Friday, October 28, 2016

Fable Friday



Seaside Charm
A Flash Fiction by Ginger Dawn Harman



Bertie had an odd face like a seagull. Squawking and screeching about the injustice and inhumanity of the political system and local gossip. Yet, she was more expressive on Tuesday at the weekly Kangaroo Court defending herself and others like me. Many avoided her beady eyes of observation. They spoke behind her back waiting for just the right moment to swoop in. Even Mr. Laridae, the pastor turned his nose at her demonstrations.

“Why must you stamp your feet, for no other reason than bring the earthworms to the surface?” 

He did not understand.

Did anyone but me see her biggest accomplishment?  Her noble efforts for the homeless and unwanted. After all, she took me in. Nobody wanted a fledgling with a long history of trauma. I felt comfort and acceptance under her wing.

Bertie protected me.

Bertie fed me. 

Bertie taught me to not just go after and focus on the crackers tossed at you or scavenge for the crumbs in life. 

I learned to fly and not circle around in the same behavioral patterns of the other flock.

  
I choose to be the shine of the heart that some were blinded by. 





The above story was inspired from prompts provided by Elephant Child. A wonderful blogger who encourages many to write.  Each week we are given a choice of prompts: which can be words, phrases, music or an image.   What we do with those prompts is up to us:  a short story, prose, a song, a poem, or treating them with ignore...  We can use some or all of the prompts.


I am usually not brave to share what I had written but I wanted to this week in honor of Jacqueline, aka “The Cranky.” Sadly she had a stroke and is unable to continue with the group. I tend to have a mindful attitude of life and want people to explore other perspectives. I believe that sometimes the story or things that one thinks is not necessarily true. It is by the “Pause” that one is able to create a different approach which can bring expanding of the self. 

The Artwork at the top is by Joyce Welch

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Author Jason F. Wright

The Wednesday Letters 

By Jason F. Wright 

A book review by Ginger Dawn Harman 

  



I received an autographed copy of The Wednesday Letters by Jason F. Wright as a gift from a female reader. I was rather excited about reading the bestselling novel and found that I was quickly captured as an audience. However, I found the novel as an average read and disappointing. I do find that Jason Wright does have a gift for storytelling and connects on many different levels with readers. So much so that his characterizations and emotions create a love/hate for his novels. This is evident with other book reviewers.

Unfortunately, I feel that his choice with having the rapist of Laurel portrayed as the forgiven, beloved, and accepted pastor toward the end of the novel has taken away from the central message. Knowing that the author is a member of the LDS church this does not surprise me that the author conveys this message. As an ex member of the LDS “Mormon” church, many of the leaders carry this same attitude that one must forgive and forget. It is because of this plot development that I cannot rate this novel above a two star.

I appreciate the review written by K. Byrd. She was spot on when she said, “The premise of family secrets being revealed through the weekly letters was an intriguing idea. Alas, everything else about this book was completely preposterous. I believe in the power of forgiveness but one can forgive without embracing the offender as part of your life. I'm certainly not going to make my RAPIST my pastor. And, wow, how many plot resolutions can you have in one night: the quickie resolution of Matthew's troubled marriage along with his wife's surprise announcement; "Mr. Tweed", the man Malcolm beat up, shows up after the funeral with a sudden, inexplicable case of remorse after two years with his surprise announcement; Malcom learns that dear 'ol bio dad - the man who raped his mom - is, in fact, the pastor of the church and he is okay with that. We learn that Mom and Pop forgave him (which is good) and then HELPED him get his job as a pastor and helped overcome other people's reservations about his appointment. Yeah, right.... What's next.... let's hire the pedophile as the youth minister? I was okay with the forgiveness part but it all seemed highly, ridiculously unlikely as were all of the resolutions occurring in one single night.”





Not every situation in a plot development needs to have an answer or resolution. It is the reader’s imagination and ability to have room to also create that bond the reader experiences. Such author interference is obtrusive and irritating. Keep you and your real world outside the fictional world rather than traipsing through it. Was it really important that we know why they allowed a sexual perpetrator, a drunk family member back into the children’s lives? Or was the story about the love of their parents that both died the same night and the letters that give a different perspective?




Leave such intrusions out of your fiction. Let the story itself—the actions and reactions of the characters—speak for themselves. By the way, I found it wasn’t plausible that Laurel could just forgive a man after a rape and never have an emotion over this. However, I did find the pace of the novel was quick and this book can be finished in two days for the average reader. The book reminds me of some of the work by Nicolas Sparks.





Overall, I found The Wednesday Letters by Jason F. Wright overwritten, lacking of structure, and displaying a regressive female attitude.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Art on the Brain

"Art on The Brain"
Sorta Wordless Wednesday Post 55
 
 
 
Organized in partnership with the Adult Care Center of the Northern Shenandoah Valley, Art on the Brain features 30 abstract paintings created by people diagnosed with various forms of dementia and Alzheimer's disease. The Adult Care Center of the Northern Shenandoah Valley is a day program for individuals requiring assistance due to Alzheimer’s or other neurological diseases. The Center engages participants through therapeutic and recreational activities that are geared toward finding abilities within disabilities, focusing on what remains rather than what has been lost. 
 

These activities provide individuals with opportunities for creative expression and personal decision making. The works seen in the Art on the Brain display in the MSV resulted from tactile, creative therapies. Most of the paintings were created by collaborative efforts by multiple artists. The title for each work is inspired by the participants’ interpretation of the images portrayed, and their use of color, texture, and design.
 











 

Friday, October 7, 2016

My 45th Birthday



Celebrating My 45th Birthday



On September 30th, I became 45. Birthdays for me are a mixed blessing. Most either forget about it or something happens on that day that just causes me to not want to celebrate. I have often gone over and beyond for others on their special day and so for that reason…

 I treated myself how I have done to others!

Truth is, I often put myself last or neglect my own needs. We all do this and that is why it is why Self Care is so important. It doesn’t matter if it is your birthday.

I wanted a quiet day with just my husband and son. Since my son was in school. I felt this would be the perfect opportunity to try a new café and visit two art exhibitions that I have been wanting to see.

The first exhibit was, “Art on the Brain”

 
Be Sure to visit next Wednesday to see more photos from this exhibit!


Organized in partnership with the Adult Care Center of the Northern Shenandoah Valley, this display features 30 abstract paintings created by people diagnosed with various forms of dementia and Alzheimer's disease. The Adult Care Center of the Northern Shenandoah Valley is a day program for individuals requiring assistance due to Alzheimer’s or other neurological diseases. The Center engages participants through therapeutic and recreational activities that are geared toward finding abilities within disabilities, focusing on what remains rather than what has been lost. 




These activities provide individuals with opportunities for creative expression and personal decision making. The works seen in the Art on the Brain display in the MSV resulted from tactile, creative therapies. Most of the paintings were created by collaborative efforts by multiple artists. The title for each work is inspired by the participants’ interpretation of the images portrayed, and their use of color, texture, and design.
 


The second exhibit that I highly enjoyed was "And Still We Rise: African American Story Quilts"



And Still We Rise: African American Story Quilts narrates four centuries of African American history through the display of nearly 70 handcrafted story quilts created by an international group of artists from the Women of Color Quilters Network. 


An art form that goes beyond simple quilting patterns, story quilting expands on traditional textile-arts techniques to record, in fabric, events of personal or historical significance. Works in this exhibition give voice to the unique histories of African American men and women and relate the stories of enslaved people, soldiers, athletes, poets, political leaders, and many others while also drawing attention to social challenges America continues to face today.






It was a wonderful atmosphere and the meal was delicious. 





Then a quiet evening at home. I opened seven cards and read three very lovely email messages. Gifts were also opened. It was a good day and filled me with positive feelings.

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