Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Another Biloxi Photo, For A Post About "Downton Abbey"

Here is another picture of Biloxi's Beau Rivage Casino Hotel (i.e.the Belle Carnivale); in recent years this gorgeous wood-slatted walkway has sprung into existence, and is a truly delightful means of walking over the Gulf water to the beach, where you can choose to either continue travelling up the beach on a concrete walkway, or drop down onto the soft white sand. I will have to research when, exactly, this wondrous walkway came into being, because I don't believe it was there when my novel takes place; I might let it go, since I want Margot and Pieter's walk from the beach to the hotel to be unobstructed by even this miracle of convenience and beauty.

I am just about delirious and beside myself with the revisions I want to make to the Biloxi book (spurred by the amazingly astute and helpful feedback of my wonderful writing group!), but must complete its current draft first, and also attend to work issues in my own life. I am thrilled to report that I have been accepted into Artist Trust's EDGE Professional Development Program, which I am so very honored and excited to be a part of! This new chapter of my professional development will require a little re-shuffling of my current work schedule, which I hope will go well. I am also hoping to discover how to move my creative writing from an unpaid hobby to a self-sustaining career, and believe I will learn how to do this through the EDGE program.

So yes, I am very happy about my inclusion in the EDGE program, and can't wait for class to start on Feb. 24th. I am also thrilled to be currently caught up with "Downton Abbey" on PBS.

It was through a Facebook post of my friend Kirsten Rue (thank you!), months ago, that I came to learn of Downton Abbey, Season One. It was available On Streaming, via Netflix; I was available On a Sunday, via a Hangover, and thus watched all seven episodes of this inexplicably addictive BBC show.

I am an Anglophile, to be sure; if I could choose one moment to live over and over again it would probably be the scene in Merchant Ivory's film "Room With A View," when George Emerson (Julian Sands) bounds through an Italian field of brightly colored flowers to grasp Lucy Honeychurch (Helena Bonham-Carter) in his arms and kiss her passionately. Basically, I am all about corsets and long chesnut hair, and the thwarting of one's own desires to maintain societal order. However, I think that "Downton Abbey" has a crossover appeal that sucks in even those who wouldn't normally sit through a Merchant Ivory film, and that is thrilling--what is it about this television show that  is so addicting?!?

I can tell you one thing--I don't believe that this week's burn victim Patrick Gordon is Patrick Crawley, supposed fatal victim of the Titanic. He seems fishy, he does--and, I'm surprised that Lady Edith seemed to fall so quickly under his spell; you'd think a con could spy a con.

I am guiltily liking Sir Richard (Lady Mary's newspaper fiance) more and more, with his catch-phrase of: "Should I be worried??" emitted as various characters (Matthew, Patrick) shuffle through Downton Abbey.

I have to admit that I can't remember what, in Season One, drove Lady Mary and Matthew apart in the first place; money, I'm sure, but I can't remember the exact circumstance.

Regardless--I am completely enthralled by this series, and think everyone should watch it! I don't think many episodes are left, and I don't know what I shall do until Season Three airs on our shores; I am sending out a call for floppy-haired gents to come running at me in a field of flowers, that is the only thing that will get me through until then...

Friday, February 3, 2012

The Biloxi Book

The book is going; if it's going well...I couldn't say. The past couple months of cat-stress have greatly slowed progress, as well as the recent surprise people-deaths of close family members and friends. It's really been a difficult few months; the first truly "adult" winter of my life, I suppose, where terrible things can't be reset with a quick joke or laugh. In any event, I am still working on The Biloxi Book, and it looks like Storylandia 5 (containing my short story, "See You There") will be published any day now.


I am going to miss Mardi Gras this year--after five straight rides with Slidell's Krewe of Selene, I will be at home in Seattle with Kiki when our parade rolls on Friday, February 17th. I couldn't afford it this year even before Kiki's crazy nerve mass, but I am truly, truly sorry to miss out on what has become a yearly family ritual, from my dad helping load bags of beads onto my float, to catching up on a year's worth of news with my aunt Denise while we throw beads to the screaming masses of Slidell, LA, during our three-hour parade ride. I would have swung it this year if there was any possible way, but it just didn't work out. Hopefully I will be able to reclaim my spot next year.

The picture above (taken by me in Spring 2011) is the pool area of the Beau Rivage Casino Hotel in Biloxi, MS, the inspiration for the Belle Carnivale Casino Hotel's pool area in my novel, Biloxi Suite Trapeze. It isn't exactly like this in the book, but this photo might give you an idea of the mood the book has, all sun-splashed & stylish.You can imagine the lead trapezist, Travina, swimming here, right? And the Sagarat! jugglers tossing ashtrays into the pool after a night of drinking. And, of course, Pieter and Margot sipping mimosas under a poolside umbrella, after a tumbling lesson....

So I guess this picture is a teaser for the novel!

Check back for more news, I am watching my life closely and will report anything interesting on this blog.