Today I made a painting. It’s maybe not my best painting, and it’s certainly not my favorite. But I thought I’d show you a photo of it, to update you about what I’ve been working on. I also picked up another book at the bookstore, and I have included its photo, too.
I am a legal administrative assistant by trade. I took legal classes in Seattle, after having studied clinical psychology for three semesters. I applied my legal expertise and talent to the writing of my first novel. But now, I would like to talk about law and law practice. The law is the rule by which we live; it is what we must obey to live happily and peaceably. Law practice is the art of enforcing the law. The law tells us to behave in a certain way and not to behave in a certain way. Law changes, that is true, but the meaning remains the same. Law practice enforces the law, which changes, by persuasion and by argument. I decided to be a legal administrative assistant because I wanted to do clerical work (I am good at organizational thought and attention to detail), but I knew I could climb the ladder. I knew I had true talent, because I am good at persuading. But the point is, I believe in truth. One of the mottos of the Dominican Order of the Roman Catholic Church is, “Veritas,” which means truth. Jesus spoke of a truth by which we all must obey, otherwise, to the devil with us. The truth, the little truth, is that we must love, and love honestly. The courtroom tells us to not bear false witness against our neighbor, and so do the Ten Commandments, otherwise it is perjury. I believe, since the Canon Law supersedes country law in all countries, that to dishonor the blessed Virgin Mary is the unforgivable sin, for as a little human being, one who is without any stain whatsoever, she is love, and love itself.
So, I get insecure about my artistic abilities, but I promise you, I did not use a model for this sketch. This sketch, drawn from my imagination, is of my villain, Michael Valentino, formerly called Michael Julian Crawford. As I have mentioned, he is the most highly developed character in my first book. He was born of a Sicilian Mafia boss and a prostitute, abused by them, then raised by humble Italian parents. He grew up, went to school, and joined the Italian military. He came over the United States and went to Harvard Law School, then became an extremely brilliant practicing attorney. He did well at his law firm and became senior partner, controlling most of the business. He rose to fame, made a lot of money, invested it, and acquired companies. He was a modest billionaire with real estate in Manhattan. And thus we have the culmination of the events in the book. Michael Valentino was a strong man, but his weakness was when someone whom he loved was in pain. He would have done anything to erase the lack of confidence and self-criticism in the heroine. Michael Valentino, who is aptly named after the Archangel Michael, is strangely a protector and champion. I mention him right now because I lost the original sketch I made in high school, and I drew this one a few days ago. I am not as happy with this one as I was with the original one, but I thought I did alright. I think the character is so important that I dedicate my thoughts to him quite often.
Hi everyone, I told you I might make a comeback into the writing scene; well, I made a very little one. Here is a picture of the cover of my latest collection, which is very short, of four short stories. It is only twenty pages!
Hello, everyone! I am happy to announce I found another book of poetry I absolutely adore, by the poet Joanie Mackowski. Her book of poetry is entitled, View from a Temporary Window. She is award-winning. Though I am jealous of her and her many awards, I sincerely like the way she writes. I am always looking for new poetry, just as I am always looking for new novels. As you know, I do a little bit of all three: novels, poetry, and art. I found her work luxurious and beautiful, edgy and prayerful. What I mean by that you will just have to look and see for yourself, if you have time.
Again, I would like to apologize for retiring from the writing life. I will meditate about it for a while. But as you know, creativity always has a way of metamorphosing into something new. However, I did have an idea for a novelette, based upon the Colacurcio family of Seattle, because I am from Seattle. Perhaps it is a little-known story about how the Colacurcio family owned strip clubs in the city, apparently had ties to the Sicilian Mafia, and led a prostitution ring. Sounds like your average thriller piece, but the story itself is fictional, supposedly set at a rival nightclub in the neighborhood of Lake City. I like to use unique words. I cannot get enough of unique words, even though it is impossible not to duplicate words when it comes to creativity. The point of the story is to illustrate the dirty side of a city with respect and intelligence. And thus we have come to a parallel in all of my pieces, especially my first novel, in which the villain is an Italian mob boss. He was the illegitimate child of another mob boss with a prostitute, but was raised by a humble Italian family. He went to school and then joined the Italian army. He came to the United States and went to Harvard law school, and later became an extremely brilliant lawyer. But his dark side was what pulled me into the piece more than anything else. Was it his dark side, or was there something valuable enough to salvage, even though he was a proven criminal? So, later he became a billionaire, with a penthouse on Billionaire’s Row in Manhattan. It still sounds like your average thriller piece. I mean, nowadays one may find romance novel titles like The Billionaire’s Virgin Bride, so of course it sounds like trash. But my point is that God redeems even the most evil person, unless he or she never accepts him into the heart. The Heart Grows Stronger, another title that sounds like a lukewarm, heartwarming, fmily, easy-listening piece, is actually my favorite work, because though the word, “heart,” some might call trite, can be meaningful.
Below are photographs of three books: the first one is a book that my creative writing teacher in high school wrote and let me borrow, but I never gave it back. I remember distinctly how the main character kept talking about spirals on the toenails and the pearl strand: something that the protagonist was obsessed with talking about. The main character’s life and thoughts sounded so much like she had had a psychotic break that one wonders if she has schizophrenia. Eve’s Longing, perhaps pertaining to original sin and Mary, was fascinating, very spiritual, and beautiful.
The second book I have pictured here is a book aptly entitled Blame. I picked it up at the bookstore a few weeks ago.
And lastly, this is a book I picked up today.
Dear Audience, I am not working on any new projects right now. Perhaps life has changed for me. I apologize if you feel sorry that you cannot read any more of my new fiction! But even though I came up with more ideas and titles for future works, I just don’t have it in me anymore. I feel very proud of the work I did in the past. Like I told you in my non-fiction book, I crafted my novels for a very long time. I dreamed about the storylines and characters, made plot changes, and edited and re-edited. But I have found other things to do in life. I will never forget the stories, nor will I ever forget that I got a good number of people to read my stuff and appreciate it! Thank you. It has been an amazing experience.
K. E. Ward