Welcome to Fern Valley

Here in central Alberta prime farm country,my husband Martin and I work together raising beef cattle and Appaloosa horses. Fern valley appaloosas have long been known for their quality of temperament conformation and color.I have recently rediscovered a love of writing and have published 2 collections of poetry. "Telling Tails" and Tails Trails and Campfire stories" . I look forward to a future spreading my wings as an author and as a horse woman .

Friday, 1 June 2012

Review and an uninvited guest

 When I  began the process of publishing  my new book , I was offered the opportunity to have it reviewed  by Kirkus Reviews   I was quite honestly a little hesitant , and nervous but I did eventually agree to have it reviewed. I received a copy of the review today . At first I was not sure what to think of it ,never having had a book review . I was just glad they didn't hate it ! Like I said before , gotta take a chance now and then .I think overall it is fairly positive.And at the end of the day , they are right , I did write  for me , so ...


A wholesome, innocent series of poems and photographs from the author’s farm life in the Alberta countryside.
In her second book, Sikstrom (Telling Tails, 2011) shares her reflections on life and loved ones on two legs and four.
There are poems in honor of her uncle and sister, her experience during a summer thunderstorm, light musings on
morality and tales of adventure on horseback, all generously interspersed with photos, mostly of her horses and dogs.
Both the photos and the poems are unrefined, at times jarringly so, especially when the lilting, childlike rhyme and meter
stumble. The little rhyming couplets aren’t quite rich or substantial enough to carry the writing. The pictures, however,
and the book’s layout in general, have something of a photo-booth quality, with each page fading into a crinkly, marbled
effect along the edges. The images are infused with such affection that cumulatively, a certain charm emerges. Taken as
a whole, the book becomes a kind of love song addressed to the creatures and beautiful landscape that the author so
cherishes. In general, the stories that involve a level of abstraction are the most engaging: the campfire tale of a locally
legendary cowboy or a reflection on the changing seasons. These trains of though are more relatable than the author’s
sentimental, familial musings, which are too personal to resonate outside of her immediate circle. But that may be the
point—the book seems to be more for her, and for them, than the general reading public. Through this lens, the reader
can experience tinges of the author’s joy and humanity.
An earnest, loving dedication, endearing—to the author’s home and family, at least—in its simplicity.

As to the uninvited guest,the neighbors  got peacocks a few years ago, and besides irritating me with  their terrible  calls (sounds like a child calling "Help me" they have begun to wander . I often see them in the horse pasture ,or by the garbage dumpster. These are the same folks who had been raising rabits, and turned them loose, which helped to cause a pretty bad wreck  for me and a horse a few years back . Not sure what the other  horses think of them in the pasture , mostly they ignore them . But Cactus DOES NOT  LIKE THEM ONE BIT. I am not looking forward either to

coming around the corner on a horse to meet this dude in all his glory! 
Found him sitting on Angelas truck after supper. Bold as brass , no interest in moving  even when I stepped out to take his picture . He did leave when Skeeter spied him  though !
Any how , that's whats going on here . 
Stay safe 


Shirley said...

Over all, not a bad review, we who know you love your style and the personal glimpses your poems give us. I disagree about this part:
"These trains of though are more relatable than the author’s
sentimental, familial musings, which are too personal to resonate outside of her immediate circle." I find that what you write about your family touches brings to mind some of my own family members or friends, so that even if I don't know the person you were writing about, I can relate to the sentiment of the poem.
There is some constructive criticism in the review, so it should only spur you on to keep at it.
Do peacocks taste good? Fair game, on your property..... just sayin'...

Crystal said...

Sure is s pretty peacock even if he is a nuisance.

Not a bad review, sounds like overall he kinda liked it.

Jiller said...

If they bother you to much, I hear they are great to eat...Just roast them like a turkey!


C-ingspots said...

Overall, I think your book's review is good. Very honest too, especially when coming from a stranger who is not emotionally involved. Something to take pride in Sherry! Love the peacock too!!

BrownEyed Cowgirl said...

I call dibs on his feathers!!! :-)

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

A pretty good objective review. Could have been so much worse, like you said. In the end, you have to be honest and true to yourself when writing and creating...or what's the point of it all?

Peacocks are beautiful, but loud, I agree. I don't mind their calling, though. I think I would train my horse to herd, cut and sort those peacocks. It would be fun for both of us and would give my horse courage. :)


Nuzzling Muzzles said...

My two favorite poetry books are both written by famous poets about loved ones who were struggling with cancer. They are deeply personal and only about family, but I came to care for both the authors and the people in the poems like they were my family. There's definitely nothing wrong with writing about family. It doesn't have to alienate the general public. A lot of critics also don't like metered rhyme unless it's used for humor. I think you do a fine job with the rhyming. Your style fits in well with the cowboy and cowgirl poetry scene. I also used to read a lot of Chinese poetry specifically for its simplicity, so to me, simplicity is a good thing.

Your neighbors turned their rabbits loose? Man! That's like my one neighbor who sneaked out of town in the middle of the night, left her cat behind, and we ended up having a major cat surplus in the years that followed. We had peacocks in our old neighborhood too. I know what you mean about the call.

Nicole said...

Oh goodness how pretty is he! My mom wants one of those sooooooo bad!

GoLightly said...

You know how I feel about the review. Awesome:)

Janice said...

About the only thing I'm going to say about that review is I disagree with the writer.Family makes for good stories and you write what you know ...and I for one am all for that...keep on writing cause there's a whole bunch of people in this world just like me....and we want to read it. !!!!!Nice Spots !!!!