…sau ce face soțul meu când se strică un ceas frumos: îl face ramă de fotografie!
…și nu-i așa că știați deja că tot ce plutește pe apă și are pânze e pasiunea mea?
…sau ce face soțul meu când se strică un ceas frumos: îl face ramă de fotografie!
…și nu-i așa că știați deja că tot ce plutește pe apă și are pânze e pasiunea mea?
Fellow-authors used to list all their literary activities in 2019 and plans for 2020. I am doing the same.
Add to them short stories and blog articles, as well as the interactive story in English I am writing for 9 years and a half. I should provide a word count, but I cannot. I reviewed also and published a second edition of The Crew (Echipajul) and The Wanderers of the seas (Pribegii mărilor).
BOOK-RELATED TRAVEL: armchair travel via books, videos and photos. I am stuck in my tower for a while, waiting for better days. But I researched intensively via Internet and books for my novels and short stories. My beloved city of the Danube, Braila, with various details (involvement in the Revolution, present, traditions of the Russian old-faith minority, legends of mermaids from everywhere, from Yemaya to Melusine, Yara and La Llorona, the battle of Dragasani, many other interesting historical and folklore things to research.
AWARDS – one this year and one last year. This year, Special Prize Fănuș Neagu, won at the National Short Stories Contest Nicolae Velea.
OTHER ACHIEVEMENTS – I published also short stories in various literary magazines, I got chronicles of my books in various literary magazines, I got recommendations of my books in book blogs. I succeeded to attend various literary groups and book fairs.
NANOWRIMO – I was appointed Local Co-ordinator for Bucharest. It could have gone better, though. I won the two Camps, but not the November contest.
BOOKS TO COME IN 2020: I want to review the series Life in turmoil (Vieți în vâltoare) and publish a second edition into 4 volumes, able to be read and enjoyed also individually. I also want to write at least 2, if not more, of the volumes of a new series, titled The price of freedom. Also, able to be read individually as well.
I have ideas for 2 short stories collections as well, but they might be gathering (and published, one by one, in magazines), not guaranteeing that they will be published as volumes in 2020.
OTHER LITERARY HOPES FOR 2020:
N-ați văzut prea multe articole personale pe blogul meu, în care să-mi spun ofurile. Din când în când, mai răbufnesc. Nu știu, acum, nici măcar dacă aș căuta un sfat sau doar pe cineva care a trecut prin ceva asemănător (sau are studii de specialitate – psihologie, cursuri de îngrijire bătrâni sau mai știu eu ce) să mă înțeleagă. Fiindcă dacă-i spun soțului, câteodată, el răspunde doar: Sorry! sau Nu știu ce să spun, fiindcă nu s-a confruntat niciodată cu așa ceva și chiar nu știe mai mult decât mine cum ar trebui procedat…
M-am mutat cu mama de la sfârșitul lui iulie. 90 de ani și jumătate, AVC tranzitoriu, tensiune oscilantă, nu are voie să facă efort, sunt cu ochii pe ea, etc.
Nu pot s-o iau peste tot după mine. Am luat-o la evenimentele literare la care a vrut să meargă (că duminică nu mai vrea, așa că voi renunța eu la filmare/ poze la festivitatea de premiere și vine soțul să stea cu ea – sper să fie bine, că nu prea se plac…) Cine o vede și discută cu ea zice că e sănătoasă tun, cu ei nu face ca acasă. A insistat să meargă cu mine la bancă, la mici cumpărături, la ridicat rezultate de la analize. La cumpărăturile unde am o plasă mai grea, nu pot, că obosește, și poate oricând să-și piardă echilibrul, așa că prefer, când o am pe ea de braț, să nu am plase grele, să mă pot concentra pe ea.
Dar și dacă o las singură, stau cu grijă, că ori face pozne, ori s-a întâmplat să cadă și să-și facă zbenghi în frunte, ori îmi pune întrebări ciudate când vin acasă… Uită, și mă întreabă ba unde am dormit azi noapte (lângă ea fusesem, desigur!), ba dacă mai sunt măritată, ba alte ciudățenii. Cred că e stresată că rămâne singură și de aceea se întâmplă din astea mai des după ce stă o oră sau mai mult doar ea cu gândurile ei.
Când o las singură, schimbă locul tuturor lucrurilor, pe urmă nu mai știe unde le-a pus și se plânge că i le-au furat, că intră hoții în casă (unde să intre, cu toate geamurile închise de frică să nu intre pe geam – la etajul 2 din 10! – și cu ușă metalică anti-efracție… dar nu, eu mint, țin cu hoții, îi apăr, că nu există uși anti-efracție)… Hoți visează și noaptea, de se trezește țipând IEȘIȚI DE AICI! și dând cu pumnii în stânga și în dreapta (iar eu dorm lângă ea). Da, ne batem cu zmeii din coșmaruri în fiecare noapte, și de obicei când o trezesc crede că sunt adevărate coșmarurile, iar dimineața nu mai ține minte și se jură că nu are coșmaruri, ci totul este adevărat. (I-a dat doctorul un calmant ușor, e mai bine decât înainte, dar tot mă epuizează).
Nu știu cum să găsesc pe cineva să stea cu ea, și nu știu nici dacă s-ar accepta una pe alta, mama fiind dificilă și suspicioasă. Aș putea auzi că o acuză de furt pe cea care ar sta cu ea, și așa mai departe. Dar și tot timpul numai noi două, și eu să plec cu grijă, nu știu cât mai pot rezista. Uneori simt că clachez… și aici intră problemele de la punctul 3 în special.
2. Are anxietate de separare. Ori de câte ori îi spun că plec undeva, mă întreabă dacă mă mai întorc la ea. (Și dacă plec la dentist sau la cumpărături!) I-am spus întotdeauna că mă întorc, că nu va rămâne niciodată singură mai mult de 2-3 ore și va ști întotdeauna unde sunt și la ce oră mă întorc, dar mereu mă întreabă la fel. Chiar și dacă stă singură în pat, sau a ațipit, și eu scriu în sufragerie sau gătesc în bucătărie (și știe că m-a lăsat scriind sau gătind) la un moment dat vine să mă caute, că a crezut că am plecat, că am părăsit-o ca toți ceilalți (care ceilalți? N-am nicio clonă! Aș vrea să am…)
3. Are momente când uită și o ține pe a ei, că nu i-am dat să mănânce de dimineață, că am zis (ce n-am zis), că n-a mai făcut baie cu spumă și sare de baie de doi ani, că la cap nu se spăla în cadă, ci în lighean (asta a fost acum 40+ ani, nu săptămâna trecută, cum zice ea)… Chiar și momente când nu mă mai recunoaște Altfel, are o logică proprie și coerentă, doar că… nu e aceeași logică a noastră, de parcă ar trăi într-o lume paralelă. Vede aceleași lucruri, le interpretează diferit. Adică are discernământ parțial, doar că nu știi niciodată când e ea și când e altă persoană. Vorbesc cu ea una, cădem de acord, pe urmă nu, eu mint și ea nu a știut/ nu a fost niciodată de acord…
Nu mai știu ce să mă fac în momentele când nu mai știe că sunt fiica ei și nu reușesc să-i demonstrez că eu sunt fiica ei... Nu, fiica ei e alta… Îmi vorbește despre ea la persoana a treia. Adesea spune că suntem mai multe care stăm cu ea, pe rând.. Aș vrea să știu și eu care mi-e clona, să mă ajute cu adevărat! – Uneori nu vrea să își ia pastilele, că se simte mai bine fără ele și eu sunt în cârdășie cu ăia care vor s-o omoare… că mint, că îi dau medicamente care o fac să se simtă mai rău, că vreau să zic lumii că e nebună, când ea e ok și eu am interese ascunse… Când nu mă recunoaște, sau mă acuză, sau face de ale ei si nu o pot convinge să aibă încredere că eu îi spun adevărul, atunci chiar simt că mor și nu știu cum sa procedez. Și mă întreb, dacă tot nu are încredere în mine, eu ce rost mai am. Că mie mi se pare că doi oameni nu pot conviețui fără încredere, fie ei mamă și fiică sau soț și soție sau chiar și medic/ asistentă și pacient.
Doctorița ei, cealaltă persoană căreia îi mai povestesc câteodată, pe whatsapp, când nu mai pot, în afară de soțul meu, spunea, inițial, că apar și dispar mici lacune secundare unor spasme pe vasele cerebrale. În ultimele zile, când s-au îndesit/ agravat episoadele, spune că este vorba de simptome de demență senilă și că va trebui să le spun geriatrei și psihiatrului când mă duc după rețetă, la început de decembrie, să-i schimbe tratamentul cu ceva mai puternic. Măcar să fie de ajutor!
Dacă m-ar asculta, dacă în loc de Nu mi-ai spus! N-am știut! Minți! ar spune Nu mai țin minte dacă mi-ai spus, sau Nu am înțeles, ar fi altceva. Dacă ar recunoaște că uită și ar avea încredere că-i spun adevărul, s-o ajut să-și refacă memoria. Nu știu cum să mă port cu ea în astfel de momente, cum s-o conving că spun adevărul, că lucrurile sunt cum spun eu….
Deocamdată știu doar că am momente în care simt că clachez, că nu mai pot, că vreau o insulă pustie, să nu mai știu de nimeni și de nimic. Am nevoie de cineva să mă ajute și nu are cine, nu știu cum să găsesc o persoană potrivită și pe care s-o accepte/ asculte (la luat pastile, mai ales), să n-o dea afară ca hoață sau mai știu eu ce… Negăsindu-se nicio soluție, merg mai departe, iar soțul mă ajută și el cât poate (acceptă situația că el stă singur și eu stau cu mama, vine să mă ajute la curățenie, cumpărături, etc.). Dar mă sufoc…
Mă tem de viață
mai mult decât de moarte.
Moartea este liniște și pace,
Contorsiunile vieții pot fi din ce în ce mai ciudate
luând cu ele și viața celorlalți.
Mă tem de viață
dar știu că trebuie luată în piept
și nu există alt drum decât drept înainte,
într-un fel sau altul…
“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.” (Ecclesiastes, the Holy Bible)
It seems so long ago now when I remember how, one morning I woke up to an offline on yahoo messenger, with a website address, and I saw “Before the Mast” skinned by Raven, with a banner and all empty otherwise. A few hours later, I got persuaded to become her co-administrator and to put my love for the Age of Sail and my knowledge about the era into a new RPG which should have everything we loved in others, while avoiding, at the same time, what we didn’t like.
We took pride in being not the regular, common RPG everybody sees around, but something different, more of an interactive story puzzle written coherently by several people, a puzzle matching together from various little stories and chapters. It promoted community spirit, open communication, interesting discussions, fun and friendship.
And after a strenuous work of three weeks of writing all kind of documentations, on Transfiguration Day – 6-th of August 2010 – we had the official opening. Since then, we had no offline day, not even for replacing the site’s appearance. But there is a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot – so the site, which had 3 volumes in the 9 years it had been ongoing, will close at the end of 2019.
Who can forget the nine years passed since that Transfiguration holiday chosen as the official opening date of “Before the Mast”? Three years and a half spent on Invisionfree, (sorry, it was bought by Tapatalk and all the coding went to Hell in the transformation, not to mention also the Photobucket disaster) for Before the Mast 1719 and four years and a half spent on jcink, in the second year of our story, for Before the Mast 1720, plus the time spent on our newest volume, the third one, the more colonial-focused Caribbean Dawn 1720, which has its own two year birthday celebration on New Year 2020. The moment of its closing up, too…
Nine years of pouring my love for the Age of Sail and my knowledge about the era into a coherent story to be written with others have passed. We have striven to be a writing community of likeminded people, gathered together for doing a common project –writing together a soap-opera style, collaborative and consistent swashbuckling adventure story, each thread being a chapter of it. In this spirit, we kept discussing potential turns and twists and plotting them with the others, in order to fuel our inspiration and excitement about the story, to avoid inconsistencies and to put all the partners on the same wavelength, to write together towards the same objective.
Nine years are a lot of time, so writing partners have changed, characters have changed, the story has changed too with the sinking of some ships and the advent of peace in the West Indies. Nine years with joys and disappointments too, because nobody is exempted of them. And if nothing else, even this would be a reason to consider it an accomplishment – but I think we have much more.
We have built up an epic Caribbean saga. Some of my share of the story will be rewritten differently, in Romanian, into an adventure novel series titled The price of freedom. For now, I have definite ideas for 4 novels in the series, but 1-2 more aren’t impossible.
They say that people come into our life for a reason, for a season or for a lifetime. I think all of us knew that our site wasn’t meant for a lifetime, but for a reason and a few seasons. And the final season has come. I know that my stress and lack of free time won’t change in the next future. I am less motivated – or, rather, I have less life force to keep the site running, in the conditions that I can’t hand it over to anyone, as their lives had changed too in nine years, and their motivation had dwindled. So, better wrap up our stories, leaving place for a sequel which will never be written.
It wasn’t a decision taken lightly. It’s almost a decade of my life invested in this site and story, and in the friendship with most of my members – my crew, as I used to call them. I kept receiving signs heading in this direction for the latest months, until I understood there will be nothing better waiting for me upwards… A man has to do what a man has to do. It is valid for fleet admirals and pirate captains, as well! Including for me. My roleplaying time will soon be over.
“People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime.
When you figure out which one it is,
you will know what to do for each person.
When someone is in your life for a REASON,
it is usually to meet a need you have expressed.
They have come to assist you through a difficulty;
to provide you with guidance and support;
to aid you physically, emotionally or spiritually.
They may seem like a godsend, and they are.
They are there for the reason you need them to be.
Then, without any wrongdoing on your part or at an inconvenient time,
this person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end.
Sometimes they die. Sometimes they walk away.
Sometimes they act up and force you to take a stand.
What we must realize is that our need has been met,
our desire fulfilled; their work is done.
The prayer you sent up has been answered and now it is time to move on.
Some people come into your life for a SEASON,
because your turn has come to share, grow or learn.
They bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh.
They may teach you something you have never done.
They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy.
Believe it. It is real. But only for a season.
LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons;
things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation.
Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person,
and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas of your life.
It is said that love is blind but friendship is clairvoyant.”
…once upon a time, on a CARIBBEAN DAWN… (Or what we have been writing interactively for nine years – don’t mind that the greeting is from the 7 years’ celebration).
“Behold! A cry from the crow’s nest.
A ship appears from the south west.
The years below deck that bored me,
All lead to what lies before me:
Hear the terror! Fires burn and cannons sound.
Fate awaits me, as the vessels circle round
See the slaughter – cutlass swings and pistols fire.
I hold my breath, close my eyes and hang on for
Death before the mast.”
Meanwhile, the privateers and the Navies aren’t the only tricky ones in the Caribbean. The pirate ship, the ”Caribbean Siren”, has been spying on the English Navy’s moves in Kingston, as well as watching for the arrival of a rich Manila Fleet in Havana. Nobody ever knows where their informants will be hiding, and their cunning makes them just as formidable a foe as the Spanish. Information continues to change hands as the weeks go by, and no one can ever be certain who has the advantage in this war…
Adventures of all kind
”Le Phenix” got lucky and managed to board, plunder, and sink the Spanish vessel ”La Princesa”, taking the Admiral’s daughter hostage. The French capitaine Raoul Duval looked forward to a sure promotion for his successful venture, as well as his valuable booty, but his luck was quick to change. His already damaged ship was boarded by the notorious pirate crew of the ”Caribbean Siren”, and not only was Duval taken prisoner, but his proud French flagship was stripped of anything with worth, including the high-born Admiral’s daughter. Yet surprising to everyone, Captain Duval, as well as the rest of his ship, were set free again, leaving his crew to wonder at what price they had been granted their liberty…
”Le Phenix” and ”La Princesa” tried to fit in with the new crowd. But somewhere in the midst of the festivities, the pirate captain made a bad bet in a game of cards, and was nearly fooled into losing his sailing master. Fortunately, the bartered man managed to get himself out of the trade with a little bit of intimate service, and returned to the captain who had mistakenly bet him away.
El Moreno was sent to retrieve her. Though he soon brought her home to her father safe and sound, he kept to himself the information that she had been all too willing to go with the pirates in the first place, and had been reluctant to be rescued…
”Le Phenix”, was finally repaired from the damage the pirates had inflicted. But once the imposing vessel was back out on the high seas, the alliance of the English privateers, the English Navy, and the French Navy wasted no time in putting their plans of attack in motion. The three vessels assumed disguises as merchant ships, and by doing so managed to ensnare two pirate ships, when they then towed to Port-de-Paix. But much to the allies’ dismay, the ”Caribbean Siren” was otherwise occupied, and didn’t take the bait…
”Siren” crew was not able to hold onto their streak of luck much longer. After an unfortunate succession of events, the pirate ship’s sailing master suffered an intense flogging after infringing upon the pirates’ code, and then was further tormented by the boatswain’s mate, who abused the already weak man while no one else was around. Feverish and frightened, the sailing master fled to Port-de-Paix, where some friends secretly helped him recover his help. But in an attempt to find the sick and runaway sailing master, the pirate captain, Sol Galvez, ended up being captured and imprisoned on the French island along with two other pirate men taken as “trophies.”
”The Fate’s Hand”. The mutineers killed the acting captain and then took the ship they had captured from the pirates as a prize, renaming it as the ”Twilight Shark” and sailing under a newly elected captain. With a letter of marque from Nassau and a ragtag crew of men, the new privateer ship set off in search of prey, ready and willing to take on Spanish and pirates alike.
”Siren” readily agreed to. After confronting the ship in battle, the pirates took the Duchess as a “prisoner,” killing her husband as requested.
”Twilight Shark”. Although the details of the battle aren’t known to many outside of the two crews, the fact of the matter is that the pirates invoked the right of parley, and a truce was reached between the ships. The privateers took the Duchess with them and returned to Kingston, where they were received as heroes, and the pirates went home to fight another day…
”Twilight Shark” captured a Spanish galleon as a prize, they weighed anchor only to realize that Captain Sharky, as well as his trusted man, Kemba, were missing. Investigations made them understand that their captain and fellow crewmate won’t return anymore, since they had been sold to a slaver. So, they had to elect a new captain, who started gaining new prizes for them due to an original way of gathering intelligence.
”Caribbean Siren” set out yet again on an expedition at the beginning of August of 1719, not knowing that it would be their last aboard the ship. They encountered the vengeful allied English and French Navies all too quickly once at sea, and the resulting clash came with disastrous results. How many of the crew survived this battle, which ended finally in the sinking of the ”Caribbean Siren”? It’s up to you to count them… But like the legendary bird getting reborn from its ashes, the remaining crew got regrouped again around their captain, gaining a new ship, the “Rising Sun”, new members and new victories… Will they win also against the forces of nature, as hurricane season is ongoing?
HMS “Sovereign”, with a new captain, ready to fight pirates, and the known French flagship, ”Le Phenix”, has a new captain, since the former one has been promoted to rear-admiral.
Le Phenix” had risked on several plans when entering the harbour despite the yellow flag.
“Elixir d’Armagnac” was attacked and looted by pirates remained shipless after the hurricane. Will the owner and the tavern maids succeed to regain the inn’s good reputation after having got the revenge, but not recovered the lost valuables?
HMS “Sovereign” arrived, in November 1719, to Port de Paix with a delicate mission for which it needed the help of the privateers and of the French Navy… They left, all allied ships, to blockade Cuba, as retaliation for the cutting out of the supplies for Jamaica by the remains of the Spanish convoy – which, if the hurricane didn’t side with the British, would have attacked Jamaica too…
coup de grace ! It turned out that the one attempted to be killed wasn’t the actual mark, Rear-Admiral Raoul Duval, but a victim of the masquerade disguising, the commander of Fort Charles in Kingston. Two other officers, one French, one British, were hurt severely in the assassins’ escape.
Relationships and Intrigues
Code Noir interdictions.) Would the lovers of the Tortuga women be so strong and understanding to help them get over the attack on the inn, happened in their absence?
Adventures of all kind
Battle of Nassau got all the allies involved in it, privateers included. Blood and gunpowder stained the sea, and the privateer ship “Twilight Shark” got sunk, with some of its crew saved by other ships, including the French privateer “La Chanson“.
voudou, divine judgment or an epidemic the medicine couldn’t cure. However, it was only the start of the pirates’ misfortunes… Because upon their return in Tortuga, a group of shipless pirates planned to commandeer the “Rising Sun”.
Relationships and Intrigues
What happened in the summer of 1720
princesse de sang‘s arrival causes turmoil in the high society… and even more havoc the day she goes missing. Soon a ransom letter is received by the Rear-Admiral, showing that she had been kidnapped by pirates who want some of theirs freed in exchange… He had to swallow his pride and make the exchange, for the princess’s sake (and his position), swearing revenge for later and sending all his ships in patrol, to hunt all the possible pirates.
“Rising Sun”. Only that, when finally found, the “Rising Sun” got sunk by mistake, with a wrongly aimed cannonade from their allies. And the sound of the battle had alerted the two Navy ships in the area, HMS Sovereign and Le Phenix, who came to investigate.
Sovereign‘s ammunition bag, and the British Navy ship exploded together with its pirate prize the crew had just boarded. The French flagship succeeded to sink the other pirate ship and to fish out some prisoners, but not before getting raked by bow. Therefore, sixteen hours later, the flagship lost its fight with the water seeping into the ship through the damaged hull. The survivors’ story is told in our next volume, Caribbean Dawn.Sharpen your blades, load your guns, drain the last sip of rum, and raise your sword to swashbuckling adventure, building a colonial paradise under a new Caribbean Dawn!
In the meanwhile, life was going on in all towns…
It happened at a Caribbean Dawn in 1720…
Pirates and navy men have survived the DOOMSDAY BATTLE and ITS AFTERMATH, but they remained shipless and were washed up or rescued at sea by various ships. Pirates and Navy men found themselves forced to survive together or die together, and, in this process, some discovered that the enemy’s representatives were just people like them, whom one could have befriended in different conditions. Some of them will actually end almost friends for life, tied by the adventures they had faced together.
In Martinique, the surviving French Navy sailors and pirates encountered, after a long walk through a deserted area, a Native tribe (which had adopted some marroons too). They healed the French Navy master’s mate, who had been biten by a snake and started having fever and hallucinations.
In Bequia, the survivors had also found a friendly tribe, who knew a bit of French, because some French from Guadeloupe were visiting them regularly, being allowed to take some wood for timber. The French ship helped them return safely.
In Curaçao, the two former best men at a certain wedding – one a pirate quartermaster, the other a British Navy sailor – had been washed out on a desertic beach. They had to walk a lot until finding a farm of aloe vera, one of the few plants growing in that arid climate, where people helped them recover and reach the capital, a port wherefrom they could leave to Tortuga.
The three pirates washed out on Isla Santa Margarita (or fished up around that island) had shown their devotion to the patron saints of sailors and voyagers, who had saved them. After a pilgrimage or two, resulting in some answers for the former pirate captain and his first mate, they returned to Tortuga, decided to give up their trade and find a safer ship to take them on.
Adventures of all kind
In Tortuga, an intrepid wife decided to open a small bakery at home and started making the first sales. One of the rescued pirates got hired by a local cartographer. Her mapmaking skills are renowned.
A newly hired smuggler was shocked to discover that Tortuga was a customary stop in their trips to Havana, but also that the town didn’t show its proverbial bad fame, being just one like many others on different islands.
After the celebration of the pirates’ return, a sort of original council is held too, in order to establish what they are going to do next, how to get a new ship. Havana is the port where the adventure would happen, and some smugglers are willing to give them an (unseen) helping hand.
In Regla, everyone was praying to the patron saint of sailors, Saint Mary of Regla, ready to bring good luck and encouragement to her protegees.
In Havana, in the harbour, midnight brought a stealthy pirate attack to the merchant ship Villa Rica. There were squirmishes here and there, but most sailors had been surprised in their sleep and they surrendered, being promised their lives.
In Port-de-Paix, a religious festival, the Assumption Vigil, is the best opportunity for various people to meet, to get acquainted and to gossip, to pray for the return of the seafarers… or to conclude various kinds of understandings with old acquaintances, with the thoughts mellowed by the Holy touch of the vigil music. This is how half-siblings who had never talked to each other meet and attempt to establish a connection, how past grievances about mutinies and executions are braided with recent gossips about sunken ships and missing seafarers, how flirts and love stories start or end.
The former privateers jumped ship for more profitable and less risky ventures. Most of them found employment aboard smuggler ships.
It is unusual for a woman to be the owner of a chandler’s shop, but it is possible. And her business is going well also because she is making friends in all places: in the herborist’s shop, at the religious procession, among shipwreck survivors and foreign officers. Good luck further!
In the open seas, a Navy ship met a privateerman and exchanged letters bound to their port of destination. A Scottish merchant ship got caught in a storm and one of the sailors injured himself. A small ship ran away from a storm, taking shelter in a cove, and everyone was curious to explore the island they drifted towards.
A smuggler ship’s crew found out suddenly that they were hiding a runaway slave, protected by the captain.
Aboard “L’Amazone”, the crew welcomed aboard the British liaison officer before setting sail for Havana, towards new adventures. The day before, the survivors of the shipwreck outfitted themselves fully for the voyage. The chandler’s shop owner had a busy day.
In Kingston, the banker received bad financial news from London and he tried his best to minimize his risks by denying unprofitable loans. The rejected farmers had to find alternative solutions for obtaining some money. But it was just the beginning of the financial downfall… From France and Louisiana, there are also gossips about failing investments rendering rich people poor and making money vanishing. Who will be trapped in the Mississippi Bubbles, on the French and British sides? And how much would these men value when losing their money?
Relationships and Intrigues
Love and romance abound in the Caribbean, and it is a well known fact that sometimes, the relationships, the scandals, and the gossip – both true and fabricated – can become as complicated as the bloody battles themselves.
In Port-de-Paix, the reception of the new Spanish Admiral and his wife got way beyond warm. May the traditional beauty of the Spanish ladies have something to do with it? The new flag captain was seen showing the town to a pretty Spanish lady – nobody else than the Admiral’s wife. Was he looking for an additional way to strengthening the renewed alliance?
The Rear Admiral received the most unexpected birthday gift from a mysterious lady, who showed him and his wife her secrets. Not the kind you would figure up, though… Can a birthday dinner between a Rear-Admiral and an assassin end well? Who says that the Rear Admiral doesn’t have some unusual friends?
A few days later, the same high officer was seen in the forests around the town. His staff said that he would be absent a few days. What he might be up to? Just finding out that it is difficult to build bridges among cultures with very different, clashing values. What’s a path through the jungle for the French Rear-Admiral, for his Native guide, whom he thought he would impress in order to make his mark upon colonial diplomacy, seemed to be much more, and a reason for conflict.
A noble lady had lunch with an inn owner, former prostitute, after meeting in church. They found out that, beyond the difference of status, women have the same main griefs.
The ship Acadie has arrived from France, bringing all kind of news and a rich heiress aboard. Also the British Navy liaison officer was there. Fortunately, he got welcomed by an affable innkeeper and invited to the Assumption Vigil, a good opportunity to meet new people. A couple of days later, he got an audience with the Rear-Admiral, waving together interesting plans for tying stronger co-operation bonds between the neighbouring islands. Soon he made new friends in the French Navy and got seduced by an exotic dancer.
The Rear Admiral’s secretary helped the banker’s heiress around in her first day in town. Later, she had an original way to make the acquaintance of the British liaison officer. A French Navy lieutenant went to the bank to ask for a loan, while the Rear Admiral’s assistant offered the banker books and promises of meeting the colonial elite.
A French Navy sailor is courting the owner of a chandler’s shop, bringing her books and presents from the most recent voyage and asking her out for that very evening. The same young man’s charms proved to be successful even with a blood princess, for an unforgettable afternoon. After a ceremony for the survivors of the sunk French flagship, she had granted him, a common sailor, a private audience, a really unusual event… The same young man saved a ship boy from drowning during the shipwreck, finding in the process that… he wasn’t quite a boy. After trying to persuade the disguised youngster that there were less risky professions for a girl, he succeeded to convince his recently widowed mother into taking in an orphan girl, to raise her properly.
A Navy carpenter has the surprise of his life when the woman he thought far away, in France, got right in front of him, telling him he was the lucky father of twins.
A little boy sings nicely and receives the promise of music lessons. The young boy shows some potential…Will he become a great singer? And who can guess that said tutor is moonshining as an assassin?
A ship captain met a lonely lady on the docks and invited her to lunch. A week later, he received an invitation to her homecoming party. Who says that the French colonial nobility doesn’t know how to amuse themselves? A welcome party is a good opportunity for talking politics, building alliances and …dancing with a princess. The French flag captain and the British liaison officer were seated next to each other. A good opportunity for getting acquainted. Who might find a good friend? Who might find a love interest? It remains to be seen…
In Tortuga, the midwife was called in emergency by the chandler’s shop owner. The bad news about the sinking of the pirate ships in a battle with two navies had taken some tolls… Fortunately, things weren’t as dire, and the baby will be born in due time, not before.
More surviving pirates find their way home and start gathering in the welcoming inn, bringing with them two former British Navy men who decide to settle on this island – one with his sister and a new ship to work on, with his smuggler brother-in-law, and another with his best friend and lover, and with this pirate’s sister. from Curacao, and they found another young man having the same destination. Friendships can be made easier after having seen Death and returning from that dangerous edge.
One of the surviving pirates proposed to his lover, a herborist, upon breakfast. Wedding bells will sound after they get a new ship.
An assassin and a smuggler were drinking tea together, exchanging the latest news. An Irishman arrived to Tortuga, interested in joining piracy. He received the first news and encouragements in the chandler’s shop, befriending the owner, then he was introduced to the people in the inn. One of the tavern maids accepted to show him, in her free time, the town. It seems they enjoy being together.
A pirate and a former Navy man befriended a jeweler who was ready to get a new life in Tortuga. With their help and the innkeeper’s, the jeweler bought a building and arranged it, together with his friend and the new apprentice, former slave, in order to open a shop.
In Kingston, an English merchant of Scottish origin helped a young compatriot with finding a job in his service. He also found out that the ship captain bringing him letters and goods was also a compatriot, without knowing about enmity between their clans. Both the Scottish merchant and the lad in his service, each one at his turn, were lucky to befriend another British Navy captain, too, who got invited to an inland tour, to various plantations.
The Colonies seem the most suitable place for unseeming friendships and love affairs. Two Navy captains of the allied forces, one young, one with lots of experience, were drinking together in a tavern, then visiting the town together. Long live the alliance! At another table, a corporal and a newcomer Londoner were having lunch together.
A pretty laundress, with high morals, who had rejected a rich merchant’s indecent proposal, invited home a lad who had volunteered to carry her load. Is it how romances usually start?
A Navy captain is usually entrusted, when leaving a port, with letters of all kind. Some recipients are invited onboard to take the letters, but the luckier and wealthier ones receive his visit. The visit was granted to the Duchess of St. Albans, a young widow owning a big plantation, bringing her letters and news from London. Unfortunately, the letters were telling about new legal problems, so she invited over the magistrate, to get his help. But he seemed to focus more on the pretty slave, who needed the governess’s help in order to get away from a sticky situation.
In Havana, the French flag captain has found the best guide to show him the charms of Colonial Spain. Does it matter anymore that she is married to the newly appointed Spanish Admiral? Their torrid affair could set on fire the fragile peace between the two countries, creating a serious diplomatic incident.
In a brothel, a French Navy petty officer made a promise to a prostitute. He smuggled her aboard the ship and got caught by the First Lieutenant, who punished him, without harming the woman.
The intrigues are never ending… But, in the meanwhile, life goes on in all towns.
What happens next? Who will be fighting whom, and who will flourish under the new Caribbean Dawn? Whose lovers will weep somewhere ashore, and whose will celebrate, showered in gold and gifts? That’s a story which might remain forever untold… or which will make the subject of other interactive writing sites… or novel series!
If you want a glimpse into the future of some characters, you may find it in the EPILOGUES.
A venit primăvara, și locul meu preferat de scris, pentru vreme frumoasă, este la aer, în Cișmigiu, la Buturugă. Vânzătorul a învățat deja că de obicei cer o cafea mare, cu lapte și fără zahăr. Cred că aia aveam și în poză. Dacă e prea târziu sau am băut cafea în ziua respectivă, iau apă minerală, ceai verde sau cappucino, depinde cât de obosită sunt și cât de cald este.
Se vede că sunt căpetenia piraților – am steagul lor, Jolly Roger, pe laptop (să trăiască Manda din SUA, care mi l-a adus!) S-au scris și povești cu pirați pe el, și fără… și se vor mai scrie. Butoaiele din jur nu conțin rom, cum am fost acuzată, pe nedrept, pe FB. Sunt goale, și sunt măsuțe de băut o bere în picioare.
Să vă arăt colțul scriitorului și acasă. Da, pe desktop am un portret de familie… oriental. Un pașă și o cadână, la un festival turcesc, acum câțiva ani. (Medicamentele prinse în poză dovedeau că eram răcită cobză atunci – am și sprayul de astm, și picăturile de nas… și soluția de curățat ochelari și monitor. Era proaspăt după Crăciun făcută poza (de obicei e și mai dezordine!) și cuprinde semnele de carte, păpușile rusești și cariocile cu care să le colorez, primite de la un Secret Santa din Grupul NaNoWriMo București.
Da, mai vedeți un pirat în poză. Îl cheamă Captain Albert și e pușculiță. Al meu soț mi l-a luat spunând că, în lipsă de inspirație, să-l mituiesc cu ceva mărunt ca să îmi mai șoptească ce să scriu. Din când în când, se umple, îl desfac, îi fac fișicuri de câte 10 x 10 bani… și vânzătorul care primește un leu atât de mărunt e cam “fericit”.