Book Review ~ The Lost Mother

I have already mentioned that my vacation (last week) was less than wonderful due to relentless heat and humidity, yet, I keep finding wonderful snippets rising, like cream, to the surface of my memory of it.

I read a gripping story while perspiring in a shady spot. This was another of my “browsing for books off of the library shelf” finds. I thoroughly enjoyed this story as I laughed, cried and bit my lip in anger. The sweltering heat and humidity did not exist for me while I was immersed in this tale of hard times for two children during the Great Depression. The overall theme of the powerlessness of children to direct their own lives could be applied to any time period, though, and reminds us that the blessing of family and loved ones is not necessarily afforded to everyone.

The story does have a superb ending after a roller coaster ride that envelopes the reader and makes this book unable to be put down. Just when things couldn’t get worse, they do, in a totally believable way. Not unlike To Kill a Mockingbird, The Lost Mother is told primarily through the vulnerable mind and naive heart of a twelve year old named Thomas. His hopes and sorrows become the reader’s. Tears streaked my face as the story concluded with a few surprises …I intend to read more of Mary Mc Garry Morris’ work.

Random Word Stories #13~Finding My Voice

Beaver pond on the Thur river between Pfyn and...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Random words were generated by

Let’s try 7 words this time.


Here’s my story:

The rented cabin stood beside an old mill-pond. As ramshackle as it was, the place seemed to open welcoming arms as I stepped inside. My novel would have no choice but to write itself here. The musty smell was not unpleasant…it reeked of peacefulness and solitude. Could it be that this was the odor of  introspect?

“Ah Thoreau, your secret’s safe with me, my friend.”

My own voice sounded unfamiliar. I realized that I could talk to myself, out loud, all that I desired here. No raised eyebrows could ground me now.

After my nose grew accustom to the new surroundings, my ears tuned in to the chorus of frogs outside my door. An opera that no single frog could create.

” One for all and all for one, huh guys? Hope you sing all night. I’d enjoy that serenade at bedtime.”

My novel had been on hold for, well, all of my adult life. It had poked me in the ribs, every so often in the middle of my personal “rat race” ,  finally becoming too annoying to ignore any longer. Gosh, suddenly the realization that I’d be writing it by hand, struck me like a hammer.

“Henry, what might you have accomplished with a computer and printer?”

Yes, I liked the spirit of my favorite author beside me. Talking to him would clear those cob webs for sure.

I straighten up the place and made it my own. Then sat beside the pond in the springtime sun. Something magical in the sunshine in Spring. It is welcomed and comforting. The summer sun was overbearing and cruel in comparison.

A rustling in the brush brought me back from my poetic musings. Whatever it was, it was coming closer. I studied the wooded bank and saw brown fur headed toward the water’s edge.

As I was cleaning the cabin, I had found an old rifle with one unspent cartridge still in the chamber. For a moment, I debated whether I just might need it after all. My “peaceful harmony” mood had dismissed its value, originally, but my survival instinct made me make a mental note of where I’d put it. I now figured, it would take 10 seconds to lay my hands on it.

“Henry, were YOU ever afraid?”

My utterance made the beast pause.

“Fight or flight.Yup, what’s it gonna be fella?”

As my heart rhythm made a dramatic spike, two beady black eyes glistened followed by a splash and a slap on the water. A head surfaced just before it ducked into a pile of sticks and brush at the pond’s entrance.

I laughed at the terror I’d experienced for naught.

“Henry? Meet Beaver Cleaver…I think we’ll be spending lots of time together.”

What are friends for?

My good friend Jordan came by the other day. He’s a former daycare “baby” who I took in at a few weeks old. He is my best friend in many ways. We just plain have the same interests and view the world from the same “window”.

Ideas and artwork are intricate parts of our compatibility. Agreeing with each other is not at all necessary to the subjects we discuss. At one time, I was the “teacher”. Now we explore our interests by learning from each other. Politics, biology, books, movies…you name it, we have opinions and enjoy sharing them.

There is no generational gap present. I find this intriguing. There are no stops for the male/female sides of arguments. They do not exist.

I considered for years that my influence would fade away as he “moved on” to manhood. Never did I “hang on” or worry about the event. Now he’s in college. Although he asked, I did not write him letters during his first semester.(I wanted him to fly solo.)  Then, at winter break, he asked me to write and I did. I know it pleased him .

One of the most fulfilling accomplishments of my day care career has been being his mentor. We didn’t choose each other. My life has been enriched as much as his. It just “is”.

I’m not his mom…I’m not his girlfriend…I’m not his sister…I’m his Susan and HE is my Jordan. My first book will definitely have characters mirrored after this friendship because it is one I had never witnessed before and one that must exist in some other lucky folks lives. It’s been likened to the “Tuesdays with Morrie” friendship but even THAT was more one sided.

I’m not bragging. I’m not ashamed. I’m just plain glad he is my friend…

My Dream Novel's Plot

Prepared to be scared…

edvard munch – the scream 1893

Nadia awoke with a start!

She had to have been dreaming. Yet,the voice in her ear was so very familiar that it still resonated.

The image of her younger self came back, like an old fashioned movie, it had no sound and flickered.

Nadia pinched herself…she was dreaming. “Ouch!”

The show stopped as abruptly as it had started.

The haunting image of herself at age ten stayed with her. Although she was sure it was her younger self, the setting was completely foreign. If she had to guess, she was traveling on a train. The scene ran at a separate speed behind her.

Nadia had never, ever, ridden a train.

Then the voice came back to her.

She wracked her brain but couldn’t remember what it had said.

“Nadia, you up?” Aunt Gayle always insisted that the “early bird gets the worm.”

“Yes, I’ll be right down.”

Nadia was visiting Aunt Gayle’s dairy farm in New York State.

Her parents were on a leave from their studies on behalf of the government. They were secretive about their jobs. Even at age 25, Nadia had no idea what they really did.

She shook off the eerie dream and went down to breakfast.

After she left the bedroom, an image flickered on the wall.

It was the young Nadia screaming in terror… but no one saw.

Time travel, government experiment, mental illness what will come will blow you away!

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