Friday, January 29, 2016

Murder & Obsession: @yolandarenee Cover Reveal!

Flames burn between a hardboiled cop and a gifted artist, but soon extinguish as another man's obsession ignites into an inferno of desire, driving him to destroy the object of his madness.

Congratulations, Yolanda! A-ma-zing cover for Book #3 in the Detective Quaid Mysteries series!

Monday, January 25, 2016

#BoTB Results: Tribute to David Bowie

This was as close to a shut-out (or is it blow-out? I can never keep them straight) as my Battles have come... Nirvana won 15 to 2.

Nirvana (15)

Midge Ure (2)

Not that my vote would matter at this point, but... Yeah, I vote for Nirvana, too. I love Midge's version, but — like so many pointed out in the comments — Nirvana's has an emotional significance (and content) that's hard to match.

Thanks, everyone, for coming by to vote and comment, and my apologies for the late post with the results. I'm finally back in Dushi Kòrsou, happy to be home (and in good-wifi land :D ). I've missed you all.

Friday, January 15, 2016

#BoTB : Goodbye, David Bowie

Can you hear me, Major Tom? 
Can you hear me, Major Tom?
Can you hear me, Major Tom?

A legend has left us behind. This is my mediocre way of paying tribute to a genius that changed the face of music with a career that spanned half a century.

In Bowie's own words (1997):
"That song for me always exemplified kind of how you feel when you're young, when you know that there's a piece of yourself that you haven't really put together yet. You have this great searching, this great need to find out who you really are."

Great, great song.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Meanwhile, on the Miracle front...

The Chit Chat Café at Mensing's Caminada, Curaçao's largest
bookstore. The café has graciously agreed to host us for
the launch.
The Miracle of Small Things has come home. Thanks to the wonderful people at Mensing's Caminada bookstore, the book is now for sale here in Curaçao, the island that gave it life. The official launch is planned for Saturday Feb. 13th, but we decided that—due to the long wait—it was a good idea to put a few copies up for sale pre-launch.

Why the long wait? Why not do the launch earlier—now, for instance? Or—as we'd originally planned—before Christmas and the big shopping season? Yes, that would've made sense. But living on an island that no one (including international postal services) can find on a map has its drawbacks.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

No New Year's Like Curaçao's, #BoTB Results, Lost & Found, Etc.

Even if this battle wasn't too popular (only 13 votes), it was still very close.

Karen Souza: 6

Aslan: 7
Elliptical Man

Which brings us to my vote. I'm tempted to make this a tie... I really do like Karen's version and listen to it often, while Aslan's I'd never heard of until I found it for this Battle. And yet... Aslan really did blow me away. I think it was Robin who said their version was somehow sadder and more hopeful all at the same time — yes. Yes. There's something about that version that hits the spot for me in a way that Karen's, as interesting at it is musically, does not.

So. I vote for Aslan.

Huge gratitude to everyone that took time off from a busy start-of-the-year schedule to come by and vote (or just say hi) — loved seeing you here. I'm painfully behind on returning blog visits and in blogging generally, but I'll catch up in the next few days. Promise :)

You know that bit from the opening of The Miracle of Small Things,

"There's no stillness like the stillness of Curaçao on New Year's Day. Pointless tropical sun on deserted asphalt, every business shuttered, everything forlorn. Not even trash stirs: the wind is on furlough too. There's also no New Year's Eve like Curaçao's, which explains the stillness."

These are some of the reasons why.

Yes, January 1st is a quiet, quiet day. 

Speaking of 1sts, the sign-up for the Lost & Found hop on Feb 1st is going on FIFTY participants since the linky went up on Monday. Which is great — yay! But I've also noticed a few people who disqualify themselves from participating because they feel they've been unlucky in love, and that is not good.

So let's get something clear: this is a hop as much about being in love as out of it. As much about the presence as about the absence. And — this is important, so I need your undivided attention — it's about love in general, so not only of the romantic kind.

Listen, it's okay if you don't want to participate. But don't think you can't participate because love hasn't treated you right recently (or, you know, ever). This is your chance to get back at it. Let your creativity loose and tell us just how dimwitted the lovelorn look to the innocent bystander. Tell us about that awkward sense of relief when a bad relationship is, finally, over. Or go wild and tell us about that weirdo who's in love with his car. (No, don't look at me like that. Stephen King built a career on that one; why not you?)

Seriously. This is a hop meant to gather, prism-like, all the different aspects of that "crazy little thing", and all the weird stuff we'll do for it (or to avoid it). Your contribution, in whatever form it comes, will be unique — and, because of that, will add something important.

Okay, passionate plea is over. As you were.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

The Laughing Heart (Charles Bukowski, read by Tom Waits)

"That's a beauty," he says at the end. Yes... yes, it is. Enjoy.

your life is your life
don’t let it be clubbed into dank submission.
be on the watch.
there are ways out.
there is light somewhere.
it may not be much light but
it beats the darkness.
be on the watch.
the gods will offer you chances.
know them.
take them.
you can’t beat death but
you can beat death in life, sometimes.
and the more often you learn to do it,
the more light there will be.
your life is your life.
know it while you have it.
you are marvelous
the gods wait to delight
in you.
-- by Charles Bukowski

Monday, January 4, 2016

Lost & Found: Valentine's Edition (a blog hop)

Love... Even the word sounds like a sigh. But is it a sigh of contentment—or of regret? If you've found it, the world shines in colors vivid. If you've lost it, life fades into grays and shadows. There's nothing quite as intense as falling in love. Or as the feeling of loss when it ends.

This is a blog hop to celebrate love: lost, or found, or—both? Whether in short fiction, or a brief essay, or poetry, or even (especially for us Battle of the Bands participants) via a song, tell us a love story. Whether it's of loss or a happily-ever-after is up to you—as is the genre. Sci-fi, thriller, comedy, memoir—it's all good. "Love" is, after all, so much more than just "romance". On Monday February 1st, it's all about love, in all its forms. The only limit is your creativity.

The Lost & Found: Valentine's Edition blog hop was born as a collaboration with Arlee Bird, and we're thrilled to have enlisted fabulous help from co-hosts Denise Covey, Yolanda Renee, Elizabeth Seckman, and the Ninja Captain himself, Alex Cavanaugh.

Sign up to the Love Lost & Found extravaganza at the linky below. See you on Monday February 1st!

Friday, January 1, 2016

New Year's Day (#BoTB)

"There's no stillness like the stillness of Curaçao on New Year's Day."

So opens The Miracle of Small Things, a line reminiscent of U2's "All is quiet on New Year's Day..." No song more appropriate, then, to start off a new year of Battle of the Bands.

I wouldn't even dream of pitting the original against... well, anyone. This is a sacred song for me—for us. My dushi and I have been singing this together, at the top of our voices,  thirteen New Years in a row, sometime around 7pm—midnight in Holland, and the first New Year's "bang" here in Curaçao: fireworks, hugs, phone calls, clinking of beer bottles, general uproar—and a fairly predictable playlist, whether by DJ or live band, that includes Auld Lang Syne and U2's New Year's Day.

We may not have a "world in white" here in the tropics, but...

I want to be with you, be with you
Night and day
Nothing changes on New Year's Day.

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