Monday, April 13, 2015

Charmaine Pauls Book Release: The Astronomer

The Astronomer by Charmaine Pauls

Loving someone madly, obsessively, to the point of addiction can be heaven ... or hell.     April is an exciting month for the Santiago Writers! This month, Charmaine Pauls releases her lastest exciting novel of paranormal romance - The Astronomer.

The year is 2165. A new blood group has evolved, and biological pairing, called mating, has replaced the old-world marriage ritual. When a stranger saves astronomer Dr. Fraya Riber from drowning, her body goes into a strange state of arousal. Bound to be paired with another, Fraya frantically searches for the answers to the phenomenon that soon becomes an unwelcome addiction. Nothing has prepared her for this painful dependence, and nothing will prepare her for the cure, or the identity of her enigmatic savior.
            Can she reject desire for loyalty? Must she choose between her career and her love? Can passion truly craft a bond that will last a lifetime?

The Astronomer can be purchased on amazon here.

Charmaine was born in Bloemfontein, South Africa. She obtained a masters degree in Communication at the University of Potchestroom, and followed a diverse career path in journalism, public relations, advertising, communications, photography, graphic design, and brand marketing. Her writing has always been an integral part of her professions.
            After relocating to France with her French husband, she fulfilled her passion to write creatively full-time. Charmaine has published 5 novels since 2011, as well as several short stories and articles.
            When she is not writing, she likes to travel, read, and rescue cats. Charmaine currently lives in Chile with her husband and children. Their household is a linguistic mélange of Afrikaans, English, French and Spanish.
            Read more about Charmaine’s romance novels and psychological short stories at

Friday, April 10, 2015

Writing Workshops: Mary Judith Ress: Essay

The Face

Her face hides a universe of secrets.  We only catch a glimpse of her erotic soul thru her poetry—and the way she dresses to match the fruits and flavours and lush contours of her native land.   Chile has moulded her into a structure: bold for sure, but now responsible and serious.  What is repressed in her spills into my soul—she´s a volcano wanting to erupt again as in the days when all was primal.  With my mind´s eye I can see her dancing like a Mango-sour spinning in the sunlight.  She is fire and full.  Moon Mother.  Bare-breasted, hips swirling to music only she hears.
            Whirling dervish, sitting there so innocently with your specks perched on your nose, you don´t fool me.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

First Word: Larissa Higgins: Trip

            A Capital Ship for an Ocean Trip was the Walloping Window Blind. 
            No Wind that Blew Dismayed her Crew, or troubled the Captain's Mind -
Eighty children roaring out the chanty – hands in white gloves crisply snapping to attention on the upbeats - precise and natty in the full salute, half-mast, hauling the music up the main mast, carried along on the rollicking waves of song.
            We looked splendid, we sounded splendid - we knew it, and such a relief after that last fiasco -
            Who wants to hear a modern atonal tone poem, sung in Finnish by American adolescents?  Who composes such a disaster - hands it to the director of a children's choir and blithely says "I wrote this specially for you?" 
            Finnish is one of the world’s worst, if you weren’t born to it.  We couldn't stick it.   Not the landing, not any of the other sections.  We barely wallowed through the introductory phrases - those had melody, but once into hit the middle passages those strange unkeyed syllables would not - could not - hold in our memories. We practiced for months, wallowing to a sluggish stop half way through, but our director was ambitious.  She launched it at a concert for uptown bankers - and we sank. 
            First the sopranos, drying up on the high shiver bits, then the lone bass lost the following beat, and, at last, out of tempo with the piano, the altos drizzled to a trailing terminal stop. 
            The silence rang out and we melted into the stage.  Our director (we cursed her, silently, round American tones) gave a tinkling laugh. 
            "A privilege, gentlemen - and ladies, what a privilege - yes.  A brand new work, composed - most eminently, for you, for your privilege - a view of how a work develops, what a thing – a privilege - " 
            Blessedly she stopped.  The silence stretched.  Gathering herself, she raised her baton - we rose to hopeful attention - and - 
            Bam! Down it came and off we roared - landed magnificently, safe on the seas of salvage -
            We’d catch the morning train 
            And cross the bounding main 
            Off to our loves in our natty white gloves 
            Ten Thousand Miles Away! 
            Thank God.

Monday, April 6, 2015

First Word: Suzanne Adam: Trip

What a trip! A 1960’s reference to psychedelic drug experiences: surreal, streaks of bright reds, oranges, shocks of electric blue, streams of green, wavering, dream-like, objects zooming in and out of focus. Perception of the world shifts, mind expanding, taking you beyond the mundane and the normal. A sharpened awareness dawns, in which a writer might seek her muse.
            My moments of inspiration visit me during long walks and in that place between sleep and dreams. The brink of sleep and wakefulness is fertile ground for those small nuggets that just might be the seed of a story, the glimmer of an idea.
            Music also transports me on mind-expanding trips. Listening to Tchaikovsky’s Fourth Symphony with my eyes closed, my mind and spirit take flight. I wish to find the words to match his music, what it does for me. I strive for words that touch others in the same way. The euphoria.
            Yet printed words reach us through our eyes, while music travels a different sensual route, as do smells: the evocative tingling scent of pine needles or the sea. Experiences that affect us in unique ways. Can I aspire to words that match the sound of crashing waves or the fragrance of a rainforest?
            Is a multisensory book possible? I’d choose for my book the fragrances of a redwood forest or dry leaves after a rain and the sound of wind rustling through tree branches. Now to find the words to go with them….

Friday, April 3, 2015

First Word: Pamela Yorston: Trip


Tríptico is the name of the document you need to take your car from Buenos Aires to Uruguay on the Ferry.  I don’t know what the word means. Does it have something to do with the word trip?
            Argentina is the land of the trámite – the red tape transaction.  Life in Chile involves a fair bit of red tape, but in matters of bureaucracy, the Argentines make the Chileans look like amateurs.  In Argentina, trámites are the means by which sour-faced, chip-on-the shoulder public employees exercise power over the masses.
            One of my earliest memories is queuing outside the passport office with my mother.  The line, six people wide, stretched all the way round the block. Knee-high to the crowd, I stare up at the adults that hem me in.  In my memory that day lasts a week. This was in the days before computers and centralized records, when every detail about you had to be taken down and laboriously entered by hand into a ledger, then all your fingers were smudged with black ink for finger prints, and there was nowhere to wash it off.
            One time, (when I was older) I took my father’s car to Uruguay with the tríptico document.  You drive on to the ferry in the port of Buenos Aires and four hours later you roll off in Colonia. During the trip you can drink in the bar or simply go up on deck and observe the silt-smelling waters of the river stretching out in every direction like a brown sea. 
            I had no trouble until the return journey when apparently I didn’t have the right
tríptico and  the man at customs told me I couldn’t bring the car back in. 
            “But what can I dooo?” I wailed.
            The thing about the officious official is that he knows there is nothing you can do  everything is down to him - the man at the gate. Fortunately, after making me squirm for a while, he shrugged and let me through.  I was 25 years old and quite pretty in those days.
            A friend of mine recently rented a car and drove over to Mendoza.  On her way back across the border, the Argentine authorities stopped her and seized her car, refusing to let her bring it back.  That was three months ago and the rental company is charging by the day.  Unfortunately, she’s a little older than 25.
            Our friend Charmaine has been complaining recently about the fact that South Africa has stripped her of her citizenship after she took her husband’s French nationality.  If only you could lose your Argentine citizenship!  But you can’t. It will follow you all the way to the grave and say you have the wrong document for dying.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

First Word: Danette Beavers: Trip

A trip for me is hours sitting with my knees up around my chest, smelling other people’s farts and stinking feet, eating plastic food and suffering my own nervous stomach. Where have I ever been that was a true delight, a real pampering: at my leisure in the Bahamas, the Greek Isles or Tuscany? Why have I never eyed a cabana boy in Hawaii as he brings me an umbrella drink and escorts me to the spa where some equally luscious demonstration rubs me all over with hot oil? Why not then gone to a dinner where the food is so unbearably good that I want to cry—foods light and interesting, textures surprising—nothing at all like the foods I eat when I come back from a trip to the supermarket.