The Autumn of Our Regret: Something Wicked This Way Comes
Uncategorized / November 29, 2018

There’s no doubt about it anymore, this year has grown old.  We’ve gone through the frigid days of winter and the balm of summer and spring. Then we sailed through the most colorful parts of fall and now the world’s turned cold again.  It’s hard not to look at the shortening days and the denuded tree branches without feeling a little regret over the closing of the year. A holiday season is great but there’s nothing like a change of season to make you think about opportunities missed. I think that’s one reason why Ray Bradbury set his haunting fantasy, “Something Wicked This way Comes” during the later part of the year.  Of course, it’s tied to Halloween – show me a good scary story that isn’t – but this tale is bound less to the ghouls and goblins and more to the real demons that bedevil our lives: fear, regret, isolation, and sorrow. The Story Longing and Age are the obsessions running through this dark fantasy: Jim Nightshade, just shy of fourteen wants to grow up and leave childhood, and his friend Will, behind.  What adults do behind window shades intrigues him.  Will’s father, Charles Halloway, has the opposite problem….

Book Title Mash-Ups
Uncategorized / August 20, 2015

I love the idea of mashups.  Two separate but familiar works get slammed together to create an idea that has elements of both.  (Sounds familiar, no?).  The results can be kind of fun.  These title mashups came from my bookshelf.  Which ones do you have? Harry Potter & the Half-Blood Prince of Tides  Harry hates being the last member of his family until he’s stuck with the Wingo clan on Melrose Island for an entire winter.  By Spring, he sends Voldemort a thank-you note. Gone With the Wind in the Willows A southern belle recovers from the Civil War by hanging out with some English vermin and a Toad with ADD. Fiddle-dee-dee, what’s a lil ‘ole war between friends? The Lilies of the Field of Dreams It doesn’t matter how whack-a-doodle your idea sounds.  If you build it, they will come and you’ll be a better person for going the distance.  (Hey, I know this one is stretching, but don’t they really say the same thing?  Faith + hard work can do anything.) Howard’s End of the Affair It’s England, of course, and Henry or his wife have strayed from those marital vows.  In either case, affection gets muddled up with the…

The Books That Follow You Home…
Uncategorized / November 1, 2014

To me, books are like Jack’s magic beans.  Think about poor old Jack, wandering to town with the family cow, hoping to trade Bossy in for a few days worth of chow.   Instead he winds up with a handful of beans his mom flings out the window after she hears of Jack’s impulse trade.   The beans don’t look like much in hand but they end up changing Jack’s life because they really have magical properties.   They can grow huge stalks overnight that take Jack to impossible places of terror and delight.   Because of the beans, Jack becomes a thief, a provider, a rich man and (almost) the giant’s lunch.   Because of the beans, Jack’s life changes forever. Now some books are a lot like those beans.   In hard form, they are just words on a page, nothing to get excited or scared about and another person might not see much value in them.  But I think they have magical properties.  Like beans, they can take you to places and people you would never know otherwise.  They can transport you through time, like a TARDIS, then return you home for tea.  These stories don’t just give knowledge, they almost seem sentient. …

%d bloggers like this: