Discipline

Discipline

I lecture the students,
about having discipline.

How important it is.

Making a schedule and treating your body like
a
temple.
A
damn
place of worship.

I am good for a few days,
before I fall off the dock of sainthood,
wondering how I even stayed on it so long.

But I will slam my fist against the table, saying disipline is an important thing to have in life.

Discipline. The two faced-creature.

 

“Interference” by Michelle Berry Book Review

Interference is published by ECW Press in Canada. 277 pages, $18.95

This is the kind of book that me me sad when the book ended, I wanted to know more about the characters, more about their messed up little, lonely lives. The writing gripped me and fascinated me the whole way through.

But I suppose that is the way the world works, we catch a glimpse into someone’s life, and then we lose them. We forgot to make the call, we let things slip by and then you catch yourself wondering just how they might be doing, but far too much time has gone by to do anything about it.

Interference is like taking a glimpse into the underbelly of one particular neighbourhood in Ontario, which could very well be any neighbourhood  in the suburbs, in Canada. Characters and stories intermingle and we get a telescopic view into mindsets of these people. Berry does a good job of moving between characters but not losing the story.

Interference has got something for everyone; the quiet teenager angry at life and his moms’ cancer, the runaway from a bad marriage with her young daughter in tow, the scar faced man who has never felt understood and the ladies trying to learn to skate for the ladies hockey league. All silently moving through life and seasons. All intermingling and inter-crossing in amazing yet lonely ways. Lonely in that they never really connect the way you want them to. You want to push the character and tell them to tell the others how they are feeling, how things really are going. Because then perhaps they would not be so damn lonely.

One of the unusual features is handwritten letters, typed emails and notes from the principle peppered through the novel. I liked that, it makes everything seem so real.

I love the pointed, conversational way that it is written and how the characters are so real and understandable. I immediately connected to Tom and Claire and Becky, the self-doubt, mind-racing thoughts constantly rolling through their head. The way that you can see into the characters’ heads in this very unique way is my favourite thing about Berry’s writing. You feel like you actually get to take a look into an odd suburb, a neighbourhood that you always drive by has the windows and doors wide open.

interference

 

Excellent book 4.5/5 stars

 

Restlessness

The restlessness of stagnation
is creeping under my bones.
Not moving,

one place.

Buildup,
will come,
from not moving enough.

On your head,
flaking,
under your bones,
creaking.

On your brain, seeping.

into your cells.

Being in one place.
I can try to imagine the brightness of the new,
but instead I just turn the corner
and notice the blue house,
is
the exact
same.

My limbs feel like molasses.

Sticky, unable to move.

Based on a True Story by Elizabeth Renzetti- Book Review

Based on a True Story is a great read for the summer!
It is saucy, fast moving and Augusta is the sort of character that is easier to take while you are sitting on the side of a lake.
That is because Augusta is so easy to hate. She is selfish, washed up, mean, rude, in your face, and a bit of  a drunk. But underneath all this, you are almost rooting for her to win,
even just a little, the whole time. Because there is just something about a character who is such a mess isn’t there?

This book really raised a lot of issues with me, with society in general, which in not something that I excepted.  Is everyone meant to be a mother? And those of us who aren’t, should we feel like it is something we have to do? And if we do have a child, must we step up and change who we are?

This novel is centered around Augusta, a washed up, English, middle-aged actress, someone who always has trouble with alcohol and drugs. She has left behind a partner who was always good to her, Ken, who I have a hard time understanding why she hates so much, and a son, Charles. She has been struggling to find a role to get her back onto the screen and stay sober long enough to remember to show up. She has also released a book with the help of a ghost writer that has put her back in the glimmer of the spotlight. Enter Frances Bleeker, a displaced Californian, who has been sent by her boss to write an article about Augusta’s book for the tabloid she works at. Frances sure is not the most secure creature, and together her and Augusta mix like oil and water. One floating on top, the other one barely noticeable.

Augusta has heard a rumour that her ex-lover,  Ken is writing a book about love. And she sure does not want her name in it. Ken lives in California now, not cloudy England but Augusta still can’t let him tarnish her (ahem) good name. So, she enlists the help of Frances, now; out of a job, and out of luck to accompany her to California.

And off they go, on their often very rocky adventure.

So settle in, buckle your seat belt and take off on a bumpy ride. The book is daring, the cover is pink, but most things never turn out perfect, so don’t make an assumption and take this book too lightly. You shouldn’t. It has got some serious punch.

based on a true story

A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra- Book Review!

A Constellation of Vital Phenomena

 

How much do you know about Chechnya? And the wars, and the occupation and the exiles? If you are like me, probably not very much.
And sometimes not knowing very much about something leads us to shy away from it. It might be too much work for our lowly brains.
But I want to stop using that as an excuse,
“I don’t know anything about money, so how can I make a budget?”
“I can’t shut down my brain, so how can I learn to mediate?”
Just because things are challenging does not mean that they are not worth it.
And I believe this book is worth it.
It is challenging,
tough,
raw,
and full of anguish.
But it exists. These people in some form exist.
All of these things exist in real life, and this story is based on true conflicts.

And it makes me grateful everyday to be born in Canada.

But what is anything besides a random constellation of anguish and joy?

This is the story of many characters intersecting and coming to find each other. We start with Havaa, an eight-year-old girl who watches Russian soldiers burn her house and take her father. The only people left now are her neighours, Akhmed and Khassan. Akhmed wants to keep her safe, so he takes her to the hospital, the safest place, he, a failed doctor can think of. Here we meet Sonja, the sole surgeon remaining, and her haunted thoughts about her missing sister, Natasha. All of the characters come together and interweave so beautifully, so randomly,as such is life.

I found at beginning of the book I was having trouble getting into it, but then after about a hundred pages, I fell and I fell hard. You began to really love the characters and want to know how they all got to the situations they are in. The book is like a beautiful, mysterious heartbreaking puzzle, that you just can’t wait to find out how all the pieces get together.

This book is told in a very interesting perspective, jumping from the past, to the present to the very far future. I liked this about it, it shows what happens to the characters far down the line and that makes for an interesting telling, certainty, no unanswered questions.

It gives hope in a hopeless world, even if sometimes the world you live in seems to contain no hope.

 

Wondrous.

 

“Prototype” by M.D. Waters- Book Review

Prototype M.D. Waters book review

Prototype is the second book in the M.D. Waters 2 part series, the first being Archetype which I received and reviewed months ago. Archetype just was re-released with a new beautiful paper-back cover on June 24th so if you have not read it everyone should pick it up! It makes a great summer read; think about it: you on the beach, fast-paced sci-fi action in your hand.

Archetype with new cover!

Image

But let us go back to the subject at hand Prototype!

Prototype is certainly a page turner, I read it twice and I read it both times in a matter of days. It is difficult to put down, fast paced and exciting, I certainly give Waters that. We pick up in Prototype where Archetype left off, Emma, our daring protagonist is out trying to find her birth parents, and in a greater sense herself. I truly appreciate this complex character, how she is a strong, fearless person and does things on her own, scared of nothing and yet everything, not sure who to trust. But within the novel Emma learns to trust herself and accept herself for what she really is, Emma 1’s clone. However this time she is no longer living in the world as a clone of someone else, she is learning to find herself for who SHE really is.

Emma is out trying to find any information about her parents, when we find Declan, her ex-husband and owner of WTC (the training center for girls) is back on the scene, not dead as they had thought, and looking for her. She has nowhere to go but to return to the resistance with Noah, her ex- love as Emma 1 and someone she can not stop herself from thinking about, dreaming about and fantasizing about, who also happens to be the father of her daughter, Adrienne. The love and romance keeps you on the sexy edge of your seat for the whole novel. We still have a bit of the dangerous love triangle going on, this time with Emma, Noah and his girlfriend, Doctor Sonya, who certainly is not pleased to see Emma back again.

M.D. Waters crafts a moving story with enough action, passion and creativity to keep anyone entertained. I will certainly be passing my copies on, letting others share the battle with Emma as she struggles to be who she is, and who she is supposed to be.

A book for anyone I believe, sci-fi lovers, romance lovers, action lovers, and mystery lovers.

4/5 stars.

 

M.D. Waters Prototype New book cover

M.D. Waters
Prototype
New book cover

A Basket Of Secrets

 

A Basket of Secrets

He went with the women everywhere,
as a child, you stuck to, you grew with, you were next to
the women.
He learned to love their smell, the overflowing sweet, sharp smell of perfume, mixed with sweat when it was hot, sour,
under their long robes.
The sharp way they laughed,
loudly.
How it used to hurt his ears,
but he got accustomed to the ringing, the way it went up and down
and while he was afraid of his father’s harsh voice,
the laughter grew to comfort him.

In the city they wore long robes, long scarves to cover their hair,
in case someone on the street,
who had known them before,
in the other country,
could remember the exact place they had came from.
He knew that people looked at them,
and most avoided them.
He again,
became accustomed.
To strangers’ stares.

He never got accustomed to his father, and his father’s friends.
Around them so rarely they seemed like disease,
something you sometimes had,
but wanted to get rid of.
Quickly, before you got it.
Harsh voice, telling him to stand up tall, do the right thing,
keep an eye on his mother.
Be a man.
How could he? He could only see to her knees.
But you are the man
when we are out;
you are the man
repeating in his small brain.
Man.

Sometimes the women would take him,
with him to places where no men were around.
In the forest,
small houses,
no people, just trees.
So many trees, so tall, the wind blowing through.
He would be scared for a moment,
remembering to be a man,
stand tall,
out here
to protect.

But there was nothing to protect against,
no one around.
No strangers staring,
no men looking,
at how he held his hand.
The scarves came off,
the long hair whipping,
round and round in the wind.
As he laughed in delight and forgot
to be a man.

They were so different out there, so carefree
and young,
the women seemed so young.
He wondered why they bothered to live in a world with men at all.
And if he could manage to stop growing
so he would never become one.
And could live forever in the world of laughter,
soft bosoms, and sweet perfume.

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