To Walk Invisible

I have watched the new Masterpiece Theater Drama “To Walk Invisible,” several, several times. It features the story of the Bronte family. For years the only Bronte that I liked was Anne Bronte (she is still my favorite), who wrote “Agnes Grey” and “The Tenant of Wildfell Hall.” But I loved the idea of a movie depicting the lives of three literary sisters in Victorian England. I love movies about women writers.

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I loved it. It’s very gritty; don’t expect something pristine or wholesome. This is not Jane Austen or one of her comedy of manners. While the stars of the Bronte sisters rose, the star of Branwell Bronte – their ne’er do well brother – fell. He became addicted to alcohol and opiates; the movie shows how he spiraled out of control and how it affected the lives of his three sisters and his elderly father. “To Walk Invisible” more than implied that the Bronte sisters incorporated their wayward brother and his troubles into their works, “Jane Eyre,” “Wuthering Heights,” and “The Tenant of Wildfell Hall.” Branwell was extremely talented and he had such potential, which only made his early death much worse. In the end, he had nothing to show for it.

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And while the Bronte sisters achieved success, it was short-lived. Emily caught a chill at her brother’s funeral and died three months later. Anne was the third to succumb to consumption and died a few months later. Charlotte lived a few years longer, to publish further works and find a small measure of happiness before dying mere months after marrying her father’s curate. The father, Patrick Bronte, outlived them all and in his lifetime, he had buried his wife and six children.

Unlike “Becoming Jane” and “Miss Austen Regrets” (biopics on Jane Austen) there are no manufactured romances in “To Walk Invisible.” This is simply a story of three sisters who are determined to pursue happiness no matter what obstacles lie in their path. The world was against them: society frowned on women who earned a living; Christians condemned their books; they had to use male pseudonyms to be taken seriously, and then a rumor started that “Currer Bell” (Charlotte Bronte) was really the author of all of their novels. But they persevered.

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Since my first viewing of “To Walk Invisible,” I have read “Jane Eyre,” “Wuthering Heights” and reread “Agnes Grey” and “The Tenant of Wildfell Hall” and have become a Bronte addict. What are your thoughts on the Brontes? Which Bronte is your favorite? Which is your favorite book?

Fun Facts for “The Judgment of Solomon”

Below are a number of fun facts about my WIP, The Judgment of Solomon, that takes place in Poland during and after WWII.

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One of the main characters is named Lidia. She was named after the tour guide of the group I was in. This woman was extraordinary; she was a walking encyclopedia.

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Another character is named Ewa, she was named after Eva Mozes Kor. Eva Mozes Kor was a Mengele Twin, she survived the war and started the C.A.N.D.L.E.S. Museum. Eva is a remarkable woman, who has publicly forgiven the Nazis and encourages others to forgive, as a way of sowing seeds of peace.

 

The C.A.N.D.L.E.S. Museum hosts an annual tour of Auschwitz-Birkenau and Krakow. I went on their 2015 tour. It had always been a dream of mine to go and I was doing research for my WIP.

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The WIP is tentatively called “The Judgment of Solomon.” It was inspired by the passage in the Bible: 1 Kings 3:16-28. Two women approach King Solomon, each claiming a certain boy as their own. King Solomon offers to cut the child into two that way they will each have him. The real mother backs off, hoping that the boy will be spared. This is a running theme in my story.

 

My WIP primarily takes place in Krakow. Although they are not featured in my story, historical people such as Oskar Schindler, Amon Goethe, Dr. Mengele, Cardinal Hlond, Hans Frank are mentioned.

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Some of the places shown in the story are St. Mary’s Basilica, Main Market Square, Podgorze Ghetto, Wawel Castle, Gestapo Headquarters, Kazimierz District, and Auschwitz-Birkenau.

 

The story spans from 1941 to 1946.

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The first draft took nearly four months to write. And then when I revised it, I had to rewrite a lot of Part Three.

My WIP’s

WIP (not to be confused with those delicious yogurts, WHIPS) – stands for “Works in Progress.” Basically, it is the stories I have finished and/or am currently working on. I have two major novels that I am fairly proud of, both are Historical Fiction.

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The first WIP is tentatively titled, “Thursday’s Child” and is based in the Great Depression in my home state of Indiana. Not to give away the whole plot, but it is a bildungsroman that touches on abusive marriages, racism, alcoholism, religious hypocrisy, and PTSD. My grandparents lived during the Great Depression, so it was only natural for me to write about Hoosiers and my state. It was the Deep Calling Unto the Deep.

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The second WIP is titled, “The Judgment of Solomon” and it is based in Krakow and Auschwitz-Birkenau. It spans most of the war and some of 1946. And it is told from two perspectives: a Catholic woman and a Jewish man. Unbeknownst to them they are connected and must come to terms with their prejudices to find a way to co-exist. I have no personal connection to the Holocaust, but I did have the privilege to join Eva Mozes Kor and the CANDLES Museum on one of their annual tours of Auschwitz-Birkenau and Krakow. My trip there greatly influenced this story.

This year I have taken a break from writing novels, rather focusing on shorter pieces, but starting in 2018, I hope to take up my pen again and write another novel. We’ll see.

Until next time!

P.S. My sister Seanna Acey made these awesome promotional photos for me. Check out her blog! Thanks, sissy!

Hello World!

This is my first entry on my new blog. I am pretty psyched. Though I love my old blog dearly, I felt as though I had outgrown it and needed something a little more professional. Anyway, if you’re curious about my old entries, or what it may look like, please click here.

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I’ll try not to ramble, but my name is Veronica Leigh and I am a writer. Sounds simple enough, right? Its anything but. Writing and pursuing publication is like trying to turn your own skin inside out. So, please join me in my adventures and misadventures in making my dream a reality. I have published a number of short stories, and hope to continue to. But nothing would make me happier than to publish a novel.

In my next entry, I would like to introduce you to my two WIP’s, that way when I prattle on about them, you’ll know what I’m talking about.

Thanks for listening.