Photo 365 #364

20150801_134933Despite the heat and humidity, the flowers around our house have been flourishing.  Check out these beauties!

I’m not completely sure what kind of flower they are, but we have three different shades of them growing around our house, and they populate the local ditches as well.  They’re gorgeous, and every time I see them, it puts a smile on my face.

What puts a smile on your face?

(c) 2015.  All rights reserved.

Photo 365 #363

I just love this picture of Shadow:

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Mr. Regal was looking rather less regal and rather more ornery when I snapped this.  I didn’t even realize he was licking his chops till several hours later.

Don’t mess with Shadow… 🙂

(c) 2015.  All rights reserved.

Next up, it’s Flotsam or Jetsam!

Flotsam or JetsamAnd now, as promised, I’ve reviewed Flotsam or Jetsam, another book involving Tallis Steelyard and his compatriots:

Benor arrives in Port Naain intent on the simple task of producing a handbook for merchants. Then there is a murder, and a vengeful family who will stop at nothing to silence those who found the body. Suddenly Benor’s life is no longer simple.

I should have read this book first, I think, as it’s quite a good introduction to Tallis Steelyard.  He strikes me as the kind of person who could charm the scales off a snake, or at least the kind of person who thinks he could.  I found him highly entertaining, and very realistic – who among us hasn’t known someone with equal talents?

At any rate, Flotsam or Jetsam was a wonderful introduction to Port Naain and the world Tallis and his lovely wife Shena inhabit.  It’s also a heck of a lot of fun to read; I’d have had it finished in an afternoon, except that my kids seemed to think I should feed them.  It’s short enough to read in one sitting, but long enough to feel like a complete story, and it’s a good thing there are more stories to come from Port Naain and the colorful characters who inhabit that city because I’d love to pay the place another visit.

Check out Flotsam or Jetsam; it’s a wonderful story.  You won’t want to miss it.

(c) 2015.  All rights reserved.

Photo 365 #362

It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a monarch butterfly, but I found one in our yard Saturday afternoon.  Unfortunately, it had fallen victim to the lawnmower (or possibly the heat – Saturday was pretty darn warm).

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Seymour was lucky enough to see it alive Saturday morning, and I saw another one later in the afternoon.  I remember seeing tons of these guys as a kid, and their caterpillars, too, but there was a lot more milkweed around back then.

It’s a shame there aren’t more of these around for my kids to enjoy the way I did.

(c) 2015.  All rights reserved.

Lambent Dreams: A Review

Lambent Dreams Cover5As promised, my review of Lambent Dreams.  What’s it about?  Poetry.  Plain and simple:

The Poetry of Tallis Steelyard. This appropriately slim volume is the fruit of a unique artistic collaboration, bringing together the writings of one of Port Naain’s most major minor poet with the personal commentary of an esteemed cartographer and traveller, and the guiding notes of an informed poet-critic. You cannot say you have not been warned.

The poetry in this book is endlessly fascinating.  I read the whole volume in the course of a morning, punctuated by short bursts of doing my day job, and I can’t wait to go back and read them over more closely to see if I can find some deeper meaning.  (If, of course, there is any deeper meaning.  Sometimes a poem is just a poem.)

My favorite bit is behind this cut!

Photo 365 #361

The apples have once more begun to fall, which meant we spent a good chunk of Saturday morning picking them up so Seymour could mow lawn.

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While we worked, Princess Opal and her kin slept in the yard.  Doesn’t Buddy look comfy under the tree?  So kind of them to help us out. 😀

(c) 2015.  All rights reserved.

Review time!

spindle-2000Joining Authonomy was my first step into the wider writing community. I know I’ve raved about the site before, but it really was a fantastic place at the time I was there. (Well, at the time I was active, anyway – I’m still actually there, but I haven’t logged in in ages.) Anyway, as a result of getting to know so many other authors, I’ve been introduced to some truly wonderful friends and some truly magical books.

Spindle, the first book in the Two Monarchies series, is one such book:

Photo 365 #360

Shadow: “Opal!  You’re back!  Welcome home!”

Opal: “Why thank you, Mr. Regal.  It’s good to be back.”

Shadow: “Yeah, yeah, yeah – of course you are.  Now, enough small talk – let me sniff your butt.”

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Opal: *rolls eyes* “Males.  Ugh.”

I guess some things will never change. 🙂

(c) 2015.  All rights reserved.

Photo 365 #359

After a week away, Miss Opal has returned.  We thought she’d been eaten by a coyote, so last night, Seymour set out a live trap.

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Imagine his surprise when he checked it this morning and found Opal inside.

I haven’t seen her this lovey in…well, ever, actually.  But it’s good to have her home. 🙂

(c) 2015.  All rights reserved.

On books and writing with W.R. Gingell

wrgWith me today is W.R. Gingell, author of the fabulously entertaining Spindle.  Read on to find out more about the author, and then stay tuned because tomorrow I’ll be reviewing the book!

KK: Hi there, W.R.!  Please – tell us about yourself.

WRG: I’m a Christian, a Tasmanian, and a lover of anything to do with bacon. I have a rather hobbitish Hubby (and the photos from Hobbiton to prove it!) and one lovely little dog who knows it’s a lost cause to beg food from me but still tries anyway.

I love jigsaw puzzles and knitting, and though I love my violin I do NOT practice as I ought to practice.

The word most often used to describe me when I was growing up was ‘dreamer’, though with my parents, the phrase ‘off with the fairies’ was probably more often used.

KK: I’m the exact same way with my flute.  I love it, but it spends most of its time lying lonely and sad in a cupboard. *sigh*

Anyway…Tell us about Spindle!  What’s it all about?