Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Confronting Historical Controversy

Local historian Newell Bringhurst will present "Confronting Historical Controversy--Its Risks and Rewards: My Varied Encounters with Tulare County's Colorful Past,"  a talk that will include his research and writing on such controversial subjects as the local Ku Klux Klan, the Visalia Fox Theatre, the history of College of the Sequoias, and Walt Disney's efforts to develop a controversial ski resort at Mineral King, during the regularly scheduled meeting of the TK Literary Networking Group founded by Steve Pastis in the "Blue Room", on the second floor of the Tulare County Library, 200 W. Oak Avenue, Visalia, from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, November 15.
There will be time to network, so bring your business cards – along with your writing friends and associates.
Contact Steve Pastis at 280-9774 for more information.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

A VOICE IN THE DARK by Patty Sabatier

I am so pleased to announce that A Voice in the Dark, Patty Sabatier's book about her journey through bipolar mental illness to mental health is now available to everyone. It can be found at Amazon.com. This book should give hope to individuals who suffer from the same type of illness, and to their families. In this book, Patty is candid about the ups and downs she struggled with, about periods of almost normal function to periods when hospitalization was necessary. And in the end, her triumph. At present, Patty is a registered nurse of forty-three years, living and working in California. She continues using art (note the cover of the book) and poetry to express her inner spirituality.

From the back of the book . . .
From childhood, through adulthood and into the beginning of her older years, Patty traces for us how imagination and emotion led her to wholeness and integrity. Using a Jungian spirituality and art, she walked her way to the healing of her bipolar mental illness. She learned to view mental illness as a gift of sensitivity. Patty uses a rational story line to show us her lived experience of irrational encounter with the unconscious self. Patty's book is written for people who struggle with mental illness, their families, and the therapy team. With specific guidelines, she encourages a Jungian approach to mental illness. Her meditations at the end of her book reveal her spiritual struggle and journey.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Wandering Through The Weeds

It happens to all of us at some point. Writing is going along well, and then boom. A problem or stumbling block comes along. The question goes something like this.

If I let the protagonist do that, the next scene won’t work, OR, she has to get herself out of this mess. How is she going to do it when she left her weapon at home.

Sometimes I begin to question my original idea, but most often I try a few strategies first.
One is to sleep on it. Somehow my brain goes to work when I sleep, and sometimes I wake with a solution.

Gardening in very therapeutic. My brain can work on all kinds of ideas while my hands are pulling weeds.

A good long walk is kind of like gardening. It’s undisturbed time to mull over ideas and besides, exercise is always good for the brain.

Sometimes I get someone else’s take on the problem, like my son. I get a guy’s angle on it.
And then, in the end, I may just let the protagonist do what I don’t want her to do and see what happens. After all, there’s always the delete key.

Maybe other people don’t run into stumbling blocks when writing. But if you do, how do you handle it?

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Another Bookstore Bits the Dust

Sad news. Another book store is going to bite the dust. Russo's Bookstore in Bakersfield will be closing its doors at the end of January according to the Bakersfield Californian. Tony Russo, the owner, will continue selling books online, however. I'm always sorry to see a bookstore close, but I can understand why. The trend to e-books has changed the book business and his store is in a high rent area of Bakersfield.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

What Mystery Readers Read

Holiday murders was chosen as the theme chosen for November by the Mystery Readers of Visalia. I picked The Good Friday Murder by Lee Harris, a book I'm delighted to recommend. Published in 1992, it is the first in Harris' holiday murder series featuring Christine Bennett, a former nun.

After being released from her vows, thirty-year-old Christine Bennett leaves the convent to live in a house she recently inherited her aunt. She also takes over the guardianship of her cousin, Gene, to whom she is devoted. He is a resident of Greenwillow, an institution for adults with "special needs" located some ten miles from Oakwood, New York where she is living.

While visiting her cousin, Christine learns that Greenwillow wants to move the residents into a newer, better facility and has made an offer on a house in town, but several of the townspeople are against the move. One of the residents of Greenwillow is James Talley, who along with his twin brother, Robert, had been accused of killing their mother some forty years earlier on Good Friday. At the time these twin savants were sent to different institutions and though never convicted, a cloud of suspicion still hangs over them. The townspeople have openly expressed fears that James Talley might kill again.

Christine wants the best for her cousin and the other residents, so she attends the town meeting. During the discussion, Christine naively proposes that a decision about the property be postponed. She suggests that if the Talley twins' guilt or innocence were proven, the problem would be solved. The people agree, if she will do the investigating. She accepts the challenge. Suffice to say, Christine saves the day, but not until the life of James Talley and her own are put in jeopardy.

By the end of the story the reader can't help but be fully invested in the well-being of these likeable characters. The smoothness and flow of the writing style, as well as the mystery, makes the book a page turner. I look forward to reading more of the series.