Thursday, July 31, 2014

Involuntary Hiatus, Vacation, Larry Santoro and Poetry Review. In that order.

So, it's been a while. I was starting to believe the universe was trying to tell me something, but I wasn't sure what, exactly. Maybe that I should slow down and rest and not stress out about things I've tasked myself to do, but which I do on a volunteer basis? Perhaps, but instead of slowing down, things came to a screeching halt. And I had a job, which paid actual money to do.

First, just as my husband went off on a long business trip, during which I could've gotten lots of recording and writing in, my The hard drive on my Mac decided to die a slow death. At first, I didn't know what the trouble was and it took awhile of investigation, chatting with the Apple "geniuses" and trying everything known to man to determine this was probably the trouble (or maybe the fan was broken) and I had to wait a week to get an appointment at the Apple Store. Hard Drive it was and fixing it could take up to a week. Ugh. Well, thankfully they only needed two days and I thought I was going have my computer back soon! Magnus had made a back-up just before it started acting strangely, so no worries there. HA!! When I flipped the switch on the external back-up hard drive nothing happened. Nothing. Just some flashing lights, but no whirring and no recognition that it was even on by the computer. Huh. A friend did some research for me and said this had apparently come up fairly often for this HD. The problem? Something in the start up software and it would either magically start up if you kept trying or it would need to be replaced. The end of this story is that miracles DO happen!!! And my computer is now in working order again!

I got one evening of recording in when a very bad cold hit me like a sledge-hammer, leaving my voice a ravaged mess. Needless to say, that was the end of that. Luckily, my paying client is a patient man. Likewise, with the myriad people waiting on me to produce various reviews and narrations.

We went on a 3 week vacation to Italy, to visit family and the beach in Bibione (on the Adriatic Sea between Venice and Triest). It was a very relaxing vacation, even if beach holidays aren't my favorite (too hot, too much sun for this lass of Irish decent). I read a lot. Not just poetry and Faceboook, though. I managed to read an entire novel (gasp!) in a week's time (keels over in shock!)! I re-read one of my favorite books (The Assassin's Apprentice, by Robin Hobb), so it was good fun.

Now we are back home and have settled in. Dante is still on summer vacation through the month of August, so the routine is not quite the same as normal, but still... And then my dear (mostly internet) friend, colleague (I think I'm allowed to call him that) and mentor, Larry Santoro passed away. He had been ill only briefly. He was diagnosed with Duodenal cancer only a couple of months ago, but it had already spread to his liver and kidneys and other spots and he was already to weak for the chemo to help much. He was taken care of by his wife of 11 years, the wonderful beautiful Tycelia. It's heart-breaking. We lost him too soon and too quickly. I was able to speak to him on the phone in June, but I had intended on calling him again this past Saturday, the day after getting home. He'd passed the night before. Reading all the tributes and the out-pouring of love to Tycelia just confirms what our brief friendship had already shown. That he was a warm, funny, compassionate, passionate, giving person, whose voice over the ether was like something of a by-gone era. His podcast, while the fiction was not really my favorite (again, Horror), was a pleasure to listen to, just because he made you feel at home and like he was chatting with you, a friend. I will miss you, Larry, as will more people than you knew.

But nevertheless, my most recent genre poetry review has been published on Amazing Stories Magazine. It is of Chad Hensley's dark poetry collection Embrace the Hideous Immaculate. Here's a snippet:

But what is horror anyway? We’ve been having a very interesting discussion on the SFPA Yahoo Group (which, by the way is actually open to others interested in genre poetry, not just members. It is, however, often used to announce and discuss SFPA business) about the nature of horror literature. Is it a true genre or rather a mood which is created. The general consensus seems to be that it sends but can be either or both. Michael Arnzen posted this, which, in addition to being a bit of poetry in and of itself, hits the nail on the head, in my opinion:
Horror is a church. Its blood-stained glass both colors and reflects its readers’ worldview. It sacrifices many readers on the altar of repugnance....

Go here to read more! Poetry – Embrace the Hideous Immaculate, C. Hensley

Now that I have one small thing on my list checked off I'm feeling the pressure of all the rest of the things waiting for me! Hopping to it!

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