Archive for May, 2013

Memorial Day

Saturday, May 25th, 2013

I like these ecards from: http://www.someecards.com/

My Memorial Day began by avoiding traveling over the NY area bridge on Friday afternoon.  I could make faster progress riding a tricycle backwards than trying to drive over any metro area egress on a rainy Friday before a three-day weekend.

But not to worry, as soon as the traffic congestion slows the State Police will be out on every highway causing drivers to brake unexpectedly and swerve back in to the right lane.

I heard that something like 34 million of us will be on the highways this weekend.  I have done my part by driving from wet, rainy, cold northeastern city to another wet, rainy, cold northeastern city.  But this is all good news for fans of my writing.  If I can’t go to a parade, the beach, a barbeque or a picnic, I wonder what I will do?

Perhaps finish the revisions on my next Nocturne?

Below is a little of what I wrote today on a WIP (Work In Progress) paranormal romance.  My hero is grappling with the realization that his transformation to a werewolf has changed more than his body.

“I never take over Dad’s business.  I won’t drive that rig with my name painted in gold on the door.  No big house filled with kids and dog and rabbits and…”  Mac looked away and cleared his throat.  “And a wife.”  He swallowed hard.  “Things change.  Plans change.”

She placed a hand over his.  “I’m sorry.”

He stood, withdrawing as he scrubbed his face with his palms.

“It’s like I died over there.  You know?  I went in one way and came out another.” 

I hope you enjoyed this mini-excerpt and that your Memorial day is full of family, fun and gratitude for those who have honorably served our country.



Wandering Among the Dead

Sunday, May 5th, 2013

“Life how short. Eternity how long.”

I have a proclivity for wandering in old cemeteries.  I prefer the ones that date from the mid-1600s to the mid-1700s because these have lovely stones made of reddish brownstone from Connecticut and because the carvings are so strangely beautiful.

Lovely, finely carved little winged death-head

 

The thing that first attracted me to these stones was the winged “death heads.”  What did they mean?  I did a little research and came up with the fact that the winged skull or winged head symbolize the flight of the soul from the body, in other words, death.

Jenna studying a gravestone.

 

The headstones back then did not sentimentalize.  They appear to have two functions, first, to memorialize the departed and second to remind the living that we were next in line.  The epitaphs carved below the names and dates share a common message, “You’re number will be up soon so get your shit together.”

This marker has all the bells and whistles, ivy, flowers, grapes and even the Latin, ‘Memento Mori” — a reminder that you will die.

 

I have a framed collection of my favorites in my office.  The earliest examples are often just a skull with wings sprouting from the sides of the head.  Later on they took on a fleshier, facial quality and still later a sort of carved portrait that even included the powdered wigs.

This gaunt little fellow sports a wig and has shoulders.

Later on, during the Greek revival, the stones turned to white marble and began to sport willows, urns, lambs and cherubs.  Those stones do not interest me.  But who could resist this kind of poetry:

“Stay! thou this tomb that passeth by,
And think how soon that thou may’st die…”

Some stones were meant to show man’s frailty and this stone sure accomplished that goal because the carver was so frail of mind and of forethought that he forgot to leave room for the last word.

A carved reminder to plan ahead.

 

How frail a thing is man

That little jewel made me laugh out loud right in the middle of the graveyard.  It just killed me.  But I love these stones and I want one!  But not too soon.