The Pyrenees---Southern France

The Pyrenees---Southern France

Friday, February 14, 2014

I'm a Sucker For a Pretty Line

      Many years ago, I heard Rick Bragg speak at a conference. This was right after he'd had his first memoir, All Over But the Shoutin', published. A Southern writer with countless tales to spin. The man had a way with words. I was hooked. And a little bit smitten...

    I continue to be wooed with words. Often, it's during a writing critique night. Sometimes it's a bit of song lyrics. (Anna Nalick's "Life is an hourglass glued to the table," or John Mayer's "Walkin' like a one-man army" are two I love.) And sometimes wonderful lines are found in whatever novel I'm currently reading.

     Recently, I read Radio Hope by Sean McLachlan. Any book that has a post-apocalyptic premise is a book I avoid...most of the time. But I follow Sean's posts--he travels all over the world--so I hoped his novel would be an enjoyable read.

     And it was. Right away, there were a couple of well-crafted lines begging to be jotted down.

       Roy's bar "a place for relaxation, inebriation and stupefaction."

               an aging man "with a hairline that hadn't crawled halfway to his butt." 

         Despite the fact that this kind of novel is worlds away from what is normally stacked next to my bed, I was interested in the plot, and almost inhaled the book...I had to finish it so I could find out what happened to the characters. Who survived? Who lost out?

     I appreciate that Sean trusts his readers. He trusts that they don't require a bunch of chunky background story. The story evolves naturally. There are things you wonder about. Where did the bar get its name from?  What are tweakers? What exactly is Radio Hope? And the answers come...all in good time.

     Personally, I survived my own version of Toxic Bay (a place in Radio Hope) today. It was Valentine's Day, and for elementary school teachers, it's a terrifying day. Will any of the adults perish due to self-mutilation? Can a third grader's sugar level get any higher? When is Spring Break? (Yes. No. Not soon enough.) 
    

  
If you're an Amazon Prime member,
you can borrow this book for free.

       Check out Radio Hope. Even if you're like me, and normally don't read this type of book, you might find yourself pleasantly surprised...





          

25 comments:

  1. This is normally not my kind of book either. Ah, so many books, so many new things to try and so many old ones calling!!!!

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    1. Claudia--I agree. There are lots on my "must read" list.

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  2. Love an author who doesn't dumb down and pander for readers. Sounds like a really interesting story (I liked his memoir).
    There are those lines that just stay with you. Two of mine are poetry, well one is a song lyric:
    "Her eyes, like windows trickling rain upon her pane [pain], getting deeper ..." -Cat Stevens
    "If you love me, tell me so. If you tell me, love me so." - Sadly I'm not sure who wrote this but I think it was ee cummings.

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    1. Marcia--Cat Stevens was the love of my life (in my dreams). His songs, his lyrics, his looks...(Sigh.)

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  3. This IS my kind of book. Oh, and I suck at pretty lines. I doubt I would know one if it bit me on the butt. In fact, I might not even feel it through my ample padding.

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    1. Val--Then read it. (I too don't do pretty. But I DO know pretty when I see it.)

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  4. Sounds interesting. I will have to check it out. My students gave me the crud on VD.

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    1. Linda--I hope you feel better. There's all sorts of crud going around...

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  5. It must be a terrific book to get such an entertaining review from you. I read pretty much everything, so this is one I'll put on my list.

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    1. Lisa--It IS a good read. And I think people like you who read "everything" have an advantage, because I think it helps you write for different call-outs/publications.

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  6. I love post-appocalyptic tales, so will check this one out. Oh, and the line about life being an hourglass is one of my favorite song quotes ever!

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    1. Tammy--And how about that sci-fi YA novel? How's it coming along?

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    2. Very, very slowly, I'm afraid. :(

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  7. Hi Sioux,
    What great lines from Sean's book. I love visiting his blog. He is such a fascinating character. Hope you survived Valentine's Day. Kids + Sugar = Chaos.

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    1. Donna--He is indeed fascinating. And yes, I survived that dangerous combination... :)

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  8. Oh, I know what you mean about a pretty line, Sioux. Sometimes, I'll be reading and just have to pause in the middle of story to savor a line. I love when that happens.

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    1. Cathy--Me, too. But after I savor it, I like to get the author's address, so I can flatten one of their tires...

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  9. Sioux and Cat Stevens! I can see it. He was quite the looker as well as artiste.

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  10. Sioux:Thanks for the review, and I'm always hoping I'll write one of those pretty lines, too. :) And so glad you survived the dreaded Valentine's party/Day. When I was an elementary teacher, I hated holidays. It's an oxymoron, but truthful teachers don't like them--how can you? :)

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  11. Margo--I did "celebrate" after school was over--the last holiday party of the school year.

    (Yeah, I aspire to write pretty lines, too, but I don't really do pretty. ;)

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  12. Glad to see you survived VD, Sioux. It must be awfully hard to kill the buzz of a sugar-infused third grader.

    Pat
    Critter Alley

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    1. Pat--It's not hard, it's impossible.

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  13. I always like your recommendations, so I'll put this one on my reading list! Never thought about what it's like for a teacher on Valentine's. Poor stinker.

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    1. Lynn--It's just chaotic. Imagine having 24 kids in your home--and they're all hyped up because of the holiday and the sugar...Yikes.

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