Teens Deserve a Voice as Much as Rock Stars


Interesting read.

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta

Keith-Richards-Jerry-Garcia-630x420Photo by Jason Merritt, Getty Images, Warner Brothers

The big news in rock today is that Keith Richard bashed the Grateful Dead, calling the music of the late Jerry Garcia “boring shit, man.” (http://ultimateclassicrock.com/keith-richards-grateful-dead-comment/).

People are all over Facebook putting in their two cents. Since I follow rock groups, it’s most people that agree with Keith … agreeing that The Grateful Dead suck.

In later years our tastes change. As a woman in my early 50s, I’ve grown to the point where I enjoy some Grateful Dead songs and will listen on a Sirius, but I have no desire to see them live or purchase their music. As a teen, my attitude was not so kind. I agreed with Keith — they were boring shit. (Sorry, Jerry!) However, unlike Mr. Keith Richard, I was bullied, relentlessly, for my opinion.

I suppose Keith Richard will never have three guys…

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Tranquility by Laurie Gardiner: A Review


While I write the much awaited review of  ‘A Passage To India’ here is a review of a great novel ‘Tranquility’ by Laurie Gardiner.

I received a free ePub of this book by Laurie for an honest review. You can get (and I’ll tell why you should) a copy on Amazon.

ISBN 978-1-908191-98-4 (ePub)

ISBN 978-1-908191-51-9 Trade Paperback

Meet her at Facebook and Twitter.

About the author: (as written in the end of her book) Laurie Gardiner grew up on a farm in a small Northern Ontario community in Canada. She left home at seventeen to experience life in the city and now lives in Cambridge, Ontario with her husband of twenty-seven years. Raising three kids, teaching fitness and operating a home daycare left little time for writing, but she did have some poetry published in various anthologies over the years. In 1997, her short story “‘Til Death Do Us Part” placed first in the Cambridge Writers Collective anthology.

At the age of forty, Laurie went back to school and began a new career as a personal support worker. Though she ended up working in homecare, it was a placement in the dementia unit of a long-term care facility that inspired her to write her first novel, Tranquility.

Laurie is currently enrolled in the Creative Writing Program through the local community college and is working on her second novel. (And I don’t think she needs it much.)

Here is what the author reveals of her book:

Sometimes there’s a price to pay for doing the right thing.

Support worker Sarah Scott learns this the hard way when, soon after being transferred to nursing home Tranquility’s dementia unit, she uncovers a sinister secret. Doing the right thing could mean losing her job, and unemployment is not an option for the young, single mom.

Meanwhile, Sarah begins to question whether her newest resident, Edie, belongs in the locked unit. The feisty, Scottish woman certainly doesn’t act as though she has dementia. Sarah is determined to have her released, but her plans are thwarted when Edie risks her own freedom to help uncover the secret.

Review: The story pulled me in from very first line but by the end it seemed that line was not very important. As I never reveal what happens in the book and try to keep the mystery as well as honesty in mind I’d say Laurie put the Chekhov’s gun but forgot to fire or never intended to fire it.

Laurie’s language is rich and fluent and her style is eloquent. (I know that’s most common praise but it fits.) all her chapters ended for me to keep reading just one more page and before I knew, I was reading another chapter and another and yet another! She has combined humour and emotions perfectly, her characters have their lives and flaws and the story feels very personal at many levels. There are just a few mistakes but those are the things that firstly are editor’s and second, can be easily ignored.

The only noticeable mistakes are two; she used a few adverbs that stand out. I’m not as much against adverbs as Stephen King is, though I try to write without adverbs just to be sure. Another is she killed a darling. No I’m a fan of killing the darlings, the more the better (No, I’m not a psychopath!). Laurie kills two darlings in the book, death of the first darling is very much justified, that’s how it should have been, but the second darling’s death feels more of an effort rather than a necessity.

The story is good overall; the ending could have been made a little tighter, though it’s very good as it already is. The pace is accurate, not too fast to make you think what just happened? Not too slow to make you yawn and say, move ahead already! I enjoyed it and would recommend reading it, it is a good book for two purposes, if you are starting out writing you could learn a lot, if you are a voracious reader already you will enjoy it.

Reading tranquility makes me feel how there are wonderful authors who with a little help of right platform and promotion could shine. I wouldn’t call the book perfect as no book can be, but it’s a great read and more so because it’s Laurie’s first novel!

I have so many beautiful and favorite lines from the book but I won’t share them all (yes, I’m that selfish!), but here are a few to let you know Tranquility is worth a lot of shots!

 

Memories were all I had left of him. Losing them would be like losing him all over again.

 

Others reached out, took my cold hands in theirs and tried to offer comfort. But it was not comfort I needed. It was my mother.

 

Christmas was over and Dementia was back to its usual state of organized chaos.

 

Coffee could lead to drinks, which could lead to dinner, which, judging by the level of attraction I felt for him, could lead to, well, lots of things.

Yes, I know you want to get your copy but wait and read a little further, I still have a few more things to tell. The story has got love (you’ll love the kisses and feel giddy remembering yours), friendship (you will laugh and feel greatful for having your best friend), family (enough said), standing up for a cause in the face of problems, doing what is right even if it threatens to harm you (umm… with a little persuasion by a friend of course).

Are you still here? Did I not tell you to get the book? Now just hop on and order your book, but first write a comment appreciating me how good a reviewer I am. cough cough

Being a bookworm I read a few book I really like, again, and this is going to be one of those!

Check my reviews of Call of The Herald by Brain Rathbone, Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov and I Want To Live by Thom Jones if you enjoyed this.

The Strange Case of Ms. Drama and Mr. Prose


This post will finally prove I’m not as brilliant as you think, you are forewarned.

When results for my second year examination came, I was not very happy with the marks in Literature, so I decide that I should give the paper again. That was not a brilliant move. You see, if I get lower marks than before I’m doomed. The results will be out soon and I will know what happened to that.

Continuing the story, after deciding to give the paper again I obviously filled the Improvement Form with help of a friend as I really hate paperwork. Here comes the trouble. We had three papers; Poetry, Drama and Prose marked as Paper I, Paper II, Paper III.

And I was thinking I have received lower marks in Drama while I had in Prose, not only that I was of the opinion that Drama is Paper III while Prose, Paper II. That my friends took me on an adventure.

This is how the format looked.

1.________ 2. ________ 3. ________ 4. ________

This is how I filled it:

1.________ 2. ________ 3.  DRAMA  4. ________

This is how I should have filled it:

1.________ 2. ________ 3.  PROSE  4. ________

Now I did not come to know of my mistake untill a week before the paper and when I did find out, I was not as worried as I should have been. Why? I had just finished my novel and my euphoria did not allow me to be sad at all.

So I went to the office and asked the clerk what should I do, as a clerk he had no idea what should I do so he told me to just go and give the paper, I thanked him and came back.

Did I prepare for my improvement exam? Yes, and no. I prepared for both papers half-heartedly. I read Macbeth, Merchant of Venice, The Guide by R. K. Narayanan and the Anthology of English Prose laughing at my good to go brain. I had decide to come both days (1st and 2nd September when the papers were to be given) and talk to the examiners of my Strange Case of Ms. Drama and Mr. Prose.

So that’s what I did, I went to university on 1st September prepared to give the paper of Drama if I had to. I explained to the invigilators of my strange case and told them that the attendance register for the exam will solve the trouble. It did. My name was not there!

And that was something I wanted because my marks in Drama were fine and I had no intention of giving that paper. So I came back and relaxed, picked up The Guide and Anthology later in the evening, read it again and went next day to give the paper for Prose.

This time my name was on the list and I finished my paper in two hours instead of appointed three. So instead of waiting for the time to end I decide to come home and do some work on my novel, which I didn’t; do some beta reading for my writer friends, which I didn’t; what I did was, sat with my brother and coax him into making a website for me, which he had been doing for past couple of days. And while we are on that, I’m going to have a Facebook party for launch of my website and all of you are invited to take the first look. I’ll post more about it soon.

How did university manage the paper?

I have absolutely no idea, they may have put my name for third paper as that was the space filled, no matter by what. Worked out in my best interest.

What did I learn?

Paperwork was not, is not and will not be my thing. I should hire a professional to do that.

Now that, that is over and I’m sort of back on track, let me remind me I have to post the review for ‘A Passage To India’ and I intend to do that very soon, maybe by this Sunday.

So, what tale of your mistakes would you like to share?

Photo Courtesy: http://fetorpse.blogspot.in