Iron Behind the Velvet - Chapter 14

~ A Girl as Mad as Birds 1


Quick Park. That’s a laugh. She’d entered the garage nearly twenty minutes before, inching along level by level down, hemmed in a line of searchers. She stepped out of her car to a bullying exhaust. Already a film of sooty grit coated the hood, the windshield. Without touching the handrail, she climbed the ringing ironwork stairs and pushed open the heavy door on to 12th Street where a morning breeze swept through. She blinked in the light reflected from the grey limestone facade of St. Vincent’s Hospital.

The sudden sun-assertion 2, she thought. A blessing of the sudden Sun.3

A sharp contrast to a frozen night years ago, the night Vincent was found.

Wrapped in rags ...

Is there something you’ve not told him? Us? Father’s assurance – Nothing – had, to both her heart and her ears, seemed genuine – perplexed but innocently clueless.

She crossed the street and hugged the hospital’s wall as she ambled toward the Green. She’d hoped to arrive early, to have time to circle the block, perhaps the next. No one to ask, no one who knew where ... but whenever she was in the Village, she imagined she might one day, somehow find the place. Know it

But Jenny was waiting – across 7th Avenue, at the corner of The Green.

For a moment, she hovered between her two worlds.

_____


Village Den Restaurant
“I want the challah French toast,” Jenny announced. “I don’t even have to look.”

“Me too and me neither.” Catherine wedged the unopened menus behind the salt and pepper and sugar shakers and turned to flag the waiter. At a nearby table a couple in matchstick pants and matching turtlenecks shared a plate of strawberries, a single salad, a solemn expression. She imagined the crisp golden crusts soon before her, the drift of powdered sugar. “Do you think ... maybe we should ...?”

Jenny followed her gaze. “Get both?” she asked and her eyes crinkled almost shut. “French toast and fruit? Sounds good to me."

“At least they each have their own bottle of water,” Catherine whispered.

“Who eats salad for breakfast anyway?” Jenny frowned and prodded her ribs. “Hmmm. Maybe I should.”

“You’re crazy. Besides, you’re living on love, Jen. But let's do get the strawberries.”

___


“And can you heat the syrup?” The silent waiter shrugged and scribbled on his pad. Jenny beamed after him, at her.

“So!” Catherine said. “Are you?

“Am I what?”

“Oh, please.”

"Well ...” Surrender sweet on her face, in her sigh, she lifted her shoulders. “My mom would say it’s too soon to tell, but he’s a great guy, Cathy. Easy to talk with, funny.”

“Smart.”

“Uh-huh.”

“Good looking.”

“Yeah, he is. And that accent!” Blushing, Jenny leaned across the table. “I could listen to him read the ingredient list on a ketchup bottle. Am I nuts or what?”

Don’t I know! Catherine wanted to say, instead plucking free the tight roll of napkin around her silverware. The waiter came with coffee. Jenny watched as she stirred in cream she’d just begun to love. That’s new, she imagined Jenny noting and she wondered had she clinked her spoon on the mug to draw the question. Vincent takes his this way, she might admit. I’m changed, she would mean. “Not in my book,” she said. “And speaking of books, how's the project going, yours and Ned’s ... the Cloisters renovation.”

“Complicated," Jenny said, her hands in illustration. "Expensive. Lots of photographs. Tons of research to make readable. Remember the last time we were there? Some of the walls were crumbling? They’re closing for repairs as soon as they find a stonemason who’s comfortable working with 800-year-old rocks. They need a photographic record of every single stone. There’re 3,300 of them in one Chapel! And the stained glass windows ... restoring those. Amazing – all the artisans, the detail. You’ll have to go over with me one day.” Jenny paused for breath. “What? Why are you looking at me like that? That all-knowing, Cathy Chandler grin! What?”

"You’re happy, Jenny.”

“You too, Cath. I wish ...” But the waiter interrupted, bearing their breakfast and a pitcher of warm syrup. Jenny eyed her plate. "Oh, boy!” she said. “I love this place.”

_____


Rosie's Antiques Storefront
They wandered from table to shelf to cabinet. “Why didn’t I come in with you?” Jenny asked. “I should have.”

“Shoes, remember? The store on the corner?” Catherine turned the small brass key of an oak chifferobe, releasing the tall, side closet. Embroidered shawls were pinned to satin hangers – black silks and ivory chiffons. Their knotted fringes fluttered, awakened by the brush of air.

A trio of customers bent to the jewelry case and over their heads Eimear held up her hand, her fingers spread wide. Catherine read her lips. Five minutes. And then Rosie emerged from a back room, in her arms a package wrapped in honey-colored paper and tied with twine. She stashed it behind a long wooden counter, threaded their way. The introductions made, Jenny and Rosie fell into earnest discussion of the relative merits of carved wood versus molded plaster framing, gilded, painted or stained. I moved your mirror off the floor, she heard Rosie say. Let’s take a look.

An oak highboy’s drawers were filled with embroidered pillow slips and tea cloths. She set aside a half-dozen, silently tagging them with names – Mary. Elizabeth. Sarah. A willow basket rested on the companion dresser, its lifted lid revealing a trove of christening gowns – delicate shades of white, of fine cutwork, frilled and tucked and studded with tiny pearl buttons. Slender lavender wands cushioned the dresses, perfumed them.

“Beautiful, are they not?” Eimear murmured at her shoulder. “Perhaps you’ll be needing one of those?”

“Not for me,” she said, smoothing an eyelet lace collar. But a resonant chime pealed in some deep recess of her heart and she smiled at its promise. “For a friend. Most definitely for her.”

“Let’s lay these out, want to? There must be two dozen here, and like snowflakes, no two alike. We can go to Ro’s studio.”

The basket cradled in her arms, Eimear ushered Catherine down a narrow hallway, past a staircase toward a light-filled space. Sheet-shrouded objects mazed the floor; a worktable, wide and bare, stood before arched windows. A stream of sun beckoned through the paned, french doors. Outside in the courtyard, newly-leafed trees glistened, already casting shade. Stonecutter’s tools littered a crafting bench; beyond it, a tall mystery, wrapped in a tarp, tied with sisal ropes.

"Oh!" Catherine exclaimed, turning, her hands held out.

"As everyone who sees it says. Even I. Even now." Eimear deposited the basket on the table. "You missed Joe, here for one of Rosie’s early morning photo shoots. He said I’m to go ahead and tell you, and for you to get the snickering out of your system.”

“I’m not laughing!” Catherine said. “I’m not!” she repeated, when Eimear’s cheeks dimpled.

“His photograph will hang in her gallery, I’m thinking. She appreciates a good twinkle in the eye and he did a bit of smiling this morning. Rosie likes him.”

“It’s mutual,” she said, drawn into study, to a long wall devoted to a series of photographs.

Esther's illustration: Catherine recognized Zach in one of Rosie's photographs
The prints were large and matted larger, in colors naturally shadowed and stark – blacks and whites and shades of gray, nearly monochromatic but for a splash of burnt-orange in each frame – a young striped cat on the prowl through New York streets. Shot from a low angle, debris was made art – garbage cans in stair-stepped arrangements, broken flower pots, cracked cobblestones, rain-filled gutters floating lost toys and jewelry, a sequined slipper by a lamppost. The legs and feet of pedestrians crowded in, the tabby weaving through, inspecting ... searching. Stunning, she thought, moving along the row. One took her breath, stopped her. In an alleyway, on hands and knees and nose to nose with the brindled cat, was a younger, but recognizable Zach.

“Remarkable, aren’t they?” Eimear said. “She followed that cat one day for hours until she lost him. People must have thought her mad, wallowing in the streets as she did. Cat-Eyed, she calls it, one of her black and white in color series. She’s done others, mostly winter scenes. The one I like best is of Washington Square Park – all snowy whites and somber grays, except for one figure, bent into the wind and wet, wearing a red parka. It hangs upstairs in her apartment. I keep hoping she’ll give it to me. I hint with regularity.”

“Rosie lives here?” she asked, satisfied with her steady voice and segue. She moved on to the next photograph, her hands clasped behind her back – a nonchalant pose, at least she hoped it was. Her attention wavered ... and her discretion, wanting to point to Zach with the glee she felt, squeal out loud that she knew him. She dug a thumb into her palm. “It’s a wonderful building.”

See No Evil Buttons
“In dad’s family for a few generations. Originally a little button factory. Downstairs there’re yet stacks and stacks of them in their boxes. Leather buttons, bone, glass. My favorite is the See No Evil set. Three china monkeys. I’ll show you later. Rosie lives upstairs. The next floor’s a mess and needs work as are the top two, but they’re rented out nonetheless. Four or five students in the one, her apprentice – Andrew – and his girlfriend in the other. He’ll be delivering the mirror, if Jenny’s taking it.”

“Oh, she will.”

Eimear straightened the photograph of Zach, tapping it underneath one corner. “His clothes, Catherine. So intricate and odd, like something out of a storybook. He scooted off as soon as he saw her with the camera. Disappeared, Rosie said.”

I’ll bet he did, and probably down that coal-chute in the building right behind him. “Ummm ... are these for sale?”

“All of them?” Eimear’s eyes widened, but before she could answer, Rosie appeared with Jenny in tow.

“Andrew’s bringing the van around to load up the mirror,” Rosie said. “I’ve run everybody out and hung up the closed sign. What do you say we start the party early, Eim, and head over to your place as soon as we get back?”

“Jenny, won’t you come for dinner too?” Eimear asked. “We’re having some people over, folks from the neighborhood mostly. Bring your friend.”

“Thanks, but ... I think ...”

“You should stay to hang the mirror?”

“Or prop it or ... something,” Jenny said, laughing. “I’ll ride in the van to Ned’s. He’s just in the West Village, on Perry Street.” She draped an arm around Catherine’s shoulders. “I’ll, um, get myself home.”

___

“Old friends?” Eimear asked, unfolding a sheer, embroidered dress.

Mm-hmm. Since the first day of college.”

“You’ve stayed close.”

“We’ve shared a lot,” Catherine replied. But not everything, not this last sweet secret.

___


“I can’t pick. They’re all so beautiful.” Catherine held a pale fawn dress to the light. “Look at the beadwork in the smocking. Can you imagine the hours, and probably by candlelight too.” Mary and Sarah would study this. She resolved to supply the tiny seed pearls, the slender ribbons.

“Isabelline, the color is. Did you find a slip underneath? Once we found one embroidered with twenty names and birth dates, but only the once,” Eimear said. “‘Tis rare. I don’t know where Rosie finds these things. Her storeroom is all boxes, stacked five-high and she swears she knows what’s in every one. Here’s the bonnet for that one. Look ... the tatted edging and the wee cream roses? It matches.”

“It's perfect.”

“So tell me about Ned who’s clearly captured your Jenny’s heart?”

“I just met him myself.”

“Just! Was she keeping him cloaked?”

What? She was suddenly light-headed. First the photograph. Now the word. She felt a pull, but in the beat of silence between them, from the corner of her eye, Catherine caught the dart of Eimear’s glance. Only a word. A coincidence. Say something. She folded a dress back into the basket. “Secret, you mean? No. Jenny’s ... not much of a secret keeper. It’s ... new. Ned works at the Met, in the Medieval Collection, overseeing the Cloisters renovation. There’s to be a book and that’s how they met. She’s in publishing.”

“Rosie might know him. She works with the curator of photographs every now and then, doing some cataloguing. Let me find a box.” Eimear rummaged under a table for silvery tissue paper and a flat-folded carton. "Wander around if you want. You can take off those covers for a look at a few of her sculptures, her furniture."

Catherine pulled one sheet away, another ... another. “These are incredible.”

“She’s good, isn’t she?” Eimear nestled the gown into the tissue. “She took all the talent in the family, every smidge. I can barely weave a potholder.”

“I doubt that, but I have no talents either.” She stared longingly at one low table, an eddy of marble. The white stone rippled in fluid, concentric circles, like rain on a deep pool. Dismissing the logistics of its delivery, she wanted it below, reflected in their own great mirror, the Connecticut lake of her youth brought home to him. But if she bought the table, Joe or Eimear or even Rosie herself might one day visit. What could she say if they asked its whereabouts. Then she remembered – a helper’s storefront a few blocks away, their home above it. Collectors themselves, Iris and Philip’s apartment was crowded with treasures from Philip’s years in the Merchant Marines. A tunnel entrance opened to their sub-basement, only two flights down from the main floor and no ladders. She could have the table delivered and it would disappear. How heavy is this ...

“‘Tis true for me anyway,” Eimear answered, wrapping the box in craft paper. “I’m proud of Rosie. She perseveres.”

“I sense a story.”

“I’m thinking that's your talent, Catherine, your gift, and not a hidden one. You listen, draw people out.”

“It is part of my job,” Catherine said, blanketing the coveted table again.

“More than that.” Eimear hesitated, for a moment pensive, peering out the window. She turned and smiled. “Want to go upstairs? We can have coffee or tea and wait for Rosie. She won’t mind.”

“Sounds great, but I was wondering ... the covered sculpture in the garden ...”

“Ro’s particular about showing that piece, but when she gets back, ask to see. Do.”

“That’s mysterious,” Catherine said. “I’ll have to ask.”

Eimear searched her with a long look. “So will she ... ask, I mean.”

____

Rosie’s apartment was a surprise, the main room open and uncluttered. The described collections of photographs hung there - the feet, both bare and shod; crinkled eyes, twinkling and teared; hands folded in prayer, in anticipation, in worry. Every wall was a gallery. Eimear veered into the kitchen.

“Be home with you now," Eimear called, ducking below the island. Catherine heard a familiar chink – porcelain against porcelain. "I’ll warm the cups and we’ll sit out on the balcony.”

A display of family photographs charmed her. In one, a young Rosaleen danced on the shoes of a man in police uniform, laughed hand in hand with him while a sour, pouting Eimear sat cross-legged in the background. In another, a woman, bewildered and tearful herself, held a wailing baby to her shoulder as her four-year old sister clung to her knees.

“Such little competitors we were for their affections,” Eimear said, a laden tray in her hands. “‘Twas as if we knew we’d not have them long.”

Courtyard, Rosie's Building
“You’ve lost both your parents?” Catherine opened the balcony doors and followed Eimear through.

“I was ten when Dad was killed. A domestic he’d been called to. Mom died when I was fourteen. Cancer.”

“Mine are gone too and when Joe was a boy, his father was killed on duty. A sad thing to have in common, Eimear.”

“Isn’t it?”

The strong, malty scent of Assam bathed the air. Father would be proud of her discernment, his tastings taken to heart. Behind a veil of steam, Catherine watched as Eimear served, as she hesitated, a question in the arch of her brows – a cube of rough, beige sugar in the tongs, the cream pitcher tipped to the cup, both in before she poured the tea.

“You were only fourteen. Where did you go?”

“To live, you mean? An elderly aunt of Dad’s moved in for a while, but Rosie was eighteen. She won legal guardianship of me. That had its ups and downs, let me tell you. We made it through, though I think I told you, we’re perfectly willing to go one on one. But what about you? I remember you said you had no brothers or sisters.”

“My mother died when I was ten, and Dad, a little over a year ago.”

“Just then!”

Catherine nodded. “I miss him, both of them, but it’s strange. Remembering getting easier, not harder, and I’m happy now when I do.”

“I understand.” The sun’s rays seemed converged only on her hair, the long springing curls gleaming like copper wire. Eimear laughed. “Do you know of the Cottingley fairies, Catherine?”

“The little girls in England who took the photographs?"

“Exactly. The hoax sending Arthur Conan Doyle over the edge. Well, now, both my parents loved a good story, and the more fantastic, the better. They were reared in Ireland, and tales of the Tuatha – the Beautiful People – were everyday things. They made it so for us as well. The story of young Elsie and Frances set them right off.

“I was about six, making Rosie ten. Already she was taking photographs, pestering everyone in the neighborhood with that camera, following and badgering, popping up and peering. She had the strangest ideas too, wanting to see inside things, like inside someone’s coat pocket or inside a lady’s purse. She’d ask perfect strangers for the most intimate of looks and with no shame whatsoever. ‘Twas so embarrassing.

“Though it didn’t take much, Mom and Dad had Ro half-crazed. For weeks she crawled around, looking under leaves, under old newspapers in the streets, under rocks. And it came to her, the idea that the one place fairies could be found in all of New York was in Central Park at the lagoon and at full moon. She knew just the tree, she said. Not a hawthorne but a gnarled oak near the lake’s bank. She whipped out a calendar, marked the day, relentless with the begging and the wheedling. So the moon comes round and, sure enough, we’re out of bed in the dark of night. Off we go, me still in my pajamas, grumping along, and Ro all sure she can prove it true ...”

“That is my story, Eimear Áine Teresa McDermott.” Rosie stood in the doorway, her hands on her hips. “Mine to tell.” She crowded Eimear on the bench. “Move over.”

“She was grumpy all right, but not-so-secretly, she was thrilled with the adventure.” Rosie squeezed Eimear’s knee and Eimear flinched. “She was the perfect little sister. She thought I was perfect.”

“I’m dying to hear this,” Catherine said. She’d walked that lake under the midnight moon, likely stood under the chosen tree. There’d been no fairies, but magic ... yes.

“Oh, and I’m dying to tell it. I rarely find the right audience for it, but first, there’s something I need to know.” Rosie pried open a tin of shortbread cookies. “About your Joe,” she said, passing the treats. “He’s adorable. So why's he single?”

Her lips parted and closed, three or four beginnings discarded. “Well, the work ...” she said, after a fortifying sip. “There’s no wood-paneled office or clients with money and the hours are brutal.” A vision of Erica Salvin’s suite crystallized ... fractured. She pictured Joe’s dart board, the half-hearted air conditioner, the no-better-than-secondhand couch, the downturn of his mouth after a loss. “He doesn't give up or in without a fight, but he’s easy-going too. Curious. Thoughtful. He’s ... he’s not what people expect. The women he’s met can’t ... or won’t appreciate him and they sell him short because ... ummm ... well, I don’t know why they sell him short! It doesn’t make any sense.”

“Any red flags? An over-attachment to his mother? Only two towels? Is the counter clean behind the faucets? Be a good girlfriend and tell me.”

Catherine snorted. “Well, his mother’s a sweetheart and he loves her, but over-attached? No.”

“What about the towels, the countertops?”

“God help him,” Eimear muttered, “should Ro focus on him.”

“He can take it.” The teacup balanced on her knee jittered when she laughed. She steadied it with her other hand. “But about the towels, I really don’t know.”

Rosie held Catherine’s gaze for a moment. “So, the two of you ...?

No, no. He’s like my– Well, I love him, but ...” She looked away, her cheeks warm though not from the slant of sun. Three robins hopped in the bricked courtyard. She counted them twice. “There's someone ...”

“Well, good. That’s settled. So, the fairies and the full moon story. Are you ready?”

“You bet,” Catherine answered, settling back in her chair.

“First, though, I have another question. A very important question.”

“Okay.” A shiver of anticipation traveled her spine.

Rosie bent forward, her hands propped on her knees. “Tell me. How much can you accept?”

Anything is possible. Everything.

No choice. No hesitation. “All of it.”

Hmm. Most people say, What do you mean, Rosie, in that she’s off her rocker tone of voice. Don’t you want me to clarify?”

“No.”

Rosie turned to her sister, nodding. “The whole story, then?”

“Told you,” Eimear said.

____

Gnarled Tree, night, Central Park

“The park was magical,” Rosie began. “The moon was enormous. I could see everything by the light of it. All the stirrings of the night sharp and clear. They were there, the fairies. I believed with all my heart. Mom opened the car door to let us out, her last words to me to remember that they might be away on fairy business or at a fairy wedding or on fairy holiday. But I ignored her. I handed Eimear a brown paper bag of extra film and dragged her along.

“At the lagoon, I threw myself down on the ground, hushed everybody good and warned the grown-ups to stay back, not to dare frighten my fairies. I threatened Eimear with something dire if she talked or cried. I don’t remember what, though. Do you, Eim?”

“I absolutely do remember.”

“You would. It’s not important. I think she fell asleep anyway. I built a little tripod from branches and leaves and set up the camera, trained it at the exposed roots of the tree and waited. I was sure they’d come to dance. Mom and Dad cuddled on a bench together. After a while, Dad tucked a blanket around Eimear, but he didn’t say a word. The moon grew – bigger, brighter – and the lake was solid silver. I imagined I might walk out on it.

“An hour passed, maybe more. No fairies. Not even the rustle of a chipmunk in the leaves. When mom said we had to leave, I got mad. Really mad. I didn’t want to go. It wasn’t fair.

“So Mom was trying to settle Eimear in the front seat, and I was in the back, sighing and seething, my arms all crossed. I pressed my nose to the window, convinced I would see them as we pulled away. Dad made this big, slow curve. These shadowy figures slipped between the trees as though through from another world, so blended with the colors of the night, I couldn’t be sure ... I held my breath, and I realized they were boys, boys keeping to the edge of the woods. Except for one. He parted from the rest, ran close to the road where the moonlight bathed the little clearing. He turned and our eyes met ... and it was more than just seeing. I knew him. But he wasn’t a boy from my school and he wasn’t a wee fairy. I started to cry; he was ... exquisite. I thought he might be an angel.”

A pearly fog swirled her vision – Rosie and Eimear, the balcony, the courtyard below, the bright sky gathered into it. Rosie spoke still but the words muted; Eimear’s wide smile faded. From a drifted distance, she saw herself motionless in her chair, her eyes closed. She wasn’t frightened, Vincent. She wasn’t. She reached out through the mists ... reached out, reached.

Rosie’s hand was on her knee, shaking it. “I want you to see something, Catherine. Come on, both of you.”

She gasped with the need for breath.

Footfalls battered the staircase, Rosie’s, then Eimear’s, hers. Already in her studio, Rosie shuffled back and forth before the photograph of Zach and the orange cat. “I took this picture two years ago,” she said. “Look at his clothes, Catherine. The boy in the park that night? He dressed like this, just like this. Let me show you something else. Do you know the legend of the Grigori?” Rosie charged the studio door, flung it open to the courtyard. Through in seconds and standing at the base of the covered sculpture, she raced on with her story without waiting for an answer.

“The Grigori were a tier of angels sent to guard humankind, but they found earthly women irresistible and took them as lovers. And the Sons of God saw the daughters of men, that they were fair. 4 Their half-angel offspring were the Nephilim, whom some say were cruel giants, monsters even, though in Genesis they’re called the mighty ones of eternity and heroes of renown. 5

“Some scholars say God was miffed by the sex thing and wiped out the Nephilim with the Flood, but I don’t think so. I believe the descendants of those angels live with us still, generations born to women, watching over us, changing us ... giving us ... hope. There’s at least one, anyway, because I’m sure I saw him that night in the park.” Rosie slipped the knot of the ropes and pulled the tarp away.

... a sensual dance of deep and ancient longing, the embrace of limbs, a melding of flesh and spirit, the yielding curve of breast, a thrust of sinewed thigh ... her arching response. His roped and tangled hair and leonine nose and strange mouth, a rush of beating wings. Blood and desire cast in cold white marble, the veins of it fire, surmounting all obstacle, threading impediment, beyond any question of what and how ...

“Isn’t he beautiful?” Rosie clasped her hands at her heart. “Impossibly, unbelievably beautiful?”



Click HERE for Chapter 15.
________

Story Illustration by Esther Wjinbeek!

1. Dylan Thomas. Love in the Asylum.
2. D. H. Lawrence. Fantasia of the Unconscious.
3. Dylan Thomas. Vision and Prayer.
4. Genesis 6:2
5. Genesis 6:4

Inspirations for Rosie's sculpture

Daniel Chester French - And the Sons of God Saw the Daughters of Men, That They Were Fair
Corcoran Gallery, Washington DC

D.C.French's angel and woman sculpture original sculpture2nd view, French's sculpture





Sculpture by Robert John Guttke - author of Where the Bluebird Sings

Guttke's sculpture, winged man


15 comments:

Anonymous said...

Caught up my reading today.
OMG!

Leanne

AT44 said...

Leanne - Thank you! It is so nice to hear from you again and I'm glad you're enjoying the story so far.
Carole

Krista said...

Yup, I'm on one of my "let's reread Carole's story" kicks today. The scene where Catherine sees Rosie's sculpture still stops me in awe and wonder. I can just see the two little girls seeing Devin and Vincent looking at the moon...and how absolutely wonderful for Vincent that the girl he saw crying wasn't scared of him after all. :)

-Krista

Carole W said...

oh, I do have a deep ... need ... to fix V's hurts, large and small. sigh.

Joking and daydreaming aside, my heart breaks with Vincent's story in Brothers.

And eventually Rosie will get to compare her marbled concept with the real (and shirtless) thing. ;-)

~C

Krista said...

Vincent? Shirtless? Where? :)

Seriously, though, I'm rereading this again. And it's still lovely :)

-Krista

Krista said...

I'm up early this morning (earlier than I'd like but hey, it's Sunday, I can sleep later) and what joy to find the revision on this chapter posted. :)

Carole, it's lovely. Zach and the coal chute...the buttons...Catherine's reluctant acknowledgment that Jenny isn't much of a secret-keeper...and whoa, that statue. That statue. It's amazing, more than it was before..and that's saying something.

And you changed Eimear's middle name (one of them, anyhow. ;-)

One of the joys of the rewrites---besides seeing what you're going to surprise us with next---is revisiting this journey with you. I commented on this chapter in August of 2009, and it wasn't the first time I'd read it. What staying power your stories have.

Great job,

Krista :)

Carole W said...

Hee! I did change one thing in the paragraph describing the statue - the position of an ellipsis. Yes, that's how obsessive I can be! It's sick!!

OLD: the yielding curve of breast ... a thrust of sinewed thigh, her arching response.

NEW: the yielding curve of breast, a thrust of sinewed thigh ... her arching response.

Tell me that's not crazed - and I probably spent an hour thinking about it too.

You are an eagle-eye! I did change one of Eimear's names - from Isibeal to Áine. The reason for that (I know you'll laugh) is this: I was looking at a list of color names for shades of white - wanting something pretty to describe the christening gown. I found the color name Isabelline (it's mostly the pale fawn color of a palomino, but there's a funny folk tale about it too). I thought Isabelline was the prettiest word! But Eimear's original second name was too close to it.

So it was a toss up. Find another shade of white or change Eimear's name. I stuck with the color and so had to search out another name that I liked.

Thanks so much for reading. Re-reading. You're the best.

Carole

Krista said...

Heh. I'm sure you agonized over the ellipsis. ;-) Which is fine...I think it's your story, you're entitled to a little (or a lot) agonizing over punctuation.

(Funny, I just noticed that one of my responses was on October 3rd, 2009. Funny how we keep meeting up here on the same day...LOL)

I thought that might have been the reasoning behind Eimear's middle name change, but I wasn't sure. It's a great choice, Aine (not sure how to get the accent mark to show up LOL)

This story has been such an awesome journey of wonder...I'm so glad to have been along for the ride :)

-Krsita

Krista said...

...And I should probably learn to spell my own name right LOL.

-Krista :)

Brit said...

Carole-
I have enjoyed re reading this and have forgotten that its a revised version and that I know more chapters have been written..
I can't wait for Rosie to meet that boy from the park..I await to see how that one unfolds. I am so glad that she wasn't scared of him! :) on to 16!!

Carole W said...

Thanks for rereading, Brit! LOL, I've forgotten some of the stuff from these older chapters too. I'm glad revisiting is a pleasant experience. I need to hear that!

I'm very much looking forward to the reveal. It will be good for both of them, Rosie and Vincent. That does come very near the end of the story - oh, if only I had more hours in the day.

Carole W said...

Krsita! Remember, I'm often Carle. They're our alter-egos, I guess.

I'd know you anywhere.
C.

Carole W said...

Krista, now I'm angsting over the rewrite of the first paragraph of chapter 17. The ellipsis move was a piece of cake compared. Argh!

Thanks - for everything.
C

Anonymous said...

Oh my...I've never posted a comment here before , but I had to now - the girl from the moonlit night...the one Vincent saw in the park all those years ago...I know you can't hear it, but I have just sighed a very happy sigh. So very beautiful and perfect...

Thanks for doing this - Alyssa G.

Carole W said...

Hi, Alyssa! Your comments made a difference in my day. I'm grateful you're reading, and your words encourage me to keep going.

Thank you so much.
Carole