2014 – December 20 – Feliz Navidad
On the 20th we’re reading “Feliz Navidad” by Sally-Anne Macomber.
To: Milton Flaxmill, Red Cow Publishing
From: Trudy Polaris
Date: December 20, 2014 10.19 p.m.
Øslø was a bust! How was I to know they give the Peace Prize in Øslø, and all the other Nobel Prizes in Støckhølm!? So I missed out, completely. Maybe next year will be better for me. I heard on the street and also in the corridors of the King Kristian XVII Hotel and then again on the ferry across the Øslø Fjørd to Høvedøya that they never give it to you for your first nomination anyway. Thank God I did not waste my Red Cow Continue reading
2014 – December 19 – Families
It’s the 19th, time for “Familes” by Gay Degani.
On the creek side of the Old Road, the sun dips behind the wild growth of the arroyo and hills beyond , cooling the warm California afternoon. Jamie, sitting across from Gus German on the porch of his bungalow, stops shuffling cards, places them on the small table, and zips up her sweatshirt. She glances over at Lily and Collin, her two little kids rolling down the knoll of dirt and weeds where their bungalow used to stand before a giant oak , uprooted by 100 mile an hour winds, smashed it to matchsticks back in January.
The Old Road has been consistently Continue reading
2014 – December 18 – Flow
The 18th brings “Flow” by Stephen V. Ramey (reviewed by Andrew Stancek).
The room is like a cathedral, dark panels, painted ceilings, brass everywhere. A polished bar runs the back half of one wall, bottles stacked along the mirror behind it. The tap is a glory of levers and logos.
You might wonder how Lanigan’s Irish Pub ended up in a place like New Castle, with its Italian tradition and economic woes. While you’re at it, you might wonder how a 50-something guy who never drank much, never smoked, was reasonably athletic, ended up with aggressive prostate cancer. You might wonder any number of things, but sometimes stuff just is.
Quite a Year
2014 – December 17 – What it Feels Like to Have Your Friends Dying Around You
It’s the 17th and we’re reading “What it Feels Like to Have Your Friends Dying Around You” by Gwendolyn Joyce Mintz.
Mora makes her way across the parking lot to the front door of Kelly’s, all the while telling herself to go elsewhere. At the threshold, she stops and gives the idea serious consideration.
“But I promised Aaron,” she says aloud, her words a whispered white breath in the cold air.
She pulls the door open.
The Suicide Club reminds me a bit of early Coen Brothers works, in that it knows how to balance light and dark in interesting ways. Dollops of humor and doses of tragedy keep us from getting too comfortable even as we smile at the Continue reading
2014 – December 16 – Alive and Kicking
It’s the 16th, and we’re reading “Alive and Kicking” by James Claffey.
The Shannon burst its banks a week ago and sheep, cattle and the odd goat float bloated and lost in the middle of Ireland’s great start-up lake. Farmers wring their hands in McKettrick’s snug, drowning their sorrows and totting up the EU compensation they’ll collect in the New Year.
As an engineering student back in the day I learned an enduring lesson. No matter how we gird our creations against it, pressure will always win. We might temporarily hold it at bay, but force steadily applied will eventually overcome anything. The only way to actually solve an issue of unbalanced forces is Continue reading
2014 – December 15 – Twelfth Inning
It’s the 15th, and we’re reading “Twelfth Inning” by Michael Webb.
I drive the babysitter home , drink a diet cola in the kitchen, then sneak upstairs, trying not to wake the kids, padding into the bedroom in socks. Angela is facing away from me, looking at her reflection in a full-length mirror. She is topless, wearing only soft green sleep pants that ride low on her hips. I watch her turning, looking at her body in profile, and then straight, and then turning the opposite way. I stand and watch her. She seems focused on her belly, the gentle swell that rises below her ribs and above her wide hips.
I’ve been Continue reading
2014 – December 14 – Cracked
On the 14th day, we’re reading “Cracked” by Len Kuntz.
It’s not even dawn. I’m broke, somewhere in the middle of East Jesus, Wyoming, and all the radio will pick up is twangy honkytonk or stations playing rambunctious Mexican music. Not only that, but my gas gauge is leaning its elbow on E.
My Long, Uncertain Search for Myself describes this series pretty darned well. We’ve been through a variety of attempts to fill the void left by his wife’s betrayal, including last month’s bar beat-down. The protagonist has abused and been abused, showed and received kindness, and robbed a fast food joint. All in the name of trying to Continue reading