You provide a valuable service, and I wanted to express my gratitude for getting to be part of it.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Outlander has grabbed me. But so has David Joy's book, Where All Light Tends to Go/

I am always behind in reading the latest or watching the latest on TV, but a few weeks ago my friend, Carroll Taylor, told me about the book and TV series Outlander, and then she went to Scotland and showed me the photos she took.
I found the series on Netflix and decided to watch it. I had no idea the books had been around so long, and that I really knew nothing about them. But the series has grabbed me as it does anyone who watches it. The characters are interesting, flawed and beautiful, the costumes in this show are absolutely wonderful, and the acting is fabulous. As the author says, it is not a romance, although there is a romance in it, but it is large and historical and about people, their faults, their feelings, their growth and death.

I began watching two or three episodes each night and finished the first two seasons in a couple of weeks. I was disappointed that there were only two seasons, but have learned it will be picked up by Amazon Prime for the next season or two. I know it was first shown on Starz, but I don't subscribe to that.

I never knew much about the Scottish Highlanders, the clans, etc. but once I watched this show, I found myself researching clans, looking to see if any of my lineage came from those people. They were a violent bunch, always fighting among themselves, but make great characters for historical fiction.

Tonight I downloaded the first book from Audible. I want to see how the book and the television show differs. One of the actors says the book is all written from the point of view of the main character, Claire, but the series shows Jamie's point of view as well as Claire's. I like that.

I also listened to a book this week by David Joy, who lives in a neighboring county. He is an excellent writer and is highly acclaimed in the literary world although he has only published a few novels. Where All Light Tends To Go, is his first book. It, too, is violent and I don't like violence, but some of the characters are very dark. I found that I had such compassion for the young man who was the narrator. He was caught in a world where he could not get out and he knew it. The language was XX rated, but fit the life style of these people, who, I'm sure really spoke that way. David Joy has a way with words. Some of his prose sounds like poetry, similar to the writing of Ron Rash.

As you can tell, I have been enjoying Audible and Netflix. I am not watching news shows, nothing that will make me anxious or concerned. And, I am sleeping better. That is unless I stay up too late watching TV.

Hope your week has been good and that next week will be great. What are you reading or watching instead of News?


Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Kathryn S. Byer's last book is published

I am delighted to see that Jacar Press has published the final poetry book by my friend, poet, Kathryn Stripling Byer, who is missed by so many of us who loved her and her work.

Although Kathryn and I grew up about thirty miles from each other and both lived on farms in south Georgia, we didn't meet until I moved to the mountains of North Carolina where we both had found our home. She still lived some miles away but writing brought us together. I never met a more encouraging and helpful writer. She gave of herself, her time and cared about the poets and writers she knew. 

On Saturday, June 8, 6:30 PM, I plan to be at City Lights Bookstore in Sylva, NC.

The publisher of Jacar Press wrote this:

It is with great joy and sorrow that Jacar Press announces the posthumous publication of Kathryn Stripling Byer's Trawling the Silences. The book should be available late May, and City Lights Bookstore in Sylva will host an opening reading on Saturday, June 8, at 6:30. Please join us if you can.

Jacar Press will be donating proceeds from sales to a cause Kay valued. We are in the process of narrowing that down and will have a decision on that soon.

When she died suddenly from lymphoma in June 2017, Kathryn Stripling Byer had just completed her 7th, and what would be her last, collection of poetry, Trawling the Silences. It is a book of great beauty and heartbreak, revisiting all her important themes - family and ancestry, the natural world, the inevitable process of aging and death, and the pressing issues of environmental degradation, racism, and international conflict - with an urgency that seems, in retrospect, to have come from an awareness about what fate awaited her. Kay loved the craft of poetry and the expressive possibilities of intricate poetic structures. She wrote free verse, metrical verse, syllabic verse, and used forms as diverse as the sestina and the ghazal. Though often dense with meaning and allusion, her work remains accessible to any careful reader.

During her writing career Kathryn Stripling Byer received many honors and awards, including the Lamont prize for her second book, Wildwood Flower, the North Carolina Governor’s Award for Literature, in 2001, and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the North Carolina Arts Council. She was the first woman to be selected as the North Carolina Poet Laureate, and served from 2005 to 2009. In 2012 she was inducted into the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame.

Monday, June 3, 2019

Reblogging a post from Netwest Writers - Good advice for writers

I have been subscribing to C. Hope Clark's Funds for Writers newsletter for decades and find her advice for writers to be the best online. I never tire of reading what she has to say and she provides lots of places to submit.

Saturday, May 25, 2019