Gifts of Various Sorts
Written in response to Sunday Scribblings prompt 273: "Give."
1. The book that keeps on giving
I've just received the paperback version of 2:46: Aftershocks: Stories from the Japan Earthquake, also known as "quakebook." This project began with a tweet from @ourmaninabiko shortly after the March 11 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami. In a little more than a week (March 18 to March 25), over 100 people made this book of raw, first-hand experiences in Japan a reality.
I'd been following the tweets (on this list) and had watched this project, which appeared first as an e-book, unfolding. Every penny from revenues goes directly to the Japanese Red Cross.
Don't let its slim 95 pages fool you. This is powerful stuff, best read in small doses. A copy will also go to a dear friend of mine, who has made 20 trips to Japan over the course of 40 years.
2. Giving care
"Convention preparations" for me normally means a science fiction convention, but this one is different. I now have my ticket to attend a Fearless Caregiver Conference, one of several given throughout the country.
3. Gifted with a contributor's copy and a review
My poem "The Last Dragon Slayer" appears in Mythic Delirium #24.
Alexandra Seidel reviews the issue in Fantastique Unfettered:
"[A] venture into lightheartedness" is what editor Mike Allen calls this latest issue of Mythic Delirium. The poetry assembled here certainly makes for an excellent adventure, and lightheartedness often plays a part, but even so, all these lyrical quests have a weighty center.
The best example for this is probably 'The Last Dragon Slayer' by Elissa Malcohn, a poem in eight parts, eight parts of tale that is nothing if not epic. Each part is in itself a poem and comes to you each in a different form. This poem of a dragon and questing dragon slayers --while it does many other things--clearly acknowledges the longing for myth, the longing for adventure in all of us.
I only recently discovered this comment, left back in March by alana (#17) on The Book Smugglers: "I’m all about the strong female protagonist. Right now I'm in the middle of Elissa Malcohn's Deviations (#1) and I’m loving it."
She was responding to author Neesha Meminger's terrific guest blog on her inspirations and influences.
4. Gifts in the making
Inspired by comments from crich70 and astra over at the MobileRead Forums, I've assembled an Omnibus CD of my Deviations series:
The books remain in separate files. E-book file formats are the same as those available for free download on my website (which should be accessible again on July 1; meanwhile, click here for a list of free download sites): EPUB (For EPUB-compatible software, including iPad, Kobo, Nook, updated Sony Reader, and Stanza); HTML (to be read in your browser); LIT (for Microsoft Reader); LRF (Sony Reader compatible); MOBI (For Mobipocket Reader devices, including Kindle); PDB (For eReader, Palm, Phone, PDA, etc.); PDF (Adobe Acrobat file, tagged to reflow on different-sized screens); and PRC (also for Mobipocket Reader devices, including Kindle). The autographed CD also contains brochures with book summaries and excerpts.
5. Gifts of nature
This ibis joined three others for a swoop past the house, and rested in a tree across the street as its buddies moved on. It caught up with them several minutes later.
Eudocimus albus, Family Threskiornithidae. Says eNature, "Around their colonies, ibises eat crabs and crayfish, which in turn devour quantities of fish eggs. By keeping down the numbers of crayfish, the birds help increase fish populations. In addition, their droppings fertilize the water, greatly increasing the growth of plankton, the basic food of all marsh life. White Ibises gather at dusk in spectacular roosts, long lines of birds streaming in from all directions."
I watched this sunset from my local community park, shortly before a storm blew in.
6. Gift of music
As soon as I saw the Sunday Scribblings prompt, "Give" by Missing Persons began playing in my head and formed the "theme music" for this entry. I'd bought their 1984 cassette "Rhyme & Reason" based solely on that song.