Building a Mask, Part Two by Pat Sweet, my inimitable guest blogger . . .
A letter from Signora Neroni!
“….my niece Vittoria, whose first season in Society was not the success her mother could have wished. Vittoria is an amiable child, but still hobbledehoy, and one of those girls who cannot dance a single quadrille without looking as though she has been pulled backwards through a hedge. Annietta has persuaded me to give her a season here in Veniche. We hope it will be like a greengrocer who pulls off the battered outer leaves of a cabbage to give it a crisper look. Vittoria is determined to appear at the masquerade costumed as a unicorn, a delicate compliment, as she sees it, to a youth in whose family coat of arms it figures, and with whom she is besotted. The mask she has ordered would instill a hearty respect in the bravest hero, for the horn’s an ell if it’s an inch, and the end of the animal’s nose extends a good two feet from her own.
I’m still frantic editing Paperweights (again), so I’m leaving my blog in the very capable hands a long-distance friend of mine who is going to be helping me run the Masked Ball. She is a former costumier
I have a huge deadline of manuscript editing today for Paperweights if I want to truly stand a chance of publication. Thus I am unable to compile a competent blog, so to keep you entertained and no, I shouldn’t do it but I will anyway, I thought I’d share what blew into my email this morning. I really do think I shall ask RA to be my ‘virtual’ partner for the ‘virtual’ Masked Ball here in May! Sorry Ladies, beat you to it! Just don’t tell the love of my life . . .
What a day! Launched the book trailer and wanted desperately to open champagne with friends to celebrate, so have been having a virtual celebration on Facebook. And that’s actually stirling practice for the Ball. Writing, ie editing, hasn’t featured greatly today and I’m ashamed of my lack of discipline and needing to run far from such shame, I sped over to my blogroll and had an enjoyable read. There is a wonderful piece of writing that deserves to have heaps of coverage and if you want to be taken far from the melting snows and chill of a Northern hemisphere winter, do read this piece from Provence . . . guaranteed to warm your toes.
When my first book was released in December of 2008, I had a vague idea that as a complete unknown I would be responsible for a large proportion of my own widening profile. I had no idea that in 12 months it would have covered such a lengthy ride over a vast techno-landscape.
I took the bag load of books back to my little coastal library the other day and I reflected on how lucky I was to have such a sweet library in my favourite place in the world. Better still, after watching North and South the other night, how surprised was I to see a copy of Mrs.Gaskell’s book on the fiction shelves under G for Gaskell . . . and this is a library that services at peak times, under a thousand people.
It’s true! There is going to be a Masked Ball here in May. Held by the Museo Director and with a guest of honour, Dr.Tobias Google. It will be glittering and glamorous and I can’t help wondering if there will be an appearance by the Others, just like in The Last Stitch. I’ve heard there will be prizes during the evening and the most delectable supper . . . and of course we will have the pleasure of the company of our escorts, won’t we?
I have heard a whisper . . . have you? That there may be Masked Ball (virtual)on this site in April or May? It’s only a whisper, mind, and may not be true. But I heard the invitation was to come from the Directore of the Museo in Veniche, in Eirie .
Perhaps I was under a stone, or on another planet or at the very least in solitary confinement (something I do enjoy, actually), when the BBC’s adaptation of Elisabeth Gaskell’s North and South was released. Amazingly I was not all that familiar with Elisabeth Gaskell’s writings. At secondary school and university it had been Dickens, the Brontes, Jane Austen, George Eliot, Xavier Herbert, Joseph Conrad and Thomas Hardy among many others. Heavy, dour books to be reading when one was in the spring, nay, the summer of one’s life. Hardy’s brooding rural settings, Bronte’s even more stormy settings and Dickens who portrayed it as it was so to speak, was enough to drive a young, fancy-free student far from the serious and into the positively tacky. http://readingthepast.blogspot.com/2010/02/tackiness-extraordinaire
I’m back at the shack, staggered in with a supply of the cooking from the other day, with a supply of wine (naturally), with the computer and some files, with the dogs and with my overnight bag. The overnight bag is never for overnight, I am rarely here overnight . . . days at a time usually and thus the bag contains underwear and a sponge bag. Shack clothes are left here . . . you know, the faded denim shorts and jeans, the old polo-shirts, the beaten-up boat shoes, the white wind-cheater that is so loved that it’s worn at the neck and wrists. So why then does the overnight bag weigh a tonne?