Monday 24 June 2013

Wedding scene from Fijian Princess -- fiction extract for RomanticFridayWriters.

The hero of Fijian Princess, Bosco Brookes, is on an idyllic Fijian island for his sister  Callis' wedding. Bosco has fallen hard for the island princess, Adi, whose past lover, Ethan, has returned to the island to reconcile with Adi.

Here is a heavily-edited extract from Chapter Twelve when the wedding takes place the morning after a cyclone has hit the island.

Here Comes the Bride

Bosco!” Callis. What now? He checked his watch. Son of a bitch. The wedding! God! What a loser of a brother he’d turned out to be.

Friday 21 June 2013

Romantic Friday Writers - June Wedding Challenge - The Wedding at Cana

Hi friends!

Time for RomanticFridayWriter's postings for the theme - June Wedding. Surprise, surprise.  I decided to go with the non-fiction option this month, but I've also been working on reducing the word count on the wedding excerpt from my novel, Fijian Princess.

Who's travelled to Venice? If you have, you'll probably agree with me it's one of the most gob-smackingly-beautiful cities in the world, certainly one of the most unique, floating as it is on water. The High Renaissance architecture is so amazing it hurts your eyes. And what's inside these gorgeous buildings blows your mind. How about the art? The museums? Just unbelievable.

San Georgio Maggiore in Venice at dusk 
Now the June Wedding challenge for RFW got me thinking about one of the most famous wedding feasts of all time - The Wedding at Cana.

The Wedding at Cana
Photo by me using the panorama option on my Samsung Note 11.

The large Benedictine monastery of San Georgio Maggiore in Venice was once the home to the gigantic teler (canvas), The Wedding at Cana, with an area of 70 sqm which occupied the entire top half of the back wall to illustrate the biblical scene eminently suited to the dining hall of a the Black Monks. (It can now be viewed at the Louvre, Paris.)

The painter Paolo Caliari (known as Veronese) was one of the leading lights of Venetian mannerism in 1562. He was contracted by the monks on June 6, 1562. Veronese was asked to people the painting with as many as he could fit into it. He managed 130. The artist was paid 324 ducats (approx. US$289,000 today), but he would also receive a wine cask and all meals during the time of the contract. He was only a few days past the deadline.

Here is how the painting has been described:

"The intoxicating genius of Venice is palpable in this superb masterpiece, with its urbane light-heartedness, its colourful array of costumes, its delight in opulence, its theatrical flavour and decorative flair, its embrace of light, and its sheer vivacity. There is no other painting as purely Venetian as The Wedding at Cana." Theophile Gautier, 1882.

The theme of the painting is taken from the New Testament, the Gospel of St John. This is the story..:

"And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there: and both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage. And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine.

Jesus saith unto her, Woman...Mine hour is not yet come.

His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it.

And there were set there six waterpots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece. Jesus saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it.

When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made into wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom. And saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doeth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that whichis worse; but thou has kept the good wine until now.

This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee."

Well, I would have liked to have tasted that wine!

All good wishes to any brides and grooms out there who will be toasting a happy future together!

Go here to read more stories/poems/non-fiction based on the June Wedding theme...


So, here's good ole boy Johnny Cash singing to the good ole boys in San Quentin prison (1969). Love it!

Thursday 13 June 2013

What is Steampunk? And what has Arthur Conan Doyle got to do with it?

Hi there!

It might sound dumb of me, but I haven't understood "steampunk" -- what it is, who are famous "steampunk" writers, and how is it currently developing?

To answer many of my questions, a wonderful book, full of gorgeous illustrations and "steampunk" history, landed on the desk at my local library.

What I've learned so far...

  • Steampunk is a subgenre of science fiction and fantasy literature, primarily concerned with alternative history, especially an imaginary 'Victorian era' when steam power and mechanical clockwork dominated technology. 
  • Earliest literary works of Steampunk chronicled a future that never happened, one in which the Industrial Revolution took a different direction.
  • Steampunk stories feature the technology and at times the attitudes of today filtered through the past, hence the 'punk' appellation.
  • Steampunk has grown to encompass film and television, graphic novels and computer games, music and fashion.
  • The word "steampunk" was coined by writer K.W. Jeter who suggested the label when submitting a story to Locus magazine.
  • Victorian fantasies a la Jeter, Blaylock and Powers lay the groundwork for a huge explosion of the genre across all media. These authors drew on the classic science fiction of Jules Verne, H.G. Wells, Edgar Rice Burroughs and Arthur Conan Doyle.
  • There is no one definition that encompasses everything given the label -- the adventures of mad scientists travelling the world in airships, steam-driven robots and pseudo-Victorian or at times Edwardian settings. 
So, Steampunk is in the eye of the beholder. It can take readers to worlds of land leviathans and cannon-shots, to the moon, to lost civilizations. It provides alternate histories in which the British Empire never fell or the atom was never split.

No wonder there are so many "steampunk" fans out there. 

  • How about you? Do you read Steampunk? Do you have any questions? 
Thanks for coming by. No, my blog is still not updating...

Wednesday 5 June 2013

Insecure Writers Support Group Post - is your book good enough? Margaret Attwood hits the nail on the head!

Hello there, fellow insecure writers and friends.

Thanks Alex J Cavanaugh for this group where there's always something to learn. Today I'll keep my post short as I know there's a gazillion bloggers signed up these days.

Jokey Attwood
Margaret Attwood (novelist, poet, essayist, critic, activist) was recently interviewed on ABC television in Oz. She is one witty, acerbic, sharp dame. She likes a joke, rarely stops smiling, and does a wonderful sneering French accent. She doesn't come across this way in her books, none of the ones I've read anyhow, rather the opposite, but there you go. (A bit like a How-to-Write-Thrillers-and-Crime-Novels book I'm currently reading where the author claims that crime writers are lovely, carefree people as a general rule--they get all their angst out on the pages of their latest tome.) Ha...ha...ha....

Anyhow, Margaret Attwood says some great things, the best being IMHO (I paraphrase): 'Finish the book! Don't spend all your time wondering whether it will sell, whether it will receive bad reviews, whether it will reach the top of the best seller list. Just finish it!' I really like this advice as I have 4 books unfinished, lol!
I'm working on getting one finished as we speak...or read...
Click on the badge to go to more posts.

Attwood's latest words of wisdom are (I quote, as I recorded them on my phone):

'There are only four kinds of books -- good books that make money, bad books that make money, good books that don't make money and bad books that don't make money.' Of those four, she says, 'You can live with three of them.'

Margaret Attwood quotes are kind of famous. I found this one as my mind's on RomanticFridayWriters and the whole month of June is devoted to the theme: June Weddings. (Hubs and my wedding anniversary is today!) At RFW, there'll be posts about weddings, a guest post from best-selling romance writer Kate Walker (with a giveaway), and a prompt to write about weddings -- for which there are prizes. Now wouldn't that be lov-er-ly! Join us if you can!

"The Eskimos had fifty-two names for snow because it was important to them: there ought to be as many for love."

  • What do you think? Do you agree with Attwood on love or books? 
  • I still haven't been able to fix my lack of blogger feed. Do you know anyone else having a similar problem?