I have been delinquent in posting to this blog for the last few months, but with the care of my 91 year old bedridden, nearly blind mother and the house inside and out, a part-time job (working mostly from home), grocery shopping, etc. etc. all on my own, I can barely find the time and energy to write my next novel and try to get enough sleep, stay healthy – well, not completely disintegrate.
As anyone who follows this blog knows, I don’t often write about my personal life, unless indirectly through my prose and poetry.
Today, I feel an overwhelming need to put down my guard and express how discouraged I feel when it comes to getting some traction as an author. I had a nasty blow in the spring in regards to a response by a Brontë Scholar to my third published novel, Without the Veil Between, Anne Brontë: A fine and Subtle Spirit, which knocked out the little wind I had in my writing sails. I thought I had gotten over it, but, I’m afraid, it and its author are still “living in my head rent free” – as someone I love and admire told me back when it first happened.
In thinking about my, at times, almost debilitating sense of discouragement, I felt that even if I might never achieve awards and best seller listings like other authors, I might hope for a few more readers who would find something entertaining, engaging, emotive, enlightening, and even enchanting in the novels and stories I’ve published thus far.
In order to post more consistently in the near future, considering the time and energy constraints of my current personal situation, I will be sharing excerpts from my published novels and short stories – even a few from my current work-in-progress – hopefully, to offer pleasure and a little temptation.
Hope is like a harebell trembling from its birth.
~ Christina Rossetti
My first published novel was A House Near Luccoli
August, 2012, All Things That Matter Press
Excerpt from Chapter Two
The door opened. A harpsichord entered, hesitant, fragile, blushing and elegant with carved cheeks, perfect curves, and small feet. It was permanently adorned with sprays of roses and fern, lifted over the threshold by a lover who knew how to handle his passion.
He wasn’t daunted by the heights to which it must yet be taken. “Bene, my spirito has ascended her to heaven.”
“Now, my muscle, too.” A man of lesser age and quality took hold of the instrument’s narrowing end, swinging it around and walking backwards, resenting his position.
Despina saw Donatella on the stairs. “Out of the way.”
“Ah.” The new lodger widened his eyes, conducting the scene into civility. “Golone, let the maid pass.”
The mistake might have been upsetting if he hadn’t smiled on Donatella’s self-conscious descent.
Despina caught up with her sleeve. “See that breakfast is ready.”
“I’m not hungry, just tired,” Signor Stradella defied reports of being troublesome.
“Well, I could eat in my sleep.” Golone looked for any reaction, struggling sideways up stair by stair. Maestro’s eyes were down again, the harpsichord at his chest so with the sway of his head and posture of shoulders and arms he might play and carry it at the same time.
“They brought it all the way from Modena?” Donatella found Nubesta in the breakfast room where hard boiled eggs, fresh anchovies, and chickpea polenta wouldn’t be wasted.
“No. The Strata Nuova.”
“Why wasn’t it delivered yesterday?”
“Signor insisted he handle it himself.” Nubesta was thrilled with what she knew and Donatella didn’t. “So you were a thief in the night.”
“I didn’t steal anything.”
“That’s not what I meant. But you did what you said you wouldn’t.”
“Well … yes … at his request.”
“You’ve never been hooked.”
Donatella had been, then dangled and let go, almost before Nubesta was born.
“Well, I don’t mind.” Nubesta was eating, slumped on the couch beside double doors opened onto an orchid filled conservatory.
The young servant didn’t appreciate the limits of her life, hungry for experiences as for the breakfast not meant for her. It wasn’t that she was a bad girl—Despina wouldn’t have her in the house if she were—but her restlessness seemed more unfortunate than her circumstances.
“We won’t see much of him.”
“Will he invite his ladies?”
Donatella didn’t want to think let alone talk about such things. She wouldn’t mind the continuo of a harpsichord stopping and starting as masterpieces were made, its vibrations inspiring the ornamentation of a violin. Soft sighs from a lute would be for the silence of the night when he couldn’t dream without a respondent in his arms. That was how it would be with him there, the sublime above their heads, any scandal somewhere else. Nothing would be seen of him but coming and going, or known of his needs except what the ladies of the household could respectably fulfill.
“Should we take up a tray?” Donatella turned when Nubesta stood and swallowed.
Despina had come into the room. “No. Don’t you listen? Signor is resting.”
“Did he say anything about the apartment?”
“He shouldn’t have any problem with it.”
“Well, he seems easy to please.” Nubesta laughed like a woman twice her age.
Despina stood at the sideboard to eat or not, waving away flies deciding for her. “Get some netting to cover this.”
The maid was gone, her heavy steps as obvious as her scowl.
“Close the shutters. The sun’s already hot and will fade the carpet.”
Donatella plunged the beginnings of the day into night as perhaps the new lodger had done. No, his rooms were on the west side, with windows for viewing ships and sunsets.
©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.