domingo, 19 de dezembro de 2010

Grafting on

Woe is me! Have you ever been to that little corner of your imagination that is only yours? That no one else has ever invaded? That is where I am now. All I want is to be by myslef, thinking of the qualities of space-time and measuring out the hours as they tick by. Fate opens new doors, but so far I have been offered no exit from my misery. Would that it should come! Like a glamorous lady in a long, lilac satin robe, or maybe like a new puppy dog. Sometimes it feels like life is just falling apart, that nothing can be done to escape the dread and the angst. I set out with a promise to my fans and friends, to avoid comma sprinkling and opaque argot. To provide only top notch high quality writing. That is a promise I have stuck to and adhered to through thick and thin, for better or worst. But I refuse to kindle my book. I shall post it online on the blog. My blog has taken over 850 hits since it went online, so the interst is there, even if converntional minds turn me down or fail to see my skills. My aunt always told me I had the gift for writing, that words shape themselves on my fingers. Like a whoosh they enter my head, crash, boom, bang, and the page is written. People ask me. I say I'm driven to it really. You have to get that paragraph down, you have to slog away at it until it is just right. Yes, we crave recognition, we desire to see our words in print between two hard covers. Yes, we want to give autographs and clear up readers' doubts. We want to formuleight new characters and plots. But the basic drive is within oneself, not an external force. Whether heathen, Muslim, Christian or Jew, we want readers to like our texts. That's where it's at I suppose, but the internal drive is a force so great, so unstoppable, so unputdownable. Words fly from my fingers. When I look back I say that it can't have bene me who wrote this, but it was. It's a force beyond reckoning and yet you have to reckon with it because it is a force to be reckoned with. A rodomontade of thought, a plethora of heart and a dollop of graft. I will not give up. But it hurts so much just right now, oh woe is me!

quinta-feira, 16 de dezembro de 2010

I've been had!

In December 2008, upon completion of my book, nice people came to our house and said they had contacts with a New York publisher that conisdered all sorts of manuscripts. My husband paid them $19000 of which $6000 was to be paid to me as an advance on the sales of my book. My hefty cashier's check arrived in January 2009. At least I wasn't out of pocket, since I'd been paid an advance, but what I have suffered since then is something no one should be subjected to. After a delay of two years, without so much as a wiff of my book , they have now asked me for a further $8000 to cover unexpected expenses. This means I would be down by two thousand bucks. Although my husband is a wealthy American industrialist, he says that when you add it up I've been had because of the math. And he refuses to pay anymore. The Northern Sky was already set in the early 90s and another delay will make it dated. So tkae my advice and look before you leap. Sitting in my living room that day, my book was published before my eyes, before disappearing beyond the horizon of broken dreams and dashed hopes. It's an ill wind, and you can dance till the cows come home, but don't shoot from the hip if you're toting a loaded gun. This only adds to my frustration because I never had kids and it was the first commandment really when the Lord said Go froth and multiply, and I've never done it. I sat in the bistro for hours and days on end, writing, struggling with a subordinate clause and other things that I don't even know what they're called. The internet is rife with con artists and it's hard to believe that I wasted two years and all the time before that on my magnis opus. The whole business makes me sick. But you gotta larn your lesson, sometimes the hard way. Now I'm caught somewhere in time, this being one of my worst moments. I had so much promise as a writer. All my teachers at school said I had the gift. I started writing short stories in my English tests when I was a little kid and my parents, my aunt and my friends aol said I should become a writer and I did. But to think that it has all turned to dust, all gone up in smoke, all water down the drain, money down the toilet. Norbert says I can kindle my book but it's not really the same thing, I mean you can't just casually throw a kindle on the coffee table and say, oh, that's my book, look its even got my picture on the back cover! and all you friends go Woww, that's write, tell us about it and they listen in shock and awe as you recount the writing process, just like Bernard Miller who wrote Tropic of Caprirorn his first book in Paris. Enraptured, that's how people get when you start to tell thema bout the creative process, all caught up in the story. It's like being Leonardo Davinci and people come to watch you paint, only with words. Words spring from my fingertips with the greatest of ease, it's a gift. The way you formuleight a character, the way he takes shape in your hands and puts words in your mouth. But I don't want to get ahead o my self or be melodramatic because nothing can come of that, maybe my pain will inspire me to right more and better next time and find a publisher with a shred of honesty, a speck of decency, a fleck of nobility. The Shetland Islands are far away and ther my hopes turned to dust, faded in time, rotted like an old apple core in the California sun or a banana on a desert beach, maggots eating away at its crust. I am heart broken and wrenched. My trust has been misused by many people. Tonight as I brood over my Robert Mondavi Pinot Noar, draining the goblet to the dregs, I will reflect on my past life. Time heals old wounds, but there arr some you don't wanna heal too soon. Revel in your pain, rejoice in your suffering, yearn in your angst and anguish as you toil with your anxiety. mark my words, sometimes 'tis better thus...

So where do I go from here? It's a long road ahead, a long, winding, sinuous path that leads down to ruin and destruction or to glory and trumpets. Heart rendering anguish or joy bringing fame and fortune, glory for all to see bared in teh sunlight, or an infernal nightmare of artistic tortuousness. Few can see what lies ahead, and most of them get it wrong anyway. Yet the signs were ther for all to sea, for I was given more than one warning but failed to harken unto the voices in my head, for voices they were. Never in my life have I been driven to give up, although many a carrot was dangled on a stick undermy nose or before my blind eyes. As the English parlamentarians say, the eyes have it. But mine were blind, blind as a bat in a dark cave, for warnings were shown to me by the dozen, multifold by the truckload even, if I may go so far.

Crushed to dust, gone in a puff of smoke, gone with the wind! As Shakespeare said "twix'd my sheets they have done my office' for it was in my very home, my home! that these people took me in, promising that which they could not give even if it were theirs in the first place though it was not. And so I lye in solitude and loneliness, with the company of my thoughts but feeling let down and unable to be assuaged or commiserated or compensated. Yes, I was drawn in, attracted by the traps of fame and desire for recognition and greater horded wealth, although it was not to be because of my avarice and greed. Could this be the case, that I deserved it all after all. The Lord works in strange ways. Only time will tell.

sábado, 31 de janeiro de 2009

Hello Again!

Dear Fans n Friends and Odds n Ends,

Today I see that my site has taken over 400 hits, which is truly amazing. Thanx for visiting. I also read the comment about Michaela and Samantha. Are they going to have ‘love in the afternoon’? Wait and sea! I know your all longing for the jiggly jerkjerking, but I can't just plunge and plummet into it in the first chapter. Give us a chance!

As for The Far Star, its coming today, the first part. A time loop is a tricky thing to write about.

Last night we had a wonderful dinner. An entrée of fish in meuniere sauce followed by steak poivre and mashed potatoes and butter beans. The sommelier recommended a Zinfandel, that went down very well indeed. Then we had sorbet followed by a nice drink of brandy and some Epoisse and crackers. Very nice. (Btw, a somellier is a wine waiter, for those of you who don’t know. He’s the guy that tells you the best wine to drink with your meal and gives advice cos if you’ve got a guest whose really uncultured, then you can just give him some Spanish plonk or disgusting cheap wine from the former Soviet Union and save a few bucks).

Now your probly wondering why we went to a restaurant instead of the bistro because we had such a fancy meal, with all these French names. Well, the answer is that my mother-in-law is in town and we have to give her the works. She likes a good meal and we go to grate lengts to make sure she gets it. as my wonderful husband Norbert is a wealthy American industrialist, we have to show her a good time so she can see that good sort of life what her sun is having. She can be proud of him for that,especially in this recession caused by the Obama administration by uninspiring confidence in the system before he became the White House. Gov. Sarah Palin (R-Alaska) is out shopping her book so that she can raze money to run in 2012 and get this country back on track. There is no way Obama will get reelected and she’s got to be ready to step in and make sure it all works.

Well, don’t get me started on politics cos I do tend to go on once I get wound up. Anyway, I’m so happy the site has taken over 400 hits, that’s 407 last count, btw. Not bad for a newbay. And that’s just the people who view my profil, not counting the ones that don’t view it butt read the posts anyway. Thankyou all once again for visiting my sight and keeping it going. Your confidence inspires me. But I have to say a special thankx to my wonderful husband Norbert. If it wasn’t for him I’d be in a small little hovel somewhere fearing an ejection order any day because I couldn’t pay the rent because I didn’t know how to shop my book a round. But thanks to his guidence, I’m doing alright.

Back to food, I think tonight we’ll have a couple of bowels of soup and bread because all that fancy French stuff last night can take its tole. So you want to get lighter on the next day. Norbert and I will have a romantic evening together. I feel sorry for those women with no husband because I ‘d get so lonely. So many starving lonely writers. I cold be one of them if it was’nt for my wonderful husband Norbert. Thanks again Norb!

I needn’t say it but I will. In my new novel The far Star going on line today, there is no opaque argot and no comma sprinkling. THAT is my promise! I cannot abide by argonauts.

Well, time to go. Bye for now, or as they say in England, ‘to the loo!’

terça-feira, 20 de janeiro de 2009

Last Night's Meal

Last night, my husband Norbert and I went to the bistro and had a nice plate of smoked mackerel followed by poulard Derby, a roast chicken garnished with truffles and stuffed with far grois. This was washed down by a bottle of chablis and followed by pêche melba. Later we nibbled on some Roquefort blue cheese and enjoyed coffee and brandy. Tonight, I don't think we will be going so up-market. Maybe I'll just poop a pizza in to the oven and have a diet C0ke.

The Northern Sky 1.3

“Well,” said Michaela. “let’s recap to put it all into perspective. First of all, you’re four years older than me and got married at the age of seventeen to that wealthy Brazilian tourist who came to the islands. And you went away at once after he swept you off your feet. You’ve written me a steady stream of letters and I’ve answered most of them. In fact, I still have them in a shoebox in my wardrobe. But I feel that your leters are hiding something. You didn’t tell me everything, did you?”
“Ah, yes,” Samantha agreed. “I did talk about the sun and our local country club and our cocktail parties and the downside too that I used to sweat a lot at first because I wasn’t used to the heat. I told you about the little restaurant I opened and then sold later on for a tidy profit when I got tired of it. After all, there is no need for me to work really because Andre makes so much money as a banker and a few successful trips to Las Vegas and a few ship to shore investments.”
“It all sounds so exciting, so exotic!” enthused Michaela. “I wish I could see it!”
“You will one day, I’m sure. But for now, I had to get away from there. After all these years, I needed some breatheing space.”
“Yes, why did you come back so suddenly?”
“Hey,” said Samantha all of a sudden, changing tack. “Do you have a couple of tumblers? I could do with a drink”.
“Would you like some tea?”
“No, something stronger.” She stood up and rummaged thorugh her bag, producing a bottle of duty free Johnny Walker red label. “You can only buy this aboard,” she informed her cousin. “It’s pure and smoothe as a mountain stream. Care to join me?”
Michaela had tiptoed out of the room to get the glasses so as not to disturb her sleeping father. She gave a start.
“Come on,” said Samantha. “It’s been a long time.”
“But I so rarely drink,” Michaela protested. “It does terrible things to the liver and can cause dependence.”
“Don’t be such a stuck up square,” Samantha argued. Michaela conceded. “Very well, I suppose one drop can’ t do any harm, or at least not much.”

Samantha pored a generous helping for herself and half filled Michaela’s glass. She took a long swig and refilled at once. “That’s better,” she sighed. “Now, let me tell you my story.”
Michaela drew her knees up expectantly and stared at her cousin, who had already a little spark in her eyes from the whiskey, which she continued to drink.
“First of all,” said Samantha. “How’s your sex life?”
Michaela, the shy and timid Shetlander was rather taken aback by this sudden question, but ended up confessing to her cousin that the boy, Callum, whom she had written her about years before had consummated her. Samantha giggled.
“So, you’re not quite the saint after all, are you? But you are compared to me!”
“How come?”
The emigre sighed.
“I was always passionate,” she went on in a quiet voice. “I was romantic too. Romantic and passionate, a powerful and possible daft combination. It leaves you vulnerable. I married Andre. As you know, he’s Brazilian and Latin men are passionate and romantic. Just like me. I delivered my self to him entirely. I put my love and all my chips were bet on him. It was always wonderful. But then one day after a couple of years, a neighbor of mine who likes to gossip told me that Andre and his friends had been fooling around. On Friday nights they would go out for a drink with the boys, but ended up going to a brothelAs . some women there seem to take that sort of thing for granted. But I was shocked and awed, really upset. I couldn’t get over it. I was hurt.”
She took another swallow of booze and set her glass down carefully before going on.
“I confronted him,” she went on. “And he didn’t deny it. apologized. But I found out that he’d been doing it for years, and with countless faceless prostitutes just for the fun of it. I knew that he did not love these women, oh not at all, but he did want variety. And that got me to thinking myself.”
Michaela looked at her agape.
“What did you do?”
“I decided to get me a little variety my self.”
“Oh dear.”
“Revenge can be sweet.”
”Surely not.!”
One after noon, I went to a bar by myself, provocatively dressed and sat there. It wasn’t long before a man offered to buy me a drink. With in an hour, I was in a hotel room with him and I let him ravish me.”
“God bless my soul!”
“But it wasn’t enough.”
“No? How could it not be?”
Samantha lit a cigarette, ignoring the other’s look of disapproval. Seeing that it would be pointless to boject and burning with curiosity, Michaela handed her an ashtray.
“I needed to give him the full treatment, but keep it to myself. I decided I would have to turn a few tricks of my own.”
“Turn a what?”
“I’d need to, you know…?”
Michaela had a feeling that she knew what was going to be said, but couldn’t quite bring herself to believe it.
“Have you ever seen a film called Belle du Jour?”
“It’s French. It’s a bout a lonely French housewife who decides to become a prostitute just for the fun of it. I’d seen it on TV a few weeks before. So I decided to emulate her.”
“I can’t believe it!” cried Michaela in horror, taking a gulp of whisky. And yet, with the drink affecting her, she felt a curious thrill about it all.
“Well, you better believe it sweetheart,” said the slurred voice of Samantha, taking a long pull on her cigarette and another swallow of whiskey.
“OK, but did you get arrested?”
Samantha leaned forward and looked at her wisely, a crooked finger raised in the air.
“Aha, “ she said. That’s what you don’t know. You see, in Brazil, it’s not a crime to be a prostitute. It’s a crime to be a pimp, but if a woman wants to seel her body, there’s nothing, legally under the present statutes and legislation to stop her. Many people are campaigning to close this loophole, but it is unlikely that anything will come of it in the near future.”
“Wow! So what did you do?” Michaela was really curious now.
“A lot of women just do it on the streets. You go to certain parts of town and stand there. Sooner or later, you get picked up.”
“How much do you get for that?’
“Eqauivalent of a fiver”.
“Is that all?”
“Well, five pounds there goes a long way,” Samantha informed her. “There are more swanky establishements where they charge up to a hundred quid, but I wasn’t in it for the money. I was in it to satisfy my revenge.”
“And what did Andre say?’
“I never told him, it’s enough that I knew”
“Shiver me timbers! But how could you go through with it?”
Samantha giggled.
“The first time was a hoot! I was so nervous. I got there and stood on the corner for about forty minutes. Other women nearby were getting picked up, but they were well known to the guys who passed. A couple stared at me as if to say hey don’t invade our turf but I ignored them. Then this man came along, he must have been about fifty-five and he asked me how much. I gave him a ridiculously low price. I’d overheard others protesting the high price of the other women, so I put it so low that he couldn’t refuse. He obviously thought I was some dumb foreigner who didn’t understand the money there. I just wanted to get it over with. He said yes and we went to this little hotel that rents rooms by the hour. The standard is half an hour. We went in and we both took our clothes off. It was over quickly. He just lay on top of me and did it. then he stood up, put his clothes on, paid me and left. I didn’t even get his name and I never saw him again.”
Michaela said nothing. She was horrifed and yet, intrigued.“I lay on the bed till the half hour was up and someone knocked on the door. I got dressed and went downstairs. Some of the women who had left with other guys were back. I decided to stay a bit longer. I waited another twenty minutes and another guy came along, an older man, late sixties at least. He haggled the price and asked me to do some pretty weird stuff. I said no way but I gave in to a couple of his demands. This one was different, a chatterbox. Told me his whole life story and wanted to know everything about me. He also wanted my guarantee that he was the first one today. It’s funny. They all want to go out with hookers, they know that the hookers have tons of guys but that doesn’t bother them so long as they’re the first of the day. Funny that.”

Sad Day for the US of A

When you can proudly say that David Leterman got you elected, then its a sad day. Traditional family values are tossed out the window in favor of the liberal leftist policies of Jay Leno and Jerry Sinefeld. Sarah Palin, the only hope for America in 2012 needs your help. Please join and put and end to the L word in America. In four years, when it all comes carshing down around them, even the L***als will have to think agqain. Get active in your local church or community and put an end to socialism in America. Their already dishing out billions to wasteful institutes that blew their money and now the taz payer has to bale them out. It’s a disgrace. And I hate Madonna too for whatshe did with the guitar and comparing it to Todd Palin’s snowmobile. Hey, Material Girl, if you can only play a guitar that sounds like a snow mobile, then don’t play it at all and do us all a favor. I detest that woman and her exploitation of feminininty. Go TeamSarah, go!

The Northern Sky 1.2

Next morning, Michaela was still a bit upset when she woke up.

“Sufferin’ succataz,” she muttered to herself. “How am I going to get out of this?”

But when she went outside to feed the chickens, she noticed that there was a bustle down in the village below her daddy’s farmhouse and a lot of commotion. Leaving her dad in front of the hearth with a cup of coffee and a digestive biscuit, she pulled on her boots and trotted down the hillside to see for herself exactly what it was that was going on down there. A flashy red car had just come off the ferry and a tall blond woman had alighted from it. The fact that she was blond was hardly surprising in Shetland where most of the population were Celtic or Viking descendents (with an occasional Norse man), but this blonde woman took her breathe away. Her hair was coiffured with no braids or Kirby grips. Her nails were painted red and there was makeup on her face, which was not common in Sheltand islands during the daytime. She was wearing a gabardine coat of the type mostly seen in European movies and capitals, a Burberry trench coat that swept down below her knees but when she walked the front opened to reveal long and shapely legs. Even after all these years, she recognized her at once. It was Samantha, her beautiful cousin who had migrated to Rio de Janeiro about ten or eleven years before back in 1981 or 1982. She looked great but her Shetland accent with its Scottish traits was still blatant as she caught site of her cousin and waved frantically.

“Michaela! Michaela” How good to see you! Its been such a long time and I’ve missed you. Have you read my letters?”
“Oh, my dear cousin Samantha!” Michalea cried, running into her open arms and hugging her tightly. “You look great and you smell great!”
“Oh,” said Samantha oof handedly. “It’s just a little lotion I picked up in Paris when I made a stopover there before flying to Glasgow to get the plane to here.”
Michaela was envious. She wished she could say things like that, and smell like that, and look like that. but she consealed this and embraced her cousin again so that she could smell the perfume once more it smelled so good.
A lot of other people were gathered round and Samantha patiently and perhaps genuinely said hello to all of them and answered their questions about Rio, so many questions that Michaela felt that there might be nothing left for her to ask later on because Samantha was saying so much now but she knew her cousin and sauspected that there were things that she was keeping back. She always had a rabbit to pull out of her hat!

Finally they were able to slip away. Samantha piloted her car up the path to the farmhouse. It only took about eight minutes although Michaela usually took twenty-five to make it.

“You wash up,” she said, “And I’ll see to lunch. Dad’s dropped off in front of the hearth, its so cozy but when he wakes up he’ll be sure to be awed at your presence!”
“I could sure use a shower,” said Samantha.
“We don’t have a shower,” her cousin informed her, only a bathtub. Bu tit is good for you in the cold weather.”
“How primitive,” Samantha joked with dancing eyes and a twinkle.

Mr. McMahon was overcome with emotion and choked with joy at the site of his long gone niece. “Och, it’s wonderful to see you again bonnie lassie, although I do wager ye’ve changed a great deal and all gone mixing up in fancy company and all. Noo it’s tme for ma wee nap and I’m sure ye lassies have goat a lot to talk aboot. Why don’t ye take the afternoon off Michaela, the sheep can make it on their own for one day. Ye can go into yer room like you used to do in the auld days and trade secrets and all that.”
“How cool, daddy,” said Michaela. “You can be such a dear at times”!
“Och,” said the old man in embarrassment.