My latest release, Le Cirque De Magie, is an historical fantasy short story set in Sarasota, Florida during the spring of 1925. The circus has its winter home in the seaside resort community, much like Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey. That company made the city its winter quarters until 1960, when it moved twenty-five miles south to Venice.
I live south of Tampa and often visit Sarasota, an easy forty-five minute drive. When we first moved to the area three years ago, we toured the Ringling Museum—a fascinating trip back into the magic of the circus. The spirit of the circus pervades the community, adding to the local cultural heritage. I was enthralled by the local history, which inspired me to write this story.
At Ringling, magic is everywhere. On the grounds, exotic epiphytic roots of banyon trees, imported from India, swing down from branches in search of the ground.
If those weren’t wondrous enough, statues of gnomes, dwarfs, and fairytale beings play among the wild aerial roots. Easy to imagine them coming to life when the museum closes.
Several buildings house various circus or Ringling-related collections. Some contained train cars used by Ringling himself as well as ornate circus wagons, designed to parade wild animals through the big-top.
My favorite building housed a miniature replica of the famed circus in its heyday. The attention to detail initially left me awestruck, but then the circus came to life…unloading the animals, people, tents, and supplies from the train. Teams of horses powered the set-up, working fast to be ready for showtime.
I hope you enjoyed this pictorial visit to the Ringling Museum which filled me with child-like wonder and inspired my story, Le Cirque De Magie.
My ebook story, Le Cirque De Magie, is available FREE at Smashwords.