Daily Archives: October 17, 2008

Poetry Friday: Frost and Punkins

“Punkins” are cropping up all over front porches in my neighborhood, and I’m just about ready to do a little carving. So here’s a poem so full of fall spirit, you’ll practically want to sing it:

When the Frost is on the Punkin – James Whitcomb Riley
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder’s in the shock,
And you hear the kyouck and gobble of the struttin’ turkey-cock,
And the clackin’ of the guineys, and the cluckin’ of the hens,
And the rooster’s hallylooyer as he tiptoes on the fence;
O, it’s then’s the times a feller is a-feelin’ at his best,
With the risin’ sun to greet him from a night of peaceful rest,
As he leaves the house, bareheaded, and goes out to feed the stock,
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder’s in the shock.
They’s something kindo’ harty-like about the atmusfere
When the heat of summer’s over and the coolin’ fall is here-
Of course we miss the flowers, and the blossums on the trees,
And the mumble of the hummin’-birds and buzzin’ of the bees;
But the air’s so appetizin’; and the landscape through the haze
Of a crisp and sunny morning of the airly autumn days
Is a pictur’ that no painter has the colorin’ to mock-
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder’s in the shock…

(for a little more down-home country music, head over to Poetry Foundation.)

(photo © Michael Jastremski for openphoto.net CC:Attribution-ShareAlike)

Night Runner

(This post is also published at Guys Lit Wire.)

These days, it would seem that if you’re not writing a book about a vampire, you’re not a writer. They’re everywhere. Heartthrob vampires. Socialite vampires. Gritty urban vampires. It’s enough to make a reader want to start wearing a garlic garland into the bookstore. Most of said vampire stories are written for a particular teen girl readership. So fellas, if you were feeling left out, I have something to recommend in the pointy-teeth category. Canadian author Max Turner’s debut novel, Night Runner proves that vampire stories aren’t just for the ladies anymore.

Zack Thomson has been living in a mental institution for years, since his father’s death and since the emergence of his strange and severe allergies. He spends most of his time alone, since his skin cannot take even the smallest amount of daylight. He keeps unusual hours, staying awake most of the night, running on a treadmill and playing video games. His life is pretty scheduled, very orderly, and extremely sheltered, until one day a stranger with shocking abilities crashes his motorcycle into the Nicholls Ward with an ominous warning, “Don’t let the cops get you. He’s coming. Run!” From that moment, everything Zack thought he knew about himself shatters. He learns he is (get ready for it)… a vampire, and that his archaeologist father was a vampire hunter. Sheltered for some time in the mental ward, Zack had been protected from people who wished to abuse his powers or even harm him. Now he is on the run, hunted by some pretty nasty characters. He will come to rely on friends, and people he hardly knows, to navigate his new reality.

Continue reading