So you can read my books

Thursday, August 19, 2010


The ghost of Samuel Clemens here.

Roland gave his word to enter the GUESS MY CHARACTER BLOGFEST

I stood in for him and asked the woman who scares me as much as Death to write the entry:

I am Dream. I am Nightmare. I am Legend.

I was born of stardust and the sea ... the second time.

For me to tell you of my first birth would be your death. Not that I am adverse to the death of humans. Far from it.

Do you want to hear of it? I thought not.

But talk of it has sparked images of home.

No alien shore in all this world has any strong deep charm for me but those sands made from the crushed skulls of my kind's enemies.

For me its balmy airs are still blowing, its summer seas yet flashing in the setting sun.

In my nostrils still breathes the breath of flowers long dead in Babylon's fabled gardens -- flowers I brought to it from my ... home.

My thoughts are not your thoughts. My ways are not your ways. I do not envy you your stunted vision.

I have smiled down from my throne upon Aztec natives as they bore me screaming sacrifices. I taught Nero the tune he played to the roaring fires that roasted his helpless subjects.

Proud shoguns cowered before me when they called me Empress Himiko. Soon I tired of their little island nation, tired of their jade statues of me.

I rode down shrieking peasants as I scattered the seeds which bore the Black Death among them. The resultant chaos plowed their graves into fertile soil for my kind to flourish.

But over these past two hundred years, I have grown soft. Whenever I would give sway to the passions burning within me, I felt the sad eyes of my husband upon me. My misguided, naive, noble husband.

And I found myself becoming the hero he was, the hero he thought me to be. The fool.

The decade before we met, he named his restaurant, CASA, home. It was a gift from a wealthy woman grateful for her life he saved.

When we married, he changed its name to mine, making it a place of music.

His smile seemed to glow from his heart when he told me, "I really didn't change the name, for you are home to me."

And sentimental cow that I had become, I wept. No wonder I left him and New Orleans.

Then, why do I feel the ghost of his lips on mine and an empty ache in a heart that felt so full when his arms were around me?
Samuel Clemens, ghost, here. For those of you who wonder what Roland saw in Marlene, here is something that might help explain :


  1. Holy crap, I'm stumped. Granted it's WAY past my bedtime, so I may not be firing on all cylinders.

    At first I was thinking it was a man, but then the "my husband" made me think it was a woman....but then I second guessed myself again and thought maybe it could be a same-sex marriage situation, in which case it could be a man like I originally thought.

    So...I'm covering all bases and saying an angry, vengeful hermaphrodite.


  2. Loved Vicki's comment! But considering she's some sort of almighty being, I see her as a tall, voluptuous woman with long black hair that flows in the absence of a breeze, like waves lapping a midnight shore. Her eyes show the wisdom of her years, and glows with power. Somehow purple sounds a regal eye colour befitting a goddess. And she wears a shimmering, translucent white shift, gliding like a dream, or looming like a nightmare, depending on her mood.

  3. Vicki and JC have made me think I made this too hard by accident.

    She blended in with the Aztecs and ancient Romans. What color hair would that imply?

    She ruled Japan as the only woman empress, Himiko (who actually did exist). What would that imply about her eyes?

    Her feelings about humanity and how she feels about ending individual lives ... how would such a being hold herself? What look would predominate in those eyes?

    Is she happy about her lot, her decision concerning her husband? When no one is looking, what emotion do you suppose is in her eyes, etched across her features?

    She calls the shores of earth alien. What does that make her? What air would be about her, judging from her words, her past actions?

    And her name is associated with a place of music in New Orleans -- one owned by her husband.

    Just some hints.

  4. Erm Roland, I'm not going to look at your comment cos the first two sentences sound like hints...

    I hate describing people in my own fiction, because I'd much rather the reader dreamed up her own version.

    From your beautiful (as always) prose, I see her has a lithe, tall, dark- haired woman, with tremendous presence which makes other bow to her wishes without her asking for it... She has old eyes that can turn cruel on a whim, a young face and a very youthful and athletic physique, but because she needs to keep on her disguise at all times, her movements are somewhat less than graceful.

    I can see her without her disguise as well, including her long swishy tail, but want to first see how did on guessing the appearance of her disguise.

    Ok, now will post, and rush to read your comment :)

  5. Well, I was thinking Isis.

    I don't study all the myriad names of mythological beings. Greek, Roman, Egyptian, Nordic, or Native American; I get lost in the similarities. And, I doubt Marlene Detrich played any of these creatures of old in her movies. She played modern (for her time) heroines; didn't she?

    So, it is deceptive. Because of your love of the historical actress.

    Oh well. Your plots are never so easily unraveled, Roland. This would not be the teaching blog I've come to respect if your secret character were so recognizable by simple association.

    Intriguing. I look forward to your revelation.


  6. Wow!

    I'm going to say she's very strong, with a high sloping forehead and piercing eyes. Full red lips... actually, kind of like Angelina Jolie!

  7. Shhhsh: Ishtar. I read the original post again and the only other Bablyonian Goddess I remember is Ishtar. (Wonder Woman was an alternate of Ishtar, right? Nah, Wonder Woman was an Isis remake!)

    Ok; my mythology needs some re-education.


  8. Hi,

    Oh tough one: guessing cross mythology here.

    Kali came to mind because of devoted followers and her capacity to change appearance to lure victims to their death, but that said images of her are somewhat weird!

    But if it's her in human form: then stunningly beautiful, with soulful brown eyes, beautuful long hair to thighs, gorgeous figure and tantalisingly sensual movements - almost dance/trance like.

    Hey, what the hell, this is fun! ;)

  9. I know who will play her if they ever make a movie- Angelina Jolie.

  10. heya roland! seriously cryptically cool entry here!!! i love this chicka!

    I'm guessing a stunning latina beauty. Quiet but lethal, ageless... something like Penelope Cruz. The outside appearance being nothing like the inside darkness, her smile could draw you in, but death is in her eyes.

  11. Seriously cool peice.

    I'm guessing tall, with clear skin and dark hair and eyes. She's got a timeless quality which draws people in but is dangerous.

  12. *I meant piece btw...damn my typing. lol.

  13. Dark hair, black almond eyes, I see a sadness in them, a longing. Regal bearing, haughty manner. Ariadne.

    Great writing as always:)

  14. I see a frail old woman in black widows attire, on Earth. I see a firey Monica Bellucci/Audrey Hepburn/Penelope Cruz when she liases with the gods :o)

  15. Wow this was fantastic! Thank you so much for joining in on my blog fest! Your piece was amazing and had me curious! Sticking to my guns on this one... which means I am going with my gut and will only read the comments after I'm done guessing.

    My Guess: Tall... and I'm talking taller than tall, dark sleek black hair all the way to the low of her back, dark skin tone, almond shaped eyes, a green and brown mixture for the color. Clothing is flowy and free.

    I can't wait to see her revealed!!! This was aawesome! Again thanks for joining!

  16. I'd say startling blue eyes with long flowing black hair that curls under at the tips, slender and slinky in an Cleopatra kind of way good post

  17. I know, I know! It's Meilori! Sam's one and only. The song gave it away too. Very sad and touching.

    ~that rebel, Olivia (checking in from NY)

  18. I could fly sooo high with this one! I imagine short dark hairs, tall, strong but not beefy, yellow eyes and shark teeth. I really have no idea where I got the shark teeth from, but I just loved this!

  19. I would say she is dark haired and exotic in features. Angelina Jolie eyes--icy and fierce and then heartbroken when no one is looking. She is stuck on Earth. And she is McCords long gone wife?

    I was this close to thinking of her as death.

  20. I see a woman with sleek black hair and more muscle than most, but not too much. She has piercing green eyes and high cheekbones.

  21. I'm gonna go w/ everyone else on this one - long, dark hair, bright blue eyes...Angelina Jolie-esque. Great writing!

  22. Goodness, this was different!
    I'm torn. Is this some immortal or long-lived being posing for a time as a human woman? Or are all those references metaphors for catastrophic events in her life. Is she crazy?

    Whatever she is, she has a powerful dark beauty. I see her with mocha skin, like a Caribbean goddess. Her eyes are a light, light brown with a mesmerizing gaze.

  23. Wow. I'm thinking - long jet black tresses, perhaps a little curly. Initially I would've given her jade green eyes but I think they are probably black like her soul. There is definitely a sadness about her and a longing for something...a release perhaps to a new life, dare I say universe?

    Great snippet, you certainly get us thinking here Roland! ;))

  24. Okay, I obviously didn't get what I was supposed to be doing here, oops. :(

    that rebel, Olivia

  25. Olivia : I made the same mistake when I wrote this entry. My bad, too.

  26. I got the sense of Kali the Destroyer from this. I imagine her as a tall, imposing woman with raven-black hair and tanned skin. She's cold, but full of power. Her stare could wither.

  27. Dang it! I was in the middle of a comment, thought of something, and navigated away. I'm not firing on all cylinders right now. Anyway, I loved reading this. It's dark and sexy and mysterious and lethal and seductive...I looked up Himiko and Meilori and various Aztec goddesses. I give guess is Meilori, but....? Tell me tell me tell me!!!!!

  28. Awesome entry, Roland! This is amazing stuff. I'm picturing Cleopatra. She's tall, thin, elegant. She has long, silky black hair, black eyes, deep olive skin. Can't wait to see the reveal!


    Ha-here it is!!!

  30. Wow, you have such a lyrical writing style! Love it!

    I see a woman who has flawless skin with really pale white hair and pale eyes. She's stunningly beautiful in an unapproachable way. She has a super model's body.

  31. Bravo Roland! Wonderful as always.
    I see her as a pale woman with black, wavy hair down to her shoulders, dark eyes and strong cheekbones. Her body is tall, and perfect (no ounce of fat on this one.)
    I can't wait to see.:)

  32. Incredible descriptions. The woman I see doesn't seem to be one thing, but many and so can change her appearance at will. For the most part I see her as a woman with dark hair that shines auburn in the sun. Her eyes of black hold a world's worth of memories. Her stance has more than one measure of regal bearing. I can't wait to see what tomorrow will bring. :)

  33. first of all i think you're wrong to judge someone with a mere bits of info here and there from whomever you've received them from, it is my understanding that people say things and maybe not the right words at the moment, and if you have not been with the person or lived in their shoes, then it is not our place to make a snap judgement.

  34. Letters : This is just a writer's exercise in finding out how well our perceptions are. My Saturday post done by the ghost of William Faulkner echoes my own belief (and yours) that as writers we are not to judge but to convey the story by action and reaction.

    If you've read my comments on others' character portraits, I make deductions like Sherlock Holmes from facts given.

    A drummer will have manual dexterity. A doctor will have a certain amount of obsessive-compulsiveness to his character (it's how he or she survived and graduated medical school and residency.) A prisoner leaving months of solitary confinement will have pale skin and a sensitivity to light.

    No rash judgements -- just reasoned deductions using logic and scientific principles.

    Thanks for dropping by, Letters. Come back again. I believe I have a fun, interesting blog. Roland

  35. I'd say she's a strong woman,tall, with very dark hair, big dark brown eyes, full lips. I thought goddess when I read this wonderful snippet. She's an old soul in a young body.

    I don't know, I hope I got something right. Can't wait to find out tomorrow! :D

  36. hi mr roland! whoops! i was playing with that black cat and forgot i was supposed to make a guess. ha ha. she makes me think of mother earth who could be in different forms and look different at different times. shes powerful and has blue green eyes that are like the earth and water. shes tall and can see over everything. now she came to earth for love and it didnt last but gave her a memory
    ..smiles from lenny

  37. Brenda : If you check back at midnight, you will see the only physical representation this being allowed of herself.

    Lenny : Good to have you visit. Isn't my black cat fun to play with? You are quite poetic in your vision of the being speaking.

    I wrote a Native American/Irish fable, THE BEAR WITH 2 SHADOWS, that did have Mother Earth as one of the major characters : Estanatlehi, THE TURQUOISE WOMAN. Maybe one day, Lenny, I can get it published. If I do, I will send you a copy, free of charge just because of your poetic comment just now. Roland

  38. I think he has a heard, leathery brown face. Dark piercing eyes and angry furry brows. His hair is tangled and dirty and he has strong muscles but still has a belly that laps over his waistline.

  39. Elizabeth : Are you talking about Lenny's Gunther? This is a woman in my character guess entry. I read yours, by the way. It was vivid and intense.

  40. Morning, Roland! Sorry I'm getting here so late -- I tried so hard to visit every participant's blog yesterday. I fell short about 15 :(( But, I closed my eyes when I got here and scrolled down to your entry, without seeing the photo. Clever, yes? And, I get to scroll back up right away after posting my guess to see how wrong I was, LOL!

    Okay, I was picturing a well known painting, by an artist whose name I don't know, of a woman with long, brilliant red, extremely curly hair. She is other-worldly beautiful with chiseled facial features and stunning green eyes. Her skin glimmers, as if gold flecks were embedded in her pores. I picture a deep, resonant voice -- one that sounds like singing even when not, coming from her well-shaped lips.

    Off to see how I did! Have a great day :)