34 posts in this topic

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Hey guys! It's Tsarmina, back again, attempting to relieve herself of some mid-exam-week(s) stress through the cathartic experience of...writing...stuff.

 

Yeah. That's a good description.

 

Sketches: A Woman in Venice is a little collection of random stuffs that I'm typing up whenever I have a few extra minutes, and they're the writing kind of sketches, not drawing. (For once.) The writing style is meant to be slightly reminiscent of classical writing, mixed in with some symbolism and mysteriousness...so if sentences don't seem to make sense, it might be intentional. ^-^ And they're short, very. Since they're sketches, they're meant to paint a picture in your mind and maybe make some reflections, not to tell a legit story. By the time I'm all the way done with every single sketch though, you probably WILL have a story in mind! :D

 

definitely not historical because I was too lazy to do proper research on Venice hehe

 

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It might have seemed, through the melodic rush of the water against the rocking gondola, that there was nothing but the sound of canals that were constantly flowing. I had grown up this way, raised behind glass windows, hearing the gentle slosh of the water and letting it rock me to sleep every night. Tiny shafts of moonlight that sashayed across the water scattered before the presence of boats. I had ridden those boats rarely in my lifetime, for my life was that shut behind polished oaken doors, save for the numerous parties and balls my noble family was invited to. Such was the only way of my interaction with strangers who would become acquaintances, if only so by letter. Eye to eye communication was rare with those outside the members of the house, for me especially, though I seemed to be the only one who objected to this state of life. I would lie in bed, listening to the water, which so lulled me and cushioned me like a soft cloud of white noise under the white gleams of the cold moon.

 

 

 

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We were a house full of girls, except my father, and he requested us kindly to stay inside like proper women. My father was a bit backwards in this aspect, since I often saw women traveling to and fro and even boarding the gondolas of the town without an escort. In fact, women came to our house fairly often, and I would always wonder why they were allowed to walk freely about Venice while the girls of our house generally weren't. That was with the exception of the servants and of course when we were permitted to leave for galas--or rather, we were expected to leave for those. My father was indeed a backwards man, we all agreed, though we never said such words to his face. Outdated as he might be, he was one of the kindest men I knew, and also one of the only ones I knew well enough to judge whether or not he was kind. He was a tall man with a gentle disposition and a soft-spoken voice, and the wire rims of his glasses always seemed to attract rays of light falling through the windows. He rarely if ever raised his voice and never spoke angrily to anyone in the house, including me, preferring instead to utilize a quiet but solid voice that communicated a clear expectance to obey. Whenever I asked him why it was improper to go outside when clearly going outside was part of a woman's rights, he calmly reminded me that this was the one request he made of the women of our house and that he would very much prefer if we would understand because he had his own reasons. And who was I to disobey my own father? I stayed inside, but when balls came around, I exploited my chance to venture and dragged out the time as long as I could.

 

On the other hand, my sister was a hermit. Valerie d'Artusio was a willowy-framed young woman with dark hair that she swirled up in a tight knot with a splash of midnight trailing behind her. Her features were like blossoms of ink; soft, contrasting, and flowing. She had a pair of soft peach lips with which she could say anything, could spin her words into gold promises and sugar requests. Not that she had much cause to use her talents, for she often only had the opportunity to talk to me and the residents of the house, and most of the time she holed herself away in the gallery and learned art. Every morning without fail Valerie's blurred outline could be seen framed against the large glass gallery windows, holding a thin paintbrush as she avidly learned from her art tutor. The tutor was the one major request she'd made of Father, and with her silk voice he hadn't been able to deny.

 

It was well known by the closer residents of our part of town, as well as some high ranking nobility, that Valerie was a focused artist. She had made quite a statement recently selling her romantic-style artwork, which had been an instant hit with one of Father's patrons. It bewildered most of us that a woman would pursue an interest in aesthetics, but Father, for all his belief in demurity of women, had no objections.

 

I often wondered what my passion was, but I never exactly knew. Art certainly never interested me the way it did Valerie.

 

We were the two sisters, Valerie and Arietta, locked-away dolls in our grand household.

 

Besides us two, there were also our personal nurses. My nurse, a curvy woman named Carina with a round bum, took care of me in all that was required. Then there was also Valerie's nurse, and an assembly of servant maids, cooks, and teachers. 

 

My mother, Bessima d'Artusio, was a languid woman who somehow managed to preserve her figure while doing nothing all day except the occasional piece of sewing. She was kind but highly lazy, and this is not made as a mean-spirited remark. She had two round eyes of brown so dark that they looked like starry nights, and I usually could catch her dozing off at her table with her needle in hand and a colorful flower field of fabric across her lap as she dreamily gazed with blank eyes out the window at the sunlight. When the bright burn of the sun was snuffed out and replaced by the candles of heaven, she would break out of her stupor, gather up her cloth, and pack it neatly away in a small white box sitting under the sill. Then she would make a few remarks on her accomplishments of the day and meticulously record them in a small ledger filled with her loopy penmanship.

 

My mother was one of those women who was admired by those lower than she, but really had very few redeeming qualities. This is not to say that she was a terrible person--I wouldn't dream of saying foul words about my parents--but rather that she was in no manner particularly impressive, and often tired. Her status and prestige granted her respect, but I suspected in person those who met her found her far less grand than they had imagined. But they say my mother was a most amazing darling when she was young, and for all her lethargy, my mother did carry a sort of grace that charmed people at dances and parties. Even in the sitting room, with the bloom of ruffled skirts bunched around her, she had a sweet elegance that could not be denied.

 

In fact, I am probably confident enough to say that our entire household was a flock of charming women, with the exception of Father of course, and a handful of more down-to-earth maids. To say coarse seems inappropriate, but a couple of them certainly seemed to be. With that exception, however, my life was surrounded on all sides by coy ladies, and I all too often marveled at their effortless delicacy and mystery.

 

I was no woman; at least, not the kind that managed to haunt the streets of Venice like velvet shadows. Valerie had told me once, quite matter-of-factly--yes, I remember, precisely two years and thirty-three days ago, with disregard to month. They were dainty and I was a bumbling fool; they knew how to speak to entice while I simply spoke to communicate my thoughts; they carried an air of attractive mystery while I was an open book. In fact, I was so little of a woman that it was possibly for the best that I was shut up all day in the house, because I certainly would have made a fool of myself walking around outside like a normal young woman. I made enough mistakes in my dollhouse, after all. Father's methods were in my best interests.

 

 

 

 2. Sketches of: The Dollhouse

 

Most of our section of town, I would think, would wholly agree with me in saying that the d'Artusios (that is, we) owned one of the nicest townhouses; undecorated as it was, the maids kept it clean enough that visitors found our house in pristine condition no matter how many years had passed. Of course, had it been a large number of years, Valerie and I obviously changed much when growing out of childhood, while the house that encased us protectively looked almost exactly as it had ten years ago (at least according to Father, who remembered these circumstantial details much more finely than me or Valerie). I sometimes pictured viewing the house from above, watching the porcelain girls walk about, see the slight-bodied maids scurry to and fro with brooms or messages--how quaint our lives must have seemed, all dressed up and tied with a bow in this little brownstone box.


The house was set up like a typical dollhouse setting. The small kitchens on the left side, a relatively empty foyer with no real purpose, stairs that led up to the rooms and studies, even Valerie's picturesque room with its stereotypically pink curtains parted across the window like identical swoops of rose petal. Everything appeared cozily tucked away with just the right space, as though if I were able to fold the house up, it would make a picture package. Of course, our privileged home had its deviations. The art gallery with the huge windows was one, not that anyone used it except for Valerie and her teacher. The distinct lack of a balcony was another; when playing dolls with Valerie when we were but little girls, I remembered balancing the tiny porcelain figurines against the railing of the balcony. We even once had a ballroom-worthy dance space in the center of the first floor of the house, but Father preferred us to go out to parties instead of host them and he had the space divided up into maids' quarters and a pantry. It was a true shame, I thought, and it appeared that Mother was inclined to agree with me, though it was nearly always tacit opinion from her. At least the pantry was handy and I occasionally snuck a jar of jam from the back shelves if I felt my morning meal wasn't flavorful enough. 


Leading out of the back of the pantry was a secret-but-not-secret staircase that led straight up to the hallway dividing my and Valerie's rooms. It had originally been the gilded staircase that led from the ballroom to the top floor, but after Father had the ballroom transformed into rooms and the pantry, the staircase ended up in the very back of the pantry, only accessible if you were willing to hike up your skirts a scandalous amount and climb over sacks of grain, and even then it was faded with disuse and smelled of humidity and dust. Valerie and I used to play in it back in the day when it was a little more presentable, but now it was largely unused by anyone except spiders. 


The staircase led up to what had originally been an open landing in the hallway, which would have been all the more surreal because it led down into a pantry. Father had the upper entrance to the staircase closed off with a wall and a door that was supposed to be locked but never was. The hallway of its location was the narrow wooden one that separated my and Valerie's rooms like the river been Taurus and Vega. If one came down the hallway, my room was on the right, and hers was on the left--easily recognisable by the artistic flares she had added to her doorframe. In fact, the only truly decorated places in the house were those that Valerie frequented. Upon stepping in her doorway, light would spill from the single candy-curtain framed window, and the walls were plastered with soft inky sketches, watercolor washes that formed pictures, colors of a pale and fresh origin. Both of our rooms were small, but Valerie managed to make hers look larger with the way she had painted it. 


My room, across the hall and a few asteps down, was incredibly minimalist and almost austere. The walls were blank, and the small window located past the foot of my bed was almost always covered because I so often forgot to pull back the curtain in the morning. The only source of pattern in the room was the bedspread, which had an old-fashioned maroon and gold curlicue theme across it. Valerie didn't think much of it. To be honest, neither did I.


I was in the room at night, sitting at the small vanity and brushing out my thick waves of long copper hair. Father often convinced me to tie my hair up because it was so long, but having it tucked up all the time in a severe wrapped-braid updo tugged at my scalp and made me uncomfortable. The braid left my hair in natural large waves, which shimmered against the lamplight like metal. Undone, the waves fell well past the top of my hip bones. My brush, lying face up next to the vanity, was clogged with strands so long they trailed across the desk. I was also always in the room at morning, brushing my hair again, the brush collecting more strands, and trading my heavy silken nightgown for light cotton dresses in the warm seasons and thick ones with wool wraps when cold pervaded every corner of the house in the frigid months like the touch of an icy finger. I had many dresses, not even formal ones, but because Father never passed an opportunity to teach me and Valerie something valuable about the way that we presented ourselves. Both of us were highly skilled at beautifying ourselves, I suppose, but it never seemed something to boast about. Rather, it was something that stirred me a little shame, not that it should have. Still, I sometimes went to sleep at night, listening to the water, wondering if there was to be purpose in the dollhouse life other than appearing lovely at parties and learning etiquette when the former wasn't applicable. 


The bathing-room was one of my favorite rooms in the house. It seems odd to say this, but I appreciated the pale colors of the walls, the cool smooth tiling of the floor, and the hundreds of aromatic flowery and herbal scents that forever graced the air in there as if they were permanently suspended. I found scents as pretty as colors, so my deepest investments were usually in my perfume, and the little glimmering crystal oil and soap bottles on the glass shelves of the bathing room only reminded me of the assemblage I had clustered on the vanity. There was a certain comfort in soaking myself in the water, chasing the dried rose petals across the surface with the tip of my index finger, and inhaling the clean moisture of steam. It provided a stark contrast to my room, which was dull and bland and smelled of wood and dust mixed with the soaring scents of my perfumes. I couldn't afford to spend much time in the bathing room, though--not because of lack of time; rather, both Valerie and I had far too much time on our hands, though she spent hers at a canvas--but because Father was determined to find some sort of talent or hobby for me. None of the ones he suggested quite took. I had a natural grace for dancing but it was too tiring for my limited stamina, and private dance tutors were an expensive luxury that Father wasn't willing to pay for if I wasn't going to put in the effort to broaden my skills; Valerie and I knew only basic dances, though at parties we often stared jealously at some of the ladies who could spin across the floor like fairies. Singing was not for me. I had a tuner voice but a small vocal range, and Father believed that operatic skill was the only one a girl should master. We quickly perished the thought. So, like any good doll, I ended up like my mother, sewing borders into handkerchiefs and embellishing curtains or stitching samplers. It was dull work, and envy sprang up like blossoms of fire in my fingers when I saw Valerie at work at her canvas, her face so serene and happy. She was a real doll, crafted from porcelain, tasked by an invisible controller to paint and enjoy. And I? I was still searching.

 

3. Sketches of: The Reflection

For all my jealousy directed at Valerie, the black-haired doll often responded with praise, saying that I was the kind of young lady who turned heads as she walked. I found that to be a lie, since we rarely went out, and walking among people whose heads had enough room to turn was even rarer. I sat at the vanity at night, meticulously pulling out every knot in my copper and bronze tresses, unweaving my braids with care. 
 

The face in the mirror always carried a hint of trouble with it. I had rich blue eyes like layered sapphires and a white face with a delicate point of a chin and pink rose blossoms for cheeks. My brows were sharp and angled slightly, my lips subtly pulled up into an almost-pout. Our dressmaker delighted in finding rich colors for me in swaths of soft fabric,  then pulling them in plunging necklines and tight bodices for my dresses, letting the skirt fall in narrow folds of satin around my feet. I wasn't as dress-suited as Valerie, however. I was slender enough, thanks to my corset, but I had a petite stature overshadowed by Valerie's smooth, willowy one, with its pretty curves that accented dress dynamic. Pale as pearls, that girl was! Mother said she had no spirit in her face, though why she thought my rosed visage was any better, I didn't know. Valerie always seemed to overshadow me at galas.
 

Alone in my room, however, with the serious face staring back at me in the looking-glass, I never thought of Valerie or any other girls. The face in the mirror was mine and mine alone, so I allowed myself a few precious moments to indulge in selfishness. Only in the nighttime vanity did my face hold any appeal for even myself.
 

The canals were not optimal for reflection. I would stare at the water, but the ripples and waves always caused disturbances across the water surface, warping the reflective figures and teasing apart my face. Only the faint outlines of my form, swirled beyond recognition, could even be caught by my eye. Mostly it was only possible to see boats and bridges and houses in the clouded water.
 

Nor could I see myself reflected in the eyes of others, even at point-blank range. Whether it was the silk-soft eyes of my mother or the exquisite almonds of my sister or the mysterious femininity of the irises of women around and about, there was nothing for me in them. Perhaps it was a sign that these women held no promise for me; I was alone in the world and that seemed, as confirmed by my entire life thus far, to be a one fact in which I could place my faith. 
 

Thus, it was difficult to find my reflection during the day. Moon, sweet moon, the way she would shine down and grace my expression with the silvered touch of her hand! If I could not find my solace in the day, at least there was comfort to be found once the evening star rose. 
 

"Reflect in tranquility" was one of Mother's favorite phrases. (Interestingly enough, it was also one of her only phrases.) But seeing as there were no reflections to be found, tranquil or otherwise, I slumbered by day, bloomed by night, and this cycle continued until I felt as though my daily existence was merely a shadow, casting mottled images over Valerie's canvases while she painted, full of passion and vitality. I found it ironic that my hermit of a sister could live in so much earnest. I was the one who was always begging to go out, yet I held no presence day by day, wilting further and further, fading into the background. A rose can only bloom so many times until it dies....

 

4. Sketches of: the Sprawl

As I have said, Venice was a city of canals. It was also a city of liars and women who wanted nothing more than to condemn every lady other than themselves, but that, perhaps, is a subject for a later date. You see, trapped up in the dollhouse, there were only glimpses of reality to be seen, which preserved my faithful innocence and made the slap all the more jarring in my few moments of exposure to Venice's raw but beautiful core. One would think that these slaps would convince me to follow Valerie's example and stuff myself up into the house and contend with womanly matters and accept my life to be dressed up in frilled skirts and bonnets and hold a lacy fan more often than my fork or spoon. Unfortunately, I must have been the most stubborn of girls, for I only found my current life even more wanting. When the night came for a ball, my greatest sense of satisfaction was not seeing my dolled figure in the looking-glass but the sense of freedom I felt upon stepping over the threshold of the dollhouse door. 

 

There was a quality to fresh, watery air that one could not find in a dollhouse, not even through the hundreds of artificial and natural scents trapped under the glass stoppers of my perfume bottles. I believe it is a kind of scent that cannot be captured in a vial. Perhaps if one was able to brew up the grass and the morning dew and the scent of the gauzy mist that floated up from the canals after a rain--perhaps if there was a hint of used wood familiar among fishermen, should they recognise the material that formed their boats--perhaps if one could snatch the lingering aftermath of a lady's fragrance long after she had departed. Such things were not possible, alas, so the confinement of the dollhouse was all the more stuffy to me. 
 

It was late spring in Venice, and I loved the world. The colors of a spring Venice may not have been quite as fresh or vibrant as those in one of Valerie's countryside paintings, but for all purposes, spring was the most beautiful time on Venice. Winters were too cold and closed up the windows with frost, summer was too humid with the tepid canal water and the steam rising up from the dark streams, and autumn was a dull precursor to winter that mottled everything grey and brown and rather ugly, especially in the face of the townhouses that lined the canals. 
 

Spring meant light dresses and silk wraps in pale pastel colors, bonnets with piles of ribbon and flowers, hair in a shower of curls. Our dress tailor, Helena Fontesse e ce Carriére, loved spring just as much as I did. Sometimes I would see her about the house humming loudly, or vanishing and reappearing an hour later with her arms full of luxurious bright fabric and a vibrant smile. She was innately able to bring touches to our dresses to bring them to life. I always enjoyed seeing what she brought for me and Valerie during the new season. They were delectable creations. 
 

But besides the life that spring brought to the dolls, there was also a magical quality that livened up all of Venice. Vendors would appear on every corner, there was an incessant smell of warm baking bread and sweet and salty pastries, and sometimes you could hear singing--a lighthearted maid stringing up the clothes, or occasionally the magnificent voices of the opera singers training their vocal vibratos. There were birds, small dark grey and white ones, speckled brown ones with white patched wings, little ones with black beaks. It was fun to watch them chitter to one another and fly in ditzy circles. Valerie once painted them, little downy blots hopping round the windowsills. I could only suppose that spring was a lively time for all life in the city. Even the canals seemed to catch a lively mood--the water would bob back and forth as if dancing to a sprightly tune. Each and every townhouse by the canalside hummed along with it. 
 

In fact, there was only one household in all of our town that didn't nearly double in vigor when spring seeped into the city as sweetly as orchid branches bloom--and it wasn't to say that this household wasn't festive; on the contrary, it was quite the opposite. That household was that of the de Rillias, a sort of peculiar French and English combination that I could never pin my finger on, and they were a compact little family that had moved in three seasons ago and were always full to bursting with energy. In the cold winters, meeting with them was like standing around a brave open flame, the kind that warmed the bones and dispelled all ways of dark and bitter iciness. Their fervor maintained strong throughout the year, so spring seemed to have no more effect on them as did the most frigid months. They lived not that far down--a short trip across the canals would bring one's feet wandering across their threshold. They threw the most marvelous parties, hosted the most frivolous of meetings, and boasted a pretty dwelling that was quainter than ours but stuffed-full with all manner of interesting knickknacks and cozily messy assemblages. Valerie and I alike loved the de Rillias family. There was but one son, and he was very well-mannered when it came to it, and showed a cheeky side when he was out of the watchful eyes of supervision. 
 

On a particular day Valerie and I found ourselves pressed up against the misty glass windows of the upper floors of our house, watching the young lady Marie and her gentleman Giacomo Perlman from a few houses down engage in animated conversation with Jonathan de Rillias, who was perched near the base of a granite statue like the birds that bounced around his feet. Watching people interact felt like a personal injury to my pride and lifestyle. Dolls are meant to be seen and not heard. 
"Aren't you jealous, sister?" I demanded of Valerie, who eventually drifted away from the glass pane while I continued to avidly watch the conversation unfolding below. It was hard to hear anything that was occurring, but examining their facial expressions was quite interesting. Jonathan had a carefree smile and arched eyebrows, so he appeared especially shocked when he raised them. Marie currently held an expression of polite puzzlement, while Giacomo appeared quite entertained. 
 

"Not really," Valerie said faintly. I paid little heed to her. Marie gestured at the statue, then dropped her dainty hands. Jonathan laughed. His expression was one of pure delight.
 

How much I wished I could stand among them! Father always maintained a carefully pleasant connection with the families around us, but Valerie and I had quite a limited exposure to them. There wasn't enough to learn about of a person simply through a few words of goodwill exchanged at a dance, or what little of them I could see through the window. Doll to human, human to doll; there really was no difference, I reflected that evening, staring down my impassive blue eyes in the mirror. I resolved it was necessary to establish a relationship with those outside the dollhouse, for they would be my escape.
 

All the while, the canals flowed under the watchful eye of the white moon.

 

5. Sketches of: Glazed Sunsets

5. Sketches of: Glazed Sunsets

 

I waited in the shadow of my doorway, wondering how haunting I appeared in the grey cast shadows playing over my pale dress. The stone arch above the house doorway was carved with acanthus leaves that, in the slanted light of the fading sun, made spidery patterns on the ground. Valerie stood behind me, fiddling with a pearl on her necklace, as I peered out across the canals for any sign of an approaching gondola. 

 

"I thought you said they were arriving at half past five," I said, turning accusingly towards Valerie when my eyes failed to find an approaching barge. My sister looked like ink on parchment in the falling light--a pile of darkness contrasting starkly with the bronze and gold sun rays. Helena had teased her hair into a waterfall of smoky curls that made her silvery dress appear almost crystalline in comparison, and she shimmered in the setting sun, bits of reflected light jumping out at me every time she moved. 

 

Impressive. Valerie was so pretty. In fact, it was rarer to see a rough-edged girl around than a beautiful one, so I supposed there was a common loveliness among Venetian ladies. Of course, each had her own subtle flair. Marie had her large luminous eyes, Valerie had her cutting contrast, and I had....

 

"Valerie," I said again when she didn't respond. 

 

I resumed my glassy stare cast over the black canal; the flow warped the last drops of sunlight and swilled the bed into the murk....however stained the sky could seem, the canal briefly reflected each fractured piece of the heaven in earnest before the current pierced the glass and it flowed onwards, all the more broken, all the more wild. The sky was falling; an oppressively dry plum color with mellow gold watercolor blots that bore down on us. Fractures, fractures. The sky continued to shatter itself in the dark water, which was shimmering with gold from the falling sunrays. I couldn't quite twist my mind around the image.

 

"Let it be that they are tardy," Valerie said, so abruptly that I started and turned. "What good does it do to dwell?"

 

"None, but it is only natural," I retorted, glancing back at the river. A slight swell carries itself along the wall of the canal and fell to an obedient lap at the edge of the pavement at my feet. "Time is sensitive and a faithful escort would surely not keep his lady--oh!"

 

I had spotted the gondola, cutting around the corner, shattering the sky as it did so. 

 

Jonathan de Rillias was a beautiful man. At least, upon that point Valerie and I agreed wholeheartedly. He had eyes like a calming storm and a smile that almost burned the air with its vibrancy. Carefully, deliberately skewed hair treated the dying sun to its last glimpse of glory, glowing russet. 

 

I never fancied him myself, however radiant he was. Perhaps it was that his outer glory much outshone my own dim, flickering light. Or perhaps it was that he was far too fickle for my attention. One minute there and the next gone--that was Jonathan. Not that it hampered our friendship, though I had heard the whispered rumours. None of them rang of a real truth.

 

"Misses d'Artusio and d'Artusio," he said, leaping onto the stone in one bound, rocking the gondola behind him. The poling man looked disgruntled as the boat bobbed back and forth, tossing his oilskin hat to the wooden planks. Jonathan beamed at us. "How are you doing, Ari? Valerie?" 

We had long since grown accustomed to Jonathan's easy pet names and boyish affections. His cravat was a mess, per usual, and his silvery flinty eyes were alight. Valerie permitted him a quick hug, but I dodged out of the way.

 

"No hugs for you," I said pettily as his smile vanished with the childish shock of being denied an entitlement. I folded my arms theatrically. "You, sir, were late."

 

"It's not my fault," Jonathan protested. "I promise. Would it be so far-fetched if I were to tell you I encountered a hydra on my route that rose with its serpentine heads out of the great dark depths of the canal and threatened to swallow--"

 

"Yes, I'm sure it's quite a reasonable thing such as that," I interrupted, mock crossly. He merrily looped his arm around mine and I smiled. "Valerie, where's Giacomo?"

 

"We're going to the Contarini's party," Valerie reminded me. "It starts at nine, so I still have perhaps a half hour before he comes by. I'm sure you'll have more fun at the Stornello's though," she assured me, resting her hand upon my shoulder for a brief reassuring moment.

 

"The Contarinis are having a party?"  Jonathan looked thunderstruck. I glanced at him. "That's a disappointment. Don't they always have that lovely boy who can play the cello, and Loria will be there, I'm sure, and she's very beautiful--"

 

"Oh, shut your mouth," I said, slapping his arm lightly. The side of his mouth quirked at the success of his tease. "I'm just playing you, Arietta," he said. "No one compares to you."

 

"You're such a flatterer, Jonathan," Valerie observed dryly. She looked at us a little oddly, a brunette girl in layers of blue-grey gossamer clasped on the arm of the bronze-haired boy with the mischievous, yet angelic face. For once, I thought I saw a flicker of jealousy pass over her eyes--but no, it must have been my imagination. Valerie, jealous of me? For what? She allowed herself a wan smile and raised her eyebrows at Jonathan. "Those false flowery words of yours will land you in quite the predicament someday."

 

Jonathan shrugged, open his eyes wide. "My sincerest compliments, Val," he promised. His words were sugar melted on a pastry. Then he sweetly smiled at her and whisked me away.

 

Sketch six is in progress! :)

..., Allusion, Knighterius and 3 others like this

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This was a really good read!! ^~^ Your writing style is blunt in some forms which I love but most of all in the short well written sentences you pack enough detail that doesn't make it too boring nor too bland. Just the right amount of love and care put into this first piece that I can't help but just keep reading. Can't wait for more.

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Haha, a very interesting and sharp depiction of the archetype of a "bumbling young lady"; I loved how you portrayed the element of speaking her thoughts and retorting them quickly in defense, and how you've included societal archetypes of women woven well into the narrative (could be a little less jarring with the parts about dad's traditionalism, though).

 

There is a lot of direct depiction and romanticism evident in your writing, and it lends well to the contrast with your bumbling protagonist/narrator. Nicely done. :)

 

BTW, if you do have time, I've got my little short here. Mind you, it's a little dark. It tells the story of a necromancer.

http://www.rpgmakervxace.net/topic/28427-spectre-short-stories-warning-explicit-content/#entry198063

Tsarmina likes this

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This was a really good read!! ^~^ Your writing style is blunt in some forms which I love but most of all in the short well written sentences you pack enough detail that doesn't make it too boring nor too bland. Just the right amount of love and care put into this first piece that I can't help but just keep reading. Can't wait for more.

Thanks! I wanted to keep it relatively straightforward but also kinda flowery, that was the style I was going for ^-^ Uwaa this made me so happy :D

 

 

Haha, a very interesting and sharp depiction of the archetype of a "bumbling young lady"; I loved how you portrayed the element of speaking her thoughts and retorting them quickly in defense, and how you've included societal archetypes of women woven well into the narrative (could be a little less jarring with the parts about dad's traditionalism, though).

 

There is a lot of direct depiction and romanticism evident in your writing, and it lends well to the contrast with your bumbling protagonist/narrator. Nicely done. :)

 

BTW, if you do have time, I've got my little short here. Mind you, it's a little dark. It tells the story of a necromancer.

http://www.rpgmakervxace.net/topic/28427-spectre-short-stories-warning-explicit-content/#entry198063

Actually, I didn't even realise that I did that! Haha. :) I'll take your advice to heart!~

 

Ooh, I saw that. I wasn't entirely sure on how to comment on it. It's pretty dark, and I'm pretty sure I didn't understand it in its entirety (I am a light-minded, innocent little redhead girl! :x ), but your writing is very...brushing. That's a good thing ^^" (lol)

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YOtmnse.png

 

Hey guys! It's Tsarmina, back again, attempting to relieve herself of some mid-exam-week(s) stress through the cathartic experience of...writing...stuff.

 

Yeah. That's a good description.

 

Sketches: A Woman in Venice is a little collection of random stuffs that I'm typing up whenever I have a few extra minutes, and they're the writing kind of sketches, not drawing. (For once.) The writing style is meant to be slightly reminiscent of classical writing, mixed in with some symbolism and mysteriousness...so if sentences don't seem to make sense, it might be intentional. ^-^ And they're short, very. Since they're sketches, they're meant to paint a picture in your mind and maybe make some reflections, not to tell a legit story. By the time I'm all the way done with every single sketch though, you probably WILL have a story in mind! :D

 

definitely not historical because I was too lazy to do proper research on Venice hehe

 

VgLzciP.png

 

 

It might have seemed, through the melodic rush of the water against the rocking gondola, that there was nothing but the sound of canals that were constantly flowing. I had grown up this way, raised behind glass windows, hearing the gentle slosh of the water and letting it rock me to sleep every night. Tiny shafts of moonlight that sashayed across the water scattered before the presence of boats. I had ridden those boats rarely in my lifetime, for my life was that shut behind polished oaken doors, save for the numerous parties and balls my noble family was invited to. Such was the only way of my interaction with strangers who would become acquaintances, if only so by letter. Eye to eye communication was rare with those outside the members of the house, for me especially, though I seemed to be the only one who objected to this state of life. I would lie in bed, listening to the water, which so lulled me and cushioned me like a soft cloud of white noise under the white gleams of the cold moon.

 

 

 

1IB2qc7.png

 

 

We were a house full of girls, except my father, and he requested us kindly to stay inside like proper women. My father was a bit backwards in this aspect, since I often saw women traveling to and fro and even boarding the gondolas of the town without an escort. In fact, women came to our house fairly often, and I would always wonder why they were allowed to walk freely about Venice while the girls of our house generally weren't. That was with the exception of the servants and of course when we were permitted to leave for galas--or rather, we were expected to leave for those. My father was indeed a backwards man, we all agreed, though we never said such words to his face. Outdated as he might be, he was one of the kindest men I knew, and also one of the only ones I knew well enough to judge whether or not he was kind. He was a tall man with a gentle disposition and a soft-spoken voice, and the wire rims of his glasses always seemed to attract rays of light falling through the windows. He rarely if ever raised his voice and never spoke angrily to anyone in the house, including me, preferring instead to utilize a quiet but solid voice that communicated a clear expectance to obey. Whenever I asked him why it was improper to go outside when clearly going outside was part of a woman's rights, he calmly reminded me that this was the one request he made of the women of our house and that he would very much prefer if we would understand because he had his own reasons. And who was I to disobey my own father? I stayed inside, but when balls came around, I exploited my chance to venture and dragged out the time as long as I could.

 

On the other hand, my sister was a hermit. Valerie d'Artusio was a willowy-framed young woman with dark hair that she swirled up in a tight knot with a splash of midnight trailing behind her. Her features were like blossoms of ink; soft, contrasting, and flowing. She had a pair of soft peach lips with which she could say anything, could spin her words into gold promises and sugar requests. Not that she had much cause to use her talents, for she often only had the opportunity to talk to me and the residents of the house, and most of the time she holed herself away in the gallery and learned art. Every morning without fail Valerie's blurred outline could be seen framed against the large glass gallery windows, holding a thin paintbrush as she avidly learned from her art tutor. The tutor was the one major request she'd made of Father, and with her silk voice he hadn't been able to deny.

 

It was well known by the closer residents of our part of town, as well as some high ranking nobility, that Valerie was a focused artist. She had made quite a statement recently selling her romantic-style artwork, which had been an instant hit with one of Father's patrons. It bewildered most of us that a woman would pursue an interest in aesthetics, but Father, for all his belief in demurity of women, had no objections.

 

I often wondered what my passion was, but I never exactly knew. Art certainly never interested me the way it did Valerie.

 

We were the two sisters, Valerie and Arietta, locked-away dolls in our grand household.

 

Besides us two, there were also our personal nurses. My nurse, a curvy woman named Carina with a round bum, took care of me in all that was required. Then there was also Valerie's nurse, and an assembly of servant maids, cooks, and teachers. 

 

My mother, Bessima d'Artusio, was a languid woman who somehow managed to preserve her figure while doing nothing all day except the occasional piece of sewing. She was kind but highly lazy, and this is not made as a mean-spirited remark. She had two round eyes of brown so dark that they looked like starry nights, and I usually could catch her dozing off at her table with her needle in hand and a colorful flower field of fabric across her lap as she dreamily gazed with blank eyes out the window at the sunlight. When the bright burn of the sun was snuffed out and replaced by the candles of heaven, she would break out of her stupor, gather up her cloth, and pack it neatly away in a small white box sitting under the sill. Then she would make a few remarks on her accomplishments of the day and meticulously record then in a small ledger filled with her loopy penmanship.

 

My mother was one of those women who was admired by those lower than she, but really had very few redeeming qualities. This is not to say that she was a terrible person--I wouldn't dream of saying foul words about my parents--but rather that she was in no manner particularly impressive, and often tired. Her status and prestige granted her respect, but I suspected in person those who met her found her far less grand than they had imagined. But they say my mother was a most amazing darling when she was young, and for all her lethargy, my mother did carry a sort of grace that charmed people at dances and parties. Even in the sitting room, with the bloom of ruffled skirts bunched around her, she had a sweet elegance that could not be denied.

 

In fact, I am probably confident enough to say that our entire household was a flock of charming women, with the exception of Father of course, and a handful of more down-to-earth maids. To say coarse seems inappropriate, but a couple of them certainly seemed to be. With that exception, however, my life was surrounded on all sides by coy ladies, and I all too often marveled at their effortless delicacy and mystery.

 

I was no woman; at least, not the kind that managed to haunt the streets of Venice like velvet shadows. Valerie had told me once, quite matter-of-factly--yes, I remember, precisely two years and thirty-three days ago, with disregard to month. They were dainty and I was a bumbling fool; they knew how to speak to entice while I simply spoke to communicate my thoughts; they carried an air of attractive mystery while I was an open book. In fact, I was so little of a woman that it was possibly for the best that I was shut up all day in the house, because I certainly would have made a fool of myself walking around outside like a normal young woman. I made enough mistakes in my dollhouse, after all. Father's methods were in my best interests.

 

 

 

Sketch two is in progress! :) (Sketches of: The Dollhouse)

 

Excellent read and I really enjoyed your nod to the old form of writing. It's good to see some literary skills on here and wish there was more :) All the games we love are birthed from thus, then the artwork follows. I have to say joyfully, that your word choice stood out quickly. As you said, some might find it hard to read something that sounds poetic yet I'm used to it enough to appreciate it~ More than that is how you used it not just for 'big words' sake but, for the fact that it did indeed help paint a picture of what was being described. If this turns into a short story, I'll definitely be staying tuned for the rest of it. Thanks so much for sharing and keep up the amazing writing, madam~ ^_^

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Thank you Blumiu! ^-^ I put a lot of effort into mastering English...hehehe. I was happy to adopt the poetic-prose style for sketches. Which reminds me, I have to put up Chapter Two soon o.o I promised but didn't deliver! aah. 

 

Your compliments are deeply flattering too >////< Thank you so much! *huggy*

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Thank you Blumiu! ^-^ I put a lot of effort into mastering English...hehehe. I was happy to adopt the poetic-prose style for sketches. Which reminds me, I have to put up Chapter Two soon o.o I promised but didn't deliver! aah. 

 

Your compliments are deeply flattering too >////< Thank you so much! *huggy*

You're more than welcome, Tsarmina ^_^ I am a bit envious if English is your second language or you put for the effort to master it as you said. However, much as a love the prose you use, it is better suited to what you are writing than a dark fantasy. Not sure if I am right in my thinking but, fiction itself is engaging due to the elements of disbelief and fantasy involved, though one still has to be a good writer with understanding of grammar. Non-fiction can be just as engaging yet the word choice can take an ordinary scene and transform it into something like fantasy just by choosing the right words. I think you did such very well :)

I mean really, if you just look at what you wrote, you did not say all that much aside from a young woman talking about her family and how her status stifles her. That and how short it is shouldn't stand out so much but it was each line read that gave a feeling of depth. Not to mention it fits the setting and THANK YOU for picking lovely Italy as your location. Tis a smile crossed me, it did~ The more compliments, the merrier! Least it will motivate you to wrote more, haha! When your Winter breaks rolls around you will have some time in-between festivities if you are celebrating. 

 

PS- *Caught a small, small thing at one part.

 

accomplishments of the day and meticulously record then in a small ledger filled

 

*should be them where 'then' is. Only thing I found so that is great. I caught a horrid amount when I went back on my 1st chapter and I'm sure I'll find the same in the 2nd. Also, is the girl's mother truly a lazy woman or is has she been bored out of her mind from the cushy lifestyle that her daughter is going against? I feel sad for her in a way because of that thought but, I could be wrong ^_^ Anyways, later! *hugs back*

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I'm on winter break now ^-^ Exams finished on Friday yaaaah! 

 

I like to take on different writing styles for different genres--it's a little interesting since the first writing I've posted on here is realistic fiction, but I'm really a fantasy writer myself. I have a love-hate relationship with poetic prose, but it's also fun to write in a much more informal style if I feel like it. 

 

I've never been to Italy and I really want to. TT^TT I didn't do research on Venice either (bad redhead!), so....uhmmm....may not be the most realistically laid-out setting, but the sketches are really more just for fun than for accuracy. XD

 

 

PS- *Caught a small, small thing at one part.

 

accomplishments of the day and meticulously record then in a small ledger filled

 

*should be them where 'then' is. Only thing I found so that is great. I caught a horrid amount when I went back on my 1st chapter and I'm sure I'll find the same in the 2nd. Also, is the girl's mother truly a lazy woman or is has she been bored out of her mind from the cushy lifestyle that her daughter is going against? I feel sad for her in a way because of that thought but, I could be wrong ^_^ Anyways, later! *hugs back*

 

I blame the keyboard XD I was writing it on my phone. I fixed it, thanks! :) 

 

I'm actually...not sure about Bessima. (|||O-o) That is a really good thought, though. It's not the wisest idea but I'm almost entirely improvising on them. At least it isn't a legitimate novel or story, or I would probably end up with quite a few plot holes once I got farther in. ^^" Aaah now I want to finish the second sketch. I haven't touched it for a while!

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I'm on winter break now ^-^ Exams finished on Friday yaaaah! 

 

I like to take on different writing styles for different genres--it's a little interesting since the first writing I've posted on here is realistic fiction, but I'm really a fantasy writer myself. I have a love-hate relationship with poetic prose, but it's also fun to write in a much more informal style if I feel like it. 

 

I've never been to Italy and I really want to. TT^TT I didn't do research on Venice either (bad redhead!), so....uhmmm....may not be the most realistically laid-out setting, but the sketches are really more just for fun than for accuracy. XD

 

 

PS- *Caught a small, small thing at one part.

 

accomplishments of the day and meticulously record then in a small ledger filled

 

*should be them where 'then' is. Only thing I found so that is great. I caught a horrid amount when I went back on my 1st chapter and I'm sure I'll find the same in the 2nd. Also, is the girl's mother truly a lazy woman or is has she been bored out of her mind from the cushy lifestyle that her daughter is going against? I feel sad for her in a way because of that thought but, I could be wrong ^_^ Anyways, later! *hugs back*

 

I blame the keyboard XD I was writing it on my phone. I fixed it, thanks! :)

 

I'm actually...not sure about Bessima. (|||O-o) That is a really good thought, though. It's not the wisest idea but I'm almost entirely improvising on them. At least it isn't a legitimate novel or story, or I would probably end up with quite a few plot holes once I got farther in. ^^" Aaah now I want to finish the second sketch. I haven't touched it for a while!

What the?! You're improvising this? Lol! XD You're doing good so far then, it will be interesting to see how things turn out,

depending on how far you go.

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Putting up sketch 2, as promised. :)

 2. Sketches of: The Dollhouse

 

Most of our section of town, I would think, would wholly agree with me in saying that the d'Artusios (that is, we) owned one of the nicest townhouses; undecorated as it was, the maids kept it clean enough that visitors found our house in pristine condition no matter how many years had passed. Of course, had it been a large number of years, Valerie and I obviously changed much when growing out of childhood, while the house that encased us protectively looked almost exactly as it had ten years ago (at least according to Father, who remembered these circumstantial details much more finely than me or Valerie). I sometimes pictured viewing the house from above, watching the porcelain girls walk about, see the slight-bodied maids scurry to and fro with brooms or messages--how quaint our lives must have seemed, all dressed up and tied with a bow in this little brownstone box.

The house was set up like a typical dollhouse setting. The small kitchens on the left side, a relatively empty foyer with no real purpose, stairs that led up to the rooms and studies, even Valerie's picturesque room with its stereotypically pink curtains parted across the window like identical swoops of rose petal. Everything appeared cozily tucked away with just the right space, as though if I were able to fold the house up, it would make a picture package. Of course, our privileged home had its deviations. The art gallery with the huge windows was one, not that anyone used it except for Valerie and her teacher. The distinct lack of a balcony was another; when playing dolls with Valerie when we were but little girls, I remembered balancing the tiny porcelain figurines against the railing of the balcony. We even once had a ballroom-worthy dance space in the center of the first floor of the house, but Father preferred us to go out to parties instead of host them and he had the space divided up into maids' quarters and a pantry. It was a true shame, I thought, and it appeared that Mother was inclined to agree with me, though it was nearly always tacit opinion from her. At least the pantry was handy and I occasionally snuck a jar of jam from the back shelves if I felt my morning meal wasn't flavorful enough. 

Leading out of the back of the pantry was a secret-but-not-secret staircase that led straight up to the hallway dividing my and Valerie's rooms. It had originally been the gilded staircase that led from the ballroom to the top floor, but after Father had the ballroom transformed into rooms and the pantry, the staircase ended up in the very back of the pantry, only accessible if you were willing to hike up your skirts a scandalous amount and climb over sacks of grain, and even then it was faded with disuse and smelled of humidity and dust. Valerie and I used to play in it back in the day when it was a little more presentable, but now it was largely unused by anyone except spiders. 

The staircase led up to what had originally been an open landing in the hallway, which would have been all the more surreal because it led down into a pantry. Father had the upper entrance to the staircase closed off with a wall and a door that was supposed to be locked but never was. The hallway of its location was the narrow wooden one that separated my and Valerie's rooms like the river been Taurus and Vega. If one came down the hallway, my room was on the right, and hers was on the left--easily recognisable by the artistic flares she had added to her doorframe. In fact, the only truly decorated places in the house were those that Valerie frequented. Upon stepping in her doorway, light would spill from the single candy-curtain framed window, and the walls were plastered with soft inky sketches, watercolor washes that formed pictures, colors of a pale and fresh origin. Both of our rooms were small, but Valerie managed to make hers look larger with the way she had painted it. 

My room, across the hall and a few asteps down, was incredibly minimalist and almost austere. The walls were blank, and the small window located past the foot of my bed was almost always covered because I so often forgot to pull back the curtain in the morning. The only source of pattern in the room was the bedspread, which had an old-fashioned maroon and gold curlicue theme across it. Valerie didn't think much of it. To be honest, neither did I.

I was in the room at night, sitting at the small vanity and brushing out my thick waves of long copper hair. Father often convinced me to tie my hair up because it was so long, but having it tucked up all the time in a severe wrapped-braid updo tugged at my scalp and made me uncomfortable. The braid left my hair in natural large waves, which shimmered against the lamplight like metal. Undone, the waves fell well past the top of my hip bones. My brush, lying face up next to the vanity, was clogged with strands so long they trailed across the desk. I was also always in the room at morning, brushing my hair again, the brush collecting more strands, and trading my heavy silken nightgown for light cotton dresses in the warm seasons and thick ones with wool wraps when cold pervaded every corner of the house in the frigid months like the touch of an icy finger. I had many dresses, not even formal ones, but because Father never passed an opportunity to teach me and Valerie something valuable about the way that we presented ourselves. Both of us were highly skilled at beautifying ourselves, I suppose, but it never seemed something to boast about. Rather, it was something that stirred me a little shame, not that it should have. Still, I sometimes went to sleep at night, listening to the water, wondering if there was to be purpose in the dollhouse life other than appearing lovely at parties and learning etiquette when the former wasn't applicable. 

The bathing-room was one of my favorite rooms in the house. It seems odd to say this, but I appreciated the pale colors of the walls, the cool smooth tiling of the floor, and the hundreds of aromatic flowery and herbal scents that forever graced the air in there as if they were permanently suspended. I found scents as pretty as colors, so my deepest investments were usually in my perfume, and the little glimmering crystal oil and soap bottles on the glass shelves of the bathing room only reminded me of the assemblage I had clustered on the vanity. There was a certain comfort in soaking myself in the water, chasing the dried rose petals across the surface with the tip of my index finger, and inhaling the clean moisture of steam. It provided a stark contrast to my room, which was dull and bland and smelled of wood and dust mixed with the soaring scents of my perfumes. I couldn't afford to spend much time in the bathing room, though--not because of lack of time; rather, both Valerie and I had far too much time on our hands, though she spent hers at a canvas--but because Father was determined to find some sort of talent or hobby for me. None of the ones he suggested quite took. I had a natural grace for dancing but it was too tiring for my limited stamina, and private dance tutors were an expensive luxury that Father wasn't willing to pay for if I wasn't going to put in the effort to broaden my skills; Valerie and I knew only basic dances, though at parties we often stared jealously at some of the ladies who could spin across the floor like fairies. Singing was not for me. I had a tuner voice but a small vocal range, and Father believed that operatic skill was the only one a girl should master. We quickly perished the thought. So, like any good doll, I ended up like my mother, sewing borders into handkerchiefs and embellishing curtains or stitching samplers. It was dull work, and envy sprang up like blossoms of fire in my fingers when I saw Valerie at work at her canvas, her face so serene and happy. She was a real doll, crafted from porcelain, tasked by an invisible controller to paint and enjoy. And I? I was still searching.

---

 

All I can say is....

It's unedited.....XD

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I love that Mina Harker short hand feel to all your work, it's so enticing. Have you ever read Dracula by Bram Stoker? Well it's my favourite Novel and gee whizz when I read your stuff it reminds me of Mina's journal entries ^~^ I love it! ^~^ I must say my favourite passage would have to be how you ended this one. "She was a real doll, crafted from porcelain, tasked by an invisible controller to paint and enjoy. And I? I was still searching". I really loved that. It felt like an amazing way to pause. x) ^~^ 

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Ooh, you're one for the classics, Knighty! :) emoji_u1f36a.png Here. Classics are good. (I remember I used to hate them when I was really little...they were so boring haha!)

 

Tankies! I actually wasn't sure how to end this sketch so I decided to plop in some sort of philosophicalish statement hehehe. I really want to get sketch three done but I'm actually having some trouble with it! It's a much narrower focus than sketches one and two O_o

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Ooh, you're one for the classics, Knighty! :) emoji_u1f36a.png Here. Classics are good. (I remember I used to hate them when I was really little...they were so boring haha!)

 

Tankies! I actually wasn't sure how to end this sketch so I decided to plop in some sort of philosophicalish statement hehehe. I really want to get sketch three done but I'm actually having some trouble with it! It's a much narrower focus than sketches one and two O_o

I must admit I couldn't sit there for very long, infact, I pushed myself to read them and now I love them. :)

 

Well you did a good job! ^~^ I am looking forward to the third one. Hmm, well don't push yourself when writing specifically or some major damage will happen o.o xD

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Ikr ikr....I paused in writing them for a little bit but I suppose that I will pick it up very soon. I really wanna move onto the fourth and fifth sketches. I had good ideas for them X3 But I think I might actually save those for later! It becomes a little less "sketch" like and delves a little bit more into a slight narrative. Not with much real purpose though....just a bit of interesting banter and stuff here and there. o3o

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You painted another maginifico picture of detailing the lives of the d' Artusios, accounted by the little miss~ You really

feel like your touring about with her as she is explaining each room, its purpose and the atmosphere that should be

derived from it. What I also like most about this sketch is how the narrator goes into talking about herself a little more,

being more the plain sister compared to Valerie, taking after her mother as it would seem ^_^ That was insteresting

indeed, especially after talking about her/not talking about her in the previous writing. It flowed wonderfully~

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Thanks! :) It's funny, all I'm doing is writing what comes out of my fingers, and you find it to flow nicely with my other sketches. It's something that never even occurred to me! ^^

 

I have some time today where I'll be doing nothing....but road travel. O_o Maybe during then I can keep writing the third sketch if I feel like it, hehe. Which is funny that you should mention about Arietta talking about herself more, since the third sketch is almost all about Arietta! ^-^ 

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I wonder what this adrift young lady has to say? She knows what she doesn't want to do, or be like, yet

finds the drive to do otherwise escapes her vastly ^_^ She may still be young or just swallowed by the mundane

like her mother, but I'm interested to see what else you come up with on the fly. Each sketch doesn't go precisely

event to event since right now it is laying out an introductory chapter for characters and setting. Be safe on your

roadtrip and hope you find time to write a bit more :)

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The road trip is over ^^

 

Sadly, I got exactly 0 writing done on the sketches. I was too busy entertaining my little cousins. XD They just went home yesterday....ahhhh I'll miss them ;w;

 

In the meantime, Sketch 3 is still sitting there. We'll see if I can make any progress. :)

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As long as you enjoyed yourself then it was a trip well spent :) Glad everyone made it back safe so now you can GET TO WRITING!!!...kidding~ XD

Take your time, madam. That is, unless, you write fast.

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Ooh, a command to write XD Gladly!

 

The 3rd sketch is about halfway done, I expect. It might be a shorter one. I don't want Arietta to dwell on herself TOO much. XD

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Ooh, a command to write XD Gladly!

 

The 3rd sketch is about halfway done, I expect. It might be a shorter one. I don't want Arietta to dwell on herself TOO much. XD

Yeah, she doesn't seem egocentric nor one that mopes all day. What kind of books do you read, though?

I know such vivid writing cannot just be natural ability, but the consequence of a cherished hobby ;) Poetry too, perhaps?

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I still remember when I first came in and said I thought Shakespeare was overrated. Tsar had something to say about that. XD

 

Writing style nicely blends description and narration though; the Dollhouse accentuates that by quite a fair bit. Considering her preference for classical, I'm pretty sure she's into classical literature. :)

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Ooh, a command to write XD Gladly!

 

The 3rd sketch is about halfway done, I expect. It might be a shorter one. I don't want Arietta to dwell on herself TOO much. XD

Yeah, she doesn't seem egocentric nor one that mopes all day. What kind of books do you read, though?

I know such vivid writing cannot just be natural ability, but the consequence of a cherished hobby ;) Poetry too, perhaps?

 

I read a lot of....fiction or mild fantasy.....XD XD XD

Reading used to be one of favorite things to do. Pity I don't have the time! :( I don't like reading poetry that much, unless it rhymes. (hehe) But I love writing it. I'm a rhyming boss. X3

 

 

I still remember when I first came in and said I thought Shakespeare was overrated. Tsar had something to say about that. XD

 

Writing style nicely blends description and narration though; the Dollhouse accentuates that by quite a fair bit. Considering her preference for classical, I'm pretty sure she's into classical literature. :)

When you said classical, I thought of all the classics that I read....hehe I used to hate some of those XD And some of them I still do. Romeo and Juliet, Midsummer Night, Alice in Wonderland, Great Expectations, Scarlet Letter--those are definitely me. Some other things (Tale of Two Cities....ummm....) are....uh....not. 

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She's back...back again! :)

 

3. Sketches of: the reflection 

For all my jealousy directed at Valerie, the black-haired doll often responded with praise, saying that I was the kind of young lady who turned heads as she walked. I found that to be a lie, since we rarely went out, and walking among people whose heads had enough room to turn was even rarer. I sat at the vanity at night, meticulously pulling out every knot in my copper and bronze tresses, unweaving my braids with care. 
 

The face in the mirror always carried a hint of trouble with it. I had rich blue eyes like layered sapphires and a white face with a delicate point of a chin and pink rose blossoms for cheeks. My brows were sharp and angled slightly, my lips subtly pulled up into an almost-pout. Our dressmaker delighted in finding rich colors for me in swaths of soft fabric,  then pulling them in plunging necklines and tight bodices for my dresses, letting the skirt fall in narrow folds of satin around my feet. I wasn't as dress-suited as Valerie, however. I was slender enough, thanks to my corset, but I had a petite stature overshadowed by Valerie's smooth, willowy one, with its pretty curves that accented dress dynamic. Pale as pearls, that girl was! Mother said she had no spirit in her face, though why she thought my rosed visage was any better, I didn't know. Valerie always seemed to overshadow me at galas.
 

Alone in my room, however, with the serious face staring back at me in the looking-glass, I never thought of Valerie or any other girls. The face in the mirror was mine and mine alone, so I allowed myself a few precious moments to indulge in selfishness. Only in the nighttime vanity did my face hold any appeal for even myself.
 

The canals were not optimal for reflection. I would stare at the water, but the ripples and waves always caused disturbances across the water surface, warping the reflective figures and teasing apart my face. Only the faint outlines of my form, swirled beyond recognition, could even be caught by my eye. Mostly it was only possible to see boats and bridges and houses in the clouded water.
 

Nor could I see myself reflected in the eyes of others, even at point-blank range. Whether it was the silk-soft eyes of my mother or the exquisite almonds of my sister or the mysterious femininity of the irises of women around and about, there was nothing for me in them. Perhaps it was a sign that these women held no promise for me; I was alone in the world and that seemed, as confirmed by my entire life thus far, to be a one fact in which I could place my faith. 
 

Thus, it was difficult to find my reflection during the day. Moon, sweet moon, the way she would shine down and grace my expression with the silvered touch of her hand! If I could not find my solace in the day, at least there was comfort to be found once the evening star rose. 
 

"Reflect in tranquility" was one of Mother's favorite phrases. (Interestingly enough, it was also one of her only phrases.) But seeing as there were no reflections to be found, tranquil or otherwise, I slumbered by day, bloomed by night, and this cycle continued until I felt as though my daily existence was merely a shadow, casting mottled images over Valerie's canvases while she painted, full of passion and vitality. I found it ironic that my hermit of a sister could live in so much earnest. I was the one who was always begging to go out, yet I held no presence day by day, wilting further and further, fading into the background. A rose can only bloom so many times until it dies....

Knighterius, raymi100 and Spectre like this

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Ooh, a command to write XD Gladly!

 

The 3rd sketch is about halfway done, I expect. It might be a shorter one. I don't want Arietta to dwell on herself TOO much. XD

Yeah, she doesn't seem egocentric nor one that mopes all day. What kind of books do you read, though?

I know such vivid writing cannot just be natural ability, but the consequence of a cherished hobby ;) Poetry too, perhaps?

 

I read a lot of....fiction or mild fantasy.....XD XD XD

Reading used to be one of favorite things to do. Pity I don't have the time! :( I don't like reading poetry that much, unless it rhymes. (hehe) But I love writing it. I'm a rhyming boss. X3

 

 

I still remember when I first came in and said I thought Shakespeare was overrated. Tsar had something to say about that. XD

 

Writing style nicely blends description and narration though; the Dollhouse accentuates that by quite a fair bit. Considering her preference for classical, I'm pretty sure she's into classical literature. :)

When you said classical, I thought of all the classics that I read....hehe I used to hate some of those XD And some of them I still do. Romeo and Juliet, Midsummer Night, Alice in Wonderland, Great Expectations, Scarlet Letter--those are definitely me. Some other things (Tale of Two Cities....ummm....) are....uh....not. 

 

I hate Romeo and Juliet, honestly. It's stupid >.< ugh god, I hate that playwright so much >.<.....

 

She's back...back again! :)

 

3. Sketches of: the reflection 

For all my jealousy directed at Valerie, the black-haired doll often responded with praise, saying that I was the kind of young lady who turned heads as she walked. I found that to be a lie, since we rarely went out, and walking among people whose heads had enough room to turn was even rarer. I sat at the vanity at night, meticulously pulling out every knot in my copper and bronze tresses, unweaving my braids with care. 

 

The face in the mirror always carried a hint of trouble with it. I had rich blue eyes like layered sapphires and a white face with a delicate point of a chin and pink rose blossoms for cheeks. My brows were sharp and angled slightly, my lips subtly pulled up into an almost-pout. Our dressmaker delighted in finding rich colors for me in swaths of soft fabric,  then pulling them in plunging necklines and tight bodices for my dresses, letting the skirt fall in narrow folds of satin around my feet. I wasn't as dress-suited as Valerie, however. I was slender enough, thanks to my corset, but I had a petite stature overshadowed by Valerie's smooth, willowy one, with its pretty curves that accented dress dynamic. Pale as pearls, that girl was! Mother said she had no spirit in her face, though why she thought my rosed visage was any better, I didn't know. Valerie always seemed to overshadow me at galas.

 

Alone in my room, however, with the serious face staring back at me in the looking-glass, I never thought of Valerie or any other girls. The face in the mirror was mine and mine alone, so I allowed myself a few precious moments to indulge in selfishness. Only in the nighttime vanity did my face hold any appeal for even myself.

 

The canals were not optimal for reflection. I would stare at the water, but the ripples and waves always caused disturbances across the water surface, warping the reflective figures and teasing apart my face. Only the faint outlines of my form, swirled beyond recognition, could even be caught by my eye. Mostly it was only possible to see boats and bridges and houses in the clouded water.

 

Nor could I see myself reflected in the eyes of others, even at point-blank range. Whether it was the silk-soft eyes of my mother or the exquisite almonds of my sister or the mysterious femininity of the irises of women around and about, there was nothing for me in them. Perhaps it was a sign that these women held no promise for me; I was alone in the world and that seemed, as confirmed by my entire life thus far, to be a one fact in which I could place my faith. 

 

Thus, it was difficult to find my reflection during the day. Moon, sweet moon, the way she would shine down and grace my expression with the silvered touch of her hand! If I could not find my solace in the day, at least there was comfort to be found once the evening star rose. 

 

"Reflect in tranquility" was one of Mother's favorite phrases. (Interestingly enough, it was also one of her only phrases.) But seeing as there were no reflections to be found, tranquil or otherwise, I slumbered by day, bloomed by night, and this cycle continued until I felt as though my daily existence was merely a shadow, casting mottled images over Valerie's canvases while she painted, full of passion and vitality. I found it ironic that my hermit of a sister could live in so much earnest. I was the one who was always begging to go out, yet I held no presence day by day, wilting further and further, fading into the background. A rose can only bloom so many times until it dies....

Another extravagant read! :)  

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