Wishing one and all very Joyful Holidays.
“It’s Winter Solstice. Three years ago, when Boris and Ivan and Otto were little, the whole clan would get together and celebrate big time. Not so much now. Now we get vaccines and tests and wear masks. And, well, we worry. I worry.
And I’m angry at all of those who aren’t doing their part to stay safe, to keep others safe. I mean, I may be little but even I know we’re all in this together. We have to care about each other.
And damn it, I want a Solstice party. We deserve it.”
“Ivan, what do we do now? I mean, how can we possibly top such an epic extravaganza?”
“Well, Boris, I say we don’t even try. Out there– It’s a dark and troubling world, my friend. I think we should just pull back a bit, stay safe, and go for a swim. Want to join me?”
Month of the Dragon, 2016. A Celebration in Black and White.
It’s October again. A slight nip has crept into the evening air, just right – at my house – for sleeping beneath a blanket of furry felines. As those of you who frequent the Dragon’s Nest know, October is also when the World Association for Dragons Everywhere celebrates the Month of the Dragon. This year, the 6th annual Month of the Dragon, to be precise.
This year has been one of great turmoil and little time, so I fear MotD may be a little less fulsome than in years past. Pared down does not mean inelegant. The Dragons would hardly permit that! But this year, they have nosed us along a subtle path, suggesting we go all dichromatic, presenting our friends in shades of black and white.
Yup, we’re going old-school formal.
So, straighten those white ties, brush off your tails, and come join us in our month-long celebration of Dragons, large and small, fierce and fiery. (And fear not, I have it on good authority that a little color will slip through. Here and there, hither and yon.)
Happy Month of the Dragon!
Bennington Bookshop, Books, Bookstores, Celebrations, Dragon Keeper's Handbook, Dragons for Beginners, Fiction, Independent Bookstore Day, John Goodrich, Linda Foulsham, Phil Lewis, Readings, Stories, Writing
I love bookstores. I love the smell, the sound, the welcoming pace of bookstores.
Since I was a little kid, I’ve found joy and solace roaming among the stacks, pulling up a piece of floor or cushy chair, and exploring the magic of East Egg or The Land, deciding whether or not to make friends with Thomas Convenant or the Sandman and bring them home with me.
Back in the day, of course, every little town had a bookstore – or two. Independent and distinct, they offered classics and bestsellers, dictionaries and guides to local flora and fauna. They also reflected the personal tastes of their proprietors: some might be heavy on kids’ books, some on politics or contemporary fiction. And if you wanted that obscure new book your cousin Lily mentioned at Sunday dinner, out came Books in Print and an order would be graciously placed.
As a reader, this was heaven. As a writer, my appreciation has only grown.
The bookstore landscape has changed over the years. First, behemoths like Barnes & Noble and their late rival, Borders, moved in. They had space and inventory and remainder bins. You didn’t have to wait a week for that special order, a marketing edge in a culture that thrives on immediate gratification. Then came e-books and the leviathan of all leviathans, Amazon.
Loud and long, the literary pundits sounded the death knell of the independent bookstore. Fortunately, over the past couple of years communities of book lovers around the country are proving pundits wrong. There is a positive resurgence of independent bookstores. That, in itself, is cause for dancing in the street!
This Saturday, May 2, 2015, is Independent Bookstore Day. Bookstores and their patrons around the country are celebrating.
In my own backyard, the new owners of the Bennington Bookshop, Linda Foulsham and Phil Lewis, are presenting a full day of bibliocentric fun. There will be tales for the kids, evening wine and book chat for the grown-ups. My friend and fellow author, John Goodrich, will be talking about getting published, and I have the honor of giving a reading from my books and stories – about Dragons, of course.
If you are in the area, do stop by. If far away, check out your own local bookstore. Celebrate their uniqueness. Perhaps pick up a few literary friends and bring them home.
Schedule of Events on May 2:
10.30am: Story time for children with Chris Gingo
11.30am: Local author – Shawn MacKenzie
2.00pm: Local historian – Joe Hall
3.00pm: Local poet – Steve Haggerty
4.00pm: Local author – John Goodrich
5.00pm – 7.00pm: Cheese and wine and book conversations