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An intriguing point of view of an insane individual, presented from the perspectives of known personality disorders, makes this book of poetry and prose--as well as this work of horror--a rare find. De Choudens takes you to unimaginable places, makes you shiver your bones, and uses the empathy card from time to time, all cleverly tricking you to read more, sequentially. The book is split into four sections: "INSIDE A SINISTER SOUL," "BEYOND THE GRAVE," "CREATURES ARE EVERYWHERE," and "SOMEWHERE IN THE UNIVERSE." The main plot begins in a prison cell, at the hand of a very sly and diabolical man. The author cleverly balances the disturbing topic with a little dark humor and twisted love. It's a story within a story you can't miss. It all wickedly boils down here, in this imaginative book.
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An old maid, that's what I'm to be. A literary spinster, with a pen for a spouse, a family of stories for children, and twenty years hence a morsel of fame, perhaps...
Shannon McLoud is an aspiring writer and English teacher from little ol' Rhode Island. Her plays have been performed in Providence, Rhode Island and San Antonio, Texas. When she is not chasing after her very active five year old son, or enjoying a quiet moment with her husband, Shannon can be found at her local Panera doing homework as she works towards her M.A. in English and Creative Writing with Southern New Hampshire University.
Little Women: A Tale that has stood the Test of Time “I like good strong words that mean something…”
And really who doesn’t? These words spoken by Louisa May Alcott’s heroine Jo March are as pertinent today as they were 145 years ago when Alcott penned them. These words of course have contributed to one of the many reasons I wanted to become a writer. I remember reading this book for the first time as a child, home sick with strep throat, which for a kid who liked to talk is a travesty! And then I met Jo March, and realized there was an entire new world out there, waiting for me to write it!
Little Women is the tale of four sisters; Jo, Beth, Amy and Meg. Their tale is timeless, and has even been transposed for the Broadway stage! It is set in Alcott’s home in Concord, Massachusetts, a pilgrimage; I remember dragging my family to when I was very young! Alcott blends a tapestry of love in this family as their father is away fighting in the Civil War and their mother (Marmee) tries to keep the spirits of her daughters up while maintaining as normal of a household as possible. The girls are as diverse as four sisters can be. Meg is the oldest of the four girls and at sixteen is able to run the household when she needs to for her mother. Beth is thirteen and always thinks of others, and Amy, the youngest, is the artist and when the book begins is twelve years old. However, it is the second eldest, Josephine, or Jo, that is the character that stays with you the most. Jo is a writer, so one can only surmise that Alcott saw bits of herself in Jo, and has trouble curbing her temper. Jo is the character I most identified with as a child not only for the simple fact that she was a writer, but in the world of Barbie she was a strong female character to look up to.
Chapter 8 of this novel has stayed with me throughout my childhood, and even now as an adult. Without giving away too much of the plot, a grave injustice is done upon Jo at the hands of her younger sister Amy. As events fold in this chapter, Jo sees the danger in her stubbornness and quick temper, and goes to her mother for guidance. As a child I was so moved by this piece that I had a drawing hanging in my room that reminded me of the scene. I thought it was great that Jo could confide in her mother without reservation, and as a naive ten year old I of course romanticized the notion for my own life. As a mother reading this chapter again, I am reminded in the type of mother I strive to be, as Marmee says in this scene; “He [Jo’s father] helped and comforted me and showed me that I must try to practice all the virtues I would have my little girls possess, for I was their example” (Alcott). As a mom this of course is something I strive for, although admittedly not always succeeding. I am glad Alcott’s words are there for a reminder!
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott is a tale that has stood up to the test of time. The story’s poignant themes of love, a woman’s struggle in the world and the poverty of the working poor, are themes we can still relate to today. If you’re compiling a literary bucket list for the summer, be sure to add this to your list!
Alcott, Louisa May. Little Women. 1868. Project Gutenberg. August 2010. Accessed 7 July 2013. <http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/514>
**Project Gutenberg offers Little Women and thousands of other novels completely FREE to download into a plethora of reader's like Nook, Kindle, PDF, and more.
In the last few days, many schools and libraries across the nation have been honoring and celebrating the birthday of a literary wordsmith by the name of Dr. Seuss.
Dr. Seuss's actual birthday is March 2nd. Being the parent of a 1st grader, we are privy to read a Dr. Seuss book as least 2-3 times a week.
One of my favorite stories from Dr. Seuss is the Lorax. I have yet to see the newest re-model of the film, but we currently own the original book and movie. There's something about that story that mirrors the world. Growth of industry and technology spreading like a virus bull-dozing all the truffala trees causing all the wild life to move on to better places. Although the ending is quite sad, that sheer glimmer of hope when the last truffala seed drops to the little child always makes me heart swell. If only this story could be a model for life, then wouldn't the world grow into a better place. Maybe!
Another Seuss favorite during the holiday season is How the Grinch Stole Christmas. I truly enjoy the animated and live-action film adaptation of the his story. The Grinch character outcast from Whoville is a similar that most could relate to. But in the end, no matter what you've done or who you become . . . Seuss story offers a happy ending showing that mean people can change, and all are welcome home.
How will you be celebrating on Dr. Seuss's birthday tomorrow? Which of his books are your favorite passed down to your children, or maybe you still read on occasion?
“You know you're in love when you can't fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.”
I just got out of a writer's workshop with acclaimed author, Sharon Draper. She taught for 20 years before being challenged by one of her students to enter a short story contest, in which she won 1st place. What I really liked about this workshop and her specifically was mainly due to the well-rounded perspective she brought. She related to both the "English major" and " English Ed major."
I just posted her website to my delicious bookmark account found in the bottom right corner of this page entitled J Delicious. Otherwise please visit: www.sharondraper.com
It's not enough to just be informed, but live informed!
Life is just raw and uncensored at times. ~ Jane Write
Jane Wright - Yahoo! Voices
We Give Books - Combining the Joy of Reading with Helping Others
Free Rice - Feeding the Hungry through the World Food Programme
Good Reads - Meet Your Next Favorite Book
Torg Stories - Where Writing floats on a Sea of Conversation
Sigma Tau Delta - International English Honor Society
The Penmen Review - Southern New Hampshire University Online Journal for Creative Writers
The Monologuist - Anders Brekhus Nilsen
Chicago Writer's Association
E. N. De Choudens