Okay, so I’m thinking about posting some of this story that I’ve been working on, but I’m not sure if it’s a good idea since it’s still kind of rough. But I figure this way I can get feedback and possible motivation to keep moving on it. Let me know if this is something you’d be interested in, or if you’d rather I didn’t since I would totally understand if you didn’t.
My newest neice has just been born, so I’m going to take this opportunity to foist pictures of her on you, whether you want them or not 🙂
And these two are possibly my favorites, but only if you look at them in order
This look, if I’m any judge is “What are you doing and how can I make you stop?”
So last night I was browsing the web and ran across this website with a bunch of short stories on it, which I thought would be awesome, since it’s a website especially designed to help amateur writers find their voice. So I picked one at random and read it…. I wish I could say that it was a good story and that I recommend it, but honestly, it was one of those that, while interesting and well written, left you horrified and backing away slowly. It was absolutely and utterly horrifying. There is no other word for it. I couldn’t stop thinking about it today, which I suppose means it served it’s purpose, but I certainly hope that the author didn’t intend the reaction of “What? Why would you write that? What’s wrong with you?” It just.. and I… there are no words. Read it if you like, I’ll post the link, but don’t say I didn’t warn you.
It’s called “One Flesh” by Robert Devereaux http://theharrow.com/journal/index.php?journal=journal&page=article&op=view&path=2891&path=905
I cannot express enough how much I love this author. Her books are magic, just pure magic. The writing, the characters, the stories, the themes… all of it is just magic. She has three others before this one, but I just finished this book, so I thought I would review it first.
This book, like her others, takes place in a small town in the South and centers on the social structure, spoken and unspoken, of that town, but it especially focuses on the secrets that lie in wait, the connections between people, and the small magics that are handed down, generation to generation. Pennies on the windowsill gets rid of ghosts, peppermint on the windowsill keeps unwanted visitors away, lavender raises spirits, birds try to protect you and cake can call someone home. The little things your grandmother told you and you never bothered to forget, that you never really believed and yet, nonetheless, indulge in when you’re scared or upset.
It’s amazing to me how real she can make her stories, while maintaining that one foot in the world of fairy tales. This one takes place in a small town with more secrets than most, thanks to a con man who visited the town seventy five years before, and concerns the granddaughters of two of the founders of the town’s Women’s Society Club, neither of whom is happy or where they should be in life. I won’t spoil it for you, since you absolutely, without question, should buy this book, love it, and take care of it forever, but in the end, secrets are told, friendships are forged and spirits are put to rest. Oh, and one of the characters from her first book makes a cameo appearance, which made me very happy.
There’s something about her books, and I can’t explain what it is exactly, but they linger with you, long after you read them, and you find yourself believing in the little magics, the things you’re far too sensible to believe in normally, but persist in your hindbrain nevertheless. If you’ve read one of my earlier posts, where I list the authors that I love enough that I will read any sentence that they should choose to write, then you already know how much I love this author. And even though there’s a certain repitition to her books, since she’s clearly a woman who’s writing what she knows, namely life in a small Southern town, I can’t recommend them enough.
I have a question for you guys and anyone who has an opinion is welcome to give me suggestions. Okay, so I recently decided to give being a bartender a try since my previous career plan went over about as well as one of those elephant ballerinas in Fantasia, except imagine that in real life. Anyway, so I went to school and learned all the stuff, blah blah blah, and I have since been looking for a job as a bartender. The school I went to gives you job leads and one of them was for this swanky restaurant downtown. I decided to give that one a try, among others. This one particularly though, seemed promising, since the restaurant manager/owner looked at my resume and told me that they couldn’t interview me that week, since it was right before Mother’s Day, but they would get back to me the next week to set something up. I said okay, cool. I wait until Tuesday, then, deciding to be proactive, I called them to set something up. They tell me to come in Thursday and to ask for Zack or Rabii. Awesome. I wait til, Thursday at 1:30, like they said and I go in. They tell me that Rabii has been called away on an emergency, come back at five. I get pissed, cuz I got all dressed up and fancy for nothing, but whatever. I leave, wait til five, then go back. Pay to park for the second time that day, and go in, ask for Rabii. They tell me they will let him know and he will interview me when he gets the chance. I wait twenty five or so minutes, smiling at eveyone and getting progressively angrier at being ignored until the same guy comes up and tells me that Rabii is stuck in traffic. Could I come back the next day? And maybe call ahead to check that Rabii is there first? Now here’s my question: should I even go back? Cuz that was last week and I’m starting to think I was premature in walking away, but that was bull crap. Suggestions?
This is a really good book. I mean, I went into it expecting to like it, since it’s part of the recent trend of retconning classic literature or history to include things like vampire, werewolves or demons, which I think is hilarious and awesome, so I was pretty positive that I would like it before I ever read it. But I found myself impressed by, first of all, how well the author researched this book. This is clearly a man who has read a biography or two of Abraham Lincoln. I honestly expected to find a bibliography at the back of the book. And secondly, I was very impressed by how well he wove the whole “vampire hunter” thing into Lincoln’s life and American history. Now, I don’t know a whole lot about Lincoln’s pre- president life, I know what I learned in history class basically since I’ve never been terribly interested in the Civil War, but what he wrote seemed pretty accurate to what I knew and what I sort of vaguely remembered hearing about. And the part about how vampires were the true villains behind the south and slavery? Awesome! And it actually kind of made total sense, in a really weird way. Of course vampires would see that as a perfect way to feed. Why wouldn’t they? Who would go after them for it? Okay, who in the south would go after them for it?
I can’t say as I was totally impressed by the “vampire hunter” part of it, since we never actually see Abe doing that much vampire hunting in the book. It’s mentioned that he does it, and that he is a great hunter, but the author mostly focuses on actual biographical information about Lincoln’s life, slightly to the detriment of his street cred. The reader just kind of has to take his word for it that Abe is as big of a badass as he says he is. Hopefully that will be fixed in the movie, which I am very much looking forward to.
Also, I felt like there were a few too many description of dreams in the book. It happens like four or five times in a 336 page book. That’s a bit much. And at least two of those times he pulled the same thing, where it treats the dream like it’s really happening until all of a sudden Abe is jerking upright in bed and gasping. That’s kind of an old, tired trick to pull in the first place, and to pull it more than once is kind of sad. That said, the bit of foreshadowing of Lincoln’s death was nice, and nicely Shakespearian, though honestly who needed it? Does anyone not know that Abraham Lincoln was assassinated? Anyone? But maybe he was trying to play like we didn’t know what would happen to Lincoln, like he was introducing us to a brand new character, or a little known person from history or something. An odd card to play, but whatever.
All in all though, an awesome book and one that I’m very glad that I read. It sat in my To- Read stack for over a year before I ever got around to it, and now I feel bad for that. So, for anyone who’s been intending to read it, but just hasn’t yet- go ahead and dig it out. You will not regret it and will walk away with a serious new respect for Abraham Lincoln. Not that I was lacking in it before, he’s always been one of my favorite presidents, but learning all this new stuff about him, even filtering out the vampire stuff, has made that respect blossom into possible hero worship. And to then make him a vampire hunter, well… he’s a total badass. And an awesome president. I especially love his quip to cowardly general Mclellan “If you do not want to use the army, I would very much like to borrow it.”