Sunday, June 21, 2015

Weekend Writing Warriors #8sunday (RO)(ER)

It's Sunday and time for the Weekend Writing Warriors. Participants post 8-10 sentences from a writing project, either published or unpublished. Today it's a bit from The Leonardo Chronicles a bind-up of my award-winning, Victorian polyamorous series Loving Leonardo.

First my 10, followed by details~
We were hungry to experience life through complete abandon to the senses in the way of da Vinci himself, and if that meant wine at tea, then we’d happily partake.

Very much like the three of us, da Vinci was extremely curious with an insatiable desire to learn. He tested knowledge through experience and sensorial intake. In this he went so far as to implement the removal of senses such as sight, that the other senses might be enlivened, and included ambidexterity as a method to experience all. One of the most intriguing things about him was his eye for beauty; an eye where others were blind. His sketches of grotesquely deformed faces and bodies clearly proved it. This gift and his genius enabled him to go beyond conventional thought. I was coming to see Ellie and I as being very much like our friend Leonardo, for we too were a paradox to convention. 

Enjoying our continental merenda, we picked up the conversation where we’d left it the day before — discussing the ideals of classical antiquity that inspired the Renaissance and made da Vinci the man he was. I described to my companions how the artists of the time yearned for perfection in their work — the same perfect beauty Homer and Virgil strived to achieve in their verse.  

What just happened~

Absorbed in a new friendship aboard ship, newlyweds Nicolas and Ellie share a merenda with Luca and continue their discussion about Leonardo da Vinci. (A merenda is the Venetian version of afternoon tea) They haven't yet shared with Luca their quest for da Vinci's long lost book. It's turning out the three are indeed kindred spirits -- three sensitive souls yearning for their own version of perfection in the rapidly changing times of the Industrial Revolution.

What's at the heart of this unusual love story?
My little dog watches TV.  She really does. Nothing makes the little couch potato's day better than a good cat food commercial she can growl at. Cute.

I don't normally listen to the low drone in the background. One day the midday news came on and it caught my attention. It was a full hour of  negative social commentary -- ugly things like bigotry and sexism, forced medical procedures on women, and sneers and jeers at education.. like bettering oneself was a bad thing. Each bit of the news got under my skin like it never had before. There was just. so. much. My generation fought for equality as did those who came before. But it's very true when you finally get some ground under your feet, it feels so good to stand on the accomplishment, the thought of keeping that ground gets smaller in one's mind.

That's where Ellie came from, the heroine in Loving Leonardo. My unusual love story began with this negative news show. The issues I was hearing were Suffragette issues, and you'd think 100+ years later, we wouldn't have to fight for the same ground we'd already won.

The straw that broke this camel's back that day was one about long-time lovers kept apart because they were the same gender. That particular story was heartbreaking. The men had been partners for decades, their love for one another clear in their long commitment. But now one man lay on his deathbed. The other was fighting the courts to be by his side, but both ran out of time. From this tragic story my writer's mind created Nicolas and Luca.

I've felt for a while that society is sliding backwards and there's no doubt the ugliness is spreading. What's one romance writer to do?

Counter with love, of course.

As if directed by some unseen hand, I walked away from the novel I was working on and stepped into the past. My Ellie is a Suffragette and she loves two well-educated men who happen to love each other too. Yes, Loving Leonardo has a message of tolerance. Aside from that, it's an exciting, sexy romp through Victorian Europe on a quest for a book written and illustrated by Leonardo da Vinci for his homosexual lover Salai.

There are two books in the ongoing series and more to come. I invite you into the decadent Victorian world of Loving Leonardo and Loving Leonardo -The Quest. Discover both in The Leonardo Chronicles. Available for pre-order on Amazon and it costs less than buying separately!

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  1. Wonderful snippet, Rose. Very easy to read.

    I love your story about the motivation for this book. And yes, I fear that society is sliding backwards. Extremists are driving it. And they are on both sides of the aisle, Can't we all just live and let live? :-(

  2. Rose, this was beautiful sample and a wonderful reason for creating a story. Like Teresa... I fear the extremism our society has begun to accept as the norm. It's not doing us any good, and yet the more problems society experiences, the greater the cry for an extreme solution....