Friday, February 29, 2008

On Holiday

This morning, the temperature outside is -22 deg C (-7.6 deg F). Unbelievable! I just can't take it anymore!

So, we're off to Cuba for the next two weeks.

(Ever since she found out that we were going, my youngest daughter has been dancing around the house to her own version of the Conga, singing "Varadero, Cuba...")

So, I'll see you mid-March. Be good!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

A Few More Awards

It is again a cold, dark and dreary day, with snow, snow and more snow. A promoter of melancholy and even bluer thoughts. Hard on your body, hard on your mind…

But I just remembered the blog awards, given to me a while ago by Absolute Vanilla & Attylah. Oh, what a ray of sunshine they are, warming my soul! Thank you, Vanilla, thank you so much!

They are:

The E for Excellent Blog Award.

The description of the award is:
"I love being a part of the blogging community and part of all the friendships that I've formed so I wanted to give a blog award for all of you out there that have Excellent Blogs. By accepting this Excellent Blog Award, you have to award it to 10 more people whose blogs you find Excellent Award worthy. You can give it to as many people as you want but please award at least 10. (And yes, okay, so some of you already have the award... )"

The others speak for themselves:

The You Are Totally Awesome Award

The Best Blogging Buddies Award for Global Communities

The Friendly Site Award


The Biggest Heart Award

And now for the recipients:

ABenchPress (Chris)
An Innocent A-Blog (Bernita)
Aspirations from the Darkside (Akasha)
The Clarity of Night (Jason and Aine)
Country Don’t Mean Dumb (John Eaton)
Eudaemonia (Lisa)
Gondolatok az erdöben (Szélsöfa)
Murmurs (Sarah)
Random Acts of Unkindness (Ello)
The Struggling Writer (Paul)
To Taste a Peach (Taffiny)

(It doesn’t matter if you’ve already received it. There’s no doubt that you deserve it again!)

Friday, February 22, 2008

A Short Fiction Contest

The Clarity of Night is hosting “Whispers”, an eighth short fiction contest in a celebrated series. Read the rules and feel inspired by the picture below…

Normally, I would think of dark things, but, this time, a very light piece took shape in my mind. It's not even a story, but it was very refreshing, very pleasant to write. I guess, spring is in the air!

And this is my vignette, entry # 9.


“There is great treasure to be found under that tree,” Pia’s grandmother used to say and wink at her mysteriously, her plump face wrinkled with the pleasure of laughter, and Pia would look hard on the kitchen window, trying to catch a sparkle of that hidden treasure. The tree only swayed its elegant branches, as if waving at her, somewhat teasingly.

Wasn’t it too far from the sea? Could the pirates have come and buried their gold there? Or was it the fairy people? Grandma would only shake her head, gently, much like the tree, and smile her smile of meringues, and strawberry pies, and marmalade.

The apple tree had always been there, on the hill, alone but seemingly content. Pia would sing to it sometimes, as she lay supine underneath it, holding onto the tall grasses to keep from falling into the azure well of the sky. In spring, it scattered a suave rain of flowers, generously, on whoever happened to sit underneath it, and it made wonderful apples in late summer, globes of magical gold spread on the ground.

Later, Pia shared her first kiss there, sweet like the apples, as the leaves sheltered her and her sweetheart from the inquiring moon.

Grandma got married underneath that tree, and then her mother too, and now it was Pia’s turn. As she climbed the hill, her dress the colour of apple flowers, to where Tom was waiting for her, she smiled as she suddenly knew what the treasure was.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Rough Draft of (a) Future

Daniel, after a few steps we’ll stop in the centre of the deserted lobby. After the padded darkness of the streets, the brilliance of the crystal candelabra will be a harsh awakening. A bored night-clerk will lift his head only for a second, then return to his dignified dozing. Our timid distances will be beyond suspicion. No, we won’t strike him as illicit lovers trying to sneak past him to a room they’re not supposed to share. Yet, so deeply, both will wish we were.

This will be the end of the evening, we’ll know it, as we’ll both picture my empty hotel room, waiting upstairs, for me alone. Neither of us will want to leave, though neither of us will know how to say it.

As we’ll wait there, unknown seas and skies will travel your regard. What are you waiting for? we’ll both think, almost afraid to breathe. Then, you’ll reach for my hand.

We’ll stand like that for what’ll feel like an eternity, mere inches from one another, our warmth concentrated in the touching parts of our hands, our finger tips electric, the music of our hearts sweetly deafening.

We should be in each other arms.

“Breakfast,” you’ll say when the least expected, half-timidly, half-eagerly, while hope will be bubbling inside you, sending new sparkles to your eyes. “Let’s have breakfast together.”


You’ll hesitate for just a second, a tiny smile lifting the corners of your lips. It’ll be after midnight so that wouldn’t be such a farfetched idea. We’ll laugh and just slightly feel more at ease.

“Tomorrow morning,” you’ll say quickly. “Early. Very early.”

Yes, tomorrow. You’ll pick me up, that’s what you’ll say. At eight o’clock. Good night for now (my darling – only in my mind).

It’ll be in a blur. Our hands slowly slipping from each other. No kiss. Not now. Not yet. When?

And then, I’ll barely sleep in this hotel room that is meant only as an antechamber, some sort of a launching platform for a whole future of us together. An unknown, sweet, scary future.

For a while I’ll watch the city, the fog strengthening its grasp on it. But I’ll have to sleep. I will be tired. I’ll want to be beautiful for you.

The phone will ring in the morning but it won’t wake me up, I’ll be up already. Your voice, so close to my ear and so painfully far at the same time, will scare me. But you will not have called to cancel. You’ll be impatient.

“Take a taxi,” you’ll say. “I’m cooking breakfast…”

You’ll be waiting for me on the pavement. I’ll see you from a distance, your blue sweater distinct among the grey river of suits, your wheat coloured hair catching the early light.

Just to see you again will make me want to shout, and sing, and cry, and laugh. (I love you, Daniel…) The morning will be glorious – the fog a memory so distant that it will seem unreal - and that will bring a new boldness to our thoughts, our gestures.

You’ll open the door for me, before even the taxi will have stopped, and pull me out of it. You’ll pay the driver, offering a bank note much bigger than the fare, without even looking – not to be inconsiderate to him but because you’ll be so happy for what he’s brought you – and then you’ll take me in your arms as if you’ve always done that. With a gentle fierceness. Some passers-by will glance at us annoyed – we’ll be hindering their hurried steps, their hypocritical prudery.

“Breakfast’s ready,” you’ll say, laughter simmering behind your stern, tentative expression, surfacing only in the smiling turquoise of your eyes. Your lips will brush my cheek, sharing some of that powdered sugar you’ll have on your jaw, but only for a second, rather clumsily.

No matter, the harm will be done. Tendrils of fire will spread from that blushing spot, faster than I could try to fight them.

“I’m starved,” I’ll say, taking you by the waist, hanging onto you, to hide my shyness, my nose in your shirt’s collar, where your arm around my neck will hold me gently. “Mmmm, you smell of sweet things…”

(I could eat you, Daniel – only in my mind.)

“Pancakes, brioches, French toast, pear omelette…”

How playfully proud you’ll be of your cooking prowess.

“No full English breakfast, then?” I will say, in mock disappointment.


We’ll climb the steps to your flat, holding each other and holding hands – a warm bizarre weaving.

In the kitchen, the sun will greet us through immense bay windows, and a symphony of aromas - a perfect concerto of vanilla and coffee, of orange and cinnamon, of roasted almonds - will do a perfect dance for our senses.

Hands still entwined, we’ll stop and then you’ll turn to me. Your turquoise eyes will sing, and laugh, and dance, and hope, and, somehow, in the next instant – almost unknowingly - the space between us will disappear. A chaste, soothing embrace, stirred by the drumming of our hearts, by your lips pressing in turn on my eyelids, my cheekbones, my nose, my forehead, by the words you’ll speak softly – at last – in my mouth.

“I love you…”

We’ll start with an English breakfast then, my sweet Brit…

For the Ladies...

Happy Valentine's Day, ladies and gents!

Monday, February 11, 2008

At a Mirror

I and the other,
my unfathomable double,
forever lock destinies
on this thin silver.
Your eyes are kissing
my shoulders.
Can you look at me
with a painter’s brush
on your eyelashes?
Can you
more of me
than do
these pure,
laws of optics?

Copyright © 2008 Vesper L. All rights reserved.

The image above is that of a painting by Pino Daeni, an Italian artist.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Far Away?

While doing some research on Duotrope’s Digest on where to send one of my stories, I came upon an announcement for a print anthology.

Its tentative title is Far, Far Away and, according to the editors, it’ll be “about the worlds that exist alongside our own, unseen, be they on the other side of the looking-glass, in virtual reality, or in the sewers under the city.” Find out more about it here.

I have a story that seems quite suitable but has a huge flaw – it’s not finished. So, as the deadline of February 29th is quickly approaching, I am concentrating more and more on finishing and polishing it. Unfortunately, my attention capabilities are harshly impaired by my chronic lack of time.

That being said, my presence on your blogs and on mine will be rather scarce. Not that I’ve been posting a lot anyway, but, at least, I was reading your blogs. I’ll still do it, of course, but just fewer at a time.

Maybe you too have a story that you’d like to send there…

Happy writing!

In the mean time, there’s another one of George Grie’s wonderful paintings for you, to challenge your imagination…

Saturday, February 02, 2008

The Way I Was… (and still am!!!)

I was rummaging through some old pictures the other day and I found one taken when I was twenty years old. For a moment, I felt overwhelmed.

I have, of course, many pictures since I was a baby, a child, in school, etc., but this particular one, struck me almost to tears.

I find there is much youth in it, and the promise of a future that lies whole ahead, and then I think, "here I am, many years later, and what happened to all the dreams, all the hopes?"

Inside me, I am still that person of … years ago (I will not say how many!); I am still waiting for something big to happen; I'm still thinking that (most of) my life is in front of me.

That's until I look in the mirror and I see the little wrinkles at the corner of my eyes, and I realise that it’ll feel like a few days and another bunch of years will have passed, and then a few more days for plenty more, and the most difficult to grasp and deal with is this feeling that it seems as if I were twenty just a few days ago.

Strange animals we humans are…

On a more amusing note, it’s Groundhog’s day today, and, despite the gloomy predictions of Pennsylvania’s Punxsutawney Phil, the two Canadian groundhog meteorologists, Ontario’s Wiarton Willie and Nova Scotia's Shubenacadie Sam, both predicted an early spring! Hurray!

The poor guys... woken from their hibernation... I just hope they weren't too confused...