Territory #WritersWednesday

The Prompt

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This was her city, she’s lived here all her life, and even before she became the angel she now is, she knew the streets, the people who haunted them, and the sort she could meet, the day people, and the night creatures. She was a little of both, and even now, if you could see her, it might be in the glory of dawn, or in deep darkness, in those hours when the ghosts of the city roam the deserted parks, the tree-lined alleys and the silent museums.

She’s here on her territory, she knows the history, she knows the truths, the myths, the real faces behind the masks. She can read the stories the old houses tell, the dreams of the humans who live there. She can hear distant voices, she recognises them. She can read ancient books, she can read what is engraved on stones, hidden from view, forgotten, in abandoned buildings no-one ever visits.

She’s here for a reason: she’s the angel of Death, and close to her the Devil never comes.

Image: “Angel statue in a destroyed city

Original tales

“If such things creep quietly and unnoticed into our work, then perhaps that is not plagiarism but homage.”

Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

A picture is worth a thousand words by HikingArtist

I was writing late last night and, on re-reading what I had written became aware of an odd juxtaposition of certain words. They took me straight back to a book where a particular passage had left its mark. There was no thought of copying; no intent to re-use or appropriate the work of another writer, and what I had noticed was no more than three words long. Perhaps it was the context rather than the phrase that had been the reminder. Even so, it got me thinking.

With all the words that have been written by the human hand over the millennia, are there any that have been left unsaid? Can we ever write without plagiarising, consciously or unconsciously the work of another who has gone before? I remember reading once that Shakespeare had summarised every human emotion in his work. That is open to debate, of course, and the…

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Infinite #WinterThoughts

What is time?

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Only propositions have sense; only in the nexus of a proposition does a name have meaning.

~ Ludwig Wittgenstein, Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus (1921), 3.3

We live surrounded by symbols. In this city, where you and I dream, love, walk and invent new causes to believe, infinity lives through their immortality.

The ghosts have names, some secrets, as yet unrevealed. They have left for us so many traces of their own dreams: Viktoria Hill, the Iron Cross, the Blue Angel, abandoned airfields, hideous ruins, and for each one we can discover them, silent, ever so present, braving the flow of time, as ice covering the Spree.

The lakes are now frozen, the air carries the scents of wood and coal fires, perhaps the lingering sounds of ancient wars. So, you and I, my love, we walk with the Dead, from time to time, listening to their calm voices, evoking infinity.

Picture: The season of fallen leaves. © 2017 Irina Urumova

 

Conundrum #DailyPost #WritersWednesday

When is a logical proposition a conundrum?

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Well, is there such a thing as the writer’s conundrum? That would be, perhaps, a logical proposition as to the role of writers, their responsibility, their freedom. Isn’t it the case that, for example, a writer whose inspiration is drawn from the society of her time, somehow owes that society something in return: her novel, her contribution to the common welfare, maybe the denunciation of evil?

So, how about this writer’s conundrum:

His inspiration came from the characters he created, but, once created, the characters didn’t let him develop the story: they wanted to tell their own… 

Image: Jeanne Mammen, Jüngling, c.1943-45

Culture #DailyPost

Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt.

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It’s all that we have learnt, and forgotten. It’s all that we remember, suddenly, as we walk through the woods, and see the castle, across the lake, which reminds us of beauty and the beast, of treasure island, of snow-white and her friends the dwarves… It’s all that may reappear, in our dreams, in the soft ripples of desires and memories. It may even be about a lost ring?

We follow the lane, our steps made silent by the thick cover of dead leaves. We cannot be sure who lived here, did they write symphonies, or wrote novels? Or did they study the dark heart of time? Were they wizards, or evil magicians? Did they come from the underworld, or from an island, far away, across an immense ocean? Are they still alive?

Behind those trees, we see the old school, the coal fire burning, the ancient wooden floor. It is what will remain when we are ready to embark, on our last voyage…

Photo: Schloß Dammsmühle, Brandenburg, © 2016 Honoré Dupuis

From the mist #WritersWednesday

 

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They emerge from the mist, slowly, their shapes and faces only taking colours once the first sun rays appear: they look hesitant, perhaps a little shy. They are not alone, small nebulae surround them: their memories, their secrets, their hopes, often encrypted, not yet readable. They don’t speak, they appear to listen, to sounds we cannot hear, to melodies long forgotten, or voices of others, far away.

Sometime, one of them comes into clearer focus, surprised, but determined to find her way. It is then our turn to listen, attentive to the moves and gestures of the newcomer. It is as if she wishes to communicate with us, a few words at a time, often names. Eventually we know her name, and, later, that of people who matter to her. It is then the start of a journey of discovery. Where does she come from? When was she born, and where? Who were her parents? Who was her first love? Or, if there was no mercy, when did she die?

If she’s dead, already, then she may be coming, from that distant past, on behalf of someone else, her living self, or an old lover, or a child she lost, somewhere. She may be here to denounce some falsehood, some slander she was victim of, some lies people told about her life. She wants justice.

When she starts talking, we are surprised, how young she sounds, how present she is, and we want to hear more, of her life, of her story.

If we are lucky, she will tell us enough, about her life, her loves, her world, for us to write about her, to make her live again.

Photo: Christian Daniel Rauch, Danaide mit aufgelöstem Haar (Danaid with dishevelled hair), 1842-1846 – Alte Nationalgalerie, Berlin

 

Rearrange #DailyPost #Berlin

From the crazy crowd

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She asked: “Do you think the City is less sexy in winter?”

This made me smile. All the way to Frannz Club in Prenzlauer Berg, I reflected on what my lover said. Later, immersed in Erik Truffaz’ amazing trumpet, I had the answer. If anything the City is more captivating, as the light declines: more secrets come to the fore, less nudity, and more soul. Dark jackets and woollen scarves may hide the skin, but, ah, the search for a hint, a blink, a smile…

“You may be right,” she finally declared, “But that is because you rearrange the world to suit your dreams…” Yes, how true this is. Where else could we accommodate, not merely our dreams, but also those of others, mysteriously readable to us, as dead leaves rush past our steps, and Erik’ tunes still resonate in our hearts.

The City holds us, and won’t let go: street by street, note by note, we learn her language, as her silent words float through the cool night air, one beautiful face at a time. Ghosts, strangers, they become us, and us them.

Image: Erik Truffaz, By XpeeterxOwn work http://www.flickr.com/photos/peter_es/4454478410/, CC BY 3.0, Link

Longing #exit #City

Deutscher Dom, Gendarmen Markt
Deutscher Dom, Gendarmen Markt

 

Maybe one day we will miss the fog, the infernal traffic, the idiotic media, the inept politics… Of course, you might say it’s the same over there. I smile. It can’t be, and even if it were I long for the new, not the old.

We want to ride through the tree-lined streets, in a city where riding is the way to see, to go places. We want to visit the angels, the memorials to heroes, all the history of centuries past, to hear their tales, their longing too. We want to buy our meals at the corner of busy lanes, on markets overflowing with the richness of the South, sit in small cafés listening to jazz, building in our minds a limitless future.

Maybe we want even more, who knows, this is Faust’s city…

As a #writer, is #Facebook useful to me?

Au Pont de la Tournelle

Today, a very good friend of mine, in real life as well as in cyberspace, quitted her Facebook account, which she created in 2009. She said to me she no longer had time to keep her page up to date, even to the minimum level that would be of interest to her “friends”. And she added: “But of course, the real friends and I keep in touch, by writing – yes! oldfashion letters – and via our blogs, that are the right places for a genuine exchange of ideas.”

It makes sense to me. When I started using Facebook, it was an attempt to build up the main character in my first novel, and later on, to promote my work. It has been a mixed success. Quickly the character achieved a life of her own, and was never really dependent on social media for her development. From a writing and work promotion viewpoint, I have to admit having had close to zero contribution through the Facebook page I created for the novel. By comparison I found Twitter a far more effective tool, to meet other writers, keep up to date on news that interested me, and promote my work.

In truth, the real writer tool is the blog. There, it is possible to develop a meeting of minds, with genuinely interested readers, and people of common interests, who are willing to take the time to comment and follow. It’s give and take. There is nothing artificial in the development of such communities. Given the time it takes to keep up on social media, one has to be economical, and discerning. Has Facebook helped me in my development as a writer? The answer is, probably, very little, compared with the real progress made on the blogs, and, also compared with the source of inspiration and contacts I found via Twitter.

Is this then, conclusive? I have nothing against Facebook, it’s fun to use, but just appears, often, pointless. This is of course a very personal viewpoint, what does not work for me may well do marvels for others! Our main resource is time. So, maybe, it’s time to reconsider?

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