Original Poetry: Black Cat’s Luck

It’s mid-August, summer is fading fast, too soon the world will be cold and dark, the trees will give us a glorious display of fall colors before the world slips back to being barren and grey. But before summer draws to a close animal lovers everywhere should take a moment to appreciate the oft’ maligned and misunderstood black cat.

Autumn is a dangerous time for cats, and black one’s in particular. Many superstitions still effect the adoptability of black cats, something I learned about while volunteering for our local animal shelter. There, black cats would not be permitted out as October drew to a close and Halloween loomed, too often there are reports of murdered felines following the nights festivities. On the home front, we would keep our black cats, Pandora and Fiddlesticks, on “house arrest” till the day and night had ended.

There are many myths surrounding cats, and since they’ve been sharing our homes with us for some 12,000 years, it stands to reason we would take their natural aloofness and general “other-worldness” as a sign of the mystical. Around the world there are tales of felines both mysterious and benign; from the Japanese Maneki-neko, to Egypt’s Bastet, Islam’s Muezza (the cutest story of not wanting to disturb a sleeping cat), or Cat Sìth of Celtic folklore. It wasn’t until the Middle Ages that feline persecution and association with the devil began to take it’s toll on the cat population, and black cat’s in particular.

The stigma is fading however, as cat lovers everywhere advocate for the fair treatment of all kittehs and cattos. So, In honor of our sable companions, and in memory of Fiddlesticks the Wonder Boy, I present to you…

 

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After the cut are links to resources surrounding black cats, if there is room in your home for a feline friend, please consider choosing a Raven or Midnight instead of a Snowball or Goldy. Too often black cats are left to languish for months (even years) in no-kill shelters, or euthanized once their term is up in county and city shelters. So, if you’re able, please welcome one into your home, and if one crosses your path, don’t worry, it’s most likely on it’s way to more important things then effecting anyone’s luck.

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National Book Lover’s Day

August ninth is National Book Lovers day; not just stories, but books, the tangible, welcoming feel of one page turning to the next, the heady weight of a longed-for novel, the scent of libraries and book stores, the cluttered shelves of second hand shops just waiting to be gleaned for treasures. It is old paper backs who’s bindings are held together with scotch tape, and hard backs that fall open to that one specific page you read over and over.

I intend to spend the day reading and writing, like most Wednesdays, but I thought I’d also celebrate it by taking a look back at the early books and series that have influenced me and turned me from the path of an average seven year old to a page devouring machine.

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Original Poetry: The Sea Serpent

August seventh marks a famous sea serpent sighting in 1804 by the crew of the HMS Daedalus. I’ve had a love of sea monsters and giant squid since I first saw 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, and I devour any sighting or documentary pertaining to the giant squid.

So, in honor of sea serpents and lake monsters everywhere, I present to you…

 

The Sea Serpent.

From the depths of twilight sleep,
Coils slip and slowly wake,
Unfurling from the ocean deep;
The darkling ocean drake.

Down in the dark and waiting fathoms,
Passed pearl strung maids and whale song
In the deepest, coldest chasm
Stretching several miles long.

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Book Review: Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

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I should probably dust.

Where to begin with a tale such as this? A story that is so much more then the sum of it’s parts, a narrative woven into a grand tapestry of heroics and every day moments, a hero as human as each of us, but as mysterious as a god.

I begin to write this review with only the first few pages of Wise Man’s Fear read, allowing me to look at the book as more of an island, instead of the edge of a continent. There is so much to say, I am sure I will miss much, but the writing of Patrick Rothfuss begs to be spoken of, begs to be read aloud from, begs to be carried with you and shared with others.

So, where to begin? I suppose at the beginning. A quick summary of our tale for those who have somehow still avoided picking up the book. And with Lionsgate having made offers to complete not only a movie and TV adaptation of the extensive world, but a video game as well, my question is- what are you waiting for?

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Three Ways to Bring Him Home

Written for those days where your home seems too small, but the world too vast, and all you can hope for is the comfort of familiar arms. But the hours pass too slowly, and the shadows press like knives against the heart…

…a tree had grown overnight, it’s leaves the color of bruised lips and ink stains, and below it’s boughs he waited. Sable skinned and singing soft songs with a voice like October.

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20 Years of the Boy Who Lived

June 26 marks the twentieth anniversary of the Harry Potter series first entry into publication, and while “Pottermania” would not take hold of the world until the eventual release of the third book,  those who picked up the story on a whim where already being enchanted by the tale of the Mr. Potter and his early trials at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

I first read Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone (Ironically wondering if such a thing was like a philosophers stone, because despite what localizes think, there are those of us in the US who know what that is, and even recognize the name Flamel.) at the start of Christmas break in 1997, I then read it five more times before the three week long break was complete, every time I completed the story I simply reopened the book and started from page one…

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Comic Review: Rat Queens Volume #1 by Kurtis Wiebe

The first time I heard about Rat Queens was through Critical Role, a Thursday night Twitch program where a group of (incredibly accomplished and delightfully dorky) voice actors play Dungeons and Dragons. I used to be more of a comic book fan in my junior high and high school years, but that fell to the wayside as the writers I loved stopped producing as many works in that medium. But in the last twelve years there has been such an advance in the industry that I’m excited to return and see where the journey takes me.

Written by Kurtis J. Wiebe, the initial run of prints emerged in September 2013 after being picked up by Image Comics. You can feel the heavy influence of D&D throughout ever fight scene, and there are many. The artist for this run was Roc Upchurch, a man who was later replaced after charges of domestic violence arose. On that sour note, let the review begin!

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Rat Queens Volume 1 resting upon my disaster of a bookcase.

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