Category Archives: Uncategorized

Parracide—a special punishment named Poena Cullei.

Interesting article on a form of punishment I have heard about over the years, but knew little about.  Frankly, I can’t imagine how one would get all these into a sack, not a job I would want to take on.

F

Ancient Romans had a penchant for doling out punishments in rather theatrical fashion, with one pertinent example relating to the noxii, the criminals who were mainly accused of robbery, murder and rape. At times, the noxii were simply used as living props who were unarmored (or sometimes dressed in ‘show’ armor), and then declared as…

via Poena cullei: The bizarre ancient Roman punishment reserved for parricide — Realm of History

We’re in! New desk! New Front yard! Same incredible wife!

We are official Louisiana residents once again!  Whether we are Ponchatoula or Hammond residents depends on what agency or service you talk to.  Same goes for the street– Halbert Lane or Halbert Road.  The post office says road, the legal description on our Title says Lane.  They agree on Hammond, but trash, internet, direct tv, and water services, etc, are about equally divided.   90% of boxes unpacked (down to the ones that we’ll get to “some day” , and now I have a place to work where I have that front yard view.  No more excuses, it’s back to work time. Still lots of fixing and painting to do, so, if you’re just missing the joys of having a project, drop on by.

Should have seen me driving the 26 foot truck from St. Augustine to Thomasville to here! But we made it, furniture and people intact.  Had the help of Austin Ridley in Thomasville, which was not only a godsend but a pleasurable catch-up time with him and update on his first year at Wabash.

Writing Groups

images

I belong to a writer’s group.  We meet on Wednesdays in Cuenca, Ecuador from 12:00 to 3:00 at a local restaurant.  Most of us arrive early to eat lunch before we begin.  Now, I’ve belonged to quite a few groups, starting way back in my early college days…Groups where the individuals were so focused on showing how much they know about writing, groups where they are so ready not only to tell you how to write, but what you should write about.  Most of these groups were pretty useless to me, but I did pick up some valuable things from them.  The problem was I didn’t stay long,  the sessions were a grueling exercise of slash and burn critique, clashing egos, and, in the end, dispiriting.

This group works!  We bring material…no more than 1500 words, must bring copies, double spaced, readable font, which we pass out to everyone.  After the writer reads his/her selection we go around the table and comment.  Comments are the personal opinion of the speaker and for the most part stated as such.  Very few “must, should, can’t” statements. More “I would like more…I wonder…I don’t understand…statements.”

The hard part for me when I first joined was that the writer is not allowed to speak, no explanations…just sit there and listen.  That now is my favorite thing about the group, that and getting the copies back with everyone’s notes on them.  Not being able to respond, defend, explain, what I was doing forces me to listen and hear what the reader is reading in my work, not what I meant to write.  It’s good for me.  It works. I am writing more and I am writing better.

Try it, join a group, one that actually gets together in person, or online.  Find one that works for you.

Editing: Process, Form and Heart

by Esther Elizabeth Suson Editing is its own kind of high. As the supposed final voice on the manuscript, a bit of smugness might creep in. If the motion has become too mechanical, we stop reading in breathless anticipation of skillful wording and hard-hitting sentences. Instead, we live for that casual flick of the pen […]

via Editing: Discovering the Heart of the Writer — The Disinterested Interpreter

Naked and Afraid

images-1

“Art is never finished, only abandoned.”  Michelangelo

I am in the throes of editing my most recent novel.  I have taken my last stab at it myself and sent it out naked and afraid into the hands of other readers to be picked over and marked up.  It is a terrible time.  The copies will come back to me with heart-breaking slashes, corrections, ideas and warnings…but as painful as some of those will be that is precisely what I want, what is best for me and for my novel.  My writing group gives me the input along the way and for me that is a great boon, but this sending my baby out whole to be judged in the harsh light of “Here it is, it’s done,” is  nerve wracking.  These critiques I prefer to get whole, not a running commentary in bits and  pieces over the days.  Drop the whole ten ton package on me at once; I will accept the sudden crushing weight and slowly…days, weeks…will begin to sort through it all.  I will launch happily into the punctuation corrections, because I suck at it.  I will look hard at the grammar, because sometimes they’re right.  The toughest parts are the suggestions on story line, character, dialogue, plot movement…my darling quips torn to shreds, that perfect scene devasted, etc.  Hard to swallow, hard to bear…but in the end I do swallow it, not whole by any means.  Some comments and suggestions are easily discarded…not my story, not what I’m doing.  It’s the ones that hit home…that “Oh, my god, they’re right.  How do I fix it?”  Those are the real prizes received from this stage.  Those are the jewels that I receive from this scariest part of my process.

I love my final edit readers, love and fear them.  So bring it on!

 

Palatium: House of Livia

Great examples of Wallpaintings!  This is house attributed to Livia and it would have been “in the neighborhood” of the home that Numerius has installed his sister’s family in the first book of the Numerius Meridius Pulcher mystery series. How’s that for desirable real estate?

following hadrian photography

The House of Livia (domus Liviae) is a building complex on the Palatine Hill, ancient Rome’s most desirable location. It was built in the first half of the first century BC and belonged to the empress Livia, the third wife of Emperor Augustus. It stood next to the House of Augustus (domus Octaviani) alongside a complex of buildings conceived for the ideological propaganda of the emperor’s power and image. The house marks the transition between the 2nd and the 3rd architectural style of the Pompeian wall painting.

First excavated in 1839, the house has been attributed to Livia on the basis of the name IVLIA AVG[VSTA] stamped on a lead pipe on display on the left-hand wall of the tablinum. The two-storey house, built around a central atrium, was decorated with advanced “Second Pompeian Style” wall paintings, reflecting the sophisticated taste of wealthy…

View original post 674 more words

Editing!

images

 

I am into the final editing of my second book in the Numerius Meridius Pulcher series, Numerius Meridius Pulcher and the Case of the Syrian Slaves and Slippery Slopes.

I really do hate editing!  Punctuation I hate most!  All those commas, semi-colons…and I use a lot of them in the Numerius stories…a style choice. Much easier with the New Orleans series, shorter sentences, shorter chapters.  Could I write the same way for the Numerius Series?  Certainly, but then it wouldn’t be Numerius.  So I muddle on.