Strange Manors, Chapter 1

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Chapter One: The Colonel’s Got to Know
San Jose, California, June 30, 1982

The first time I met Colonel Holweard, I was twelve and very, very pleased with myself. With Father as angry as I’d ever seen him and Mom flitting around the house like a hummingbird on cocaine, trying to make our normally shambolic living space “presentable,” a perfect day beckoned bright.

With all the confusion, I’d managed to liberate a pair of Mom’s panties from her bureau and I’d been wearing them all day. Father had caught me doing that once before and almost had apoplexy, so I’d known it was an absolute no-no since I was five.

And I ask you: what could be more irresistible than that? Hmm? Anything?

While Father’s satin-induced rage on that memorable occasion had been really something to see, it had neither distressed nor deterred me. His rages tended towards commodity status. If it wasn’t one thing, it was another. He had a convert’s zeal about Catholicism and America, not necessarily in that order, and could be quite vocal in his complaints about his country of origin, especially when he started in on the hard liquor. Kentucky bourbon, naturally, since anything that came from, or was associated with, the United Kingdom was shunned.

So, yeah. He hated the monarchy. The Anglican Church. Heathens, too, though I wasn’t sure why. He hated soccer and H. Salt and beer and gin and his own accent and God knows what else. Most of all, he apparently hated his family, and he had fully intended to tell his younger brother that he wasn’t welcome to visit. Or, as he would have put it himself, to “sod off.”

Mom, the dark-haired, dark-eyed and unpretentious All American Girl Father had latched onto when he left Britain for good, pushed to allow the visit. Uncle Geoff had seen action during the Falklands conflict – something else Father despised, vocally – and wanted to stop in San Jose to visit us before returning home.

“Hank, honey,” she had said. “Don’t be like this. He’s your brother. Luigi’s never even met him. Just once?”

Mom just loved family, probably because she had more relatives living in close proximity to her than any creature on earth, maybe even including bees. I couldn’t keep track of them all. Grandparents, great aunts and even greater uncles, aunts and uncles, cousins of all manners and degrees . . . . her clan apparently migrated to this country from Calabria all at once, some eighty years earlier. In contrast, I had never met any of my father’s relatives. Not one.

Father said I hadn’t missed anything, which naturally left me intensely curious.

Mom prevailed, of course. Mom always prevailed. Father would rage and she would keep pouring bourbon into him until he either agreed or passed out, at which point she would tell him he had agreed. I never quite understood their marriage.

So it was that the three of us were sitting together in the living room, waiting for my Uncle to arrive and praying that the AC in our bungalow didn’t fail like it had already done three times since school got out. It was clearly overmatched by the kind of heat the South Bay can effortlessly generate all summer long.

Dad had already started on the bourbon, which he mixed with Coke and poured over ice. I’m pretty sure he did that just to be spiteful. “Remember now,” he told me for probably the sixtieth time. “You are to call him ‘Jeff,’ understand? Just ‘Jeff.’ If he requests that you call him something else, I expect you to decline.”

“But I call Mom’s brothers ‘Uncle,’” I said, just to be annoying. “Shouldn’t I call him ‘Uncle,’ too?”

“Your mother’s brothers have unpronounceable names.”

“‘Giulio’ and ‘Matteo’ are hardly unpronounceable,” Mom said, indignantly.

He mumbled something into his drink about foreigners. For all that he wasn’t wild about his country of origin, he didn’t seem to be all that fond of any other place either.

I didn’t get the full-on dust-up these opening salvos promised because the doorbell rang. Father struggled to get out of his chair, but Mom beat him to the punch and had the door open before he achieved homo erectus. “You must be Geoffrey,” she said warmly. “Please come in . . . Oh! I didn’t know you were bringing a friend!” She stood aside as two men entered.

The first looked a bit like my father, but substantially younger, more fit, and much, much more sober. “And you must be the lovely Sylvia,” he said smoothly. “I’m delighted – delighted! – to finally meet you! Please allow me to introduce my friend, Colonel Holweard.”

Holweard was short – shorter than Mom, anyway, though still taller than I was that day. Stocky, with dark hair, a broad, plain face, a fierce mustache and pale, curious eyes. Though my uncle was more imposing, Holweard seemed to draw attention like an injured moose draws mosquitoes.

I was so focused on our guests that I hadn’t paid any attention to Father. “You!” he said, sounding shocked and angry. “What in the name of Beelzebub are YOU doing here!” Father’s face had gone white.

But that could mean just about anything.

Holweard grinned impishly. “Hello, Grace, old boy! Just stretching my legs, you know!”

“Don’t call me that,” Father snarled. Looking at his brother, he said, “How could you have brought him?”

My uncle looked bemused. “Good to see you, too, Henry. Obviously, the Colonel and I served together, and we’re returning home together. Don’t worry – we’ll not be spending the night.”

“Oh, but you have to!” Mom said, distressed. “I have a bed all made up for you!”

“Thank you, dear lady,” Uncle Geoff said, his voice warm. “But we’ve managed to obtain a delightful hotel near the airport, and our flight tomorrow is early. We won’t impose – except, perhaps, for dinner?”

“No.” Father sounded surly.

“Yes.” Mom, of course, sounded firm. “Hank, it’s practically ready. An extra place setting is no trouble.”

He’s trouble,” Father said, looking at the Colonel.

“I’m wounded. Truly wounded! Cut to the very quick!” But Holweard didn’t sound wounded, he sounded mildly amused. The right word, though I didn’t know it even at a precocious and obnoxious twelve, was “sardonic.” “Really, dear boy. It’s far from home, and we’re just here for the evening. What trouble could I possibly be?”

Sardonic, certainly, with maybe a side of “challenge.” His curious eyes held Father’s for what seemed like a long, long minute.

I don’t know what Father saw, looking into the Colonel’s pale eyes, but he made an abrupt gesture and said, “Fine. Whatever. We’ll feed you – then I expect you both to be on your way.”

“Hank!” Mom’s tone said “NOT happy” so clearly even a twelve-year old could understand it.

He didn’t get the message. “I said, ‘fine,’ Sylvia. Now, let’s eat.”

“Henry Grace Algernon Litton, your behavior brings shame to my house!”

Oh, sweet Jesus! When Mom used your full name, you knew you were so far in the doghouse you’d have flea bites from forehead to feet. I hadn’t even known Father had so many names.

“You will behave like a gentleman and you will treat our guests with respect, and you will start by offering them drinks!” Her glare should have turned him to stone, in which state he would have been only slightly less useless.

“Splendid idea!” My uncle said brightly. “Sherry, if you have it, Henry. Dry, preferably.”

Father looked dazed. “Sherry? No, we don’t have anything like that.”

“Well, I’m sure you’ve got something to whet the palate,” Holweard said, sounding jovial. “I’m not finicky like your brother, so anything will do.” He looked at the bourbon-and-coke on the rocks that Father was clutching like a life-preserver and winced. “Excepting that, of course.”

Father shook his head as if he were clearing it. “Wine . . . we have some wine.”

“That will do perfectly,” Uncle Geoff replied. His accent was very much like Father’s, but it seemed cleaner, somehow. Crisper. It plainly annoyed Father, and I wondered whether I could copy it.

Father wandered into the kitchen in search of the wine, and Mom finally managed to get our guests seated in the living room. “I am delighted to finally meet you,” she said to my Uncle. “I’d like to say that I’ve heard a lot about you, but the fact is, he doesn’t talk about . . . before.”

“I’m sorry to hear that. Truly. I don’t think I’ve heard from Henry since he sent word of your wedding . . . after it had occurred, of course.” Uncle Geoff shrugged. “We didn’t part on the best of terms.”

I decided I’d been quiet long enough. “I’m Luigi,” I said.

“Yes. Quite,” said Uncle Geoff.

“I am confident,” Colonel Holweard pronounced, “that there has never been a ‘Luigi’ in your family.”

“Cool!” I said. “I’m number one!”

“My father’s name,” Mom said, a touch of warning in her voice.

Father came back in, carrying a bottle of something pink and three glasses. “Everyone in the family has damned silly names,” he said. “Henry. Geoffrey. Hugh. Algernon, for the love of God! Anything was better than that.” He started pouring.

“What a peculiar color,” my Uncle marveled, looking at the wine. “Whatever is that?”

Father looked at the label. “White Zinfandel,” he pronounced, sounding unconvinced. Given its color, I could see why. He handed glasses to Mom and our guests.

“You won’t be joining us?” Holweard asked, amused.

“I’ll stick to bourbon, thanks,” Father replied.

Uncle Geoff swirled the glass, looked at it in the light, then tilted it toward his nose and took a delicate sniff which left him startled.

Colonel Holweard, in contrast, just upended his glass and downed it in three mighty swallows. “Any port in a storm. Though . . . ah.” He looked pained. “Not port. Clearly, not port.”

Uncle Geoff took the smallest of sips and his face assumed a strange, pinched expression. But he was trying, so he held the glass in both hands while looking at his brother. “Thank you, Henry.”

Father said nothing, and the silence became a bit awkward.

Mom tried to make some conversation, and my Uncle and Holweard did their best to help her. My initial conversational gambit hadn’t gone all that well, so I sat and watched.

I didn’t learn much. Mom coaxed Uncle Geoff into relating something about friendly fire at some place called Two Sisters, but that was a mistake.

“Damned imperial nonsense!” The soapbox was available and apparently irresistible; Father couldn’t help but stand atop it and declaim. “Risking lives for a few lumps of rock and some sheep!”

“Don’t start, Hank, please!” Mom implored.

He ignored her. “Who does Thatcher think she is, anyway? ‘Lady’ Palmerston! We’ve no business policing the world’s sea lanes anymore!”

“We?” Now Uncle Geoff looked smug.

“You, then,” Father said, heatedly.

“Perhaps you intended the royal ‘we,’” his brother said, sticking the knife in further.

“Is royal wee different?” I knew better, of course, but it seemed like a fun way to annoy Father and baffle our guests, all at the same time.

“No! It stinks just like common wee,” my Father sneered, clearly understanding my question. Fate compelled him to spend time with a twelve-year-old – me, specifically – while neither my Uncle nor his friend appeared to have done so.

“Practically sacrilege, dear boy,” the Colonel replied. “I’m sure it’s sweet as the gentle rain from heaven.”

“Would you care for some more wine?” Mom asked, throwing the only life preserver she could think of.

“Perhaps with dinner,” Holweard demurred. “I shouldn’t like to overindulge.”

“Dinner!” Mom exclaimed, seeing an opportunity for escape. “Give me just a moment, it should be almost ready!” She hopped up, but paused to glare at Father. “Behave!” Then she disappeared into the kitchen.

Father glared at Holweard, saying nothing.

My uncle sighed, then looked at me. “So, young ‘Luigi.’ What do you know about our side of the family?”

That got Father’s attention. “More than he needs to!”

“But I don’t know anything! Are they criminals?” I thought the possibility might be cool.

Uncle Geoff chuckled. “Oh, no. Much worse than that."

"Much, much worse," Holweard agreed.

"We’re aristocrats.

“Uhhh . . . like, dukes and princes stuff?”

“Nothing so fine as all that.” Uncle Geoff waved a dismissive hand. “Merely Viscounts, but that still ‘counts,’ if you follow me. You know what a Viscount is?”

Father interrupted, before I could respond. “Luigi – what’s more important? A viscount, a prince, a duke, an earl, or a marquess?”

Well, he’d drilled me on that one, at least, so I belted out the answer. “They’re all the same, because all men are created equal!”

“Oh, dear God,” Uncle Geoff moaned. “Henry, I expected the republicanism. But the pedantry? What’s become of you?”

“I’ve grown up,” he snapped. “I don’t need a pedigree, or a castle, or tenants. I work. Like real people do.”

Uncle looked at his companion. “Gracious, Humphrey! See what I’ve been missing, all these years!”

“Ah, yes! The glories of ‘work!’” the Colonel replied. “I’m sure I’ve read about that somewhere, but offhand I don’t recall the treatise.”

“I don’t understand, Father.” I couldn’t bear to miss out on the fun. “You hate your job. You say so all the time!”

“Of COURSE I hate my job. That’s why they call it ‘work!’”

“Well, that certainly clears it up, doesn’t it?” Uncle Geoff said with a smirk.

“Dinner’s ready!” Mom announced with a sort of desperate cheerfulness.

We all trooped into the dining room, where the table had been set for five for the first time I could remember. My mother, greatly daring, had decided to attempt roast beef in honor of our guests. She’d heard somewhere that Englishmen liked it.

It was about as successful as the rest of the meal.

Somehow, we got through it. I don’t recall all that much. The food, so much worse than Mom's normal cooking . . . Mom’s frantic efforts to get her recalcitrant and increasingly soused husband to have a ‘civilized’ conversation with his younger brother . . . Uncle Geoff’s barbed banter . . . all of that mostly washed over me.

What I remember most were Colonel Holweard’s eyes. Darting here, looking there, taking in everything. Seemingly seeing everything. He didn’t say all that much, but I never forgot his eyes. Especially when he turned them on me.

By the end of the meal, Father was barely capable of standing, much less doing anything that might be described as ‘civilized.’ Mom took it upon herself to see our guests out, struggling to maintain some semblance of normalcy. “Thank you so much for coming, Geoffrey,” she said. “I have wanted to meet you for such a long time.”

He clasped her hands in his own and said something appropriate, I’m sure.

Colonel Holweard looked at me and grinned. “If you find that ‘work’ isn’t to your taste, you could do worse than being Viscount Chingleput some day. I can promise you this – the Viscount doesn’t need to nick his Mum’s knickers!”

I must have looked blank, since it took me years to figure out what on earth he had just said.

He laughed, winked, and was gone.

To be continued . . . .

Author's note: Many thanks to RobertLouis and AlisonP for their help reviewing this story!

For information about my other stories, please check out my author's page.

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Excellent start

"Author attempting humour" is going very well so far - I particularly liked the "bees" line :)

I'm very happy to have helped out - at least in a very small way.


In humor, as in life . . .

Emma Anne Tate's picture

. . . I’m a “fake it ‘til you make it” kind of gal. :)

Thanks for your help, Alison. It is invaluable, and you are amazing!


And we're off!

Erisian's picture

Off to the start of another wonderful Emma Anne Tate story! Hooray!!

White Zinfandel though? In a house with an Italian matron ruling the kitchen?? Shocking! Okay, so it was incredibly popular in the 80's...but it's still Californian and not Italian! ;)

Very much looking forward to seeing these lovely characters develop!!

A good point . . .

Emma Anne Tate's picture

Sylvia really should have put her foot down about the wine. But she is a couple generations removed from the hills of Calabria, so perhaps her Italian sensibility was muted just enough? White Zin was a vintner’s mistake, literally, that only turned into a commercial bonanza because Americans knew nothing about wine back then. As the saying goes, wine is like music: the less you know about it, the sweeter you like it. :)


Shared experience

Andrea Lena's picture

Being from NEW Jersey (the only state simultaneously named after an island AND a cow,) like the Viscount, I never had the need to nick me Mum's Knickers,

I did, however, find like some of my Hoboken trans-contemporaries, the occasional urge to borrow Mommy's panties.

Lay on, NicTate!


To be alive is to be vulnerable. Madeleine L'Engle
Love, Andrea Lena

The State of Cows

Emma Anne Tate's picture

I had never thought of New Jersey in quite that light before. We do have American cities that share your home state’s singular distinction. Hereford, Texas comes to mind. In that case, I’m guessing the genesis of the name was more likely bovine than municipal. Sadly, though, when it comes to the Texas town, you can’t say that “hurricanes hardly ever happen.” Also not true of Hertford, North Carolina, though they’re pretty rare in New Hampshire.

But I digress.

“Borrow.” Such a delightful concept. Usufruct, naturally. :)


Baseball trivia quiz for you now Miss Emma

Who is from Hertford?

And if you want to venture on the path of silliness, fried or broiled?

Bonus round: what does he have in common with Hurricane?

Baseball? Isn't that game

Baseball? Isn't that game connected to the Mafia? As in: "You can achieve more with a kind word and a bat than with just a kind word." >:->

Speak softly

Emma Anne Tate's picture

And carry a big stick. Hmmm . . . wasn’t Teddy a Dutchman? :)


Catfish. Dylan.

Emma Anne Tate's picture

And, I gotta go with fried. Shouldn’t, but I would. Done just right . . . Ah, it’s irresistible!


New Mexico often goes missing!

gillian1968's picture

I’m a long time baseball fan, although not so much the last several years. But I can’t make the Hartford connection other than a local UK baseball team over there.

However, I had a wonderful time yesterday taking my daughter and her boyfriend to see the touring production of My Fair Lady! It was beautifully staged and performed. Annette Barrios-Torres showed her wonderful voice as Eliza Doolittle. And Nathan Haltiwanger did a great performance singing “On the Street Where You Live”.

There was a LONG line at the ladies room for the intermission, but I had a nice chat with another lady about some of the shows we had attended before. I managed to make it back before the end of the Embassy Waltz.

Gillian Cairns

No Hartford Connection . . . .

Emma Anne Tate's picture

But there is a Hertford connection! It's pronounced the same way in the UK, but I actually don't know how Carolinians pronounce it. In Connecticut, derivative names are often misspelled ("Hartford" -- though, to be fair, there's a story) or mispronounced (BERlin, CANton, and the Thames River, which is pronounced . . . well, it's actually pronounced the way it's spelled. It's the Brits that do a number on this one).

I love My Fair Lady. I wonder whether one of our fine authors here has done a trans version . . . it sure fits the theme (I'm thinking it's something 'Drea DiMaggio would do!). We had the LP with the original Broadway cast growing up; I can still hear Rex Harrison's voice on all the best lines. It would be fun to see a revival live. :)


It’s “Hurt Ferd,” NC

I once attended a wedding there. Antiques in one home included something from Blackbeard, not the Pirate memorabilia I was used to from Pittsburgh.


So many ways to proceed, and each one of them a delight to look forward to.
Very very good, as we have come to expect from you.
Anxiously waiting a continuation of this tale.

- Formerly Turnabout Girl

Oh good!

Emma Anne Tate's picture

It’s sometimes hard to start a story without tipping readers off to where it’s headed. But you’re right; this one’s an open canvass. Buckle up, ‘cuz we’re going to do some hopping around!

Thank you for your encouraging words, Francesca.



Dee Sylvan's picture

You had me chuckling all the way through this one Emma. What a precocious 12 year old to add to the tense atmosphere by baiting his inebriated old man. The Colonel has a very discerning eye to realize the knickers had been nicked. :DD


Thanks, Dee!

Emma Anne Tate's picture

Glad you got a smile from this. I’ll try to keep it light, though as you know, I have difficulty preventing real issues from surfacing, even when I’m “attempting humor.”

The Colonel does indeed have a discerning eye. Pale, discerning, and wicked!


Oh, where do we go from here

It looks like the way is clear to all points of the compass. And wherever we head, I know it has an interesting name. Perhaps a Drowning Abbey inhabited by Lord Chingleput? "Oh the places we will go and the wonders we'll see."


Ah, but is he?

Emma Anne Tate's picture

“With your head full of brains and your shoes full of feet,
you're too smart to go down any not-so-good street.”

Sometimes a head full of brains goes down not-so-good streets out of a heady superabundance of overconfidence. Or in Luigi’s case, just a simple, joyful desire to needle his old man . . . .

“Drowning Abbey!” That’s good! You may be on to something there. But we shall have to see what that something might be. I’m still puzzling it out, doing authorial decider-thingies with big blocks of text. To quote the good doctor,

IF you go in, should you turn left or right...
or right-and-three-quarters? Or, maybe, not quite?
Or go around back and sneak in from behind?
Simple it's not, I'm afraid you will find,
for a mind-maker-upper to make up his mind.


What an amusing start!

Sunflowerchan's picture

This was an highly amusing start to what I'm hedging will be another feather in your bonnet Miss. Emma! Your brand of humor is on full display! I eager await to see were you will take us. A much needed laugh on a cold, rainy day, a bright ray of sunshine on a cloudy, friday evening. Thank you for brighting my day with your lovely prose!

I need a feather bonnet!

Emma Anne Tate's picture

I do! You know, something in the flapper style. I’m usually so Victorian (referring, naturally, to the era and not to the environs of Melbourne). But every so often I need to wear something outrageous. And so do you, Rebecca — it’ll cheer you right up on a dreary weekend morning!


Colonel Holweard

sharp eyes, this one has. ;-) And he didn't seem to mind the nicked knickers. *giggles*
Though you lost me with Viscount Chingleput. I couldn't find anything on it except a city in east India. o.O

Thx for another nice chapter^^

Someone might have gotten upset

Emma Anne Tate's picture

If I’d used the name of an actual peerage, I might have gotten annoyed harrumphings from people whose financial resources inversely correlated with their sense of humor. Or worse, Erin might have!

Glad you got a giggle!



D. Eden's picture

Interesting start. This is quite the dysfunctional family, and being a graduate of one of those I am somewhat of an expert! My father was a scotch drinker rather than bourbon, but he would generally drink himself into a stupor nightly. My mother would never have stood up to him though - he was an angry drunk and too abusive.

I can’t help but wonder as to the back story here, especially regarding the relationship between Colonel Holweard and the father; based on stories about English public schools I suspect that it was abusive. Also, the fact that Holweard is apparently staring at the main character and drops a comment about his mother’s panties, I suspect that he has designs on the next generation as well.

D. Eden

Dum Vivimus, Vivamus

Hank did well . . .

Emma Anne Tate's picture

Hank did well to marry Sylvia. A bit too much inbreeding in that family tree!

Serious subjects do tend to surface even when I’m trying to write humor, but I wouldn’t make light of child abuse. Not on this website, certainly. Really not anywhere. So rest assured, I won’t go there.


Viscount Luigi!

joannebarbarella's picture

The first of his(?) line. I'm only guessing because of the cover picture, which seems a far cry from their current dwelling. That'll give the Brit aristocracy a shock.

Luigi must have a VPL and that doesn't worry the colonel one little bit.

Henry must have left the UK back in the sixties and whatever made him move to the USA apart from Sylvia we are yet to find out.

I love the Britspeak and I can only assume the visitors are fresh from The Falklands War. They're far too polite to mention that Sylvia has mutilated the roast beef!

Waiting for the next episode.

Lord Luigi

Emma Anne Tate's picture

Kind of has a ring to it, don’t you think? :)

I’m glad you are enjoying it, Joanne. I have to thank RobertLouis and AlisonP for checking my “Britspeak.” I do have first-hand experience, but not so much that I would be comfortable posting an entire story with that kind of dialogue without review! Any errors, of course, are all mine.


Welcome back

Not that you were ever really away, merely (?!?) diverted by other literary duties for BC.
Those duties seem to have caused further development of your writing skills. "Standing on others' shoulders", perhaps but much more original.
I love it!

Thanks, Dave!

Emma Anne Tate's picture

There are few better ways to improve as a writer than reading stories by some of the many fine authors we have here at BC!


I so dig...

RachelMnM's picture

How your writing hooks me good and I'm blazing through the chapter and get to the end and go, "Damn! That was so freak'n good and I gotta wait for the next chapter!!" AH!!!! Very good start! Looking forward to the next bunch of chapters. Oh, and "humming bird on cocaine"? Girl you've got writing chops!


Rachel M. Moore...


Emma Anne Tate's picture

Sometimes you gotta fight for the right image. Other times it just falls in your lap. Or buzzes right up to your nose, spinning wildly and flying upside down. :)

Thanks, Rachel. I’ll get you that next chapter on Friday. Stay tuned!


With so many well-deserved comments ...

my contribution seems a touch superfluous. Having never written comedy in my life, I have to curtsey deeply (ok, I'm reading a series of books on the Tudors at present and it tends to rub off) to a mistress of the genre. I look forward to the next and following chapters with bated breath.

Thank you, Bronwen.

Emma Anne Tate's picture

Your comments are never superfluous! I find that humor is really hard to write, and of course it’s never going to land with everyone. But I’m hoping this cross-cultural romp works for at least some of my friends on both sides of the Atlantic.


White zinfandel: the perfect pairing with that conversation

Iolanthe Portmanteaux's picture

Certainly an aggressively American wine.

So much fun here! And the promise of so much more!

It's interesting how you create the expectation for so much more by having a guest pop in and leave. Well done -- and your writing is really brilliant here.

Looking forward to more,

- iolanthe

And what pairs better . . .

Emma Anne Tate's picture

. . . with overcooked and underseasoned roast beef than the treacly sweet taste of White Zin? :)

I got a big smile when I saw your name pop up, Iolanthe — glad you liked the launch!



Emma's picture

one of the trickier forms of art but you're handling it perfectly. Excited to read more :)

A good analogy. . . .

Emma Anne Tate's picture

Dolly Parton once observed that it costs a lot of money for a girl to look cheap. Similarly, I think comedy is grim work for a writer! :)

It’s not true, really. I do find it hard — extremely hard — but I can’t deny that it’s also pretty fun. So long as it lands!


Where have I been ?!!

SuziAuchentiber's picture

How did I miss this getting posted - what a hoot !!!!
I am getting Stephen Fry as Lord Melchett in BlackAdder - glorious pomposity with more than a hint of farce.
Love this - off to binge on the rest of the story !!!!



Emma Anne Tate's picture

Always such fun when someone decides to binge read!

As for where you’ve been, heck, even I know that one — you’ve been in Glasgow, penning wonderful trans fiction!


Hi Wendy!

Emma Anne Tate's picture

Glad you were able to stop in for a bit of a binge read — I hope it holds your interest!


Taking a break.

Sunflowerchan's picture

I'm taking a break from my month long grind on Faulkner and instead plan revisitng Tate and the many talented women that move within her circle. Were to start, well now that I have the time to read this wonderful story from start to finish I think I will start on chapter one, and read each word and savor them and enjoy them.

You have really set the scene with this one, having had time to sit down and read this lovely story word for word I've awoken to a new, more profound respect for your talent and your gift and the level of mastery you have over the written word. Your humor is dry, and very much enjoy it. You weave together your words in such a way that we writers can almost picture the scene unfolding before us. Here we are introduced to Luigi, his father and his mother, his uncle and a very close friend. His uncle and his close friend are fresh from the wars, having collected forty shilling and sailed away to face the foe over the hills and far away.

No doubt, his uncle won some decoration or maybe even the Victorian Cross for some minor feat of heriosim peformed in the heat of battle? Or at the very least manged to collect a Military Medal for his troubles? Anyway I ramble. But this friend of his, I can't help but see him being more than he is, the image that came to my mind was not unlike the images of Saint's I've seen down at the local Catholic church. Eyes that seem to pierce the soul and reach into the deep recesses of the human heart. I felt a chill run down my spine just typing out those words! So if I could I would give a double Kudo for that!

All in all, I'm hooked. Recent events have made me forget what I've read thus far. So I'm going at it again full bore, one step at a time until I reach the end. You have me hooked Dear Emma, please do give me the ghost if you will!