Friday, September 28, 2018

Writing and me . . .

today of all days, with all that's happening, I forgot that I'm at Southern Writers Magazine - embarrassingly late, but stop by, please, if you have a minute -

Friday, September 14, 2018

Waiting for Hurricane Florence

Right now, it's another beautiful day in the NC mountains. 

Not knowing what's coming is scary and frustrating, of course. 

Seeing the destruction on the coast is heartbreaking. 

My heart goes out to the people who are losing their homes and all that that means. 

I hear people saying "your life and your family's safety is all that matters right now." 

While that is true, it's not the whole story. 

Those homes represent more than just the structure of a building. 

Those homes contain, in many cases, a lifetime of personal memories in photographs, in artwork and books, gifts given and received. 

Memories and dreams.

They may be "only things" to some, but to many they are much much more. 

And it's okay for us to mourn the "things" we love without feeling guilty.

Thursday, September 6, 2018


From A & K Publishing


If you are one of the many people who check our site, you probably remember that we posted a notice that we were pleased to announce we will be publishing a new edition of Whimsey, the popular novel by Kaye Wilkinson Barley who is well known for her popular blog, Meanderings and Muses. We ended that notice by writing that, “she and A & K have another work in the oven, but we’ll wait for a later date to announce that one.”

Well this is the later date and this is the announcement: Kaye and her husband and co-photographer Don Barley will be travelling to France with an A&K contract in hand to photograph all the carousels in Paris and write a book about them.

Kaye explains, “I fell in love with Parisian carousels during my first visit and returned to the U.S. eager to learn more about them. Further research revealed that there is a conspicuous gap in readily available information. I intend to photograph all of the carousels in Paris, including those that move around the city, and those that disappear for a time only to reappear later. The book will capture the colorful motion of everyday life in the City of Light while chronicling the history and characteristics of these unique attractions.

Carousels are much more than amusement rides. They are emblematic of the fantastical and the fun, the wild and the tamed. With their varying degrees of ornamentation and craftsmanship, Parisian carousels have for more than a century signaled delight and merriment for children while igniting the still small spark of whimsy among adults.”

Saturday, September 1, 2018

September 1, 1939

I sit in one of the dives
On Fifty-second Street
Uncertain and afraid
As the clever hopes expire
Of a low dishonest decade:
Waves of anger and fear
Circulate over the bright
And darkened lands of the earth,
Obsessing our private lives;
The unmentionable odour of death
Offends the September night.

Accurate scholarship can
Unearth the whole offence
From Luther until now
That has driven a culture mad,
Find what occurred at Linz,
What huge imago made
A psychopathic god:
I and the public know
What all schoolchildren learn,
Those to whom evil is done
Do evil in return.

Exiled Thucydides knew
All that a speech can say
About Democracy,
And what dictators do,
The elderly rubbish they talk
To an apathetic grave;
Analysed all in his book,
The enlightenment driven away,
The habit-forming pain,
Mismanagement and grief:
We must suffer them all again.

Into this neutral air
Where blind skyscrapers use
Their full height to proclaim
The strength of Collective Man,
Each language pours its vain
Competitive excuse:
But who can live for long
In an euphoric dream;
Out of the mirror they stare,
Imperialism's face
And the international wrong.

Faces along the bar
Cling to their average day:
The lights must never go out,
The music must always play,
All the conventions conspire
To make this fort assume
The furniture of home;
Lest we should see where we are,
Lost in a haunted wood,
Children afraid of the night
Who have never been happy or good.

The windiest militant trash
Important Persons shout
Is not so crude as our wish:
What mad Nijinsky wrote
About Diaghilev
Is true of the normal heart;
For the error bred in the bone
Of each woman and each man
Craves what it cannot have,
Not universal love
But to be loved alone.

From the conservative dark
Into the ethical life
The dense commuters come,
Repeating their morning vow;
'I will be true to the wife,
I'll concentrate more on my work,'
And helpless governors wake
To resume their compulsory game:
Who can release them now,
Who can reach the dead,
Who can speak for the dumb?

All I have is a voice
To undo the folded lie,
The romantic lie in the brain
Of the sensual man-in-the-street
And the lie of Authority
Whose buildings grope the sky:
There is no such thing as the State
And no one exists alone;
Hunger allows no choice
To the citizen or the police;
We must love one another or die.

Defenseless under the night
Our world in stupor lies;
Yet, dotted everywhere,
Ironic points of light
Flash out wherever the Just
Exchange their messages:
May I, composed like them
Of Eros and of dust,
Beleaguered by the same
Negation and despair,
Show an affirming flame.

by W.H. Auden