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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Prologue: Long Live the Knife

The prologue to my historical novel, soon to be published.  Do read!  And do tell me just HOW MUCH you love it!  Or lie.  ;)  Writers are fragile.  They ignore what you say, if unkind.  hahah!  I began writing this story when I was seventeen & finished, a few arduous years later.  Nothing big.  While editing, I wished, many a time, that it was not sooo long.  Ack!  Next time, a short story!  ;)

"Mutilation had turned him into a monster, 
but all the qualities that embellished him made him an angel." 
Casanova writing of the castrato, Salimbeni
  
Frank Dicksee, An Offering

Prologue
Venice, Italy 1815

Claudia,

     
I am going to kill Signor Guiciardi.
Secrets I have kept from you. Just like the secrets kept from me. I hated all for it.
Evviva il coltello! Let me explain. Such mocking worship. Long live the knife, they scream it wildly from the crowd when a castrato raises his unnatural voice to the heavens. The knife that defines the man with every cut of flesh.
I am truly the monster I always believed in. Will you still love me if I tell you the truth?
I must tell you.
By the hand of my own demons, I have been taught to truly love, but there is a vast chasm and it must always separate us.
Yet I am glad. It is like the dizzying sensation of losing too much blood, I am drained, at an exhausted peace. The lies flee me, with the writing of this letter. Truth crucifies. It is painful, yet it is the only thing that can bring on the end of my broken world. Christ knew the truth of the cross before I.
Perhaps I repulse you? A man committing treachery. Vile castrato. Perhaps that is the thing more horrifying. I am a perversion of God’s intention. I was mutilated by men and what I am is a mirror of how I have destroyed your life. The lies I regurgitated from my mouth to yours, I think of nothing else! I am haunted.
Signor Guiciardi is the one who told you the truth. These lies fed to you, began with him. Signor Cirocco, Signor Guiciardi; both have lied, he and I. Neither one of us is pure.
Even so, you are my savior, Claudia. Perhaps I am mad to discard all that you bequeathed so selflessly. All you have restored to me will be dashed into the gutter by this one act that I will commit, this one sin that I refuse to fight against. All so that I may have my revenge.
I love you, Claudia, yet this vengeance is what has consumed my soul from the moment I knew the truth of myself.
"And their blood shall be sprinkled upon My garments, and I will stain all My raiment. For the day of vengeance in Mine heart, and the year of My redeemed is come." Thus saith the Lord.
Well, the vengeance of Carmine Cirocco will fly on swifter wings, than those of the Lord. It is true, Claudia, yes. I am going to kill Signor Guiciardi.
There are other sculptors in the world. There are other men whom you may love. Forgive my excuses. Signor Guiciardi molded evil from my flesh. He is only reaping his reward. I know I shall reap mine, as murderers are wont to do. I will hang for his death. Reason has deserted my mind, only God can say if my soul has done the same.
I beg your forgiveness. I am all too terrified, that within your gentle soul, you will grant it, even unto such a wretched murderer as I.

Carmine Cirocco


~See you soon!~


Monday, May 21, 2012

As the caterpillar would say, "Who are you?"

Weird is my forté.  I felt I should mention that.
     I do not believe, I would have begun a blog, having anything to do with myself whatsoever, (I insanely guard privacy) if I had not already written a book, with the hope that, one day, someone would want to read it.  It will always have done me good to have written it, but for someone to read it?  So much better!  :)  I hope someone out there will.  But I feel it only fair, that I should say something of the author.  Perhaps I will refer to myself in third person.  I am always vaguely disturbed by talking too much about myself.  It's a bit like people who hate to have their photo taken, I always jokingly ask if they're afraid it will steal their soul.  hahah!  Well, I do not have the same problem with photos.  I am an avid, amateur photog!  Should I ever have alzheimer's in the future, I will have pictures to look back on as my memory.
     So, as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words...so...pictures.  ;)

I <3 things, like bizarre, vintage, pillbox, feathered hats.
  
The artwork of, John William Waterhouse (A Mermaid)...he had the purrfect name for painting mermaids.

And John Anster 'Fairy' Fitzgerald (Chase of the White Mouse)

Red lipstick!  Retro Red!

The sea...

Sparklies!

Lions...or, more particularly, Aslan.  The Lion.  
(The Chronicles of Narnia, by C S Lewis)

 Writing stories...

Treasures...whatever they may be...wherever they are to be found.
(A tale for another day.)
 
Turbans with feathers & jewels to pair with my 'genie' slippers.
(Let's just say, I like hats.)

Books!-Oh, oh!-Books galore!

Peacock feathers...obviously.  They have all my favorite colors, well, that & red.


Mermaids!  Of course.  That's exactly how all of this mayhem began.
(You can visit my mermaid blog, here: Melusina Mermaid)


The Paris Opera House, designed by Charles Garnier; it's beautiful!
(This is just a tiny miniature of the Opera that sits on my dresser.)


The music of the incomparable Yma Sumac!
(She was like a mix of salsa, opera, jazz, bird calls, & jungle chants...& she was gorgeous to boot!)


Red chandeliers!   
I spray painted an old, brass chandelier & strung all the vintage beads.
(Anything red, really.)


Wind chimes, peals of bells on the fingers of the wind.  :)


Miniature houses for miniature peoples.
(The doll house isn't quite finished.)

And a rose bower above my bed, for rose-colored dreams.
(I strung faux roses from an old pan rack...hahah!)


Did I mention that I see red?-hahah!-though it does look a bit orange in the photo.
(I found the vintage, Jerell jumpsuit & necklace the other day, for dirt cheap, of course!)
Jerell of Texas, that is...not quite the same as 'something' of say, 'Paris', or 'Italy'.  ;)


I could go on, & on, & on, & on, & on with photos...like the song that never ends.  
But I will refrain from boring you to tears.  So that is a little bit of me.  ;)

~Have a lovely day!  Ta-ta!~

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The Little Lame Prince by Dinah Craik & A Good Deal of Nonsense

Once upon a time...I do believe the loveliest stories begin like this (or should) & so, I will pilfer it without shame.  While at the same time, forewarning of the nonsense ready to turn cartwheels & tumble pell-mell, & the crazy, little dragon who will belch up magic all over the spiderweb (forgive me, internet is such a dull word!)  My little home in blogland isn't yet decorated the way I like best, but I shall soon remedy this.  And, oh!-there will be books...books galore.  So, I shall start with, The Little Lame Prince & His Traveling Cloak, which was published by Dinah Craik in 1875.  One of my favorite books.  (Writers will always foist a reading list upon your shoulders.)  ;)      

...He sprang right into the middle of the cloak, where he squatted down, wrapping his arms tight round his knees, for they shook a little & his heart beat fast. But there he sat, steady & silent, waiting for what might happen next... The cloak rose, slowly & steadily, at first only a few inches, then gradually higher & higher, till it nearly touched the skylight. Prince Dolor's head actually bumped against the glass...



The little lame prince & his traveling cloak, I still see the soft gray of the weathered material that carries him high, oh, so high, above the clouds. This was a book read to me by Nana, many years ago now.
     My siblings, Nana, & I, not to mention a guinea pig, whose name was Trixie, were crowded onto a single bed as she read the story. Just to impart the humor of the situation, I should mention that the guinea pig had hair as long as Rapunzel's own mane & she must have had a weak bladder... Even so, it didn't much seem to deter Nana.  :)

 "She stretched herself on tiptoe by the help of her stick, & gave the little prince three kisses."

     And something else that made that small book seem especially wonderful to us kids...well, it had been discovered in the attic, along with a slew of other old books, by Dad. "Black Beauty" was another one of the titles. Old houses always harbor secrets, didn't you know?

 "Sliding down to the foot of the throne, he began playing with the golden lions that supported it."

       The book has a very faded, brown binding & an oval picture of a tree & a little house on the cover. There is no publication date that I can find within the pages, but it was inscribed to 'Walter from Rose & Bruce'.



     Well, the little prince, or Dolor, as he was named after his mother Dolores, is made lame by the fault of a nurse to drops him as she hurries him to his christening. This seems to be the theme of the adults throughout the story, who seem to forget all about little Dolor. All except for one strange, gray, little godmother (like Nana!)



       Later, locked high in a tower by his wicked uncle, Dolor's very own fairy godmother gifts him a magical cloak with which he is able to take flight like a bird. It is the kind of book that children should read nowadays, yet I am quite sure very few have ever heard of it. Sadly, so few people I know ever take the time to read one jot...& it makes me wonder at the miracle of bookstores still, as of yet, full of burgeoning shelves. Perhaps I need my own flying cloak, so that I may find all of these lovely, invisible readers.



     I read this book, again, several years ago when I was in Paris &, even so, it has become a little like the fogginess of a dream for me, as I do remember some things from its pages with clarity, yet others have escaped my memory, flying fast as shiny-winged dragonflies.

"Really now, how rosy your royal highness's cheeks have grown."


     With the fervent hope that there might be someone still in search of a little bit of night magic, you can read of the prince, the wicked, usurper uncle, & the wise godmother here...

The Little Lame Prince at Project Gutenberg



P.S.
Perhaps I shall just have to visit the little prince, once again.

"Prince Dolor's head actually bumped against the glass."


P.P.S.
I think Dolor had a pair of magical spectacles, as well, that allowed him to see the things far below his path of flight, but my brain is more vague on that point. I am full of useless trivia, as per usual. ;)

"'Thank you, thank you!' He cried in a gush of gratitude."

"This day the knots that tied up his traveling-cloak were more than usually troublesome."

"Prince Dolor made a snatch at the topmost twig of the tallest tree." 

"'Is that the king?' Whispered Prince Dolor."

 
"They knew that good was coming to them whenever he approached them."


"He lifted up his thin, slender hand, & there came a silence over the vast crowd immediately."


~ENJOY!~