Just a Little Foolishness


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.



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.

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.

Two Highly Recommended Poetry Collections

I would like to share my thoughts on two wonderful poetry collections, from writers publishing for the first time:

New Day, New Dreams by Lauren ScottNew Day, New Dreams
Highly recommended to touch your heart, move your spirit, and make you cry and smile.

Lauren Scott is a talented poet who explores her observations, thoughts, emotions, sensuality and spirituality in a variety of forms and through beautiful word play, deep feeling, wit and even playfulness.  She offers poetry from her moments and memories; its subjects range from her love for her parents, sisters, husband, children and beloved dog, to reflections on rainy days and Mondays, sunrises, aging, walking through nature and along beaches, and even coffee–and that doesn’t begin to cover it all!  This is a collection of verse that is grateful, optimistic, romantic, nostalgic, inspirational, motivational and amusing, by a poet who writes from the heart and a sense of what is truly important in life.  I have followed Lauren’s blog for some time now and this special book just confirms my suspicions: she is always writing poems and although ‘Inspiration has its own timing/and it’s not always perfectly aligning’, she rarely lets her muse slip away unexploited.

Silence Happens
A beautiful book of quiet poetry

The “little thoughts of life, nature, peace, freedom and love” in this collection are like whispers in the ear, not from any human source but from the sensory and spiritual rhythms of nature and the Universe. The title is perfect, for this is as close as words can be to silence, happening as they will, without any intellectualizing or reaching for meaning. This is a miniature book of Zen that anyone can practice just by reading it through or opening it randomly to be calmed, connected to the intuition, and reminded that beauty, peace and love are always available. It offers a place in which to be safe and encouraged. The reflections in this book are hypnotic—even as one reads, like closing the eyes and breathing in their promptings to observe, experience, imagine and believe. Martin Shone is a poet who knows that …

“Poetry doesn’t have to be words

Poetry can be your dreams
your memories
your future

Poetry lives within your soul

Poetry is you”

Silence Happens is a lovely book to … treasure for its spontaneity, simplicity, sublimity and, not least, the quietness of its poetry.

The Snow White Gift Cat only
If you are gift-giving this (or any) time of year, please consider books, whether poetry, fiction or non-fiction, in print or e-reader versions. They offer escape, adventure, knowledge, romance, inspiration, soul-and-heart-stirring.  And, something I think is most essential: quiet time … certainly time well spent!
Copyright 2012 DM Denton

Copyright 2012 DM Denton

A House Near Luccoli: Getting Closer to Publication

My novel, A House Near Luccoli, soon to be published by All Things That Matter Press, focuses on chance encounters, beautiful music, and the paradox of genius through an imagined intimacy with one of the most legendary and undervalued figures of Italian Baroque Music.

In 2002, while driving to work, I was fortunate to be near enough to the Canadian border to listen to CBC Radio 2, specifically a program called In the Shadows. The show highlighted the lives and works of artists—mainly musical—who for a variety of reasons had been largely ignored or forgotten.

Cover Artwork by DM Denton
Copyright 2012

One morning a 17th Century Italian composer, whom I and obviously many others had never heard of, was featured. His music was stunning: fluid and melodic, with clear expressive vocals and distinct instrumentations. His story was replete with romance and intrigue, triumphs and tragedy, like an opera drawing on the divinity and failings of gods and men.

By the time I pulled into the parking lot at work, I knew why I was listening. I “knew” Alessandro Stradella. I recognized his distinct voice, his swaying form, his infectious smile, and his wandering heart. I had witnessed the rise and fall of his talents, how his music had showered him with forgiveness if not fortune. I spent the rest of that morning and many hours more in pursuit of him, my writer’s urge “to do something with him” easier stirred than accomplished. He was so little on the pages of Google searches and music histories; a desire to create something significant out of my interest in him was soon frustrated and abandoned.

It wasn’t until 2005 that I returned to Stradella as the novel subject I was looking for. The timing must have been right, for “suddenly” resources, although still not in abundance, were easier to find. As I read my costly used copy of Alessandro Stradella, the Man and his Music by musicologist Carolyn Gianturco, I found an opportunity for imagining my way into his story, focusing on his last fateful days in Genoa–not to change history but quietly humanize it, not merely to appreciate a great musician but personalize him, to reveal the ordinary in the extraordinary and the significance of the insignificant. Equipped with specifics and speculation, a growing CD library of his music, and a fictional female protagonist stepping out of my own hopes and disappointments, I was ready to begin.

Stradella (1639 – 1682) was cultivated but also something of a vagabond. His life seemed to be a struggle between the discipline of his work and the restlessness of his behavior. Throughout his career, Stradella’s output was versatile and copious, including operas, oratorios, serenatas, madrigals, and incidental music. He worked royally and nobly for the theater and the church, for grand and domestic occasions, celebrating life and love, using allegory and heart and humor, challenging singers and instrumentalists and the inventiveness of himself. Whether acting on a patron’s whim or his own impulse, uncertainty and risk were inevitable for Stradella. It was his nature to embrace them, indulging in possibilities, captivating men and women known and unknown, seducing posterity with his reputation for making messes but also masterpieces.

Please click here to read a short excerpt from A House Near Luccoli.

Visit my website to read more about the novel, and contact me if you would like to be notified of its release date.

Also, I would appreciate a few more LIKES on my Facebook Author Page.

This is an exciting time for me (my first published novel) and I sincerely thank you, dear friends, for letting me share it with you!

©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.