Tag Archives: #NewReadersWanted

Who Can You Believe?

That’s the primary question Clifford Garstang asks in his latest novel, OLIVER’S TRAVELS. I’m a long-time fan of his work. By far, this is his best work yet. I know him to be a solid writer with a strong grasp of craft, but the complexity of this novel blew me away.

Take a philosophy major (Ollie) who questions everything, from what his parents tell him, what he observes, from his friends, and from his teachers, to a memory he has of his Uncle Scotty molesting him. As he grows older and enters college, this memory haunts him. Through a series of dreams, he’s able to identify this phantom as his father says is dead. Ollie can’t accept that, because he has no proof that his uncle is alive or dead.

These these conflicting impressions paralyze him. To deal with what he can’t understand, Ollie creates an alter ego, Oliver, who travels in search for the truth about his uncle. Are his memories real? Can he believe anyone? Can he believe himself?

Through powerful prose and vivid imagery, Garstang crafts a work that will leave you thinking long after you turn the last page.

So why did I like this story so much? Because Garstang weaves philosophy, memory, and travel into a convincing narrative about what goes on in the mind of a young man. Part coming of age, part search for the truth, part family drama, every page holds a revelation. I can’t wait for Garstang’s next work.

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Filed under Book Review, Uncategorized

What Unties Us

You read that right. It’s not a typo. I’ve been thinking about how unmoored, how unanchored, how adrift so many of us are feeling about now. Forgive the nautical metaphors. I live on a lake, so I can’t help but think about water.

Anyway, with the vast majority of us in stay-at-home lock down, it’s hard to keep connected to the outside world. Don’t get me wrong. I love being in my writer’s cave with my best friend and husband by my side, a Velcro kitty on my lap. I don’t have to go places everyday to feel fulfilled. What I need is the pretense that I have the privilege of going shopping for more than toilet paper, of having lunch with a friend, or wearing sandals as Goldie Hawn cried in “Private Benjamin.”

I have become one of the queens of Zoom. I Zoom lunches. I Zoom critique group meetings. I Zoom chats with family and friends.  What I can’t do is give or receive a hug. A real, rib-crushing hug. Virtual ones don’t hack it, no matter how well intentioned they are.

I’m amazed, though, at the ways people are finding to stay in touch. Like the group of six late teen girls who drove to a school parking lot, pulled their cars into a circle, and hung out on the hoods. Like the comedians in England who post crazy lip-sync videos all the time to help us laugh. Like the bear hunt in suburbia for teddy bears in windows. Like sidewalk chalk drawings of hope and love.

I wear my mask whenever I go to the store. I also wear it on my daily walk, not because of the virus  but because we are at peak pollen season and I like to breathe.

I figure I have about four more weeks before I shave one side of my head and put purple stripes in the rest. So, what are you doing to stay sane and healthy?

Books You Might Like

These three books are all $0.99 each. Perhaps you’ll take a chance and see if you like what I write. And Max 3, Uncharted Territory, will soon join the $0.99 club. And here’s the link to make it easier for you to find them.

Unintended Consequences https://amzn.to/2WWkONX
Eyes Without A Face https://amzn.to/2xoP9ap
Out of the Desert http://bit.ly/outofthedesert

Please help out all of your favorite writers by dropping a review on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Goodreads. We appreciate it.
Until my next post, peace out.

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Filed under #AmWriting, #GoofingAround

Finding Peace in the Time of COVID-19

We’re all doing our best to stay calm in the midst of a daily tsunami of bad news. As a writer, it’s less difficult to stay home than it is for someone who works outside the home.  I mean, writing is a very solitary sport. True, some of my friends do their best work in a crowded Starbucks where the background noise of the espresso machine provides inspiration. Others prefer fast food outlets where they can act out stubborn scenes in the parking lot without fear of arrest. We’re all weird in our own ways.

I prefer writing from my home office. Familiar setting. I can control my distractions. I can turn on or off the television. I can refocus on the words on my screen and nothing else. Except when my husband, who sits six feet away and shares the home office, needs technical support. That’s an interruption I love. At least, I can get back to where I was easily. Or not.

A Few Words About the Picture Above

My mother and I read to each other nearly every night until after I was seven. As an infant, she and my grandmother read to me. Later, when I could read more than “See Dick run,” we’d take turns. The black-and-white picture was taken when I was probably seven. Mom and I shared reading one of my favorite books, Sand Dune Pony. Along with Black Beauty, we wept over and over again.

I was sorting through one of my bookshelves when I ran across that book, along with a copy of Black Beauty which has lost its spine. I sat down to enjoy both the story of Sandy the horse and memories of the hours Mom and I shared over books.

I continue to consume books in this time of “house arrest.” I have enough to keep me occupied, so I’m peacefully reading away every night. During the day, I’m writing.

Books You Might Like

I know not all of you have read my books. I’m shocked to write that, but it’s true. So, in this time of staying safe, in this time of libraries shuttering their doors, in this time of Amazon taking longer than usual to deliver to our doorsteps, you can have instant gratification. These three books are all $0.99 each. And here are the links to make it easier for you to find them.

Unintended Consequences https://amzn.to/2WWkONX

Eyes Without A Face https://amzn.to/2xoP9ap

Out of the Desert http://bit.ly/outofthedesert

Please help out all of your favorite writers by dropping a review on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Goodreads. We appreciate it.
Until my next post, peace out.

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Filed under Uncategorized