Anger–dVerse MTB

Art: Clyfford Still, on Pinterest

Art: Clyfford Still, on Pinterest

Depression is Anger Turned Inside-Out
A Narrative Poem

She hadn’t touched her paints for a while. In the other room an unfinished canvas lay propped on an easel. Orange and cerulean blue paint danced in cacophonous colors and screamed at her in taunting ecstasy. One evening she’d smeared a palette knife of black paint in a thick wavy line down the middle of the canvas—the result only heightened the drama. She abandoned her work for now—she couldn’t paint and wouldn’t write—not since he told her he wouldn’t see her anymore.

Today, dVerse Poets, hosted by Frank Hubney, invites us to submit a narrative poem–as I see it, a bit of prose that is written poetically. That implies incorporating poetic elements such as metaphor and sensory details, active verbs etc. This is a tiny piece that I adapted from my novel “The Sin of His Father.”

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FREE ON KINDLE: “The Sin of His Father”

SEPTEMBER 13, 14, 2015

BOOK DESCRIPTION

Words uttered by his mother on her deathbed, a mystery about his father that she had not confided to him, drove Matt Maxwell to fear that he could become like this man he never knew.

Abandoning the woman he loved, his closest friend, and a lifestyle that suited him well, Matt made choices that opened him to an unlikely friendship and a new relationship with the God of his youth. However, the terrible secret he harbored eventually took him down a path of self-destruction and alcoholism.

What would it take to embrace his truth, accept himself and his past, and discover peace in the power of forgiveness and love?

BIO

Victoria Ceretto-Slotto lives and writes in Reno, Nevada and Palm Desert, California. A retired RN working primarily in the area of death and dying, she began writing creatively at a time in life when one is supposed to sit back and enjoy the Golden Years.

Victoria has previously published a novel, “Winter is Past” (Lucky Bat Books, 2011) and a collection of Poetry—”Jacaranda Rain, Collected Poems, 2012″ (2013). In addition, “Beating the Odds—Support for Persons with Early Stage Dementia,” is available as a Kindle Single through Amazon.com (2013).

BLURB

A young man travels a circuitous path of faith, self-acceptance and forgiveness, finding freedom from alcoholism and the fear of who he could become.

Novel The Sin of His Father

Novel
The Sin of His Father

DOWNLOAD HERE

Reviews: **** 4.8

The Sin of His Father by Victoria C. Slotto is a story of soul-trouble, the kind that gnaws at us when we can’t face the truth about ourselves or the course of our lives. It is written by a storyteller who sees deeply into the labor of being human: Thirty-ish Matthew Maxwell struggles to integrate his mother’s dying words into his already troubled life. Monica is the young woman he loves, but dumps, sending her reeling into alcoholism. Craig is Matt’s lifelong, and only, friend, who has lost all respect for Matt for what he does to women. Uriah is a Franciscan priest who befriends Matt and tries to help him heal. Hog, a big Harley-riding guy, becomes Matt’s Alcoholics Anonymous sponsor and doesn’t let him get away with anything. Matt’s journey takes him inside the Franciscan life, which he loves, as he does Monica, but not more than his need to understand and forgive himself, his mother and his father. It is a well-written, deep and touching story not easily forgotten. The story will make you cry at the end and perhaps hold it to your chest and say, “I love this book.” That’s what I did. 🙂

Posted by Pamjp on Amazon.com

Kindle Give-Away Announcement

Dear Blogger-Buddies,

I wanted you to know about an opportunity that I am offering in a couple of weeks. This book is classified as General Fiction, with a theme of forgiveness that reflects my Christian views–though I do believe the message is universal.

In the meantime, if any of you have already read it and haven’t yet put up a review on Amazon, I would be so grateful if you would. Four more and I can promote it on another website.

***

On September 12, 13, and 14th I will be offering a free Kindle Give-Away of my novel, “The Sin of His Father.” Click on the title to take advantage of this offer. If you are willing to do a review on Amazon.com or Goodreads.com, I would be so grateful. Print copies are also available for purchase. Ask me about signed copies–victoria@victoriacslotto.com

Novel The Sin of His Father

Novel
The Sin of His Father

 

 

BOOK DESCRIPTION

Words uttered by his mother on her deathbed, a mystery about his father that she had not confided to him, drove Matt Maxwell to fear that he could become like this man he never knew.

Abandoning the woman he loved, his closest friend, and a lifestyle that suited him well, Matt made choices that opened him to an unlikely friendship and a new relationship with the God of his youth. However, the terrible secret he harbored eventually took him down a path of self-destruction and alcoholism.

What would it take to embrace his truth, accept himself and his past, and discover peace in the power of forgiveness and love?

Image: hecatedemetersdatter.blogspot.com

Image: hecatedemetersdatter.blogspot.com

February Desert

 

Photo: kesq.com

Photo: kesq.com

Even in the desert, February
winds harass the trees,
whipping fronds from their palms.

Hummingbirds seek shelter
in clumps of orange Lantana,
appear surprised by winter’s onslaught.

Mother joined us for a Valentine’s
Day visit. Alone for too many years,
she still cannot befriend the loneliness.

That night the desperate clamor of frogs
promised us an early spring
Wind howled its objection.

This poem is from 2010–this past February was not like this until yesterday when significant winds did batter us–and today, March 1st, we have a much-needed steady rain.

Today (March 1) and tomorrow, my most recent novel, “The Sin of His Father,” is available (for free) on Amazon.com as a Kindle giveaway. If you do upload and read it, I would be so grateful for a review on Amazon.com or Goodreads. Thank you.

He’s Back!!! And So Am I–Monday Meanderings

I’ve been almost AWOL in my blogging world for the past six-seven weeks, and now I will share with you one big reason: my husband has been away–in the desert–overseeing and working on a major remodel–primarily of the kitchen. If you ever wonder what your spouses or partners do all day, send them on an extended vacation. It’s been busy.

While he’s been away, I worked on the final edit of the novel I finished several years ago, The Sin of His Father, and am expecting the proof to arrive on Tuesday. I haven’t decided whether to launch it before the holidays or to wait for the New Year. I have a few things happening in November, including surgery on my elbow which may impair my ability to engage.

Cover Photo: Birgit Lerhner Cover Design: Victoria Slotto

Cover Photo: Birgit Lehner
Cover Design: Victoria Slotto

I’ve also launched another blog–“Be Still and Know That I Am God”–spirituality with a Christian twist. I hope you will stop by for a visit.

Have a happy, creative and productive week. I’m off to pop the cork on a bottle of champagne to celebrate David’s return!

Check out my website for a preview of “The Sin of His Father,” Chapter One. WHEN YOU GET TO THE PAGE, YOU WILL NEED TO SCROLL DOWN.  Thank you.

Novel Excerpt–Characterization

Excerpt (Chapter 2) from “The Sin of His Father” introducing the protagonist’s former girlfriend. Monica is an important, although secondary character. I would much appreciate any critique you may be willing to offer.

The scent of oil paint permeated the two-bedroom apartment that was a twenty-minute walk from the Art Institute of Chicago. Monica Bertolini didn’t notice—this was how home smelled to her.

While chaos reigned in her studio, the small living room was an illustration of perfect order and balance. In one corner, on a small desk, Monica had piled stacks of paper in neat towers. One held a list of ideas for non-fiction articles. Another, short fiction, which she needed to edit and submit. A file folder contained handwritten outlines and random scenes, in no particular order. Someday she hoped to merge these into the idea for a novel that floated around in her brain. She’d framed the borders of her darkened monitor with Post-It notes in brilliant pink—testimony of works in progress and things to do, but she hadn’t looked at them in days.
The north wall of the room boasted a library of books: fiction, non-fiction, writing how-to’s, art history and techniques, and general reference books. Monica had arranged them by category, in alphabetical order by author.

Through the bay window on the west wall of the room, Monica saw Lake Michigan. Today the water was still and silver-cold. The sky, too, was gray, even misty. Maybe she should paint this landscape that matched her mood in every detail.

In the adjoining room an unfinished canvas lay propped on an easel. Orange and cerulean blue paint danced in cacophonous colors and screamed at her in taunting ecstasy. One evening, in abjection, she had smeared a palette knife of black paint in a thick wavy line down the middle of the canvas. The result only heightened the drama. She abandoned her work for now: she couldn’t paint and wouldn’t write. Not since Matt had told her he couldn’t see her anymore.

When her father called from Maine the previous evening he’d inquired about her work. She tried so hard to mask her depression, but when he had been unable to pin her down, he’d questioned her directly. She’d never been able to lie to her parents, especially not now. It was a miserable thing to be so dependent on them and their money. They’d encouraged her and even paid for her education. A dual Masters of Fine Arts, in writing and painting, was no small accomplishment, no small investment. She knew that, and everyone had promised her, as she had promised herself, that she would be a success. But now, she just couldn’t force herself to pick up a brush or a pen.

Monica believed that Matt loved her, and knew that she loved him. Her vision and hope had been pinned on the knowledge that they would spend a lifetime together. Hadn’t he spoken of marriage and kids? Had she heard it wrong, when he dreamed aloud of moving to California? “I’ll get work in Hollywood,” he’d bragged. “They need plenty of private eyes there, stalking all those cheating husbands.” Not that he’d lacked for work in Chicago.

“You can do the art scene there,” Matt told her. She remembered his exact words and the hum of excitement in his voice.
So what had happened that caused him to call it off?

The Chicago Tribune lay folded in her lap. Half of the headline blurted out something about the presidential campaign. She couldn’t take much more of that—it was still almost a year away. She tossed the front section to the floor and began digging for the Horoscopes when the name Maxwell, in bold print caught her eye. Above it, in a smaller font, Monica read the name of Matt’s mother: Ellen Margaret.

The heaviness that had hung over Monica’s heart lifted, replaced by a sharp stabbing pain. How could they reduce Matt’s mother to a narrow column, only eight lines in length? Was that what a life came down to? Monica reached for the phone and hit the speed dial she still had set up for Matt, but ended the call before the first ring. Matt didn’t want her to be a part of his life anymore. She knew that for sure now—he hadn’t even told her about Ellen’s death and the woman was not only his mother, she was Monica’s friend, and he knew it.

It’d been barely a month ago that Monica had spent the afternoon with the frail lady. She’d pushed Ellen’s wheelchair around the spacious grounds of the nursing home then Monica had parked her beneath the branches of an ancient elm tree and fed her some ice cream that she’d toted in a cooler. Over the months that Monica had been dating Matt, the two women had become close. Recently, Ellen couldn’t endure longer outings and had a hard time remembering details of their visits for long after the event, but she had no confusion about Monica and how the girl felt about her son. Their common love for the enigma that was Matt cemented their own relationship.

A distant conversation played through Monica’s mind.

“You’ve got to understand him, Monica, me dear,” Ellen had said in a lingering brogue. “He’s never had a man to show him the ropes.” Back-lighting had glistened through the outline of Ellen’s disheveled hair, framing a weary face.

“What do you mean, Mrs. Maxwell?” Monica had asked. It seemed to her that Matt had learned his roles pretty well. He was thoughtful, anticipating her every need. He was romantic—flowers and little notes, sometimes written on paper towels or, once, the margins of the page of a phone book. And as far as lovers went, he didn’t seem to need much modeling in that regard. But then, Ellen wouldn’t know that, would she? Monica blushed at the thought.

“What do you mean?” Monica prodded again.

“I think he’s afraid.” Ellen blew the words out between wheezes. “He’s just afraid of love. I pray he doesn’t hurt you.”

As they’d made their way back to Ellen’s room, down the long, florescent-lit hallway, a song from long ago played in the background and carried the woman to another dimension. Monica had left the woman with her reflections and walked slowly toward her car.
A Mass of Resurrection will be held, she read, at ten o’clock on Wednesday…. Monica decided to go. Maybe Matt wouldn’t want her there, but damn it! Ellen was her friend.

Linked to the writing prompt I offer at “Into the Bardo.” Please stop on over and browse.

Orange–Flash Fiction

Every Picture Tells a Story

Every Picture Tells a Story (Photo credit: Naccarato)

If you’re at dVerse Poets Pub and looking for my Open Link Night Submission, you’ll want to scroll down to the previous entry. Of course, I’d love your input on this as well!

Orange– Five Sentence Flash Fiction

She hadn’t touched her writing or her paints for a while. In the other room, an unfinished canvas lay propped on an easel. Orange and cerulean blue paint danced in cacophonous colors and screamed at her in taunting ecstasy. One evening she had smeared a palette knife of black paint in a thick wavy line down the middle of the canvas and the result only heightened the drama. She abandoned her work for now—she couldn’t paint and wouldn’t write—not since Matt had told her he couldn’t see her anymore.

This week, for the Five Sentence Flash Fiction Prompt, the word du jour is Orange.I couldn’t resist sharing a short excerpt from my up-coming novel, The Sin of His Father with you. Thanks to Lillie McFerrin for hosting this prompt.

More details on the novel with be forthcoming soon on my Website.

Photo available through Wikipedia with thanks to Naccarato.