Surprise ROW80 Update, A Question About Sailing, and What Magdalena Looks Like

Now that I've signed up for the campaign challenges, I'll miss my Sunday ROW80 updates this week and later on in March, as I'll be posting Monday. Wish me luck with the first challenge!

So here's a quick update: I've gotten a few more scenes under my belt, and a little more research reading - which reminds me:

If you were sailing from Constantinople all the way to Spain, in 1493, and had left rather in a hurry, what sorts of items would you need in your cabin? Items you might purchase in an Athens market. Candles? Extra clothing? A knife? A lantern? Something else?

I've also been agonizing over this month's Writers' Exercise on the Forum. Something about writing a metaphorical bedroom scene...

Meanwhile, though, I'm closer to finding an exact image of Magdalena, Rosa's mother. The timeline goes like this - Santiago and Magdalena meet in London in the 1470s. Their only child is Rosa, who goes on to marry Baha, as told in Out of the Water. They rescue a girl named Ayten, who falls in love with Devran (also seen here, posing as the Canadiens' Tomas Plekanec), and their story, Rome, Rhymes and Risk, is the one currently being edited.

I haven't started Magdalena's (or Mawdlen's - she's actually Welsh) story yet (barring some of the salient facts of their meeting that Santiago tells his daughter in Out of the Water), but she's the only one I hadn't found a photograph or painting of. I've kept an eye out for months, and come close here and there (love this Ralph Lauren ad, for the romance), and I'm finally getting there!

Magdalena does a lot of this:

(painting by Rob Hefferan)

And bears this expression:

And she's this pretty:

(image found here)

Now, how to put all three portraits together?


Weissdorn said…
If you were sailing from Constantinople all the way to Spain, in 1493, and had left rather in a hurry, what sorts of items would you need in your cabin?
It depends if you were a passenger or a seaman.
What is this person? Passenger, stowaway? Sailor? Ship's officer?
I'm guessing maybe ship's officer or passenger, if you're assigning them a full berth. Sailors didn't have a cabin, certainly not in a carrack. A sailor would have slept in a hammock on one of the decks in his off-shift. They carried a sea-bag, which had their wooden tableware (plate/cup/spoon) The had one (1) change of clothes, oil-cloth or tar-drenched panchos, often boots made of seal-skin, tools for sewing and splicing, and they always had knife. They often took music instruments (if they had them), gloves with cut-off fingers (if they had them), playing cards, dice, money & money objects (jewellery, tooth gold, religious talismans (relics), etc.) They took alcohol, only if they could smuggle it, because most captains worth their salt wouldn't allow it, or only rationed it. They would never take food - that was the ship master's responsibility. Most were illiterate, so no books, and tobacco was unknown in Europe in this period, but many smoked Marijuana or Colt's Foot. Strange as it sounds, these things were legal, and common. All the ship's lines were made of marijuana (the reason why it's been harvested for centuries, and why it was farmed in the first place). There was a very strict no-smoking policy while working, because of the danger of burning holes in the sails (not for because they would get high), so they could only smoke when off duty. Pictures of loved ones were also rare, and something only the wealthy had.
Pk Hrezo said…
Hey there! Those are great pics. And sounds like an awesome historical piece!
Zan Marie said…
Isn't Magdalena going to be beautiful! I can't wait for you to tell us more about her.
Glynis said…
Sounds great, Deniz. Rum, definitely rum. Ships biscuits, the hard ones.
Misha Gericke said…
Magdalena sounds like an interesting character.

I also find it difficult to find exact images of my Doorways character, so like you, I put together collections of pictures according to look and feel.

Vicki Tremper said…
Ooh, good luck with all that epicness! And research. And picture combining. Always a lot on our plates, huh?
A fascinating way to weave a character, I found myself doing this with your photographs.
Julie Dao said…
So cool! I love looking for photographs to represent my characters and these are beautiful.
Julie Dao said…
So cool! I love looking for photographs to represent my characters and these are beautiful.
Nas Dean said…
Magdelena looks beautiful as you envisioned her. Would love to know more about her and finally 'meet' her!
Nadja Notariani said…
Lovely images...really.

What would you pack? Hmmm...

A person of faith at that time may have kept an anointing oil. They would probably have taken some sort of sleeping blanket or sheet, and a secret place to stash jewelry or coins....??

I'm not very good at this. I would have taken a knife that I could conceal...those were dangerous times for women! Maybe a treasured memento?
Romance Reader said…
Love the photos of your Magdalena and looking forward to reading more on her. Did they sell (Baby) wipes (a must for me on trips) back then?
Erin Kane Spock said…
I like her angular face. She can probably run the gamut between stunning or masculine. If she sits around with the dress undone too much, she might catch a chill. Maybe provide her with some blankets and oranges. Fun images. I like that they posses personality traits. My casting couch is limited to physique, for consistency sake.
Deniz Bevan said…
Thanks Weissdorn! Yup, definitely a passenger (actually the owner, but not the captain, of the ship), so he can pretty much have whatever he wants in his cabin. I'm thinking maybe some vessels for drinks...

Thanks so much OK and Zan Marie!

Aww, Glynis, I'd love to use rum, but my European characters in 1492 haven't heard of it yet...

I'll look out for your pictures on Google+, Misha!

It's true, Vicki, there's always lots to do!

Thanks very much Carole Anne and Julie!

I can't wait to start exploring her character, Nas.

Ooh, I like that idea of a secret place, Nadja, maybe some sort of carved box...

Baby wipes, that's funny, Romance! Let me get the characters married off first :-)

Thanks, Erin! I'm not good enough in Photoshop to change the clothing in these images to match what my character would actually have been wearing...
That first portrait is gorgeous. Beautiful.
Lynda R Young said…
I love that first portrait as well.

Also, if I were embarking on a long journey I'd have to take with me something to read--no matter how much of a rush I was in ;)
Kate said…
She does a lot of backless lounging? :)

The images are great.

Definitely a change of clothing. If you're a girl, soap. A snack? Some sort of protection, perhaps a knife. Money. Something to sleep on.
alberta ross said…
I have only once used a picture to inspire a character - when staying with a friend years ago ('bout 1980s!) she had designated the loo as the only plkace her menfolk could have their 'calender girls' and the month I was visiting there was a beautiful girl, with a drop dead gorgeous figure illustrating June - I asked if I could have her when July came around. I have it still the photo and now eventually NaNo last nov I began writing the story she was inspiring

All the best for coming week - keep smiling
Anonymous said…
Wait, Magdalena stares out the window, or wears open backed dresses? She also seems quite...sad. Or at the very least pensive.
Deniz Bevan said…
I think so, too, Theresa and Lynda - it's fun finding new art!

Thanks for the ideas, Kate. The backless look doesn't quite fit the timeline of my story, of course :-)

Ooh, alberta, you could scan the image and share it with us!

Aww, she stares out the window, Joshua :-) Very pensive. Looking to distant lands and faraway shores. Er, good thing she falls in love with a sailor :-)

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