“Your personal life, your professional life, and your creative life are all intertwined. I went through a few very difficult years where I felt like a failure. But it was actually really important for me to go through that. Struggle, for me, is the most inspirational thing in the world at the end of the day – as long as you treat it that way.” ~ Skylar Grey
“I’ve had the thought that a person’s ‘artistic vision’ is really just the cumulative combination of whatever particular stances he has sincerely occupied during his creative life – even if some of those might appear contradictory.” ~ George Saunders
“It took me a long time to even dare to envision myself as a writer. I was very uncertain and hesitant and afraid to pursue a creative life.” ~ Jhumpa Lahiri
I just finished reading Love Life, With Parrots by my friend Cappy Love Hanson. It’s a wonderful memoir. We had lunch this week with another writing friend, Debrah Strait and just as I was arriving at our favorite Chinese restaurant, I got the idea to promote the books of some of my face-to-face and online writer friends during this holiday season. I figure it’s good karma. So this week I’ll tell you a little bit about Cappy and Debrah’s books.
I’ll begin with Debrah because I’ve read three of her books and loved all of them. The thing that is interesting about Debrah is that she doesn’t write just one genre. I’ve read rough drafts of screen plays, science fiction stories, her flash fiction book, Flash of the Pen, her novel, The Sweet Trade, and her latest book, Notes from Bisbee: Twenty years of Living with Rattlesnakes, Killer Bees, and Folks in Need of Supervision. This latest book I read as Debrah was developing it, and there were several times I laughed out loud partly because I live near Bisbee and know it’s reputation, but also because of the way Debrah described events and people.
Each of her books has a different flavor, if I can use that as a writing metaphor. But each one is poignant, serious, adventurous, funny, and they make you think. Even in her nonfiction stories the characters are vivid. I could almost hear their voices in my head as I read each holiday letter.
The first finished book of Debrah’s I read was The Sweet Trade. It’s a pirate novel and even though I’m not a big fan of pirate novels, I knew enough about Debrah’s writing that I wanted to read it. This is one of a handful of books I’ve read that grasped me from the first sentence. I wanted to know what happened to Dirk and his young friends as their village is destroyed and their families killed. As they try to survive, they get tangled up in the world of pirates in the mid-1600s Caribbean. This is a great book for anyone on your list who loves adventure. It’s got historical figures, battles, shipwrecks and even romance, something to appeal to almost anyone.
If you like stories with quirky characters, Notes from Bisbee might be for you, especially since the characters in this book are real people which proves that sometimes reality is stranger than fiction.
Cappy Love Hanson
I have to say, I’m not usually a big fan of memoirs, but again, since I knew Cappy and a little bit about her writing, I wanted to read her book. I’m always amazed at people who are able to lay out their life on the page in such a vulnerable way. Cappy does this. We suffer through her various romantic relationships as she tries to learn to love herself and find that one lasting love all the while being supported by the relationship she has with her parrots.
Cappy’s book has adventure as well. She describes a horrific car accident that she should not have survived, and the subsequent healing process she went through which included her struggles to find work. She also describes relationship issues with family members that most of us can relate to. Love Life, With Parrots is an affirmation that no matter what challenges we face, there can be love and support for us if we keep trying to find it and give it.
I hope you will consider purchasing one of these wonderful independently published books for yourself, or a loved one because writers and artists have to pay the bills too. And remember to write a review on Amazon, Goodreads, social media, or your favorite bookseller. That’s how we writers attract new readers.
Thanks for reading, liking and leaving comments. I appreciate it very much.
Lucinda Sage-Midgorden © 2017
Lucinda is the author of The Space Between Time, an award finalist in the “Fiction: Fantasy” category of the 2017 Best Book Awards. It’s a historical, time-travel, magical realism, women’s novel, and is available in all ebook formats at Smashwords, and print-on-demand at Amazon and other fine book sellers. To join her email list, click here. She will never sell the names on her list.