Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Woman Within the Web


A Soul Group's Journey Through the Ages and a Woman’s Quest for Freedom

Chateau Des Vondes

After spending a month in a haunted, centuries-old castle in France, I felt the need to share the dramatic impressions that moved me to write about the mysteries surrounding Cheryl, the heroine of “Woman Within the Web.” Many people who have read my book ask me if the characters are real people. They especially want to know if Phil is real, or Tracee, or even Cheryl. Here, I'm including pictures of all of us as we were caught up in an amazing set of circumstances that brought us together in the Loire valley. I hope you enjoy seeing the book come to life.

Haunted mirror in my room at the castle

From the beginning, Cheryl’s trip was charged with energy. The nominal reason for her journey was to take a month–long class in anatomical sculpture presented by a master of the art. She was, however, driven by a second motivation. She wanted to find help for her schizophrenic son at a secret clinic located in the Loire Valley. The reader’s very soul will be drawn into the pages as witness to the enigmas that plague her and the romance that seeks her out despite her feelings of foreboding.

Cheryl's first view of the castle. It loomed far above the flat terrain, looking very much like something that belonged in a Dracula film instead of in the quaint countryside of France.

After separating from her husband of many years, Cheryl was ready for romance. What woman doesn’t dream of meeting her prince charming in a romantic setting like that of rural France? She had a premonition that she would meet someone, and she did. He was a sculptor, not from France, but from California. They hit it off and spent 30 days immersed in sculpture, restaurants, wine cellars, medieval castles, and each other.

Cheryl and Phil

Another view of the castle, the garden

South view of the castle

Messr. Renoir, owner of the castle

A class of forty unique and mysteriously connected individuals are destined to share a series of events that are manifested by Cheryl’s presence there. Unable to unravel the puzzle and helpless to stop its unfolding, she is moved along in its midst by the invisible hand of destiny.

Teepees that could be viewed from Cheryl's window

How could Cheryl have ever guessed that she would come half way across the world to find that the castle in which she was staying had an Indian camp for children on the grounds -- especially since Cheryl sculpted Native Americans?!

Who would have guessed that the castle came equipped with an Indian?

Reincarnations? Phantom mirrors? Ghosts? Who can say what is real and what is merely our own perception of “real” as voiced by our individual egos?

Cheryl's haunted room at the castle

Passavant sur Layon. Phil's "wall" where he remembered another life in another time

Even while the events were being played out before her, Cheryl’s feelings seem surreal, as though she were watching them happen as one would view scenes from a movie. Dramatic, ethereal at times, and tremendously metaphysical, yet injected with a thread of humor among the characters that will connect each one of them to you as though you had known them all -- perhaps in another life -- perhaps at Chateau Des Vondes.

Tracee and chef

After guessing it might be the magnifique compliment, or the "kiss from the fingertips," we see here that Tracee was the real reason behind the invitation to the wine cellar

Another waiter

Here is the waiter who was protecting Tracee's honor. He placed her in a small closet to dine so that she would not have to view bare-chested men in the other dining area. He also served her a whole langoustine, complete with protruding eyes and shell. It reminded her of a soldier dressed in full armor.

Yes, there is a Connie and Richard, shown here with Phil and Cheryl

Phil working on his sculpture

Cheryl and Tracee being "French"

My work on this book reminded me once again of an amazing phenomenon I have often experienced when writing. As my writing gains momentum, it is as if the book is writing itself! In "Woman... ," the characters took on lives of their own. Sometimes I was excited to just sit at my keyboard and find out what was going to happen. Even though the story was coming to life through my very own fingers, I couldn’t be sure what my characters were going to do until they did it! And I couldn’t anticipate where the day’s writing was going to end up until the end of the session. And when I finally saw that my characters had done all they were going to do for the day-well, then I sighed the Montessori sigh of relief.

I hope that I have enticed you to want to read my book, Woman Within the Web, or to at least want to visit France. It is a magical place where castles and mysteries abound.

The book initially came with a musical accompaniment featuring piano, created by my son Cameron. The CD is out of print right now but he may elect to have more copies made in the future. It seemed amazing to me that he was able to duplicate in sound, the “feel” and “mood” of France.

“Woman Within the Web” can be purchased by contacting me at my e-mail address. cherdolby@cox.net or at my booth at the Farmers Market in Roanoke, Virgina on Saturday mornings. The price is $10. 00 plus $4.00 for shipping.

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  1. Oh, this takes me back to being on the Market and seeing your work for the first time! Outstanding blook! The photos carried me away. I was THERE "being French," too!!.

  2. This book was amazing. I loved every word of it. It's a terrific story!

  3. I'm looking over my monitor at your book as I type. It was really fun to see the photos! Thank you for sharing them. I'm getting caught up on your blog today. I didn't realize you had posted so many wonderful things!

  4. Ah... what a magical post! So mysterious and romantic... and you lived it... I'm so envious! My best childhood friend lived in a "haunted" old mansion in Southern California. I spent many exciting nights there when I was young and "impressionable." I wish I could do it again! I'd love to read your book and be carried away. Can I order one? I'd also delight in hearing your son's music, as I'm a pianist who loves to improvise.

  5. How do I order your goddess magic cream? My email is Chloe 31152 @yahoo.com


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