Showing posts from November, 2020

Non-Fiction Review: Rebel Cinderella

  Title: Rebel Cinderella: From Rags to Riches to Radical, the Epic Journey of Rose Pastor Stokes Author: Adam Hochschild. Read by Lisa Flanagan Publishing Info: HMH Audio, 2020. Original, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2020. 320 pages. Publisher's Blurb:   Rose Pastor arrived in New York City in 1903, a Jewish refugee from Russia who had worked in cigar factories since the age of eleven. Two years later, she captured headlines across the globe when she married James Graham Phelps Stokes, scion of one of the legendary 400 families of New York high society. Together, this unusual couple joined the burgeoning Socialist Party and, over the next dozen years, moved among the liveliest group of activists and dreamers this country has ever seen. Their friends and houseguests included Emma Goldman, Big Bill Haywood, Eugene V. Debs, John Reed, Margaret Sanger, Jack London, and W.E.B. Du Bois. Rose stirred audiences to tears and led strikes of restaurant waiters and garment workers. S

Writer's Update

Time for a quick update before Thanksgiving.  As I've noted, I'm being a NaNo rebel this year, not trying to draft a novel, but rather to sort and edit 50,000 words of short fiction into collections. And how's that going? Well, I think. I passed the 40k mark (including whatever else I've written this month, and the final edits on Death By Donut ) late last week, and have three collections ready for final edits and formatting, with stories for a fourth tagged but not yet edited. I have also written a guest post for the WEP--watch for that to come out on Wednesday, I think--and tackled some challenging computer issues (which turned out not to be as bad as expected). Editing mode has been good to me, and as readers saw on Friday, even led to writing a whole new bit of flash fiction just for the heck of it. That being the case, I feel like I do have something to be thankful for this week, in addition to friends and family who are holding me together, largely from afar.  To

Flash Fiction Friday: Night of Wind and Talons

 I've been re-reading and working over so many flash fiction bits for the collections I'm assembling, it felt like time to write something! I stumbled on a title generator, and tweaked this a bit from what I got. With wind and talons, it obviously had something to do with dragons. I enjoyed writing it, and hope you enjoy reading it! 967 words Night of Wind and Talons The crowd of young people waited in a silence that bordered on the unnatural, yet was essential. The night when the dragons came in was too important for whispers and nervous giggles, certainly too important for wisecracks and horseplay, however much those waiting and watching might have appreciated the release. Seventy-five young men and woman had spent their lives preparing for this moment. Within the hour, some would be dead, some would be broken and left behind—and some would have achieved the end to which they had been working all their lives. In the center of the crowd, Erlan and Marda stood close together, h

Photo Sunday: How Grand is that Canyon?

It's been 6 weeks since our abortive trip into the Grand Canyon, so I'm a bit slow at getting this post up! The trip was meant to be 4 nights, 5 days, dropping from the North Rim to Tapeats Creek and Deer Falls. As it turned out, it was one glorious, stunning night 1000' down on the Esplanade. Given how overwhelmingly scenic that was, it might have been just as well I started slow. Speaking of starting slow, this Photo Friday post seems to have taken until Sunday to get up. Life's just that way.   On Sept. 24, we met up at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon (for the record, we'd all been isolating and/or had COVID tests, knowing it would be beyond difficult to maintain distances). The drive from Kanab, UT, to the North Rim Visitors Center (closed due to COVID) was a reminder that it was fall, and the North Rim is high. The aspens were turning beautiful shades of yellow and red. Bright Angel Point gave a good look at the deep gash that the North Kaibab Trail follows t

Writer's Wednesday comes on Thursday: Fun with Flash Fiction

Last Wednesday, for IWSG day, I announced that I'm being a NaNo rebel and working on selecting and revising short stories/flash fiction for some anthologies this month. I am happy to report that this work is proceeding nicely, and that I am really enjoying the process.  Editing novel-length works is often challenging and discouraging. Working with a story that can be read in five minutes, and has already been through the editing process once, if hastily, is a breeze by comparison. The best part about what I'm doing is that I'm no longer constrained by the 1000-word limit imposed on most of my flash fiction. I'm able to add those little bits that make the story more rounded, without (I hope) losing the tightness that makes short-short fiction work. I was even inspired to write one new story wholly from scratch (well, almost--I was writing in a universe already invented in other stories), with an eye toward tying the anthologies together. At this point, I've got stori

Non-fiction audiobook review: 81 Day Below Zero

  Title: 81 Days Below Zero: the Incredible Survival Story of a World War II Pilot in Alaska's Frozen Wilderness Author: Brian Murphy. Ready by Richard Ferrone Publication Info: Audible Audio, 2015. 8 hrs, 42 min. (Hardcover Da Capo Press, 2015) Source: Library digital resources   Publisher's Blurb: Shortly before Christmas in 1943, five Army aviators left Alaska’s Ladd Field on a test flight. Only one ever returned: Leon Crane, a city kid from Philadelphia with little more than a parachute on his back when he bailed from his B-24 Liberator before it crashed into the Arctic. Alone in subzero temperatures, Crane managed to stay alive in the dead of the Yukon winter for nearly twelve weeks and, amazingly, walked out of the ordeal intact. '81 DAYS BELOW ZERO' recounts, for the first time, the full story of Crane’s remarkable saga. In a drama of staggering resolve with moments of phenomenal luck, Crane learned to survive in the Yukon’s unforgiving landscape. His

Cozy Mystery Author Interview: Bogged Down

Bogged Down: A Vashon Island Mystery by Charlotte Stuart Bogged Down: A Vashon Island Mystery   Cozy Mystery 1st in Series   Publisher: Taylor and Seale Publishing (August 5, 2020)   Paperback: 244 pages   ISBN-10: 1950613445   ISBN-13: 978-1950613441   Digital ASIN : B08FBZMRYL     Publisher's Blurb: An ancient bog hidden away in a forest is the perfect backdrop for murder… BOGGED DOWN is a mystery set on Vashon Island, a place that has been described as Mayberry-meets-Burning Man. Its motto: Keep Vashon Weird. Lavender (Lew) Lewis moved there because it is only a twenty-minute ferry ride from Seattle, yet light years away in tempo and character. She grew up on a commune in Alaska, joined the army at 17, does woods parkour for exercise and HR investigations to earn a living. Life in her waterfront cabin with her two food-obsessed cats is predictable and relatively stress free. Until she leads a tour group into an ancient bog on the island and discovers a body.   This is where I

IWSG: NaNo Time?

  It's the first Wednesday of the month, and that means time for the Insecure Writer's Support Group post. The IWSG is the brainchild of the amazing Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh. Since we are all insecure and can use all the support we can get, huge thanks to Alex and this month's co-hosts, Jemi Fraser, Kim Lajevardi, L.G Keltner, Tyrean Martinson, and Rachna Chhabria! Every month there is an optional question to spark our posts and discussions. This month's question is (stripped of all the explanation you will find here ): Why do you write what you write? Now for my post... I'll get to the question in a minute. First, the big question: to NaNo, or not to NaNo? That's right--November is National Novel Writing Month, and many of us like to use the energy of the event to push our work along. So am I doing it this month?  My answer to that appears to be a great big "sort of." When I first drafted this post on Oct. 30, I was still working on edits