Playing with Ambition (Remembering Gabey)

Below the first image is a repost about one of the greatest loves of my life …

It has been almost two weeks since I lost my beloved Gabey-kitty, leaving a large hole in my heart and space in my life that had been so sweetly and feistily and affectionately filled by his physical presence for 13 1/2 years. I miss those sparkling amber eyes that looked into my soul and his confidence in his own magnificence and just all those little ways and means that were specific to him. His kitty brother and “cousins” are feeling his absence as profoundly as we are, breaking my heart a little more when they look for him or at me asking “Why?”, but they are also mending it, filling the deep sense of loss with their individual precious presences. Comforting and caring for them is a way to actively do the same for myself. And, through their natural awareness of the energy of the non-physical, they are a constant reminder that, although Gabey’s mortal body is no longer here with me, his pure, loving, blessed spirit can never be absent as long as I stay in touch with my better self.


Playing with Ambition

He makes a grab for my pen, puffing his cheeks, twinkling his eyes, smiling if he could. It’s not that he wants me to stop writing, at least not in the long term, for it keeps me captivated and close to him. He likes to interrupt my ambition, a playful swipe over the page I stare at for a thought too good to miss if only it would come.

He came, small enough to fit in the palm of my hand, with topaz eyes and quick sharp teeth, infecting my hand and heart with feisty vulnerability. Then he was gone, taken as I allowed, others to care for him better. Except I wasn’t convinced, traveling far and near to find the dirt road and unclear path to making him mine.

No one wanted him like I did. Certainly not those who had more than they could handle, separating themselves from his beauty as I thought impossible. In my arms he pretended he didn’t know me, hadn’t tempted and tasted me, too young a fellow to know he shouldn’t cry. I assured him that a love like mine, patient and doting, was all he needed. Slowly he believed, fed on fairy tales and fancy feasts.

Copyright 2012 by DM Denton

Copyright 2012 by DM Denton

And now he’s only for losing if eternity fails us. At times he prefers his own space and I’m more distracted than when he steals my pen and chance for inspiration. Somehow I always convince him to lie again at my feet—on my feet, warming them, massaging them, numbing them, until he notices my papers set aside. He moves up the bed for undivided attention, licking my cheek, nuzzling my ear before smothering me with his love, his gingery mane blinding me as his unexplained pleasure eases my doubts.  

Then it’s all too serious for him. He makes a grab for what is still in my hand, holding it in his teeth, his head and shoulders performing a tango. I laugh though not too loud for it is the middle of the night. We dance for a few moments longer, light on our feet with no need to exercise more than our imaginations.

“The cat is the animal to whom the Creator gave the biggest eye, the softest fur, the most supremely delicate nostrils, a mobile ear, an unrivaled paw and a curved claw borrowed from the rose-tree.” – Colette (French Novelist, 1873 – 1954)


©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.


Have a Moment?

Read uniquely. Ignite your imagination, open your intellect & heart.

Hope you have another moment to watch on YouTube and LIKE!

My YouTube channel

 The benefits of reading books include a longer life in which to read them.

According to research published in Social Science and Medicine the hours per week a person spends reading is a significant factor in increasing their longevity.

From article by  , British journalist

The Work and Pleasure of Writing Historical Fiction

With just a few days to go before the release of my second (published) novel, I’ve been reflecting on the long process—three years—from its conception to completion: the early gestation period when there was the chance of miscarriage and later when I felt I would burst with it; the relief of giving birth and effortlessly anticipating its story; its first words and as uncertain steps; keeping it alive by nourishing it and healing its ailments; allowing for its growing pains while frustrated by its rebellion to what I expected from it; meeting the challenge of all the new acquaintances, experiences, ideas, and feelings it brought into my life; and those last attempts at making it perfect until it was time to accept that it had turned out exactly as it was meant to be.

Now there is the joy of finally seeing it ready to go beyond my influence, even my protection, along with the anxiety of what that means.

I can only hope others will embrace it and love it, knowing some may not understand or care for it. Just as with my ‘first-born’, it remains my child regardless.

Writing a novel of the highest standard one can requires patience, perseverance, imagination, and the ability to use language to express emotion, engage the senses, realize characters, describe what is visible and invisible, tell a story that is credible and incredible, and transport and—at its best—transform its author and, therefore, its readers in some way.

Historical fiction asks even more of a writer’s time and resolve, inquisitiveness, attention, and literary maneuvering.

To quote Susan Vreeland, a very fine writer of historical novels: “Writing historically-based fiction is first a matter of discovery, then focusselection, and invention.”

It involves all she ‘says’—discovery, focus, selection, and invention—but, as I’ve experienced, not in such a linear way as she implies. For me those requirements are continuous and often blended. The seemingly endless research offers so much information (and, just as challenging, so little) and needs the imagination to honor that information and disregard it at the same time.

Susan Vreeland also writes: “Research itself can be a pitfall—not finding something you need as well as its converse, finding out something you don’t want to find out. When fact conflicts with what an author needs a character to do, it’s always a sensitive question. There is no universal answer. At times, one must hold one’s ground, and resist the tyranny of fact for the greater good of the narrative, if doing so does not measurably alter history.”

Authoring a historical novel is a constant challenge of creatively choosing to include and having to leave out, and like all good writing, knowing there can be as much revelation in the spirit as in the substance of what is written.

The satisfaction, even when it takes years, of mixing work with pleasure to give history—especially, for me, the most personal history—everlasting breath is immeasurable.

I can honestly say that I have “followed” Susan Vreeland’s instruction, if unknowingly until I read:

“Love every step of the way, every moment of discovery. Love your characters, your time period, your scenes. If you don’t love a scene, then find out what’s wrong with it. Love the story enough to ferret out details; though don’t include them no matter how delicious if they don’t contribute to your narrative arc. Love the revision process whereby your story develops texture, multiple dimensions and deeper thematic reach. Love the work enough to leave no stone unturned in its pursuit and refinement.”

~ I invite you to read Susan Vreeland’s complete essay on Historical Fiction here.


Copyright 2015 by DM Denton

Copyright 2015 by DM Denton


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.

Portrait of Thanksgiving

“If the only prayer you say in your life is ‘thank you,’

that would suffice.” ~ Meister Eckhart

Copyright by JM DiGiacomo 2014

Copyright by JM DiGiacomo 2014

Once again

she touched the emptiness with

a stroke of genius, had

a brush with color, used

her sense of shape and style, portrayed

her imagination with

simplicity and sophistication, and

found her purpose in doing

what she loved

for the sake of being


in everything

she was meant to be.


My mom, June, rarely draws or paints now. At 85 she has reduced mobility and arthritis in her back and hands, but she was determined to create Thanksgiving cards for some family members.

I just had to share the beautiful result of her perseverance: a gift she has given me that I must pass on.


“It is never too late to be what you might have been.” ~ George Eliot

“Do not grow old, no matter how long you live. Never cease to stand like curious children before the Great Mystery into which we were born.” ~ Albert Einstein


If you like my mom’s work, please glance over to the right hand sidebar and towards the top of this blog where there is a link to a 2015 Calendar, Of Two Artists, which features her art and mine – now available at

Happy Thanksgiving

(Thursday, November 27)

to all in the US

and the world.

Gratitude is a most powerful healer.


 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.

To A Strange Somewhere Fled

I hope everyone is very well. I haven’t posted for a few weeks, because I’ve been putting all my writing time, energy, brain power and emotion into finishing the sequel to my historical fiction that imagined a collaboration and friendship between the fictional Donatella and the 17th century composer, Alessandro StradellaA House Near Luccoli.

I have updated the page on this blog devoted to the sequel and am pleased to announce that:

The writing and (my) editing and revising of
To A Strange Somewhere Fled

No comfort to my wounded sight,
In the Suns busie and imperti’nent light,
Then down I lay my head;
Down on cold earth; and for a while was dead,
And my freed soul to a strange somewhere fled.
(From The Despair by Abraham Cowley, first published 1647)

There is a strange somewhere between endings and beginnings.  What seems final is just preparation for what is to come. The changing of the seasons knows and depends on this. Leaves fall and the coldness comes. So does the inclination to sleep through those darker times, perhaps, with a wish to never wake. The light does return – just glimpses at first – to arouse what lives on. There’s warmth, too, slowly nourishing, encouraging and strengthening. And music – the breath, the touch, the heartbeat of Donatella’s story.

Copyright 2012 by DM Denton

Copyright 2012 by DM Denton

Donatella was born of my imagination – also my emotions, thoughts, impulses and encounters. After spending many years with her, she is as actual as anyone in my physical reality. Other writers will understand this phenomenon, I’m sure. For me, as with her, it will never be time to say goodbye.

“There is no real ending. It’s just the place where you stop the story.”
~ Frank Herbert (American author, 1920-1986)


I invite you to read more about To A Strange Somewhere Fled HERE.

My hope is for it to be published
by the end of 2014 or beginning of 2015,
which gives me time to create the cover artwork!


those of you who haven’t yet read – or listened – to
A House Near Luccoli
a gentle reminder that it’s available in Print, Kindle, Audio Book and NOOK Book editions.

A House Near Luccoli Audio Book


I’ve posted the following poem before,
but it fits well with the theme of endings and beginnings.

A winding road
had brought me back
to yellow flags
that grew the sun
out of the rain.


had left them there
to multiply
like bread and fish
for proof of faith.


Again I paused
and passed them by,
golden moments
waving me on
without farewell.
Copyright 2012 by DM Denton

Copyright 2012 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.

Repost: An Artist Revealed

To continue the celebration of my mom’s birthday, and, also, to anticipate spring on this day of two-inch per hour falling snow, fierce winds and plummeting temperatures in Western New York …
By my mom, June ©

By my mom, June ©

The secrets of your heart
are stacked against the wall,
canvases for your art
of hiding what you missed.
No mistaking your style,
a freedom out of hand
that kept you all the while
believing as you wished.
A world that long was yours
before it was revealed—
imagination soars
with courage its master.
 Flowers filling a place
left bereft of your own,
a portrait in a vase
found by me, your daughter.
Landscapes take you afar,
cats and soup bring you home
to settle for who you are:
the author of this poem.

~ DM Denton

By my mom, June ©

By my mom, June ©

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.