Book Bites#5

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I have to admit that I love this character Wally, every time I write one I his scenes I feel like he’s giving me advice on life, listening to me with a warm tea cupped in his hands.

Book Bites#4

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Some words from my book, let me know what you guys think. Imagine me as a puppy with cute watery eyes, waiting for a treat, a bone, something to encourage me to keep putting one word after the next. Watery eyed feminist writer lady, that’s what they call me.

Book Bites#2

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Here’s some more words from my novel in progress.

Lavish me with love, attention, accolades, and gold stars. Or just tell me what you think.

Book Bites #1

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I’m gonna do a weekly post which gives you tiny little bite sized tasters of my as yet unfinished novel. I’d love some feedback and/or support, picture me as the young kid showing off my drawings waiting for the gold star, except taller and no way near as cute.

Poetry: Enough Already

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The gold star
The best drawing in the class
The A+s
The high points in the Leaving Cert
The first class honours degree

They were not enough

The arm candy
The vintage on sale dress
The seminal gig under the purple sky in the misty rain
The double rum, and another, and another
The extra chemical dab, another half a pill

They were not enough

The keys to my business
The likes and comments
The admiration of strangers
The gossamer dream of success
The masks of freedom and autonomy

They were not enough

The willing strangers
The lonely messages posing as titillation
The notches
The ticks on the shallow list
Their beauty as props for my ego

They were not enough

The unconditional love and support
The freedom
The unrelenting truth
The window into what is possible
The daily choice of participating

Crazily and shamefully they are not enough

My failure in sweat and frustration
My skin that is scarred and uncompromising
My body in it’s various shapes that it wants to expand or contract to
My choices made while afraid but not in fear
My words said through smiles, tears, kisses, and gritted teeth

They are enough, for they are mine.

Enough is not out there, it’s not in an achievement, it cannot be found in a bank balance, a smaller dress size, wilder sex, and more stuff. It’s not in your past youth, it’s certainly not in your future if all you’re do is hoarding hopes of happiness.
Enough is right now.

Enough already, I’m done chasing my own disappointment disguised as expectations.

Book Review: The Long Walk by Richard Bachman

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I thought I would do a regular feature of book reviews, I’ve been an avid reader since I was four years of age. I slip in and out of the daily habit depending on how busy my life is, but it’s not something I neglect for long. Plus it’s nice to show another side to me that isn’t just an angry feminist.

I consider The Long Walk to be one of Stephen King’s(or Richard Bachman, his pseudonym) finest books, and that’s saying a lot because I really like his work. I know he gets a lot of flack from serious readers and writers because he mainly writes about the supernatural. First and foremost he is a character writer who puts people in extraordinary situations, in so doing he places a mirror on front of humanity. This dystopian work was written in 1979 and is one of the most chilling novels I’ve ever read.  The premise is that 100 teenage boys start a walk, and the winner is the last man standing, one of the prizes being that you live to survive the race. There is no set distance, but if you stop walking you die, if you incur a penalty three time penalties you die, there is only one survivor. It’s a horribly simple idea, and it’s this single mindedness that is so chilling; there is no stepping away from this procession, you are with these boys as nearly all of them walk towards their deaths.

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The story is told through the eyes of Ray Garrity, one of the competitors, we are introduced to the other boys via friendships he makes and gossip that trickles down through the line. I found myself getting invested in other characters, rooting for them, and then it would hit home that there is only one survivor. This idea is made sharply poignant as various boys talk to each other about winning, in some ways blocking out the fact that for this to happen their comrades must perish. The huge truth of their near certain death is almost blinding, they can’t talk about it, but they can think of nothing else; hope and despair are clung to with equal measure. Because of the omnipresence of death in this story we are forced to look at the futility of their struggle against all the odds, and question is it worth it. It’s like King has boiled down the essence of our own daily struggles and our own inevitable death. In their blisters, aching legs, and cramping muscles we can see our own travails through life.

It’s the small details that are most shocking in the book, after a short while you accept the horrifying premise that 99 boys will die for the sake of a televised competition. But the idea that they can’t stop to take a crap seems like a cruel and needless punishment, that they might die because they took too long to relieve themselves, it brings a whole new meaning to stage fright!

I recently watched The Hunger Games and was struck by the similarity to The Long Walk; a gameshow where teenagers compete for their lives, survival of the fittest, retaining humanity in an inhuman fight for your life. I’d love for this to be made into a film, but I’d hate to see it go the way of so many other of King’s books like The Langoliers, Dreamcatcher, and The Tommyknockers, which were all truly awful.

I would highly recommend this book, it was one of my favourite reads of this year so far, it was one of those books that I slowed down nearing the end as I didn’t want to finish it-always a good sign that I’m a little in love.