~ My Montessori of Love ~

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We first made love by firelight, by my fire in my home of wood.

It was warm, it was nurture, with animals and animal love. She was a teacher. And I had never known such a knowing teacher’s touch. She was a strong woman, she said. And she knew in her heart and head and her teacher’s hands that she had found her a good strong man. She said at last she had been welcomed, warmly, into her true home, her one true home, she said.

For she knew we would marry, marry, she said, our vows would wed us together. I’m going to marry this guy, she said of me to others, again and again. I’m going to marry this guy, she said. But until then I was invited to come and stay the night with her, with her in her same old bed.

I gave her my ancient mountain ring, and I wore hers, and we were matched with our patchwork quilt for marriage on our magic mountain day. All before I came to stay, that first special night when I came to stay, with her and her very special children, her boys who were the ages of men.

She was separated but divorcing, she said. But I soon learned she and a husband had been separated six long years, six years but still no divorce. Oh, it would happen any day now, she said, it would happen soon, soon, but she knew not when.

Then I first came into her bedroom and all his stuff was still on his dresser, his cuff links and the odd husband thing of his or the other, the kind of stuff guys have atop their dresser tops. His clothes still hung in the closet, the closet I was told to use.

It wasn’t until I gently mentioned this that it ever occurred to her, that something was amiss. And only then did she hide his things away. Yes, I was fortunate enough to be there and watch her hide her ex-but-not-really-ex husband’s things away, and out of sight, I watched her do this most all the very next day, after I had spent my first night.

I wondered how she would have felt if I had another woman’s clothes and jewelry openly laid out in my home of wood, when we first made love by the firelight. But I did not go there too strongly, for I loved her and did not want to hurt her heart or her head. So most of this went unsaid.

Her boys, the ages of men, well there were four. And each was addicted to at least one chemical or more or some other mind-numbing electric drug. Each was drifting or failing, three in the home — and one on the street, that one hooked on the hard stuff and doing dumb crimes. She was afraid of that one and was glad I was there to protect her from him.

She said she wanted to come stay with me to put some distance betwixt her and the scary son, the one who stole from them and scared her to feed his scary habit. She felt safer with me there, she said, in her house of things kept safely locked in boxes.

A week or so later, the one on the street was arrested for snatching a lady’s bag and for several other dumb little crimes, crimes to refill his needle. But now, now that he was in lockdown inside that county jail, well, she would have to stay near him, be near him, to weep for him and feel his pain for him just as she felt the pain of the other three addicted ones still locked inside her home, who gave her no respect but loved her just the same.

Oh, and she would not hear a bad word said against any one of her addicted ones, these poor benighted sons born to her and a drunkard husband who she knew she did not love the day she married him, who she knew was what he is and was when he passed out, unconsummated on their wedding night, the drunkard she had never saved her babies from, a drunkard who she gave herself to and waited on, despite his disrespect, feeling his weakling’s anger, who she allowed to school her children in The Ways of Weakness and Addiction 101 from semester to semester, as one school year led to another. Who she allowed to leave his cuff links on his dresser and his clothes in the closet, long after he was gone but not gone, though they were still in the course of soon divorcing, yes, we’re divorcing, after six long separated years.

But she was a strong woman, she said. She was a strong woman, she said.

She told me of people, others in her outer ring of mountain folk, who had questioned or disapproved of her schooling and parenting and how she would now have little to do with them or such critique when they questioned her methods of mothering. I finally had to ask myself, what parenting, what mothering? I saw only a smothering malaise. But she loved her children, you know, yes, and they loved her, you know, because they said so, they said so, and they said so, they said.

And when these sons of the teacher screwed up, grew angry, or did murder, she did lots of talking with each one, lots of talking and talking, and when all else failed there was always more of their sad, soft talking. It was bound to work one day, wasn’t it, wasn’t it? If we talk sad and soft long enough, now wouldn’t, wouldn’t it though?

I finally had to admit, there were no teachings or parentings here to question. There was only a house of soft and addicted and floating children.

But she was a strong woman, she said. They all would drown if she did not save them.

And soon I made her feel weak, she said, because I was too strong and too forceful, too angry with her method. I should not question her methods, she said, nor should I even display a method, any method. So I simply had to go.

Yes, she was ashamed, for all her credit cards and accounts were still in the drunkard’s name. Everything was left up to the drunkard, who was gone but not gone, else the drunkard might get angry, so she waited and she waited for everything from the drunkard, she waited while nothing changed.

But I was too harsh if I noticed these things. And in time she would tell me so.

Oh, I was good for heavy lifting, I suppose. And for moving loads of heavy stuff and driving hundred of miles, leaving my home of wood and my blessed beasts behind. To journey far in heat of day and dark of night, weathering all weathers so I could be there to sing hymns of her to her or join our bodies in sweet communion or just to hold her and listen kindly when she wanted to weep over her fears and failures.

But only she could say their names, anybody else was just being cruel. She was so gruelingly sensitive, you know? So sensitive and so afraid. So all the while I kept singing her sacred hymns, hymns of reassurance, hymns for our salvation. But some refuse to be saved.

I am glad I was good for something, for a while, for her. For her I gave my everything. But this was a family thing, she said. Can’t you see? She was all that could save them.

And I, well, I was too harsh if I suggested something might be wrong here. So I simply had to go.

Because she was so strong. You know.

And it was I who made her feel weak, I who made her feel wrong and not strong.

So I’m gone now, as you might guess. Oh yes. I’ve been dismissed. I simply had to go.

Still I love her more deeply with every dying day, with each passing season and semester, I feel so deeply her pain and the pain of her, long after I’ve gone away What is left of me loves her dearly with all my tattered soul. But me with no mother, or lover, or teacher to talk to, to talk to soft and low. Oh, did I mention I gave her my ancient mountain ring? And everything, everything, everything?

So these are my lessons of love. This is what little I’ve learned.

I’ve learned, sometimes, this is how love has to go.

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© 2016 Randy Thornhorn

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More on “The Kestrel Waters” from Susan Foster

Susan Foster: Just finished the pinnacle of true, pure Southern Gothic writing, ‘ The Kestrel Waters: A Tale of Love and the Devil “, written by Randy Thornhorn. I am in awe of the depths of this man. Magic, every single word. Randy Thornhorn, I purely love you and your pretty, pretty words.

(Posted in reply to the Facebook/Goodreads App weekly question,”Happy Friday! What book will you be reading this weekend?”)

Reply · 2 · 16 hrs

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New! WICKED TEMPER Official Book Trailer (by Randy Thornhorn)

Behold …

(Crank up the sound!)

RT

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A Gift: “I Heard The Bluebird Sing” by The Zolla Boys

Listen up, Children. If this don’t touch your heart, then you ain’t got one …

(Ben and Sam–you are great and glorious to hear, here!)

RT

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THE KESTREL WATERS ~ In The Beginning were The Brothers Brass …

Chosen as Best General Fiction Novel finalist by the 2015 Indie Book Awards!   “An extraordinary work…”   ~   William Peter Blatty  “Captures the tragedy of romantic and familial love better than any story I have ever read.”   ~   Janeiro Bento

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The towering and incredible Southern love story The Kestrel Waters  has now received 5-Star ratings from over 9 out 10 readers, including raves from celebrity authors and critics, and is a best Book-Of-Month pick by the largest online Southern book club, On The Southern Literary Trail (Goodreads).

===> Watch THE KESTREL WATERS Book Trailer <===

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Hear the twilight song of Kestrel.

He has not always been this night-winged angel.   He was once a star, a guitar star so righteous.    He was once a lost boy in love.

In The Beginning were The Brothers Brass.    In The End there is no end to what one wounded girl’s heart will give.    And no end to what one brother will give for the other.

Raised in Savannah by the sea, together, The Brothers Brass voices chime like heavenly bells.    The oldest brother Kestrel falls in love with a girl named Bettilia, a wild child who hides in the treetops—hiding from her bad daddy on a ghostly mountain called Riddle Top.

“I was haunted throughout by a sense of mystery and otherness.    This book is a mesmerizing, wonderfully written and extraordinary work of the imagination…Thornhorn, where the hell have you been?”    ~    William Peter Blatty   (author of The Exorcist )

Soon all the Family Brass falls for Bettilia.   She touches Kestrel, she touches everyone.    And they touch sweet Bettilia, forever.    Then comes that fateful day when Kestrel says “I do” to his dance with the devil—his devil within and without.

“Captures the tragedy of romantic and familial love better than any story I have ever read.”    ~    Janeiro Bento

The Kestrel Waters  is an eerie, heroic, and beautiful tale of human love, like none you’ve ever known.    An epic fable of an epic family whose hearts are comic, profane, and profoundly true.

“Mellifluous, Lyrical…with a darkness that creeps like kudzu.”   ~   Kirkus Reviews

The Kestrel Waters (A Tale of Love and Devil)  by author Randy Thornhorn.

“One of the South’s wildest new voices…” ~ The Oxford American Magazine

“Randy Thornhorn has the talent to blend a kind of mystical backdrop with gritty southern realism that I didn’t think was possible … If I had to pick one thing that sets Thornhorn apart from other southern storytellers (beyond his ability to mix fantasy and realism), it would be the masterful way he sprinkles backwoods dialect into meaningful dialogue.    You get the sense you’re learning a long lost language, one that is simple and alluring.”   ~   R.W. Ridley    (author of The Oz Chronicles)

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More readers’ comments:

“I just finished The Kestrel Waters. I started it this morning and read it mostly in one sitting…I could not put it down. The language was beautiful. Honestly, I think it an amazing book…It was a profound experience.”

~ Rebecca Jacobson

The Kestrel Waters is one of those books that leaves the reader with an emotional hangover. It’s difficult to start reading another book, because one’s feelings are still so influenced by the book just read. This emotional hangover doesn’t happen too often for me, and I’m a voracious reader. Indeed, it happens more often with music. But in a way I can’t explain, The Kestrel Waters is like music…”

~ Joy Williams

“I had no idea what to expect when I started reading The Kestrel Waters…I didn’t expect to care for the characters the way I do. I didn’t expect to be as concerned for them as I became. And I certainly didn’t expect to finish this book with a lump in my throat, tears in my eyes, and the sense of having experienced something profound.

This was a hell of a good read had I sought only an engaging yarn of good and evil, love and redemption, and a mystery solved. But it’s a lot more than that.

This is immersive, obsessive, and deeply affecting. Disorienting – in that way that a good book can connect you to something that leaves a tint on everything around you, an aftertaste… this is powerful.”

~ Jeffrey Lindner

“I found it masterful…I feel almost as haunted by [Bettilia] as Kes did. She’s a haunting, haunted little creature, but I fell in love with her. Her snappish wit, her obvious devotion to Mambly and Mama, her courage and strength, and her fears…The climax was riveting.”

~ Brianne Harris (Age 20, Illinois)

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Roux True, Untrue

Possibly the greatest nourishment the human soul and spirit can receive in this life is from two lovers sharing a dream together. It rises as an irresistible frothy roux of sweet arousal and boundless joy in both hearts. But thereafter, as the days and years come to pass, as sometimes they sizzle, simmer, as sometimes they roil like stormy seas in a skillet, their shared struggle will be for neither heart to ever let go of the dream. Because it only takes one untrue heart, you see — it only takes one who loses heart for the dream to melt into a chillingly bitter puddle of sorrow, now no longer feeding or sustaining two lost and lonely shadows. And rare is the sweet aperitif that can revive this love, this dream, once its aroma and life enriching flavors have gone to vinegar.
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RT

Through this Thornhorn window …

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Fugitive Waltz

Her heart was a Bonnie and Clyde
Forever being shot full of blood and bullets
Her body and soul riddled with fear
In an endless slow motion dance
Of deathly recoil
From all her imaginary scary places
Within the onward march of a
Real world with real uncharted
Roads and reckless cars
A real world of scars she seeks out
And needily needs
For her to pull the trigger
Again, again
Boom Boom Boom
Splat and splat
She pulls the trigger inside her head
To keep her dying and dying
A little more
A little more
Dying
In her slow-mo delay
With the blood and the bullets
Of despair
That tear her apart
In her trance
In her fugitive waltz
Her damnation’s dance
With each new lovely day.
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.fugitivedance
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© Thornhorn

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Herald the shadowed things…

This_Night_This_Hearth_Beheld_Yes_Yes_Yes_Kes

Herald the shadowed things, the hearth and tinder,
Lo, she comes, yon midnight madonna, newborn and beheld.

RT

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The Brothers Everly

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What strange creatures brothers are…

~ Jane Austen

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Dear Courage …

You and I both know that after
all the things you truly believed
when you said them to me, in your heart
you will never ever again be able to trust
or believe anything you say, vow, or
promise to anybody else.

Never. Not ever again.

But there is a fix for that.

Thornhorn Meme The Never Again Mary Alice Morris Montessori Fix

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DEAR COURAGE …

You and I both know that
after all the things you believed
when you said them to me,
you will never be able to truly trust
or believe anything you say, vow, or
promise to anybody else.

But there is a fix for that.

Thornhorn Meme The Fix 111

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~ FUGITIVE WALTZ ~ (New Video Version) written and read by Randy Thornhorn

~! FUGITIVE WALTZ ~ (Video)
(written and read by Randy Thornhorn)

Her heart was a Bonnie and Clyde
Forever being shot full of blood and bullets
Her body and soul riddled with fear
In an endless slow motion dance
Of deathly recoil
From all her imaginary scary places
Within the onward march of a
Real world with real uncharted
Roads and reckless cars
A real world of scars she seeks out
And needily needs
For her to pull the trigger
Again, again
Boom Boom Boom
Splat and splat
She pulls the trigger inside her head
To keep her dying and dying
A little more
A little more
Dying
In her slow-mo delay
With the blood and the bullets
Of despair
That tear her apart
In her trance
In her fugitive waltz
Her damnation’s dance
With each new lovely day.
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© 2016 Randy Thornton
(Mary)

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The Dying of a Dumped Dog

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~ The Dying of a Dumped Dog ~

Last night I was blessed with a private message from a younger new reader, a Ms. Fox somewhere in the Carolinas (thank you, Ms. Fox), who thanked me because she was heartened to have discovered what she described as some semblance of intelligence here on this page.

Through the emotion and tear-filled eyes of the moment I told her what I was dealing with when I received her message, after I had abruptly left a luncheon, feeling ill without understanding what was plaguing me physically.

I was feeling better physically by the time I arrived home this kind message from faraway Ms. Fox who had just discovered my page. So she — still a stranger to me — happened to be the first I informed of what I realized after coming through the door. Because intelligence has little to do with what I’m feeling now, at this moment, this sad morning.

I have to have a dog put down today.

A dog I love who I found (some might say “rescued”) as a puppy almost twelve years ago.

A dozen years ago I found him at a county dump at five o’clock in the morning, in the darkness before dawn after a ridiculous row with my ex-wife. Somebody had dumped this tiny puppy there. He was shaky and starving, barely able to walk. And I soon discovered from a dump employee who arrived amidst this first encounter with this puppy, that some of the local workers at the dump had even been kicking him around for their idle amusement. This even gave the puppy a badly abscessed and infected canine tooth that had to be removed soon after.

But that dark morning, I managed to bring him home and this pup was perfectly named within five minutes by my beloved ex.

After he was fully fed and watered and sniffed from top to bottom by my two big white dogs and assorted felines, this new puppy suddenly cut loose with these loud proclamations: spontaneous and joyous yodeling, utterly unique hound-dog noises that seemed to be expressions of his sheer joy at being safe and surrounded by his new family, and most of all because he was simply happy to be alive.

He has been periodically erupting with these laughter-inducing yodels ever since, never taking this life to be treasured too seriously.

He’s a goofy hound dog, snaggle-toothed, the kind so many say only a mother could love. But I love him. Everybody who has ever met him has loved him. He’s even survived some rugged wounds, physical issues, and a life-saving, touch-and-go surgery. (Thank you. Dr Glenn Puckett and all you wonderful folks who’ve assisted and loved this hound at Moore’s Mill Animal Hospital. I’m afraid he’ll be visiting you for the last time today.)

I think he’s had a good life on this wooded hilltop with the other dogs. And now, he’s shaky again, riddled with tumors, breathing hard, rapid, keeping his eyes closed mostly. He wags his tail slightly when I say his name. I’ve always said he’s the happiest dog that ever lived. If he was awake his tail was wagging while also knowing he would never be the alpha dog; and he could be sound asleep yet he would still wag his tail as he slept if you whispered his name.

Late yesterday afternoon he could barely get onto his feet (for the first time) when I went out to give him his prednisone (his medication to keep him comfortable). He’s been dying slowly for the last few weeks.

And for the last several hours, he has slept fitfully beside me on my bad throughout a restless night.

But I can tell today is going to have to be the day.

His name is Chili. Chili Dog. Because I originally coaxed this frightened, trembling, hungry pup into my pickup with a can of Wolf Brand chili.

His repayment has been, day after day, to make this hilltop a happier place, spreading his goofy love to everyone he encountered.

And I’m going to miss him terribly.

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~ LOVE ORDAINED ~ (Today’s Bulletin Update.)

~ LOVE ORDAINED ~

Human beings, as a species, are many things. But one of the things they provably are, as a breed, is fundamentally foolish.

They are more foolish than a five-and-dime full of orangutans. And they too often are convinced they are “wise” and “right” when they haven’t got a clue what they are really doing. The greatest proof of this is the mere existence of “the bomb”; a nuclear weapon capable of destroying themselves, their entire species, along with most other living things on the planet in one fell swoop.

Yep, humans as a breed are consistently the biggest fools of all living species.

Humans will also finally find the truest, deepest, and most intimate love they’ve ever known – after a lifetime of searching for it – then, given enough slack (and time) they will dump it and dismiss it – if they can — as if such love they once recognized for what it is can be readily replaced by someone new waiting in line.

And they’ll throw away this rare and valuable love because it isn’t new anymore, or because the road they are on has gotten too tough and rough for a while, or because the one with whom they’ve shared this unprecedented love now has a wrinkle or two or some quirk that starts to get on their nerves. Or they’ll throw it away because they get scared, too scared to face the future together with someone so intimate, who has touched them so deeply.

Given enough time and slack, people too often can get to where they can’t see the forest for the trees, and they start taking for granted and treating as routine this rare gift they’ve been given.

But, sometimes, it ain’t that easy.

Sometimes a love is ordained.

Sometimes a rare and powerful love simply is, from the very beginning, ordained to be.

Two people, two spirits, meet in such a rare, easy-flowing and organic way, with such symbiosis betwixt the two at that moment they first conceive, that they almost immediately give birth to a love and a relationship with its own primal power, that is forever bigger than either person, bigger than either spirit is individually. Yes, it is bigger than they, and it will forever be beyond their individual control.

And that can be scary if you believe in security when all wise folk know there is no such thing as security. Yes, if you lack the wisdom of insecurity, such a love can be terribly scary.

Because such a love and spiritual connection has a life of its own.

Either person, as they travel farther along what they cutely call “their path”, may find themselves on rocky roads, and either one may one day try to end what was created in such a holy way when they first met and joined in communion. But neither person, no matter what they say or try to do, can every really end an ordained love.

Because that love and connection these two birthed together, simply is and will be. And even if their circumstances go sour, their love and spiritual connection will still be there, in one way or another, and will be an everpresent fixture in their lives until they are both dead and gone.

Over time, over the years, this love remains such an undeniable force, yet may come to manifest itself in a wide range of incarnations, some good, some not so good, some completely unhealthy. Either of the two people to whom it was born, may try to ignore it or dismiss it or pretend it no longer exists, in futile efforts to make this love go away, this love that is bigger than they.

But as long as even one of these two people is left alive, this love of such fundament and power will continue to haunt them if they do not try to make it right and fulfill its promise.

The one thing they can never accomplish is to rid themselves of that love and connection by trying to just let go (the infamous “let go and move on”), or hide it away in a box (that age-old survival mechanism for the weak: compartimentalization), or by one demonizing the other into someone they are not and never were, or by lying to themselves — trying to sweep it away, under the rug, like it was only the fleeting passion of just another passing love affair.

That’s because, it was clear and evident on that day and ever since that day these two spirits first met, that day they said, “Welcome home.”

Why, you’d think any fool could see it.

These two were fated to be father and mother and gifted lovers, gifted with magic if they could only embrace it and not run scared.

They were gifted with a love ordained.
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~ MY MONTESSORI OF LOVE ~ (Video) written and read by Randy Thornhorn

~ MY MONTESSORI OF LOVE ~ (Now on Video)

written and read by Randy Thornhorn

We first made love by firelight, by my fire in my home of wood.

It was warm, it was nurture, with animals and animal love. She was a teacher. And I had never known such a knowing teacher’s touch. She was a strong woman, she said. And she knew in her heart and head and her teacher’s hands that she had found her a good strong man. She said at last she had been welcomed, warmly, into her true home, her one true home, she said.

For she knew we would marry, marry, she said, our vows would wed us together. I’m going to marry this guy, she said of me to others, again and again. I’m going to marry this guy, she said. But until then I was invited to come and stay the night with her, with her in her same old bed.

I gave her my ancient mountain ring, and I wore hers, and we were matched with our patchwork quilt for marriage on our magic mountain day. All before I came to stay, that first special night when I came to stay, with her and her very special children, her boys who were the ages of men.

She was separated but divorcing, she said. But I soon learned she and a husband had been separated six long years, six years but still no divorce. Oh, it would happen any day now, she said, it would happen soon, soon, but she knew not when.

Then I first came into her bedroom and all his stuff was still on his dresser, his cuff links and the odd husband thing of his or the other, the kind of stuff guys have atop their dresser tops. His clothes still hung in the closet, the closet I was told to use.

It wasn’t until I gently mentioned this that it ever occurred to her, that something was amiss. And only then did she hide his things away. Yes, I was fortunate enough to be there and watch her hide her ex-but-not-really-ex husband’s things away, and out of sight, I watched her do this most all the very next day, after I had spent my first night.

I wondered how she would have felt if I had another woman’s clothes and jewelry openly laid out in my home of wood, when we first made love by the firelight. But I did not go there too strongly, for I loved her and did not want to hurt her heart or her head. So most of this went unsaid.

Her boys, the ages of men, well there were four. And each was addicted to at least one chemical or more or some other mind-numbing electric drug. Each was drifting or failing, three in the home — and one on the street, the one hooked on the hard stuff and doing dumb crimes. She was afraid of that one and was glad I was there to protect her from him.

She said she wanted to come stay with me to put some distance betwixt her and the scary son, the one who stole from them and scared her to feed his scary habit. She felt safer with me there, she said, in her house of things kept safely locked in boxes.

A week or so later, the one on the street was arrested for snatching a lady’s bag and for several other dumb little crimes, crimes to refill his needle. But now, now that he was in lockdown inside that county jail, well, she would have to stay near him, be near him, to weep for him and feel his pain for him just as she felt the pain of the other three addicted ones still locked inside her home, who gave her no respect but loved her just the same.

Oh, and she would not hear a bad word said against any one of her addicted ones, these poor benighted sons born to her and a drunkard husband who she knew she did not love the day she married him, who she knew was what he is and was when he passed out, unconsummated on their wedding night, the drunkard she had never saved her babies from, a drunkard who she gave herself to and waited on, despite his disrespect, feeling his weakling’s anger, who she allowed to school her children in The Ways of Weakness and Addiction 101 from semester to semester, as one school year led to another. Who she allowed to leave his cuff links on his dresser and his clothes in the closet, long after he was gone but not gone, though they were still in the course of soon divorcing, yes, we’re divorcing, after six long separated years.

But she was a strong woman, she said. She was a strong woman, she said.

She told me of people, others in her outer ring of mountain folk, who had questioned or disapproved of her schooling and parenting and how she would now have little to do with them or such critique when they questioned her methods of mothering. I finally had to ask myself, what parenting, what mothering? I saw only a smothering malaise. But she loved her children, you know, yes, and they loved her, you know, because they said so, they said so, and they said so, they said.

And when these sons of the teacher screwed up, grew angry, or did murder, she did lots of talking with each one, lots of talking and talking, and when all else failed there was always more of their sad, soft talking. It was bound to work one day, wasn’t it, wasn’t it? If we talk sad and soft long enough, now wouldn’t, wouldn’t it though?

I finally had to admit, there were no teachings or parentings here to question. There was only a house of soft and addicted and floating children.

But she was a strong woman, she said. They all would drown if she did not save them.

And soon I made her feel weak, she said, because I was too strong and too forceful, too angry with her method. I should not question her methods, she said, nor should I even display a method, any method. So I simply had to go.

Yes, she was ashamed, for all her credit cards and accounts were still in the drunkard’s name. Everything was left up to the drunkard, who was gone but not gone, else the drunkard might get angry, so she waited and she waited for everything from the drunkard, she waited while nothing changed.

But I was too harsh if I noticed these things. And in time she would tell me so.

Oh, I was good for heavy lifting, I suppose. And for moving loads of heavy stuff and driving hundred of miles, leaving my home of wood and my blessed beasts behind. To journey far in heat of day and dark of night, weathering all weathers so I could be there to sing hymns of her to her or join our bodies in sweet communion or just to hold her and listen kindly when she wanted to weep over her fears and failures.

But only she could say their names, anybody else was just being cruel. She was so gruelingly sensitive, you know? So sensitive and so afraid. So all the while I kept singing her sacred hymns, hymns of reassurance, hymns for our salvation. But some refuse to be saved.

I am glad I was good for something, for a while, for her. For her I gave my everything. But this was a family thing, she said. Can’t you see? She was all that could save them.

And I, well, I was too harsh if I suggested something might be wrong here. So I simply had to go.

Because she was so strong. You know.

And it was I who made her feel weak, I who made her feel wrong and not strong.

So I’m gone now, as you might guess. Oh yes. I’ve been dismissed. I simply had to go.

Still I love her more deeply with every dying day, with each passing season and semester, I feel so deeply her pain and the pain of her, long after I’ve gone away What is left of me loves her dearly with all my tattered soul. But me with no mother, or lover, or teacher to talk to, to talk to soft and low. Oh, did I mention I gave her my ancient mountain ring? And everything, everything, everything?

So these are my lessons of love. This is what little I’ve learned.

I’ve learned, sometimes, this is how love has to go.

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.

.
.
.
.
.
.
.

© 2016 Randy Thornhorn
(Mary)

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~ MY MONTESSORI OF LOVE ~ (Video) written and read by Randy Thornhorn

~ MY MONTESSORI OF LOVE ~ (Now on Video)

written and read by Randy Thornhorn

We first made love by firelight, by my fire in my home of wood.

It was warm, it was nurture, with animals and animal love. She was a teacher. And I had never known such a knowing teacher’s touch. She was a strong woman, she said. And she knew in her heart and head and her teacher’s hands that she had found her a good strong man. She said at last she had been welcomed, warmly, into her true home, her one true home, she said.

For she knew we would marry, marry, she said, our vows would wed us together. I’m going to marry this guy, she said of me to others, again and again. I’m going to marry this guy, she said. But until then I was invited to come and stay the night with her, with her in her same old bed.

I gave her my ancient mountain ring, and I wore hers, and we were matched with our patchwork quilt for marriage on our magic mountain day. All before I came to stay, that first special night when I came to stay, with her and her very special children, her boys who were the ages of men.

She was separated but divorcing, she said. But I soon learned she and a husband had been separated six long years, six years but still no divorce. Oh, it would happen any day now, she said, it would happen soon, soon, but she knew not when.

Then I first came into her bedroom and all his stuff was still on his dresser, his cuff links and the odd husband thing of his or the other, the kind of stuff guys have atop their dresser tops. His clothes still hung in the closet, the closet I was told to use.

It wasn’t until I gently mentioned this that it ever occurred to her, that something was amiss. And only then did she hide his things away. Yes, I was fortunate enough to be there and watch her hide her ex-but-not-really-ex husband’s things away, and out of sight, I watched her do this most all the very next day, after I had spent my first night.

I wondered how she would have felt if I had another woman’s clothes and jewelry openly laid out in my home of wood, when we first made love by the firelight. But I did not go there too strongly, for I loved her and did not want to hurt her heart or her head. So most of this went unsaid.

Her boys, the ages of men, well there were four. And each was addicted to at least one chemical or more or some other mind-numbing electric drug. Each was drifting or failing, three in the home — and one on the street, the one hooked on the hard stuff and doing dumb crimes. She was afraid of that one and was glad I was there to protect her from him.

She said she wanted to come stay with me to put some distance betwixt her and the scary son, the one who stole from them and scared her to feed his scary habit. She felt safer with me there, she said, in her house of things kept safely locked in boxes.

A week or so later, the one on the street was arrested for snatching a lady’s bag and for several other dumb little crimes, crimes to refill his needle. But now, now that he was in lockdown inside that county jail, well, she would have to stay near him, be near him, to weep for him and feel his pain for him just as she felt the pain of the other three addicted ones still locked inside her home, who gave her no respect but loved her just the same.

Oh, and she would not hear a bad word said against any one of her addicted ones, these poor benighted sons born to her and a drunkard husband who she knew she did not love the day she married him, who she knew was what he is and was when he passed out, unconsummated on their wedding night, the drunkard she had never saved her babies from, a drunkard who she gave herself to and waited on, despite his disrespect, feeling his weakling’s anger, who she allowed to school her children in The Ways of Weakness and Addiction 101 from semester to semester, as one school year led to another. Who she allowed to leave his cuff links on his dresser and his clothes in the closet, long after he was gone but not gone, though they were still in the course of soon divorcing, yes, we’re divorcing, after six long separated years.

But she was a strong woman, she said. She was a strong woman, she said.

She told me of people, others in her outer ring of mountain folk, who had questioned or disapproved of her schooling and parenting and how she would now have little to do with them or such critique when they questioned her methods of mothering. I finally had to ask myself, what parenting, what mothering? I saw only a smothering malaise. But she loved her children, you know, yes, and they loved her, you know, because they said so, they said so, and they said so, they said.

And when these sons of the teacher screwed up, grew angry, or did murder, she did lots of talking with each one, lots of talking and talking, and when all else failed there was always more of their sad, soft talking. It was bound to work one day, wasn’t it, wasn’t it? If we talk sad and soft long enough, now wouldn’t, wouldn’t it though?

I finally had to admit, there were no teachings or parentings here to question. There was only a house of soft and addicted and floating children.

But she was a strong woman, she said. They all would drown if she did not save them.

And soon I made her feel weak, she said, because I was too strong and too forceful, too angry with her method. I should not question her methods, she said, nor should I even display a method, any method. So I simply had to go.

Yes, she was ashamed, for all her credit cards and accounts were still in the drunkard’s name. Everything was left up to the drunkard, who was gone but not gone, else the drunkard might get angry, so she waited and she waited for everything from the drunkard, she waited while nothing changed.

But I was too harsh if I noticed these things. And in time she would tell me so.

Oh, I was good for heavy lifting, I suppose. And for moving loads of heavy stuff and driving hundred of miles, leaving my home of wood and my blessed beasts behind. To journey far in heat of day and dark of night, weathering all weathers so I could be there to sing hymns of her to her or join our bodies in sweet communion or just to hold her and listen kindly when she wanted to weep over her fears and failures.

But only she could say their names, anybody else was just being cruel. She was so gruelingly sensitive, you know? So sensitive and so afraid. So all the while I kept singing her sacred hymns, hymns of reassurance, hymns for our salvation. But some refuse to be saved.

I am glad I was good for something, for a while, for her. For her I gave my everything. But this was a family thing, she said. Can’t you see? She was all that could save them.

And I, well, I was too harsh if I suggested something might be wrong here. So I simply had to go.

Because she was so strong. You know.

And it was I who made her feel weak, I who made her feel wrong and not strong.

So I’m gone now, as you might guess. Oh yes. I’ve been dismissed. I simply had to go.

Still I love her more deeply with every dying day, with each passing season and semester, I feel so deeply her pain and the pain of her, long after I’ve gone away What is left of me loves her dearly with all my tattered soul. But me with no mother, or lover, or teacher to talk to, to talk to soft and low. Oh, did I mention I gave her my ancient mountain ring? And everything, everything, everything?

So these are my lessons of love. This is what little I’ve learned.

I’ve learned, sometimes, this is how love has to go.

.
.

.
.
.
.
.
.
.

© 2016 Randy Thornhorn
(Mary)

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~ GHOSTLY SOLDIER ~

There are others,
All around us,
Everywhere, every day,
Who battle their way
Through more terrifying ghosts
Than the killers who wrought them,
Brought them,
Then left them here inside us
Ticking
Will ever know.

Perhaps more than
Your killer will ever care
Or will ever be aware
Enough
To notice
All the mortal devastation
Left here
In their wake.
A war zone
Revisited again and again
Inside one still-loving human heart.

And worst of all
Is the way they
Haphazardly crash in for
Another killing spree
Passing through still closed doors
Exploding inside your spirit
Exploding
When least expected.

One moment
You’re fine and making it,
The next moment
Your train
Derailed for hours or a day,
By ghosts of love
Whose quiet terrors
Refuse to die and stay dead,
Damn them
To hell and back
Why won’t they just go,
Go far away with their
Faithless phantoms
Of friend and lover
Go far away
And stay?

There’s no bayonet
To keep them at bay
And there’s no point in
Attention to such a
Guarded question really.
Nobody answers in memorium
Or gives a flying duck and cover
In the decorated graveyard.
But the killer
And the killer’s ghosts
They troop
Around and around
Inside skull and heart
While often they flay
Everything you were and are
Apart

Until it takes every muscle
In the remains of your
Mind and body
To just put one foot
In front of the other,
To just keep moving,
Marching dead but onward
Silently screaming
Medic! Medic!
Waiting for a little more
All-too-brief relief
Just crying to stay alive
As your killer’s agony
Grows bolder and bolder

And that, my comrade,
Is why you had to be a soldier
A soldier to survive.
Yes, you are a soldier.
Until your dying day is done.

I know a soldier
I know a soldier
I know a soldier
When I see one.

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RT
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.
(for Louis)
.
.
.
© Randy Thornhorn
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.

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The Cruel Truth and Tell …

We all have disagreements and even arguments from time to time with friends and with those we love. There are age-old friends who are known to periodically curse and cuss each other and use bad words they ought not use. But still, it happens, indeed, it happens, despite each caring deeply for their momentary opponent in the fight.

Yes, we do hurt the ones we love.

But, if someone who is angry with you consistently engages in deliberate and calculated cruelty, while attempting to completely destroy your spirit and soul as a result of their passing anger — then you need to completely remove that person from your life, for the sake of your heart, your health, and your ongoing quest for contentment and well-being.

There are boundaries, there are limits, and there are certain lines of behavior which, once crossed, there is no avenue for a return.

In such cases, you should forgive, you should always forgive, for your own well-being and for the sake of all concerned and everyone involved. This does not mean you should always forget. To save your own soul, sometimes, some things should never be forgotten.

Even the best of friends and lovers find themselves at odds on occasion, and sometimes let their temper get the best of them.

But, even then, true friends and those who truly love you will always fight fair.
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RT
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image

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“I am a mother,” she told me, with very wise eyes …

“I am a mother,” she told me,
with very wise eyes. “And I believe.
my job as a mother and as a parent
is to prepare my child for the day
I am not here anymore.”
.
ThornhornEyes Memejob as a parent

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RT
www.thornhorn.com

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“Susan” on Goodreads sent a note about The Kestrel Waters

“I’m sure you hear this every day, but thank you. Kestrel Waters is lingering, lingering, in my mind. Festering would be more apt. They sit with me, now, these new friends. Thanks for the introductions.”
.
.
Susan

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When you finally meet the Love of your Life …

When you finally meet the love of your life,
you’ve also met the one who can
rain upon you the most pain
and cut your heart out
with a knife

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ThornhornEyes Meme love of your life

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~ Once was a Scared Little Rabbit ~

There once was a scared little rabbit who dared one day to be brave and come out of the woods to live and play in a field full of sunshine.

But the scared little rabbit met a great white dog, a gentle dog, standing in the field. The great white dog was an angel dog, a guardian angel dog with great big, wide open eyes that saw more than the scared little rabbit wanted to see. The great white dog asked the rabbit if she would like to run and jump and play and do brave things together.

But the dog’s eyes were so big that the scared little rabbit could see reflections in those big dog’s eyes. And all the scared little rabbit could see was the reflection of what the great white dog saw. All the scared little rabbit could see was the reflection of a scared little rabbit. And this scared the little rabbit even more.

So the scared little rabbit turned and ran back into the woods where she stayed forevermore, mostly, for fear she might go back out into the sunshine and have to be brave enough to find more great white dogs with more scared little rabbits staring back at themselves from the reflections in the brave dog’s eyes, reminding the scared little rabbit of who she was and did not want to be.

Oh, from time to time she would hop out of the woods for a moment, but she never went too far from the woods, and she always returned to the woods very quickly. Because now she was afraid of angel dogs with big wide open eyes.

And most of all, the scared little rabbit was afraid of true reflections in the brave light of day.

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RT
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image

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“We all have our own path in life,” she told me …

ThornhornEyes Meme DYNAMIC

“We all have our own path in life,” she
told me with a certain serene desperation.
“And every family has its own dynamics.”

“Yes,” I said. “And too much of the time that
dynamic is toxic, rotten to the gills, and
that path leads off a cliff with hemorrhrage,
agony and lingering death ten stories below.”

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.
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RT

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~ My Montessori of Love ~ (A True Story)

montessori_love_mary_morris

We first made love by firelight, by my fire in my home of wood.

It was warm, it was nurture, with animals and animal love. She was a teacher. And I had never known such a knowing teacher’s touch. She was a strong woman, she said. And she knew in her heart and head and her teacher’s hands that she had found her a good strong man. She said at last she had been welcomed, warmly, into her true home, her one true home, she said.

For she knew we would marry, marry, she said, our vows would wed us together. I’m going to marry this guy, she said of me to others, again and again. I’m going to marry this guy, she said. But until then I was invited to come and stay the night with her, with her in her same old bed.

I gave her my ancient mountain ring, and I wore hers, and we were matched with our patchwork quilt for marriage on our magic mountain day. All before I came to stay, that first special night when I came to stay, with her and her very special children, her boys who were the ages of men.

She was separated but divorcing, she said. But I soon learned she and a husband had been separated six long years, six years but still no divorce. Oh, it would happen any day now, she said, it would happen soon, soon, but she knew not when.

Then I first came into her bedroom and all his stuff was still on his dresser, his cuff links and the odd husband thing of his or the other, the kind of stuff guys have atop their dresser tops. His clothes still hung in the closet, the closet I was told to use.

It wasn’t until I gently mentioned this that it ever occurred to her, that something was amiss. And only then did she hide his things away. Yes, I was fortunate enough to be there and watch her hide her ex-but-not-really-ex husband’s things away, and out of sight, I watched her do this most all the very next day, after I had spent my first night.

I wondered how she would have felt if I had another woman’s clothes and jewelry openly laid out in my home of wood, when we first made love by the firelight. But I did not go there too strongly, for I loved her and did not want to hurt her heart or her head. So most of this went unsaid.

Her boys, the ages of men, well there were four. And each was addicted to at least one chemical or more or some other mind-numbing electric drug. Each was drifting or failing, three in the home — and one on the street, the one hooked on the hard stuff and doing dumb crimes. She was afraid of that one and was glad I was there to protect her from him.

She said she wanted to come stay with me to put some distance betwixt her and the scary son, the one who stole from them and scared her to feed his scary habit. She felt safer with me there, she said, in her house of things kept safely locked in boxes.

A week or so later, the one on the street was arrested for snatching a lady’s bag and for several other dumb little crimes, crimes to refill his needle. But now, now that he was in lockdown inside that county jail, well, she would have to stay near him, be near him, to weep for him and feel his pain for him just as she felt the pain of the other three addicted ones still locked inside her home, who gave her no respect but loved her just the same.

Oh, and she would not hear a bad word said against any one of her addicted ones, these poor benighted sons born to her and a drunkard husband who she knew she did not love the day she married him, who she knew was what he is and was when he passed out, unconsummated on their wedding night, the drunkard she had never saved her babies from, a drunkard who she gave herself to and waited on, despite his disrespect, feeling his weakling’s anger, who she allowed to school her children in The Ways of Weakness and Addiction 101 from semester to semester, as one school year led to another. Who she allowed to leave his cuff links on his dresser and his clothes in the closet, long after he was gone but not gone, though they were still in the course of soon divorcing, yes, we’re divorcing, after six long separated years.

But she was a strong woman, she said. She was a strong woman, she said.

She told me of people, others in her outer ring of mountain folk, who had questioned or disapproved of her schooling and parenting and how she would now have little to do with them or such critique when they questioned her methods of mothering. I finally had to ask myself, what parenting, what mothering? I saw only a smothering malaise. But she loved her children, you know, yes, and they loved her, you know, because they said so, they said so, and they said so, they said.

And when these sons of the teacher fucked up, grew angry, or did murder, she did lots of talking with each one, lots of talking and talking, and when all else failed there was always more of their sad, soft talking. It was bound to work one day, wasn’t it, wasn’t it? If we talk sad and soft long enough, now wouldn’t, wouldn’t it though?

I finally had to admit, there were no teachings or parentings here to question. There was only a house of soft and addicted and floating children.

But she was a strong woman, she said. They all would drown if she did not save them.

And soon I made her feel weak, she said, because I was too strong and too forceful, too angry with her method. I should not question her methods, she said, nor should I even display a method, any method. So I simply had to go.

Yes, she was ashamed, for all her credit cards and accounts were still in the drunkard’s name. Everything was left up to the drunkard, who was gone but not gone, else the drunkard might get angry, so she waited and she waited for everything from the drunkard, she waited while nothing changed.

But I was too harsh if I noticed these things. And in time she would tell me so.

Oh, I was good for heavy lifting, I suppose. And for moving loads of heavy stuff and driving hundred of miles, leaving my home of wood and my blessed beasts behind. To journey far in heat of day and dark of night, weathering all weathers so I could be there to sing hymns of her to her or join our bodies in sweet communion or just to hold her and listen kindly when she wanted to weep over her fears and failures.

But only she could say their names, anybody else was just being cruel. She was so gruelingly sensitive, you know? So sensitive and so afraid. So all the while I kept singing her sacred hymns, hymns of reassurance, hymns for our salvation. But some refuse to be saved.

I am glad I was good for something, for a while, for her. For her I gave my everything. But this was a family thing, she said. Can’t you see? She was all that could save them.

And I, well, I was too harsh if I suggested something might be wrong here. So I simply had to go.

Because she was so strong. You know.

And it was I who made her feel weak, I who made her feel wrong and not strong.

So I’m gone now, as you might guess. Oh yes. I’ve been dismissed. I simply had to go.

Still I love her more deeply with every dying day, with each passing season and semester, I feel so deeply her pain and the pain of her, long after I’ve gone away What is left of me loves her dearly with all my tattered soul. But me with no mother, or lover, or teacher to talk to, to talk to soft and low. Oh, did I mention I gave her my ancient mountain ring? And everything, everything, everything?

So these are my lessons of love. This is what little I’ve learned.

I’ve learned, sometimes, this is how love has to go.

.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.

© 2016 Randy Thornhorn

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You Ain’t Just Love …

image

RT

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Do YOU Dare To Hear WICKED TEMPER?

On AudioBook at last! Wicked Temper comes alive in voice, words, and song at Audible, iTunes, and Amazon.com. Narrated and performed by the author, Randy Thornhorn — in a production that you will swear is a full cast of stark and mesmerizing characters.

A rare, riveting, fast and ferociously funny fable …

http://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/Wicked-Temper-Audiobook/B016QVVITI/

“Unforgettable … An unnerving literary experience. The lovechild of William Faulkner and H.P. Lovecraft.” ~ Kirkus Reviews

“Thornhorn, where the hell have you been?” ~ William Peter Blatty (author of The Exorcist)

“An instant Southern Classic … Wicked Temper isn’t good — it’s great. In the vein of William Faulkner, Cormac McCarthy, Harper Lee, and Erskine Caldwell.” ~ R.W. Ridley (author of The Oz Chronicles)

http://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/Wicked-Temper-Audiobook/B016QVVITI/

image

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Strong? Strong is when …

“You ain’t strong because you suffer,” he said. “Not when you suffer for fool notions, you ain’t. Strong ain’t when you keep picking your prideful ass back up to keep trying at them same old easier ways that everybody likes. Them ways that ain’t never worked out healthy for you or for them you keep saying you love. Strong? Strong is when your ass finally gets up, gets wise, and gets humble and tough enough to make them hard  damn changes. Them changes that hurt bad at first, changes that you may catch holy hell for, but are good for you and everybody else in the long run. That, my sweet darlin, is strong.”

RT
 
 Thornhorn_Strong

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Roxie Watson on Georgia Musication Pilot Episode …

Yes, we were there that wonderful winter’s eve …

R

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The East Alabama Book Festival! (aka This Sunday With Thornhorn)

East Alabama Book Festival

Hey, folks. Please cast your eye upon the first annual East Alabama Book Festival to be held this coming Sunday, October 18. sponsored by The Gnu’s Room (Auburn/Opelika’s independent bookstore), Southern Humanities Review and The Republic.

I hope those of you in shouting distance will descend upon this do. It is sure to be a day filled with mighty good words, aromatic foods, and vendors peddling all manner of shiny baubles, strange roots, and sweet berries from the vine.

A certain Randy Thornhorn will be reading and signing along with many other writers and poets of note, from near and afar.

Here is hoping a peck of you can be there. Here, also, are a couple of links with more details and info about the festival:

http://www.thegnusroom.com/#!east-alabama-book-festival/c100x

http://www.oanow.com/news/auburn/article_88dd45b4-6edb-11e5-a493-9bcc3bb39c50.html

Yours from the back of beyond,

RT

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New! WICKED TEMPER Official Book Trailer (by Randy Thornhorn)

Behold …

(Crank up the sound!)

RT

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WICKED TEMPER – The plot thickens …

Here is the newly certified paperback edition cover for Wicked Temper, now available on Amazon.com (though their website can take a day or two to reflect the new cover change). The hardback edition is about a week away—and, personally, I always prefer the hardback cover because it’s not all cluttered with plot synopsis text or the barcode, since they all go on the inner dustcover flap, which leaves the artwork clean as it was truly meant to be seen.

WICKED TEMPER CREATESPACE PAPERBACK_MASTER

buy now button Kestrel Waters

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