Monday, December 1, 2014

Writers of Books and Poetry



Both my mother's and father's families had writers and poets in them. That gene totally skipped me. My daughter writes really well and I enjoy reading her. The cousin who inherited the poetry gene was my mother's oldest brother's son Robert Black, which makes sense because his father and my mother used to be part of the Coal Bin Poets group in Alabama. 



Bob has already been published in four books.  





The first one published was about the Citadel case (he was one of Shannon Faulkner's lawyers):  Local Counsel: First Women at The Citadel, and Beyond


There's a paperback version and a Kindle version of this one. From his wife: 

The book is a look back at the case, with a broader overtone, focusing on the old system. What many people don't realize is that the initial challenge in the case was the Citadel's fight to keep women Veterans out of its Veteran's program... they ended up closing the entire program to keep from having the court order them in! (It's only recently reopened that program). Another little known highlight is that the U.S. Government intervened in the case, and sued the Citadel, too, not just the women Veterans and Faulkner. Bob ends the book with a proposal for the future of the school that would improve higher education in S.C. 
Then there is a Psalter, The Middle English Glossed Prose Psalter  From the publisher: 

The ‘Middle English Glossed Prose Psalter’ is a fourteenth-century anonymous interlinear Latin-to-Middle English glossed prose translation of the ‘Book of Psalms’, eleven canticles, and the Athanasian Creed. One by one, each verse is written in Latin with an accompanying Middle English translation immediately following. Over one third of the Latin verses of the psalms and canticles in the four surviving manuscripts contain short, sometimes conspicuously Christian, glosses. This edition uses Cambridge, Magdalene College, MS Pepys 2498 as the base manuscript and includes variant Middle English readings from the other three manuscripts. The ‘Middle English Glossed Prose Psalter’ includes an edition of the glossed Latin as well as an edition of all of a French exemplar from Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale, MS fonds français 6260, a fifteenth-century copy of an earlier French text that appears to have influenced the Middle English translators. The edition is in two volumes, and contains a full introduction that includes an analysis of the language of the manuscripts by Jeremy J. Smith. In addition it contains commentaries on the Middle English, Latin, and French texts, three appendices, a select glossary, and bibliography.

Bob's poetry has been published in "Oxford Poets 2010 An Anthology", edited by David Constantine, Robyn Marsack, and Bernard O'Donoghue (Manchester: Carcanet Press, 2010). Here is one, my favorite of his in this book.

LIFE LIKE GREEN


In the dead tree on the boundary
Of our back yard birds routinely gather.
Blue jays and painted buntings.
Mocking birds and cardinals and other locals.
No leaves are on the tree.
Its thick dark branches rise forty feet
Into the air and stand in sharp relief to
The green foliage of other trees surrounding it.
Sharper still is the sight of the birds that
Land on the branches, their bright
Colours distinct against the dark dead branches.
I often sit on the back porch and wonder what
Attracts them to their perches so exposed.
They never stay long, but like tigers in the snow
Each leaves a spot of paint against the
Dark dead branches to give again the colour
Of life like green as they leave.

This is a gift that I wish I had. I suppose that in heading for the nerdy computer jobs, that I lost any loquacious possibilities.

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Aha, well I just learned I have another writer in that same side of the family, Austin Wimberly, the grandson of my mother's older sister. His e-book is a novel, published in October 2012.
   
He and his wife have adopted four children from Russia and that experience gave him the background to write Sobornost, "a powerful story of mothers and sons, of acceptance and rejection, set in Yekaterinburg, Russia in the years after the collapse of communism, Sobornost is about one boy's adoption and three Russian mothers who are forced to make heartbreaking decisions for their children." (book description from the Amazon order site).  I just ordered it and am looking forward to reading it.  It sounds like an interesting read.  I'm up for that!

Friday, May 30, 2014

Separating Feral Cats Inside the House

I know that title sounds odd. One thinks of feral cats as being outside cats, too wild to be inside. However, we do have 3 feral cats living here now in the house with us. One I've had for over ten years now. She was a tiny motherless kitten that mewed for about 24 hours before I had to, of course, give in and bring her inside and feed and bathe her. She was not grateful for being rescued. She hissed and spat and hid behind the furniture, un-pet-able, un-cuddle-able, for actually years.



Now she (Lil Girly) has progressed to accepting petting from me, still from nobody else. She's just feral.



Late last Spring, about this time, two kittens showed up here, in the Yadkin Yard, hungry, thirsty, open to attack from dogs and other larger cats. One of the kittens was clearly the mother of the other. Yet both were small and skinny.




After struggling with this for several days, and saving them from one dog, they came inside to the downstairs only and had a trip to the vet. After getting their shots and deworming medicine, they both were neutered. The mama kitten was about 6 months old, the vet said, and actually pregnant with her second litter when he spayed her. She had an infection and was too young to be having back-to-back litters like this. The vet said we saved her life.


So they learned to use the litter box and to watch the birds from inside the window.


But MamaCat had a kitten with her and so she and Lil Girly fought. When I say fought, I mean running through the house, over and under things, oblivious to what was in the path. This had to stop. So Lil Girly took up residence in the craft room and the sunroom, while the two kittens had the rest of the upstairs and sometimes the downstairs also. There was a problem with this separation, however. Without open air flow, those two back rooms were cold in the winter and hot in the summer. As this spring heated up, we searched for a solution. Enter Latch'n'Vent Interior Door Prop.


You unscrew the brass plate on the door frame and replace it with the Latch'nVent by screwing that in its place. Then you close the door onto the end of the 2", 3", or 4" (we used 2" to be safe) vent arm. Voila, end of problem. Now the air circulates, we're comfortable, they're comfortable, all is well. What a difference. It's made by Symphatics in Oklahoma and is about $15. And no, we weren't compensated for this commercial, haha!

Saturday, December 28, 2013