2014 – November 28 – Welcome Home, Jacaranda
On the 28th day we’re reading “Welcome Home, Jacaranda” by Kimberlee Smith.
I’m naming my half-sister Jacaranda, after my favorite flowering tree. Jacaranda has been with me for a month to the day and, like me and my daughter Etheline, she didn’t have a chance to meet her mum nor for her mum to meet her. She was stillborn and her mum, who was close to death herself whilst giving birth to Jackie’s brother – they were twins but only the boy was born alive – didn’t have a moment to even see Jackie before my dad, Brother Tom Bend, hoisted her lifeless body into the air, praising God for delivering to them Continue reading
2014 – November 27 – Samford Tries to Die
It’s the 27th and time for “Samford’s Tries to Die” by Nathaniel Tower.
On a Thursday in November, Samford ingests what might be a lethal dose of Drain-O.
He downs half the bottle, which, if the bottle is any indicator, is way more than enough to kill him.
He does not call the emergency number for immediate attention.
Last month I analyzed my reaction to Samford, who seems farcical on the surface yet compels me to care in a very serious way. Part of this reaction stems from my sense that Samford is growing through the series; it’s not just a series of episodic hi-jinks. This month confirms my Continue reading
2014 – November 26 – Gabrielle
On the 26th day we’re reading “Gabrielle” by Gary Percesepe.
We cross into New Mexico on US 84. After Durango, Gabrielle talks nonstop. About her ex, who is hooked up in some bad business – some high-wall white-collar Greenwich crime that I can’t quite fathom . About her bitch goddess magazine editor with the signature blunt cut.
And Romney thought he had binders full of women. Last month Gary broke up with Frankie, a fellow graduate student he had married in Vegas not long before. This month finds him meeting the mom of a college student he bedded in Telluride. You know it’s serious when you meet Continue reading
2014 – November 25 – Morgana Malone and the Sign of the Boisterous Horse
It’s the 25th and we’re reading “Morgana Malone and the Sign of the Boisterous Horse” by Matt Potter.
“I feel as though I should read it, everybody’s talking about it,” her voice trills above the hushed crowd. She smiles and the brim of her black straw hat dips over one eye. She must have practiced the move hundreds of times in front of the mirror, it’s so perfect, her blonde blunt-cut falling across one side of her face, and draping down across her shoulder on the other, just as her eyes look up. She laughs. Well, neighs almost, shaking her nose and mouth and whinnying . Then she points her toe and hoofs Continue reading
2014 – November 24 – Neighbor Relations
On the 24th we’re reading “Neighbor Relations” by Teresa Burns Gunther.
My wife says I’m mad. I’ve been married to Joyce for twenty-three years; she has a big heart but a blind spot where it concerns the girl next door. I tell her she should be nice to Rachel.
This is another series that I look forward to each month. How can you not root for Rachel, the oh-so-pragmatic borderline autistic gal with a good heart and a big dog names Stella? She set out to work on her people skills as her boss suggested (probably more than a few times) and ended up finding love, reconnecting with family, and Continue reading
2014 – November 23 – Some Kind of Important
It’s the 23rd, and time for “Some Kind of Important” by Darryl Price.
Hello, Doc. That’s how you can tell it’s me or else Bugs Bunny. One of us is always writing to you for answers for the big carrot questions. I guess that makes you some kind of important person in the universe, at least in the universe of me, for which I am grateful . Please don’t ever doubt that thankfulness in me. Let me do all the doubting. I’m good at it. I would have made a good doubting Thomas for the Last Supper.
This series has held me captive from its opening salvo, and this month is no letdown. Continue reading
2014 – November 22 – Moving On Now
It’s the 22nd, time to read “Moving On Now” by Margaret Bingel.
Nora never picks up on the first ring. To discourage telemarketers. She’s in the kitchen, five feet away from the wall where she keeps the phone mounted, and lets it ring once. Then before it lets out another shriek, she grabs the receiver and whips it to her ear. And says nothing, breathing into the mouthpiece.
We like to believe that people can change. Ned’s cycle has been all about that possibility. Can the depressed, potentially-violent Ned we saw in that first chapter become a more perfected man? Can he cut those ties with his mother that have so long held him Continue reading