## Blood of the Moon: Chapter 1.8

Juan Cortez sat in the steel chair behind the steel table in the equally steel interrogation room, smiling a shit eating grin as he watch Sigmund and Chelsea walk into the room. Sigmund sat himself down across from Juan as Chelsea stood off to the side, leaning against the wall. She was to listen during this exchange, unless Sigmund asked for her input.

Chelsea studied the young man; he was tall and gangly, not muscular, but she could tell he was wirey. He had a wild look in his eyes and a brash confidence about him. It was more than evident that he held no respect for authority, and even found the confines of the interrogation room rather comforting. Almost as though he believed that he had now made it in the world by entering the Big House. As though for some reason coming into prison was like a badge of honour for some of these street punks.

“Morning, Juan,” Sigmund said without so much as a smile. He would be polite but his attitude would be all about business. “We’d like to ask you a few questions.”

“I already tol’ my piece ta the cops an’ ta my lawyer,” Juan replied, the shit eating grin never leaving his face. “Why don’t you go ask them?”

“B’cause then we wouldn’t get ta see your charmin’ smile, Juan,” Chelsea said with a slight smirk. “We’ve cleared things through your lawyer already, Juan. An’ what you mentioned ta him, an’ the cops, has everything ta do with the case we’re workin’ on.” Chelsea knew when she could speak, those small moments just to intimidate. One of the reasons why Sigmund found that Chelsea was a great asset for the law firm. Smart, at times intimidating, and to a point level headed.
“Miss Morgan is correct, Juan,” Sigmund added. “We’ve already seen the reports from your lawyer and the police. We just have a few questions, if you wouldn’t mind.”

“Sure, what the fuck, man,” Juan replied with a shrug as he lounged in the steel chair. Life in the gang had given him an attitude that would more than likely last with him for a life time. Chelsea made note of the cocky smile and the look in his eyes, and thought back to his file. A 26 year old male, high school drop out, never held a full time job. The scarey thing was that Juan could have gone to high school with Chelsea.

If he wasn’t such a loser.

“You were one of the men who went to Chang’s Market on the night of the fifteenth?” Sigmund began with his questions without any ceremony.

“Yeah, man,” Juan replied in a flip manner. “Justin give us a call an’ said we gotta put some heat on ol’ man Chang an’ make sure he’s payin’ up for protection. So, I joined up with him an’ one o’ the other dudes an’ we went down there.”

“This ‘dude’ got a name?” Chelsea asked.

“Marty,” Juan said, looking up from Sigmund to Chelsea. “Marty Ramirez.”

“Police haven’t contacted Marty have they?” Sigmund asked as he made a few notes in his journal.

Juan laughed a loud and shook his head. “Dude, Marty got iced two days ago.”

“Too bad for Marty,” Chelsea said with a flat tone, showing no emotion at all. This seemed to set Juan on edge just a bit and his smile began to fade.

“Odd why you’d listen to ‘orders’ from Justin, Juan,” Sigmund said as he checked over some of his other notes. Juan furrowed his brow and said nothing in reply. “After all, there are witness accounts that say you had no respect for the young man. One of those things that you said was…” Sigmund shuffled through his papers, pushing up his glasses as he read off of one sheet. “…’dude is a young chump, who don’t know his ass from a hole in the ground’..” Sigmund set the sheet down and looked to Juan. “That was a statement given when Justin was first arrested. And suddenly, Justin was your ‘boss’? I find that highly convenient.”

“Hey! Fuck you, man,” Juan shot back as he slammed his fist against the table. Sigmund and Chelsea both looked directly at Juan, surprised by the action, but made no physical motions to give that away. The door to the room opened and a uniformed guard entered. “I tol’ my story ta the cops, ta my lawyer, an’ I’ll give it ta the DA. Justin d’serve ta rot for the things he done.”

“Ta the Crimson Skulls, ya mean,” Chelsea said as she moved forward and leaned on the table, looking directly at Juan. “Ya know, perjury is a punishable offense. If it’s found that you lied, an’ if you keep this bullshit story up in court, then you could face five years b’hind bars. Just for that.”

Juan glared at Chelsea as the office put him in cuffs and lead him out of the room. While Juan never said anything truly useful, it was a few minor details that stood out. A date, a contradiction in stories. It wasn’t much, but it was enough.

Sigmund removed his glasses and began putting away his notes. “We’ll have to see if we can’t talk to Chang’s wife and his son,” he said with a sigh.

“Chang’s wife doesn’t speak the greatest english,” Chelsea informed him. “An’ Jimmy got himself hooked up with the Dragons after his ol’ man had his heart attack.” Sigmund chuckled a bit at the information. “What? I go ta Chang’s Market when I wanna cook some stir fry. I maybe from New Orleans, but I can’t live on gumbo my entire life.”

“They’ll be hard to question,” Sigmund said as he rose to his feet. He looked to Chelsea with a slight smirk. “Maybe Black Bowhuntress can give us a hand with that.”

## Making the day brighter… again

Today was kinda boring as I set up a major print job and then let it start.  Once the job begins, it really doesn’t need to be baby sat.  I can hear the printer from my office.  No new ads had come in and all the layouts for the up coming week were put down with sample pages printed off.  Didn’t really leave me much of anything to do, so…

…I surfed for a bit, in between odd jobs that would come in, or some random cleaning that needed to be done.  But I found something at TheDailyWh.at that caught my eye.  It reminded me a lot of a post I made late last year thanks to Pearce.

So to brighten up your day, here is a picture of awesomeness in an advertising manner that I had to share with all.  The photo is not mine at all, nor did I add the text to it (the original photo is from the Boston Globe, while the artful and enlightening saying can be found at The Big Caption).  This does not detract from how awesome it is.  So here we have another item making the day just a little brighter.

Until next time…

…keep ‘em flyin’!

## Sask Books: Where the Rocks Say Your Name

Where the Rocks say Your Name

by Brenda Hasiuk

Review by Elizabeth McGill

$19.95 ISBN-13: 978-1-897235-11-9 The concept of “Where the Rocks Say Your Name” is similar to reality television, but the format is different. Instead of being “made for television”, this reality situation is “made for print”. Brenda Hasuik takes us into a northern mining town where existence is as sharp-edged as the craggy rocks punctuating the rugged landscape. We are immersed in the lives of three young residents: Toby, who like his father, plunges into the mine shaft to make his living; Ally, who is her mother’s assistant in the bulk food store; and Rina, whose family left war-torn Sarajevo to set up a medical practice in a seemingly safer environment, but where less obvious dangers lurk. The three main characters of Where the Rocks say Your Name are young people whose lifestyles involve partying, hanging out at the pool hall, and having sex, not to be confused with “making love.” Life is fairly straightforward if not wildly exciting until Adam arrives in town. He hides out at his cousin, Ally’s house, in the hopes that the police will not catch up with him. That’s when things get complicated. This is Hasiuk’s first novel but several of her stories have been published in literary journals. She does not shy away from difficult situations. Readers from the baby boomer era may be gulping for air or raising their eyebrows and blood pressure as the story unfolds. This story could take place in any little town where services and opportunities for recreation are few. People always find a way to amuse themselves. If you enjoy a thought provoking , compellingly honest account of another lifestyle, pick up Where the Rocks say Your Name. You’ll be glad you did. THIS BOOK IS AVAILABLE FROM YOUR LOCAL BOOKSTORE OR FROM THE SASKATCHEWAN PUBLISHERS GROUP WWW.SKBOOKS.COM. These reviews are provided by the Saskatchewan Publishers Group. ## Black Mask & Pale Rider: Epilogue The end of the first series of tales for Shani Wennemein and Pania Alow Black Mask & Pale Rider: Epilogue ## Looking back at old words As I mentioned earlier, I went into the city this past weekend, mostly to visit my folks and check out my dad’s new computer toys. I did also hook up with some friends as well, and it’s one comment that Kevin said to me that stuck out. As I soon as I came into the restaurant where the weekly Water Buffalo meeting was being held, he mentioned my stylish bunny hug. Yeah, he totally said bunny hug. Yes, that's right. I'm wearing a Saskatchewan Roughrider Bunny Hug. Bunny. Hug. Say it with me now. That would have been the end of that, had it not been for my usual checking of stats here at the blog (because the most mundane of things sometimes interest me, not because I want to crow about it, it’s just interesting). The usual hits are seen mostly in the posts we made back in October during the 31 Days of Ghosts Zodi and I did. And for the record, I’m collecting more for this year’s edition of 31 Days of Ghosts. Most people take a look at the Winchester Mystery House, Myrtle’s Plantation, Fort San Sanitorium, H. H. Holmes Murder Castle or any of the other posts during 31 Days of Ghosts. Also, a few people are hitting the pages for Blood of the Moon and Black Mask & Pale Rider. But every now and then there’s an anomaly that sticks out. Some weird post that gets a number of views that was just a posted rant or something cute and funny, but not anywhere near popular by any stretch of the imagination. Somebody’s out there investigating Bunny Hugs. Oh yes, there it comes again. Bunny Hugs. We will make the word come back in fashion again, if not for the world, then at least the province of Saskatchewan. Mark my words. Until next time… …keep ‘em flyin’ (in your Bunny Hug)! ## The world of technology This past weekend I went into the city, but with a different purpose than most other weekends. The other weekends I did spend time with friends and went about doing some shopping and even saw a couple of shows. This time, I went in to spend time with my folks. The big reason why is my dad has entered the 21st Century, so to speak. In this order he has purchased a digital camera, a netbook and a 3 in 1 printer. Pretty decent. And from the prices, pretty affordable. The camera he purchased is a Fujitsu Camera, which is actually better than my own Kodak. I didn’t read the full specs, but it can do everything mine can and instead of being 8.1 megapixels, it’s 12 megapixels. The netbook he purchased is an Acer, which actually seems better than my own laptop, and I’ve even given mine an upgrade to 2 gig of RAM. Plus, his is loaded with Windows 7 Starter. A big step up from my own Windows XP. Though, I’m not complaining, it took me two years to go from Windows 98 to Windows XP when it did come out. Finally, the printer he purchased is a 3-in-1 HP Printer. A pretty decent one as things go. We aren’t looking at getting a magazine or newspaper quality type print job here anyway. All in all, however, I think my dad made some pretty decent purchases, all of which go toward taking some nice photos and printing them off with ease. My dad was always a photo-bug, having his own black and white 35 mm camera and even used the old Kodak Brownie line of cameras (I still have a Kodak Brownie Hawkeye camera, and it still works). He taught me how to develope film and helped me learn about setting the photo paper down and getting the picture just right. About the dodge and burn paddles and how to make things not look so over exposed. You know, before Photoshop had all of that in the same utility and you could do it with software. Now that dad is set up with his own computer, camera and printer, the next step is getting him online. I think we’ll wait a bit on that. Not like I need to worry, I have faith that my parents are going to be around for a while. But having my dad connect online will be an interesting, if not sometimes entertaining, experience. Until next time… …keep ‘em flyin’! ## Blood of the Moon: Chapter 1.7 Chelsea walked briskly down the hallway to the main conference room. She knew Sigmund would be inside along with the District Attorney, Clive Harcourt, more than likely discussing the new details that had come forward with the case. Others may have withheld the information, but a friend in the department phoned Sigmund right away, and Sigmund phoned Harcourt. She could hear Harcourt speaking as she approached the door. With file in hand, she didn’t wait, she entered quickly. “…realize this changes things drastically,” Harcourt said to Sigmund then turned to the door with an annoyed look on his face as Chelsea entered. “I see you aren’t as prompt as I have heard, Miss Morgan.” “You said we’d meet at ten,” Chelsea replied as she took a seat beside Sigmund. “It’s 9:45. I was goin’ over the new information.” Sigmund leaned over and whispered as she made herself comfortable. “I tried phoning your place. You weren’t there.” “I was at a friend’s place,” she replied, blushing slightly as the memory of the previous night came back in full detail. Sigmund sat back and smiled, but remained quiet. He’d let Chelsea go over the information with Harcourt. Chelsea fixed her eyes on Harcourt as she adjusted her glasses. “Accordin’ to police, they picked up a perp for extortion around 7:45 last night,” she said reading off her notes. “After a brief discussion he came out wantin’ ta cut a deal. An’ that’s where he said…” She let the sentence hang as she looked to Harcourt hoping he would finish it for her. “…that Justin was the one who orchestrated the extortion racket that the Crimson Skulls had been working for the past six months on inner city businesses,” he finished as he leaned on the chair with his hands. He’d been standing the entire time, as though this might give him some advantage. “We already have the evidence that Justin joined the Crimson Skulls four months ago,” Chelsea reminded him. “How the hell could he come up with a plan ta extort businesses when he didn’t join them until two months after.” “I believe I can prove that Justin was the mastermind before he joined officially,” Harcourt said with a small smile. “What?” Chelsea shot back with an incredulous look. “Harcourt, we been through this. Justin was intimidated ta join after the Crimson Skulls wouldn’t leave his mother an’ sister ‘lone. Now if this is some hair brained theory…” “I can prove that Justin has been in fact, one of the trusted brains behind the actions of the Crimson Skulls for the past year,” Harcourt said as he interrupted Chelsea. “Justin’s a smart kid, has had the highest grades in his classes…” “You are not sayin’ that just b’cause an inner city kid is smart and probably wants ta go ta a good institution ta further his education that he just in fact might be the ring leader o’ a gang like the Crimson Skulls,” Chelsea said as she gritted her teeth. She felt Sigmund’s hand on her shoulder, a signal that she had to calm down. “Your argument will end up making you look bad, Clive,” Sigmund said in a quiet and calm voice. “You pursue this course and you’ll have every minority organization looking to string you up.” “Whether or not that may be true,” Clive stated in an even tone. “It does not detract from the fact that Justin may actually have closer ties to the leadership of the Crimson Skulls than previously believed. Your job just got a lot more difficult.” Harcourt gathered his things together, offered a nod to Sigmund and exited the boardroom quickly. “He’s right, you know,” Sigmund said as he leaned back in his chair. “Whether we like to admit it or not, we’ve got our work cut out for us.” Chelsea sighed heavily as she put away the papers she had carried into the room. She rose to her feet as she looked to Sigmund. “I wanna talk to this witness,” she said in a curt voice. “Any chance we can get ta see him?” Sigmund nodded as he rose to his feet. “Juan Cortez. I contacted his lawyer this morning, shouldn’t be a problem. And Chels,” he said as he looked to her with a slight smirk. “Maybe let me do the talking when we go see him. We’ll be heading down to county at two this afternoon, it’ll give you a chance to calm down…” “I am calm,” Chelsea replied in a defensive manner. “Then why did it look like you wanted to rip Harcourt’s head off,” he said with a sigh and suddenly chuckled as he gave her a nudge. “Not that I really would have been disappointed. Now come on, we’ve got our work cut out for us.” ## Sask Books: Frontier Farewell Frontier Farewell. The 1870s and the End of the Old West By Garret Wilson Published by University of Regina Reviewed by Tim Tokaryk$19.95 ISBN 978-0-88977-193-2

The hoof prints have long since gone. The imprinted sand and clays quickly re-shaped by time, returned to a landscape dominated by natural grasses and sagebrush. But in cluttered archives and journal scrawlings their imprint remains. The impressions, ideas, hopes, and simple need for survival of the people of Canada’s West are newly amalgamated in Garrett Wilson’s “Frontier Farewell, The 1870s and the End of the Old West.”

In this heavily researched volume, Wilson suggests that this period was pivotal to the shaping of the prairies and Canada as a nation. The Dominion of Canada, fearful of annexation by U.S. expansionismwas incensed in the marking of its territory, particularly along the seemingly arbitrary line of the 49th parallel: a line that didn’t follow any topographical relief or structure, a line determined in a country across an ocean.

Despite what was decided in the mother land thousands of kilometers away or in the nation’s eastern capital, which seemed like another world in and of itself, the reality of determining the right course of action had dramatic and more often than not traumatic effects to the land, to the exploratory venturers, and of course to the aboriginal peoples. Wilson’s attention to detail of the period is intense and striking. Wilson details, for instance, the military tactic of setting prairie fires along the international boundary to separate herds of buffalo or the aboriginals, which is just one of the inglorious examples of the steps toward the inclusion of the west under the umbrella of this nation.

The events leading up to the acquisition of the Canadian west and the Hudson Bay Company’s interest in furthering their needs at the peril of the aboriginal communities are stark reminders of the costs incurred in the building of this nation.

“Frontier Farewell” is a broad examination of the politics, culture, achievements, and characters of survival on the bleak Canadian plains leading up to the turn of the century. There may be a perception that nothing has changed on the grasslands during the centuries of Western knowledge. Wilson’s book, however, belies a different story: a story of courage, deceit, greed, and glory,all the features that make Canada what it is today.

THIS BOOK IS AVAILABLE AT YOUR LOCAL BOOKSTORE OR VISIT WWW.SKBOOKS.COM.

These reviews are provided by the Saskatchewan Publishers Group.

## Black Mask & Pale Rider: Part Fifty-Four

For the elves it has been a while, but they return to Terra-Kal.

Black Mask & Pale Rider Part Fifty-Four

I was going to write about this on Sunday, but a case of the lazies came over me, so bad that I didn’t decide to do this until today (actually, yesterday I was quite busy at work and had a couple of other things to blog about).

This past weekend was trade show weekend in Outlook.  The Fourth Annual Outlook & District Chamber of Commerce Trade Show to be exact.  96 booths were featured with businesses throughout the area and even some from Saskatoon came out to show off and describe everything from products to safety (as was seen at the RCMP roll over demonstration).  There was even a chance to get a glimpse of two members of the Saskatchewan Roughriders as Marcus Adams and Darian Durant made an appearance in the afternoon.

Of the three trade shows I’ve attended (I missed out on last year’s) this has got to be the best attended one so far.  There were a great number of spectators and everyone at their booths mentioned how this was better than last year.  And naturally, most everyone was sporting some form of Rider apparel (myself included).  As has been said in the past, a picture can speak a thousand words, so without further ado, here’s a sampling of this past weekend.

Marcus Adams and Darian Durant make it to the trade show. Durant, in his first full year with the Riders as starting quarterback, lead the Riders to a first place finish and a berth into the Grey Cup. Adams helped anchor one of the best defenses in the Canadian Football League last year.

The crowd gathers as the arrival of the Riders is anticipated. People could sign the.. well, sign displayed at the back which boldly states Rider Nation.

Almost one hundred booths had different products available. From farm equipment to clothing to furniture to food. This year's trade show had a lot to offer everyone, including the kids, as there was a pony ride and a bouncy house.

The RCMP had their roll over demonstration and a small demonstration with an available police dog.

Saskatchewan Alley Cat Allies made their third appearance to the trade show, this year adopting out a cat. The organization rescues abandoned cats, gives them medical attention and finds homes for them. Sask Alley Cat Allies only had to put down 5% of the cats they rescued last year, compared to 75% by the SPCA. All cats rescued by Sask Alley Cat Allies received treatments and are spayed and nutered. And yes, that's an iguana sitting under the sun lamp.

This is the place I got my new Rider jacket. I needed a new spring/summer jacket anyway, and got it here at the trade show. Tried on the Friday before, but almost all of their Rider gear had been packed away to travel over to the Jim Kook Recreation Complex for the day of the show.

A crowd gathers around another of the attractions, a silent auction. In this same area was where the antique appraiser Vern Reese came to give his expert opinion on items that everyone could bring in for appraisal.

And that’s another successful trade show.  Until next year (for the show, at least)…

…keep ‘em flyin’!

## Fascinated by death… or desensitized by it?

Saw this news story retweeted from Cory Doctorow (@doctorow), and being one who feels informed by things that he writes and by association, by things he reads, I felt compelled to have a look.

It’s scary to think that we have become so desensitized by violence in all forms of media, that we egg on or encourage someone to kill themselves.  By we, I mean everyone, not just those who were present for the 19 year old Florida teen in the story.  But also by 42 year old Kevin Whitrick of Telford, Shropshire, who hung himself in a webcam suicide.  The same can be said of  Brandon Vedas of Arizona.  All three of these people commited suicide (or at the very least died due to self infliction in the case of overdosing on drugs) live via webcam.

That in itself should be shocking.  That someone would do such a thing live, while not new, is a harsh reality of the world we live in.  It isn’t new, because people have jumped out of windows, shot themselves, hung themselves or done something that ended their life in front of so many people.  But this went from being just a city block to being watched by people across the globe.  It sends a message that while the globalization of information is wonderful, there’s also a very dark undercurrent.

But what is more shocking, at least to me, is that those who watched would actually egg on, believing the whole thing to be a set up fake.  Have we sunk so low as a society, that when we see someone about to kill themselves that the first thing we think of is that it’s all a fake.  That none of it is real.  It’s shocking and depressing.

Admittedly, many of those who ended up watching something that was very real were more than likely left with a sense of change in their lives.  Or, at least I’m hoping so.  That not everything on the Internet is faked for promotional use, or attention getting.  That some of it is very real, very scary and very serious.  My hope is that many of these people will think twice before deciding to egg someone on to hang themselves, or force drugs down their throats.  That they’ll actually try to stop them.  There are those that probably did, and to them they should at least try to console themselves that they tried.

If this was an attempt at a fifteen minutes of fame, then that is truly sad.  Because there is no celebration of the fame, all that is left is a mourning family.  Suicide is never funny, and it is never necessary.  No one should ever consider that an option, even in jest.  There is always something worse than suicide.  In the cases of lives taken in a manner such as these, there is a lasting memory by those who watched.  There is also a void left in the world, because a life was unnecessarily taken in a manner so needless.

## A change in tone?

Of my two current serial series that I’ve been posting, Black Mask & Pale Rider has been my adventurous romp in the far flung wild west with undertones of fantasy (okay, a lot of fantasy).  Blood of the Moon has been closer to home, dealing with no fantasy but more real life situations (with the exception the main character is a superhero).  It’s a romance, or at least, that’s how I wanted it to start.

Now, I’m considering changing direction.

I’ve been reading the news, watching reports and listening to what a lot of people are talking about, especially in American politics (let’s face it, unless Harper’s proroguing parliament, Canadian politics are kinda boring).  There was the health reform issue, which will continue on, there’s the issue of gay marriage, and there’s always how religion is held.  Especially after the recent announcement sexual harassment within the Catholic church.  For Canadians, that’s not new, we went through it already once.  And there will always be the issue of race.

And then I look Blood of the Moon.

Chelsea Morgan is a middle class black woman who went to a Catholic church in the French Quarter of New Orleans.  She ran away from home to live with her brother in another country, and graduated high school at Loboldus High School in Regina.  A Catholic high school.  A highly intelligent girl with two degrees in two completely different areas, she went to school because she wanted to, not because she could or because she was bored.  But she wanted to.  A series of misfortunate events (which will be detailed in the future) and we find Chelsea in the employ of a law firm.  And she’s a costumed vigilante.  And she’s gay.

Let’s recap.  Gay.  Catholic.  Black Woman.  Costumed Vigilante working in the poor section of Ravenport, Maine (I made that up, by the way).

For the past week to two weeks, the story itself has been screaming to change directions.  And it might, in time.  Romance is just one part of life.  So is politics.  Chelsea may very well become my political soap box (and her surrounding supporting cast), but I can’t get away from the fact that the character can be so much more than just a romance character.

I’ll let Chelsea find happiness first, then I’ll worry about all the other things later.

Until next time…

…keep ‘em flyin’!

Side note: I guess this would be a self hijack, as I’m writing this after the fact.  But I have learned while writing Blood of the Moon, fight scenes are easier to write than sex scenes.  So, sorry everyone, but from now on any sex scene is going to have a lead up, then fade neatly to black.

## Blood of the Moon: Chapter 1.6

Chelsea woke as the rising sun began to stream through the windows of the bedroom. She had to look around as she began to remember what had happened the previous night. Full realization came to her as she saw Acadia lounging beside her, fully awake.

“Morning, Princess,” Acadia cooed lightly, and leaned close to kiss her softly.

Chelsea returned the kiss and smiled as she stretched. “Mornin’,” she replied in a quiet voice.

“I do hope you enjoyed last night,” Acadia stated with a coy smile. “I know I did.” She grinned as she looked Chelsea in the eyes. “I had even thought of waking you in a special way. But, alas, you woke peacefully on your own.”

Chelsea seemed to blush a bit at the thought of what Acadia would do. “If it’s what I think, then that wouldn’t be so bad.”

“Oh, naughty girl,” Acadia grinned and rolled gracefully off the bed. “I’ll make breakfast. I took the liberty of bringing in your things. You can use the shower if you wish.” Chelsea watched as Acadia put on her kimono and walked out of the bedroom and down the hall.

Her thoughts were interrupted as her cell phone rang. She picked it up and sighed as she saw the number. Sigmund. “Hello, Chels here.”

“Chelsea,” Sigmund announced in an almost excited tone, and not a good excited. “Thank god you’re awake. I’ve been at the office going over some evidence the DA brought in last night.”

“Evidence?” Chelsea said with some shock. “It’s armed robbery an’ he admitted it. What else is there?”

“Extortion,” Sigmund informed her. “And the DA says he’s got witnesses to corroborate this.” Sigmund paused as Chelsea cursed silently. “How soon can you get in?”

“I’m ’bout ta eat breakfast,” she said quickly. “I’ll grab a shower an’ be there in an hour. Make that an hour an’ a half, just in case traffic’s heavy.”

“I’ll see you when you get in, Chels,” Sigmund said and rang off. Chelsea ended the call and sighed heavily. From a relaxing evening to a rushed morning. Not the best way to start the morning.

## You’ve Got To Be Kidding Me

This morning when I woke up not all that long ago I rubbed the sleep from my eyes, booted up my computer and logged into MSN/Windows Live Messenger. I have mine set up so that pops up the stuff that’s going on today. I get a mix of politics, world affairs, Celebs and other little tidbits that I usually read faithfully every morning. It’s how I keep myself fairly caught up on the world today.

This morning, this is what my box looked liked:

As you can see I haven’t yet finished my reading since the only two that I have read are Kick-Ass Controversy and 9/11 plans foiled.

Now the 9/11 plans that were foiled were in Iraq; they discovered plans made by al-Qaida to hi-jack and fly planes into Shiite temples. Airports were closed down, people were arrested . Way to go Iraq.

That aside this movie Kick-Ass looks pretty amusing. Who wouldn’t want to be a costumed vigilante who fights crime and defeats evil. Who doesn’t want to hang out with an 11-12 year old who swears like Tourette’s stricken sailor. Jeeze I have hard enough time just getting LGIB to tell me I’m a bitch to my face.

This whole controversy is about actress Chloe Grace Moretz dropping the C-word among other swear words. It would seem this is what really bothers people. Not the fact she’s an 11-12 year old girl who is carrying around a sword and beating the crap out of people  instead of being at home or at the mall teeny boppin’ around with a black berry in her hand and running up daddy’s cellular bill.

Matthew Vaughn, the director was highly amused by this controversy as well.  Stating:

I was like, ‘Does it not bother you that she killed about 53 people in this film?’” he said. “I’m like, ‘Would you rather your daughter swore, or became a masked vigilante killer?’ They’re going, ‘Yeah, I don’t know.’

I completely agree with his logic. The character Hit Girl is a pre-teen assassin. Let me say that again PRE-TEEN ASSASSIN. I’ve heard of kids getting away with murder, but damn fifty-three people in one hour and half film and people are complaining because she swears too much or drops the c-word. I can’t even begin to understand where swearing even remotely compares to murder.  Oooo wait it doesn’t.

People are becoming way to uppity about the stupid things like this.

(Being Tangent) Yesterday I read something that completely made sense and it was to protect our children. Primark a popular discount store offered a padded bra bikini that was aimed towards seven year old. They pulled it from the shelves when there was an extreme outcry by parents.

I’ve seen what little girls are wearing these days and I’m disgusted with how children are being sexualized by just clothing alone. Yet we wonder why there are people who want to sexually abuse them.

Stop letting your kids dress like their big sister who is mentally and physically more mature to handle what goes along with being dressed in a handkerchief shirt and tissue skirt. There is no reason that children at the age of seven should even consider wearing a padded bra let alone one that’s inside a bikini.

Another article covering the same thing said a source claimed the store said it was to protect little girls modesty from her possible developing breasts. No. Sorry. Not buying it. I’ve seen this bra-kini thing and it makes it look like the little girl is going to have the appearance of something there.

What the fuck…(oops sorry dropped the F bomb there) is wrong with people today? Someone needs to go visit the designers for these companies and weed out the pedos. If I ever have a little girl, she’s going to dress her age. Not ten years older. (End tangent)

Now back to this movie; I’m not going to see it in theatres simply because I have far too much going on and I’m sure that it will be out on DVD with the next few months, so I’ll just rent it then. It doesn’t look like it’s going to be worth me owning but I’m going to reserve any negativity until after I see it and go into this movie with a clear mind.

Keep it real and rockin’

## Sask Books: Horses, Hockey, & Haloes

Horses, Hockey and Haloes

by Lori Kohlman

Review by Karen Lawson

$19.95 ISBN 9780981082608 The novel “Horses, Hockey and Haloes” takes the reader on a journey of discovery. Author Lori Kohlman approaches the subject of autism with sensitivity and respect. Her purpose in writing this book is to give the reader an opportunity to learn and understand more about Autism. It is obvious that she has done a great deal of research about this disorder as she tackles the subject in a knowledgeable and informed way. Autism is a neurological condition that causes developmental disabilities. It results in delayed and underdeveloped communication skills and social interactions. Autism is more common in boys and usually becomes apparent before the child is three years old. This story is set in the fictional town of Prairie Pass SK. The author situates her story here in order to show that Autism can touch the lives of any family, no matter where they live. “Horses, Hockey and Haloes” revolves around a rancher and his family. Sam Duncan is struggling as a single parent to raise his two children. Rebecca is thirteen years old and J. J. is his eight year old autistic son. He is faced with the challenges of trying to run a successful ranch while coping with the issues of a pubescent daughter and the special needs of his autistic son. His domineering mother, Ruth, throws another curve into the family dynamics. A special education teacher, Eve Ashton, who has a past history with Sam, soon becomes involved with the family. She plays a valuable role as she tries to support Sam and Rebecca and work with J.J.’s unique situation. Eve understands J.J. as no one else ever has and soon becomes very attached to him as well as the rest of the family. Her own personal connection to children with special needs helps her to relate to J. J. and she becomes an integral part of his educational growth. At first skeptical, Sam soon realizes that Eve has J.J.’s best interests at heart and he appreciates her dedication to the development of his son. Before long, a relationship develops between Sam and Eve that changes the course of both their lives. This gentle story will touch the heart of anyone who has been affected by Autism but more importantly, it will inspire and inform anyone who wants to learn more about this condition. ‘THIS BOOK IS AVAILABLE AT YOUR LOCAL BOOKSTORE OR VISIT WWW.SKBOOKS.COM These reviews are provided by the Saskatchewan Publishers Group. ## Black Mask & Pale Rider: Part Fifty-Three Shani receives a pleasant surprise when Pania wakes up. Derringer and Captain Williams have a talk with the President. Black Mask & Pale Rider Part Fifty-Three ## The weather has turned to crap Three weeks ago we had a great day with a high of 10 Celsius. Last weekend, the temperature soared to 19, shorts and T-shirt weather. Then yesterday, old man winter decided he hadn’t said good-bye to us all properly. Friday mornings are the mornings I get up really early and head into work really early. I get the paper ready for delivery and set off to haul everything to the post office. Next week we’ve got an insert and it’s also the day everyone in Outlook gets a paper for free. Getting up yesterday was easy, especially when the wind outside was howling. The constant whistling dragged me from my bed. Low and behold, the wind was somewhere around 50 kilometers per hour gusting to 70 kilometers per hour. Add snow and blowing snow to the equation and yesterday was a pretty crappy day indeed. But that was not the worst of it. On my drive to work, I had to drive around a large spruce tree that had fallen into the middle of the street, thanks to the strong wind that had snapped it fifteen feet up. I only managed to get a picture after it had been cleaned up. Normally I don’t take my laptop and camera to work on Friday. That may change now. Later in the afternoon, however, there was a spruce tree that toppled over. Or at least snapped in two. The upper part of the spruce tree in front of the apartment across the street from me had the top ten to fifteen feet break off in the wind. The tree that stands right beside it was fine, however, even though it looked like it would break off right near the base. The needles and branches weren’t nearly as thick as the other spruce, which may have been the reason why it didn’t break. As the day progressed, the temperature did get warmer, and while I know that 5 or 6 Celsius is not T-shirt and shorts weather, it was warm enough to begin melting the snow. Which began to turn to slush and sleet. Driving conditions were horrid, combining the wet, mucky streets with the poor visibility. Add a great deal of tree debris on the roads and you had a recipe for a few accidents. There were some. I was informed of accidents just outside of Rosetown. One involved a milk truck that missed a turn and went into the ditch. Glad I wasn’t driving yesterday. Speaking of driving, I uploaded this video on Youtube. The maximum speed I was driving yesterday was about 10 kilometers per hour. You can also see the strength of the wind. Oh, and today it’s snowing again. So the photos I promised three weeks ago that would compare how the buds and trees that were coming along had progressed… not happening. I’ll try it again next weekend. Just hope that old man winter doesn’t stick around during all next week. Until next time… …keep ‘em flyin’! Oh snap season highjack First off lemme point and laugh at Tim because I can and because I’m such and awesome friend. I got better weather…kinda. Outside my apartment, the sun is usually shining, birds singing and pollen is pissing my allergies off with it’s cheerful blooms. That’s right spring has hit here full force. Just the other not so sunny day I snapped a picture of the crab apple tree right out front. The white one is outside my dining window and the pink one below is just outside my neighbor’s. The thing I love about these trees is the vibrant colors. Sure I know they are going to be horrible when the fruit comes in and I know I’ll be sick of spring and shortly after summer because of the bugs. But right now it’s pretty watching everything come to life again and even watching birds make their nests like Mr. Robin who is plotting on in my crab apple tree this season. Keep it real and rockin’ ## Blood of the Moon: Chapter 1.5 (advisement: contains sexual content) Acadia ushered Chelsea into the lavish apartment and turned on the lights. Even with the dim setting, Chelsea could tell this woman lived a lot more lavishly than what anyone working as a bartender would normally live. The main living room was massive, with a long couch, two lavish chairs and an ornate coffee table set into a sunken portion of the room. The room itself was decorated in rich wood and lavender. Incense burned in small sconces as soft music began to play. The sound came from on old style record player, which was something else Chelsea noticed. A complete lack of modern appliances in the living room. No television, no radio. “This place,” Chelsea said in a voice filled with wonder. “Is amazin’. How could you afford this?” “Shrewd picks on the stock market, darling,” she said with a small chuckle. “I’m going to slip into something a bit more comfortable. I hope you don’t mind, but I enjoy lounging in style when I am at home. Care for some wine?” Chelsea snapped her attention back to Acadia and nodded with a small smile. “Sure. Please.” “Put your things in that closet by the front door, if you wish,” she said as she walked down a hallway which could only lead to one of the bedrooms. Chelsea could only imagine that they would be as ornate and rich as the living room was. She set her briefcase and coat in the front closet and walked into the living room, looking at everything once again. A comforting sigh came from her lips as she sat on the plump cushions on the couch, and felt as though she were sitting on a cloud. “This place… this couch…” “I prefer something soft when lounging,” she called out as she came back down the hallway. Chelsea could hear her in the kitchen, retrieving glasses. “When I sleep, however, I like something a bit more firm than this couch.” Acadia walked out of the kitchen carrying two wine glasses and a bottle of red wine. All she wore was a small kimono, and left little to the imagination. She smiled softly as she sat beside Chelsea and poured wine into each glass. Chelsea took her own with a nod of thanks as Acadia sat back on the couch. “So. I believe we were discussing something earlier. I had asked you a question.” “Yeah,” Chelsea replied quietly, but said nothing more. Acadia chuckled lightly as she studied Chelsea. “You realize that you don’t need to say anything, everything you’re doing, your movements, your quiet voice… it tells me everything.” “An’ what would that be?” Chelsea replied as she tried to make her voice sound more assertive, but failing miserably. “You have been with a woman before,” Acadia leaned forward as she smiled devilishly. “Be honest with me, now.” Chelsea sipped her wine as she considered both statements for a while. Finally, she took a deep breath and looked directly at Acadia. “At UNLV,” she explained slowly. “I met this girl there, I was eighteen at the time. We were roommates. Sometimes… we just tried stuff.” Acadia giggled lightly as she tried to imagine a younger Chelsea experimenting in such a way. “Ah, the curiosities of youth. And here I thought of trying to find you some man to take you away.” She took a sip of her wine and smiled as she studied Chelsea. “Who knew that I might actually have a chance.” Chelsea coughed just as she was about to take another sip and looked to Acadia. “Excuse me?” Acadia set down her wine and moved closer to Chelsea. “You know,” she announced in a hushed voice. “I’ve always had an attraction to black women. It could be your alluring physique.” She reached up to trail her fingers gently along Chelsea’s jawline. Chelsea took a deep breath but didn’t move, but looked Acadia in the eyes. “And I notice you aren’t running away.” She shook her head and replied in a quiet voice. “No. I guess not.” “And why would that be?” Acadia asked as she took Chelsea’s wine glass and set it on the coffee table. “You’re very beautiful,” was all Chelsea managed to say. Acadia smiled and moved closer, her body close to Chelsea’s as her hand began exploring her curves. She leaned forward slowly and gently pressed her lips to Chelsea’s. Chelsea let out a sudden wimper of surprise but didn’t pull away. Instead, she found herself returning the kiss in kind. So lost was she in the kiss, the taste of Acadia’s lips, she didn’t notice Acadia’s exploring fingers until she felt a sudden pressure at her breast. Chelsea let out a sudden breath at the touch and pulled back slightly, watching Acadia’s eyes. The touch wasn’t something she’d expected, but it wasn’t something she was afraid of either. “Very nice indeed,”Acadia said with a coy smile. “However, I can only imagine what you truly look like.” As though to announce her attentions she let her kimono fall from her shoulders, revealing herself to Chelsea. Her skin, soft and white, her breasts full, her body voluptuous. “Let’s get you out of those clothes,” she stated with a grin as she helped Chelsea undress. Chelsea felt as though everything around her was very surreal. Even as the last article of clothing fell to the floor, she still felt as though it were all a dream. But one she did not want to wake up from. She felt Acadian’s skin against her own as they embraced; tasted her lips as they kissed. What had been a simple question had become so much more. ## Sask Books: Black Bear Pastry & Other Delights Black Bear Pastry & Other Delights Written by Kathleen K. Coleclough, Illustrations by David Benjoe Published by Kakwa Publishing Review by Shelley A. Leedahl$10.50 ISBN 978-0-9781555-1-3

In the introduction to the heartwarming children’s book “Black Bear Pastry & Other Delights,” Riceton, SK author Kathleen K. Coleclough shares the unique inspiration for her story. When the writer was a child, her mother owned “a little cookbook” which contained recipes for items like “Baked Moose Nose,” “Pickled Beaver Tail,” and “Black Bear Pastry.” Regarding the latter, only the fat from a black bear that had eaten blueberries was suitable. How, wondered the young Coleclough, could one tell what a bear had eaten? It’s an interesting premise for a children’s story, and after reading this introduction I was eager to discover what would follow.

A writer of Ojibwa, Cree, Assiniboian, and Danish descent (“I’m Indian and Viking,” she tells students during presentations), and a member of the Metis Nation of Saskatchewan, Coleclough weaves cultural references – both overt, via language and illustrations (ie: the main character wears his long hair in braids) and less obvious (ie: the delightful sense of humour that the Metis have been credited with) – through her story.

The protagonist, Kenny, is an imaginative boy who loves his trips with his father – a “city person” who “didn’t like to be reminded of his roots” — to visit his Nookoo and Nimishoo (his grandparents) on the reserve. Kenny learns that his beloved Nookoo, aka Grandma Helen, loved black bear pastry as a child, and the boy decides he wants to make some for her. “Kenny,” the boy’s father says, “you can’t just go to a store and buy a bear.” The child continually implores his father to take him bear hunting, and eventually the father reluctantly agrees to do it “for Nookoo.”

This is a children’s story, yes, with age-appropriate language and credible characters – it was realistic and delightful how often friends and extended family were visiting the grandparents to work together on a mossbag, for example, or help fix an old truck — but it also deals with the “grown-up” issue of traditional vs. contemporary life. Kenny’s father says: “I haven’t hunted since I was your age, Kenny. I live a city life now. I don’t think I’d even remember what to do.” (Indeed, on their expeditions the boy and his father return first with a fish, then a goose. “Nice bear, boy,” a visiting friend jokes.)

David Benjoe’s subtle watercolour illustrations, which feature both the central characters and visitors (including “the gas man” who has come to read the meter), echo the grandparents’ simple way of life. Benjoe, of the Piapot First Nation, now lives in Regina and teaches art.

Curious types like myself are often interested in learning the back stories to published books. How did the writer come up with the idea? And when? Coleclough both satisfies these queries and delivers a poignant tale that I’d highly recommend for the personal libraries of all Saskatchewan youngsters. It offers a sincere representation of Metis culture, but more than that, it tells one heck of a fine story that both children and their elders will adore.

THIS BOOK IS AVAILABLE AT YOUR LOCAL BOOKSTORE OR FROM THE SASKATCHEWAN PUBLISHERS GROUP WWW.SKBOOKS.COM

These reviews are provided by the Saskatchewan Publishers Group.

## Black Mask & Pale Rider: Part Fifty-Two

Derringer seeks out Captain Williams, while Pania has an epiphany.

Black Mask & Pale Rider Part Fifty-Two

## Geocaching: hi-tech treasure hunting

What is geocaching?  Well, according to geocaching.com it is this:

Geocaching is a high-tech treasure hunting game played throughout the world by adventure seekers equipped with GPS devices. The basic idea is to locate hidden containers, called geocaches, outdoors and then share your experiences online. Geocaching is enjoyed by people from all age groups, with a strong sense of community and support for the environment.

This past weekend in Saskatoon, Pearce Kilgour and I went on a geocaching search.  There was a couple of caches he hadn’t found that we tried finding.  Unfortunately, we had no luck in finding them.  He did show me one he had found one the university campus.  Of which there are several.

Geocaching is really just a hi-tech treasure hunt.  But it’s a great way to get out and see new things.  Pearce and I stopped at Raoul Wallenberg Park, just off 8th Street in Saskatoon.  Across from the park was a really nice looking church, and a well designed house.  Pearce mentioned that coming to the place in the evening was spectacular, as the lights added a great deal to the area.

A problem with geocaching can be it’s really, really dirty.  It’s a treasure hunt after all.  But don’t go into the field wearing your Sunday best.  I learned the hard way you can get filthy by rooting around in a spruce tree.  The sleeve of my coat became quite sticky with sap.

When you’re out searching for cache sites, there’s often a few tell tale markers that a cache is out there.  Something that gives a bit of a clue as to where the actually box is.  And the box can be anything from the size of a matchbox to a coffee tin.  Some people leave little trinkets inside the larger ones, and in the smaller ones, there’s just enough room for a small piece of paper.  Usually there is at least a log book.

In Saskatoon, there are hundreds of caches, and even in a small town like Outlook there are a few.  Eight, from what I’ve learned.

To make the adventure a bit easier, most hunters use a GPS unit.  A lot of the cache sites are uploaded to a main site, and then can be downloaded for one’s own GPS unit.  Sometimes, however, a cache can be missing or destroyed, either by those not know what it’s for (often called muggled) or by an animal that’s just been curious.

A few of the interesting things that we did find while on our caching adventure on the weekend was the odd things of nature that we saw.  Such as the massive tumble weed wedged into a tree.  I don’t know if there actually was any way that this thing could have ended up just being blown into the trees on the University of Saskatchewan campus, but it was there.  It looked like a small tree itself, really.  It also brought about another danger, that being twigs and branches the either smack in the face or poke constantly while doing a search.  Some of these caches were in very hard to find places.  As you can see, we had to grab a snap of the “small tree” that tried to call itself a tumble weed.

For more information on geocaching, go to the webiste www.geocaching.com.  Also, check out the fun facts about geocaching at wikipedia.

Until next time…

…keep ‘em flyin’!

## Excitment Brewing

Of course with a title like that you would expect me to tell you about all the things that are up and coming. And I am to a point.

There’s been a lot excitement over the pass few weeks. A previous blog explained some difficult times that are coming up in my family. It also gave wind that BF and I are back together.

While it’s not completely official since I don’t have a ring, Zach and I are engaged to be married. All of this happen so quickly even for me that I haven’t had time to catch my breath. Many people understood that I loved him even while we were separated. I fought even when I wanted to do nothing more than give up. I nearly lost him but God smiled on me and offered me my last chance.

Zach understand that the economy isn’t really good and looking for a job is tough. He’s decided on friday he’s going to enlist in the Navy. Now I’ve been this road before. I was once an Army Wife, now I’ll be a Navy Wife. Either way I know it’s going to be tough on me and there will be times when I will want him to come home ASAP because I need or want him. This is where the spoiled Zodi gets put on hold. MEH!

The other part to this is if he and I are married it will be easier when filing paper work and all that jazz so that I can be covered by his benefits. I don’t know about Rhys but I will cross that bridge when I get to it.

Now the excitement. With Zach enlisting this means I will go from fiancee to wife in a matter of weeks. Two to be exactly. That’s right. After all the fighting and BS that he and I have put each other through in the past four years, we decided why wait any longer, get it done and over with worry about a fancy shindig later. So on April 16th, I will no longer be Zodi Mitchell. I will be Zodi Mitchell-Heidler, or Zodi Heidler. I haven’t decided yet (and he is picking on me about this too.)

We are planning a huge wedding in a few years, once we know what is going on with all the Navy stuff. This stuff will all come in time.

So yeah lots and lots of new stuff cooking up in the world of Zodi.

Speaking of cooking and of facebook for that matter. I play a game called Cafe World. I’ve decided that I am going to start making from scratch dishes that are in the game. This will lead into a whole new Dontcha blogs that I’ve been seriously slacking on. Kinda like my writing, which I think it’s safe to say that I am taking an undefined hiatus for writing.

All in due time.

Keep it real and rockin’

## Blood of the Moon: Chapter 1.4

Chelsea went over her notes idly as she sat at the bar of the Winter’s Club. It was an old, posh club that had been in The City for over one hundred years. So much so, it had been declared a heritage site, but was still maintained as a pub and eatery. Many of those in the business district came here for lunch or a drink, no matter the time of day. For Chelsea, it was a chance for some quiet and a cup of her favourite coffee and a shot of Bailey’s. Chelsea enjoyed this time of day, however, as the bartender had taken a bit of a shine to her, chatting late into the evening sometimes.

Acadia Richardson had been working here since Chelsea first began at the law firm only a year before. Chelsea had worked her way up to some notoriety and Acadia had watched her the whole time. The voluptuous blonde seemed to be a part of the pub as much as anything else, she knew so much about it’s history. In the entire time Chelsea had worked in this area of The City, she had never seen Acadia change. Her clothing, and a touch of style, perhaps, but she always wore very fancy dress that pointed to something closer to the 1940′s and 1950′s than anything from the 21st Century.

“Miss Morgan,” Acadia said with a soft smile as she approached Chelsea. “You have become the star of the show lately. I saw you on television on the evening news.”

Chelsea looked up from her notes and smiled, moving her hand to cradle her coffee. “Not the star, really,” she said quietly. “Just doin’ what I haveta do.”

“Nonsense,” Acadia retorted with a small chuckle. “Defender of truth, justice… and whatever else comes along with that statement,” she said in a rather bored voice as she waved her hand a rather dramatic way. She then leaned against the bar and looked directly at Chelsea. “But what the public often wants to know about these… new stars of our legal system, is what is their private life like.”

Chelsea smiled softly in reply. She liked Acadia’s flair for the dramatic. “I think the public would be really bored if they knew ’bout my private life.” She chuckled as she took a sip of her coffee, Acadia just smiled and looked to Chelsea with a knowing smile as she rested a hand lightly on her hip. “I am gonna be goin’ ta a charity event on Saturday. In support o’ the womens shelter openin’ up soon.”

“A worthy and noble cause to be certain,” Acadia replied with a dramatic smile and just a hint of her English accent coming through. “A social event such as this, you’ll have to make sure that you have only the best attire. Because that way you can possibly find some irresistible man and trap him with your alluring beauty.” Acadia paused a moment and smirked. “Or even some irresistible woman.”

Chelsea paused a moment in mid sip as she stared at Acadia. She set down her cup down slowly and spoke in a quiet voice. “Excuse me?”

“My dear, I happen to be an excellent judge of character,” Acadia replied with a soft smile. “A person will speak volumes with just their own body language.” She tilted her head and smirked as she studied Chelsea. “Much like what you’re telling me now.”

“I.. ain’t never… been with a woman…” Chelsea stammered as she tried to defend herself.

“Chelsea dear,” Acadia said in a quiet voice. “There are four people in this world that you cannot lie to. Five actually, but we’ll leave prostitutes out of this. Your doctor, your lawyer,” she said with a smile as she motioned to Chelsea. “Your priest and your bartender.”

Chelsea rolled her eyes and chuckled lightly at the explanation. “I have never in my life heard that b’fore.”

“Oh, it’s very old,” Acadia replied with a firm nod as she crossed her arms. “So knowing that, you then cannot lie to me if I were to ask you any question. Consider this your baptism under oath…”

“Combinin’ a court room with a bar an’ religion,” Chelsea replied with a chuckle. “Nice! I like that.”

“After, I’ll prescribe a glass of twelve year old Scotch and we’ll have the medical profession as well,” Acadia responded with a smile as she leaned on the bar and spoke in a soft voice. “So, Miss Morgan. Have you ever in the past had relations, sexual or otherwise, with a woman?”

Chelsea coughed to clear her throat as she looked around the bar at the other patrons. They seemed content with their attentions on their drinks or their own partners in conversation. She looked to Acadia who merely watched her with a coy smile on her lips. “Um… I’ll plead the fifth?”

Acadia chuckled lightly and shook her head. “Even without that statement I know the truth.” She took a look around the bar for a moment before she gazed upon Chelsea. “I’m done my shift in half an hour. Join me, we can go back to my place and talk further there.” Acadia slipped away as she gave Chelsea a wink.

Chelsea Morgan looked into her coffee cup for a moment as she took a deep breath. Her mind raced as she wondered just exactly she was getting herself into.

Yellowgrass

Written by Allan Safarik

Review by Shelley A. Leedahl

\$17.95 ISBN 978-0-9783440-4-7

I am always keenly interested in reading the poems of writers who have selected to live in small Saskatchewan towns – as have I — rather than our largest cities, and seeing how that experience flavours their work. Acclaimed Dundurn, SK writer Allan Safarik is among my favourite poets, and thus it’s always a treat when a new Safarik title turns up and he again illuminates that which is beautiful and profound and right before us, though we ourselves fail to see.

In the past I’ve praised this 2005 winner of the Saskatchewan Book Award for Poetry for an eye and ear that pay attention to the smallest of creatures and details, and in his latest book, “Yellowgrass,” published by Hagios Press, Safarik — like a tour guide for the almost invisible and overlooked — again treats readers to his astute sensory perceptions and literary prowess.

First, a few titles from “Yellowgrass”: “All About Dying in Bed,” “Nothing Defines Humanity like the Essential Rat,” “The State of the Insect Economy,” and “Portrait in Grassy Dress.” Ah, we say, skimming the Contents page, here’s a poet who understands that even the title of a work deserves great attention, and we lick our lips at what’s to come.

And what is to come includes lines that read like miniature poems: “The fragrance of night depends upon tree pods,” he writes in “Desert.” From “Moonlight Dogs”: “Far out on the Hutterite meadow\deer jump at the moonlight”.

There’s “A flock of white geese\longer than a train” in the poem “Map of the Road.” And look, in “Mule Deer on the Hanley Road,” how he transforms a barbed-wire fence into poetry, describing it thus: “Thin line of the horizon stapled\along the edge of the wind”.

There’s also much fancy in the book, including talking and dancing animals, giants, and dream fragments. Many of the poems are simply good fun. In “Rumours From Heaven,” Safarik writes: “Everybody\smokes\in heaven\with the\windows shut\to maximize\ the buzz”. Another poem, “Elephant News,” begins: “At the reading room in the Franc[e]s Morrison Library\the elephant can’t find news about his species\in the domestic or foreign press”.

Safarik is also a storyteller, and some of his best pieces – like “Visitors,” “Unknown Details,” and “Neighbour” – relay interesting anecdotes about relationships in a poet’s concise manner. Like the houseflies that often appear in Safarik’s work, we feel like the proverbial “fly on the wall” as he describes scenes of domestic distress and confusion.

It’s clear that the poet also keeps one eye on the larger world, fraught as it is with economic crises, ecological issues, and war. Safarik, then, is the best kind of seer. From the local coffee shop, where directions are imparted (“Follow the gravel\past the Mennonite church\until you reach the canal\then right to the crossroads\for eleven miles\you’ll come out\by Eugene’s barn\near the correction line\From there it’s easy”) to a hotel in Moscow, from prairie grain fields to Baghdad’s streets, Safarik writes deftly about the world we live in and share with the beasts.

THIS BOOK IS AVAILABLE AT YOUR LOCAL BOOKSTORE OR FROM THE SASKATCHEWAN PUBLISHERS GROUP WWW.SKBOOKS.COM

These reviews are provided by the Saskatchewan Publishers Group.