Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Overheard at Table 3: Haiku Inspired by a Girl in the Dentist's Office

Haiku Inspired by a Girl in the Dentist's Office

Pasty white girls with 
teeth like little pearls, laughing
freely in the sun.


Thursday, March 16, 2023

Overheard at Table 3: More Quotes from Idle Hands

Some good quotes from "Idle Hands" by Cassondra Windwalker

These quotes are spoken by the narrative voice of Ella, who is, in fact, the devil.

From the Agora Books publication in 2022

p 26:  You are the only reason anxiety is a concept.  In fact, you could say it's the source of your occasional nobility.

p 27: The beauties of this world are already so terribly brief, and you shorten them even more with your incessant dissatisfaction.  It's a quality neither I nor your Creator much enjoy.

p 85: (about Perdie, the worried mother)  Now that's how I like to see someone.  In my vast experience, the nearer you are to claiming responsibility for someone else's happiness or misery, the closer you are to me.  Whether you admit it or not, every one of you has a God complex.  To be fair, They kind of built it into you.  At any rate, you'd all like to believe you have more control, more influence, than you do.  That your choice, whatever it was, matters so much more than everyone else's.  Which makes you easy to manipulate.  Easy to drive to despair.  And once in despair, you'll clutch at any unexpected lifeboat, however patently unseaworthy the craft.

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Overheard at Table 2: "Idle Hands" by Cassondra Windwalker

 In the tradition of CS Lewis's Screwtape Letters, the Devil is detailing the events of this tale, at many times interjecting herself into the text to direct her observations at you, dear reader, and even placing herself directly into the plot. Of interesting note is that the Devil is female, whereas the Triune God she refers to as "they" - which subtly places "them" not only as plural (or at least non-binary) but puts them outside, afar, distant.

The philosophy espoused by Ella (the Devil) is theologically sound according the tenets of the Christian Faith, and it would be interesting to see if this author uses her again in another book.

This book is a twist on the Faustian tales, but instead of a male Faust selling his soul for worldly riches, we have Perdie (a mother of three) faced with decisions that tears at the hearts of so many mothers. Ella, of course, uses that for a bit of a game, a "what would you do if you could?" false choice, that leads to unexpected consequences.

Not more than that should be given, so as not to give any spoilers. Suffice it to say, this author has a good handle on the tone of the novel. At times, the philosophy may be a bit lengthy; however, the intensity of the story and the decisions that Perdie has to make keep you engaged and engrossed and turning the page.

The characters are flawed, indeed, and we know who to root for and who not to. Matt, the abusive husband, at times comes across as a bit one-dimensional, but Reilly (Perdie's second husband) is a wonderfully refreshing contrast to the stereotype of step-fathers being at best uncaring and at worst, abusive. He is kind, considerate, and makes decisions that true dads and husbands make.

The theme and the events of this book are intense, and the author handles them with grace, but doesn't shy away from the importance of the details (where Ella lives, of course) and the strength of this book is that it never gives you exactly what you expect. We've all read enough "family drama" stories to think, "Oh yeah, this will happen this way" ... but not here. This is truly a surprise, and hopefully that will encourage you to read this book, because yes, this is a book that people should read.

"Refreshing, intelligent, engaging, philosophical" are the terms I would splay over the front cover of any subsequent reprint of this novel.

Written 2023-0515

Posted on 2023-0315 (rough date of when I finished reading the book)

Monday, March 13, 2023

Overheard at Booth 3: "I Kill the Mockingbird" by Paul Acampora

 I enjoyed this book immensely, but in full confession, I read it just after reading Paolo Coehlo's The Pilgrimage, which was so offensive to a true Follower of Christ that anything after that would have been a relief.  This book was a perfect relief and a much-needed bright "lift" after reading something so evil.   Thus, my review should probably be taken in that context.

The story is simple enough: Jr High students start a "reverse psychology" campaign to encourage people to read "To Kill a Mockingbird" by hiding all the copies in the local bookstore.  They have given the illusion that the supply is reduced, thus increasing demand.  They also send out a multi-media effort to pretend that the book has been banned, which also increases interest in the book.

The novel is fleshed out with several subplots, such as the main character dealing with her mother's cancer as well as her burgeoning more-than-Platonic interest in her friend.  

Some harsher critics will (and have) dismissed the book's characters as reading like an adult's dream of how teens should act, and to be fair, yes, it is difficult to imagine a teenager who is a baseball star and whose favorite author is Charles Dickens; however, this is a delightful tale about bibliophiles and it obviously is designed to target the child in all of us who actually enjoy reading and enjoy reading well.  So yes, while it may have been more believable had these kids been reading "The Fault in Our Stars" more than "Fahrenheit 451," that doesn't change the fact that, however, fanciful, these characters are alive and, more importantly, fun.

It's a fun book.  Even with dealing with a cancer diagnosis.  It is about that summer between Jr High and High School, when everything is on the cusp of changing, and the last vestiges of childhood and innocence are going to be left behind.

Sunday, March 12, 2023

Overheard at Table 4: Raw and Unfiltered Honey

Helen: I see you bought "Raw and Unfiltered" honey, so what's the difference between that and regular honey?

Carl: Regular honey just says, "I'm sweeeet!" but Raw and Unfiltered Honey says, "I'm sweet.  And THICK!  and RICH!  You're gonna LUUUUUUUV putting me into your body!" See the difference?

Helen: I do now, yes.

Saturday, March 11, 2023

Overheard at Booth 3: A Few Proverbs for Your Day

"Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted."
- Albert Einstein

"With lies you may go ahead in the world, but you can never go back. "
- Proverb

"Give crayons. Adults are disturbingly impoverished of these magical dream sticks."
- Dr Sun Wolf

Friday, March 10, 2023

Overheard at Table 2: Pushing the Husband Away

 "Don't you think that constantly pushing your husband away, he'll one day reach a point where he stops trying?"

"Oh, I'm counting on it."


Thursday, March 9, 2023

Overheard at Table 2: The Catcher of the Writers

The Catcher of the Writers


If you really want to hear about it, you’d probably want to know what really gave me the love of reading and literature and all that, but honestly, I’m not going to tell you – not because I’m some sort of Holden Caulfield jerk*, but because I truly do not know.






*I am a different kind of jerk, entirely


Wednesday, March 8, 2023

Overheard at Table 3: 1500-Year-Old Bones

I thought about the news I’d read
about 1500 year old bones they’d found
in Katy Texas when they were building
connection ramps between I-10 and 99:

how local activists and several Native
American tribes wanted to stop construction
to study the site, most likely a burial site.
They went to the courts,

And the courts said, “Nah! Carry on, folks!”
and so the 1500 year old bones were
packed up into thick black plastic bags
and taken away – somewhere, who knows where,

And I remember trying to imagine the land
as it was, that millennium and half ago,
where human beings walked, and stalked
prey, and ate, loved, lived, and died

and I thought about how we humans
prey, eat, love, live, and die, and kill
each other for land, for power, for
skin, for language, even for no reason at all.

And I see a time, when all of us humans
Have left nothing but our bones buried
In the ground, and some alien race will
Come through the solar system

To prepare the Earth for a connection
Hub for an intergalactic highway
And they will dig up our bones and
Haul them away in thick plastic bags

And then, finally, then,
We will all be equal.





Tuesday, March 7, 2023

Overheard at Table 3: Various Writing Prompts

Various Writing Prompts


#horrorprompt 1023 En Garden

He was moving a heavy bag of peat moss as we walked up to him to ask him about the disappearance of his neighbor.

"No," he said, "I've jus' bin working en garden."

My partner tapped my shoulder, pointed to a finger poking out of newly tilled dirt.

#horrorprompt 1014 Grind

Jimmy liked to grind the gears.
He liked to hear the sound.
He liked to hear the screams
of them Libtards
he’d shoved into the engine.

Jimmy like to grind the gears,
until all the screamin’ stopped.

#horrorprompt 1013 Slice

One slice for you
one slice for me,
one slice for baby,
‘cuz baby makes three.

I slice it so fine
this succulent meat
I slice it to dine
such a tasty treat.

And with all these slices
fall onto our plate
We thank God this meat
our hungers will sate.

#storyin12 2023-0307 Purr

Engine purred.
the highway hummed
and the air sang of her

#enneadpoet 2023-0307 Wise

On this
we twist
to deepen

#Chocolate #Haiku

Taste of deep, rich dreams:
in all our human slumbers,
chocolate smooths us.

Monday, March 6, 2023

Overheard at Booth 2: Various Writing Prompts

Various Writing Prompts

#erotica280 1103 Invention

They say necessity
is the mother of invention.

I need your love,
I need your lust,
I need your body,
I need your warmth,
I need your touch,
I need


So …

invent me.

#horrorprompt 1022 Intuition

Mother’s Intution:
She knew he was bad seed,
from the moment that rancid
popped her greedy egg.

She saw those dark eyes
on his first cry,
and with his first steps,
knew he’d grow one day
into a monster.

Can’t let that happen,
she thought,
as she filled water
in the tub
for his bath.


Mother’s Intuition:
she knew he was bad seed
when that rancid sperm
popped her greedy egg.

Those dark eyes with his
first cry -
& his first steps,
'one day he’ll grow
into a monster'
she thought,

as she filled water
in the tub
for his bath.

#horrorprompt 1021 Sanguine

“god why are you always so messy?”

“can’t help it, I LOVE TO EAT”

“but you waste so much.  I don’t always want to be licking my dinner off the walls!”

“what can I say?  I’m positively SANGUINE about blood.”

“you might be stretching that word out of context”

#Storyin12 2023-0306 Fluster

All her flustered days
became blustery pages
of many well-loved
bodice-ripper novels.

#haikuhorrorprompt 590 She Screamed

She screamed in silence,
the ocean pulling her deep
into dismal dark.

Sunday, March 5, 2023

Overheard at Table 1: SlamWords, March 2023, Encore Round

From this weekend's SlamWords Encore Round

#SlamWords #68thEdition er1 Blooming

She loved to repot plants.
It made her happy to see living
things blooming.

She wished that she, too,
would bloom, like she used to,
like the way he used to make her
bloom, instead of spending weekend

watching telly
or at the pub.
#enneadpoet 2023-0302 Dig

to find your
gold vein,


#enneadpoet 2023-0303 Eureka

The best “eureka” moments
always hit us unexpectedly.


#enneadpoet 2023-0304 Found

You found my broken pieces
and envisioned me whole.

#SlamWords #68thEdition er2 Rebirth

Even though only early March,
in the still-cold ground, she
could see little chutes of rebirth,

a bit of clover, sprigs of grass
gaining green, this time always

made her want to undress,
strip down, roll naked, to
let the chill prickle her hairs

and make all her soft parts


Even though only March,
in the still-cold ground, she
could see rebirth,

a bit of clover, sprigs of grass, this
made her want to undress,

strip down, roll naked, to
let the chill prickle her hairs

and make all her soft parts

#SlamWords #68thEdition er3 Idyllic

While he bear-snores on the sofa,
she closes her eyes, touches
her lily, and remembers that
idyllic day,
in the IMMA gardens,
her hand
in her hand
and their hands
into each other
becoming one
with a summer breath.

#SlamWords #68thEdition er4 Panoramic View

2017, Tuscany,
a week in a villa,
with a panoramic view
of hills that rolled like
gentle waves of the most
verdant ocean,
crested by a Medieval city,
under whose shadow
they made love
through long, langid
#SlamWords #68thEdition #encore - round Bonus!
Yin-Yang/Spiritual Balance

curl you into me,
satellite, i
hum inside your orbit,

breath, breathe, the bubble
bends, stretches outward,
event horizon eclipsing
some other sun, all light

collapsed into our
quiet sphere

#Gothiku Week 2 Frantic

Midnight on the bay,
we walk into the black cave,
then - the bats, frantic,
scatter around us,
taking flight
to the obsidian night,
leaving us here
with the sound
of the somber waves
lapping at our toes.

#SlamWords #68thEdition er5 Picturesque

Picturesque, you
turn, glance over your
hair spills down your
bare back, which
flows into the soft
swell of your hips, covered
only in white gossamer,

and this photograph
will be only a memento
of this fleeting light.
#SlamWords #68thEdition er6 Rejuvenating  

Rejuvenating cream she dabs
at the crow’s feet, lightning streaks
from her eyes, and she wonders

women are taught to hide
these lines
that remind us
of every smile,
every furtive kiss
stolen at midnight,
every laughter that
danced in daylight,

these lines, around the eyes,
are indeed
what keeps us young.


Rejuvenating cream she dabs
at her crow’s feet, & she wonders

women hide
these lines
that remind
of smiles,
furtive kisses
at midnight,
laughter danced
in daylight:

these lines,
around the eyes,
are that which
keeps us young.

#SlamWords #68thEdition er bonus Earthly Spirits

sometimes at night she
walks outside the house, gazes
down long rowhouse of brick,
glass, metal railing, & she listens

intently, for a faint
the rustle
of Earthly spirits,
hiding in tiny leaves,
blades of grass,
the quiet trees

#SlamWords #68thEdition er7 Verdant

I love the deep earth
of you,
the rich soil,
your verdant flora,
the heady aroma
of your delicate pistils -

my love, silly as it

let me roll
myself in you

feel the sunlight on my face
as I sink everdeep inside you.

Saturday, March 4, 2023

Overheard at Table 3: Creativity Stir, Disaster Edition

George and Franklin stood at the edge of the clearing, watching the flames.
They had to make sure that none of the demons would escape.


Send them all back to Hell.

Someday, maybe in a hundred years, this entire new continent would be purged.
Made clean.

The way God intended.