Monthly Archives: March 2012

Artist of the week: Dark Writing 7: David J. Rodger (Part One)

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David J. Rodger

David was born in Newcastle Upon Tyne on August 30, 1970. He started writing at the age of 19. He is a British author and game designer, best known for his novels set in a near-future world of corporate and political intrigue. His novels include God Seed, Dante‘s Fool, Iron Man Project, Edge, and soon to come Living in Flames. He has also written multiple short stories. He has also published Yellow Dawn, a role playing game set in the same world as his novels, ten years after it has been ravaged by a horrible mutagen. Dog Eat Dog is the first to be set in the post-virus era of his future world.

Rodger’s novels often combine high-tech intrigue and political/corporate machinations with elements of the Cthulhu Mythos, as created by H.P. Lovecraft. Rodger’s contributions to the Mythos include the creation of a new Great Old One in Edge, and use of the Outer God Nyarlathotep in God Speed. In Yellow Dawn Rodger’s interpretation of the Mythos, particularly the Great Old One Hastur, is a major part of the background material. He has published Shadows of the Quantinex, a large scale campaign expansion for Yellow Dawn.

He has also written a children’s story, Cloudy Head, illustrated by Kenn-Ole Moen. Also a murder mystery game, Murder at Sharkty Point. Rodger spent 8 years working for the Environment Agency (non-departmental government agency), developing a virtual communications service within the IT Division, before moving into commercial project management for a major UK publisher. Rodger’s presence on the Internet got him a place in the BBC documentary Through The Eyes of the Young, directed by Chris Terrill in 2000.

He now lives in Bristol, England, with his longtime girlfriend, She is also his editor.

Novels

God Seed (1996)
Dante’s Fool (1999)
Iron Man Project (2005)
Edge (2008)
Dog Eat Dog (2010)

Games

Yellow Dawn 1st Edition (2006)
Murder at Sharky Point (2007)
Yellow Dawn 2nd Edition (2008)
Shadows of the Quantinex (2009)

Children’s Stories

Cloudy Head (Illustrated, 2007)

Scripts

Salo IV (2007)

Short Stories

Angel Police
Arnos Vale
Blue Boy
Cloudy Head
Corrupt Moon
Cypher
Demi Bhagwan
Devil’s Spring
Dilemma
Eden
Flinch
House of Heavenly Light
Killing Candy
Masters of Chaos
Merchant of Oropas
My Bloody Valentine
Oracle
Psycho Rave
Pain
The Tainted Moor

Links

http://www.davidjrodger.com/

http://www.sfx.co.uk/2009/11/18/interview_with_self_published_writer_david_j_rodger

Part two of this post will be a short story by Rodger, and then Part three a Q&A With Rodger.

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Growing in Writing and Blogging

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I started writing my novel about four months ago, my blog about 3 months. In this short time I have grown immensely, learned a lot, meant new people who have helped me become better at writing and blogging. I thank you all for helping me grow on this path, to take the right steps, and encoring me. Recently I was nominated for The Kreativ Blogger award by another blogger. I haven’t gotten it, but the fact that another blogger nominated me, and so many told me I really deserved it (even bloggers that had never been to my page, but now follow me). It is encouraging and inspiring to me. If you had asked me six months ago “Would you ever blog?” I would have said “No way, I can’t do that. I’m not good enough for that, I don’t even have the skills.” But here I am blogging away.

My journey to becoming a write has not exactly been an easy one, but I knew it wouldn’t be. Going into this I knew I had a lot to learn, to discover, and that I would grow. I have come much further then I though I would in just four months. When I started my first chapter was an information dump, I thought the reader needed to know what I wrote down and needed it fast so I could get to the real story. Not that it was bad, just the wrong approach. I was wrong, plain and simple. After some very good advice I completely scraped the chapter and started my novel from the begining. Every time I learned something new I went back and made changes, making my work that much better. In tern this knowledge I gained in writing changed the way I blogged, I would say even the way I think a bit as well. So in just four months through online searches, online writers groups, and my blog I have become a different person in a seance, a different writer. I am not a conceded person, but I am proud of my self, of my progress in such a limited time. I know there is more out there for me to discover, learn, and adapt, when you stop learning you have stopped completely. My point being, there is always something out there to encounter, a new way of thinking, of doing, of growing. There is no limit to personal growth, take advantage of the immense amount of information out there, the connections that can be made.

To further share what I have learned I would like to share part of my new first chapter. I have spent a lot of time going over it again and again, but I still have three more chapters to fix with my new found knowledge.

An excerpt from chapter one of Helix (The war begins):

“You are right Jessie, as usual. What do you want to do when this joke is over?” Just as I say the words I am interrupted by something familiar feeling. A rough and hard signature, like its owner. “Jessie, it’s Rex.”

“I could tell by that look. Where is he?” Jessie asked me as she spins around to see if he is near. But I haven’t pinpointed him yet.

In silence and darkness I search for him. Rex is a trouble maker. A bully using his powers to pick on normal people and weaker mutants. He and I don’t get along very well to say the least. He wants me to be with him, but I don’t get it. Rex is one of my uncle‘s pets, but he has trouble controlling him. He is definitely my uncle’s most powerful and unpredictable fighter.

“I found him, He is about seventy feet back and to the left of me. Give or take… In between two buildings I think… There are two other guys with him, and two girls… The girls are human Jessie. We have to stop him.” Close to her ear, as quiet as I can I whisper all this. No need to alarm any one when I can handle it quietly. Rex really should know better by now though.

“Ready?” Jessie whispers so softly I didn’t even hear her, but her lips said it for her.

“Lets go.” we walk slowly in his direction. The closer I get to him the stronger his signal. Turning the corner he can see us coming down the darkened ally way. My hands glowing hot with anger. His palms are pressed flat on the building in front of him, trapping one of the human girls. The other two are shoving the petite one back and forth, taking terns groping her body. Her clothing tares as she struggles against them. Rex looks right at me, locking his eyes to mine. A smile slowly spreads on his face as he raps one hand around the girl’s neck. I push a wave of energy in there direction, but he ignores my warning. The other two freeze and the girl stumbles back from her attackers. She just stands there awkwardly waiting for her friend. Watching with tears in her eyes. Rex squeezes tighter on the teen’s fragile flesh, his smile growing ever wider. Pounding my feet against the pavement gaining momentum I land on his back with a jolting thud.

The flesh of his chest gives and then hardens resisting the press of my legs. His skin is rough against my arm, scraping on its way around his neck, pulling his head back. I slide my right hand on to his face, letting the heat flow from every pore of my palm. Struggling to control the heat of my body, concentrating on just that one point.

“You want to tell me what you think you are doing. Let go of the girl.”

“Do you know what you are doing, you aren’t commander yet. Maybe you never will be.”

I jerk my arm that’s rapped tightly around his neck, with little effect. His rock hard exterior won’t give to my feminine stature. My blazing core pores out my body, heat rising from every inch of skin. Slowly he lets go of the girl. I won’t let go of him just yet, I’m not through with him.

“So you think you can threaten me. You don’t stand a chance against me. Now answer. what gives you the right to pick on humans?” His skin is turning red under my hot flesh. His muscles tense, jaw locking in his cry of pain.

The heat in my body is pulsing, wavering. I can’t keep it up much longer. Fire is one of the harder powers to control, it’s different for each individual. Now that I can manifest it I can learn to control it. But that’s not helping me now. “There will be a time for this my beautiful and deadly woman, but today is not the day.” He said with such lust in is voice, a chill ran down my spine in disgust.

I propel my self off his back to stand in front of him. To close, close enough to smell his rancid breath. “I suggest you and you’re scum lackeys go back to you’re master and leave the humans alone.”

“One day sexy, you and I will see who is stronger. When that day comes you will change your mind and be with me.” I barley have time to move as he leans in to kiss me.

Planting his face in the cement wall clutching a handful of his long greasy black hair, I whisper in his ear. “Don’t think for one moment you can touch me in passion. The only way you will feel my skin is as I burn yours. I will never love you.”

I toss his head as I release him. His nose drips red from the force of my blow. Yet lust covers his face, eyes aflame with passion. As much as I hate the thought I would rather have him lust after me then want to kill me. Even if my uncle where to order him to, I don’t think he would have the hart.

The girls are long gone by this point. I saunter in Jessie’s direction, snatching up my bag I dropped when I bounded toward Rex. He is still just standing there, blood dripping to the ground. His lackeys shake as they reach to help him. The air cracks with his fist and they fall. He watches me leave in silence.

“Always impressive Sora. I can’t believe you can move like that, you have been training very hard. After you give a demonstration for the council your position will be written in stone. Not even your uncle will be able to sway there minds. Are you sure Rex hasn’t told him of your strengths?” she gives me a uneasy smile, she fears for me, for my plans.

“He may have, but I don’t think so. My uncle hasn’t shown any sines of knowing. Rex wants me for himself, he wouldn’t jeopardize his courting me for even my uncle. It plays in our favor. After tomorrow it won’t mater any way.” Stuffing my hands in my pockets we walk out of the narrow space. My skin still cooling.

It was once told that a war would come lead by a man of grate strength and evil, he will seek to destroy all humans and any mutants that dare appose him. He would spread his evil over the new world. As commander it will be me standing in his way, as soon as we find out the who, and when part. This grate evil could be Rex, but there are several other people in Helix that it could be, not to mention all the other colonies. But for now my training must continue, I have to get stronger.

 

Finally Finished

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I posted this painting before when I thought it was done, but I looked at it with a friend one day and he made some good points. If you look at the before photo you will see that the petals in the middle of the flower bleed   together,  you can’t tell where one ends and another  begins unless you look closely at the brush stroks. So I mixed up a nice dark reddish purple to fix that problem, and I did feel it was a big problem. Then I sat there staring at it and it told me it was still unfinished. A thought came to me out of the blue, photographs , the subject in focus and behind it out of focus. So I played with this idea, I’m not sure how it turned out but the painting finally feels finished. So take a good look at the before and after and let me know what you think, if you want.

BeforeAfter

Hard Few Days

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I hate to say this but the new artist of the week may need to wait till next week. I barely even have time to write this post as both my youngest boys have a stomach bug. Have you ever had your foot thrown up on, it is a nasty feeling! I hardly ever post any complaints or trouble I am having, but with the two of them sick all I can do is care for them. All they want is to be held and cry, they can barley keep down a thing, so starting yesterday for a few days all I can be is mommy and care for them. Thank you Nana for bringing home a bug from work, lol. Sorry all, being mommy will always come first in my life.

Cutting Down

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I have said before that I try to do to much. For the first time I have to do something, make a choice. After talking to my older brother I know what I now have to do, even though I don’t want to.  I have to  post less on my blog. I spend so much time  researching my blog posts I have no time to write, to read, to do things I need to do for my son’s after school activities, and all the little things that go with being a mom of three young boys. I guess that is why most writers either don’t have kids or wait until they get older. So, what do I plan to do? I plan to free up my time by blogging less. I love blogging every day, or almost every day, but kids take up a lot of time and I do still need to work on  my novel. So I will go back to doing an artist of the week, and my segments will run for 1-2 months. I apologies to all my readers, I will post again on Friday so I can do a great post for you all. Thank you all for reading and liking my posts.

Artist of the day 3/8/12: Dark Writing 6: Alexandre Dumas (part three)

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So it terns out it is impossible to read Kindle books on a computer. I wanted to give you an example of Alexandre Dumas’ book The Count of Monte Cristo. Not all of Dumas’ books are dark but when I was little My mom read me a shortened version of this book and I loved it. I have never read the full book, but I plan to now. So here is the first chapter of this fantastic book.

Alexandre Dumas

The Count of Monte Cristo

Chapter 1.
Marseilles — The Arrival.


On the 24th of February, 1815, the look-out at Notre-Dame de la Garde signalled the three-master, the Pharaon from Smyrna, Trieste, and Naples.
As usual, a pilot put off immediately, and rounding the Chateau d’If, got on board the vessel between Cape Morgion and Rion island.
Immediately, and according to custom, the ramparts of Fort Saint-Jean were covered with spectators; it is always an event at Marseilles for a ship to come into port, especially when this ship, like the Pharaon, has been built, rigged, and laden at the old Phocee docks, and belongs to an owner of the city.
The ship drew on and had safely passed the strait, which some volcanic shock has made between the Calasareigne and Jaros islands; had doubled Pomegue, and approached the harbor under topsails, jib, and spanker, but so slowly and sedately that the idlers, with that
instinct which is the forerunner of evil, asked one another what misfortune could have happened on board. However, those experienced in navigation saw plainly that if any accident had occurred, it was not to the vessel herself, for she bore down with all the evidence of being skilfully handled, the anchor a-cockbill, the jib-boom guys already eased off, and standing by the side of the pilot, who was steering the Pharaon towards the narrow entrance of the inner port, was a young man, who, with activity and vigilant eye, watched every motion of the ship, and repeated each direction of the pilot.
The vague disquietude which prevailed among the spectators had so much affected one of the crowd that he did not await the arrival of the vessel in harbor, but jumping into a small skiff, desired to be pulled alongside the Pharaon, which he reached as she rounded into La Reserve basin.
When the young man on board saw this person approach, he left his station by the pilot, and, hat in hand, leaned over the ship’s bulwarks.
He was a fine, tall, slim young fellow of eighteen or twenty, with black eyes, and hair as dark as a raven’s wing; and his whole appearance bespoke that calmness and resolution peculiar to men accustomed from their cradle to contend with danger.
“Ah, is it you, Dantes?” cried the man in the skiff. “What’s the matter? and why have you such an air of sadness aboard?”
“A great misfortune, M. Morrel,” replied the young man, — “a great misfortune, for me especially! Off Civita Vecchia we lost our brave Captain Leclere.”
“And the cargo?” inquired the owner, eagerly.
“Is all safe, M. Morrel; and I think you will be satisfied on that head. But poor Captain Leclere — ”
“What happened to him?” asked the owner, with an air of considerable resignation. “What happened to the worthy captain?”
“He died.”
“Fell into the sea?”
“No, sir, he died of brain-fever in dreadful agony.” Then turning to the crew, he said, “Bear a hand there, to take in sail!”
All hands obeyed, and at once the eight or ten seamen who composed the crew, sprang to their respective stations at the spanker brails and outhaul, topsail sheets and halyards, the jib downhaul, and the topsail clewlines and buntlines. The young sailor gave a look to see that his orders were promptly and accurately obeyed, and then turned again to the owner.
“And how did this misfortune occur?” inquired the latter, resuming the interrupted conversation.
“Alas, sir, in the most unexpected manner. After a long talk with the harbor-master, Captain Leclere left Naples greatly disturbed in mind. In twenty-four hours he was attacked by a fever, and died three
days afterwards. We performed the usual burial service, and he is at his rest, sewn up in his hammock with a thirty-six pound shot at his head and his heels, off El Giglio island. We bring to his widow his
sword and cross of honor. It was worth while, truly,” added the young man with a melancholy smile, “to make war against the English for ten years, and to die in his bed at last, like everybody else.”
“Why, you see, Edmond,” replied the owner, who appeared more comforted at every moment, “we are all mortal, and the old must make way for the young. If not, why, there would be no promotion; and  since you assure me that the cargo — ”
“Is all safe and sound, M. Morrel, take my word for it; and I advise you not to take 25,000 francs for the profits of the voyage.”
Then, as they were just passing the Round Tower, the young man shouted: “Stand by there to lower the topsails and jib; brail up the spanker!”
The order was executed as promptly as it would have been on board a man-of-war.
“Let go — and clue up!” At this last command all the sails were lowered, and the vessel moved almost imperceptibly onwards.
“Now, if you will come on board, M. Morrel,” said Dantes, observing the owner’s impatience, “here is your supercargo, M. Danglars, coming out of his cabin, who will furnish you with every particular. As for me, I must look after the anchoring, and dress the ship in mourning.”
The owner did not wait for a second invitation. He seized a rope which Dantes flung to him, and with an activity that would have done credit to a sailor, climbed up the side of the ship, while the young man, going to his task, left the conversation to Danglars, who now came towards the owner. He was a man of twenty-five or twentysix years of age, of unprepossessing countenance, obsequious to his superiors, insolent to his subordinates; and this, in addition to his position as responsible agent on board, which is always obnoxious to the sailors, made him as much disliked by the crew as Edmond Dantes was beloved by them.
“Well, M. Morrel,” said Danglars, “you have heard of the misfortune that has befallen us?”
“Yes — yes: poor Captain Leclere! He was a brave and an honest man.”
“And a first-rate seaman, one who had seen long and honorable service, as became a man charged with the interests of a house so important as that of Morrel & Son,” replied Danglars. “But,” replied the owner, glancing after Dantes, who was watching the anchoring of his vessel, “it seems to me that a sailor needs not be so old as you say, Danglars, to understand his business, for our friend Edmond seems to understand it thoroughly, and not to require instruction from any one.”
“Yes,” said Danglars, darting at Edmond a look gleaming with hate. “Yes, he is young, and youth is invariably self-confident. Scarcely was the captain’s breath out of his body when he assumed the command without consulting any one, and he caused us to lose a day and a half at the Island of Elba, instead of making for Marseilles direct.”
“As to taking command of the vessel,” replied Morrel, “that was his duty as captain’s mate; as to losing a day and a half off the Island of Elba, he was wrong, unless the vessel needed repairs.”
“The vessel was in as good condition as I am, and as, I hope you are, M. Morrel, and this day and a half was lost from pure whim, for the pleasure of going ashore, and nothing else.”
“Dantes,” said the shipowner, turning towards the young man, “come this way!”
“In a moment, sir,” answered Dantes, “and I’m with you.” Then calling to the crew, he said — “Let go!”
The anchor was instantly dropped, and the chain ran rattling through the port-hole. Dantes continued at his post in spite of the presence of the pilot, until this manoeuvre was completed, and then he added, “Half-mast the colors, and square the yards!”
“You see,” said Danglars, “he fancies himself captain already, upon my word.”
“And so, in fact, he is,” said the owner.
“Except your signature and your partner’s, M. Morrel.”
“And why should he not have this?” asked the owner; “he is young, it is true, but he seems to me a thorough seaman, and of full experience.”
A cloud passed over Danglars’ brow. “Your pardon, M. Morrel,” said Dantes, approaching, “the vessel now rides at anchor, and I am at your service. You hailed me, I think?”
Danglars retreated a step or two. “I wished to inquire why you stopped at the Island of Elba?”
“I do not know, sir; it was to fulfil the last instructions of Captain Leclere, who, when dying, gave me a packet for Marshal Bertrand.”
“Then did you see him, Edmond?”
“Who?”
“The marshal.”
“Yes.”
Morrel looked around him, and then, drawing Dantes on one side, he said suddenly — “And how is the emperor?”
“Very well, as far as I could judge from the sight of him.”
“You saw the emperor, then?”
“He entered the marshal’s apartment while I was there.”
“And you spoke to him?”
“Why, it was he who spoke to me, sir,” said Dantes, with a smile.
“And what did he say to you?”
“Asked me questions about the vessel, the time she left Marseilles, the course she had taken, and what was her cargo. I believe, if she had not been laden, and I had been her master, he would have bought her. But I told him I was only mate, and that she belonged to the firm of Morrel & Son. `Ah, yes,’ he said, `I know them. The Morrels have been shipowners from father to son; and there was a Morrel who served in the same regiment with me when I was in garrison at Valence.'”
“Pardieu, and that is true!” cried the owner, greatly delighted. “And that was Policar Morrel, my uncle, who was afterwards a captain. Dantes, you must tell my uncle that the emperor remembered him, and you will see it will bring tears into the old soldier’s eyes. Come, come,” continued he, patting Edmond’s shoulder kindly, “you did very right, Dantes, to follow Captain Leclere’s instructions, and touch at Elba, although if it were known that you had conveyed a packet to the marshal, and had conversed with the emperor, it might bring you into trouble.”
“How could that bring me into trouble, sir?” asked Dantes; “for I did not even know of what I was the bearer; and the emperor merely made such inquiries as he would of the first comer. But, pardon me, here are the health officers and the customs inspectors coming alongside.” And the young man went to the gangway. As he departed, Danglars approached, and said,  “Well, it appears that he has given you satisfactory reasons for his landing at Porto-Ferrajo?”
“Yes, most satisfactory, my dear Danglars.”
“Well, so much the better,” said the supercargo; “for it is not pleasant to think that a comrade has not done his duty.”
“Dantes has done his,” replied the owner, “and that is not saying much. It was Captain Leclere who gave orders for this delay.”
“Talking of Captain Leclere, has not Dantes given you a letter from him?”
“To me? — no — was there one?”
“I believe that, besides the packet, Captain Leclere confided a letter to his care.”
“Of what packet are you speaking, Danglars?”
“Why, that which Dantes left at Porto-Ferrajo.”
“How do you know he had a packet to leave at Porto-Ferrajo?” Danglars turned very red.
“I was passing close to the door of the captain’s cabin, which was half open, and I saw him give the packet and letter to Dantes.” “He did not speak to me of it,” replied the shipowner; “but if there be any letter he will give it to me.”
Danglars reflected for a moment. “Then, M. Morrel, I beg of you,” said he, “not to say a word to Dantes on the subject. I mayhave been mistaken.”
At this moment the young man returned; Danglars withdrew. “Well, my dear Dantes, are you now free?” inquired the owner. “Yes, sir.”
“You have not been long detained.”
“No. I gave the custom-house officers a copy of our bill of lading; and as to the other papers, they sent a man off with the pilot, to
whom I gave them.”
“Then you have nothing more to do here?”
“No — everything is all right now.”
“Then you can come and dine with me?”
“I really must ask you to excuse me, M. Morrel. My first visit is due to my father, though I am not the less grateful for the honor you
have done me.”
“Right, Dantes, quite right. I always knew you were a good son.” “And,” inquired Dantes, with some hesitation, “do you know
how my father is?”
“Well, I believe, my dear Edmond, though I have not seen him lately.”
“Yes, he likes to keep himself shut up in his little room.” “That proves, at least, that he has wanted for nothing during
your absence.”
Dantes smiled. “My father is proud, sir, and if he had not a meal left, I doubt if he would have asked anything from anyone, except
from Heaven.”
“Well, then, after this first visit has been made we shall count on
you.”
“I must again excuse myself, M. Morrel, for after this first visit has been paid I have another which I am most anxious to pay.” “True, Dantes, I forgot that there was at the Catalans some one who expects you no less impatiently than your father — the lovely Mercedes.” Dantes blushed.
“Ah, ha,” said the shipowner, “I am not in the least surprised, for she has been to me three times, inquiring if there were any news of
the Pharaon. Peste, Edmond, you have a very handsome mistress!” “She is not my mistress,” replied the young sailor, gravely; “she is
my betrothed.”
“Sometimes one and the same thing,” said Morrel, with a smile. “Not with us, sir,” replied Dantes.
“Well, well, my dear Edmond,” continued the owner, “don’t let me detain you. You have managed my affairs so well that I ought to allow you all the time you require for your own. Do you want any money?”
“No, sir; I have all my pay to take — nearly three months’ wages.” “You are a careful fellow, Edmond.”
“Say I have a poor father, sir.”
“Yes, yes, I know how good a son you are, so now hasten away tosee your father. I have a son too, and I should be very wroth with those who detained him from me after a three months’ voyage.” “Then I have your leave, sir?”
“Yes, if you have nothing more to say to me.”
“Nothing.”
“Captain Leclere did not, before he died, give you a letter for me?”
“He was unable to write, sir. But that reminds me that I must ask your leave of absence for some days.”
“To get married?”
“Yes, first, and then to go to Paris.”
“Very good; have what time you require, Dantes. It will take quite six weeks to unload the cargo, and we cannot get you ready for sea until three months after that; only be back again in three months, for the Pharaon,” added the owner, patting the young sailor on the back, “cannot sail without her captain.”
“Without her captain!” cried Dantes, his eyes sparkling with animation; “pray mind what you say, for you are touching on the most secret wishes of my heart. Is it really your intention to make me captain of the Pharaon?”
“If I were sole owner we’d shake hands on it now, my dear Dantes, and call it settled; but I have a partner, and you know the Italian proverb — Chi ha compagno ha padrone — `He who has a partner has amaster.’ But the thing is at least half done, as you have one out of two votes. Rely on me to procure you the other; I will do my best.”
“Ah, M. Morrel,” exclaimed the young seaman, with tears in his eyes, and grasping the owner’s hand, “M. Morrel, I thank you in the name of my father and of Mercedes.”
“That’s all right, Edmond. There’s a providence that watches over the deserving. Go to your father: go and see Mercedes, and afterwards come to me.”
“Shall I row you ashore?”
“No, thank you; I shall remain and look over the accounts with Danglars. Have you been satisfied with him this voyage?”
“That is according to the sense you attach to the question, sir. Do you mean is he a good comrade? No, for I think he never liked me since the day when I was silly enough, after a little quarrel we had, to propose to him to stop for ten minutes at the island of Monte Cristo to settle the dispute — a proposition which I was wrong to suggest, and he quite right to refuse. If you mean as responsible agent when you ask me the question, I believe there is nothing to say against him, and that you will be content with the way in which he has performed his duty.”
“But tell me, Dantes, if you had command of the Pharaon should you be glad to see Danglars remain?”
“Captain or mate, M. Morrel, I shall always have the greatest respect for those who possess the owners’ confidence.”
“That’s right, that’s right, Dantes! I see you are a thoroughly good fellow, and will detain you no longer. Go, for I see how impatient you are.”
“Then I have leave?”
“Go, I tell you.”
“May I have the use of your skiff?”
“Certainly.”
“Then, for the present, M. Morrel, farewell, and a thousand thanks!”
“I hope soon to see you again, my dear Edmond. Good luck to you.”
The young sailor jumped into the skiff, and sat down in the stern sheets, with the order that he be put ashore at La Canebiere. The two oarsmen bent to their work, and the little boat glided away as rapidly as possible in the midst of the thousand vessels which choke up the narrow way which leads between the two rows of ships from the mouth of the harbor to the Quai d’Orleans.
The shipowner, smiling, followed him with his eyes until he saw him spring out on the quay and disappear in the midst of the throng, which from five o’clock in the morning until nine o’clock at night, swarms in the famous street of La Canebiere, — a street of which the modern Phocaeans are so proud that they say with all the gravity in the world, and with that accent which gives so much character to what is said, “If Paris had La Canebiere, Paris would be a second Marseilles.” On turning round the owner saw Danglars behind him, apparently awaiting orders, but in reality also watching the young sailor, — but there was a great difference in the expression of the two men who thus followed the movements of Edmond Dantes.

Artist of the day 3/6/12: Dark Writing 5: Alexandre Dumas (Part two)

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Alexandre Dumas

Career Continued

Dumas made extensive use of the aid of numerous assistants and collaborators, Auguste Maquet being the best known. Maquet outlined the plot of The Count of Monte Cristo, and substantial contributions to The Three Musketeers as well as it sequels,and several of Dumas’ other novels. When working together Maquet would propose plots and write drafts, while Dumas added all the details, dialogue, and final chapters. There is an essay by Andrew Lang done in 1891 giving a accurate description of their collaborations, titled Alexander Dumas—in his Essays In Little.

Dumas’ writing earned him a great deal of money, but he was frequently insolvent as a result of spending lavishly on woman and sumptuous living. The large Château de Monte-Cristo that he built was often filled with strangers and acquaintances taking advantage of his generosity.

Dumas was not looked upon favorably by the newly elected President Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte when King Louis-Philippe was ousted in the revolt. Dumas fled to Brussels, Belgium in 1851 to escape his creditors, from there he traveled to Russia, Where French was the second language, also where his writings were enormously popular. He spent two  years in Russia, before moving on to seek adventure and inspiration for more stories. In March of 1861 the kingdom of Italy was proclaimed,  With Victor Emmanuel II as its king. The next three years Dumas was involved in the fight for a united Italy, He found and lead a newspaper named Independent. He returned to Paris in 1864.

Alexandre Dumas Had success and aristocratic background but his being of mixed race affected him all his life. He wrote a short novel in 1843 called Georges, it addressed some of the issues of race and the effects of colonialism. Once he remarked to a man who insulted him about his mixed race background :”My father was a mulatto, my grandfather was a Negro, and my great-grandfather a monkey. You see, Sir, my family starts where yours ends.”

Personal Life

February 1, 1840 Dumas married actress Ida Ferrier (Born 1811, Marguerite Joséphine Ferrand, died 1859), but he continued with his numerous liaisons with other women, fathering at least four illegitimate children. One of those children, a son named after him, whose mother was Marie-Laure-Catherine Labay (1794—1868), a dressmaker, would follow in his footsteps, also becoming a successful novelist and playwright. Because of their same name and occupation, the father is often referred to as Alexandre Dumas, père, and the son as Alexandre Dumas, fils. His other children were Marie-Alexandrine Dumas (March 5, 1831—1878) who later married Pierre Petel and was daughter of Belle Krelsamer (1803—1875), Micaëlla-Clélie-Josepha-Élisabeth Cordier, born in 1860 and daughter of Emélie Cordier, and Henry Bauer, born of an unknown mother.

Death and Legacy

In June 2005 Dumas’ recently discovered last novel, The Knight of Sainte Hermine, went on sale in France. Within the story Dumas describes the Battle of Trafalgar, in which the death of Lord Nelson is explained. The novel was being published serially, and was nearly complete at the time of his death. A final two-and-a-half chapters were written by modern-day Dumas scholar Claude Schopp, who based his efforts on Dumas’ prewriting notes.

Although he was originally buried where he had been born, in 2002 French President, Jacques Chirac, had his body exhumed. During a televised ceremony his new coffin, draped in a blue velvet cloth and flanked by four Republican Guards (costumed as the Musketeers Athos, Porthos, Aramis, and D’Artagnan), was transported in a solemn procession to the Panthéon of Paris, the great mausoleum where French luminaries are interred. In his speech President Chirac said:

“With you, we were D’Artagnan, Monte Cristo, or Balsamo, riding along the roads of France, touring battlefields, visiting palaces and castles—with you, we dream.”

During that speech Chirac acknowledged the racism that had existed, saying that a wrong had now been righted with Alexander Dumas enshrined alongside fellow authors Victor Hugo and Emile Zola. The honor recognized that although France has produced many great writers, none has been as widely read and known as Alexander Dumas. His stories have been translated into almost a hundred languages, and inspired more then 200 motion pictures.

Alexandre Dumas’ home outside of Paris, the Château de Monte Cristo, has been restored and is open to the public. The Alexandre Dumas Paris Métro station was named in his honour in 1970.

Dumas appears as a character in the Kevin J. Anderson novel Captain Nemo: The Fantastic History of a Dark Genius. He encourages Jules Verne to find his own voice and write about his friend Captain Nemo’s exploits rather than emulate Dumas’ historical fiction.

Works

Fiction
 
Alexandre Dumas wrote stories and historical chronicles of high adventure that captured the imagination of the French public, who eagerly waited to purchase the continuing sagas. A few of these works:
 Charles VII at the Homes of His Great Vassals (Charles VII chez ses grands vassaux, 1831) – drama, adapted for the opera The Saracen by Russian composer César Cui
 Othon l’archer
 Captain Pamphile (Le Capitaine Pamphile, 1939)
 The Fencing Master (Le Maître d’armes, 1840)
 Castle Eppstein; The Specter Mother (Chateau d’Eppstein; Albine, 1843)
 Georges (1843): The protagonist of this novel is a man of mixed race, a rare allusion to Dumas’ own African ancestry.
 The Conspirators (Le chevalier d’Harmental, 1843) later adapted by Paul Ferrier into an opera
 Ascanio (1843?); Written in collaboration with Paul Meurice (1820-1905): France — History — Francis I, 1515-1547 — Fiction.
 Louis XIV and His Century (Louis XIV et son siècle, 1844)
 The Nutcracker (Histoire d’un casse-noisette, 1844): a revision of Hoffmann’s story The Nutcracker and the Mouse King, later adapted by Tchaikovsky as a ballet
 the D’Artagnan Romances: The Three Musketeers (Les Trois Mousquetaires, 1844)
 Twenty Years After (Vingt ans après, 1845)
 The Vicomte de Bragelonne, sometimes called “Ten Years Later”, (Le Vicomte de Bragelonne, ou Dix ans plus tard, 1847): When published in English, it was usually split into three parts: The Vicomte de Bragelonne, Louise de la Valliere, and The Man in the Iron Mask, of which the last part is the best known. (A third sequel, The Son of Porthos, 1883 (a.k.a. The Death of Aramis) was published under the name of Alexandre Dumas; however, the real author was Paul Mahalin.)
 
The Corsican Brothers (Les Frères Corses, 1844)
 The Count of Monte Cristo (Le Comte de Monte-Cristo, 1845–1846)
 The Regent’s Daughter (Une Fille du régent, 1845)
 The Two Dianas (Les Deux Diane, 1846)
 the Valois romances The horoscope : a romance of the reign of François II (1897?)
 La Reine Margot (1845)
 La Dame de Monsoreau (1846) (a.k.a. Chicot the Jester)
 The Forty-Five Guardsmen (1847) (Les Quarante-cinq)
 
the Marie Antoinette romances: Joseph Balsamo (Mémoires d’un médecin: Joseph Balsamo, 1846–1848) (a.k.a. Memoirs of a Physician, Cagliostro, Madame Dubarry, The Countess Dubarry, or The Elixir of Life)(Joseph Balsamo has a length of about 1000 pages, and is usually separated into 2 volumes in English translations: Vol 1. Joseph Balsamo and Vol 2. Memoirs of a Physician.)
 The Queen’s Necklace (Le Collier de la Reine, 1849–1850)
 Ange Pitou (1853) (a.k.a. Storming the Bastille or Six Years Later)
 The Countess de Charny (La Comtesse de Charny, 1853–1855) (a.k.a. Andrée de Taverney, or The Mesmerist’s Victim)
 Le Chevalier de Maison-Rouge (1845) (a.k.a. The Knight of the Red House, or The Knight of Maison-Rouge)
 
The Black Tulip (La Tulipe noire, 1850)
 Olympe de Cleves (Olympe de Cleves, 1851-2)
 The Page of the Duke of Savoy (Catherine Blum, 1853-4)
 The Mohicans of Paris (Les Mohicans de Paris, 1854)
 The Wolf-Leader (Le Meneur de loups, 1857)
 The Gold Thieves (after 1857): a lost play that was rediscovered by the Canadian Reginald Hamel, researcher in the Bibliothèque Nationale de France in 2004
 The Companions of Jehu (Les Compagnons de Jehu, 1857)
 Pietro Monaco sua moglie Maria Oliverio e i loro complici, 1864)
 Robin Hood (Robin Hood le proscrit, 1863)
 The Count of Moret; The Red Sphinx; or, Richelieu and his rivals (Le Comte de Moret; Le Sphinx Rouge, 1865–1866)
 The Whites and the Blues (Les Blancs et les Bleus, 1867)
 The Knight of Sainte-Hermine (Le Chevalier de Sainte-Hermine, 1869): This nearly completed novel was his last major work and was lost until its rediscovery by Claude Schopp in 1988 and subsequent release in 2005.
 The Women’s War (La Guerre des Femmes): follows Baron des Canolles, a naive Gascon soldier who falls in love with two women.
 
Drama
 
Although best known now as a novelist, Dumas first earned fame as a dramatist. His Henri III et sa cour (1829) was the first of the great Romantic historical dramas produced on the Paris stage, preceding Victor Hugo’s more famous Hernani (1830). Produced at the Comédie-Française, and starring the famous Mademoiselle Mars, Dumas’ play was an enormous success, launching him on his career. It had fifty performances over the next year, extraordinary at the time.
 
Other hits followed. For example, Antony (1831)—a drama with a contemporary Byronic hero—is considered the first non-historical Romantic drama. It starred Mars’ great rival Marie Dorval. There were also La Tour de Nesle – 1832, another historical melodrama, and Kean – 1836, based on the life of the great, and recently deceased, English actor Edmund Kean, played in turn by the great French actor Frédérick Lemaître. Dumas wrote many more plays and dramatized several of his own novels.
 
It is worthwhile to note that Dumas founded Théâtre Historique at the Boulevard du Temple in Paris, which later became Opéra National (established by Adolphe Adam in 1847). That in turn became Théâtre Lyrique in 1851.
 
Non-fiction
 
Dumas was also a prolific writer of non-fiction. He wrote journal articles on politics and culture, and books on French history.
 
His massive Grand Dictionnaire de cuisine (Great Dictionary of Cuisine) was published posthumously in 1873. It is a combination of encyclopedia and cookbook. Dumas was both a gourmet and an expert cook. An abridged version (the Petit Dictionnaire de cuisine, or Small Dictionary of Cuisine) was published in 1882.
 
He was also a well-known travel writer, writing such books as:
 Impressions de voyage: En Suisse (Travel Impressions: In Switzerland, 1834)
 Une Année à Florence (A Year in Florence, 1841)
 De Paris à Cadix (From Paris to Cadiz, 1847)
 Le Journal de Madame Giovanni (The Journal of Madame Giovanni, 1856)
 
Travel Impressions in the Kingdom of Napoli/Naples Trilogy (Impressions de voyage):
 Impressions of Travel in Sicily (Le Speronare (Sicily – 1835), 1842
 Captain Arena (Le Capitaine Arena (Italy – Aeolian Islands and Calabria – 1835), 1842
 Impressions of Travel in Naples (Le Corricolo (Rome – Naples – 1835), 1843
 
Travel Impressions in Russia:
 Adventures in Czarist Russia, or From Paris to Astrakhan (Impressions de voyage: En Russie; De Paris à Astrakan: Nouvelles impressions de voyage (1858), 1859–1862
 Voyage to the Caucasus (Le Caucase : Impressions de voyage; suite de En Russie (1859), 1858–1859