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  • Writer's pictureVeronica Cline Barton

Veronica's #WritersDiary: It's a 'Wonderful World' at the Laguna Beach Pageant of the Masters!

“Traveling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.”

Ibn Battuta

Well, hello August! Last week my OH and I had the pleasure of experiencing one of our fav, summer traditions--a night at the Pageant of the Masters in Laguna Beach! This wonderful program, where artworks come to life using real-life models, celebrates its 90th year in 2022!

This year's theme was traveling the 'Wonderful World' and wow, what a performance it was! Travel posters, paintings from the masters, and live dance and music scenes made this travel loving gal smile from ear to ear.

These are some of the vintage travel posters brought to life on the stage under the stars. They looked so realistic--from costumes to backgrounds, you felt as if you were in the poster!

We then traveled through the world of paintings from the masters.... Venice, entering a gondola...

To Sweden, getting ready for game night...

To Mexico, for a celebration of the Day of the Dead--the painting compilations on stage were magnifico!

One of my favorite parts of the pageant was the story behind reporter Nellie Bly's travel challenge to go around the world in 1888. She took on the quest in homage to Jules Verne's book, Around the World in 80 Days published (in English) in 1873. The scene started with Verne's original book cover brought to life. We then transitioned to Nellie Bly's tale of traveling the world via the poster above ☝ and the one below 👇. Truly, a fascinating tale--I'm glad to say she made it in 72 days, and even had a stopover in Toulouse to meet Author Verne!

Statues made their stage debut too 👇

The Little Mermaid in Copenhagen

An archer, from the New York world's fair exhibition.

The evening ended with Da Vinci's painting of The Last Supper...a magnificent conclusion to a wonderful evening under the stars! If you're ever traveling SoCal during the summer, the Pageant of the Masters is a highly recommended event! It's Wednesday, time for #DearDiary:

It's another Wicked Mist #FridayNightFrights trailer debut!

This week Bibiana Krall and I were stoked to reveal the trailer for one of her tales, Devil's Breath! This edgy story with an attitude, set in Columbia, will leave you breathless! Just 2 more tales to reveal--see you Friday night on YouTube!

Join us this Sunday for #MurdersWeWrite!

Authors Cynthia Raleigh, Bibiana Krall, Amy Reade, Greg Raleigh, and moi will be talking Remote Locations and Locked Rooms: Tension and Action Beats, this Sunday on the #MwW room in the Clubhouse app. Join in at 4pm EDT for some mystery fun!

#AmReading #AmReviewing

History meets the present day this week from the writers of Twitter...

Author Sarah Penner, The Lost Apothecary, 5

When aspiring historian, Caroline Parcewell takes a walk along the Thames to soothe her broken heart, she soon finds herself embroiled in a search to find the origin of a bottle she found along the shore. Will her quest yield results and put her on a new life path?

Centuries earlier, an apothecary becomes a haven for women when they want to seek justice against those who have hurt and/or deceived them. Proprietor Nella brews her poisonous concoctions as requested, although the darkness of her deeds is taking its toll. Will her actions be the death of her?

Author Penner weaves a mysterious, suspenseful tale of the journeys of two women, separated by centuries, whose futures become entwined. I very much enjoyed this page-turning tale. A great read for mystery fans, highly recommended!

Next up in the reading queue:

Student art at the Pageant of the Masters!

Students from elementary through high school were invited to participate in this year's event and wow, there are some emerging masters, no doubt! These were a few of my favs... ☝

Reminds me of Wicked Mist 👇

Carved whale and sea creatures in this mixed media piece were fabulous! 👇

Welcome to my world. Enjoy your week and weekend, friends!

Crowns and Kisses,


P.S. Two more paintings from the grown-up artists that caught my eye 👀! Gemma and Rikkhe approve 💖👑

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