Page the Second


A fronte praecipitium a tergo lupi. (In front of you, a precipice. Behind you, wolves.)

Friday, April 26, 2013

15 et seize (16)

Poems 15 et seize (16)

In your fuzzy gold-strip'd sweater
You dance on warm breezes
You 'do' for the love of being.


To Dance
To throw myself upon the wind
To tangle my feet in the lilting sound
To beat a staccato on the wooden boards
To feel my heart keeping time with the voices
To pull more from my legs than ever before
To free my spirit from its old constraints
To weave a love story with my hands
To know love in hearts overture
To dream

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Lucky Thirteen (and it's Tagalong 14)

Lucky Thirteen (and me! Don't forget me--14)

One 3--Sorrow
She took off her sadness
Like a worn, faded sweater
Folding it neatly
And gently packed it away,
In a dark, quiet place
For another day.   

There would be 
Other times.
It was always there,
Hidden away,
But ever-present.

She tried desperately
To get rid of it--
That moth-eaten sadness
But she couldn't
How to un-make it.

  For the sadness was a gift
From a friend.

He'd look for it on her,
Not realizing
He was the author
The giver,
And the binder
Of her darkness.

And the quencher of 
Her light.

She would 
Take the sadness  
And its bringer
And hurl it away from her  
Smash it to shards
On the sharp edge of
Her anger.
  But that would never be
The end.
   For shards cut.    
Or maybe
When she finally understood,
In her extremity
She'd take out
That frayed, worn sorrow,
Gently unfold
And re-make it
Into something happier.
For only then
Would she be


Evil Clown
There once was a clown
Who came to town
He turned the circus upside down

He told the freaks
They had eight weeks
To turn themselves into business geeks

He made the monkey
Wear something chunky
And do strange things on the back of a donkey

He changed the rules
He hid the tools
The big top fell down and they felt like fools

The swingers on the big trapeze
Kept falling off and skinning knees
They finally ganged up, tossed the clown in the trees

The clown came again
He was such a pain
From beating him blind, they had to refrain

The clown gave a grin
Said, "You let me win.
You silly fools keep letting me in."

Then the circus got wise
Said, "No compromise."
And they poked him in the googly eyes.

They tossed him out
And with a shout
They sent him away via roustabout

So to this day
The people say
No clowns in their circus are allowed to stay.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Elf and Zwolf

Elf und Zwolf=German for 11 and 12


I hate influenza like crazy.
Don't care if it lets me be lazy.
I feel like my head
Has been battered with lead,
And my eyesight is definitely hazy.

I was absent when flu was invented;
Instead I made lilacs so scented.
I'd hunt down those guys
Who made flu and house flies,
Make certain their heads were all dented.

There is only one thing not to rue:
That barfing causes weight loss in you.
Doesn't happen with me,
So flu's worthless you see.
Nothing stops me from hating the flu.

(I was going to add a cartoon of my own drawing, but I feel wretched. It would have been really cute, though. Maybe when I can think my way past all this slug slime in my head, I will.)


It's ever so lovely
That one of my favorite colors
Is also 
A most beneficial scent.
What a scent-sible 

Monday, April 22, 2013

NINE and 10

Poems NINE and 10

Little box 
So cramped I can't breathe
Stuffed in 
 With the lid
Hammered down tight
Tiny airholes
So close and dark

Let me free.
Lift the lid and let me stretch
To reach the sky
Better yet,
Just give me a hammer
And stand back
Best of all,
No more boxes.
I Drew a Circle
I drew a circle in the sand    o
         To keep the others from my hold
The water seeped in anyway
And all I got was cold.                     o
I drew a circle round my friend
o                             To keep him safely mine
But friendships grow or go away           o
We cannot rope or bind.
I drew a circle round my heart                              o
To keep it safe from harm
o          But all my worry only hurt
The lack was not a charm

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Meh. I forgot I was doing this ABC style in addition to everything else. So here goes:

Poems 7

Gorgeous dresses and tuxes
Asked out to the prom
Rainbow-colored confections
Dancing beneath the stars
Eating delicious dinner
Night is over, drive safely home

And 8
Have a hamburger he said hungrily.
He handed her hash-browns as well
The haggis he hated
Halibut anticipated
And Hersheys he hunted by smell.

Friday, April 19, 2013

More Poems About Mayhem

That got you. Apparently you like mayhem. Okay. I'll see what I can do.

Poems 5 and 6

The 'Man' just hollered from outside
He said he could not find the broom.
He can't find the tools 
or the tent or light spools
It's about time to clean out the room.

The bad thing is that he won't let me
Lift a finger to clean out the shed
He's always quite gruff
That I hide all his stuff
So I tell him that he must instead.

The trouble with that is, he's busy.
On the computer he often hides out.
He's shooting bad bugs
Or aliens on drugs
So, to hint at the shed makes him shout.

I can't stand another darn minute.
I'm going to clean up the shed.
I don't care if he's mad
Or the change makes him sad
If I don't, I will pop and be dead.


In potent darkness
Of the opening
Of the new year
In the light
Of a flickering fire
We burn
The faults
And rise anew
With the sparks
Of the fire.
Fed by mistakes
Made pure now
With forsaking.
Hope rises
With the sparks
Wraps around us
Fills us with

H. Linn Murphy 

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Poems 3 and 4

Poems 3 and 4

Memory of Snow 
The last flake has shattered
Icicles dripped free
There are no more snow drifts
No icing on trees.

The chill wind aint blowin'
The ice melted last
My feet aren't frozen
No more snowy blast.

 The sun in its glory
Now reigns in the sky
It's time, now, for swimsuits
And flip flops and pie.

It's time for the sweating,
The sticky, the hot
We'll worship the box fan
And ice cubes a lot.

We'll dream of the winter
From our place near the vent
When our car didn't burn us
As outside we went.

Reaching up 
Towards the light
Tiny packages of potential
Latent glory bursting from skin
You may be small now, but soon
You'll scrape the sky and send out

New generations
To follow after
Reaching higher than you
Growing, spreading, filling the universe
With riots of color blazing forth.
Break free, my tiny seedlings. Be excellent.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Poetry Month ABC's

I planned on doing a poem a day like the last two Aprils. But this year I suddenly got horrendously busy at the beginning of April, so I figure I'll do two a day until I get caught up. Also, they're going to be alphabetical. So here it goes:

A. Alligators and Other Arresting Annoyances
All alligators arrived at eight
After arranging for a plate
Of apples, mangoes and a dog
A couple okra and a frog.

They dined on Mentos, quince, and tripe
And shot some skeet and hunted snipe.
Their golf game was a huge success,
Although the greens were left a mess.

They partied to the night's wee hours
Roller skating, taking showers.
Someone notified police
All gators paid a quid apiece.

The aggravated reptiles cried,
"We will not be pacified!
We want our fun to be complete
With ample food and play replete!"

The p'licemen frowned and pointed out.
The alligators turned, all were a-pout.
Then, just like that, they went away,
At the weary start of day.

 Fluffy balls
All furry cuteness 
Huddled here

Until they scamper
Bunny scat  

Saturday, April 13, 2013


Kit felt more than heard the massive thrusters of the Shantung come to life. It moved away so slowly that Kit wondered how they'd ever get far enough away from the blast to make a difference.
And then he saw one of the Scythe's turrets move.
Invisible until it struck, blue death poured from an emplacement Kit had previously thought defunct, to riddle the fleeing dreadnought. In one brilliant, breathtaking display of fire and light, the Shantung's last shields went down; it exploded, sending huge chunks of debris rocketing away. Several pieces tore through the hull of the Andromeda, sending it, like a javelin, over the Scythe ship's bow and out into black nothingness.
Two minutes later the second blast came.
A piece of the Scythe ship blazed through what was left of the Andromeda and set it spinning endlessly. Kit succumbed to smothering nothingness.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Book Blast for Ben

Dave Farland (Wolverton) is a writer I have the utmost respect for. I love his books and own most of them. This Book Bomb is for him and for his young son, who recently had a bad long-boarding accident. Dave, I hope this helps.

For a trove of information on the event and on Ben, go here:

Help Someone in Need: A Book Bomb for Ben Wolverton
Ben Wolverton, age 16, was in a tragic long-boarding accident on Wednesday the 4th, 2013. He suffers from severe brain trauma, a cracked skull, broken pelvis and tail bone, burnt knees, bruised lungs, broken ear drums, road rash, pneumonia, and is currently in a coma. His family has no insurance.
Ben is the son of author David Farland, whose books have won multiple awards, and who is widely known as a mentor to many prominent authors, such as Brandon Sanderson, Stephenie Meyer, and Brandon Mull. Costs for Ben's treatment are expected to rise above $1,000,0000. To help raise money for Ben, we are having a book bomb (focused on Nightingale and Million Dollar Outlines) on behalf of Ben.
You can learn more about Ben's condition, or simply donate to the Wolverton family here: http://www.gofundme.com/BensRecovery

What is a Book Bomb?
For those that don’t know, a Book Bomb is an event where participants purchase a book on a specific day to support the author, or, in this case, a young person in serious need: Ben Wolverton. 

David Farland’s young adult fantasy thriller Nightingale has won seven awards, including the Grand Prize at the Hollywood Book Festival—beating out ALL books in ALL categories. It has been praised by authors such as James Dashner (The Maze Runner), Brandon Sanderson (Mistborn), and Paul Genesse (Iron Dragon series), and has received four and a half starts on Amazon. You can read reviews here: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B006P7SEBY/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il?ie=UTF8&camp=211189&creative=373489&creativeASIN=B006P7SEBY&link_code=as3&tag=davidfarnet-20

(Book Synopsis)
Some people sing at night to drive back the darkness. Others sing to summon it. . . .
Bron Jones was abandoned at birth. Thrown into foster care, he was rejected by one family after another, until he met Olivia, a gifted and devoted high-school teacher who recognized him for what he really was—what her people call a "nightingale."
But Bron isn't ready to learn the truth. There are secrets that have been hidden from mankind for hundreds of thousands of years, secrets that should remain hidden. Some things are too dangerous to know. Bron's secret may be the most dangerous of all.

Nightingale is available as a hardcover, ebook, audio book, and enhanced novel for the iPad. 
You can purchase it on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B006P7SEBY/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il?ie=UTF8&camp=211189&creative=373489&creativeASIN=B006P7SEBY&link_code=as3&tag=davidfarnet-20 (If you buy ANYTHING else on Amazon, with or without Nightingale, through this link a small percentage will also go to David Farland. So if you have a few other books you want to read, get all of them if you can.)
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/nightingale-david-farland/1107084747?ean=2940016100463 
on the Nightingale website: http://www.nightingalenovel.com/ 
or, you can get the enhanced version, complete with illustrations, interviews, animations, and its own soundtrack through iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/nightingale/id560309064?mt=11

If you are a writer, you may want to consider purchasing David Farland’s Million Dollar Outlines instead. Both books are part of the book bomb. Million Dollar Outlines has been a bestseller on Amazon for over a month and is only $6.99.

(book description:)
As a bestselling author David Farland has taught dozens of writers who have gone on to staggering literary success, including such #1 New York Times Bestsellers as Brandon Mull (Fablehaven), Brandon Sanderson (Wheel of Time), James Dashner (The Maze Runner) and Stephenie Meyer (Twilight).
In Million Dollar Outlines, Dave teaches how to analyze an audience and outline a novel so that it can appeal to a wide readership, giving it the potential to become a bestseller. The secrets found in his unconventional approach will help you understand why so many of his authors go on to prominence.
Get it on Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00B9JYJ6W/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il?ie=UTF8&camp=211189&creative=373489&creativeASIN=B00B9JYJ6W&link_code=as3&tag=davidfarnet-20 (If you buy ANYTHING else on Amazon, with or without Million Dollar outlines, through this link, a small percentage will also go to David Farland. So if you have a few other books you want to read, get all of them if you can.)
Or on Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/million-dollar-outlines-david-farland/1114285069?ean=2940015965148

Read one of the 26 reviews here: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00B9JYJ6W/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il?ie=UTF8&camp=211189&creative=373489&creativeASIN=B00B9JYJ6W&link_code=as3&tag=davidfarnet-20

Would you like to just donate money? You can do that here: http://www.gofundme.com/BensRecovery 

If you can’t spare any money, but would still like to help, you can do so by telling others about
Ben’s donation page, and/or this Book Bomb. Share it on facebook, twitter, pinterest, your blog—anywhere you can. We have an event page set up on facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/events/453677124707603/

There is also a website set up here: http://www.helpwolverton.com/p/books-for-book-bomb.html

Thank you!

Ben and his family greatly appreciate your support, and so do all who love and care about them.
Go, Ben, Go.
Praying for you, H. Linn Murphy

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Farewell My Denmark

  I'm featuring Tina Scott's book on the blog today. Check it out! Heidi


Woot! Woot! Woot!
FAREWELL, MY DENMARK book giveaway and celebration APRIL 8 – 26th

 My Wonderful Helpers:

April 8____Tristi Pinkston: http://tristipinkston.blogspot.com/
April 9____Heidi Murphy:  http://murph4slaw.blogspot.com/
April 12___Valerie Ipson: http://valerieipson.blogspot.com/
April 15___Cami Checketts: http://camicheckettsbooks.blogspot.com
April 16___Joyce DiPastena: http://jdp-news.blogspot.com
April 22___Joyce Smith: http://zanygsworld.blogspot.com/
April 23___Jennifer Griffith: www.authorjennifergriffith.com/
April 23___Julie Martin Wallace: http://juliemartinwallace.blogspot.com/

Each Friday, April 12th, 19th, 26th, one winner will be picked from that weeks comments to receive a copy of my novel [You may choose from print or ebook]

INTERNATIONAL: ebook only, no gift card. Sorry.

Winner will be drawn Fridays @ 5pm Pacific Standard time.
Participants who didn’t win may re-enter each week w/ new comments and Facebook/Twitter announcements.


Leave a comment on hosts blog = 1 entry

Leave a comment on my blog w/ your email address in case you win = 1 entry
(Those w/o an email address posted will forfeit if they win.)

Tweet about giveaway w/ link to my blog = 1 entry

Facebook announcement about giveaway w/ link to my blog = 1 entry

[My publication date has been postponed, but I will get the books out to winners ASATP (as soon as they're published), which will be this June.]

What prompted you to write the novel?
My ancestors are from Denmark, and when I was reading my great-great grandmother’s life history, it dawned on me that I should write a novel about her experiences, and the Danish pioneers.
Is this a pioneer story, then?
It’s not to be compared with The Work and the Glory, other than the people in Farewell, My Denmark are travelling toward Zion.
Will this be a series?
No. I do have a couple of other historical novels from Denmark planned, but the characters in each story are different.
Where did you get your information?
My ancestor’s life stories, the Mormon Immigration Index, personal visits to Denmark, and from visiting the Church History Museum in Salt Lake City, Utah. And, the Internet.
The main Character, Catherine, is on a quest to find true love, is this a historical romance?
There are elements of romance, but it’s not written as a traditional romance. For one, Catherine doesn’t meet her true love right away. She struggles through several wrong choices first.
Why did you do this?
So often people are tempted to watch a romantic movie or read a romantic book and think life is like that, and then they’re disappointed. In real life, it’s sometimes tricky to decide who Mr. Right is, and so Catherine struggles in identifying him, and has more proposals on the voyage.
Is the book set at sea, or in America, or both?
I wanted to give readers a feel for what the Scandinavian Saints gave up when they left their homes. Farewell, My Denmark starts at Catherine’s home and then chronicles their travels through Denmark, Germany, and England. About half of the novel is set aboard the John J. Boyd, the ship my ancestors actually sailed on, and then ends when they arrive in America.
Why don’t you write a story about them traveling across America?
There are a lot of really good novels depicting the Saints’ struggles in America. I wanted to write from a different perspective.
Could you tell us a little about your book?
A failed engagement sets seventeen-year-old Catherine Erichsen on a faith-building journey of self-discovery as she follows her parents and other Mormon saints on the 1863 immigration to America. When precious heirlooms start disappearing aboard the John J. Boyd, Catherine nearly loses her life at the hands of thieving sailors and fears she won't live long enough to fulfill the desires of her heart.

Thanks, Tina, for your stories! I can't wait to read the book.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Stealing is NOT Cool

I got this email from Anonymous:
Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "A Smackerel of FIRETHORN":

Hi, i think that i saw you visited my web site so i came
to “return the favor”.I'm trying to find things to improve my web site!I suppose its ok to use some of your ideas!!

(I removed the link because I don't want people going to your site from here and vice versa.)


To Anonymous:
I've been getting a few comments on this blog that show up on my email from this site which don't register on the comments roll. They come complete with links to other sites.

If you want to improve your site, I suggest you improve the quality of the service you offer.
For you, the anonymous and cowardly person who told me it would be fine if you stole my content to use on your site, I ask you to cease and desist. It is NOT okay with me if you use my content. I am NOT going to go to your disgusting website and give myself a virus to tell you so. But if I ever find my content used without my express permission, I will hunt you down and prosecute. Yes. You read this correctly.

If you are only wanting to use the master template, that isn't mine to complain about. In that case you can contact the owner of the template like I did.

So far I have let you stay on this site because I haven't bothered to figure out how to oust you. But if you continue to steal from me, I'll MAKE the time. My writing is how I make money. It is my passion and my talent. You have no right whatsoever to jack writing content from this site. Get your own talent, hack.

Oh, and by the way, you are mistaken. I have not, nor will I ever, visit the site matching the link you left.

For those who aren't this person, have a WONDERFUL DAY!!! Can you tell I'm angry?
H. Linn Murphy

A Smackerel of FIRETHORN

I was the new girl at Edgemont high and I was going to die. Of embarrassment; I was timing it. Any second, now, someone was going to stop gaping and start with the names. I'd heard them all: Twiggy, Woody, The Tree, Plywood Face, Pinocchio. There were boat-loads more, but I couldn't bring myself to dredge them up out of the basement of my soul.

I tried to keep my shoes from squeaking as I followed my dad, Lysander, into the office and sat down to wait while they decided my fate. I didn't need the extra attention. I generated that all by myself. The frozen glances of the other students hanging around waiting for hall passes were why I'd always been home-schooled. I checked them out as they stared at me, unblinking, insatiably curious.

I wanted to tell the blond cheerleader she'd better shut her mouth or she'd drop her gum. Still, it would be so entertaining watching her try to get bubblegum off her skimpy uniform skirt. I saw her confusion as she tried to catalog me. If I'd had hair instead of twigs, and skin as soft and pink as hers was, she might have decided I could breathe her oxygen. I saw the exact moment when she dumped me into the “freak” box. She took out her phone and began to text. She was still texting when the receptionist handed her a hall pass. Cheerleader girl texted clear out the door and was probably still at it when she got to class.

The receptionist was greenish as she smiled at me, pretending she was a better woman than she is. Her type was everywhere I looked. I was sure she'd splash me all over her social media sites. She was probably trying to figure out a way to sneak a picture with her phone.

Then I saw the Imagine Dragons CD on her desk and I couldn't keep her in my Superfluous Adults drawer anymore. She was an ally. I smiled at her, feeling just a bit sad that she was stuck in a job like this, ferrying disgruntled young people across the River Styx and into the Underworld of Edgemont High. Maybe someday she'd earn a reprieve. Until then, I would save a smile for her every day—one bright spot in the flood of grumbling lost souls.

The other students woke up from their staring stupor and trickled away in ones and twos, like missionaries off to spread the word. “There's a whole new kind of freak at Edgemont School for the Terminally Dorky,” They'd say. And they were right. I couldn't get freakier if you painted me pink and tied toy poodles in my twigs.

I could hear Lysander arguing through the closed door, which read, “Principal Capoletti”. No clue why my dad didn't just take me in there with him. It's not like he was sparing my feelings, what with all the shouting. I knew he'd win the debate. My dad's in a whole other world of brilliant. He'd have been cool chilling with Einstein. He'd had to take precious research time off to battle for me against unfeeling, narrow-minded creeps, people who would have stuck me in a lab, and paparazzi who were in it for the big bucks. It was completely amazing to me that they'd never managed to get my picture into the tabloids.

Now with mom gone, Lysander Mason, the famous bioengineer, had even less time to be my knight-in-shining-armor. I could hear the impatience in his voice as he tore Mr. Capoletti into tiny shreds. I sunk down in my seat, annoyed that I was again the the cause for Dad's unwanted break from the research, which was his oxygen and his cake. At least he only needed to come down once to admit me to school.

I snickered to myself, remembering mom's insistence that I stay home, where I could grow into a nice tall tree in peace. The joke might have been on her, but I was going to reap the rewards. I felt like a baby eagle being shoved out of the nest and forced to fly. A wooden eagle. That would be something to watch. Step right up. Get your geek tickets here.

I debated whether to just wander in or hunker down and take a nap. Sleep would have been nice, since I knew today was going to take everything I had to survive sane. But somehow I knew that if I let myself actually lose my iron grip on the situation, I'd wake up with my twigs on fire or some loser would carve his name in my leg.

I turned around and watched the blurry image of the principal gesturing wildly through the window. It sounded like he thought I was some kind of wooden android. Like Lysander would ever make something he'd endowed with AI, out of something so perishable as wood. My snort brought the receptionist's equally wooden face up from her texting.

“Can I help you?” she asked. I was amazed she thought I was human enough to ask. Maybe it was a test.

“Not likely,” I mumbled, hoping she wouldn't press me to speak up.

She pressed.

I bent over and rubbed at my forehead. I tend to get rugged bark there. It's always a struggle keeping it polished smooth. One good thing about having a wooden face was the lack of expression when I wanted to lie. Otherwise it rotted. I could barely smile or move my eyebrows. I was constantly having to massage the cellulose on my face to get it to be more supple.

I lied now. “I was saying I sure hope my dad can get me into this school.”

She gave me that green smile that said she hoped something totally different. “I'm sure we can work it out. What grade are you in?”

“I've been home-schooled, so I don't know. I'm almost sixteen. I'm actually at college junior level, but Dad won't let me up there until I can handle being in high school.”

I could see the cogs cranking creakily in her head. She was thinking “Android.”

I debated whether to set her straight. It gets tiring always having to explain myself. Maybe I could sneak over to the P.A. System and just toss all the beans on the table at once.

Just as I'd decided to do it, Dad won his debate and the two men came out into the office. Lysander went straight to the counter to deal with paperwork, brandishing my birth certificate like a baseball bat. The principal disappeared back into his cave with a nod to the receptionist.

Dad glanced back at me and there was a triumphant light in his eyes—something he always got when he prevailed against lesser mortals. “I am going to watch you copy that. I need it back for every time I have to prove my daughter is human.”

I silently begged my dad to let her live. He could flay an unsuspecting person's skin off with just a couple of words. Since Mom died, he did it all the time, and we were losing colleagues. Friends had gone the way of the dodo long before.

The secretary copied the necessary papers, frowning at the immunization report. I could see Dad gearing up, like we were coming to the edge of the eye of the hurricane. The secretary looked up and was going to say something but decided, it seems, she liked life too much. She handed everything back and gave me a packet. “Take that down to Mrs. Mendoza's office two doors on your right. She'll help you get started. And here's a hall pass for you. Welcome to our school, Karyatis....”

“That's Karry. I won't answer if you call me Karyatis,” I said before she could label me forever with the name I detested. What had they been thinking, those brilliant two who had spawned me? You'd think that being wooden would be enough of a pain-in-the-rear. Why had they thought it would be so funny to name me after a column at the Greek Acropolis?

“Well then, Karry. Would you like me to make a note of this for your teachers?”

“Please.” I hoped she'd play nice. Otherwise it would be open season on her car. Except that she liked Imagine Dragons. I think I'd always think of her as Charon in my mind. Charon, the ferry-woman.

“I must go.” Lysander said stiffly. He gave me a pat on my arm, and left. He'd never been one for displays of affection, even with mom, who wasn't a tree. I stood for a second, bracing myself for the gauntlet of stunned faces. Too bad my wooden skin wasn't strong enough to keep out the verbal barbs. Those would sink deep inside and fester.