My Blog Week, Things to Try, music, slide show, links to Pinterest boards
Nortie Cat, Torsade’s Site Ambassador
Gremot had stepped forward two paces, before offering this remark. He scanned the empty horizon. Dupuy felt needled once again. He felt he ought to defend…he dismissed the thought. Gremot knew nothing; no man of knowledge doubted the superiority of the French guns. Yet, in the heart pained a moment ago by an unfathomable envy at the exhilaration of racing wings, Dupuy felt a fresh stirring of unease.
The puzzle was not for Greta to solve. She and Mrs. Branstadt ought not to sit talking to each other…she wished her mentor had clued her in. Again, with less finesse than Van Nest would have approved, she prompted Doris.
“What you figure? Al bought a pearl and hid it in a field.”
“A raffle ticket?” Doris shrugged. “Or…um…”
“Try to keep a secret,” Mrs. Veidt put in.
“So, then, what happened?”
“Al,” Mrs. Branstadt said, “kept trying to get up in the middle of the sermon. I had to take hold of his sleeve and make him be still. He said he didn’t like the way everyone was staring.”
“You mean…all that was your dream.”
(Excerpt, Chapter 6)
But…on that day he’d stood over the blonde, Elsie’s old friend, cricketing away.
She sipped twice at her gin cocktail and played it safe. “The stairs?”
“Stairs.” Rascka repeated the word, said no more…and Rob began to imagine himself part of an experimental dialogue. The doctor sat between Rob and the blonde, three bodies on a leather sofa. At length, he added: “But, things are hidden under stairs, certainly. My father, when he visited the embassy, left his messages in just that way.”
Ethan nodded and smoked, the blonde finished her drink; both acted as though Rascka’s statement was an old thing, well known. Rob felt provoked.
“Yes, as I say.”
“Your father was a spy, is that what you mean?”
“My father had made an affair, an intrigue, with one of the typists of the embassy, so he had reason to call there, and if he was evasive about the matter…well, it would not be much, only an embarrassment, to explain. But, from Budapest, they could send coded messages by the telegraph…the embassy, you see…and these were enough for the secret police. Having decoded these, they supposed they had learned everything the embassy meant to hide. They met in the closet under the stairs.”
Rascka smiled, and did not play.
(Excerpt, Chapter 11)
Click Player Below to Hear Figure Theme One
Slide show: A Figure from the Common Lot
Click Player Below to Hear Figure Theme Two
My Blog Week
The Cartoon House:
Novels: Read ’em here!
(if you’re my age, you’re thinking of “Turn the Beat Around“)
So, I’ve been touting my novel, A Figure from the Common Lot, and I’ve been touting my blog. (Check All Things Torsade, a Pinterest board that tells a lot about where I’m coming from).
How does this work? I create and post original art, poetry, fiction and non-fiction…now cartoons, on Torsade’s sister blog, The Cartoon House. On the slide menu, top right, you’ll find several pages: these are the “homes” of the Torsade exclusives. The Table of Selected Contents is an easy guide that takes you through a list of books (a couple for sale on Amazon, links provided) and ongoing stories.
Sign up, and you’ll start getting emails with every new post. Each post takes you to the page, acting for you as a bookmarking system. For example, if you had been following my novella, “Are You Alienated”, you’d have got a series of posts, each with an excerpt in the neighborhood of five hundred words, ending with a link to the page, where the story can be read as a book, wide-screened and fully formatted, as the image below indicates.
Another feature is the links I attach to many of the images. These take you to such sources as Atlas Obscura, Encyclopedia Britannica, Wikipedia, where information supplemental to the content may be found. I sometimes throw in a song link from YouTube. Three examples: Annie Lennox and Al Green’s “Put a Little Love in Your Heart”; Jars of Clay’s “There is a River”; Earth, Wind and Fire’s “That’s the Way of the World”. If I mention a work by another author, or a magazine article, I generally link to it in the text.
I have made a number of Pinterest boards with images to illustrate the historical periods in which my stories are set, as well as places and props associated with the stories. (Also What I Think Is Good, all my fashion choices; No Kale Shelter, snacks; and Volcanoes, because…volcanoes.)
(Other Pinterest Boards)
I know people haven’t got money to buy all the books and journal subscriptions they’d like. I know (I’m there), many can’t afford the cost of entertainment at all. Torsade is free. I do ask a busker’s fee, in the form of a donation through PayPal, and I provide a safe utility for doing so.
Thanks! See you on the blog!
Things to Try
Torsade now has a serif font. Most of my fiction takes place in past times, and this feels more apropos. I was once a sans person myself, and I know strong feelings collect about font styles, as they do with commas and semi-colons, and other punctuation/formatting issues.
The text is right-justified, to give the feeling of reading a physical book.
A word on justified text.
Is there really such a peeve as “rivers”, and if so, you don’t think these random patterns are cool? I kind of do, myself. I think also, that this “problem” started to have attention called to it, and that got people fussing, where they would not have fussed before. To my eye, ragtails at the end of every line look worse. Besides which, we don’t speak or read robotically, so varying word spacing is actually a reflection of real speech rhythms. One more thing, getting rid of egregious gaps (two spaces is fine), is just a mathematical puzzle to solve, and can be solved in several ways: font family, font size, different use of punctuation, different word order or choice…change the size of your image… It’s not such a bad thing to exercise your mind this way!
Now all posts that feature 1-5 pages of a story will have a link to the page and next section; so again, the reader can follow through the complete text, as with any normal reading experience. TOC links will take you down the page, but most links open a new tab. That’s because sometimes page loading can be slow, and sometimes your browser gets caught doing two things at once, and backspacing doesn’t get you out of it…and then you’re stuck, unable to see the link, unable to go back to reading. So I try to keep my readers from experiencing this.
Poems matched tidily to images!
Visit the post on the blog, and you will see a sleeker presentation, single-spaced, stanzas separated.
(The late but well-loved) Nortie cat, with his friend Seymour, continues as site ambassador.