Snippet from Work-in-progress

From the breathless silence of the dark stage, a harp played a few notes, followed by a simple melody, Greensleeves. It seemed to Fort that the harp was daring the cello to follow it. The cello quietly joined in. As the music swelled and became more intricate, the two larger moons peered over the rim behind them, illuminating the stage. The sound grew as the light grew. The effect was perfectly timed and executed, and utterly magical.

The full stage lights came up to a thunder of applause. Sabaku set his cello on its stand and stood up to offer his arm to the harpist, who was dressed in a golden gown that matched her instrument. They both walked forward and bowed. “Ladies and gentlemen, it is my pleasure to introduce the celebrated harpist Rochelle Gunderson of Gothenburg, Sweden, Earth. Her next selection will be played on an Irish lap harp,” he announced as she gracefully disengaged her arm from his and seated herself.

She swept the smaller instrument off of a nearby table and set it in her lap. Softly, very softly, she began to play Brahms’ Lullaby.

Fort hardly was listening to the music. The brooch was dead weight in his pocket. Should he give it to her now, or after the show? Should he suggest going to The Pound afterwards? Did he dare try to reach for her hand or try an arm around her shoulders? Would she take it the right way? He watched her out of the corner of his eye, hoping for some nonverbal cues to follow.

To his surprise, Alix stiffened as if the music disturbed her deeply, which made no sense at all. What could be wrong with it? Her discomfort had nothing to do with him, he hoped. He couldn’t see her face, for she’d turned away. Fort followed her line of vision and decided that she was watching either the Moores or someone over in their vicinity.

He reached for her hand, brushed it really, and found that it was like ice. She turned with a sharp intake of breath, startled by his touch. He saw a moonlit glimmer of tears about to brim over. Her eyes were pleading, intense, and unfathomable.

“Alix, what . . ?”

She stood abruptly, awkwardly, scattering her program and the cushion. Her voice was a jagged whisper, and tears were leaking from the corners of her eyes. “This was a mistake. Just leave me alone. Don’t follow me, don’t talk to me, don’t care.” She pushed toward the aisle, trying to brush him aside. “I’m sorry. I have to go Now.”

2020 Spring Gardening post

Those of you who know me well know I love to grow vegetables, fruit, spices, and flowers. Here is the beginning of this year’s garden. My husband will be temporarily furloughed soon and we’ll be out there a lot, getting the rest of the garden in shape. Note that I am watering much more since we have a crawler sprinkler, which means I can set it up and forget it as it transits the yard. On this photo tour I will follow the crawler sprinkler’ arc.

The sprinkler covers some badly placed blueberry bushes that won’t transplant well, and an olive tree not doing well this far north that I will dig up and give to my son in Florida when this pandemic is over (we’ll put in an artichoke). No pics of those sad items. But here is our fig tree, and some of the fruit that is nearly ripe.

Across from the figs are our front steps, where we are growing nasturtiums and morning glories, and I’ve just potted a new Meyer lemon.

Next, let’s visit the greens: drought-resistant Jericho loose-leaf cos (Romaine), lark’s tongue kale, and black-seeded Simpson lettuce.

The purple flower above the kale is spiderwort. Pretty but very invasive; I’ll have to pull more of it. Again.

And carrots! It’s nice to have a deep bed so I can grow the full-length ones instead of the half-long varieties. These are Danvers longs, like you’d get in the supermarket.

Above the raised bed and flower garden there’s a set of grape vines. Gonna be a huge crop.

There’s a flower bed with a rock garden next, but the tiger lilies are not blooming yet, and the tulips, flowering creeping thyme, and hyacinths/grape hyacinths are done blooming. And there’s another raised bed behind the flowerbed with fava beans, beet greens, tons of Jerusalem artichokes and all sort of things just sprouting, but sprouts are boring and the asparagus is done. Behind THEM is a log with edible mushrooms (tree ears) and a compost pile under a huge mulberry tree. We can eat those berries but mostly leave them for the birds. And behind that are three 1-ft hazelnut trees as a little hedge. Maybe they’ll finally fruit this year.

I have two more beds that need to be tilled and planted, but the one across from the mulberry needs that tree cut back or it will not get enough sun in the summer. In the winter we want to go back to having our cold box there. The large bed in the back yard will get tilled and planted next, with green beans, tomatoes , okra, and flowers. It’s a wasteland of weeds at the moment, though.

Gardening is what I do to get sun and exercise, pandemic or no. I get to greet neighbors (from a safe distance) out walking their dogs and mom’s out pushing their strollers. It gets a bit hard when it’s 100 degrees out there, but I do my work in the early morning then (except for watering.

More pics as things grow. – Wendy

#bookqw – keyword is “Good”

For Book Quote Wednesday #bookqw – today’s keyword is “Good” as in “not a good environment.”

Here are some of the other reviews:

5.0 out of 5 stars.  “A different but extremely enjoyable read! Wendy’s real life account of her personal and working career is engaging and VERY interesting. I loved reading about all the crazy things people do on job sites. The writing is personal and well done. Wendy knows how to put a story together. Note that the book is a long one and I didn’t even notice until the end. Great work, Wendy! I’m going to look for more of your work. Kudos.” – Amazon reviewer

A glimpse through the keyhole. If you’ve ever been in a city, and looked up at ongoing construction over your head and wondered, “How do they know that’s safe?” this book is full of interesting information. The stories are fascinating. A fun read!

The New A&A is up! Here’s what’s inside:

Issue 74: 2nd Quarter 2020
“Online This Time” by Wendy S. Delmater

“The Eyes of Hemshat” by K. D. Julicher
“A Life On Air” by D. A. D’Amico
“Like Vines” by Alicia Power
“May Nothing But Happiness Come Through Your Door” by Robert Bagnall
“A Greater Good” by Laura O’Brien

“Sunset Coda” by Patrick Hurley

“Introduction to Abyss & Apex Poetry Issue 74” by John C, Mannone

“The Wood Became Birds” byTristan Beiter
“Three Bad Dreams” by Kevin Denelsbeck
“In Pluto’s Embrace” by Deborah Davitt
“To the Underworld” by Dawn Vogel
“Diamond Dust” by Christina Sng
“Prisms” by Stephanie Smith
“Under the Boards” by Misha Penton
“Cargo Cult” by Marc Ruvolo

The Sideman (John Simon book 2) by Bryan Thomas Schmidt
The Hunchback’s Captive and Other Stories and Poems of the Dark Fantastic by Jay Sturner
Across the Universe: Tales of Alternative Beatles edited by Michael A. Ventrella and Randee Dawn