Tuesday, November 9, 2010

NANO NINE -- Blood, Sweat and Tears -- Mostly Sweat

It was a very strange way to wake up this morning, especially at five. But, there I was, lying on my left side, coming to consciousness with the strains of Chopin in my ears -- so distinct that I had to get out of bed, walk over to my computer, hit YouTube and track down Arthur Rubinstein's interpretation of Waltz No, 2 in C-sharp minor, Op. 64.

All in all, not a bad way to enjoy a first cup of coffee -- indeed, not a bad way to enjoy anything.

I knew I had to rework the kiss in the last section, I had to work delicately, lay it down as soundly as I could, because it is pivotal and after this scene, a momentum of a different kind builds.
Dipping into the Compuserve Writers Forum at the end of the day was gratifying -- if for no other reason than to be with fellow Nanos who had loads on their minds. There is a strong sense of world-building incubating amongst the members, and all the tea and sympathy one could desire.

I think the most important quality emerging from this November exercise, is the momentum it's established. No matter how much or how little is accomplished in the number of words, the story -- and the determination to tell it, is key.

On that note, I now lay down the musical tracks of my day -- a total of 845 new words.

Snip THE SCARF DANCE Copyright Carol Krenz 2010

“Yes,” he whispered. He wiped away her tears, stroked her cheeks, then leaned closer as if memorizing every freckle on the bridge of her nose, every fleck of gold in her eyes, every eyelash.      Finally, he kissed her, the swell of his lips gently pressing on hers, his breath so warm, she felt the frost melting above them. It was a fleeting kiss – too soon over.
When he straightened up he said, “Come, it’s time we went back.”

He took her basket again, and held her hand as they walked in easy silence. She was thankful for the nip in the air cooling what she knew must be a flame on her cheeks.
When they reached the Kapellmeister’s house, he placed the basket over her arm. “I will say goodbye now.”
“Yes, I’m running late – I’m taking the afternoon train to Weimar.”
“But, why?”
“A previous commitment. I am to give a small concert at the Amalia Library and now it would seem there’s to be an informal party for Liszt as well. He’s been in poor health and refused to celebrate his birthday some weeks ago. So, a group of us will do him honor—”
“Don’t look so worried, Anna. The timing couldn’t be better. I’ll be gone for two weeks during which you will be working very closely with Hermann. If you think I am a taskmaster, wait until he gets hold of you.” He smiled. “I am only half jesting. I know you’ve been studying with him for years, but that was different – now, you are making a debut. He will work you hard – very, very hard, and you will need to practice until you literally have no strength left to lift a fork. I went through the same rigors. In a way, I am glad I won’t have to see you…” his voice trailed off and he glanced down.
“Ya,” he murmured to himself, as if trying to remember something. Then he faced her again. “Anna, when you go upstairs, find Chopin’s Fantaisie-Impromptu. We can communicate to each other in the notes, because I shall play it in Weimar, as well.”
She knew in that instance she was throwing caution to the wind, that she would regret her impulses because they could only lead her nowhere. She tried, but could not stop herself, so she dropped her basket, threw her arms around his neck and buried her face in the warmth of his muffler. “Ariel, Ariel!”
He held her for brief spell, rocking her. But, when he released her, he said, “You know this is maybe a good thing, our break in schedules. It’s good to have distance sometimes. I shall write to let you know when I am returning.”
Already he was sounding regretful, already his tone had changed. She felt foolish and refused to look at him.
His glove nudged her under the chin.
          “Anna,” he whispered, “you have rarely spoken my name in these last weeks. It feels good to hear it, now.”
And then he walked away, presumably in the direction of the Bahnhof but she didn’t wait to watch him disappear. Instead, she raced up the narrow staircase, and hurried to the piano.

An hour later, the Kapellmeister burst into the music room, smoking a cigar, carrying a tray of oysters on the half shell.
She nodded at him but continued playing feverishly, her hands working the keyboard like a concertina, her head nodding, her heart throbbing, her eyes streaming.
He sat at the table and listened as the Fantaisie furled and unfurled in chorded pleats. He smoked the last of his cigar. He sat back in his chair and folded his hands. He leaned forward and studied his oysters. He squeezed lemons over them. He sprinkled capers onto them.
She finally shuddered to a stop, weeping profusely, her chest rising and falling as though a small bird were trying to escape its cage.
“An-nah!” The Kapellmeister erupted, as he reached for a small jar of horseradish. “We have to make one thing clear…” He lifted an oyster to his mouth and held it there, torturing himself. “If you continue to weep like this, you will ruin my piano. Every time I am about to congratulate you on a wonderful performance, I find you in tears. You are entirely too damp.” He swallowed his oyster at last, his eyes lighting up with immense satisfaction. He turned toward her.
“Simply delicious. You must have one.”
She wrinkled her nose. “Herr Kapellmeister, I may weep buckets of salt water, it’s true, but you know that as much as I do not follow all the dietary laws, I never eat shellfish.”
“Quite right, how forgetful of me.”
Desperately, he glanced about the room, scanning the empty nut trays, the empty mint jar, the empty cigarette case, until he seized on the basket of rugelach. He got up and pounced on it.
“Marvellous treats,” he said, peeling away the white linen. “Come here, Anna, you simply have to try the chocolate ones. They’re my favourite.”

end snip

1 comment:

  1. Ah, Carol, I'm melting... Just the sort of romance I love [g]
    I hope Ariel's not gonig to hurt her!
    By the way, how come she doesn't follow all the dietary laws?