Today is another lovely day in my summer . . . I can’t tell you how good I feel this morning, and there’s not really a great reason for us except that I wrote and enjoyed it today. From Gayle Brandeis’ beautiful book Fruitflesh, I took this prompt:
Science is beginning to acknowledge the physical effects of prayer, the reverberations of the words we send out into the world. We invoke a lot of magic when we call words onto the page.
One way for us to consciously tap into this magic is to write little spells and blessings. When we broadcast our own wishes for peace or healing — for ourselves, for the people we love, for the world at large — we create space for those things to happen. Use Sondra Zeidenstein’s poem [Spells] as a model, and begin each sentence with
I tried this, and it opened something great inside me as I put my prayers for life into the world through my writing. Someday I’ll share that bit of writing, but today, you’ll have to take my word for it that it was lovely and powerful . . .

In other writing stuff, I’ve been keeping up my practice daily during the week, and I love it . . . I’m going to start revising soon, so it’ll be interesting to see how the practice of re-visioning my work will change the practice from the way it is when I’m producing new work. . . . I wish I could do both every day – write new stuff and revise (and I”ll always write a bit of new stuff in my handwritten journal) – but the truth is that the semester begins in two weeks, and I know I can’t keep up with both elements of the writing everyday. I suspect I”ll do some of both each week, but we’ll just have to see. I’m committing to the morning writing practice, but I’m trying to give myself space to do what needs to be done that day so that I don’t get frustrated.

What I haven’t been doing well on is reviews of the ARCs. I just keep finding things to review that aren’t those things, even though those books look great. So I’m reaching out to give some of you a chance to share your voice here on Andilit. If you’d like to review any of the following books on my blog, please let me know, and I’ll send you the book for you to review. (If more than one person wants to review a given book, I”ll randomly draw a name to choose who gets the ARC). Reviews should be about 250-500 words. After the review is done, I”ll post it on my website with credit fully to the reviewer (and links as available – although I’m happy to have reviewers that don’t have blogs), and the ARC is yours to keep or to share, as you wish. I will ask that you review the book within one month of its receipt, just so that I don’t lose track of things.

Here’s what I’ve got to review:
The Fifth Dimension by Rory Macareg – This is the story of David, a space explorer who is sent on a mission of discovery in an uncharted corner of space in search of an intelligent and powerful race. He finds a world of a new race of humans that stills thrives in the Middle Ages and, of all things, dragons.

Dear John by Norma L. Betz – When financial aid director Susanna Smith goes to Massachusetts to settle her aunt’s estate, she never suspects that her well-ordered life will take an unusual turn. Susanna and her faithful companion, Quincy, embark on a journey into the past that not only reveals the life of an ancestor – a famous historical figure – whose circumstances parallel her own but also results in an important discovery about her own life.

The Reluctant Colonel by Michael James Merry – In the late 1950s, the revolution in Cuba was gathering steam and very soon, a committed communist regime would be operating less than one hundred miles from the U.S. coastline. As relations with Panama became worse, the U.S. military was anxious to secure a base from which Castro’s island could be kept under observation.

Disturbing Questions: Has God Stopped Blessing America? by Ron Bourque – Our balance of trade has been negative since the early ’70s and getting increasingly worse. Our national debt is unprecedented; we can no longer afford our lifestyles. We’re embroiled in a war against terror, and natural disasters are taking greater tolls. We no longer feel we can trust anyone, especially our political and business leaders.

Down to the Sunless Sea: Short Stories by Mathias B. Freese – Down to a Sunless Sea plunges the reader into uncomfortable situations and into the minds of troubled characters. Each selection is a different reading experience – poetic, journalistic, nostalgic, wryly humorous, and even macabre.

Sisters of Misery by Megan Kelley Hall – There are some girls who have everything. She has the right clothes, the right friends, and the right last name, but fifteen-year-old Maddie Cran sometimes feels like an outsider in her wealthy seaside town. And when her gorgeous, eccentric cousins Cordelia LeClaire moves to town, Maddie is drawn toward her ethereal, magical spirit and teeters even more toward the edge of her friends’ tightly-knit circle. . . . Then there are the jealous ones Kate Endicott and the Sisters of Misery – a secret clique of the most popular, powerful girls in school . . .

Heavier than Air: Short Stories by Nona Caspers – Winner of the Grace Paley Award for Short Fiction.

I would like to read all of these books, but the reality is that I owe these writers a review, and I may not be able to give it to them . . . So let me know if you’d like to review these; I’d love the help. . .

I’ll be away for the weekend, but I hope you all have some great fun during the next couple of days.