Daily Archives: February 13, 2017

The Fault In Our Stars

51dezgvr2b7l

It took me a while to get around to reading this novel.

About six months ago – on August 21, 2016, I came home from an evening shift at work. I was feeling happy, because it was my birthday and I was looking forward to a cold beer and a birthday hug from my wife.

Only it wasn’t that happy. It turned out that was the same day that my younger brother lost a four year battle with pancreatic cancer. He spent the last day or so in the company of his wife and kids watching Gord Downie’s big Kingston concert on television and a hockey game.

And then he was gone.

I picked up this book a week or so ago and decided to try and read it. I had heard good things about it – but mostly I just wanted to try and get over the pain of my brother’s passing. Maybe not get over it, but get a little used to it.

I did enjoy reading this novel. It was a good and human story and even though there wasn’t a whole lot of action in it, the book took me on a quiet little journey and I would recommend this book to anyone.

I haven’t seen the movie.

It’s funny – but I am having a harder time writing what was supposed to be a straight forward book review then I did reading the book in the first place.

steve-vernon-and-dan-vernon-2011

Dan – my younger brother – the big guy on my left.

I don’t have anything more profound to say than I miss my brother.

yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon

HARD SOUP – A TWISTED VALENTINE TALE

Hard Soup

I’ve marinated the meat in the best red wine I could afford, five days now, with garlic onion and bay leaf and a little stick of cinnamon, lots of cracked black pepper, and lots of aching tears.

On the fifth day I rubbed it with olive oil and browned it well in a hot pan.  I kissed it for luck.  Crane was right, it tasted bitter.

I carried the meat ceremoniously to a black metal roasting pan that I’d beaten with a hammer into the rough shape of a coffin.  I browned a sliced onion in the pan, added more tears, and a little butter for flavor.

Then I deglazed the fry pan with a bit of the marinade, stirring and scraping the caked-on bits from the pan, swilling it into the juice for more flavor.

I poured the contents into the coffin-roaster, covering the meat just a little over half way.  I stuck the coffin-roaster into a slow oven, set to three hundred degrees.  Nice and slow, everything took time, let the hurting leak on out.

I added the insecticide last.

I served the meal in a valentine shaped bowl, bought especially for the occasion.  I set her body in her chair across the table from me.  The freezer kept her when I could not.  Her chest hung open like a secret treasure box.  She had a smile on her face. I’d placed it there, a finishing touch before placing her in the freezer.

Finishing nails.

Then I spooned it up.  Bitter, it tasted bitter, but no worse than finding your wife in bed with your best friend.

Heart meat is hard, unless you cook it properly.

I ate it up, every last drop.

I bit my lip until the gag reflex stopped working, and waited to die.

If I’d timed it right, they’d find us together before she thawed.  A frozen tableau, two hearts, one broken in my chest and one well braised in my belly.

Well done.  Well done.

The End


This story is excerpted from BAD VALENTINES 2.

To help me celebrate Valentine’s Day I am offering BAD VALENTINES 1 and BAD VALENTINES 2 for 99 cents each the whole entire month of February.

bad_valentines

Snowbound Valentine Suckitude

Well, it is the day before Valentine’s Day and in Halifax, Nova Scotia we are buried in a heap of snow. I am talking about 70-80 centimeters of snow – or about three feet deep for those folks not into metric.

It’s blowing so hard that the snow is falling sideways. The snowfall started a few hours after midnight and is expected to fall until dinnertime tomorrow.

That is a LOT of snow.

The buses are shut down. The ferry is shut down. The Casino is shut down. The shopping malls down. The whole freaking city is shut down.

Come tomorrow I expect to be out there shoveling my sidewalk and then clambering up on a ladder and shoveling my roof.

Most likely, I’ll fall off said roof.

frozen-mukluk

Which REALLY sucks, but I am not complaining.

The people who I am REALLY feeling sorry for are all of those fellows – and they are mostly fellows – who were figuring on running out tomorrow some time to buy their wife or girlfriend a Valentine’s Day card, some chocolate and more as likely a cheap-ass bouquet of flowers.

Newsflash, fellows.

You might not even find any stores open tomorrow. We still might be digging our way clear.

Which sucks.

Worse yet – is that this year I happen to be one of those fellows which REALLY FREAKING SUCKS!

It is my own damn fault.

I am usually a whole lot better about these sort of things – but it just plain slipped my mind.

Which means that I suck, as well.

i-suck

*******

I didn’t always suck, mind you.

The very first Valentines Day that I celebrated with my wife – who wasn’t my wife at the time but I had plans even then – I showed up at her door with an armload of flowers, chocolate, gifts, jewelry, a bottle of wine, and a fancy picnic meal. She was just getting home from work and was upstairs getting changed. I showed up at the door and paid off the babysitter and threw her out of the door. My wife’s young child was sound asleep and I lit a fire in the fireplace and stuck up a whole window-full of stick-on valentine decals and scattered plastic hearts on the hardwood floor for the cat to eat and puke up later.

Oh yeah – I did Valentines right that time.

But today I suck.

grampa

I really suck!

************

In honor of my honestly declared suckitude, why don’t you swing on over to Amazon.com and pick up a copy of KELPIE DREAMS today. For the month of February on Amazon.com and Amazon.ca my Kindle Scout winning novel is available in e-book format for a mere one dollar!!!

kelpie

Yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon