Trees? Yes, trees!

With me today is another new author, Sam Smith.  His debut novel, Trees, releases on October 31 from Safkhet Publishing.  Take it away, Sam!

My thanks to Kay Kauffman for asking me to guest on her blog.

Although I’ve done many things sub-literary in my writing life – organised poetry festivals and book fairs, run a small press, Original Plus, and for nearly 20 years now the poetry magazine The Journal (once ‘of Contemporary Anglo-Scandinavian Poetry’); and although I’ve had many publishers of my work, 2 of which went disastrously bust while I was working as editor for them, Safkhet Publishing is the first that has suggested that I be a guest blogger.

treesThe novel by the way is Trees and Safkhet are based in Germany.

I’m based in the UK on the Cumbrian coast. Maryport describes itself as ‘By the sea near the Lakes.’ Not wholly sure
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Interview time!

Today I have with me Robert Eggleton, author of Rarity from the Hollow, here to tell us about himself and his work.

KK: So, Robert, tell us about yourself.

roberteggletonRE: I would love to tell your readers rags to riches story, Kay, but the best I can do is a rags to almost middle income story. In 1951, I was born into an impoverished family in West Virginia. I started paying into the U. S. Social Security fund at age twelve and dreamed of a brighter future for my family.

In the 8th grade, I won the school’s short story contest. “God Sent” was about a semi truck driver so consumed with theological debate that he caused a terrible accident. As it often does, life got in the way of my dream of becoming a writer. Except for a poem published in the state’s student anthology and another poem published in a local alternative newspaper, my creative juices were spent writing handouts for civil rights and anti-war activities.

After earning an MSW in 1977, children’s rights and protection became my cause. I focused on children’s advocacy for the next forty years. In 2002, I started a job as a psychotherapist at the local mental health center, and five months ago, I retired from my job so that I could write and promote fiction. It wasn’t a clean escape though. I had to make a deal with my conscience. Author proceeds have been donated to a child abuse prevention program.

KK: And Rarity from the HollowWhat’s it all about?

I feel lucky

dandyAll kids drive their parents crazy, some more than others. Take Thumper, for instance. He’s my baby, the youngest of my four children, and the reason I can’t have nice things. He’s the reason I started sprouting gray hair before I hit thirty, the reason I’m sick of my own name, and the probable cause for any alcoholism his daycare teachers may suffer from.

But you know what? He’s perfect. He may be stubborn to a fault and have more energy than any one person should ever have, but he’s also the happiest four-year-old I’ve ever met. He has such a good heart, even when he’s feeling ornery, and he’s so stinkin’ adorable that I can never stay mad at him for long. I am lucky to be his mother.

For the record, I am lucky to be mother (and stepmother) to three other pretty fantastic kids, too. But I feel especially lucky to be Thumper’s mother, because I almost wasn’t, a fact I was reminded of last night.

We’ve been having…

Flying Free

Today I’m sharing my final poem for the Writing 201 challenge. It’s a sonnet on something that brings me much pleasure, though I’m pretty sure I failed at the apostrophe aspect of the challenge. Still, this poem practically wrote itself, which has never happened to me with a sonnet before. 🙂

I do so love breezy fall days.

I do so love breezy fall days.

It’s really quite a beautiful day,
Despite the wind that blows.
It may not be the breath of May,
But at least it isn’t snow.
The wind, of course, blows lots of things,
Not least among them leaves,
Bright orange, red, and golden things
Which chatter as they flee their trees.
Higher and higher do they swirl
As October’s breath lifts them up on high;
Faster and faster do they twirl
As those below them watch and sigh.
Such sweet pleasure watching leaves gives me
That I long to join them in the heavens, flying free.

What about you – do swirling leaves bring a smile to your face? What’s your favorite time of year?

(c) 2015. All rights reserved.

Grudging: Birth of Saints

On Thursday, a brand new novel had a fantastic cover reveal, and I signed up with Rockstar Book Tours to help spread the word.  But Thursday was a rough day, and Friday was no better, and yesterday was just wild.  So today, I’m stealing five minutes to tell you about a new book from Michelle Hauck called Grudging:

GrudgingA world of chivalry and witchcraft…and the invaders who would destroy everything.

The North has invaded, bringing a cruel religion and no mercy. The ciudades-estados who have stood in their way have been razed to nothing, and now the horde is before the gates of Colina Hermosa…demanding blood.

On a mission of desperation, a small group escapes the besieged city in search of the one thing that might stem the tide of Northerners: the witches of the southern swamps.

The Women of the Song.

But when tragedy strikes their negotiations, all that is left is a…

Cold Concrete

The challenge for Day 9 of Writing 201 was to write a concrete poem related to cold and using anaphora and/or epistrophe.  Concrete is cold, so I decided to write a prose poem shaped like a concrete block.  On second thought, though, perhaps I should have titled the poem “It’s…” instead of “Cold Concrete”… 🙂

It’s a bitter cold day out there, with the wind blowing and the sun hiding behind the
clouds of gray.  It’s always cold in the winter, and even though it’s not winter yet, it
soon will be and I can’t wait for it to be over with.  It’s no longer sweatshirt weather,
which I love.  It’s gone straight to heavy coat weather, which I detest.  It’s supposed
to be fall still, not winter.  It’s only October.  It’s not even Halloween.  It’s supposed
to be like this in a month or two, not now, not yet, not this early in the year.  It’s not
early in the year, technically, but it’s far too early for this kind of weather.  It’s cold,
like concrete, out there, and I’m not ready to turn on the furnace yet.  It’s too soon.

Is it time to turn on the heat where you live?  Or are you resisting?

(c) 2015.  All rights reserved.

The Sewer Gas Ballad

So today I was supposed to write a ballad about my neighborhood.  I spent all day thinking and plotting and trying to rhyme before finally coming up with this gem:

The lunch bell rang, and 
So I departed,
And that was when
The smell got started.

I emerged from a
Wonderful lunch-time break
To find that the office
Smelled unbelievably rank.

Was the bathroom to blame?
It’s certainly gas…

Your Eyes in the Stars

Today’s poetic challenge was to create a found poem about a face.  The extra challenge?  To use chiasmus, or reversal.  I stretched a bit on the found part (and I suppose on the chiasmus part as well) by using different fonts for each line, and then reversing the order of those fonts for my chiasmus (thought I did reverse the lines a bit as well):

Your Eyes in the Stars

Today’s inspiration was courtesy of the wind gusting hard outside my door and the swirl of leaves that resulted.  I hope you enjoyed it! 🙂

(c) 2015.  All rights reserved.

The City Girl and the Country Boy

An ode to a map proved to be a tougher challenge than I could handle today, but since our poems were also supposed to incorporate metaphor, I chose to share this one.  I wrote it a few weeks ago as a gift for Seymour in honor of our sixth wedding anniversary.  One long metaphor, it depicts six years of  marriage in a few short verses.

This is my favorite engagement picture. Photo by Witt Photography

This is my favorite engagement picture. ❤
Photo by Witt Photography

A city girl and a country boy
Were united this fine day,
And even though six years have passed,
Their love is here to stay.

He is her most cherished friend,
She’s his summer sun,
He’s a rock for her to lean on
When times are less than fun.

She holds him close through winter’s
Long and dreary night;
He keeps her warm and wakes her up
When spring returns so bright.

They’ve had their share of winter
But they’ve also had much fun,
And as the world turns round and round,
Their love runs wild in the sun.

Down city streets or country roads,
She’ll follow where he leads.
He has her heart, he has her soul,
And he is all she’ll ever need.

Have you ever written a poem for a loved one?  Or do you subscribe to the Elizabeth Bennett school of thought, that poetry is only the food of a fine, stout love?

(c) 2015.  All rights reserved.