Weather Report, Nov. 5

man wearing red long-sleeved shirt standing beside wall

(Photo by Bruce Mars)

Our currently featured books, “Ghosty Boo,” by Kate Litterer, “Marion Hatley,” by Beth Castrodale and “Time Flash: Another Me,” by Lana Ayers, can be found by scrolling down below this post, or by clicking the author’s name on our Authors page.

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What is success, in a writing sense? Certainly, one could point to John Grisham or James Patterson or Danielle Steel or Steven King as avatars of that term. But what about the rest of the writing universe?

This may sound counterintuitive, but I would take the amount of copies sold out of the equation for the moment and bring it down to a writer-by-writer level. After all, we have very little control over how many people buy our books.

Of course, if an author simply places his or her work on an Amazon page and into a few bookstores without any further marketing, chances are the financial rewards won’t be great. On the other hand, sometimes even books that are ferociously marketed fail to catch on.

So perhaps it makes sense to borrow a line or two from Ricky Nelson’s iconic 1970s ballad  “Garden Party”:

“Well, it’s alright now; I learned my lesson well.

You know you can’t please everyone, so you got to please yourself.”

Most writers take high expectations into a project — what they want their book to say, how they want it said. If the book fulfills these goals, I think it’s fair to call it a success.

I got to thinking about this because one of our featured Snowflakes books this week is titled “Success: Stories,” by David Taylor. He writes: “These stories came together over a decade when I worked various jobs in different cities, and came up often against people’s (and my own) ideas of what it meant to succeed. The stories are not about ambition exactly — few of the characters are ambitious — but their expectations reveal a lot.”

Also featured is a novel by Laury Egan, “The Outcast Oracle.” You may or may not have heard of her, but my guess is that Laury considers herself a success.

“Although I’ve worked in publishing all my adult life,” she says, “it was only during the last twenty years that I have seriously returned to my childhood passion, writing. I now have the great fortune to be able to write full-time. My first novel was a psychological suspense, Jenny Kidd, set in Venice and written in the tradition of Patricia Highsmith. A collection, Fog and Other Stories, came next and contained mostly work that had been published in literary journals. The Outcast Oracle followed, with a comedy, Fabulous! An Opera Buffa, released in September 2018, and a literary suspense, Wave in D Minor, contracted for 2019. Interspersed with the fiction are four limited-edition poetry collections: Snow, Shadows, a Stranger; Beneath the Lion’s Paw; The Sea & Beyond; and Presence & Absence (available through my website).

Finally, this week offers a monthly bonus, as we revisit six books profiled earlier.

UPCOMING ON SNOWFLAKES IN A BLIZZARD, NOV. 6-12.

“SUCCESS: STORIES,” BY DAVID TAYLOR.

The stories give drama and perspective on the idea of success and how we view it in people’s lives. In the words of Publishers Weekly, the “14 lively tales…uncover gentle irony in the commonly held notion of a successful life.” StorySouth called the collection “Superbly-crafted tales…that explore the most vital crises of existence, when human emotions–desire and isolation, suspicion and jealousy–boil over… blooms in complexity every time the reader revisits it.”

“THE OUTCAST ORACLE,” BY LAURY EGAN.

Set in 1959 on the shores of New York’s Lake Ontario, fourteen-year-old Charlene Beth Whitestone has been deserted by her parents, leaving her in the custody of her grandfather, C.B. Although he loves Charlie, he is a charming con artist, moonshiner, and religious fraud who inducts her into his various enterprises yet also encourages her dreams of becoming a writer. When C.B. suddenly dies, Charlie is left alone and must use her wits and resourcefulness to take charge of her life, all the while wrestling with the morality of continuing her grandfather’s schemes. When a handsome cowboy-stranger, Blake, arrives, he insinuates himself into C.B.’s religion business and into Charlie’s heart. Despite her resistance, Blake mounts a lucrative PR campaign, touting Charlie as an “oracle” and arranging for her to perform miracles.

The story is recounted by Charlie with wry humor and a keen awareness of human foibles. A smart and independent girl, she battles abandonment, social rejection, sexual pressure, her family’s alcoholism and amorality, finally discovering her strengths and identity. Similar in tone to books by Mark Twain, The Outcast Oracle pokes fun at organized religion and people’s gullibility.

FIRST TUESDAY REPLAY

This month, we will revisit “Electric Love,” by Philip Palios, “Star Catching,” by Dawn LaJeunesse, “Mosh It Up,” by Mindela Ruby, “Drunk on Salt,” by James Nolan, “Metaphysical Voyages,” by Jenny Haynes, and “Juggling Kittens,” by Matt Coleman.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ghosty Boo

This week’s other featured books, “Marion Hatley,” by Beth Castrodale and “Time Flash: Another Me,” by Lana Ayers, can be found by scrolling down below this post, or by clicking the author’s name on our Authors page.

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THE BOOK: Ghosty Boo

PUBLISHED IN: 2016

THE AUTHOR: Kate Litterer

THE EDITOR: Nicolette Wong

THE PUBLISHER: A-Minor Press

SUMMARY: While Ghosty Boo is broken into five sections, it is meant to be read as one complex performance of communication between a young ghost and her older surviving self. They consider the interconnections between seeming disparate experiences with femininity, violence, curiosity, farm machinery, innocence and violation, the protection we seek in animal allies, sex and desire, and family.

THE BACK STORY: I wrote Ghosty Boo the summer after I finished my MFA. I had recently discovered gurlesque poets (think Danielle Pafunda, Lara Glenum, Chelsey Minnis) and was mega-inspired by their confidence to say what they needed to say by roughing up the style we normally associated with narrative poetry. During my MFA, I had written and workshopped poems about violence and systemic traumas, but it wasn’t until I finished that I felt 100% confident writing in the first person and getting spooky and funny in my poetry.

WHY THIS TITLE: Ghosty Boo is the rowdy, dark, little girl ghost of my own curious childhood. Growing up on an isolated farm in the middle of nowhere, sometimes in traumatic and neglectful situations, I was drawn to storytelling as a coping mechanism for both loneliness and keeping my chin up. This book gives the character Ghosty Boo an opportunity to finally speak through her childlike (albeit muddied and grotesque) lens by conversing back and forth with my present, adult voice.

WHY SOMEONE WOULD WANT TO READ IT: From my interview with Sonya Vatomsky (https://cosmonautsavenue.com/interview-kate-litterer/) : “I think there’s something really visceral that you can tap into when you ask a reader to observe the way a child would feel in a certain situation, knowing that the poet is translating for the child. I think poets writing about childhood are doing a sort of magic and showing respect by giving voice to what a child couldn’t say or broadcast in childhood’s powerlessness…My hope is that women and queers with trauma will be able to feel themselves seen and their experiences named in my book. I wonder if the spooky fantasy nature of the book will pull the reader into the world of the book, with an understanding that the characters are fantasy but also originated from the factual ways that people do hurt one another…I hope it makes people with trauma laugh and people without trauma listen.”

REVIEW COMMENTS:

“Ghosty Boo lives inside of a book by Kate Litterer who lives with “a hard job to hurt out of revolted love.” Poetry is always asking us what is it we’re willing to do, and when we take into our own private worlds what’s sincere and true, fierce and relentlessly unforgiving are we able to ever feel safe again? Ghosty Boo has an answer for that.”  —  Dara Wier, author of You Good Thing

“It is love that drives this poetry, a love that lets the intelligence of the neglected glimmer and beat and breathe and crackle. Ghosty Boo circles through the magic and myth of a child raising her hand in the air, hoping a bird will land there. Here, Litterer stands up and offers us a talisman for walking in trauma, offers us talons.” — Kelin Loe, author of These Are the Gloria Stories

“This is a sometimes harrowing, sometimes raunchy, and always gripping book that chronicles abuse, neglect, and trauma. Don’t open the cover expecting poetic transcendence. Ghosty Boo is that rare book of unmitigated frankness. It casts a cold eye on the world and on the self and in so doing creates a memorable, puissant darkness.” – — Lynn Emanuel, author of The Nerve of It: Poems New and Selected

AUTHOR PROFILE: Kate is a poet, scholar, researcher, blogger, and writing consultant. She earned both an MFA degree in poetry (2013) and an MA degree in Rhetoric and Composition (2015) from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where she is currently pursuing a PhD in Rhetoric and Composition and a Graduate Certificate in Advanced Feminist Studies. Her dissertation focuses on the work of pioneer lesbian writer, Lisa Ben. Kate’s article about Ben was published in the Journal of Lesbian Studies in 2017. In addition to her scholarly research and poetry, she runs a blog called The Tending Year (www.thetendingyear.com), which aims to make self development and productivity accessible and applicable. To read more of Kate’s work, check out www.katelitterer.com/publications.

AUTHOR COMMENTS: I am fascinated with the way metaphor allows us to interpret and name our experiences in ways we may not otherwise have been able to. I am more and more drawn to seeing and using metaphor in cross-genre and cross-medium work, including art and healing practices.

SAMPLE CHAPTER: (Provide link). https://aminormagazine.com/2015/09/28/featured-excerpt-six-from-ghosty-boo/ and http://www.spoke2soonjournal.com/issue-27/#/from-ghosty-boo-by-kate-litterer/ (Spoke 2 Soon includes a recording)

WHERE TO BUY IT: Amazon (https://www.amazon.com/Ghosty-Boo-Kate-Litterer/dp/0692507426/)

PRICE: 13.95

CONTACT THE AUTHOR: kate.litterer@gmail.com

 

Marion Hatley

Marion Hatley: A Novel by [Castrodale, Beth]

Beth CastrodaleTHE BOOK: Marion Hatley: A Novel

PUBLISHED IN: 2017

THE AUTHOR: Beth Castrodale

THE EDITOR: Laurel Dile King

THE PUBLISHER: Garland Press

SUMMARY: To escape a big-city scandal, a Depression-era corset-maker flees to the countryside, where she hopes to live and work in peace. Instead, she finds herself unraveling uncomfortable secrets about herself and those closest to her.

THE BACK STORY: Years ago, my mother told me how my grandma wore a corset day in and day out, throughout all the hard work of helping run the family farm. This story haunted me, and it came to symbolize all the restrictions that women of her time faced. Through the character of Marion Hatley, I tried to show the consequences–both good and ill–of pushing back against these restrictions. (As an aside, through seamstressy wonders perhaps bordering on science fiction, Marion creates an undergarment capable of delivering women from the typical corset-related discomforts. I wish such a corset could have come to my grandma’s rescue.)

WHY THIS TITLE: Although the novel enters the point of view of other characters, it’s centrally Marion’s story. Also, I hoped that by spotlighting Marion in the title, I’d lend a sense of pride to someone who was ostracized and shamed in certain social circles.

WHY SOMEONE WOULD WANT TO READ IT? I’m hoping this novel will appeal to readers who want to be immersed in characters’ interior lives, and who appreciate a compelling story. The novel may also appeal to fans of historical fiction.

REVIEW COMMENTS:

“Like Marion Hatley’s own creations, Beth Castrodale’s debut novel is sewn, sentence by elegant sentence, with exquisite care and beauty. With clear-eyed assurance it explores the burden of secrets, the virtue of perseverance, and the joys of renewal. As a portrait of a community—and life itself—it is deeply compassionate and utterly wondrous.”
—David Rowell, author of The Train of Small Mercies

“A reflective, compassionate, and gracefully written tale.”
Kirkus Reviews

“An expert and articulate historical novel. The period details, class protest, and feminist protest are particularly engaging, as is the central character, Marion, whose resourcefulness recalls that of Zola’s Denise Badu in The Ladies’ Paradise. In Marion’s case, her redesign of conventional corsets speaks to humanizing social constrictions for women as well as easing physical ones.” — DeWitt Henry, founding editor of Ploughshares, Emerson Professor Emeritus, and author of The Marriage of Anna Maye Potts

AUTHOR PROFILE: Beth Castrodale has worked as a newspaper reporter and book editor. Her novel Marion Hatley (Garland Press, 2017) was a finalist for a Nilsen Prize for a First Novel from Southeast Missouri State University Press, and an excerpt from her latest novel, In This Ground (Garland Press, 2018), was a shortlist finalist for a William Faulkner – William Wisdom Creative Writing Award. Beth recommends literary fiction on her website SmallPressPicks.com, and she has published stories in such journals as Printer’s Devil Review, The Writing Disorder, and Mulberry Fork Review.

AUTHOR COMMENTS: I don’t know where I would be without reading and writing. Literature has enriched my life in more ways than I can express.

SAMPLE CHAPTER: (Provide link). http://www.bethcastrodale.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/MarionHatley-excerpt.pdf

LOCAL OUTLETS: Porter Square Books, Cambridge, MA. Alternatively, your local bookstore can contact Small Press Distribution, who will help them stock it.

WHERE ELSE TO BUY IT: Garland Press: http://garlandpress.com/store/

Small Press Distribution: https://www.spdbooks.org/Products/9781940782027/marion-hatley.aspx

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Marion-Hatley-Beth-Castrodale/dp/1940782023

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/marion-hatley-beth-castrodale/1126250194

PRICE: $16.95

CONTACT THE AUTHOR: https://www.bethcastrodale.com/contact/

Time Flash: Another Me

Time Flash: Another Me by [Ayers, Lana]THE BOOK: Time Flash: Another Me

PUBLISHED IN: 2018

THE AUTHOR:  Lana Ayers

THE PUBLISHER: Night Rain Books.

SUMMARY: The Granola Diet promises to turn curvy Sara Rodríguez Bloom García into a svelte, new woman in no time. Once it does, her husband’s rekindled passions will be unstoppable—she hopes. But what starts out as another fad diet, leads Sara on a time travel journey of perilous twists and turns—fraught with double-agents, lusty redheads, and a deadly serum. Sara’s possibly-magical cat, a sexy former crush, tasty meals, and vivid music enliven the darker moments.

THE BACK STORY: Growing up in a one-television home, I had no choice but to watch the shows my older brother Alan wanted to watch—monster movies, Star Trek, The Time Tunnel, etc. He turned me into a science fiction geek, thereby gifting me the universe. The novel waiting inside me all these years to be written was always going to be a time travel adventure because of Alan. A Red Cross rescuer, he passed away in 2010 of a 9/11-related illness. Time Flash: Another Me is for Alan, across the dimensions of space and time.

WHY THIS TITLE: One of the unwitting subjects of the illegal brain serum experiment happening in the novel coins the term “time flash” to describe his trips back in time and “redo” to describe the altered present he returns to. The “Another Me” part of the title refers to the fact that heroine Sara gets to experience different versions of herself through making different decisions the past and arriving in her altered “redo.”

WHY SOMEONE WOULD WANT TO READ IT: Aside from being a thrilling time travel adventure where the heroine races through the past to defeat the deadly brain serum experiment, Time Flash is about Sara’s emotional growth as a woman. There’s also some juicy romance. And who doesn’t love a possibly magical cat? Fans of The Time Traveler’s Wife and Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series will love Time Flash: Another Me.

REVIEW COMMENTS:      

“The opening pages suggest that Sara’s a standard chick-lit heroine obsessed with dieting, but Ayers (The Dead Boy Sings in Heaven, 2018, etc.) is up to something much more original and engaging. Besides the intertwined thriller and sci-fi elements (fairly plausible), Sara learns a great deal about herself and her relationships in trying to change reality, revelations she couldn’t have had without time travel. Her love of books and music adds to her character’s complexity, and unexpected depths are revealed in several well-drawn side characters, even Sara’s cold, critical mother…An entertaining, well-written tale offering intriguing speculations and a heroine of courage and determination.” —Kirkus Reviews

AUTHOR PROFILE:  Lana Ayers is a poet, novelist, publisher, and time travel enthusiast. She facilitates Write Away™ generative writing workshops, leads private salons for book groups, and teaches at writers’ conferences. Born and raised in New York City, Lana cemented her night-owl nature there. She lived in New England for several years before relocating to the Pacific Northwest, where she enjoys the near-perpetual plink of rain on the roof. The sea’s steady whoosh and clear-night-sky stars are pretty cool, too. Lana holds an MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University, as well as degrees in Poetry, Psychology, and Mathematics. She is obsessed with exotic flavors of ice cream, Little Red Riding Hood, TV shows about house hunting, amateur detective stories, and black & white cats and dogs. Her favorite color is the swirl of Van Gogh’s Starry Night.

AUTHOR COMMENTS: “As mentioned in my back story, I’m a science fiction geek. But I have a particular love of all things time travel. It’s human to have regrets—chances you wished you’d taken, choices you wished you didn’t make, and on and on. With time travel stories that allow characters to change the past, their futures are changed as a result too. Sometimes for the better. Sometimes not. In this way, much of time travel addresses regrets. Although I can’t time travel like my heroine Sara, I try to live every day to the fullest so as not to create any new regrets. Too bad it took me half my life to figure this out.

SAMPLE CHAPTER: (Provide link). See Lana’s Amazon page.

The Kindle preview provides 9 sample chapters.

https://www.amazon.com/Time-Flash-Another-Lana-Ayers-ebook/dp/B07F6BZJ7P/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1538603999&sr=8-1

LOCAL OUTLETS: Local book stores  anywhere can order copies for patrons via the Ingram Catalog.

WHERE ELSE TO BUY IT:

Available in paperback and ebook from IndieBound.com, Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com.

https://www.indiebound.org/book/9780997083453

https://www.amazon.com/Time-Flash-Another-Me-1/dp/099708345X

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/time-flash-lana-ayers/1128988028?ean=9780997083453

Please also ask your library to order lending paperback or ebook copies.

PRICE:  Paperback (476 pages) $17.99; ebook $5.99

CONTACT THE AUTHOR: 

Please get in touch—would love to hear from you!

web site: http://LanaAyers.com

twitter: @LanaAyers23

FaceBook: https://www.facebook.com/lana.ayers

Weather Report, Oct. 29

Image result for free pictures of pumpkins

(Photo through BT.com)

This week’s featured books, “Her Kind,” by Robin Throne, “Somewhere Piano,” by Sarah Sadie and “The Secret Life of Walter Mott,” by Kal Wagenheim, can be found by scrolling down below this post, or by clicking the author’s name on our Authors page.

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A couple of weeks ago, I became aware of Kate Litterer’s book “Ghosty Boo,”  a collection of poetry dealing with subjects alternately dark, creepy and outrageous. The story revolves around the ghost of a small child — perfect, I thought, for the week of Halloween.

Writes Kate: “Ghosty Boo is the rowdy, dark little girl ghost of my own curious childhood. Growing up on an isolated farm in the middle of nowhere, someties in traumatic and neglectful situations, I was drawn to storytelling as a coping mechanism for both loneliness and keeping my chin up. This book gives the character Ghosty Boo an opportunity to finally speak through her childlike (albeit muddled and grotesque) lens by conversing back and forth with my present, adult voice.”

The title character in Beth Castrodale’s historical novel “Marion Hatley” is also a rebel, although in a very different context. And Beth’s use of the uncomfortable and confining corsets foisted upon women in the bad old days provides a perfect example of how a seemingly minor complaint can grow into a culture-defining issue.

According to Beth:  “Years ago, my mother told me how my grandma wore a corset day in and day out, throughout all the hard work of helping run the family farm. This story haunted me, and it came to symbolize all the restrictions that women of her time faced. Through the character of Marion Hatley, I tried to show the consequences — both good and ill — of pushing back against these restrictions.”

Finally, we have Lana Ayers’ “Time Flash: Another Me,” just because it’s fun. I can tell it’s fun because Lana seemed to have so much fun writing it.

“I’m a science fiction geek,” she says, “but I have a particular love of all things time travel. It’s human to have regrets—chances you wished you’d taken, choices you wished you didn’t make, and on and on. With time travel stories that allow characters to change the past, their futures are changed as a result too. Sometimes for the better. Sometimes not. In this way, much of time travel addresses regrets. Although I can’t time travel like my heroine Sara, I try to live every day to the fullest so as not to create any new regrets. Too bad it took my half my life to figure this out.”

UPCOMING ON SNOWFLAKES IN A BLIZZARD, OCT. 30-NOV. 5

“GHOSTY BOO.” BY KATE LITTERER.

While Ghosty Boo is broken into five sections, it is meant to be read as one complex performance of communication between a young ghost and her older surviving self. They consider the interconnections between seeming disparate experiences with femininity, violence, curiosity, farm machinery, innocence and violation, the protection we seek in animal allies, sex and desire, and family.

“MARION HATLEY,” BY BETH CASTRODALE.

Wrote one reviewer: “Like Marion Hatley’s own creations, Beth Castrodale’s debut novel is sewn, sentence by elegant sentence, with exquisite care and beauty. With clear-eyed assurance it explores the burden of secrets, the virtue of perseverance, and the joys of renewal. As a portrait of a community—and life itself—it is deeply compassionate and utterly wondrous.”

“TIME FLASH: ANOTHER ME,” BY LANA AYERS.

Aside from being a thrilling time travel adventure where the heroine races through the past to defeat the deadly brain serum experiment, Time Flash is about Sara’s emotional growth as a woman. There’s also some juicy romance. And who doesn’t love a possibly magical cat? Fans of The Time Traveler’s Wife and Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series will love Time Flash: Another Me.

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Her Kind

Her Kind, a novel: 5th Anniversary Edition by [Throne, Robin]This week’s other featured books, “Somewhere Piano,” by Sarah Sadie, and “The Secret Life of Walter Mott,” by Kal Wagenheim, can be found by scrolling down below this post, or by clicking the author’s name on our Authors page.

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THE BOOK:  Her Kind (5th anniversary edition)

PUBLISHED IN: 2018.

THE AUTHOR: Robin Throne

THE PUBLISHER: 918studio press (918studiopress.com)

SUMMARY: Rose Emma Parmlee reflects on her 90 years as she compiles a diary that she began in her youth. As she records the migration of a family from England, to the new England, to Iowa, Rose exposes a family’s deepest secrets, including her own unrecoverable relationship with her mother, cousins a bit too close by blood and water, and an entire lineage her siblings never knew. Through an elegantly accessible, minimalist style, like the silence and whispers of all dark secrets, Rose takes the reader into her confidence to join an epistolary journey through intricate relationships, complicated ancestries, and intertwining lives that shaped a watershed and every woman’s place within it.

Robin ThroneTHE BACK STORY: This novel was inspired by historian Glenda Riley’s research into stereotypes among women in the American West and gender perspectives of colonization in the Iowa territory and other regions. Her Kind is a work of research-based historical fiction and Throne is a professor/writer/researcher who has continued narrative and heuristic research into land and voice dispossession among indigenous cultures in this region as a visiting researcher at the John Henry Hauberg Papers, Augustana College, from which she presented “Hermeneutic archival research & artistic license: Exhuming dispossessed Sauk voices through creative non-fiction” at the Fourteenth International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and “Voice as persona: Disinterring dispossessed women’s voices from a Sac & Fox Nation relocation and Gullah Sea island Lowcountry heirs’ property” at the 21st Annual American Association of Behavioral and Social Sciences Conference in Las Vegas.

WHY THIS TITLE: Novel title is taken from the Anne Sexton title poem; permission granted by the Anne Sexton estate to include the poem as the novel epigraph. The novel closes with the well known William Stafford poem, “Ask Me,” as an epitaph to the novel’s protagonist (permission granted by William Stafford estate).

WHY SOMEONE WOULD WANT TO READ IT: An alternative historical fictional retelling of the Sac & Fox relocation and settlement of the Iowa territory. From England to the new England to Iowa, a woman reflects on each travail of her family of immigrants who ran from or reached for a promise taken from another.

REVIEW COMMENTS: 

“Robin Throne’s debut novel–written in a minimalist, poetic style–tells the story of a family’s migration from the old world to the new, with final settlement in Iowa. Documenting that history, a ninety-year-old matriarch uncovers dark family secrets, submerged like ‘mudpuppies, the great river bottom feeders’ (43). A work of alternative historical fiction, Her Kind is an enjoyable, riveting read!”  — Nancy Ann Schaefer, In Search of Lode and Living at Hope’s Edge

“Magnificent.” — Ellen Tsagaris, The Subversion of Romance in the Novels of Barbara Pym and Sappho, I should have listened

AUTHOR PROFILE:  Robin Throne has completed writer residencies at Wolff Cottage, the Writers’ Colony at Dairy Hollow, and the Writer’s Well. She is the recipient of the fourth David R. Collins literary achievement award from the Midwest Writing Center, the third fiction chapbook prize from Gambling the Aisle, and a literary fiction award from the Writer’s Well for her debut novel, Her Kind. Her fiction and poetry have appeared in Trampset, The New Poet Journal, Tipton Poetry Journal, Split Lip Magazine, Mystic Blue Review, and Crab Fat Magazine among others. Her narrative and heuristic research continues into land and voice dispossession among women and indigenous cultures.

AUTHOR COMMENTS:  The 5th anniversary edition is blessed by a new Foreword from Mississippi River artist, Nancy Purington, who said, “A mix of memory and longing artfully charted in Her Kind by Robin Throne navigates the collective consciousness with illuminating skill inspired by journal entries of a female pioneer. As a woman who grew up along the Mississippi River where this novel wakes, I am returned in time from the future to this place where river crossings evoke and dredge psychological reflections on life experiences, the river and being a woman.”

SAMPLE CHAPTER: (Provide link). https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0692142983/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i5

LOCAL OUTLETS: The Book Rack QC, The Midwest Writing Center, Brewed Books, Exotic Imports

WHERE ELSE TO BUY IT: BarnesandNoble.com https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/her-kind-robin-throne/1129457891?ean=9780692142981

Amazon.com https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0692142983/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i5

PRICE: USD $12.99

CONTACT THE AUTHOR:  robin.throne@gmail.com or visit RobinThrone.com

Twitter: @RobinThrone  Facebook: @RobinThroneWriter

Somewhere Piano

THE BOOK: Somewhere Piano.

PUBLISHED IN: 2012

THE AUTHOR:  Sarah Sadie (Sarah Busse)

THE EDITOR: Judith Kerman

THE PUBLISHER
: Mayapple Press. Mayapple is a small, independent press.  They celebrate literature that is both challenging and accessible: poetry that transcends the categories of “mainstream” and “avant-garde”; women’s writing; the Great Lakes/Northeastern culture; the recent immigrant experience; poetry in translation; science fiction poetry.

SUMMARY: Somewhere Piano is a collection of lyric poems that explore themes of motherhood, desire, domesticity and ordinary/extraordinary life moments. Eggs and pianos.

THE BACK STORY
: Somewhere Piano was my first full-length collection, a milestone in the career of any poet. I’m grateful to Mayapple for giving my book a way out into the world. When I wrote the poems in Somewhere Piano my children were quite young. I found that their interests and fascinations became my own. The world of small children is in no way small.

WHY THIS TITLE?: The piano appears and reappears throughout these poems. Music is ever present in my life from the time I was a child all the way through to now as my own children are growing up. The piano in my house is tall, black, an upright presence. Again and again, I was drawn to it like a magnet. And inevitably the sound of a piano echoes down through memory, ricocheting off the walls of the mind. The phrase “Somewhere piano” was originally meant to suggest a distantly heard music. But the more I looked at it, the more I wondered, what if there was an instrument called a “Somewhere Piano”? What kind of sound would it have? What music would it play, and for whom?

WHY WOULD SOMEONE WANT TO READ IT?
It is one woman’s attempt to tell the truth (her truth) (some truth) about being a mother, having small children, what kind of pressures and questions that delivers. Occasionally when I give a reading from this book, I will have women come up to me afterward, nodding, That is how it is. You found the words. I take that as the biggest compliment I could get. So, people who are mothers should read it to see some piece of themselves mirrored and made space for. Everyone else should read it to have a window into the otherwise unknowable and inexpressible. 

REVIEW COMMENTS
:

Strike motherhood off the list of sentimental subjects. This resonant, intelligent debut reminds us that “spring is a burning season” and how fierce family breakfast can be on either side of the kitchen window. Sarah Busse fills the branches of these poems with eggs, birds, and other emblems of latency and desire, and her rhymes call beautifully from line to line, but predators lurk in the underbrush.
-Lesley Wheeler, author of Heterotopia and The Receptionist and Other Tales

Sarah Busse’s elegant first book, Somewhere Piano, is filled with music: birdsong that startles from sky and branch, pianos deftly struck in practice or performance, and the sound of human voices, especially those of mother and children, heard in surprised response to the world’s grief and wonder. Busse’s words are entirely original, as accessible as a neighbor’s, yet unique and captivating: “summer’s vowels” are like “a blues refrain,” “the body of a house…wavers and avers,” and the world surrounding us—a place of “trembling and fertility, choices made and/here is a life”— transforms survival, at least briefly, into joy. Restless, wise, and vulnerable, Somewhere Piano asks us to listen carefully, and repays our close attention with poems of lasting force. —Ned Balbo, author of Lives of the Sleepersand Galileo’s Banquet

Poetry can let our passion of life be known. “Somewhere Piano” is a collection of poetry from Sarah Busse who brings forth a refreshing and insightful collection of thought and verse. “Somewhere Piano” is a very much fun read that shouldn’t be overlooked for contemporary poetry collections. “Love Muddies the Water”: Love muddies the water,/troubles it like we hoped God/would with his big stick,/turns what was quick/and cold and free to clot/and mire. I love you. Glub, glub./Caught in too many tangles made/of old bones, old blinks,/no one knows what to do/with this bad star, drug/trip from which we never return/(not to mention the birds)/and rainbows at surprising angles. Midwest Book Review February 2013

AUTHOR PROFILE: Sarah Busse changed her name somewhere along the way to Sarah Sadie, and published another couple of books Do-It-Yourself Paper Airplanes (Five Oaks Press) and “We are traveling through dark at tremendous speeds.” (Lit Fest Press). She also started a business as a certified Kaizen-Muse creativity guiddess and Qoya dance teacher, and all of these facets and aspects are beginning to fit together, believe it or not. She writes, dances, coaches, teaches, and works 1:1 with women and men to help them identify and pursue their creative passion and wonderment in a world that really needs it.


AUTHOR COMMENTS:
 I wrote these poems in an attempt to write some kind of truth about an aspect of life that is too often either overly sentimentalized or overlooked. I wanted to explore the intensity and emotional layerings that happen within the young family. It seemed worth doing.

SAMPLE POEMS (See also Sarah’s Amazon page).

PRESCRIBED BURN IN A PRAIRIE REGION

Where I live, spring is a burning season.

It appears in patches around town: here

a stretch of ditchbank, there someone’s backyard.

Big, hand-lettered signs on the curb reassure,

“Prescribed Burn Today.” This is planned.

This is safe fire. And when it is done, in the space

of an afternoon, the field is flat and soot.

These days new leaves cup the sun’s light

and let it spill so that it too seems young,

completely breakable, already broken.

My daughter sings in her carseat

            Twinkle little little star

            Wonder wonder wonder are

Give up whatever burnt offering you are

but recall also the speeding ticket received

on this road just months ago. Go slow

(everything happens at once) as you drive past

the silver sliver spears of brand new grass

already hatched to catch light, already

chuffing their heat.

Silent conflagration, perpetual

blessing, perpetual fire at 25 miles per hour.

————————————————–

DESIRE

I write, Desire is my home town

and coffee spills, spreading its sepia

stain over maples and apples, or maybe

it’s tent caterpillars, their sticky love,

love, where roots of centuried trees

push year by year the sidewalk paving squares

further into their odd and hazardous angles.

Unpicked fruit stains the walks,

calls bees and flies, and makes a kind of honey.

We’re all at one remove or more, but here we are.

Somewhere piano. Laughter through a wall. An empty stage,

overstuffed chairs left from the last production.

You have to feel for it,

to know what brings us out again and finally to this hilltop,

gazing at folded quiltwork fields and Springfield Road,

a traintrack stitched across the heart’s own ground

where now they’re putting up houses, houses, houses.

Stay a minute. See

those rolling hills, the freight train whistling through,

and summer’s vowels like a blues refrain.

No one knows me quite like you.

—————————————————–

FLICKER

This morning a flock of flickers—flash of red,

flash of yellow at my feet—rose and flew

past the blue turkey-foot, the prairie dropseed.

The grasses nodded their purple heads, bronzed,

lazy in their affirmations… until the wind blew.

How fast the wheel turns, love, in the corn-colored

light of September. The feathered heart stirs,

seeing how sumac flares, how the honey locust

shivers down its gold and gilds my driveway—

a school of minnows diving, or, if the eye blurs,

the shimmy of a yellow dress to the floor

and where are you to be found—in the slow pour

of strong coffee, the smoky stars that reel invisible

over the city? My children toss leaves up to see them

leap and fall and leap again, laugh and beg for more.

 

WHERE TO BUY IT: Mayapple Press or Amazon both have it available for purchase.

PRICE: $14.95

CONTACT THE AUTHOR: I’d love to hear from readers and interested people. You can find me at odonatacreative.com or email me at sarahsadie[at]atodonata[dot]com.