A high school teacher started her class with a story:
“A couple went on a cruise to spend quality time together.
The ship hit a seamount and instigated a big hole. Water was pouring into the ship uncontrollably. Everyone was rushing towards the lifeboats.
When the couple got closer to the last lifeboat, they realized there was only one space left. The husband jumped into the lifeboat and it left immediately. The wife was devastated as she stared at the lifeboat and shouted: …….”
The teacher paused and said: “What do you think she shouted?”
Many students had different answers.
One said: “She probably said ‘I hate you.’”
Others said: “She definitely said ‘I wasted my life with you.’”
– “Thanks for leaving me behind.”
The teacher continued: “She shouted ‘take care of our daughter.’”
Years passed and that man took care of their daughter, watched…
I’m going to pause before I even begin in order to say how amazingly patient you all have been for enduring this 30-day blog-o-thon. I’ve been doing my damndest to catch up on reading your sites, but I have a feeling it’s going to take a month of NOT writing just to see all that you lovely folks have done during this cold, snowy month.
During one pre-dawn hour set aside for morning coffee and blog reading, I came across an old book review by the amazing ChrisLovegrove. His closing nails the very topic I wish to discuss today:
I felt a little cheated by the end. The lack of resolution for one character felt manipulative. Increasingly, fantasies these days are clearly labelledBook One of a spellbinding new seriesorThe first volume of such-and-such saga; it wasn’t till near the end that I realised that this wasn’t…
Welcome back to Hidebound Hump Day, my chuckaboos! Right now, I’m sitting in the floor, surrounded by boxes, trying to lasso all the phone calls I need to make, and accounts that need address changes, and… I can see that it is more than I can do in the next three days, when I combine it with the other details of moving house.
Of course Murphy’s Law is in full force and the insurance agent screwed up something, getting my insurance cancelled and so getting me in trouble with the mortgage company for my long awaited home.
I thought I would hit the 2,000 mile highway this weekend, but there is snow in my weather forecast again. My agoraphobic self is teetering on the edge of the very tall cliff of a big freak-out. That said, as much as my spirit needs your comments, I…
He lost interest at that point, but maybe you want to know more.
What is a Mini-WriMo?
I first heard the term Mini-WriMo years ago after nearly collapsing from exhaustion after a full-fledged NaNoWriMo. And since that mention, I do various versions of mini writing bursts throughout the year.
It’s basically a time-limited, personal challenge to focus on writing. The best part? You set your own goals based on what’s achievable for you and what you want to accomplish.
Why does it work?
1. Because it’s supremely flexible. What we write, how we write, and the needs of our projects are all different and constantly evolving. A mini-WriMo can be whatever you wish based on your goals.
2. You pick the time period – a week, two weeks, a month.
Jaundiced, weathered brick,
The other, mortar, crumbling sand,
Go to a grave in a cold loaf of earth;
The mason sweat, bones and bones.
Inscribed on a tomb, these lines:
Once a monument, citizens, scant dollar
Lest your pockets,
Be now this bleak outcrop of dead stone.
String up the assembly line for the paying,
This tour season is peak on a spewed relic
Anchored in rebar and a wire cage,
Rusted as to cut a finger, your wound to keep;
These two most penetrable foes gritted in a bleed
That will rekindle a mason’s envy, drop
His soul into a dirt clime beneath the sun.
Seek not his calloused hands for a prayer,
Nor the hardened look upon his brazened face
In a black and white life, nor put up a testament
To his footsteps in the afterlife;
His sons and daughters shoot their hands Holding a trowel, mouths…
I’m pretty sure I’m not supposed to be drinking this much orange juice, but if I can’t over drink the coffee and I’ve already burned my tongue on tea, then I’m having OJ, dammit.
This post is the equivalent of me scribbling a note in the lecture hall in the midst of a talk on world-building. Yup–the literary conference of my university is in full-swing. I’m trying to hit as many talks as possible before I have to get the kids, because taking kids into a lecture hall–even a virtual lecture hall–is a pain in the patoot. So far it’s been a nice day, and reminding me that I better practice what the heck I’m saying for an hour, and then making sure I’ve picked the right nonfiction piece to read later in the afternoon.
Noooo pressure, Jean, no pressure.
A little wish of good luck would be deeply appreciated!
My apologies for a super-brief post yesterday. I must be too old for writing on the mobile phone, which was all I had in the few minutes wandering one of my hometowns while waiting for a friend. Perhaps someday I’ll stay in the historic bed and breakfast here, the one my elementary classmates always insisted was haunted.
But that’s for another day. Last night was a lovely evening of laughter and griping about books, work, lives, and so on. I could feel a load of tension drop from my shoulders for the first time all week.
Of course, that tension grabbed right back on this morning.
Bo and I were supposed to drive across Wisconsin and Minnesota to attend a family function.
How the hell will I get work done? What if I don’t connect with the other people there? Can my mother handle all three…
« Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind. »
« Soyez qui vous êtes et dites ce que vous ressentez, parce que ceux qui vous dérangent n’importent pas et ceux qui comptent ne vous dérangent pas. »
Bernard Mannes Baruch (1870 – 1965), homme d’affaires et politique américain. Il fut notamment le conseiller des présidents démocrates Woodrow Wilson et Franklin D. Roosevelt sur les questions économiques.
As I remember once in FB social media, there was a discussion about old lectures and I’d stated a many; among them the masterpiece by Dante’s Divine Comedy. There, a friend began to muck about this book as a liar book which leads the people in the wrong way! Sure, I must mention here again that I’m not a religious one at all and definitely never believe in such a paradise or hell as coming in the holy religious books but for me, the great old lectures have nothing to do with such Superstitions, as I’d call them. they are the imaginations by the great genius in their life that they share with us in a wonderful way.
now here is an amazing article about a meeting between two great Artists who made a Masterpiece much greater 🙂
Many artists have attempted to illustrate Dante Alighieri’s epic poem the Divine Comedy, but none have made such an indelible stamp on our collective imagination as the Frenchman Gustave Doré.
Doré was 23 years old in 1855 when he first decided to create a series of engravings for a deluxe edition of Dante’s classic. He was already the highest-paid illustrator in France, with popular editions of Rabelais and Balzac under his belt, but Doré was unable to convince his publisher, Louis Hachette, to finance such an ambitious and expensive project. The young artist decided to pay the publishing costs for the first book himself. When the illustrated Inferno came out in 1861, it sold out fast. Hachette summoned Doré back to his office with a telegram: “Success! Come quickly! I am an ass!”
Hachette published Purgatorio and Paradiso as a single volume in 1868. Since then, Doré’s Divine Comedy has appeared in hundreds of editions. Although he went on to illustrate a great many other literary works, from the Bible to Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven,” Doré is perhaps best remembered for his depictions of Dante. At The World of Dante, art historian Aida Audeh writes:
Characterized by an eclectic mix of Michelangelesque nudes, northern traditions of sublime landscape, and elements of popular culture, Doré’s Dante illustrations were considered among his crowning achievements — a perfect match of the artist’s skill and the poet’s vivid visual imagination. As one critic wrote in 1861 upon publication of the illustrated Inferno: “we are inclined to believe that the conception and the interpretation come from the same source, that Dante and Gustave Doré are communicating by occult and solemn conversations the secret of this Hell ploughed by their souls, travelled, explored by them in every sense.”
The scene above is from Canto X of the Inferno. Dante and his guide, Virgil, are passing through the Sixth Circle of Hell, in a place reserved for the souls of heretics, when they look down and see the imposing figure of Farinata Degli Uberti, a Tuscan nobleman who had agreed with Epicurus that the soul dies with the body, rising up from an open grave. In the translation by John Ciardi, Dante writes:
My eyes were fixed on him already. Erect, he rose above the flame, great chest, great brow; he seemed to hold all Hell in disrespect
Inferno, Canto XVI:
As Dante and Virgil prepare to leave Circle Seven, they are met by the fearsome figure of Geryon, Monster of Fraud. Virgil arranges for Geryon to fly them down to Circle Eight. He climbs onto the monster’s back and instructs Dante to do the same.
Then he called out: “Now, Geryon, we are ready: bear well in mind that he is living weight and make your circles wide and your flight steady.”
As a small ship slides from beaching or its pier, backward, backward — so that monster slipped back from the rim. And when he had drawn clear
he swung about, and stretching out his tail he worked it like an eel, and with his paws he gathered in the air, while I turned pale.
Inferno, Canto XXXIV:
In the Ninth Circle of Hell, at the very centre of the Earth, Dante and Virgil encounter the gigantic figure of Satan. As Ciardi writes in his commentary:
He is fixed into the ice at the centre to which flow all the rivers of guilt; and as he beats his great wings as if to escape, their icy wind only freezes him more surely into the polluted ice. In a grotesque parody of the Trinity, he has three faces, each a different colour, and in each mouth, he clamps a sinner whom he rips eternally with his teeth. Judas Iscariot is in the central mouth: Brutus and Cassius in the mouths on either side.
Purgatorio, Canto II:
At dawn on Easter Sunday, Dante and Virgil have just emerged from Hell when they witness The Angel Boatman speeding a new group of souls to the shore of Purgatory.
Then as that bird of heaven closed the distance between us, he grew brighter and yet brighter until I could no longer bear the radiance,
and bowed my head. He steered straight for the shore, his ship so light and swift it drew no water; it did not seem to sail so much as soar.
Astern stood the great pilot of the Lord, so fair his blessedness seemed written on him; and more than a hundred souls were seated forward,
singing as if they raised a single voice in exitu Israel de Aegypto. Verse after verse they made the air rejoice.
The angel made the sign of the cross, and they cast themselves, at his signal, to the shore. Then, swiftly as he had come, he went away.
Purgatorio, Canto IV:
The poets begin their laborious climb up the Mount of Purgatory. Partway up the steep path, Dante cries out to Virgil that he needs to rest.
The climb had sapped my last strength when I cried: “Sweet Father, turn to me: unless you pause I shall be left here on the mountainside!”
He pointed to a ledge a little ahead that wound around the whole face of the slope. “Pull yourself that much higher, my son,” he said.
His words so spurred me that I forced myself to push on after him on hands and knees until at last, my feet were on that shelf.
Purgatorio, Canto XXXI:
Having ascended at last to the Garden of Eden, Dante is immersed in the waters of the Lethe, the river of forgetfulness, and helped across by the maiden Matilda. He drinks from the water, which wipes away all memory of sin.
She had drawn me into the stream up to my throat, and pulling me behind her, she sped on over the water, light as any boat.
Nearing the sacred bank, I heard her say in tones so sweet I cannot call them back, much less describe them here: “Asperges me.”
Then the sweet lady took my head between her open arms, and embracing me, she dipped me and made me drink the waters that make clean.
Paradiso, Canto V:
In the Second Heaven, the Sphere of Mercury, Dante sees a multitude of glowing souls. In the translation by Allen Mandelbaum, he writes:
As in a fish pool that is calm and clear, the fish draw close to anything that nears from outside, it seems to be their fare, such were the far more than a thousand splendors I saw approaching us, and each declared: “Here now is one who will increase our loves.” And even as each shade approached, one saw, because of the bright radiance, it set forth, the joyousness with which that shade was filled.
Paradiso, Canto XXVIII:
Upon reaching the Ninth Heaven, the Primum Mobile, Dante and his guide Beatrice look upon the sparkling circles of the heavenly host. (The Christian Beatrice, who personifies Divine Love, took over for the pagan Virgil, who personifies Reason, as Dante’s guide when he reached the summit of Purgatory.)
And when I turned and my own eyes were met By what appears within that sphere whenever one looks intently at its revolution, I saw a point that sent forth so acute a light, that anyone who faced the force with which it blazed would have to shut his eyes, and any star that, seen from the earth, would seem to be the smallest, set beside that point, as star conjoined with star, would seem a moon. Around that point a ring of fire wheeled, a ring perhaps as far from that point as a halo from the star that colours it when mist that forms the halo is most thick. It wheeled so quickly that it would outstrip the motion that most swiftly girds the world.
Paradiso, Canto XXXI:
In the Empyrean, the highest heaven, Dante is shown the dwelling place of God. It appears in the form of an enormous rose, the petals of which house the souls of the faithful. Around the centre, angels fly like bees carrying the nectar of divine love.
So, in the shape of that white Rose, the holy legion has shown to me — the host that Christ, with His own blood, had taken as His bride. The other host, which, flying, sees and sings the glory of the One who draws its love, and that goodness which granted it such glory, just like a swarm of bees that, at one moment, enters the flowers and, at another, turns back to that labour which yields such sweet savour, descended into that vast flower graced with many petals, then again rose up to the eternal dwelling of its love.
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It’s Straightlaced Saturday, my chuckaboos! I’m here with another Victorian Novels feature. This series complements the era of my steampunk serial, Copper, the Alchemist, and the Woman in Trousers.
Jane Austen has been mentioned in more than one of the serial chapters. I just realized that one of her novels escaped my attention. How could I have missed it, when it’s about a young girl named Fanny (even though my Pip’s granny is spelled Phanny — that was actually done so I could make her a “PIP” also)?
There were also audio books and films of the story in 1999 and 2007. Well, after all, it is Jane Austen…
Actually, this should be the entire movie:
Some bill the story as a comedy while others say it shows the dark side of Jane Austen. The concept doesn’t sound particularly…