Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Spotlight

Though things are really good now, Hubs and I have had our hard times. 

link to original here
I’ve recently been going back through some of my old journal entries to find a short excerpt I could share here to illustrate my point, but it hurts too much. It hurts to re-read them, it hurts to think about putting a spotlight on them, it hurts to up-chuck those memories and piece through the acidic remains of last year’s dinner.

It hurts to remember what bellow-bottom looks and feels like.

So instead I’ll revert to telling you about why I was going back through said journals. 

Peggy Strack, from this interview, mailed me a copy of her debut novel, A Stop in the Park. Obviously it hit some soul-chords if it sent me metaphorically crawling into my dusty attic (I don’t have an attic, but that’s where I’d hide my journals from that time period if I had one) to retrieve my erratic scribblings.

Michael Stolis and his wife Jamie are the main characters in her book, and they’re having a hard go of it, to put it lightly. I know what that’s like. I was hooked by page two. 

Almost immediately I was deeply connected to her characters. They do things in the story that make you go, “No, no! Don’t do that!” But then they do, and then they learn and change, and you learn and change with them. You feel the things they feel, because Strack is so good at pulling out the emotions of the reader as we live vicariously through these people. 

On top of that, her dialogue is awesome. Spot on every time. I kept wanting to rush to the next conversation, but knew I’d be missing out on all this delicious detail if I did. Even now when I think back over the explosive images Strack created, there was always some detail or color to help keep you grounded in that moment of the story. The orange splatter on the wall, the color of his “prison,” the topaz sky…

Now, I am an avid fantasy reader, and because of this I’ll (shamefully?) admit that even though I knew from the start this book wasn’t written to fit into the sci-fi/fantasy genre, I kept wanting some element of magic to pop up and fix everything. Sorry folks, there are no fairy godmothers or magic wands. But? 

But. As the story unfolded, a certain sort of magic did sneak in. No one wore cloaks or had elven ears, but a certain man, and a certain set of mistakes and circumstances, help the characters evolve and grow as individuals. I won’t spoil the end by telling you whether they grow closer together or farther apart as a couple, though, because you have to get the book yourself to find out.

Here’s the link to where it’s available this Thursday (September 20).

As far as my journals go, I’m glad I went through them. Painful, yes. But buried deep in the midst of all that hurt was a little treasure I would have completely forgotten about otherwise:

A note Hubs wrote for me while I was at work
When you buy the book, I'd love to hear what you think. Did it bring up any gut-thoughts or memories for you? What are your relationships like? And do you keep your little treasures too?


17 comments:

  1. Deb ~ I love your interpretation of my story. Wow! It struck a chord--just what every author wants to happen. Combine my perspective with yours and see what the interpretation is. And...I love the note page you found--really love it! Thanks for everything and my next book does have an element of fantasy in it, sort of like Alice Hoffman. I love that genre too! ~ All the best ~ Peggy

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    1. Thank you for everything. I appreciate the opportunity to interview you and read your book. All good things.

      And you just said what every reader wants to hear -- there's a next book. And of course I'm super happy to hear it'll have an element of fantasy in it :) Woot for fantasy! I'm wishing happy thoughts and happy writing to you.

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  2. First, I am sorry you have had to go through tough times (or maybe not I think I am actually sorry that I didn't know you then to be your guide rope, as Tangled Lou has been eluding to we need the bad times and the change in perspective that it gives us).

    Second, :-( I can't get the book over here (unless you know different?!?!) it sounds like a book I could do with reading at the moment!

    Finally, I love the fact that you not only wrote things down but kept even the most painful parts (I got rid of the few things I did write).

    Thank you for sharing this.

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    1. Tough times definitely make me more grateful for the good times. Let me see what I can do about you not being able to get it over there...Maybe Peggy Strack has a thought on it?

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  3. 'Mistakes and circumstances' are the building blocks of our lives. Sounds like a good book!

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    1. So true. Better to have strong building blocks than weak ones too, eh? And blocks only become hard when they're fired, so...

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  4. I believe the rough patches, as I like to refer to them, in our marriage are the actual rocks in our relationship. Because of all of those tears, near break-ups and truly painful times, we know we will be side by side through absolutely anything that comes down the pike.

    I actually didn't write during our most difficult days because my brain was way too messed up and way too sad to be creative or even to report. I kinda wish I had made myself document my own feelings of despair, but I didn't.

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    1. You're exactly right. And it's very gratifying to know he or she will tough it through with you no matter what.

      And it's definitely hard to write when things are that difficult. There were many days when I felt more like tearing the paper than writing on it.

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  5. Going through bad stuff makes you stronger and are educational. Without them we wouldn't be who were are now.

    Kathy
    http://gigglingtruckerswife.blogspot.com

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    1. Yup, I definitely agree. And who we are "now" is usually much better, more empathetic people, so...

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  6. love the view from your tree :0) and how your hubby leaves you notes to read and the knowing...creativity has a way of emerging..like a leaf.. and #12 on hubby's list ((hugs))

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    1. Thanks for the virtual hugs. Strange how they are just as meaningful as the real ones, eh?

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  7. You've definitely sold me on the book! I look forward to reading and seeing if we take it in the same way.

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    1. Ooo, you should definitely let me know what you think. I absolutely love taking apart books with people. I'm glad you're interested :)

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  8. The book sounds good. I think many people (me included) have had rough times in our relationships and it is painful, yet somewhat cathartic to read of others' issues and how they deal with them.

    I hope your rough patches are smoothing out and that you continue to keep the memories as a reminder of what you may not want to happen.

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    1. It's true. It is cathartic. So nice to know we're not alone, and that if others can make it through, I probably can to. "Buck-up cowgirl," and all that.

      Thanks for your thoughts, a.eye. I always love hearing from you.

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  9. I've added the book to my list. I have been married for 25 years to someone I knew for six months when we got married. Needless to say, we've weathered our rough patches--some of them are recorded in my journals in excruciating detail--some of them were so excruciating to live through, they're not recorded at all.

    Sometimes when I look back over the written record, I am hurt and enraged all over again. Sometimes, it's a great comfort to see exactly what we've made it through to get where we are today.

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