Tis the season

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‘Tis the Season

The malls are insane but you have to go shopping

for ribbon and candy to fill the last stocking.

You can’t stop to cry, ’tis the season for snow

and ice covered roads jammed with cars going slow

slow, so horribly … oh! There’s a dude dressed in red

on the side of the walk. He’s clutching his head

like someone hungover. His pants are all goopy:

the knees ripped right out, the butt kind of droopy.

You slow down to stare, but then offer a ride.

He kisses your cheek as he ducks down to hide.

“What the hell are you doing?” you ask and he smirks:

“Rudolph got wasted, went kind of berserk.”

You gape, shake your head. “Oh please, you’re not Santa.”

He shrugs and explains he was over Atlanta

when someone cracked open a bottle of whiskey.

“Three shots and the next thing I knew they’d got frisky.

Comet kicked Dasher right in the——”

“Stop!” you freak out, “Just keep your mouth shut.”

He laughs and you blush, thinking this must be a joke,

he can’t be St. Nick, he looks like a hoax.

“You can drop me right here,” he says while you frown.

“Prancer’s waiting right there, at the edge of the town.”

You slow down, still dubious, but the dude is quite right:

near the tree is a reindeer, head down, fur a fright.

“I told them they shouldn’t imbibe in December.

You’d think they’d believe me, or at least remember

the last time this happened.” He wrinkles his nose

and suddenly yells, “You dumbass! I almost froze!”

You freeze, not believing that Santa would curse,

but Prancer just snorts and throws up on your purse.

“Um—” you say, shocked. The reindeer looks sorry.

You gulp, and inch backwards: Santa’s no longer jolly.

He takes one step forward and scratches his ear—

the next thing you know there’s nothing but beer

left on top of the snow. And footprints. And barf.

You sigh, somewhat pissed, enough is enough,

but as you turn around twice to get out of sight

you trip on the vomit … UGH. What a night!

Next year, Santa please, don’t let them drink booze.

I’d like to go shopping … with clean shoes.

© 2012 Christine Klocek-Lim

Every two years I remember…

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Every two years my younger son must go to the hospital for tests. Today, we drove down to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and I am tired and happy, because he is fine. His echocardiogram, EKG, and stress test show that his repaired congenital heart defect is completely stable. All that’s left from the terror of his first few months is a minor heart murmur. Every other year I worry (so far, needlessly). And this year, when we came home, we discovered that one of the colleges to which he’d applied accepted him for autumn of 2015.

Everything feels strange.

Today’s high temperature was 70F—at the end of November.  Spring has sprung at the tail end of autumn, but we know that there is snow coming for Wednesday. What does that mean? Probably nothing, but my brain keeps trying to create patterns from random events, like a broken clock still chiming the noon hour, long since past.

Several years ago I wrote a poem that feels exactly like today: Iridescence. It was published in my sonnet collection: Cloud Studies (you can read the entire collection for free, or listen to the delightful Nic Sebastian read them to you, right here).

Iridescence

You are not to blame. We separate.
We jump in the river, flailing, sink along
the slippery shore. Angels come too late.
Iridescence decorates the wrong
sky. I close my eyes against the sting
of antiseptic. Plastic tubing smells
forever. We pretend that everything
will be all right. His brother gathers shells
as though the sound of water matters. I
cry when no one knows. My darling son,
can you see the rainbows in the sky?
Perhaps. I know the morphine has not run
its course. The river beckons. I will keep
your dreams safe, my little boy. Just sleep.

 

Autumn, my favorite season #poem

Violet Behind Trees

Yes, it’s that time of year again. Several years ago, I wrote a poem that perfectly captures my sense of autumn. It’s an ekphrastic poem written after seeing a watercolor by Wolf Kahn that moved me greatly. Here is a link to the only version of the artwork I can find on the interwebz.

This poem was first published by About.com.

Strange Violet Behind Trees

—after Wolf Kahn

The house hides in dusk’s spangled purples.
It’s hard to see such colors, capricious
tones barely there once night has almost
sucked the light from the forest.
And silhouetted trees rear up
as I walk, interrupt the horizon,
their dry leaves muttering imprecations
in the magenta gleam of twilight.

You have gone and I must be careful:
the path has faded to mere shadow
and I can no longer understand
the exuberance of a leaf twisting
in the breeze. How does autumn tangle
everything so elegantly, as when crimson
replaces the decorous sheen of green?
Such willful ambiguity. I walk steadily.
The soft retreat of chlorophyll asks useless
questions. The mother tree sleeps
and misses the violet whoop of fall,
the overlapping dive of it all.

By now night has stolen
twilight’s indescribable glow.
Our house has quietly slid
into an atmospheric blur.
There is nothing more to see.
My darling, the violet has disappeared
and I’m not yet home but I can still feel
the brittle slump of frost behind the trees.

 

©2009, Christine Klocek-Lim

Devils in the Dark by Marcus Damanda #CoverReveal!

I have the distinct pleasure of introducing a great horror novel: Devils in the Dark by Marcus Damanda. It will be released from Evernight Teen on November 14! It’s the first book in a trilogy and it is very, very creepy. Without further ado, here is the cover –>

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“The paramedics shared a look: This one was serious.”

To most of the Facebook 15, bullying Audrey Bales was just a game—until two deep cuts with a Swiss army knife changed everything forever. Audrey didn’t want attention anymore. After five weeks at Fairview High School, Audrey wanted to die.

The doctors did the only thing they could with her: they put her away.

But in Fairview, Virginia, the nightmare is only beginning. The chat session had not gone unobserved. The Facebook 15 have drawn the attention of an ancient evil that lives only to punish those who would prey upon the weak.

They are the ghosts of 1,000 dead children—1,000 suicides—and their master …

Their master likes Audrey Bales.

And as Audrey attempts to heal her mind and body, far from home, their master prepares for the justice he will unleash upon her return.

 

Author Details:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MarcusDamandaAuthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MarcusDamanda

Poem in Friday Evening Classics radio show at WMNR!

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I am delighted to announce that one of my poems will be appearing in the Friday Evening Classics radio show with Will Duchon this Friday evening. The Words & Music segment begins at 9 pm. Tune in to listen to my poem, Despina, moon of Neptune. I wrote it this past April during NaPoWriMo.

Thanks, as always, go to Will Duchon for hosting this lovely show.

Despina

Despina, moon of Neptune

She said she’d rather sing alone
than perform for some random guy,
but then Voyager 2 flew by,
eyes trained on her curved form
like a desperate man (the kind
whose lady walked away forever).
He just didn’t know when to look aside.
She said she tried to hide, quiet her light
against her father’s blue sky, but the lens
found her four times. She gave up
silence for fame, gave up space
and time, until the sun finally fell
down across the steely horizon.
Her father Neptune didn’t seem to care
and that was what hurt her most.
The galaxy beyond everything she knew
was so much less infinite than she’d hoped.
The camera took what he wanted
and left. Despina endured the scrutiny
of a thousand careless eyes—

In the end, she would only wear white,
the color of purity, and not even the dark
could get her to sing anymore.

© 2014 Christine Klocek-Lim

Evernight Publishing is having a #sale!

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Evernight Website sale: Oct 3 -13 — All eBooks on evernightpublishing.com will be 50% off from October 3-13!

You can get Who Saw the Deep for 50% off!

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Romance, Suspense, Paranormal, Sci-Fi, Mystery
Word Count: 55,000
Published By: Evernight Publishing

Click here to read an excerpt.

When Noah moves back home after grad school, he doesn’t expect a simple handyman job to turn deadly. Amelia seems like a sweet old lady with a run-down house, but appearances can be deceptive. When an alien ship lands in her woods, Noah discovers that everything he believed about Earth and human civilization is wrong.

Amelia already gave her heart to one man—does she really want to let another one inside? Even though Noah is everything she ever wanted, can she really trust him? He seems like a good person, but her family’s genetic legacy is more important than romance.

When all their secrets are laid bare, Noah and Amelia discover that the survival of their species may be more dependent on love than either could have imagined. Civilization endures because of anonymous acts executed by ordinary individuals. And love, especially in the face of betrayal, is worth everything.

 

buy from: Evernight – Amazon Kindle – OmniLit – BookStrand – Smashwords – Barnes & Noble – iBookstore – Kobo

 

Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award (ABNA) 2012 Semi-Finalist Winner!

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What are people saying about Who Saw the Deep?

Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Semifinalist — April 2012:

This novel is well written, original, and clever. Noah Heath has just completed his doctorate in computer science and his father suggests he give himself a break and help a local senior citizen with some handyman chores. Amelia is a woman that Jaime Heath has known since childhood. On Noah’s first day of work, he notices a flash in the sky, a silver needle, but Amelia denies seeing it. Even so, he hears her call her daughter, Leah, saying,”it’s happening again.” When he returns home, his father starts telling him about the family “artifacts,” a few chunks of old metal. Noah starts to question, and more importantly, believe his father and Amelia’s tales of centuries old invasion and the part their forebears played in it. That the power of computers is limited only by our imaginations makes the tale convincing; the lack of little green men and the highly plausible abilities of the villains make it wonderful reading. It’s a pity to classify this book as science fiction; it reads more like the ancient myths, or even fairy tales. The author really knows his characters and uses them beautifully. Perhaps he’s had centuries to develop them.

~Publishers Weekly Review

The pitch is wonderful and engrossing. The belief “That civilization endures because of anonymous acts executed by ordinary individuals.”, holds more truth than most realize. There are hints of foreshadowing inserted in the narrative, hinting of what might occur. This helps bring a reader into the story and want to continue to turn the pages. The author does a credible job in describing how the characters act and what they are thinking. That along with the foreshadowing creates interest and a connection with the persons being described and the storyline. The reader has a chance, in many instances, to interpret what the individuals are feeling, instead of being told directly. The plot flows well, moving from the beginning and then into Noah’s house with his father. The expectation of what might happen builds from the beginning and makes a reader want to continue on.

~ ABNA Expert Reviewer – Amazon.com

****

Long and Short Reviews

Rating: 4.5 stars!

Imagine seeing a strange object fall from the sky and noisily crash into the woods nearby. Would you call for help or run into the forest to investigate?

The characterization in this novel is slow and subtle at first, but eventually even the smallest clues are tied together in ways that I never would have anticipated. I was especially interested in watching the friendship between Amelia and Noah develop during the first half of the plot. At first glance I never would imagined that they’d share so much in common, and it was fascinating to see two people from such different stages in life find so many things that unite them.

While the pacing remains steady throughout the story, the climax includes quite a bit of information that is vitally important in order to understand everything that is happening. My sole criticism of this piece is minor, but I would have preferred to learn certain facts a little earlier on in the plot so that there was less competition for my attention when the tension reaches its highest point.

With that being said, postponing the revelations does make sense given the subtly creepy atmosphere of earlier chapters. Ms. Lim knows exactly how to paint a thin veneer of dread over what otherwise appears to be a perfectly ordinary day, and her ability to find the dark underbelly of even the most mundane chores and experiences plays a large part in why this tale earned such a high rating.

This book desperately needs a sequel. While all of the most important questions find answers, I am extremely interested in finding out what happens to Noah and Amelia after Who Saw the Deep ends. The final chapter drops hints about the future that made me wish the narrative would never end.

Who Saw the Deep is a must-read for anyone who loves alien invasion stories or heart-stopping mysteries.If these genres are up your alley, go pick up a copy today!

Reviewer: Astilbe

Do you like sci-fi? Paranormal adventures?

If so, you might like my two fiction novels, Who Saw the Deep, a sci-fi romance, and Disintegrate, a young adult paranormal. They’re both on Amazon! And you can get Disintegrate in paperback, too.

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Publisher’s Weekly said that Who Saw the Deep is “… is well written, original, and clever.” It’s also an Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award (ABNA) 2012 Semi-Finalist Winner!

 

Disintegrate is my first young adult novel (and I hope to be writing more soon)! What do people think of it? “Full of action and non stop suspense, Disintegrate was an intense read.” – Out There Reviews and Stuff —- “The story was fast paced and well written.” – Indie Authors, Books, and More