Irises and Impressionists

At last the iris are blooming. I notice everyone in our neighborhood has the yellow ones like this. I’m wondering if other colors don’t do well in this soil. I’d like to try planting some others – perhaps a field of dark blue behind this blanket of yellow, but we’ll see.

Many hybridized colors won’t flourish in non-ideal soils and the flowers revert to the wild type. Pink hydrangeas in non-alkaline soils revert to blue, for example. Or in non-acidic soils – I forget which. If you want to grow pink hydrangeas, you’ll have to look it up.

Yesterday I completed my second round of edits on the Loose Id novella, which is now called, forever and finally, Petals and Thorns. Beauty and the Beast was too close to other titles in their house and the big editors didn’t like Love Lies Bleeding, as my direct editor and I picked out. They seemed to think it was kind of icky.


So, Petals and Thorns it is, with a thank you to Allison for not only suggesting it, but essentially loaning it to me, since it’s the name of the gaming website she’s run for lo these many years.

This second round of edits was dead easy. Actually the first round of edits were quite straight forward and didn’t require much brain-strain. This round was mainly approving comma-insertions and space-deletions. From time to time though, my editor quibbled over metaphorical word interpretations.

The one she really doesn’t like? “She felt his eyes on her.” My editor says that means his eyeballs would be on her, which is, naturally, not the feel we’re going for. I personally don’t believe a normal person would read it that literally, but I conceded and replaced with the suggested (and tepid) “gaze.” She also argued with “the rose drew her eye,” wanting that to be “gaze,” also. I said no, to draw the eye to something is a perfectly established expression.

To me, this is the literary equivalent of representational art versus abstract art.

(We won’t get into that this is a BDSM novella and arguably not all that full of ze arte. I’m talking a general principle here – stick with me.)

I’m full of visual art analogies since doing the studio tour the other day.

My mom’s David loves representational art. He likes a landscape, preferably with European elements. He likes it to be what it it. My mom likes art that takes reality and turns it. The Impressionists were the first to really break away from the strict European representational art. This is Renoir’s famous painting Bathing Woman, 1883. It’s famous enough that I couldn’t find an image of it without the watermark.

When I saw the original, it struck me that he’d painted her skin green. If you look at the shadows on her skin, they’re all these blues and greens. So much so that it’s unsettling up close. Standing back, it creates this amazing feel of young, lovely flesh and water. He gave us the impression, not the literal moment.

I think that’s what the literalist readers/editors get into. They’re focusing so much on the words, that they lose the overall impression. I’m not going to fight over it for my BDSM novella epub, but to have someone’s eyes on you gives a different impression than their gaze. It’s a level of intimacy to me.

But this is the soil I chose for this particular story and it will have to take on the characteristics of that place. It will become the color it needs to be.

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