Today, of all days, it seems a difference of opinion is what it’s all about. But I’m not here to talk politics!
I did get drawn into a Facebook conversation about unicorns and Pegasus. (I know — my geeky side is about to shine).
Someone argued that a winged unicorn must be called an alicorn. I beg to differ. Alicorn is indeed a term sometimes used for a winged unicorn, but I believe the word means the horn of a unicorn. Originally, it appears alicorn comes from the Italian alicorno, alicorne meaning “unicorn.” And alicorno, alicorne appear to have their origins in a Latin word for unicorn: unicornis. (And I just confirmed what many have thought, I was one of the weird kids who chose Latin as my “language” in middle school and high school).
Alicorn remains a really cool word, just as the idea of a unicorn’s horn as a cure for poison is most magical. Alicorns or unicorn horns also appear on various coat-of-arms and other insignia, as well as in spell books and healer’s journals of long ago.
Which brings me to the first review of “In a Cat’s Eye,” the marvelous anthology of cat stories I recently edited (with Kelly A. Harmon) for Pole to Pole Publishing. I’m delighted with the review, and thank NerdGirl and NerdGirl Vamp for a wonderful review.
Alas, one of my favorite stories in “In a Cat’s Eye,” the reviewer, while saying it was good, didn’t really get. Oh, no!
But then I pause — language, politics, editing, and reviews all benefit from a difference in opinion — even if we don’t see it at first. For how boring this world would be if we were all alike.
Posted in Favorite Books, history, Musings & More, New Releases, Reviews of Vonnie's Books | Tagged alicorn, Books, Editing, Facebook, In a Cat's Eye, Kelly A. Harmon, NerdGirl, NerdGirl Vamp, Pegasus, Pole to Pole Publishing, Review, unicorn, Vonnie Winslow Crist, Whimsical Words | Leave a Comment »
I fondly remember the card catalogs in the libraries of my younger days. The sound of the drawers being pulled out, the feel of leafing through the manila-colored cards, and the smell of recently oiled wooden cabinets when I looked for a book I wanted to locate among the aisles of shelves are burned into my memory.
I even knew the Dewey Decimal System somewhat – due to volunteering hours and hours to help out at the school library of Perry Hall Elementary when I was in the fifth grade. Many of you at this point will exclaim out loud: “Card what? Dewey who?”
It seems in this age of computers and instant answers, the time it takes to search through a drawer of cards each labelled with information about a particular book – is wasted time.
Sigh. I beg to differ.
The quiet of the library, the dust motes floating in the light which entered from windows at the rear of the room, the feeling of anticipation as I gazed at books on shelving units taller than me, and the eagerness with which I flipped through those card catalog cards cannot be replaced by an online experience.
So fellow book-lovers, let us mourn the passing of the card catalog! Read more here.
Posted in Favorite Books, Musings & More, Places to be | Tagged Books, card catalog, Dewey Decimal System, libraries, Vonnie Winslow Crist, Whimsical Words, Writing | Leave a Comment »
October 31st has arrived in rural Maryland. It’s cool and clear with a bright blue October sky contrasting with the remaining orange and gold leaves on the trees in our woods. There are a few roses left on the briars and a hardy marigold still blooms. But mostly, the yard and woods are folding into the bare-branch, dead-looking garden days of late autumn.
Halloween, the time of trick-or-treating, costumes, and a thinning of the barriers between the living and the dead, is upon us. I will, per usual, hand out goodies to fairies, pirates, stormtroopers, wizards, and small witches. Luckily, one of my paintings was used on the October 2016 issue of Spaceports & Spidersilk and a hauntingly good Halloween story was published in the most recent issue of Unoriginal – A Science Fiction & Horror Magazine.
For those who’d like to visit spooky places, here’s a link to Haunted Places in Maryland. I’ve visited many of these locations, and felt appropriately “creeped out” – though a photographable ghost never manifested itself within camera range. Living so close to the Pennsylvania line, I’ve also visited a number of the locations which made it onto the Haunted Places in Pennsylvania list.
But sometimes, the scariest experiences aren’t at famous locations, but happen in unplanned moments at random places. I can remember a long-ago attempt to scare others in which I hid in a cemetery that turned out to be quite frightening for me!
So whether you’re a fan of candy corn, haunted houses, ghostly encounters, or watching scary movies – have a Happy Halloween! (And enjoy last year’s cover of Spaceports & Spidersilk featuring one of my paintings with a few trick-or-treating dwarves).
Posted in artwork, Musings & More, Places to be | Tagged autumn, Ghosts, Halloween, haunted places, Haunted places in Maryland, Haunted places in Pennsylvania, Spaceports and Spidersilk, trick-or-treat, Unoriginal, Vonnie Winslow Crist, Whimsical Words | 1 Comment »
Just in time for Halloween and Day of the Dead, my Day of the Dead story (actually Night of the Dead in the tale), Gifts in the Dark, has been published as an eBook by Digital Fiction Publishing Corp as part of their Digital Science Fiction line.
And Gifts in the Dark is science fiction, since the story is set in the far future on a distant planet that humans have settled on after a long voyage in deep sleep. But even in this far-future setting, people remain people, sisters remain sisters, and the Day of the Dead traditions still ring true. Yes, there are fantastical supernatural elements and superstitions, but as in all stories, there are people at the center of the tale.
For in the end, the story, no matter its genre, is about its characters – their lives, loves, fears, and struggles.
Ready for a little Day of the Dead reading? Gifts in the Dark is only 99 cents – so why not give it a look!
Posted in Musings & More, New Releases, Writer's Advice | Tagged Books, Dark Fantasy, Day of the Dead, Digital Fiction Publishing, Digital Science Fiction, ebook, Gifts in the Dark, Halloween, Night of the Dead, Science Fiction, supernatural, superstitions, Vonnie Winslow Crist, Whimsical Words, Writing | 1 Comment »