Blacktip Island Weather
Sunday, September 20, 2020
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Air Quality Excellent
Tim W. Jackson’s latest humor novel, The Secret of Rosalita Flats, was released this morning. (cover art courtesy of Ebook Launch)
Local award-winning author Tim W. Jackson today released his second Blacktip Island novel, The Secret of Rosalita Flats, via all major book distributors, his personal website and Cracked Spines, the small Caribbean island’s independent bookstore.
According to the publisher, ‘The Secret of Roslita Flats follows a man trying to sell a football-shaped house he inherited, while dodging Blacktip Island’s quirky collection of con artists, smugglers and ne’er-do-wells. There’s also the matter of sharks showing up every time he gets in the water. If he can’t figure out what his dad was mixed up in, he may be stuck on the little rock forever.’
“It’s a comic mystery for anyone who’s ever dreamed of chucking it all and running off to the Caribbean,” Jackson said. “If Northern Exposure knocked up Margaritaville, their kid would be The Secret of Roslita Flats.”
Early reviewers praised the novel.
The Manhattan Book Review said, “The Secret of Rosalita Flats is a humorous, slow-burn mystery that will consume the reader. The dialogue is sharp and clever, the action timely.” Reader Views said, “From the first few sentences, Jackson’s sense of humor hooks you, and you know it’s going to be a fun ride.”
Local reaction was less glowing.
“He’s got some nerve, calling us ne’er-do-wells,” divemaster Alison Diesel said. “He’s the quirky one. Because of him, the whole world thinks we’re a bunch bat-shit yahoos. It’s totally bogus, him keeping on writing smack about us.”
Others were more pointed.
“I’m gonna release that book. Right upside his head,” Dermott Bottoms said. “Warned him about writing another one, making me look bad, but he didn’t listen. This time, he’s gonna look bad after I’m finished with him.”
The novel’s first chapter is available as a free download via The Blacktip Times and on Jackson’s website.
The Secret of Rosalita Flats is available for purchase at:
Jackson will host a launch party tonight at Eagle Ray Cove, with free drinks and music by island supergroup Qu’Est-Ce Que F*ck Que C’est, formed this week by former members of Blacktip Island bands The Social Morays, TURTLE!!! And Young Jacques and the Double Hose.
A portion of the proceeds from all Blacktip Island novel and short story sales goes to the Coral Reef Alliance.
And some days the dolphins are a-holes. Happy Wednesday from Blacktip Island!
Sunday, September 13, 2020
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Air Quality Excellent
Greetings from Blacktip Island!
Blacktip Island’s Heritage House has been transformed into a traditional Noh stage for the Blacktip Island Community Players’ weekend performances of classical Japanese dance-drama. (photo courtesy of Doris Blenny)
The Blacktip Island Community Players this weekend will stage the Caribbean island’s first Noh performances, with all actors wearing modified public-health-mandated facemasks, organizers said.
“The island needs a pick-me-up, and we thought, since no one here can travel, something from the other side of the world would be perfect,” BICP director Doris Blenny said. “I’ve always been a bit of a Japanophile, and everyone having to wear masks put me in mind of classical Japanese dance-drama.
“My brain said ‘Kabuki,’ but my heart said ‘Noh,’” Blenny said. “Noh plays tend to be about ordinary, everyday people, like Blacktippers. We’re staging a mix of traditional stories and some we tweaked a bit to be island-specific.”
BICP volunteers say the COVID-mask requirement caused some acting hiccups.
“Traditional wooden facemasks play a huge role in Noh theater,” Helen Maples said. “We’ve gussying up our sanitary face masks so the actors can portray a suitable emotional range. We did our best to decorate the masks in a classic, 17th-Century style to make them integral parts of the costume, not just modern add-ons.
“We’re keeping the final versions under wraps until our first show, but I can say the sanitary masks were imported directly from Japanese suppliers, so it’ll have that added level of authenticity. And the actors have been working on conveying emotions with extra-stylized body language and gestures.”
Actors say the use of COVID masks isn’t a burden.
“You don’t see the actors’ faces in Noh anyway, so it’s not that much of a jump,” Jerrod Ephesians said. “That pushes us, as actors, to stretch our abilities. And the staging is minimalistic, so the focus is really on the performers.”
Organizers say the performance will a shortened version of classical Noh structure.
“Traditionally, you’d have five Noh pieces, with shorter, comic kyōgen pieces in between, but we weren’t sure Blacktippers’d have the patience for that,” Blenny said. “Instead, we’re doing an abbreviated program of two Noh plays separated by one kyōgen piece.
“We’re starting with a traditional genzai Noh with human characters and events and a linear timeline,” Blenny said. “Then the kyōgen will be the crowd favorite “Persimmon Mountain Hermit,” with a Blacktip flair, followed by a mugen Noh with supernatural creatures and spirits, and time spooling around in a quite non-liner fashion.”
Many in the cast are looking forward to how the performances will be received.
“I can’t wait to see the audience’s reaction to our masks,” Marina DeLow said. “Doing this in COVID masks really makes a statement. Of what, we’re not sure. But it’s definitely a statement.”
Performances will be Friday and Saturday nights for the rest of September in the island’s Heritage House.
Sunday, September 6, 2020
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Air Quality Excellent
Wish you were here!
Blacktip Island officials fear an island resident may be lost in the Caribbean island’s rugged interior after fleeing a barroom confrontation Wednesday night. (photo by Wade Soote)
Blacktip Island residents Wednesday launched an island-wide search for a fellow resident who ran into hiding after being accused of being a witch the night before, authorities said.
“Folks were all liquored up down at the Ballyhoo, and Cori Anders started doing slight-of-hand magic tricks,” Island Police Constable Rafe Marquette said. “A drunk-ass Dermott Bottoms thought the tricks were real, started hollering about Cori being a witch. Then Gage Hoase and Lee Helm pestered her to heal their upcoming hangovers.
“Others joined in, and next thing you know folks were yelling about tying her up or dunking her or burning her or some such,” Marquette said. “Cori laughed it all off until James Conlee tried to grab her. That’s when she bolted out the door, sped off and no one’s seen her since.”
Some residents expressed concern for Anders’ safety.
“No one’s seen her, or her ride, for a day and a half,” Alison Diesel said. “She could be hurt, or worse, somewhere inland where nobody ever goes. I get hauling ass out of there, but to stay hid for so long? She’s not just sleeping one off.”
Community leaders quickly launched a search for Anders.
“We have the island gridded out in squares, and teams of three and four are searching them methodically for any sign of Cori or her car,” Wade Soote said. “If she’s hurt somewhere, time’s of the essence. I know people’re getting punchy with the lockdown and isolation, but this isn’t like Cori.”
Others were focused on the accusations against Anders.
“Still looking to see if she really is a witch,” Dermott Bottoms said. “Always wears that pointy hat, and she’s got a long nose, y’know. She might be the one who brought this virus curse down on us. If she did, then we gotta make sure she pays. Or at least makes it go away.
“Me and James and some others, we’re beating the bush to find her, put her to the test, for the good of the island,” Bottoms said. “Gonna drop her over the side of one of the boats to see if she floats. Or sinks. I can’t remember which one it is witches do.”
Island authorities urged caution in the search efforts.
“Folks stomping off into the interior alone are gonna get hurt or lost,” Marquette said. “If people aren’t careful, we’re gonna have multiple search-and-rescue operations going on. Folks need to let me do the searching instead of running around like a bunch of fools.
“Just this morning I caught Dermott and his bunch heading into the bush with landing nets and lionfish spears,” Marquette said. “Other people were using beaters to try to drive her toward waiting rescuers. If this keeps up, Cori may never come back. And I wouldn’t blame her.”
Wednesdays are dolphin days. Courtesy of The Blacktip Times!