8/24/09

"What more can I do here below?"

Late in the afternoon on September 17th, 1705, Anne ran a shaky finger across the deep lines that grew below her eyes. “If God had to give a woman wrinkles, he might at least have put them on the soles of her feet, don’t you think Francois?” she said to her accountant.

“Why, you don’t look a day over seventy,” he said to her with a wink.

Anne had been conducting more and more of her day to day business in her bedroom, often still lying beneath the covers. She was tired and had resigned herself to mortality.

“Francois, I don’t have much longer,” she said matter-of-factly.

“Nonsense, madam!” he quickly countered, “Why, you’re still strong as...” But Anne was in no mood to be argued with.

“Stop!” she ordered. “Anyone who can see can tell... Both the Jansenists and the Jesuits are arguing over my soul... and I intend to die at least in the grace of one of them, they can fight over my corpse later... Francois, I’m making a new will... My funeral will be simple; I’m only leaving ten francs for it. That ought to show them there’s a bit of poverty in my soul. But to your son, I want to leave a little too. He’s been such good company, putting up with my locutions.”

“He’ll make a fine lawyer,” Francois said smiling.

“No, Francois!” Anne said with concern. “His mind is full of ideas. I know you’ll be sending him to college soon. Don’t burden him with rigidity. Let him think! The joy of the mind is the measure of its strength!”

When the famed courtesan, Anne "Ninon" de l'Enclos, died at age eighty-three a month later, she bequeathed 2,000 francs to François-Marie Arouet, the nine year old “Voltaire”, for which to buy books.

6 comments:

Swift Hawk said...

Wow Chris...
You write all this? Fascinating story. Is it your goal to write 300 words in 365 days?
Happy to have met you..
Pauline
(recipient of the futon and TV)

cyurkanin said...

Yes, thanks, Pauline. One for each day on the calendar. I started about a year ago and am only a third way through so I figure another 2 years! I do a lot of other writing besides this so I only 2 or 3 a week here.

Swift Hawk said...

Wow.. great commitment.

I'm curious...The stories you write are historically based,so I'm guessing you do a lot of historical research or perhaps were a history major? What percentage of your stories, if any, is fictionalized? Or embellished?
I find the human interest details fascinating and engagingly written. (and I don't read much) I have several writer friends that might enjoy your blog and think your blog would be a great addition to a high school or college world history class, or muse like inspiration for play wrights and screen writers.
Who knows.....if enough people spread your work you could be the next "Julie and Julia" movie success!

cyurkanin said...

Each one is a little different, which is why I attach links for further insight. Some are more fictionalized than others. Some are 100% true. Many of the conversations are invented but still true to character and developmental outcome. The event is not fictionalized but some characters are invented to play an explanatory role. The point is to show that there was a certain defining moment in the life of every person that directly or indirectly brought them to our attention.

For example, in this story, the Ninion was a very real and very influential person in her day.
Today, nobody has ever heard of her and could care less about her. BUT, the fact that she mentored a boy and gave hima huge sum of money in order to expand his worldview through literature, is suddenly VERY important because of who that boy grew up to be.

Swift Hawk said...

Thank you for responding Chris.

I have also since read your profile, but still have a few more questions. Please forgive me,or just tell me to bug off if they are too personal. Not sure why I am asking actually.. I am a curious person I suppose.

I have a long time interest/passion for the study of astrology and it's always interesting for to see the charts of persons with unique talents and interests such as yours. I have also at times contemplated the charts of historical persons, when they are available, (which is rare) particularly around key events in their life.. such as the ones you write about, and there is always a significant correlation with what was happening with stars. In fact, I would love to do a study of well known authors, just to see and perhaps show how what they write about, and their style is influenced or suggested by their birth charts and various transits to it over time.

I am assuming you have one or more degrees...in perhaps history, English, philosophy...etc..or is writing simply an avocation of yours? Your dedication or love of it,really shines through. Who or what most influenced you to be a writer?

Also,it takes time to write this well,this often, and also at 2 more sites you say? Yet you list Law Enforcement and Security (policeman?) as your profession and you have a family... Whats' your secret for fitting it all in?

No more questions after this.. not for a long while anyway. I don't want you to think I am some weirdo...I will check out your blog from time to time though and drop you a line of appreciation. I like to support the gifts and talents I see in others.. perhaps in hopes that some of it might rub off or come back to me.. Oh if only it were that easy...
In gratitude....Swift Hawk.

cyurkanin said...

No ma'am, no degrees, I just read a lot. And I love to write. Like everyone else, I'm always working on those great unfinished American novels... And as contrary as it sounds, it seems to me that the more you do, the more you have time to do. (Although it occasionally gets exhausting when the kids don't cooperate!)

I've worked in law enforcement and executive protection for many years in different positions. After I got out of the Border Patrol, I just took a job working on a ranch at night, which is actually where I get a lot of writing done.

Thanks for all the nice things you've said! and thanks for reading here!