OUR CURRENTLY FEATURED BOOK IS “THE RIVER CAUGHT SUNLIGHT,” BY KATIE ANDRASKI. YOU CAN FIND IT BY SCROLLING DOWN DIRECTLY BENEATH THIS POST.
UPCOMING ON SNOWFLAKES, JUNE 9th and 12th.
JUNE 9: “What to do About Mama,” by Barbara Trainin Blank (with Barbara Matthews).
I’m always looking for a change of pace in our mix, and this book is definitely timely. Advances in medicine have led to much longer lives, which should be a good thing. The downside, however, is that many people now outlive the point of being able to take care of themselves, leaving their families to pick up the often considerable slack. In a worse case scenario, that “family” is reduced to a single caregiver, often someone already edging into early old age. Then there’s the “sandwich generation” phenomenon, where younger caregivers are forced to juggle the needs of older parents and their own children — or grandchildren.
This is no revelation, of course. Hundreds of thousands of people not only know about it, but are living it. What makes this book different is that its wisdom is delivered not from a lofty medical perspective or a college professor’s lectern, but from the trenches. The stories you’ll read from caregivers about their experiences are honest portrayals of the joys and the heartaches of becoming and remaining the lifeline for another person.
Moreover, both lead writer Barbara Trainin Blank and co-author Barbara Matthews have been in those “trenches” themselves.
June 12: Turnstiles, by Andrea Raine.
Our first Canadian author, Victoria’s Andrea Raine, shares something in common with Katie Andraski, whose book is currently featured. Both were prolific and widely published poets before turning to fiction.
But while Andraski stayed close to home with a book that was part fiction and part memoir, Raine lets her imagination wander.
Her main characters in “Turnstiles” are a prostitute, a homeless man and a misogynist. Her gift is that she presents these individuals not as aberrations on the far outskirts of society, but people who despite their flaws are ultimately quite human.
Says Raine: “I enjoy stories that are character driven, where the reader can witness an internal change happening, and then everything else changes. These characters are transient, and — either by choice or by force — they each leave their comfort zone at some point in their journey.”
“Turnstiles” makes you care about those people. And as a bonus, the prose is as lyrical and imaginative as you might expect from a poet.
Melinda Inman, whose novel “Fallen” will be a Snowflakes feature later this summer, is the first of our writers — as far as I know — to plunge into the brave new world of crowd-sourcing.
And quite successfully, at least so far. Melinda has set a goal of roughly $5,750 to help defray the cost of publishing her book, and in just a week has raised almost one-fifth of that.
We’re always looking for different takes on old subjects, and “Fallen” takes perhaps the oldest story of all — Adam and Eve — and turns it into a novel.
If you visit Melinda’s Website at melindainman.com, you can read more about “Fallen” and how her Kickstarter campaign works. She is offering various incentives to encourage donations, and this would probably be of interest to any writer contemplating that path.
However, to flipflop a current cliche, Kickstarter campaigns are sprints, not marathons. Melinda has only until June 30th to raise her money.