Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Wondrous Words
1. existentialism
A philosophy that emphasizes the uniqueness and isolation of the individual experience in a hostile or indifferent universe, regards human existence as unexplainable, and stresses freedom of choice and responsibility for the consequences of one's acts.

He believed in existentialism. It was his way of life during the seventies. 

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Mailbox Monday


Thank you to Harper Collins for Resolved by Lina Abujamra and Wilde Lake by Laura Lippman from Baker Publishing House.

Wilde Lake by Laura Lippman

Laura Lippman in Wilde Lake brings us to Two Americas. One America has become historically famous. Most well known when it is sung by Billie Holiday. The song is titled "Strange Fruit." I heard my parents talk about it and other friends down through time. I tried to listen to it for the first time tonight. I couldn't do it. It's heartbreaking what Black men have suffered down through the ages here at home in America. I will listen to the rest of the song at a later time.

Thank goodness Laura Lippman gave a look at the other America. Because I am not fully equipped tonight to write about That America I will focus on the other one where Davey sings "This lovely land is mine. This lovely land is mine. This lovely land is mine..." As the song reached its climax, a scrim depicting the Tree of Life fell and somehow it seemed as if the chorus had become a living, breathing Tree of Life.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Friday 56

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"Madeleine had spent her life collecting arts of healing. It gave her a profound sense of satisfaction to have discovered that whatever else making love may be, it is also good medicine. She chased the terrors that stalk by night clean out of his head."

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Book Beginnings

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A Murder is Announced by Simon Brett

"There were so many subjects off-limits that conversation in the presence of the Dowager Duchess of Faughstrayne was always a rather tense business, as the guests at that weekend house-party at Castle Crawsbey soon found out."

A weekend house-party in a castle, I can't imagine. Even though I hate tension in the air I wonder what the guests are talking about.


Monday, May 16, 2016

Feeling The Weight Of Lightness

"It is impossible to inhale new air until you exhale the old."  Oh my, this is difficult for me. The past gets up with me every morning and stays with me throughout the day. There are days when I find myself holding my cat like a baby. I rock her back and forth. I pretend she is one of my children or grandchildren who have become reborn. Then, I shake myself. No matter how beautiful the experience it is impossible to bring back what has gone. I become humbled like a slave before his master or like a Feudal slave before a king.

I must give Time  to God. I must bring this part of my pain before His throne and leave it there. His way is so simple and filled with infinite stars of love. He will enable me to pick up today and my tomorrows and allow me to start all over again. I am like the sea. I am free. I roll back and forth like a sea wave knowing my burden has been lightened by one who will love me
Matthew 11:30

Friday, May 13, 2016

I Have A Voice by Tyler Williams

This is an inspiring non-fiction book about the importance of having a passion. I feel the title especially the word "voice" is important. "I have a voice" means I have a reason to live now.
Because it's been difficult for me to find my purpose I handle each book written about purpose carefully. My life meaning is like God's personal voice speaking to me about how I can please Him and myself. He cares. He wants me to feel happy. I am thankful Tyler Williams book "I Have A Voice" is written simply and practically.

The author writes about his endeavors without leaving out the hard times. He made mistakes along the way. He says these moments of failure are really his teachers as he walks to success. He has been a NASCAR driver, he has been on stage as an entertainer, and he is a speaker and a singer. He shares many personal examples about his life choices. Before each chapter there are quotations. I would like to end with this one. "If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead, either write something worth reading or do something worth writing." This is in a chapter titled "Leave A Legacy." I hope this quote will stick firmly in my mind. It is a fine definition of legacy. I am grateful to The Cadence Group for a copy of this book.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016


I know, I know! It's only a one line quote. I couldn't resist it. Honesty, truth, it's all here. What is it saying to me and maybe to you?

                                         "I didn't run away, I walked away by..."

A Stronger Woman Than I

Oh boy, what a hard time I'm having here. I would like to do more Bible study. I am no different from most of us, free time is hard to find. When I have free time, I might end up reading a novel, looking at patterns for stitching or just daydreaming. However, I am inspired by Sojourner Truth this morning. I am reading her Slave narrative. All slave narratives are poignant. The one I am presently reading always seems like the most perfect one, the one that meets my needs.

Without reading the narrative, Sojourner Truth's name alone speaks loudly to me. I look at her face and think of character. Doesn't it look like honesty? Truth, is written all over her face? She's fully clothed in it just like the apron worn around her waist. In prayer, I ask Sojourner Truth to take me on a Faith journey today and tomorrow and... Make me a bit stronger in my many weak places, Lord. Like you did and continue to do in each life.

Monday, May 9, 2016

I Have A Voice by Tyler Williams

Reading Tyler Williams' I Have A Voice. "Story," I hear that word or read it so often from different sources. What does it mean? It's very significant. I feel it's too big, the meaning, for me to capture. It alludes me like a butterfly. I'm going to spend time resting with the word "story." It's a surreal word, like a dream. If I can imagine, boundaries become boundless.

Everyday Use by Alice Walker

I'm still thinking about Maggie and Dee in the short story Everyday Use by Alice Walker. Which sister, Maggie or Dee, is more complicated? Are they equally complicated or not complicated at all. This sentence from the story is hard to unravel. Here it is: "She looked at her sister with something like fear, but she wasn't mad at her. This was Maggie's portion. This was the way she knew God to work."

Don't Come In~

My thoughts are poisoned with Ivy.
Tangled and dark on a forest floor
In China.
Hunted and searched by day and
By night.
Dyed ebony sewn with tears.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Have A Blessed Mother's Day~

I know, I can't help it. I'm reading again Everyday Use by Alice Walker. I love the women in this short story. There are two sisters. I'm definitely not Dee. The world seems made just for her. It bows at her feet while Maggie is more unsure of herself. And Mom is strong and able at the hardest of times. Sometimes life is hard for women. If we're strong like the mother in the story, people tend to think we don't have feelings. Our tears are just tears. Another thought is our lives are so hard everyday, another crack in our walls won't matter.

Neither of these ideas are true. Women are the same around the world. It is true that the trials in our lives are different due to geographical location and race. Still, we feel the same about the struggles we can not, at times, give voice too. Black women, women from India, women from China or Mexico and Africa are I feel like other women. When we are pushed we feel shoved and bruised like the woman who has never felt the oppression of society.

After all, a heart is a heart. There is a book written by Dr. Maya Angelou that comes to mind, "The Heart Of The Matter." That was one woman who understood women from all walks of life. And many, many women from different cultures understood her and read her poems and autobiographies. When she died, the world cried. Today, on this Mother's Day I want to think of my role models, the young ones and the older ones. I want to remember those who have died and those who are still with us. Those women like Toni Morrison, Shirley Chisholm and Mother Teresa who are my role models throughout the year.

Yes, there are names not named here. That's because our world is rich with wise women. Women who just give because they want all women to have the chance at a good life. Women who act in place of mothers who have passed away, gone home to God. Thank you to all these Mothers. I think of my mother and grandmother, step grandmother and the ones I've never met. The ones I would like to meet, and the young ones like Malala who seemed to have been born from the womb fighting. Thank you. I hope your day is blessed.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

It's Short Story Month, And I'm So Excited

I like short stories. So, I look forward to arrival of Short Story Month in May. There are so many short stories written in America and around the world. It's hard to pick from so many choices. Plus, I'm still enjoying Poetry month and will continue to do so until April is long gone.  So, I have picked two stories. The stories are from anthologies: One is Black Eyed Susans Midnight Birds by Mary Helen Washington and the other anthology is Flannery O'Connor A Good Man is Hard to Find.

One anthology is by a short story author I've never read. His name is Dana Crum. The title of the short story is "My Heavenly Father." It's all about a second grader in church with his grandmother. The setting is Alabama. His thoughts are so much like any second grader. He notices everything down to his shiny corduroy pants, the church ladies hallelujahs and their feathered and colorful hats. He also thinks seriously about his parents' marriage, separation and the new addition to the family. The story makes me think about children and their feelings and thoughts. Their innocence is really wisdom I can use. No wonder one scripture is about the importance of adults becoming like little children again.

Short story number two is  "A Good Man Is Hard To Find And Other Stories" by Flannery O'Connor. I've always wanted to read more short stories by Flannery O'Connor. Why? Because I like to celebrate Southern writers. Also, Flannery O'Connor fits my idea of an author who truly writes her life into her stories. She is a thinker about religion such as Catholicism, etc. There is also her fight with Lupus. I would like to read a biography about her. This short story certainly takes into consideration religious feelings. The story involves a serial murderer, a grandmother who strives to convert him and a family. The location is Florida and Tennessee.

I've always read or heard that short stories are harder to write than novels. I suppose it's because a writer has to pack so much into a few pages. Dana Crum and Flannery O'Connor have gotten my month off to a fun start but not a complete one. Poetry and short stories are so wonderful. I intend to read more of each throughout the year. I am grateful for Literary Annual celebrations. They help me not read one genre over and over again.

Friday, April 29, 2016

The Negro Speaks of Rivers by Langston Hughes

I’ve known rivers:
I’ve known rivers ancient as the world and older than the
     flow of human blood in human veins.

My soul has grown deep like the rivers.

I bathed in the Euphrates when dawns were young.
I built my hut near the Congo and it lulled me to sleep.
I looked upon the Nile and raised the pyramids above it.
I heard the singing of the Mississippi when Abe Lincoln 
     went down to New Orleans, and I’ve seen its muddy 
     bosom turn all golden in the sunset.

I’ve known rivers:
Ancient, dusky rivers.

My soul has grown deep like the rivers. 

Thursday, April 28, 2016

The End of Law A novel of Hitler's Germany by Therese Down

"The End of Law : A novel of Hitler's Germany, is a sad and horrible time in Germany of 1933. Families are destroyed because of Hitler's belief that his ethnic group is the master race. It is a time when the unthinkable occurs in one country. This is not the first time I've read about Hitler and The Third Reich. Since History can repeat itself, I can always learn more about this period.. Malice towards a fellow human being is a subject that no one book can cover completely. As one bit of hate is uncovered, another form appears somewhere else in the same vicinity. After reading about Ireland in  Only with Blood: A Novel of Ireland, I definitely wanted to read another novel by this author. Her blend of Christian literature with History is fascinating.

The  novel includes moments of prayer and struggle and continued love and endurance in a time of  anxiety. This is not a novel of hate for one country or people. For me, it is a cautionary tale for all mankind. Without God, we are capable of becoming wild and bloodthirsty. I am reminded of the words on our currency. "In God We Trust."

Well by Therese Down

 Therese Down is one of my favorite International Christian authors. Aware of her power to make History come alive, I had not read her poetry. This is one of her poems that spoke to my heart. One that I will read and reread once again.

John 4: 15: The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water
so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.”
An ordinary day. Wake late. Usual tomb-close gloom.
Striped split of light, stale meat stink on my tongue.
Him, still sleeping but the snoring just a goat snort now,
not the camel calls of younger hours.
I twist my hair into a snake and wind it round itself,
stoop to grasp the pitcher, grudge into sandals,
tread through dust, push the door onto more dust,
swat stares like flies. Now I only burn beneath sun.
A man is sitting on the well. It’s too early
for the up down eyes, tongue dart through bearded lips.
I smell. Haven’t washed the sweat away or him.
I just wanted water. Wasn’t planning on living forever.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Book Beginnings

"Hedda Schroeder had no reason to doubt she was content and no idea that Berlin in 1933 was becoming a very dangerous place for thinking people. Her father was extremely wealthy. Her mother wafted about their magnificent nineteenth-century house in the salubrious Tiergarten district in a state of agitation, as though she just knew she'd left something somewhere."

It's a strange time in Germany, 1933. All hell is about to break loose. People like Hedda Schroeder have no idea what will happen. Neither have they experienced what will come. So, life goes on until....This Historical novel is definitely making me think and to remember never to take peaceful times for granted.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

The Children During World War II

I have a favorite character from Everything Brave Is Forgiven by Chris Cleave. Little Zachary is one of the many children who is sent somewhere safe during the bombing and hard times of England. Sadly, Zachary loses touch with his dad and his home and must face the ugliness of racism at such an early age. Chris Cleave puts, it seems, his whole heart into this character and the other children too. Zachary is so innocent. He is Black. His new friends, white, also face a new situation. Who is this child who looks so different from themselves? Their questions to Zachary were painful for me to read. Zachary answers their questions as best as he can without a shred of anger.

Zachary's attitude might seem too goody two shoes or angelic. I don't think so. Like grown-ups all children do not face strange, new situations with anger. However, this attitude could change later as a child grows up. I don't want to give away all of my feelings or the plot in the novel. I just wanted to write about Zachary, the little boy who hasn't met with "colored" questions yet and the children who don't know how to handle "real" life yet either. Oh life! It bats us in the face almost as soon as we leave the other worldly place of our mother's womb. Theme? Innocence, I suppose.

Unfortunately,War children are still with us. The battle ground now is Ireland, Africa, Bosnia or an urban area like Chicago, New York or Philadelphia. Whether bombing or guns shot from passing cars or roving gangs why should children ever face it? It makes me want to ask the age old question 'why suffering?'

I don't know why Psalm 22 comes to mind. Jesus Christ asked "why have you forsaken me, God?" I feel powerfully strange eluding to this scripture verse. They are the Son of God's  own words during excruciating pain. Children, that's my thought, our children, in the voices of Zachary and other children, so young facing the hard question 'why are we different from one another, dad, mom?' Then, mom and dad striving to answer the question in the best way possible. Children, let's think of them in this world  where change is ever with us.

I have no articles to link. I certainly would like to and will read more information about Children of Color during World War II. This scripture has been on my mind lately.

The Gardenia by Cornelius Eady

The trouble is, you can never take
That flower from Billie’s hair.
She is always walking too fast
and try as we might,

there’s no talking her into slowing.
Don’t go down into that basement,
we’d like to scream. What will it take
to bargain her blues,

To retire that term when it comes
to her? But the grain and the cigarettes,
the narcs and the fancy-dressed boys,
the sediment in her throat.

That’s the soil those petals spring from,
Like a fist, if a fist could sing.