Welcome Wednesday guests for October:
10/01 Finding Sky author, Susan O'Brien;
10/08 Award-winning Hank Phillippi Ryan (Truth Be Told);
10/15 Indie authors Polly Iyer (Backlash) and Ellis Vidler (Prime Target);
10/22 Murder by the Month author, Jess Lourey;
10/29 Marilyn Levinson, Golden Age of Mystery Book Club Mystery author.

Gloria Alden's latest publication is nonfiction. Boys Will Be Boys: The Joys and Terrors of Raising Boys. Edited by Cher'ley Grogg was recently released and available on Amazon. Gloria wrote three essays and two poems in her chapter included in the book.

Don't miss this month's release of Chesapeake Crimes: Homicidal Holidays on October 7th, in which WWK bloggers Shari Randall ("Disco Donna") and E. B. Davis ("Compromised Circumstances") have short stories.

KM Rockwood's
short stories will appear in two anthologies released in October. They are: "The Lure of the Owl" in Swamp Mansion and Other Dark Stories, to be released as a ebook, and "Aunt Olga and the Werewolf" will be included in the third Creatures, Crimes and Creativity anthology release by Intrigue Publishing. at their conference in October.


Thursday, November 11, 2010


I hope Jim arrived safely in Georgia. Those of us who remain in snow country think the migrators are wimps. You don’t want to risk losing an ear or a finger whenever you step outside into a wind that takes a person’s breath away? You’re not going to drive down icy slopes and try to avoid a pedestrian who’s too cold and disoriented to look before stepping into the road? Where’s your sense of adventure? I wonder why people worry about losing their refrigerators when the electricity goes off. Put your food outside on the porch. If the food isn’t frozen already, it will be soon.
Although convoluted descriptions of place are so outdated, a character’s response to the environment helps bring a story to life. After all, if a species doesn’t adapt, it dies out. (I do hope Polar bears find a new food or a different way of hunting). How well has the protagonist adapted to her present surroundings? How will she cope with a new habitat?
In the spirit of someone who learns to like where she is, I offer two poems.


I love the afternoon shadows of fall.
Long, dark fingers slide over grass
and trees like slivers of time passing.

Sunlight glows more warmly in contrast
brightening the yellows of sunflowers and
black-eyed Susans. Shadows linger
and creep closer to encircle my house.

The sun starts to leave, pink and red
between the slender black trunks of
pines dropping needles on roofs.
I want to reach out and touch the deep
velvet of shadows, shape-shifting and
fleeting. So easy to blend with this light-
time changing and leaving. I could

merge with this moment, be still, and not fight
the stark, cold black and white of nature’s dying.

And, adapted from an Indian folk tale,


Deer chew moss and clover near the river
coyote remarks on their coats and asks the doe
“how do you make your children so attractive?”
she ignores him and takes her kids to a thicket
still needing a reply, he skips around the group
finally she sighs saying that she digs a hole
surrounds it with leaves from the silverberry
kindles the twigs and as they pop
sparks makes colored patches on her kids’ coats

coyote runs home and tells his children to dig
the smallest shiver as he pushes them into the pit
“don’t worry, you’ll soon be pretty”
the fire melts their flesh until it shrinks
their teeth show as though they are smiling
he tips water on the flames and calls his children
pulls an ear of one and the tail of another
the parts come away in his paw
as he kicks the ashes the bodies crumble

coyote springs up and down, rushes to find the doe
not seeing her, he sets light to the shrubbery
the dry bracken and wood creak
he says the deer are crying

I wanted the lines of poetry to be single spaced but no way would the site let me do that. Lines should look like prose or be new paragraphs. That's the rule. In an effort to save space, I cut out two prose paragraphs. Sometimes, you have to compromise.


Warren Bull said...

Who knew you wrote poetry too? I like the poems.

Pauline Alldred said...

Thanks, Warren. I wrote poetry first as a kid but soon learned many people remember classes where they have to analyze poems they don't understand.

James Montgomery Jackson said...

Jim is back in Georgia -- and knows how to get the poem into single spacing (and did.)

While one description of snow-birds are wimps (in both directions since they avoid the ice and snow of winter and the heat and humidity of summer), I prefer to think of us as about as intelligent as birds who have been migrating for thousands of years. Oh wait -- that makes us bird-brains.

Hmmm -- maybe I need to work on my analogies.

~ Jim

E. B. Davis said...

LOL-whatever location suits..., but for me contrasts are great. It would be nice if I could afford to fly to warmth for a week, fly north to enjoy the snow, fly back to keep up my tan, go north to enjoy the holidays...growing wings is a solution, but the only way that will happen is if I'm an angel, and after writing all this murder and mayhem I probably don't qualify for that position.

The poetry of fall is beautiful Pauline. Have a great time at Crimebake. We expect a report when you come home.

Pauline Alldred said...

Thanks for the line readjustment, Jim. We need all the skills we can get to keep our species going. Your technical know-how is outside my comprehension whereas I used to score off the charts in analogy tests.

I agree, Elaine, a home in two climates would be great but homes left unoccupied here in the winter end up as homes for wild life.

I'm looking forward to Crimebake and I'm sure I'll have news to share.