Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Gabriela's Moon, a short short story

By Claudia Ricci
She is lying here, a fallen angel, in a foot of fresh snow.  It is dark.  The middle of the night.  She has landed right in her own backyard, out near the row of pines.  See her arms and legs, akimbo.
She is watching the sky.  Waiting.  There are stars galore, the sky splattered.  But she is waiting for something more.
The email said, “Tonight will see the first full moon coincide with the winter solstice in 6000 years.  The last time this happened, Moses went up to Mount Sinai for the Ten Commandment stones.  Don’t miss this, a once-in-ten-thousand-lifetimes event.  
The moon will be so big, so bright, that you won’t even need your car headlights.”
Her eyes are glued to the horizon, just above the pines.
There are benefits, she thinks.  Surely, tonight there are benefits.  So what that she cannot sleep a wink when it is dark.  So what that she cannot close her eyes at night because the dreams are way too real.  Too frightful.
Read the rest of "Gabriela's Moon" at Two Drops of Ink.







https://twodropsofink.com/2017/06/06/gabrielas-moon/

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

OH POCO OH POCO OH POKE-OH

It is Wednesday morning and Democrat Jon Ossoff lost the special election in Georgia and those G.D. Republicans are making mince meat out of the nation's health care program and they're doing it in secret, evil evil men that they are.

But we all need to take a break from MSNBC and the overwhelming miseries around the world.

So here I wil tell you about going for a walk with Poco. Or not going for a walk.

Well, actually that's just the point: she is quite happy resting. Endlessly!

Naturally, we take her out and play in the yard, but when it comes to walking, forget it.

She delights in sleeping for hours on the futon in my husband's study. Or on "her" chair in the living room.

This is the way it goes:

Poco is lying curled up in her chair. "Hey Poco, let's go for a walk."

No motion whatsoever.

"Come on you little Poke, let's get those legs working."

Nothing.

I lift up her limp body and carry her outside, set her on her feet and affix the leash. And then I attempt to walk.

She squints her eyes, and looks off in the distance, and hunkers down. She isn't going anywhere any time soon.

This isn't the behavior of the other Havanese I know so well, my daughter Lindsay's dog, Milo. When I visit Denver, ten-year old Milo is always wildly excited when she sees me pick up the leash. We go for long distances in the park close by Lindsay's house.

Back to Poco in the driveway. After extensive cajoling, and tugging on her leash, she takes a few baby steps.

Then once again, she is glued to the driveway.

"Oh Poco come on!"

When and if she feels like it, she takes a few more very pokey steps. Or if I'm lucky, she walks half-way down the driveway.

"Wonderful, good doggie!"

She stops, sniffs, and sniffs, and sniffs and sniffs, and then she ambles on a few more inches.

And STOPS. And won't budge.

One day recently, she and I faced off for about 10 minutes. I held the leash demanding that she walk. She sat there, stubbornly refusing to move.

Until of course,  having other things to do, I finally gave in and carried all 13 pounds of her back to the house.

This is what Lindsay would call a "first world problem." And I agree totally.

So what if the dog doesn't walk every day? Play with her in the yard and let it be.

(Well, actually, the vet said she is borderline chubby! So we reduced her food.)

Meanwhile, there is one sure way to get her running like a bullet:

BERT!

I drive her up to our old neighborhood in Lenox whenever possible so she can tumble around with her boyfriend.

She practically explodes out of the car.

We are now trying to arrange a few playdates with other dogs nearby.



Like I said at the start, this is hardly earth-shaking.

But at a time when so much news is scary and heartbreaking, and we feel helpless to do anything in response, it helps to think about something else.  If only for a little while.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

"Sister Mysteries" is Ready for Editing



Do you speak fluent Spanish? I am looking for someone to translate passages in my new novel, Sister Mysteries.

My friend Nina read it. She knows enough Spanish to say that I REALLY need help making the Spanish sound authentic.

I would, of course, compensate the translator!

Here, this evening, the novel is sitting in my new perennial garden at our lovely new home.

I am so delighted to have finished this novel, which took me -- are you ready? 22 years!

When I started writing it, in January of 1995, I was 42 years old.  I had no idea it would take me half that lifetime to produce this book. My first novel, Dreaming Maples, took six years. My second novel, Seeing Red, took me about SIX WEEKS!

This goes to show you there is no accounting for what happens with art!


I am toying with the idea of using the image below, which I painted several years ago, as the cover art for the novel. I would love to hear your thoughts on this choice. BE HONEST!!