Fruit-fall-ness (Re-post)

When the leaves turn colors the wind turns cold and brings them down. But I’ve already raked that over, finding fruit among what’s fallen.

Copyright 2011 by DM Denton

Copyright 2011 by DM Denton

©Artwork and writing, unless otherwise indicated, are the property of Diane M Denton. Please request permission to reproduce or post elsewhere with a link back to bardessdmdenton. Thank you.

As a Moth to a Flame

New 5 Star Review of my novel, A House Near Luccoli:

Full Cover ImageImagine yourself a woman caring for a beloved grandmother and under the thumb of a domineering aunt. Imagine yourself in Genoa in the late seventeenth century, a woman circumscribed by being a woman in an era when women’s single role was to get married and have children. One of the most reliable story plots begins like this: A stranger comes to town. And so begins Diane Denton’s novel. The stranger is Stradella, famed Baroque composer, a roue driven from other towns and settling here, in a house with three women and a sexy young servant. Which one will bed him? Will he seduce rich women and make himself persona non grata here as well? Or has he come her to make, not mischief, but music? Will the sound of that music spill down into the grandmother’s bedroom, a private concert, and will Stradella somehow come to know that Donatella, the thirtiesh spinster, is musically trained and could be of great help to her?

I love historical novels and any story that features a genius and the person who stands behind the genius: a muse, an amanuesis, a lover. Back in late seventeenth century Genoa, inevitably, that person would have been a woman. When Stradella, the feted Baroque composer, takes up residence in her house, Donatella is drawn to him as a moth to flame. The minuet of their attraction and our curiosity about whether the famous Stradella will recognize her gifts kept me reading from the first page to the last. The sentences in this poetic and evocative novel will echo long after you finish the story, but like poetry, you may find yourself slowing down to savor the whispers and stand, for just a minute, at the open window. If you like THE GIRL WITH THE PEARL EARRING (book or movie), you will love this book.

~ Marylee MacDonald, author of Montpelier Tomorrow and other publications.

Read review on Goodreads

Thank you, Marylee, for this beautifully written review!

Every day is one closer to the release of the sequel,

 To A Strange Somewhere Fled.

Copyright 2014 by DM Denton

Copyright 2014 by DM Denton

In the meantime, my imagination is my memory.

My writing moves forwards and backwards

to explore past lives,

Anne Brontë,

the nature of things,

and my endless love of cats …


donatellasmallest©Artwork and writing, unless otherwise indicated, are the property of Diane M Denton. Please request permission to reproduce or post elsewhere with a link back to bardessdmdenton. Thank you.

Review of ‘Covenant, A Story of Friendship’ by Mary Clark

5.0 out of 5 stars

A Story in the Moment of Fundamental Change by DM Denton

51qEtH4PMAL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-v3-big,TopRight,0,-55_SX324_SY324_PIkin4,BottomRight,1,22_AA346_SH20_OU01_Covenant. An agreement between parties that is binding like a contract. It’s one of the metaphors used in the Christian and Jewish traditions regarding God’s relationship with and expectation of humankind. In a secular sense it can suggest a collective upholding of certain principals and beliefs—a ritual, even religious pledge and expectation of allegiance to a common, even exalted purpose.

In the bible, Covenant and Testament are used interchangeably. Mary Clark’s Covenant is a testament to how relationships form, flourish, are tested, fall apart, and, if they run deep enough, endure.

As the lives of three youths growing up in the 1950’s and 60’s on Florida’s Gulf Coast intersect, promises are made sub-consciously, at times devoutly. Commonality occurs because of being a certain age in a particular time and place, of sharing amusements, music, uncertainty and wonder, loss and discovery. Loyalty is the maturing of friendship seeded in companionship, threatened by struggle and change, and nurtured by empathy and necessity. Mary Clark’s nostalgic and sensitive offering of their story starts small, out of the inconspicuous, but grows larger and larger in its awareness of the world around them, paralleling very personal events with those that affect their country and the world. These were times I lived through—the civil rights movement, the cold war, JFK’s assassination—and, so, reminded me of how as a child my actual and imaginative life was affected by the decisions and actions of adults. Not always negatively, as one particular scene highlights. When Orchie sees a white man hit a black man who has walked onto a segregated beach and the white man is arrested, she experiences “…the thrill of being in the moment of fundamental change.” I can remember that feeling so well.

The story of Orchie, Red and Bobby is soothing and stark, amusing and disquieting, individualistic and altruistic as it reflects through hours, days, months and years. Mary Clark’s writing is eloquent, even as she ‘speaks’ of poverty and violence, devastation and betrayal. It is word-rich with beautiful sensory descriptions that set the scenes—the woods, the swamps, the beaches, the small town— where the young people spend their time; a blend of raw reality and dreaminess that moves the narrative beyond the simple alliance of children to an agreement that requires them to look into their consciences and hearts.

Read review on Goodreads.

Read review on Amazon.

Covenant is available in Kindle edition.

Visit Mary Clark’s Amazon Page.

Visit Mary Clark’s Blog

Read my review of Tally: An Intuitive Life by Mary Clark, published by All Things That Matter Press. Highly Recommended!


Repost: Like a Nuthatch

Watching the birds on my nutty suet feeder the last few days, I decided to share this one for the third time. (Those of you who have my 2014 Calendar will recognize it, too.)

Following on my previous post, I’m still in the process of re-imagining this blog. I have, however, taken the first step, an important one for me at this time, and disabled the LIKE button. Whatever I post going forward is for anyone who comes upon it, enjoys it and/or finds it informative and interesting. Comments will still be much appreciated, but so will every anonymous coming and going.

My welcome and gratefulness to all who take the time to visit here, remains the same.


What wouldn’t you give
for that peanutty feast –
something of your shyness
at the very least?

For you have valor,
obvious in your stance,
blue-gray caped crusader
eyes fixed in a glance.

Long-billed and short-tailed,
you observe from your perch,
impatient for my hand
to shorten your search.

While head over ‘heels’
you see nothing absurd
in making a descent
to reach what’s preferred.

And then there are times
you also move sideways
with strong toes and claws that
gravity obeys.

Your voice is distinct,
tiny horns on the wind,
red-breast hardly counting
your breaths out and in.

You have a technique
that seems topsy-turvy
but finds more delights than
others more nervy.

Tapping each crevice
you find grubs and insects
that many high climbers
routinely do miss.

Despite your short wings
you lift off with some pluck
to prove, after all, you
know which way is up.

©Artwork and writing, unless otherwise indicated, are the property of Diane M Denton. Please request permission to reproduce or post elsewhere with a link back to bardessdmdenton. Thank you.

Creating Oneself Endlessly

To exist is to change, to change is to mature, to mature is to go on creating oneself endlessly.
~ Henri Bergson (1859-1941) French  philosopher

I’ve been thinking about writing this post for some time. It’s about this blog. It’s not that I want or intend to give it up. Or that I don’t appreciate those who continue to visit here often or once in a while. Each one who enjoys, is inspired and encouraged by something I write, draw or paint is a valued connection and blessing, and as much, if not more, of an inspiration and encouragement to me.

I just can’t keep up with offering the kind of content – poetry and short prose with original artwork – as often as I did in my first years of blogging.

Now I have one novel published and another under contract to be, I want to concentrate on my fiction writing more than ever. This involves a lot of research and isolation and assimilation time without too many distractions. I also have a project involving prose and poetry and illustrations that, for many years, I’ve wanted to do.

Besides all that, I have family and home responsibilities and a few more years yet of needing to work the day job. As I’m into my sixth decade, my energy—physical, creative, mental, spiritual and emotional—must be rationed, and I need to limit some things in order to achieve others. As many of you know, creative endeavors can take quite a lot out of the creator. To begin with, I’ve always been a low-energy person and, also, a perfectionist—that is to say, I always give everything I do, no matter how ‘large’ or ‘small’, 100%. I rarely do something quickly just to get it done.

I’m not yet sure what direction this blog will take. It will still be a go-to place for information about my publications and the reviews I do for others. Perhaps, sometimes, I’ll write about the research I’m doing. I’ve been thinking about setting up a page about doing pet portraits. And, I’m sure, there will be flashes of poetry or prose-poetry from time to time.

I do think I’ll be limiting my posts to one or two a month in order to create content worth sharing. I hope my followers, old and new, will continue to find something for their minds, hearts and souls in whatever I offer.

I won’t stop writing and otherwise creating, as well as appreciating the always impressive and enlightening work of others.


Blessings to all.


I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of the stars makes me dream.
~ Vincent van Gogh



©Artwork and writing, unless otherwise indicated, are the property of Diane M Denton. Please request permission to reproduce or post elsewhere with a link back to bardessdmdenton. Thank you.


The Maiden’s Court – Author Interview with DM Denton

Thank you to Heather Rieseck who recently did an interview with me on her blog, The Maiden’s Court.


The questions:

1. The bio on your website indicates that the writing bug bit you in your childhood and then life happened.  What brought you back to writing in earnest?

2. What is the writing process like for you?  Are you a planner or a spontaneous writer?

Alessandro Stradella 1639-16823. In your novel, A House Near Luccoli, the composer Alessandro Stradella is your focal point.  I have never heard of this man before.  What can you tell us about him?  Why choose to write about him?

4. Is there a tidbit that didn’t make it into your novel that you would want to share with us?

5. Your novel is set in Genoa, Italy – have you ever had the chance to go to the area where your novel is set?

6. You are working on a sequel to A House Near Luccoli.  How is that process going?  Did you always intend for a sequel or was it something that developed organically?


I hope you will take a few moments to visit Heather’s blog and read my answers here!


And, if you haven’t already, please visit the page on this blog about the sequel, To A Strange Somewhere Fled, and scroll down for a form you can fill out and send to ensure you’re on the email list for notification of its release.

To A Strange Somewhere Fled Header with cover image circle-cropped resized



 Thank you all – new friends and old – for your visits, encouragement and support! It means so much to me.

donatellasmallest©Artwork and writing, unless otherwise indicated, are the property of Diane M Denton. Please request permission to reproduce or post elsewhere with a link back tobardessdmdenton. Thank you.

In memoriam: You Moved Through the Fair

As today marks the two year anniversary of the passing from this world of a special friend and extraordinary musician and spirit, Owain Phyfe, I want to share this one again.

Copyright 2012 by DM Denton

Copyright 2012 by DM Denton

There was music on your breath
made softer
but not stilled by death;
the bright greeting of your eyes
lost, but for
reminiscing sighs;
the quick smile that found each one,
a star with
the warmth of the sun;
a playfulness in your hands
songs from foreign lands.

You moved many through the fairs
and left them
mourning you in prayers;
those times past and present too,
with all your
audience to woo;
mine a quiet memory
not to let
fade and thus bury—
when neither too sweetly soon
nor too late
you sang for the moon.

The sketch is of Owain, a loved if often distant friend, who was a vocalist, instrumentalist, and founder of Nightwatch Recording, which concentrated on Renaissance and Medieval music, and, also, music from South America and Mexico. He died from pancreatic cancer on September 5, 2012 at the age of 63. I did the drawing many years before, intending to make it into a painting. Like, so many things relating to him, it remains unfinished.

He has left a legacy of beautiful music. Below is one of my favorites, but please go to YouTube for more examples. 

If you are interested in purchasing any of Owain’s CDs, have a look here:


donatellasmallest©Artwork and writing, unless otherwise indicated, are the property of Diane M Denton. Please request permission to reproduce or post elsewhere with a link back to bardessdmdenton. Thank you.