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Characters . . . escorts, heroes, villains.

Over the last couple of days, creativebarbwire has had interesting blogs on characters (http://creativebarbwire.wordpress.com/2010/03/17/characters-real-or-not/) and it prompted me to think about my own approach.

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The Masked Ball masks my real job . . .

I’m finding guilt weighs heavily.  I had such plans this summer . . . to at least have written the first draft of The Shifu Cloth.  I’m 60,000 words in and finding the flow tremendously difficult and I know why.  I’ve been editing an earlier novel, writing short stories and marketing and contributing bits to the ongoing Masked Ball story.

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A lesson . . .

As I continue to write The Shifu Cloth, my share of the blog posts for The Masked Ball, the short story for The Masked Ball miniature book and the edits to Paperweights, I am finding my mind has to compartmentalise.  To be frank it isn’t easy and when I return to both Shifu Cloth and Paperweights, I find I have to read a significant amount of the previous chapters to ground myself in the flow of that particular work.  Which is probably why I choose to make the story posts I contribute here, fairly light, spoofish and V.V. short.  So here we go with my next contribution, with the help of the wicked face of Guy of Gisborne alias Niccolo de Fleury.     

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Bella and Vittoria . . .

Rebecca Bingham continues the story of The Masked Ball.  It seems we are getting close to actually sighting the amulet and finding out what it does.  As you can see (which is probably more than the three of us can!) the amulet will be pivotal to the plot (what plot, you may ask?) and pivotal to the drama of The Masked Ball.   

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The Music of Life . . .

This piece was written by a very close friend of mine, Michael Keane, as an offering for The Masked Ball.  It’s a beautifully haunting piece of lyrical writing and I’m so thrilled that Mike is in talks with Macmillan to publish his mother’s memoirs entitled Views from the Balcony.  It is Catherine Duncan’s vibrant observations on her long life living in Paris until her death recently. Obviously the ability to express thoughts in the most elegant way is a gene that has been passed down and I am sure you will all be enticed by this piece below.  To see similar lyricism, go to:  http://thevelv.blogspot.com/

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Prizes galore . . .

The world of Eirie

Wonderful prizes for the Masked Ball on May 1st . . . each of the competitions on the night will have a beautiful prize:

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Niccolo Rising . . .

Before I add another chapter to The Masked Ball, this time from myself, I must tell you that my Niccolo de Fleury is a mere caricature, a light pencil sketch, even a cartoon.  He was loosely inspired by the real Nicholas van der Poele, alias Niccolo de Fleury, who is one of the most extraordinary creations in the world of Historical Fiction.  Nicholas van der Poele, (de Fleury) is a blonde Renaissance man from Bruges with a stupendous intellect that enables him to range across all the political, economic and cultural demesnes of Europe in his time.  Dorothy Dunnett wrote 8 books about him and I love every single one of them and would like to say without fear of correction that I believe she is the greatest historical fiction writer the world has ever seen.  Equally my Sir Percy is a caricature of the most excellent Sir Percy Blakeney of The Scarlet Pimpernel and if either of my characters prompt you as reader to dash off and read of the real characters in the afore-mentioned books then I will, quite simply, have done my job.  Having said that, if ever there was a movie made of The House of Niccolo, I can actually imagine Richard Armitage in the role as he has proved himself time and again through North and South, Robin Hood, Spooks and no doubt with his upcoming and more contemporary  TV dramas that he could pull off the convoluted and intricate character that is Nicholas van der Poele.  I must also add, if anything has really inspired me in this whole Masked Ball story, it’s the perfect creations from Bo Press Miniature Books 

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Bacigalupo . . .

When I began the journey to hold a Masked Ball on Mesmered’s blog, I never dreamed that a story would emerge from it, two stories in fact.  One is a short-story called The Masked Ball which is entirely different than the blog-story and which Pat from Bo Press Miniature Books is using in one of her brilliant limited edition creations.  But here on Mesmered, another story is developing and it’s exciting for me to see what my co-conspirators come up with each day.  Till now, we haven’t communicated a story-line with each other, we have just run off with the last line of the previous submission to write our own submission and move the story forward.  It’s become an exercise in fleet wordage and spare detail for me and I find I am learning quite a lot about the craft of writing and getting the message across in the shortest possible time.  Please sit back now and enjoy Pat Sweet’s continuation of  her part in The Masked Ball as Parthenope Neroli: 

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A letter from Annabelle Dechanel . . .

More of the story of The Masked Ball, this offering from Rebecca. (I’m having so much fun with this story that I wonder if I shall ever go back to normal blogging!)

Dearest Clarissa,

Such news! I am going to a masked ball in a fortnight and it is sure to be the event of the season. It will be held at the Museo and will be a very grand affaire indeed. There are rumors that the Prince may attend! And there are rumblings about the possible presence of Others, although Charles makes fun of me for placing credence in that story.

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Spooks . . .

‘I’m bored, Percy, and restless.’  I took up a stiletto and flicked  it in the direction of the especially erected target in the salon.  ‘All the ladies do is gossip and giggle and spend hours discussing lengths of lace and flaunting the provenance of their escorts.’  I took up another stiletto after the first had gratifyingly entered the painted face of my target, the next punctuating the chest and damn near hitting X marks the spot. ‘And Gad, what have I to offer?  My escort appears to be a figment of my imagination.’  I sighed.  ‘Take me falconing Percy, I’ve a wish to get away from the canals.’ 

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