lots of letters, and I usually do a very scratchy rough draft with cross outs and additions, so I thought it would be fun to write this one in the same way (the cross-outs have strike-throughs and the additions are in italics). Likewise, very often I write lengthy letters…and never send them. Enjoy!
It still feels strange to call you that. You have been Lord Camburton in my mind for so long. I’ve just come in returned from our walk stroll in Camburton P the park. I know you are only a short walk away, but I thought my thoughts seemed more suited to the written word than a letter than a conversation. For most of the summer, I’ve been preoccupied focused on the time I have left to spending time with my dear friend Beatriz. But as you know, she has left for the continent and I will be able to devote all of my attention to my writing for the next few months. Or at least, that’s what where I thought I would be devoting my attention to my attention would be devoted. As kismet [checks OED, first usage kismet 1849; cut] karma [checks OED, first usage karma 1827; cut; also too hippy-dippy] fate would have it, my thoughts are attention is now wholly taken up with…you. There. I’ve said it. My stomach flipped when I wrote the words and I stopped paused to watch the sun move through the late-summer trees out my window, to think how your profile looked when the same sun glinted off your proud stony face. But you are not stony, are you? You are warm and alive. Perhaps it is presumptuous of me to assume such intimate knowledge of your…stoniness. But there it is. When I look at you as I did this afternoon—as I have for many weeks past, I think—I see a man who craves something…friendship, perhaps? [checks OED for stoniness, first figurative usage “hardness, insensibility, unfeelingness” 1571; stet] I shan’t be coy and pretend I want only friendship. I suspect there will be a war between us, or within you, about whether coy would be preferable to my particular brand of honesty…dare I say brashness impetuosity? [checks OED, first usage brashness 1883 and usage American; cut. Impetuosity 1639; stet] Perhaps this is a love letter, or a thank-you note, or both. Thank you very kindly for the invitation to travel with you to London next week. I will try to behave myself in the carriage, but I have very little faith in my ability to do so. My palms are already tingling in anticipation. Very sincerely yours, Selina. *read, edited, read again, sighed over, then burnt in the grate and never sent*