Sunday, July 22, 2007


images taken 2007-07-22 8:59 a.m. w.Olympus D-490

Friday, July 20, 2007

Life after Harry Potter

I'm not a Harry Potter fan. I know that makes me a bit odd and out of step, and I did try, but not so much with the books. I find the movies entertaining but I don't rush to see them either. So, of the good -- you'll find no spoilers here. Of the bad...

Well, actually there is no bad. That people love them, I think is very cool and seriosuly, JK Rowling gets huge props for getting that many people, kids and adults alike, all exicted about reading again. That is the best thing ever.

But after the last book, then what? What series or authors could possibly capture people's attetnion like that again?

Quite possibly nothing, but even so, people are going to be looking for something else. I'm not so much on what's being published now, and the series I'm going to list are finished, and possibly difficult to find, but worth it if you can.

Planet Builders by Robyn Tallis, a series of 10 books, science fiction about a planet being colonized and the kids (post adolescents and young teens) who are affect edby any number of odd things on the planet, from telpathic leviathans to smugglers. Excellent young adult series that I still enjoy. I really wish the series was still in production.

The Children of Green Knowe by L.M. Boston and subsequent books, originally released in the mid to late 1950's, follows the children living in an English manor, past and present, which intersect in the topiary gardens and grounds of Green Knowe. This is a richly descriptive set of novels, atmospheric and haunting without being frightening. There are ghosts and magic and peacocks and hedgehogs with personaility. I believe there are six books in all, and they've recently been re-released.

Space Cops by Diane Duane and Peter Morwood. Three books, science fiction, you can find them used. I was seriously upset when they stopped after three. I love these book, Probably a bit more sophisticated than is interesting for the post adolescent crowd, but exciting and fun anyway, with an excellent repartee betwee the two main characters, and yes, if you are slash fan -- adorable couple these two would make. Officers Evan Glyndower and Joss O'Bannion are partnered in pursuit of interplanetary criminals. It really does read like a police procedural if you like them, but with a twist. Evan is the full-body-armor muscle and Joss is the mixed heritage, brains, but really they are both smart, and Joss has a certain arrogance in the idea that his well-mechanized partner can save his skinny butt. There's a lot of humor in the books and a lot of partnered trust and loyalty. Excellent reads.

I'll poke about and see what other series I can find that I can actually connect you to, should you want to read. (Nothing like being recommended a book and not being able to find it.)

I'm also currently reading a series bu Rob Thurman, and hope to have a cogent review of the two books I've read so far.

And what are you reading after Harry Potter?


Sunday, July 15, 2007

All creatures great and small

On my sidelinks is a link for Disgruntled Letters. The blogger is a Veterinarian here in Atlanta who I tripped over looking for a decent Nam Sod recipe. She delivered that but so much more. She's drily funny, has a vast array of interests (including food. She's got great recipes and better descriptions of places she's gone), some great pet stories and some sad ones but mostly it's all fascinating.

Anyway, she doesn't post frequently, but I checked her today and just about fell out of my chair laughing. Given the fact that my latest fannish love deals with slashing brothers, her entry was particularly appropos.

It's the latest entry off the link or you can click here:


Friday, July 13, 2007

Some things never get old...

I think it's possible that the only artist of this style and genre I like better than Shirley Bassey is Eartha Kitt (Okay, and Joan Baez..but still)

Like Kitt, Bassey's got a voice and astyle that generates instnat recognition. And not unlike Johnny Cash, she may well reach an entire new generation of listeners by doing covers of the songs of other artists.

Ladies and gents: Shirley Bassey covering Pink's "Get This Party Started" (via kungfu monkey)

OMG, this woman has pipes!


Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Well. This is a little depressing.

You're Les Miserables!

by Victor Hugo

One of the best known people in your community, you have become
something of a phenomenon. People have sung about you, danced in your honor, created all
manner of art in your name. And yet your story is one of failure and despair, with a few
brief exceptions. A hopeless romantic, you'll never stop hoping that more good will come
from your failings than is ever possible. Beware detectives and prison guards bearing

Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.



Years ago, there was a writers group called the HLWC. I'm sure it was Highlander Writers something or other...but mostly it was just a bunch of writers who tossed things back and forth: ideas, story snippets, style discussions...

One of the challenges that got tossed was to do a writing exercise themed around "Why did the chicken cross the road?" Aside from being often hysterically funny, it also said a lot about people's styles, how they approached text ideas, what themes they played with...

I tripped over my own response today --

//I hate the Road.// It was an unworthy thought, petty and chickish, but staring at the long ribbon of darkness stretching east and west like some horrible scar on the landscape, the chicken couldn't help but wonder what about the flattened conglomeration of rock and tar and asphalt could engender such animosity in her.

She came out to look at it nearly every day, feathers carefully pulled away from the abomination that had been part of her environment for as long as she could remember. Or since yesterday anyway. She made no apologies for her abysmal memory. She was a chicken for God's sake! Not some demented archivist for the trivia of life.

The other chickens seemed willing enough to ignore it, to ignore the road, its ugliness, its complete lack of discernible purpose. She envied them. She envied them their innocence and their blithe dismissal of the monster that lurked just beyond the edge of their yard.

She envied them but not as much as she hated the Road. If she were a horse she would use her shiny hooves to pound on it until it cracked, to mar the smooth unbroken surface with gashes and gouts and prove to the road that it wasn't impervious, wasn't timeless wasn't....immortal.

She had seen the huge metal machines skimming across it, of course, all power and speed and spitting foul air, yet the Road ignored them, rebuffed their travels like the ducks shook water off their backs. The Road remained maddeningly intact, arrogantly unmoved by the massiveness of both the size and number of the vehicles that traveled it.

Then came the day she could no longer stand it, when spite and anger overcame her ability to be rational and logical about the Road or what it meant or why it was there. The academic exercise was no longer enough. She couldn't just stand here while the Road went on and on.

She dashed out, oblivious to danger, oblivious to the squawks of her sister chickens who were shaken from their gravel gazing by the sight of their sister, white feathers all ruffled and the glint of madness in her eyes.

With beak and claw she attacked the Road, pecking and scratching, ignoring the squeal of those heavy tires as they sped past her, seeking out any weakness, any break in the smooth black armor.

She almost fell over it as the back draft from a passing metal monster sent her tumbling, beak over tail feathers, to the far side. The near miss didn't break her resolve, but it softened it. A bit. A fraction. This damn Road was going to kill her yet, or she it. Smoothing ruffled feathers, she pulled herself to the edge, looking across to see the other chickens peering at her, cheeping and squawking to each other in mumbled commentary -- of her foolishness, no doubt.

Staring at her nemesis she almost admitted defeat, would have had her movements not been accompanied by the small rattle of stone. She looked down to see a few of the tar blackened pebble of asphalt tumbling away from the angled edge of the road to rest at her feet. Just a few. An insignificant amount given the size of the Road.

But it was crumbling. A tentative scratching at the edge produced a few more pebbles and she increased her effort until she was surrounded by several dozen of the small tokens of decay.

She looked up, studying the Road, viewing it as she had not before, without anger, without hate and mostly, she admitted as she had not before, without fear.

It was just a Road. Inanimate, unfeeling, enduring. Just a road. It would neither care nor notice when it finally crumbled.

Picking up one of the small black pebbles in her mouth she recrossed the unchanged expanse, ignoring the stares of the other chickens, ignoring the fresh feed scattered on the ground and returned to her nest and lay the small black bone of the road carefully amidst the straw and feathers.

She still disliked the road, but it wasn't a hatred born of challenge. Or of affront -- just the singular disdain and mild hatred she had for all things that were pointless. And maybe just a little whiff of compassion for the road that would never know where it had been or where it was going.


Years later, and not so many it was, the farmer came out into the yard to spread food for his flock of fine plump hens and found the still and quiet bundle of feathers laying next to Route 4. Old Roadie didn't look like she'd been hit by a car. She looked like she had just come out here, next to the asphalt and settled down to sleep. Must have gone over in the night. Picking up the carcass, the farmer didn't see the tiny rounded pebble of black, much smoothed, laid, if he had noticed, very carefully right against the edge of the long and winding road.


~mine ca. 1998

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Japin Honoo - shame

I meant to find her when I came;
by Emily Dickinson

I meant to find her when I came;
Death had the same design;
But the success was his, it seems,
And the discomfit mine.

I meant to tell her how I longed
For just this single time;
But Death had told her so the first,
And she had hearkened him.

To wander now is my abode;
To rest,--to rest would be
A privilege of hurricane
To memory and me.

Japi Honoo - free

the digital artist is Japi Honoo

~|~ ~|~ ~|~ ~|~ ~|~

i grieve
for lack
of grief,
for sorrows
not forgotten
but displaced

in hours
darkly late
past midnight
before dawn
sleep eludes
and hollow
the reasons
i wake
yet again

I grieve
for memories
that hold
only echoes
the loss
of accompanying
reason in
waking once
and again
the hour
when grief
was born

there should
be something
to fill
this empty
quiet tomb.

~mine 2007/07

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Sunday, July 8, 2007

the dancers, they say


If I speak for the dead, I must
leave this animal of my body,

I must write the same poem over and over
for the empty page is a white flag of their surrender.

If I speak of them, I must walk
on the edge of myself, I must live as a blind man

who runs through the rooms without
touching the furniture.

Yes, I live. I can cross the streets asking
"What year is it?"
I can dance in my sleep and laugh

in front of the mirror.
Even sleep is a prayer, Lord,

I will praise your madness, and
in a language not mine, speak

of music that wakes us, music
in which we move. For whatever I say

is a kind of petition and the darkest days
must I praise.

Ilya Kaminsky

photography by piotr kowalik

~|~ ~|~ ~|~ ~|~

i can trace no steps back to where I was before,
before age, before experience, before years were marked
by the steps i've taken

i could waltz once, with clumsy grace, and 
foxtrot to the sound of rhythms
older than the steps we traced

to dance within form and society is a skill

to dance with the exultation of  a child
is a gift that fades as quickly
as the sound of footsteps
down an empty hallway

~mine 2007/07

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Saturday, July 7, 2007

no watchman

The Night Guard by Odd Nerdrum

The whole distance to be crossed was not above a quarter of a mile.
But they had no sooner debauched beyond the cover of the trees than
they were aware of people fleeing and screaming in the snowy
meadows upon either hand. Almost at the same moment a great rumour
began to arise, and spread and grow continually louder in the town;
and they were not yet halfway to the nearest house before the bells
began to ring backward from the steeple.

The young duke ground his teeth together. By these so early
signals of alarm he feared to find his enemies prepared; and if he
failed to gain a footing in the town, he knew that his small party
would soon be broken and exterminated in the open.

In the town, however, the Lancastrians were far from being in so
good a posture. It was as Dick had said. The night-guard had
already doffed their harness; the rest were still hanging -
unlatched, unbraced, all unprepared for battle - about their
quarters; and in the whole of Shoreby there were not, perhaps,
fifty men full armed, or fifty chargers ready to be mounted.

The beating of the bells, the terrifying summons of men who ran
about the streets crying and beating upon the doors, aroused in an
incredibly short space at least two score out of that half hundred.
These got speedily to horse, and, the alarm still flying wild and
contrary, galloped in different directions.

The Black Arrow, Ch 27
Robert Louis Stevenson

~|~ ~|~ ~|~ ~|~

there comes no warning in darkness
in the slip-slide of shadows over dips
and around corners

the cries of birds fade to whisper and shrills
call-out, call-out, to home,
until only the night starlings stand sentry

the sentry is gone silent
no watchman on the street
we will have no warning
when night become discrete

~mine 2007/07 

edge of something

The photographer is Bob Gates.


I have a feeling that my boat
has struck, down there in the depths,
against a great thing. 
        And nothing happens!

      --Nothing happens? 
Or has everything happened,
and are we standing now, quietly, in the new life?

~Juan Ramon Jimenez (1881 - 1958)

~|~ ~|~ ~|~

there is little to say about restless waves, 
or restless feet, that can be stilled and soothed 
by the feel of water lapping over one's toes

at ocean's edge all the fever and tension of life and living leeches out, 
like salt into the sand, 
and there is nothing so calming as being at the edge of the sea 
where nothing is ever, 
ever still or silent

i would be the sea
if only
it would not be 


for it must be lonely
to be immortal

~mine 2007/07

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