Which One is the Prince?

IMG_3215Today it was Swan Lake at the ballet. I had the feeling early on there were a lot of people there who do not usually go to the ballet. There were quite a few little girls in party dresses and fancy shoes. One wore gold flip flop things which somehow seemed to work for her, but that us not si unusual for the story ballets.

I wondered why there were so many empty seats, then found out this crowd was very slow to come in and sit down. They were still coming in as the lights went down, muttering, squinting at seat numbers, obviously new to all this. It happened at intermission as well, in spite of the five minute call. Why are they letting them in? I wondered, and gave my best scowl, but it was probably lost on them in the dimness.

Then a cell phone went off as Act 2 was getting underway.  This time I urned around and frowned. My neigubour muttered ominously.

After that, it occurred to me they might need a few pointers about what was good ng on onstage. For example: How do you tell who is the Prince?

1- He us not onstage when the curtain goes up. He needs to make a grand entrance.

2- He’s the only guy wearing white tights.

3- He never recognizes his one true love if she changes her costume or loses her shoe.

4- True love does not end well. (For future reference, this is true of opera as well.)

Maybe that will help. However I would also recommend reading the program notes.

Oh, how was ballet, you ask? Well, I still long for the Nureyev version, stag and all, but this one (Kudelka) will do nicely. Beautiful colorful costumes and lovely effects n the storm. However, poor Odile fell at the end of her big series of pirouettes  in Act three. Everyone knew that is not supposed to happen. Poor thing.

 

 

 

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Family Ties & My Big Brother

“Are you ready to go out?” My brother looks at me dubiously. I am in my new strawberry colored, linen tunic from my favourite designer and the usual black leggings.

“As ready as I am going to be,” I reply. I arrived yesterday in a long linen dress. Perhaps he thinks I should put it on again.

“I never know with women’s dress these days,” he says.

It is odd not hearing a strong opinion, pro or con. I remember him saying once on

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At a Garden Party last year.

some opera trip in Europe, as he looked over the bevy of women in their tasteful black dresses and gold jewelry or pearls; “I hope you never join the Black Brigade. It’s depressing.”

“Never!” So far I have kept my promise. I love colour. It’s an easy promise to keep.

That was years ago, of course. He can’t travel any more, though he still manages to lead a fairly social life; having people to tea, going out to dinner, always with someone along to help. He still gives his opera talks twice a week in the well-appointed viewing room with the large TV screen, used only to watch opera DVDs.

Today we are going to the grocery store. I help him into my low-slung car, quite a feat for both of us, and back cautiously out of the driveway.

“Go that way,” he says, pointing north.

I turn the other way, still that urge to assert my independence.

“You’ll have to make a left turn this way,” he says. He waves his hand as we cruise up to the light. “Turn here.”

It used to really bother me, all these directives. This time I just turn here. He is my Big Brother, and we are both getting on. Really, what does it matter?

“The traffic is so bad,” he says.

I look down the street. There are lots of cars but they are moving. What is the problem? “I am used to driving in Toronto,” I point out.

I am here on this visit in London because Colin, his constant companion and best friend, is away at a conference. I come every year now and this time note that he is much better able to totter around, though he cannot stand for long and is still very weak. I do the cooking. We eat, drink some of the good wine from the wine cellar, talk about opera, ballet and theatre, and sometimes reminisce. He says he never really got to know me growing up. Ten years is a big difference. As we talk, it is as if we are doing that now. “I never knew you loved ballet!” He says. “When did that start?” “How did you get to know all these interesting people?” (This as I mention the arthritis specialist, a doctor at a big downtown hospital whom I knew first as a well known leather guy in the gay leather scene.)

“Well, I was a judge once, at the Mr. Leather Toronto competition.”

His grey eyes widen behind his glasses. “Really,” he says.

That evening we watch a strange combo opera/ballet of The Portraoit of Dorian Grey. Act two was quite exciting as Dorian slithered and smoked his way into sin after sin, quite explicitly. For some reason Dorian is a counter-tenor.

“I thought you might like it,” my brother says. He smiles.

I am not sure if it’s because he knows I like counter-tenors or slithering through dens of iniquity. I don’t ask.

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BOOK GIVEAWAY!

You can be the winner of one copy of A FRIEND OF MR. NIJINSKY! Check this out! If you win, be sure to leave your comments on Amazon and Goodreads. 🙂

Goodreads Book Giveaway

A Friend of Mr. Nijinsky by Caro Soles

A Friend of Mr. Nijinsky

by Caro Soles

Giveaway ends June 24, 2017.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

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The Book Trailer!

Yes, here it is, the infamous book trailer I have been having so much trouble with! Let me know

1- if you can see it, and 2- if you enjoy it!

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My Books Are Here!

IMG_0164And here they are! My babies! Those shiny parcels of words that any author is always jubilant to see! No matter how much trouble, how many long hours of doubt and despair, the many times we have considered giving up, all this is forgotten! It doesn’t  matter how many books one has published, either. This experience is always new.

Part of the excitement, in my opinion, is that these actual printed books make it all real. Yes, I have published in e-book format but somehow it is never as exciting, never so real. I am of the generation that prefers to held a book in my hands, turn actual pages, stick in real bookmarks and notes. Oh yes, I love my Kindle and Kobo, especially for travel, but nothing tops the excitement of a real book! Especially if it is yours.

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Historical Novel Society

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I joined this group awhile ago, having stumbled onto their site one day, as one does while clicking along looking into interesting links. I discovered they have conferences every other year, and next year it was in Oxford, city of dreaming spires, of Detective Morse, and of an endless line of novels. And the history! I joined up and will register for the con as soon as it’s possible, for I intend to go, with bells on. Small bells, since I travel light.  Then I forgot about it.

Untill today. The mail brought me a magazine: Historical Novels Review. Who knew? There are 60 pages of wonderful reviews, and more on-line. Then there are articles, such as ‘History, Story, & Fact’; ‘Renaissance Florence’; ‘Fact Behind the Foction and such. Great info for all readers, as well as writers. And there is market news too.

So now I went back to the website and looked a little closer. After all, I have an historical novel just hot off the press. A FRIEND OF MR. NIJINSKY, in case you have forgotten the title and were just waiting for a reminder so you can go forth, buy it, read it, and hopefully review it on Amazon!  Anyway, on this historical site, all the books are divided into periods so you can search through the ages for the era you love! What a great find! And here is the link:  Historical Novel Society

Enjoy!

 

 

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Angst and Awe: life as an author

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It is difficult to explain to someone not ‘in the life’ as it were, just why we do this writing thing. After telling a non-writing friend about some of the technical and other difficulties I have encountered recently in getting A FRIEND Of MR. NIJINSKY into print, she quite reasonably changed the subject. What could she have said about this situation? How doing something we love leads us through such desperate angst. The Awe of feeling that rush of creation, so inevitably followed by the angst of actually getting it out to the market place. And doing it time after time. Isn’t that the definition of madness? Doing the same things, in the same way, and expecting a different outcome? A painless outcome?

“But doesn’t the publisher do that?” she said, confused. “Wouldn’t your editor do all that?”

Indeed. Would that that were still the case. But as we all know, authors are being squeezed into taking on more and more of these jobs. There are far fewer editors on staff, for one thing, and so they are handling more titles then ever before.

Lately I have found I often feel no desire to talk to anyone who is not a writer or editor. I am so involved in doing proofing, video trailers, bookmarks, handout material for events etc. that I have little left over. I do admit to a great sense of accomplishment when I have managed to master some arcane aspect of Photoshop or other software and that makes up for a lot. That is when the angst almost gives way to Awe!
Once we hold the new book in our hands, it is all worth it!

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