Monday, August 12, 2013

Meet A. Catherine Noon, Coauthor of Tiger Tiger (Chicagoland Shifters)

In celebration of Tiger Tiger (Chicagoland Shifters) becoming available so recently, I am lucky to announce that one half of the dynamic writing team of A. Catherine Noon and Rachel Wilder could take a few minutes for an interview.  Ms. Noon, you honor me by agreeing to be grilled.  ~grin~  While I focused on the writing aspect here, folks reading should know that there is another side to this interview on The Nightlight Blog.  It features questions from the fangirl in me.  ~squee~  Now, down to business, as it were.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Review of Mel Keegan's "Home From the Sea"

I picked up “Home From the Sea” the minute I heard of the title’s release and did not regret my purchase for a moment.  Mel Keegan has an enviable gift for world building, in this case transporting us to the English coast circa 1769.  Mr. Keegan brings to life an ordinary, upstanding fellow about to be swept up in secrecy and adventure he could never have fathomed.

We first meet Jim Fairley running his late father’s tavern.  A reputable establishment, The Raven flocks with clientele who share hair raising tales from the high seas that leave Jim musing over the thrill of exotic shores.  The fog of his daily grind only lifts when a man of like mind enters the establishment and the pair discovers mutual attraction.  But these illegal interludes are dangerous, inevitably brief in nature.

As a result Jim finds himself forever consoled by the companionship of rum-soaked sailors, a dog, one cat, his nearly deaf grandmotherly cook, and a female populace that assumes an old leg injury left him a eunuch.  Even an aged regular sees the danger of missed opportunity, warning that any safe haven can become a prison.

Enter Toby Trelane, the enigmatic visitor who gradually, unintentionally, turns Jim Fairley’s mundane existence on its ear.  Toby acts as handyman by day and balladsinger by night, drawing unlikely crowds even on the cusp of bad weather.  This stranger piqued my interest with his secretive yet generous nature.  What was Toby hiding?  Why did he seem shamed by his past?

I had difficulty putting the book down well before any actual mayhem ensued.  You must know, too, that Mr. Keegan incorporated some unexpected characters, well crafted ones.  There’s the long-dead owner of The Raven who watched the coastal path with eerie intensity.  No one could say why.  Mother Nature plays a major role, for sure, and even the The Raven herself seems like much more than just a set of structures.

I consider this an outstanding mesh of romance, mystery, drama, and jeopardy.  If you appreciate a thoughtful story filled with grit and heart instead of endless sex, be sure to pick up “Home From the Sea”.

Click here to read the blurb, excerpt, or just buy, wish I recommend:


Thursday, July 25, 2013

Stream of Consciousness

Yesterday I sat at a riverbank, content to watch the water slide by.  A crane waded in the middle near a tiny atoll, taking patient stabs at elusive fish with its bill.  Four Canada geese endeavored to cross and, as I wondered why they didn’t just fly over, I swore the largest (mother?  father?) led this spring’s fledglings in an effort to teach them how to navigate the current.

After that bucolic consideration, I realized how the word current is spelled and pronounced the same whether we’re talking about the movement of air and water or referring to our present, as in a “current situation”.  The cause is likely coincidental, especially given the many English words originated from Latin or more modern languages.  The two meanings probably have very different derivations.  Still, I like the implication.  Life, however stagnant our place in it might feel, is fluid, able to change course around whatever obstacles emerge (my fervent wish for those in troubled times).

Thursday, June 27, 2013

A Poetic Departure from Haiku

Suburban Jungle

Summer skies, darkening toward night, beckon me to the window for one last look into the garden.  Luminous pinpoints flare here and there, fireflies on the search for a mate.

One light pulses unmoving above females perched hopeful in the grass.  It's puzzling until delicate shadows appear to flit around the strobing glow.

A spin of the lit form and the beetle's deadly dance partner twines more silk around her prey.  Flashes continue, dimmer, weakening.

It winks out forever and I let the curtain fall.  A hungry predator survives another night.


Wednesday, June 12, 2013

A Haiku for the Day

Seasonal Inspiration

Sunlight shimmering
Blooms emerge, bees seek sweetness
A summer storm brews


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

One Fine Day

A near perfect day deserved a trip to the zoo.  I'm so grateful, as today is gray and chilly.  You would never guess with this image from yesterday.  Peacocks all over the park were in full display mode.

Friday, March 15, 2013

A Free Read

It's amazing to me how simple internet research can lead one to such unexpected finds.  This phenomenon is my favorite part of the world wide web, much more so than all the abundant social media.

Today, I found a formerly unknown tale by author Conrad Aiken because I looked up the biography of late actor David Carradine from a cult favorite of mine, "Sundown: Vampires in Retreat".  Mr. Carradine starred in 1971's "The Secret Farmhouse" on Rod Serling's anthology series "Night Gallery".  That evening's double episode included an adaptation of Mr. Aiken's story "Silent Snow, Secret Snow".

Whew...  Convoluted enough for you?

Anyway, I thank "The Virginia Quarterly Review" for providing the following free read.  I hope you take a few minutes and enjoy this chilling gem.

Silent Snow, Secret Snow


Friday, February 1, 2013

A Writer's Dilemma

Deciding to get comfortable and write a little, I leave my laptop for what should be just a minute or so.  It’s a cold, wintry day, the house a bit chilly to save on heating costs.  So I go in search of my newest favorite garment for just such an occasion.  Only there’s a problem – my eldest cat has staked this same piece of clothing as a nice, cozy spot to curl upon.  Dumb me, I should have known better than to lay the jacket on the bed.

Oh, well.

I sit with her a few minutes, not knowing how I might possibly persuade her to move along, and end up watching my fish in the newly cleaned aquarium nearby.  It’s because of the fish tank maintenance that I shed the jacket in the first place.  Somehow animal husbandry never seems to end for this simple suburbanite.

Where was I?  Oh, yes, I planned to write.  Time to get up off the bed and quit watching clown loach antics.

Still without something to warm me, I decide to return to my office.  The nearby vent should suffice for now, except there is a problem here, too, as the second eldest of my three cats has settled comfortably on my chair.  It doesn’t seem fair to dump a sleepy kitty off her perch, no matter how gently.  Using a dining table chair at my desk, I drag another from the table into my office.

Problem solved.

Meanwhile, long minutes have passed and I’ve still not written a thing.  In addition, I don’t know where the youngest cat lurks.  Then again, she distracted me earlier by knocking a decorative piece to the floor.  Maybe she’s done with her part in this play.

I’m going to write, I decide grimly, so here it is.  It’s not exactly great prose.  And now I need to turn up the music to drown out feline snoring while I post to my blog.

How is your day going?