Happy 2014!

aliceThanks to Hampton High School for inviting me to come and talk about my new book. I visited a few different classes and passed along my top 10 tips for writing a novel.  What a talented bunch of young people! I expect great things from these budding authors.   Many were dressed in their costumes for that night’s opening performance of Alice in Wonderland in the Hampton Community Theater.  Kudos on an excellent performance!

Congratulations also goes out to Hendrien in Saint John who won the $125.00 spa gift certificate in the draw at the book launch and signings preceding Christmas. Who couldn’t use some pampering after dealing with power outages, freezing rain, shoveling, shoveling and more shoveling?  Luckily, my family all arrived safely and we were together to celebrate the season via flashlight, wool sweaters and lots of board games. Reminded me of the many camping trips we’ve taken through the years minus the mosquitos.

Wishing you and yours all the best in 2014! May it be rich with opportunity and courage.

And now let us welcome the New Year—full of things that have never been. -Rilke

How wonderful that no one need wait a single moment to improve the world. -Anne Frank

Kathy-Diane

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Timeless Rilke

No matter how often I read Rilke’s “Letters to a Young Poet,” they always reverberate:

“You ask whether your verses are any good. You ask me. You have asked others before this…..I beg you to stop that sort of thing. You are looking outside, and that is what you should avoid right now. No one can advise or help you–no one. There is only one thing you should do. Go into yourself. Find out the reason that commands you to write; see whether it has spread its roots into the very depth of your heart; confess to yourself whether you would die if you were forbidden to write. then most of all: ask yourself in the silent hour of the night: must I write? and if this answer rings out an assent, if you meet this simply question with a strong, simple, “I must,” then build your life in accordance with this necessity; your whole life, even into its humblest and most indifferent hour, must become a sign and witness to this impulse.”

Black Cat by Rainer Maria Rilke

For Halloween and in the spirit of the novel I’m currently writing,  here is a poem I admire by Rilke.  It’s called BLACK CAT.  The line that reverberates in my imagination is:  ‘She seems to hide any looks that have ever fallen into her.’

BLACK CAT

A ghost, though invisible, still is like a place
your sight can knock on, echoing; but here
within this thick black pelt, your strongest gaze
will be absorbed and utterly disappear:

just as a raving madman, when nothing else
can ease him, charges into his dark night
howling, pounds on the padded wall, and feels
the rage being taken in and pacified.

She seems to hide all looks that have ever fallen
into her, so that, like an audience,
she can look them over, menacing and sullen,
and curl to sleep with them. But all at once

as if awakened, she turns her face to yours;
and with a shock, you see yourself, tiny,
inside the golden amber of her eyeballs
suspended, like a prehistoric fly.

Rainer Maria Rilke

“All of us can see ourselves in Leveille’s characters. These are stories that speak to the complicated bonds we have with siblings and parents, who they were and who they are now and how we learn the truth of what we took for granted before.” The Daily Gleanor