Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Wondrous Words


Title Mango Seedling

1.On one ever recurring dot of cocoyam....

2.Cocoyam is a common name for several tropical root vegetables and may refer to:
  • Taro (Colocasia esculenta) - old cocoyam
  • Malanga (Xanthosoma spp.) - new cocoyam

On seed yams, prodigally. wastefully or recklessly extravagant:




 I finished The Spark And The Drive by Wayne Harrison. Also finished,Sister Betty Says I Do by Pat G'orge Walker. Now I'm reading When Camels Fly by NLB Horton. Next, I want to finish The Ocean At The End Of The Lane by Neil Gaiman.
Next, I would like to continue The Gold Finch by Donna Tartt
and Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

Monday, July 28, 2014

First Chapter First Paragraph

"You risk everything by killing her." The Israeli voice outside Maggie's rent rattled with age. 
"How much do you thin she knows?" The second speaker sounded young, his diction precisely well educated. Based on her work in the region, she thought his accent was Lebanese or Jordanian. He was not the same caste as the Bedouin guard who communicated with a grunt, and leared and cleaned his pistol across from her now." Arabian Desert, western Jordanhttp://bibliophilebythe

Teaser Tuesday

They didn't build a fire because it could attract attention. The desert chill made them thankful for their robes. Mark was wrapped tightly, and pulled the dense wool closer. "You take the first shift, I'll take the second. I want to be in the market by five thirty." He wiggled a small rock from the wall. "Peep hole, in case of visitors. Make it five."
Visitors were unlikely because the terrain was rugged and off the beaten path, and showed no sign of recent traffic when they had approached two hours earlier."

Saturday, July 26, 2014

THE SPARK AND THE DRIVE A NOVEL WAYNE HARRISON (Courtesy copy of www.stmartinspress)

When I first received this novel in the mail, I thought it would be all about mechanics and car repair. My reaction proves it's not always possible to really know a book until you open it and start reading a bit. The Spark And The Drive by Wayne Harrison is about more than I could ever imagine. I would say Mr. Harrison deals with the nuts and bolts of life experiences. In this instance, the novel mainly is about a couple's struggles to deal with the loss of a baby. Around this one event will swirl like a typhoon the lives of other people who become involved with Nick and his wife, Mary Ann.

I can't even imagine how difficult it is to lose a child. I only have heard or read the experiences of  other people in my life or characters in books. Nick and Mary Ann grieve in different ways. Perhaps, men and women always grieve differently. I don't know. Anyway, their grief separates them one from another. Their marriage is now on dangerous ground. It's very easy to know Mary Ann has suffered a loss. She can cry with just one touch on the arm or seeing a park scene can make her feel all tender inside. Anything can send her back to that awful day in her past. 

While Nick seems not to care at all. He goes on working hard on his cars in the shop. Talking with the guys. With all of his conversations, he never talks about that day when his world began to fall apart. There is one way you might know Nick is suffering a loss. It is by watching his general work habits. How well is he doing his repair work? Nick makes mistakes while fixing cars. Many cars are brought back by their owners. These are do overs. One day he left a screwdriver embedded inside a car. At another time, a man is injured in the shop. Nick's decision about what hospital should tend the customer are questioned. The reason or reasons lead back to the fateful day of loss. I began to think if only Nick could share his pain with someone. However, that's not easy for all of us.

So the basic lesson is repeated in a creative way by the author, Wayne Harrison. Each person grieves in their personal way. It is wrong to judge a person by how many tears they cry or don't cry. The saddest person might be like Nick, very quiet and not talking about the horrible experience. Coping mechanisms are just different.  I've always heard it said, the saddest person in the world is the clown.

It was a heavy lesson for me to learn that the grief of the main family members can lead other people to make bad, bad mistakes. Justin is nineteen years old. He works as a mechanic at Nick's shop while Mary Ann works out front helping the customers voice their car problems, etc. Somehow Nick becomes deeply involved in the problems of Nick and Mary Ann. Mary Ann is very vulnerable. She can't talk to Nick. Her family lives in Oregon. She lives in Westbury, Connecticut. She's stuck with a silence that is too much to bear. 

Nick and Mary Ann's typhoon will pick up other people and hurt them or not hurt them. The friends who get involved become like the houses and trucks picked up in a dangerous storm. Just as quickly as they are picked up, some of those same people will be dropped. Throughout the novel, The Spark And The Drive, it is fascinating to see who is really helping the couple, who isn't helping the couple and how Mary Ann and Nick are hurting themselves by not getting help or at least, talking to someone.  Mary Ann's family isn't met until almost the end of the novel.

Now I know how important my reaction is during another person's period of pain. I can make their problem. It is also possible to become a blessing to them. One day Mary Ann turns to Justin and says, "you're nineteen." Was that Justin's problem, his age? Was it not his age? Was it something other than his age? After all, he had his struggles at home. His father chooses a new lifestyle and leaves the family. His mother is drinking heavily, and his little sister is too little to really understand what's happening in her world. 

The novel is psychologically masterful in its presentation. I'm so glad to have gone pass the title and book cover. The places where cars are written about were easy for me to just wonder over and go on with the meat of the novel.

At the top of the cover of the novel, Richard Russo, another wonderful author, writes "There's nothing I enjoy more than entering a fictional world over which an author demonstrates complete mastery. That's exactly what Wayne Harrison offers his lucky readers in The Spark and the Drive."

The Spark And The Drive by Wayne Harrison

"Sometimes I'd go to the great gothic campus downtown and look at the Gutenberg Bible, one of only forty eight in existence, or  Van Gogh's Night Cafe, which he gave his landlord in lieu of rent, now worth upwards of fifty million, according to the catalog."

Friday, July 25, 2014

Sister Betty Says I Do by Pat G'orge Walker

The main characters this time around in Sister Betty says I do are Freddie Noel and Sister Betty. Yes, the church bells are suppose to ring for their wedding. However, every obstacle in the world seems to show up. It's as if that ole devil doesn't want these two lovebirds to tie the knot.  Not only does the devil want to stop a wedding, he wants to dirty the name of the finest pastor ever, Reverend Leotis. Surprisingly or not surprisingly, Reverend Leotis seems to need a woman companion. He's looking too. The two ladies who have their eyes on him are Sister Ima and Sharvon. Sister Ima does a Holy dance one Sunday in church. Her holly rolling body says more than any altar call should say or show. I hope in the next novel Pat G'orge Walker  picks up with Reverend Leotis' roving eye. I also can't wait to read again about Freddie and Sister Betty. I think Sister Betty will make a fine First Lady, but you never know. As the novel explains, it's not easy being the wife of a minister whether it's a mega church or a small church.

It's easily seen this novel is about more than romantic matches. It's also about friendship and family. Thurgood and his wife Delilah come to town because of their relationship counseling skills. They are deeply concerned about all the problems Brother Freddie and Sister Betty are experiencing. They are quick to give their advice. Their marriage is a testament to the fact that love relationships can work. This novel is also about keeping secrets. The waters toss and turn like a stormy sea when Sharvon knows this, and should she tell. Then, there are secrets from Sister Betty. All of these secret holders cause a real tizzy of topsy turvy going ons.

There is Sharvon. She is Sister's Betty relative. She stays with Sister Betty while trying to help iron out the difficulties that arise. However, it's not long before she is part of the problem. At one point Sister Betty almost loses her religion. This is unbelievable because Sister Betty is one of the finest Christians a person would want to meet. She is a prayer warrior. Plus, she always talks about the power of the LORD. He is able always, as far as she's concerned.

Sister Betty Says I do by Pat G'orge Walker proves that none of us are above temptation. Though temptation may come whom will we answer? That ole Satan or the LORD? I came away from the novel grateful to relearn that life is tough. The Christian life is not a piece of cake or a walk down the kat walk. We are all imperfect beings striving to do good. It seems a lot of the backsliders are sitting right in the pews of Reverend Leotis' church. That's alright. As Sister Betty might say, it's all in HIS hands. So will Sister Betty say I do in peace, or will it be like Hell has arrived on earth?