Archive for Renaissance History

Capturing the Collective Mood of the Times

Alchemist Gift Marcella
Alchemist Gift

Alchemist Gift

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One element of historical writing or for that matter any writing depends on the collective mood of the times and characters. While writing ‘ALCHEMIST GIFT’ I did a lot of research not only in the daily mundane activities during the Renaissance but also the motivations of the people during that era. There are always the staples of the human condition: love, hate, greed, lust, envy, honor, fear and hope (to name a few) that transcend time and are always pushing and pulling us in our emotional lives.

 

The one shining light in this terrible twilight was the Catholic Church. Click To Tweet
Marcella, Strong and Resilient

Marcella, Strong and Resilient

During the Renaissance, the vast majority of the people were peasants, many were subsistence farmers who didn’t own the land they were tilling. These hapless folks were susceptible to every disease, the whims of the weather, military invasions from the local fiefdoms, pestilence and famine. The one shining light in this terrible twilight was the Catholic Church. The church had a very large say in every aspect of a person’s life. Try to imagine that no matter how miserable your life was, if you obeyed all of the church laws and with the help of the priest, you would go to heaven when you died, and if you did not …an eternity of torment and greater suffering in hell awaited you.

Sofia, Roland's Love and Salvation

Sofia, Roland’s Love and Salvation

 

 

When I was developing my characters’ psyches, I tried to incorporate the hopes and fears they would have. For that reason you will see my characters pray, make their confessions, and show their respect toward the clergy and church teachings. I think it would be natural for my characters to prayer and show concern for their immortal souls. They weren’t religious fanatics, only people trying to find balance between the here and now and what the promised afterlife had in store for them.

Thank You for Your Interest

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Mark Giglio, Author and Artist

Mark Giglio, Author and Artist

Alchemist Gift and Alchemy 03-10-13 Roland experiences magic

Alchemist Gift – Roland Experiences Magic

alchemist cabinet

alchemist cabinet

“I can’t wait.” The woman giggled. “Come on, do you think it’s true what they say about him. Get real, an alchemist in the twenty-first century.”

The couple passed Roland, one on each side. The man answered the woman. “Who cares? All I know is he’s got some really great stuff. We may never run into this kind of collection again.”  Once they passed Roland the man took the woman’s hand and they playfully pulled one another along until they reached the glowing porch. They dashed up the steps and disappeared into the house.

Roland kept up his pace. He thought about Liz and what he had lost and how he had lost it. As he approached the Victorian house a strong, cold gust of wind pushed Roland toward the front porch. He grabbed onto the handrail to keep from falling over. He held on when he received another blast of now rain laden wind and decided to take refuge inside the foyer. He pulled himself up the stairs and entered a medieval and renaissance treasure trove. Read more

Alchemist Gift and Alchemy 03-07-13 Wood that will not burn

Alchemist Gift – Wood that will not burn

Magic Tree Alchemist Gift

Magic Tree Alchemist Gift

Alchemist Gift continued: Two days had passed since the “miracle”. Outwardly things returned to normal. The stakes were pulled down by the townsfolk that very evening. The dais disassembled and stowed and the bell, with some difficulty, was loaded into a wagon and taken to the black smiths.

The air of mystery and joyful awe of the miracle was tempered by a collective self-reflection that caused many feelings of shame and guilt for what could have happened. The bishop quietly rescinded the execution orders; he waited for the papal legate and the inquisitor to arrive from Rome and begin their investigation.   The small convent of Santa Dorotea, twenty miles to the south, agreed to take in and care for the women. Monica Longo and Maria Lillo decided to forgo convent life. Monica returned to her farm and Maria, after packing up her scant belongings, headed off to an uncertain future. Read more

Alchemist Gift and Alchemy 03-05-13 Witches to Saints

Alchemist Gift – Witches to Saints

Saint Bianca Alchemist Gift

Saint Bianca Alchemist Gift

Alchemist Gift continued: Father Silva was caught up in a swirl of excited parishioners pushing their way across the square to the Provost office. A bobbing crowd, some in prayer and others wiggling forward and insistent on being the first to see the miracle, already blocked the portico that lead into the court yard of the civic buildings. He heard the word “miracle” enter the different conversations several times.

Father Silva broke free; out of the corner of his eye he saw Monsignor Petri , Sergeant Gagliardi, Vito and Vincenzo Rizzo along with a half a dozen youngsters all standing in a circle looking down. Silva walked briskly toward the men. He felt it proper to have the monsignor with him when he witnessed the miracle.

Petri looked up at Father Silva. “Look Eduardo, there lies the voice of the church,” one of the boys tried to move the bell with his foot. “It seems lightning does strike the same place twice.” he had a twinkle in his eye.

“Our bell, this is awful.” Silva, with a knitted brow, knelt down and placed his hand on the bell; it was still warm. Irritated, he pushed the boy’s foot away from the bell, and then sternly added: “You children go back to your families, now.” Father Eduardo shooed them away with both arms.  The children reluctantly obeyed at first. The oldest, a lad of eleven, clapped his hands and took the lead. The boys laughed and shouted as they held out their arms like wings and zigzagged across the square, running through every puddle they could on their return to their families. Read more

Alchemist Gift and Alchemy 03-02-13 It’s a Miracle.

Alchemist Gift – Renaissance. It’s a Miracle.

wwitch burning Alchemist Gift

witch burning Alchemist Gift

Alchemist Gift continued: The five reprieved witches soberly waited as Marta along with her daughter returned to the Provost’s Office. The room was warm and lit by many candles. Marta carried some simple dresses, clothing donated for the poor, that would be warm and comfortable.  Rosina had heavy woolen socks and opened back slippers for everyone and an arm load of towels and small blankets.

Upon seeing her charges Marta was struck by the irony; they stood quiet and sullen in a semi-circle around the raging hearth. Marta felt ambivalent toward the entire situation. She knew these people. She did business with some of them. She saw them in church and at the market place. As far as she could tell they were faithful wives, good mothers and honest traders.  But they confessed to being witches earlier that day and the Word of the Church is true and sacred and to be obeyed. Marta had to consider her own immortal soul.  For now, they were her concern and she would treat them kindly with warmth and charity. Read more

Alchemist Gift and Alchemy 02-21-13 Sex scene with Lila and Roland

Alchemist Gift

roland's car Alchemist Gift

Roland’s car Alchemist Gift

Alchemist Gift continued: “Holy crap, sorry about that!” A surge of adrenaline caused him to flush and his heart pounded. He looked down at Lila’s legs again and then away. ”Whew.”

“Don’t be sorry, you can look all you like.” Lila smiled and opened the window and gave a throaty chuckle. She had her panties on her finger tips and tossed them out the window. “And just like that, woo-woo.” The breeze came through the window and billowed under her dress. “That cold air feels so yummy down there and on my legs too. I’ve got goose bumps, feel.”  She took Roland’s hand and slowly guided it up and down her thigh.

Roland swallowed hard. “Lila, you know, I’ve got a girlfriend.” Roland allowed Lila to continue to guide his hand. She brought it closer and closer to her crotch and then suddenly tossed his hand into his lap. Read more

Alchemist Gift and Alchemy 02-14-13

Alchemist Gift

 

wwitch burning Alchemist Gift

witch burning Alchemist Gift


Alchemist Gift
:The bishop, Mayor Renaldi, Monsignor Petri and Father Silva dashed down the few steps of the dais and found shelter under the floorboards. The hail kept falling and began to pile up.  Out of breath and quite uncomfortable the bishop rested his back against one of the upright supports and surveyed his parishioners in their panic. Some, who had a grasp of the situation disappeared from the square and beat it back to the church and found refuge.

“I told you that today would not be very good for this thing.” Renaldi whined. “You can never trust these late fall showers.  Everyone will surely remember this day.” His voice overflowed with irony. The touchstone for his re-election was now a millstone. Read more

Alchemist Gift and Alchemy 02-12-13

Alchemist Gift

wwitch burning Alchemist Gift

witch burning Alchemist Gift

Alchemist Gift – The bishop and mayor sat. Mayor Renaldi gave the bishop a smug smile then rubbed his palms together. DiMars made a hand gesture to the guard standing next to a wrought iron brazier. The guard reached into a small barrel and pulled out an unlit torch. He passed the resin soaked rag that was wrapped around the end of the wooden handle, over the flame in the brazier; the rag caught immediately and sent a sooty black stream into the air. The bishop nodded again and the guard went to his assigned spot. In a dark epiphany the guard  realize,  as he held the flame to the wood and looked into the teary eyes of the woman tied to the stake before him, what he was about to do. He looked away from those eyes and felt a jolt of revulsion pass through his body, but held his continence fast. Being an obedient young man he carried out the order also knowing he would remember this day for the rest of his life. Read more

Alchemist Gift and Alchemy 02-10-13

Alchemist Gift

 

wwitch burning Alchemist Gift

witch burning Alchemist Gift


Alchemist Gift –
The bishop, mayor, monsignor and Father Eduardo watched the coach pass through the town’s gates and out of sight.

Mayor Renaldi spoke in a low tone to the men. “It’s not good that the contessa left, she should have stayed. The people haven’t seen her for a long time.”

“She made her appearance. Who could blame such a beautiful woman wanting to leave after being spit on by a condemned hag?”

“You make a good point monsignor.” agreed the bishop.

“It is all so sordid.” added the priest. His comment was benign enough to be interpreted by the others to suit their needs. Father Eduardo actually referred to the selfish and cruel and duopolistic acts that were given a veil of righteousness and legality by his superiors. All those accusations and lies that gave birth to this inhuman spectacle sickened him. Read more

Alchemist Gift and Alchemy 02-09-13

Alchemist Gift

 

wwitch burning Alchemist Gift

witch burning Alchemist Gift


Alchemist Gift
– Before Maria Lillo could continue, the guard had his arm around her neck and his hand over her mouth. He forced her to the ground and onto her back. He put his boot on her throat. Maria looked up at him with a serene, almost dreamy expression on her face. The guard looked to the bishop for direction. The bishop, who was still drying his face, looked at the guard then down at Maria Lillo with an intense and cruel stare. Bishop DiMars gave a chilling nod. The guard slowly brought the weight of his body down until he felt the delicate cartilage of her throat collapse with a hollow crack. He kept his foot there until the bishop gave a wave of his hand. When he took his boot away Maria painfully gasped for air. With the help of another guard they jerked her to her feet. The two took turns beating her with their fists. This drew an approving murmur from the crowd. The two men dragged the bloodied and barely conscious prisoner to the stake. They tied her so tight she could barely breathe. Eventually she passed out and her head slumped forward. Read more


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