Re-reading “Don’t Let the Sun Step Over You“, the collected stories by Eva Tulene Watt assisted by Keith Basso made me write my mother and say, “TellRe-reading “Don’t Let the Sun Step Over You“, the collected stories by Eva Tulene Watt assisted by Keith Basso made me write my mother and say, “Tell me a story”…and she did. She did, and it was good! If you’ve read the work, you’ll know why I add emphasis just so in the previous sentence. And why I wanted to hear from my mother about our people, our cousins, our family, about the past that touches the present and the future. The stories she was told or the things she observed.
Re-reading “Don’t Let the Sun Step Over You” made me want to hear songs. Made me want to hear songs I’d never heard before in this life and songs I already knew. One of them was “I’ve Been Around”, a popular Apache song that somehow voices all those stories of the hardworking, big-hearted, fierce, gentle, humorous, resilient, pragmatic, whimsical and wise Apache. “They’re always walking, walking, going around and doing things. They worked hard!”
I hear my ggrandmother’s voice again, and the stories she told and tried to tell us even when we weren’t listening, only halfway or transfixed cause they seemed light, even funny, but were deep. Stories when she was cooking or cleaning or working or chasing us (me!) with a switch when I had done something she directly told me not to do but I did it anyway because I was stubborn and/or curious.
Stories tell you why you should do things or why not to do other things. They give you purpose. They give you hope. They help you remember why you’re here now, right this very minute and not just what our ancestors endured. Stories help explain why they are important, to be kept, and remembered so our children understand and know. Some stories are shared with non-family, not-of our People, but others are special. Knowing them helps you understand why we defend them and how when someone copies you, culturally appropriates, or takes and changes your stories into their fantasies, these critically important parts of your culture and identity, it is beyond offensive but also really hurtful. Painful. That they do not care, that they make excuses, rationalize or say its just “fantasy” or “honoring” you is even worse. It’s terrible for native identities and cultures.
Some do think they are honoring but obviously they’ve never read or really interacted in depth with native cultures or peoples. If they really knew/learned true history, not just the stuff written by mostly non-natives however expert the “world” thinks they are…if they really knew, they wouldn’t do it. They would understand. They would be respectful and learn without trying to “become” what they study or explore, or fantasize native “stories” into entertainment a.k.a. money-making schemes that boost their own image of themselves, positively reinforcing their centuries long mendacity....more
A presentation of a fictional native community and characters in stark detail and often vivid description, the three stories of the Midnight Lake BandA presentation of a fictional native community and characters in stark detail and often vivid description, the three stories of the Midnight Lake Band of Indians have great depth of thought and storytelling that can teach and from which perceptive readers might learn. While it is fictional, one imagines it may partially be based on the author’s observations, experiences, even actual events, as many such works tend to be. Certainly it’s reflective of the struggles, internal and external complications, and hugely affective brutal colonization of natives and the latter-day results. All facets of indigenous culture, identity, beliefs and the peoples themselves have been assaulted, stereotyped and systematically oppressed for hundreds of years directly or indirectly. In any such situation, the traumatization is long-lasting, highly extensive, and present even now, as Blackbird simply shared in three “slice of life” tales but even in such situations, as demonstrated here, there is clearly evident resilience and beauty.
Writing, editing and publishing is a process, and should definitely be a learning experience as editing and formatting can improve with time and experience. Here the writing is abrupt, in present tense, almost screenplay in style and therefore challenging to understand continuity occasionally, but tone and characterization was always clear. At times I questioned the effectiveness of the method, but I respected the author’s choice, and in the end it worked. It served the purpose of driving plots forward and building palpable tension that resulted in almost inevitable conclusions.
It is a tremendous accomplishment to finish and publish any work in my opinion, especially with themes or topics that may be difficult, but works like “A Trilogy of the Midnight Lake Indian Band” are absolutely necessary, even crucial to First Nations survival and progression in particular. Stories like these, despite some viewing them only as representative of stereotypes, can actually give hope because they are critical examples of natives actually presenting themselves. I didn’t see the characters or situations as stereotypical, but merely representative of the realities of too many natives experience and/or live with every day.
Reminiscent of New Zealand’s world-reknown Maori writer Alan Duff, who used “manner of speaking” in an unconventional way to set the mood and give his characters unique personalities and voice, John Blackbird also created a quite visual, unforgettable work because of this ability. One not all writers possess. An outstanding debut, powerful and poignant even when presenting ugly realities, utilizing a sparse style that heightened impact. I definitely hope to read more in the future.
“The Story of Lucius Cane” is a short that promises to be just the beginning in a series of work by Vanya Ferreira. It introduces the characters of Lu“The Story of Lucius Cane” is a short that promises to be just the beginning in a series of work by Vanya Ferreira. It introduces the characters of Lucius Cane, a vampire, and Jack Estenborough, a.k.a. “The Hound” who became a “half-kind” werewolf after being targeted and marked by a mysterious wolf. Former farmer, turned pirate turned assassin and hunter, Jack is hired to eliminate the debonair yet deadly blood-drinker, but they’re both in for a surprise when the confrontation begins.
Authors newly launching their work into the evolving market of online publishing often learn quickly, sometimes by trial and error. Enthusiasm is great and very much needed, but also the attention to little details such as sentence structure, word choice and repetition, but those are things that can improve with time and experience. This new characters in the “dark” world of lycans and vampiris will doubtless be welcomed by the many lovers of the genre, and as I understand more ebooks will follow so their backgrounds and stories can expand.
I am a long-time thru-and-thru fan of Cherryh, and this was one that had escaped me over the years of collecting and reading. I love her style, most sI am a long-time thru-and-thru fan of Cherryh, and this was one that had escaped me over the years of collecting and reading. I love her style, most storylines and the unique wordy, repetitiveness that is unmistakable as hers. It was a true pleasure to read one of her older works that I'd missed. The only reason I rate it less than a 5 is I would have preferred a little more detail and explanation in certain areas and the "heroine" was the kind I really dislike: meaning very headstrong into dangerous situations without common sense, yet its a great story overall because that worked in the end. Yes, despite being powerful, some lovely ladies also need support lovingly provided. Secondary characters, as ever, were strong and unforgettable. ...more
One of the first things I noticed about Sanctuary, as compared to a lot of indie books in addition to ones traditionally published, was the length. SaOne of the first things I noticed about Sanctuary, as compared to a lot of indie books in addition to ones traditionally published, was the length. Sanctuary is well-constructed and balanced, and approximately 260 pages, which especially for its genre, I’ve found to be rather rare. Some readers want longer books in order to get their supposed “money’s worth”, but if there is too much information, which hinders the story the itself, I’ll take a shorter work that flows well over a longer book that too long lags in places, any day of the week. This one, for the most part, had a flowing pattern though in the way of descriptive passages, showing instead of simply telling and smoother connectives would have improved that for me.
I have a distinct clause in my review request guidelines these days, which was updated not because I do not privately read works that may have religious or spiritual themes of some kind, but for review purposes, authors whose works I have read in those genres and may disagree with some of those aspects have ironically and solely been those abusive in their response to the review. Life’s too short for that nonsense. So, this work was on the edge of the religious themed fiction, as the main character is a priest which influences much of the storyline and dialogue. For the time period, however, even if I found it tiresome at times, this was understandable and in character for Daniel. The location itself, ancient Wales, was of particular interest as due to personal curiosity and a familial attachment, I began studying about Cymru over two decades ago.
Daniel, the protagonist is believable and distinct, but for my personal tastes the Christian overtones and theme as a whole, would limited my return to this world and life. Santuary is a solid read, which lovers of ancient history may very well enjoy, and is descriptive, gripping, and filled with action and emotionally engaging characters and situations. Sanctuary is just one of the publications of The 4th Realm, a collective group of writers specializing in indie fiction and non-fiction.
Reviewing a memoir can sometimes be more difficult as it’s a person’s life, at least from their perspective. By nature and subject matter, memoirs canReviewing a memoir can sometimes be more difficult as it’s a person’s life, at least from their perspective. By nature and subject matter, memoirs can be intensely personal as you learn their thoughts, history, etc. as well as how they interacted with or observed others. With memoirs, you are not only revealing aspects of yourself but also those of other people, and that’s where I had a problem with Sons of Suicide.
As a person with painful personal history that is in the process of writing my own memoir, but more specifically as a psychological counselor now, I know that the after-effects of traumatic events can be affective one’s whole life. Those can take a number of forms, as coping mechanisms develop: these vary from person to person. Throughout this work I felt a sense of trying to make themselves look good at the expense of or in comparison to their brother. I don’t question revealing some things as facts, or events that happened, but just as that, so the reader can make their own decisions. Not having a judgement presented to them.
Although having an intriguing and sobering opening scene that sets the tone for the terrible tragedy endured and times of enjoyability when reading, the almost adolescently egocentric streak throughout of not thinking of the consequences of basically slamming their brother and pointedly showcasing how good they’ve adapted themselves really spoiled this memoir for me. Also, personally and professionally, I couldn’t help be aware of the possibilities of the manner in which this story was delivered could affect that relationship. A very good description but the memoir didn’t deliver that for me.
I just received my copy in the mail a few days ago, and it's a great read full of nostaglia, alternatively witty or melancholy or sometimes both. It'sI just received my copy in the mail a few days ago, and it's a great read full of nostaglia, alternatively witty or melancholy or sometimes both. It's also quite dense, meaning that it is a full collection of a variety of writing styles and methods, from front to back cover. No filler pages, etc. so you get your money's worth not only in amount but in quality, enjoyable content. I don't say it often, but it is really a beautiful trade-sized book. ...more
Whether its a theory, belief system, or science: there are many schools of thought, which may have similarities or basic premises that are common enouWhether its a theory, belief system, or science: there are many schools of thought, which may have similarities or basic premises that are common enough to be believable, reasonable and/or acceptable in some way. I can completely agree that humans need to live in harmony with Nature, and also that there are similarities between some people/populations based on a variety of factors, though there are no hard or fast rules regarding that.
“We people have mysteries. Things we cannot explain. Things we don’t know how they came to be or how they stay alive but it’s all part of life. For some things we have legends and tales passed down from our ancestors, and they’re enough though now we have science and all kinds of stuff which explain how things work inside. Or they try to anyway. There are still mysteries and will always be. There are some things you don’t need answers to in order to have a happy life or just get by even.
Every body should just be how they are and be allowed to. I can be happy with very little because their definition does not apply to me. They might be unhappy with what I had. I think that’s why they are so unhappy and so far from the earth. They’re always looking at someone else and trying to change them when they don’t really know themselves in the first place.” M.G., Lakota Elder, from a speech recorded by me during an Indian Education gathering.
That is my feeling as well, but living in Germany as I do, and using its modern society as an example, there are so many people who are searching for some meaning to life and they look to this or this or that belief system, philosophy, ancient teachings or people, trying to find explanations on the “whys” of life and living, their failures in relationships, career, and so forth. They can fasten onto some particular belief or explanation that more suits their needs or what they know of themselves, things gleaned from their experiences and observations, and say, “Aha!” That belief system or philosophy can then explain everything to them they need, and they begin to work their lives around it and advocate it to others. That is what I felt this work delivered, but for me, I simply believe there can be too much overthinking, too much overstatement and all inclusiveness in terms.
All in all, it is somehow more of a distraction from simply coming to know yourself through yourself, whatever that takes, though some people clearly would feel Catalogs, manipulation modes, things advocated by this system, are tools to help an individual do so. I think the philosophy based on Shan Hai Jing manuscript is something you have to personally accept and believe in, and its a model among thousands or millions of others, and simply one interpretation of what the “human psyche” is, encompasses and needs. It was certainly a readable, well put together work that an individual should try for themselves, and see what it means to them.
As detailed in its description, this is a non-fiction work related to martial arts philosophy that is a compilation of quotes from the author and otheAs detailed in its description, this is a non-fiction work related to martial arts philosophy that is a compilation of quotes from the author and others, combined with his artwork.
For myself, having studied a certain school of martial art before, as well as read various books on the subject, although certainly there are masters and students from other countries who have turned to Asian based arts in this way, I prefer to primarily read from "the originals," so to speak.
This very much had a contemporary American feel to it, though I believe something can be learned from anything we read, see or experience, yet there was nothing that really inspired me personally, providing a spark I needed to connect, a spirit of affinity. I wouldn't say it was an "enormous" cross section at all either, for at 67 pages, several of which are artwork exclusive, I would rather say the opposite.
Overall, I couldn't help but feel the amount of that artwork and the layout and design somewhat clashed with the messages being presented: color and contrast, page to page harmony and flow was at times abrupt. However, it is up to the reader to glean what they may from each quote and up to an individual to determine what is "the greatest lesson," as stated, "No answer (or review) will ever be correct or incorrect."
If open in the genre, it is a story that catches the interest immediately. And within a few paragraphs, if not a few sentences, the mood and tone is sIf open in the genre, it is a story that catches the interest immediately. And within a few paragraphs, if not a few sentences, the mood and tone is set: a young woman, somewhat listless, dissatisfied, unsure yet at the same time, knows or feels action needs to be taken. There is a palpable feel of helplessness combined with a carefully contained frenzy of mania that may strike at anytime, yet no one around the individual may ever know.
The author accurately invokes the behavioral after-effects an adult can display when having experienced strong or continuing trauma as a child and/or teen. All the little thoughts, the impressions, the observations all mostly unspoken that cross the mind all referencing back to those times. Internally you think yourself insane, but you are actually one of the most sane because you daily, hundreds of times, have to face and overcome memories that might drive another crazy. Or, in this case, you can embrace a special kind of madness and make it work for you simply because you cannot find a way to be rid of it successfully.
Descriptions, something I often note, were in balance in my opinion. There are times when the story, the characters, the scenes needed more details, yet didn’t slow the pace and flow. Other times, a minimalist tone allowed for more focus on the emotions, the dialogue, arcs leading to the climax. Kaleidoscope World was balanced and enjoyable in that, with the only thing even somewhat of a hinderance being the length of paragraphs at times. I felt especially with certain dialogues and thoughts of Dahlia, the main character, they could have had more impact were structure different.
Invocative, beautiful but also agonizing in raw but necessary emotion, especially for those of us who have had to trod similar paths…or may still be doing so. This story could be anybody’s: a close acquaintance or even a past lover you never could understand but wanted to, a brother or sister…a parent. Quite outstanding and unforgettable.
Taking almost ten years to complete, The Agony of Joy, incorporates many of the author’s experiences and observations as a survivor of child sexual abuse, violence and suicidal ideation. But far from being the central theme although psychological and behavioral after-effects continue for many, the novel focuses on the courage it takes, often in the face of opposition, misunderstanding and/or apathy to not allow anything or anyone to keep you imprisoned by that past, not even yourself. Rated PG-13 for adult themes and some language. This is bisexual/gay contemporary fiction.
If you’ve ever read “The Silver Metal Lover” by Tanith Lee, the story’s premise could be compared with Rossi’s The Perfect Family, as a relationship bIf you’ve ever read “The Silver Metal Lover” by Tanith Lee, the story’s premise could be compared with Rossi’s The Perfect Family, as a relationship between a human/humanoid and an android or artificial being is explored. The basic question seems to be: what is perfection? The difficulties arise when what we once felt to be perfection changes, but only because of humanity’s changeable nature. And daily observation of perfection can make one more critical to oneself, or conversely, oblivious to the fact you are being influenced.
The author is a native Italian speaker from Turin, and it wasn’t clear if this work was written in English or translated from Italian to English after being completed. There are some wording and grammatical issues, for either of those reasons. I liked the premise and how the story was presented, yet since it is a short story from a larger work supposedly a collection, it does seem to end abruptly and without any kind of resolution or satisfaction. For whatever reason, I liked it, and it might spur a reader to consider other works by the author, but it just might have the opposite effect for some.
A very well-written, edited and formatted book, which was what notably caught my eye when first viewing Shadowed. Crisp, clean and thorough, it was aA very well-written, edited and formatted book, which was what notably caught my eye when first viewing Shadowed. Crisp, clean and thorough, it was a pleasure to see considerable care had been taken to present a professional appearance.
The premise of the story itself, someone discovering abilities in themselves they cannot fathom or understand, which distances them from other humans is a more common theme it seems these days. Paul, the main character, struggles with his heightened awareness, making choices and decisions after secretly observing sometimes nefarious others while still trying to protect his family and find out what happened to change him in this way.
Maybe it is why it took me a few tries to get started and finish, but I found I couldn’t connect with Paul and his motivations for the most part, nor the secondary characters with which he interacted. The story itself, however was told in a complex, suspenseful way other readers might enjoy.