Specimen from “Just Deserts.” Work in progress.

“I want you to come with me tomorrow morning to have a talk with your Aunt Gally.” Jewel Wallner Drummond was Beale’s widow. Kendell was their only child, currently Vice-President for WMT European operations, directly under Gally’s son Spencer. There were four other VPs in Hamburg, but they were technocrats, not leadership. “Spencer is a sixty-year-old puppet. If Violette ever took her hand out of his ass, he’d crumble. You are ten years younger and fifty IQ points ahead of him. And I know you’re who really runs things in Europe, in the big picture sense.”

“Mom, quit with this stuff.” Kendell pretended to put her hands over her ears. “I’ll see Aunt G any time she wants. I’m not going to stand around her deathbed for the eenie-meenie-miney-moe. I don’t want to be CEO of Planet Wallner. If Spencer takes over, as he probably will, I’ll likely get his job. That would be great. I know Europe, after 17 years. My husband and my kids are native Hamburgers, they’re happy there. I don’t know Pittsburgh anymore. I don’t want to be the one to choose between making tools for robots and tools for humans, or whether we’ll be producing machinery or computer code. Let Pittsburgh decide, or Gally with her last breath. I’m sixty years old, I get to make my own choices for me and my family.”

“Sweetheart, I own 15% of Wallner, more than anyone but your Aunt Lizzie, when Gally’s gone. I trust you to keep my stake safe. I don’t believe either your cousin or that Czech has the sense God gave a mud hen. Spencer is a fool and Mikala believes robots should rule the earth. I want you in charge.”

“I get that. But you have to get that I don’t want to be.”

“If Gally asked you?”

“That answer’s not going to be different, the 57th time you ask. I’d tell her why she was wrong. If she still wanted me, I’d say, yes. Only then. And this is still not an invitation for you to stage something. However this turns out, I’m good. And so are you. You’re 77, ma, that’s too old for this Game of Thrones shit.”

“What about the witch, the one that shrivels up when she takes off her necklace?”

“And you’re wrong about Cousin Spencer. He’s not brilliant, needs some help with technical stuff, but he’s solid. People trust him.”

“Because they don’t know him. He has a nice smile, but I want a good brain running my company, not good teeth. I’ll talk to Gally tonight, set something up for us.”

“Please don’t, ma. Don’t make me tell her I don’t want to see her, because that’s not true. And what about the twins? Why aren’t you crabbing out on Ricard and Arona? I realize they’re working under Aunt G in Philadelphia and Spencer has Europe to himself, as it were. So they’re slightly junior. But there’s two good brains and they work together like, well, twins. And Vernon’s kids have as much claim as I do.”

“Kendell, you’re so far above them. It’s not even a contest, unless you stay under your damn bushel. You need to think about the company first.”

“Why, Ma? Why must I? 70-80 hours a week of my best effort, that’s not enough? How about early retirement instead. I’ve got plenty saved, I could help in Alwyn’s office, we could travel, spend time with our kids, pretty soon grandkids. That sounds damn good.”

“Financial security with an architect in private practice? Right. The next commission might be the one that never comes. Your savings won’t cover the malpractice insurance. It’s like fashion models, they’re hot until they’re not. Wake up one day, nobody wants to see Twiggy’s bony knees ever again.”

“You know, mommy dearest, that you can’t win anything here? You can irritate the hell out of me. You’re getting close.”

“I just want the best for you. Go ahead, sue your mother.”

“You don’t. You want the best for Wallner, which is weird, really, for somebody not born into the thing.”

“A 110 year old company is a ‘thing?’ The largest tool maker in private hands is a ‘thing?’ Twelfth largest tool maker in the world? The seventh largest privately owned manufacturing company?”

“Something like that. I’m sure your numbers are right. But try to remember I was cleaning Wallner offices at eleven, on the factory floor at fourteen, sent to Hamburg right out of grad school. I’ve worked for your company for forty years. I’ve never worked anywhere else. One more little cheerleader happy fact and I’ll slap you.”

“You’re threatening the woman who pushed you into the world? Of course you are. You’re my very own damn darling daughter. I really am not trying to piss you off. I just want … well, you know.”

“Yeah. I know. And you could not love me so much loved you not Wallner Machine Tools more. I forgave you years ago for not knowing that you needed forgiving. All in a daughter’s day’s work. Waters broken under the bridge. I love you, too.”

Lichen on logs.

While clearing the lower logging road
of wind-dropped branches and downed trunks,

 we found some pretty saprophyte shelves,

just perched on logs here,

or on a tree trunk there (one eye kept on us?),

pulling all they need to live

from the air and from the woody stuff

they’ve latched onto
like a baby on a breast,
growing so much more slowly
but just as tenacious, just as brave.

 

Before frost takes them.

Getting ready for it.

With frosts and freezes in the near forecast,
it’s time to close out summer.

The last little eggplant hides shy among
the sweet yellow/green/orange/red peppers
banana variants, mostly,

and the bowl of heat, chilli & jalapeno,

 and sweet poblano.

The last tomatoes on the vine

and unready clusters of red and orange cherries;

while still ripening on the sill, last week’s blacks and oranges.

Rosemary was just going from her summer on the porch
to upstairs winter quarters,
but she shared a few springs on her way,
invited herself to dinner.

Just for drill,
drained the hoses,
drained the valves,
checked the heater in the pump room.

Ready, not ready, I guess.

Winter is icummen in, lhude sing gol darn.

Everything is mowed.

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Worktable dressing.

Sometimes they help with the stories; really, they do.

Even as they’re pure distraction, to rest and pleasure the eyes

for as long as their season lasts,

as long as they are rich and luscious,

and emit from within a plush and regal depth,

every petal sumptuous, every stamen and pistil

glamorous in the infolding fibonacci wound so tight

three dimensions cannot contain their splendor.

 

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October rose.

Some of the bushes have

shut for the season.

But some are not yet ready.

There will be frosts,

pretty soon, probably.

But what are else you going to do

while you wait,
supposing you’re a rose?

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Breakout.

The home tub of this philodendron
is on the other side of the door

across a small landing,
up a flight of 8 steps,

across another larger landing,
and up a flight of twelve steps.

About 28 feet, as the vine crawls.
The self-locking latch was open.

From a FB friend’s postings (Bryan S. Reid).


The end times probably:
we all got to get out of this place.

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Two days more to be free.

Still the irresistible pricing — free for a couple of clicks —

but now just Sunday & Monday to go, October 8th & 9th, of 2017

 

Lucky in life

to be blessed with table flowers

watching me work.

A click on either cover below brings you to Amazon,
and a free novel.

FitToCurve

SONY DSC

Every few months authors may trade royalties for readers
from the US, UK, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Netherlands,
Canada, Mexico, Brazil, India, Japan, Australia.

Comments from readers,
culled from favorable reviews.

    Fit to Curve is a skillfully written mystery with complex characters and such a fascinating plot that I’m way behind on my chores.
    This series is a favorite with interesting plots and wonderfully drawn characters. Wish the author would write more of them. The type of book you don’t want to end.
    A bed-and-breakfast mystery. Super characters, well developed. You’re waiting for the other shoe to drop. A mouth-watering, good read. Love the old lady with the sharp wit. I’d like the recipes, too.  The plot builds very slowly. But once I got into it, I was hooked. I liked the characters, and you get a lot of insight into them.
    This is too fine a novel to be mired in the mystery/suspense ghetto. It’s a good mystery, with a complex plot, all the mystery trappings, but the characters are rounded and attractive. The theme seems to me to be a consideration of morality – not just sexual morality (or immorality), though there’s some of that too, for those who like to read such descriptions, but all kinds of morality: for how high a price might you sell your soul?
    I think the characters, subtleties, and philosophy make it much more than “just a mystery” or “just a novel”, though the mystery is fine for people who only want that, and the characters and their individual voices or patterns of thought are most thoroughly entwined with with the mysteries, necessary to the story.
    Heart Attack is a great read!
    This couple are a great addition to the mystery genre. Sharp and interesting with a bit of humor and spice.
    Snappy dialog. Geoff and Ellen are a great team. He has a definite intuitive method of assessing info and arriving at conclusions that baffle and irk his cohorts. Ellen is more conventional and together are a great team. Unusual mystery not easily solved.

COMING SOON:


Charleston Story: seeking agent.
Atlanta story: final edit.
And currently simmering:
Drosselmeyer Chronicles (finished, first draft), a Roanoke story;
Just Rewards (current work in progress), a Caribbean story.
Sample chapters available, at www.budcrawford.com

 

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Flowers, writes, and leaves.

Just over the rim of my screen

one or sometimes many blooms watch me

build my stories, record the voices.

While just outside the door

voracious virid leaves

pull sunlight

and greenhouse gases

to fuel their roots

and stems


and flowers.

Everything else distracts, the green world settles and binds.

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Free fall.

Irresistible pricing: free for a couple of clicks.

Thursday, October 5th, through Monday, October 9th, of 2017

A click on either cover brings you to Amazon,
click there to download a free novel.

If you don’t have a Kindle Reader, 
free apps are available from the Kindle Store for all tablets, phones, & computers,
so there is no escape.

FitToCurve

SONY DSC

 

It’s the Kindle deal.

Every few months authors can trade royalties for new readers.
It’s (almost) worldwide: US, UK, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Netherlands,
Canada, Mexico, Brazil, India, Japan, Australia.

You never know who’s going to pop up, inexplicable little clusters.

 

Comments from readers,
culled from favorable reviews on Amazon.

    Fit to Curve is a skillfully written mystery with complex characters and such a fascinating plot that I’m way behind on my chores.

    This series is a favorite with interesting plots and wonderfully drawn characters. Wish the author would write more of them. The type of book you don’t want to end.

    A bed-and-breakfast mystery. Super characters, well developed. You’re waiting for the other shoe to drop. A mouth-watering, good read. Love the old lady with the sharp wit. I’d like the recipes, too.  The plot builds very slowly. But once I got into it, I was hooked. I liked the characters, and you get a lot of insight into them.

    This is too fine a novel to be mired in the mystery/suspense ghetto. It’s a good mystery, with a complex plot, all the mystery trappings, but the characters are rounded and attractive. The theme seems to me to be a consideration of morality – not just sexual morality (or immorality), though there’s some of that too, for those who like to read such descriptions, but all kinds of morality: for how high a price might you sell your soul?

    I think the characters, subtleties, and philosophy make it much more than “just a mystery” or “just a novel”, though the mystery is fine for people who only want that, and the characters and their individual voices or patterns of thought are most thoroughly entwined with with the mysteries, necessary to the story.

    Heart Attack is a great read!

    This couple are a great addition to the mystery genre. Sharp and interesting with a bit of humor and spice.

    Snappy dialog. Geoff and Ellen are a great team. He has a definite intuitive method of assessing info and arriving at conclusions that baffle and irk his cohorts. Ellen is more conventional and together are a great team. Unusual mystery not easily solved.

COMING SOON:


Charleston Story: seeking agent.

 

Atlanta story: final edit.

Currently simmering:

Drosselmeyer Chronicles (finished, first draft), a Roanoke story;
Just Rewards (current work in progress), a Caribbean story.
Sample chapters available, at www.budcrawford.com

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Falling in place.

Black ball maters turn half red when they’re ripe.

Not quite the season’s last ones, but getting close.

Keeping the path clear, through the hay field,
past the garden shed, to the compost.
Can be seen from space.


Mowing standard: grass no more than one snake deep.


Sterilized old chimney rocks built around the culvert
over the north branch of the branch,
forty years ago, all grown in.

Chocolate veined ferns.

The warning, the promise,

it’s starting to fall fast.

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Leaves not grass.

Stem-fed stem-feeding factories alive in the air
pull energy from the sun
pull water and minerals from the earth

to build themselves

and roots and flowers and fruit.

An exquisite geometry

grooms every petal and vein

fans up in three dimensions

while competing in four

with every neighbor

for airspace and sunlight.

They employ strategies

of shape and color and texture,

delicacy or density,

to finish cycles of a minute or a day or a year
as they thrive
to amaze and delight human eyes.

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Walking the perimeter.

In summer, everyday, all around the house,

in pots, in beds,

on bushes, climbing trellises,

color explodes.

Full sun,

part shade,

all shade,

the white and yellow

and orange blooms


grab human eyes

and pull in pollinators.

Deep red

and rose

and lavender

explode

then slowly fade.

Pale blue

soft lavender,

down,

darker, to deep violet.

No blessing comes to us
as charmed
as a partner who brings forth flowers.

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Shared fruits.

Creatures great and small

tracked the chilies

and cherry tomatoes;
they gnawed the beets and potatoes

and destroyed the sunflowers

before the first bloom.

We lost most of the blueberries, probably 50 quarts, to three avian cartels:
the blue-jay gang, the catbird mob, and the brown-thrasher syndicate.

Some fresh magic comes up free to compensate,
a mushroom with the face of a planet that’s not one of ours,

or a globe of bubble glass.
It’s all still good under the moon.

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From the hot room, in the conservatory of the Biltmore House.

A ring of endless light,

by a yellow thrust shot through with white expostulations,


just across from pendulant nightmare pods

beside a slimy shiny scary hungry thing,

as I look down into the honey trap,
my reflection looks up at lunch


Oh, pretty flowers,

pure sex, no shame.

Delighting dappled things

and purple


 and tan (!)


and deep dappled blue,


plus a pinky purple


over the aisle from red velvet
more thrusters, down and all around sideward


white petals with flower tips bringing on


nightmare again, tumescent reds
converging yellow fronds.


Purple reign looks nice.

It’s time to find the shuttle bus
to parking area C3
unless we stay to find out what happens here in the dark
under an eclipsing moon.

 

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Chance encounters.

Swollen by recent rain
the creek is animal restless
but seldom gets out of bed;
planted hard, but on its way
to pushing Mississippi mud
through the Gulf of Mexico.

Hard to know what he might be looking out for;

not me, evidently, not in any way that matters.

Trying out a new browser
whose eyes look out straight

even eating birdseed from the ground.

She guesses she’ll slip into the trees now
if I’m so persistently inquisitive.

Maybe a little bigger than a fist

probably the one getting through the fence
to eat the beets.

At the bottom of the lawn
we watched the sharp shinned hawk
lunching upon,
as it turned out, a blue jay.

Funny fruit.

 

 

 

 

Just two days left. Of course you can purchase the books any time,
but the world-wide free-for-all price special ends Monday midnight,
10 July 2017, 12:00 pm AST (amazon standard time),
a potential savings of hundreds of pennies.

Why resist?

 

 

 

With all the rain,

mushrooms large and not very large

rise from the roots below,

pink and yellow,

white

and red,

and shy,


while well above the ground the butterfly bush flowers
are at full bloom
but it’s a year of hardly any butterflies.

And fallen to the ground, here and there,
reminders that the green season
is not forever

that winter, as ever, plays with us.

 

 

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July mystery giveaway.

 MYSTERY E-BOOKS FREE!

walk softly, but bring your long shadow

from the Ellen and Geoffrey Fletcher Mystery series

July 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th of 2017, Thursday through Monday

free from Amazon.com (links below the cover pictures)
available only in Kindle format
All Amazon stores, worldwide:
US, Canada, Britain, France, Germany, Spain, Italy,
Netherlands, India, Australia, Japan, Mexico, Brazil.
People everywhere like free stuff.
Give either or both of these titles a try; let me know what you think.
Comment here, or email me at mystery@budcrawford.com.

A few clips from readers,
carefully culled from
favorable reviews on Amazon.

    Fit to Curve is a skillfully written mystery with complex characters and such a fascinating plot that I’m way behind on my chores.

    This series is a favorite with interesting plots and wonderfully drawn characters. Wish the author would write more of them. The type of book you don’t want to end.

    A bed-and-breakfast mystery. Super characters, well developed. You’re waiting for the other shoe to drop. A mouth-watering, good read. Love the old lady with the sharp wit. I’d like the recipes, too.  The plot builds very slowly. But once I got into it, I was hooked. I liked the characters, and you get a lot of insight into them.

    This is too fine a novel to be mired in the mystery/suspense ghetto. It’s a good mystery, with a complex plot, all the mystery trappings, but the characters are rounded and attractive. The theme seems to me to be a consideration of morality – not just sexual morality (or immorality), though there’s some of that too, for those who like to read such descriptions, but all kinds of morality: for how high a price might you sell your soul?

    I think the characters, subtleties, and philosophy make it much more than “just a mystery” or “just a novel”, though the mystery is fine for people who only want that, and the characters and their individual voices or patterns of thought are most thoroughly entwined with with the mysteries, necessary to the story.

    Heart Attack is a great read!

    This couple are a great addition to the mystery genre. Sharp and interesting with a bit of humor and spice.

    Snappy dialog. Geoff and Ellen are a great team. He has a definite intuitive method of assessing info and arriving at conclusions that baffle and irk his cohorts. Ellen is more conventional and together are a great team. Unusual mystery not easily solved.

COMING SOON:


Charleston Story: seeking agent.

Atlanta story: final edit.

 

 

 

 

Drosselmeyer Chronicles (finished, first draft). Roanoke story.
Just Rewards (current work in progress). Ocean story.

Good night, Gracie.

.

 

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Unstoppable summertide.

Every day, not just new blooms appear,

but entirely new types of blooms:

some delicate,

some little,

some huge,

some that present

in several varieties,

 some stunning and strange,

some almost violent,

some quiet in the grass,

some pinned against the screen,

a polyphemus night caller.

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Recidivist.

His look a lite a-side, in swich manere,
Ascaunces, `What! May I not stonden here?’

I eat every day,

you know that, right?

Just like you

and all your big-finger buddies inside.

Such delectable fare it is
despite the troubling presentation,
cutsey little houses, really?

my apologies for robbing Geoffrey Chaucer

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Extravagance.

Early summer’s chromatic abundance,


is everywhere,

in wild exuberance;

somewhere there’s a bleak

landscape of grays and browns

that all the bright colors have been

sucked away from and sent here;

all the shades, all the strategies,

to reach towards the sun

luxuriant unfurling

of flower DNA into petals

presenting their organs of generation
to all pollinators,

 come up and see me, right now.

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