Per Point Reyes Books & Bookstore Visits & Poets & Writers

On a weekend holiday we stopped into a favorite bookstore, Point Reyes Books. The store is both a great resource of new and used materials and a great community resource for literary and cultural events. Depending on the state of my own writing life, however, visiting even the finest of bookstores can have an inspiring or despairing effect: either I feel that maybe not soon but eventually my book will be here among the stacks, and my reading on the schedule, or I feel that the distance between my work and that of those writers snugly ensconsed on the shelves is great, too too great to travel. On Sunday though, I felt the former and as I spoke briefly to the owner felt strangely sure that we would recall this meeting with pleasure as we were discussing my newly published novel. It was such a strong feeling, I wondered at it. Then I came home and got to work.

While at the store I also picked up the latest issue of Poets and Writers magazine, which is also inspiring, as it lists both recent winners of various contests and prizes, and contests coming up that are open to all. Also interesting are the listings of magazines and anthologies requesting submissions.

Happy reading and writing.


Winner of Sister to the Serious Octopus Contest!

Congratulations to SzélsőFa, the winner of the contest!! True inventive writing here, which was required for such a screwy phrase. This writer's blog can be found at coppermoonproject.blogspot.com. Here is the winning entry:


The afternoon sun peeked inside. It illuminated the table, where our future dinner was rested.

The knife has been sharpened just today and the blade was shining. Cuts fell easily on the board. One after another, soon there was a small pile of chunks, waiting to be gathered into a bowl. Piles after another, the bowl was filling. Finished.

The oil was slowly warming up. The chopped green paprika slices began sizzling. The distinct smell of sautéed pepper gave away it was time for the meat to enter the fat. Whoooops, in you go! The oil fizzled.

Every now and then, scattered voices of children reached the kitchen throughout the open French window. Giggles, some shouting, and the inevitable stamping of feet on the pavement. The curtain was moving with the wind. A small bush was shaking for a moment as someone passed it by hurriedly. Chuckles and excited murmurs again.

The watch on the wall disclosed the passing of time. Man, has summer gone away already! Ten minutes to six. All right, I have another forty minutes to go. That will do.

‘Hey Leah, it was really nice of you to invite us! Say farewell to the summer – Great idea.’ Ally entered the kitchen. Her straw sandals slipped softly on the stone. ‘So, how’re you doing with this very special something?’
Fine, I am. I have just watched a show on seafood the other day.
‘How’ bout the kids?’
They did not believe it. It is so rare that we get to eat fish or something like that. And an octopus….They thought I was joking. I had to tell them Mommy was being serious.
‘I guess Timmy knows what that is…But how about Karen?’
She did not seem to like the idea of eating one in the first place. She has this little puppet of hers, you know.
‘The one she takes sometimes to kindergarten?’

The stew needed some stirring. The fragrance came up in small puffs from behind the lid.
Ally moaned: ‘Wow, I love that smell. I often keep smelling food while…’

The voices now became intolerable. A combination of cries and laughter. Who do they tease again? ‘Momma! Momma!’ – Karen’s weakened voice came closer and closer and finally she was all in, sobbing, her face dirty with streaks of sand mixed with salty teardrops.
‘Momma, Dave’s saying we have Octi for dinner. It ain’t so, is it, Mommy?’
Dear baby, of course not. Octi is sitting on your bed – go and check if you please.
‘No Momma, they say we eat Octi all right.’
Karen, your Octi is unharmed. Want Mommy to get him for you? This one’s here’s another one. An animal that was once alive but now is not. It’s meat.
She was now crying and her words were hardly clear.
‘You told me this is a serious octopus and I am sister to the serious octopus. I can’t….We just can’t let…. us eat…. my brother.’


Eek a month

I'm here, I'm here, and thanks to you few souls who stil hopefully stop by this spot to check its content. My writing has been as poorly attended to as this site, and as one is about the other, well...No. No excuses. I have a contest winner to announce!! I have readers to entertain. All is well, and stay tuned, if anyone's out there at all, after nearly a month of cybersilence.