|Design by Toni Ig|
How Paris Became Paris, The Invention of The Modern City
I enjoy tales of fabulous characters, whether historical or imaginary, that follow them from their first appearance to their moment of highest triumph (or despair). What brought them about, what made them ‘them’, the turns and twists of fortune? In the book I speak of this month, one of my favorite characters is studied, her history recounted, illustrations of her growth in grace and charm, some account of the influences that made her what she is…
|There are engravings of people, reproductions of paintings…|
|The Coat of Arms of the City of Paris|
|Check the others in the hop!|
I did not know this when I started writing The Orphan’s Tale. I solved the problem by making it Alternate History (from a geographical standpoint).
|Avenue de l’Opera, Evening|
Since I was arrogant enough then to think I knew the area very well from reviewing maps, I knew that I could cut out a dog-leg by following a street that connected those two major thoroughfares.
|The Fontaine St-Michel, Paris|
I mentioned my near-mishap to a friend, who said “You do know that Michael the Archangel is the patron saint of Police, don’t you?”
It is time to celebrate again (wonderful how celebrations come on each others’ heels, isn’t it!). This lovely Blog Hop is the idea of Vikki at VikLit. The hop is still open if you want to join, and there are lovely people involved in posting, remembering, celebrating and being just generally awesome – rather like yourself, don’t you think?
The information on the hop is below. Why don’t you join? Or, at least, visit the various posts and smile.
Today I am celebrating the fact that the weekend is coming, thatI may actually get some writing done, and I can sleep in tomorrow.
I am at that frustrating and yet delicious stage in a manuscript where I am, as I say, ‘filling in holes’ and also polishing.
The story is set, the plot twists, which seem to come of their own accord, are in place, and I can start pruning my notes to myself, which I have in situ to remind me where things are going and items I need to remember, such as the fact that the character in the scene met the deceased during a riot where she found him injured and nursed him back to health.
Now I’m adjusting the flow, muttering to myself, and wondering if my editor will mind if I send him a ‘rough-finished draft’ and deciding that since I’m paying him (and her and her), they shouldn’t.
My story is set in Paris, and remembering the time I spent there is something to celebrate. I went during a time of uncertainty, where my job was going away and I didn’t have another lined up. But it was research for this story that I am finishing (part of a trilogy) and I decided that I was, for once, going to go with my heart.
It was a wonderful trip. I went alone, took scads of photos, walked all over the place, had an encounter with Michael the Archangel (hint: he’s the patron saint of Police officers – I’ll post about the experience this weekend), and among other things encountered two beautiful roses in the flower market near Notre Dame.
I went there most mornings, and brought back flowers for my hotel room. These were the loveliest:
|A New Rose (for me)|
I had never seen a peach rose. The edges of the petals were lacy, and there was such a sweet, rich scent, too. It perfumed my hotel room for days.
I had never seen a rose like this one. Deep, velvety red on the inner part of each petal, almost pure white outside. And unlike most roses of this shape, it, too, had a wonderful scent. I did not see another like it for years.
|We’ll always have Notre Dame…|
Going there by myself, doing my research, staring in awe at the inside of La Sainte Chappelle, strolling through les Jardins des Tuileries, biting off a swear word as the hotel’s toaster hurled my toast through the air and onto the floor – all were the foundations of a wonderful trove of memories that I can savor as I write about Paris in my WIP that will (God willing!) come out in December.
It’s all worth celebrating.
So what are you celebrating? (I’m looking forward to reading everyone else’s this evening…)
Today is the first Wednesday of the month, which means it is IWSG day. The once-a-month blog hop started by Alec Cavanaugh . IWSG = Insecure Writers’ Support Group (click the words to visit)
We share our insecurities and support each other with empathy, sympathy or practical suggestions.
|“Odd creatures, writers…”|
Today I would like to address a concern that just about every writer I have ever known shares. It is something that haunts our dreams, something that dictates our actions, something that makes our loved ones look at us with one eyebrow raised and extremely quizzical expressions, as though they have just turned over a rock and seen something truly strange come scuttling out.
|The way writers view their words|
I am speaking of the terror we feel when we are nowhere near anything that can capture our precious, priceless words as they spring fully armed to our heads, rather like Athene in the old Greek legends.
We have various ways of combating that terror. Some people carry around notebooks, some use a permutation of a Dictaphone, garnering stares from people who find the spectacle of someone yakking into a box rather diverting in an odd fashion.
|Wine stain in left-most towel|
There are jotters of all types. Some jotters never carry around anything upon which they can jot, and are reduced to scribbling on the backs of grocery receipts (those that don’t have advertisements and offers on the back), voided checks, toilet paper (they seldom do that twice unless they are in a public toilet in France where, I am convinced, the TP is made of recycled chain mail. Or, perhaps, barbed wire. But then the problem of with what to write arises). Some of us use paper towels. I confess to that silliness…
So what do you do if you accidentally use your deathless words to mop up spilled red wine (see above)?
|Wow! Alas! Phooey!|
Most people use notebooks. I certainly do. At any moment I have about four going. I start out with a dedicated notebook for each story. Unfortunately, I may pack the notebook for my French story and instead get an idea for the Egyptian story I’m fiddling with at the moment. What to do? Snatch a piece of toilet paper (which means I get to travel to France!) and hope I don’t blow my nose on it? Nah. I write in the incorrect notebook and make a mental note that the deathless scene is in it.
Of course, then I mis-file my mental note and bewail my fate and mourn the loss of my deathless words.
It’s always a puzzlement… (I have to bring Yul Brynner in this somehow.
Well, it’s one of those conditions that few of us have conquered. for myself, if (I say IF) I become famous, my descendants will not have to starve in the streets or work in a sweat shop or kow-tow to people who have no more qualification for leading people than silverfish. And who are, perhaps, less beautiful than silverfish. (I was going to post a photo of a silverfish here, but after looking them over I decided that I’d rather chew my fingernails.)
What to do? Well, like many of our insecurities, I just live with it. I have actually found, when I have located my deathless words, once lost, that they weren’t all that great after all, and what I actually wrote in desperation, just knowing that the story would be ruined – simply ruined! – actually were more fully formed, satisfying and colorful than what I thought I’d lost.
…but without insecurities, would we be real writers?
This is a blog hop with lots of good participation. Go forth and read!