Friday, September 19, 2014

I've taken the plunge with Bell, Book, and Scandal

bell book and scandal
Having run an actual newspaper/magazine before, I was fascinated when I saw the first paper tweeted to me on Twitter. I don't remember who tweeted me all those months ago, but before long it seemed that every other day someone sent a tweet directing me to his or her paper.

Since I had already been thinking about narrowing my focus to books, publishing, entertainment, and politics, in that order, I began to toy with the idea of creating my own paper that curated just those topics. Now, I've done it.

My paper is called Bell, Book, and Scandal, a play on the name of a movie I loved in my youth, Bell, Book, and Candle starring Kim Novak and Jimmy Stewart.

The movie is about a witch (Novak) falling in love with a mortal (Stewart) after casting a spell on him to make him fall in love with her. She initially goes after him, however, because she doesn't like his fiance. The spell backfires, and as a result she falls in love and loses her magical powers. Her mind-reading cat plays a big role in the film. You can see how she uses him to cast her spell in the video below.

The movie's title may itself be a play on another use of the phrase. According to multiple sources, an obsolete ceremony for excommunication from the Roman Catholic church was also called "bell, book, and candle" because those three items were used during the the ritual. says, "In the excommunication ceremony officials close the book, quench the candle and toll a bell, as for someone who had died. The phrase is old and first appears, in Old English, circa 1300." The entry adds that the phrase appears in Shakespeare's King John: "BASTARD: Bell, book, and candle shall not drive me back, When gold and silver becks me to come on."

I've found a few articles on the excommunication ritual, which was done in secret, but here's an overly-dramatic video with graphics that explains it, albeit with sensational music.

While my paper, Bell, Book, and Scandal, may occasionally curate articles on paranormal activities and events (I live in New Orleans, so how can I resist?), it has nothing to do with witches or secret religious rituals. The bell in its name represents the Liberty Bell (politics),  the book, all things literary, and the scandal, arts and entertainment coverage that happens to favor ABC's Scandal. But I will also have my eye out for news of How to Get Away with Murder and science fiction and fantasy-oriented shows such as SyFy's Helix and HBO's Game of Thrones.

It's my hope that by narrowing my focus, I'll hunker down, read more books, and devote more time to creative writing.


Unknown said...

I look forward to seeing your publications! I've found it interesting to be able to create the set-up and just let it sorta publish itself. Very cool...

Vérité Parlant said...

Thank you, Wayne. Your actions are some of those I considered when thinking about whether to do this. I said, "Well, Wayne has good sense, and he's doing it . . ." :-)