Iron Behind the Velvet ~ Chapter 29

~ Like Light and Cloud-shadows 1

Vincent's face, pensive, cloak's hood up
Vincent turned up his hands, an invitation in the opaque night, a gesture Martin could not see ... or would not. Even now the man’s gaze was trained, it seemed, on the empty marble base in the center of the garden ... or perhaps on something much further away. “You have a question, Martin?”

“Forgive me, Vincent. I have so many.”

“Do you believe I will allow only the one?”

“I’m ordering my slate, just in case,” Martin said, still in silhouette, and Vincent saw his half-smile broaden. “Not to push my luck, or to be rude, but I'm not decided yet between who ... and where.”

“And why?” Why must you sit with me in shadow, speak to me in whispers?

“No, no. I’m feeling rather confident of the why ... or whys.” Martin tipped his head. “The darkness pulls in everything, and it is possible …”

That a great presence is moving near me.2

“Exactly that,” Martin murmured. After a long pause he went on. “I’ve ventured to this spot nearly every night for more than twenty years now. ‘Tis always a sort of magic to it I think, and after hours, ‘twas my private place. You might understand the need for such, yes? Here, I’d play and pray and dream. Plan my work. Stay close, should I be needed. These past few weeks, I’ve felt a gathering, like a clock spring wound and ticking toward some profound hour. I credited the ratchet-up to my worry for Flynn. I’ve been at such a loss, you see ...”

Perhaps allowed by the cover of that darkness, the feeling of aloneness, speaking into those shadows, but Martin’s expression was unguarded, changeable with whatever emotion moved from heart to mind to the set of his jaw to the wincing wrinkles at his eyes. Self-reproach, Vincent read, for what Martin surely felt was failure – failure to connect, to rescue, as if his hand could reach within inches of Flynn’s, as if those inches were entirely his to bridge. Frustration. Unease. Tempered by ... expectancy, by faith. Hope.

Martin raked his hair again and rubbed his face. “And there was something else. Not a foreboding, Vincent, but a ... a fore-feeling. A dear notion it was. Lily seemed so close, so present, calling me to stay longer into the night, to be still and wait. To listen. Then one night, I thought someone was here, and the next, I knew it, though I could not be sure of your, ummm, corporeal state. Then I heard your sigh and you spoke to me. And now it’s as if you were sent with some particular gift, even as I’m not entirely knowing what it is ... or to whom it belongs.”

I bring a gift? But the gifts have come to me. Not just the garden’s balms. Not just the sharing of food and fine spirits. Not just the unburdening, the unburdening to someone without ... collateral concerns. Their blue silver chord. Catherine’s essence threaded through him and he heard her acknowledgment of him – here, Above – again. Mine. My love. My life. Her happiness, the promise he felt here ... a sense of entry. A gift for her.

For myself.

full moon over the park, seen through tree limbs
He saw Rosaleen’s young face once again pressed to the glass, pale as white marble, but wet now with tears born neither of fear nor pity. You must see it, Vincent . You must. The moon no longer wielded a knife-blade of memory.

“I am drawn to this place. To you.”

“How did you find me, Vincent?”

“A friend, someone special, heard your music and showed me the way. Another ... keeps me close.”

Another? The word is so sweet from you, as if it were her name. Another keeps me close.” Martin’s shoulders lifted ... fell. “But showed you the way from where?”

“It’s impossible to explain it all tonight.” He imagined draping his cloak on his chair, stepping out into the garden, revealing the inexpressible with a deliberate turn. He kept his seat, but with one word – tonight – he pledged a tomorrow. Though soon

“Oh, don’t be thinking of going. Not just yet, please? You see, Vincent, I’ve a confession to make. I thought at first you might have come for me, to ease my spirit. No one else on this earth knows the terrible entirety of my story, not even Lily’s girls. I’ve counseled them to follow their hearts, always. To recognize love, to pursue it. In its defense, to wield the Tuatha’s magic sword and spear – the Cliamh Solais3 and the Sleá Bua.4 To nurture and protect it with – to bring to it – their whole selves. I can’t imagine what they’d think of me, so faint-hearted, so niddering to let their saint of a mother slip– .” An acid-etched anger crept past his small laugh and he covered his mouth with the heel of his hand.

“They must know – Eimear and Rosaleen – how you loved her. Loved Lily.”

Vincent felt the probe of Martin’s gaze, pictured him turning the pages of their conversation back and back in search of her mentioned name. Years of admonition, of drill, disallowed the accident of speech. No blunder his admission, yet he braced himself for the questions, his hands spread on his thighs. Above the distant hum of traffic, an anxious siren whooped ... and faded.

“Yes, Eimear and ... Rosie,” Martin said. “We call her Rosie.” He tapped one foot – three measured triplets. “Well, now. And where was I? Yes, they know that much, the girls do. Just not the way I lost her. I’ve played the sad romantic, Vincent, covering up the envy, never having acted on my heart’s desire. And don’t you be calling it noble, as it’s been a cold bed. Oh, I’ve made the best of it, kept the vow I did take, and for Lily, it was for the best. But after all these years, after kicking my own ar– After kicking meself and pretending I was one man instead of the other, and none of that being something I ever allowed ... out ... it was freeing to tell you.”

Freeing. No prelude of memory; no history, true or shaded. Only connection – this – voice to voice. “I understand your hesitation, Martin.”

“‘Twas cowardice. Let’s not glaze it with sugared words.”

“I’ve worried the same choice. What is best, not for myself, but for others. For her.”

Martin chuckled. “I’ve not found a woman who enjoys her decisions made for her. Have you?”

And indeed, he had not.

Sobered, Martin studied the ground. “What’s best for others. Even then we’re thinking selfishly, aren’t we? ‘Tis frightening to be accepted, as then we must set about keeping ourselves worthy. And so we choose against ourselves for ourselves. So we might stay in that safe place where we’re sure, if only of our loneliness, of our ... objectionableness. We fit there, the lovely groove. It requires nothing further from us. To venture out we risk ...”


“And you’ve done that, have you, Vincent? Ventured out?”

“You mean tonight? Through this door?”

Martin leaned on his forearms. “Do you hear a different question?”


A different question. So many questions. Unanswerable.

To pursue love, to protect it with a whole self ...

Not finished. He was not finished. Not whole.

He shook his head – No – but the descent began regardless. Steep. Dark. Chin to chest, he slumped in his chair and in the imagined corridor – darker still – he saw the heavy door, chained and barred. At his approach, the rusted links slipped silently to a coil at his feet; the bar paled and diminished. Dissolved. The door swung open on a rush of vinegary air, to the dreaded passage beyond.

Ready for you, Catherine. Finally, ready.

He raised the words like armor, like a shield, but as his footfalls, they echoed from the chiseled granite cuts. The way wound and burrowed, narrowed narrowed narrowed toward the nameless river.

The ravines where my madness lies ...

Waiting. Ready for him. Beyond the heaped, hard-quarried boulders, his dark companion swayed foot to foot and prowled a rutted boundary – a familiar dance of stalemate.

My likeness ... a shadow among the shadows. My terror, my abyss.

How often had he stood pressed to these grizzled rocks, his eyes averted as from the Gorgon’s gaze, his ears stopped by his hands? He’d promised her – Ready, Catherine – promised her more than mere words, promised her an act of beauty and courage. 5

Denial is the only fact, perceived by the denied. 6

He raised his head, moved in close ...

See me.

A furrowed brow, a lined face, dark hair streaming in the winds. Mirrored eyes, a doleful blue. And in the utter silence ... a call. A small, desperate plea.

I am here. I exist. Help me. 7

Through a high cleft, a light bloomed, pale green and shimmering pink, and a breeze – a morning breeze, cool and crisp and washed – stirred the untrod dust between them.

All that we will never know ...

A long, dragging, testing breath.

I no longer deny.

A purposed movement. A single step. A low, wild sound. Surprise.

Grateful ... to venture out.




“Vincent?” A voice called him back. Welcomed him. “Vincent?”

Martin stood at his side, a hand reaching toward his shoulder. Though he sat in deep shadow, his draped hood concealing his downturned face, though his hands were captured under his arms, he flinched from the anticipated touch.

“I’m here.”

“Well, good, then,” Martin said, pulling back. He shuffled to his chair. “Good. I thought– Well, you were a bit gone, my friend. But people often tell me the same thing.”

“Nochtfaidh a solas mé agus, cha dtig liom sin a sheasamh.” 

“You ... you know Gaelic, Vincent?”

He’d surprised himself with the stammered blurting out, but with it, the grip of tension at the base of his skull lessened. “I know it from you. From Flynn. Her light will reveal me ...” he began.

And I cannot bear that,” Martin finished. “But why are you–”

“That night. I shouldn’t have– I didn’t mean to–”

“Eavesdrop? Is that what you think? Don’t be naming it such. Or confessing to some perceived wrongdoing. I called out, Vincent. Called out for someone else and you arrived.” He heard Martin’s soft chant of gratitude. Gifts, goodness, mercy, love. “This is the why,” Martin murmured. “The because. You reflect his pain in his voice. The gift you bring ... ‘tis for Flynn.”

How can I ever be ready. There’s something dark in me. I always knew it. I’ve seen it. The power, the power of that darkness. Flynn’s raw words flooded his memory. Too well he understood – an entity of brute potential, ranging just beneath control. Fingers of insinuating cold wrapping the bars of its chamber, a feasting laughter, the sour breath of cruel doubt through them. The aloneness. He rose to his feet. A tingling, sharp as the sting of bees, rushed his legs.

“You’re not leaving?” Martin cried out. “There’s so much– Oh, stay, won’t you? Please.”

Because Flynn’s path first crossed Catherine’s ... and thus mine. Because we travel toward the same destination. We have, all of us, for weeks now. Perhaps we have all along, from the moments of our births. Because I know you. Because I know him – through Catherine’s concern, through his own words, through his pain ... through my own. Because I’ve seen my own darkness, harbored it, fed it with denial. Because it will be ... freeing ... to speak of it.

"Divine must be that triumph,” he whispered, “when the very worst, the pain ... hath something in it which the heart enjoys.8 He moved to the corner, his stance wide, his arms loose at his sides.

Aloneness ... shared. “I’ll stay.”


“All is ready, Catherine. Come.”

On her knees in the garden, she straightened at his words. A whistle of wind sang past, teasing scents of lemon and ginger and wintergreen from the tender leaves at her fingertips. Bright fancy lit his face as he stepped from the dappled, dancing shade into the reach of sun, his shadow cast long on the stone path. Behind him, light glinted off paned glass, and beyond, silhouettes merged and separated, married again. The single, drawn-out note of the thrush spiraled in the spring canopy.

With a lover’s touch, the breeze stroked back a wisp of hair. Catherine stirred, half-wakened to a half-light. His hand at her temple. His ... the soul-felt flame. The billowing curtains drew a gossamer veil across the moon.

His eyes, the blue of gentian flower. His smile pearled and coaxing …

She rose and took his outstretched hands.


“You know Flynn’s story. Something in your voice ... Well, ‘tis my training to hear the unsaid words. You said you were never a soldier and you’re not police.” Martin propped his chin in his hand, waiting for an answer.

“I am neither.”

“But you appreciate his suffering. I’ve tried ... tried to assure him he did only what he had to do, reminded him he saved a dozen – more – lives that day. Children, innocent children.”

“Innocent no more for what they saw.”

“As Flynn believes – he delivers their nightmares. They are changed. But alive, Vincent. Alive!”

The cool embrace of the stone corner seeped through his cloak and shirts to his shoulders. “You’re afraid of what is in his mind. Afraid of the path he will take to atone.”

“I am, yes. Flynn is tactically trained, a rifleman, special weapons. He’s been called upon to ... terminate situations in the past. But what happened that day ...”

“There was no distance. He was alone in the room with evil. Hand to hand with it.” He took a breath. “Face to face.”

“He believes there was a moment when he could have stopped.”

“His case was closed without reprimand.” As if official exoneration cleared the conscience, swept away the memory, the blood-hot moment of decison. Kanin’s sentencing blurred with Flynn’s. I’m the one who said this would be forever.

“Yes. Yes it was. But he reprimands himself. He’s cutting away from all he loves. His wife, his friends. Even his garden languishes without him. He’s separating, and not just from us. I miss him. Ahhh, and he’s a fine lad, grown to a good man. I wish you could know him, Vincent.”

“Tell me.”

“He’s strapping, he is, but gentle. A soft hand under a duck. And a playful boyish thing. Generous. Loyal. Principled. When he came here, to our neighborhood, ‘twas because he needed a fresh start in a new school,” Martin said. “His mother marched him and his three brothers to my office before the moving van pulled away. I swear to you, Vincent, she pinched four ears in the fingers of her two small hands, propelling hundreds of pounds of boy before her as if it were nought but a baby’s pram. Flynn was sixteen, turning seventeen in a few weeks time, needing work whether he knew it or not, his mother said. Every year, it seemed, he’d be in trouble for fighting, for he’d never let the weakest ones be bullied. He’d step in, take the fight himself. He came to me with a magnificent black eye, a chipped tooth, a bent nose. Two broken fingers taped to splints. He was not always the winner.”

Vincent chuckled. “Devin – my brother – was the same.”

“A champion,” Martin said, nodding. “A fine example to you, was he? And both a prize and a trial to your parents, I’m guessing.” The words fell into a still pool – a ripple that smoothed away before it reached shore. “But I’m thinking now of your friend. Kanin,” Martin continued. “About his troubles. He gave his wife a story of himself, and it was a false story, and so she fell in love with an actor, a poser. If he’d told his truth, even if only to her, if he’d showed her his authentic face at the very start, and she’d gone on with him, accepted him, all his faults observed ... But he didn’t give her the chance to choose and ‘tis their stumbling stone.

“But again to Flynn, I took one look and hustled him to Lily. She was so ill, and her beloved garden faltered and I’m believing the boy might benefit from another use of his hands. And Eimear, still a girl really ... there on the porch, balanced on one bare foot, the other propped on her knee. She saw him that first day, with his black hair half down his back and eyes the blue of my mother’s good china, with all the brutal color in his face and wearing a scowl that said he’d be at the same tomorrow, taking the stand between evil and the innocent. She loved him from their beginning. She knows who he is. She’s always known.”

Martin’s story was one of tender affection, but the words carried him to a desolate place. A petroglyph carved into the granite of memory, lodged deep in his heart. A stumbling stone. Even now, the shame of it brought on a swaying queasiness, a trickled sweat. He wiped his palms on his knees.

The look in her eyes ... of terror, of dismay. Their beginning. He could never forget it.

Scene from Pilot, when Catherine takes V's hands after he offs Carol's killers
But her words – We can’t stay here – and her hands held out to him ...

Even their parting was a promise. “Goodbye ... for now.”

She saw. And chose.

Perhaps it wasn’t terror. Perhaps ... not dismay. Not recognition. Nor even acceptance.

Like the night in the park, under his first full, heartbreaking moon, perhaps ...

Remember! He heard her urgent whisper. She wasn’t sad or afraid. She was overcome with a great joy. Think, Vincent. See it. See how it really was.

Perhaps redemption. Perhaps ... love.

“There are those born protectors,” Martin was saying. “They can and will when others cannot, and people are grateful, truly grateful to them for it. And yet, underlying the gratitude is fear and ... and a kind of jealousy, for beside such a man, we’re diminished. We lose by contrast. You see how the champion is treated in the world. We’re always in a debt position and it’s a debt never to be adequately repaid. How could it be? And it is human nature, I suppose, that we distance ourselves from the hero, that we resent being made to feel ... lesser than. The man, then ... the man who carries our burdens, the man who risks everything, takes his supper alone. Can anyone understand? Anyone but another like him?”

Before the words fully formed, before the first was uttered, he knew a release, as if he’d found the free end of the Gordian knot. How long had it been since he’d tried to reveal himself to Father. That’s not who you are to us, he’d interrupt, his love and parent’s protection ... his uncertainty ... overwhelming them both. Silencing him. His voice scraped along his throat. “What you said before, about shame ... that we fear being put together wrong at our core. I have ... protected ... those I love. Afterward, they would tell me I’d done only what was necessary. And I’d tell myself there was no one else. That I had no choice. I know that’s right,” he whispered. “In my mind, I know that’s right. But in my heart ...

“Because of who I am ... what I am ... this is my fate, my destiny. A ransom I must pay for my very existence. And what I fear most, what I dread to discover, is that my actions, my ... choices ... were selfish ones. What if ... what if the truth is that I was protecting myself ... providing for myself. That I did these things not for others, but so I would not be so alone, so I might know love. That all the philosophy, the reasoning, the ... poetry ... is just a guise for the greedy creature I am.”

“But, Vincent,” Martin said, breaking the long ensuing silence, “You’d have traded your own life, for those you love to live, even if you did not.”

“I would. I will. Always.”

Martin rubbed the back of his neck. “So alone. You said ‘so you would not be so alone’.” He turned, searching the darkness of Vincent’s corner. “You have a love. She’s the kindest, the most precious. She misses you, you said. And still ... you know aloneness. There’s no real help for you, is there? Would you speak with him, Vincent? With Flynn? I could offer the reassurances, recite the keen phrase, call on literature, on scripture ... and I have. Nothing connects. He’s lost, riding the rocky cliffs of the Burren. He needs ... fellowship.”

“Surely he has friends on the force.”

“I’m thinking he won’t be revealing himself so to them. Each must trust the other’s steady hand. He’s already having some problems at work. He’ll not be letting on more if he can help it.”

“I wish I could, Martin.”

“Why not? Is it the entry? We’d keep it our secret. He’d never have to know your road in.”

“No. Not just the entry.”

Martin rose to his feet, bending against his hand pressed at the small of his back. He took a step toward him. Another. “I want to understand. Whatever it takes, whatever you need from me, I will give it. I can’t let Flynn go. I believe he needs you, Vincent. And I believe he has something for you in exchange.”

“We might– No. No closer, please. I ... don’t know. I don’t know how I ... ”

With a careful, backward shuffle, Martin found a pillar to lean against. “There’s a pledge of the Tuatha dé, a promise from the grand High Kings of Tara – Is Caomhnóirí buana sinne. Fanaimid, folaithe sa dorchadas. Ní rialaíonn and t-old ar an dtír.

We are the guardians, everlasting. We wait, hidden by darkness. Evil will not rule over the land. This is what you do. Who you are. ‘Tis rare and beautiful. There’s not so many of you walking the earth these days, Vincent. I’m thinking you’d be doing yourself some good too." His voice softened. “Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireann na daoine. We depend on each other. We live in each other’s shadow. Flynn is your shadow, and you, his. Warriors, the both of you.”

rose-colored tulips at night
Decision thumped beneath his breastbone like a fist on a door. A brother ... once again. He wanted it. More than a friend. Fellowship. Counsel. A common language. The companioned silence. It was so close, so close, here in this high-walled garden, on this confluence of tides. Catherine’s dream for him, for the two of them, together in the sunshine ... and the possibilities, the possibilities. At the bridge, his next step was to a narrow plank over an unexplored gorge – an irretractable step. Catherine ... how he needed her. Her ear, her sureness, her hand in his. This step should be theirs.

At last, he looked up, sensing the easterly glow blooming at the horizon. The darkest hour of all is the hour before day, he thought. Indeed, the garden’s shadows had deepened at its edges, but in the last slant of moonlight, the flowers still gleamed. Vincent’s eyes were drawn to the farthest curl of them.

“Beautiful, are they not?” Martin asked, as if he followed his gaze. “The tulips.”

Vincent started and checked his hood, but Martin still leaned against a pillar, his back to the dark corner.

“So like a woman, they are. The iron-strong stem that pushes for life spring after spring, that triumphs over the cold weight of winter. Their velvet dress and cheek. The scent of honey.” Martin chuckled. “Sure, I can hear the old bishop now. Martin Geraghty, that’d be highly inappropriate talk from ye, and even wronger thought.” He laughed again. “But I cannot help myself.”

Was she happier? Lily ... with Francis?”

“Oh yes,” Martin said. “Of course, she was. Francis was a handsome man, a loving father, devoted to her and his family. Confident. Generous even with me.” He pushed his hands into his pockets, peered at the night sky. “I have friends in the clergy. Episcopalians," he intoned, drawing out the word. "I could have converted. I wasn’t ready, Vincent, but I should have faked it.”

His time Above, nearly spent. Shorter than short. So much left unsaid. “You asked me earlier – What brings you ...”

“And I maintained I was confident of the why.”

“The whys, you said. The coincidences are so many. I can’t begin to explain.”

Tonight. Though you’ll be leaving now. I can hear it. The Mists on the Mountain. The final tune of the evening.”

“You’ll be exhausted tomorrow, Martin.”

You mean today. As will you. But I fast on Mondays. ‘Tis my day of atonement for the nights of tart and trifle. ‘Twill pass more quickly if I stay abed ‘til noon. Must you go? I could brew us coffee.”

“I have apologies to offer. Amends to make. I lost my temper tonight.”

“All men do, every now and then, Vincent. There’s no shame in that.”

“I cannot.”

“There are angry-making things in this world,” Martin said. “‘Tis only human to feel it.”

“I do not have the ... privilege of anger.”

“Anger’s not the worst thing. Letting it fester is worse. Not heeding anger’s instruction, worse still.”

“Perhaps you might help me understand that.”

“When next you visit.”

“Yes. When next I visit. But now–” He lifted his hands. Already the stars were fading to the coming dawn.

“I suppose I should be the one leaving first.” Martin sighed and turned. “This is all so very strange, Vincent. So strange. I see you – your shadow – not ten feet from me. Your plate is empty where once it was full. Your glass stands on the floor with foam clinging to the rim. The door in the wall is open, but in the morning, ‘twill be closed again and jammed tight and except for the supper crumbs and your open chair, there’ll be no proof. No proof. But what Seamus told me ... is it true? That there’s a world beneath my feet – cities and bridges and waterfalls twenty stories high? Passageways of solid amber? Caverns of diamonds?” He broke off, breathless, pushing off the pillar with a dancing step.

His whispered answer – a moth wing's brush at the flower. A truth. A truth Martin deserved.

“It is my home.”

Click HERE for Chapter 30


1. Rainer Maria Rilke. Letters to a Young Poet. #8. 1904.
2. Rilke. You, Darkness.
3. Cliamh Solais: Sword of Nuatha, the Sword of Light. One of the four magical treasures of the Tuatha. From it, no one could escape once it was drawn.
4. Sleá Bua: Spear of Lugh, the Spear of Victory. One of the four magical treasures of the Tuatha. It would brook no defeat of the warrior who wielded it.
5. Rilke. Letters to a Young Poet. #8. 1904. “Perhaps all the dragons in our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us act, just once, with beauty and courage.”
6. Emily Dickinson. Denial is the Only Fact.
7. Rilke. Paraphrase. Letters to a Young Poet. #8. 1904. “Perhaps everything that frightens us is, in its deepest essence, something helpless that wants our love.”
8. William Wordsworth. XXV - Anticipation. Poems in Two Volumes. 1803.


Kemara said...

My grandmother died on Wednesday, and I'm at my parents' house for the weekend. We're leaving in a couple of hours for the visitation. This chapter came at just the right time for me....a little moment of peace and understanding in the middle of sadness and family drama. I'm so looking forward to the moment when the members of these two worlds....above and below...can come together as a family. The Lord moves in mysterious ways indeed!

Krista said...

Carole, I don't know what to say. But bringing in the Tuatha de Danaan and the warriors' oath...I think I love you (platonically :)) And Vincent's

Seriously, this is lovely---it takes a rare author to make original characters believable and alive, and you've done it here. I can't wait for Vincent's talk with Flynn :)

-Krista :)

Carole W said...

Kemara, I'm so sorry to hear this. I know too well the sadness and the ... strangeness ... of this time.

In such confusion and sorrow, that you would take the time to leave such a thoughtful comment touches my heart. I'll keep you and your family in my thoughts.

~ Carole

Carole W said...

Krista! I love you too! And I love the bond that forges between so many people – all because of Catherine and Vincent's dream. See all whom they've brought together!

I so wanted my translation fellows to do an MP3 of the Gaelic, but I found no one willing - or maybe my request for a husky purring male voice scared everyone off from me. Hmmm. I'm going to try again.

Thank you for your support and interest and your kind words. I'm thrilled. You know I am.

~ Carole

Anonymous said...

I think Martin's counsel regarding anger was a big help to Vincent, possibly assuaging guilt over a very human emotion. Also in Martin's words seemed to be a bit of hope for making friends in the world Above, friends he and Catherine could share. What a lovely thought. It would be a part of their dream coming true.

Vicky said...

Honestly... where do you come up with these quotes? Your writing is fresh air for the soul, dear friend.

Krista is right, (told you!) I almost expect to see Martin, or Eimiar or... appear in the current episode I'd be watching. (Didn't we mentioned the other day just how lovable they are, Krista?) hehe


PS: I was thrilled to not need those refferences to previous chapters! I bet I wasn't alone though.

Carole W said...

Anon - yes! That's what I meant, exactly.

I'm hoping the juxtaposition of Martin to Father will be illuminated and interesting as the story progresses. Father 'sees' Vincent and counsels him to control his – well, it isn't anger exactly – his avenging nature. Martin can't 'see' him, and suggests the opposite – not that it's uncontrolled, but used for good.

Somewhere in the middle of that is a whole and magnificent man. Or two men, Vincent and Flynn.

I asked Michelle this question: will Father and Martin be like Star Trek's matter and antimatter - might they meet without self-annihilating? Will I ever get to that chapter???

Carole W said...

Vicky, you and Krista are gems. Shining, faceted gems. Thank you. You put a huge smile on my face!

I'm very pleased that these original characters fit in well enough with the canon of the story that you can accept them so readily. And that you find them lovable - WOW. That's just great.

I had to go back to chapter 20! and 11! And to a whole bunch of chapters! I'm glad to know you weren't lost due to my infernal slowness!

Big hug,
~ Carole

Brandy said...

Dear Carole -

Firstly...*points finger* You're a geek! Referencing Star Trek; I'm delighted.

Your new chapter sets up so many interesting paths! I thought I maybe had a clue as to where this was heading, but now I'm getting an idea as to JUST how incredibly EPIC this story might get. How do you look at what's to come without quailing?

For Kemara: I've often found solace in fiction. I'm glad that this community could do the same for you when you needed your "moment of peace."

Carole, this felt like a really transitional chapter. NOT a complaint! I read about half of it, then got my "aha" and understood the rest better. Credit is entirely due to you to making this as lovely as you did. Your descriptions of Vincent's mental..trips? Whimsies?...are always fun to read, a very different take on any place that I would have gone.

Martin's story is a lot sadder than I thought. Although he denies it, saying "don't call it noble," it is, in a way.

Also, as someone who loves the Tuatha De Danaan (that is a right tongue-twister when said!), thank you for their inclusion.

And of course, your poem. :)

Pursuing you in your transitions Emily Dickinson
Pursuing you in your transitions,
In other Motes --
Of other Myths
Your requisition be.
The Prism never held the Hues,
It only heard them play --

Sonia Who? said...


Enjoyed reading this new chapter. It's good to see Vincent and Martin forging a friendship, (for a moment I thought Vincent was going to reveal himself to Martin), pleased that they can give and receive counsel from each other. Can't wait for Flynn and Eimear to meet Vincent and for all of them to become friends.

Now comes the hard part of waiting for the next chapter, patiently.

Hugs and Condolences to Kemara and her family in this sad time.

New York City Utopia said...

Ah! Krista stole my words! :-)
Before I read everyone's comments, mine was going to be exactly that:
I love you!

Condolences to Kemara

Carole W said...

Brandy - the company of Geeks is a lovely thing!

To your question – How do you look at what's to come without quailing?

Yipes. Here I was, tooling around like Alfred E. Neuman (now you'll know that I'm an OLD Geek), thinking What? Me worry?, and luxuriating in the adrenaline rush of having finished a chapter, mixing up a pitcher of margaritas, lazing on the porch like there's plenty of tomorrows. And now ...

;-) Just kidding. Sort of.

I have had the end of the story in mind from the beginning - it's taken an awfully long time to get around to the last parts though, hasn't it.

Transitional - yes, exactly. Vincent out of doors, interacting, is one transition. Greeting the dark twin (a Flynn lookalike, kinda sorta–


–and hopefully reminiscent of both V's running vision and Eimear's pub vision) is another.

I'm so pleased that you said this about transitions. There are so many culminations in this chapter, some more overt than others, and the story does change in pitch from now on - or it will, when I get after it!

And I'm wildly curious about your a ha moment. Hints are very very welcome!

Thanks Brandy, for the thoughtful comments and the poems. You're so much fun to be around.

~ Carole

Carole W said...

Sonia! I'm pleased you enjoyed the chapter. This version was a hard one to settle on - and I have a couple thousand words on the cutting room floor. Hopefully it won't be a month (Gaaak! Can you believe that?) before the next one.

I can offer this - as we head toward the final third of the story – I do have a story map, even though it's taken on some life of its own and certainly grown from the length I originally expected. I have an end zone and a goal in sight and I will finish. I so appreciate all the patience I've been granted here.

It's always good to receive your comments, Sonia. Thanks so much.

~ C

Carole W said...

NYCU! I love you back. Across-the-Ocean Hugs!

I'm very happy the chapter elicits that emotion. I need you all.

~ Carole

Brandy said...

Argh! Posting board ate my comment!
Well, I'll try again.

I was looking for some poems about warriors and champions, and to my surprise, there's little I can find that isn't quite modern; I'm always looking for something Vincent might have read!

Here's something from Chretian De Troyes, one of the first chroniclers of Arthurian legend.

"You are very wrong to jeer.
No gentleman should taunt and sneer.
As for the young man, you may find,
although he has a simple mind,
he is of noble family still,
and though he has been trained so ill
by a rough master, yet he can
become a valiant nobleman."

More to come, I'm on a mission now!

Brandy said...

Dear friends of the posting board,

Being unsuccessful at finding poems about warriors in the Western world, my search led me to Japan. Here is a haiku that seemed apropos.

"When luck held out
and others thrived
I counted not at all -
but when disaster falls
we share one fate."
16th century samurai

Carole W said...

Brandy, you've raised the bar. I've spent some time hunting and found this (long) one by Wordsworth

The Character of the Happy Warrior

And Tennyson's Sir Galahad

Brandy said...

Good grief, I'VE raised the bar?!

Thanks for the literature lesson! I missed the epic poems in school. Damn public schools.

Carole W said...

Brandy - it was your mention of of the Arthurian Legend that made me think of the BlueBird Singing episode, and so Idylls of the King - which made me think of exploring Tennyson further, and then I just lucked up on the Wordsworth.

I'm loving this game of poem-tag. I know nothing really of traditional Haiku or Japanese poetry. But another avenue opens to fill my insomniac moments - the hunt ...


Anonymous said...

I love the new chapter. I always read everything twice. I've felt like I'm in Ireland these last 2 chapters and have to remind myself that we are in NY! In reading the comments, I am in agreement with all and would be repeating. I can't wait for the meeting of these 2 families - and you do make us see it clearly. I will also be glad when the work is done and Vincent and Catherine can go home. Carole, you are a complete treasure. You have made it possible for me to watch S1 and S2 without complete sadness because of the betrayal we know is coming. I so hope that your stories can be in print so that I may carry them with me like a security blanket.

Carole W said...

Jitterbug, yours are such kind comments and I'm incredibly grateful for them. This experience of fan fiction writing has been, at once, exhilarating and terrifying. I love the C/V story and want to do it justice, so I'm glad to know it pleases you. And knowing that you're happy with it so far makes me want to work harder to make it as good a read as I possibly can.

I've always wanted to write stories but for years just didn't have the personal time (or the confidence) to try. And I never expected to have readers here for the initial posting of the chapters (there will be edits!). That's the scary part - the fear that I'll make some horrendous bobble that drives everyone away muttering that they've wasted their time.

These comments and emails, including the questions and suggestions, are the ultimate payment for the work. I feel like I've made some good friends here - another gift from C&V (and Koslow too, up to a point!)

Thank you so much.

Brandy said...

Dear All,

I've run across a book of G.K. Chesterton, reproduced online. It has a lot of Christian imagery, some of it very beautiful, and I wanted to share one poem here.

Thou Shalt Not Kill - Gilbert Keith Chesterton

I had grown weary of him; of his breath
And hands and features I was sick to death.
Each day I heard the same dull voice and tread;
I did not hate him: but I wished him dead.
And he must with his blank face fill my life -
Then my brain blackened, and I snatched a knife.

But ere I struck, my soul's grey deserts through
A voice cried, 'Know at least what thing you do.
'This is a common man: knowest thou, O soul.
'What this thing is? somewhere where seasons roll
'There is some living thing for whom this man
'Is as seven heavens girt into a span,
'For some one soul you take the world away -
'Now know you well your deed and purpose. Slay!'

Then I cast down the knife upon the ground
And saw that mean man for one moment crowned.
I turned and laughed: for there was no one by -
The man that I had sought to slay was I.

Thought it might speak to both Vincent and Flynn's internal conflicts.

Anonymous said...

It does indeed, Brandy.

These . . .

Each day I heard the same dull voice and tread;

And he must with his blank face fill my life -

I check here almost every day - the comments promise 'great expectations' as well as does this story. It's an uncommon thing, to find poetry shared in this way. So enjoyable!


Brandy said...

Thanks both Indie and Carole! Poem tag is a fun way to share.

Carole, as you posted some lovely pictures of tulips:

this is the garden:colours come and go,
by: e.e. cummings

this is the garden:colours come and go,
frail azures fluttering from night's outer wing
strong silent greens silently lingering,
absolute lights like baths of golden snow.
This is the garden:pursed lips do blow
upon cool flutes within wide glooms,and sing
(of harps celestial to the quivering string)
invisible faces hauntingly and slow.

This is the garden. Time shall surely reap
and on Death's blade lie many a flower curled,
in other lands where other songs be sung;
yet stand They here enraptured,as among
the slow deep trees perpetual of sleep
some silver-fingered fountain steals the world.

From "Tulips and Chimneys", 1923

I'm glad I'm not the only one who checks here regularly for updates. :)

Carole W said...

Oh, Brandy. This is perfect. I'm developing such an affection for cummings, one I didn't have in school years ago. I do wonder how I could have missed the passionate nature of his work.

There are chapter titles galore in just this one poem ... So Inspiring!!

yet stand they here enraptured

from night's outer wing

lights like baths of golden snow

and they all sound rather gauzy too!

Who's next with a poem? I'm really enjoying this.


New York City Utopia said...

Lo and behold ;-)
English translation of the "Kaspar Hauser Song", by Georg Trakl from Austria

Truly he loved the sun, which descended purple behind the hill,

The paths of the forest, the singing blackbird,

And the joy of green.

Serious was his dwelling in the shadow of the tree

And his countenance pure.

God spoke a soft flame to his heart:

O man!

Silently his footstep found the city in the evening;

The dark lament of his mouth:

I want to become a horseman.

But bush and animal followed him,

House and the dusking garden of white humans

And his murderer searched for him.

Spring and summer and beautiful the autumn

Of the righteous one, his quiet step

Past the dark rooms of dreamers.

At night he remained alone with his star;

Saw snow falling into bleak branches

And in the dusking hallway the shadow of the murderer.

Silverly the head of the unborn sank.

(see )

Carole W said...

Claire, this is simply breathtaking - compelling and anguishing. And with research, the tragic mystery of it compounds. I've no knowledge of this story or this poet, but ...

Now there is another poet to explore. You guys are distracting me (most magnificently) and I thank you all for it.

Here's a link I found with some history ...

I Want to be a Rider from the Kenyon Review

Anonymous said...

Carole, I'm appealing to you or anyone who comments here. I'm looking for the piano sheet music for "The First Time I Loved Forever". All my searching has left me empty handed. Can anyone help? I would really be grateful.

Carole W said...

Anon - I have the sheet music. I can scan it for you and send it as a .pdf if you'd like. I have the sheet music of just this one song and the book with all the theme music.

I've seen the book on Ebay every now and then, but I just checked and ... not today.

Email me if you'd like the scans. I'm glad to do it for you (or for anyone who's looking).

~ Carole

(email link is behind the About Me link in the sidebar)

Urban Literati said...

Carole, I love that you have that. I'm so grateful to have found so many wonderful people who share my obsession.

Brandy said...

Wow, I am a terrible judge of time. It's only been two weeks since you posted Chapter 30, and I'm already fretting, wondering where the next one is. In that vein:

nspiration by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Not like a daring, bold, aggressive boy,
Is inspiration, eager to pursue,
But rather like a maiden, fond, yet coy,
Who gives herself to him who best doth woo.

Once she may smile, or thrice, thy soul to fire,
In passing by, but when she turns her face,
Thou must persist and seek her with desire,
If thou wouldst win the favor of her grace.

And if, like some winged bird she cleaves the air,
And leaves thee spent and stricken on the earth,
Still must thou strive to follow even there,
That she may know thy valor and thy worth.

Then shall she come unveiling all her charms,
Giving thee joy for pain, and smiles for tears;
Then shalt thou clasp her with possessing arms,
The while she murmurs music in thine ears.

But ere her kiss has faded from thy cheek,
She shall flee from thee over hill and glade,
So must thou seek and ever seek and seek
For each new conquest of this phantom maid.

I knw what a TEASE the Muse can be.

Carole W said...

Brandy - another GEM! How lovely. And how very true it is. Thank you.

Still must thou strive to follow even there,
That she may know thy valor and thy worth.

She – the muse – does test. I hope I do not fail and that I do indeed possess valor and worth in at least adequate measure.


My muse this week has been bumped aside by my daughter. We've been ... helping ... her move. I'm exhausted! But it's done now and I'm off to the studio to continue with chapter 31. I'd say I'm 1/3 finished with it. There's more writing to do and then I must angst over it a while. :-)

Michelle's Chapter 9 is up, if you haven't found it already. As always, hers is most excellent.

Brandy said...

Dear Carole,

Write and angst away! You have made no terminal "bobbles" and no one here is "muttering about wasted time."

We love you for being the sensitive soul that you are, and for feeling your way to portraying characters who mean so much to us, with both strength and delicacy. You must "go with great care and caution." But "move toward love." :)

The word verification is "anislion." Is that an exotic licorice for big cats?

Carole W said...

Brandy, you're reading my mind ... move toward love ASAP.

It's definitely time. How will I do that? :-)

And thanks, always, for your engagement with my efforts here. I really appreciate your supportive words - I'm humbled (and prodded.)

~ C

Anonymous said...

Hi Carole,
I wanted to send you support and encouragement as you continue to write this amazing story. Through you lives are being changed; I know mine has been. You are a gift and I can't wait to read more.


Vicky said...

A year already since you started this journey? Wow! Time sure flies! I just hope you've enjoyed it as much as I have! Thank you, Carole. And speaking of time, can you believe a year ago last saturday we finally got to meet in person and have our real hugs?

You're so right, Jitterbug!

"...possess valor and worth in at least adequate measure..." I'm on the verge of becoming "very dangerous" if I come across another such comment, you know... hehe.

Love you.

Carole W said...

Vicky and Jitterbug - do you know how squinched up with good feeling my heart is right now???

Thank you both.

Jitterbug - It is I who is changed. I'm humbled and inspired and challenged and encouraged ... and I'm beginning to believe in myself a bit more. Words such as yours ... I can hardly believe it but I am so, so grateful.

And Vicky ... a year since our lunch together, you and Amber and I? I will NEVER forget it.

It was way too short though. We must rectify that with a nice long visit as soon as possible. San Diego perhaps? I have to admit, you on the verge of 'very dangerous' makes me smile. I want to be on the same team as you, always.

I just want to give out big, goofy hugs to all of you here - to everyone who reads and leaves comments, to those who only read. I grew up with a fair amount of criticism and dismissal. You all have nearly erased those memories. How can I ever thank you?

~ Carole

Anonymous said...

That beaks my heart. Criticism and dismissal. NO child should suffer that.

Rereading Chapter 1 reminds me how this story, in a complex and, as Brandy deemed it, "epic" way, with poetry and music and rich characterizations, grants Catherine her dream in "A Happy Life" . . .

Vincent: And we can go together?"
Catherine: Yes.
Vincent: But how can this be?
Catherine: Because it's what I wished for.

Brandy, your poetry choice of Inspiration was perfect.

I feel like that winged bird myself, soaring through this story--the character histories {I feel like I know the players in ways the originators of the series did not}, the tease of future stories {please, please, please}, Joe's personality so perfectly rendered--a strong, capable man with his moments of vulnerability. And the pull of inevitability--Martin, Flynn, Eimear, Rosie--as if they've been just waiting.

I remember a line from an earlier chapter - over the unimagined bridge.


How will this play out? I'm beyond hooked. The anticipation is killing me! Like Sonia, I find it hard to wait!


Thank you, Carole. As Jitterbug said, you are a gift.


Carole W said...

Oh dear, India. I hope I footnoted that. I can't take credit for the line, the unimagined bridge. It's a phrase from Rilke, from an untitled, uncollected poem.

As once the winged energy of delight
carried you over those many first abysses,
now build the unimagined bridge's
sternly calculated arc.

Miracle's not only in the unexplained ...

But thank you again for liking this story and for telling me. It is so encouraging.

I do have the Joe/Rosie love story to tell, combined with the Ned/Jenny story. Which set will meet Vincent first??? But those are stories for a later day.


~ Carole

Brandy said...

Carole, you have to post a new chapter soon - the comments are getting too long! ;)

Well, it's finally happened: I've run out of things to read. I've spent the last month reading the entirety of the tunneltales collection. I've read the other common sites as well - any other recommendations? I would, of course, prefer to read your story, but you're being episodic!

Open plea to those here: Brandy needs new reading material.

Anonymous said...

I'm very anxious for Catherine and Vincent to get home - she needs to feel his strong and loving arms around her. And we do too!!!


Carole W said...

Brandy - There's some fan fiction here
at Sonia Corral's site. Several stories are translated from the Spanish, I think, and others come from fanzines (maybe?) illustrated by Sonia. It's a little hard to tell where the stories come from exactly. Hopefully they'll be new to you. In any case, Sonia is a great artist.

and Wendy deVeryard has written over 100 stories. She has her own site.

More later!

Carole W said...

Jitterbug, I won't give away the story, but it will be a little bit before Catherine and Vincent are actually HOME.

However, romance among the roses might by possible ... or somewhere else nearby. I know I'm getting antsy for a momentous get-together! ;-)

Brandy said...

Carole, aren't you a gem! This is exactly what I needed! Thank you for taking the time to send some fun my way. In desperation, I picked up an actual BOOK today...horrors! It's a good one, and I will finish it, Dreamers of the Day, by Mary Doria Russell.

Ooh, and I'm looking forward to your "love in the roses." But not in the roses, please; too prickly.

Fond thoughts of you, always.

Vicky said...

Oooohhh... romance among the roses... anctious dreamy sigh... We'll need to keep waiting! But I highly recommend re-reading chapters 1 and 2: there's this
very yummy new image... You're fantastic, Carole!

Brandy, there may be a story or two you hadn't read, in Father's Online Library if you haven't been there already.

Big hugs, all.

Carole W said...

Vicky - hugs! I'm glad you're willing to wait for the love amongst the roses - I promise no prickles! - I'm getting close ... I am!!! I'm setting it up ... the location ... the scene ...

And thanks for re-reading the edited chapters and for finding yumminess there. :-)


Anonymous said...

Hi Carole,
I have now read everything you've written 4 times; a lucky day when you joined! I've said B4, it's very soothing and comforting to go from episodes to reading, knowing that our dream for Catherine and Vincent remains alive and well.

I adore every story, but The Only Gift really gives me chills. The first time I finished it, I stared at the screen - could only think - WOW - that was AWESOME!

Still sending good and happy vibes to you as you continue to feed our addiction! Can't wait for more!


Carole W said...

Awww, Jitterbug. I'm partial to folks who are partial to The Only Gift!. :-)

That is such a compliment - to have a story reread. Thank you.

I'm hard at work on #31 - I know it's been a terrifically long time since I posted #30 - but I've had a lot of family things to do - all good stuff, but time consuming and distracting. Tomorrow, I'm dedicated to it. Promise.

Anonymous said...

You've written a wonderful story over the past year, but it sounds like it's been a long year for you. Now you're editing and rewriting old chapters. Are you beginning to tire of Iron/Velvet? Hope not.

Carole W said...

Oh, no! I'm not tired of it at all! I have so much story left to tell and I just wish I had more time in the day. None of them are long enough. Drat the need to sleep and eat and vacuum and wash and weed and shop and ... LOL!

I need one of those writer's retreats - a month of solitude maybe. I might even lose a few pounds!

I promise, I'm not wearing out or down, I'm just slow. And the editing (necessary for typos at least!) I enjoy - plus it helps me remember what I've said already and there are a few places where I've inserted or revised scenes or found I was Just About to say the same thing again!

The year has had its pot holes (since Christmas particularly) but all is well now. Thanks for noticing and for your encouragement.


Anonymous said...

Again your talent draws me back. I'm looking forward to reading more. I love the way you were able to give our Vincent and Catherine lives, home, love and future. Things they do everday and still manage to be in love. The passion and romance is tasteful, Ron couldn't have done better himself!

Carole W said...

Maria, thank you!

I'll always be grateful to Ron K. (even though he shorted us on kisses) because he set my imagination afire. 20 years later, and it's all still so new and vibrant - V & C's story. To be part of keeping that alive ...

I'm humbled that you would read all the way through, honored by your words, and promise to keep after it until it's time for the next story to begin. I hope you'll come back.

~ Carole

New York City Utopia said...

How I love this passage!

“Surely they know – Eimear and Rosaleen – how you loved her ... loved Lily.”
Vincent felt the probe of Martin’s gaze, pictured him turning the pages of their conversation back and back in search of her name. He braced himself, his hands spread on his thighs.
“Yes, Eimear and ... Rosaleen,” Martin said. He drew in a questioning breath but let it out over a bitten lip. “Rosie,” he said, “we call her Rosie.”

Carole W said...

Ah, Claire, this warms my heart. A crystalizing moment between Martin and Vincent ... I'm so pleased you mentioned it - glad you found it highlightable!

Thank you for liking this passage.

~ Carole

Krista said...

She knows who he is. She's always known

That line...oh, that line . It's simple and yet, so complex.

How lovely to see this revision--Vincent's stammered Gaelic (I love the "stammered" part particularly, since he's always so careful in his speech) and the growing friendship with Martin, the continued healing of his wounds.

This is...well, if I tell you it's lovely, you might accuse me of being consistent. And you'd be right. ;-)

Great job, again and still,


RomanticOne said...

Vincent and Flynn may be reluctant to meet but my money's on Martin. He will bring them together - and I can't wait for that conversation! Then we have Vincent's revelation to Martin that he does indeed live in a magical place. I love this chapter!

Carole W said...

Krista - oh, how sweet your consistency is and how panicked I am to imagine disappointing you.

Must. Work. Hard.
or as Mouse might say, Harder than Hard! :-P

That moment in the Pilot always stuns me. Vincent could have relaxed a little earlier if he'd acknowledged it for what it was. With his Bond insight, he wasn't always on point. Poor baby.

Now if only I could get someone to say these things in Gaelic for me on an mp3. Someone with a velvety rasp …

Thank you so much. So Much. For everything.


Carole W said...

R1 - I agree with you! Martin is quite the facilitator and he will have his way - or at least (not to give away too much story) he will fight and fight hard for what he sees as necessary.

I expect any conversation between Flynn and Vincent would be extraordinary, which of course, scares the daylights out of me. I'll need to listen closely enough to the characters to record their man-language accurately. I imagine there might be lots left seriously unsaid, but well-shared nonetheless.

That nervousness revealed, I'm so glad to hear you liked this chapter! It was a hard one to write the first time, just as difficult a study in order to revise. It's pivotal in many ways, plus you know how I do dither.

Thank you, thank you for your interest and encouragement. You started my day off great, a big smile on my face!


Anonymous said...

“There are those born protectors,” Martin was saying. “They can and will when others cannot, and people are grateful, truly grateful to them for it. And yet, underlying the gratitude is fear and ... and a kind of jealousy, for beside such a man, we’re diminished. We lose by contrast. You see how the champion is treated in the world. We’re always in a debt position and it’s a debt never to be adequately repaid. How could it be? And it is human nature, I suppose, that we distance ourselves from the hero, that we resent being made to feel ... lesser than. The man, then ... the man who carries our burdens, the man who risks everything, takes his supper alone. Can anyone understand? Anyone but another like him?”

This is GORGEOUS!!!! And yes, this is my first time commenting, after lurking and reading for quite a while. What a wonderful, wonderful, deliciously convoluted, sometimes confusing, but always enticing story! I wait on pins and needles for MORE!


Carole W said...

Thank you, Lindariel, for your kind words and encouragement. I'm grateful you've been reading and very pleased you de-lurked! and left a comment. It really does help to know what dialogue or situation resonates with a reader.

This particular passage is one I feel strongly about. I can't tell you how happy it made me to find out that you liked it too.

I hope the story's not too confusing, but I know I can be vague sometimes. You'll need to tell me if I veer too far off into my foggy inner-world.

Again, thank you. I hope you'll enjoy the rest of the story.

Anonymous said...

Have no fears, Carole, it is an extremely ENTICING sort of confusion . . . that mysterious, atmospheric, intriguing, just-out-of-reach-of-my-fingertips, just-on-the-tip-of-my-tongue sensation . . . the kind of confusion that I just KNOW will be resolved with one little hint or clue, and it might even be something I MISSED on my first read-through. It is a really GOOD kind of confusion. I ENJOY being challenged by an author! Now, keep challenging me -- I'm greedy!

Best regards,


Carole W said...

Lindariel, it was wonderful to read this comment today. I'm humbled and pleased and so grateful to you. I was a little worried. :-D

Now my challenge is to not let you down. And to write faster. Oh, if I could be granted a few wishes ... :-)

Thank you so much,