Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Baptistry Mosaics

As promised,
here are photos of the interior of 
the octagonal Baptistry in Florence from last week.

Oh to be in Florence again! 
I know of an author who rents herself an apartment 
in whichever country she happens to be setting her next novel
and then spends that month writing there. 
One of my future goals! 

And actually, that's why I'm posting photos of Florence,
because part of my novel is set there
and this way we can feel like we're there. 

I love that most of these photos and mosaics
depict angels in them. 

The scene below, of course, needs no explanation.

Can you imagine being responsible for putting all of these tiny mosaics in place?! 

I'm setting up a schedule 
to try to get my novel ready for Beta Readers this summer.
I'm NOT a puzzle person
but writing a novel feels a little like trying to place all the mosaics
in all the right places,
fitting all the correct colors with the right scenes
but without too much rigidity
and more than a splash of imagination.
There's a structured whole yet with individual chapters and scenes
which must have their own flavor and color,
textures and tapestries.

And I'm teaching myself novel writing as I go
so I especially appreciate this last mosaic
of an angel bringing information
during sleep. 

I'm working on the last little bits
of trying to make this book puzzle work
and will take all the help I can get. 

(All Photos copyright: Kirsten Steen)

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Bronze doors of the Baptistry in Florence

So while my novel put me in Florence
thought I'd share a couple of exterior photos of the Baptistry. 

The above are the North Doors
created by Lorenzo Ghiberti.
These were originally the East Doors but moved to the North side.
Ghiberti was 21 when he won the competition 
(beating out Brunelleschi!)
and began the commission of the gilded bronze doors
which took him 21 years to finish. 

The first two are the Annunciation (always my favorite)
and the Nativity. 

The doors to the Baptistry are what Michelangelo called
The Gates of Paradise. 

Dante and the members of the Medici family,
as well as most Catholic Florentines,
were baptized in the Baptistry of St. John,
--an octagonal basilica in the Piazza del Duomo 
just next to the main Florence Cathedral--
and was built between 1059 and 1128.

Buried within the quatrefoil,
Ghiberti included plants and insects known to be harmful.
In Medieval thinking,
that was a way of keeping evil away.

Next time a few photos of the 
gorgeous mosaics that make up the ceiling of the interior.

(Photo copyright: Kirsten Steen)
(Info via Wiki)

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Ponte Vecchio sunset

Recently I spent a week at my writing retreat on the Oregon Coast
and immersed myself in novel writing
... which put me in Italy. 

So as promised,
here is a bridge view in Florence.
My novel's love interests end up at a villa
overlooking one of my favorite cities in Italy
while they try to save civilization 
from foreign and domestic terrorism. 

Btw, I LOVE how these old bridges
still have shops ON them.
And in medieval times,
people actually lived in houses on the bridge. 
Oh, Florence!
Be still my heart.

(Here's another shot in Florence
from awhile back.)

Next week, Venice!

(Photo copyright: Kirsten Steen)

Monday, May 9, 2016

Eiffel Tower pond

Another tiny slice of Paris today
cause as always, I'm missing it.
But also because, like last time,
I'm giving you a small glimpse into my novel-in-progress.

My last post showed the Champs de Mars cave
where my protagonists (also love interests) spent some time.
And this is the view back across the duck pond 
to the base of the Eiffel Tower 
where they dance together. 

And tomorrow we'll get a little glimpse of Florence, Italy
where they end up chasing suspense.
And next week Venice. 
Til then,
A bientot.

(Photo copyright: Kirsten Steen)