Book Reviewing and ARCs

I did it–I finally signed up for NetGalley. My first book requests are in for two ARCs that will be released in November, and there is an ARC sitting in my kindle just waiting for me–a historical fantasy set in Tuscany during the 11th century. Well, okay, I didn’t look closely enough to see that it’s also YA–ah, but what the hell. It’s rare to find any historical fantasy set in middle ages Italy or that isn’t about the Borgias, right?


Professional Reader

Photo Challange: evanescent

What I truly love about this photo, and the series of photos I captured on this day, is that it’s the last day, the last afternoon of 2015; New Year’s Eve.  The fog and the smoke from woodstoves create a thick veil and wash out all the brighter color. (see reflecting:–this photo is just down the hill from that one). The sun is trying to push it’s light through the fog/smoke, but there is still this otherworldly sense, for me, of impermanence, twilight, light and dark entwined preparing for the birth of the new year.

What I love about word histories, is that they capture so much more from the meaning of the word by exploring its roots (or “wheel ruts” of the English language). This is from

Evanescent:  1717, “on the point of becoming imperceptible,” from French évanescent, from Latin evanescentem (nominative evanescens), present participle of evanescere “disappear, vanish, pass away,” figuratively “be forgotten, be wasted,” from assimilated form of ex “out” (see ex-) + vanescere “vanish,” inchoative verb from vanus “empty, void” (from PIE *wano, suffixed form of root *eue “to leave, abandon, give out”). Sense of “quickly vanishing, having no permanence” is by 1738.


Precipices Come in all Sizes

via Daily Prompt: Precipice


Definition of precipice

  1. a very steep or overhanging place
  2. a hazardous situation; broadly :  brink


We’re on the brink of summer. Finally some sun after long cold gray days of rain. The flower garden is happy, past the early spring crocuses and yellow daffs and now to tulips, more complicated daffodils with double blooms, and the blooming of the flowering crab tree. Lilacs are coming. We endure the long winter, the slow spring for summer and fall in Maine, Maine, and New England, at her beautiful best. Maybe because of the cold days and nights, the trees are only half in green, and the black flies are here, too. I’m ready for some hotter weather, as pretty as this is, with sangria on the porch, long Saturday nights talking and waiting for the moon, stars, and fireflies to come out…


Precipice (n)The cliffs at the cape of Pointe de Pen-hir, Bretagne, France

(photo credit: Pixabay)


“steep face of rock,” 1630s, from Middle French precipice from Latin praecipitium “a steep place,” literally “a fall or leap,” from praeceps (genitive praecipitis) “steep, headlong, head first,” from prae “before, forth” (see pre- ) + caput “head” (n)). Earlier in English as a verb (1590s) meaning “fall to great depth.”

We can’t quite move forward and yet we can’t go back.

The nation has been steamrolling toward this moment in time for…has it only been almost four months? The majority of us whole-heartedly agree that 45 is not competent to run the serious business of a country. How relieved we’ll be when the grownups remove him from office…though a precipice, a brink suggests that something is not a foregone conclusion, or that this will end the problems. It’s the long fall of a multi-armed octopus. Is this the start of the finale or just another cliffhanger to the next season of West Wingnut2017? #Imarched.


I do like the “fall to great depth” from the etymology definition. In Dante’s Inferno, traitors occupy the 9th circle of Hell, frozen in ice for eternity. And 45 won’t be alone. This is from a wonderful analysis of  Niven and Pournelles’ scifi classic Inferno (1976–because there is nothing new under the sun) by Mary Pat Campbell Building A Modern Hell

“Finally, to round out one man’s journey through Hell, Allen comes to the ice plain in which the Traitors are trapped. Again, we have the historical parade of sinners: Bob Ford, who shot Jesse James, Al Capone, and Vito Genovese. But before Allen can get to Hell’s exit, Niven and Pournelle inject one last political shot: two Senators are stuck in the ice, their punishment due only to their votes on anti-ballistic missiles vs. a laser defense system. Both voted the opposite of their conscience, but along party lines; both voted opposite each other. By being traitors to their consciences on a matter of at least nationwide life-or-death, they were condemned to the lowest part of Hell. I found this as a criticism of America’s political system, in which one joins a party for its clout, and in which one may vote “wrong” on important matters for it is the party line.”

Okay, got that off my chest. One of these days, maybe I’ll write my own modern Inferno 😉

Gustav Dore

From Gustav Dore