Does He Have the Ring? MISSION TO MAHJUNDAR Weekend Writing Warriors

WeWriWa buttonA fun way to sample new books and find new writers! Here’s the link to the Weekend Writing Warriors central page, so you can visit all the participants sharing excerpts today…

Doing excerpts from Mission to Mahjundar, which has been Released and is now available… I’m going to give you one last excerpt from this novel, no spoilers because we know it’s a romance, hence there will be a very hardwon  Happily Ever After!

As captain of the battleship, Nikolai was authorized to perform ceremonies from christenings to weddings to funerals.

Mike stood in his blue dress uniform, grinning from ear to ear, at the far bulkhead, beneath the stunning vista of the galactic star fields projected by the ship’s AI.

Feeling a little foolish, as if he’d stepped from a recruiting holo since he was wearing a dress uniform, he was flanked by his best man, Johnny, who had never—to the best of Mike’s recollection—worn a dress uniform before.

And we’re both as nervous as we were on day one at the Academy and boot camp. Mike took a deep breath, hoping to calm the butterflies in his gut. This is worse than any mission behind enemy lines.  He nudged his best man in the ribs, “You’re sure you’ve got the ring?”

“For the tenth time, I’ve got the ring,” Johnny whispered,displaying the jewelry in question for a moment, before stowing it back in his pocket, “I won’t drop it.”

So you can imagine the rest of the scene playing out, with what I hope are some nice twists….I’ll have to move ton to excerpting something else next week.

I’m just home from three days in the hospital after  a sudden and very serious medical event so I may not make it around the loop this week. I’ll see how I’m doing…just didn’t want to leave the Weekend Warriors with no excerpt…

MissionToM2-FJM_High_Res_1800x2700The story:

An attempted assassination left Princess Shalira blind as a child and, now that she’s of marriageable age, her prospects are not good because of her disability. She’s resigned herself to an arranged marriage rather than face life under the thumb of her cold stepmother. But then she meets Mike Varone, a Sectors Special Forces officer sent to Mahjundar by the intergalactic government. After Mike saves Shalira from another assassination attempt, she arranges for him to escort her across the planet to her future husband. She’s already falling hard for the deadly offworlder and knows she should deny herself the temptation he represents, but taking Mike along to protect her is the only way she’ll live long enough to escape her ruthless stepmother.

Mike, for his part, resists his growing attraction to the princess; he has a mission on this planet and rescuing the vulnerable but brave princess isn’t it. No matter how much he wishes it could be.

But what should have been an easy trek through Mahjundar’s peaceful lands swiftly turns into an ambush with danger around every turn. Shalira’s marriage begins to seem less like an arranged union and more like yet another planned assassination. The more they work together to survive, the harder it becomes to stop themselves from falling in love. Caught in a race against time, can they escape the hostile forces hunting them and make it off the planet?

Amazon     Barnes & Noble   iTunes     All Romance eBooks     KOBO

As always, I love your comments and feedback. Even though this book is now published, the input helps for the future!

 

 

The Mysterious and Alluring Selkies

golden cityOver at USA Today Happily Ever After, I’m interviewing J. Kathleen Cheney today about her Golden City fantasy series, set in an HEAalternate world and featuring a dark murder mystery mixed up with magic. (Isn’t her cover gorgeous?) She selected 1902 Portugal as the site  for her stories, for  reasons she discusses in the HEA  column.  Her world of  sirens and selkies living amongst the non-magical folks is fascinating. Hop on over to read more about JKC and her novels.

The first time I encountered the legends of selkies was in the movie “Roan Inish,” which I happened to catch on TV one afternoon. I’m sorry to say but the whole concept of these immortal beings of the sea who were roan inishseals but could become human if they shed their coats wasn’t too clear to me even after watching the movie. Then in 2008 I read Virginia Kantra’s Sea Witch , first book in her  Children of the Sea series, and oh boy, I got the picture! I also loved the series because a lot of the action was set on an island off the coast of Maine and I have relatives who live on such an island, so I could really relate.

And of course there’s a selkie in the Anne McCaffrey Petaybee Series which I’m tempted to go reread right now, except for the fact I’m trying to finish writing my own next novel LOL.

I’m sure other people write about selkies – a search of Amazon turns up about 90 results without even refining the terms further – but for me, the fascination of JKC’s Portuguese setting and the addition of sirens and some other very interesting paranormal types make The Golden City series memorable.

Selkies or similar creatures appear in myth from Ireland to Iceland, which surprised me a bit, as after watching “Roan Inish” I thought they were all Irish! There are many many legends surrounding these beings and most times any romance between a human and a selkie in human form doesn’t seem too turn out too happily. Lots of rules…many “gotchas”…I like the one about a woman having to cry exactly seven tears into the ocean if she wants to have a handsome selkie man pay her a visit. On the other hand, I never liked the idea that a human man could keep a selkie woman for his wife by locking her sealskin away, which struck me as cruel and contrary to true love….the “dark Faerie Celtic vocal band” Pandora Celtica sum the entire situation up very well in this song “Sister Selkie”:

O is for Owls on Wednesday Whimsy

???????????????????????????????More Victorian 1800s trade cards from the collection today! They seem to have really loved owls in their advertising.

There was an entire series of these cards to the left, featuring the mother-in-law owl, who seemed to be perpetually disapproving, and then the two owls who were in love, plus random frogs.  I like this one the best ???????????????????????????????because even if the old lady owl doesn’t seem happy, the young lovers clearly are. Even the Moon, peeking out from behind the tree, seems ok with the romantic pair. The card was advertising Sweet Home Soap.

Here’s what Ernest Hemingway thought about the birds: “A serious writer is not to be confounded with a solemn writer. A serious writer may be a hawk or a buzzard or even a popinjay, but a solemn writer is always a bloody owl.” Okayyyyy…..

I like this proverb: “The owl of ignorance lays the egg of pride.” And also this Greek proverb: “The rabbits’ eye differs from that of the owl.” Yes, yes it does.???????????????????????????????

Alfred, Lord Tennyson, said: “Alone and warming his five wits, the white owl in the belfry sits.”

I’m quite bemused by the next card. The lady seems rather shocked by the owls. The owls are dressed for a party apparently, whereas she looks ready to turn in for the night. And I wish I had some of that Ladies’ Tonic, the sure cure all, just $1.00! Any why a huge blue and white vase?  Maybe I’m searching for too much deep meaning and sublimity in ads that are over 100 years old.

Tell me you don’t love this dress below! I think she’s supposed to be wearing a costume and is an Owl. And then of course there’s a thoroughly modern owl that I’m sure almost no one can forget!

???????????????????????????????HP-owl

 

Channel the Power MISSION TO MAHJUNDAR Weekend Writing Warriors

WeWriWa buttonA fun way to sample new books and find new writers! Here’s the link to the Weekend Writing Warriors central page, so you can visit all the participants sharing excerpts today…

Doing excerpts from Mission to Mahjundar, which has been Released and is now available…MissionToM2-FJM_High_Res_1800x2700Princess Shalira has maneuvered her father the emperor into insisting the hero, Major Mike Varone of the Sectors Special Forces, and his companion, must accompany her on a journey. Mike’s not exactly pleased.

I’m jumping ahead a week or so, after the trip has begun. This snippet occurs after Shalira’s retrieved the key she must have to open her mother’s tomb, by conducting a ritual in an abandoned temple. Of course Mike ended up helping her.

(A little creative editing and a LOT of creative punctuation have occurred today.)

Do you know,” she said, “if I’d been born a thousand years ago, I would have been a high priestess? Even a hundred years ago, the gods were still respected, worshipped – I could have found my home in a temple, made my place happily, because I’m one who can channel the energy of the gods. Blind or not, I would have been cherished.” She bit her lip and winced, as if perhaps she’d not meant to reveal so much emotion.

“Is channeling energy what we did in there?” It was as good a description as any of what he’d felt during the ceremony.

 She nodded, a wistful expression on her face, “Yes – I’ve never tasted anything but crumbs of the power before…until today, with you at my side. But now the people venerate other gods or no gods at all, and there’s no need for priestesses with my gift.”

Not sure how much more I’ll share from this book. It gets to be hard to avoid spoilers and I know some of you have read the book, or are reading it (and thank you SO much!).  I’m currently writing my next ancient Egyptian but I might give you some excerpts from a couple of my unpublished SFR’s for a change of pace. We’ll see what I’m in the mood for!

The story:

An attempted assassination left Princess Shalira blind as a child and, now that she’s of marriageable age, her prospects are not good because of her disability. She’s resigned herself to an arranged marriage rather than face life under the thumb of her cold stepmother. But then she meets Mike Varone, a Sectors Special Forces officer sent to Mahjundar by the intergalactic government. After Mike saves Shalira from another assassination attempt, she arranges for him to escort her across the planet to her future husband. She’s already falling hard for the deadly offworlder and knows she should deny herself the temptation he represents, but taking Mike along to protect her is the only way she’ll live long enough to escape her ruthless stepmother.

Mike, for his part, resists his growing attraction to the princess; he has a mission on this planet and rescuing the vulnerable but brave princess isn’t it. No matter how much he wishes it could be.

But what should have been an easy trek through Mahjundar’s peaceful lands swiftly turns into an ambush with danger around every turn. Shalira’s marriage begins to seem less like an arranged union and more like yet another planned assassination. The more they work together to survive, the harder it becomes to stop themselves from falling in love. Caught in a race against time, can they escape the hostile forces hunting them and make it off the planet?

Amazon     Barnes & Noble   iTunes     All Romance eBooks     KOBO

As always, I love your comments and feedback. Even though this book is now published, the input helps for the future!

heart of rose nebula

 

 

Veronica Found Another Magazine Quiz!

This one’s adapted from the August 25th issue of People magazine and they were interviewing singer Rita Ora. All answers below are mine alone!???????????????????????????????

???????????????????????????????Describe your style in three words: long and flowy.  Wait, do conjunctions count? Where’s an editor?  OK, try: Long, flowy, lavender? Actually, I have different styles depending on whether I’m at the day job or at home. We used to have to wear business suits, very proper, except we looked pretty ridiculous in meetings with the scientists who were usually in shorts, T shirts and sandals. Now anything goes, more or less. I usually wear a dress and an open front cardigan or very rarely a jacket. On the casual days, I wear a denim skirt with a blouse & Tshirt, often Hawaiian floral, but sometimes cat-themed. And I do have some vintage blouses. At home I like denim skirts, or long cotton skirts in bright colors, T shirts….but always the long, blingy earrings.

What was your first perfume? Toujours moi, as I mentioned in a post recently.

What’s your favorite smell of all time? Vanilla! when I’m baking, I just breathe in the vanilla scent for a few minutes. Too bad it tastes so awful. Well actually good, or I’d probably drink it by the tiny bottlefull.

What do you splurge on? Books. Movies. Oh wait, this was kind of a clothes-and-makeup kind of quiz so….either mascara because I’m ALWAYS looking for one that will make my eyelashes amazing but not clump, or fingernail polish because I love the colors.

What’s your favorite city to shop in? I’d probably love Paris or Portobello Road in London but as I’ve never been to either, let’s go with Main Street in Disneyland. So that would be Anaheim apparently.

What’s the last thing you bought? My fabulous steampunk costume for the Fantasy Futuristic & Paranormal Gathering at the RWA Nationals. Tied for 4th place, thank you very much. Lots of lace and purple and sparkles….

???????????????????????????????Is there an item in your closet you wear over and over? I do tend to have favorites that I  wear a lot just because I always feel good in them. I have this one black dress for work with a pink and creamy white flower print that I gravitate to for difficult-meeting days. At home, I love my Target T shirt with Sesame Street characters on it. (Shrug, what can I say?)

When did you fall in love with red lipstick? On me? Never. I’m too pale for it. I admire it on other people though.

What was your biggest makeup mistake to date? My daughters keep telling me I cannot wear turquoise eye shadow. But I sneak some on anyway, just a tiny hint…

And the magazine quiz didn’t ask, but I’ll tell you anyway, the oldest thing in my closet is actually the blue sweater my late husband wore when he asked me to the Senior Prom (All together now, “Awwwwwww.”) Which was oh, a few years ago LOL. The oldest thing of my own, besides my wedding dress, which is actually in the cedar chest with the aforementioned sweater, would be some Carole Little skirts from the 1980’s. She had the best fun, colorful prints, lots of cool trim, tiers…long and flowy!

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Interview with Guest Author Yolanda Sfetsos

Recast72lgVeronica: Today it’s my pleasure to interview Yolanda Sfetsos, author of  Recast, Volume 1. First a little about yourself:

Yolanda:  Wife. Mother. Writer. Bibliophile. Dreamer. Animal lover. Intrigued by the supernatural. Horror freak. Zombie enthusiast. Movie & music fan. Slave to her muse.

Lives in Sydney, Australia with her awesome husband, lovely daughter, and cheeky cat.

Veronica: Let’s jump right in and ask what prompted you to start writing?

Yolanda:I started writing back in my teens. I lived far away from my friends and had plenty of alone time, so I put it to good use by putting pen to paper whenever I didn’t have homework or wasn’t reading.

I’d made up stories inside my head for years but one day decided to take that extra step and actually started writing them down. For a while I shared them with my friends and even co-wrote a series of romance stories that were available in the school library.

Even then, I would write a variety of genres ranging from sweet romance to horror.

Veronica: Which five people (real, fictional, historical) would you invite to dinner and why?

Yolanda: Clive Barker, Stephen King, J.K. Rowling, Charlaine Harris and Stan Lee, because I reckon we could have a really long and fun conversation about life, creativity and writing. I think the wealth of knowledge between them would be astounding.

Veronica: hat would be an amazing table and the discussion would last until the wee hours for sure. Is there a word or phrase you most overuse in a manuscript? (I confess to “that” being my worst word LOL)

Yolanda: Oh yeah, I’m also guilty of the overuse of ‘that’. Asides from that—LOL—I find myself overusing a different set of words for each story. During my latest editing project, I overused ‘sounded’, ‘house’ and ‘little’. Weird, I know.

 Veronica: Yes, I find in each book I’ve gotten carried away with some new phrase. In the most recent one it was “bug out” for leaving the planet. I like to ask some Quickfire Questions:

Must watch TV Show: The Walking Dead (VS sez: Oh me too! I love Daryl…..)

Music on repeat: Guardians of the Galaxy Awesome Mix, Vol. 1 (at the moment)

Favorite Movie: I’ve got a bunch of favourite movies—Star Wars, The Lost Boys, The Goonies…to name a few—but I recently fell in love with Guardians of the Galaxy. So that’s my fave right now. ;)

Cats or Dogs? I love all animals. (But we have a cheeky cat called Loki)

Favorite Flower: Sunflowers

Tea or coffee: Tea in the morning, coffee in the afternoon

Morning person or evening person: I get up at 4:30am during the weekdays, so I’m going to say I’m a morning person. I love knowing that I’m awake while most people around me are still asleep. Also, getting an early start is always awesome.

Favorite Perfume: Don’t like perfume

Veronica: Well I guess we won’t ask you what scents your characters might be wearing LOL. What are you working on next?

Yolanda: I’m at that stage where several projects are trying to get my attention at the same time. I have two urban fantasy (Sierra Fox) spin-off ideas that are desperately trying to get my attention. I also can’t wait to write the last two books in my RECAST series. I’m looking forward to writing the stories of two very different, but just as damaged, brothers who’ve taken their own paths in separate parts of the galaxy.

But I’m guessing one of the urban fantasy ideas will win first place, because the main character is shouting the loudest. ;)

Veronica: What one question do you want to ask your Readers today?

Yolanda: Let’s see… I’d love to know which Recast character is their favourite. :)

 Veronica: Where can your Readers find you online?

WebsOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAite   Twitter     Goodreads

Thanks so much for having me over!

Buy Links for book: 

Recast, Volume 1:

Samhain Publishing | Amazon | Amazon UK 

 When betrayal, revenge, secrets and lust collide, there can only be chaos.
WITHER
Recast, Book 1

Wrangling is in Colt’s blood, but the woman he loved wasn’t easily tied down. Now a mysterious clientwither sfetsos has him wrangling someone who may not be human. Colt doesn’t care as long as he gets paid.
Colt could solve or multiply Brynn’s problems. She doesn’t expect him to understand why she left, but she needs his help. Colt looks as good as she remembers, and even after years, their mutual lust is alive.
Desire strips away secrets. A secret that could be their death sentence…

CLASH
Recast, Book 2
Half-Recast Ace Abu is determined to get to Fray and destroy the Clash Arena.
When he finds a barstool in Grit, he’s ready for a few beers, but the sexy singer on stage only makes him burn hotter.
Ely’Shea longs for freedom. When the boss is away she indulges her passions. That night she catches a glimpse of an alluring cowboy.
Unable to resist temptation, they’re consumed by passion…but once the fuses are set, their deepest secrets could blow any chance of forever to hell.

Product Warnings

Contains shapeshifters, space cowboys, female sheriffs, singers, double lives, and so many secrets it can only end in total madness.
RECAST, Volume 1 is now available from Samhain Publishing.

 

 

 

 

 

N Is for Nile

???????????????????????????????Given that I write a series of paranormal novels set in ancient Egypt and the Nile appears in all of my titles, how could I pick anything else for my letter N in the A to Z challenge?

I’m not sure why this Victorian trade card for the Newby Evans Piano company has a Nile crocodile??????????????????????????????? and a fox chatting, but I thought it was charmingly comedic.

Here’s wonderful quote from John Keats’ Sonnet to the Nile:

Son of the old moon-mountains African!
Stream of the Pyramid and Crocodile!
We call thee fruitful, and that very while
A desert fills our seeing’s inward span.

And another from an American Poet, Bayard Taylor, in his To The Nile:

Mysterious Flood,–that through the silent sands???????????????????????????????
Hast wandered, century on century,
Watering the length of great Egyptian lands,
Which were not, but for thee.056

 

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Why Does Mike Care? Mission to Mahjundar Weekend Writing Warriors

WeWriWa buttonA fun way to sample new books and find new writers! Here’s the link to the Weekend Writing Warriors central page, so you can visit all the participants sharing excerpts today…

Doing excerpts from Mission to Mahjundar, which has been Released and is now available…MissionToM2-FJM_High_Res_1800x2700Princess Shalira has maneuvered her father the emperor into insisting the hero, Major Mike Varone of the Sectors Special Forces, and his companion, must accompany her on a journey. Mike’s not exactly pleased. Continuing on from last week’s excerpt. (A little creative editing and a LOT of creative punctuation have occurred today.) There’s quite a bit of discussion in this scene about why the Princess wants him to join her caravan, and of the events surrounding her loss of sight. I’m skipping some. We’re in Mike’s POV and he’s just asked if the chieftain she’s to marry is aware she’s unable to see. (Saium is her one faithful guardsman, a longtime servant of her late mother’s):

Shalira seemed troubled, wrinkling her brow and lowering her sightless eyes as she started worrying the fringe on the closest pillow, but all she said was, “A large dowry has been paid – he’ll keep me safe, and I’ll be happy living freely in the open forests, away from this hot, hateful city.”

Mike pondered the ramifications of what she’d shared earlier, added to the quick overview Saium had given him in the hall, asking, “So you’ve never actually met this guy?”

Bristling as if she heard unwarranted criticism in his tone, she said, “No, why does it matter? Arranged marriages are the custom for the high-born on Mahjundar – it’s how things are done.” She tilted her head, sculpted eyebrows drawn together in a frown.

If it’s fine with her, it’s hardly my place to question the arrangement – why do I care, anyway? What is it with me and this woman? I just met her yesterday – she’s none of my concern.

The story:

An attempted assassination left Princess Shalira blind as a child and, now that she’s of marriageable age, her prospects are not good because of her disability. She’s resigned herself to an arranged marriage rather than face life under the thumb of her cold stepmother. But then she meets Mike Varone, a Sectors Special Forces officer sent to Mahjundar by the intergalactic government. After Mike saves Shalira from another assassination attempt, she arranges for him to escort her across the planet to her future husband. She’s already falling hard for the deadly offworlder and knows she should deny herself the temptation he represents, but taking Mike along to protect her is the only way she’ll live long enough to escape her ruthless stepmother.

Mike, for his part, resists his growing attraction to the princess; he has a mission on this planet and rescuing the vulnerable but brave princess isn’t it. No matter how much he wishes it could be.

But what should have been an easy trek through Mahjundar’s peaceful lands swiftly turns into an ambush with danger around every turn. Shalira’s marriage begins to seem less like an arranged union and more like yet another planned assassination. The more they work together to survive, the harder it becomes to stop themselves from falling in love. Caught in a race against time, can they escape the hostile forces hunting them and make it off the planet?

Amazon     Barnes & Noble   iTunes     All Romance eBooks     KOBO

As always, I love your comments and feedback. Even though this book is now published, the input helps for the future!

h06_64884mai

Interview with The Audiobook Narrator ESCAPE FROM ZULAIRE

Escape-from-Zulaire2HighResOver at the USA Today Happily Ever After blog, my current  SciFi Encounters column is about making HEAscience fiction romance audiobooks. I’m talking to actor Michael Riffle and actress Mary Fegreus, the stars of Escape From Zulaire, my newest book to be made into the audio format. The’re discussing how they prepared to bring the book to life and how it was to work together, including on the steamier scenes!

I’ve interviewed Michael before on this blog, when he narrated my Wreck of the Nebula Dream in 2013. I thought it might be fun to pull a few tidbits from the Archives, regarding things he shared with us then, about himself and that novel.

Excerpted From the  March 2013 Archives:

Did you have a favorite scene in Wreck of the Nebula Dream? A scene that was especially challenging?
I think the most challenging scene was (SPOILERS!) in chapter seven when [Character X] didn’t survive.  I have a really close relationship with my mother, and when the Character thought Nick was her son at the end I visualized my mother saying that and I actually had to stop recording for a few minutes because I got choked up.  The dangers of making the work too personal, I guess!
VS: I remember when you were doing the recording you’d tweeted that Chapter made you a bit sad. I’m touched that the scene had such an effect.

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I really enjoyed the way you brought each of the characters to life – not only Nick the hero but also wide variety of people he was trying to save from the wrecked ship. What goes on in your mind as you create each unique voice?
I think the biggest influence on what I try to do with my voice comes from your description of the characters.  Not just how their voice is described, but how they hold themselves, what sort of personality do they have, how they are feeling during the whole process.  I try to equate each character to someone I know, or a character I’ve seen in a movie or television, something to ground it in reality.  I might be a little selfish by giving my own voice to Nick.  It’s hard to NOT want to be the modest, able-bodied hero who gets the girl.
VS: I had a number of auditions submitted for the book and I have to say I knew you were Nick from the first word you said! It was amazing to “hear” my character and I was in no doubt who I HAD to have narrate the book LOL.

1284217_33761472Wreck-of-the-Nebula-DreamFinalMedI came up with some unusual words and names, given that Wreck of the Nebula Dream was a science fiction novel. Was there anything or anyone you wished you could rename? (I promise it won’t hurt my feelings LOL)
Hahaha, I was so worried about mispronouncing things.  I said D’nvannae wrong so many times when I started this.  I think if I could change anything I’d change Mellure, and only because I had a terrible habit of adding a Y to it for no good reason.  My mouth always wanted to say Meh-lyoor.
VS: And even though we did some advance discussion about pronunciation, we never discussed the name of the alien pirate race, Shemdylann. You say it differently than I heard it in my head when I wrote the book but the first time I heard how you said it, I knew you had it right, not me!
MR: Haha, and I changed my mind about it halfway through the chapter and had to go back and rerecord a big section.

What was the best piece of advice you ever received?
My mom said to me (on more occasions than she should probably have had to) “You only truly fail if you don’t try.”  It’s a lesson I have a hard time learning, but it’s damn good advice.

A few quickfire questions:

Can’t live without: Technology – I’m a nerd to the bone.
Would love to work with: Nathan Fillion VS sez: Wouldn’t we all :-)
Show I can’t miss: I’ve got Netflix, HuluPlus, and Crackle.  I binge watch whole seasons of anything.
Best dinner I ever ate: Went outside of my price range to Cube on La Brea.  Good lord. Delicious.

Nick drinks interstellar brandy and ice planet vodka (not in the same glass) – what’s your favorite drink?
I learned this one at the Irish Village in Brighton, Mass.
1 part Powers Irish Whiskey, 1 lemon wedge with cloves, 1 barspoon full of raw sugar, splash of Sandeman port
muddle in glass
add 4 parts boiling water
You have yourself a Hot Whiskey (or Hot Toddy) – Cures all ills, improves ailing throats, and is basically magical.

Buy Links for the audiobooks:

WRECK OF THE NEBULA DREAM    Amazon       Audible.com

ESCAPE FROM ZULAIRE        Amazon     Audible.com

Muses, Graces and Xanadu for Wednesday Whimsy

???????????????????????????????This week’s Wednesday Whimsy is M for Muse. I’m always talking about mine and how finicky she is, and how she absolutely refuses to plot things too far in advance LOL.

Here’s what famed film maker Franco Zefferelli thought about the Muses: “I have always believed that opera is a planet where the muses work together, join hands and celebrate all the arts.”

???????????????????????????????I have a lovely set of six trade cards from 1910, from Italy, with the nine classic Muses, to share with you today. These young women were thought by the Greeks to personify knowledge and the arts, especially music, dance and various forms of literature. I put Clio and Calliope at the top because Clio represented history and Calliope specialized in epic poetry. Hesiod, a Greek poet who lived around the same time as Homer, said:  “Happy is the man whom the Muses love: sweet speech flows from his mouth.”  Or as James Broughton, a precursor to the Beat Poets said, “The most astonishing joy is to receive from the muses the gift of a whole lyric.”

Yes, just hope the Muse doesn’t dictate too fast for the poet or author to scribble the notes!

Then we have Polimnia for geometry, grammar and hymns,  walking with Euterpe, ???????????????????????????????the Muse for music. Thalia protected comedy and Erato lived for love and love poetry and weddings. She’s the lady of Happily Ever After, I think!=>
Melpomene (shown below) was the opposite of Thalia, being the Muse who sponsored tragedy. She carries the mask of Tragedy and a bat (to bring tragedy if there isn’t enough already???)
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Urania inspired the astronomers and protected the stars…As Mary Ritter Beard said, about a hundred years ago, “It’s only very recently that women have succeeded in entering those professions which, as Muses, they typified for the Greeks.” We’ve made progress  since Ms. Beard was writing but much remains to be done.
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 There’s another quote I loved, before I get to the ninth Muse and my big finale.  This is from an ancient Roman scholar and writer named Marcus Terentius Varro: “The number of guests at dinner should not be less than the number of the Graces nor exceed that of the Muses, i.e., it should begin with three and stop at nine.”  I guess he liked very small gatherings…So here are the Three Graces, or Daughters of Zeus, for you, although I know them as Faith, Hope and Charity myself:
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 OK, now the ninth and final Muse was Terpsichore, the protector of dance, inventor of the harp and a lady who liked to have fun while dancing. I saved her for last because I’ve got a wonderful, fun music video for you from the old 1980’s musical ???????????????????????????????“Xanadu,” wherein the Muses come to life to the music of Electric Light Orchestra singing “I’m Alive”. Olivia Newton John played a girl named Kira, who was a Muse in human form and inspired a roller rink among other things in this fun, candy-colored film. Gene Kelly danced in it, although not in this youtube clip I’m putting below!