I got home last night at 10, stayed up writing till after midnight, got up in time to be at work by 7, and didn't get home again this evening till 7. When I was younger, it wouldn't have been such a big deal, but if this weren't a labor of love I wouldn't have done anything on it tonight.
In any event, I started this blog to describe the process of writing...writing about writing. The meta nature of it appealed to me, and it still does now, over one month later. It's helped me describe what I've done and why I've done it, and that in itself is priceless.
So...tonight...I end the month of blog challenge with the beginning, another act that appeals to me. I wrote this part first, not knowing whether I'd end up keeping a prologue in the story or go into it later and delete what I'd written first. But I liked it when I wrote it, and when I read it the first time to Heide, and the second time I read it to Heide, and every other time I've read it. So I'm keeping it.
Now, the month of blogging that I signed up for is done. I'm not quitting; the blog posts have become too valuable to me as an internal meter, a critique and a laying bare of what I do. But tonight is a special night, and I'm calling it the epilogue...so it only makes sense for me to use the prologue of the story for it.
The unusual statue caught Crystal’s eye. She was used to seeing ancients portrayed in heroic poses or noble poses, but this one had a beautiful lady peering over her shoulder, apparently admiring her own rear end. “Matt, this one’s kind of funny,” she called to her husband.
The tall, muscular, red-headed college dean walked over from where he had been eyeing a portrait. “Ah, yes. Venus Kallipygos is a funny one. I agree”
“Venus who? THE Venus? Wasn’t she the goddess of beauty and love? Why is she looking at her own butt like that?”
“Well, yeah, most mythology looks at Venus…or Aphrodite, depending on whether you’re Roman or Greek…as the most beautiful of the goddesses, and the goddess of all things love, beauty, and sexuality. THIS one, though, actually is kind of a funny tale. Want to hear it?”
Crystal nodded, but Heidi, one of the couple’s twin daughters, had just walked up and asked, “Could you shorten it a little this time, Dad?”
“You think my stories are boring?” Matt asked with a mock pout, his blue eyes twinkling beneath his red bangs.
“Not boring, Dad. Too long. There’s a difference.”
Matt chortled. “OK, then. Shorter version coming right up! So…way back, many hundreds of years ago, two young and rich men down in Sicily were walking through the fields…” he paused and looked at Heidi. “Right, short. They met and fell in love with two daughters of a farmer. Of course, you know that wealthy men weren’t supposed to marry poor girls, but these girls were amazingly pretty. They were so pretty, in fact, that the new brides became famous among the upper crust for their…um, well, their butts. Which were their prettiest features, I guess, or maybe people back then liked butts more than other parts. Regardless, later, the rich brothers became richer, and their wives founded a temple in their town of Syracuse to Venus. They now knew, of course, how important having a pretty butt could be, so they named their temple Aphrodite Kallipygos, which is Greek for Aphrodite of the Pretty Buttocks. And, well, what you see is how that works out in a statue.”
“So why is the statue here in Naples, Dad? Isn’t Syracuse in New York a long way away?” asked Linda, the other twin daughter who had walked up at the beginning of the story.
“The Syracuse we’re talking about is actually in Sicily, dear, but yes, it’s still a long way away. Remember seeing the map of Italy? How it looks like a boot that is about to kick a triangle-shaped ball?” The college dean held up his hands, fingers and thumb forming a rough triangle. “The ball on the map is Sicily, and….”
“So why is it HERE, Dad?” Linda asked again. Crystal chuckled softly; she adored her husband, but after years of teaching he could make the statement “Sicily is south of us” into a three-hour lecture complete with diagrams on the board and, given a little preparation time, even a slide show with music and sound effects.
Matt sighed, his hands dropping to his sides, and he shrugged. “Oh, things happen over the years, and art gets shuffled around. I don’t recall that part of the story too well.”
Crystal looked at her husband with a twinkle in her eye. “You have such an amazing knowledge of ancient times. It’s strange that you became a computer teacher, rather than a history teacher.”Matt smiled and shrugged in reply, giving his typical half-answer, “Yeah…strange, that.”
Word count: 71,489
V7N Blog Challenge