Wednesday, December 29, 2010

"Pilgrimage" to appear in damselfly press

A new story, "Pilgrimage," will be published in the fourteenth issue of damselfly press on January 15.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Thoughts on the Eve

En route: Tucson to Seattle. I've been afraid to put down my camera.

Photo by @3CatPhoto
After braving the floodwaters in LA, my mother, my husband and I plunge into the lush rolling hill country of central California. The rains actually accentuate the colors in this region. Verdant greens and translucent rainbows pepper field and sky, and for a few miles, I watch the asphalt flow with the wet reflection of a double bow touching down on either side of us through enbankments of gray-blue clouds.

In Sonoma persimmons ripen orange, red, and pale pink, and throughout Napa's post-harvest vinyards, these autumnal shades crown the tangled woody ropes of winter grape vines. A full moon rises behind a sheen of ghostly fog over the terraced hills.

And now the towering Mt. Shasta at 14K feet, the second tallest volcano in the US, protruding from the nearby Cascades and powdered white after the recent storm. And as we drop into the valley, the city of Weed is surrounded by dry grasses and blowing tumbleweeds.

Christmas Eve now and the radio's tinkling with sleighbells, humming with the throaty voices of Bing Crosby and Burl Ives. 60 miles to Portland and several more hours to our destination. "Why don't you put down the camera; getting dark anyway." Yes, I think. Enjoy these quiet moments after the rush and bustle. Enjoy the journey. The Between is often just as festooned with wonder as the End. Which, don't you know, is always also the Beginning.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

"Involved Bending" is live!

Check out a wonderfully eclectic selection of short stories published by The Cadaverine Magazine, writers from under the age of 25.

I hope you enjoy reading "Involved Bending" as much as I did writing it!

Find the story under Prose.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Audiobooks - Cheating or not?

I keep a "Read Book List," a sort of challenge against myself, listing all the books I've read each year, classified by genre and medium:
      Princess Academy by Shannon Hale - YA - Audiobook.

I reviewed my list preemptively this year and discovered I beat my total for 2009! Then I noticed that a great number of this year's books were audiobooks, and the question arose:
      Is reading audiobooks "cheating"?

I don't know why it would be any more than playing soccer for exercise is cheating when one might be running laps instead. It's working different muscles - ears vs. eyes - but the brain is still engaged, albeit somewhat differently. We're still soaking up stories, falling in love with characters, reveling in beautiful language and well turned phrases, and learning new words. Aren't we?

Yet it still seems my gut reaction is to think of listening to audiobooks as cheating. Perhaps I'm remembering high school English class when if you didn't read Romeo and Juliet for Friday's test, you'd simply pick up the video or DVD from Blockbuster the night before. That was cheating. Because you were SUPPOSED to read the text.

But is listening for pleasure cheating? Maybe, and maybe thinking that way is a bit of literary uppityness - only reading is reading. Even though Shakespeare's plays were originally performed. As were Homer's epics. Etc.

Maybe listening isn't a substitute for reading - i.e. If our literary diets consist mainly or only of audiobooks, it might be a good idea to add variety. We need to stretch and grow all our muscles. But cheating? Nah... I don't think so, anyway.

So, yay for 2010 - And may 2011 be an even more story-filled year!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Silhouettes and Shadows Nominated for Best of the Web 2010

Thanks to Two-Bit Editor Matt Williams for nominating "Silhouettes and Shadows" for this year's Best of the Web, which

“compiles the best fiction, poetry, and non-fiction that online literary journals have to offer in an eclectic collection in the manner of other broad-ranging anthologies such as Pushcart, and Best American Non-Required Reading."

 -- Guest Editor Kathy Fish.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Vibram FiveFingers and Cactus

First: I apologize to everyone using CACTI for the plural of CACTUS. You're grammatically right, and I'm very wrong. But I just don't like the way the true plural sounds in conversation.

So... I recently bought a pair of Vibram FiveFingers KSOs (all terrain), and being in a nice, hikeable part of Arizona, thought I'd try them out.

Result: Beware of cactus! If you live in a cactusy area and decide to "go barefoot," take extra care. Although the KSOs performed admirably against a few nasty cholla (aka "jumping cactus" according to Tucson natives), they were nonetheless pregnable between the toes, where a mesh fabric provides breathing and stretching room but not toe armor!

Still, it's pretty impressive to stomp on a cactus and come out mostly unscathed. So if you're like me and can't seem to hike without getting impaled a few times, KSOs might not be the best plan for desert (spiny) terrain. Unless you like the adrenaline rush.