Poetry Tuesday: St. John of the Cross

In self’s historical novel (so far, 291 pp), she incorporates poetry.

Here’s a poem she’s including in a chapter called Enigma.

The poem is by St. John of the Cross, in a translation by Catholic scholar Paul Mariani:

Everything about me

Sends word of your myriad graces.

And yet everything hurts,

everything leaves me dying,

stammering on about I don’t know

what’s what.

St. John of the Cross was born Juan de Yepes y Alvarez, in Fontiveros, Avila, Spain in 1542.  He became a Carmelite monk in 1563. His feast day is 14 December.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

 

 

So Long, NaNoWriMo2017, #stillwriting

Today self spent the whole day writing. Well, she spent all of yesterday writing as well. And the day before that. And the day before that. And . . .

Actually, the only times she hasn’t been writing in November are when she’s been on an airport or an airplane (pretty often, actually, in November, and lest she forget to mention — Aer Lingus sent her from Dublin to Cork, in a three-hour taxi ride because of a cancelled flight from Heathrow, on Nov. 2)

She did not, of course, do 50k words. But she never expected to anyway.

What she has as of today are 282 pages of a novel-in-progress, and she knows pretty much how she wants it to end.

She even thought of a cool-sounding title for her manuscript, a few days ago:

Blue Water, Distant Shores

Sooo fan-ta-ma-tas-tic. She got the idea yesterday. She likes to think she wouldn’t have gotten there if she hadn’t spent so much time working up to 282 pages. Two years ago, this idea was 60 pages which she forced up to 80 pages so she could go to Banff Writers Studio. And she’s had such problems with confidence (because it’s 18th century, and she’s never written a novel before, and she set it in Spain, which she’s only been to once in her whole life). But, slow and steady, and BIG BIG thanks to the Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Annaghmakerrig for giving her that space and that peace and that determination to finish her book.

And she is so happy right now. Incredible.

Stay tuned.

 

Work-in-Progress, 275 pp

from p. 18 of self’s novel-in-progress (Working Title: Blue Water, Distant Shores):

He sees the creature for the first time on a cold day in early December. He and his mother are walking past the convent of the Carmelites, on the way to hear mass.

It is immense. Gigantic.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

270 pp

#amwritinghistoricalfiction

Father Leoncio writes to introduce himself, but Matias does not receive the letter, it loses itself somewhere in being passed from hand to hand, it may have lost itself even in the same village that Father Leoncio writes it from, he gave it to a servant who brought it to the larger town where there is a cousin going to Isla del Fuego, and somewhere on the way to the cousin or maybe even before, the letter gets lost. But it doesn’t matter, because when Father Leoncio shows up at Matias’s door, he is overjoyed, he is as happy as if he is greeting a long-lost relative, or a brother, or maybe he is happier than he would have been meeting an actual brother. Well, the long and short of it is, Matias is happy to receive a visitor. And when Father Leoncio asks if he can stay a few nights, Matias is even happier.

In Honor of Self’s First Sign-Up For NaNoWriMo (Which She Will Fail Miserably At, Since She’s Also Moving About Ireland, Plus Teaching)

An excerpt from her now 257-page novel-in-progress about a fighting priest in 18th century Spain:

He decided to play a trick on his mother — to punish her for leaving him alone so long. Perhaps all children suffer from this: the mistaken impression that they have power. Even if just over their mothers.

It seems strange that she is writing science fiction, fantasy, and 18th century historical fiction.

But, hers not to reason why. At least there’s a muse in there, somewhere.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

This: Sou’wester, Spring 2007

The story of the Americans, the Filipinos, the Spanish, a martyr, and a very famous oil lamp:

Manila, 1898:

As Jose Rizal was lined up before the Spanish firing squad, labeled a renegade and underground solidarity worker, American Commodore George Dewey sailed into Manila Bay.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

“Our Gracious Dorotea”: from Self’s Novel-in-Progress

To help self write a love scene set in 18th century Spain, she turns to poetry.

The title of the chapter she is working on today is Our Gracious Dorotea. The poem is this:

Perhaps because within myself
I had already chosen your portrait
here they are in fields of thought
one thousand and a thousand more red poppies.

— Domenico Adriano, excerpt from Da Papaveri Perversi, transl. from the Italian by Barbara Carle

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

More From the Novel-in-Progress: A Conversation

Matias, the fighting priest in my novel, bids farewell to a woman cousin before heading off on The Great Voyage to the Philippines, where he will fight demons. Conversation is occurring in the 18th century, not sure if I’m getting something wrong, but what-the-hey:

“And that is where you will live out your days — in some far-away country. How like a book it must seem to you. Now I see it all clearly: it was never your intention to grow old.”

“You deem it fanciful,” Matias said. “You doubt my sincerity.” Now there was anger in his voice. “I do God’s work. To dedicate my life for the salvation of many.”

“And by so doing, you forget your own life.”

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

#amwriting: Novel-in-Progress

The priest, Matias, is being sent to the Philippines to fight demons. Before he leaves Spain, he has a conversation with the Archbishop in Madrid:

“You are no dissembler, Matias. I know. It is all there in your eyes. You have suffered, but — the past is past. I have got you now!”

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

#amwriting: Two Brand New Sentences

Self’s an fiction is suffering but on the other hand, she is crushing all her other writing.

Today she wrote:

Philip II glances at his ministers. They nod solemnly in return.

Hallelujah! Hell’s bells!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

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