15 January 2018

Now Available - Gyroscope Review Winter Issue

The first issue of 2018 of Gyroscope Review is now available, featuring a hand drawn cover done by me, Constance Brewer. Pen and ink drawings that were popped into the computer for some touch up and a few groundhog hole details. The Gyroscope groundhog wants you to go forth and protest for what you believe in, or at least come up for air and see what's going on around you. Take part, a little or a lot. Groundhogs don't judge.

Get your Gyroscope Review 2018 Winter issue today.

Print copies are available for purchase HERE.
Kindle copies are available for purchase HERE.
As always, our PDF version is available HERE.

01 January 2018

So Now It's 2018

So it's 2018. What are you going to do?

Welcome to the New Year. I'm not sure it's going to be much different than the old year, but I'd like it to be. I generally don't do resolutions—I might make an exception this time. I resolve to quit obsessively reading the news like some train wreck caught out of the corner of my eye. It's demoralizing and I can't shake the feeling of dread it brings. So here's to a news diet. I'm sure any bad news will make its way to me anyhow.

I'd like to do a better job reviewing books. I read enough. Time to pay back all those authors whose work I enjoyed, be it bestseller or self-published. I read a lot of self-published books this year, and many of them were damn good. (Another advantage to reading on Kindle is if the book is bad, I won't throw the Kindle against the wall.) A little bit of encouragement to authors goes a long way. Let them know their book hasn't just dropped into the endless void that is publishing now days.

More poetry, both reading and writing. I did good writing this year, partially stoked by the collaboration I'm doing with poet Kathleen Cassen Mickelson. Pushing each other is a good thing. I haven't been as pro-active about submitting my work. I mean to, but it takes so damn much time to research journals, adhere to the guidelines, and pick poems that might fit the journal. Of course second guessing the editors is a futile endeavor. They like what they like. Same thing with editing Gyroscope Review. In the end, we like what we like, nothing wrong about that. I don't even take offense at those that call me 'sir', and I read their work the same as any other. (Is 'Constance' a gender neutral name?)

I like to knit. But I'm caught in a spiral of doing easy projects, not advancing for fear of trying a new technique. I'll try and break that habit. I started doing that last year with a Fair Isle project and colorwork. This year I need to learn different things. Maybe even listen to some new music. I like the same artists I liked 20 years ago. But new isn't necessarily scary. Edging out on the limb here.

Finally, I want to spoil my remaining Corgi. Not that he isn't already spoiled, but I'm sure there's more I can do to make his life an excellent Corgi life. Isn't that what it's all about? Making other's lives a bit better? Start with animals, move on to people. Maybe that will make the paper. And then I'll start reading them again. 

Picture - Pixabay

23 December 2017

Max - Saying Goodbye

Max 3/22/04 to 12/22/17

It is with great sadness we must announce the passing of Max, our Corgi. It was rather sudden and we are heartbroken. Max was the best Corgi anyone could ask for, a credit to his breed and a prince of a fellow.

My son summed up Max's lifetime eloquently:

"It makes it easier knowing his life was a spectacular dog life every day he was with us. Though a dog's life is brief, I'm glad his was the best. If only we could all be so lucky as to have each and every moment we are alive be as good as his."

Goodbye Max - Maxie Doodle - Maximus Minimus – Little Prince.

Cross the Rainbow Bridge and leave old age behind.

Frap Free, Max!

We love you.  

11 December 2017

Thoughts in the Dark

I used to hate this time of year and the unrelenting darkness. Get up and go to work in the dark, come home in the dark, all dark all the time. I do cherish my time with the constellations, looking up and finding the stars, tracing the formations, hoping for a glimpse of the Milky Way on a cloudless night. If only it wasn't so damn cold. Hard to appreciate Orion skulking on the horizon or the Little Dipper dumping stars on your head when your teeth are chattering. As much as I love Mars, I won't be up at 3:30 am to watch it rise.

I used to hold my breath until December 21st, hoping I could make it through the shortest day of the year. It doesn't seem so bad this year. With the constellations at night and the sunrise in the morning, everything is okay. I love seeing the first cracks of dawn push their way over the horizon.  Pinks and oranges and teals, with some racy purples mixed in. Then the orb rises and pushes the darkness away, painting the tops of tree with gold light. Who couldn't like that?

This time of year also brings Christmas lights. Sometime a extravagant excess of lights, but pretty lights all the same. The neighbors whose display could be seen from the ISS moved, so I don't have to put my lightblocking curtains up in the front window. Playing Christmas music along with the lights starting on Thanksgiving should be outlawed. Just saying. But other neighbors have some gorgeous displays. I love just blue lights on evergreens, and the icicle lights draped over gutters and around trees. Not so fond of the blow up cartoons and moving ornament spotlights.

The dark also alleviates the guilt over wanting to sit inside and knit or write or do artwork when my inner voice nags me to go outside and enjoy the day. Sometimes I listen to that inner voice, turn off the computer, head out to enjoy the little bits of sunshine and warm days we get this time of year. All too soon the sun sets, but I linger outside to watch Orion clamber over the horizon chasing Taurus, the Pleiades huddled together like we do when faced with darkness.

So how do you handle the long winter nights? The long dark? The long wait until spring?

26 November 2017

Anubis the Cat

A little retrospective of my cat Anubis, the cat who thought he was a dog. And helped raise the Corgis. Gone, but not forgotten.