‘Vignettes of Prose’ by Gene McCormick

From the Editor:

When Gene sent these two vignettes to us for possible publication, I saw the word count and thought the story might be too short (thinking I was looking at a short essay of some sort). However, after I read the two pieces and realized they were vignettes of prose and were both well written, held deeper subtexts, were both interesting, and an excellent lesson in writing for new writers, I knew I had to publish these. I loved them, and I hope you do as well. 

Scott 

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Romance Novel

“Withdrawn” is randomly stamped several times on the front endpaper of the book, and a pocket containing a checkout card is glued inside the front cover, an obsolete procedure discontinued decades ago with the advent of computers and scanning equipment. The card has the dates the book is due back stamped on it, the last being August 7, 1993, nearly a quarter of a century ago. For twenty-four years, the book has been shelved in the public library, unread.

The six dates on the checkout card are so close together in time, between March 6 and August 7, that it may have been the same person reading the book, renewing it when due but maybe not: it is a slim book, 181 pages, and is a biography of sorts of Victorine Meurent, the lesbian model Eduard Manet used when painting Olympia and other museum-quality paintings.

The book has no happy endings. Manet died early and painfully of syphilis. Long thought to be enamored of painter Berthe Morisot, their relationship was unrequited with Morisot marrying Manet’s brother. Meurent lived into maturity despite being an alcoholic and, eventually, putain; she led a life of “degradation, poverty, and humiliation” although finding a compatible same-sex partner late in life.

The biography is priced at one dollar on the ‘Books for Sale’ shelf.

Olympia is on the walls of Musee d’Orsay in Paris. Meurent looks directly toward viewers wearing only a thin black ribbon around her neck with a locket, small gold-colored earrings, and a pink flower in her hair.

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A Night At The Opera

 

First the woodwinds then, in less than a minute, the strings, and once the rhythm is set, abafando horns.

He discretely elbows her and leans to whisper in the darkened auditorium, but she is concentrating on Puccini, shakes her head to shrug him off. He elbows her again, and she pokes him back firmly: Leave me alone. They are on the aisle; he gets up and leaves which means little to her in her scented elegance, enraptured by the woodwinds. Now forte.

At intermission, she explains Peter’s absence as business related and is asked to join an after party which will include the conductor or, at the very least, the lead soprano.

Peter is now in a different part of town among strangers who smoke cigarettes, wear brown shoes and talk sports and he is the only one wearing a tuxedo.

Bravura.


Author’s Bio:

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Gene McCormick

Gene has had twenty books published, a mix of non-fiction, fiction, and poetry. His writing regularly appears in small press publications throughout the United States and Europe. He has a novel, in narrative poetry form, coming out this fall from Middle Island Press: Obsessions. He also paints and has paintings in commercial and private collections nationwide. He has illustrated ten or so books (covers and interiors) and is the illustrator for Misfitmagazine.net.

Gene’s website

Gene’s books

Published posts on Two Drops of Ink:

1) POETRY BREAK BY GENE MCCORMICK 

 

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S.W. Biddulph

Scott Biddulph is a published writer, author, and poet from North Georgia. He began writing as a youngster and followed his lifelong dream of reaching people through the written word when he returned to The University of North Georgia in 2013 to finish earning his BA/English with a concentration on publication and creative writing. His publications include the following: an eBook, Apples of Gold: A collection of inspirational short stories and poems (Smashwords, 2010) and a paperback, Voices from the Heart, (Createspace, 2012). His poetry is published in Papers and Publications Undergraduate Research Journal. Vol 3 (2014) and the award-winning Chestatee Review (Spring, 2015), among other places (Check his LinkedIn profile for a full list of his publications). He is currently working on publishing poetry, creative non-fiction, academic essays, and his memoir. ******** Scott has also worked as an intern editor for the University of North Georgia Press. As a freelance editor, he has done the layout and design of several books and magazines. He is currently working with several authors on various publication projects in which he is either ghostwriting, editing manuscripts, or doing the layout and design of their books. ******** Finally, and most importantly, he is a father, grandfather, husband, and dedicated Harley Davidson rider. He and his family enjoy the beauty of the North Georgia Mountains where they live—especially their screened in back porch where they love to bird watch. ******** ~ "I love realism. I love writing about the raw, down-to-Earth, heartfelt realities of life. I love to write in a way that reaches into the human soul—to take the greatest pains and struggles in life, and make them a blessing to others. Fantasy is a wonderful, interesting thing—but real-life situations, feelings, fears, and dreams are an unexplored ocean of stories that need to be told." ~ ~Scott Biddulph~

9 comments

    • It’s always flattering to hear from readers, even more so when the writing is appreciated. thanks for taking the time to comment.
      Gene

      Like

  1. Good morning, Gene. I think the backstory is often as interesting as the finished product, whether it’s a painting or a book. Thank you for filling in the blanks on Manet and Meurent. Your opera piece simply reinforces that what we present to the public is often not entirely the truth; there is a backstory that goes missing.

    Thank you for another contribution to Two Drops of Ink. I hope to see more in 2017.

    Liked by 2 people

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