Friday, March 6, 2015

           I’ve started this entry a number of times, but I’m still having trouble thinking what
           to say. None of the words that come to mind right now convey properly the effect 
           that this man, actor Leonard Nimoy, playing his signature role as Mr. Spock, had on
           our culture, and on me. Gene Roddenberry created an entire universe of starships, 
           planets and characters, and yet he always said that Spock was the heart of Star Trek. 
           Yes, I am, I was and always shall be a Trekkie. Live long and prosper folks.


Friday, February 20, 2015

Jadis, Elsa and Robert Frost

It’s snowing again.

Normally, those words would not mean much. A little bit of snow, like that which falls on Emily Dickinson in “Snowflakes” perhaps.  However, I live in New England, where we have had several years’ worth of snow since the end of January. A few more inches of snow means that squirrels can now stroll up to the bird feeders and help themselves because the baffles are buried in snow. It is now possible to reach out the front windows and make a snowball. Tomorrow folks at the town hall, hair salon, gas station and grocery store will complain even more about the temperature, lack of parking, slippery conditions, and wonder aloud how many more days until the Red Sox begin spring training. (The answer is zero. Pitchers and catchers report today!)

I’m not sure what number snowstorm this is, or how many inches we have now.  This storm doesn’t have a name, so clearly it is not that big a deal. This is a pretty snowfall, the kind that makes you think of Christmas Eve, or sleigh rides in the country. Except that here in the country, the snow pack is already at least 8 feet deep, and if you tried bringing a horse out of the barn, he’d find himself up to his nostrils in powdery white stuff.

To cheer myself up, I’ve been thinking about snow in poetry and literature.
Immediately I think of The Chronicles of Narnia and Jadis, the conniving white witch. More recently we have Elsa, whose talent for freezing things when she’s annoyed or upset is responsible for the entire entertainment industry lollapalooza know as Frozen. (“Cold never bothered me anyway…”)

As for poetry, quite a few poems have snow in their title or focus. Emily Dickinson wrote at least 5 of them. I love “The Snow Storm” by Edna St. Vincent Millay. However, the poem that I was encouraged to memorize in school, the poem that to me and to many others represents winter in New England, is the one I am including here:

“Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening” by Robert Frost (1923)

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

Until next time - Fancy

Friday, February 13, 2015

Looking for Love by Ashelyn Drake

What better way to return to this blog after a long absence then to help celebrate the accomplishments of a friend. Please join us as we reveal the cover of the latest book in the Campus Crush series by Ashelyn Drake. Can’t wait to read it!

Fans asked, and Ashelyn Drake agreed. Mike from the Campus Crush companion series needed another story. The final installment of the Campus Crush series, Looking For Love, will release on March 17th. Because this is a companion series, the books stand on their own and do not need to be read in order.

Right now, you can read the other books in the series for FREE. Find them on Kindle and Nook as individual books:

And now for the cover of Looking For Love!

Mike Hannigan is looking for love in all the wrong places. Maybe that’s because having his heart torn to shreds by who he thought was the perfect girl left some emotional scarring. But that’s about to change. 

Summer Patterson isn’t like anyone Mike’s dated before, and he can’t help but be intrigued by her. Now if only he could keep his foot out of his mouth long enough to win her over. But when a secret involving Summer brings Mike’s past crashing back to the present, he’ll need some backup from his best friend and wingwoman, Mindy, to sort out the mess.

Will Mike find love before he leaves Timberland College for good?

Friday, April 18, 2014

Boston Strong

Right now I am sitting in an old rocker, looking at a Leroy Neiman print on the wall of my office. The print is titled “Boston Marathon THE RACE”. I acquired this framed poster (lest you think I am a collector of original artworks) some 27 years ago, when I worked for a company that supplied footwear and clothing for runners.  This was a company full of athletes, mainly long distance runners, and each year several of them qualified to run the Boston Marathon. Patriots’ Day, as it is officially known in Massachusetts, was known as Marathon Day at the office. We were closed on Patriots’ Day, and anyone not running usually stood somewhere along the route offering water and encouragement to our coworkers. Once they had passed, we jumped in our cars and frantically tried to get to the finish line before they did.

That particular group of runners and cheerleaders has lost touch in the intervening years, but since I first hung up that poster, I have encountered dozens more people who have run, want to run, or are training to run THE RACE.  Most know they won’t win. Most just want to finish it.  Nearly everyone in New England knows someone who is running “Boston” just to be able to say they finished it.

That is why the events of last year were particularly loathsome. About 10 minutes after my last blog entry, on April 15 2013, two explosions rocked the finish line at the Boston Marathon.  The elite runners had already passed. The victims were people like the ones I had on my list, ordinary people who took three hours or more to finish.

When I heard the news I immediately thought of my “runners list”.  It’s a long list, and I knew that anyone who wasn’t running might be waiting somewhere along the way or at the finish line. I thought of the middle-aged husband and wife, who might be running together, or one waiting for the other at the end. We knew a pair of proud parents, waiting for their daughter and her friend to complete their first trip from Hopkinton.

So much has been written about this event, the Boston Marathon of 2013, I will not try to add to the lore. I was relieved to learn that none of my friends were killed or hurt. Many were of course, and so this quietly peaceful and joyous celebration of personal athletic achievement has been turned into something quite different. Yesterday, the anniversary was marked marked by a solemn ceremony recognizing those who were victims and those who were helpers. This was done so that next Monday, April 21, the Boston Marathon can once again be about the runners, and Patriots Day 2014 can be a reminder once again that freedom is not free. Thank you for standing with me.