His Song: Enderfon’s Lament

Earlier this week, you met the Rock Giant, Enderfon, a heroic character in Where Dragons Follow, my fantasy novel #2. While he was imprisoned in his stone shell he composed a number of poems. They are not quite doggerel but he composed them in all seriousness. A good way to pass the time when you don’t have other options. THE SPELL BREAKS Away from my home I wandered afar To lands unknown, driven by quest. I walked alone armed with my mace And promising to do my best.   Like boll ink blots, my eyes lost light. What did I … Continue reading His Song: Enderfon’s Lament

Layers of Time, Paint, and Stories

Decades ago, we bought a yellow frame house on a narrow suburban lot. After living there about five years, we decided to remodel its antiquated and inefficient kitchen. On Day One, workmen invaded the space. They ripped out appliances, cabinetry, and flooring. They attacked the walls and removed layer after layer of painted-over wallpapers. They stopped when they reached the room’s original painted walls from the late 1890’s. After the workmen left that day, we parted plastic sheets separating our dining room from the project to enter the stripped kitchen and inspect the naked space. We could not miss markings scrawled … Continue reading Layers of Time, Paint, and Stories

Lost and Found and Lost

Lost and Found and Lost These days we think we know better. We realize there is no place to hide from a nuclear holocaust. I use the word ‘holocaust,’ meaning ‘burnt offerings,’ because that would be our role in a conflagration of nuclear missile-head strikes. We would be martyrs with no future generations left to appreciate our performance. When I was in grade school, I assumed adults in my life had confidence we could survive a nuclear war. Strategies promoted by Civil Defense would preserve a significant remnant of humanity. We as a species would carry on and maintain the … Continue reading Lost and Found and Lost

Review: Conversation in Sicily by Elio Vittorini

“What is a man?” Vittorini asks. Downright depressed and unhappy with his life and work in a northern Italian megalopolis seems to be the answer as the narrative begins. The narrator’s impromptu return to his native Sicilian hamlet, 15 years after his departure, begins a series of conversations with sharply defined characters he meets along the way and in his home town. Each successive interaction with people as varied as fellow travelers on a train heading south, his mother, or the ghost of his brother, forces the narrator (in an end note Vittorini asserts the book is not autobiographical) to … Continue reading Review: Conversation in Sicily by Elio Vittorini

Review-The Last Days of Magic

Mark Tompkins has crafted a dynamic exploration of the latter days of magical energy in Eire. Although Tompkins introduces many characters with unfamiliar names, Celtic and otherwise, they remain vivid, psychologically compelling, and essential to the narrative. His list of magical creatures is long. I’d like to know if Tompkins invented their attributes, perhaps based on myths and legends. The clever prologue and epilogue pull the reader into the narrative and leave her hoping for other tales, especially about his contemporary character, Sara Hill. We assume Sara’s magical heritage will inform her life in interesting ways. The novel is definitely … Continue reading Review-The Last Days of Magic