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Junkie by Robert P. French

Book Review

Junkie
Robert P. French

Junkie is the first book in a series about Cal Rogan. I admit to some reluctance to read a book where our hero was in fact a Junkie. Encouraged by my friend Judith Baxter I turned to the first page and was hooked.

What’s makes Cal our true hero is the clear crisp writing, realistic and believable, without any of the self pity and whining and moaning often associated with first person addiction stories.

His path from functioning valued member of society to loss, homelessness, and recovery of sorts, whilst solving obvious and less obvious mysteries makes this a story difficult to put down.

His love/hate relationship with himself and those around him, particularly Roy, and his dead best friend whose relationship with him may or may not have been what he interpreted it as, strikes a chord of the reality we live with every day.

French puts a human face to a population in the shadows. Successes, failures, and in this case mysterious deaths.

The easy path to substance addiction is chilling and leaves one with a ..there but for the Grace of God…type of reaction, and an awareness that all that can change in a moment.

His relationship with his daughter and ex, his desire to be more, to be better is woven through out, partnered with the inability to succeed.

This is a story about perseverance, struggle, being right, being wrong, succeeding and failing. Failing is not the end of the story. This story is more than anything, about HOPE. The thing that drives all of us.

The humanness of the tale, and the characters, the truths both recognized and not recognized are the the truths of our own lives.

French is an excellent story teller, weaving suspense and surprise twists in a delicious fashion that is sublime.

Falling Off the Map

My Octobers and Thanksgiving have little change from year to year. And that is something to be grateful for.

And special thanks given to those original commentators of six years ago who today are even more a part of my life, now sisters and comrades in life: Judith of New Zealand, Snipewife,  Eliz at Mirth and Motivation, and of course Colleen the Chatter Master,  and Joss who was a Crowing Crone back then and now author, and Winsome Bella, and dear dear Celi of Kitchensgardens and the Farmy,

bridgesburning

Falling Off the Map

It’s amazing how one day of not blogging turns into two or three.  I started a number of times each day just to wander off either physically or mentally.  The notes below I did on Sunday basking in the warmth of a true summer like day.

‘Canadian Thanksgiving

This is my favorite holiday of the year, unsullied by commercialism, and stress, a true time of thanksgiving.  Most years it is cold, many times snowy and the odd time like this year it is warm and sunny.  When I say warm I mean like 70ish which is warm for the frozen north.  I am outside, reclining under a cloudless sky, so blue it could be it could be a vast warm ocean, wearing summer togs and listening to leaves rustling from a gentle breeze.  Somewhere distant there is the drone of a lawn mower.

This is the…

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Writing about Writing: Those early morning thoughts

Darned if best intentions, scheduled schedules, and even well thought out plans, don’t  just go awry on a whim.

It’s Tuesday and here I am thinking about effective time use and scheduling my week.  I did mention it is Tuesday didn’t I?  And most of the world is already almost half way through their week, you know Wednesday being hump day and all.

Judith, way down under New Zealand way and I spend a fair bit of time, either during our weekly Skype visit, or by email, or Messenger talking about scheduling our days to allow for all we want to do: writing, blogging, reading, socializing, chores and cleaning (rubber gloving as she calls it).  She even has a neat Excel Sheet to schedule our activities and one to track our writing success on a daily basis.

Now Joss, our accomplished Canadian writer, living in Cuenca Ecuador also joins this little group and we chat and discuss and at times solve all the world’s problems, unbeknownst to the world of course.

Aside from Beta reading for Joss, talking about writing and schedules we also talk about writers and their routines and schedules, as we did last week.  I read a lot about successful people, not so much as to try their style, as much as hoping that just the act of reading about it will make it stick to me somehow.  Alas, I have come to the conclusion that if one want’s to be successful, one must work for it.  There is no sticking by association.

Part of last week’s discussion was about writers who go outside their homes to write. (Joss writes this way).

Jeffery Archer: 

Jeffrey+Archer+WAHRX7OiVTHm

Describe the room where you usually write

I have a home in Majorca that has been built into a cliff. The study is separate from the house, and I love its calmness. It has 20 foot-long windows and overlooks the sea. There is just a desk with pens, pencils, a rubber, an hourglass, paper, pictures of my family, and me. (http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/features/one-minute-with-jeffrey-archer-novelist-7545587.html)

Oh also Stephen King’s Top 20 rules for Writers (article here) from a Barnes and Noble Blog is just to good to pass up.

th_stephen_king
Stephen King

Oh yeah, writing outside your home.  Mr. King has written anywhere and everywhere, but once when his children were young he rented an apartment across town for six months.

There are many writers who write outside their home but now I have come across this article about Detroit Nonprofit program for providing homes for writers called

A Room of Their Own: How Write A House Is Putting Writers in Vacant Homes

from Electricliterature.com, and my mind if off in a few more directions.

Oh yeah, and about writing about writing – it occurs to me that that may be my expertise.  You know, rather than actually writing something.  Time will tell.