Happy Birthday Emily Bronte: An Astrological Look


Emily Bronte: born July 30, 1818

Rising Sign: Scorpio

The Rising Sign, or Ascendant is the sign which is rising at the time of one’s birth.  It denotes one’s outward demeanor, how they are viewed by others, their unique imprint on the world.  How they see, and how they are perceived.

As many astrologists believe the Rising Sign to be even more important than the more well-known Sun sign (including myself, amateur that I may be) I am concentrating first on this aspect of Miss Bronte.

  Often cool and reserved on the outside, never ones to smile much, a passionate soul seethes underneath the surface.   When they become interested in a subject they study it to near obsession.  Love for them, is all or nothing.  They’d rather be alone than be in an “okay” relationship.  Intensely private, they let few people into the deeper recesses of their hearts. 

Loners, they work best alone, though they can also be good leaders with their clever and persuasive minds.  Charming conversationists, they draw the other person into speaking while they sit back and listen.  

Often psychic, they easily see through the fake masks that people wear.  They have no patience for pretense.

Extremely patient, they rarely make rash moves.  Rather they take their time feeling out situations and people. 

Usually calm, when evoked, their temper can be furious, snapping back with great cruelty as they easily see others’ soft spots.

Ruled by the planet Pluto- Rising Scorpios have intense emotions, strong sense of self, determination, and powerful imaginations. Their strength, usually is not of the outward in-your-face kind, but rather, a quiet inner power.  When they desire something, they seek their goal in an understated way, never giving up until they have achieved it.

Highly spiritual, they are often drawn to the occult, mysticism, and things unveiled.  Sharing an affinity with animals is quite common.

Sun Sign: Leo

The sun sign denotes one’s general outer personality

The fiery sun of Leo evokes a proud, exuberant presence.   Loyal and courageous, the Leo is as majestic as the King or Queen of the jungle.

 Dignified, ambitious, and charismatic, they are natural leaders.  They can be overbearing; very stubborn, once their mind is made up, it can be almost impossible for them to budge, making them difficult to deal with at times.

Kind, extremely giving,  they embrace life with a true joie de vivre.

3. Moon Sign: Cancer

The moon sign denotes one’s inner personality, including their secret fears and desires.

Moon in Cancerians have a great love and need for hearth.  They can not be far from the security of home.   Extremely sensitive, they often hide behind a hardened exterior like their symbol, the crab.  Very receptive and impressionistic, they excel in art and literature.

Due to the hardened exterior they create, they may appear sharp and “crabby”.  Ruled by the quicksilvery Moon, their moodswings are swift and ever changing.  Depressed and sullen one moment, sweet and loving the next.

Not one’s to easily open up and share their emotions, they are in truth, one of the most sensitive and romantic signs of the Zodiac.


The Old Stoic by Emily Bronte
Riches I hold in light esteem,
And love I laugh to scorn;
And lust of fame was but a dream
That vanish’d with the morn:

And if I pray, the only prayer
That moves my lips for me
Is, “Leave the heart that now I bear,
And give me liberty!”

Yes, as my swift days near their goal,
‘Tis all that I implore:
In life and death a chainless soul,
With courage to endure

Published in: on July 30, 2009 at 12:12 pm  Comments (10)  
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Writing Update: Faery Oracle: Luathas the Wild

This morning I closed my eyes, shuffled the Faeries Oracle deck, and withdrew Luathas the Wild.

“Luathas the Wild is filled with fire, and fire is associated with the creative life force.  This faery fires us up, gets us going, recharges our batteries and creative energies.  He likes to be around when things are exciting, when there is life force blazing high and he can jump in and encourage it to burn even higher.  Creation and passion are his bailiwick.”- from Brian Froud’s, The Faeries’ Oracle.

It is difficult to think of a more fitting card at this moment.  As I wait to hear back on my requests for Portraits of the Living: A Ghost Tale, my passion is soaring as I research for my next novel which takes place in the late 19th century.   During the last week, I have passionately (or obsessively- like any true Rising Scorpio) been studying up on issues which will be dealt with:  murder and how crime was investigated back then, 19th century asylums, the daily house life and fashions of the 1890s…

As I take notes, the creative side of my mind is twirling with ideas.

It is indeed a fun, wild time when it comes to my writing.

What is in the cards for you and your writing?

Jo March: An Inspiration for Writers



“I will do something by and by. Don’t care what, teach, sew, act, write, anything to help the family; and I’ll be rich and famous and happy before I die, see if I won’t!”- fifteen-year-old Louisa May Alcott

She succeeded.   One of her novels, Little Women, first published in 1868, was almost immediately deemed a classic.  Since then, there have been numerous film versions, plays, musicals, and even an anime based on the book about four poor girls growing up during the Civil War. 

Colt-like, tomboyish,  hot-tempered yet sensible Jo March, has been an inspiration for female writers (and perhaps more males than care  to admit) for over 140 years.    The image of Jo,  upstairs in the garret, using an old tin kitchen as a desk, pen at hand, is at once old-fashioned and romantic. 

While methods may have changed since then,  the passions and tribulations of writers forever remain the same.

Quotes  from Litttle Women

1.  “Jo’s book was the pride of her heart, and was regarded by her family as a literary sprout of great promise.  It was only half a dozen little fairy tales, but Jo had worked over them patiently, putting her whole heart into her work, hoping to make something good enough to print.”

2.  “Quite absorbed in her work, Jo scribbled away till the last page was filled, when she signed her name with a flourish, and threw down the pen. ‘There, I’ve done my best!  If this doesn’t suit, I shall have to wait till I can do better.’  Lying back on the sofa, she read the manuscript carefully through, making dashes here and there and putting in many exclamation points; then she tied it up with a smart red ribbon, and sat a minute looking at it with a sober, wistful expression, which plainly showed how earnest her work had been.”

3. “Jo’s breath gave out here; and, wrapping her head in the paper, she bedewed her little story with a few natural tears; for to be independent and earn the praise of those she loved were the dearest wishes of her heart.”

4.  “Six weeks is a long time to wait, and a still longer time for a girl to keep a secret; but Jo did both, and was just beginning to give up all hope of ever seeing her manuscript again, when a letter arrived which almost took her breath away.”

5. “Having copied her novel for the fourth time and submitted it with fear and trembling to three publishers, she disposed of it on condition that she cut it down one-third and omit all the parts which she particularly admired.  So with Spartan firmness, the young authoress laid her firstborn on her table and chopped it up as ruthlessly as any ogre.  It was printed, and she got three hundred dollars for it, likewise plenty of praise and blame.”

6.  “I don’t know whether I have written a promising book or broken all the Ten Commandments. “- Jo

7.  “I’ve got the joke on my side, after all.  For the parts that were taken straight out of real life are denounced as impossible and absurd, and the scenes which I made up out of my own silly head are pronounced charmingly natural, tender, and true.  So I’ll comfort myself with that, and when I’m ready, I’ll up and take another. ” – Jo

8. “Jo wrote no more sensational stories, deciding that the money did not pay for her share of the sensation.  She produced an intensely moral tale, but found no purchaser for it.  She tried a child’s story, but found that no editor paid for juvenile literature.”

9.  “I’ve no heart for it, and if I had, nobody cares for the things I write.”- Jo 

“We do.  Write something for us, and never mind the rest of the world…”  -Marmee

Jo never knew how it happened, but something got into her next story that went straight to the hearts of those who read it…

“There is truth in it, Jo- that’s the secret.  Humor and pathos make it alive, and you have found your style at last,” said her father.  “You put your heart into it, my daughter.  Do your best and grow as happy as we are in your success.”

Published in: on July 19, 2009 at 4:13 pm  Comments (30)  
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Portraits of the Living: A Ghost Tale- characters

music playing:  Stevie Nicks,  Nightbird

Things are very exciting right now.  I have a full out on POTL (whispers this as not to upset the Fates), and have started researching and taking notes on my next supernatural suspense novel.  Before blogging about the new novel,  I wanted to write a couple of posts regarding Portraits, which will then be put together in a separate page.

The first is the novel’s cast of characters:

1.  Anne Durrant:  fifteen-years-old, imaginative, clever,  intelligent, yet often foolish.   Definitely not as sensible as she believes.   Booksmart, but has a lot to learn about the dangers of real life. Her insatiable curiosity is both her greatest asset and her worst, for it might get her killed. . .

2. Daphne Hoffman Stowe: thirty two- years-old, married, highly intelligent, poised, and stoic.  Loves science, history, and linguistics.   Despite her scientific leanings,  she is addicted to having her fortune read.  Fears an ominous reading from a Gypsy. . .

3.  Beth Hoffman:  Daphne’s younger sister.   The reticent spinster loves art, poetry, tarot cards, and waxen dolls. . .

4.  Gerard Hoffman:  Anne’s uncle.  Father to Daphne and Beth.  Scholar of the Occult.  What does he do in his study?

5.  Sheridan Stowe:  Daphne’s husband.   Uses his charm to get away with his drinking and gambling.  What does he feel guilty about?

6.  Grace Cullwick: the utterly devoted house maid.  The only servant who remained after an exorcism went frighteningly wrong.   Tender to her “family”, she is cold to all outsiders.

7.  Mr. Raferat:   Family friend.  Retired anthropologist.  Studies the occult.  Larger-than-life world traveler who relishes good stories and obscure facts.

8.  Mrs. Brent:  Widow.  Not-so-discreet lover of Mr. Raferat.  Devoted Spiritualist.  Overbearing and a bit daft, but with a great heart.

9.  Mary- the young servant girl who haunts the Hoffmans’ house.

Who are the characters in your novel?

Film Review: Val Lewton’s, “The Seventh Victim”

“Your sister.  Have you heard from her recently?”

As the film opens, Mary (Kim Hunter in her film debut)  is informed by the headmistress of her boarding school that her older sister, Jacqueline (Jean Brooks)  is missing, and has not paid the girl’s tuition for months.  Mary immediately travels to New York City and locates her sister’s apartment, which is devoid of all furniture, save for a single chair and a noose hanging from the ceiling.

Mary enlists the aid of three men to help her discover what happened to her sister: Jacqueline’s husband (Hugh Beaumont), a detective (Lou Lubin), and a poet (Erford Gage).  In the process, she discovers her sister was a member of a Satanic cult called the Palladists (named for an alleged real Theistic Satanic Society originating in France).  

Jacqueline, it is discovered, was also seeing a psychiatrist,  Dr. Judd (Tom Conway) about her involvement in the cult, and her suicidal tendencies.  The Satanic members are pledged to non-violence.  However, they also have a rule that states any member who speaks openly about their group, must die.  Their solution to this quandary is to kidnap Jacqueline and try to convince her to commit suicide by drinking poison.

“You’ve always talked about suicide.  About ending it all when you want to.”

“Yes,” Jacqueline responds as the game of wills begins, “when I want to.”

Val Lewton, famed RKO producer of Horror Noir, released the film in 1943, a year after his masterpiece, Cat People.  As an added bonus to Lewton fans,  Dr. Judd is the same psychiatrist who tried to treat Irena’s neurosis in the aforementioned film, and  Elizabeth Russell reprises her  small, but unforgettable role as a  mysterous cat-like woman.   The fact that Russell leaves Jacqueline’s apartment building dressed in the same  attire that she appeared wearing in Cat People’s restaurant scene, adds weight to the theory that the films take place at the same time.

The film has its flaws.   Although on the page, Mary is supposed to be sweet and determined, she comes off too dull compared to all the colorful characters around her.   There’s a totally unnecessary and unbelievable romance of the- we are going to fall in love for no other reason but because we are the leads- variety.   And a really hokey moralistic speech at the end that sounds totally tacked on.

Those are just minor flaws, however.  With its intriguing plot, enigmatic characters, and shadowy camera work-  The Seventh Victim earns an A.

Novel Update: Finished!

music playing:  Dvorak’s New World Symphony

The last few days I’ve been mostly offline as I revised (again!) and edited the last fifty-odd pages of my novel.   

 Now I can officially announce that on July 1, 2009  at 22:52 ,  I typed the words:  The End.  (I never typed those words on any of the drafts.  I wanted to save them for the final one)

Then I nearly fainted.  

This novel that I’ve been working on for so long- endless drafts, revisions, editing- is done.   Now all I have to do is wait to get feedback from my betas on these final chapters.  Meanwhile,  I’ll be working on my query letter and researching agents.

The realization that it was truly done,  hit when I took  my evening bath.  The last few weeks, no matter how nice and comfy I might have been soaking in the hot bubbles, I’d hear my characters screaming,  “Hurry up!  Get out of there and come finish writing our story!   You know you need to write more before we’ll let you go to sleep!”

Well, tonight- everything was eerily quiet.  (my mind isn’t used to quiet)  None of my characters called to me.  They’re satisfied.  Their story is done.

Portraits of the Living: A Ghost Story




Published in: on July 2, 2009 at 1:16 am  Comments (29)  
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