01 June 2009

SUMMER WINE

I walked in town on silver spurs that jingled too a song I sang to just a few...
~Lee Hazelwood.

I can’t help it. Since hearing this beautifully haunting song performed by Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazelwood on youtube (never mind that I heard this song in 1967, and in this clip the camera angle makes Nancy’s head appear to be on backwards) Summer Wine has incessantly ran through my mind for the past several days now. And even though it was produced way back in the pre stone age era of my youth, it’s still simply amazing.



It so deserves a short story, and I’m currently working on it. After all, who wouldn’t want to help Lee Hazelwood pass some time? Especially with a beautiful exotic woman an entire small western town is terrified of?

But as usual I digress.

Right now I’m thinking about summer wine. Not the kind you find in bottles, or causes silver spurs to get the infamous five finger discount. Instead I’m thinking about writing, books, and spending lots more time outside.

But first, the writing.

Everything stalled out after my return trip from the NETWO Writer’s Conference back in April. I’ll be blogging about that on my own site in the coming days when things slow down enough so I can. And I’ll be blogging about Author, Author too. I'm very excited about attending.

After the NETWO awesomeness came floods and bronchitis and me curled up in a recliner with my writing suffering as well as my swollen and badly infected lungs. While this was happening, my husband watched from our front porch as the rains came down hard, fast and continuous. The neighbor’s workshop wasn’t anchored down and was dangerously close to floating off.

The Red River as well as the Sulfur River climbed out of their banks and sprawled across low lying areas, washing out county roads and bridges. My husband and I contemplated where we’d flee to with two dogs and three cats in tow, and how we’d do it unless someone came for us in a flat bottomed boat, and whether the Haven Foundation could help us out if the house went under. Fortunately divine providence put an end to the rain, the house was safe, and we dried out before we all came down with a case of webbed feet.

Afterwards came the inevitable heat and humidity. And mosquitoes. Wildlife that usually keeps to itself in the dense pine forests and bayous behind our house started coming into town. I spoke to the local game warden who warned us of a bobcat running the neighborhood. Coyotes the size of greyhound buses were spotted near downtown. A few days later I saw a possum that weighed a good twenty pounds strutting across my yard. He saw me, paused long enough to give me the proverbial finger, and then went down to the swollen drainage ditches looking for lunch.

Oh that summer wine…

I got better, returned to my computer and resumed writing. As usual I have several projects going. Some are writing contests, and short stories, others are essays and blogs that have been back logged due to illness, flood and on occasional bouts of downright laziness

Of course there is the novel. A novel I promised the editor at Tor that I’d have ready by the end of the month, meaning May. But no, it didn’t’ quite happen. And even now that it’s sunny and I’m back at the cockpit of my imagination (i.e. the computer) the story doesn’t want to gel. Partly because I’m trying too hard and partly because I want to get out into the bright sunshine and start transplanting cannas that have overgrown their bed.

Oh woah, summer wine…

As I mentioned previously, I have a book signing scheduled in two weeks. I’ll be in Shreveport, Louisiana at the Author, Author Book festival. And if all goes well there’ll be another book signing scheduled with Books a Million in Texarkana. That is if we can get Books to cooperate. I had no idea that a friendly neighborhood booksigning would become Herculean feat.

The hold up? Books a Million uses a different distributor than Samhain and Mercer's has to be approved by Book’s distributor before they’ll ship it. The weird part is that they’ve got Mercer’s Bayou online but won’t just order them online. Huh? God I don’t know. WhenI asked I got a response that made me feel as woozy as I did the first time I attempted to work an algebra problem.

It’ll work out. I’m sure of it. It’s just gonna mean I’ll have to pass some time, and not in a happy-kinky-fun way Lee and Nancy was referring to either.

That summer wine…

And in the meantime, there are books. Not mine, of course, but there are some that I read as a summertime tradition, like Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, and Stephen King’s Hearts in Atlantis which needs no critique, but others as well. Here’s a sample of my summer reading schedule. I don’t have any Samhain books listed because I’m not sure what I want yet. I’ll let you know soon tho.

Rebecca Wells, Ya Ya’s In Bloom.
I fell in love with the Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood and Little Altars Everywhere, and wanted to read the Ya Ya’s in Bloom but couldn’t afford a copy. So imagine my delight when I found it at the local library a few days ago. Southern awesomeness at it’s best.

Footprints in the Snow by Master Sheng Yen. I read this book initially because it was a review book, but became enamored of it. In this simply beautiful autobiography, Master Sheng talks about his life in China and then in Taiwan after fleeing Mao’s army. You don’t have to be Buddhist to appreciate this wonderful poignant story.

The Stand by Stephen King Yeah , yeah I read this last year but it was such a good read I think I’ll revisit the Boulder Free Zone again. It seems especially relevant since the H1N1 virus is out.

The Tower by Sarah Pinsborough. She’s a Leisure writer, and a horror author from Briton and an all around cool lady. I’ve done reviews of her books and her work simply blows me away. I can’t wait to read it.

Well that’ll do it for now. Enjoy your summer wine. And keep a lookout for those silver spurs. Lee, I’m sure, wants them back.
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