October Newsletter: Of Black Dogs

Of Black Dogs

Glenda Bonham


Did you see it? That darting movement from the corner of your eye? Was it real? Of course, it was. Why do we always try to deny it? Why do we rationalize it to be a shadow or something else we understand?

This is the time of the thinning of the veil; from the last of the Dog Days of Summer until All Souls Day. It comes like clockwork each autumn. We even celebrate All Hallows Eve, but deny our own eyes. The veil between the living and the dead is thinning as you read this. The other side is moving closer to us – accept it.

It starts with a small shadow from the side of your vision that vanishes before you can focus on it. You always do a double-take, but can’t see it clearly. Those are the Black Dogs running through the veil.

Sometimes in the hush of your own home, you can hear the faint scratching of their nails on hard surfaces. Yes, they are very much around you this time of year. Have you ever caught a slight glimpse of a dark dog curled up on your sofa, or in a chair? Of course, it really is there; the veil slipped for a split second. Have you felt a light brush of something on your arm and felt the hair stand up? Your hair was reacting to an energy force you can’t see. It means a Black Dog is near.

Black dogs are often associated with lonely stretches of road, crossroads, churches, and places people have been executed. They’re most clearly seen near water, by night. No one knows why. Folklore for centuries has been filled with tales of the Black Dogs. Paranormal research pioneers have just started proving the coming of Black Dogs in autumn. Some paranormal theorists say these are spirits of your own pets returning for a visit.

Have you been visited by a Black Dog before?

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October Newsletter Poetry Corner: Amped Up 80s

Amped Up 80s

Savannah Lacy


We amped up the 80s with John Lennon,

Sent the first women into space

And we Don’t Stop Believin’.

Madonna starts her career

And we have no fear;

Not with our high-waisted jeans

And fishnet sleeves.

We watched Back to the Future

With Michael J. Fox

On boxy TVs wearing striped socks

We found the Titanic

And everyone went frantic

Finally, “The Simpsons” debuts,

A show of people with yellow hues.


(Savannah’s poem is featured in the upcoming Children’s Edition of The Best of Critique Café.)

Fun Tidbits and Facts

October Newsletter Fun Tidbits and Facts

Coming Soon!

The Best of Critique Café Volume 8 Children’s Edition

Featuring Children’s Stories for all ages. Cover Art provided by the winner of our Cover Art Contest, soon to be revealed.

Book Launch November 18 at
Fort Stockton Public Library 6:00 P.M.


Things Heard at Meeting

“I would think her anatomy would be much more sensational in the jitterbug, more than running to the school bus.”

“Why didn’t I think of that!?”

“I don’t have much brain after 6:00.”

“If the world were flat, cats would have knocked everything off by now.”


Mission Statement – The mission of Critique Café Chatter is to spotlight the talents and writing efforts of the mem- bers of Critique Café Fort Stockton Area Writers Group. Contributing members of this newsletter hope to reach out to others within the community who enjoy creative writing and the literary arts. In the spirit of our sponsor H. Edward Petsch Arts and Music Memorial Fund, we are striving to stimulate the arts within the Fort Stockton, TX area.





October Newsletter Writers/Readers Quick Snack: Rolo Stuffed Ritz Crackers

Rolo Stuffed Ritz Crackers

10 Rolo Candies

20 Ritz Crackers

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Place half of the Ritz crackers on a baking sheet face side down, and top each one with a Rolo candy. Bake for 3-5 minutes, until chocolate is soft and not melted.

Remove from the oven and immediately top with remaining crackers, and press down to create a sandwich. Cool completely. Once cool, store in an air-tight bag or container.

Glenda Bonham

( Glenda brought these to meeting and they were scrumptious!)

Book Review

October Newsletter: Atonement book review

atonementAtonement by Ian McEwan
A book review by Richard McGee

I have been reading novels selected to Best Lists.

Atonement was listed as one of the best novels written in the 20th century and was nominated for several awards.

Atonement is the story of a thirteen-year-old girl, Briony, that is a witness to a crime and falsely accuses a young man, the boyfriend of her older sister. Her testimony leads to his conviction and incarceration and it alienates the sister from the family. As Briony grows into adulthood, she realizes the error of her testimony and the story evolves into her attempt to correct her wrong.

This is not a simple read. The author delves into extensive details of the life of Briony so that some scenes may remind you of the painstaking detail in Virginia Wolfe’s “Mrs. Dalloway”. I first read about a fourth of this book before setting it down for several months. When I picked it back up, I began again at the first and am glad I finished it.

The story began slowly but hooked me so that I could hardly lay it down to sleep at night. The big plot turns in the story pulled me toward the end. When I started this book, I wanted to watch the movie it inspired after I read it; but after reading the book, I no longer desire to see the movie. The author does such a great job of taking us into Briony’s thoughts, that I am certain a movie will disappoint in comparison. I recommend this book as an excellent read.