I was asked to participate in a blog hop by Rhonda Hall http://rhondamhall.wordpress.com/2014/03/18/blog-hop/ and to answer four questions :
WHAT I’M WORKING ON
I just published my novella, “I Dream of My Lady in Red,” under my pseudonym, Paula Freda. My son, Thomas, does photography on the side. One of his photos inspired me to write this story, and he and the model were kind enough to allow me to use the photo for the book cover. http://dorothypaula.wordpress.com/ I’ve published the story on Amazon.com as an e-book, and Lord willing, it will soon be available as a paperback as well. It’s on pre-order at Smashwords.com and through them, at various online book publishers. This is my 31st indie publication (novels, novellas, anthologies, poetry (fiction and non-fiction).
Where had he seen her? He must have, somewhere. You just don’t dream up someone, at least not as clearly and vividly as he had. Could a human mind do that, create a face and a body so real, that made him tenaciously rummage through his memories to find her? Was she real, or a figment of an overactive imagination? He was, after all, a writer who created characters for his action-adventure and mystery stories. But those characters took time to develop. Not like this lady in red. She was alive somewhere. He was certain of it….
As she had done several times this past month in response to her mother’s entreaties, Adriana tried on the dress once more, and stood before the free-standing full length oval mirror — another heirloom handed down through the years — a beautiful Florentine mirror framed in rosewood lovingly carved with fleurs-de-lis. The mirror and the matching vanity in her room had been gifted many years ago by an Italian nobleman to his spouse, a daughter of the Dellaportas. Adriana studied her reflection in the mirror. The red emphasized her lightly tanned skin and the warm dark brown waves of her shoulder length hair. The dress had been sized to fit her slender figure and medium height. The skirt fell in vertical waves to just below her knees. Her mother had told her that the dress was priceless. And if the Dellaporta line ever died out, every Dellaporta’s Last Will and Testament specifically mandated the dress be donated to a local museum who had over the generations repeatedly requested to display it among their most precious acquisitions.
Perhaps it was the mood of the present generation, or the reason behind wearing the dress — to entice a suitable husband — or the debutante ball itself, putting her on public display, that made Adriana shudder….
Adriana sighed, contemplating the dress and the silk rose clip. The accessory was made of the finest silk, but she’d prefer a real flower.. The vase in the corner of her vanity held a bouquet of roses in full bloom – a Valentine’s Day present from her parents, two days ago. On impulse, she took a small silver scissor from the side drawer of her vanity, and cut a rose to replace the accessory. She slipped off the silk blossom and threaded the stem bit through the gold pin, then clipped the rose to her hair above her left temple. As she did so, some of the petals fell to the ground. Closing the gap between the vanity and the mirror, she bent to pick up the trail of petals. At that very moment, a ray of sunlight cut through the window sash, encircling her body in a halo. The free-standing mirror reflected her image as she picked up the petals.
Unaware of her surreal image and the cascade of sunray, Adriana’s thoughts were of the suitors who would vie for her hand in marriage. Certainly, the dress made her look beautiful and desirable, and her parents’ wealth and her inheritance, more so. It was not a publicized fact, but many of the Dellaporta daughters had not happy in their marriages. Another reason she wished to avoid the whole tradition. She wanted to marry and raise a family of her own. But most importantly, she wanted to love her chosen spouse and be loved in return for all their lifetime. To be loved for herself, for her spirit and her mind, and not for the beauty of the body that was transitory, or for her inheritance.
Occupied with her thoughts, she paused in the act of collecting the fallen petals, trying to imagine the man who might fit that description. She did not notice the subtle haze created by the sunray around her. In her mind’s eye, she imagined that he would not know who she was, or her background and traditions. And it would not be love at first sight. He would fall in love with her slowly, day by day, as he grew to know her. And vice versa. A gentle, good man, with a modicum of common sense. A hard worker who did not aspire to a fortune. She would not find him at a debutante ball. No! she determined. I will not wear this dress or attend any coming out ball!
Adriana finished picking up the petals and stood up. The light coming from the window dimmed, the accompanying surreal aura cleared, the haziness dispersed. Adriana slipped out of the dress and replaced it on the hanger and re-hung it all the way back in her walk-in closet.
2. HOW DOES MY WORK DIFFER FROM OTHERS OF ITS GENRE?
Most romance writers hopefully write from the heart. So do I.
I enjoy writing inspirational, sweet romances, non-graphic, but deeply emotional. I explore the emotions of my characters and do my best to portray their feelings. Although I do not write graphically, I don’t deny or hide the sensual, but rather exemplify it through the character’s emotions and feelings. The desire to be loved for one’s own worth, and vice versa. The need to belong to one another, to feel loved and desired, to commit to one another, to forgive, and be forgiven.
I have a special devotion to the Blessed Mother, and often portray this through the characters. The Rosary, especially. I try to write for all denominations. My belief is that the roads to the Good Lord are many, according to where he has placed you. What I believe remains constant, is peace and good will, kindness, faith, hope, and charity, and to care for one another. We are our brother’s keepers, whether we like it or not.
3. WHY DO I WRITE WHAT I DO?
Mother of two grown sons, grandmother of two wonderful grandchildren, and former off-the-desk publisher of a family-oriented print small press, (1984 thru 1999), The Pink Chameleon, that I now publish on line, I was raised by my grandmother and mother, and have been writing for as long as I can remember. Even before I could set pencil to paper, I would spin my stories in the recording booths in the Brooklyn Coney Island Arcades for a quarter per 3-minute record. I love the English language, love words and seeing them on display, typed and alive. A romantic at heart, I write simply and emotionally. One of my former editors kindly described my work, …her pieces are always deep, gentle and refreshing…. I love writing, despite that I still have much to learn, and am grateful to any editor who takes the time to help me improve my skill. Although I’ve no fancy that I will ever be famous, or even want to be, my hope is that my writing will bring entertainment and uplift the human spirit. If someday in the future, someone reads my work and feels the better for it, then I have fulfilled myself.
4. HOW DOES YOUR WRITING PROCESS WORK?
Sometimes story ideas come to me in dreams. Other times, a newspaper headline, a movie whose ending I disliked, experiences in my youth. I have never been able to plot a story. And I have tried the outline, but find I grow bored with it. My system is to have a beginning, a middle, and an end. Everything in between evolves as I write the story. It’s a movie in my mind that moves from scene to scene. I write novellas, because I enjoy page-turners. I enjoy reading novels, but when it comes to writing them, I don’t have the patience, or the time, or the health, and enjoy getting quickly to the meat of the story, so to speak. I like description to a point, but prefer to generalize and let the reader form their own impression. Detailed description I reserve for scenes set, for instance, in a foreign city, or an unusual landscape, etc., where the setting is meant to show or enhance the emotions and feelings of the characters. One of the lessons I learned at a writer’s course, was that no matter how detailed a description, the reader visualizes a scene according to his or her own background and perspective. I seemed to have settled to writing two to three novellas a year. And continue to publish my not for profit, small press, on line, The Pink Chameleon, where I showcase the work of not so well known writers. Diamonds in the rough. I take only one year rights, and edit and format the works I have accepted, before posting the accepted submissions along with their bylines, to The Pink Chameleon On Line. http://www.thepinkchameleon and http://www.thepinkchameleon.com/guidelines.htm