When I read this quote I ‘clicked’ immediately with these words; even more since I keep saying that I enjoy painting pictures with words. In my writing exactly that’s what I try to do, even though I’m not always sure it works the way I had planned it.
My back was turned to the door. While I waited for his return, I watched the sparrows playing on the fountain rim while taking quick showers in the droplets which sparkled in the bright afternoon sun.
seems to be better than:
I stared outside waiting for his return. The afternoon sun made the water in the fountain basin sparkle.
I would like the reader to see the sparrows hopping around, rant and rave at each other and still spread the feeling of happiness and joy.
I figure we all had looked out a window once when the weather was beautiful and saw some pond or fountain. Sparrows are almost everywhere, but most of us don’t see them anymore, maybe because they are ‘ordinary.’
Of course, this is only one example of many. I am fascinated by waterfalls in the mountains and I know I’m not the only one. But how many of us see the rainbow over the water in summer, how many see the snakes, turtles, and lizards which can be seen enjoying the sun while still trying to catch the droplets the waterfall bestows on them.
Many people like going for walks. But it seems to be very important to them to permanently stare onto their phones or have someone with them to talk to.
That way they miss the sound of Nature, they miss so many beautiful details.
When I go through the forest, I try to set my steps as quietly as possible as compared to breaking through the woods like a rhinoceros. I watch the sunbeams touching the moss between trees; I listen to the birds singing, I can see the finest art in the form of spider webs between the bushes (and yes, I walk around them. As beautiful as the webs are, the residents scare me to death).
I have the chance to see foxes, squirrels, and deer. One evening I had the chance to watch a huge owl feeding the brood, and I’m still honored to have had that chance.
All these details taught me how to see. And that is what I try to express in my books. Of course, I still work on it, and I’m sure at times it can be better. But I won’t give up.
How is your experience with descriptions and the painting of pictures with words? Let me know in the comments below.
Anton Pavlovich Chekhov was born on January 29th in the year 1860, in the small seaport of Taganrog, Ukraine. He is regarded as one of Russia’s most cherished story tellers. He has produced some hilarious one-acts, but his tragic stories have gained him the name of being one of the major dramatists. Today, he is remembered as a playwright and one of the masters of the modern short story. He was the grandson of a serf and the son of a grocer, whose religious fanaticism caused much of his early years to reside under its shadow. While he was doing medicine in the University of Moscow, he began writing short stories. After graduating in 1884, he worked as a freelance writer and journalist related to comics. He used the money gathered from it to support himself and his family, and by 1886, he had gained wide fame as a writer. Chekhov’s works were published in various St. Petersburg papers, including Peterburskaia Gazeta in 1885, and Novoe Vremia in 1886. The Shooting Party published by him was translated into English in 1926.
In the early part of his career, he mastered the art of one-act and produced some fine pieces. In 1888, he wrote a story, The Bear, in which a creditor pursues a young widow, but later proposes marriage to her after being impressed that she’s agreed to fight a duel with him. In 1889, he wrote The Wedding, which also has a very nice story attached to it, and became an instant hit amongst his fans.
In 1886, he began contributing regularly to St. Petersburg daily Novoe Vremia and that was when he developed the style of calm writing. He was criticized by his opponents because his story lacked social commentary, but at the same time, he was praised by authors such as Leo Tolstoy and Nikolai Leskov.
In 1888, Chekhov was rewarded the Pushkin Prize and the very next year, he was elected a member of the Society of Lovers of Russian Literature. He withdrew from Literature and turned to Science for a while when his play, The Wood Demon failed in 1889. As a part of his doctoral research, he made a trip to the penal colony of Sakhalin, north of Siberia, where he surveyed 10,000 convicts sentenced to life on the island. During the latter half of the year, he traveled all over the word, including places as South East Asia, the Indian Subcontinent, and the Middle East.
In 1901, Chekhov finally married an actress, Olga Knipper, who had performed in his plays. On July 15, 1904, in Badenweiler, Germany, Chekhov died. He is buried in the cemetery of the Novodeviche Monastery in Moscow. (Source: https://www.famousauthors.org/anton-chekhov)
It was a great shock today when the news reported that the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris is on fire.
Notre Dame fire: What we know
A major fire erupted at the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris Monday.
The cathedral, which was undergoing renovations, suffered extensive damage.
Authorities have not yet determined the cause of the fire.
No deaths have been reported.
Notre Dame construction began in 1163 and was completed in 1345.
The iconic spire at the top of the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris has collapsed after a major fire broke out Monday. A Video showed part of the roof of the cathedral collapsing into itself as the fire rages on.
“Everything is burning, nothing will remain from the frame,” Notre Dame spokesperson Andre Finot told French media, according to the Associated Press. By Monday evening, Paris fire chief Jean-Claude Gallet told reporters he believes firefighters have managed to save the cathedral’s landmark rectangular towers from the blaze.
Gallet said, “We now believe that the two towers of Notre Dame have been saved,” Reuters news agency reported. “We now consider that the main structure of Notre Dame has been saved and preserved.” There was still a risk that some of the interior structures could collapse, he said.
It is horrible! I who have seen this amazing building several times and felt the unusual spirit of what was within these walls. In my opinion, the emotions in this church might have been caused by millions of prayers, by shiny eyes, fascinated thoughts, and Christian comfort.
My heart is bleeding that the world might be losing one of the most fascinating historical buildings still existing. I pray that this won’t happen and that today’s generation and the next ones will have to chance to see what I saw, to feel what I felt and to experience what millions of people experience year by year…
May the world see this miracle of architectural art back in its old varnish and glory, the way it once was, we all knew it – and how it hopefully once will be again.
I’m very excited to let you all know that ‘Soul Taker’, the first book in ‘The Council Of Twelve’ series, got its third 5-star review. This is wonderful, I’m literally bouncing through my day.
New author A.J. Alexander excites us with her debut novella Soul Taker. Kate is an angel of death, taking the soul into the afterlife. After a job that went bad Kate wants to call it quits. Her request is granted in that she is now a Guardian angel and will learn under the tutelage of the great charming, and alluring Archangel Raphael. While Kate is being trained to be a Guardian demons attack kidnapping Kate. She has something they want. After her rescue by the Council of Twelve, we learn Kate does not have something hell and Lucifer want she IS what they want. You have to read the rest of the book to find out why.
Soul Taker is nicely written. Alexander pulls you into her world that is warm and welcoming. The characters are well written. Kate is written with a large innocence and vulnerability, yet it is also her strength as well. Lucifer is luxurious and I love him and Kate’s banter. This book is to be a series and it’s a nice beginning. Alexander is on my radar and will be interested in what else this series brings.
Kate is a warmhearted and nurturing person. From the very beginning, she felt the need to tighten the connection with her new ‘family,’ the Council of Twelve and invited them over for dinner. Kate loves to cook, which doesn’t necessarily mean she’s good at it. The Council members keep teasing her about her cooking, but still, they bravely show up to every single one of her invitations, grateful for the two members of the ‘chef-crew’ who are supporting Kate in her ambitions. This is one of the first courses Kate serves to the Council of Twelve.
Pecan and dill crusted salmon
1 1/2 cups pecan halves
6 tablespoons butter,
melted 2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons dried dill weed
1 (3- to 3 1/2-lb.) boneless, skinless side of salmon
1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 400°. Pulse first 4 ingredients in a food processor 5 or 6 times or until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle salmon with salt and pepper; place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Spread pecan mixture over salmon. Bake 18 to 20 minutes or just until salmon flakes with a fork.
On paws as soft as velvet
I was approaching you
I needed food, I needed a game
So, I told you what to do.
When I entered your home six years ago
You already had two cats
Beautiful, big, calm and sweet
Huge paws, green eyes and ears like bats.
No matter how cool they both were
With me they were a little cross.
It only needed one rage outburst
And I became their boss.
You told me you loved my kitty voice
So, I talked a lot with you
We cuddled and played many times
And the connection between us grew.
Then I got sick, I was in pain,
I felt your horrible inner strife,
While you tried to hide your grief from me
I watched you fighting for my life.
For eight months we both have worked
With my vet, no matter how much it cost.
But one day, five years ago you had to see
That the battle for my life was lost.
With tears in your eyes, you prevented the worst
The pain in your face, you didn’t want to show
You helped me to the rainbow bridge
Holding me in your Mommy arms, you quietly let me go.
The last thing I felt before I left
Was your kiss between my ears
The last thing you whispered before I was gone
“I love you, girl”, blocked by all your tears.
I know very much after all these years
My loss in your life still plays its part.
But we both are still a unity
I left my paw prints on your heart.
But Mommy, don’t worry about your cat
I know you loved me so.
Believe me, here I wait for you
To the day you will have to go.
***** (Copyright, Aurora Jean Alexander, February 2019)