Jekyll Island Beach 2012

Jekyll Island Beach 2012
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Monday, January 31, 2011

The Surface - That Which Sustains Us...


The Rogue Speaks:

(To catch up with the story, please read my post for Sunday.)


“Do others know about this? Surely they must!” said Selah, answering her own question. “And why don’t they talk about it? There are people here much older than we are. Haven’t they read about their ancestors, just as we have done?”

“I can’t answer that, Selah,” Scott said, shaking his head. ”Maybe there are people who just cannot face the truth about how we came to be here. Maybe they chose to not come here to the archives to read about the past. It’s not required reading! Maybe they are just resigned to the way things are, or were. From what I read, many of the people who came here in the beginning HAD no parents, and therefore had no history to be saved in the archives.”

“They couldn’t have ALL been orphans, or all alone in the world!” Selah protested. “OUR ancestors weren’t! They came here with children! They lived in the Two Parent Sector, just like we did when we were babies! And those people who had no families when they came here, didn’t they produce offspring, and leave histories as well?”

“I’m sure you’re right, Selah. I just had not thought about that. Of course they left histories. Our ancestors, though, yours and mine, were the brightest of the bright. There were scientists and engineers from every field of study, who were recruited here after years of working to create this vast underground network of “bunkers,” as one of my ancestors put it. Many of them must have died before ever seeing what their work had created, but before they died, they passed along they knowledge and skill to their offspring, hoping it would be carried far into the future. There were also writers, composers, musicians, artists, and workers of every kind who came here in order to preserve their skills to pass down to their children, and their children’s children. Just look at our library. The compressed files there must be in the billions!"

"But what did our ancestors leave to us, Scott?" Selah asked, looking more and more perplexed.

"Think about it Selah! Why do you think you can play the tone frame with such skill, and produce such beautiful sound?"

"One of the nursery staffers taught me the basics. I loved it from the very beginning!" Selah's voice was more animated now, and she actually began to feel a little happiness when she thought of the sounds she had created on the tone frame in the last few years. "My mother loved it, too! I read about it in one of the letters!"

"Exactly!" Scott cried. "That skill, that art, was passed down to you over generations so you could carry it on into the future."

"Oh, Scott! Everyone had a chance to learn the tone frame!" Selah said.

"But they didn't! Your friend, Issa, doesn't play, even though she had the same lessons you had."

"Issa makes our clothes, Scott! You know that! She probably just doesn't have time to play. But she can certainly make that big machine run fast and smoothly. Just look! Every garment is perfect!"

"And our friends, Yogev and Reaya?" Scott asked.

"Well, were it not for them, we would probably starve! They both work so hard in that big greenhouse! Growing all our food? Always coming up with new varieties? I would never be able to do what they do," Selah said, smiling shyly.

"We all have gifts that we bring to Gornad, Selah, and every one is vital to our existence. Now that I have reached "the age of enlightenment" I can begin working in earnest in the scientific sector. My parents were both scientists, and they worked tirelessly to insure that the people of Gornad would always be safe. I plan to carry on their work as quickly as I can, before..." and here Scott paused, the animation that had been in his voice slowly drifting away.

"Before what, Scott?" Selah asked in a puzzled tone.

"Selah, I can tell you are tired, and probably hungry, too," Scott said hurriedly, trying to distract her from his remark. " Come on! Let me put the chest away for now. We can come back later. Right now, our new life needs nourishment."

With the thought of their little one singing in her mind, Selah allowed herself to be led away into the dining sector. She was eating for two, now!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Surface--Anger and Sadness


The Rogue Speaks:

To catch up with the story, please read my post from Wednesday. Now, the story continues:



"We have to talk, Selah," Scott told her at the end of their embrace. "I need to tell you just why I went to The Surface."

Selah took Scott's hand and led him to the couch. "Scott, you're scaring me," she said. "You look so angry, and so distant." At that moment, Selah felt the baby move, and she quickly grabbed his hand and placed it on her abdomen.

Upon feeling the movement of the child that he and Selah had created, a solitary tear fell to his cheek, and quietly rolled down. He had been so happy when he first learned that they were to be parents, but now...

"Selah, there is a series of rooms in the compound, archives, where every family's history is kept. When a person reaches "the age of enlightenment," as I have done in the past week, that individual is allowed access to the history of past family members. I went there, Selah, and I read my family history. I knew I had to go to The Surface and see for myself just what had happened to the world my ancestors once lived in."

"But, Scott! We've been there! We went there together on a field trip with the nursery staff! Don't you remember?" Selah asked, a look of confusion and concern on her face.

"Selah, no! No, we didn't. That trip was only created in our minds. The place we went to had not existed for hundreds of years. It was only a fabrication! It was a lie, Selah! A cruel lie!" said Scott, becoming more agitated. "I can't talk about this any more right now. Tomorrow you reach "the age of enlightenment," and I will take you to the archives myself. Then you'll see what The Surface has become over the centuries. Then you'll know, Selah.

"But the Woks, Scott. What about the Woks? I heard them trying to dig their way into the compound! Aren't we in danger?"

"The Woks can't hurt us any more. Their bodies have been weakened by...." and here he paused, realizing that he must choose his words carefully. "Well, they no longer have the strenght to continue their attempted invasion."

"That's wonderful news!" Selah cried in delight. "I was so afraid that they would break through and you would not be here beside me. Now you are here and we are both safe. All three of us are safe!"

Selah put her arms around Scott in an attempt to draw him to her, but his arms lay limp in his lap. The artificial sun had set, and lights began to softly illuminate Selah's little room. She could see Scott's face, and the pain and sorrow in it was almost too much for her to bear.

"Selah, I have to go. I want to go back to the archives and finish reading the history. I'll read through the night if I have to, but I must learn what happened! I'll be back for you in the morning, and together we will read your ancestors' stories.

Scott stood up quickly and turned to her. "I love you, Selah," he said, and then he was gone.

It was hard for Selah to believe the range of emotions that had flooded her mind in only day. She sat quietly, trying to sort it all out, but then a weariness overcame her. She lay down on her bed, and fell into a deep, but troubled, sleep.


THE HISTORY UNFOLDS:



Today was her birthday! Today she had reached "the age of enlightenment." Just as he had promised, Scott arrived to take her to the archives to search for her ancestors' memoires. Selah was filled with trepidation when Scott took her hand and began to lead her through the maze of rooms filled with the history of their race.


The walls of the archives were filled with large drawers, each numbered, but sealed. Scott took Selah’s hand and placed her palm in the middle of a drawer. The drawer opened, and inside lay a chest which he carefully removed.

Selah opened it to find a series of data files, each one older than the next. At the bottom, she saw a stack of letters in pristine condition, as if they could have been written just yesterday. Reverently, she lifted the stack of letters from the ancient chest and placed them gently on a table in the middle of the room. Then she sat down and began to read.

Scott stood quietly by, watching her expression change with every page she read. After a while, Selah paused in her reading and looked up at him. "I don't understand! This can't be true! It can't!" Her eyes were wide with shock and confusion. "I thought The Surface was a beautiful place! I thought we would be able to live there again one day. They told us we could! Why did they lie?" Selah's shoulders sank and a tear began to trace its way down her cheek.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Rogue's Offering - Saturday Centus

The Rogue Speaks:

I was truly flattered when Jenny asked me to write the prompt for this week's Saturday Centus. I am anxious to read what everyone comes up with. Please try to read as many of the offerings as you can, because we have many gifted writers in our blogging world.

I came up with the prompt before I started writing the next chapter of "The Surface," and then I had to figure out how to work it into the story so it would whet your interest to keep reading about Selah and Scott. I will post another chapter of their saga tomorrow, but in the meantime I hope you will enjoy the little snippet I came up with for today. The prompt is in bold type:


The walls of the archives were filled with large drawers, each numbered, but sealed. Scott took Selah’s hand and placed her palm in the middle of a door. The door opened, and inside lay a chest which he carefully removed.

Selah opened it to find a series of data files, each one older than the next. At the bottom, she saw a stack of letters in pristine condition, as if they could have been written just yesterday. Reverently, she lifted the stack of letters from the ancient chest and placed them gently on a table in the middle of the room. Then she sat down and began to read.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

P is for Pod People, or maybe not!

The Rogue Speaks:

Jenny started this! Don't blame me! She did it! She gave us a prompt on Saturday that buried itself in my brain and won't let go! Kind of like one of those parasites in the water in third world countries. Now before you start with the holistic cures, let me tell you that this thing will certainly run its course, and next week I will be back to my pedantic babble that you are used to getting from me on Alphabe-Thursday. So just bear with me here. In fact, and if you've a mind to, start adding to the story in your comments, just as JJ and Doug have done, and before you know it, according to JJ, we'll have ourselves a genuine sci-fi novel that would make a publisher proud.

If you missed the first installment, just go to my Saturday Centus, The Surface, and catch up. Don't be confused by the fact that the date says Monday. I have always been a little impetuous, and really didn't plan this very well.

THE SURFACE, PART TWO:


It was then Selah realized that the compound was probably surrounded by Mole Nards, whose only goal in life was to mate with the women of Gornad, thereby strengthening their race and assuring its existence far into the future.

Occasionally a Mole Nard managed to slip through the protective barrier of the underground silos, but was quickly dispatched by the Eunuchs who guarded the women’s cubicles..

Selah, aware of the life that was already moving inside her, realized that the Mole Nards could never plant their gruesome seed in her body. The Guardians, in all their wisdom, had genetically redefined certain chemicals in the bodies of the women of Gornad that not only sealed the cervix with an impenetrable barrier, but had created a pheromone that repelled the males of any known specie, other than their own.

While suppressed by lack of sunlight that adversely affected their cranii, Mole Nards had quickly learned that the Eunuchs were powerless against Ovites, the female Eunuchs of their specie. The rape of Gornad was surely at hand.

A noise in the corridor just outside her door caused Selah to jump in alarm. Surely the invaders had not penetrated the fortress that quickly. She listened again and heard a weak cry. Quietly she opened her door, and peeked out.

Lying in the hallway was Scott, his clothes filthy, and his face flushed. Blisters were appearing on his forehead right before her eyes.

She ran toward him and he held up his hand. "Stop! Selah, don't touch me! I'm hot! Go back inside and close the door! Then call for the medics, and tell them to wear hazmat suits!"

After summoning the medics, Selah stood silently by her door, listening for them to come and take Scott to the Hot Room to be decontaminated. Just beyond the walls of the silos, she could hear, faintly, the steady approach of what she now realized were not Mole Nards at all, but Wok drones. The scritch scratch of their long, sharp fingers was becoming louder every minute. “What new weapons have they created this time?” Selah wondered.

She suddenly realized that she had heard no alarms warning of an impending attack. Where were The Guardians?

Selah tried to remember the last time an alarm was sounded, but she could not. Had one been heard when she was an infant in her mother’s arms? She barely remembered the faces of her mother and father. It was so long ago—over twenty years now that they left her in the care of the nursery staff, never to return.

Those creatures whose true names she did not know, those Woks, had actually penetrated the walls of the silos, using some strange, bizarre weapon of their own invention. The Woks, given that name because of their unusual mode of transportation on The Surface, resembling an ancient cooking vessel, had killed thousands below all those years ago, before the Guardians were able to neutralize their weapons, and drive them back into the bowels of the earth. Her parents had been among the dead, as were the parents of Scott, now the parent of her unborn child.

Almost as soon as they could walk, Selah and Scott had become close companions. They sought each other out in the play area every day, and even developed their own language, much like twins. Scott was quick to comfort Selah when she took a tumble, and seemed to always be able to change her tears into smiles.

The years Selah had spent in the care of the nursery staff had, for the most part, been pleasant, and it was not until she began her schooling that she realized there were children in her class whom she did not know. These children were cared for by only two people, their parents, who had managed to escape the Woks’ slaughter. Soon Selah discovered that there were several hundred of these two-parent children living in her sector, and she was as strange to them as they were to her. They were curious as to why Selah had so many people caring for her, while they had only two. For some reason unknown to her, she always felt a great sadness when, at the end of the school session, she saw a child being led away by only two people, its parents, while she was herded along with many others by the nursery staff.

Selah and Scott were as close as siblings, and remained so until they grew into their teen years. They watched as their friends began paring off with members of the opposite sex, and felt obliged to do so as well. They were drawn back to each other, however, and by the time they had reached the status of adults, they knew that the only paring they ever cared to know was with the other. It was then that the unknown sadness she had felt began to vanish and she became happy beyond belief.

All of these thoughts and memories were racing through Selah’s mind as she stood helpless in the center of her space. Suddenly she became aware of a voice that began speaking inside her own head. It was telling her that the magnetic locking device had been activated until further notice. It was telling her to not be afraid, that she was safe.

“Of course!” she cried. “The Guardians! The Guardians are speaking telepathically! That’s their alarm system! They have realigned the quarks and leptons imbedded in their own brains to communicate with us so the enemy will not know we are prepared!”

Selah had no idea just how long she had been standing silently her room, but she realized that she could no longer hear the sounds of the Woks trying to dig their way into the compound. Whatever plan The Guardians executed to prevent the invasion had hopefully been successful.

The artificial sunlight had begun to fade into dusk when she heard the sound of the magnetic lock releasing. The door flew open suddenly, and there stood Scott in the archway. He had a certain pallor about him but he looked quite normal, except for the absence of his usual smile.

She embraced him tearfully, but as he hugged her in return, she felt a certain lack of warmth, an actual coldness about him. Considering his ordeal, she reasoned, that was to be expected.


To be continued...

Monday, January 24, 2011

The Surface--The Story Continues


The Rogue Speaks:

Note to readers: I decided to carry this story a little farther than just 100 words, so go to the comments and follow JJ's comments and my replies to him. Any ideas? I am open to suggestions!!

Sci-fi?? You want us to write sci-fi? Jenny, you are one tough teacher! I thought last week's assignment was tough, but this Saturday Centus is really taxing my brain. Well, nothing ventured, nothing gained!! As always, the prompt is in bold type.



The brilliant artificial sunlight flooded Selah's tiny room. It was the only way she knew that the morning had come. Scott had left to investigate the situation up on The Surface, bringing her up if he could, and Selah was frightened and confused.

It had been years since she had been up there, but that didn't frighten her. She hated being alone, not knowing if she would ever see Scott again. They had only recently been allowed to mate, and the tiny movements inside her belly told her she would produce another life.

"Beam me up, Scottie!" she prayed tearfully.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

O is for Ouch, Oowie, OMG! No, it's for Oates





The Rogue Speaks:

Well at first I was going to write about the spinal injection I had yesterday to alleviate my severe back pain. It was HORRIBLE! It certainly didn't hurt anywhere near that bad two years ago! It had damn well better work, because I am NEVER having one again. The first time I met the doctor, several years ago, he actually told me that he was not good in social settings--in other words, he has NO BEDSIDE MANNER AT ALL! He comes in, gives the injections, and then he leaves. He doesn't have a chatty bone in his body. What he does have is "Ass Burners Syndrome," because after 24 hours, I can still feel the burning, shooting pain of those needles!!

So anyway, I decided to change my mind and find a really interesting O person to write abou--JOYCE CAROL OATES!

Jouce Carol Oates grew up on her parents' farm just outside Lockport, New York. It was a rural area, and Joyce attended the same one-room school house that her mother had gone to. She was a child of the Great Depression, and times were really hard for farm families. Joyce never complained, though, because she loved the out-of-doors and the beauty of nature in farm country. She was born with an innate love of books and writing, and even though her parents had very little education themselves, they encouraged their daughter's ambitions. When she was 14, her grandmother gave her a typewriter, and she vowed to write "novel after novel" beginning with her high school days and on into college.

Ms. Oates had a brilliant high school and college career. When she was only 19, she won a contest sponsored by Mademoiselle magazine. Ah, if only we had been so dedicated in college! Personally, I majored in bridge when I was at Georgia State. I eventually settled down, though.

After Ms. Oates graduated from Syracuse University, she went to graduate school at the University of Wisconsin. Have you ever been there?? I have, because our daughter, Allison, graduated from there. Our son-in-law, Richard, got his PhD from there, and our first granddaughter, Kaitlin, was born in Madison. It is a really cool town!

Anyway, Joyce earned her Master's degree in only one year!! And she also met her future husband, Raymond Smith, there. They got married after three months!! So far, this seems like no more than just some rather mundane facts about her life--not like some of my artists about whom I have written--no wild drinking, no drugs, no unprotected sex that we know of, no serious angst!

In 1962, Joyce and her husband moved to Detroit, just in time for all the turmoil of the 60's. I remember being afraid that we were doomed to die during that time, when Kennedy was president and the Bay of Pigs was going on. Joyce, on the other hand, took this period in our history to really make a name for herself with her novels, and at age 28, her first novel, With Shuddering Fall, was published. Her novel them received the National Book Award.

Joyce and Raymond moved across the river from Detroit to Winsor, Ontario in 1968. While they were there she produced books at the alarming rate of 2 or 3 a year!
This woman hardly had time to eat or sleep! She rapidly became one of the most respected writers in the United States, and she was only in her thirties. When I was in my thirties, I was juggling a job as an import broker, and changing DIAPERS at an alarming rate. There is no comparison here--diapers? books? OMG! My life was soooo boring!!

Joyce and Raymond even started a small press and began publishing a literary magazine, The Ontario Review. They continued publishing until after they moved to Princeton in 1978.

How did she do it? Just how has she managed to produce more than 56 novels, 30 collections of short stories, eight volumes of poetry, plays, essays, and book reviews,and as Yule Brenner said in The King and I, "Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera..."

Joyce currently lives in Princeton, New Jersey. She is a Distinguished Professor of Humanities at Princeton University.

Monday, January 17, 2011

I Have A Dream




The Rogue Speaks:

Just sit quietly for a few moments and listen.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

THE WINNER

The Rogue Speaks:

Jenny Matlock has really given us a challenge with this week's Saturday Centus! OMG! I don't even know that wordy old me can come up with a story in ony 25 words! But I will give it my best try. The prompt, as always, is in bold type.

Myra locked the door to her trailer with fierce finality. Smiling, she slid into the old truck and cranked the engine, the lottery ticket still in her hand.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

HOW DARE YOU!!





The Rogue Speaks:

HOW DARE YOU!! YES, YOU! JARED LEE LOUGHNER!!!HOW CAN YOU JUSTIFY WHAT YOU HAVE DONE TODAY??? BECAUSE OF POLITICS?? WHAT GIVES YOU THE RIGHT TO SHOOT SOMEONE IN THE HEAD BECAUSE YOU DISAGREE!!! HOW CAN YOU STAND IN A CROWD OF PEOPLE, SWINGING A WEAPON, SHOOTING AND KILLING PEOPLE YOU DON'T EVEN KNOW??? WHO ARE YOU?? YOU SHOT A FEDERAL OFFICIAL AT POINT BLANK RANGE, AND IN YOUR RAGE, YOU SHOT INTO A CROWD OF PEOPLE, KILLING A 9 YEAR OLD CHILD AND INJURYING A TOTAL OF 13 PEOPLE!! YOU ARE A MONSTER!!

I am heartsick. I am so angry that I cannot even cry. I know I will cry, though. Maybe later tonight when the whole of this finally sinks in. I will cry when the names of the people who were senselessly killed today are published. I will cry for Mark Kelly, Gabrielle Giffords' husband. I will cry for her parents and her extended family. I will also cry for the state of Arizona, and for America, that this horrible, disgusting, ignorant, sick element has wormed its distructive way into our political system.

The Republican governor, and the Republican government in Arizona has taken us just about as far back into the Old West as they possibly can! Now ANYONE can carry a "gun to town." Yes, readers, it is a new law here!! And the latest on the agenda is a law that allows GUNS ON CAMPUSES!!

And now for the media: Good old CNN, in its rush to get THE SCOOP, announced that Gabby Giffords had DIED!!!! As I write, Gabby is in surgery, but she's not dead yet!! So, what do you say, CNN? Do you say ,"Oops!" and smile sheepishly?

Wake up, America! This could happen in your hometown. It could happen to YOU! It could have happened to me, if, after leaving my meeting this morning, I had chosen to stop at that Safeway on my way home. This is my neighborhood, and I have shopped in that strip mall, and in that store. We are no longer safe. No one is safe. If you have a political bumper sticker on your car, take it off today. The crazy people have been turned loose in this country, and you could be sitting at a stop light, and kapow! You are dead because someone didn't like your bumper sticker, your politics.

I am sure that the people who went to the Safeway to hear Gabby today had no thought that they would never come home again, and their families would be mourning their loss at this very moment. Maybe some of those people were just curious shoppers who happened to stumble onto the scene, and whose grocery carts are sitting in the parking lot with ice cream melting in the bag.

I can't write any more. I am just too sad, and angry, and scared. I hope to God that this never happens in your neighborhood, but if it does, you will know just how I feel.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Playing To Your Strengths

The Rogue Speaks:

I started blogging in January of last year. I had a LOT of posts with NO comments, which means that I had no followers. Now I do. Thank you very much!! I have seen several posts this week dealing with resolutions, and moving forward (whatever that actually means.). I decided to post some of those entries from last year because they actually weren't very bad, and could be useful to SOMEONE out there in cyberspace. Here is my post from 24 Jan 2010:

"We decided to see a movie this afternoon. We had intended to go yesterday, but I had a lot of running around to do, and by the time I got through, I was chilled to the bone and only wanted to warm myself over a palette of hot wax. So we went today, instead.

I have been drawn to Robert Downey, Jr. ever since he played Chaplin so brilliantly, so we went to see "Sherlock Holmes." BIG disappointment! Robert is certainly no Basil Rathbone, who was, and still is, the quintessential Holmes. Robert plays himself, in all his insanity. Every quirk, every bizarre thought, every addiction comes out in his portrayal of Holmes. I think that any actor worth his salt should play to his strengths, not his weaknesses.

I believe that to be true in all the arts, not just acting. I have a friend who is an extraordinary artist. Her grasp of realism is exquisite, and it comes through in the detail in which she paints. This is her strength. If she were to paint to her weaknesses, no painting would ever be finished, the colors would appear dull and with hesitancy, and she would always be holding back, always afraid of the consequences.

Her husband, also an artist, paints to his weaknesses. He is an excellent artist, when he is on a high. But most of the time, he is painting to his weakness, and his paintings are dark and angry, and scary. His reality is so skewed that he doesn't even realize just what his strengths are.

Find your strengths, you artists out there! Whether you paint, or throw clay, or write, or play an instrument, find your strengths and hold on to them. Do not succumb to your weaknesses. They will not serve you well.

Once I get this depressing film out of my head, I will write something cheerful, and happy, and a little off-the-wall. Off-the-wall is one of my strengths."

O.k., it is now 2011, and I am NOT coming home from a movie! All the movies I have seen lately, you already know about. But I have learned a lot the last year about just who is out there in the blogging world, and there is an incredible amount of talent just waiting to be discovered! I am humbled by what I have seen!

We connect with each other on a somewhat daily basis, and we encourage each other with our comments and our ideas. There is no network on earth that is more fulfilling than our blogging world!

Thank you for the opportunity to share my ideas and thoughts with you and for sharing your thoughts with me in return! My life has been made richer and fuller by you and your world!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

M is for Monet--Oscar Monet, that is!




The Rogue Speaks:

It's time for the first Alphabe-Thursday of the new year, and our letter today is M. Yes, I know I did an M post, but only because I am not good at following the instructions that Jenny gave us!

So today I offer you Oscar Claude Monet, founder of French impressionist painting! You didn't know his first name was Oscar, did you??

Born in 1840, Monet was baptised "Oscar-Claude," but was called Oscar by his family. His father was a grocer and of course it was expected that Oscar become one as well. He had inherited his artistic bent from his mother, Louise, who was a singer. Realizing that Oscar would never make it as a grocer, his parents sent him to art school, where he learned to paint in oils, and learned plein air (outdoor) painting. He had already begun to make a little money, doing charcoal caricatures of his neighbors, who paid him around twenty francs for one.

Monet's mother died when he was 16, and he went to live with his widowed aunt who had no children of her own.It was while he lived with his aunt that young Oscar frequently visited the Louvre, and watched art students copying the paintings of the old masters. He always brought his paints with him, but instead of copying others' work, he painted scenes outside the windows of the Louvre.

Monet tried his hand at military life, and was sent to Algeria, of all places! He lasted only two years in the cavalry before he came down with malaria and was sent home to recover.

In 1862, he was back in Paris and had made friends with the likes of Renoir, Bazille, and Alfred Sisley. The four men began to develop a new approach to art, spearheaded by Monet. It became known as impressionism. The term "impressionism" came from one of Monet's paintings called "Impression, Sunrise," seen in the first picture.

(His friend, August Renoir, painted a portrait of Monet, seen above, as well.)

Camille Doncieux, seen above in the painting "Woman in a Green Dress", became the subject of many of his paintings. I thought I had finally found a virtuous artist, but Camille became pregnant and gave birth to their son Jean in 1867. I was very disappointed to learn that they didn't marry, but lived in sin until 1870. I guess Monet was just too busy painting to make an honest woman out of Camille.

Claude and Camille were not destined to have a long life together. She contracted tuberculosis in 1876. In 1878, she gave birth to their second son, Michel, and it so weakened her that she died in 1879 at the age of 32. Claude painted a portrait of her on her deathbed. I find that rather bizarre, don't you??

Monet had always been fairly successful as an artist, and if poverty struck, it did not last long! When Camille became ill, he moved his family into the home of a friend and the two families shared the house. After Camille died, the wife of the friend helped Claude,as he was then known, to raise his two boys. The wife's husband, who owned a fancy department store, went bankrupt, but by that time Monet was making quite a bit of money with his paintings. The man's wife became disgusted with her husband losing all their money, so she divorced him.

Eventually, Claude married the woman and they finally settled in Giverny, in Normandy. It was a lovely spot, and the beautiful gardens and ponds Monet created there were frequently the subject of his paintings.

I'm sure you all know that Monet developed cataracts, and that is why many of his later paintings are rather blurry. He was painting what he saw! He did have surgery on one eye, which improved his vision somewhat.

After a long and successful life, Monet died of lung cancer in 1926, at the ripe old age of 86.

I hope you have enjoyed reading about Monet Next week, my post will be about the letter "N." For that post, I have chosen the topic...

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Another Dawn



The Rogue Speaks:

This is Jenny's first Centus of the new year, and the prompt is in bold type. Happy New Year, everyone!

Her crumpled up list of resolutions just missed the waste basket, as it had every morning for months. It was hopeless, she knew, to make something happen by writing it on paper. She was good at crumpling, but the throwing had eluded her. The handwriting wasn't bad, although no one but she could actually read it. Maybe that was a blessing.

Her day nurse arrived with breakfast, followed by a young man she did not know. "Eat up, Moira!" she said, smiling. "This is your new physical therapist! I hear he specializes in strokes like the one you had."

Moira smiled at him hopefully.