What I have read and am reading. And why.
“Truly, Madly”, Stephen Galloway. Biography of Vivien Leigh and Laurence Olivier. Because a fascination with mental illness, and I nursed a crush on Olivier for years and I always wanted to find out what happened to Vivien
“Forever Young”, Haley Mills. Autobiography. Because, well, just because.
“The Only Good Indians”, Stephen Graham Jones. Because Native American fiction. Love, love it. And not afraid to read horror.
“The Cartographers”, Peng Shepherd. Because great premise and not because needing a dose of bad writing.
“Hamnet”, Maggie O’Farrell. Because read a review and got sucked in.
“The Yellow Dog”, Georges Simenon. Because I always wanted to read Simenon.
“Certain Dark Things”, Silvia Moreno-Garcia. Because I love her books and Mexican horror. (I see a trend here.)
New look for the Book View Cafe website and release of my new Historical Novel, The Last Dog in England:
Available here as ebook now and soon to be on other outlets.
February 11, 2022. Another new movie review. And a cat photo.
December 27, 2021. A new movie review, and snow
Look at my new Movie Reviews page as I join the likes of Anthony Lane and Richard Brody in offering my opinions.
September 22, 2021. Today in Yachats, Oregon
August, 2021: The garden: just before Heat Wave Part 2
May, 2021: Oregon Wild Horse Corral, Hines, Oregon
High Desert Entertainment, Burns, Oregon
Two redtails and one raven quarrel over a dead gopher.
The Garden this week, May, 2021
Short stories, some reprints, some brand new. Just out October 20, 2020 from Book View Cafe.
A new character in The Memory Book
I found her at Deposit Photos–downloaded the license, so no copying! Anyway, this is Beatrix’s winged mare. I don’t have a name for her yet.
And for added delight, I uploaded this cel replication. Love this sequence of Fantasia!
The promised garden photos
Forms of address
As I work on The Memory Book and since I am dealing with the bureaucracy of angel hierarchy, I’ve had to research forms of address. Mainly I’m drawn to the arcane forms used for clergy. Angels are of a religious class after all.
I’ve wavered with the titles for my choir characters; Beatrix, part seraphim, part cherubim, is on a level with the Patriarchs. But their form of address is His Beatitude So-and so. Too weird to write or read Her Beatitude Beatrix. So I dropped a little lower in the echelon and started using Her Excellency. I also really like Her Eminence, and I may, in editing, change to that form of address.
More on this later. The clock says I must get ready for an appointment.
Life in quarantine
I misspelled “quarantine” when I first wrote it down in my Book View Cafe blog. It was not a word I used much in my writing. In health care, the word was “isolation”. “Quarantine” was reserved for plagues such as small pox and typhoid. I imagine now that there is a newer term for isolating patients for the two major reasons of either protecting them from others, or protecting others from them.
So I write in quarantine, but I have always done so; writing is a solo experience. Even when in workshop mode one does one’s homework alone, isolated except for music or an old black and white movie.
However I am not technically alone. Three living beings of the five I share this house with are here now, and generally they are peaceful and leave me alone, except for the predictable cat on a keyboard, or a mastiff barking in my ear at the garbage truck outside.
So, here they are, in all their meditative, sleeping splendor, while I write alone.
The Memory Book updates
As I am writing my “into the dark” novella, or whatever it is, now and then I think I should comment about choices. Scene 1 is written in first person. Then I read through the first 3 scenes, and realized that this book needs to be in close 3rd person, so that I can get into the heads of key characters. Augustus and Beatrix, being primary characters will probably earn the majority of the narrative, but as characters walk in, such as Rosemary and Pretty Thing walk onto the stage, I like to inhabit them. Their perspective gives the reader a broader glimpse into the world I am building. And a broader glimpse for the writer–me–into the world and the conflict and how selfish motives will drive the narrative.
As the story develops, changes will and must be made along the way, including going back to either tweak or severely edit. “Writing into the dark”, however, necessitates leaving those adjustments and surgeries to the last, when the work is complete. Each post may contain conflicts in the writing, much less for the characters.
And, in case you are now thinking that is the reason I delete each prior scene from the website, my rationale is quite other.
1.) I want you to visit my website every Monday and leave a brief comment; a boo or a brava! will suffice. In this way I might even get a newsletter subscription going for my five fans, and give away a free short story now and then.
2.) Deleting each scene each week, leaving the scene available for only 7 days, may discourage piracy. One may hope.
Some very-much needed, and very-well written, political fantasy (by myself, of course, and others):
New flash fiction out on Daily Science Fiction!
“All’s Quiet in the Robot Barn” is now available. Also find my flash piece “Variety” there. I hope you enjoy these little nibbles of science fiction and millennial wishful-thinking on the dark side.
Find more of my flash here: Flash Fiction Online.
The bio stuff
What do you want to know about me? I won’t tell you my age, but I will tell you about the books. Historical fiction is my current love, but for years I have written fantasy and science fiction short stories. Those stories that have become novels, and that I like to sell, are available at the links provided here.
Enjoy, read, explore.
Here is a photo of our two English mastiffs, just to give you a glimpse of me.