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1084. webfeet - 7/2/2013 12:43:20 AM

Grande merci, mes amis! Wabbit! So happy to hear from you--and Arky, I would hope your husband would enjoy reading it, because this is not women's fiction--so much is about rural France and its peasant heritage. I may publish some excerpts tonight--given this enthusiastic response!

Bhelpuri--such a pleasure, thank you!

If anyone is in NYC or the south of France, this summer, drop me a line at literarylustre@gmail.com. Love to hear from everybody otherwise.

I will be moderating comments, regularly. I just received my first nasty one. It was from Alistair, actually.

How did you get so crotchety, mon vieux?

1085. arkymalarky - 7/2/2013 1:15:23 AM

Oooh please do! Stan is out on the tractor as I type.

1086. webfeet - 7/3/2013 3:39:45 AM

Yes, I will, toute de suite. I just added a new post, "Do you have egg on your face?' --but you mustn't read it if you are a male, so tell Stan to skip that one.

Posting a new excerpt--the one that has cost me countless rejections over a certain poodle killing scene. I'd be interested in hearing what you think--but please send your comments to my site where I will be moderating. merci!

1087. arkymalarky - 7/3/2013 4:13:34 AM

Oh absolutely!

1088. Jenerator - 7/17/2013 7:59:07 PM

This makes me so happy! Webfeet - you're such a talented writer.

1089. alistairconnor - 7/23/2013 4:56:11 PM

Been spamming the Bibiche blog. Bwahahaha.

What me, crotte-shitty?

1090. webfeet - 7/27/2013 2:22:51 PM

I was a little vexe, but Im over it, especiallysince I received some engaging posts both from you and La Jenerator. But anything us better than silence.

In Aix en Provence, there a no troubles. Sans mari and enfants, and in-laws, my only care is which gazpacho shall I buy for dinner? Green or red?

The world is a gentle, bourgeois place with powdery sunsets, pool clubs and topless Anerican and French girls sunbathing, their voices giving rise to the most charming, idle thoughts. The American girl, a student, is chatty and anecdotal, speaking great colloquial French, as she shares family stories, gives psychoanalytic run-downs on the boy she likes and makes amusing, reflective comments in another language while the French girl wonders what she is going to eat for dinner and comments on their classmate Marie's tits.

1091. arkymalarky - 7/27/2013 3:30:16 PM

I've been reading and enjoying it, but not commenting.

1092. arkymalarky - 7/27/2013 11:33:22 PM

I've been reading and enjoying it, but not commenting.

1093. webfeet - 8/1/2013 10:54:26 PM

Oh, thank you, arky. Entertainment is my vocation.

Actually, for once, surprise! I didnt come here to talk about MY book, moi.
But to recommend, before I sleep, Edith Wharton's 'Custom of the Country' a wry look at American parvenus in Paris. This is always the motif, but the protagonist, Undine Spragg, is so vain and selfish, a bumpkin who marries into old money (first in New York) ; the. in France only to find that there isnt any money in old money and its the Americans who are gobbling up the Clovis tapestries and have all the cash.

Totally fun but meaty summer reading.

1094. alistairconnor - 8/23/2013 9:49:40 AM

Hmm. If I were an opportunist, I would dust off the whistleblower novel I started writing a couple of years ago, reorient it a bit and rush to self-publish it.

You'll be the first to know if I do.

1095. judithathome - 8/23/2013 5:44:35 PM

I have a friend in Canada who self-published his book about surviving the Holocaust...it has been picked up by a publisher in Israel.

Keep an eye out for it...it's entitled The Friendly Gestapo Man.

1096. alistairconnor - 5/8/2014 2:16:06 PM

The continuing story of Perpetual Darkness", continued from the last episode dating from about eighteen months ago... lest we forget, it started as a collective work, here.

Dr Albu reconvened the seminar : "Due to unscheduled events, we only have an hour left before lunch. But I think we can still usefully begin our official subject of the day, to whit : How to kill a vampire."

His audience was quiet and focused now. "Iancu's tale has been quite a useful introduction. As you know, thanks to Dumitra's dramatic demonstration of the other day, vampires have an extraordinary innate capacity for self-healing."

Alistair raised his hand. "Hey, that's right. So how come Hank's mean mother didn't heal himself?"

Albu smiled. "Iancu?"
Hank said: "Well, as I mentioned, it was a compound fracture. The leg bone, the tibia or whatever, was sticking out through the skin. We didn't dare try to set it or anything. So I guess it couldn't heal itself."

"So to kill a vampire," suggested Alistair, "you need to break his legs really badly? Sledgehammer?"

"Dismemberment would be better", said Dr Kronen.

"But not certain", said Albu. "According to folk tales, vampires can re-attach severed limbs. Which certainly seems plausible, though experimentally unverified."

"Any volunteers?" asked Alistair. "Yeah, I'm up for it. Sounds like fun", said Courtney. Alistair turned pale : "I was joking!" "So was I", said Courtney, grinning.

"Garlic?" suggested Errin. The vampires all made faces or squirmed in their seats.

"Garlic is indeed a strong vampire repellent", volunteered Kronen. "Something in it appears to break down the celery enzyme."

"Just the smell of it makes us feel ill", said Milòs.
"But even forcing a vampire to eat garlic -- if you could manage that -- would probably not be fatal", said Albu.

"If you tried it, they would probably counteract it by drinking your blood on the spot", suggested Hank drily. "OK... Dr Ayotunde?" said Alistair. "For the pizza order... Extra celery, hold the garlic!"

"What about silver bullets?" said Errin Davidson. "Or am I confusing vampires with werewolves?"

"Silver certainly interferes with vampire biology, especially the rapid healing phenomenon", said Kronen. "To what extent is unclear; here again, we have no experimental evidence to work on. But modern firearms have a tendency to send a bullet straight through the body, and out the other side. So it wouldn't matter much if the bullet was of silver or lead."

1097. alistairconnor - 5/8/2014 3:07:28 PM

"Shall I talk about the effect of ordinary military bullets..." Hank began. "No", Albu interrupted immediately. "There is no need to go into detail with respect to recent events."

Ayotunde chipped in : "I realise that you have differing levels of information about the events in question, and I have asked you not to talk about them, even to each other, and certainly not to anyone else. I intend to give you a summary of what you need to know, a little later today. Last week's events are highly sensitive, to put it mildly, and they are the reason for today's seminar, in ways that will become clear to you shortly."

The mood of the seminar, which had been swinging from one extreme to another all morning, was now distinctly chilly.

Halima said : "This is not just a theoretical seminar. It will be followed up with practical workshops, for those who volunteer. To be clear : self-defense classes."

"We're going to be issued with wooden stakes, then?" asked Alistair. "That's the traditional thing, isn't it? But how do you get them to stay still long enough?... Oh!... " he exclaimed, turning towards Hank.

Hank looked inquiringly at Albu, who nodded. "Go ahead, Iancu. I think everyone should know the details of your attempted assassination of Dumitra."

There were gasps from those who hadn't known of the affair, and a little scream from Errin.

Hank frowned. "Let's be perfectly clear on one thing : I never intended to kill Dumitra. It was Courtney I was trying to murder."

Laslò sprang to his feet, as if by reflex. "They sent you to kill her? ... Would you have gone through with it?"

"I guess I'll never know for sure", Hank said gravely. "Anyway, it was nothing personal."

"I understand that", said Courtney. "I've already forgiven you."

"Aren't women amazing?" said Alistair, grinning.

"Well, the... soap opera aspects of our situation are certainly entertaining", said Kronen wrily, "but shall we get down to business? Can someone suggest why a stake would be the best method for killing a vampire? Dr Sorin Cascu, perhaps? We haven't heard much from you this morning." There was perhaps a hint of irritation or spite in his voice.

1098. alistairconnor - 5/8/2014 3:08:56 PM

Sorin cleared his throat : "Well, the key, I suppose, is the introduction of a foreign object into a vital organ. Much like the compound fracture of Hank's ... friend, the vampire's body can not heal around it. And presumably only the heart will do. A stake through the liver or lungs, which would certainly kill an ordinary human quite rapidly, would probably not do the job, as long as the vampire's extraordinary blood was still circulating."

"The stake must not only penetrate the heart", noted Albu, "it must be maintained there. Folklore attests that if a vampire manages to withdraw the stake, the wound is not necessarily fatal."

"Hence the necessity of sneaking up on the unsuspecting victim", said Alistair. "Hank, you're lucky I never got around to hooking up the burglar alarm I installed years ago."

"Oh, burglar alarms..." shrugged Hank. "I've been dealing with those since my early teens."

"So one must creep up on one's target while they are in their deathlike sleep state", said Errin, with a shudder. "But that won't work for the ones who never sleep, will it?"

"And since we're talking strictly self-defense here", Halima pointed out, "murdering them in their beds is outside the brief anyway."

"So, when a vampire attacks us, we just need to completely immobilise him -- nail him to a wooden floor perhaps? and bang a wooden stake through him. Sounds easy!" said Alistair, with perhaps a hint of irony.

"We've come up with something better", said Halima. "Milòs, would you like to show them the prototype?"

Milòs fetched a large leather case, almost a cube, from a corner of the room, and snapped it open. It contained a handsome crossbow, and a rack of bolts, apparently made of some dark wood, with shining metal tips.

1099. alistairConnor - 9/19/2021 6:30:29 PM


I'm filling in the form for my second-year creative writing course (one Friday a month, I did the first year on Wednesday nights but I found that exhausting)

My younger daughter insisted I should do it, to get me writing again. I hadn't written a thing since the above post in 2014...
And I hadn't written anything in French, ever. Plenty of technical documentation, and a dozen sarcastic emails a day, but no fiction. And while I can write instinctively and fairly fluently in English, I was appalled to realize I hadn't a clue in French.
It was fun, I learned a lot, I learned some humility (I'm a genius, not) and learned to rewrite. Lots of technical baggage that I used to imagine I didn't need...
I would probably never have made any progress as a writer in English. I expect to learn the trade in French, then probably switch back to English when/if I get serious... (perhaps when I retire)

I managed to squeeze out an 8000 symbol short story in June, just before the deadline for the school's annual volume.
So technically, I'm now a published writer... (about 150 copies printed)

1100. alistairConnor - 9/19/2021 6:32:36 PM

And in the enrolment form, they ask if I have previously followed or conducted a writing course... so I had to reference this thread.

It was good.

1101. arkymalarky - 9/19/2021 6:44:37 PM

Think it Sounds great. Dad didn't publish his 1st book until he was over 65 and now hes published 3 and makes a little bit of money from sales on Amazon every month still.

1102. alistairConnor - 9/24/2021 7:49:31 AM

Having breakfast and watching the news. Carles Puigdemont, exiled Catalan separatist leader, has been arrested in Sardinia.

My wife smiles gleefully. "I'll have work to do today".

True story.

... And I'm reading a book about dramaturgy :
Protagonist / Objective / Obstacles.
This trilogy defines every story ever told. And conflict is the driver. At least, that's the doctrine of my school, "Les artisans de la fiction". Time for a shower, then I'm on my bike to go downtown for seven hours of writing lessons.

1103. Ms. No - 10/7/2021 11:10:02 PM

Ah, takes me back to teaching the acting unit in my drama course.

motivation, objective, obstacle, tactics

I would tell the story of the Ham Sandwich at Midnight:

You awaken in the middle of the night. You are hungry. You decide to make a sandwich. So you go to the kitchen and begin assembling your sandwich only to discover you are out of mustard. There is mayonnaise, but you hate mayonnaise -- it's only in your fridge because your ex left it there. You could eat the sandwich with mayonnaise or eat it dry, or you could go to the all-night market for mustard. Or you could just go back to bed. Hungry.

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