An Undersea Book of Hours
The book is composed of a series of poems, one for each hour of the day, each tied to a picture of an undersea animal. The marine creatures are almost all memories from seven years of happily snorkeling the beautiful waters of the Philippine Islands, where I lived and taught, 1995-2002. Most of the poems also have the same number of lines at the hour they describe; e.g., two bells, in nautical time, has two lines.
The original impetus for the project was to produce it in the Philippines in conjunction with my international school and to donate the proceeds to ocean protection groups such as the Philippine Coral Reef Society, and Ocean Conservancy. Sadly, we left the Philippines for Chad, Africa, before the project could jell. However, I still plan to donate a portion of the proceeds to various marine protection organizations. The paintings for each sea creature were done by art students of my artist friend Marion, at the school where we both taught. Ben Lawless, of local Penciled in Press, was able to beautifully reproduce the happy colors and designs the students created. He also formatted the book in a rainbow of sea and sky colors. At a time when so many of us are stuck indoors for long periods, Undersea Hours offers a window on a lovely and slightly mysterious part of the natural world – the beauty that lies under waves like those we see from our own Central Coast shores. Older children and whimsical adults will enjoy the wordplay in the poems and all will respond to the bright illustrations. Undersea Book of Hours is available on Amazon, as well as at local bookstores.
About Lani C Steele (San Luis Obispo, California Author)
The short mystery fiction of Lani Steele has been published in Red Herring Mystery Magazine, Mystery Weekly, and in several volumes of Central Coast Sisters in Crime anthologies. Absence is No Alibi is written as the first in a proposed series featuring Ross Talbot, a school counselor / amateur detective, and his wife Carole, who writes mysteries and meddles in his investigations. The story is set in the early 1990’s in several towns along California’s scenic Central Coast, which was at that time far less developed than it is today.
Steele’s other publications include two stand-alone volumes of poetry, CROWDED WITH GHOSTS, about Native American themes and history, and A PLAGUE OF ANGELS, exploring some off-center angelic personas. Her work has been included in many poetry anthologies, and her poetry, fiction, and non-fiction features and travel articles have been published in local and national magazines. She has served as editor of several poetry collections, and was a founding member of the Central Coast Sisters in Crime Chapter.
Steele, recently retired, was an educator at elementary, secondary, and college level, serving for over 25 years as an instructor and teacher-trainer in the Education Department at Cal Poly. She was also the head of English Department at Brent International School, Manila, teaching higher level world literature in the International Baccalaureate program. She lives in Los Osos, California, with her husband Gary Mickle. They have four children who are far-flung around the globe, feeding the couple’s travel addiction nicely.