Tuesday, November 11, 2008

And because I'm in the mood...

I shall throw my finial cache of pictures into the mix. The first is done by an obvious professional, with true talent. The second is clearly a juvenile doodling of a rank amateur, i.e. me.

First: When I found this, I immediately thought of a young Molly, perhaps around age fourteen or fifteen. There are differences between my Molly and this girl; Molly's eyes are more almond shaped and tilt upwards, her lips are fuller and there's the cleft chin. But it is very close.

And lastly, and please try not to laugh, here is my hackneyed attempt to draw Molly. I did this months ago, when knee deep in edits, on the idea that she'd help me to the finish line. Anyhoo...this is my version of Molly. Perhaps one day I'll try to get a professional artist to flesh this out and, you know, make it look real.

Hehe. Seeing that gives me a little chuckle.
And can you tell I have my characters on the brain?

More portraits

Here are a few more portraits. The first one initially stopped me because I thought the couple looked very sweet. The feeling behind it makes me think of Molly and John. Too bad the couple looks nothing like them. But on closer inspection, I noticed that the woman's dress is extremely similar in style to Molly's wedding dress.

Pic 1

But the dress in this portrait is pretty much the exact fabric I had in mind for Molly's wedding dress.

The overskirt frothed like a cloud about me. Endless flounces made from runched white tulle, shot throughout with silver threads, cascaded down over the silk skirt. I had never seen a dress its equal...

Well crud, I'll have to add a link for this one. LOL.


So put the first and the second dress together and there you have it: Molly's wedding dress.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Art and Characters

Yesterday, I spent a good amount of time perusing online images of old paintings and photographs. Truly, I could spend days looking at these things. Their dress, faces, the rooms in which these people moved, all of it is fascinating. During this frenzied -some would say obsessive- search, I happened upon some images which reminded me of my characters.

The woman in the portrait below, while not looking exactly like Molly's cousin Karen, reminded me of her just the same. She is very similar in regards to hairstyle and dress. In fact, her dress is exactly like the dress Karen wears in her debut scene -well, as I imagined it some five years ago...

--Karen came home shortly after five, fresh from her rounds of afternoon tea and card games. She glided into the parlor in a cloud of rustling peach silk and rose water....She wore her shining black hair parted severely down the middle to spread like lacquered wings over her ears before swooping up in a large knot at the base of her neck. She was more exotic contessa than western girl. --

I have no idea if I'm allowed to do this and the Internet police might come banging on my door but I give you Karen Morgan:

More images tomorrow...

Saturday, November 8, 2008

A new title

On the small chance that anyone reads this blog, I'll announce here that I have a new title for my ms...

The Petal Falls

My agent hated the original title (Above the Vaulted Sky). So out with the old and in with the new.

Hey wait, you say. Isn't that the name of your blog? Er...well yeah... (g) That little bit is very convenient to be sure.

I always liked my blog title. It sticks in my head. So it got me thinking. I needed a line of poetry for the ms -the old one I had,for various reasons, no longer worked. The new poem I found just happened to have "the petal falls" in it.

Heck, let me just put up the small scene:

...I handled only the smallest corner of paper as though it might actually bite me. The paper was thick, coarse velum, folded in fourths to a neat one inch square.

What was a piece of paper doing in the back of Mam’s necklace? The cloying scent of verbena drifted through the air. Mam. Mam’s perfume... And then it was gone. Instinct told me it was not Mam who hid this paper within the necklace but…Father. I could see him now, writing down words with his smooth flowing hand.

Quickly I opened it, frantic to find some message from beyond, an apology for the wrongs he’d done. It was in Father’s hand but not what I expected. In small, tight script he’d written: My Dearest Molly, ‘The apple blossom exists to create fruit; when that comes, the petal falls.’ In creating you, I’ve exceeded my greatest dreams. It is your time now...

So great, "The Petal Falls" can allude to Molly's father dying and it being Molly's time now.

The actual line of poetry refers to life being an act of creation, which I believe and always wanted to underlie the entire story (in a very subtle, almost subconscious way).

It also alludes to the whole question of "he'll love me, he'll love me not..." Good. That is a huge question plaguing Molly in regards to John.

And lastly, the phrase, the petal falls, carries a certain tension. What will happen when the petal falls? What is the question asked of it? And will it come true?

The act of plucking petals from a flower is, in essence, a method of divination -though frivolous and totally unreliable. But how many of us have done it in a lighthearted moment of temptation? I know I have. We all want some way of knowing what the future will bring. And yet that desire to know brings with it anxiety, for it takes trust, the ability to release all doubt and feel in your heart that everything will work out. Which, in essence, is what my story is all about.

So it's all good. (g)

Sending my baby out into the world

So I have finished all the edits my agent requested. She reviewed the edits and gave it a thumbs up. A little more effort to fix the formatting, chapter cuts and...I sent it back to her.

Now my baby that I've spent untold hours sweating, crying, and laughing over is going out on submission come Monday. It is out of my hands, and I must trust another to finish the journey.

I feel almost numb. I say almost because a certain bubble of giddiness will, now and then, rise to the surface, and I'll have to pinch myself. Of course this is the do or die bit of the process. To sell or not to sell...and all that. But oddly, it feels small compared to the daunting task of getting an agent. Getting an agent made everything real. You are a writer, not just some bored mom escaping reality and, let's face it, parental duties by banging away on the computer.

I refuse to let fear enter into the equation. So I oscillate between numb -holding my breath until I hear word, and being really damn excited.

Do I glow from this? Let me go check in a mirror...

I cried

Yup. When Obama won, I cried. And I don't even like politics.

I always knew I'd vote for him. John McCain reminded me of an angry grandpa Sprocket. But I didn't even think of Obama as anything other than another politician, until he won. Seeing what he meant to so many people just got to me.

That's all.

And all you'll probably ever see of me speaking politics.