Looking Out and Looking In

I must apologize for another self-promotion, but it has been in the cards this month, I guess.

Matthew Peters, a wonderful writer, whose novel, Conversations Among Ruins, will be published by All Things That Matter Press this year, did an interview with me about my writing.

My Interview with Diane Denton

Please welcome DIANE DENTON, AKA D.M. DENTON, author of

A HOUSE NEAR LUCCOLI

Tell us a bit about yourself:

I grew up in Western New York and have been writing, drawing and painting, since I was a child. I’ve always been most content in my imagination. From my teens I was obsessed with English literature and drama, began to dream and then plan to get to the UK. I made no secret of feeling something or someone would keep me there. The opportunity to cross the Atlantic came in my junior year of college and I spent the spring semester of 1974 at Wroxton College in Oxfordshire, a 13th century Augustinian Priory turned Jacobean Manor on extensive grounds and part of a picture-postcard village by the same name. And, yes, I did end up living in England (in that same village)—for the next sixteen years, an experience that enriched and frustrated me, but which I’m so glad I had. I returned to the US in 1990 to a lovely rural area of Western New York where I live in a log cabin with my mom and five cats.

I answered nine more questions and invite you to read the full interview!

And while you are visiting Matt’s website, please have a look at his bio and pages about his upcoming publications.

I end by offering something more like my usual postings. I know a lot of you have seen it before, but I hope it brings a little sweetness and brightness to your day or night!

Copyright 2012 by DM Denton

Copyright 2012 by DM Denton

By the window

there’s a pot

of Paperwhites

as sweet

to the scent as

they are

to the sight;

one then two,

three,

even four

and five of a kind

with their eyes

so bright,

some looking out

and

some looking in.

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It’s All About Love – A Valentines Day Tribute

Just a quick announcement:

I will be on Internet Radio tonight!

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Image Copyrighted by It Matters Radio 2014

It’s All About Love – A Valentines Day Tribute on It Matters Radio:

Thursday, Feb 13, 9AM (EST)

We’re excited to present to our listeners the winners of our 2014 Valentine Broadcast Contest. From music to humorous and heartfelt tales of love, it is sure to bring listeners the many meanings of Valentines Day.

You will hear the exceptional songs from two very talented female artists, Beth Rudetsky and one we know simply as Kaya as they present their songs of love.

The writers have outdone themselves with flash fiction, prose and poetry reaching into the many meanings this holiday may entail. We welcome Mark Murphy, Diane Denton, Lucille Barker and Salvatore Buttaci, the best from around the world.

I will be involved in a short interview and be reading my winning poem, Clearing for BluebellsThe show begins at 9 pm, Eastern Standard Time and I will be on after 10 pm.  I realize that it won’t be possible for many of you to tune in live, but the program will be recorded and available on podcast.  Here is the link.

Thanks, as always, for all your support and encouragement.

Happy Valentines Day!

Copyright 2014 by DM Denton

Illustration from The Library Next Door – A Kindle Short Story by DM Denton

My Writing Process – Blog Hop Tour

Monica M Brinkman, http://monicabrinkmanbooks.webs.com/, author of The Turn of the Karmic Wheel invited me to participate in this blog hop tour. She is a member of The Writers Center and The Missouri Writers Guild. Her short stories and articles have been published throughout the internet in such places as A Word For You Press, Fifty Authors From Fifty States, and Five Monkeys, to name a few. You will also find true-life experiences of the paranormal, along with other tales and articles, at her column, A Touch of Karma, at Authorsinfo .com. Ms Brinkman hosts a weekly radio broadcast, It Matters Radio each Thursday @ 9PM ET. Check out the web site @ www.itmattersradio.com.

The tour requires that I answer four questions about my writing process:

donatellawquillunshadedWhat am I working on?
I’m on the final stretch of completing the sequel to my historical novel,
A House Near Luccoli, published by All Things That Matter Press, which imagines a friendship between the real-life 17th century charismatic Italian composer, Alessandro Stradella, and the story’s fictional protagonist, Donatella. Its current title, which I recently changed, is To A Strange Somewhere Fled, and it takes Donatella to England in May of 1682 and the small but stately Oxfordshire village of Wroxton.  There she encounters the residents of Wroxton Abbey, both active in the Court of Charles II: Lord Francis North, Keeper of the Great Seal, and his younger brother, Roger, who is on the King’s Council.  Of course, she is haunted by past possibilities (and impossibilities), the lure of music and its masters not done with her yet. The divine Henry Purcell and a few other composers and musicians of the time make appearances, including one (or two) Donatella first encountered in the house near Luccoli. You can read more about A House Near Luccoli and its sequel here.


Over the past months I’ve also had two illustrated Kindle Short Stories published by All Things That Matter Press: The Snow White Gift and The Library Next Door. You can read more about them here. Last year I self-published an illustrated poetry journal, A Friendship with Flowers. I’m mulling around some ideas for shorter works and for my next novel; possibilities include Christina Rossetti, an English poet of the late 19th century and the sister of the poet and painter, Dante Gabriel Rossetti; or Mary Webb, an English poet and novelist of the early 20th century. Of course, who knows what will take my fancy when the time comes to embark on another novel’s journey!

How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I would say that it differs from the work of those who fit comfortably into “the box” of a specific genre, who need to belong to “the club” of that genre and can easily promote themselves as an author in that genre. I didn’t consciously set out to write historical fiction, certainly not exclusively. Perhaps I gravitate towards it because I’m “an old-fashioned girl” in many ways that include my love for classic literature, early music, and folk traditions. But it’s the stories and characters that have suggested or, in the case of my novel, A House Near Luccoli, dictated the period and geography. I think the past can be “brought forward” without compromising its truth – that contemporary writing can be a conduit for understanding and appreciating history better. I knew a musician who sang and produced music of the Renaissance with respect for and knowledge of its origins, but who interpreted and performed it with a progressive freshness and appeal that took it out its scholarly shell and brought it into the lives of many who would otherwise never have been introduced to it – a worthwhile legacy, I think.

Rather than get too comfortable and staid with any one genre, I prefer to be a writer who, hopefully, appeals to more adventurous readers: those who enjoy my spirit of exploration because it feeds and satisfies their own.

Why do I write what I do?
I find my voice in poetry and prose, in silence and retreat, in truth and imagination. I find my subjects and characters in observation and study, music, art, nature and the contradictions of the creative spirit. I love to wander in and out of the past to discover stories of interest and meaning for the present. I write from my love of language and the belief that what is left unsaid is the most affecting of all. 

How does your writing process work?
I’m really not that conscious of a process, never quite sure how my emotions are going to affect me at any given time! Well, I’m a Cancer, after all!

But once I admitted (especially to myself) how vital writing was to my life, I realized I must dedicate specific time to it. This means I have to allow whole days when there is nothing to take me out of the house, like my day job or shopping or even going out to dinner or other social distractions. I absorb the energy of environments and others too easily and find that either the anticipation or (especially) after-effect of being “out in the world” disturbs my need to be alone in an imaginative state of possibilities – so essential for my writing to progress as I wish it to. I write best in the late afternoon and evening: with prose, mostly on the computer, while my poetry is usually born of scribbles on scraps of paper. The fiction I’ve written so far has required much research; I do some as I’m writing, but initially it takes months of investigating and then reading and ruminating before it flows into a fictional narrative – in my experience like climbing a mountain to see for miles and miles, only to come down and live in one small piece of that view. I do try to exercise my writing ‘muscles’ every day in some way; certainly, having a blog and other social media interactions, especially with other writers and artists, has helped me to do so. Writer’s block happens to me less than it used to, but there are times when I put a writing project such as a novel aside for a little while in a kind of fasting to make me hungry for it again.

And now …

… it is my pleasure to introduce you to three wonderful authors who have agree to take part in this blog tour.  I invite you to visit their sites and see what their imaginations and talents have been up to!


Mary Clark is a writer specializing in memoir, historical fiction, literary fiction, and poetry. Her books include: Tally: An Intuitive Life, All Things That Matter Press, August 2013; Children of Light, a poetry novel, Ten Penny Players on Scribd.com; and Covenant, historical fiction novelette, Kindle ebook. Her poetry and fiction has appeared in Jimson Weed, Waterways: Poetry in the Mainstream, Lips, East River Review, and other literary publications. Currently, she is working on a memoir of the years she worked at St. Clement’s Church on West 46th Street in Manhattan, in the neighborhood colloquially known as Hell’s Kitchen.
Please visit Mary’s blog at: http://literaryeyes.wordpress.com/


Wendy Joseph vies with her characters for a life of romance and adventure. A deckhand on merchant ships, she has outrun pirates off of Somalia, steered ships large and small through typhoons and calms from the Bering Sea to Shanghai, and helped rescue seals on the Pacific coast. Believing history must be lived, she has crewed the 18th century square-rigger Lady Washington, the steamer Virginia V, the WWII freighter SS Lane Victory, and the moored battleship USS Iowa. She has shared her food with Third World workers and starving cats. She sings sea shanties, her own songs, and with classical and medieval choirs. Her passion is for works of the imagination, for telling a really good story, and for connecting with the minds and souls of readers and taking them to a magnificent and finer place. Researching The Witch’s Hand in France, she traced the paths of her characters over the terrain they covered to get the description right, and dug up old documents for historical accuracy. She holds two Master’s in English and can splice a twelve strand line. Her poetry and prose have appeared in the literary journals Bricolage, Ha!, Westwind, and Nomos. Her plays Gargoyles, The Hamlet Interview, Oil in the Sound and Booking Hold were produced to acclaim in Seattle, and she appeared in the movie Singles. Ashore she holds court with her cats Jean Lafitte and Bijou in the wilds of Washington State.
Please visit Wendy’s blog at: http://wjoseph924.blogspot.com/

Kim Rendfeld, a former journalist and current copy editor for a university public relations office, has a lifelong fascination with fairy tales and legends, which set her on her quest to write The Cross and the Dragon and The Ashes of Heaven’s Pillar (soon to be released – read advanced praise), both set eighth century Francia. She lives in Indiana with her husband, Randy, and their spoiled cats. They have a daughter and three granddaughters.
Please visit Kim’s blog at: http://kimrendfeld.wordpress.com/

As Valentines Day is fast approaching, here is a little poem I wrote a few years ago:

Romancing the Word

Copyright 2013 by DM Denton

Copyright 2013 by DM Denton

You constantly long for the right word,
though how could you ever
be content with just one-
courting the idea of a sentence,
a paragraph,
a page,
from the first chapter through many more
to the end?

This is the romance
you live for now
and perhaps always have,
for your heart

has been stolen
more often
by your imagination
than your reality.

Don’t give up
because your love
is unrequited
and it seems no one will ever know
how it breathed
as though nothing else mattered.

Be true
to your calling
and don’t regret
a word of it,
for each one
that comes to you
takes your hand
in hopes
of fitting your vision
and pleasing your voice
like diamonds forever.

©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.

Rendezvous in Scarborough

Here’s another offering for the lead up to Valentines Day.  It is a repost that has been retitled and revised a little.

Victorian Lady Walking on Beach0001

Copyright 2012 by DM Denton

The sun was shining through the blind, and I thought how pleasant it would be to pass through the quiet town and take a solitary ramble on the sands while the world was in bed.
(from ‘ Agnes Grey’, a novel by Anne Brontë)

Her first glimpse of the sea was from a room as small as the experience was vast. It wasn’t the best lodging in Scarborough, but it offered a brightening view of the bay below the promontory where a castle crumbled and sands stretched wider and wider along the indecisive surf.

Wintry gusts whined against and even through the room’s grimy window. She dressed warmly to go out before breakfast.

Things were happening in the harbor with fishing boats; on the pier shops and stalls were preparing to open. Until that morning she had only ever seen gulls playing flying games over plowed fields for the freedom of having lost their way. Now they seemed agitated in a place they belonged. Her footprints on the sand were the first since the last tide, so she could imagine she was walking where no one had before. It was colder than expected, but nothing could dissuade her from approaching the sea and what it might do next. If it had been summer she would have taken off her shoes and stockings and tiptoed into little bursts of foam at the water’s edge where seaweed bobbed to and fro. Instead her gloves were washed in icy sand as she examined shells and pebbles.

Seagulls were circling above her now, the sun dispersing any clouds as it enlarged and chose to illuminate her for whoever was there to see.

A man was coming down the strand in a great cape that belonged to an actor’s wardrobe, hailing her with hand and voice and assuming she was glad to see him.

She surrendered long before he caught up with her.

“You must be perished. Here.”

She stopped the cape from sliding off his shoulders. “Then you’ll be cold.”

“I can bear it.” He turned, wondering what distracted her from him.

It was just a thought. That she might share a little of her passion without any impropriety, looking beyond his intention and the on-looking tiers of tile-roofed houses. She pointed to the northern gray of a simple church presiding like a cathedral. “St Mary’s. Where Anne Brontë is buried.”

“Interesting.” His smile said otherwise.

“Scarborough is where she saw the sea for the first time, too.”

He rubbed her hands.

She no longer had a choice, his cloak embracing as if to hide her, stroked over her ears and cheeks, fastened under and lifting her chin. She was ashamed she could be so ready for his advances: a long kiss, an uncertain happiness, a dance without music, and a pleasure that didn’t know how to be.

The Cathedral bells signaled a chance passing. He held her arms when they separated a little and didn’t seem to notice she was crying. “Ah. I can smell chestnuts roasting. Breakfast.”

In another moment it wasn’t hard to let him go.

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.

In Sight of the Moon – Excerpt from A House Near Luccoli

For a first post in this month of love, I am offering a ‘romantic’ excerpt from my published novel, A House Near Luccoli, which imagines an intimacy with the legendary Alessandro Stradella – one of the greatest but most undervalued Baroque composers – during his time in Genoa, Italy.

A House Near Luccoli Poster for blog etc

Excerpt from A House Near Luccoli – Chapter Fourteen

After Donatella accompanies Stradella to a celebration dinner in honor of the Princess Doria’s brother, Benedetto Pamphilj, being made Cardinal; they return to the house near Luccoli at quite a late hour.

Donatella followed him up one floor too many, their association in public not half so daring as into the late night of his apartment, anticipating her aunt calling her out. Alessandro used the only candle burning to light a few others, the curtains also gesturing her to a window so she might view the bay’s shipshape stage and beaming impresario of a lighthouse. The sky showed stars, some more celebrated than others. But no moon.

He had opened the window enough for his head and shoulders to lean out. “Unless you do this.”

“Please, don’t.”

“I’ve got you,” he sang as confidently as she didn’t feel with her upper body in mid-air, yet obedient to his instruction to look sharply left and up where the nearly full moon balanced on a cloud.

“All right. I see it.” She was pulled in like the curtains, on the coolness of the wind and his maneuvers so she thought he might lie down on the couch with her, as ridiculous a notion as falling for the sight of the moon.

“I hope my aunt didn’t hear.” She sat up, crossing her arms.

“You’re your own responsibility.” He removed his coat, folding it on the closed top of the harpsichord, his cravat floating up and down to land there, too.

“She’s like that,” Donatella felt surprisingly satisfied, “when she isn’t listened to.”

“She didn’t want you to go?”

“She didn’t want me asked to go.”

“Ah. I was hoping I’d found a rebel in you. Instead you do as you’re told or asked.”

“I could refuse either.”

“Or negotiate between the two.” He sat at the writing table. “I need more vino.” He stretched his arms out and laid his head down facing her with a brother’s benignity.

“I think she sleeps with the key.”

“You’re light on your feet.”

“No.”

“If she wakes, you have an excuse.”

“I do?”

“Just letting her know you’re back.”

“She’d be suspicious anyway.”

He jumped up. “Especially if you had something else to tell her.” He went down to his knees, his arms covering hers in white and his hands praying. “What could it be?” They opened and folded around hers. “I know!” His lips bowed and proposed to her fingertips. “Marry me.”

Even a princess would have despaired as he begged Donatella to take him lightly. He sat on the floor propped against her legs, his head tilted into her skirt like a cat in its own space happening to touch upon hers.

Just came upon this new Youtube video of a Stradella aria for soprano & continuo:
E’ pazzia l’innamorarsi
Susanne Rydén soprano, Alessandro Palmeri cello.
CD: Stradella, Italian Arias. Ensemble Harmonices Mundi.
Conductor: Claudio Astronio.

Old View of Genoa, where A House Near Luccoli takes place.

Old View of Genoa, where A House Near Luccoli takes place.

A House Near Luccoli is available at amazon.com in Paperback, Kindle and Audiobook editions.

Also at barnesandnoble in Paperback and NOOK Book editions.

Thank you to all who have already read it and to those who have contributed to some great reviews the novel has received.  Of course, more are always welcome!

Visit my amazon.com page for all my publications.

donatellawquillunshaded©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.