Coffee Share 210227: Closing out February

This is a Weekly Coffee Share Essay.
I’m part of a small group of bloggers who stay in touch and chat about blogging, writing, or just about anything else that might be of interest.
Link to This week’s full list
Link to my Story Blog:  Table of Contents.

Greetings all.

It’s really time to kick back after a busy week, enjoy a hot mug of something wonderfully compatible with our vital body chemistry.  I can feel the surge of warmth and restoration from my hot green tea earlier this morning and may yet top off my morning with some hazelnut coffee with milk — ummm, almost as good as a cinnamon roll.

First I wanted to update you on a few things I’ve mentioned in the past.

Red shoulder hawk 2During my walks about the neighborhood, I’ve so enjoyed hearing and sometimes seeing the newer neighbors, our Red Shouldered hank family(ies?).  There are so many, I can’t be sure how many, but against the small hillside behind our yard there is a corridor of sorts between several houses that form an open valley up to the main street and several times I’ve seen these guys shooting through that corridor amazingly fast like a thick brownish orange dart that drops below the fence line into a large undeveloped yard where, no doubt there are small critters the hawks have some interest in getting to know better.  Their cries still often fill the air and one day, I heard but could not isolate where their calls were coming from.  I shielded my eyes from the (very welcome) full sun shine and looked almost straight up and there, almost too high to distinguish were three of them, apparently playing by drifting without effort on the warm updrafts of the early afternoon.  The sun was behind their wings, just enough to note that their orange coloring.  I just have stood there for 2 or 3 minutes before thinking that I really should try to get a photo, which of course was magically transmitted to the raptors and they shot off to avoid this armature bird watcher.  Oh well. . . It was a glorious sight while it lasted.

I also mentioned to you that I’d started a book from an author I’d heard about and wanted to share a quick update and recommendation. “Winter’s Tale” by Mark Helprin, 1983 w/ 673 pages, is a long story, but if you enjoy binge watching shows with running story lines that develop over many episodes, this may be a great book for you.  It’s fiction, vivid and extremely literate with mind pictures that will leave you smiling as you read. If you are one to pause long enough to look up some lesser-used but mind-nutrient-rich words, you will find plenty nuggets in this narrative.  The story unfolds as a well-balanced narration with plenty of conversations and thoughts from his many characters and each one of them are extremely well painted and easily cared about or hated.  At this point I’m about 3/5 of the way through it and was beginning to wonder if Mr. Helprin was going to find a way to weave together all the different personal stories and so far, he is doing just that and daily I’m finding myself anxious to pick it up and just enjoy how this epic quilt finally assembles. 

Winters-Tale-horseNetflix even has a DVD bearing the same title.  I had added it way down at the bottom of my list to give myself time to finish the book, but it somehow found it’s way to my mailbox early and, rather than send it back or keep it until I could finish the book I decided to watch the thing.  What the heck, movies are rarely true to the book they’re based on anyway.  This movie did both, truncate or skip lots of great scenes as they had to, or make it into at least a 3 season mini-series and capture the look and feel of what this book has performed in my mind.  This book, and the memories it has planted will stay with me long after I’ve moved on to other things.  In this kindle culture we now live and read in, I’m so glad I decided to buy a used hardbound volume so I can enjoy the feel of a a real book as I consume this amazing story.  So yea.  I love and recommend this book.

Okay. It’s getting late and I need to wrap this up.  I don’t have a fresh photo, but my transplanted cheery tree is doing and blooming great.  I’ll have new photos soon, I promise.

vladimir-soares-z_8Jqe0Cc-s-unsplashFinally, I want to thank one of our members to this weekly event for being a beta reader for one of my stories.  She did an great job of both finding the nasty grammar zits that adolescent stories suffer from and provided some great story line feedback that helped lift a story to a much better level.  If you have or have not yet read my (about 13 minute long) Ribbons and Remembrances, short story about an old grandmother, her daughter and surprises of how life unfolds sometimes.  I’m very grateful to Dinah of With Angels and Elephants for her readership, editing time and very useful feedback.

I invite you to enjoy the new and improved short story.

That’s it for me this week.  Thanks for stopping by. I’ll be around to visit your share shortly.

Blessings all! 

GW bio card 4

17 thoughts on “Coffee Share 210227: Closing out February

  1. I searched Kindle(love paperbacks but using Kindle these days for certain reasons) and found ‘A New York Winter’s Tale’ by Mark Helprin. Is this the same story, Gary?

    Product Description says :
    One night in New York, a city under siege by snow, Peter Lake attempts to rob a fortress-like mansion on the Upper West Side. Though he thinks it is empty, the daughter of the house is home . . .

    Thus begins the affair between this Irish burglar and Beverly Penn, a young girl dying of consumption. It is a love so powerful that Peter will be driven to stop time and bring back the dead; A New York Winter’s Tale is the story of that extraordinary journey.


    1. Hello Moumita. This is most likely the right book, but I can’t find any version with the similar title, “A New York Winter’s Tale”. The description you gave is close, but I think it’s not fully correct. This may be due to some clerk adjusting the listing for your local market, but the correct printed and kindle book I’m reading is, “Winter’s Tale” I show the kindle version is 269 pages and published by Mariner Books. Do you show the same page length and publisher? Oh, shall I assume you are getting it in English? Please do get it in English as this is where Mr. Helprin’s art really shine. Reading Mr. Helprin’s English is like enjoying literary candy.
      Another thought. Does Singapore censer incoming pieces of e-literature? There are a few lines and scenes that might attract a censer’s strikeout font. Something like this might accounts for what you’re seeing.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m pretty sure you are seeing a good local edition of the same story. Interesting that I’m not seeing that option from the US. There’s enough alignment between my description and yours that it really should be the same story. I hope you give it a try, but be prepared to spend some weeks with it. 770 pages will take even you quite a while. I’m finding it one of the better parts of my day and don’t mind the length.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I love watching hawks and other raptors. Always a great way to spend time outdoors. Funny about “Kindle culture” – I bought the first Kindle almost 20 years ago and loved it so much. I’ve had several. But for the last few years I’ve gone back to reading paperbacks. Anyway, have a great week!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ah, the hawks! It’s so wonderful to read updates about them regularly.

    I’m so glad you are liking the book. 600+ pages is too much for me and I don’t ever bingewatch anything. I just don’t seem to have the memory and attention span for it. I couldn’t quite follow whether you liked or disliked the movie, but glad you saw it.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Gary, good to see you here. I am doing a Sunday after church catch up before fixing dinner. I enjoyed your talking about the hawk and glad you had a good sunny day to be out and about. It was a treat, a tease and or an appetizer of “The spring that waits to be.” a down-payment on spring. We had that here the other day, and snow the morning after. But it was the first time I felt the sun on my face as I walked the dog. Heaven’s man, be careful looking up at birds! Blessings f or the day, Michele

    Liked by 1 person

  5. We are fortunate to have eagles where we live and I love seeing them and hearing them! I’m not such a fan when the chickens are out free ranging, but so far the hawks are the only birds to bother the chickens.

    I’m interested in the Winter’s Tale book and movie. Sounds like something I might enjoy. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi CL.
      I’d love to have eagles to watch but these hawks are gorgeous and I don’t think we have many free ranging chickens nearby.
      But the book and movie are so well done that I feel safe recommending both.

      Thanks for stopping by. Consider yourself invited to stop by my story blog for some free, clean, fun short stories.


      1. Thanks Gary! I like hawks too…just not when they’re flying over my chickens. I think they get used to hunting the pheasants we have in the area (the game commission releases them pheasants every year and they’re easy picking for the hawks) so when they can’t find pheasants, they start eyeing the chickens as potential food. I’ve lost a few chickens over the years. I guess it’s the circle of life and a part of animal husbandry. I don’t like it but it’s how it goes.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Hello again. I bet. I doubt I would enjoy the hawks as much if they were savaging my animals.

        On another point. I tried clicking on your link back and got this error: is no longer available.

        Did you rename or re-domain your blog?


      3. ugh. Well. I think it’s a wordpress issue. I don’t use any more…it’s a site now. You can find my blog here:

        I really do need to figure out why it keeps saying my website has been deleted. Thanks for letting me know!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi Gary
    I must admit to being jealous of your warm weather. Spring is never soon enough for me here in the Midwest!
    Thanks for the coffee and I hope you have a wonderful week.
    Yes you can use my name 😊


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