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First Page: Immortal Ecstasy (Fantasy Romance)

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***

Daphnis stopped just inside the tavern door and waited for her eyes to adjust to the dim interior. She’d learned the band of mercenaries called the Tychantes had already reached this Arcadian village of Pheneus when she enquired at the blacksmith’s and he told her about the group of five strangers who entered the tavern not long before her arrival. Now, after inspecting the handful of patrons in the small room, she decided the man at the far corner table most closely matched the spare description of the band leader provided by the smithy. For some reason, she had anticipated someone older and far less comely, so she wasn’t prepared for how the sight of him affected her. With a pang of regret she must be disguised as a man to accomplish her mission, she crossed the room in bold, confident strides until she reached the table.

Deepening her voice, she asked, "Are you Leucos?"

While waiting for him to acknowledge her presence and answer her question, she examined his face. As she looked over his strong brow and jaw, well-defined cheek bones, and sensuous mouth, he raised hooded eyes the color of polished oak to stare up at her.

"Who wants to know?"

His words resonated with warning, and that pleased her. The glamour she had cast to disguise herself as a male succeeded; he didn’t see her as a woman to seduce and conquer. Her natural feminine state would serve no purpose other than to cloud the issue with lustful tension and prejudice. Fortunately, her mother had given her a name which passed for both male and female, so she wouldn’t have to lie about that.

"My name is Daphnis. I’m looking for Leucos because I want to join the Tychantes."

She expected laughter from him, but he surprised her by remaining curiously quiet for a moment. She knew joining the Tychantes would not be easy, but the fate of so many relied on her success. One way or another, she could not fail.

His eyes turned cold, and his gaze raked over her. She reminded herself again he couldn’t detect her femininity.
"Go home to your mother," he growled, lifting his cup and draining it of its contents.

The remark upon her youthful countenance came as no surprise, but she had no way to remedy her appearance without using more energy on the glamour than she could spare. "I’m older than I look. And more experienced."

His mouth slanted in a sneer of disbelief. "How many wars have you fought? How much blood of those you’ve slain in battle stains your blade?"

Having anticipated such questions as well, she replied, "None. But I’ve trained with the best–Cheiron."

His eyes widened. "The Centaur?"

She nodded without expounding on the glory of the renowned teacher. His reputation spoke for itself.
Then Leucos’ scornful laugh echoed throughout the room. He poured more wine from the amphora into his cup. "Next you’ll be telling me you’re the son of a god."

Studying his face and the weathered lines around his eyes crinkling in humor, she hid her surprise. She thought because of his extensive travels and experience he would have already met an immortal or two along the way. Some of them enjoyed mingling with humans and meddling in their affairs.

"Zeus is my father," she said simply.

***

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20 Comments

  1. joanne
    Mar 14, 2009 @ 06:16:56

    I’ll pic a nit and say the first paragraph is a tiny bit TMI and those sentences could use some tightening up.

    Other then that: LOVED IT!

    Thanks so much and much good luck with your writing!

  2. Courtney Milan
    Mar 14, 2009 @ 06:43:51

    I think you have a very interesting idea, and you’re using one of my favorite tropes in the whole world (girl dresses as boy), but putting an interesting spin on it (she’s using magic, not clothing).

    BUT . . . I would not read on if this were the first page. The words you have on the page are fine; any individual sentence, I’m sure could be critiqued (and will be), but it would be nit-picking without identifying the broader problem. Or problems. It took me a few tries reading this to figure out what was bugging me about it.

    This is a fantasy romance, right? Well… one thing I’d like to see is world-building. Now, I don’t care if you’re writing contemporaries or fantasy–everyone has to build a world. But it is ESPECIALLY true if you are writing fantasy, because if you don’t build your world, the reader will infer the details of the world from her every-day existence.

    When I read this page, I assumed that this was a fantasy romance about a group of immortal warriors who were hanging out in a tiny village in modern Greece, and that Daphnis had, perhaps, flown in from the United States and sought them out, with her tiny rented car waiting outside. Yes, there’s a blacksmith–but there are still blacksmiths in the modern world; just not a lot of them.

    Some other reader might read this and think, Ancient Greece.

    Someone else might read this and think, Peru.

    The only things you have in this piece that alert the reader to where you are is the names of the characters, and in a time when people write fantasy about Greek Gods in the modern world, where Artemis shows up at will in New Orleans and Zeus walks the streets of New York City, this is not going to help you. The only thing you have alerting the reader to the time is the mention of the blacksmith–and like I said, there are blacksmiths in this day and age. “Tavern” is also a little old–but the word is still in use. So don’t be lazy. You can’t let your vocabulary and your names build your world for you.

    When you say “dim interior” you are missing an opportunity to build a world–is it dim because light leaks poorly through greased parchment windows? Is it dim because one of the fluorescent bulbs overhead has burnt out? As she’s searching for the band, does she see orange vinyl seats, sticky with beer, or does she see rough-hewn wooden trestles? And for heaven’s sake, when she finds the men, are they sitting around in jeans and faded T-shirts, or are they wearing ancient garb? You can’t leave your reader in any doubt as to what is going on, where it is going on, and how it is going on–and you haven’t even established a single baseline to ground your reader.

    The second thing that this is missing is an emotional connection with Daphnis. She should be lots of things–nervous, perhaps; maybe a little overly confrontational. The only emotion you really allow her to feel on the page is what appears to be a pang of lust when she sees Leucos. And even then, take a look at the way you describe it: “she wasn't prepared for how the sight of him affected her.” Okay–it is sometimes okay to use the negative when describing an emotion. But notice that what you tell us here is not how Daphnis feels, but how she doesn’t feel. You’re not describing her emotion; you’re describing what her emotion isn’t. That’s a very distancing effect.

    Between these two, I would put the book down after this page. You haven’t convinced me to trust you as an author through 300 pages of story.

  3. Lynne Connolly
    Mar 14, 2009 @ 07:44:11

    By the end of the first paragraph I would have quit this book.
    Because I hate the chicks-in-pants stories. Nobody, from Georgette Heyer onwards has pulled it off for me. (no pun intended!) If she can carry off the appearance of a man, then for me anyway, she ain’t no romance heroine. If the hero doesn’t recognise her, he’s stupid. However, I would give you the benefit of the doubt, since you’ve thrown magic into the mix.
    Anyway, this strikes me less as fantasy, more pulled straight out of the Greek myths, a la Mary Renault, but don’t get carried away. Where Renault’s cool prose is beautifully set out, yours is a bit on the clunky side.
    You introduce deliberate archaisms like “countenance,” which is more sixteenth century that 3,000 BC or whatever, but the rest of the prose is fairly modern. I’d write it avoiding any archaism, but also avoiding any modern jargon, which I think you do well, btw.
    You started by using Daphnis, and the most famous Daphnis, of Daphnis and Chloe fame (legend, story, ballet, opera), is a man. So I was expecting a bloke, and I got a girl. I had to read the first couple of sentences twice to cope with the about-face.
    I never got a feel for her. How she felt, or her inner motivations. You made a good job of explaining her outer conflict, and actually, I would cut that a bit, and maybe bring all that in later (but not too much later). Just try doing the scene, intensifying the inner Daphnis (sorry, still a chap to me) and trying to get the reader to really care about her, her dilemma and why she’s there.
    I could get picky – there are some extraneous words and phrases, and I wondered how he would manage to pour wine from an amphora, but I think you can clear that stuff up later.
    I’d say – rewrite the scene with the specific aim of snagging the reader. Get the reader in that tavern, with that girl, and make him or her really care about what happens next. That comes from within.

  4. Jane O
    Mar 14, 2009 @ 08:14:29

    I was confused about the setting. Except for the Greek names, it sounded like a Western to me -’ the blacksmith, the tavern full of men, the mercenaries as hired guns. And even once you’ve added the magic, the amphora and Zeus, I’m still not too sure. Is this ancient Greece or a new imaginary world?

    I’m not a major fan of the fantasy genre, so I may not be the right person to be making suggestions, but no matter what I am reading, I want to know where and when I am from the get-go.

    Incidentally, a Greek amphora holds something like nine gallons -’ hard to pour.

  5. she reads
    Mar 14, 2009 @ 09:01:02

    I’m not a big fantasy reader, but I do love mythology and magic books so I’ll put in my .02.

    I have to agree that it’s confusing when and where this is taking place. There indeed are blacksmiths around today, as there have been for many years. So that doesn’t tell me anything if this is supposed to be in ‘real’ world, past, or some fictional land you’ve created. I’m assuming you mean older times since you have her concealing her true identity (with magic- nice touch), but I can’t be sure.

    Finally I’d say that you’re giving me way too much information without any detail or lead in. If I picked this up in a bookstore I’d assume based on 1st page that you’re going to bombard me with names and specifics without explaining… and that would ultimately make me put the book down and move on.

  6. Julia Sullivan
    Mar 14, 2009 @ 09:02:07

    Holy infodump, Batman!

    Why is a woman named “Daphnis”? Daphnis is a man’s name in our world’s Greek. (And if Daphnis is a female name in this world’s Greek, then wouldn’t your heroine have blown her male cover by announcing that name to the guy in the tavern?)

    I bet you have an interesting story, but this first page is not cutting it. And do some more research, because if you make basic errors like she-Daphnises and people pouring wine from amphoras into cups, you’ll make knowledgeable readers and reviewers very cross indeed.

  7. Lanette Curington
    Mar 14, 2009 @ 09:18:19

    Just a quick note for now…

    Sorry for the confusion about the setting. It’s set in ancient Greece.

    Daphnis can be either male or female. There is a nymph in Greek mythology named Daphnis. http://www.theoi.com/Nymphe/NympheDaphnis.html That’s why I chose the name, so she wouldn’t have to use a different name while passing for a male.

    There were small amphorae, under 12 inches tall.

    Thanks!

  8. theo
    Mar 14, 2009 @ 09:57:57

    First let me say, I am not a fantasy reader normally. It would have to be a brilliant first few pages to suck me in enough to want to read. If this is a romance as well, I’m not getting that from this sub. You lost me at the end of the first paragraph. I too expected Daphnis to be a man. Sometimes, though you’ve done your research, what you’ve learned is too obscure for the general reader to pick up on. In this case, I think you would probably find most of your readers would assume from the first name that it is a male.

    The second thing I stumbled over was that the first paragraph reads like a shopping list *to me*:

    A tavern door
    Dim interior
    Mercenaries
    An Arcadian village
    A blacksmith

    And on and on. Yes, I know you’re trying to give background, but I’d much rather know more about the atmosphere inside the tavern than to know that a blacksmith told her of five strangers, when that can be worked in later, perhaps when she’s talking to Leucos.

    You have 42 words in that second sentence and though varying the length helps with the flow of any novel, breaking it up a bit in this instance would make it sound much less like that shopping list.

    She’d enquired at the blacksmith’s about any recent strangers in Pheneus. He grunted, pointed toward the tavern and went back to his work.

    Rough, yes, but the rest of the sentence information again can be worked in here and there as the first chapter progresses.

    Right now, there isn’t anything that grasps my interest enough to keep me reading. Tightening things up a lot might make a big difference. But again, this is just me.

    Good luck!

  9. Maili
    Mar 14, 2009 @ 10:01:20

    I’m not a writer. Just a reader. I spent a bit of time trying to understand the first paragraph. It’s a bit heavy-going. I think it would be nice to break it into shorter paragraphs.

    “after inspecting the handful of patrons in the small room”

    I think it’d be nice to chuck in some brief descriptions of the place. Is it a dark, miserable place? Smoky? Warm? Crowded? How do these patrons look? Edgy, friendly or relaxed? How is the heroine feeling? Nervous? Excited? Determined? Anything to help me to picture where the heroine is, the atmosphere, the place and the overall feel.

    “she decided the man at the far corner table most closely matched the spare description of the band leader provided by the smithy. For some reason, she had anticipated someone older and far less comely, so she wasn't prepared for how the sight of him affected her.”

    I think that instead of telling us like that, describe him so that we can see what she sees at the same time.

    I feel that the weakness with this page is you’re telling us, instead of letting us read what the heroine sees, feels or experiences. I think it’d be nice to include five senses: sound (noisy? quiet? chatty?), smell (food, drink, body odour), sight (brief description), touch (floor – concrete, wooden or straw-covered?), taste (dry mouth due to being nervous?).

    Have to say this: “…he raised hooded eyes the color of polished oak to…”
    This seems to imply he has some dark eye shadow make-up on his eyelids. :D

    Thank you for sharing. :)

  10. vanessa jaye
    Mar 14, 2009 @ 10:03:07

    I don’t mind figuring out the world as the story unfolds (plus I’d suspect that either your query, or back cover blurb would help orient a reader/agent/editor fairly quickly), so that aspect (lack or world-building, etc) was not a problem for me.

    Although I do see what the others are concerned about. The details included need to be more specific/unique.

    I’ll agree with Courtney, re the fleshing out of your world, the setting, emotion and chacter. I think that would be my problem from the getgo, this all felt a little too ‘telling’ and not ‘showing/unfolding.’

  11. Lynne Connolly
    Mar 14, 2009 @ 10:07:38

    Daphnis can be either male or female. There is a nymph in Greek mythology named Daphnis. http://www.theoi.com/Nymphe/NympheDaphnis.html That's why I chose the name, so she wouldn't have to use a different name while passing for a male.

    I’ve only ever heard of it used for a male. That’s the point, really, that the famous Daphnis was a male. I thought the nymph, the one that was turned into a bay tree was Daphne?

    There were small amphorae, under 12 inches tall.

    They were ceremonial, and vases, not vessels for wine. I think the Greeks used jugs for wine.

    There are two points here. One is accuracy, the other is expectation. Modern readers will think of Daphnis as male because “the” Daphnis was a male.
    And modern readers will associate amphorae with those huge round-bottomed things found on shipwrecks. My mental image was immediately of your man getting to his feet, heaving a great big pottery jar from its metal stand and trying to pour a drink with it. Which made me smile, quite somewhat.

    I come across this quite a lot in historicals. In “my” era, the Georgian, evening wear for women was often referred to as a “nightdress.” But I never use the wholly accurate term for obvious reasons!
    I often start my books with a little italic header, such as “London, October 1754.” Trying to work it into the story can be awkward, so this, to me, seems a good way of doing it.

    Your biggest problem is with involvement. I could easily walk away from this and not want to come back, even though it could be an interesting story. Get in closer, make the reader care.

    The thing that interests me most is the Greek’s predilection for young men. Is Daphnis going to find herself in a m/m relationship? The Greeks kept young men for pleasure, women were locked away in what amounted to harems, only the whores ever appearing outside the locked-down areas. So the ways this book could go are fascinating. If he decides to keep her as female-as-male, so she can be with him, if she wants to turn whore so she can appear in public with him. The Greek’s approach to sexuality is a fascinating topic, and ripe for a great erotic romance.

    Another problemette – I tried to google your name, but I got page load errors.

  12. joanne
    Mar 14, 2009 @ 10:38:43

    Lynne: I googled her name and found her biography, her page on Samhain and on Fantastic Fiction and more but didn’t go on.

    Now that I’m hairless from trying to figure out my DABWAHA choices I should probably take some time to say why I liked this first page when so many of the others didn’t. The characters are there. On the first page. For me the world building is secondary to them. Always. Historical facts, yeah, not so much on that either. So I’m not a good critic but I would purchase this book to read more about them.

    Thanks again.

  13. Solange Ayre
    Mar 14, 2009 @ 12:03:00

    I think you’ve got an interesting idea here that could benefit from the comments, particularly a little more scene-setting and use of the five senses.

    1/The first few sentences are a bit dull. Take a look at the first paragraphs of recently published novels and see how most of them draw you in or raise a story question immediately.

    2/That first large paragraph is also too full of explanations. Why tell us that she’s disguised as a man when you could show us? When she asks, “Are you Leocus?”, if he answered, “Who are you, boy?” then we’d know right away that she’s disguised. You could follow it up with a line of inner narration where she thinks, “Thank Zeus the glamour she’d cast over herself was working. He believed in her disguise” – something along those lines. (I also thought “Who wants to know?” sounds much too modern for heroic fantasy).

    3/When the narration says, “Some of them enjoyed mingling with humans…” it read oddly to me – isn’t Daphnis an immortal herself?

    I’d certainly read a fantasy about a daughter of Zeus – good luck with it!

  14. Anion
    Mar 14, 2009 @ 12:42:34

    Interesting idea, and nice sense of timing; “Zeus is my father” is a great page-finisher.

    But this is all tell. Tell tell tell. Quit rushing it. Let us feel what Daphnis is feeling, let us see what she’s seeing.

  15. LindaR (likari)
    Mar 14, 2009 @ 14:46:00

    [I'm adding "likari", my twitter name, since LindaR was already taken at twitter]

    I’m intrigued, but I agree you need some streamlining, more show, and a lot less tell.

    Daphnis stopped just inside the tavern door and waited for her eyes to adjust to the dim interior.

    Here you could describe the light and show the five strangers — but wait. To whom are they strange? Daphnis? Just the blacksmith? If the only point of the blacksmith is to deliver the backstory on the strangers, I’d dump him and try it another way.

    (1)She'd learned the band of mercenaries called the Tychantes had already reached this Arcadian village of Pheneus (2)when she enquired at the blacksmith's and he told her about the group of five strangers who (3)entered the tavern not long before her arrival. (4)Now, after inspecting the handful of patrons in the small room, she decided the man at the far corner table most closely matched the spare description of the band leader provided by the smithy.

    1,2,3,4 = events happening in four different time periods all crammed together. too much to process.

    For some reason, she had anticipated someone older and far less comely, so she wasn't prepared for how the sight of him affected her.

    “for some reason” = one of my pet peeves. Is it just me? I hate it.

    “she wasn’t prepared for” = mea culpa! I am so guilty of using this phrase myself. It’s lazy writing, I think. My goal in life is to learn how to write so the reader KNOWS she wasn’t prepared for . . .

    With a pang of regret she must be disguised as a man to accomplish her mission, she crossed the room in bold, confident strides until she reached the table.

    telling — let me decide why she feels the regret.

    This is frustrating to me, because I just know there’s a great story here. But so far, the writing is making me work too hard to get to it.

    I do hope you stay with it and buff it till it beams, because I want to read it.

  16. Julia Sullivan
    Mar 14, 2009 @ 15:44:06

    Daphnis can be either male or female. There is a nymph in Greek mythology named Daphnis.

    I don’t think that any human women were named Daphnis, though. I could be wrong, but it’s still unlikely. “Daphnis” is a grammatically male name–the feminine of the same name is “Daphne”. I know a woman named “Christopher” but I wouldn’t name any of my female characters that because it’s so unlikely.

    There were small amphorae, under 12 inches tall.

    That’s not what was used to hold wine in ancient Greek taverns. Tiny amphores were generally used for unguents or drugs. Someone pouring wine into a cup in an ancient Greek tavern would be pouring from a prochoos or, if it was an especially classy place, an oinichoe.

  17. DS
    Mar 14, 2009 @ 17:08:40

    Trying to set something in ancient Greece is going to need a lot of research plus knowledge of the transliteration of sounds from the ancient Greek language in order to avoid problems. I would stick with the newer way of writing Arcadia (Arkadia) and other Greek words. I don’t know what the Tychantes is/are– although I did wonder for a moment if it was a Greek all male chorus.

    However the author is right about Daphnis. Compare to Artemis, Iris, Eris, and Doris, all female names.

  18. JoB
    Mar 14, 2009 @ 21:23:32

    I’m intrigued by an ancient Greek fantasy setting. So you’ve got me interested right there.

    I’d make two general suggestions.

    – Your sentences tend to hold two concepts.

    This isn’t bad in itself … but the continual ‘two-concept mode’ is repetitive. You might vary this by writing simpler sentences interspersed with longer ones, more complicated ones.
    And it is not always clear why the particular two ideas have been put in the same sentence.

    With a pang of regret she must be disguised as a man to accomplish her mission, she crossed the room in bold, confident strides until she reached the table.

    The sentence holds two pictures. Disguise and walking.
    But see how the first concept — the disguise — is really explained by ‘the mission’. That makes a complete linkage — ‘disguise’/’mission’.
    Crossing the room is another, related thought.

    So maybe you let ‘the disguise’ and ‘the mission’ have a room of their own for the evening and put ‘striding’ next door.

    i.e. Too bad she had to disguise herself as a man to get the job done. She crossed the room in bold, confident, masculine strides. Sprawled on the bench, his elbows on the table, sat a …

    Look at this sequence of sentences. Each sentence holds two concepts.

    ..
    His words resonated with warning, and that pleased her. The glamour she had cast to disguise herself as a male succeeded; he didn't see her as a woman to seduce and conquer. Her natural feminine state would serve no purpose other than to cloud the issue with lustful tension and prejudice. Fortunately, her mother had given her a name which passed for both male and female, so she wouldn't have to lie about that.

    Here’s the two concepts:

    His words resonated with warning, … and that pleased her.

    The glamour she had cast to disguise herself as a male succeeded; … he didn't see her as a woman to seduce and conquer.

    Her natural feminine state would serve no purpose … other than to [it would] cloud the issue with lustful tension and prejudice.

    Fortunately, her mother had given her a name which passed for both male and female … so she wouldn't have to lie about that.

    The problem is not that the sentences have a pair of concepts in them. The problem is that they all have a pair of concepts in them … and the balance of the sentence devoted to each concept is about the same.

    Some others, similar sentences pulled out at random;

    She expected laughter from him, … but he surprised her by remaining curiously quiet for a moment.

    She knew joining the Tychantes would not be easy, … but the fate of so many relied on her success.

    Studying his face and the weathered lines around his eyes crinkling in humor, … she hid her surprise.

    Not wrong. Not bad. But repetitive

    .
    – A second suggestion is to rethink how much backstory you need.
    If you give us a vivid scene, the reader will travel pages into the story with you, not knowing specifics.

    Here’s some infodump:

    She'd learned the band of mercenaries called the Tychantes had already reached this Arcadian village of Pheneus when she enquired at the blacksmith's and he told her about the group of five strangers who entered the tavern not long before her arrival.

    You’re tossing six, seven, eight factoids into a bulging, overpacked portmanteau sentence. As LindaR points out, these early sentences lack a straightforward unity of time. They lack unity of purpose.

    One solution is to sieve the most important bits out and showcase each.

    A band of Tychantes had stopped here, in Phreneus. They’d be in the tavern now, five of them, just settling their swords-for-hire against the wall by the fire.

    But do you want to weight the reader down with even that many specifics in the first page? Can you move right into the action?

    Daphnis waited for her eyes to adjust to the dim interior of the tavern. There he was — the leader of the band of mercenaries.

    She’d expected someone older and far less comely. The sight of him [say specifically how it affected her.] Too bad she had to be disguised as a man to accomplish her mission.

    She deepened her voice. “Are you Leucos?”

    He had a strong brow and jaw, well-defined cheek bones, and sensuous mouth. He raised hooded eyes the color of polished oak to stare up at her. “Who wants to know?”

    His words resonated with warning. He saw her as a man, not a woman to cajole and seduce and conquer. The glamour she’d cast was working.

    “I’m Daphnis. I want to join the Tychantes. I'm looking for Leucos.”

    ….
    Then maybe along about here you add 30 words description to tell us where we are — Greece — and that it’s magical. So you do a ‘smoke-filled, Arcadian wine shop,’ or a ‘deep red, almost black, wine from xxx’, or a ‘simple kitchen magic made the fire burn green.’

    Then slip back into the action.

    The [description of man] surprised her by remaining silent for a long moment. His cold gaze raked over her. “Go home to your mama, boy,” he growled. He lifted his cup and drained it

    And continue the dialog from there.

    See all the backstory that isn’t here? But we still want to read onward.

    So maybe reconsider the backstory …?
    On the front page, we want these two people, establishing contact. The details can be kicked out from under foot so they don’t annoy us.

  19. Lanette Curington
    Mar 15, 2009 @ 05:45:49

    Jane, thank you for putting up my first page. And thanks to all for your comments. I appreciate the feedback! I submitted this 6 or 7 months ago, not realizing that (if chosen) it would be this long before it was posted. It has since been edited and is scheduled for release Wednesday, March 18, from Midnight Showcase Fiction at http://www.midnightshowcase.com

    Immortal Ecstasy is a novella, about 30k words. It is part of my Immortal Legends series, stories set in ancient Greece and using Greek mythology. The stories in the series stand alone. Another one published at this time is Immortal Heat in the anthology Aphrodite’s Touch at Ellora’s Cave.

    I’m sorry the setting was confusing, but with a blurb and in the context of being part of my Immortal Legends series, the time frame would be apparent to the reader. Daphnis isn’t quite immortal; nymphs live “only” a thousand years, LOL. I found references to small amphorae used to hold wine. I’m not writing a treatise on ancient Greece; I’m just hoping to tell an entertaining story with the flavor of the ancient world and the Greek myths. Errors happen, and literary license will be taken. ;)

    My site is down at the moment–bad timing! It should be back up in a few days. Please bookmark and check back later. http://www.lanettecurington.com You’ll find links to the Immortal Ecstasy page and a free story, Immortal Blush, on the main page when it comes back up. For now, you can read a longer excerpt at the MSF site http://www.midnightshowcase.com/Year End/Immortal.htm

    Again, thanks to all who took the time to read and critique the first page of Immortal Ecstasy!

  20. Ciar Cullen
    Mar 15, 2009 @ 15:10:09

    Hey, what’s a Grecian urn? About 350 drachmae/hour. Nyuck nyuck nyuck. My doctorate is in Classical Archaeology, and I didn’t find the references troublesome, honestly. I think you can give the “feel” of a place in time/space without sweating every freaking detail to the point it becomes as dry as the sands of time. “He poured wine out of a black-figured trefoil oinochoe” doesn’t cut it. I wish you much success with your title.

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