nth Draft, Novel-in-Progress

Mebbe this novel will never see the light of day? Mebbe it was ever meant to be a long short story? Like, 50 pages long?

Here’s a conversation that was in the very first draft, three years ago. And survived today’s mad pruning. So, this is the kernel. The nut. The Ground Zero:

“Describe it,” the Archbishop says. “Did it descend from the heavens? Or was it walking along the street? Was its countenance clearly visible? Did it seem expressive?”

The Archbishop’s deep-set, green eyes focus intently on Matias’s face. He presses one slender forefinger against the side of his aquiline nose and waits for Matias to answer.

“It was a creature. Earthy. Very like a cow.”

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

#amwritinghistoricalfiction: p. 101

A conversation between the Archbishop of Madrid and Matias, the MC of self’s (set in the 18th century) novel, Blue Water, Distant Shores:

“Are there testimonies of his cruelty?”

“There are,” says the Archbishop. “And yet, without the cruelty of Juan de Salcedo, none of this would have been possible.”

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

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.

 

 

 

#amwritinghistoricalfantasy

An image of the Blessed Virgin accompanied him into every battle, resting on the pommel of his saddle. The Saint was a trickster, a conjurer. At his first victory, at the walled fortress of Quesada, his men scaled the walls in the darkness, first muffling their ladders with cloth.

#amwritinghistoricalfiction

Self cut three pages today.

She cuts and cuts, so of course she will never make her NaNoWriMo goals.

It frustrates her exceedingly.

Nevertheless, here’s a paragraph she’s more or less happy with:

  • They are not required to wear the monk’s habit, unlike the other novices. They are even allowed to go beyond the walls of the Colegio. As they issue forth, they shout, just as they pass beneath the arches of the main entrance, Vamos al siglo: We go to the world.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

WIP: Island of Dreams

18th century Madrid:

“You have a noble countenance, my son,” the Bishop said, finally.

“My father is a lawyer, Your Reverence,” Matias said.

“You have a noble countenance! You were born in Murcia? Who was your father?” the Bishop said, gesturing to his nose.

“My father is a merchant. He was born in Murcia but his parents are Basque. From Pamplona. My mother’s family, on the other hand — they have been rooted in the province for hundreds of years.”

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

“Lightning That Never Ends” by Miguel Hernandez, trans. by Don Share

Will this lightning never end, that fills
my heart with exasperated wild beasts
and furious forges and anvils
where even the freshest metal shrivels?

— Miguel Hernandez, poems selected and translated by Don Share, published by the New York Review of Books, www.nyrb.com

A Day For Posting About Spain (2nd Saturday of March 2014)

A Poem by Miguel Hernandez, translated from the Spanish by Don Share and published in the New York Review of Books, April 4, 2013

The poet and playwright Miguel Hernandez (1910 – 1942) was born into a peasant family in the province of Alicante in southeast Spain and died from tuberculosis in a prison hospital there at age thirty-one.  For much of his life he worked, like his father, as a shepherd.  As a soldier and cultural ambassador for the Republican Army during the Spanish civil war, Hernandez read his poems and plays on the radio and on the front lines.  When the war ended in 1939, he was arrested and sentenced to death (commuted to thirty years in prison).

Everything is Filled with You

Everything is filled with you,
and everything is filled with me;
the towns are full,
just as the cemeteries are full
of you, all the houses
are full of me, all the bodies.

I wander down streets losing
things I gather up again:
parts of my life
that have turned up from far away.

I wing myself toward agony,
I see myself dragging
through a doorway,
through a creation’s latent depths.

Everything is filled with me:
with something yours and memory
lost, yet found
again, at some other time.

A time left behind
decidedly black,
indelibly red,
golden on your body.

Pierced by your hair,
everything is filled with you,
with something I haven’t found,
but look for among your bones.

The Essence of Spain

A year ago, I became convinced that I should spend the rest of my life in Spain.

I made up my mind to find the true, true essence of Spain.

I decided that, until I got to Spain, I would listen only to Camaron.

I purchased maps, because I had decided that one of the important things I had to do was walk the pilgrim road to Santiago de Compostela.

To prepare myself for the Spanish time clock, I disciplined myself not to eat until 10 p.m.

To get used to the idea of “siesta,” I imposed a daily two-hour nap on my hectic life, which resulted in my employment being terminated, which made me happy because I had become extremely worried about exceeding vacation limits.

(Like what you’ve read here? Read the rest of the story on Eunoia Review)

Stay tuned.

Grand: Favorite WordPress Posts on the Theme

Widya’s World posted pictures of the temples at Borobudur.

Amanda Renee posted a beautiful picture of a sailboat on a lake.

Geophilia Photography posted a mosaic of landscape photographs.

On the Streets of San Francisco posted a series of pictures of the lighted outdoor Christmas trees on her street.

Soul Additions posted a picture from a 2003 trip to Spain: a cathedral in Seville, all lit up, though it was barely dusk.

girltuesdayspeaks posted haunting pictures of the former U.S. Naval Base in Subic, Pampanga.

Summerfield84’s English blog posted a view of Mount Fuji across Tokyo Bay.

Reveries of Forevers posted pictures of a journey through “the deep southwest of New Zealand.”

And here are two photographs of self’s own, which she thinks might be relevant to the theme “Grand”:

Bob and Diane Varner have been friends of Self and The Man for decades.  This Chardonnay (2011) is hard to find, but self snagged a bottle yesterday at K&L Liquors in Redwood City

Bob and Diane Varner have been friends of Self and The Man for decades. This Chardonnay (2011) is hard to find, but self snagged a bottle yesterday at K&L Liquors in Redwood City.

Self loves Christmas.  The reason is because it's the one time of year when there is no such thing as "over-decorating."

Self loves Christmas. It is GRAND.  The reason is because it’s the one time of year when there is no such thing as “over-decorating.”

She still hasn’t gotten a tree.  If only she could get one that she could stuff into her car unaided.  The Man simply will not lift a finger.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

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