Posts tagged ‘Cuba’

September 27, 2011

The Cover for Tesora, designed by Anne Abrams

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August 4, 2011

Tesora refuses to end itself

Still slogging through the end of the rough draft of my novel, Tesora. The plot must be complete for me to give it a rest, so there is yet no rest for me. It’s hard to finish a story that concerns slavery. And it’s hard to let go of characters I’ve grown to love. Stay tuned. I will finish it.

July 24, 2011

Almost finished with the Tesora rough draft

I’m on a final push to finish my manuscript for the novel, so I haven’t posted in a while and I probably won’t post again for another week or two. After that, I will post some new things from the novel. Thanks.

July 15, 2011

Esmeralda Santiago’s “Conquistadora” —a Puerto Rican Plantation Mistress Strikes Out

In a review in The NY Times it says that Esmeralda Santiago’s “Conquistadora” is a novel about a Puerto Rican plantation mistress. It’s set in mid-19th-century Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico was one of the last holdouts for slavery in the Americas, ending it in 1873, although slavery in Cuba wasn’t abolished until 1884. The novel’s heroine ends up a widow running a sugar plantation who becomes romantically involved with an overseer. She is a heroine, however, of mixed reviews: she was not above having her slaves tied to a tree and whipped when it profited her.
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/17/books/review/book-review-conquistadora-by-esmeralda-santiago.html

July 8, 2011

Ronan’s Stolen Gold Meets the Pirates Who Once Owned It

The main character from Tesora, Ronan, is confronted by three pirates. They once sailed the pirate ship which supplied Ronan with his traveling money (gold coins). They appear in his town to get the money back. They carry muskets like the one pictured below. They also walk the same swagger as this musketeer. They count on Ronan being young and afraid—they don’t count on his support from the folk in Puerto Toque.

June 9, 2011

Real pirate treasure is shown is this slide show.

Real pirate treasure is shown is this slide show. Click this link:

http://www.slate.com/slideshow/arts/pirate-treasures#all

June 9, 2011

The music in writing flows from the story itself

I don’t stand in line to buy an album of music I already own. Also, I don’t look for books that read exactly like Chekhov, as good as he was. I want something unique, a story that is specifically a new tune with a different use of harmony, and most of all: with a different rhythm. The only way I know to create such a thing is to find it in myself. My own mind is what I trust to synthesize all those elements in a story to make it all work together. The music comes from the imagined story itself, the words come from that same place. The intellectual mind is important, but not any more important than the sub-conscious or even unconscious parts of the brain. The more of myself I can access to add to a story, the better it will be. Listening to music can help (I listen to Afro-Cuban music while I write my Caribbean story), but writing is its own music so it helps me to hear it aloud . . . and to listen.

June 5, 2011

A rare picture of Tesora using an early 17th Century camera.

A rare picture of Tesora using an early 17th Century camera.

June 3, 2011

Tesora and Actual Pirates of the Caribbean

My novel, Tesora, is based on as much research into the facts of the era in which pirates roamed the seas of the Caribbean as I could find. Here is some of that information:

David Cordingly, from the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, England, is author of the definitive book on pirates, Under the Black Flag.

He says that in the years between 1715 and 1725, there was an explosion of piracy in the Caribbean that was comparable in some ways with the recent outbreak of piracy in the seas off Somalia.

In contrast to the fictions displayed in the movies, the majority of the eighteenth-century pirates were working-class sailors: naval deserters, redundant merchant seamen, and former privateers. They were not the heroic, romantic characters portrayed in the movies by Johnny Depp’s Captain Sparrow. They were hard men notorious for their foul language, heavy drinking, and casual violence.

Also, it was true that “Negroes and mulattoes were present on almost every pirate ship, and only rarely did the many merchants and captains who commented on their presence call them slaves.” Kinkor even presents examples of blacks who were leaders of predominantly white crews.

Yet, Cordingly also wrote that conversely, “pirates shared the same prejudices as other white men in the Western world. They regarded black slaves as commodities to be bought and sold, and used them as slaves on board their ships for the hard and menial jobs.”

Information for this article from:
And

March 17, 2011

The rough draft sticks to my skin

For me a novel’s rough draft can sometimes devolve into a landslide of research, for use beneath the surface of the story and beneath the surface of the writer. How do you know when too much is too much? Sometimes it freezes me up, prevents me from zooming ahead on the opening-up to a fast-write first draft. I do love the spewing forth of the story without too much control: the elements of discovery that occur only at top speed when the imagination and my fingers are rocking at an allegro pace. Or speed punk. But I also want so much to get the story right. Get the geography right. Get the motivation right. The character’s mind and heart. For me? Perhaps, in tribute to the Japanese I’ll do a little Shinto purification, Misogi, with waterfalls . . . write in the bathtub.

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