Saturday Review – So little and So light

so little

I had forgotten the joys of short stories, until I read this collection by Sarah A. Hoyt.

Since I write a lot of novels, I read a lot of novels. I also write shorter works, so I can really appreciate the craft that went into this collection.

My favorite story in this collection is “Neptune’s Orphans.” It haunted me when I first read it a few years back. It haunts me today. It starts with a group of bioengineered children being destroyed after the treaty is signed. Three get away, but not without cost.

Each of these stories give you a taste of Hoyt’s worlds.

I recommend it very much.

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What is the Present?

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I have always been a future-oriented person. I make goals.

I do know that a lot of my anxiety comes from when I make a misstep or when I can’t reach those goals.

Also when I was making most of those goals, I was in my teens and early twenties. I thought I’d be dead before I reached fifty.

Well I almost reached that one at 41. But because I had this feeling that I wouldn’t last the long term, I had always had this feeling that I needed to pack as much life into my remaining minutes and seconds as possible.

I did get a new lease on life at 41. It wasn’t the life I had before because I didn’t have the energy to really live. What the disease did to me was to take away my future. I had a future planned out where my late-hubby and I would buy an RV and spend the last of our days driving through each of the continental US States.

Up to 41, I had been able to make a goal and accomplish it. I even earned my degree at forty. Life couldn’t be better.

It is a hard switch to go from no future to staying in the present. It is still one of the hardest things I have ever done was to realize that all of my minutes and seconds are numbered. My future is filled with cancer and dialysis. If I think of the horror show ahead, I will falter. I can’t.

I have been lucky. I have a fellow traveler in my quest for the present. My sweet Foxy doesn’t live in the future and doesn’t dwell in the past. She is here and now. When we walk, we feel the breeze and the sun’s rays.

She wags her tail the entire time we are walking. Her joy fills me with happiness. She is my mentor in this new path I travel.

We spend so much time

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We spend so much time waiting.

These last two days I spent a lot of my time, energy, and brain power waiting to pick up my medications at the Walmart pharmacy.

Yesterday a woman with huge thighs and butt that jiggled under a tight pair of jeggings let her two sons rifle through a bin filled with bandages.

As the line slowly creeped and the time ticked away, I tried to distract my mind from the time, from my next appointment, from anything that would turn me into a whirling Tasmanian devil. I managed barely. I even managed to be polite when I found out that my wait was in vain.

Yesterday, I was angry. Today, well, I wonder why we spend so much time waiting and in this case, waiting for no result. I suppose I could have tried to cut the line, but that woman in front of me had the shoulders of a linebacker. She was even able to get all of the objects out of her boys’ hands with a cellphone tight to her ear as she was talking into the phone and to the pharmacy tech.

I tell myself that it is all good. I can practice my descriptive skills and maybe in one of my next stories, I could make the pharmacy tech a villain. Although she was less a villain and more an overworked and underpaid woman that just wanted to have a lunch break.

I suppose in this country we wait because we have that inner need for fairness and justice. We believe that the line is for all. No one gets to cut. At least not until you become sick in the middle of the store in some way.

I’ve been in Panama where you thought you were in line and find that you are being pushed away from the counter by the mob instead of getting your turn. I learned there to use my elbows and muscle my way in. I even got a hamburger and a Coke.

But this malaise of lines goes deeper for me. I have been in so many lines the past two weeks that I want to bang my head against the wall, causing brain damage of course, so I won’t have to do it again. There is a particular type of torture with lines.

 

Tuesday Snippet – Hero of Corsindor – Chapter 3c

Hero of Corsindor 2018-2Hero of Corsindor – Chapter 3c

With this resolution foremost in his mind, he put the reins on the saddle horn, leaving the horse to wander. It was on as tight a leash as he was so he wasn’t worried that it would go the wrong direction. The hours he sat in the saddle, while his butt and thighs rubbed and ached, he tried to come up with an escape plan.

Every day he would reach a clearing with a note pinned to a tree. Every day he would have this compulsion to finish each task completely. Each night at sundown Rhali would appear, demand food, and then tie Silas to a tree. Then Rhali would disappear into the forest.

Each morning Silas broke the ropes, read the morning note, break camp and continue to Hunter’s Quarry. Every day Silas tried to find wiggle room around the instructions on the notes. Sometimes he would have a little time to scout the clearing before Silas appeared. Most of the time, he would lose himself in the tasks and wouldn’t remember completing the list.

Every day his will became weaker. He began to despair. Unless he could untie his soul from this demon, there was no hope for him.

Then one day he woke up with a rabbit’s heart clenched in his hand. The blood seeped through his fingers and there was blood smeared across his face. He woke up from the trance.

Across from him was a rock pile, probably the quarry that was his destination. The mule and horse were gone. He wasn’t sure what happened to them. He searched his mind. His heart beat faster and he sat in the dirt. He couldn’t remember.

He scrubbed the blood off with dirt then dragged himself to a small well. He pulled a bucket of water up, then washed his hands and face. Silas began to remember his name.

He didn’t know how long he had been here. He dry-heaved when he remembered the sacrifice part. There was a note waiting for him, but he didn’t look. He walked towards the rock pile. Some of the stones were cut precisely. Someone at sometime had used this quarry.

Before Rhali appeared, Silas read the note. He didn’t want the demon to know that he could break the spell, even for only a moment.

 

I’ve been thinking

File Oct 09, 7 05 03 AM It’s always dangerous when my brain gears start clicking. I never know if what I come up with is good quality or not. Besides I’ve learned the term “GIGO” the hard way. Those who are not computer geeks, GIGO means garbage in garbage out.

I want to point out that after a long illness with medications that would curl your hair or make you lose it, I know that the brain is an organic computer.

When I say the meds do a number on my head, I mean that my logic chains get broken easily. The glitches get greater and greater until I am in a strange land of Cyn– which is filled with sharks and other water creatures. I don’t know why my brain conjures waterscapes when I am in the danger zone, but it does.

Can you imagine. I am swimming in deep waters, watching brightly colored fish and dolphins playing when “cue Jaws theme song” a huge water creature with sharp teeth  heads straight for me. The last time I was in deep waters, I saw an eye and then the beak of a huge turtle. I wondered if I had found Terry Pratchett’s turtle that swims in deep space.

Nevertheless I am marginally sane. I have a certificate to prove it. At least my last therapist was certain that sanity wise, I didn’t have anything to worry about. I do worry about certain things– my health, my dog, and promotion.

Yep I am a damn bad promoter. I had heard from a source that taking out ads on FB or other sites would up my exposure. Either I am really bad at writing ad copy or I am really bad at promoting because I saw “no sales.” I’ve tried other things which have just made me anxious.

When I am anxious, I don’t write. A sad truth.

fire2018 So today I am promoting a friend’s work instead.

I read the first book of Sam Schall’s (Amanda S. Green) a couple of years ago. The first book is about a warrior woman in jail for a crime she didn’t commit. This is the fourth book in the series. I would suggest reading the first book if you want to get the full emotional impact.

Schall’s writing is clear, descriptive, and the kind of story that grabs you and won’t let you go. It is in the sci-fi genre and probably more mil sci-fi in my humble opinion. I’ve read and enjoyed her work a lot.

So here is my two cents.

I’m back to writing on Hero of Corsindor. I want it to be finished and in the hands of my reader by the end of September.

Good reading.

Vignettes by Luke, Mary Catelli and ‘Nother Mike and Book Promo

According To Hoyt

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*Note these are books sent to us by readers/frequenters of this blog.  Our bringing them to your attention does not imply that we’ve read them and/or endorse them, unless we specifically say so.  As with all such purchases, we recommend you download a sample and make sure it’s to your taste.  If you wish to send us books for next week’s promo, please email to at outlook dot com.  One book per author per week. Amazon links only.-SAH*

FROM BLAKE SMITH:  In Pursuit of Justice:A Novel of The Garia Cycle.

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Garia and the East Morlans have been on increasingly rocky terms for years, and when Téo and Zara ran away together, they touched off the powder keg of war between their kingdoms. Now they have to fight for their lives while learning to live in a foreign land.
In the Morlans, Hanri and Alia are facing their own sets…

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