Garden of Ravens by Krystal Jane Ruin: An Interview

Today, we have a guest on the blog---Krystal Jane Ruin, author of the poetry collection Garden of Ravens. Look at that cover! Krystal is, of course, a dear writing friend and frequent visitor of this blog. 
1. How long have you been writing poetry and what made you decide to take that poetry put it into a collection?The oldest poems I have are from when I was around eleven. It’s really fun (i.e. cringey) and angsty kind of poetry that I wrote about a couple of celebrities and one regular dude that I had a crush on. I still have some of them, and they’re hilarious. And buried in a drawer. After all these years, I had so much lying around, I thought it would be fun to gather some into a collection. I like to read them sometimes, and it’s motivating me to do a better job of keeping up what I write.

2. I imagine the selection or editing of poems is different from editing prose. How was it different?The biggest difference for me starts with how they’re written. With poetry, it usually starts…


Hadestown was this year's Best Original Musical Tony winner--and thirty minutes after it won all of its Tonys, my friends and I were coordinating schedules and ticket prices to Hadestown.

At any rate, it's a really original musical--in musical style, in the combining of two Greek myths, in staging. I can't say I've ever seen anything like it. And it's really thought-provoking.

I'm liking this thought-provoking musical trend.

Hadestown was the third in what turned out to be a trifecta of musicals about death: Oklahoma! (which, as you may recall, left me feeling unsettled), Beetlejuice (which is about death, but is really uplifting), and now Hadestown--based on two Greek myths: Persephone and her marriage to Hades, lord of the underworld, and Orpheus and Eurydice. The musical style is jazz and folk and the set and style is sort of post-apocalytic Depression-era New Orleans.

Hermes, played by Andre De Shields, is the narrator---and he begins the show. Orpheus is pl…

2019 reading challenge


So normally, I like to do these posts in increments of 10 or 5. But I had finished reading ten books (half of my reading goal) by the end of July and August ended yesterday. It turns out I read and/or finished 5 books in August.

Which is a lot of books, when my average is about 3 books per month, if I'm reading full-out. I'm close to finishing another book today as well, but we'll leave that for the next reading challenge post!

Hoping everyone has a great Labor Day weekend here in the United States!

Here are books 11-16:

11. Mrs. Martin's Incomparable Adventure (The Worth Saga, #2.75) by Courtney Milan.  Fiction/Romance/Historical Romance/LGBT/Novella. 4 stars.

12. Music Boxes by Tonja Drecker. Fiction/Children's/Middle Grade/Fantasy. 5 stars.

13. Next Year in Havana by Chanel Cleeton. Fiction/Historical Fiction/Contemporary/Dual Timeline/Romance/Cuba. 4 stars.

14. Thirteen Years at the Russian Court: A Personal Record of the last years and death of the Tsar…

Making up royalty

As a rule, I like dead royals more than living ones. Dead royals are history. Dead royals lived in historical times of yesteryear when I feel like one family or one person ruling an entire nation or empire was more acceptable.

I need to make up one such family for my FrankenIdea.

Also as a rule, I don't actually like it when historical novels have fake royals ruling fake nation-states in them. I guess I feel like it's gimmicky. But I understand the rationale behind this; yeah, there were tons of royals ruling places in the world, but maybe the author didn't want to disturb them lol

For example, I have read books where there was a made-up Russian grand duke (I mean, there were a lot of them), several fake German princes (also, a lot of them), a couple of fictional Indian sultans and Indian princes (also, there were many)...

I need to make up an Indian royal family who gets ousted by the British in the nineteenth century and settles in England. They're sort of based on t…

Hey, whatcha reading?

I am inaugurating a new (hopefully regular, as in monthly) feature on The Sunflower's Scribbles, called Hey, whatcha reading?

I'm literally just going to ask people what they're currently reading. It's pretty simple :-)

For the first installment, I pestered my best friend Nali because she's always reading an interesting book.

1. What book are you currently reading?

I'm currently reading The Lost City of the Money God by Douglas Preston (2017, Grand Central Publishing). I usually try to alternate between non-fiction and fiction. A co-worker recommended it.

2. How far along in the book are you?

Two chapters. Thus far, it's really gripping.

3. What is the book about?

It's based on a true story about an adventure to the Honduran rainforest looking for this lost civilization. When they get back, they realized they've contracted a disease and there's a medical mystery, too. By reading this, I'm traveling vicariously. It was either this or a book abou…