Tag Archives: Journal

Evening Acrobatics

After a day of cleaning house, grocery shopping, gardening, walking the dogs, doing laundry, and all those little things that seem to get done only on Saturdays, I proceeded to accomplish a lot of relaxing.

I was laying across the bed, thinking about this and that, when a large black insect benignly and silently floated in my direction.  It looked like a mosquito, but beefier and slower moving.

It came closer to me. The panicky, snapping wave of my hand didn’t deter it to a different flight path. No. Not at all.

The darned thing kept coming at me, floating gracefully and silently within my air space.

It was bound and determined to be my exercise partner, encouraging me to s-t-r-e-t-c-h my arms and twist my torso.

Again I waved, but this time with my entire arm from my shoulder to my fingertips, and with all the gusto I could muster.

My center of gravity changed.  I saw the room turn.  I kept going backwards.

I fell off the bed.

It was a graceful move.

It was acrobatic.

©Susan Marie Molloy, and all works within.


A Year of Change

This morning I took a walk and enjoyed the crispy November air.  It felt fresh, and it revitalized me.   And then I thought –

November?   Already!

This past year – yet, not quite over – was a busy time for me.  Some busyness came about deliberately and some naturally evolved.  Being occupied led to simplifying life, and it remained an on-going mission, particularly since the summer.  Someone once told me, “People would be surprised at how little they actually need to live.”

Indeed.

Relationships are the natural ebb and flow of life.  I am always am a firm believer in that you cannot force a relationship.  If it’s meant to be, it will be, whether blood relations or not.  It all evens out the way it’s supposed to be.

I’ve gotten so disorganized in the past couple of years, and I lost my bearing.  There were some damnable problems with people that threw off my balance.  Happily, I’m righted again, finally.

More travelling happened this past year, too. It was good to get away, see different sights, and become more knowledgeable in these travels.

During much of my free time, I wrote more than ever.  I published three books of poetry this year – and if you picked up any of my four books, thank you!  Meanwhile, I’m still working on a larger book that should be ready next year.  I can only write when the spirit moves me.  All writers experience writer’s block from time to time.  It’s natural.

Yet, with all the events this year, this coming year is my “Year of Change.”

This is going to be a first-class year for me, filled with lots of changes for the good.

I’m looking forward to it and sharing it with you.  Stay tuned.

©Susan Marie Molloy, and all works within.


BOOK REVIEW: Twilight’s Indian Princess: Book I

I'm a member of Rosie's Book Review Team.

I’m a member of Rosie’s Book Review Team.

If you have an empty block on your kitchen wall calendar this summer, “Twilight’s Indian Princess” by Margaret Jean Langstaff might just be the thing to fill in that space. This is fifth in my series of book reviews; I hope that my recommendations inspire you to read these books.
……….

Ever have “that kind of day” where nothing goes as intended? Ever have one of “those” days that actually spread across years—maybe across a lifetime? Ever realize everyone around you is perpetually demanding, needing, pulling, provoking, and commanding even more from you while your see your life go unendingly neglected and suitably unfulfilled? Ever feel like dumping all it back on their heads like a hot mess and taking your life back for yourself?

Margaret Jean Langstaff brings this all together in “Twilight’s Indian Princes” through her protagonist, Sarah Sloan McCorkle, and frames the scenes into delightful, and at times, hilarious vignettes. This is a novelette short enough (40 pages) to read on the train to the office or during the lunch hour.

The story is framed around Sarah Sloan McCorkle and how her family treats her: from her nagging mother; to her sweet, yet ever-wanting, children; to her husband who, despite supposedly being below her station in life, she loves and appreciates and married anyway.

We see Sarah look at herself one day, and feeling “mired in her dark wintery responsibilities of daily life,” she looks to begin “to focus on focusing.” And so, one day, she focuses on the blank squares on the kitchen wall calendar. She sees them as representing unscheduled family activities, yet she sees them—perhaps subconsciously—akin to the empty spaces in her life, where others convinced her to follow a safe, traditional path rather than the “risky, dangerous” avant-garde profession of which she dreamed and was gifted to do. She wanted to fill those spaces, and if she couldn’t fill them post haste with her own dreams, she at least wanted to fill them with time for herself, even if it happened to be “up to her neck in fragrant froth” in the bathtub. Indeed, she “was beginning to enjoy her time off from Time.”

Yet, as the Scottish poet Robert Burns once wrote, “The best laid schemes of mice and men oft go awry,” and that is how Sarah’s day continued. We watch as she deals with an incident that finally snaps her, and thereafter, we follow her to more serene and introspective moments.

Margaret Jean Langstaff has a writing style that keeps the reader’s attention, and the reader must reciprocate by paying close attention. There are well-written long sentences, like streams of consciousness. Humor pervades throughout the pages. I laughed at a scene where “a hush puppy whizzed across the table and hit [Sarah] on the nose.” The author made the scene even more powerful when “Sarah set aside her fork, dabbed her lips, folded her napkin, lay it down next to her plate and stood up.” We know by now something is afoot, something quite unexpected.

The author gives several characters perfect southern accents with questionable grammatical structures that you can fairly hear amplifying from the pages yet not think twice about. It’s natural. The letters that Sarah’s children write to her are convincingly children’s voices. To Sarah, Wesley, her husband, is a “cave man” and “gorilla,” yet he is likeable with an unforgettable regional voice, peppered with out-of-date words, particularly one.

Margaret Jean Langstaff writes lovely descriptive scenes, most particularly:

“Her mind went all loose and bubbly and took off on its own, unmoored and rudderless, and sailing here, there, everywhere, like a drunken butterfly floating through the warm moist air, darting off, alighting, tasting, returning, then fluttering off to something else.”

Sarah saw her life the same way: rudderless, darting off, fluttering off to something else, and she was looking for what she wanted, not what everyone else wanted. She wanted to be free, unrestricted as a horse running in the open plains.

“Twilight’s Indian Princess” is quirky, yet fun, and stimulates familiarity and reflection. Initially, I wasn’t sure of where the story was headed, but as I kept reading, I found some ways to identify with Sarah and the people around her.

I recommend “Twilight’s Indian Princess” for a fun, quick read. Indeed, you may find things in common with some, or all, of the characters.

You can find it HERE on Amazon.

© Susan Marie Molloy, and all works within. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material and any works here on this site without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.


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