The Bonesetter’s Daughter

I don’t remember who it was among my friends who recommended that I’d read Amy Tan but finding her book The Bonesetter’s Daugther at the library I decided to give it a go. The recommendation was most likely to read The Joy Luck Club, which must be her most wellknown book but I often like the hidden gems. It’s rare that the most famous book, or song, movie etcetera, turns out to be my personal favourite.

This book posed some confusion. The modern day setting, that takes up the greater part of the first half of the book, didn’t really draw me in. It was well written enough to keep reading but I didn’t care too much about the characters and their lives. But…

Then starts a travel back in time to China before the second world war and shortly beyond. This storyline was facinating, exotic and transported me to a time, a place and lives I wouldn’t come across in other ways than through books. I loved this part of the book.

Since I had such different experiences of the same book, I do wonder if the storyline set in China would have worked on it’s own without the modern day reference, or would I have felt that something was missing, perhaps that the story didn’t go full circle without the three generations that feature in the book.

The only thing I can conclude is that Amy Tan certainly is a good writer worth reading more of. Maybe I should try Joy Luck Club after all.

 

Amy Tan

Let Me Tell You A Story While You Sleep

Last weekend, my long term project of self-publishing my short story Let me tell you a story while you sleep, came to its first conclusion. It’s been a long time coming, as I looked back and realised that the first draft for this story was written three years ago. It has been a steep learning curve and at times it has seemed impossible to get to “published” as life constantly threw things in the way. It therefore feels like a great accomplishment that it has now been completed. The ebook (only ebook this time) is available through Smashwords who also distribute to Barnes & Nobel, Kobo, and Inktera among others. I am still hoping to find my name on Apple ibooks. There are also several library services listed as their distributors. It was a difficult decision to use Smashwords instead of Amazon but in the end I preferred Smashwords’ services. The ideal would be a Smashwords located in the UK or at least in Europe with distribution all over the world.

Now I go into the next phase, to try to drum up interest for my book, or at least let possible readers know that it’s available. A new challenge and a new learning curve have begun. It also means that I can again focus more on writing new pieces. More about that in the next blog post.

If you wish to buy Let me tell you a story while you sleep visit Smashwords at the below link or check with one of their many distributors. At Smashwords you can read 35% of the book before buying. Happy reading! I hope you enjoy my story and stay put for what my next writing project will be.

 

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/726968

Let Me Tell...You Sleep.A

A young woman, newly arrived in London, finds herself drawn into a romance she wasn’t looking for. Will this man prove her wrong about staying unattached, or is he going to be yet another empty promise?

Our Endless Numbered Days

It feels like it was a while since I picked up a fictional book that I really liked. I don’t even remember how I came across Claire Fuller but I started following her blog and that is how I found out about her debut book Our Endless Numbered Days. To my surprise I found a copy at my local library. Hurray for libraries!

It’s good to read a book by someone you know nothing about and where you know little about the story. You have no expectations and no preconseived notion of what the book is going to be like. From the start of this story though, you know that nothing is going to be what it appears to be.

The story is told through the perspective of Peggy, a 8-year old who lives in North London at the beginning of the story. Both her parents have their odd ways but everything has the appearance of being quite normal. However, by the time Peggy’s father leaves their home together with Peggy you know that this is not a normal family.

On the cover of the book it says: “Every parent lies. But some lies are bigger than others.” The consequences of the lies and the hidden truths in this story is impossible to preceive as you follow Peggy’s story. And I don’t think I have ever before in my life felt a need to re-read the last two chapters just to make sure I really understood it. Did it really end the way I first read it? It’s unusual that an author writes an ending that jars with you enough that you’re not sure you can trust what you just read.

There are so many interesting themes in this book as well, but just to name them feels like I would give away too much of the story. In the end, the only thing you can be sure of is that nothing is what you preceive it to be, even up to the last sentence of the book.

 

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Poetry and Spoken Words Night

In a week, I will have done my first poetry and spoken words night. I have read my poetry in public before but this time I’m part of the organisers and will try my best to keep track of everyone else reading, not just my own pieces and time slot.

Like with all arts, it’s important go challenge yourself to go out there and let other people know that you exist. No one is going to buy your book, your art work or your music if they don’t know it’s there to be bought. In general, we want to put a face to the name. Or get a taster of what we could buy. Poetry lends itself well to being spoken, not just read. I read surprisingly little poetry myself, but often attend open mic nights for the sake of hearing other poets.

I don’t particularly enjoy doing reading of my own work. I never feel like I’m prepared enough. My weak voice don’t carry my words. I don’t give enough soul and meaning to what I’ve written. Many writers will agree with me that we are happiest in our own little bubble tapping away on your computers – or scribbling with pen and papper. Other people can fight for the lime light.

Whether you enjoy the spotlight or, like me, dread it a bit, if you are near Woolwich on May 17, we’d be happy for you to join us, just as a listener or a reader.

 

Poetry and spoken words night

 

 

Publishing Takes Time

I have neglected this blog for a few months now. It hasn’t been entirely by choice. Although a new lighting design position 10 months ago did free up time, most of that time has gone to catching up on two years of focusing on one type of lighting projects when I now work on any type that’s thrown my way.

But I have been working on my writing. I hope within the next month to have my first self-published piece available in an ebook store near you. After researching my options I have settled on Smashwords and is currently doing a final proofreading and learning how to prepare my text for upload, as well as understanding how to pay tax if I earn any money. Why, oh, why, are all these publishing sites American?!

Normally, my stories are about finding your place in life. Perhaps you could call it coming of age stories for adults. I think many people can identify with finding themselves in a life they never wanted. How do you find your way back to being happy with yourself and your life? However, Let me tell you a story while you sleep, is not what I would call a typical story for me.

Let me tell you a story while you sleep is a romantic story about a woman who has planned to live her life alone, identifying herself as independent and self-sufficient. That is, until she meets someone that turns this concept upside down. When she starts a new life in an unfamiliar place the rules of the game changes…or has the rules really changed?

As I writer you want to tell stories. Everything you do that is not to write, no matter how related, feels like a waste of your time. Even in the middle of learning to self-publishing, I still try to write. Currently I’m planning the story line for a full-length novel and I have a short-story book that I will soon start to edit. But for now it’s detail editing, getting my head around ebook layout and taxes that take up most of my time. Marketing? I suppose I’ll get to that eventually as well.

Whispers in the Mists of Time

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I am continuing the trend of reviewing my friends’ artistic endeavours. This time, a poetry collection by Louisa Le Marchand. Louisa is one of the founders of Global Fusion Music and Arts as well as part of one of the writers groups I attend. I was therefore familiar with her writing even before I started reading Whispers in the Mists of Time. I love her short-stories – always with an unexpected twist at the very end – and you always wonder whether it is really fiction or if she’s writing from her own experience.

Whispers in the Mists of Time is a lovely collection of poems. Interestingly, the poems are arranged in alphabetical order. One would think that might create jarring themes and rhythms, but instead the book has a natural flow that makes it easy to read. What I especially like about the book is that it feels like a collection of one person’s life wisdom – one who has lived an extraordinary yet ordinary life. The book feels like a trusted friend whom I can turn to during my own life journey.

Many of the poems are existentialistic, dealing with themes of what it is to be human, to live life on your own terms and what we learn through the rougher parts of life. It also celebrates being alive, being part of this world and it has a few really witty, funny poems thrown inbetween.

 

Your Birthday

Your birthday is special,

Though others may not always remember, you should never

forget.

 A celebration of the day you were born,

The moment of your first breath,

Life may not have been easy, no one said that it would,

But you have lived in a world filled with wonder and morning

breaks every day.

———

The book is self-published and sold by Global Fusion Music and Arts. You can get in touch at globalfusionarts@yahoo.co.uk