Dave Plassman’s patient fans finally have something new to read. There is a new science fiction novel out, called Entanglement, and wow is it a rollicking journey! Our main character is a recent graduate of the University of Washingon, Somewhat at loose ends, all they want to do is make enough for rent and gas. […]
Guest post by Rohvannyn Shaw of Mindflight
When my parents and I no longer lived near each other, we still had a desire for closeness, particularly around the holidays. We started a tradition where my mother would write a story and email it to me, I would create illustrations for it then send the finished pages back over to them, then my father would help bind and ship the story. They would go out to all the friends and relatives as their Christmas present.
There were so many advantages to this. The extended family would start calling each other and discussing the story. I got plenty of chance to illustrate things. We all three had the feeling of continuing a holiday tradition that drew us together.
Now, for this year, my dad is the one who wrote the story. I had the idea to publish the last twelve or so stories into one big volume. I also would re-illustrate the stories that needed it. So “Yuletide Lights” was born. It’s fifteen stories, each one born of personal experience, and filled with the central themes of the holiday season. They stories are in general heartwarming and filled with generosity but in some truly touching ways. Each story is a slice of life, a pair of magic glasses with which you can peep into another life, another way. The story I wrote is about a lost cat in Japan, but even it happens around the Holidays. The little girl in the book my dad wrote might as well have been me, and I remember versions of many of events in these and other stories. Many times I’ve been moved to tears, working on this project.
I had fun preparing, editing and illustrating these stories, as much fun as I hope you have in reading them.
Originally posted n October 2, 2014 at 5:05 AM
Are there books you read when you were very young to which you keep returning whether by reading the books themselves or revisting them in thought and daydream? If so, do you know what it is about the books that keep them resurfacing after so many years? One of my favorite pastimes is discussing old favorites and interesting oddities with friends and acquaintances. Having done this for many years I have rather come to the conclusion that it’s the images in the books which are so powerful to me; Whether it is six children summering on a private island (Swallows and Amazons—Swallowdale by Arthur Ransome) or a lone Native girl builds a pole hut surrounding it with a palisade of outward-curving whale bones (Island orf the Blue Dolphin Scott O’Dell) or Anna Lavinia seeing the sky within her aunt’s house which looks quite ordinary from without (Beyond the Paw Paw Trees Palmer Brown) there is something in these stories which creeps right into my dreams.
Before I’d read the Narnian stories I had a night dream about a talking horse with whom I was travelling across the desert. Though I knew that a mirage was a thing insubstantial and uncatchable, we glimpsed a wonderful sight of water and trees up ahead and managed to overtake it. Somehow I got a licorice ice cream cone and was happily eating that. My horse told me he wanted us to go on and I said as soon as I was done with my cone we’d be off but as with most good dreams, it ended before we could have further adventures. This was a mixture of imageries from Beyond the Paw Paw trees, a largely forgotten story about the conflict between dreams and practicality, and possibly a dream long had even at age 6 or so, to talk with animals.
Certain authors have stood the test of time, Beverly Cleary, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Robert Newton Peck. Some are perhaps less well-known, Carolyn Sherwin Bailey author of Miss Hickory about the twig doll who lived in a corn cob house, Lucy Boston of the Green Knowe books and Carolyn Haywood of the Little Eddie stories. Though less well known, these and many others, were at one time, household names and fillers of much leisure time fantasy. I recently remarked to a friend that in researching a number of the writers of old favorite or well-remembered tales, I found that many of them appear to have lived quite lengthy lives and we hypothesized that to live a long time one should write children’s novels.
In a writers’ group I attended back in the ‘90s I was told by one woman that whenever I wrote dialogue for children or described children’s play, AI always got it just about perfect. I said I supposed that was because I’d never really grown up. Some of us pass at some time through a door, leaving childhood things behind. Once I started to do so but somehow got stuck or came back the other way and still love a great many of the things that attracted me when I was preliterate. I’ve not forgotten the images nor ceased to dream.
Originally posted on October 14, 2012 at 11:55 PM
Secret Summers is now available through the FastPencil marketplace, Barnes and Noble, and a whole slew of other marketplaces.
It’s available in eBook format as well as hard copy.
“Ninian thinks of himself as an average 11 year old boy with normal interests. According to his Grandfather, he was named for the patron saint of Scotland. Summer vacation is here and he looks forward to the easy days of backyard, books and just hanging out. But he is invited to visit his estranged aunt Claire who lives in an old, cliff-side house on the Oregon coast! Almost as soon as he arrives, he begins encountering events both mystical and mysterious; me meets a new friend, discovers a magical lighthouse that changes things that it touches, and explores the world of Faerie, as well as his identity as his own twin sister!”
eBook on FastPencil
Paperback on Lulu.com