My Books

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Poem of the Day

In Memoriam
(From Path of Fire)


Back then, we tried once again
to cram a year’s worth of feelings
into one week,
letting our thoughts float
in the vast stillness.
Before us mountain peaks
drained away into the summer night.

Now your face is tucked in a frame
on the shrine next to the flowers
and the candle I light every night.
It looks my way with a warm
or mischievous smile,
depending on the way the light falls.

Your sanctuary lies in my heart
in little heaps of joy and sorrow.
I think of you often,
of the times we sat together
gazing at the lit church
on the hill above Santa Maria,
our bodies suffused in the evening glow,
you, leaning back into the
lime-green sofa pillow, and I
leaning into you.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

The criminal mind of a frustrated woman - dark and macabre humor

I am in the process of translating a, what could be called, "romantic suspense thriller" novel into German. (I hate genre labels, since they are limiting and often don't do the books justice). This encouraged me to reread a few of my German mystery novels. I came across the books by Ingrid Noll, a German author largely unknown in this country. One of them, "Der Hahn ist tot" (The rooster is Dead), tells the story of a frustrated, middle-aged woman with a difficult childhood, who lives a quite comfortable but boring, predictable life, devoid of passion and love. All of a sudden she meets an attractive writer/teacher and falls hopelessly in love. She is "on fire," as she says of herself. This "love," however, becomes an obsession and leads to a first death, for which Rosie, the heroine, is in part responsible. And now, she is on the path of destruction and no return. She feels she has a right to once be really happy, not just a bystander to other people's happiness, and to get what she wants for herself. And whoever stands in her way, watch out!

This isn't the kind of typical mystery novel, since we know from the beginning who commits the killings. But this knowledge doesn't kill the suspense, on the contrary. We witness and experience and even sympathize with the heroine, as she tries desperately to bend destiny to her advantage and another victim bites the dust.

The book is entertaining, funny, macabre, full of gallows humor. The German versions of her books can be found at Amazon.