Tuesday, May 31, 2011

I Heart You, You Haunt Me Review

I Heart You, You Haunt MeI Heart You, You Haunt Me by Lisa Schroeder

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I read out of order
Chasing Brooklyn first.
No need to worry,
a companion book needs no back story.

Similar in many ways
of death
a hint of haunting
a journey of healing.

I'm enjoying the novel in verse
enjoying Lisa Schroeder
but are all three books
similar in ways
of death
a hint of haunting
a journey of healing?

We shall see
when I read her third
Far From You

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Friday, May 20, 2011

Chasing Brooklyn Review

Chasing Brooklyn Chasing Brooklyn by Lisa Schroeder

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was my first encounter
with a novel in verse.
It opened my eyes
to my own possibilities.

Beautiful words describing
and how it's different
for everyone.

Beautiful words describing
the journey
to overcome that

Beautiful words describing
a path to healing
and unexpected

And now, the book complete,
I have my own stories
that must be written
I may just try
my own

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Thursday, May 19, 2011

An Answer to My Own Question

I would like to thank everyone who held on to their patience with Blogger and was able to post their response to my previous question. If you missed the question I posed, please feel free to read it and come back here to read my own answer.

It's been several days of since my last post. It has given me ample time to read everyone's responses, as well as get over some sickness going around our house. Each response is greatly valued. I only wish more had posted. But, hey, I've got a general consensus!  And now, I think I really have been enlightened.

As with many readers, I read to escape the problems of every day life. I always have. I was an only child growing up in a military family. Moving around often was inevitable. I do not know the meaning of having a friend in one place more than a couple of years. I was a very lonely child. Reading was my escape. The characters were my friends. Now, as an adult, I still read for pleasure. I read to escape my world of worry, pain, and suffering.

Our lives, no matter who we are, have varying degrees of trouble we all wish we could escape. Yes, life is not fair. Life doesn't care. And life doesn't always have a happy ending. Our stories we read (or create) should offer a spark of hope, no matter how tiny. Because without hope, what's the point in life? Right?!

*SPOILER ALERT* in case anyone hasn't watched these movies I am about to talk about (Skyline and Buried). If you haven't seen them yet, and don't want to have them spoiled, don't read any further. But I feel I am pretty safe since both these movies I am talking about are rather old, or at least have been out for a while. 

I recently watched the movie, Skyline. Essentially, it was the end of our world. Humans were being harvested by aliens. The two main characters--male and female--were struggling to escape. Their outlook was dismal at best.  In the end, the human race seems to have been wiped off the face of the Earth. Despite this fact, there was a glimmer of hope when both main characters succumb to their inevitable end and get sucked up into the alien mother ship to be harvested like the rest. The male main character's brain is harvested and put into an alien creature.  With a love so great for his family, the male main character overcomes the alien mentality, seeks out his beloved and lets her know his brain is still there before the female main character is harvested.

Now, the other movie I watched a few months back, called Buried, well, that was a real downer! The main character is a government contractor who has been taken and buried in a coffin somewhere in the Iraqi desert. He only has a lighter and a cell phone. It is a story about his last few hours. The whole time you watch this movie you are rooting for him to be found, and in the end, when it looks like he will be dug up in time, and you almost breath a sigh of relief...well, you get the idea.

I would not recommend either of these movies, by the way. However, one offered a spark of hope in the face of armageddon while the other offered hope the entire way through and ended on a crushing note. The point is, hope in any form is an integral part of every story.

I think I am remembering a few of my High School English class mandatory readings. If anyone has ever read Shirley Jackson's The Lottery, Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman, or any number I can't remember right off the top of my head. But there was a time it seems, where dismal, somber, and hopeless had their place. But, those may have easily been published after the author had several published works. Maybe it wasn't their best work, but eventually academia made it so. Who knows. So, I will just add this to my collection of works I've written. It may go in my pile never to be seen or heard from again. Or I may just revamp it completely and make it a more hopeful story. One never knows...

Thursday, May 12, 2011

A Change In Genre & A Question

So, I've been involved in a local Fiction Writer's Group. They have no experience with Children's Books and critiquing Picture Books was definitely not their forte. Since I've been participating in these critique meetings, I have somewhat switched my writing. I had already lost my mojo for writing picture books at the moment. One reason, I think, is because I am still waiting on a critique from an editor I won a few months back but haven't heard from her yet. Not that I'm complaining. She's busy. I know. But, something about having a real live editor review your work kind of gets your nerves all in a bundle.

So, yeah, I'm changing up a bit. I started back writing a few short stories and the Fiction Writer's group has given me some great advice. Even edging me on to expanding a few into a novel. (Which scares me!)

My last short story I wrote and submitted to them, which was last week by the way, ended up causing them much grief. What I thought was a short story, turned out to be a writer's purge. Therapy.

I took my main character, based him off my husband's situation and wrapped up some major fears we both have. See, my husband suffers chronic pain from a few accidents he had in the military. He also gets three to four migraines a week. I am his care giver, the bread winner, the support line. Our lives are very difficult. There is no way to express it in terms anyone can understand. I did my best in that short story.

Only...it seemed to leave my readers with no hope.

So, I've been wondering....do ALL books/stories need express that there is ALWAYS hope? I mean, life's not fair. Life does not always balance out. Sometimes, hope leaves people's lives. Why does EVERY story have to have a happy ending? Can I actually sell a story where the ending is really that....the end!

he dies. He feels like his life was a  waste. He's tired of the pain. He wants it all to end. And then...it does.

Would you read this? Would you want more? Would you be angry that you were left with no hope?