Taking a Curative

    Aside from watching the 12 (I kid you not) tutorials on how to use a planner book to get my life into full focus, I did not indulge in any throw-out-the-old-bring-in-the-new rituals in that glorious blank space between Christmas and New Year’s.  Okay, I did draw out a Dave Ramsey style debt snowball …

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Christmas Past

What the Dickens?

  The Ghosts of Christmases Past, Present, and Yet To Come swirled about the classroom as the genius of Dickens wrought its magic.  Sure, the students understood allusions to Scrooge, but I was surprised by their corporate ignorance of the plot line (and, consequently, the message) of A Christmas Carol.  After using a combo of rich …

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Poisonwood Bible

Rocky Rates It: The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver

I read Kingsolver’s The Poisonwood Bible several years ago and decided a re-visit was in order.  I was impressed when I approached it from a reader’s perspective, but from a writer’s perspective, the sheer magnitude of Kingsolver’s craft left me–for lack of a better term–fangirling my way through the novel. Kingsolver lays bare five souls, six …

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Ode to Preservatives: The Mostly True Story of a Sausage and Its Quest for Immortality

It all began back on September 11th when I decided to try out the microwavable mini sausage biscuits I’d been pumping down my kids ever since that really good BOGO at the Winn Dixie.  They were portable, kinda cute, and smelled pretty good coming out of the plastic steam bag.  The kids were acting appropriately …

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Salem's Lot

Rocky Rates It: Salem’s Lot by Stephen King

I didn’t even buy a pumpkin this Halloween.  Didn’t decorate.  Didn’t wear a costume.  Didn’t have any trick-or-treaters come knocking at my desolate door.  But do you know what I did have this Halloween?  Vampires!  Loads and loads of vampires! I had frights aplenty with King’s Salem’s Lot.  This tale made it to the big screen …

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Mug Shot

Piddling Things

  “Don’t sweat the small stuff.” “It’s all small stuff.” “Don’t let things get to you.” “Don’t bottle it up.  Speak your mind!” Stand up.  Sit down.  Follow the rules.  Forge your own path.  Be happy.  Life’s not all sunshine and glitter.  Differentiate while you standardize! Carbs will make you fat.  Carbs will give you energy. …

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Spittin’ Images, Blood Relations, and Mysterious Legacies…the Making of Clemenceau’s Daughters

  Call it fate, or call it the creeps, but the idea behind Clemenceau’s Daughters emerged as I was thumbing through my great-grandmother’s photo album, trying to decide if I had the ambition to digitize a bunch of old photos of people completely lost to the collective family memory.  I felt pretty guilty as I …

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Rocky's Hurricane Wine Punch

Nate’n To It

  The tailwinds of  Hurricane Nate whistle through the trees this morning, providing a rhythm section to birdsong and punctuated by the cymbal shriek of our guineafowl and the deep baritone bray of Jack the Ass.  Aside from a forgotten wind chime, spread-eagle on the grass, all is as it should be on the farm. …

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The Emperor's Children

Rocky Rates It: The Emperor’s Children by Claire Messud

The Emperor’s Children is the most “adult” book I’ve read this year.  Every character is mired in his/her own sense of inadequacies, be they real or imagined.  From the self-possessed Marina who strives for a name beyond that of her famous father to the hapless Bootie, whose idealism threatens his own destruction, Messud presents a …

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Faulkner

Sound and Fury

I washed my vitamins down with a wine cooler yesterday.  It was that kind of week…a week of ups and downs, wins and losses, sin and redemption.  It was the kind of week where I added the being to the doing and came up a little short in every department.  Some weeks go like that, I …

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A Quiet Moment

Slipping the Vortex

It’s mid-September and I’m caught–even though I swore I wouldn’t let myself get this way again–in the vortex.  It’s not a matter of poor planning.  Those of you who know me well enough to forgive me for my quirks know that whenever someone comments on one of my “OCD” tendencies, I am quick to respond that …

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Readers' Favorites Medals

Clemenceau’s Daughters Takes Honorable Mention at Readers’ Favorite International Book Awards

  For immediate release: Reader’s Favorite recognizes “Clemenceau’s Daughters” in its annual international book award contest. The Readers’ Favorite International Book Award Contest featured thousands of contestants from over a dozen countries, ranging from new independent authors to NYT best-sellers and celebrities. Readers’ Favorite is one of the largest book review and award contest sites …

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Joy

A Pilgrimage of Sorts

Sometimes I allow myself to engage in fantasies of Heaven.  I hope it’s not sinful because I myopically imagine the Hereafter in completely human terms, but I suppose that’s precisely what God expects.  How egocentrically I picture it all, this wonderful other prepared for my decidedly undeserving reward.  Is it even possible that one day God …

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