Posts Tagged ‘writer groups’

“A Kapitany”, Chapter 20

October 9, 2015
from website: halfhearted dude...and thank you.

from website: halfhearted dude…and thank you.

About 8 years ago, I started writing a novel.  I had a vague idea about the story, but a stronger idea about the characters.  It started out as a novel about BDSM, but I knew nothing about the subject.  However, I did know a real sadist: a ‘sexual’ sadist as he claimed, and not ‘your usual garden variety sadist.” (His words).

I had joined an online writer’s group.  You find all sorts of people in these things.  Some normal and some very strange.  Some good writers and some hacks.  You learn a lot about other worlds out there and if you are lucky, you learn something about writing.

Corresponding with some of these writers gave me the opportunity to observe human nature or perhaps the sadder side of human nature.  It did give me a few characters for the novel, and perhaps those two years were worth it, if only for that.  As one good friend said: “Can you afford the therapy you will need just knowing these folk?”   He was right: they do leave nightmares.

Chapter 20 of “A Kapitany” (which I used to think meant  “Master”  in Hungarian, but I have been informed means “Captain”…..still works) sets a scene between the two antagonists:  Vadas Dohendy and Milkos Fargas  (Vadas in Hungarian loosely means “Hunter”,  and Fargas means “Wolf”) have been partners in art crime for a least 30 years in Europe.

 Vadas has met a woman (Elizabeth) and wants out:  He is tired of the life, and wants to settle down with Elizabeth and his vineyard in Eger, Hungary.  They are both ‘Doms’, but Milkos is even more of a control freak. A dangerous man, indeed.

He is out to hit Vadas where it will hurt most.

Writing  chapters of sex and violence was a challenge.  The extreme nature of both themes was unknown territory.  However, the book is now completed, and except for the usual rewriting of chapters, will be published next year.

Lady Nyo

“A Kapitany”, Chapter 20

It was well after one in the morning when they met in Miklos’ study. Vadas always liked this room, with its dark wood paneling, book cabinets, and the long windows that gave an almost panoramic view of the countryside. They were on the second floor of the house, in a corner room, with Miklos sitting behind an antique desk. He had placed a bottle of whisky before them. Both were into their second drink.

“This little woman, this Elizabeth. She is a bit different from what you usually have on your arm, no?”

Vadas swallowed his drink before answering. “She is, Miklos. She is different. She is deeper than the usual fare.”

Miklos laughed. “Ah, my friend, if you are looking for this ‘deep’ you must be feeling the creep of age in your bones.”

“I am, Miklos. It’s been coming on for years. My life has caught up with me.”

Miklos finished his drink and poured another for both of them.

“So”, Miklos said quietly. “You are feeling old. We all get to feel old if we are lucky. To be lucky is not to die young.”

Vadas raised his glass to Miklos.

Miklos drummed his fingers on the surface before him. “You were good with the women, Vadas. They flocked to you like pigeons in the park. You had more than your share if I remember right.”

Vadas smiled and sipped his drink. Miklos always drank heavily and could hold his liquor. Vadas drank sparingly with Miklos because he knew his game. Tonight he needed his wits about him.

“I see this Elizabeth is wearing Marta’s bracelet. No other woman in my memory has been seen with it. So, tell me, Vadas, what is so special with this girl?”

“Nothing much. She’s a woman innocent of our ways. She has no experience in these things. That has a certain charm.”

“But to give her that bracelet, Vadas? This means more than she has charmed you with her innocence. I hear she wasn’t the best of submissives, so you think making her your wife will improve her behavior?”

“What you have heard is probably from those two jackals who keep circling about. They know little, and Alexandra knows nothing.”

Miklos laughed. “They are rather like jackals, my friend. They move in for the kill before it is decent. They themselves were bad slaves as I remember.”

Vadas gave a wry smile. “Considering you trained Alexandra and I Soffia, I think the failing was on our side.”

“Well,” said Miklos with a shrug, “both of them have served a purpose, wouldn’t you agree?”

Vadas laughed. “Everyone in our lives, Miklos, has served a purpose.”

“But what about this Elizabeth? Why would she of all women interest you?”

Vadas pondered his answer. “I don’t know, Miklos. She was just the usual girl at first. I had my way with her, but something else developed. I won’t say love, but then again, what is love to us? Over time she was willing to trust me. She trusted my decisions for her, even to take her from her home. Not to say she wasn’t a brat at times, but she was pliable.”

Vadas sipped his drink. He had not said much but knew Miklos could read between the lines.

Miklos looked through half closed eyes at Vadas.

“So you are saying you were training her for yourself, and not someone else? “

“Yes. It was an indulgence and also an experiment. She charmed me how she saw the world. She wasn’t jaded. Our society, our friends, Miklos, they are too corrupted, too deep in the mire. Elizabeth was, well, just innocent of our lives. She probably never will understand what we are. Or what I have done with women. Or why.”

“You think you can recapture your life through the innocence of this woman?”

“It’s more about changing my life, Miklos, and this is why we are talking tonight.”

“What is it you want from me?”

“I want out, Miklos. I don’t want to work for you anymore. I don’t want to fence art and I don’t want the continued risk to life. I want to retire to my vineyard and I want to grow old in the hills above Eger.”

“And this Elizabeth has agreed to be with you?”

“Elizabeth has not agreed to anything, Miklos.” Vadas put his glass down on the desk and scowled.

“Hah! That is a strange place for a man like you to be. Perhaps you can persuade her with a little pressure applied at the right places?”

Vadas laughed. “That ‘little pressure’ you are talking of would send her scurrying back to the States.”

“So, it seems you have lost your interest in dominating her? You are expecting a different kind of relationship and life with her?”

“I don’t know what the future holds, Miklos, but I do know that I am tired, bone weary of life as it is.”

Vadas finished his drink. “What do you want Miklos? What do you want from me for my part in the business?”

“What do I want? Ah, Vadas my old friend. Why would you think I would want anything? You have grown rich from our partnership and so have many others. I am stunned you would want to leave what we have built up so carefully. Do you really think you can walk away from all this and be happy and contented among your vines?”

“We have both grown rich, Miklos, and so many others, as you say. We have kept ourselves in very good fashion, but for me it’s over. I am too old for this. Let Alexandra or Soffia take up my place in the business. They will be good at it. Perhaps it is a time for a change here, no?”

Miklos leaned back in his leather chair. “You are not going to walk away so fast, my dear Vadas. You might be having a mid-life crisis. Have you considered this?”

“Miklos, bottom line. What do you want for my leaving? If I can, I will give it to you.”

“What do I want? One, I am deeply hurt you would want to leave our partnership. Two, if you are serious, I want an exchange for losing you. I don’t want money, I want property. You decide on what property.”

“Let me think on this, Miklos. This whisky is clouding my brain. I will give you an answer as to what I feel fair in a few days. Let me think on this. And I am serious, Miklos. Don’t make the mistake of thinking I’m not.”

Vadas left Miklos in his study and went back to what remained of the party. Some of the guests had departed, and some had disappeared into the guest rooms above the main floor. He spotted Soffia and walked up to her. She was yawning and looked tired.

“So, you were with Miklos a long time, Vadas. I hope your conversation was cordial. You know how both of you are together. Two wolves with very bad dispositions.” Soffia laughed. “I can smell you were drinking.”

“You don’t sit down with Miklos without a drink to steady your hand.”

“Well, did you get what you wanted out of him, Vadas? You know how hard he is to best.”

“What we discussed is between two men, Soffia. You are a Domme, but you still are a woman.”

“Oh! Am I to take that as an insult, Vadas? You men are so full of yourselves. Perhaps a woman knows more about women than men ever will know?”

Vadas pulled Soffia to him and kissed her on the forehead. “You know, Soffia, I respect you and admire you. In fact, I pushed for you to replace me.”

“Replace you? What do you mean?”

“I want out, Soffia. I want another life, a quiet life, one with Elizabeth and my grapes. I am too old and tired to continue to do what Miklos demands. I want to be my own man, with no attachments to my old life. Can you understand this?”

“How did Miklos take this news?”

“I don’t know, Soffia. I will find out in a few days when we talk again.”

“What if Elizabeth refuses to marry you, Vadas? All this will be for naught.”

“If she refuses to marry me, I will be very persuasive. You know I can be, Soffia. And even if I can’t get her to marry me, I will still do this.”

Soffia thought a moment. “I have no doubt about your persuasiveness, Vadas. I remember some of that in the past.”

Vadas left around 4am, tired and sick of the company. There were a few still drinking and loudly laughing, among them Miklos. They kept apart, each knowing the other could be moved to violence if tested. Or just given the chance.

Vadas called up one of his men and was met by a car as he walked down the gravel driveway. He could fall asleep he was so tired but too much was on his brain. He would have to consider his losses with Miklos. He knew they would be heavy. It was just one trade off for another. At least he would be starting something different. The allure of that was headier than the whisky he had drunk this night. It was time he was his own man. Miklos be damned.

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2015

Unmooring ourselves….

November 9, 2009

Ok,… sounds wanky.  But I was thinking this morning about just this.

A couple of months ago I left a writers group I had been in for a few years.  It was a good classroom for learning many things about writing.  It was good.

I want to reemphasis this.  I sucked at the communal teat of this group and it formed so much in me as a writer.  I was pretty raw, didn’t know top from bottom, and things could stink in the writing.  I was clumsy.

Still am…and this blog shows it. But the blog is just a pure release and a joy because I don’t have to prove myself here.  It’s just a vehicle for thoughts and communication.

This group, over the years, helped tremendously.  It’s just that I didn’t think in straight erotica terms.  Not like so many of them.

And there are some incredibly fine writers there.  I am proud to have read their work.  The best haunt me still.

It was also addictive.  I realized  all my writing there …well, most of it…was to fit in the mold of erotica.  Fine for a while, but there is more to writing than just this genre.

I have changed in my style and taste.  Erotica is a spice now, not the full monty for me.  Perhaps it never was.  I did teeter on the issue of what was porn and what was erotica.   I found many arguments on both sides and some that said there was no difference.

I didn’t buy it. I read some pretty horrific stuff, mostly in the extreme bdsm nature…that squashed any erotic in the writing.  I read some  work that was pornographic in my estimation.  And in a many cases, I read some good erotica.

I was restless there, and thought  I was way too addicted to the approval of others about my writing.  I knew  I didn’t fit, was writing work that wasn’t of interest there, and I felt I was limiting myself in some unknown way.  So I left months ago.

Recently I went back.  Now I wonder why.   Sometimes we are better leaving and staying gone.   I think what happened is that I changed, even in a few months.  When I went  back, I realized the a lot of things had not been resolved for me.  I was right back into the mix where I didn’t really fit.  It’s not that I couldn’t learn more, it’s just that my writing had taken  some sharp turns away from erotica.  I didn’t consider myself a writer of erotica anymore, and that was what they wanted.


Further, I didn’t have the blocks, the writer’s blocks, the issues of  depression that seem to grab  many writers, I didn’t have the quirks of some writers, the rituals, the superstitions, whatever keeps writers from writing.  I was writing with no issues really.

I was just writing.  I was writing stories….novels….poems.  It seemed just the natural thing to do given the stimuli around me. It was no angst y thing really, it was just the response with pen and paper to the wonderment of life around.  Everything sparked either a blog entry (LOL!…and people who read the blog know all about that!)….or something else.  Mostly the novels I have been writing.

Ok….I will admit in some departments  my writing has fallen off…like tanka production which for three years was something I loved.  I was now writing ‘long’….and tanka has a very different state of mind for me, and it just wasn’t appearing.

I would walk last year and just that constant movement would bring tanka flooding to mind.  I had to place a pad and pen on a dog house, or chicken coop (I walk in my back yard) to write down those verses that came to me.  Nature seemed to flood my senses, and if it wasn’t tanka, it was freeverse.  (which ain’t free by the way, there were rules to freeverse, but another entry for that).

Like the lithe bowing

Of a red maple sapling

My heart turns to you,

Yearns for those nights long ago

When pale skin challenged the moon.

I write tanka in the 5/7/5/7/7 form.  That’s Japanese and I stick to it.  There are other forms, 3/2/something…but I’ve rarely seen it, and frankly, I’m not interested in it.  I find a balance and a comfort in this 5/7/etc. form.  I also find comfort and inspiration in some older Japanese themes, like the moon, nature, etc.  Works for me.

We can get lost in a crowd.  We can go along with others who are fellow travelers for a while and scratch itches we think we have.  But at some time along this journey, we have to look at what we are and what we are doing with some  company.  Not bad company, but hindering in some important ways.

Maybe some hidden ways, unknown until you have been away for a while.  Perhaps you have broken a mold of a particular time.

It’s a privilege to write.  It’s a wonderful thing to create through the cobbling of words. But we have to know our influences and whether they are progressive or hinder us in some way.  We have to be loose and goosey.  We have to honor the imagination  that is the generator of our creativity.

We have to unmoor ourselves in that sea of imagination and push out alone into the water.  We have to unhinder ourselves and in that stillness and silence, we can hear our voice.

That goes a long way to being a writer. Perhaps drawing on this leads us to the bedrock of our  originality.

Lady Nyo

With apologies for all the errors in this entry.  I wrote it too fast and didn’t proof!

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