Weather Report, Feb. 11

Image result for river images free download(Photo from River’s Edge)

Our two currently featured books, “Echolocation,” by Kristin Berger and “Listen,” by Francesca Varela, can be found by scrolling down below this post, along with the first Tuesday Replay. Or, click the author’s name on our Authors page.


No writer is an island — at least not as far as the three authors featured this week on Snowflakes in a Blizzard ( are concerned.

Robert Vaughan (“Addicts & Basements”) is doing his part to push his craft past traditional genre and style limits. According to his author profile on the Snowflakes template, he “teaches workshops in hybrid writing, poetry, fiction at locations like Red Oak Writing, The Clearing, Synergia Ranch and Mabel Dodge Luhan House. He leads writing roundtables in Milwaukee, WI.”

Julie Babcock (“Autoplay”) teaches in an interdisciplinary program at the University of Michigan. And Bonnie Hearn Hill (“The River Below”) says she is “proud of the number of writers I have mentored.”

Those who can do, the saying goes, and those who can’t teach. But it’s also possible to have it both ways.



Tessa and Claire are two friends who work for a Central California river conservancy group. When a car containing a gun and bloodstains floats to the top of the river, Tessa begins thinking she sees a woman in the water – but Tessa has been experiencing what may be early-onset dementia. Her husband, a prominent criminal attorney, is in denial and distracted by the biggest case of his career. It’s up to Claire, an environmental scientist with a secret of her own, to find out what’s going on.


Writes one obviously impressed reviewer: “Julie Babcock’s first poetry collection is a wonder. Bringing together everything from Billy Idol to Philomel, these poems’ brilliant turns twist with a darkness and haunting hilarity rarely seen in a poet so young. Autoplay makes the state of Ohio not just a place of historical concern, but a character in its own right, witness to the joys and terrors of aliveness. At the same time, Babcock uses myth and fable to confront cultural assumptions of gender in poems that reinvigorate violated space (the body, the land, the sky) with trauma-forged resilience. “We are all twenty-five feet in the air,” Babcock writes. “Anything could happen. Any of us could break or go to fun.” The beautiful terror shifting subtly through Autoplay will not let you go.”


From another review: “A fast-moving fusion of microfiction and free verse that peers into the places where people keep things most deeply hidden. A fascinating study of human attachment and loss.”





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Recently retired after 35 years with the News & Advance newspaper in Lynchburg, VA, now re-inventing myself as a novelist/nonfiction writer and writing coach in Lake George, NY.

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