Teeny Tiny: last summer
Remember Tiny the magpie? And the love of his life, Tina? And remember Catharina who patiently observed the pair and reported on their goings-on? Check out the story here if you missed that post.
After writing about Catharina and Tiny, I wondered what was going on with Tiny and Tina and would periodically email Catharina to find out. You might have wondered yourself how they were faring.
Now you can read the whole story of Tiny and Tina and of Catharina, too, in Fly Wings, Fly High!.What you might not realize is that Catharina had a stroke (at quite a young age) and began her recovery around the time that young Tiny was trying to learn how to deal with his screwed-up wing.
Catherine Lind’s narrative about her recovery from a stroke is threaded with the story of a wild magpie Lind observes struggling to fly with a deformed wing. Tiny, as Lind names the bird that lives in her yard, works very hard at learning to fly. Lind is inspired as she watches Tiny for months as he keeps trying to fly–first a few feet, then from a little “jungle gym” Lind creates for him, and then to the apple tree to eat the fruit.
Lind finds that Tiny is ever hopeful and persistent. When he tries to land, he isn’t graceful and crashes over and over. Each time, he picks himself up and tries again. He is never downhearted, and he never gives up. But it’s not so easy for Lind who has always prided herself on her skill with words. They are her livelihood and her portal to the world. When the stroke knocks out half her vocabulary in both English and Swedish, she can only communicate by speaking a combination of both languages. Sometimes it seems as if she will never recover.
Watching Tiny’s determination and good spirits, Lind decides to follow his lead and work intensely on her skills by singing, hand exercises, and eventually, telling elaborate stories aloud about Tiny and his life. Reading Fly Wings, Fly High! taught me a great deal about what it is like to experience a stroke, and I was comforted and intrigued by the extraordinary tale of Tiny, whose influence on Lind’s life has been enormous. My life has been enriched by reading this charming story told by a very talented storyteller.
Catharina’s book is short, like a novella—either a very short novel or a long short story. It’s available in paperback or for Kindle.
I so enjoyed the loving detail of the natural world and the animals found within. When I was a kid I loved books that paid attention to this world (Gene Stratton Porter and Louisa May Alcott both managed this accomplishment at times), but I’ve moved away from it as an adult. What a wonderful experience to inhabit that world again.
Additionally, learning about the effects of a stroke from the inside out was fascinating; I’ve never read anything quite like Catharina’s experience.
Yesterday I washed sweet Perry’s bedding and a hairball fell onto the floor. It had WORMS coming out of it. Right after we began fostering him I took his poo to the vet and paid $ to have it tested at the lab. Must have been at a certain point in the life cycle where it doesn’t show up because this hairball is just jammed with worms. I am being so nice to you not to show it to you. Heh. My stomach is still heaving a little. But imagine how bad his tummy has hurt all this time!
I did work on the galleys for Kin Types. That was fun, but a little difficult with my cataracts. Sigh.
Tag Archives: publication
I mentioned some time back that I had a flash nonfiction piece coming out in a journal called Toasted Cheese. There aren’t a lot of places that publish flash nonfiction (as opposed to flash fiction like my “Parking Lot Superhero” story). At least I haven’t found too many.
Here is the latest issue of Toasted Cheese, and in it is my story “And So It Goes.” I believe that if my name was taken off this and Superhero that nobody would guess the same person wrote both of them. The only thing in common is that both have an experimental quality to them. In the Story Shack piece, I used a structural twist to get to the essence of the story. In this new story, I begin at both the beginning and the end and then move through the story forward and backward.
“And So It Goes” is about my great-great-grandfather Pieter Mulder and my great-great-grandmother Neeltje Gorsse Mulder.
You can find the story here at “And So It Goes.”
“And So It Goes” is prose, but it will be in my chapbook collection based on my genealogical research. I expect to have two or three prose pieces, as well as poetry and prose poems.
Remember that Toasted Cheese provides writing prompts and creative blog posts about writing.
On February 29, I posted this sample from December 15, 2015. You can find April’s writing prompts here.
- Recommend on social media at least one thing you’ve read this year. If you don’t use social media, recommend in person. Independent authors are particularly grateful for recommendations.
- Create some recommendation business cards and leave them with your favorite works in the bookstore. You can print them at home. They could be as simple as the word “recommended” with a thumbs-up or a shelf card that lists why you recommend the book. Don’t put stickers on or in the books.
- Ask for recommendations at a used book store and/or independent bookstore. If you’re lucky, your local chain bookstore will have fellow book lovers who are well-versed enough to recommend as well.
- Recommend a book to a friend on Goodreads.
- While you’re there, write a recommendation of a book. If you’re stuck for one, think of a book you discovered on your own and write the review as though you’re speaking to your younger self.
I’d like to remind you that today is Holocaust Remembrance Day (began last evening) and Cinco de Mayo. Two completely different events to ponder, both related to war. Look at how much one day can contain. It reminds me that in writing it’s important to think small to go big.
Talkin’ trash here is more like it. So. You know how I’ve been working on poems and flash prose based on my research into my family history? Well, I have been. I’m working toward a chapbook–maybe 25 pieces.
One of my favorites was taken by a new magazine that looked great. They had one issue out with some excellent and even well-known poets, and I loved what I read, so I was excited for the 2nd issue with my poem in it. It was due out in December.
It’s now April and has not yet been published. And they don’t respond to my emails or my tweets.
If they had to fold, I feel bad for them, but it’s so unprofessional to accept work for an issue that will never be and not to notify the writers. I did send an email accepting their acceptance, so am I stuck now with a poem I can’t send out elsewhere?
I say NOT THE CASE. They seem to have broken any possibly contract that could have existed. But I was happy to have half my already-written pieces accepted and now this sets me back. I need another acceptance to catch up to that halfway point ;).
If I’m not going to name the offending journal, I guess I’m not even talkin’ trash, right? I’m just talkin’ poetry.
In 2004 I wrote a poem that took honorable mention in a competition that had an interesting reading venue. The poems that placed or were awarded honorable mentions netted their poets invitations to read at Carnegie Hall. That impressed me. I always wanted to play Carnegie Hall, but I thought you had to be a musician! I was not able to attend, sadly, and that meant that somebody else read this poem on my behalf.
After the fires came mudstorms
Bulldozing bodies into the mix.
Weeks spent crumpling like dying stars,
Families’ children into science,
Into candlelit commiseration.
Pressure builds in a cauldron
With boiling tar, the three virtues tied
To a wheel and beaten with rods.
Small skulls of infants and bonobos
Commix in the pasteurized fields.
These offerings burst into flame
Larger than Santorini.
Rebuilding over brick, concrete, bones.
And the moon moves farther from us.
The event that inspired the poem was a horrific mudslide in San Bernardino County on Christmas 2003. Nine children and five adults were killed as they ate their holiday luncheon.
Weirdly, although it’s National Poetry Month, I picked my memoir manuscript back up last week. I feel a little split down the middle . . . .
Handsome (and mild-mannered) Rex dreams of a loving home in Arizona
@ Home Fur Good
My latest short memoir piece was just published by Six Hens. This nonfiction story was very difficult to write and even more difficult to think of publishing. Called “Boundaries,” it’s about a time when my boundaries were invaded by someone else–and just at that vulnerable season of puberty.
It’s a glorious spring here in Arizona, so I snapped some pix of what I see outside, just to remind me when I’m inside.
All of these beauties survived the freezes this winter, with a little help from the humans. Hubby and I covered them with old sheets and freeze cloths every time the temperature dipped.
Starting to write again TODAY. Thanks for the motivation last week!!!
If you like the Arizona landscape, I do have a few poems that touch upon that subject in Doll God. Haha, I haven’t plugged my book in awhile!
You know how I’m always yammering about poetry and memoir? Well, darned if I didn’t get a short story (fiction!) published today in Crack the Spine. Called “Small Solace,” it’s a little bit weird. I hope you enjoy it. If you do, please go to one of the magazine’s sites and post a comment of some sort about it. That’s because they use feedback to determine what pieces go into a print issue and which writers they do a Wordsmith interview on (they only choose one author each issue).
Here is the issue–look for page 27: Crack the Spine Issue 163
I did warn you that it’s a little weird. Yes, the wallet image here is a clue as to the subject.
Here are some places to leave feedback:
Or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks so much, peeps!
At long last (as if anybody has been waiting for this moment but moi hahaha) I can reveal the cover of Doll God, my poetry collection. Here ’tis.
Here is a quote from the book description:
Luanne Castle’s debut poetry collection, Doll God, studies traces of the spirit world in human-made and natural objects–a Japanese doll, a Palo Verde tree, a hummingbird. Her exploration leads the reader between the twin poles of nature and creations of the imagination in dolls, myth, and art.
All I can say is: FINALLY.
We had all kinds of problems transferring the artwork to the book cover. It took four book proofs to get it right. The original photograph was taken by my daughter and artist Kenneth Nicholson created the art. Well, finally. The book should be available online later this week, so I will post the links when I get them.
Most of my friends use some sort of e-book reader. Not all of them, but most. So does my 78-year-old mother. Of course, she also has an iPhone, and I am not yet that advanced.
When I am forced to explain why I don’t have a Kindle, my explanations sound defensive, even lame. I like holding a real book (but hate lugging tote bags full of them). I dislike looking at a screen (but stare at the computer for hours). I have a book collection (which is why I don’t have any shelf space left).
Every so often I start to think it’s time to relent and buy an e-book reader.
In a related subject, I submit my poetry to literary magazines. Increasingly, the magazines are “ezines,” or online versions.
But I love being published in actual magazines. The other day I received my two contributor’s copies from The Antigonish Review. They accepted my poem “Vintage Doll Buggy,” and they even paid me for it. I waved the check under my husband’s nose to prove poetry pays, whereupon he laughed so hard he started choking.
When I pulled the copies out of the envelope and held them in my hands, I knew why I am reluctantly to turn this business over to the virtual world. The heft and weight of the books in my hand proved their existence. They couldn’t be ignored or clicked away. They are a near living artifact of the poems and stories inside. My poem is one of many, and it represents hours of toil and years of living. If the poem isn’t in an actual book or magazine, does it really exist or does it fade out of the mind? Is it “over” too quickly?
I’m going to hold off on getting an e-book reader. I’ll get an iPhone first.