Out Now: Dancing in the Rain

I invite you to savor the beautiful poetry and spirit of Christine Moran and make a contribution to the MS Trust (dedicated to making life better for people living with multiple sclerosis by providing free information to everyone affected by MS and by supporting the health professionals who work with multiple sclerosis).

It was my pleasure and honor to participate in this exquisite collection of poems by doing the artwork for the cover and writing the introduction.

Dancing in the Rain was published to perfection by Bennison Books and is available in paperback from Amazon.com and Amazon UK. The author’s profits will go to the Multiple Sclerosis Trust.

Bennison Books

chriscover

Chris Moran found poetry and poetry found her. She recovered from alcoholism only to be faced with a long-delayed diagnosis of multiple sclerosis, experiences documented in her first volume of poetry with honesty, humility and humour.

She doesn’t deny the sadnesses in life, and acknowledges with a clear eye the despair that can sometimes take us unawares, but she is always pulled towards joy, and gently takes the reader with her. 

She is also a bold experimenter, and here we find a sonnet about bees, a villanelle about approaching spring (the poet’s favourite time of  year), and haiku about her unborn grandchildren:

Tiny seed planted
germination soon in place
fruit of the autumn.

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Coming Soon! Book Trailer

Book Trailer taking you beyond A House Near Luccoli … To A Strange Somewhere Fled.

After the sudden end to her collaboration with the composer Alessandro Stradella in February 1682, Donatella moves from Genoa to a small village in Oxfordshire, England. Her father’s friendship with the residents of Wroxton Abbey, important figures in the court of Charles II, offers her new possibilities, especially, as music and its masters~including the ‘divine’ Henry Purcell~have not finished with her yet.

Music is The Plaint: O Let Me Weep from The Fairy Queen by Henry Purcell.

O, let me forever weep:
My eyes no more shall welcome sleep.
I’ll hide me from the sight of day,
And sigh my soul away.
He’s gone, his loss deplore,
And I shall never see him more.

Here is a post I wrote a few years ago, inspired by this piece, called Words and Music.

 

I must thank Deborah of Bennison Books, and authors Mary Clark and Steve Lindahl for their pre-publication reviews that inspired some of the text in this video. Those reviews will be included in the book.

Proofing the final galley copy now and preparing myself to let my second novel child go!

 

Beribboned in Sapphire, Trimmed in Bronze

February 17, 2015 is Martedí Grasso (Fat Tuesday) of Carnevalea final celebration before Ash Wednesday and Lent.

It’s the main day of Carnival … The most famous Carnivals in Italy are in Venice, Viareggio and Ivrea. Ivrea has the characteristic “Battle of Oranges” that finds its roots in medieval times. Italy is the birthplace of Carnival celebrations, having its origins in the ancient Roman festival of Saturnalia.
~ Wikipedia

For those of you who have read my historical fiction A House Near Luccoli, you will know that Martedi Grasso offers some pivotal scenes. Although the novel begins a few years after the 17th century composer Alessandro Stradella‘s arrival in Genoa, Carnevale was initially his reason for going (well, there might have been one or two other reasons …) and then he was encouraged to stay.

This week I go to Genoa, invited by some gentlemen of that city, where I will spend carnival …
~ from a letter Stradella wrote to Polo Michiel (one of his patrons), dated Turin, 16 December, 1677

I arrived in Genoa safe and sound already last week, where I was favored by many gentlemen who vied to have me in their homes … And from the moment of my arrival till now, I have always had to spend my time with ladies and gentlemen, all greatly interested in me, and actually they favour me with so many kindnesses and so much applause that I do not know what more I could desire, and in every way they show very great pleasure in my inadequate talent.
~ from a letter Stradella wrote to Polo Michiel, dated Genoa, 8 January 1678

Copyright by DM Denton 2015

Copyright by DM Denton 2015

Sleep well tonight. She wished she had taken his advice, but she couldn’t stop looking at the explicitly elegant gown hanging on the wardrobe. Nonna would have enjoyed the sight. It was silk and pearl buttoned, curving and billowing white, beribboned in sapphire and trimmed in bronze. Also warm and cold, tight and loose, depending on what the weather and outcome would be. A few hours later she was like a cat that had fallen from an open window, suddenly finding herself where she both longed and was afraid to be, feeling the hardness of pavement and softness of air.

Alessandro insisted she put on her mask again. “And practice on the way.”

“Practice what?”

“Walking like a cat, purring like a cat.”

“Really.” She wasn’t averse to doing so. “I’ve never seen a blue one.”

“You’ll see others turning green.”

Although her face was immovable and pale, she couldn’t hide her pleasure.

“All that’s left is for you to rub against my legs.”

Alessandro was all in white, as if he had absorbed winter from his hat like a boat with one wind-torn sail to frill topped hose and overly flapped boots. He was wimpled in lacy layers to his shoulders, tightly short coated and cavalier, out of fashion but not style, laddered rows of braid with buttons unfastened to the shine of his shirt also showing through gaping slashes on his sleeves. It would have been a perfect disguise but for the distinctiveness of his stride and attitude of his head exaggerated by a duckbill mask, the shine of his lower lip appearing when his expressive, unmistakable voice did.
~ Excerpt from A House Near Luccoli

 

Wander through this brief moment in Italian Baroque musical history and let the author and Alessandro Stradella, Donatella, and a whole host of wonderful characters give you the “spirit of Carnevale”. ~ From a review by author Martin Shone.

Watch this space.

The sequel To A Strange Somewhere Fled is coming VERY soon.

Hope all are well and those who are enduring
a long snowy frigid winter (as I am)
are keeping the faith that spring is on its way.

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.

Just a Little Foolishness

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It might be a day to feel left out, just another Saturday, ordinary and one-of-a-kind, when I’m singularly content with being single.

It might verge on narcissism to send a valentine to myself; although, I think, no more so than to expect one from another.

I have not had the attention of a lover to last a lifetime—although, who knows into eternity. Does that mean I’m lacking or lonely or left out of romance?

Not at all.

 

Everywhere is an embrace; the place I find myself is full of possibilities for engagement.

I cannot look at the moon and believe I am unloved, sense a breeze and be unmoved, know the birds’ song and feel forgotten.

There are flowers enough to romance me, even in winter I can paint them into view.

There are fires to warm me that I build myself.

Cats gaze into my soul as devotedly as I gaze into theirs.

Music seduces me constantly.

Creation is my purpose, and my words creative enough to convince me my imagination is the only lover I need.

And so I am foolish still.

 

Heartease

A thoughtful face can ease the heart that thoughtlessness has given pain

 

“What a fool you must be,” said my head to my heart, or my sterner to my softer self.”
~ Anne Brontë, Agnes Grey

 

 

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.

The Perfection of Reclusion

Daffodil buds were growing out of the mud. Pastoral views overlooked what I had come to walking so far with one who would leave me that youthful February of awkward rendezvous and sixteen aging years with glimpses of sun in-between the clouds. Something to go back to even if I never could.

Copyright 2015 by DM Denton

Copyright 2015 by DM Denton

A story emerging from the memory of my imagination has, more than once, become my life. Well, that was when I thought I was the story. Now I know I’m just the teller of the tale, a balladeer singing the music of silence. A freeing realization and, perhaps, a necessary one for my evolution into a writer whose most creative stimulation is as an onlooker, a solitary soul, a lover of love without a lover, a childless woman with many offspring, a traveler going nowhere and so anywhere. An elusive chanteuse more comforted by ghosts and longings than is good for me, I prefer possibility over certainty and need to disappear for the words to appear—often in conflict with these striving, competitive and extroverted times, but never without a vision, interest or objective in hope of satisfying my muse.

I recently came across an opinion that the perfection of Emily Dickinson’s “art” was the perfection of her reclusion. Another way of putting it might be that the perfection of her “art” was her lack of distractions. Like striving and competition. Like thinking what her poetry should be.  Like wondering if anyone would ever know it lived. She asked if her poems breathed and was told they weren’t publishable. How very fortunate her lack of participation in what she called “the auction of the mind” didn’t prevent her breathing into eternity.

What motivated her to write nearly 2000 poems when no one was waiting for her fragmented and faint scribbles on scraps of paper, envelope flaps, and even a chocolate wrapper? Some creative individuals need an incubating space around them—a chrysalis as William Du Bois described it—for longer than others, even forever; like Emily Dickinson, her spirit perpetually on the verge of emergence into its winged perfect state.

For me, that is the essence of creativity no matter what medium it finds its expression through or whether anyone but its creator is involved in it: always in a state of metamorphosis, within its cocoon seemingly inactive while preparing for birth. The timing is its own, for it knows when it is ready to fly, very few eyes noticing its colors in flight all the more beautiful when unconscious of being noticed or not.

Like those daffodils that weren’t there and then they were—reaching up, opening, sighing, and shriveling down—not for me or anyone else, not for anything defined by ego or expectation, not for anything but the earthly and unearthly breath of being.

Copyright 2015 by DM Denton

Copyright 2015 by DM Denton

 

Something is always born of excess: great art was born of great terrors, great loneliness, great inhibitions, instabilities, and it always balances them. ~ Anaïs Nin

 

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.