Peevish Pen

Ruminations on reading, writing, rural living, retirement, aging—and sometimes cats. And maybe a border collie or other critters.

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Location: Rural Virginia, United States

I'm an elderly retired teacher who writes. Among my books are Ferradiddledumday (Appalachian version of the Rumpelstiltskin story), Stuck (middle grade paranormal novel), Patches on the Same Quilt (novel set in Franklin County, VA), Them That Go (an Appalachian novel), and several Kindle ebooks.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Literary Daze

The past week was a whirlwind of literary activities.

Friday was Lake Writers, where discussions are always stimulating, both in the meetings and at lunch afterwards. We decided that instead of an essay contest this year, we’d have a fiction contest. While one format was discussed at the meeting, a few of us doing lunch together decided that we needed to tighten some suggestions and loosen others, so we’d get entries but the entries would be easy to judge. We’re tossing ideas around via email until we arrive at something satisfactory to all (or most). Our waitress was a former student of mine from a couple decades ago (she still looks like a kid!). It’s always nice to see a former student. After lunch, some Ida B. Peevish fans asked me to sit at their table and visit, so I did. One had contributed a letter years ago.

Wednesday, I had a writers meeting in Rocky Mount and then I attended the Franklin County Library’s book club, which met at Ferrum College where Dr. Marcia Horn led a discussion about Tatiana de Rosnay’s Sarah’s Key. About 18 attended. Marion, who was the first to discover the wonderful book, has already blogged about it. Marcia, a former colleague of mine from my adjunct instructor days and who teaches a Holocaust course, gave a lot of insights into the events surrounding the Holocaust. Part of the discussion was about whether such a thing could happen again, and participants listed places where it was (Rwanda, for instance).
I’ve read three interesting biographies this week. Mockingbird is Harper Lee’s biography, although she wasn’t involved in its writing. Charles J. Shields did meticulous research to reconstruct parts of her life. Since he used so many sources and attributions, the book is believable. But is she really how he portrayed her? I guess we’ll never know. Alan Alda’s Never Stuff Your Dog was a well-written autobiography that I enjoyed. He included many of life’s lessons that he learned, including not to stuff your dog. Marion lent me her copies of both these books.

Today, I finished Lucky, Alice Sebold’s memoir of her rape. I’d loved her debut novel, The Lovely Bones; now I understand where she was coming from when she wrote it. Amy H. lent me this book.

It's nice to have friends who read books that I like—and who'll lend them to me.

. . . I live in a world where the two truths coexist; where both hell and hope lie in the palm of my hand.

—the last line of Lucky, by Alice Sebold ( Little, Brown & company, 1999)

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1 Comments:

Blogger Amy Hanek said...

I am so glad you enjoyed the book! Sebold is wonderful writer.

I will have to check out Alan Alda's book. I think he is one of the most imaginative people and very likable too! Thank you for the recommendation!

6:33 AM  

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