The Pyrenees---Southern France

The Pyrenees---Southern France

Friday, February 3, 2017

A Poetic Memoir, A Prize and Back-of-the-Book Blurb # 46

I agreed to review Wave Rider:  A Poetic Journey from Abuse to Wholeness by Rebecca Pott Fitton. It's poetry. It's memoir. Two of my favorite things to read.

A copy of the book came to me, with a note surrounding the torn-up package. Apparently, the postal service had damaged the book. Some of the pages looked like they had been wrenched away from the spine, the glue no longer holding them tightly together. The note said something like "We are sorry for the damage done. It is our intent to provide the best service blah blah blah."  I don't recall anything even hinting at "This was our fault. We did this. We will make it right."

After reading Wave Rider, I think the damaged--yet still quite whole--book came in the perfect form for this review. It was the ideal way to be introduced to Rebecca... a woman who was damaged by family who (I assume) have never taken ownership of the heinous things they did, and I'm also assuming they never tried to make reparations.

So a belated thanks to the USPS...

Rebecca Pott Fitton was sexually abused by her uncle beginning when she was two. The journey she takes the reader on made me devour the book in one sitting, because I wanted it to be one trip. I wanted to walk along with her as she was in the darkness, when she was between the darkness and healing and finally, to where she is now:  riding the waves.

I can't imagine having a mother who didn't love me, but Rebecca writes of her mother, "She and I composed our own karmic dance for the rest of her life...

Together we did a karmic dance
one foot forward, three feet backward.
The floor was uneven and our steps collided."

Later in the same poem was the gem of a line:

"The baggage nearly buried me." 

In a later poem she speaks of karma, of the "lessons" she needed to learn but poignantly writes, "Next time, I need to select my family for my heart
             rather than from my my need for lessons."

As she healed, she wrote, "Healing was about the courage to walk through the fire of my being to understand who I was and was not."

In her poem "Body Talk," was the powerful line, "My body is a historian." With my students yesterday, I watched an interview of a 90-year old holocaust survivor. She spoke of getting a deep muscle massage, which loosened some of the atrocious things her body and muscles had buried. She ended up sobbing uncontrollably. With the elderly woman's words and Rebecca's lines it hit me:  our body does store all of our emotional pain and the stress. It's up to us to let it vent... to heal... and to speak up. Or as Rebecca Pott Fitton says,

"It is time to speak softly
so that the world hears."    

For anyone who has been sexually abused, I would recommend this book. For writers who are considering writing a memoir, and are thinking of ways to organize it, I would recommend this book. And if you'd like to read an interview with Rebecca, along with entering your name for a drawing, go here.

As far as the prize, on my last post I offered a giveaway of a memoir anthology... and after putting slips of paper into a mixing bowl and stirring them around (I'm not just old, I'm old-school), the winner is 

                      Pat Wahler

Pat--if you send me your address, I will send you the copy of A Cup of Comfort for Women.  Send it to sroslawski(at)

And now onto back-of-the-book blurb fun:

Look at the photo below. That is the cover of your book. You choose the genre. An edge-of-your-seat thriller? A study of how a crazy rich man can reach the pinnacle of power? You decide.

Write an enticing blurb--150 words or less. (The title doesn't count in the word count.) Blurbs are those enticing bits that prod you into buying the book. Sometimes they're on the back cover of the book. Sometimes they're on the inside front cover. What they always try to do is lure you into purchasing the book.

Lisa Ricard Claro was the original creator of this project. She's a novelist as well as a professional editor.  Check out her site. You won't regret becoming a follower.

Include your blurb in a blog post. Include a link to this post. Also, ink your post to Mr. Linky. Mr. Linky is easy. If you've never done it, you'll be impressed with how simple he is. And then, check out the other blurb(s). It's interesting to see the different directions writers take, given the same photo.

Here's the book cover and the blurb:

photo by

Take Me Down… To Shackytown

Sal's a retired teacher, rollin’ in the big bucks after decades of avoiding having to spend her own salary on kleenex and hand sanitizer and dry erase markers.

She has two pampered pooches who clamored for casino action. They were tired of being stuck at home whenever Sal hit the road during her casino trips. One canine is way too big but the younger, shorter pup could be disguised… if only clever camouflage could be purchased.

So Sal and her husband Rick the Hick decide to build a tourist attraction:  Shackytown. There will be a Pepsi Shack, with all sorts of Pepsi memorabilia. There will be a Potty Shack, full of statues depicting people on potties… and much more.

With the proceeds from the Shackytown tours, will Sal be able to make the money she needs? Or will she have to start peddling her Chex Mix on street corners? 149 words)

And for the one or two people who play along every Friday, here is next week's photo:

photo by

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

THIS is Why I Love Golden Retrievers

       This is an extra short post because Friday's post will be extra long. On Friday I'm reviewing a poetic memoir, Wave Rider:  A Poetic Journey from Abuse to Wholeness, along with announcing a winner and the normal back-of-the-book blurb fun.

        So, in the unlikely chance you have not seen this video, it clearly illustrates what I love about golden retrievers.

       Come back on Friday. You might be a winner. And if you live life anything like a golden retriever lives life... well, you're already a winner.