The Bright Blue Sea

It is June in Greece. The sun is a white ball of heat, the sea so bright blue I ache to look at it. I sit in the cool shade of a plane tree and wait. My hair is tied with the first gift he gave me: a scarf of blues and greens, the hues of his home, his pride. At my throat is a charm, a blue eye specked with an ink-black dot, to ward off harm. My eyes slide to the sea, where small waves lap the shore. I wait, but not for long. Soon, I see him in the road.

His brown hair is shot with gold, his skin tanned from the sun. He laughs when he sees me. I stand and give him my cheek; his firm kiss finds my lips. He sits, arm slung on his chair, his smile drinks me in. I stare up at the wall near his back, which has been there since the god’s days, no doubt. It was white once, now caked with age, a frieze of blue squares at the top.

His hand tips my chin so I look down at him. I smile back. A man comes and we ask for cold beers, a Greek brand called Fix. When they come, we sip but my smile does not meet my eyes.

He frowns. “Kat, What’s wrong?”

I look him dead on when I tell him. His eyes, green like moss on a tree, grow wide when he hears what I have to say. I tell him of just last month when I saw him with her back home. How she was tall with gold hair and bright blue eyes, just the shade of this sea. I tell him how I saw him brush her cheek with his hand, how he kissed her soft mouth, how she laughed and hugged him.

His face is pale, the tan smudged with ash. He sits, mute; his eyes do not meet mine. When he does speak, his voice is low.

“Why wait? Why tell me now? Why not say it when you first saw us?”

 “You need to ask?”

 He stares at me, blank. Then, a nod.

“Look!” I cry and raise my hands to the sea, the wall, the street, the beer. “For all this! Now you can’t have this and not think of me.” I stand up and pull the scarf from my hair and drop it at his feet where it pools on his toes. “Now you can’t bring her here and not know what you did to me. To us.” I grab my purse. “I hope you drown in it.”

His hands curl on his beer glass as a snarl curls his lip. I know he gets it as he looks past me to the waves, just the shade of her eyes. I turn and walk. But as I go, I look out at the sea and smile.

Author’s note: This was an exercise proposed from my MFA program that I am enrolled in at Lindenwood University. They asked us to write a story of five hundred words or less and each word can only be one syllable. It was an interesting exercise that tested me. It’s not easy to do this and I had to consider each word. Hope you like it.

Book Reviews and Other Things

This summer I landed a second job. I didn’t necessarily need one, but I got an offer I couldn’t refuse. An old colleague of mine came to the library in July to say hello. It was wonderful to see Linda and catch up. She told me she was writing book reviews for a local magazine but was going to have to quit because of health issues. She asked if I wanted to be her replacement and I said yes! So now I’m doing book reviews for Old Naples News and North Naples News eight times a year. These are two glossy magazines that are distributed in all mailboxes in certain zip codes.

The most fun part of this job is all the advanced reader’s copies of as-yet-unreleased books I get. The publishing houses have me on their lists to get the catalogs of new releases and I admit I got a little drunk with ordering. Yes, I’ll read that, and that, and that, and that, and that, and that and… well, you get the picture.

Most advanced reader’s copies are digital now. There is a service called Net Galley which supplies reviewers and other industry types with these downloadable books. But Net Galley also keeps track of how many you request and how many you actually review. And if I’m doing only eight reviews a year and I’m requesting many more than that, well, my average doesn’t look so favorable and publishers won’t be quite so quick to send me things.

I could write reviews on Amazon or Good Reads, but I thought since I haven’t been writing on this blog for a while, why don’t I start posting book reviews here? All you good people can hear about what’s coming out. Then my average will be high and I’ll keep supplying my habit of free books.

So be on the lookout for book reviews by me. I’ll let you know when it will be hitting bookstores and libraries so you can put things on your wishlists.

And included is my headshot I had taken for the magazine. It was done by Jesi Cason Photography in Fort Myers. She was lots of fun to work with, and if you’re local, I highly recommend her!