Water Garden

In just a few days I will be home in France. Oh please my dear sweet Aeolus – please let me see the sun just once more. I hope I have lit (lighted) my incense stick to the right deity. According to my book on Greek Myths (otherwise known as a creative accountant’s guide to Euro membership), dear old Aeolus controlled the winds. It’s not that I’m educated, I looked him up in a book. Yes! a book. I did not even give Google a chance.

And so it rains and rains. Serena Williams dodged the deluge to win at Wimbledon, the F1 Grand Prix at Silverstone is a quagmire of mud. I took a photo of a bead of water on the leaf of a plant. Look how it has form and shape. I know two things of this world. It is beautiful and it is not what we think it is at first second or third sight.

All this semi religious pondering has an origin of course. Today I have finished reading Stephen Woodfin’s novel, “The Next Best Hope“. I have posted a thoroughly merited 5 star review. It’s a good pacey read looking at the course of a fundamentalist rebellion in the USA. You kinda feel it could happen anywhere, with any kind of belief or religion. If you like action laced with insight into politics, greed and the human quest for what is right you will love this book. Here is the review:
As an Anglo-Franco the first thing that engaged me in this book was just how American it is. The characters’ names, the distances they drive, the names of places and the cultural references all work together to hold the reader authentically in the action. It’s one of those books where you know the make of the gun and the type of car that a character is using. Perhaps these are technical points but to me it makes it real. More important really is the broad philosophical theme that directs the course of the story. The enemy is not religion per se, but fundamentalism. When tracts or texts allow for violence to enforce any concept, civilisation has to take note and stand up. The scenario is disturbingly plausible. Fundamentalists seek to seize power by armed rebellion against the state. I will not say any more than that because you will want to read it for yourself. The writer adopts an all seeing viewpoint, allowing many characters and threads to intersect, tangle, unravel and conflict. The result is a powerful story which you always feel could be happening outside your window. Characters are drawn from the well of life, politics and ambition. Everyone knows characters like these or has seen them in history. This is the second book in the author’s “Revelation Trilogy”. I’m waiting for the third – and keeping my eye on CNN – just in case.

Oh – by the way – it’s still raining.

Emma Thinx: Cometh the hour – Cometh the book.

Floatin’ My Boat

Fountain Rescue team

Now – England I love you. When you played France in the Euro footie I cheered you on against the vile foreigners who had raped our soil in 1066. When you rain day after day my summer away I love your verdant meadows, your joyful car floating monsoons. BUT – please can I go home now? Barbecue and sun lounger prices drown and you know that some CEO will face the axe because he misjudged the sun cream uptake profile. 

Emergency barbecue supplies must get through

But – do I complain? Well, actually yes – I bloody well do! I damn near floated my bus today and if it had got much worse I would have had them all singing “For those in Peril on the Sea”. Mind you it’s a great hymn. I often reflect on my own past and my innocent days in school assemblies singing with joy about pilgrims and swallowing the grim pills of sin. I do not believe a word of it now, but the songs sing themselves on in my atheist, hedonist wine drinking, soft kissing, longing soul. I’m a spiritual philosophical mess spilled out like a pack of pristine playing cards onto a cow cud pasture of sweet ripe dung. And to make it worse….I’ve been a very naughty girl…..

The guys at Digital Book Today offered me the chance of a feature interview. For an hour I lay in a bath of ego while probing questions all about ME massaged my back. I felt so relaxed, I told the truth. They asked me what I wanted to stress in my work and I explained that mainly it was the sexual expression of emotional love. Yes – I can’t believe I said that. Well, it’s too late now…. Probably no one will read it.

I’m a bit of a slow reader. A few days ago I finished Bert Carson’s book “Maddog and Miss Kitty”. Now, Bert is a guy and I think this is the first time he’s fought his way up the petticoat peninsula with a love story. I’ve posted a review on Amazon  but let me say here that this is a first class love story. It is not my own brand of bodice busting and lusting. It is a story of real life and its drifting misty sadness that eats our time. It is the triumph of love set against the tristesse of unexplored passion. It is not a Romance but the poignancy of its denial. I cried….and I know your heart will too. Enjoy your tears.  Here is my review:  

I first came across Bert Carson when I read “Fourth and Forever”. I like the clarity of his writing which relies on the characters and their context to create the narrative power. The last thing I want to do is is to provide a plot spoiler so I’m not going to give many details. Essentially it is love story, more in the sense of the constraints placed upon love. It is also a story of lives searching for love and acceptance. An agonizing poignancy is provided by the sense of missed opportunity and young lives denied their chance both by society and war. Once again Bert Carson opens up the subject of the psychology of stress and focuses on the joy and problems of relationships formed in extremis. Warriors returning from war can never find those bonds which fixed them to comrades yet at the same time alienated them from the rest of society and even close family. At the same time conflicting tides within society itself deepened the isolation of the Vietnam Veteran. Against all odds, the main male character Maddog finds a personal pathway back to success, helping many others on the way. Equally, Miss Kitty fights her own path until eventually after many setbacks, destiny provides justice. It is a story of a blighted love but the triumph of the human heart. The book also carries four bonus track short stories which should not be viewed as any kind of filler. They are all pertinent to the theme of the book. My favourite was “The Medic”. I am an admirer of Bert Carson’s style. His books are easy to read and the story flows like a good screenplay. I am hoping that one day someone will spot the opportunity.

Maddog and Miss Kitty – For Amazon USA click here, for Amazon UK click here

Emma thinx: Why lie when the truth is such delicious sin?

Every Child Splatters

I suppose we all think we remember what it is like to be a child. I’ve always been a great admirer of writers who can produce stories and characters that grip the attention of children. I often think that some books for very young kids are designed to appeal to parents. Writing for children is a special talent and I’m guessing that you need some element of personality that is still rooted in being a child or younger person. I must admit to wondering if you actually have to like children. Maybe to know children you have to retain some their utter cruelty. Are there any children’s writers out there to tell me?

This topic came to mind as I was sitting in my bus yesterday afternoon. A woman with a little boy of no more than 3 walked past and we made eye contact. I could see she was kind. A few yards ahead was an enormous puddle. The lad looked up at mum who smiled consent to an unasked question. The lad ran in splashing and shrieking with delight. Soon he was soaked and the reality of cold wet clothes overcame his pleasure. I guess that was his first time and I was forced to reflect on how quickly the predators begin to nibble at our innocence. All the same it was one of those little golden moments that will stay with me. She was a lovely mum and no statesman or super star has ever done more.

Once your kids grow up and in my case very quickly become far more serious and sensible than me, you kinda lose touch with a large slice of the world. Luckily, driving a school bus has refilled my account  with all manner youthful cultural currency. I do like to have a little sing and a bop about as I’m waiting for the kids to come out. Yesterday a student took the time to give me a steer to Genki Sudo and a music group named “World Order”. Now, I missed all those protest songs that were spawned by the Vietnam War and the threat/fear of nuclear attack. It is tempting to think of young folk as conditioned and accepting on account of the lack of overt radicalism in politics. This little clip (you may think it goes on a bit) represents some cogent social comment and the yoofs are much more aware than you would think. It is also very troubling to realise than most people are so much more talented, so much younger and so under employed. 

A high powered committee  have named three new elements for the periodic table. Apparently they are super-heavy and fall apart as soon as they are created. Tomorrow I’m gonna send them one of my poor attempts at Quiche pastry. Soon Calinium will be number 113. Immortality at last.

Emma thinx: Youth – your state of mind before your mind’s a state.