Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Writers' Bumper Stickers - Stroll/Poll

 A stroll through the Wildacres parking lot yielded this collection of bumper stickers -- mostly political, mostly of the Liberal/Progressive persuasion. I know there were some folks on the Right at the workshop but I didn't see any such bumper stickers.

Folks don't talk politics at Wildacres -- which is nice -- but I couldn't help drawing some conclusions from the results of this informal stroll/poll.

I'll leave it to you to draw your own.


















Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Don't Talk to Strangers

This book grabbed me and wouldn't let go. Sure, it was a rainy day but I had plans to do some writing of my own. I'd started reading it late one night -- because I always read before going to sleep -- and I didn't want to stop. Finally my eyes were telling me they needed rest  so I reluctantly set the book aside.

The next morning, I told myself, 'just one chapter. ' And managed to get my morning chores done before falling back into the world of wise-cracking, flawed, gutsy Keye Street -- former FBI profiler, current private eye. 

This is the third in a series by Amanda Kyle Williams but it absolutely works as a standalone.  Keye is called to help a small town sheriff's office in the search for the abductor and murderer of two girls -- the sheriff is almost too nice and too good-looking to be true but others in his office resent Keye's 'intrusion' to their territory and are not so welcoming.

It's a thriller and a classic who-done-it -- I was reading carefully, looking for clues -- is this a red herring? why did that guy do that? oh, this must be the one!  -- and ultimately I was fooled.  Fooled good. But it felt fair -- the clues had been there all along. . . 



Amanda is one of Kate Miciak's authors and I wrote about her first book HERE when Kate sent me a copy to blurb. But I bought this book on my own because I wanted to see what Keye was up to. Wow and double wow! 

I highly recommend this book --  lots of small town ambiance (but it's NOT a cozy,) fascinating fully drawn characters,  really wonderful sly humor, and a twisty plot that will keep you guessing . . . and reading on and on, if you're anything like me.

Check out Amanda's web site HERE for more about Don't Talk to Strangers. 

Monday, July 21, 2014

Sunshine and Hummers




 After several days of beautiful soaking rain and blissfully cool temperatures, it was nice to see the sun again and snap a few pictures before the clouds rolled in again. Mid-July is normally our hottest time and this respite has been glorious.








Sunday, July 20, 2014

What Is It?


At Wildacres I found this mysterious arrangement at the base of a tree in the parking lot.


My first thought was of the Yunwi Tsundi -- the Cherokee Little People I've written of before. 


Then I decided it might be a charm of the sort my friend Byron Ballard (Asheville's Village Witch) works. The wrapped sticks could be prayer sticks; the pretty rocks, barred off by twigs, could represent wishes being kept safe . . .

What do you think?


Friday, July 18, 2014

The Narrow Fellow



I was out back planting a hosta when this narrow fellow (as Emily Dickinson called a snake in one of her poems) came from somewhere below the house, and climbed onto the rock wall. I hurried inside to get my camera  . . .

He seemed to have a mission and slid quickly along the wall . . .


He (or she) is a black rat snake, close to six feet long. We are happy to have these critters around to deal with rodents . . . but would prefer they stayed out of the chicken house. (They are fond of eggs too.)  

Completely ignoring the paparazzi, snake keeps going. . .


A beautiful blue tinge to the black . . .


Almost at the other end of the house now, I decide that snake is probably heading for the green house. We often find shed snakeskins in there.  

A snake with a plan . . .


Just keep going . . . 

Turn left at the gate . . .
Ooze down . . .


A quick slide across the grass and there's the greenhouse . . .


I'd weeded this bed just the day before and while I really like these snakes, I prefer not to put an unsuspecting hand on one. . .


Where is snake? There on the window sill, looking for a way in . . .


And, thanks to a tear in the screen, snake is in. . .


The greenhouse is mostly empty of plants now . . .


Sometimes these snakes twine themselves through the trellis/shelf to remove their old skins . . . 

But this snake has something else in mind . . .

Into a hole in the wall he goes. It's probably a mouse hole and I expect that snake will wreak havoc among the mice.


I just need to remind John to keep the door that leads from his computer room to the greenhouse closed.