Weather Report for June 22



June 23: “CAUGHT,” by Deirdre Thurston

This book breaks new ground with us on two counts — it’s our first book of short fiction, and the first by a writer from New Zealand.

Perhaps because I published my own first novel at a rather well-seasoned age, I have a soft spot for late blooming writers like Deirdre.

“I’ve been an observer of people my whole life,” she says, “always intrigued by the unfolding of everyday events in the lives of ordinary people. My vantage points have been from the perspective of a daughter, a sister, a wife, a mother, an aunt, a friend and a confidante. And always inside of me, from the time I was five years old,  has lurked a writer — framing my observations and cataloging them.

“At 57, I began crafting my lifetime of observations into sketches and vignettes. Two years later, I knew it was time to begin sharing my stories with the world.”

And the world is better off for it.

June 26: “30 Perfect Days: Finding Abundance in Ordinary Life.” By Claudia Taller.

Here, Claudia Taller has provided the perfect complement to CAUGHT. Both deal with ordinary life and the opportunities and disappointments it can present, but while Thurston functions as an unseen narrator, Taller’s “30 Days” is intensely personal.

Have you ever awakened one morning and declared to yourself: “From now on, starting today, my life is going to be perfect”?

Most of us say that a lot, only to be reminded over and over of the elusiveness of perfection. The message that Taller tries to impart is that even days that are flawed are important pieces in the mosaic of human existence.

The book is presented in journal form, and it is Taller’s unblinking honesty that keeps it from slipping into self indulgence. Every day during her 30-day quest, she takes dead aim at achieving an exquisitely ordered and useful life, only to see that aim often frustrated by her human failings or unforeseen circumstances. Yet those days aren’t presented as failures, just a lessons.

A prolific contributor to regional publications in Northeast Ohio (she is, among other things, an expert on Ohio wineries), Taller often holds weekend retreats that encourage writers to explore the inner workings of their own creativity.

Other things:

1. This will be the last week when only two books will be offered. Starting on June 30, we will begin to double up.

This was done out of necessity, because otherwise I would now be asking newcomers to wait until December before being featured. Still, I see far more advantages than disadvantages here. Theoretically, this will draw twice as many potential readers to the site each week, and a person stopping by because of one book may also become intrigued with the other. I don’t see how it can hurt.

2. For the Snowflakes participants who are reading this, don’t forget to tell everyone you know (and even some people you don’t know) that your book is being featured. Otherwise, we would be replicating the very problem this blog is designed to overcome — relying on random visits to draw attention to our work.

People come here because they’ve been invited, either by me or by you. And the more followers we can attract, the more credibility we’ll have, so please ask your writer friends to do that.

3. These “nutshells” belong to you as well as to the Snowflakes site, so feel free to copy and use them in any way you like — to post on your Website, to use in publicizing your book, however. I think they provide a nice little summary.

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Recently retired after 35 years with the News & Advance newspaper in Lynchburg, VA, now re-inventing myself as a novelist/nonfiction writer and writing coach in Lake George, NY.

3 thoughts on “Weather Report for June 22”

  1. At some point I’d love to put a link to Snowflakes on my website. I have no idea how to do that, so when the moment arrives I’m going to need help. I love my website but I was left with a whole bunch of that kind of maintenance work that I don’t understand. One detail at a time!! I love the summaries on the site; they are just right.


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