Weather Report, Feb. 12

The Passion Thief

OUR CURRENTLY FEATURED BOOKS, “DRIVE,” BY DON TASSONE AND “HUG EVERYONE YOU KNOW,” BY ANTOINETTE MARTIN, CAN BE FOUND, ALONG WITH THE FIRST TUESDAY REPLAY, BY SCROLLING DOWN BELOW THIS POST, OR BY CLICKING THE AUTHOR’S NAME ON OUR AUTHOR PAGE.

Image result for valentines day photos free downloadIn honor of Valentine’s Day, here is a short list of Snowflakes in a Blizzard books that incorporate some aspect of romance. If you’re in the mood, and want to learn more about any one of them, you can find them on our Author’s page.

“Double Identity,” by Jaye C. Blakemore, “The Big Bang Theory,” by Lucy Jane Bledsoe; “Lisbeth,” by Marina Brown; “The Gift,” by Barbara Browning;  “Hank: A Storyteller’s Story,” by Rick Burnham; “The Burgundy Briefcase,” by Roberta Burton; “Between Nowhere and Lost,” by Alexandra Christl;  “Leaving Kent State,” by Sabrina Fedel; “Grand Slams,” by Timothy Gager;  “Picture Bride,” by C. Fong Hsiung;  “People and Peppers,” by Kevin Christopher James; “An Incredible Talent for Existing,” by Pamela Jane; “Cinnamon Girl,” by Lawrence Kessenich; “The Color of Home,” by Rich Marcello;  “End of Men,” by C.B. Murphy; “Hometown Heartache,” by M.J. Schiller;  “Enchanting the Swan,” by John Schwartz; “Heart, Soul & Rock n’ Roll,” by Janet Stafford; “Blue or Blue Skies,” by Robin Stratton; ”The Passion Thief,” by Anne McCarthy Strauss; “When Clouds Gather,” by Ryan Jo Summers; “Texas Roze,” by Iris Sweetwater; “Daffodils and Fireflies,” by Claudia J. Taller; “Just Another Sidekick,” by Tara Lynn Thompson;  “Resting Places,” by Michael White and “That One Moment,” bv Patty Wiseman.

UPCOMING ON SNOWFLAKES IN A BLIZZARD, FEB. 13-19.

“QUEEN OF SPADES,” BY MICHAEL SHOU-YUNG SHUM.

Based on the author’s experience working as a poker dealer, Queen of Spades is a modern re-telling of the classic Pushkin fable of the same name, a highly stylized tale set in a Seattle-area casino that combines elements of a Hong Kong gambling movie with literary language and a lively cast of unforgettable characters.

The three main narrative threads follow Barbara, a recovering gambler trapped in a cultish twelve-step program; Mannheim, a pit boss at the Royal Casino who discovers he has just six months to live; and Chan, a dealer obsessed with the playing style of a mysterious customer known as the Countess.

Queen of Spades invites readers into the murky realm of taking chances not just as a recreational activity but as a way of life.  The beauty and complexity of the novel lies in its unique portmanteau structure, its page-turning plot, and its insider view into the late-night card-dealer’s world, where everyone yearns for more than what they have, and where luck plays a curious, fidgety role that may—given the right card at the right moment—change everything, for better or worse.

“HAINT,” BY TERI ELLEN CROSS DAVIS.

Haint is a book of poems that touch on identity, nationality, womanhood, fertility, infertility, and so much more.

Wrote one reviewer: ”A haint is a term for the dead, but in Teri Cross Davis’ hands, Haint is a book of life. Not a book of survival, though the poet survives, not a book of reckoning, though the poet comes to terms with many things. Haint is a book of choices, and witnessing. A book of learning the bodies, territories, pleasures and sorrows. A book that constructs the irrepressible center of a soul, page by page, plank by plank. A book a reader will put down after reading and mutter yes to themselves, haunted.”

“HENRY: A Polish Swimmer’s True Story of Friendship from Auschwitz to America,” BY KATRINA SHAWVER.

When journalist Katrina Shawver met the eighty-five-year-old Henry Zguda, he possessed an exceptional memory, original documents and photos, and a knack for meeting the right people at the right time. Told in an interview format, Henry relates a life as a champion swimmer and coach, interrupted by three years imprisoned in Auschwitz and Buchenwald as a Catholic Polish political prisoner. This bridge to history is told with a pragmatic gallows humor and is supported by extensive research, original documents, and rare photos. Ultimately, HENRY is the story of a resilient young man who survives by his wits, humor, friends, and luck.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Drive

Drive by [Tassone, Don]THIS WEEK’S OTHER FEATURED BOOK, “HUG EVERYONE YOU KNOW,” BY ANTOINETTE MARTIN, CAN BE FOUND BY SCROLLING DOWN BELOW THIS POST, ALONG WITH THE FIRST TUESDAY REPLAY. OR, CLICK THE AUTHOR’S NAME ON OUR AUTHOR PAGE.

——————————————————

THE BOOK: Drive

PUBLISHED IN: September 2017

THE AUTHOR: Don Tassone

THE EDITOR: Betsy Delmonico

THE PUBLISHER: Golden Antelope Press

SUMMARY: Nick Reynolds is a highly successful food company executive. He’s also a bully, feared by his employees and estranged from his wife and children. After his latest blow-up at work, Nick’s boss orders him to take the summer off and sort himself out. Angry and despondent, Nick sets off alone from his home in Chicago for Bar Harbor, Maine.

This is the story of what Nick experiences, learns and chooses along the way. It is a colorful and moving portrait of a man who must rediscover who he is and decide whether he can go on.

Don TassoneTHE BACK STORY: In my career, I knew hundreds of men like Nick Reynolds. Seemingly successful men who struggled with society’s expectations of them and their own self-identity, who were burned out, who had lost their way. These men are everywhere. And yet there are few contemporary novels devoted to such men and those who care about them. So I wrote this book. I hope it speaks to people and serves as a reminder that, no matter our chal-lenges, there is always an opportunity for renewal.

WHY THIS TITLE: It’s a double entendre. Nick is a driven man. It is also what he does for most of the story. I also have an affinity for pithy titles.

WHY SOMEONE WOULD WANT TO READ IT:

This is what one reader posted on Amazon:

“Don Tassone’s debut novel is a spiritual guide and a cautionary tale that is perfectly tuned for the lives so many of us live today. It’s a story about choices and conse-quences, relationships and redemption, and hard-fought personal discovery. This is a truly wonderful book that accomplishes what the best literature always does: it helps us see ourselves and our world with a fresh perspective that challenges our assumptions and inspires genuine reflection. Time and time again, Drive provokes readers to pause and explore what protagonist Nick Reynolds’ journey reveals about our own lives. I finished it with a sense of fierce urgency to take stock of my own choices and ensure I’m living the life I intend to live. It’s a story that will stay with me for a long time to come. I recommend it highly. The busier you are, the more you need to make time for this nove.”

I can’t really add to that.

REVIEW COMMENTS:

“One of the biggest challenges I have with certain clients is convincing them to take a vacation from the platitudes and dogmas that have enslaved them. You’re dealing with egos and, with egos, the answer to everything is ‘more me.’ Sometimes the situation calls for less you. After years of corporate drudgery, Drive’s Nick Reynolds has finally reached the breaking point in a profit-and-loss life and goes on the lam from his own ex-istence. Tassone’s adventures in the realm of big business give him the credentials to examine a man pushed over the edge by everyday stresses. He also has the sly voice to make readers wonder how it will all end for Nick in the same manner we wonder the same thing about ourselves.” — Eric Dezenhall, author of Glass Jaw

“When I first read Don Tassone’s collection of stories, Get Back, I enjoyed them so much that I was eager to read his novel. Drive did not disappoint. Tassone has the rare ability to make the reader actually enjoy spending time with a central character who at first seems so arrogant and abrasive. That’s impressive.” — Joanna Marshall, Retired Professor of English Literature, University of Puerto Rico

AUTHOR PROFILE:  Don Tassone has a passion for the written word. He has a degree in English. After a long career in the corporate world, Don has returned to his creative writing roots. His debut short story collection, Get Back, and debut novel, Drive, were published in 2017. Don also teaches at Xavier University in Cincinnati. He and his wife Liz live in Loveland, Ohio. They have four children.

AUTHOR COMMENTS: I write to make people think and feel more deeply. I hope Drive does that.

SAMPLE CHAPTER:

LOCAL OUTLETS: Joseph-Beth Booksellers

WHERE ELSE TO BUY IT: Amazon, Barnes & Noble.

PRICE: Kindle $8.99, Paperback $17.95

CONTACT THE AUTHOR: dptassone@gmail.com

Hug Everyone You Know

Hug Everyone You Know: A Year of Community, Courage, and Cancer by [Truglio Martin, Antoinette]

Antoinette Truglio MartinTHE BOOK: Hug Everyone You Know: A Year of Community, Courage, and Cancer

PUBLISHED IN: October 2017

THE AUTHOR: Antoinette Truglio Martin

THE EDITOR: Lauren Wise

THE PUBLISHER: She Writes Press

SUMMARY: Hug Everyone You Know is a wimpy patient’s chronicle through her first year of breast cancer treatment—and how she found courage by writing and with the help of loved ones who saw her through it.

THE BACK STORY: Antoinette Martin believed herself to be a healthy and sturdy woman—that is until she received a Stage 1 breast cancer diagnosis. Cancer is scary enough for the brave, but for a wimp like Martin, it was downright terrifying. Martin had to swallow waves of nausea at the thought of her body being poisoned and frequently fainted during blood draws and infusions. To add to her terror, cancer suddenly seemed to be all around her. In the months following her diagnosis, a colleague succumbed to cancer, and five of her friends were also diagnosed.

Though tempted, Martin knew she could not hide in bed for ten months. She had a devoted husband, daughters, and a tribe of friends and relations. Along with work responsibilities, there were graduations, anniversaries, and roller derby bouts to attend, not to mention a house to sell and a summer of beach-bumming to enjoy. To harness support without scaring herself or anyone else, she journaled her experiences and began to e-mail the people who loved her—the people she called My Everyone. She kept them informed and reminded all to “hug everyone you know” at every opportunity. Reading the responses became her calming strategy. Ultimately, with the help of her community, Martin found the courage within herself to face cancer with perseverance and humor.

WHY THIS TITLE: I started fighting cancer with words, by journaling and by writing emails to Her Everyone—the large close-knit family and circle of beloved friends wanting to offer their support, especially those who were fighting breast cancer alongside her. The emails not only helped to keep Her Everyone informed, they gave cancer less of a presence in Antoinette’s life, since she wasn’t repeatedly updating people or saying the word “cancer” over and over. The practice of writing calmed her and also gave her space to focus on living: on the house that wasn’t selling, an exciting new job, daughters in college, and summer beach plans. She signed every email with the reminder to “hug everyone you know.”

WHY SOMEONE WOULD WANT TO READ IT: Hug Everyone You Know targets women, but I believe it can be a rich read for just about anyone who had been affected by cancer. I think that includes just about everyone. My story provides hope, peace and affirmation that every day is a gift and that the connections we make with family, friends, and acquaintances are precious and deserve hugs.

REVIEW COMMENTS:

“…a well-written, concise telling of what it’s like to be hit with a cancer diagnosis and the human thoughts that accompany it, like ‘how do I tell the family?’ and ‘what do I tell them?…. In five words: she writes a good story…. Martin’s persona is optimistic; you just want to hang around her and it’s that attitude that got her through. Not surprisingly, gratefulness is part of her mantra. So are hugs.”—The Suffolk County News

“Filled with fresh air, light, and life, Hug Everyone You Know is an intimate conversation with an intelligent, funny survivor. The voice rings true, and the insights resonate well beyond the cancer moment. Highly recommended.”—Joni Rodgers, New York Times bestselling author of Bald in the Land of Big Hair

“… a compelling memoir about the importance of community while navigating a life crisis such as cancer. As an oncology nurse and a cancer survivor myself, I found Martin’s writing to be a refreshingly real depiction of life as a cancer patient. Her writing is a testimony to the endurance of the human spirit, the importance of love and community, and the need for hope every day of the journey.”—Lee Ambrose, StoryCircle Book Reviews

 “Martin used journaling and emails to “My Everyone,” her group of close family and friends, to get through her diagnosis, treatment, and recovery from early-stage breast cancer….The account reveals the value of keeping a journal as a means of coping with one’s fears and acknowledges the support Martin received through sharing her experience rather than trying to shield others from her illness.”—Library Journal

 “…how does one wake up from a nightmare like Stage 1 breast cancer? For Antoinette Truglio Martin, the answer was in her community — her family, friends, and close “everyone.” In this memoir, she documents how staying connected with the people in her life helped her to find the courage to embrace her reality and to transform it into a life-giving experience….Martin writes with natural humor and readers will find a lot of encouragement and hope in her writing. This book will show readers the power of human connectivity and how sharing our experience can become an inspiring journey, not only for those who listen to us but for us who live it….a gift to receive, use and pass on. This book will give readers the strength and the inspiration to name their suffering and to triumph over it. It’s exciting, informative and, above all, entertaining.”—Christian Sia, Reader’s Favorite

 “ . . . really great.  She has a way of writing that really captured my attention and brought me into her “story”.  I felt like her best friend at the end . . . .”—Kathryn Gates-Ferris, MS, MPA, CHt, Avon Project Director

 “This is a great story: inventive, informative, and irresistibly readable. Quite an accomplishment when the subject is cancer. Brava.”―Odette Heideman, Editor, Epiphany Magazine

“This is a beautifully and honestly written account of the challenges that face women and families confronting a breast cancer diagnosis. It passionately illustrates the ability of women and their ‘Everyone’s’ to find their strength and demonstrate their love.”Karen Schmitt, MA, BSN, Director, Cancer Services Program of Manhattan New York Presbyterian Hospital, Columbia Executive Director, CARE Shared Resource Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center

“…Being in the medical field, it’s a shot of reality seeing it from the patients’ point of view, with the day-in and day-out struggles of life compounded with the diagnosis. This book brought a face to breast cancer and I feel privileged and honored that she shared it with me. I will hug everyone I know, now and forever.”—Barbara M. O’Brien RN, Director of Cancer Services Program of Staten Island, Staten Island University Hospital

“…beautifully captures the terror and anxiety—as well as the awkwardness and occasional humor—that follow a diagnosis of breast cancer, and the salvation to be found in the love and support of family and friends.”—Andrew Botsford, Editor and Visiting Professor, Stony Brook Southampton MFA in Creative Writing & Literature

“ . . . really great.  She has a way of writing that really captured my attention and brought me into her “story”.  I felt like her best friend at the end . . . .”—Kathryn Gates-Ferris, MS, MPA, CHt, Avon Project Director

AUTHOR PROFILE: Antoinette Truglio Martin is a speech therapist and special education teacher by training but is a writer at heart. She is the author of the children’s picture book,  Famous Seaweed Soup (Albert Whitman & Company) and was a visiting author in schools for several years. She was formerly a regular columnist for Parent Connection (In A Family Way) and Fire Island Tide (Beach Bumming). Personal experience essays and excerpts of her memoir were published in Bridges, Visible Ink, and The Southampton Review. Martin proudly received her MFA in creative writing and literature from Stony Brook Southampton University in 2016. As a Stage IV breast cancer patient, she does not allow cancer to dictate her life. She lives in her hometown of Sayville, NY with her husband, Matt, and is never far from My Everyone and the beaches she loves.

SAMPLE CHAPTER: http://antoinettetrugliomartin.com/chapter-1-and-so-it-begins/

WHERE ELSE TO BUY IT: Amazon

PRICE: $16.95

CONTACT THE AUTHOR: storiesserved@gmail.com

                                               www.atmartin.com

                           https://www.facebook.com/AntoinetteTruglioMartin2017/

                           https://twitter.com/StoriesServed

And be sure to hug everyone you know.

  

First Tuesday Replay, Feb. 6

THIS FEATURE HAS A TWO-FOLD PURPOSE: 1. TO ALLOW THOSE RECENTLY ADDED TO OUR FOLLOWER’S LIST TO LEARN ABOUT BOOKS THEY MIGHT HAVE MISSED AND 2. TO MAKE SURE PREVIOUSLY FEATURED AUTHORS AND THEIR WORK AREN’T FORGOTTEN. IF YOU’D LIKE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT ANY ONE OF THE BOOKS REVISITED HERE, SIMPLY CLICK ON THE “AUTHOR” PAGE, THEN ON THAT AUTHOR’S NAME.


“SHARAVOGUE,” BY NANCY BLANTON.

It is December of 1649 as England’s uncrowned king, Oliver Cromwell, leads his brutal army across Ireland to crush a violent rebellion. Elvy Burke, daughter of a great warrior, wants one thing—to live her destiny as a leader and defender of her country. As the cavalry approaches, Elvy knows she will not give up easily.

When Cromwell cruelly beheads a village boy, Elvy vows to destroy him. After fleeing from his soldiers, she aligns with a Scottish outlaw whose schemes send them headlong into a tumultuous journey across the sea to the West Indies, where she is indentured on a sugar plantation. Here she must learn to survive, to discover the depth of her own strengths and emotions, and find a way back to Ireland to confront her sworn enemy.

Sharavogue is the compelling story of one girl’s journey through the lawless lands of Ireland and the West Indies as she struggles claim her destiny.

“SHRAPNEL,” BY MARIE MANILLA

Shrapnel is a family saga exploring the legacy of war in three generations of men from the Butler family. Bing Butler, a seventy-seven-year-old, right-wing widower and World War II veteran from Texas, reluctantly moves in with his feminist, antiwar daughter in West Virginia. Here he is forced to bury painful family secrets and stifle his tendencies toward racism, classism, and homophobia. His post-9/11 anxieties equally force him to grapple with these psychological foibles, as his daughter’s only son rallies to enlist to serve overseas. Bing had once embraced such patriotic fervor, but after bullying his own son into going to Vietnam, he finds he must now muster a kind of emotional bravery he never knew he was capable of in order to keep the family together. At turns funny and at other turns frightening (and frighteningly honest), Shrapnel is surprising and ultimately greatly rewarding.

“FILL THE STADIUM,” BY K.M. DAUGHTERS

Nikki Lambert’s husband purposely stalls his truck in the path of the midnight freight on the same day her eldest son, Jack, is diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder. 

Injured NFL quarterback, Ramsey Delaney is benched from his starting position leaving him ample time for more hands-on involvement in The Good Sports Club, a community center he established where Nikki’s sons, Jack and Rocky are enrolled. 

Jack’s deteriorating motor skills concern Ram’s employees who bar Jack from attending the club without Ram’s knowledge. Nikki wants nothing but normalcy for Jack and she heatedly confronts Ram for depriving her son of a beloved activity. Ram immediately reinstates Jack forging the fateful bond between Nikki and her boys’ number-one sports hero. Ram is instantly attracted to Nikki. He wants to win her heart more than he’s ever wanted to win a game. But after her husband’s terrible abandonment will Nikki trust Ram’s motives and open her heart to love again?

“THE BOMBER,” BY DAVID O’SULLIVAN

Joseph Starling has returned from war and is trying his best to resettle into civilian life. In the midst of his struggles, anti-war protests spring up around him, and in this violence he is once again forced to face his internal conflicts. When Joseph discovers his best friend has been murdered he is offered a chance for revenge, and that revenge comes in the form of high explosive. He doesn’t feel guilty, though, he only dialed a number. Right? The Bomber is a journey of retribution and loss, set to the ticking of a very important countdown clock.

Product Details

“BEAUTIFUL APE GIRL BABY,” BY HEATHER FOWLER

Heather Fowler’s debut novel is a frisky, rip-roaring ride of a magical realist, coming of age story that explores sex and gender in ways that will have you laughing out loud. Be prepared to travel light with a somewhat murderous female protagonist en route across the country–where it’s so hard to be a strong, violent, little ape girl, looking in all the wrong places for forever kinds of love.

“LOOKING AT LIFE,” BY POLLYESTHER.

PollyEsther takes the reader on a journey through her life in short autobiographic stories about events that give evidence that her thoughts transposed into reality and affected her health and quality of life.

She takes the reader on a journey, first to Australia and the first piece of evidence that made the biggest impact to start writing, working back to her childhood, growing up in the Netherlands, her dreams and ambitions, lucky “coincidences”, her insecurities, health issues and stress. The journey covers all trials and tribulations of life, how moving to Australia made healing and learning a necessity and the numerous victories that helped her grow.

PollyEstherIn the last chapter, she concludes how looking at past events in life with hindsight can create more understanding now. She explains how to access the power that transforms current life events with small shifts in thinking. She throws in a list of powerful books that gave her inspiration and insights for anyone interested in further reading.

 

 

Weather Report, Feb. 5

highway road picture 6

 

OUR CURRENTLY FEATURED BOOKS, “LIVING REVISION,” BY ELIZABETH JARRETT ANDREW, “GUESS AND CHECK,” BY THADDEUS RUTKOWSKI AND “IN SYCAMORE HALL,” BY ALISON DANIELS, CAN BE FOUND BY SCROLLING DOWN BELOW THIS POST, OR BY CLICKING ON THE AUTHOR’S NAME ON OUR AUTHOR PAGE.

——————————————————————-

The upcoming week’s two highlighted books, “Drive,” by Don Tassone, and “Hug Everyone You Know,” by Antoinette Martin, will be the 393rd and 394th to be highlighted since Snowflakes in a Blizzard began in May of 2015.

When you consider the 30 million or so books currently listed on Amazon, that’s just a grain of sand on a beach. Nor do our 3,000 or so followers stack up all that impressively  alongside some of the behemoth blogs currently targeting writers and readers.

So Goodreads, we’re not. But that’s OK — as the sole proprietor of a free service, I’m not sure how I’d cope if I were suddenly swamped with authors wanting to be included.

That’s why I don’t do much in the way of advertising. Sure, I want Snowflakes to grow, but in a manageable way.

Nor do I make any promises about the potential benefits to writers. As I’ve said before, I compare what I do to a dating service — I can set you up with dating partners, but I can’t control what happens after that.

What makes Snowflakes in a Blizzard unique, I believe, is that each blog follower receives a separate weekly e-mail for each book that is featured.  And since many of them pass those posts along via their own social media, the weekly Snowflakes “eye count” is probably double or triple that 3,000.

I find most of our highlighted writers by rummaging through the Websites of smaller publishing houses (New York Times best-selling authors would have no need for this service) and extending an invitation to the authors of books that seem to fit our profile. Other participants come to me by word of mouth, or bearing recommendations from other writers, or from publishers who see the value of this site. I even find them on Twitter.

I’m looking for books that were considered worthy of being published, but could obviously use more exposure. If they can’t be herded into the standard genre corrals, all the better.  I gravitate toward collections of poetry and short stories as well as novels, because I feel those forms are underappreciated.

Finally, I often refer to Snowflakes in the second person, even though it has no supplemental employees. That “we” or “us” includes the writers who have been listed and the blog followers who have chosen to meet them. I have had a lot of fun doing this, been introduced to some wonderful books I would not have encountered otherwise, and maybe even helped a few authors move incrementally forward.

As I write this, by coincidence, it’s snowing.

UPCOMING ON SNOWFLAKES IN A BLIZZARD, FEB. 6-12.

“DRIVE,” BY DON TASSONE.

Nick Reynolds is a highly successful food company executive. He’s also a bully, feared by his employees and estranged from his wife and children. After his latest blow-up at work, Nick’s boss orders him to take the summer off and sort himself out. Angry and despondent, Nick sets off alone from his home in Chicago for Bar Harbor, Maine.

This is the story of what Nick experiences, learns and chooses along the way. It is a colorful and moving portrait of a man who must rediscover who he is and decide whether he can go on.

“HUG EVERYONE YOU KNOW,” BY ANTOINETTE MARTIN.

Antoinette Martin believed herself to be a healthy and sturdy woman—that is, until she received a Stage 1 breast cancer diagnosis. Cancer is scary enough for the brave, but for a wimp like Martin, it was downright terrifying. Martin had to swallow waves of nausea at the thought of her body being poisoned and frequently fainted during blood draws and infusions. To add to her terror, cancer suddenly seemed to be all around her. In the months following her diagnosis, a colleague succumbed to cancer, and five of her friends were also diagnosed.

Though tempted, Martin knew she could not hide in bed for ten months. She had a devoted husband, daughters, and a tribe of friends and relations. Along with work responsibilities, there were graduations, anniversaries, and roller derby bouts to attend, not to mention a house to sell and a summer of beach-bumming to enjoy. To harness support without scaring herself or anyone else, she journaled her experiences and began to e-mail the people who loved her—the people she called My Everyone. She kept them informed and reminded all to “hug everyone you know” at every opportunity. Reading the responses became her calming strategy. Ultimately, with the help of her community, Martin found the courage within herself to face cancer with perseverance and humor.

FIRST TUESDAY REPLAY

This month, we will revisit “The Bomber,” by David O’Sullivan, “Looking @ Life,” by Polly Esther, “Fill the Stadium,” by K.M. Daughters, “Beautiful Ape Girl Baby,” by Heather Fowler, “Sharavogue,” by Nancy Blanton and “Shrapnel,” by Marie Manilla.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Living Revision

Elizabeth Jarrett AndrewOUR OTHER CURRENTLY FEATURED BOOKS, “GUESS AND CHECK,” BY THADDEUS RUTKOWSKI AND “IN SYCAMORE HALL,” BY PATRICIA ALLISON, CAN BE FOUND BY SCROLLING DOWN BELOW THIS POST, OR BY CLICKING THE AUTHOR’S NAME ON OUR AUTHOR’S PAGE.

———————————————————

THE BOOK: Living Revision: A Writer’s Craft as Spiritual; Practice.

PUBLISHED IN: 2018.

THE AUTHOR: Elizabeth Jarrett Andrew.

THE EDITOR: Mary Bernard.

THE PUBLISHER: Skinner House Books.

SUMMARY“Revision is the spiritual practice of transformation―of seeing text, and therefore the world, with new eyes. Done well, revision returns us to our original love.”

In Living Revision, award-winning author and teacher Elizabeth Jarrett Andrew guides writers through the writing and revision process. With insight and grace, Andrew asks writers to flex their spiritual muscles, helping them to transform their writing as they in turn transform themselves into more curious and reflective human beings.

THE BACK STORY: It’s long seemed to me that the most personally transformative part of writing is revision.  But all the books that explore writing as a means of spiritual growth focus on generating.  The whole writing process, from the first inkling of an idea through publication, provides opportunities for personal and spiritual transformation.  I wanted to return revision, which is often a sticky point for writers, back to its original meaning—re-seeing the text, and in so doing, re-seeing the world.

WHY THIS TITLE?: A lively spiritual life is all about revision—transforming and being transformed.  I also think for writers to write well, we have to open our hearts to revision.  Thus:  Living Revision.

WHY WOULD SOMEONE WANT TO READ IT? So many amateur writers think creativity, discovery, and joy only happen in a first draft!  Revision, they assume, is the dreary work of cleaning up prose for publication.  Even seasoned writers easily lose their passion, playfulness, and open heart during revision.

Living Revision is for writers who love the rush of discovery when they draft and want to preserve and multiply these discoveries through revision—while taking their craft to the next level.  Writers new to revision will find here an accessible introduction that overturns revision’s damaging stereotypes.  Writers experienced with revision will find fresh ways to “re-see” their work.  Writers who write as a spiritual practice with no intent of reaching an audience will find support in deepening this practice.  Writers who write for an audience will regain a sense of personal engagement in the revision process and find the skills they need to hone their craft.

 

REVIEW COMMENTS

“Elizabeth Jarrett Andrew is not only an author you should read but a teacher you can trust.  She knows how the tides run between the writing life and the life of the world and she will guide you in a way that frees your soul.”— Barbara Brown Taylor, author of Leaving Church, An Altar in the World, and Learning to Walk in the Dark.

“As I read Elizabeth Jarrett Andrew‘s Living Revision, I found myself breathing a sigh of relief.  Here, finally, someone has articulated both the struggles and the joy of revision, in a way that makes me eager to dive back into the projects that have stymied me.  In addition to using examples and wise advice from other writers, Andrew gives us practical exercises that enable us to truly invigorate our work and revive its elusive heartbeat.”  –Brenda Miller, author of Tell It Slant:  Creating, Refining, and Publishing Creative Nonfiction and The Pen and the Bell:  Mindful Writing in a Busy World.

“Good writing comes from rewriting.  Unfortunately, many beginning and intermediate writers lack the skills and inclination to go beyond mere copyediting and proofreading to explore the full creative potential deep revision can offer.  Even experienced writers want to shy away from the love-hate relationship we have with the effort, agony, and commitment revision requires.  Elizabeth Jarrett Andrew‘s honest revelations of her students’ and her own struggles and successes offer solace.  Her straightforward discussions of the theory and application of revision will inspire and motivate emerging and experienced writers alike.  Living Revision’s practical techniques and pragmatic tools are a valuable addition to every writer’s skill set.  Don’t just buy this book to adorn your bookshelf — keep it on your desk and use it!” — Rosanne Bane, author of Around the Writer’s Block:  Using Brain Science to Solve Writer’s Resistance.

“In Living Revision, award-winning author and beloved teacher Elizabeth Jarrett Andrew demystifies the writing and revision process.  I love this book.  It’s full of inspiration but also practical tips and exercises to guide any writer into deep revision.  With this book as their roadmap, countless writers will learn to open their hearts and transform their writing and, in the process, themselves through revision.  It is a must-read for any writer serious about her craft.  I know I will turn to it again and again.” — Kate Hopper, author of Ready for Air and Use Your Words: A Writing Guide for Mothers.

AUTHOR PROFILE: Elizabeth Jarrett Andrew writes, loves, teaches, and urban homesteads in South Minneapolis.  When she’s not chasing her gregarious daughter around the neighborhood or dancing with her partner, she’s doing her best to support the spiritual life of writers.  Her books are Swinging on the Garden Gate:  A Spiritual Memoir (Skinner House Books), Writing the Sacred Journey:  The Art and Practice of Spiritual Memoir (Skinner House Books), On the Threshold:  Home, Hardwood, and Holiness (Westview Press), the novel, Hannah, Delivered (Koehler Books), and most recently, Living Revision: A Writer’s Craft as Spiritual Practice.  You can connect with Elizabeth at www.spiritualmemoir.com and www.elizabethjarrettandrew.com.

AUTHOR COMMENTS: The transformation of a writer’s work depends on his or her willingness to be transformed during the writing.  Living Revision is the first writing text to champion personal discovery throughout the development of a writing project and not just at its inception.  It helps writers thrive on the long road to completion and manifest the full potential of their projects.

Using reflections, exercises, quotations, examples from masters and amateurs, and easily adapted practices, Living Revision guides writers of all levels to fundamentally shift the way they see their stories and the world.  Living Revision teaches a lively relationship to craft and an inquisitive, invested relationship to content—qualities critical to the creation of effective writing.  Revision is essentially a spiritual practice; Living Revision is its handbook.

SAMPLE CHAPTER: Here’s a link to a blog excerpt: http://www.elizabethjarrettandrew.com/2016/12/seeing-again-and-again-and-again/
LOCAL OUTLETS:  Living Revision can be ordered through any local bookstore.

WHERE ELSE TO BUY IT: Amazon:  https://www.amazon.com/Living-Revision-Writers-Spiritual-Practice/dp/1558968016/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1516231190&sr=8-1&keywords=living+revision

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/living-revision-elizabeth-j-andrew/1126954677?ean=9781558968011. 

PRICE: $18

CONTACT THE AUTHOR: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/elizabethjarrettandrewpage/Twitter: @ElzJarrett

________________________________
Elizabeth Jarrett Andrew
www.spiritualmemoir.com
www.elizabethjarrettandrew.com

Aliveness springs from our making something of what we experience and receiving what experience makes of us. –Ann Belford Ulanov

Guess and Check

Guess and Check by [Rutkowski, Thaddeus]THE BOOK: Guess and Check

PUBLISHED IN: 2017

THE AUTHOR: Thaddeus Rutkowski

THE EDITOR: Robert Giron

THE PUBLISHER: Gival Press, Arlington, Va. http://www.givalpress.com

SUMMARY: Guess and Check is the story of a biracial boy—later a young man—who adjusts with difficulty to lessons learned from the behavior of his parents and the people around him. In his world (rural America), he is an observer of dysfunction. He doesn’t identify with either of his parents—his mother is Asian and his father is Caucasian—or most of the children he meets in school. At times he is bullied, at other times ignored, so he seeks a way out.

His outsider experience doesn’t improve during his college years or his life as a young man. As an employee for an unnamed company, he feels an anxiety that leads to surreal incidents—on the border between bad dreams and what actually happens.

Yet he eventually learns to get along with, even love, the people around him, though the feeling doesn’t come easily. Fortunately, his journey with his own family goes in a positive direction, and the story ends on a note of hope.

THE BACK STORY: Several years ago, Robert Giron of Gival Press asked me to contribute to his anthology, Poetic Voices Without Borders 2. Since then, I’ve been honored to judge two novel contests for the press. My collection of prose reminiscences is my first book with the press, though it is my fifth published book of prose.

WHY THIS TITLE: “Guess and check” is a phrase I learned from my daughter when she was in grade school. It refers to a way of solving math problems by guessing at the answer, then checking to see if the answer works in the equation. One of the chapters in the book is titled “Guess and Check”—it was first published in the journal Your Impossible Voice.

WHY SOMEONE WOULD WANT TO READ IT:  I had thought that my work would appeal to biracial people, or even uni-racial people, if those uni-racial people happened to be Asian. This has turned out to be somewhat true. I’ve had the opportunity to introduce my work in East and Southeast Asia, and to read with and work with a number of Asia-related writers. However, I’ve found that my writing is not always seen as culturally specific. It also appeals to people interested in literary writing—work that doesn’t belong to any genre and that takes liberties with form. I have a background in spoken word and slam poetry, and in the writing of flash fiction.

REVIEW COMMENTS:

Every chapter presents a new vignette, each as tight and condensed as the best flash fiction. Terse, observational prose points out the bare facts of each new situation, above all else. And as each tale moves through new phases in the narrator’s life, there’s always more to discover. The characters are subtly drawn through small, thoughtfully rendered details—the father’s love of Mao and Lenin, the mother’s inability to get anyone to use the children’s Chinese names. These moments make even the shortest snippets stick in one’s mind, long after the pages have turned. A stark, engrossing, Hemingway-esque portrait of a life spent in the margins. — Kirkus Reviews, http://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/thaddeus-rutkowski/guess-and-check/

Although I daresay he didn’t originate this style, there is a form of writing where reality and dream are mixed in a special way, which has become associated with Murakami, but which has been given new twists by American authors, most notably in the way it has been given a novel direction and dynamic by Thaddeus Rutkowski in his new collection, Guess and Check. –Jim Feast, Sensitive Skin: https://sensitiveskinmagazine.com/thaddeus-rutkowski-guess-and-check-review-jim-feast/

AUTHOR PROFILE: Thaddeus Rutkowski is a graduate of Cornell University and The Johns Hopkins University. He is the author of five books of prose: Guess and Check, Violent Outbursts, Haywire, Tetched and Roughhouse. Haywire reached No. 1 on Small Press Distribution’s fiction best-seller list and won the Members’ Choice Award, given by the Asian American Writers’ Workshop. He received a 2012 fellowship in fiction writing from the New York Foundation for the Arts and served as a panelist for the 2017 NYFA fellowships in nonfiction. He teaches literature at Medgar Evers College and creative writing at Sarah Lawrence College and the Writer’s Voice of the West Side YMCA. His writing has appeared in The Outlaw Bible of American Poetry, The New York Times, The International Herald Tribune, CutBank, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Faultline, Fiction, Fiction International, Iron Horse Review, Pleaides, Potomac Review, Sou’wester and many other publications. He was selected to read in the former compound of East German President Erich Honecker in Berlin. He has been a featured reader in Budapest, Dublin, Hong Kong, London, Paris and Singapore, as well as in many U.S. cities.

AUTHOR COMMENTS: I am my main character, and vice versa. However, my main character experiences the most dramatic moments in my life, while I experience the undramatic moments as well. There’s a fine line between fiction and nonfiction, and most fiction writers base their stories on real people and events. The only question is to what degree they disguise things.

My main character tells the story, and he speaks in a voice that’s not quite my own. I work to find a narrative voice that is thoughtful, provocative, humorous, unsettling. Often, the voice carries the story. Even if events don’t add up or follow in a continuous way, they are connected by the voice.

SAMPLE CHAPTER:

“One Degree of Separation,” essay, The New York Times’ Opinionator, July 20, 2014. https://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/07/20/one-degree-of-separation/

LOCAL OUTLETS:  Bluestockings Bookstore, 172 Allen St., Manhattan.   www.bluestockings.com

 Word Up Community Bookshop, 2113 Amsterdam Ave., Manhattan.  wordupbooks.wordpress.com.

WHERE ELSE TO BUY IT: Amazon.com: https://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/07/20/one-degree-of-separation/

Barnesandnoble.com: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/guess-and-check-thaddeus-rutkowski/1125509497?ean=9781940724119

(Paperback and Kindle/Nook versions available)

PRICE: $20.00 paperback

CONTACT THE AUTHOR: thad@thaddeusrutkowski.co