A Small Cornucopia for Thanksgiving

My Body the Guitar

Poems on guitars and guitarists

by Karla Linn Merrifield

Coming soon! My newest book, My Body the Guitar, will be arriving in early December from Before Your Quiet Eyes Publications Holograph Series (Rochester, NY).

“My Body the Guitar is a poetry book inspired by guitars, guitarists, and their music. In “Part I, Mere Mortal,” we follow Karla’s learning curve in poems largely spoken to her guitar in a series of “Études.” In “Part II, Local Heroes,” she honors the master guitarists in her inner circle, teachers, lovers, friends, online git pals, glancing encounters, her deceased brother. In “Part III, “Great Gods,” readers encounter Karla’s idiosyncratic pantheon of immortals, including Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Tom Waits, Joni Mitchell, Paul Simon, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Mark Knopfler…and one for Lindsay Buckingham, greatly influenced by your book.”

Order Information

Order information will be posted as soon as it becomes available.

In the meantime, you can reserve a signed copy of My Body the Guitar from me by sending me an email to me at klmerrifield@yahoo.com or by replying to this post. Please be sure to include your name and postal address, as well as the number of copies you’d like to reserve. The cost is $22 each (no postage added). I will put you on the book reservation list, and, they’ll arrive in time for holiday gift-giving!

The first 100 signed copies will come with a keepsake My Body the Guitar guitar pick.


New from Laury A. Egan—Wave in D Minor

And for your January reading, here’s this about Laury A. Egan’s newest book, Wave in D Minor. Readers have met Laury in The Muses’ Refugia and by now you know I’m an avid fan. I’m very much looking forward to this new novel. Laury is such an amazingly versatile writer who’s very hard to pigeonhole into traditional publishing categories. That’s part of the fun of being her fan: you never know what she’s going to come up with next. Here’s a glimse at this forthcoming book.

“Leslie Chase, a young and impoverished composer, receives a grant and use of an ocean-side Maine house from her patron so she may complete her first opera. As she struggles with loneliness and winter snowstorms, Leslie meets a handsome but troubled man, Matti, and becomes enmeshed with him and his enigmatic relationship with her benefactor. When three opera singers visit, one of them, Sasha, flirts with Leslie, evoking Leslie’s sexual ambivalence and traumatic memories of an affair between her mother and another woman that inspired her opera’s subject: the relationships of Vita Sackville-West with Violet Keppel Trefusis and Virginia Woolf. As the emotional and physical spaces between the characters compress, mysteries are forced to the surface.”

“A rich, moving novel with deep characters and a heroine who is struggling to understand herself as a woman, as a creative artist, and as a person dealing with relationship ambivalence. These interwoven, messy, beautiful lives make for great drama, with a structure that resembles an opera within an opera. As a composer, I really relate to Leslie and find much truth in her worries about deadlines, how people will react to her opera, and her fears of failure. Her passion to create a work about Virginia Woolf, Vita Sackville-West, and Violet Trefusis feels authentic, and the written lyrics make me hear music. Though the book is set in 1994, the power disparity between an older male patron and a younger female artist is especially timely. A riveting book from beginning to end!”—Jenni Brandon, composer of 3 Paderewskis: An Opera in One Act

“A thoroughly enjoyable page-turner that captures and grips the reader’s attention from the outset, with richly delineated characters and vivid on-and-offstage drama.”— Patrizia DeCarmine Conte, mezzo-soprano

Literary Wanderlust, LLC. Pub Date: January 1, 2022 / 6 x 9 inches / 208 pages. $14.99 paperback, ISBN: 978-1-942856-98-6, and $4.99 eBook, ISBN: 1942856989. Cover design by Laury A. Egan. Illustration courtesy of Shutterstock.

Signed copies of all titles available from the author. And, you can explore all her titles on her web page at http://www.lauryaegan.com/

The Guts to Talk about OCD

I am a h-u-u-u-ge fan of UK publisher Guts Publishing, a press launched in 2019. As Publisher Julianne Engles describes it, GP is “an independent publisher on a mission—to bring real stories and the people who write them to life in memoir.” And she’s done just that with the October 2021 release of Jillian Halket’s Blade in the Shadow.

Here’s what I had to say about the book in my brief Amazon review of Halket’s book:

“Guts Publishing is at it again with another gutsy, gut-wrenching memoir, this time from a young woman who suffers the horrors of a severe case of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder or OCD—“the three small initials that will come to dictate so much of my life” writes Scottish writer Jillian Halket in the opening pages of her Blade in the Shadow. What a resounding triumph she achieves with this debut book about a form of mental illness that affects as many as 12 in every 1,000 people in the UK, and 1 in 40 people in the US. Chances are you know someone who struggles with the disease. I do. And I’m grateful for Julian for teaching me—so eloquently, so bravely—about it. While it may seem like a difficult read (who wants to read about that?), it isn’t. Far from it. It’s a beautifully penned life story that is not only instructive, but ultimately healing. We emerge from this book by an “impossibly fragile” woman to find within ourselves a deeper capacity for empathy. And, during these difficult days of the Covid pandemic, I think we can all do with an added dose of true human empathy for our fellow Homo sapiens. That is Julian’s great gift to the world. I for one am deeply grateful to her.”

A few more details according to Guts Publishing’s website:  Blade in the Shadow is a coming-of-age memoir about a young Scottish woman struggling to navigate life as her obsessive compulsive disorder worsens and her mind is plagued by violent intrusive thoughts. The book follows Halket as she navigates mental illness, addiction, university, sexual assault, motor tics and her relationship with her family. Through access to treatment, she forges her identity not in spite of her disorder but in the acceptance of it and all its messiness.

The book is available from the publisher (https://www.gutspublishing.com/product-page/blade-in-the-shadow) or at Amazon (US) at https://www.amazon.com/Blade-Shadow-Jillian-Halket/dp/1838471928/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=Blade+in+the+shadow&qid=1637433465&sr=8-1

 More praise for Blade in the Shadow:

 “We need more voices like Jillian Halket’s in conversations around mental health in Scotland.” — Elsa Maishman, The Scotsman

 “In The Art of Memoir, Mary Karr wrote: ‘In some ways, writing a memoir is knocking yourself out with your own fist, if it’s done right.’ By this measure, Jillian Halket’s debut memoir, Blade in the Shadow, has surely been done right.” – Ann Rawson, author of The Witch House. Read the full review here

 “A testament to the power of naming what you are and a wrenching portrayal of the mind in all of its colours.” — Jessica Andrews, author of Saltwater (Portico Prize 2020)

 “The writing is fresh, frank and fearless and I highly recommend it.” — Catherine Simpson, author of TrueStory and When I Had a Little Sister

Move Over Frosty the Snowman

In the works for December is a new playlist intended to break the monotony of the ubiquitous pablum of holiday tunes that started hitting the airwaves and PA systems earlier this month. We can’t seem to escape the grating repetition of “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” and the like. Not I! Hence a playlist to help us endure what I think of as seasonal musical torture. Here’s a random selection, a taste of things to come:

Joe Cocker/Jennifer Warnes – “Up Where We Belong”


See you in two weeks. Meanwhile…. Coming up on the horizon? The “Anti-Jingle-Bells Playlist” “Love People, Cook Them Tasty Food”—a foodie post!; “Visit to a Blues Guitar Luthier’s Studio;” and “The UK Comes to FL—A Visit with Julie Holmes.”

Happy Thanksgiving to all.

6 thoughts on “A Small Cornucopia for Thanksgiving

  1. You did it!  Glad that it is on schedule.
    We haven’t heard from you in a while…so…hope all is well.  Not doing
    too many laps in the pool, are you?
    We plan to stay here and go to Kristen’s for Thanksgiving instead of our
    usual 25+ years of traveling to Hamburg, NY for the annual
    event–staying safe before the trek to Cleveland in only nine days. 
    Jacquie and I are ready!  Masked Bill and I went to Wegmans today,
    mainly for me to get the shingles shot and get some groceries.

    Nothing exciting here, how about in N. Fort Myers???



    1. Hanne! I’ve been thinking about you! I’ll try to give a call this afternoon for a visit! Miss you both! But the production side of My Body the Guitar has been rough. More to come. XO, Karla


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