Monthly Archives: March 2013

King Henry and the Box

© 2010  Raymond Alexander Kukkee 744px-Jacob_Jordaens_-_The_Feast_of_the_Bean_King_-_Google_Art_Project It is time for civilized society in North America to recognize where priorities should be placed.  Poverty in the United States and Canada is systemic and pervasive, with homelessness and poverty at an all time high,  while our leaders spend hundreds of billions on warfare, grandiose projects of ego, destruction of the environment, horrific waste, and luxury.  Fact is, if history is any  teacher,  the blatant abuse of power,  arrogant self-entitlement and privilege  in any political system is the ultimate cause of the  failure of that system, whatever it may be. Ideology itself is no longer enough to maintain civilization. To believe otherwise is to live in delusion,  as fascinating as it may be, exempt from reality.  The surreal attitude of contempt expressed by the privileged and powerful  for average people, the environment, and the world around us  is unacceptable.  That concept  reminded me of  my old short story-which applies universally and to all seasons.   The Feast The massive oak door to the Great Hall was opened for him by a smiling servant. “Good Day, and welcome, King Henry”. “ 'Tis a good day for the Great Fest” he said, pausing. “The North wind doth carry a sorry chill, this day”. “Yes, your Majesty”. The doorman nodded and waved King Henry through the door into the warm room. The group at the head table in the Great Hall spotted the king simultaneously and stood, merrily raised their glasses, and said, almost in unison, “Hail, King Henry!” then laughed. He saluted them and sat down with them. The banquet tables were loaded with pastry, buns, breads of all kinds, and fruit. Apples, oranges, and even grapes. ‘Not bad for the cold season’ he thought to himself. “Every morsel of food must be imported into my kingdom” he muttered. The servant poured coffee and loaded his golden plate with great slices of turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, assorted vegetables, and jewels. Red jewels. “Cranberries are jewels” he said out loud, and tasted one. He ate them all quickly. “My kingdom for some more jewels!” he thundered. “More jewels!” he said to the servant. The smiling, pleasant young woman placed more red jewels upon his plate, and some green ones. “Peas are emeralds” he said to her, “ a treasure unto themselves”. She laughed. The cranberries were tangy when he chewed them. “Pour the golden Elixir” he said, pointing at his mashed potatoes. “Fill the lake” he said, forming a depression in the potatoes. “‘Tis a royal  lake, is it not?” He carefully sliced off a piece of white meat and carefully dipped it into the gravy. “Tis a fine little lake, and we are pleased, this bird has been roasted to perfection by our fine chef.” The girl smiled again. “Yes Sire. Would you like some more cranberries, King Henry?” “Yes” he said abruptly. “A king can never have enough jewels, can you not see that?” “I have to get some more” she said, backing away, and bowing graciously. He waved her off and concentrated on the roasted bird. It was delicious. “And how be the kingdom today, King Henry?” the wizened man at the end of the table asked. “ ‘Tis well you be looking” he said. “Is the drawbridge at the castle working properly?” King Henry jammed the last piece of turkey in his mouth to avoid speaking. He gulped down the mashed potatoes and gravy and stood up abruptly. “Kings tarry not long with common folk” he said loudly, and turned from the table, as everyone in the Great Hall stopped chattering. There was silence. Just before he got to the door, he turned, and bowed, and said “Good Christmas to   all! Enjoy!” The doorman nodded to him. “Good day, King Henry”. King Henry pulled his collar up tightly, walking into the cold northerly wind. He turned up Main Street and up Henry avenue toward the bridge. He climbed through a gap in the fence, following a worn path that led under the bridge. He crawled into his cardboard box. “Tis good to be home. Good Christmas to all” he muttered to himself, covering himself with newspapers. “Good Christmas to all”. ## © 2010 Raymond Alexander Kukkee Is that Incoming I hear?   Photo: Jacob Jordaens - The Feast of the Bean King      Wikimedia Commons
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Book Reviews: The Fires of Waterland

© 2013 by Raymond Alexander Kukkee

**UPDATED NOVEMBER 2014 -- Updates AND Milestones!

**UPDATE  MARCH 17/13      Nadine Sellers, blogger at Last Known Nest, writes     A 5-Star review for The Fires of Waterland

A book Review: The Fires of Waterland by Raymond Alexander Kukkee.

"Raymond Alexander Kukkee has broken into print, a mark of his talent and passion for fiction. In his novel, The Fires of Waterland, he has brought an entire range of universal concerns into full view. Honesty is served in doses of violent conditions in the boiling secrecy of buried poverty.
Set in mid-century Canada, the suspenseful tale of family strife and cascading abuses reads as a serial film of great scope. Somewhere between memorable epics of the great depression and Dickensian classics, the story begins as charming details of the lush countryside “small plants domesticate undisciplined cracks in the delicate lacework of broken curbstones—mosses and meticulous ivies advance”, innocuous introductions of slow memories pouring from an old man's recollections of a seemingly simpler era.
Then, the reader begins to suspect there is...."  ( read more here  )
** UPDATE MARCH 16/13     A new 5-Star Review for The Fires of Waterland has been received.  Get the new, 2nd Edition at Rocking Horse Publishing, online at Amazon, or at fine bookstores everywhere.
**5 Stars: "The Fires of Waterland is a book that kept my eyes glued to the pages and my heart in my throat--in a good way"  ...C.B.

Reviews make a Difference

It never ceases to amaze  how a few words can entice, lure, enable and establish the first impression a reader gets when considering a book.  Simple words.   " A good read" "Fantastic"  "Brilliantly written".   "Reads like..."  "Reminiscent of".  "We recommend".   Are reviews valuable? If a reader is looking for guidance in selection, style,  or confirmation of  chosen, favourite  genre, a review can certainly help.  Do great reviews guarantee a good read?  Common sense suggests that  reviews are opinion.    Hopefully, insightful, informed, and thoughtful opinion.  A good review offers a birds-eye view of the novel for the reader without ever seeing the book.   How valuable reviews ultimately become are determined by the readership. A dozen great reviews do not guarantee every book will be 'liked' by every reader.  On the other hand, a few good reviews suggest a book is worth investigation.  If the reader cannot find a review in sight, the book is a complete unknown. Are reviews valuable?   It depends if they're good, or if they are fantastic. Ultimately it depends if  you, the reader,  place faith in experienced reviewers and their insight.   Book reviews do make a difference.  Thoughtful prospective readers will ultimately  make up their own minds, --that is a given.  No scribbler in the writing world can expect more.  The Fires of Waterland has received great reviews. 5-Stars.  I'm the author. I believe you'll agree with the reviewers.   Here's how to find out.  Read reviews for The Fires of Waterland--available in print and eBook formats at Rocking Horse Publishing, at Amazon online, or at fine bookstores everywhere.   Get your copy of  new, 2nd edition of  The Fires of Waterland  now.   If you haven't read the reviews, why not?  Reviews  can and  do make a difference.  


  This was the  1st edition of The Fires of Waterland.  The 1st edition is  NO longer available except by special request directly  from the author by email at: pictures first copy 030 Things just keep getting hotter and hotter, don't they? THIS is the 2nd Edition, Rocking Horse Publishing (2014)  available both online at my new publisher,  Rocking Horse Publishing and at Amazon in print, and eBook formats. [caption id="attachment_2812" align="aligncenter" width="335"]Cover for The Fires of Waterland The Fires of Waterland by Raymond Alexander Kukkee    (2nd Edition, Rocking Horse Publishing)[/caption]    Get it. Read it.  Heat up the world. You will not forget The Fires of Waterland.   : ##  Is that Incoming I hear?    
Posted in Book Reviews, Flash Fiction, Reflections, Writing Life | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments