Daily prompt: Fourth Wall

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You get to spend a day inside your favorite movie. Tell us which one it is — and what happens to you while you’re there.

I would absolutely love to be sisters with Jane and Lizzy, what is one more female in the Bennett household after all? I know that mother Bennet would probably have an apoplectic fit, but I am sure that Mister Bennett would soothe her rattled nerves. I can easily see myself spending hours in bed with Jane and Lizzy talking late into the night about our hopes and dreams of the future as limited as they might be.

I could see us trying to put some common sense into the younger girls and even if I wound up as a governess or the wife of some poor but good man, I would stay close to my sisters Jane and Lizzy.

Don’t misunderstand I love my little sister and if it were she and I in the movie, we would be sharing a room, talking and giggling into the wee hours of the morning. She would be the equivalent of Jane, in that with her beauty, she would be the belle of the ball whereas I would be like Lizzy, my head in a book constantly, spending hours walking through the countryside and speaking my mind, often without thought, oops.

There are a lot of other movies that I love, but each and every time that I channel surf, the minute that I land on Pride and Prejudice, the surfing stops and I have to watch, no matter where I landed, it doesn’t matter. I love that movie.

Daily prompt: Finite creatures

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At what age did you realize you were not immortal? How did you react to that discovery?

(Thank you for suggesting this prompt, Swoosieque.)

When I was five years old, my mother took me onto her lap to explain to me that my great uncle Ton-ton Gene had passed away and we would never see him again. I remember crying in her arms and asking if we would be seeing my Tantine Georgette soon and if she was okay. They had moved back to France months before because my great uncle had been diagnosed with advanced colon cancer and he wanted to spend his final days in France. I wasn’t told any of this when they left, all that I knew was that I missed them and this was the first time that I had anyone die and it was a lot to understand.

I remember that night very vividly , lying in bed looking out towards the window where the Triboro bridge was lit up and my baby sister was asleep in her crib. I remember trying to imagine death, my mother said that we would never see Ton-ton Gene ever again and he had gone up to heaven, I closed my eyes and saw blackness and tried to to envision the moment when it would be beyond darkness, it would be black, but without my voice in my head, my thoughts would end, my feelings would end, i would never ever open my eyes and be a part of the world. I know that at that moment, I wasn’t articulating these images and thoughts precisely in this way, but what I am writing was bundled up in a huge emotion of fear and dread. The thought that one day, death would happen not only to me, but to my Maman and Papa was overwhelming that night.

I am not sure if at that point I got out of my bed and ran into my parent’s room, I might have, but my memory doesn’t have that image stored in my head for that night. All I remember is scaring myself with those intense thoughts and feelings.

I still get stuck in that dark imagining of the moment when I no longer exist and it does make for some dark images and tough truths. I usually flip over to some beautiful story telling in my head of a cute villa somewhere in Le Canon in France and that always does the trick of dispelling those awful images.

A much better day

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A good friend of mine wrote me that she hoped that the sun would be shining in my mind today, especially since today happened to be Sunday. It so came to pass; today was a much better day. Yesterday I brought in my plants and my precious Rosemary plant is now in our bedroom where I can nurture it through the long winter; it does look very beautiful where I put it, I hope that it will be happy in its temporary home.

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The next best thing after that is cooking and this afternoon, I spent quality time with my oven and cooking utensils and I made chicken pot pie. The kitchen smelled wonderful for quite a few hours.

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There is something about peeling, dicing and sautéing vegetables and chicken that soothes the soul; the same thing with gardening and writing. The sun was definitely out today, both outside and in my mind.

Off days

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I don’t why, but today was a definite off day for me; I felt an oppressive blanket of depression no matter what I tried to do to dispel it. I kept busy, bringing in all of my plants inside, putting away the pool paraphernalia and then working on the aesthetics of my book, making sure that all of the fonts match and the type as well. Last night I even dreamt of kittens and being on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart being interviewed about my book. I hate these days when I have to fight with everything that I have in me to not be dragged down that dark tunnel. I am hoping that tomorrow is a better day and I wake up with my more normal optimistic outlook because I really don’t like feeling this, the blanket can get overwhelming. So here is to throwing off its heavy yoke during a long sleep and having a better day tomorrow.

Daily prompt: Avant Garde

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From your musical tastes to your political views, were you ever way ahead of the rest of us, adopting the new and the emerging before everyone else?

Politics: I was very intrigued by the whole process since my teens; history was my favorite subject and politics can’t be understood without historical context so I grabbed both with both hands and sank my teeth wholeheartedly into both areas of study. Is that avant garde? I don’t know, but I wasn’t shy about speaking my mind regarding my political convictions with adults at the table. I learned a lot during those discussions at the dinner table with my parents and their friends; I was amazingly blessed that my parents and their friends never made me feel out of place in these discussions or that my opinions weren’t important and valid. That was one of the best gifts that they could have ever given me, making me feel important and of value.

On a sadder note, lately the term thigh gap has been talked about in the news and for some it is a whole new concept. Women bent on getting a large enough gap between their thighs and overdoing it on exercise and diet. I am glad that it is getting attention in the news because it is part and parcel of the unhealthy obsession that many women face over their weight and honestly between fashion magazines and Hollywood, women receive the worst kinds of beauty related messages; hopefully with the conversations going on in the news, things will change for the better. Years ago, when I was in full blown anorexia, I decided that I needed my thigh gap to be as wide as possible, long before anyone was ever talking about it, it was my gauge as to how much more weight I needed to lose, honestly and sadly, I never could be skinny enough ever in my mind. I am now too tired to ever put myself through that again and I am so thankful for that. These days, I don’t have a thigh gap and I will never have one and I am resigned to that. It is fine.

I am pooped!

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Between working diligently on editing my essays and going into New York CIty with my mother today, I am pooped. I did have a very nice time walking around Columbus Circle with her and then walking up Broadway until we got to Citarella Food shop and getting some lemon sole and an array of fresh mushrooms; chanterelle, shitake and cremini mushrooms. Dinner is going to be very tasty tonight!

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New York is a very beautiful city, though a little crowded, we felt like sardines in the subway ride home. LOL The building that has the Petrossian restaurant on the first floor is by far one of my favorite buildings in New York, the facade with its intricate carvings all along, up and down, from left to right is truly a testament of superb craftsmanship. The building itself is the Alwyn Court building built in 1907 in the Francois the First style with 14 rooms and five bath apartments. Those apartments are no longer with us, they were subdivided during the Great Depression. Imagine the luxury of 14 rooms and 5 baths in the heart of New York all those years ago! Wow.

Letters of introduction are so hard to write sometimes

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Today I wrote the first draft of my letter to the publishing world and it reminded me so much of those dreaded personal essays that I used to sweat over when I was applying to colleges and then to law schools. I never knew what to say or how to say it. Essentially the essay is your chance to sell yourself and convince a few strangers that you deserve to be accepted. I never knew quite how to do it and when I would write those essays, I could feel myself get all twisted up inside searching for the right words, the right attitude and not quite sure of what that was.

Which is exactly what I am trying to do today, trying to find the words that will intrigue and persuade some stranger to give me and my work a chance. It is probably harder than writing the actual essays themselves.

Here is a sample:
I am submitting for your consideration a compilation of political essays covering a specific time period, between January 1st 2011 until the day after the 2012 Presidential election, The reason for which this time period was selected was to illustrate how, despite the passage of close to two years, we are still arguing the same issues and the same ideological and sociological differences still divide our congress and our news media. I as the writer do not have a professional background in politics which is why I feel that my book is unique, these are essays written by someone who is passionately interested in our political process and landscape, but is writing from home as a bystander and as someone who is impacted by decisions made from a far. My politics are those of the progressive camp, I write very critically of our news media sources and especially Fox news. My essays are all derived from comments that I have posted as a registered member of the Huffington Post community and cross-posted to my political blog A Progressive’s Thoughts found on WordPress.com.

I believe that my compilation of political essays would be a useful tool in any introductory course in journalism or political science; in this day and age of blogging, self published journals, newsletters and books, my book of essays is a natural extension of the new order in information diffusion.

I am reaching out to you at New York University Press because I am an alum and my time at New York University, particularly as a political science major, was an extraordinary time of learning and discovery. Therefore your publishing house was my first thought when I started exploring publishing options.

I have enclosed my book in hard copy form and I hope that you will take the time and read it. I sincerely hope that you enjoy these essays, each not longer than 250 words; two years is a mere blip on the radar of political life in any society, but it can give great insight as to the times and trials particularly after a catastrophic economic event as the Great Recession and the resulting policies, fight and showdowns that occurred afterwards.

This would be sent to New York University Press, but I don’t know if this is too much, not enough, how to tweak it. Of course I will tailor it to other publishing houses, this is the first draft.

If any you have any thoughts or criticisms please feel free to share.
Thanks :D

The light is getting brighter

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The light is getting brighter at the end of the tunnel. I just finished editing the month of September, all that I have left is October and the first week of November and my collection of political essays have been edited. After this, I need to write a letter explaining why my collection of political essays should be published. This is going to be one of the harder letters that I have ever written.

Anyway I am really excited about the progress that I am making!!

Dracula the untold story: Movie review

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The three of us went to see Dracula the Untold Story today before our son went to work and I am not sure about our son, but at least I was very well entertained. This incarnation of Dracula is primarily focused on the man, not the vampire and the man was much more complex than the monster that Bram Stoker painted in his novel.

We learn that Lord Vlad had spent his childhood as a royal hostage in the Ottoman court given over by his father to keep the peace for their Transylvanian kingdom. Young Vlad wasn’t the only hostage, the sultan historically demanded all male children to be handed over to him from his neighboring protectorates in order to keep them militarily weak and psychologically weak as well. Young Vlad was allowed to come home and regain his place within the kingdom and this is where we meet him ten years later, married to the love of his life Merina and their ten year old son Ingarus. We are in the great hall during Easter festivities when the Turks arrive to claim their tribute for the new sultan Mehmet the second, who was young Vlad’s childhood companion during his time as royal hostage, and the tribute wasn’t enough, the new sultan made the same demands as his father had and Prince Vlad is left with a horrendous choice to make. War or give over 1001 young boys including his own son, we don’t envy him his choice.

The rest must be up to you to go and see for yourselves, I won’t spoil it for you. What I will tell you is that my fascination with Dracula has always been about the profound love story that lies at the heart of the “horror” story and I was not disappointed. Vlad the human may have been an adept at psychological warfare, what with his cold decisions to impale his victims for all to see as a warning of what will come if you defy his demands, but in the movie we learn that his methods came from his military education at the hands of the Turks. What we do see during the movie is the intense and passionate love that he has for his wife and I believed in that love because at the crucial moment in the movie between Vlad and Merina, he does not do what we have seen in so many love stories before, he actually tells his love the complete truth of what he did and what it will mean for them if he strays from the straight and narrow and gives into the thirst. She shows her absolute love for him by not shying away from him, on the contrary, she embraces him and tells him to please stay strong for her, for them.

His love for their son is also felt in spades, the first domino in his defiance against the turks is played because he can’t bear to send his son to the Turks the way his father had sent him and the price he has to pay is so very steep. The rest of the movie examines just how high that price becomes until the final end and still Dracula keeps paying for his choices.

It is still a beautiful love story despite the fog of evil surrounding it at each turn either supernatural or of man himself.

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