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Another great writer at RRBC!

Scribblings of a Southern Belle

Hello, bloggers!!I am pleased to welcome another fabulous "SPOTLIGHT" Author to my blog today... Kim Cox!! Please help me shower her with support today and all this week as she journeys thru the RRBC SPOTLIGHT!!!

Congrats, Kim!! Enjoy your special week!!!!

Top 10 Time Management Tips for #WritersDo you feel there’s just not enough time in the day anymore? Do you look back and feel like you used to accomplish a lot more in a shorter period of time?I don’t know about you, but I sure do. I can remember while working a full-time job and then after coming home, I cooked supper, did the dishes, straightened the house, and still had time to get online with my critique partners to chat and write for an hour or two a night. And besides that, I had a teenager at home.But these days, I do…

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A Little Mozart in May

From Michael Kelly’s Reminiscences, published 1826 in London:

“I remember the first rehearsal of the full band, Mozart was on the stage with his crimson pelisse and gold-laced cocked hat, giving the time of the music to the orchestra. Figaro’s son, “Non piu andrai, farballone amoroso…” Bennuci gave with the greatest animation and power of voice.

 I was standing next to Mozart, who, sotto voce, was repeating, “Bravo! Bravo! Bennuci!” and when Bennuci came to the fine passage, “Cherubino, alla vittoria, alla Gloria militar” which he gave out with Stentorian lungs, the effect was electricity itself, for the whole of the performers on the stage and those in the orchestra, as if actuated by one feeling of delight, vociferated Bravo! Bravo! Maestro! Viva, viva grande Mozart! Those in the orchestra I thought would never have ceased applauding, by beating the bows of their violins against the music desks. The little man acknowledged, by repeated obeisances, his thanks for the distinguished mark of enthusiastic applause bestowed upon him…” 


No more, you amorous butterfly.

Will you go fluttering round by night and day,

Disturbing the peace of every maid,

You pocket Narcissus, you Adonis of love,

No more will you have those fine feathers,

That light and dashing cap,

Those curls, those airs and graces,

That roseate womanish color.

You’ll be among warriors, by Bacchus!

Long moustaches, knapsack tightly on,

Musket on your shoulder, saber at your side,

Head erect and bold of visage,

A great helmet, waving plumes,

Lots of honor, little money,

And instead of the fandango,

Marching through the mud.

Over mountains, through valleys,

In snow and days of listless heat,

To the sound of blunderbusses,

Shells and cannons

Whose shots shall make your ears sing

On every note.

Cherubino, onto victory,

Onto Military Glory!

(Cherubino, alla vittoria, alla Gloria militar!)

 This is one of the most famous arias in all of opera. Unfortunately, only in the Italian original will you hear the famous poetry of Lorenzo DaPonte.

Set to Mozart’s most stirring martial music, it is mockingly sung to Cherubino, the teen would-be lothario, by the servant Figaro. The Count who bosses them both has just caught the boy hanging around once too often, earlier with his wife, and just now with Susanna, the pretty maid the Count hopes to seduce. As Cherubino is a noble ward, he can’t just murder him, as he’d no doubt like to.

The army remains the classic solution for what to do with boys who are suffering from a chronic overload of testosterone and who are causing problems around the house—or on the street. Written in the late 18th Century, when war still had a cloud of romance hanging around it—no machine guns, drones or poison gas just yet—it’s straight on the mark. “Glory” here is meant ironically. Figaro is sobering the boy up, saying that soldiering means real danger, exhaustion and suffering. So get ready, kid!

It’s a nice example of DaPonte’s nuanced writing. Figaro first sings mocking praises—“Pocket Narcissus” has to be one of the best classical put-downs ever. Then he gets tougher. There will be no further perfumed romps in My Lady’s chambers. Your new bosom companions will be hardened soldiers–and your heavy knapsack. No more dances, only marching, almost always in the worst conditions. In the 18th Century, armies were often chronically without pay, not only because of ordinary bad planning, but because wrecking havoc on civilians was (and still is) traditionally part of the game. DaPonte and Mozart, both freelance artists, know only too well that honor without the cash to back it up was a hollow thing indeed.

For the coup de grace, Figaro describes the pain which bombs and gunshots cause the ears. It’s a misery particularly singled out by DaPonte and Mozart for Cherubino, a musical boy who writes beautiful love songs for all his ladies.

No more honey-dripping for you, Punk! From now on, your ears will “sing” to you only of war!

Juliet Waldron



Hamilton Exhibit-2004


I drove to Bethlehem, PA, and left my car in a a bus transit lot, and went into NYC. At the great dark jungle of the Port Authority Bus Terminal, where I arrived at the lowest level, I met my friend Audrey, who has moved back to Queens.

She and I grabbed lunch near 42 street in a sandwich shop where the staff was discussing among themselves who was from Guatemala, and who was from Belize–oddly enough, in English. Then by bus we traveled uptown to Central Park West to the NY Historical Society, which we found swathed (oh, be still my heart!) in a 3 story banner featuring Alexander Hamilton. As I’d been planning on seeing this since last spring, it was a thrill to finally get there. It was a thoughtful and complete exhibition, so much so that even this old Hamiltonian couldn’t find a single nit to pick. It’s wonderful to have a friend like Audrey who shares the same historical fascination.

 The exhibitors often compared and contrasted Hamilton and Jefferson, especially concerning finance law and business, all of which were AH’s strong suit. When we arrived, there were HS kids going through. Many of them were taking notes, which were probably for later classwork. They looked a little bored. When the short film playing here mentioned that Hamilton had been instrumental in setting up the New York Manumission Society and that he had never owned a slave, these young New Yorkers, most Black and Hispanic, began to show some real interest.

The artifacts were wonderful. Much had been collected from Hamilton family descendants and brought together here for the first time. There were elegant 18th Century chairs, tables and a marvelous secretary desk, where he spent hours every day, as well as his “lap-top,” a portable green baize covered writing lap desk that he carried with him from the Revolution to the time of his death.  

For me, however, the letters were the best. Because I’ve read them over and over and know them so well, it was an incredible treat to see originals. I joined another woman who was down on her knees reading them–and you could read them, too, for although they were faded and this was (of necessity) a low light display–his handwriting was perfectly legible.

From the age of eleven, when he became an orphan, Hamilton had made his living as a copyist and clerk in a shipping firm which engaged in the triangular trade, thereby laying the ground for his future role as a nation builder. His writing was the perfect “copper-plate” hand that you always hear archivists talk about. To see the crossings out and corrections too–those signs of a mind at work–across two centuries was fascinating.

 For the grand finale, upon going out at the correct distance (18 feet) there were two life-size bronze statues of Hamilton and Burr. These were disturbingly real, as they faced off with pistols for that final fatal duel. This sculpture had been commissioned for the exhibit, and I found them were deeply moving. I had no inclination at all to walk between the line of fire. On that day, July 1804, these men, both Revolutionary War heroes and long time political adversaries, had come to settle their differences, public and personal, with a duel to the death. 


~~Juliet Waldron

The Master Passion, the story of Alexander Hamilton & Elizabeth Schuyler

Available here