Wednesday, October 29, 2014

BlueInk Review

Moth at the Window: Poetry of Grover W. Clayton and Recollections of Indiana
Mary F. Lachman
Xlibris, 165 pages, (paperback) $19.99, 9781499022520 (Reviewed: October, 2014)

Moth at the Window: Poetry of Grover W. Clayton and Recollections of Indiana by physician Mary F. Lachman is a thoughtful, well-contextualized collection of the author's late grandfather's poems.
Lachman's grandfather Grover Washington (“G.W.”) Clayton, who became a country dentist, was born in Indiana in 1884, 68 years after Indiana became the 19th state. The poems here are from Washington's handwritten journal, rescued from an attic by Lachman, and were written between 1927 and 1959.
Lachman organized the poems by genre; sections have titles such as "Fruit of the Land," "Chase the Piglet and Other Stories of the Road," and "Heaven Waits." Each section is prefaced by a brief prose piece that gives regional background information and homey family memories, such as, "The [Southern Indiana] soil is very fertile..." and "Everyone liked peaches, even my cousin Jim Harbin's cocker spaniel. The dog would follow the peels to the composts pile and devour them."
The poems themselves, most rhyming, are lovely and grounded in physical detail, such as "Autumn Time (1934)" in which the fourth stanza reads, "The tickle grass is blown from place to place, / And Spanish needle vies with beggar lice / To aggravate and cling to man and beast.” The repetition of the "s" sound in grass, place, Spanish, vies, lice, and beast unifies the stanza and emphasizes the solemn end of each line. The pieces embody a time in America's past when many people lived close to the land and their direct interdependence with the seasons was taken for granted.
The book features numerous photographs of Clayton and the author's family in what can seem like a simpler time in America; they inhabited a stoic, family-oriented, farmhouse culture that is hard to find now. Combined with the clear-eyed, attentive voice of the poems, the prose and photos create an enriching collection that many readers will appreciate.
Also available in hardcover and ebook. 

Author Talk/Signing - Mary Lachman at Clark Memorial Library

Next Tuesday (Election Day) I will be reading from Moth at the Window at the Clark Memorial Library in Bethany.  I hope you can come. Bring your questions about self-publishing and I will do my best to provide a few answers. Afterwards I will sign copies of the book for anyone who would like to purchase a copy.

Clark Memorial Library
538 Amity Road
Bethany, CT 06524

Sunday, October 26, 2014

An excerpt from "Autumn" in Moth at the Window

Last week a Facebook friend suggested that I add an excerpt from the book to the website. So today I added G.W. Clayton's "Autumn". Here is a short excerpt.

"Summer's bloom is almost gone
And the nights grow chill and clear.
Evening overlaps the day
Bringing thought of fireside cheer."

To read the poem in its entirety visit Moth at the and click on the "Excerpts" page.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Winner Announced

Last Saturday I was signing copies of Moth at the Window at Bank Square Books in Mystic, CT.

Everyone who stopped by could enter a drawing to win an original handmade notecard.

Today I am pleased to announce the winner is Karen Fairbrother!

Around the World Blog Hop - Round 2

Last week I posted in the Around the World Blog Hop thanks to an introduction by Carol R. Eaton Designs.

Today it is my turn to introduce Diane Cadrain.

Diane is a lawyer and freelance writer who specialized in employment law.  She is a clever and highly creative Connecticut woman. She learned embroidery from her grandmother, but has also made clothing. Diane exhibits throughout Connecticut. Her artwork includes hand-painted fabric, felted wool, embroidery and beading. Please visit her blog: Stitching-It-All-Together 

Diane with her dogs Java and Mocha

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Bank Square Books hosts Mary Lachman and Moth at The Window

Bank Square Books is a phenomenal independent bookstore in the heart of downtown Mystic, CT across the street from Mystic Pizza and just south of the bridge. If you want to visit a quintessential New England town and browse in shops, Mystic is the place.

Before my signing I had lunch at Bravo Bravo. It was spacious and modern with large windows and a view of the water. The waitstaff was attentive. The fresh bread and olive oil were amazing. I ordered the buffalo chicken pizza with gorgonzola. Yes it was decadent, but what the heck. It was spicy and would have been perfect with a beer, but I had water. My friend had the codfish BLT lunch special. It came with a side salad and looked delicious. Both the pizza and the sandwich were made with that same good bread dough.

The staff at Bank Square Books were pleasant and cheerful and it was the perfect day to explore the streets of a waterfront community. During my book signing I met so many wonderful people who stopped to chat. There were folks from Illinois, Pennsylvania, Florida and Ohio.  There was a group of 6 or 7 women who meet every year to select the 'reads' for the following year.

Thank you to everyone who stopped to talk, enter my drawing, and pick up a copy of the book. I hope you had as much fun as I did!

Just in case you didn't have a chance to visit Bank Square Books on Saturday you can still pick up a copy of Moth at the Window there. And if you hurry you can get one of the autographed copies!

Bank Square Books
53 W. Main Street
Mystic, CT 06355

I will announce the winner of the notecard giveaway later this week.


Friday, October 17, 2014

Around the World Blog Hop

I was invited to participate in the Around the World Blog Hop by fabric artisan Carol  of Carol R. Eaton Designs. Carol creates amazing hand-dyed, stamped, painted, and stenciled fabrics that she sells online and at regional events. Her blog is a source of inspiration and step-by-step instructions for many fabric techniques.  

I am thrilled to introduce two artists that I have invited to participate in the Around the World Blog Hop: Ruth Anne Olson and Michael Scaramuzzino.

Ruth Anne Olson a friend and member of SAQA-CT. Ruth Anne creates textile art, quilts and home accessories with an eye for subtle color change and fabric. She frequently uses hand-dyed cottons. And did I mention that she is a mathematician too? Visit her blog at

Michael Scaramuzzino is an amazing young professional illustrator and 3-d digital modeler who will stun you with his designs. Originally from Connecticut, he now lives in Massachusetts and has a B.F.A. from the Monstserrat College of Art. Michael illustrated the cover to Moth at the Window. Visit his website and blog at
1. What am I working on?
Today I am organizing myself for a Moth book signing this Saturday, October 18th at Bank Square Books in Mystic, CT

I am also writing a proposal for a second book that I would like to pitch to small publisher.

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?

Moth at the Window is of higher quality than many self-published books. It looks just like a book you might order from Random House.  I used an editor review and edit the text before it ever went to print. Also, the publisher, Xlibris, also did a phenomenal job formatting the text and choosing the font for the cover. I self-published because I did not want to spend time pitching the book to publishers.

Moth at the Window is also a multi-genre book. This is unusual since most books are in a single category: fiction, nonfiction, poetry, etc. Moth combines poetry, stories, and tidbits of history.

You might  enjoy the website
3. Why do I write/create what I do?

I write about what I know. I like stories about people and the times they lived in. I enjoy trying to understand a person’s perspective in light of the historical events occurring around them. I am fascinated by ordinary people’s lives.

4. How does my writing/creating process work?

I prefer to write in the morning. I find that it is easier to formulate my sentences then. However, since I have the alarm set for 4:20 a.m. on weekdays and a long commute to my day job my writing I can rarely indulge myself. Instead, I write in the evening, after dinner, and on the weekends. And rainy days are the best!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Book Signing at the Woodbridge Town Library

I want to thank everyone who came out to the Woodbridge Library on September 16th to make my first book reading/signing such a success!  Here are some of the photos from the evening.

Betsy and Hout

Displaying the Suffield Bicennenial t-shirt

Chatting with friends

Some of the attendees