When the Veil is Removed

In most cities in the U.S. “downtown” refers to the bad part of town, the part you don’t venture into after dark if you can at all help it. I am blessed to live in a city where downtown is a cultural center. The River waterfalls gently, and a park has been carved out around it. Small shops and restaurants abound. I love downtown. I go whenever I can. Yesterday I found myself walking downtown, only to be pleasantly surprised to see that this month local artists are opening their studios to the public. I love art of all sorts, whether it be a well-written book, an exquisitely performed sonata, or a marvelous painting. I could not pass this opportunity by not only to view art, but to talk with its creators! May I just remark as an aside that artists are often tagged as a bit bizarre, and while some may warrant this, most are simply lovely people.

The first studio I entered showcased the works of two artists – a husband/wife team. Only here disaster had struck. The husband had died earlier this year. The art was beautiful, and I really enjoyed talking with the Widow. She told me the stories of the paintings. I continued on to her studio-mate’s area. The three of us started talking about art, and somehow I ended up telling them my dreams of being an opera singer. Well, of course, they asked me to sing, and I obliged. Compliments ensued, but then something transpired that doesn’t usually happen for me: the Widow ducked into her studio and came back with a gift. She gave me a print of a painting of a girl. She is standing in a room, hiding behind a checkered blanket. “She reminds me of you,” the Widow said, “when she comes out from behind the blanket.”

I am honoured by the Widow’s gift. I, too, have experienced loss. I hope that I brought her some joy in her world that has turned upside-down. I pray for her to be comforted.

Meet Vodnik!

Today was the first photo-shoot of the month. What beautiful weather we have here! The trees are just turning colour, the sky is blue, and there is just a hint of breeze. Are you jealous yet? And the best thing about this gorgeous fall weather is the beautiful pictures it allows me to take! I am so lucky to live where I do!

So without further ado, meet the first character in this November’s story. Named after the the Water Goblin in Dvorak’s Rusalka, Vodnik is at home in the woods (not in the water…sorry).

Vodnik AloneVodnik at the RiverMeet Vodnik Vodnik Scaling Mountains

Enter November

Happy November! Have you started your novel? November is National Novel Writing Month, and this year I am taking the challenge. NaNoWriMo challenges ordinary people like you and me to write a 50,000-word novel in month. I have tried and failed in the past, but this year I have no excuses. My novel is entitled, “The Adventures of Vodnik and Goldilox,” and the story runs thus: Vodnik and Goldilox are good monsters, breezing through life. Until they meet one day and fall in love. They are married and look forward to domestic bliss until the evil Bob kidnaps Goldilox. Vodnik must find his wife and defeat Bob before the worst happens!

NaNo is all about the act of creating, but they adhere strictly to their word count. I was thinking about my past failures, and realized that sometimes it just seems like too many words, too much time. Everyone knows that a picture is worth 1,000 words, and that sparked an idea in my brain: this year I will “write” a photo-novel. No words (unless I take a picture of them), just action. Oh, and the monsters are knitted. 😉