I received this book and read it in one sitting. It is staggering in its beauty and message. Robbie Cheadle has crafted an excellent book, filled with syllabic poetry, commentary, and a short story. Taken as a whole, this text is an important lesson on the impact of humanity on the wildlife of Southern Africa and, by extension, the rest of the world.
“Lion Scream”, the title of the book and one of the poems within, is my favorite. It is short but deeply impactful. Cheadle shows her talent with words as she creates this poem, and then many others in a fascinating form called the Double Enead, which has 99 syllables.
Cheadle’s book is a masterpiece! I do not use these words lightly or easily, but this book moved me emotionally and intellectually. I was shaken and in tears while I read it. As a man of my age and generation, I am not given to crying easily, but Cheadle’s words staggered me with their power, their beauty, and their message.
I recommend it to anyone who loves poetry, cares about global climate change, animals, and the craft of using words to create messages.
This book is a must read! I encourage everyone to get it as soon as possible. I hope the world soon learns of this extraordinary, beautiful, and excellent work.
I have spent the majority of my time on this blog writing about writing, so I thought I would address the most fundamental and most important part of this experience with books: reading.
I have been reading my entire life; in fact, I cannot remember a time when I did not read. And reading has informed my life in many ways, not only in terms of career but also in the joys of life itself.
I read books, I teach them, and I write about them, but mostly, I enjoy them. I remember my mother telling me when I was very little that you can go many places that you might not ever have a chance to visit, real and made up, if you read. And I have visited and continue to journey to real and fantastic lands.
I am not a reading snob. While I teach college English Literature, I read in a very wide range, from adventure and horror to drama and so-called high literature, although I am not so certain that this distinction is accurate. Both Shakespeare and Dickens were considered popular writers in their time. Hemingway straddled the mythical fence of literature and genre writing. Today, I happily read authors in a multitude of genres, including Stephen King and John Connolly, among many others. So, I read whatever I choose, in any area. And I get great pleasure from the reading.
I am currently reading, as I usually do, several books, including A World of Curiosities by Louise Penny, Twilight Of The Gods by Ian W. Toll, and Will in the World: How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare by Stephen Greenblatt.
Please enjoy these wonderful photographs from Cindy Knoke!
Doesn’t appreciate the prickly bird guard. But herons, are not deterred, by thorns. They dance on them! Other critters, will shy away, but herons are here to stay! Cheers to you from the thorn dancing egrets~ Note: Snowy Egrets are members of the Heron family.
“Having the freedom to read and the freedom to choose is one of the best gifts my parents ever gave me.”
( By Moritz Daniel Oppenheim)
“Where they have burned books, they will end in burning human beings.”
“In our current political climate, in which some politicians openly state their plans to ban books, it is time for those of us who love books and who honor and cherish the freedom to choose our reading, to oppose their censorship. Let our voices be heard. Stand up against censorship. Always remember that book banning is the act of a tyrant or someone who would be a tyrant.”
I am thrilled to share that my short story “Henrietta’s Saving Grace” has won the 2022 Ben Nyberg contest sponsored by Choeofpleirn Press. The story was inspired one of my great-great aunts from Nova Scotia, who went by the nickname “Jen.”
I’d known early on from my mother that Aunt Jen had been a practical nurse and a closet drinker. In the final years of my mother’s life, she shared a few more choice tidbits about Aunt Jen’s life that were too good not to build a story around.
With apologies and all due respect to the late Aunt Jen, Henrietta was born, bringing her saving grace along with her.
The Inevitable Rejections
I sent the story out four times before it was accepted for publication by Coneflower Cafe, and the…
We are making our way towards the end of winter, and I thought it would be a good time to share what you have been writing and what you have written. I want once again to offer an opportunity for all writers who follow this blog to share information on their books. It can be very difficult to generate publicity for our writing, so I thought this little effort might help. All books may be mentioned, and there is no restriction on genre. This includes poetry and non-fiction.
To participate, simply give your name, your book, information about it, and where to purchase it in the comments section. Then please be willing to reblog and/or tweet this post. The more people that see it, the more publicity we can generate for everyone’s books.
Magic is the transmutation of objects or the manipulation of the world in ways that move outside the realm of science. Whether or not magic is real in the sense of the here and now world is not the point; magic is a metaphor for fiction. Stephen King says, “books are a uniquely portable magic” (104). This magic is in the words, in their transmitting from the writer to the reader other worlds and ideas. In writing fiction, writers create a world that was not there; even so-called realistic, literary writers create an alternate world that readers inhabit when they read the book. The writers and the readers, in a mystical incantation, create another reality, one that can be so strong sometimes that readers can be moved to tears or laughter or sadness or joy or grief or sorrow or despair or hope. Readers come to care about the characters and feel empathy as if they were real.
That is a kind of magic.
Neil Gaiman, in his introduction to Ray Bradbury’s 60th Anniversary Edition Fahrenheit 451, speaks to the power of the written word and stories: “Ideas—written ideas—are special. They are the way we our stories and our thoughts from one generation to the next. If we lose them, we lose our shared history. We lose much of what makes us human. And fiction gives us empathy: it puts us inside the minds of other people, gives us the gift of seeing the world through their eyes. Fiction is a lie that tells us true things, over and over” (xvi). It is through the creation of artificial worlds, no matter how speculative or fantastic, that we experience our world in more intensity and with deeper clarity. This act of magic is what we share as writers and readers. I am honored to be a mere apprentice in the magic of writing novels.
Gaiman, Neil. “Introduction.” Ray Bradbury. 60th Anniversary Edition Fahrenheit 451. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2013.
King, Stephen. On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft. New York: Scribner, 2000.
This is perhaps the least specific blog you will find. A variety of DIY projects, book reviews, health tips, yoga poses, fashion ideas, recipes or something altogether different depending on my current mood. I've never been pigeon-holed into one category so neither is my blog. Strap in and enjoy the ride!