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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Flora near, mostly not native.

In porch pots,

invested down the lawn,

ending it,

just now firing up,

splayed on the trellis,


open all the way,

the same and every day new.

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Lone ranger.

Might be a possum with superior climbing skills,
who’s wearing a mask.

More likely one of the racoons,

we’re up to four at least,

cleaning out the bird feeders

with impressive industry

and thoroughness,

sharing uninvited from our several dangling attractive nuisances.

When sufficiently frightened, no easy thing,
they dive under the house for safety,
looking resentfully back over their shoulders.

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Chlorophyll abetting breath.

Not always green,

or not only green,

unfurling from the core,

despiralating,

as if their coils of DNA had been compressed, then let go.

A few of Earth’s three trillion trees, under white clouds,
mostly voting green

— more trees here than stars in the galaxy
as recently reckoned —

while the green then gray berries
fatten into blue
and we and a thousand wild birds wait together
poised to strike.

 

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Full bloom along every wall.

A quick circuit of the house
all the ripeness newly sprung,

no special effort required,

lean in and click.

Some are done and disassembling,

some at perfect fullness,

theme and variations,

every foot,

all the way around

 but wait,

each one perfection of its kind,

from bud to bloom


yet each lovelier than the last.


Soul washed, and eyes washed,
in the rising gyer of another circuit.

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Trees waking.

Tapestry yarn and embroidery floss
come in 500 shades —
200 of them are greens.

This is the time of year when you know why.

They’re lighter yellower now,
settling in summer to darker bluer tones.

Except for a few with a different plan

Downhill towards the weeping cherry

not growing up like most trees

but ever wider

making a tree house on the ground.


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Groundlings.

Best not step anywhere —
whatever new life you didn’t crush
just means you’ve crushed another
— so dense our biosphere
in the temperate rain forest of Appalachia.

New flowers push up
from the forest floor


from the composting transmutation
of leaves and branches not dead exactly.

A few (money) plants set at the top edge
spill wider and deeper every year,

compounding, while feeding and sharing sex with butterflies.

Thousands of them are marching now,
the apples of May,

but these were the first.

A predictable perpetual surprise.

 

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Human intrusions rise and settle in.

The new leaves and the understory have not yet
closed the view  of the old shacks down the hill.

The herbs and flowers wake up
to a new arbor and a gate,

so new nothing’s climbed it yet.

The pattern can be seen from space,
or at least from Google maps,

cut through the hay; the loop around the shed,
the three branches — to the road, to the compost, to the barn.

Walk softly on the poaceae-glyph,
(poaceae, the family of grasses),

but bring your long shadow.

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Rocks and a hard place.

They still seem to me to be jewel rocks,
all the forms of quartz,
perched here and there, watching what we do.

Quartz can enclose emeralds and sapphires,
unless they’re crystal and you can see they don’t.

.
Posed wherever they are pleased to,
milky white and rose and clear and tawny brown,
quartz is a family of precious, semi-precious, and mundane,
amethyst, chalcedony, agate, citrine, tourmaline, beryl.

Clutched by roots, bedded in the road,
or in the branch, simply there,
inhabited by life forms, some that share their surfaces,
some that invade and digest them at the old pace of gaciers.

The ants, both black and red,
which probably will bring trouble,
are building a metropolis in the middle of the path.

A human body with a camera looming over their city
sends them underground in an instant,
quicker than a Cooper’s hawk clears a yard of birds.
There were thousands crossing and crissing as I approached,
then there were none.
Zoom in on the picture and you’ll see,
in nearly every hole, ant heads looking up,
waiting for the all-clear.

The holes are new, they have no hills yet to shed rain.
Every couple of weeks they will be overrun by a 700 pound mower.
This was not an auspicious siting.

Perhaps they will endure regardless,
or be crushed, or move a few feet sidewards.

I’m betting they will outlast me, one way or another, as will the rocks.

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Special offer, April foolproof.


 MYSTERY E-BOOKS FREE!

from the Ellen and Geoffrey Fletcher Mystery series
just 3 days remaining

April 8th, 9th, 10th, of 2017, Saturday through Monday
free from Amazon.com (links below the cover pictures)
available only in Kindle format
It’s a simultaneous worldwide deal in all Amazon stores  —
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; and 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?
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) and Just Rewards (current work in progress).

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The awakening.

The last moments before springs blows open.

Spongiform moss thing.

Burst chestnuts, gone purple.

Chestnuts, burst, natural.

Before the leaves.

Where grass-like weeds once thrived.

Mossy carpet.

Carpet close.

Weeping cherry, self-selected structure.

The white-bellies that fly in the night.

Just is.

There’s no explanation.

 

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Agent secrets, possibly.

GhostWalk

According to a few query rejections from literary agents (helpful ones, with comments, the rarest kind), and according to my copy editor, and what I’ve since learned is common wisdom, you never start a novel you hope to sell with a character waking up in bed. A silly shibboleth, because there must be instances where waking is the best possible start to a story, but the game of literary agency has rules that players ignore at their peril. 
Here’s my try at a fix, a new top for Chapter One of Ghost Walk, the 3rd story in the Ellen and Geoffrey Fletcher Mystery Series, the one set in Charleston. You can follow the home-page link to the rest of the chapter.
The question is, does this insertion undo the auto-rejection curse, or just postpone it for a couple of pages?

 

Chapter One

     Ellen watches Geoff bump down the gravel drive, ‘the roughest part of the trip,’ he’d said, last night. Thirty yards out, he disappears entirely into the trees. If she waits a minute longer she’ll see a last quick flash of his diminishing figure where the drive crosses the power-line cut. Okay. There he goes, going, gone. Bon voyage, husband.

     His gear is state-of-the-art, self-built, idiosyncratic, but top-grade. From his helmet, his slick reflective lycra top, padded patent spandex shorts, to his custom fitted biker shoes—all well worn in—he should be okay. His franken-bike, heavy-duty components, way too hefty for a racer, is solid and comfortable for touring. Stuffed into his saddle-bags, panniers, are expertly rolled civilian clothes, repair tools, travel food, weapons. He’ll be fine.

     She turns back into the house. It’s 7:15, time for a second cup of coffee. The day will be soft and lovely. But the damp chill of the morning hasn’t yet burned off. When she ran her loop, an hour ago, it had been a struggle to breathe through the blanketing mist. It’s better now; it will be all gone by the time Geoff gets to the city limits. That will be the real ‘roughest part,’ crossing Roanoke through early traffic until he gets to the trail. US Bike Route One, from Roanoke to the coast at Charleston is almost 400 miles; it’s supposed to take 35 hours. Geoff plans to make it in 25, in two days of riding. He probably can, if he avoids accidents and injuries. Which he probably will. He rides to work every day, 14 miles down the mountain, 14 miles back up, often 5-10 miles across town. Just like commuting, he said, except you keep going. Charleston is not his longest nor his first solo ride. He’ll be fine. She wishes she could summon a force field to repel chasing dogs and aggressive angry drivers.

     She will join him at Riverrun next week, as soon as she wraps up her current TravelAmerica assignment; not in time for the bridal shower, but a couple of days before the wedding. She’ll drive the car, to spare him having to bicycle back. It’s nearly eight hours of highway driving. He’s flat out crazy, Geoff is, every once in a while.

     Riverrun is Savion Gage’s plantation, half reconstruction, half new-built. It’s perched on uncommonly solid ground, at a confluence of rivers, in the coastal swamp. She spent two days there, several years ago. Geoff gets down every year, pretty much, except he’s missed two in a row. Outsize people engaged in a strange and outsize enterprise. Geoff will enjoy a long stay, probably she will, too. Nah, for sure she will. Savion’s a bit of a blowhard, but his three-quarter brother, Gordon is gold. Lottie’s awesome capability keeps it all together. The boys, the older one gorgeous and bad, the younger one sweet and shy. And the lovely Alicia. Two girl children now, besides Carrie, the one who’s getting married. All the kids were kidnapped into adoption, according to Geoff. The names will come back to her. Lots of blanks to fill in, and fantastical tales to deconstruct.

     She’ll be happy to see the family. She’s not so sure about dealing with dozens of hangers-on and hundreds of strangers. Carrie’s wedding will be the social event of the year in Charleston—Gage is Low Country royalty—a media circus will jumble up the family sacrament. The groom, not a local guy, a rap star, is no doubt hauling down an entourage of his own.

     The coffee helps. Her head is clearing, like the vanishing tendrils of mist down the valley. Geoff will be fine. Probably make his time. Probably walk funny for a week. She does like what the stretchy shorts do for his butt. Worry be gone!

 

Gratuitous flower shot;
sometimes the first amarylis of the season goes all out.

Currently showing off at the Earth Guild store.

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Upcountry, Madison.

Half a foot of fresh powder fell here last night,

my Colorado siblings would say;

unless the goal is to entice skiers up from Denver,

then it’s “nearly two feet, hurry, before it collapses in the sun.”

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And, it’s a wrap. But wait, there’s more…

Ho. No.

Smile!

Santa’s folded in half, tucked in a box,
and gets the next eleven months off.

 The nonseasonal human staff,
we’ll be working every day,
till he pops out again.
But since it is a new quarter,
the quadannual offer engages
at the start of this fresh year.

¡EBOOKS FREE — RED HOT & READY!

from the Ellen and Geoffrey Fletcher Mystery series
five January days in 2017, the 5th to the 9th, Thursday through Monday
free from Amazon.com (the cover pictures below are direct links)
available only in Kindle format
If you haven’t got Kindle capability, you are on the list.
Amazon will drop a drone from their nearest warehouse blimp,
find your home, and upgrade your toaster with a Kindle-reader app;
also your computers, tablets, mobile phones (free of charge).
An actual Kindle device will cost you:
have your credit card ready,
the drones do not make change.
Thenceforward, you shall have access to hundreds of thousands of titles,
classic and modern, as well as to my two. for five days free.
Kindle encourages authors to trade income for exposure.
It’s a simultaneous worldwide deal in all Amazon stores  —
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; and let me know what you think.
Comment here, or email me at mystery@budcrawford.com.

FitToCurve

The Asheville Story

Heart Attack

The Williamsburg Story

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?

    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:

 
The Charleston Story: seeking agent.
The Atlanta Story, final edit.

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Some assembly required.

The truck is coming in the morning,
we’ll put it all together tomorrow.
Tech Tuesday, dress Wednesday, school show Thursday morning,
Friday evening, Saturday both matinee and evening, Sunday matinee
2:30 and 7:30 at the Diana Wortham Theatre.

New idea for this year, first step,
12 foot tall chocolate sundaes.

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Not shown: 70 dancers
from 4 years old to 70-some
performing around 180 parts

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180 costumes, averaging 7 pieces each
1300 items, more or less,
plus a few hundred props.

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In the corner, left alone,
the tutus pause for calming breaths.

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Yeah, it’s Nutcracker 2016
from the Asheville Ballet
December 9th, 10th, 11th.

We’re not going to miss it,
you shouldn’t either.

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Out of house, out of mind.

When I see an outhouse lean
across the line of straight white trees
I like to think some birches pull it,
birches too far from town to know
of septic tanks or perforated pipes
whose only game is what they make and play alone.

Shot straight up,
the november sky,
clean as a pantone chip.

Sky bisected by a phone line
under a power line
beside the tree line.

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Winter is coming
but not today.

 

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