Sunday, October 30, 2016

Oh, My Gods #PNIWritingChallenge Day 14

Today's topic for the #PNIWritingChallenge asks, "Have you ever taken a photo/cartoon/work of art and written a story about it?" I have. I have, indeed.

I wrote about four pieces of art work in my latest novel, Dead Beat Dates & Deities. All of the works of art are either of Aphrodite, the mighty Greek goddess of love, or her son, Eros. 

There's this magical sculpture by Canova of Cupid and Psyche. It plays a pretty big part in this book. Too bad I couldn't actually go to the Louvre to research it on my own.

Excerpt from the book: (As a reminder ... all excerpts are protected under copyright.)
“Take a look,” the goddess commanded.

Frank jumped at the sound of the deity’s voice and did as she’d been told. She looked up to see one of the most beautiful sculptures she’d ever laid eyes on. Even in the shadows she could see the fine detail in the marble that stood before her. A woman, with only a strip of cloth covering her hip and part of her thigh, was lying on the ground. Her arms were outstretched, her hands cradling the head of a curly haired man with a pair of strong yet intricate wings sprouting from his back. He leaned over her, a quiver full of arrows resting against his left hip. A long flask lay
abandoned behind the woman’s bare backside.

“Wait,” Frank thought. “A quiver full of arrows? That’s got to be Eros.” She walked slowly around the statue, wishing she could reach out and feel the cool stone beneath her fingertips.

“It is called Cupid and Psyche,” Aphrodite said. “I wasn’t there when he found the girl, but I’m sure the scene looked much like this.”

“I thought it was a box she brought back from the Underworld,” Frank said, her eyes moving from the flask back up to the marble Cupid.

“So you’ve heard the story then?”

Frank nodded. “I have. She was doing as you asked.”

“She did many things that I asked.”

“And she died.”

“She did,” the goddess verified. “Not as quickly as I would have liked. And she didn’t stay that way for very long. She was quite stubborn. Much like you are. And Eros had a fondness for the girl that I did not share.”

And then there's the Venus de Milo. She also resides in the Louvre.

Excerpt from the book:
“I’ve never seen this before. I mean, I have of course, but not in person. She,” Frank paused. “I mean you …” Again her voice trailed off. “Amazing.”

Aphrodite watched Frank as the mortal studied the world famous sculpture. “No one is completely sure that this is meant to be me. She was found on the island of Milos. She could be any number of women, but the scholars all got together and decided that since she is nearly naked, it made sense to assume she was more than likely the goddess of love.”

Frank agreed. “You do seem to be the most comfortable that way. If all the stories are to be believed that is.”

“I have the most fun when I am without clothes.”

“Yeah, okay. I’ll give you that.”

I also wrote about this statue of Aphrodite located in a park in Mexico City.

Excerpt from the book:
“Hello, goddess,” Frank offered, swiveling on her butt to face the deity. “How are you?”

It was obvious that Aphrodite was still miffed, but somewhat placated by Frank’s query.

“I’m better now, thank you,” she answered. “I needed to get away from Hephaestus for a bit, and Ares still hasn’t returned from his travels. I thought perhaps you might provide me with some amusement for a while.”

Frank realized with some consternation that one of her feet was bare. Damn, she thought. It looked like journeying to visit mythical Greek goddesses was just as hard on socks as the dryer was. “Well, I do seem to amuse a lot of people.” She wiggled her painted toes before looking up to survey her location again. “Where are we?”

“Mexico City.”

“Say again?”

“Mexico City.”


The deity pointed a long, slender finger and Frank’s eyes followed to where it led. It was dark and hard to make out, but after a moment Frank realized she was looking at another statue. She picked herself up off the ground and felt the grass beneath her bare foot as she walked toward the sculpture. This one was not made of white stone, although Frank couldn’t tell exactly what the material was. It looked much darker, and, although this was a fountain like the one erected inside Cupid’s Closet, the talent of the sculptor for this piece of work was obviously much superior.

“Kudos to the artist,” Frank said, brushing her hands on the seat of her flannel pants. “The likeness is uncanny.”

And let's not forget the statue of Eros located in Picadilly Circus in London. The god of love made the cover of Dead Beat Dates & Deities.  

Oh, Eros - aka Archer in my goofy novel. He is way too much fun to write. 

I mention several famous paintings, as well, but you get the idea. 

As I was finding photos for this post, I came across a recipe that apparently comes out of southern New England. It's for Venus De Milo soup. Who knew? I know this isn't a photo, a cartoon or a work of art, but you can be damn sure I'm going to be writing about it anyway.