Life can be stranger than fiction on any given day, so of course, the hedgehog is depressed, not the human who has focused her energies onto the small creature’s well-being—that only makes sense. The collection of stories in Einstein’s Beach House by Jacob M. Appel is an amusing, yet horrifying exploration of personalities and human flaws that is darkly humorous—in order to have light, you must have dark. These eight bite-sized human documents are light-hearted at their core. Populated by characters who have the best intentions that have gone awry; tail-chasing frustration; anxiety, depression, gullibility, family secrets, colossal failures, maddening second-guessing, nigh irreparable damage, on the verge of suicidal moments, and the moments in time that are barely saved—and amidst the flawed individuals seeking acceptance, there is still hope and generosity in spite of misgivings. We all know (and expect) the past has a knack for haunting the present, and it’s certain that the future will be full of that bothersome shit later, coming back up like a regretful meal—or a bad penny. It’s only logical that the neighborhood sex offender only liked boys, so two girls snooping around in his house should be safe; the tortoise would desire freedom; the imaginary friend would most certainly have parents; and the rightful ownership of a house that had been in the family for generations can be usurped by a misprint in a travel guide. In Strings, there is that extraordinarily familiar gut feeling when it comes to facing the “takers” who worm their way into your life because they know how to press your buttons—you know the ones, kindness and guilty conscience. They always demand more from you than you should give, and every time you give in to their pitiable self-inflicted dramas, you’re enabling them to continue to be the chaotic clinging vines they are—seriously, get an axe, start cutting, and don’t look back, you’re not going to be canonized for your patience (but of course, there wouldn’t be a story if you did.) These stories possess a palpable psychological tension—enough to make me grit my teeth while reading along at a steady heart-breaking clip—admirable squirm-factor, yet so nattily hi-lar-i-ous that the “squirm” is forgivable. Good show, I say, good show.
Welcome to my blog Upstate Girl, (a.k.a Follow Your Bliss Part II), I am an independently published author. This blog is all about writing and the stuff that inspires me to write, the joys and obstacles that come along with the writer's life, and my fascination with the psychology of people and what makes them tick...the human condition, as is...and my love for words, playing with them and making sense of them...and I throw in a few photos from my acre of the world just to make things pretty...sometimes there are things I have no words for, only pictures will do.
*Copyright notice* All photos, writing, and artwork are mine (© Laura J. Wellner), unless otherwise noted, please be a peach, if you'd like to use my work for a project or you just love it and must have it, message me and we'll work out the details...it's simple...JUST ASK, please.
Wednesday, September 30, 2015
Friday, September 18, 2015
This scribble is one of many ideas for the book cover design for my third novel, Drinking from the Fishbowl the manuscript is so close to “done” I can just about scream! So the doodling on yellow legal pad paper is part of the process. I’m looking at the bedraggled manuscript that I’ve puttered through since the beginning of August and wonder if this is “it”. Can I really start thinking about how I want it to look?
I ask myself: Should I comb through it one more time?
When people ask me, “So what is your book about?” I tell them… “It’s about dreams and realities…” I let it settle in what that means, and then I say “We dream about all this stuff we plan to do, what we want to “be”, but the reality of those grand plans never quite turn out as expected…reality can be disappointing…or unexpected…”
The first line goes like this:
…and then he asked, “Why do you want to be a poet, Georgia Sullivan?”
It’s hard to believe it’s become this…it grew from the smatterings of notes scribbled on scraps of paper, post-it notes, and long hand passages in a salt n’ pepper notebook as far back as 2000, back when I had no idea where it was going and I was getting to know the characters, now it’s this… an untidy pile of paper, and now I’m planning a book cover… I love the process of making a book, from those first scribbles to the first draft, and all the subsequent drafts, the frustrations, the surprises, the doubts, and the certainties. The editing, the blood bath of the red pen, the cutting of words, sentences, and the obliteration of entire chapters…I can’t say for sure when it will be available…should I do it before Christmas or wait until 2016…my first reader has settled down to read it… (she’s been my first reader for all of them, she read this one in its second draft infancy.)
I think I’ll stick with Sabon for a font…I should make more scribbles…should I do a painting? Incorporate the scribbles in a flood of watercolor washes and rice paper? I know when I finally turn it over to my Fred to design the guts and cover, he will make it beautiful…unique. (I love making my books.)