Tag Archive: drama



Pasture

We are still walking. It’s become a part of our daily story. Above is one of the scenes we see. We went this way today.

Thursday’s walk

We went straight until we heard the prompt say it was a mile. Then turned around.

Oops screenshot captured the chat! But hey! Awards are fun!
Today’s walk. Way shorter but longer somehow.

So coming around back towards our street a neighbor came out to talk to us. She was concerned about a dog in a house closer to us. It seemed tangle in chains. They had tried to give the dog water as the chain was keeping the dog standing and unable to reach food or water.

The dog owner had been suffering from a stroke so none of us knew where he was.

We reported it to the sheriff looking for a welfare-check for the dog’s owner. My brother and husband untangled the chain and brought the dog here to chain in our front yard.

We learned his name is Bear. He is sweet. Even Kali likes him. We still don’t know where his owner is, or even that he is okay. Wish we could afford to have a big brute like Bear but we’re barely able to care for what we have.

Anyway, that walk was short for milage but long on story.

I’ve set up my yWriter7 for my memoirs.  CampNano started today. I think my goal is a little too high, 50k. My imagination is good for that. But real life? I can already see it will be a bit of a psychological trip but to get to nuggets to share I need to walk in the mully grubs.

In other news…

Thursday
Today’s progress.

Now back to the mully grubbing.


Apparently There Were Complaints: A MemoirApparently There Were Complaints: A Memoir by Sharon Gless
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Sharon Gless was on the View not that long ago promoting this book. Though I am not a cop show fan, I like shows about strong women. Cagney and Lacey was that kind of show for me. I still love these two actors in everything I’ve seen them in. So I looked at the library link for Libby and found this book in audio form there. Yay! I knew it would be in Ms. Gless’s voice.

As with all autobiographies, I feel it hard to give a review. This is, after all, her life. Her trials and triumphs. Who am I to judge? Still, it was less and more than I expected. But it was heartfelt and her truth. And I was glad to have read/heard it.

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The Five WoundsThe Five Wounds by Kirstin Valdez Quade
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Libby, the library app, recommended this book as a social read for all. My friends and I all got the notification for it simultaneously. Since we all saw it, we ordered and tried to read it at the same time so we could discuss it later.

It was a challenging read. The writing was okay. But the topic was complex. So how is it I give it four stars?

The book gives five characters a chance to share their point of view. Each has damage to overcome. But, we’ve all seen people that refuse to grow up and accept responsibility. It seems, sometimes, that the pregnant teen is more mature than the rest of the cast. It is through her eyes I could tolerate this story. She gets it and is working hard. Ugh. Until she doesn’t. But she’s human. Right?

The author portrays the story through the LatinX culture in New Mexico. It is also slanted Catholic. Being raised in Southern California, I knew and loved friends of Mexican or Spanish heritage. And though I was raised protestant, many of my friends were Catholic, so I had a bit of an understanding. If you didn’t have a religious background or never participated, this might lose the reader.

If the book doesn’t get you culturally or religiously next, it might generationally. It centers on a family led by the matriarch, soon-to-be great Abuela, two offspring, a granddaughter, and finally, the new baby. I think the author does a good job stepping into each character. They are full of faults and virtues. And each is conflicted due to their past and family.

I must say, some might give up. I almost did several times as it is too real. But stick with it, and you will be rewarded in the end.

Gary Tiedemann (Narrator) did a flawless job. What I mean is that he read females and males with equal grace. I never felt the narrator mocking any of the characters in his voice. Yet, there was a change in characters, so you never feel lost about who is telling their story.

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Yellow CrocusYellow Crocus by Laila Ibrahim
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I finished listening to this a few nights ago. I still feel warm and fuzzy from the experience. No, it isn’t all a cozy read. But the author went into the characters’ psychology in a way that women. mothers could feel. Most of us haven’t had to experience this kind of life. But it doesn’t take a lot to feel how it might affect us. And how it could mess up the children.

Bahni Turpin (Narrator) was marvelous. I could listen to her voice all day, especially when she would sing lullabies. She expressed emotions fully. And get ready to be angry, and make sure to bring the Kleenex.

This is a beautiful read. I was able to hear the Audible version. But I could have read the Kindle version as I had it for quite a while.

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The Great AloneThe Great Alone by Kristin Hannah
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Since our cruise to the inner passages of Alaska, I have been a fan of all things the ‘last frontier.’ Yes, the Kilchers show is a part of my adventures. So when this story made its way to my attention, I had to partake.

Julia Whelan, the narrator, pulled me in. She was able to act the various characters well enough to distinguish them from each other. Her males are a little stilted, but, as I said, she made it clear who was speaking.

The author writes a many-layered tale, with a bit of education mixed in with some ‘bring your Kleenex’ moments. She captures the feeling of living in a place of long summer days and a never-ending night of winter, learning to live off the land, living in a small community, being the child of an abusive parent, so many levels of the life of this young teen in Alaska. I couldn’t stop listening. This book is the reason for sleep deprivation of the week. I just couldn’t put it down.

I know I will look out for more books written by Kristen Hannah, narrated by Julia Whelan.

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Review:


The Carolina Diaries: Belle

by Darlene Winters

The Carolina Diaries: BelleThe Carolina Diaries: Belle by Darlene Winters
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I don’t know. This was hard to read. It is hard to review. It feels autobiographical. Though it–

I don’t do this often as I figure people will go read the blurbs themselves. But this and the reviews make me wonder if I read the same book.

“Her cousin wants to die. She has the whole roadtrip to convince her otherwise.

Darlene only knows of one way to help her cousin Belle after a life of disappointments–go with her on a cross-country road trip, head back to California where Belle was born… and where she intends to die.

But deep family resentments and drama rides with them across the country, shedding light on heavy themes like sexual abuse and depression, as well as religion and politics. Growing up in North Carolina, these cousins have a lot of stories to share: some sad, some comical, and some just down right disturbing.

If you enjoyed Little Miss Sunshine and Girl, Interrupted, you’ll want to read The Carolina Diaries with its unique blend of dark humor and even darker perspectives of life past, present and future; the real take-aways being how to cope and heal.”

I found no humor. I wish I hadn’t picked it up. It was exactly what I don’t want to read before bed. All the reality of our daily news lives during this pandemic. And though I agree with the author on a lot of stances, I couldn’t deal with it in my bedtime fiction.

My fault. I saw road trip, my first name, and didn’t read the description.

Maybe if I read it during the day I could see the humor in a suicidal cutter who had lived with so much abuse, of every kind, during a pandemic during the political turmoil of 2020. No. I don’t think so.

The reason I am not giving this a lower rating is the list of good books and ideas the author presents. Unfortunately, the way it’s presented makes me sure the ones who need the information will not see it. Still, there’s a chance I could be wrong.

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The Moonlight ChildThe Moonlight Child by Karen McQuestion
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Sleep deprivation. I blame that if this review doesn’t turn out to make sense. Since I started reading this, I have been unable to stop reading to go to sleep. This morning, yeah, Christmas morning! I finished the book at 6 AM!

Mysteries are hard for me. They are mostly about murder. As if life wasn’t bad enough, why read about the bad people and the results of killing and lying. But this book wasn’t about murder. Okay, there is one, but it isn’t the focus and seems secondary to everything else.

One of the best things about this book is kindness. I loved all the characters, even the antagonist. And kindness is something each has as a factor in their part of the plot. I was sad to see the book end. It was satisfying, but I’m left wishing I could spend more time in the story and see what happened to each of them after.

This book is available on Kindle Unlimited, but after reading the blurb and wanting to read it, I found I already had 10 books in my KU account, so I bought the book. Well worth it! I may reread it sometime!

By the way, Merry Christmas!

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The Last Tea Bowl ThiefThe Last Tea Bowl Thief by Jonelle Patrick
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’m sorry it took me so long to review this. I read it while deeply into NaNoWriMo, so taking the time from my own writing seemed impossible. But finally, here I am!

I love Jonelle Patrick’s writing. I always find myself drawn in by her characters and the virtual travel to Japan. I am not much into mysteries because most involve murder and finding who did the murdering. This mystery goes histories deep, and it is to find what happened to the tea bowls and the artist who made them. My way of describing this story sounds rather boring. The author makes this an adventure in two parts of Japan’s history. All the characters seem real and in the now with the reader. Best of all, in this book, there is no murder, even though in war times. Meanwhile, we learn a little about modern Japan while being taught about people’s rituals and beliefs from three different generations of Japan.

I was sad to leave the book in the end. As always, I want to know more. Don’t worry. You feel secure by the ending. Our main character, who has had to research the feudal and WWII Japans, grabs your heart as she tries to keep family and soul together.

Great job with something quite different in this genre Ms. Patrick!

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A Clueless Woman (A Woman Lost, #0)A Clueless Woman by T.B. Markinson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I finished this book. I’m involved in writing NaNoWriMo, so it’s taken me a while to get the review. In between, I went ahead and read book one and am now involved in book two. I had already read the first and second book, and I remember really liking them.

I don’t know if it’s because how long ago I read them, or if it’s the Star Wars phenomena. Let me explain. I remember watching the first three Star Wars movies back in the 80s. They were fantastic movies. They were full of philosophies you could live by. The characters were strong, people you care about. But the prequels. I can’t give you words for this. I can only shake my head. Was it time between watchings? Was it the addition of new irritating characters? Need I say Jar Jar Binks? I don’t know.

It had been a while since I read books one and two. But I thought I remembered them enough to try to read from the prequel on. What I remember as a character I truly loved in my first read was a troubled, abused, weak character in the prequel. Would I have felt this way had I not read the first two books before? Had I started with the prequel before reading the others, would I have cared what happened to the character next?

Wait! That is not to say the character wasn’t appealing. That is not to mention the writing was not good. That is not to say this kind of warning for others who might find themselves in similar situations shouldn’t find their way out. Strong characters, personalities, can find themselves in abusive relationships. And I care for many friends who have fallen into these situations. They were still exciting, loving, deserving of love people. So maybe it is the fact that I remember a strong character from future books and can’t handle seeing her go through such pain.

Would I have handled it better if I read the prequel as an insert into the series as a flash-back? I think I might have done better that way. I don’t want this review to go against the author and her fantastic writing. So instead of rating this as a three-star grade, I will pull it to a four-star. It probably deserves more, but I have to be honest with my feelings about it, too. I do love the characters in this series.

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Seeking SarahSeeking Sarah by ReShonda Tate Billingsley
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Jerry Springer eat your heart out! Oh, the drama!

Okay, I didn’t mean to start with that. There were things about this book I liked. I love that we have a diverse character, though the cover picture doesn’t give that impression. On the other hand, the blurb grabbed me about a young woman that wants to find her mother who she previously thought had died.

What seems to be set up to be an exciting adventure learning why mom left, and possibly reconnecting, the main character, Brooke, is hooking/breaking up with a guy that shouldn’t even get a female. Even in the process of getting to know her mom, she takes every opportunity to jump to conclusions to be angry. I guess my way would have solved Brookes problems within minutes and there wouldn’t be a book but a short story.

I was lucky to get to read this book from Netgalley. I’d love to see what others think of this novel. It is different.

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