Monday, December 16, 2013
Sunday, November 24, 2013
there came a brisk wind that took the temperature from freezing to 80*
So what have I been writing?
more about two boys 1901 years apart but both in areas with impending volcanic eruptions
here is a brief sample, unedited
"Marcus guided the Fortunatus family out of the boat at Naples. He was grateful to step onto an unmoving surface with the farmer and his wife and children. The farmer and his wife had both been seasick, or simply sick with terror but the children seemed to love the adventure of the nighttime boat crossing. And it had been more adventure than Marcus ever hoped to endure again. The Bay heaved and seemed to try to pushed them away from shore. The Air was clogged with dust and ash and smoke so that even in the dawn it was dark. Back toward vesuvius there was lightning and flames and both white smoke and black ashes blocking everything and roiling through the earth.
Once they were clear of the crowds he sought out directions to the artists home and hoped his Father was still waiting there. Then he gestured to the family to come with him. The older man hesitated again, clearly uncomfortable going uninvited to a stranger's home, but glancing at his children and the crowds of refugees convinced him to set his pride aside. The streets were covered with ash like snow.
It wasn't possible to move quickly through the crowded streets with the children and the few possessions that were meager enough and yet still weighed them down.
The crowds were in disarray, everyone was speaking, shouting questions, and not just in Latin but in Greek and other languages as well. Where people could, they searched the incoming refugees for familiar faces, and sometimes there were shout of joy at a successful reunion, and that gave everyone a more hopeful feeling. Still, many people milled about with no idea where to go now, or any hope left on their faces. The disaster had brought out both the best and worst in people, so some of the locals had come down to the harbor bearing extra blankets and clothing and food. Some had come trying to make a quick profit off of necessities they themselves had paid almost nothing for. There were fishermen and boat owners preparing to go for more survivors and there were thieves stealing from the overburdened and vulnerable crowd, knowing those burdens contained all the earthly treasures those refugees carried.
There were people spreading stories that they had no way of knowing if they were true or not, but the audiences they found believed them. If reality was this bad, of course it was probably even worse. At times the air would almost clear, the daylight could come through, and that seemed even more wrong somehow. The ashes falling and the smokey air seemed to tell the truth that the familiar mountain was now and forever unfamiliar and threatening.
Farmer Fortunatus, without a farm now, and still too close to the loss, to realize how fortunate the Fortunatus family had been, kept turning to look toward his family home, pointing up in the air, beyond the new crest of the mountain, to where he had been so comfortable in his old home and terraced fields. It had to still be there, because it always had been.
Finally Marcus and the family were pushing through the door, greeting Veruses master and then Marcus was grabbed into a strong hug as his father pulled him close and they wept on each other's shoulders.
“Oy! Marcus, so glad you are safe, my boy. Your Brother?”
“No problem, Father. The boat was full and I had promised to help this family, but Verus and Aemiliana were safe. They were there at the beach with us, and while he insisted I come ahead, they were waiting for the next boat. They will probably have smoother tides and better winds than we did. And they are together. I imagine they are right behind us, maybe already at the dock.”
“I went down to the ocean when people began talking about the strange cloud, I wanted to find Verus but I had told him to go and I did not know where he had gone exactly, only why. He was going for medicine, he must have heard of the eruption and caught one of the boats as soon as it happened, but I wish that he had come back for me. He probably thought I'd be too old to help. No, I'm sure he only thought of getting to the girl.” Father began to tell his story, much relieved to know that his family was safe."
Friday, November 15, 2013
|Just My Books and I|
|Candles from my Dad and Grandma to guide my way|
Writing has changed from when I first began thinking seriously that I could write a book. Well, no, I'd been thinking I could do it since I was a toddler, but getting started, Now That was a different matter.
I began with a blank notebook and a stack of note cards and a trip to the library to dig into the multi-volumed encyclopedia set of course. This was how I had begun writing all those required papers back in Jr. High, and High School, and at College.
Now I sit at my computer or tap on my hand ha
eld device and when I need to answer a question I don't have to drive to the library, or even walk across the room to get a stack of notecards, and when I need to know how to describe Mr. Vesuvius in detail, I can read other people's descriptions, or see their paintings, pictures and video.
So I have spent some time writing, alternating with time on Google earth seeing street view and satellite views of the volcanoes. I have watched you-tube video of kids snowshoeing on Mt St Helens and of a determined old man who died because he wouldn't be evacuated since he was a Mile and a huge forest say from the volcano and his mountain wouldn't hurt him.
Then I have taken every day at work, and grabbed a scratch piece of paper and on every break and lunch time, written or sketched in my novel. So some editing happens there, when I type from a pencilled written piece first, but editing is not supposed to slow down the passionate rush of story this month. Oh, and neither is blogging. Oooooopsy daisy.
|My sons loved the same picture book I did|
Look Out for Pirates
So I made them a poster with their faces
|My life has been filled with books, and it started with these, the kids picture books that were always abundant in our house even when we were low on money for almost everything else. On the wall is the quilt from my crib that my grandmother made for me.|
You may have tangible wealth untold;
Caskets of jewels and coffers of gold.
Richer than I you can never be
I had a Mother who read to me.
Monday, November 4, 2013
On October 28th I posted this on my facebook page
Why are peers so much more terrifying than anyone else? I've talked about my books to classes many times, talked at writers conferences, art fairs and libraries but tonight I'm going to talk to a book club of my friends and coworkers and I'm feeling so nervous I might as well be back in Jr. high facing the dreaded ninth grade speech and presentation. People were so intimidated by that someone called in a bomb threat. Of course that was back when bombs in school were pretty much guaranteed to be a false alarm.
and the next morning this was my report to the Backpacker.com site where I chat with friends
They loved it, and had a lot of questions about the research and kept asking me to write a sequel when the girls had grown up a few more hers, and saying, it would make a great movie, you need to write a script.
So I am going to share some of the things I showed them, that I also talked about with the classes I have visited as an author. In fact a couple of them have now had me booked to come talk to their classes.
That is OK because the books I have loved and that have shaped me, were only faintly binding me to their authors but more about connecting me to the world as one filled with many people with different stories but all capable of being loved and hurt and worthy of compassion.So now it is November, and another NaNoWriMo finds me digging into the history of two Volcanoes. The next Double Time book is growing this month, while the third Duffy Barkley takes a rest and waits for me to return with fresh eyes, and a rainbow book of colors is starting to take shape as my first picture book.
Wednesday, October 9, 2013
Shows the fruition of the books which had sent down roots in my mind for years but may never have pushed through the darkness into the sun without the daily deadlines and encouragement of NaNo and the forums there