Archive | December, 2012

End of the Year Poem

24 Dec

Farewell 2012. May 2013 outshine all your dark moments and bring it’s own good madness.


Especially, These Little Parts


Jay, last night, carrying the bags up the subway steps,

we were tired, from another day of shopping in the city,

and traveling home for so long on those underground trains.

We had everything we needed for the holidays and the end of another year.


And this night, after the presents

were bought and wrapped and shipped

and dinner was decided,

we climbed those subway steps, our arms carrying

the holiday wine and we turned down 75th street

towards home, the wind coming up from the estuary

bitter through our snow caps.


You were saying something,

and I’m sorry love, but I wasn’t listening well and can’t remember now

because the sky was such a headstrong blue, almost imaginary

and the stars were already starting to cut their way

through like shards of glass tearing that painted canvass.


I’ve never seen it look so clear.

The way I hope it’ll look at the very end.


And I just wanted you to know that even though

I didn’t say anything that night,

in all that blue, and starlight

through all that wind and cold

when you took my hand in yours

and tucked it into your warm pocket,

I realized that this life is more than enough

and when it’s gone,

I’ll want to do it all over again,

even these little parts

where nothing important is said,

just you and I and the way we must look from space

walking like tiny gods among that blanket of glassy stars.


Yes, even these little nothing walking home parts,

I’ll want them again when they’re gone.


I will press the heel of my hands to my eyes

to recreate the stars, to remember these little nothing parts.

Especially, these parts.


10 Things I need more of 2013

20 Dec

Here are 10 things that I need more of in the coming year

1. Well played cellos. It is by far my favorite instrument.

2. Woods in the winter before the snow, when the trees are all bony and stark and look like crooked fingers scraping the sky.

photo by the Lovely Lindita Lee ©

3. Tea. Because tea is perfect.

4. Dusty old libraries to get lost in

Old Library, St. John’s College, Cambridge

5.  Hot air balloon rides. I’ve never had one. I think it’s time.

6. Real books. With secrets that smell all musty.


7. Travels – plane rides to places with languages I don’t speak, winding streets, new sunsets, new music, new food, and train rides over new land.


8. My Muse to go off through the desert and come back with trunk-fulls of scarves and skulls and teeth and magic crystals and secret letters and yellow stained paper and lanterns and masks and ink-stained maps and keys and clocks and quills and then she lets me write it all down.


9. Cold cold nights filled with a million stars.

10.  And finally – Joy. 2012 had joy but also a lot of sorrow. I understand it’s a roll of the dice but while we’re making a list, while we’re asking, I’d like more joy. It doesn’t hurt to ask right?

Happy Holidays, Friends. And Happy New Year.

Merry Christmas from The Bunker

Merry Christmas from The Bunker

And if I can’t have those ten things, I’ll take Peace.

Peace of Mind

a Nation at Peace


I’ll take any of those.

Over at Word Spelunking

18 Dec


I’m over at Word Spelunking (pith helmet not included) answering some questions about Lizzy Speare and the Cursed Tomb. You can find out who my first literary crush was (warning: he wears tights), who my favorite literary villain is (warning: she drives a sleigh and can make num-nums appear out of ice) and why more people should appreciate my De Niro impersonation.

And with a simple click of a button you can enter to win a free ebook copy of Lizzy Speare and the Cursed Tomb.

Many thanks to Aeicha for having me over.  She’s a cupcake girl but I’m not much of a baker so I’ll offer my Starburst of Thanks.


Cover Reveal for the Key Inheritance

17 Dec
So my friend Jen is putting out her novella, a follow up to The Burning of Isobel Key which I reviewed here. I’m so excited for this sequel available January 15th! Here’s all the details:

Cover reveal: the sequel to The Burning of Isobel Key will be available in January 2013!

About the Book:

Ten years after the trip to Scotland that changed her life, Lou is back in the misty, magical country.  This time, however, she’s not on vacation: Lou is there to settle some distasteful and depressing family business.  When Brian, her old Highland fling, turns up, Lou is forced to wrestle with a past that she thought was dead and buried.  As tension between the former lovers mounts, something wicked is stirring in Scotland.  Lou must use all her strength to handle the increasingly desperate situation, but will she be strong enough to battle both a vengeful ghost and her heart?

The Key Inheritance is a novella that takes place a decade after the events of The Burning of Isobel Key.  This contemporary story crosses into the supernatural as Lou discovers evidence of a long-dead spirit who refuses to rest in peace.  Lou may have thought that she was finished with the witch Isobel Key, but her inheritance is more than the young woman can handle alone.

Want to read an ARC of The Key Inheritance? Sign up here for your chance to get an advance copy just in time for the holidays.

Release date: October 1, 2012

When Lou travels to Scotland, she’s a mess. She’s twenty-six, unemployed, and unsure of herself. It doesn’t help that she’s traveling with Tammy, her best friend, who is everything Lou is not.

At first, the trip pushes Lou towards the brink of depression, but then she meets Brian, a handsome local tour guide. When Brian tells the tourists about the countless witches burned in Scotland, Lou starts to listen. And when she discovers information about Isobel Key, one of the victims of the seventeenth century, Lou finds renewed purpose.

She sets out to learn the truth of the condemned witch, but she isn’t prepared for the knowledge that waits for her. Lou must face her demons if she has any hope of righting the wrongs of the past.

THE BURNING OF ISOBEL KEY, available from Amazon Fall 2012.

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The Burning of Isobel Key
The Burning of Isobel Key

reviews: 30ratings: 41 (avg rating 4.22)

Over at Howling Turtle

16 Dec


I’m over at Howling Turtle talking about five things you might not know, or ever want to know about Greek mythology. See, Lizzy is one part Shakespeare and two parts mythology. I’ve always been a huge fan of greek mythology. Cyclops, satyrs, Pegasus, heroes, villains, talking trees – the whole thing was fascinating when I was a kid. But while I loved mythology when I sat down to write Lizzy I had to do a good deal of research. And I learned some, well, weird stuff.

Stuff that includes puking up your kids. Literally. And the somewhat creepy origin of every six year old girl’s favorite flying horsey.

So many thanks to Larissa at Howling Turtle (great blog name!) for having me over. There’s also an excerpt from Lizzy Speare – where Lizzy through a series of unfortunate events magics herself into Shakespeare’s Tomb….(the one that’s cursed – hence the title).

Also there’s still a giveaway going on over at Pretty in Fiction. You’ve got three more days to put in to win a free copy of Lizzy Speare and the Cursed Tomb.

Finally – my thanks to Larissa – here’s your Starburst of Thanks. Enjoy!


Over at Pretty in Fiction

13 Dec


I’m over at Pretty in Fiction today talking about my top five favorite children’s books. For those who know me, I’m terrible at these games. As soon as someone says “top favorite” anything either my mind goes blank or I can’t make a decision. In this case it was both. Feel free to come by and watch me flounder.

Here’s a quote from one of my favorites that I talk about and if you can tell me the name of the book, you’re my new hero:

But don’t go trying to use the same route twice. Indeed, don’t try to get there at all. It’ll happen when you’re not looking for it. And don’t talk too much about it even among yourselves. And don’t mention it to anyone else unless you find that they’ve had adventures of the same sort themselves. What’s that? How will you know? Oh, you’ll know all right. Odd things, they say-even their looks-will let the secret out. Keep your eyes open. Bless me, what do they teach them at these schools.

Also they’re doing a giveaway of an ebook version of Lizzy Speare and the Cursed Tomb.

Oh! That reminds me for those of you who don’t have those fancy dancy ereaders, I’ll have some good, exciting news to share in the not too distant future.

And to Jesse, my sincere thanks for having me over. Here’s my favorite candy in the whole world just for you – your Starburst of Thanks!


Dying Cat at Misfits’ Miscellany

4 Dec

When my husband and I moved in together, nearly 15 years ago, we got June, our loudmouth tabby. Picked her up at a farm, held her as big dogs jumped everywhere. She didn’t flinch so we decided she was a keeper. Then about three months later I decided that June needed a friend and we got Belle. A Siamese-Tonkinese-blue-eyed-white-and-grey-mixed bundle that tumbled out of the carrier and hopped all over the apartment like a bunny. June hated her right from the start but we loved her, desperately.

This past winter, when she started sneezing all the time we took her to the vet. He said she had cancer. I scoffed. Please, I told my husband, she doesn’t have a cancer. There’s no way she has cancer. I don’t even think there is such a thing as nasal cancer.

I was wrong. We held on as long as we could. I cleaned all the blood that she sneezed out. We gave her medicine. We coaxed her to eat. We bribed her with cream cheese. We begged. We cried. We begged some more.

And when we carried up that hill back to the vets the very last time I sobbed the whole way.

june 008

Belle had a half meow. Just this squeaky little thing. Sometimes she opened her mouth and nothing came out.

She startled easy.

She used to meow into the corner of the wall. Either she loved the echo or she was calling the mothership, I was never sure which.

Belle loved potato chips and spaghetti sauce and blackberry yogurt. She could hear me peel the top off a yogurt from the other side of the house.


Belle was beautiful. When she was in the window, people on the street would stop and talk about how beautiful she was.

When my husband came home she used to follow him into the room and roll around on the bed like a dog while he took off his shoes.

She was one of my best friends.

And I miss her so much.


Many thanks to Misfit Miscellany for publishing this poem, Dying Cat. I didn’t say anything back in the spring when she died, but I guess now I wanted to remind the Universe that she was here and she was loved. She was here, my small little bundle of wild love.

She was here. And she was very very loved.

We miss you B.

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