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TRA LA…

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It’s May, the chilly month of May.  My rosebush is about to pop, the rest of the backyard is overgrown as chilly and damp weather revisits often enough to spur rampant growth.

Prince died last month.  It was one of those surprising emotional wounds, finding a gap to score a direct hit on both my memories and my aspirations.  So I’ve been floating thoughts through deeper pools and rotating between the two Prince cds I own, The Hits album.  Turns out ‘Delirious’ is my favorite song  — not a terrible surprise, although ‘I Would Die 4 U,’ ‘Cream’, ‘Sexy M.F’. and ‘Diamonds and Pearls ‘ make a good rest of the top 5 list.  The three songs that really bring that period back for me all have 4 in the title:  ‘Crazy For You’, ‘I Would Die 4 U’ and I’ll ‘Tumble 4 Ya:’ the 3 stages of love.   Just bought one of the cheapest Prince cds on Amazon, the one with the highest density of song titles I like.  Intrigued by ‘Lady Cab Driver ‘ and ‘Something in the Water (Does Not Compute).’  Added bonus, it’s the album ‘Delirious’ is on.  Win Win.

Preparations for As You Like It (#AYLI), this year’s Theatre Under The Trees show have accelerated.  I have signed my annual contract, there is an assistant director listening to an audio version of As You Like It as she drives around, the meeting with the costumer has happened and Gayle is pondering how to put a Prince spin on the lyrics William Shakespeare has once again packed the play with.

We were already planning to use a more modern take on music and costumes than usual.  Rebecca, my costume guru and friend, wanted something post 60’s — she’s tired of the 50’s and 60’s, last summer’s production of Grease put her over her limit, I believe.  I had been trying to convince Gayle that ska punk would be fun — there is a song containing the phrase ‘the lusty horn’ and I know a trumpet player who probably knows a trombone.  But since Prince died,  we’d switched out the usual The Dollyrots cds for Prince and I didn’t think I was going to get the sounds of his excellence out of my system for awhile yet so I asked Gayle if she thought it might work to add a purple tint to the show.  She’d been wondering the same thing.  And thus are plans altered and inspiration taken from events.

I was concerned about Captain America:  Civil War as superhero movies and Netflix superheroes have gone down dark dank alleys and seemingly thrived there.  But Civil War even managed to remember Sharon Carter is an important character in the world of Cap, although I would have liked to see a story where she was one of the pillars.  How about throwing your schedule out, Marvel-Disney, and bringing us Cap’s ‘Man Without A Country’ storyline or a Rogers Carter Wilson Barnes road trip movie.  I though Falcon was the better quipper, Spiderman and Iron Man both went on a little long.  Snappy patter should snap not dawdle.

Keanu was cute and funny, pretty amazing in a movie about drug dealers shooting each other.  And KITTEN!

I always thought Sailor Moon was the Hello Kitty of the anime world, cute and fluffy and useless.  Until I started watching it in search of actual gay characters in anime — Sailor Neptune, Sailor Uranus, if you’ve missed everything about the show, like me.  But Sailor Moon is frikkin’ dark. So dark.  They argue over whether or not to kill a 10 year old (?) to save the world.  I have mad respect for any show, let alone one targeted at younger audiences, that takes time for ethical debates.  Sailor Moon the character is brave, scared, silly and always refuses to give up on her convictions and her friends.  Very cool. The pacing of the original anime is too often slow and so repetitive.  The current reboot, Sailor Moon Crystal,  is achieving in its’ Season 3 redirection (new character designs, new director, etc.) a masterclass in suspense and pacing.  The end of each episode taunts you with the immediate urge to see what’s coming next.  Impressive.

And now a collection of recent art, haikuing and cartooning.  My Etsy store is up, you can get Robot and Turtle on a t-shirt and my novel and short stories still entertain.  I’ve been painting Shakespeare graffiti canvases again and they have been accepted for the next First Friday at the Martin Library.

And now it’s past 3 am and I’ve typed myself into sleepiness so thanks for stopping by and take care.  And buy some art, darn it; it will hearten me.

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PULITZER NIGHT SEGUE HAIKU

Measured between glare

And laughter, touch and shatter

Every fight reverbs

SPRING

Working on a new post but here’s a Haiku and some flowers to get you through ’til then.

Hawk Lake Haiku:

Spring knows only Hope

No matter cold, wind, future

Spring knows only Hope

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THE LADY LOST EXCERPT

My new short story has been released into the universe. Read the start, then pick it up at Amazon.

“Mace was missing and The Minotaur was in town. I could smell him; they had that much in common and a little more history behind them than she ever really got around to telling me. Mace had never really been much of a talker. That was the great thing about stopping by to see her — you sit at the counter, you drink your coffee, you watch her knit…occasionally, the amethyst gleam behind her loose hair softened a little and you got the feeling she might like having you sit there, but it was never a regular thing, just an occasional gift. But now, the Minotaur was in town, hat hooked on his horns, attitude caught in the door, warnings on the wind. Mace must have caught the scent early, but I’d never known her to flee. So I checked into it. Nobody was paying me enough not to be curious. As usual, nobody was paying me at all.

I had just wanted coffee when I left my office…and maybe a little bit of friendly chat, a nod in my direction, an acknowledgement of my existence. You’ve had ‘em: nights when even the wind in the alleys cried from loneliness and the streets were so empty and the sky so dark that your footsteps whimpered instead of echoing…nights when you were certain that if someone didn’t nod at you soon, you’d be back at the mirror, making sure there was still some sparkle twinkling back at you, some breath on the glass. You know and I know, even if I hate to admit it, that there are nights when you need people and there are those people you find on those nights. It’s part of the gravity of being human, when the dark and the dire pull at you, there are people who pull you back. And that night, I was staring into a vortex. So I locked up the office, turned off the phone and headed down the street — to a little more warmth, a little less lonely.

Do you make plans? Don’t. I’m telling you. Just don’t. Plans are a bad habit, a crutch, a weak place for the universe to sneak up and kick you. The universe is coming now, quietly, creepingly, about to leap…your plans see it and they’re bolting in the other direction, down that alley with the flickering light at the end of it, leaving us, you and me, here. So we go get coffee — I know a great place, wait’ll you meet the owner, sure, I’ll pay — and then the real trap is sprung. There wasn’t even a closed sign or a ‘be back in ten minutes’ notice on the door…just a chain. No Mace…now, this, this was a new lonely.”

DECEMBER (sans ranting) #maybe

Howdy.  How is your Christmas season going?  Was Hanukkah enjoyable?  Are you prepared for the Solstice?

Weather is finally December-like and I have finally acquired gloves.  Have worn out a pair of mostly green ragg wool glittens the past three winters so replaced them with something I can drive in.

Just finished a test run  of Henry V, a table read that only took 2 hrs and 32 minutes and had everyone commenting on how funny it was.  So now pondering how to work it effectively into the Theatre Under The Trees future schedule.  This summer, we are doing As You Like It and as it has been so long since I’ve directed it, it practically counts as new.

A little more than a year ago, I put In The Bleak December up on Amazon. This year, I attempted to spin it out to more outlets via Draft2Digital, but ran into formatting problems once again so I have decided to just return it to being exclusive to Amazon so people can borrow it through Kindle Unlimited.  I also revamped the blurb and found new cover art.

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New blurb:  “Soon, she would be his again.  He had been a fool to let her go the first time. It had been so perfect, so right.  Her laugh, her smile, her light had shone briefly into the dark tunnel of his madness, for he knew it was madness now, madness to be without her, to deny and bury the feelings that she stirred in him, the fine, glorious feelings that vibrated through him like music reaching down from celestial organs to play for his ears only.” 

Christmas 1888: Mary Merriton is unsettled, ill at ease. Unaware that she has attracted the interest of a madman, she tries to survive a difficult holiday season. Her father has fallen ill, her fiancé, John Drew, is absent. When her beloved cousin, Doctor Jane Holloway, has difficulty returning to Baltimore from the western frontier she exiled herself to, Mary reaches out to one of her best friends, Sally Van der Veer, a bright, talented musician and Bryn Mawr Classics scholar. Sally rushes to Mary’s side, acting with bold confidence, only to be confronted by a hardened and wary Jane once the doctor arrives. Mary grows increasingly fearful of an unseen presence, whose intentions are revealed as the crisis moves closer to climax. Does Mary’s former fiancé Nickie Anstruther intend her harm? Can Jane unbend enough for friendship and collaboration with Sally? Will Sally discover she wants more?

I have had a couple of false starts at the sequel, but I have yet to find something to replace the Poe element, which is what brought everything together for me when I was writing In The Bleak December.  But the advantage to having attempted is that I have a much better vision for Sally and Jane’s future collaboration.

An author I rediscovered this year is Elizabeth Watasin, who wrote one of my favorite comic series and has turned to writing novels and short stories, some of the steam punk variety, some of a darque cyber punk science fiction future and some a continuation of her Charm School comic series.  One of Watasin’s short stories, The Girl Who Set Forth to Learn Fear, a Faerie Tale For Sapphic Girls, triggered a whole chain of thinking and I pulled a fun Christmas noir spoof I wrote on Twitter out of the archives. A very sexy Mrs. Claus targets the hapless narrator for a nudge to the Naughty List.

I had a lot of fun editing Which List For The Mrs?  Short stories always worked better for me both as a writer and a reader.  I also had fun sorting stock photos to try to figure out a cover, a process which convinced me I need a better graphics program before attempting to put together a collection of haikus. Which reminds me, I owe you haikus.  I’ll talk to Santa.  Probably best to avoid the Mrs.

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What else:

Dropped our sports channels so suffering soccer withdrawal. Last chance to get in on The Dollyrots new album: The Dollyrots: Live In The USA.  They also recorded a 3 song EP of NEW songs that will drop in digital stockings Christmas morning so that’s exciting.  There is also a cassette.  When I drive the touring van in the summer, the only cassettes I have I made for Gayle and my buddy Byrd in college.  So newer music will be nice. Haven’t see Star Wars:  The Force Awakens yet, although I am looking forward to it.

Pandora has switched to jazz and I’m yawning so I hope this is enough to tide you through the night before the shortest night of the year.  Take care and thanks for stopping by.

AUTHOR PAGE THINKING

Have been mulling what to tell the people stopping by my Facebook Author’s Page.
   
   
LINKS: 

In The Bleak December

Steering The Craft

Notes From The Garden of Lilies

Their Story

LATEST RAMBLING

   
    
   

BLOGGING LIKE A FIEND AFTER MIDNIGHT

Joan Jett’s birthday was today, yesterday I guess, if you don’t wait like me until rolling out of bed to start a new day. So happy birthday to Ms. Jett. Thanks for inspiring me.

Currently, I am on a yuri manga bender, carefully avoiding the very NSFW ones as well as those with too much of the big eyes/short skirts leanings.

Top Five:

Candy

Fluttering Feelings

Their Story

A Kiss and A White Lily

Collectors

Elizabeth Watasin has just released Monster Stalker, the first volume in her new series, The Darquepunk novels. 3.5 stars from me. Watasin has created an amazing, imaginative world full of bright, sexy people. But horrible things happen there. The protagonists are brave and determined enough to be bold in the darkness but whether or not you enjoy this book will depend partly on your tolerance for horrible things. They are not dwelt on, but they are there. Watasin handles violence swiftly, and without much glory or mess. The characters charm and intrigue, but some of the later interactions seem rushed. However, the opening is a well paced stroll through a new and interesting world, led by a tour guide with a sense of humor and mischief. You might get caught up.

Band Perry has a new song, Live Forever. I always like to see what they are doing with their videos. This one errs on the side of bright and energetic.

Comics: currently enjoying Jem And The Holograms, Princeless: Raven, The Pirate Princess (the name has confused my comic book guy on several occasions, too bad they didn’t just opt for Raven: The Black Arrow). The art team on Raven, ten bandits​ and unassuming pumpkin,​ reign as my current favorites; I had them do a commission for me (see below). I love the flow of their action scenes. That’s a big part of what I like about some of the mangas listed above, the moments of actions, although Fluttering Feelings is more full of the breathless pauses when you realize this moment feels different because of the person next to you — or across from you, but you might not be sure exactly why.

Hmmm…what else? Mulling sequel thoughts for my thriller, In The Bleak December. Reading manga has been an emotional education in how to get a relationship started. I’m hoping eventually my own version of that discovery will want to break out and I won’t be leaving Jane still standing in the doorway.

Working on costumes for Seussical. Horton and the Sour Kangaroo fell to me so I’m going for mad contrast. Continuing Robot and Turtle and Surfing Lightning adventures. Enjoying monarch butterflies dashing about where I go for walks. Love flashes of orange in the wild.

Didn’t get to spx but might get down to the Baltimore Comic Con this weekend. I enjoyed wandering the Artist Alley there last year.

And that should tide you over for awhile. Enjoy your September. Relax a little.

raven

Raven by unassuming pumpkin and ten bandits​ (writer and creator princelesscomic‘s Jeremy Whitely is also to be lauded for pretty amazing stories and characters, but I’m in an art mood currently.)

HAIKU

Triggered Memory Haiku: Moon Night Lost Light Lake/Details scream in outside me/Drop Pray Sun Silence  

RIPPED FROM MY SKETCHBOOK

New Tumblr ramble.

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