“The Zar Tales”

The Zar Tales

Book cover for "The Zar Tales"


Ali and Baba...running out of names for cute kittens

New book cover, since there were complaints  about the old one.  I bet this one will also change before the end.

I have an alternate  ending for “The Zar Tale”,….that story of Ali (Zar) and Shakira..I want to pursue.  A wedding, and who doesn’t like a wedding???  Especially one with sheep/goats/baking in pits, and Turkish line dances, tray dances,  Camel races, and Berber/Turkish polo with a head of a goat.

I wasn’t going to do this, but met  a  women who had henna designs on her hands.  She was working in a Dairy Queen and we had stopped there  for lunch.  She was from India and had just attended a wedding. Henna can last for a while, and you don’t wash the designs  because it’s good luck for the wearer.

We got to talking, and I asked her about the henna and the wedding.  She was one of the bridesmaids and described the outfit she wore; pink, purple, gold and silver, very colorful, and the party the day before to paint the henna on her hands.  I asked if the bride wore a sari, but apparently she wore an Indian bridal outfit that didn’t sound at all like a sari.  She was covered in much jewelry and a golden, sheer veil and she must have been very beautiful.

This woman knew about the Zar ritual and I thought how universal this ritual must be.  It is called something different  in India, but I think how deep and ancient these traditions must be to be so ‘shared’ by different cultures.

She inspired me to look again  at the parts of “The Zar Tale” where Ali and Shakira get married.  I had no  intention of doing so, but thought…what the hell.  It takes the story into a different realm and sometimes that’s a good place to go.  It means more work on something I thought finished, but that is the natural process of writing I think.  If it develops a story into something that gives more life and color and interest….why not?  It’s only a delay of a matter of weeks, but I’m really not on any time line.

Update on kittens….we decided    “Ali”  and  “Baba”  were good names for the babies.

But they come to ‘kitty’.

Lady Nyo

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6 Responses to ““The Zar Tales””

  1. Berowne Says:

    Took me a while to grok the difference between the two covers, till I found the old one on your post of about 10 days ago. No complaints on either, but I like the side-lighting of the new photo; it has a more 3-dimensional quality.


  2. ladynyo Says:

    Thanks, Berowne.

    This issue of the covers is going to come up again, because I have a number of friends who are anal photogs. I’m not…all done with a digital camera and I have no expertise with any kind of camera, lighting, etc.

    But the real issue for me is this continuation of “The Zar Tale”. I don’t know if I am backing my fanny into a hole here with this addition, but I found it…wrote it 2 years ago, and it’s such an interesting chapter…well…I sort of want to continue it.

    There is also an extension somewhere where the Zars (now men, not spirits anymore) are sitting around the village smoking a hookah and complaining about ‘being’ men. In other words…they are complaining about their wives….LOL!…

    For centuries they complained that they didn’t ‘fit’ anywhere…and now that they do?

    They are bitchin’.

    I might go back just to the original ending…and leave off this “Book II” nonsense…but it’s a charming tale extended. At least I think so.

    Whatcha think about “Ali” and “Baba”??? They are even bigger than in that pix. But boy! do they like to rip apart my makeup basket and carry off things to play with.

    And they don’t clean the floor after they eat….


  3. Stefano Says:

    Much improved cover; great shadow effect.


  4. Berowne Says:

    > I have a number of friends who are anal photogs

    I’m not going near that one… (So, is business looking up?) But seriously, what effect / impression /sense do you want your cover to convey? Both versions I see are OK, but they’re different. Personally I find a sort of discord between the rather sweet contemplative face with half-closed eyes and the buzzard chick atop it, but perhaps it is meant to be significant in some way.

    >Whatcha think about “Ali” and “Baba”?

    My, what big ears you have, grandmother… The one facing the camera has a very pixie-ish quality.


  5. ladynyo Says:

    Hmmmm…..How do I answer you on this one?

    Yes, they are different. And I think the meaning is in the eyes of the beholder.

    as far as that ‘buzzard chick’ you are referring to. Well, in the African mythology of that particular mask, I was told (when I bought it many years ago…) that the bird was a spiritual entity and had a particular relation to the expression below. It’s not a fertility mask either, as I first thought.

    I was told this, but I wasn’t told WHAT the relationship was.

    However, I love the ‘sweet contemplative face with the half-closed eyes’ mightily.

    As to the kittens…there is no ambiguity at all in them. They are innocent and precious beyond all reason.


  6. ladynyo Says:

    Thanks…there are a couple of holes in that particular wall, as I tried to follow a rather weird light….for the shot. Of course, that wall needs to be carved out and replastered…and that will happen soon. Very soon. It’s a wall behind an intricate beveled glass door so it doesn’t appear in the light of day…but funny….it was the best wall to shoot that mask on.

    Glad you liked it, Stefano.


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