Egyptian Painting; Venetian Writing

Got those I’m staying at work today until 5 pm blues….oh I got them staying at work today until 5 pm blues!

Gonna type and register for TESOL, and maybe watch a student video or two!

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This Monday has TEETH! Usually my late night is Tuesday, but I see David probably for the last time tomorrow (EAP=finite) and Thursday is the big freakin’ Halloween Egyptian tomb extravaganza (why yes, Bryon has been painting a cardboard sarcophagus for most of the weekend.) So Monday had to be it, kiddos. And I stair stepped like a puffin’ banshee today–half an hour of the sweatiest. So, the first week of Weight Watchers they wanted us to put in 14 points of movement and I managed 24. Wimpy stuff, but everyone’s gotta start wimpy.

***

Writing. That went pretty well. There was none on Saturday, but there was some good stuff on Friday and Sunday. Here’s just a taste.

Although a clear day, still a frigid wind blew, and Octavia Klarion, her black skirt flickering between the gaps of the balcony’s railing, listened to the hollow slosh of the thin canal that threaded through the narrow gap between the Pension Danieli and the Gothic home next door. She pulled her cloak about her shoulders.

If a Venetian looked up from the water, he would see a woman in mourning, well-tailored in black, a veil covering her bonnet and face. And if the Venetian came closer, he would see skin albino white, coal black hair, vivid crystal blue eyes. Eyes, hair, skin, all part of the curse. When the demon arrived, you were marked.

And if the Venetian lifted the veil, he would discover that Octavia Klarion was very young and very beautiful, a strange beauty, like spun colored sugar. When he looked into her face and her eyes, and discovered the strangeness that he saw there, he would cross himself, avert his eyes, and row away, not understanding why he heard whispers in empty corners, or sighs in the dark. At eighteen years old, newly married, Octavia Klarion understood these facts of her life. But still, one had to go places. There were duties and responsibilities.

Octavia turned and her dress curved in the wind as she walked through the windows into the sitting room, velvet curtains floating ahead of her, announcing her like heralds. There were few people in the room, most of the brave tourists rowing the Grand Canal wherever it spread in acqua alta. A gentleman on a sofa read a book and made a point of not seeing her, although he shifted when she entered the room. Octavia’s eyes flitted over the room: a moody girl on her first trip to Serenissima, as she had called Venice last night at dinner, before she had moved to another table; a stout whiskered man glancing through his Badeker’s travel guide that she admired, because he chatted with her even though he wanted to run; and finally her husband, Drusus Claudian, whom she had met for the first time two months ago. In the tradition of alliances between magical families, she had taken him but not his name.

***

Tomorrow, after David, we’ll talk more. I also weigh in after the first week of Weight Watchers. Stay tuned.

Author: Catherine Schaff-Stump

Catherine Schaff-Stump writes fiction for children and young adults. Her most recent book, The Vessel of Ra, is the first book in the Klaereon Scroll series. She is currently working on its sequel, as well as penning the middle grade adventures of Abigail Rath, monster hunter.

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