Iron Behind the Velvet - Chapter 16

~ The Stars Stand Still to Hear 1

Is this anything like your childhood home? 

Growing up she’d entered a grand double door into a grander marbled foyer. Her after-school snack likely laid out, she’d weave a path to the dining room. She remembered the echo of her flats on the stone and the swinging door, how it thwump-clacked behind the housekeeper’s retreat. Sometimes she’d pull the candelabras closer, a screen of the table stretched long and empty before her. A mahogany staircase swept to her third-floor rooms, and she might climb into bed to read or finish her homework, but often she’d sit on the landing, a book on her knees, in wait of her father’s arrival. He’d stand at the foot, his arms out as she leapt for him, yet no matter the trips she made up and down, no trace of her steps remained.

Eimear's house, entryHere a narrow rectangle of light through iron grill-work lit a wainscoted hallway, a narrow stair. The knobbed newel post gleamed from its daily rubbing. The treads were worn, their edges rounded off, the scuffs at their base made by another father home to other daughters. The entry’s patterned, tiled floor – a medallion of blues and browns framed by a chain of celtic knots – strangely complimented a faded flowered wallpaper.

“Rosie’s work?” she asked, tapping with one toe.

Eimear shook her head. “A friend’s. ‘Twas practice, she said. An early attempt. We were lucky. She’s a gallery in SoHo now and much in demand.”

Catherine followed past the living room where the furniture was pushed back, the rug, if there’d been one, taken away. At the back of the house, the kitchen – its gray counters and yellow walls, the green trim – bore the patina of age with a frayed charm. The cabinets, glossed in butter-cream paint – layers of it – were surely as old as Eimear. Older. Flynn stood busy at the counter, his back to them. Sheet pans of lasagna ready for the ovens crowded the countertop, the rich white and red sauces swirling in delicious promise. A book lay open on a scarred dinette. Their entry stirred the fragrant air, riffling a page, fanning it over.

Ach!” Eimear yelped at the doorway. “I’m home too early. I was sure you’d have the tempest cleared away by now. But look at you, Martin, on the floor still.”

A man on his hands and knees wiped flour from the linoleum. His gray cabled sweater bagged, dusty with handprints, and when he looked up, half-glasses slipped low on his nose. He pushed them to place, leaving a smudgy streak. Of a similar age, a spiraled cane within easy reach – if not for the shock of white hair and the puckish grin, he might remind her of Father.

“Three batches, Eim,” Flynn said over his shoulder. In the moment before he smiled, his brow charted with lines. “Hi, Catherine.”

“Flynn, it’s good to see you again.” His eyes were a deeper, more startling blue than she remembered. In his hands, he held the disassembled parts of a pasta maker. “You made fresh noodles? Joe will keel over.”

“His mother’s?” Eimear asked.

“His benchmark.”

“But does she powder the room floor to ceiling in the making? Martin, hop up now. I want you to meet Catherine.”

“Sadly those days are over.” Groaning, Martin rose to his feet, his hand pressed to the small of his back. “Though I do thank you for pretending I might still have what it takes to hop.”

“Catherine, this is Martin Geraghty. I never imagined he’d be on scullery duty when you first laid eyes on him. Martin ... Catherine Chandler.”

He took her hand, bending over it. “And why is it no one’s prepared me for your beauty?”

“Martin! That is so– Catherine, I don’t know what to say about him. In the old country, he’d be labeled an eejit.” Eimear’s glare was playful, ireless.

“Thank you, Father. It’s nice to meet you too.”

“You must call me Martin, yes? We’re family here.” He turned from her with a wink. “Is it too early for a wee drop?”

“Tea first, for pity’s sake. And you make it,” Eimear said. “I want to show Catherine the place.”

“You’re a mean girl, Eimear, the meanest, but I bow to you. I’ve a tray of After Eight biscuits in the rectory. I’ll change out of these floury clothes and fetch it back. I’ll be gone a tick.” Martin froze, his hand on the back door’s latch. “Is, umm, Rosie on her way?”

“She's likely here already. You should check your garden.”

The screened door snapped shut.

"Rosie wants her piece smack in the center where the sun shines brightest on it and Martin wants it a bit to the side in the shade,” Eimear said. "We’ll see who wins this one.”

“Is there a question?” Catherine asked and at her elbow Flynn chuckled. From the window above the sink, they watched Martin cross the yard at a clip, scuttle through an archway in a stone wall.

“He’s getting on fine,” Eimear observed. “Barely a limp left over. Twisted his ankle at the last ceili, he did. The Lilting Banshee did him in.”

Once, new people, new places and experiences were commonplace, her interaction effortless, but now conversation required caution and forethought. She supposed she should be uneasy, but she would swear to a gentle pressure between her shoulder blades, an encouraging wind, a zephyr. “Is this Lilting Banshee something I can pick up, or am I going to look completely foolish a few hours from now?”

“You’ll have a dozen partners, Catherine.” Flynn rummaged a drawer for serving spoons. “All quite willing to teach you the steps, I’d bet.”

“You should go first, Flynn, a good teacher you are.” Eimear followed him to the trays of pasta. “You made the spinach and mushroom kind. Yum.” She pressed into his shoulder and Flynn’s arm encircled her waist, pulled her close.

He dropped a kiss to Eimear’s crown and Catherine turned away. A chasm of envy opened, greedy for her. “So Martin's a musician?” she asked, willing herself back from that abyss.

“One of the best,” Eimear said. “An All-Ireland winner several years running in his younger years. The flute and the concertina. He sings as well.”

“What about you two?”

“Somebody has to do the listening,” Flynn said. His fingers drummed the countertop in a rhythmless beat.

Eimear reached past him for a noisy package of napkins, tearing into it. Their edges neat, she stacked them on the table, then twisted a fist in their center. They circled to a rosette. “He's being modest. Flynn can manage the guitar if there’s a shortage, but I don’t play a note. And unlike our mother, I’ve no voice at all, against all the Irish stereotypes. Rosie’s just as dreadful. We took after Dad, I guess, who claimed the toaster his only instrument. What about you, Catherine?”

“I’m all appreciation myself.” She held out her hands. “What can I do to help?”

“First, let me show you around,” Eimear said, a flickered glance for Flynn. “We’ll do a quick tour of the garden, maybe check on Rosie and Martin. Then tea outside. It's a pet day, sure, and to rain tomorrow, I heard. After all that, we’ll put you to work.”


They stood at the back fence. Masses of yellow and white and pink blossoms flanked a wandering grassed path. The afternoon sun slanted through the blooms of redbud and cherry trees, through the delicate red leaves of a maple at the perimeter of the yard.

You bring the colors to us, Catherine. Father feared forgetting and Vincent …

She might try but there were no words.

“Your garden ... it’s beautiful. The tulips and daffodils and so many roses! I can only imagine them in full bloom. And those espaliered trees on the stone wall – are they apples?”

“Crabapples, actually. We make the most delicious jelly from them.”

Eimear thumbed a pruned cane. The angled cut was healed over, a neat white scar, and tender leaves burst from the buds below. There was poetry in it – the clearing away of damage and clutter to guide light to the center, to direct a rose’s focus ... one’s energies ... to new growth. A necessary wound.

“Funny, the things you choose when you can’t take everything with,” Eimear said. “Did you see the umbrella stand in the front hall? The thing with the grotesque handle and the hideous fish coiled around its base?” Eimear laughed at her protest. “Oh, it’s altogether ugly. We’ve always thought so, but Mom smuggled her rose cuttings over in it. Most of these traveled first from Barrybeg to Rosturra then on to the boat for America. She nursed the first ones in pots until she and Dad bought this house. You'll come back, I hope, to see them open.”

“I'd love to." With no apartment buildings or high-storied houses nearby, the fences and trees blocked the view of the neighbor’s property; the churchyard wall was higher still. And over all, seen broader than from Manhattan’s sidewalks, a blue sky arched. Except for the carry of voices, the scratch of sparse traffic, the city all but disappeared. "Do you take care of all this yourself?”

“I’ll help out, sure, but Flynn cares for my mother’s flowers. Incongruous, some might think. A man his size and nature. But he finds ... an away-ness in it, if that makes any sense.” Eimear’s gaze fastened on her kitchen window. A shadow passed inside. “Do you have a garden, Catherine?”

“Just a balcony. I’ve kept a ficus tree alive for years now, a miracle really, but I do have a rose. Red and white blooms on a single plant.”

Ah. The Unity. Red for love’s courage, white for secrecy and silence.2 Mom had one of those. She loved the flower language.” Amid a bed of narcissus and grape hyacinth, a birdbath sat askew on its stand. Eimear leveled it and in the water’s reflection, her smile wavered. “I met Flynn in this garden.”

“You said you’ve known him half your life.”

“Nearly that, yes,” Eimear said. “It was a Saturday afternoon much like this one. I’d spent the night at a friend’s just across the street. Mom was so sick by then, and I denied it, but when I opened the door, the house was too quiet. I called for her but there was no answer, and I started upstairs feeling as I might should I swallow a live coal. Then I heard voices. She was outside talking with Flynn, though I knew only his name. He was new at my school a month before, almost seventeen years old.

“The family moved from Queens to the next block, his four brothers and his parents and grandmother too. Needing work, he went to Martin, who sent him on to mom. She taught him that spring and summer, her last, to care for her flowers.”

They’d meandered the path to the appled wall. In such close province, the air was scented deep-pink, so heavy, she thought, she might gather the perfume in her hands. “Then you’ve been together since high school,” Catherine said.

“Oh, no.” Eimear reached for a twig of blooms, breaking it off. “I’d moon about upstairs at my window and after what I believed a reasonable time, I’d venture out with lemonade or cookies. He’d stand and I’d stammer. A month of this passed between us until one day, Mom came out, weak as a kitten but strong enough to send me running to the house. I watched as she dragged Flynn to a bench, talking a mile a minute and right in his face. From that day forward, he was kind to me but aloof, even after Mom ... “ She bit her lip. “He tended the garden still with Martin his mentor and my watchdog and Rosie paying him and Flynn turning over the last dime to his own mother for food and just as distant to me. One day, I cornered him, asking him to our Sadie Hawkins dance. He was very firm. I was too young for him, he said, though barely three years separated us, and he’d be graduating soon and moving on. Years later, he told me she’d threatened to haunt him for all eternity should he allow me even one fantasy before I turned twenty-one.”

“Did he call you on your birthday?”

“On my twenty-second. He gave it an extra year for good measure and even then he was slow about it.” Eimear dimpled and blushed. “Mom could be rather emphatic,” she finished.

Catherine tucked a strand of hair behind her ear. "That's a sweet story, Eimear, but painful too ... about your mother.”

“Ah, ‘tis that and a loss we’re never over, are we.”


“We’re you close with your father, Catherine?” Eimear passed over the branch in her hand.

Catherine brought the honeyed flowers to her nose. “When I was younger. Then my life became ... complicated. And when he died, there were things I thought he couldn’t possibly understand, but …”

“He did, after all?”

Only Vincent knew ... of the midnight visitation, of the portrait that was her father’s parting gift.3 A blessing given, regret assuaged, three worlds bridged by love and magic

That such was possible

Wrong, it seemed, to keep that hope from others who could, who would accept.

“I want to think so.” She’d taken too long to answer and when she met Eimear’s gaze, she saw curiosity and sympathy at once, a saddened expectancy.

"There’s much you keep to yourself, isn’t there,” Eimear murmured. “But you are happy, aren't you, despite your privacies?"

"Not despite.”

crabapple bloom spray
“But because.” Eimear swiped at her cheeks. “Look at us. We need to find our party faces or Rosie will be all over us with the questions. And Martin! He can get a rock to sing. He’ll have us blathering and missing the dance." She broke a second spray and stripped it, leaving a cluster of blooms at the tip. “A fairy wand,” Eimear explained, holding the twig aloft. Her smile flared. “Mom made these for us every spring. She would ... anoint us ... to renew our spirits and open our hearts. And legend has it that the apple wood is passport to the palaces of Tír-na-nog, to our otherworld, where you will have feasts and play and drink and sweet music on the strings and beyond them gifts which I have no leave to tell of.”She brushed the silken petals along Catherine’s jaw, tapped twice upon her shoulder. “Ready?”


tunnel ladder, rusted

Strapped in a harness, suspended alongside an old ladder, Vincent reattached the braces to the stone. He drove the last anchor deep into the wall; the steps would hold weight again.

Catherine was near. Very near. She was happy. Excited. So close ... as if she might appear in the opening above him, call him into her joy, into her light.

Believing, he looked up, but it was Damien’s face he saw.

Hand over hand, he ascended and with each reach and pull, the sun eclipsed. Quiet, he shrugged out of the rigging. Quiet, he dragged the bag of tools from the shaft. He leaned against the stone and folded his arms. 

“Tell me.”

“Kanin ...” Aniela began, shifting foot to foot.

Vincent pressed the heels of his hands to his temples. His back against the wall, he slid to a restless crouch to listen.


His ... other ... followed in sleepless silence, magneted to him in some deprived alter-world below his feet, sharp-set, ravenous. And when there was no choice, the ... exchange ... was painless.

No moment of resistance or welcome – he simply was ... then was again.


Tragedy and exaltation.

No whispery request, but a blare of brass horn.

No cry of grief ... for that came later.

But to effort away the unnecessary other, refuse the easy anger, the frustration. To winnow and distinguish. Determine. To relinquish the song of himself, attend another’s needs …

Let others – others! – probe the mystery if they can. 5

Too close – all of them.

The furrow of his brow deepened and he glared down the tunnel. “Cullen was right,” he said, “to keep this off the pipes. Olivia doesn't need this, nor does Father. Still, I suppose I’ll have to go there.”

“You aren’t going after him! You can’t. It’s too dangerous.” Aniela blocked the way, her hands in her back pockets. “And maybe he’s back. Couldn’t we send some kind of message, something that wouldn’t give too much away, to ask?”

“I must assess the situation.” He drew in a deep breath, releasing it slowly through tightened lips.  “I should find Mouse. Tell him. Changes must be made in the work teams. If I’m not here to do my part …

“We’ll go with you,” Damien offered.

“No!” A guttural exasperation rushed his single word. He began a solitary pacing in the passage. “You will not. You'll stay here, Damien, and supervise the work. You'll keep on task and on schedule as much as possible without me. I don’t know how long I'll be gone.”

“You could just let him do this thing, Vincent,” Aniela argued. “He wants to go across the perimeter to look around? It’s his choice.”

“Depending on who he meets, he might endanger the crew with his return.”

Damien blinked in recognition. “You mean he might lead outsiders right to our door?”

Vincent bent to gather his tools and his pack, his canteen, his cloak. As he swept by, Aniela reached for him, but Damien caught her hand.


Vincent talking to Mouse
“He went across? Not supposed to do that.”

Vincent unpacked his gear. “If I’m not back tonight, Mouse, you'll need to clean and oil all the handles and sharpen the blades and edges. Don’t let the ropes get tangled. And nothing of this travels the pipes.”

“Sure, Vincent. Know all that. Keep the secret.”

“Don’t tell the rest of the crew yet. Just say …”

“Say you’ve gone to help out. Easy. True too. They need you. Not even a fib.”

A hand clamped to Mouse’s shoulder, he dug his fingers into the muscle. “You and Damien ... don’t let up. No parties.”

“Joke, right Vincent?” Mouse laughed. “No cake! No party.”

He made a triuned noise, a sigh-rumble-laugh. “You two are in charge. Work together. Work safely. I’ll send word.”

“Maybe he’s back already. Yell at him, turn around. No problem.”

He released his grip. If only …


knot garden, spring
A teasing argument floated over the stone wall, luring Catherine and Eimear to the arched gateway of the churchyard. Within its shelter, more tulips, more daffodils grew beneath purple lilacs and yellow-blooming shrubs. In intricate and patterned beds, low hedges twined, their leaves a glossy black-green. Gnarled guardians – trees with twisted trunks and spiraled branches – commanded the four corners.

“Oh!” she whispered, edging through at Eimear’s elbow. “Is this more of Flynn’s work?”

“He’s the shovel-man these days, but Martin does the tending. He appreciates the exercise. And the privacy. He fears an influx of clucking parish ladies after Ro installs her Immortals here. Let’s watch.” Eimear urged her toward the shadowy covered walkway appended to the long wall.

Rosie stood at the center of the garden; Martin, to one corner of the enclosure. Andrew sprawled on a bench, his eyes closed, his feet propped on the sculpture’s base, still strapped to a dolly.

“Martin, that old fountain hasn’t worked in years. You took the broken basin away last spring. Now it’s just this stub of concrete. It’s unsightly. No, appalling. That’s a perfect spot and you know it.” Rosie pointed at her chosen location.

“Rosie, Rosie ... please. Over here by the old dormitories. ‘Tis so lonely here and barren. People will stroll the ambulatory and gaze across ... on the magnificence, even in the rain.” Standing before two weathered-gray wooden doors, Martin spread his arms wide.

“That corner is lonely and barren because those rooms are empty! Nobody uses them. They don't even have windows. And no one strolls the ambulatory. Even if they start, they’ll quit soon enough, particularly if you hand them the pruners or a rake or a wheelbarrow full of compost.” Rosie took step forward. "And what are you calling magnificent? Your garden or my angel?"

Martin mumbled a few words under his breath. “What?” Rosie squealed, her eyes wide. “What did you say?”

“I said, ‘tis your space, Rosie. Have at it. I’m no match for you.”

Eimear applauded. “Tell Catherine the truth, Martin, You were always going to say yes, weren’t you.”

“Without a doubt.” He grinned as Andrew and Rosie wrestled away the fountain base. “Now to those biscuits and our tea. 'Tis getting late.”

“Look at this,” Rosie said with satisfaction, sitting back on her heels. “He’s already cut out the copper pipes under the fountain.”

Behind them, Flynn called Eimear’s name and they both jumped in surprise. Martin’s hitching gait clattered the rectory steps and his screen door screeched and banged, but Flynn’s approach had been silent. His training, Catherine surmised. Perhaps his nature. 

“The school’s on the phone,” he said. Though Eimear had said he’d moved from Queens, on a bet, she’d have pegged his accent Brooklyn.

Eimear’s hand fluttered at her throat. “What is it?”

Flynn shrugged.

“I’ll just be a minute, Catherine. Flynn’ll watch you.” She started away, turned back. “Give me your branch there. I’ll strip and smash their stems and put them in water for our centerpiece.”

Catherine laughed and shared a smile with Flynn. “Eimear sounds like Martin, but Rosie …”

“Not so much. Eim and Martin ... they’re ... close. The timing, I guess, when her dad died.” He leaned against a slatted wooden door in the wall, his arms folded across his chest. A pattern inlaid in the walkway commanded his attention. “Thank you again,” he said, “for your help through that last legal part of the investigation. 6 You were very kind.”

“We were on your side, Flynn. Completely.”

“I felt that.”

So familiar. Catherine bit her lip, plunged ahead. “Joe and I were at the precinct last week. Tuesday. I saw you in a meeting with the brass ... and you didn’t look happy. If you need me ... us, professionally, I mean, you’ll call, won’t you?”

“I ... ummm ... haven’t exactly told Eimear about that meeting. I don’t want to worry her and it’s nothing, nothing I can’t handle. Just a difference of ... approach.” When he looked up at her, his eyes belied the words of reassurance. "And I don't think I need a lawyer. Not yet, anyway."

Closing the door. “I understand. I do. But she’s already worried and I know how Eimear feels …”

“You do? How's that?” Flynn pushed off the door, dropped his arms. “Eimear told me you wanted a shooting instructor. That can’t be good.”

“Oh, I don’t know. I’m not sure now. It wasn’t for me.”

“If you need protection, Catherine, you’d do better with self defense classes. I know a great guy for that. Mean and dirty, New York City street fighting. None of that oriental stuff. No Kung Fu.”

Catherine snorted. “No egg fu yung? I think we know the same guy.” Isaac. Imagine that. Another coincidence, another shift of perspective, of ... emphasis.

She hesitated, considered her next words – she’d promised Jamie – but the request wouldn’t come, the possibility of its need denied. Denied. And Eimear hoped she might reach a dark place in Flynn and she should at least try ... but they stood in the shaded gateway, cool between two jeweled gardens. And then Andrew waved goodbye and Eimear called them to the tea table and Martin tucked up Rosie’s arm. The timing, I guess, Flynn had said. Not now.

garden, spring flowers
The vase was no more than a kitchen glass but the tea service was a fine china, a basket-weave pattern with twig-shaped handles, a pale yellow-bisque interior that caught every ray of afternoon sun. Contentment welled, suffused …

“Everything all right at work, Eim?” Flynn asked.

“Fine, it was, you know, just Helen, relaying some messages.” Eimear’s face flushed and her hand shook as she poured the first steaming cup.

There was a paleness in Eimear’s voice, a faltering. “You sure?” Catherine asked.

Rosie studied her face. “What is it, Eim? You look funny.”

Eimear poured another cup, and another, the stream surer. “Thanks so much, Ro. It’s nothing. Just a little work that can wait ‘til Monday to sort out. It’s nothing,” she repeated. “Flynn, I put the pasta in the ovens and set the timer. After tea, we’ll all pitch in with the salad making. You remembered the bread, didn’t you, Rosie?”

“Joe’s bringing it. He has an in with a baker, he said. Do you know about that, Catherine?”

“Joe has ins with a lot of bakers. He has a weakness for pastry too. He particularly likes Rocco’s.”

Ah, a weakness.” Rosie smiled, tipping the box of Martin’s mints to a tray just sized for them. “And one I might enjoy exploiting.”

“If you need to,” Catherine teased. “When should he be here?”

“Is he the kind who’s always right on the button?”

“He is.”

“Then soon. I’ll have to take his watch from him, maybe help him lose the constraints of time tonight.”

Slip the surly bonds of earth is more like it,” Martin mumbled.7“He’s a goner, he is.”

“Next weekend, we’ll have the installation ceremony. Catherine, you’ll have to come back,” Rosie said.

“I’d like that. What happens then?” She’d take photographs, if Rosie would allow it ... for Vincent, for him to see, to know ... the little girl, never afraid. She swallowed the hot black tea, finding, when she settled her cup, that all eyes were on her; Martin’s, even Flynn’s eyebrows raised. Had her expression changed at the thought of the statue? But Martin passed the milk pitcher her way; Rosie the sugar. Flynn tipped his cup in instruction. Oh. She spooned in their offerings. The brew lightened to match, she took a second sip. It was better. Much.

Her companions breathed out, almost as one. “We’ll christen it with some Guinness,” Rosie went on, “and Martin will bless it and us and play a lovely tune.”

“He’s always done that,” Eimear added, “at every milestone in our lives.”

“Though not necessarily with a bath of Guinness,” Flynn said. His smile, shy but brilliant, was the first she’d seen from him freely offered.

Martin puffed his cheeks. “A life without you ...” He shook his head and beamed around the table. “Love conquers all things. Let us surrender to love.” 8

“Virgil,” Catherine said.

“You know The Ecologues?” Martin brows shot up again. Stayed up. “That marks the second obscure quotation I’ve tossed off that someone knew. Why, just last night I–” He tapped his lips with two fingers. “I’m losing my touch,” he said. “I must study up.”


So strong ... the pull to the mysterious wall, to the music at the stairs ... to Catherine.

But this route, this choice ... forced. 

Two rope footbridges lay between camp and the first junction and one more after that on the way to the western site. The corridors long unused, this particular section under Van Cortland Park – a silent passage, pipeless – seemed unusually close and dank, like a cellar, like a vault. His thoughts were loud in his mind, and in the perfect quiet of the tunnel, his annoyance, his frustration seemed to echo and ricochet before him. He headed into the cloud of it, breathed it ... became it.

He willed calm, but his thoughts, his feelings like a turbulent surf, crashed and dragged. Resentment lapped concern; sympathy followed disdain. Misgiving and pique nagged his footsteps, and the farther he traveled from Catherine’s presence, the more indignant he became. Words, muttered into the darkness, sharp and bitter from his tongue, fell like stones to his path. He trampled them, kicked and shoved at them, and they stung his feet.

Click HERE for Chapter 17.


1. G. K. Chesterton. The Strange Music. 1915.
3. The Only Gift - 3rd in the Trilogy ~ A Great and Thorough Good
4. C. S. Littleton. Mythology: the Illustrated Anthology of World Myth and Storytelling.
5. Theodore Roethke. The Right Thing.
6. I Carry Your Heart. Chapter 3. Counterparts
7. John Gillespie Magee, Jr.  Hight Flight. 1941.
8. Virgil. Ecologes. 44-38 BC.


Brandy said...

It's nice to see Vincent act like a normal (?!) human being for once, instead of the saint he can be. Nice to see him get to be selfish. Your subplots are all coming together beautifully, I assure you. Looking forward to more of Joe and Rosie; Joe's such a nice guy.

AT44 said...

I'm almost afraid for Kanin myself. V is peeved.

I agree -Joe is a nice guy. He really deserved more screen time and a good girlfriend.

Thank you so much for your encouraging comments, Brandy. I hope I can get a whole chapter or two, even, done this week. I'm feeling wordy! I hope it lasts.


Anonymous said...

Carole, this is magnificent. You 'play' the words, like a musician, finding the perfect melody...or is it paints you use to grace us with this amazing work in colors and tints unique to are such a TALENT!
Love and gratitude,
Your #1 fan

AT44 said...

Wow, Thanks, Anon. I blushed like crazy at your words, but I'm incredibly thankful and humbled. You are too kind, but you've started my day off with...I don't know... a stronger than ever desire to measure up to your description.

Today, I must search for the title to the next chapter. Reading poetry, looking for just the phrase that suits the sentiment I hope to convey, is so much fun - like a literary scavenger hunt. It helps me focus, or at least, I hope it does.

I'd better get busy. Thank you, again.

Love and gratitude from me too.

Mich said...

So I've decided to post my comment here, rather than send you an email (although I know you're going to want the email, too ... and probably with far more detail than I can muster at the moment) ...

I've just completed my full reading ... start to finish ... and all I can say is this: you are composing a masterpiece, my friend. A beautiful, musical, symphony. Every word, every phrase is a melody all its own. As Catherine did, I must quickly work to squelch this covetous expression, this maddening jealousy that grips me. You are a talent ... one might even say ... dare I? Our greatest.

You deserve a little "hero worship." ;)

Love ya!
Your OTHER #1 fan ...

AT44 said...

Ummmm, Mich... I'm blushing too badly to adequately respond...

You are too kind, a real sweetheart for this, and now I'll drive myself batty hoping to possibly even barely approach deserving a smidge of that praise.

I'm honored by your words, humbled by your talent and grateful for our friendship.

Carole (still blushing)

Krista said...

Mmmm...Vincent in a snit is not someone I'd care to mess with. Kanin really needs some surgery to remove his head from his nether regions. :)

I love the interplay with Eimear and Martin and Flynn and Catherine and Rosie---it all flows so well, it's easy for me to forget that they weren't in the television series. And yes, this is another chapter I'm rereading again. :)


Krista said...

Oh, I just love this expansion...the flowers, the further descriptions of Flynn and Eimear and Martin. They are all such believable, real people...and I still don't know how you pull this whole revising thing off and make it as seemless as it is, but my hat's off to you. ;-)

Great job, again and still,


PS: the captcha for today is "tessit." That sounds like a step in a jig to me ;-)

Carole W said...

Thanks Krista. I'm going to have to hunt up a special prize for you. You've been so good to stick with me through all the permutations (and never club me with a stick!)

There's nothing you could have said that would make me happier - that the new characters seem real. That's so what I hope for.

Your insight and feedback have been such a help to me. When I finish this story and write my acknowledgments, you'll be there.

SandyX said...

I am so enjoying this ... watching the story progress both from chapter to chapter and through the revision process. I can't wait to be able to sit down and read the whole thing through from beginning to end. I want it printed so I can hold it in my hands. That'll be reason enough for another bottle of champagne, I think. But in the mean time, enjoy the process, it must be wonderful to see your story coming to life so beautifully. Thank you for sharing it with us.


Carole W said...

Awww, Sandy. You sweetheart. You know I'm angsting over the rewrite and the time it's taking. You're kindness makes me feel like it's all okay, that I can just take a deep breath and go on as I must and as I can.

I'd love to see a hardcopy too - mostly because it would mean I'd finished the story and found a stopping spot. My no-tweak zone. LOL. If only!

In all seriousness, thank you for your generous support and encouragement. I cherish it.

Hugs back,

Barbara said...

I couldn’t resist. I had to stop reading and find out about the story of tir na nog. What a beautiful and sad tale.
I love the underlying thread of your story, that there is an amazing unseen hand at work in all of our lives that strives to lead us to joy and love if only we can overcome the chains of fear that bind us.
I love where this story is leading me. The way you write is an inspiration to my aspiration! And it's showing me that I shouldn't put limits on my imagination.
I can't wait to read the rest!