Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from 2013

2013--- A Writer's Year in Review.....

I've done some of these year-end posts before---mostly in answer to whether or not I managed to fulfill my resolutions for the year. But, this will be the first post I've done that really puts everything out there, in black-and-white, that I've accomplished/failed at over the last 365 days.

I didn't really make any specific resolutions for 2013. I knew I'd never meet them anyway---which is strange since I enjoy challenges. You'd think I could rise to my own challenge, but..... I've yet to ever, EVER, achieve a single year's resolution(s). Oh, I'll start with every good intention and earnestly fight to maintain whatever resolution I'm attempting until it becomes habit, but, it has always been for naught.

So, this year...or, at this end-of-year, I thought I'd try something different---

I've never really catalogued the material I've produced in a specific time-frame--- outside of challenges that mandated I do so. But, I really wanted to…

The Year's Decline.....

The autumn folks sleep deep in winter’s snow. They kiss sweet springtime flowers, blessing buds for future growth. Summer slakes their thirst, the warm rain of night. Caressed by day’s tepid breezes, the cool breath of gloaming, A gentle nudge to arise.
Autumn folks walk in lengthening shadows. Turn askance and they’ll slip through, guarded by memory’s light. Their greeting, a lingering susurrus, Words lost like fleeting thoughts, forever tasted by tongue tips, A soft nod they’re still around.
The folks of autumn come when long shadows run, To pull the world’s warmth into the frigid darkness of dreams, They play timorous games with practiced hands, Lest the true intent fall from their subtle masking virtue, Smothered sighs, life’s final breath.


                                                                                                  ---e.a.s. demers

The Veil of Gloaming....

Bleak and bleeding shadows, like clutching tendrils weave, Drawing forth, ineffable heaviness, the binding burden of grief.
Like acid, their gnashing teeth, steeping weak and brittle stone, Imbuing bitter dregs with sightless faith, the cold and rancid tongue.
Night wings away the shadows’ claim, the feeble dream—a creature, gaunt, alone, Stripped of flesh, bereft of life, useless eyes, redundant bone.

                                                                                                    ---e.a.s. demers


Finding Solace in the Audacity of Grief.....

No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear---- C.S. Lewis

*****   *****   *****

Grief is a funny thing. It's doesn't matter what you try to do, or how you try to define it--- it does its thing, its own way, in its own time.

Everybody has to endure it, in one form or another, time and time again--- it's as much a part of life as breathing.

And, while enduring grief, everybody does their own thing, their own way, in their own time.


--------------------------

My parents spent their entire working lives as nurses. They were LPNs at a skilled nursing home for nearly all of my childhood. It was expected that most, if not all, of their patients would spend their final days within those sterile halls. Perhaps it was less expected that my parents would feel the need to attend the memorials for their patients...baby brother and I in tow. Nevertheless, I have just as many funeral memories as I do Christmas-Morning memories.

I've heard it told that, as a result of walking pa…

---in the memory of the living...

The life of the dead is placed in the memory of the living--- Cicero

This is a catharsis entry. It will be posted and saved, though I don't know how long it will be visible. I feel the need (selfish, though it may be) to put this out there for other eyes---as a way of getting the words out without actually speaking them. I don't know how ready I am to "talk" about anything.

***************************************
Just twenty-four hours ago (give or take a couple of hours, because, who can count the seconds when they bleed into days?), my mother passed away.

And, I still can't wrap my head around the truth of it. For several innocent seconds throughout the day, I would forget-- then the shock of it rolled back through me and I found myself saying, however cold and matter-of-fact it sounds in my mind--- 'my mother is dead.'

I think I've been prepared--- as well as one can be prepared--- for this day for the last few months. When it was becoming clearer…

Wanted: An Older Edition of the Newer Version of the Slightly Altered Original....

Ah, 'twas another day in customer-land at the bookstore.....

Gentleman came in the store today looking for a specific bible. Well, when I say specific---
He entered the store with his own personal bible, showing us the publication date to be 1979. He was in search of a bible that had a publication date earlier than 1979....

Okay--- we tried to tell him that the books we would currently have in stock would have much more recent publication dates---- they would be revised and reprinted and reissued.  We might have a bible on the shelf that had an "original" publication date much earlier than 1979, but it would still be a reprint. Even our replica copies of the 1611 King James Bible have a publication date of 2010.

Then, he clarified..... he wanted a copy of the New King's James Version of the bible with a publication date earlier than 1979.

Sooooo, he didn't really want the oldest publication of a bible he could get. He wanted the oldest publication of the newest-o…

Wherein the Soul Dwells....

Magick is a tender art, woven from fine and silken threads, crafted by the gentle heart, and wizened, sacred hands. 
As the unicorns take to the sea, relinquishing their earthbound form, so, too, must I take my leave, from the bitter realm where I was born.
Listen to the sea-wind's calling, beckoning all to come her way, deep and ancient thoughts now stirring, the knells echoing at end of day.
                                                                                                             ---e.a.s. demers


His and Hers.....

The hubby and I cook quite frequently... actually every night, barring a few "let's-grab-something-out-because-we-don't-have-time-to-cook" meals---- we're talking a 3 times a month, max, that we eat out.

LUCKILY, we share similar tastes in food. And, even LUCKIER, I have a husband who's willing to be my guinea pig when I'm trying something new that I've never attempted to cook before.

Most times we completely agree on particular food stuffs---though we do have a few differences...we just work around these. He isn't fond of mushrooms, I abhor olives--love olive oil, just hate olives--he doesn't like sweet potatoes, I have never cultivated a taste for shrimp---I'm convinced I have a TEXTURE issue (hence the olives and the rubbery shrimp). Little by little, we develop each other's taste and develop some new 'recipes' along the way....

Case in point:

Two nights ago, we thought we'd make pizza---nothing extreme, we buy prepared …

Can't Never Did Do Nothing....

It was a day designed specifically to lay out exactly what I am incapable of doing---- at least at the present moment....

I cannot sign in American Sign Language.

I used to babysit a friend's little brother, during the summer of my first? second? year of college. He was hearing impaired, not completely deaf, but he did use signs regularly to get his wants/needs across.

Over the summer that I worked with him, I did pick up some sign language. But.... he was 3. Most of the signs revolved around the color of the ball/toy he wanted and what movie he wanted to watch. We really didn't get into any philosophical conversations. Definitely not.

There's a part of me that wishes the little brother had been a bit older, as I might have retained some of the signs I did learn if we'd actually tried to converse. Now, however, I usually don't think about it. At least, I don't think about it until one of our deaf patrons comes to shop for books. And, I am disheartened that I ca…

In the Hands of Eternity's Masters...

The proud and ancient visage, carved from granite, carved from marble, carved from stone,
The canvas swathed in brilliance,  draped in ochre, draped in azure, draped in bone.
Sets in time, in memoriam, steeped in history, steeped in legend, steeped in hope.
All the tools left to measure, the artist's brush, the scribe's nib, the sculptor's point,
An eon of life's breaths captured, in a dream, in a moment, in a song.

                                                                                                          ---e.a.s. demers

Alien Spaceships and other Unidentified Flying Oddities....

July 7th marked the 66th Anniversary of the Roswell UFO sightings. July 8th, 1947, the Roswell Daily Record announced that the RAAF had "captured a flying saucer".

How did I celebrate this momentous event in our nation's history? By playing the Roswell Google Doodle, of course!



Was the "object" that crash-landed on the New Mexico ranch a UFO? Was it a weather balloon? I don't know--- and I won't profess to know. I think the mistake (if there actually was a mistake) was when the Roswell Army Air Field (RAAF) public information officer, Walter Haut, stated that the group had recovered a "flying disk." This was later amended by the Commanding General, Roger Ramey--- the group had recovered a "weather balloon." Flying disk? Weather balloon?--- Didn't matter what they changed the story to, the martian seed was already planted.... The imagination of the country was already mutating.
It don't take nothin' for an eager imagination…

Baby Dracula and Other Randomness.....

It was a random kind of day--- woke up with a headache (though, that isn't as random as I'd like), took some pain meds and went to work....

Don't know if it was the headache, the pain meds, a general lack of sleep, or a combination of all those things, but I found myself in a bit of a brain-fog--- for lack of a better term--- for several hours. Not my most productive afternoon.

I'm prone to solemn/melancholy/perhaps depressive moods---part, my Piscean nature and part, circumstance---where I am reluctant to interact with people and generally find myself wishing I could be as far away from people as possible. This wasn't that kind of mood.

No, this was the kind of brain-fog that usually accompanies one-too-many drinks, or a decongestant during flu season. But, all I took was Ibuprofen.... so, I don't know.

All I could do was marvel at how odd it was to feel like I was heavily sedated without having ingested a sedative....

It all finally came to a head when I was …

Happy Burfday 'Merica.....

The 4th of July is one of those holidays that means different things to different Americans--- Freedom, Fun, Frivolity and Fireworks--- all those things that make America... America.

Two years ago, when I penned my Optimistic Cynic's Guide To Patriotism post, I was in a different mind-set about the essence of our country's existence. We are a young country--- only 237 yrs old--- an infant when you compare the ages of countries in the rest of the world.

We're the "baby of the family" so to speak....

and we carry the dreaded, though not unexpected, stereotype of being the youngest sibling, with us....

But, being the spoiled, youngest sprog also means we have a greater responsibility for carrying on the family name---- lest we bring an end to our line because we have failed to ensure our posterity.


We have the "time" to grow into a successful adult...we have the shadows of our older siblings to emulate, avoid, outshine--- if we follow, or in some cases, ta…

Random Penguins and Other Global Readers.....

It's official, mega-publishers Random House and Penguin have merged. And, I am woefully disappointed that they didn't opt to go with my vote to rename themselves Random Penguins---
instead, they've settled on the boring---and completely uninspiring---Penguin Random House.

Even the equally amusing, Penguin House, would have been an exciting change...


I mean, come on... surely a company that is based in the creative uses of language would jump at the opportunity to inspire a bit of humor. No?




In other global-literary news, the folks at the Asia Pacific Writers and Translators Association, aka AP Writers, have been inspired to create a World Readers' Award, that will take an author's nationality out of the equation. The idea having been inspired by their feeling that the Pulitzer is too American, the Man Booker is too British and the Nobel is too Euro-centric----

How they plan on making the World Readers' Award more "global" when their intent is to repr…

Morpheus Attending.....

Where faith once walked, and angels wept, the city dark, unyielding.
Where love once dreamt, of sweet drugs' days, the night-time sky, unending.
The fall of man, the wake of flame, the loss of hope, descending.
The whispered breath, the mortal frail, the timid soul, relenting.
                                                                                                           ---e.a.s. demers

Junie B. Jones---- Loud, Proud, and in the Flesh.....

We were honored to have our bookstore be the last stop on this year's 10th anniversary tour of Junie B. Jones and her Stupid Smelly Bus!!

Junie B. (the B. stands for Beatrice, but she doesn't like Beatrice, so it's just B., please) Jones and her bus driver, Mr. Woo, made a special stop at our store this afternoon for a live performance and a book-stamping!

The number of Junie B. Jones fans that poured into our store on a hot summer Saturday, when they could have been swimming or otherwise "hanging out", was staggering. We are never more surprised, thrilled, excited and in awe than when a throng of children are teetering restlessly for their favorite BOOK character to come and meet them.

Junie B. has been entertaining kids and their parents since '92 and the excitement her series has garnered, only seems to grow year after year.


If you weren't able to make it in for the event, I hope that you get a chance to see the show somewhere else in the future. It t…

Paula Deen and the game of celebrity Hot-Potato...

So, I told myself I wasn't going to broach the subject of Paula Deen and her recent admission to using racial slurs. I told myself I would just stir things up that are already stirred up, and probably make myself unreasonably angry to boot.

But, this is one of those situations that everybody has an opinion about--- regardless of what "truth" they know about the matter.

This lawsuit has actually been on the books for awhile now, concerning one former General Manager and her complaints about the working environment afforded to her at Paula's and her brother's restaurant.

Having read an online copy of the manager's complaint filed against Paula Deen, I agree, that if what the General Manager has illustrated is true, then yes, then there is a legitimate case of discrimination/harassment. And, yes, I know Paula Deen can be named a responsible party in the hostile work environment, as she holds ownership-- even if the specific culprit being referred to is her broth…

Soundtracks-- nerve-wracking, insanity-inducing, or truly-inspired......

I don't know of anyone who isn't in some way moved by music (and its numerous derivations). It's hypnotic and all-consuming, if we're in the right frame of mind and the right piece is playing.

Even those with less-than-functional hearing can still be moved and soothed by the steady thrum and vibrations that music provides. Place your hand on a throbbing speaker, eyes closed and mind clear, and you'll find your heartbeat slowing--- even if it's a fast-paced, eardrum-piercer pounding through the air.

It's the regularity of rhythm, much like the beating of a parent's heart, the pulse of their breathing, that soothed us during times of stress when we were infants.

Music is a language that needs no translation. It affects/changes our mood, just because it's there...just because it struck something deep inside us. We are at once invigorated, incensed or inspired. We become melancholy or morose. Our sympathies are wrung from inside. Our passions are ignite…

The Shadow's Call.....

I chanced to walk in shadow,  when the fall of night first came, I didn't know from whence, came the sounding of my name.
My breath caught as whispers reached me, soft sounds trailing in my wake, my pace, in fear, did quicken, refuge nearly passed in haste. 
The shadows know the darkness, its emptiness, all too well, they seek your warmth and presence, the cold tendrils of night to quell.
I let slip from deepest mem'ry, how the shadows hold, their clutch unyielding, hear my words and seek them not, this message, your future shielding. 
When the evening shadows call to you, walk quickly on without a glance, they've come to keep you company, to show you how they dance.
They hold your name in whispers,  hushed tones sighing into night, they hold your dreams in pieces, dotting midnight skies alight.
The stars shine bright with stolen warmth,  their light, all captured dreams and sighs, of those who failed to heed the warning,  walking in the shadows' night.

              …

So easy, a caveman's blind brontosaurus can do it.....

Overheard a conversation in the bookstore the other evening between 2 twenty-something women as they walked through the store---

"I should really get my notes out again....I need to finish that book I was working on." The first woman commented.

"Yeah," her companion added, "it ain't that hard to write a book."


*****



Not sure how I would have responded if that conversation had been directed at me. As it was, I did everything I could to not laugh outright... didn't really need them upset because I was eavesdropping--- REALLY didn't need them thinking I was unhinged if they mistook my laughter (as there was no one near me) as a failing of my own sanity, however close to the truth that might be.

Yes, I had to admit to myself, her companion was right--- "it ain't that hard to write a book." Truthfully, it doesn't take anything to plop a bunch of words on paper, finish the collection with "The End" and call it a book....

Vince Flynn and the Immortal Ranks....

Just a few hours after we opened the bookstore yesterday, we got confirmation that Vince Flynn
had passed away from prostate cancer... he was 47. I was surprised by the announcement since I was unaware he'd been sick and saddened because he was so young. I can't honestly say I've read anything he's written (his genre of choice isn't one I gravitate toward), but, his is a name I'm familiar with, so his passing did impact me.

It's strange how we are affected by the passing of people we "know"--- whether actors or sports stars. We know their names, we've watched their careers, we've learned their histories--- and apart from actually meeting them, we feel we are an integral part of their lives...they're definitely an integral part of our own lives.

Hours after the announcement, one of our regular customers walked through the store--- this is a man I've seen, nearly every day, for the past three years--- he approached me and as he passe…

All the Pretty, Dead Things.....

All the pretty, dead things, Standing in a row, Are speaking, oh so quietly, Of things, you ought to know.
Their lidless eyes see deep inside, Picking out what you’d rather keep hidden. Their lipless grins twist and gnash, Bringing all darkest thoughts, unbidden.
Their skinless bones knock and shake, Scratching out death’s eerie laugh. You’ll never be free from their fingerless grasp, Don’t think they’ll let you pass.
Every morning you wake,  Though your bones all still hold flesh, You move ever closer, To days of eternal unrest.
Practice now, your lidless stares,  Be ready when they come. Your place they’ll hold, among their ranks, When your living days are done.


                                                                                                           ---e.a.s. demers

What I Meant To Say Was....

Working in a bookstore, I've seen a lot of strange things and a lot of stranger customers--- some things I've mentioned on this blog, most things I haven't (though I probably should have, just for the sheer entertainment). But, once in a while, I'll hear/come across something that gives me pause... like a customer I had a few days ago who was looking for a copy of Mein Kampf.

Customer: I'm looking for a copy of Mein Kampf. Me: We usually have a copy or two in...      (walk over to the Biography section, where the book normally is, but we're sold out) Me: Looks like we're out, I could order you one, though... Customer: Does it have a black cover? Me: Yes, it does. Customer: I don't want that one. Me: Okay, we can go back to the computer and look up other editions, see which one you might want. Customer: I don't trust most translations--- there's too much taken out... Me: Yeah, I can understand that... some might be more readable than others, or, if you ha…