2014 – February 28 – The Bite

Last day of February, and we’re reading “The Bite” by Kimberlee Smith.

 

Today is two weeks since my and Dean’s second wedding anniversary. Every day since he and my mum Maybell brought our baby Etheline Margaret home from the hospital, Dean’s been out in the garden just before dawn and again as dusk draws near with Maggie, as he likes to call her, fused to one hip while he wrangles the watering hose with the opposite hand, making sure to soak the roots and electric-green leaf sprouts on the jacaranda saplings he planted as a Christmas present for me. Our home was one of the last to be sold in the new development. Continue reading

2014 – February 27 – Waking Up Samford Again

It’s the 27th and time for “Waking Up Samford Again” by Nathaniel Tower.

 

Samford wakes up to the sight of a decent-looking woman snoozing at his side. Her face is almost pressed against his and the warm breath rhythmically blowing into his nostrils makes him cringe and smile. It makes him feel like a human, for all the good and bad that comes with such a feeling.

Last month had me wondering about Samford’s sanity. This month has me wondering about mine. After a coitus drought, our intrepid Samford once again wakes up next to a naked woman who seems to know a lot more about his situation than Continue reading

2014 – February 26 – Dylan, A Love Story

On the 26th day we’re reading “Dylan, A Love Story” by Gary Percesepe.

 

My ex calls. It’s about the dog of the family. Dylan is dying, she explains. There are decisions to make

I met Savannah when I was nineteen, married at twenty-one. We divorced, after more than thirty years. I’d had an affair. She’d waited till near the end to have hers. In between we’d reared two children in the company of canines.

Last month left me longing for redemption for Gary, the recently divorced father who moved into a smaller house. This month provides a beginning to that process. It’s a fascinating chapter in which Gary relives his marriage Continue reading

2014 – February 25 – Morgana Malone and the Case of the Blushing Bride

Hey, it’s February 25 and we’re reading “Morgana Malone and the Case of the Blushing Bride” by Matt Potter.

 

“Oh, God!” Seventeen eyes dart in Zebadie’s direction. Looking at me as she lowers her head on the reception desk in exasperation, she breathes out and says, “I soooooo miss porn.”

Last month left me “psyched to read the next installment.” This month leaves me breathless and chortling. The blushing bride, it turns out, is Zebadie the used-to-be-porn-actress senior receptionist, and she’s about to marry Grigor Smiroveich ™. Yes, that’s the same Grigor we met in last month’s flood. His birth name was Greg Smith, but that would never do in a Potter story. Did Continue reading

2014 – February 24 – White Rabbit

Today, we’re reading “White Rabbit” by Teresa Burns Gunther.

 

Nine days ago

Stella does her business out back then starts digging at the fence. I poke my head over. The neighbors are making a racket.   Joyce is watering. “What’s going on?”

“Oh! Crikey, Rachel!” Joyce says, eyes wide, a hand clapped to her cavernous cleavage. “You startled me.

“What’s all the noise?”

Last month, I said, “No matter where this storyline runs, we can rest assured it will keep us laughing and wincing by turns.” This month adds to that impression. Rachel has been working on her people skills, it seems, playing nice with the neighbors who are raising Continue reading

2014 – February 23 – Building a Sunday

It’s February 23, and time for “Building a Sunday” by Darryl Price.

 

This day, the again of it, that broke my heart with the piano heavy hammer, that buried me underwater like a bomb from a different world, another century, that froze the sky in place, solid like a dream that once was a summer…

Last month left me wondering whether the magic of “I Was a Fool Yesterday” could continue into February. My take after reading this month’s entry is inconclusive. On the one hand, we’re treated to prose that is vivid and compelling in concept, but on the other, I did not emotionally connect this Continue reading

2014 – February 22 – Worry

Today is the day for “Worry” by Margaret Bingel.

 

Sleep is the brain’s way of recharging, and in a coma the patient’s mind has an opportunity to dream. At St Jude’s Hospital a graduate student monitors a select group’s brain waves. She’s researching how active the brain is while in a coma versus a vegetative state as part of her thesis, and she had told Nora Billingsly her theory that Nora’s son Ned is probably dreaming while in his coma.

Last month left me hopeful that Ned would not end up in jail. I suppose it depends upon how you define “jail”. This month finds Ned in a deep Continue reading

2014 – February 21 – Well, actually

It’s the 21st day, and what are we reading? “Well, actually,” a story by Mandy Nicol.

 

Celeste watches me fill the dishwasher and I know she’s dying to ask me something. Or tell me something. But more likely ask me something. She’s driven two hours on a scorcher with a three year-old and Celeste never visits. She prefers to summon.

Last month I focused on “the dog, Peregrine, a beast named after a bird of prey, that can’t even rouse himself to chase off the rabbits nibbling at the hedge.” This month adds Celeste to the mix, and Celeste has no problem chasing off rabbits, I suspect.

I sort of Continue reading

2014 – February 20 – The Follow-Up

Day twenty and we’re reading “The Follow-Up” by Sally-Anne Macomber.

 

Hi Milton.

Just following up my email from last month, where I sacked you as the publisher of my book Nuclear Fission in the Pyrénées. I’ve thought about it since then and have decided to give you the benefit of the doubt: perhaps the two accents on Pyrénées just fell off.

Last month I wrote: “The 20th of each month is going to bring some much needed laughter, methinks.”

Once in a while, I’m actually right. This month finds our intrepid author forgiving the publisher she fired last month. Maybe the missing accents were accent-dental. Of course there are more outrageous Continue reading

2014 – February 19 – Nesting

Hey, it’s already the 19th, and time to read “Nesting” by Gay Degani.

 

A warm February morning, Sybil on her porch, wearing one of the silk robes she ordered from the internet. She sips sugared coffee and studies her bunions, her swollen ankles, the varicose veins tracing up her calves, all the while keeping an ear out for the blue jay.

Last month left me asking: “Is the storm an omen or an excuse? Will Jamie follow through on her threat to leave Sean, or will Mars complicate this picture?”

The frame shifts this month, providing a clue to the series. In “Nesting” we’re introduced to a wonderful character named Continue reading