Entries in A Metaphor is like a simile (79)


Exercise, Discipline, and Affection

I wrote my monthly Mommy Authors post on how The Dog Whisperer can help struggling writers. Give it a read!


August Insanity

There's a new bracket in town, and Dispirited has been chosen for its cage match potential! 



Over at Dawning of a Brighter Day, James Goldberg has put together a Mormon literature promotion that looks like the most fun I've had online in a good long while. Dispirited has been included, and I could not be happier.

You'll see that Dispirited is up against Added Upon, the best-known work of MoLit pioneer Nephi Anderson. I read Added Upon for the first time when I was about ten. It had a huge influence on me, as it has many other LDS writers and our culture in general. So, yeah. My novel doesn't stand a chance. 

But who cares if my book is the sixteenth seed? Just to be on the same bracket with so many MoLit books/plays I love is pretty darn cool.

What will my own bracket look like? I have no idea, not yet. Do I go with nostalgia/impact, or do I opt for more recent treasures? How to choose? I must ponder. At length.

Let the betting begin!


Lowly Seraphim

Some people may tell you that the short story is out of vogue, but I'm here to argue that the pendulum is swinging the other way once again. Short fiction is the new black. On the cusp of its renewed cool is Mark Penny, founder of Lowly Seraphim, a Mormon Speculative Fiction e-Collective. Some really smart, talented writers have posted stories, and I just put one up myself. (An earlier version of it was published in the anthology Candlelight, Volume III.) See what you think.

The Princess and the Diplomat


A long time ago, someone asked me if I'd ever Googled myself. I hadn't, but immediately tried it. Imagine my surprise to encounter another Luisa Perkins among the results.

Well, her name wasn't exactly the same as mine; it was Maria Luisa Perkins y de Pablo, and she was listed on a site that records the genealogies of European royalty. I had to know more. 

I followed Maria Luisa's family tree back a couple of generations, and discovered that her grandfather was Charles Allen Perkins (a distant cousin of my husband's), born in Salisbury, Connecticut in 1840 to Jehiel Perkins and Alethia Northrop--and that Maria Luisa's grandmother was Maria Francisca Isabel Gurowska y de Bourbon.

How had a boy from Litchfield County ended up marrying the granddaughter of King Charles IV of Spain

It turns out that Charles grew up in privileged circumstances. He went to school in Paris and later worked in a Parisian bank. After coming back to the States, he worked for a time for the New York Stock Exchange. After that, he was appointed to consulates in Sweden and in Spain, and was finally promoted to the position of private secretary to Colonel Charles Hance Lewis, the U.S. Minister to Portugal.

The Spanish government was in upheaval at the time, so the Spanish royal family lived in exile all over Europe. Though she had been born in Paris, Isabel and her family lived for most of her life with royal relatives in Portugal. It was in Lisbon that Charles met Isabel, and they fell in love. They had to get special dispensation from the Pope to get married, and did so in 1870 in the French Roman Catholic Church of St. Louis. (Curiously, they were also married aboard the American ship Franklin by the ship's captain, Oliver Glisson. I'm not sure of the reason for the double ceremony.)

(Isabel's parents, Count Ignace Gurowski of Poland and Isabel de Bourbon, were apparently sympathetic to the marriage, since they had themselves eloped. And good for them. There was way too much inbreeding going on otherwise. First cousins and half-uncles marrying one another for generations...it was probably time to get some fresh stock in the gene pool.)

Charles and Isabel had two children, Alfonso and Carlos, both born in Paris in the 1870s. All seemed to be going well--until Charles backed the wrong pretender, Don Carlos, to the Spanish throne. Don Carlos's rival, Alfonso, was crowned king in 1874, and after that, disgrace seemed to follow Charles Perkins. 

Somehow, Charles and Isabel's marriage broke up, and Isabel remarried in 1886. Charles returned to America and settled in Syracuse, New York. He made his living as a Professor of Languages at Syracuse University and maintained a lifelong correspondence with his aunt-in-law, ex-Queen Isabella. Charles died in 1890; Isabel died in 1935. For a long time, Charles was the only American to have married into a European royal family. (Of course, Grace Kelly followed suit 80 years later.)

Charles and Isabel's saga is such a fascinating story--at least, it is to me. But I want more details! I haven't been able to find a photograph of either Charles or Isabel, and I had to piece all this together from various historical documents. It's romantic and tragic and mysterious, and I've been wondering for a while whether I should be the one to write a book about them. I can already see it as a movie, can't you?


The Party in My Mind

A Party of Geisha in a Suzumi-bune, Eishōsai Chōki, circa 1796

I posted at Mommy Authors about why writing is like a fiesta in my brain. See what you think.