I recently discovered a new author who has given me many exciting reading adventures and has also become a role model for me as an author. Gigi Pandian is a writer who decided to go her own way and play outside the box, only to find the box was following her. More
Books with Magic for Delightful Summer Reading
Three books with magic to uplift your summer reading, to inspire hope and lift you into a world of new possibilities. Books of fun, magic, and humanity. Summer is a magical time, and reading is one of its great pleasure. With my magic wand, I’m conjuring three novels to lift your summer reading onto a magic carpet.
What makes us crave magic in stories? We want to be inspired, to hope, and to be lifted into a world of new possibilities. We want to walk a shimmering path to become more than we are. The very telling of a tale implies that we’ll be lifted out of our ordinary reality. More
Today, I find myself in writer-bliss — thrilled to be writing a new novel. There’s the phase of editing a book (tough fun) and the phase of marketing it (tough and not so fun), and the best phase, starting one. It’s summer, and ideas are blooming in my head as wildly as the roses I tend in 12 pots are putting out buds and opening red, pink, gold, and white. New story ideas opened up buds too. A lemon grove. A new heroine who’s fleeing a catastrophe in her life to run away to Florence, Italy. More
Poetry’s wonderful world of magic — that’s almost redundant. Isn’t the elevated world of a poem necessarily a magical one? The magic comes from close attention –the writer’s and the reader’s — to people, beings, relationships, and things. But every poem needs specifics to ground the reader, to help a reader enter the world of the poem. More
Exactly what is Magical Realism fiction — what is it, and what differentiates it from fantasy? Since it’s the category I’ve chosen to read most and often write, I think a lot about this. The many good lists of magical realism fiction online point us toward some stories that seem to me to belong more in the category of fantasy. More
It’s starting to feel like the countdown to the offical launch of my novel, The Renaissance Club, in January! As the daughter of a rocket scientist, I have to use rocket metaphors in connection with the word “launch”. Very soon you’ll be able to pre-order my book on Amazon. And also soon, I’ll host a giveaway. My giveaway will include another good read, signed paperback copies of my book of poems and essays, Gods of Water and Air, as well as other prizes.
To celebrate, I’m sharing this free preview of the first two chapters. This free preview is the newest, updated version of the book that will be printed or sold as an ebook. It includes a brand new prologue! So here, without further ado, is …
The Renaissance Club, A Novel
Prologue. The Folds of Time.
If you could go anywhere in time, where would you go? George remembered being asked that question in fourth grade by his best friend Timmy, who was reading it aloud from the famous science-fiction novel, Time’s Wily Thief. Sitting in his favorite neighborhood trattoria in Rome, he wasn’t sure why he remembered that. Maybe because Ancient Rome was one of his favorite places to visit.
George St. James stirred his cappuccino and contemplated a file describing the people he would lead in his next tour group. He would guide a group of college teachers, who called themselves The Renaissance Club, through Northern Italy to study sites of importance to the dawn of the modern era, known as the Italian Renaissance. For the next several weeks, he would shepherd twelve mostly aging professors through more than one hundred sites. Norman, their leader and club organizer, had sent George a wish list for the ages. George would have to pace them, or they’d drop before they left Rome.
Magical realism in women’s fiction gives the reader and writer a broader canvas of possibilities. When you’re reading about women and their relationships (the broad definition of women’s fiction), elements of magic provide visual ways to describe a character’s feelings, frame internal events, and create adventures. Magical realism in women’s fiction can be small touches or big events, such as time travel. I used two magical realism elements in my novel The Renaissance Club , a butterfly emanating from a woman’s mouth when she answers her lover More
Because shouldn’t we all have a little extra help? And also a friend you can always talk to, who understands everything the way you see it, or even if he doesn’t, has wisdom gently offered? Yes, everyone should have this.
In my completed novel, THE RENAISSANCE CLUB, (watch for announcement of its debut date), Renaissance genius sculptor and architect Bernini provides the magical wisdom and inspiration for young art historian May Gold, stuck in a going-nowhere teaching job, with a stick-in-the-mud boyfriend. As if Italy isn’t magic enough on its own, she slips through a crack in time to come face to face with the tempestuous artist, staring straight into Bernini’s eyes.
Well, what would you do if you could meet that one person in history who you’ve always admired– maybe even studied and fantasized about? That’s the way my tale unfolds. And the way May manages to make her not-so-imaginary but slipstream companion a reality in her life. I found the voice of Bernini urging me along as I wrote the story. It’s a coming-of-artistic-age tale that rang deeply true for me. If you have to create, have courage and do it boldly. Think of the dynamic Bernini when you put your fingers on those keys, or the camera to your eye.
What if you can’t get your two favorite heroes from history to play nice? That’s the problem my main character, art historian May Gold has in my WIP novel The Renaissance Club. She has a plan to get her idol, Gianlorenzo Bernini, the rock star artist of the Renaissance, and his chief rival, architect Borromini, to play nice and work together. Trouble is, she has to travel four centuries to bring it about. Time isn’t giving her much time, and Borromini is out for blood. Here’s an excerpt: