East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

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French Naughtiness, General Pershing, and inspiration

There is an image, here on my desktop, I’ve been hoping to use as an inspiration for a short story for quite a while.
It’s called Les Surprises de la Vie de Chateau: La Revue Nocturne, that is Surprises of the Life in the Castle: The Night Review.
It’s a host of ghostly dames, in gorgeous Medieval dresses, examining with curiosity and bafflement the lingerie of a flapper girl as she spends the night in a castle’s bedroom.


It was drawn by Chery Herouard for a magazine called La Vie Parisienne, somewhere in the 1920s. Continue reading

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Parisian Mermaids

corsair firt proof coverSo,let’s see… the new Corsair story is about to be published, and the first one is of course already available, in both paperback and ebook, and it’s called Chasing the Mermaid.

So, why don’t to something special, for this Friday, prompts and all?
Why not a good gallery of mermaids?

Curiously enough, La Vie Parisienne, the epitome of the girly, “French” magazine from the early 20th century, did show a certain obsession for mermaids.
And considering the magazine had some great artists on its bankroll, the following images are all pretty racy, they are often funny, and a few of them are absolutely gorgeous.

… and they might inspire a story or four.



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The Blurb Muse

m-13_Alphonse_Mucha_Printemps_1900Some guys have all the luck.
They write, and have a muse.
And I don’t mean a girl they fancy, and they are trying to impress with their writing – no, I mean they actually have this spirit that gives them Inspiration.

Isn’t that great – some of us have only perspiration to fuel our writing.

The way these artsy guys talk about it, their Muse is something out of an Alfons Mucha print – rosy-cheeked and classy, wrapped in a simple dress, golden hair piled-up in some kind of Edwardian do, barely treading ground, bathed in soft light, spring breeze caressing her.

The Muse suggests these guys their lofty stories – not narrative but Literature, not entertainment but Art.
She gives them her support in homeopathic doses, doling out one painful sentence per day, so that they don’t write much, usually taking months for a short story.

Then you go and read these guys’ blurbs, and synopses, and they leave you aghast. Continue reading