"All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players."  --William Shakespeare

Entries in writers (8)


Cats, Gods and Fiction


 Artwork © 2014 M. Chat

Character: it fascinates me. It’s the chief thing I look for in fiction, a profound understanding of human character at the level of depth of Anton Chekhov’s, or Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s, or Virginia Woolf’s, or Marcel Proust’s fiction. 

I recently re-read Chekhov’s My Life and Other Stories. These stories are not so much about plot or language as they are about character, deeply felt and seen.



Character: it is as distinct, as particular in animals as in humans. We have a Dostoyevsky character staying with us for a while. He is dark, silent, taciturn. If you were to describe him as a god, he’d be the panther god, Dionysus. His name is Streak. 

We are fascinated by how different he is in nature from our late cat, Marley. Marley was light, talkative, affectionate. He didn’t favor either of us—he simply wanted to be as close to one or the other as he could get. When we had friends over, he wanted to be one of the guests, was happiest when we set out a chair for him at the table.



If you were to compare Marley to a character in fiction, he’d be Samoylenko in Chekhov’s story, “The Duel.” If he were a Greek god, he’d be Apollo; he inspired poems from both of us.

I’ve been thinking lately that I’d like to see more stories that include not just human characters but animals and gods. Guess I’ll have to write some.


Artwork © 2014 Miss-Tic



Surrealist Café: Sensual Surprise


Painting, Pussy 2, (c) 2013 by Philippe Lardy


Last week we asked friends around the world to "Send us a paragraph or a poem or a photo or a drawing of absolutely anything sensual—food, love, beauty, dance—that you experience, observe, dream or imagine that takes you by surprise."

This week, from France, from Switzerland, from Vietnam, from Norway, from Washington, California, Arizona, Pennsylvania and Ohio, from around the world, your responses. Thank you for playing with Paris Play. (All texts and images (c) 2013 by the various artists.)


Cassandra Lane: Excerpt from her manuscript, Seed of Strange Fruit

Our obsession with food eventually moved to Jay’s kitchen. A trained chef and winemaker, he sautéed scallops in the finest of butters and wrapped their plump bodies in caramelized onions. Placing his creations strategically on stylish plates, he drizzled a creamy red wine balsamic sauce across the scallops and the saucers—a dazzle of color. “Let there be light,” he joked. We placed each scallop whole into our mouths, where spices awakened my taste buds and my flesh. 

Chilled glasses of white wine—always sweet, despite that Jay preferred red— refreshed our palates.

He drove me to wine country, fingered grapes while waxing poetically about their complexity, and introduced me to his winemaker friends, who offered me sip after sip of reds and whites. At a cottage restaurant, we shared a goat cheese soufflé and port-glazed figs, and I told Jay about my fascination with figs, rooted in the fig trees that grew in my childhood backyard. In its raw state, the purple-black skin is the sweetest part of the ripe fig. When you peel away the outer layer, you’re left with the milder, milk-white surface underneath. Not as sweet, but pliable and swollen, a lactating breast. One gentle nip releases its cool red ovaries, and here is where the fig’s sweetness returns, trailing the tongue.

I was drunk on our love. We were bound, Jay said, by a soul connection most people would go to their graves not knowing. We reeled each other in with our words—whispered words, written words. In emails and letters, Jay poured words into me that seemed as whole and fresh as the juice of a mango. I would read them out loud, holding the syllables in my mouth, believing them with my entire being. Somehow, I had forgotten that everything is skewed in the first stages of romance. Add to that an illicit love affair, and the sparks of distortion turn to flames. Reading astrological charts and Sabian symbols, I tried to confirm that this man was my soul mate, that we had not—could not have—destroyed our lives for naught.

At least, I could not have.


Nancy Zafris

I doubt you'll find a more sensual or appetizing food photo than this -- Ohio State Forest deep in France...


Photo (c) 2013 Nancy Zafris

Scott MacFarlane: Excerpt from novel-in-progress

Maybe my malaise went far deeper than this current contaminated mess.  Hell, I didn’t understand my own chronic alienation, except that now, without a doubt, the old model was badly cracked.  Even the morning wind through the firs sounded weary to my ears, and the late August sun burned dry from above the Cascade Range to the east––a deep red ball shining through a pallor of dark gray inversion.  The remains of Vancouver and Seattle still smoldered.  The murk settled over the Skagit Valley like an omnipresent reminder of collective doom.

“As fine she’s looked all year,” I heard Uncle Harley say in his smoker’s voice when he turned the Sheriff’s attention away from his barn and toward the river.

“Are you talking about Signe or the Skagit?” Bucky asked, with his eyes downhill.

“The river,” said Uncle Harley.

I continued unloading boxes while the two men in their 60s watched my mother on the sand bar step from her violet, silk kimono and into the cold, slow eddy in the small slough where it entered the outermost bend of the Skagit.  All but my mother’s white bun of hair submerged as she followed her daily, ritual meditation.  Hers was a cold water baptism that I had observed for decades whenever the river turned clear––summer, autumn, winter, or spring.  It was August, so she remained in the river for minutes instead of seconds.  I remembered how Derek and I, as naked lads, used to join her in the ritual.

“Do you think she minds us watching?” Bucky asked my uncle, shifting uneasily from foot-to-foot when Signe emerged from the river.  

Droplets glistened on her long naked body like morning dew.  She closed her eyes, slowly stretching and lifting her arms away from her side.  She faced the sun and seemed to bow.  I couldn’t tell if her expression was happy or sad, but she looked centered, almost serene, when a slight smile curled at the corners of her mouth.  

When her eyes opened, I wondered if she only pretended not to notice the men who watched her bend, then slip so smoothly into her kimono.  Thinking of my mom as still flirtatious bothered me more than her lithe and natural nakedness that had always been commonplace during our sporadic sunny days here in Fish Town.


Mary Duncan: Pillow Gifts

Photograph (c) 2013 Mary Duncan

On her wedding night, a virgin bride found a beautifully wrapped small gift on her pillow. She gently took off the gold ribbon and unfolded the soft, silk gold cloth. She laid the box on her lap and let it nestle in the soft folds of her white embroidered gown. 

Her groom, dressed in a luxurious blue robe, sat quietly on the side of the bed.
As he touched her hand, he said, “Please open it.”
Perhaps she expected a piece of jewelry or a small ornament for her hair.
She hesitated and then did as she was told.
A slight gasp, a blush. Inside the box was a small, ivory, two-inch hand-carved figure, showing a man and a woman entwined. The bride and groom had barely touched until this moment.
The gift of the netsuke (net-su-ke) or (net-ski) was the beginning of her sexual education and could have occurred in Japan in the 1600’s, long before The Joy of Sex was written. In China and Japan, gifts of erotic illustrations and netsukes, were how wealthy families educated young brides.
Not all netsukes are erotic. Animals, people and abstract objects are also highly prized. Japanese men used them to tie their sashes and used them as toggles on small sacks to carry their money and tobacco.
Eventually the netsukes fell out of favor because their sexual positions became too tangled, complex or controversial. When animals and multiple partners were introduced into the delicate erotic carvings, they were temporarily banned.   
Today these intricately carved, erotic netsukes are collected and shown in galleries and museums. They are made from ivory, bone, wood, amber and whale's tooth. In modern times, a combination of resin and ivory dust is also used. Be careful that your gift doesn’t encourage the killing of elephants for their ivory tusks.
Prices vary depending on the age, material used, the artist and origin of the netsuke. Before purchasing or investing, talk with an expert and do your homework. Newer ones are on the market and are far less valuable than those from the 1800’s and earlier.

Netsukes can be the perfect gift for a lover, male or female. Surprise the special person in your life with a gift on their pillow. Hopefully, you’ll both be pleased with the results.


Suki Edwards: Yang of Sensuality

Photograph (c) 2013 Suki Edwards


Gayle Brandeis: Flora

I've always liked the term
"lily-livered."  I know it means
cowardly, but this is how 
I see it:  the liver, sleek
and wine-colored, bursts forth
with lilies; petals drift
and ride the streams of blood.
Think of it:  the body
opens into flower, turns orchid-
spleened, jasmine-lunged, breath
tropical, humid with scent.
Poppies bloom between the legs,
wisteria vines wind
up the spine, each bone filled
with pollen and sweet nectar.  The heart
is a rose, of course, plushly
blossomed, and inside the skull,
with each new thought,
a tulip unfurls
in the brain.


Jane Kitchell: Red Bird Woman 

Sculpture and Photograph (c) 2013 Jane Kitchell


Eric Schafer: Excerpt from his short story "Married," from his collection The Wind Took It Away: Stories of Viet Nam

I have always loved Miền Tây, the Mekong Delta, one of the loveliest places on Earth. Blue rivers, sometimes mocha with rich silt brought all the way from Tibet; gold-green rice fields; high, clear skies that are almost green with the intense reflection of the rice fields at the start of the day and turn reddish cream at sunset; golden brown rice drying on the roads and green-pink thanh long fruit growing everywhere; hundreds of thousands of coconut trees; red-dusty roads, women wearing nón lá and plaid shirts, gracefully pedaling bicycles; schoolgirls in white áo dài with black trousers, little children running, laughing, shouting back and forth along the side of the road; the scent of fresh air and sweet fruit; the red clay earth running into the rough green grass...


Bayu Laprade

Image (c) 2013 Bayu Laprade

Ren Powell: Sensual Surprise (Dissonant Seduction)

We are taxiing on the runway now. I’m flying to Oslo to swear that I no longer want to be an American citizen.

For it to be real, I have to say it out loud. And someone has to hear.

There is nothing supernatural about oaths and prayers and curses. They are waves in the physical world. They move us, just as the sea moves the shore: imperceptibly and absolutely. Events as solid, as physical, as the moment of held breath before a kiss.

I swear.


There is a beauty in physical ease: dance, the smooth gesture of a master carpenter’s hand, the whispered words of a lover that ride the breath - measured carefully and given over. With ease.


Language is the core of identity. The physical world clings to itself. 

The juxtaposition of diphthongs and fricatives reveal everything. It is an unavoidable intimacy of push, of pulse.  

And I will never pass as Norwegian, regardless of my appearance or papers. The second generation Somalian, whose broad vowel æ resonates without an edge, proves that the visual is trumped by the sensual. Appearances deceive, but the breath can not.


There are so many vowels I cannot sing. Cannot measure.

And though these sounds I make are not beautiful in themselves, they gesture toward something - toward the kind of beauty that is evident in a dissonant chord: the charm of an accent.  A necessary contrast, a drama –


May the waves of my breath, and the surrounding silence, penetrate your chest cavity and finger the hollowness there. May I make you aware of the disruption of molecules – which is heat, after all.


Rachel Brown

Image (c) 2013 Rachel Brown


Daniel Abdal-Hayy Moore: Cobalt Blue



Cobalt blue! Whose
very name alone would
make me a believer, but whose
color in transparent glass
against light from a window

lifts the mind to a fantasy of
deep darkness, of
sea-depths, undersides of
sunken hulls, treasure,
deepsea tropical caverns,
night. But

night with a holy radiance,
cloisters, Mediterranean
monasteries, Greek
bottles on high walls overlooking
the brighter blue sea -- 

cobalt blue glass!

Shadowy translucence!

Sexual celestial!

During the day:



Nice Art One

Image (c) 2013 Nice Art



Diane Sherry Case

The first spot of sunlight after my sister's death fell on the peach tree outside my front door. I had not perceived life in color for months. And suddenly there was my favorite fruit, abundant, as many peaches as I could eat. My favorite hues of sunset and the texture of velvet. I sat on my porch and let the sticky juice run down my chin and mingle with tears of grief. I made primal sounds like a famished baby and devoured one luscious peach after another, amazed, simply amazed that life goes on, life goes on.



Nice Art Two

Image (c) 2013 Nice Art


Bruce Moody: With Elephants

With elephants everything

A cascade of cliff,
on four limber pillars.

A fog of stone
always slowly
moving west.

A strolling Niagara.

Wearing a wardrobe
of loose-fitting determination,
she looms 
her great sweet 

You have felt their stone-tough, 

It snouts around like the foot of a snail. 
until it clamps the morsel of crackerjack,
which it, 
like an undersea thing, 
and confidently
and insouciantly
and speedily
into its heart-shaped maw.

Bad for the tusks?

Well, elephant dentists and nutritionists say
Elephants must eat 
for their health and satisfaction,
every day,
of popcorn,
a silo. 

So who am I to lecture an elephant – 
vegan as she is – 
about weight-loss?

Elephants remember
to diet on whole savannahs. 
And toss their mighty heads about,
making gales with their ears

and, with their Cyrano noses,
announce ––



Nice Art Three

Image (c) 2013 Nice Art

Rachel Dacus

Nissa speaks in kisses.
A dog’s mouth isn’t made for English, 
so she sounds her vowels with swipes 
of tongue – that best pink instrument. 
She covers the face, the lips 
from which my voice emerges
and patiently investigates
the curves, tasting the salt 
of meaning behind my ear, 
pressing on the place
that looses my giggles,
which I am sure she knows
as her real name.


Nice Art Four

Image (c) 2013 Nice Art



Unexpected Pleasures




You can walk out into the world thinking you know what pleasures await you, and have no idea of the treasure in store.

I knew the dinner would be excellent.

I knew that editing a story would be satisfying.

But I'm startled by the acute pleasure of being out in the cold sharp night air after several weeks mostly indoors with the flu. The world is so… solid, so real! Feathers! Flowers! Carytids! The moon! 

The pleasure of crossing a narrow street at the crosswalk, three men talking and blocking my path, the one on the bicycle looking up with great sweetness, "Oh, pardon!" and backing up his bike to let me pass.


The sweetness of men! It moves me even more than their strength. That Celtic douceur that comes from centuries of the troubadour tradition of courtesy (and perhaps from centuries of its opposite, savage wars on one's own soil).

The pleasure of remembering that I have several books to pick up at Shakespeare and Company. I'm carrying a book bag with my laptop and printed-out stories.  Do I want the extra weight? Sure. Better than swinging by too late after they've closed.



I detour, pick up the books. The bookseller with whom I'd been exchanging messages says, "Oh, it's you. I know your face, but didn't know your name."

"Same with me. You have the slightest accent. What is it?"

"I'm French."

"But your English is perfect."

"I lived in the States for a while."

Out into the blue-black cold. The face of Notre Dame across the river makes me think of Rosamond Larmour Loomis. The cathedral reminds me of those four years of boarding school, of memorizing hymns, the strict regimen of classes, study hall, every hour mapped out.



Rosamond was the headmistress of the school. She died last week at the age of 102, several weeks after her boyfriend Henry.

I remember two conversations with her, one when I was 14, and had been called into her office with Miss Moran, the sadistic assistant headmistress. I’ve already mentioned this once on Paris Play, but it made a deep impression on me, hinted at my future. Miss Larmour sternly addressed a most unfortunate incident involving naked girls in high heels and pearls stampeding down the dorm singing an aria from La Traviata. She said, "We thought you were a leader when you arrived, but this is not what we had in mind."



And later at a school reunion, she was no longer the strict head of the school, but relaxed, warm, ageless. We discovered that we'd both been married for the first time later in life, at the same age, though years apart.

Rosamond died the way I would like to die, quickly, quickly, well past the age of 100, with my beloved and friends nearby. I imagine her on her journey, sailing into the mystery.

It is crowded at my writing café. But maybe, maybe that man is not sitting at my table.

The waiter asks.

No, he's just spread out his packages there from the adjacent table where he's talking with a woman. He graciously makes room for me.



I order salmon and scalloped potatoes, the way my mother used to make them.

I open my new James Salter novel, Light Years, and begin to read. Oh. my. god. Oh! Oh! This is music. I cannot help it, I begin to annotate the page with a pencil, making scansion marks above the words as if the lines were a prose poem.

The rhythm of his sentences, the sculptural quality. The weather, the sensory richness.

I know these characters, their lives rich with art, books, friendship, family, storytelling, animals, weather, beauty. (And later, carelessness, sad choices.)

The dinner arrives. The waiter says, “If you finish that book tonight, I’ll give you a free dessert.”

The couple next to me laugh. It's a joke Parisian waiters make only when it’s clear that you’ve just started a book.

The meal is fantastic.



The man at the next table gets up to use the bathroom. The woman strikes up a conversation with me. She lives for literature. She lives in a small town near Brittany. 

The man returns. He runs a poetry and fiction reading series near us in Paris.

She invites Richard and me to visit her in her small village. She offers to drive us around.

He invites us to come to his poetry series next weekend.

They have just met in the Jardin du Luxembourg.  We all exchange cards.

I am flooded with richness.

When they leave I order a glass of cider. The mild alcohol content won't interfere with my editing.

Oh yes it does. I'd forgotten the lingering effect of the flu, am instantly tipsy. Now, how to balance that out? A coffee would keep me up all night. But a hot chocolate wouldn't. That delicate balancing act we do with food, drink and energy.

The hot chocolate warms and awakens me. I edit the story with the music of Salter's sentences ringing in my ears.





Finding Your Café

Sometimes you have too many threads in your mind, and you wonder how they’re related—if they’re related—and how to weave them all together.

I’ve been thinking about truth-telling and love.

About friendship.

About what I want to do before I die.

About fiction and non-fiction.

About writing rooms and writing in cafés.

About France and America. Republicans and Democrats.

About health rituals.

About public art and public spaces.




I finished a first draft of a short story this week. When I was five years old, I wanted to write a book of stories when I grew up that my sister, Jane, would illustrate. I’ve always loved the dance between story and visual images. 

Richard and I are collaborating now on Paris Play the way I envisioned doing as a child. Stories and photos about daily life in Paris are one approach. Fictional stories about characters are another.



Having a chambre de bonne has helped me go down into depth in writing fiction. And then today, after the uneasiness of revealing the story's weird characters, the joy of Richard’s enthusiastic response and his edits.

For depth, for listening closely to the muse, I find that solitude is best. But for later drafts, the buzz of a café can spark new word associations and sensory details.



I set out to try once more to write—no, to edit—in a café, taking my new lightweight MacBook Air.



I know the cafes that were second homes to Sartre and Beauvoir; where Hemingway wrote; where Hart Crane met his publisher, Harry Crosby; where Marguerite Duras met other writers; where Samuel Beckett mused; where the Surrealists and Dadaists gathered; where Baudelaire and Rimbaud drank; where James Joyce quoted passages from the Bible; where Scotty Fitzgerald got deathly pale on champagne; where Djuna Barnes passed around her work; where Richard Wright entertained Martin Luther King, Jr.; where Gabriel García Márquez dined; where Henry Miller, Lawrence Durrell and Anais Nin fought; where Oscar Wilde quipped; where Proust sipped beer. I’ll take you on a tour of these places if you gather a small group and give me a little notice.



But I wanted a café of my own. Why should I follow in anyone else’s footsteps? Except maybe Chekhov’s, but he didn’t write in Paris. The kind of story that Chekhov wrote is my model. All he really cared about was character. Not scenery (though at his best in “The Lady with the Dog,” his descriptions of the countryside near Yalta in the summer and Moscow in the winter, are heart-stoppingly lovely); not gymnastic language (his simple language gives you all you need to know); not plot (though his stories reveal action emerging from character). X-ray vision about character—that was Chekhov’s genius.

I walked past the Montaigne statue across from the Sorbonne, and rubbed his buckled golden shoe for luck. He smiled down at me with that ironic, good-humored smile.



I had two cafés in mind to try tonight. In passing one, I noticed that there was a spacious area in one corner beckoning me to sit. No one too close. Books behind the red banquette. An open air view onto the sidewalk and a crossroads (because all the artists’ and writers’ favorite cafés are near Métro stations and at carrefours). And I already knew that the waiters there struck just the right balance between being attentive and leaving you alone.



I settled in and sure enough, the waiter quickly brought me gazpacho and toast with olive tapenade, and cider with the tiniest bit of alcohol.

At the nearest table, three British men, filmmakers, apparently, were talking about film and the dementia of one of their parents. They were intensely engaged in conversation, listening as much as they talked about art and life, and hallelujah!, in modulated voices. Perfect.



For two hours I edited the story, looking up occasionally at the sidewalk theater. People sat at small tables chatting, drinking and eating. The art of conversation is still alive in Paris.

I’d found my writing café. The only thing more that was needed to make this a perfect day: a film with Richard at home. Maybe we’d watch Monsieur Hire, based on a Georges Simenon mystery, as our French lesson before we went to sleep.    

As for truth and love, friendship and death… all those other subjects? We can talk about those later.






Chambre de Bonne

Have you ever wanted something so intensely that not getting it—or even getting it—made you sick? That's what happened to me last week.

When did I first see the light from a sixth floor window in Paris, one of those alluring little chambres de bonnes—maids’ rooms—attic aeries where so many writers I’d read about had written, or placed their characters?

It must have been the summer after my freshman year of college, a sad year in spite of the fact that two out of the three courses I took were splendid, one in French literature, one in anthropology.



My sister, Jane and I were about to start college at the Sorbonne (she) and Oxford (I) in the fall. But first we had several weeks in Paris before my mother and three youngest siblings arrived.

I wanted one of those writing rooms then, and I wanted it years later after rereading in Ernest Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast of his climbing up to his chambre de bonne each morning and writing until he’d shaped a story to his satisfaction.



For the year and a month that Richard and I have lived in Paris, I’ve been fervently picturing getting one of these rooms.

At the February meeting of our syndic, coop board, I asked if anyone knew of a chambre de bonne for rent in our building or nearby.

“Oh no!” came the chorus. “They’re rarely available and anyway, there are waiting lines. Everyone wants one.”

Disappointing news.

Then a bit of synchronicity. It’s been happening a lot lately. When you run into the one person to whom you need to speak, though you may not see him or her again for another six months. I ran into someone we know who knows the neighborhood.

“Quick!” she said (in French). “Call this number. The tenant is moving out of her chambre de bonne.

I called. As Richard and I met the agent to look at the room, another prospective tenant was leaving, and another was due shortly.

The room was just big enough for a writing desk and chair. There was wall space to put up index cards to map out stories and novels. And there were two windows, one facing the Pantheon. The Pantheon!



I felt sick with lust. The agent would call me, she said. She had many other appointments. Later that day, she called to say the owner would make a decision after the weekend.

After the weekend?! That was four days away!

The following Monday she called. The chambre de bonne was mine. But we wouldn’t sign a lease for another two weeks.

Are you canceling the ad? I asked.

No, she said, but we won’t show it again unless something prevents us from signing.

Prevents us from signing? But how, I wondered aloud, do I know he, or you, won’t change your mind in the next two weeks?

Confiance, she said. Trust.

Trust? In two people I don’t know, in a country whose customs are decidedly not Anglo-Saxon? In my native land, we’d have signed that lease and written that check the day the owner decided.

I had envisioned what I’d do with every square inch of space in this tiny chambre de bonne. And now I had to wait another two weeks, still not knowing that the room was definitely mine.

So I got sick. Just a cold, but enough to keep me from writing, and from posting on Paris Play. Richard caught it first and generously shared it with me. A friend said that half of Paris had it, and it was a stubborn strain. I rarely get colds. I’d forgotten what it feels like to be so exhausted that you can't imagine ever leaving your apartment again.

And then this afternoon it lifted. I went out for the first time in a week. Astonishing how vivid the world looks when you’ve been home sick for a week. I made five stops in about as many blocks.

At the enchanting little Greek shop, I had to linger in front of the window for at least five minutes to gaze at the proprietor’s miniature display. Interspersed with bottles of Cretan honey in black pots painted like ancient Greek vases with gods’ faces in orange (it was full of thyme, said the label) and spanakopita, were miniature statues of the Venus de Milo, busts of Socrates, donkeys with old men on their backs, a whole little diorama.

I went in to buy walnuts and pine nuts. The silver-haired Greek man behind the counter wore a NY Yankees cap.

Was he a fan? I asked.

Nah, he’d found it at the Acropolis.

At the dry cleaners, the proprietor said they didn’t do repairs. Verbal exchanges in Paris often begin this way. “Non, nous ne faisons pas cela ici. Il ne peut pas être fait.” (We don’t do that here. It can’t be done.) And then someone offers an exception! The woman ironing said that a friend of hers could fix my jeans whose hems were fraying because they were too long. She was ironing a shirt with a bright geometric pattern that dazzled my eyes.

At the little grocery, 8 à Huit, I found some good-looking broccoli and zucchini, but the Moroccan man at the counter said it wasn’t enough to use my credit card. But I was out of cash. We counted out my remaining coins, beautiful copper and silver discs, and there was just enough.



Our flower shop had tulips in an orangey-red for the fireplace mantel, and roses in a coral shade for Richard’s office. Les fleurs! A room full of living jewels!

Les Pâtes Vivantes was packed. I ordered a Szechuan beef soup with cilantro, scallions and noodles which a Chinese chef made in a glass box right in front of you. He tossed and rolled and pulled the dough into long cream-colored strings. This was a treat for Richard who had been out roaming all day taking photos, and would be ravenous when he returned. His studio is the whole of Paris. 

It suddenly seemed real. Next week I’d have my studio. It seems to me that I’ve been waiting for this forever.