The Pyrenees---Southern France

The Pyrenees---Southern France

Thursday, February 5, 2015

A Good Book is Hard to Find

        This the kind of book that makes you want to have a reason to spend a long time in the bathroom... the kind of novel that makes you not mind getting stuck at the tracks while a never-ending, slow-moving train clanks by... the kind of story you're going to miss when you read the last line on the last page.

        Okay, I admit it. I'm not finished with it yet. I'm somewhere between two-thirds and three-fourths of the way through it. However, only one of Picoult's novels was a disappointment to me, and I didn't like that one from close to the beginning, so I'm fairly confident this will be wonderful til the very end.

       It's part mystery (a mother has been missing for ten years) and part elephant journal. If you love elephants, if you hate circuses (because of the animal acts), if you'd like an insider's view into an elephant sanctuary, this is the book for you. Picoult did research at the Tennessee sanctuary (there's only one other in the U.S.--it's in California) and in the wild in Botswana. If you read it, you'll learn a lot about how elephants grieve...and what wonderful mothers elephant mamas are.

      Below is a link to a page that includes an interview with Jodi Picoult about the book. 

      And since I'll be finished with this book soon, what are some recommendations for my next one?

Monday, February 2, 2015

Silver Bells? Silver Linings?

          Sometimes bad experiences have a "silver lining." Sometimes you only have to look at things from a different perspective to see the positive side of things.
        I had a story rejected by Chicken Soup for the Soul (a Christmas anthology) a couple of years ago. In fact, I had two of them rejected. Okay, to be honest, the ones that don't make it don't ever get a rejection notice. You just end up never hearing about them. In this instance, no news is bad news... After all, I like to increase my odds. If I send in three stories, I get the chance to get disappointed three times. But I also think they might get so tired of reading my stuff, they'll occasionally accept one just to shut me up.
           Yesterday I submitted one of those Christmas stories again. I had completely revamped it, took out some details and fleshed out others. Today, I reworked a story I submitted to CS's "Hope and Miracles" collection. They passed on it, so perhaps a warmed-up second helping of the same tale--completely rewritten--will be a tastier treat. I'll be bringing it to my critique group to see what they think of it, and then will submit it for the "Think Possible" anthology.

          This is a kind of jazzy version of "Silver Bells," sung by Meaghan Smith. (I had to get in silver bells somehow.) It was either this, or the Twisted Sister version. Perhaps people who are buried under in snow can enjoy these snow-free winter scenes...


        What have you rewritten or reworked or revamped lately? It could be a room, a recipe, or a writing piece. My nosey self wants to know...