Hubris: Something I don’t have, but one of my characters sure does. #atozchallenge #blogging #writing

So, when I was staring at this blank page and trying like HECK (tossing in the H words, already :P) to figure out what I wanted to use for an H post, I tossed a tweet out to my “peeps” to see what words they could suggest to maybe get my brain firing on some ideas.

I had some fantastic suggestions, but in the end, decided to go with a word suggested by fellow author, Candice Bundy. I liked her reasoning — it’s a fun, underused word.

Hubris.

She has a point, eh? Great word. She is right — it’s rarely used. But, I shall take care of that little issue right now, by making it my H.

I guess we should start with a definition…

hu·bris [hyoo-bris] – Noun: excessive pride or self-confidence; arrogance.

Definitely not anything I suffer from, personally. Quite the opposite, as a matter of fact. But, you will be happy to know that I have a character in my debut novel, CALL OF THE SEA (preorder your copy today by clicking on the cover image to the left), who has hubris to spare — General McTavish.

Here is my example of hubris:

Ellie lifted her gaze to find General McTavish standing at the office entrance, dressed in full uniform. She craned to see if his armed guards followed, but he appeared to be alone.

A tingle of apprehension shuddered down her spine. She plastered on what she hoped was a friendly smile. “General, so good to see you again. To what do I owe the honor?”

McTavish sauntered into the office at a leisurely pace, taking time to inspect the shelves along the wall to the right of the door. He cocked his head, squinted at the binding of one of the books, straightened and swiveled about to face Ellie. “I wanted to stop by and offer my sincerest condolences on the death of your father. He was a loyal patriot and staunch supporter of our efforts against the Dutch.”

Warning chimes sounded in her head. “Thank you, General. I am humbled you would make a special trip here just to say so.” She didn’t buy it for a minute. He wanted something.

“I understand your father left his holdings to you. If you’ll pardon my saying so, I find that quite curious.” He rubbed his dimpled chin with a gloved hand. “Not many men would leave such substantial holdings in the care of a woman.”

Ellie prickled. “Aye, he did. My father was anything but typical, General.” She ruffled some papers about, trying to look busy. “Was there some business you wished to discuss?”

McTavish didn’t indicate he’d even heard her. “Running the family shipping business is not the sort of thing daughters generally aspire to, either. Most are content to stay at home caring for family and hearth. Quite unusual.”

Her ears grew hot. “I’m not like most daughters, General McTavish.” She wrapped herself in a cocoon of calm, leaned back in her chair. She offered him an icy glare. “Now, if I have sufficiently assuaged your curiosity, I really am quite busy.”

His lips twisted up in a cruel smirk. “Tell me, Miss Winters, where is your husband-to-be? I would expect him to be here to help you with all this,” he waved a lazy hand in the air, “tediousness.”

“Daniel is testifying before the magistrate in Truro, as you requested he do. He hasn’t yet returned.” The oddness of the general’s question planted a small seed of doubt in her head. Had Daniel lied about that, too?

“I see. Yes, I’d have expected him back before now. I’m sure all is well.” McTavish swung about and paced back toward the door. “I’m sure he’ll be along soon. He’s probably anxious to get back to you. I, for one, would not leave a flower such as yourself alone for too long.” He awarded her with a lusty sneer.

Ellie’s skin crawled and her stomach flip-flopped. “I’ll be sure to let him know you stopped by.” Now, go away. She sat upright in the chair, squaring her shoulders, and folded her hands neatly on the open ledger, hoping she gave off an air of cool confidence.

McTavish leaned, as if he meant to take a step in her direction. Instead, he cleared his throat and notched his chin up. “Yes, please do.” He cocked his head to the side, dark eyes boring into her.

She wanted to shrink beneath the desk until he left, but she held his gaze, heart hammering loudly.

“Good day, Miss Winters.” With that, the insufferable general was gone.

Thanks for reading. 🙂

Do you know anyone with hubris issues? Feel free to share your thoughts and comments.

Thanks also to Candice Bundy for the great H suggestion!

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About Rebecca Hart

Im a single parent of three and a published author of romance in all sorts of sub-genres. A full time IT geek, Managing Editor of Roane Publishing, cover artist and a reformed gaming addict -- I live to write fantasy peppered with a dash of romantic nonsense :P Addicted to all things pirates, penguins, Johnny Depp and rum. Follow me on Twitter: @Rebelhart69

Posted on April 9, 2012, in A to Z Blogging Challenge 2012, Blogging, Call of the Sea, General and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Hello, Rebecca! I remember in English classes, the word hubris was always associated with mythology. The gods were often accused of excessive hubris, as well as many of the mortals in those stories!

    Terrific word and your excerpt was perfect for today. Hope you had a great weekend and happy A to Z!!

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