Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Author's Week - May 3

Please visit Christine Eldin's blog, ABenchPress, for a week of contests, cool prizes (from Dubai), and fun!!!

Festivities will kick off on Saturday May 3 with an Oldies but Goodies Contest.

The Oldies but Goodies authors - people who first supported Christine's idea of "Author's Week" - are listed below.


Mary Cunningham CURSE OF THE BAYOU


Edna Cabcabin Moran THE SLEEPING GIANT

John Elder Robison LOOK ME IN THE EYE

Patricia Wood LOTTERY


Then, the week of May 5 - May 9 will feature some authors giving away books and making appearances on Christine's blog. She invites you to come chat, make jokes, win prizes!!! Every day, 9am - 9pm eastern U.S. time.

Monday, May 5: Charles Allen Gramlich “Swords of Talera”

Tuesday, May 6: Holly Kennedy "The Silver Compass"

Wednesday, May 7: Daniel Tomasulo "Confessions of a Former Child"

Thursday, May 8: Sandra Cormier "The Space Between"

Friday, May 9: Stacia Kane "Personal Demons"

Be there!!!

Six Random Things About Me

Akasha Savage from Aspirations From the Dark Side has tagged me with this meme (Ouch!). The rules, as copied from her blog, are:

Link to the person that tagged you - ie me.
Post the rules on your blog.
Write six random things about youself in a blog post.
Tag six people.
Let each person know they've been tagged by leaving a comment on their post.
Let the tagger know when your entry is posted.

Here I go:

1) I love mathematics. I guess it helps to have a mathematician in the family – my father. I find mathematics incredibly elegant and powerful, an art in itself. Some say that the physical world is a mathematical structure and that all mathematical structures could be physical worlds…

2) I remember a scene from when I was about four or five years old. Even then – and I’m still doing it, although I swear I’m not crazy!!! – I used to carry out entire conversations in my head with various characters. I suppose that, unconsciously, my facial expressions reflected these conversations. You can imagine my deep embarrassment - which engraved this memory forever in my mind - when a woman I knew asked me with whom I was talking. Despite my vehement negation, she didn’t seem at all convinced…

3) I still entertain this fantasy about meeting or summoning someone who will grant me three wishes. I often compose in my head elaborate descriptions of these three wishes, legal-style, so that to leave no place for errors or misinterpretations.

4) I doubt everything.

5) I have a huge fear of flying, but, unlike my husband who gets paralysed by his, I’m still able to send mine somewhere in a hidden drawer of my brain. I believe that for me this fear comes from the feeling of total loss of control once I’m in the airplane.

6) This blog is my Secret, my snug place, my boldness, my hope. In real life, only two very good friends know about it.

And now, rubbing my hands in wicked delight, I get to tag six other people:

Canterbury Soul
Chris Eldin
Emperor Ropi
Sarah Hina

I hope you won’t be (too) mad at me!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Dreamscape - a fragment

This piece is a fragment of a novelette that I rediscovered while rummaging through some old files. Although it’s not possible for things to be entirely clear, I think it could also stand on its own.

The landscape was unsteady, with flickering contours and sudden changes in scenery that were rather disconcerting. He was in the lightest phases of REM sleep, probably about to wake up. Perhaps it would have been better to leave and come back another time, but it didn't occur to me until it was too late.

He called me in his dream and, as I turned to the direction of his voice, I saw him walking towards me on this shiny wood floor; he was dressed in black again, eyes sparkling, so handsome. I ran to meet him and he reached for me, took me in his arms. It was so good to feel his warmth, so reassuring to lean onto him completely, that my guilt of intruding upon his dreams melted away again.

The hall was immense, its ceiling lost in mist, shapeless. Sun poured through colossal windows, past dainty off-white curtains fluttering from an imagined breeze. My dress was white, fluid. My hair longer. I still wondered how he did that, how he controlled his dream so well while dreaming it.

“Oh, Bernard…” I whispered.

He stroked my hair, pressed his lips on my eyelids. Warm, so soothing. My love for him flooded my heart, overflowing. I relaxed, ignoring the straitjacket of straps and electrodes, tying me down to my worn leather chair. I imagined my real body in his real arms.

“Where do you go when you leave me?” he said. “Where do you disappear, Zina?”

“Oh, Bernard…” I said again, not sure what lie to tell.

“I am looking for you, and you are nowhere, and all I can do is just waiting for you. You might come or might not, but most often you're not coming, and then, suddenly, there you are again. Explain this to me.”

We kissed deeply, with an urgency hiding the apprehension of future goodbyes. I ached to explain everything to him and just couldn't. Even when we came apart, even when he repeated his request, I said nothing. Instead, I circled his shoulders with my arms and clung to him, and kissed his mouth, his cheeks, his jaw line, his neck, delighting in the ardent strength of his arms on my back, in the audacity of his touch. Soft music came to surround us, out of nowhere, a sweet gentle melody spiralling to the misty ceiling. The room disappeared for a second, replaced by a gray blur, then returned, slightly changed. I should have left at least then and still I couldn't.

"I love you,” I whispered in my mind and his, mouthing the words with my real lips, in my little lab, under my tiny dome, lost in the desolation of the Moon. “I will always come back.”

“Then just don't leave anymore, my beloved,” he said, command softened by the gentleness of his tone. He almost pushed me away then so that he can look at me. “Come,” he said, smiling, “I want to show you something.” He took my hand but then stood still, as if unsure. Suddenly, the music changed, became louder, strident. An alarm replaced it, a piercing sound I realised wasn't coming from Bernard's dream. His image flickered, its consistency almost lost. I still waited, uncertain, incapable of leaving. Unexpectedly, he was far away. Then he was gone.

In the gray blur that remained, I distinguished new shapes, the interior of a room, a bedroom probably, austerely furnished, fogged by the weak light of early morning. I realised the sound we had heard had come from his alarm clock. I was no more floating through his dreams. Bernard was awake and I was looking through his eyes at his real world. Fear and excitement clutched my stomach. Still, I didn't leave. I thought myself expert at hiding, noiselessly, in the deepest refuge of one's mind. He couldn't know of me for I was only the shadow of a dream. I wanted so much to see him and hear him awake. And did I hear him.

He sounded terribly angry. “ZINA!” he shouted, over and over again. “Where are you? Where did you run? Come back, Zina!” He got out of his bed and went to the mirror. His glare was heavy, almost unbearable. He growled, “Can you see me, Zina? Where are you? Look at me!”

I did that; I looked at him, through his eyes, wondering why he thought I could see him, wondering how much he understood. He was handsomer than his dream persona, and anger brought a dangerous edge to him, one never encountered in the dreams.

“Where did you go? Come back! Where are you?”

I’m here, my beloved, oh, how I wanted to say it and couldn’t, just couldn’t. I ran away again.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

I Have Not Been Abducted by Aliens...

It's been a very hectic week with "real" life taking brutal precedence over fiction... That means chores, chores, and more chores, three days at home with the children, a day and a half plus three mornings spent at the hospital, in Emergency, with my Dad, just to get some tests done and then some injections (luckily, he's okay and that's what matters most), etc, etc, etc.

I miss all of you very much and also my fictional world, which somehow feels too far away. But I promise to make up for all the lost time.


Thursday, April 10, 2008

Bless the Geese

Yup, they’re here. I’ve seen a squad very early this morning, flying north, drawing a slightly confused – but, oh, so lovely - V on the subdued blue and pink of the sunrise sky.

I had a sad poem on my mind, but now it’ll have to wait. The sun is shining. A squirrel has taken hold of the bird house and she’s making her nest there – I won’t chase her away, she’s too cute.

This is my hundredth post and it’s a happy one, for springtime is finally here.

Monday, April 07, 2008

My Day

It's my birthday today.

I'm not excited about it, but I'm not sad either.

I just am...

... a year older

... a year wiser (not sure at all about that)

... just as young at heart

... alive.

The world tastes pretty good right now. Even a bit like champagne.

Happy Birthday to me? Yeah, why not?

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Scenes from a Cuban Cemetery

This is the famous Cristobal Colon (Christopher Columbus) Cemetery in Havana, built in 1869 by a Galician architect, Calixto Arellano de Loira y Cardoso (I love Spanish names!), who unfortunately also became its first occupant.

Having to endure the ordeals of the organised trip, we had little more than a quick glance from the bus, as we listened to the guide’s explanations, and a very short walk afterwards. Even like this, the impression of walking in an overgrown garden of stone was overwhelming. There is marble everywhere and a lot of Carrara marble. Yet I felt a serenity stronger than the sorrow in the frozen beauty of the stone angels…

By tradition, there are no flowers in the cemetery, except for one tomb alone, that of Amelia Goyri, who died in 1901 at the age of 23, giving birth to a child who also died three days later. A very sad story already… The legend says that the child had been buried at his mother’s feet. A year later, when they exhumed the body – I couldn’t tell you why except that they do that by tradition there – they found the child in his mother’s arms. Amelia is also known as La Milagrosa, The Miraculous One, and people from everywhere come to her tomb asking for her help, especially those who are trying desperately to have a child. It is said that Amelia helps them…

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

The Streets of Old Havana

Our trip to Havana took place on one of the two cloudy days we had during our stay in Cuba, and this is obvious in the pictures, but, even though the lack of sunshine bothered me at the time, I now think that the grey sky rather becomes the stones.

Havana is a beautiful place, fallen prey to time and poverty, but still heartbreakingly beautiful. I hope to get back there, to spend a few days and not just a few hours, to stop and look better, rather than just run and photograph. Organised trips are hard on the soul...

But I will let the pictures talk.

The Cathedral...

Difficult turn...



New in Old Havana...

The hotel “Ambos Mundos”, where Ernest Hemingway lived for several years...

His was a very small room, with a small bed and a tiny desk.
His typewriter was there – in it, an original page from “Death in the Afternoon”. We were told that this year’s theme was the corrida so objects pertaining to it had been brought from Hemingway’s house to illustrate his love for bull-fighting.

Who are you?... Who am I?...

Beautiful buildings...

Some Spanish history...

The Capitol...

A view from the Capitol...


For sale...