THIS BLOG IS NO LONGER OPERATIONAL. PLEASE ENJOY WHAT IS HERE, AND DO LEAVE A COMMENT IF YOU WISH. NORTH CAROLINA'S NEW POET LAUREATE IS CATHY SMITH BOWERS. SHE WILL SOON HAVE HER OWN WEBSITE THROUGH THE NORTH CAROLINA ARTS COUNCIL SITE. I WILL BE SHIFTING MY ATTENTION TO HERE, WHERE I AM, (SEE SIDEBAR)USING IT TO DRAW ATTENTION TO WRITERS WHOSE WORK DESERVES ATTENTION. I INVITE YOU TO VISIT ME THERE. For a video of the installation ceremony, please go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0xAk6fOzaNE.
Go to http://www.yourdailypoem.com/, managed with finesse by Jayne Jaudon Ferrer, who says, "Our intent is to make visitors to Your Daily Poem aware of the joy and diversity of poetry."
Sunday, December 7, 2008
In a Dark Season, by Vicki Lane
I met Vicki Lane at a women's writers retreat last May at Lake Logan, sponsored by Western North Carolina Woman magazine. She told me about her blog and encouraged me to try my own. I'd not read her work then, but I grabbed all her novels when she came to read and talk at City Lights Bookstore later in the summer. I spent nearly all of one stormy afternoon reading IN A DARK SEASON. I couldn't put it down. (The thunder and lightning made a grand accompaniment!) I don't think any reader would be able to put this book down. All of her other novels turned out to have the same effect on me--mesmerizing. They'd make great stocking stuffers, by the way!
Here is a brief excerpt from Vicki's novel.
from Chapter 1 ~ The Palimpsest
Friday, December 1
The madwoman whispered into the blue shadows of a wintry afternoon. Icy wind caught at her hair, loosing it to whip her cheeks and sting her half-closed eyes. Pushing aside the long black strands, she peered through the fragile railing of the upper porch. Below, the fieldstone walkway with its humped border of snow-hooded dark boxwoods curled about the house. Beyond the walkway the land sloped away, down to the railroad tracks and the gray river where icy foam spattered on black rocks and a perpetual roar filled the air.
Her hand clutching the flimsy balustrade, the madwoman began to pull herself to her feet, keeping her gaze fixed on the stony path far below. Behind her a door rattled on its rusty hinges and slammed, only to creak open again.
She paused, aware of the loom of the house around her – feeling it waiting, crouching there on its ledge above the swift-flowing river. The brown skeletons of the kudzu that draped the walls and chimneys rustled in a dry undertone, the once-lush vines diminished to delicate netting that meshed the peeling clapboards and spider-webbed the cracked and cloudy windowpanes. From every side, in small mutterings and rustlings, the old house spoke.
None escape. None.
Now, go to vickilanemysteries.com and you will find more excerpts, recipes, photos, and a link to her wonderful blog (vickilanemysteries.blogspot.com). I go to this blog everyday to find out what's happening on Vicki's farm and in her life. The photos are gorgeous and the commentary always enticing.
I've lived in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina since 1968, though I'm a native of SW Georgia. My paternal grandmother was born in the Blue Ridge, and I grew up wanting to live here. Where I am.
I've published five collections of poetry, the most recent 4 being with LSU Press, and have published poetry in magazines ranging from The Atlantic Monthly to Appalachian Heritage. But I also hike, bang pots and pans around in my kitchen, and love several dogs who leave fur all over my carpets. I write poetry because it's my way of singing back to the world both within and without.