Saturday, September 25, 2010

I Just Want to be Loved...

It's an exciting time to be an author these days, especially if you're internet savvy. And if you are willing to take that leap, you can self-publish works that might be otherwise difficult to get into print.

I enjoy short stories, but I don't remember the last time I read one before today. I used to subscribe to piles of magazines and read the stories in the New Yorker, or even Playboy (mee???). I had to get more frugal with retirement, and my magazine reading has become mostly limited whatever might be in the doctors' office.

But today, this fun little book arrived, and it was perfect for the end of a hectic day. Soyon Im explores the wonder of internet relationships in "" Her prose gives me the light and airy feeling of a walk through lotus petals, with the side-jab humor of a Seoul thing. The story takes us through the ups and downs of losing your heart in instant messaging. It was easy to identify with her character Sunghee.

David Massengill completes the book with an offering of flash fiction and a short-short story. "The Little Man" almost had me checking under the bed for the ghost. And even though we know where the story is going, it still gave me the creeps along the way. And with "No Mas, Mi Amor," he shows his talent for developing a personality conflict within a short conversation.

I loved it. I give it four stars.

I would be remiss if I didn't include a tribute to Betty Boop.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Birthday Sale

It's the big one, Elizabeth. Sarah is having the big birthday this year. To celebrate, we're having a sale. You can purchase your autographed copy of Motherless Child - stories from a life for $14.00 now through the end of October, 2010, or while supplies last. From Amazon Seller, "saraphen" (that's me). Click here.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Joplin's Ghost

Joplin's GhostJoplin's Ghost by Tananarive Due

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I don't know why it took me so long to get around to reading this book. I was probably pouting about having to wait for another one of the Blood Brothers series, and nearly missed a national treasure.

I loved this book!! The "Ghost" thing may have kept me away for a while. And maybe it did take me a few dozen pages to stop checking under the bed for the ghost.

I love the way Ms. Due intertwines the historical life of Scott Joplin with the fictional life of an up-and-coming R&B singer who finds herself possessed by Joplin's Ghost. She easily makes the transition back and forth between the life of a black musician 100 years ago, and the R&B/pop/hip-hop scene of today, with the dangers of syphilis years ago and gang violence today.

By the time I finished the book, I felt like I knew the real Scott Joplin, and I wondered if it isn't also Ms. Due who is possessed by his ghost. Joplin lives on through this book.

This is a must-read. I give it five stars.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

I Don't Do Self-Help

I say that at the risk of offending those who do. Let's just say, I'm beyond being helped. There was a time when I would buy the latest non-fiction best seller, which might likely be a self-help book. In my years of working, I enjoyed going to hear the motivational speakers, and I attended the motivational seminars. When I reached the point when I had a budget, I would make sure my staff went to hear the latest from Zig Ziglar, Steve Forbes and the like.

I would go, and get all inspired to change my outlook. I would buy the book, the tapes, the videos. But somewhere along the line, I would open that box of tapes, and ask myself, "what was it all about in the first place." At my age, memory is short, inspiration is fleeting, and my outlook these days is staying alive.

I don't attend the annual "Women's Empowerment Seminar." If anybody asks, I say, "I have all the power I can stand." This is not to belittle those who love to attend the motivational meetings. I would have been there with you 20 years ago.

The latest Motivational tour is coming to Raleigh this month, and will feature, "Live and in Person."

* General Colin Powell: Legendary Soldier-Statesman
* Steve Forbes: President and CEO of Forbes, Inc.
* Dr. Robert Schuller: America’s Best Inspirational Speaker
* Lou Holtz: Renowned Notre Dame Head Coach
* Brian Tracy: America’s Top Authority on Selling
* Zig Ziglar: America’s #1 Motivator
* Rudy Giuliani: America’s Mayor

That's straight from the flyer. (Would I make up "America's Mayor?") Can't you just imagine the testosterone in that venue!! And I'm as old as some of those guys. What can they tell me about my life?

You can take your entire office for $39!! You can be sure there will be books and videos to buy.

Call me cynical, or just old and grumpy. It's no longer about achievement, titles, money or material things. When it comes down to it, the only help I need is here: Psalm 121:2 My help comes from the LORD, Who made heaven and earth.