All posts tagged: Everyday life

All is fair in love and war – and storytelling

The last couple of weeks have been intense with my participation in parliamentary elections in the town of Elsinore, but despite that – or probably due to that – my son and I have had some wonderful storytelling moments. Do you know the story of the leprechaun who walked through the woods to visit his grandma, only to find a wolf in her stead? Or the story of the monkey babies that drive an assortment of fire trucks everywhere they go? It is a great joy to hear his now-four-year-old imagination at play and follow the amazing stories from a spark of well-known inspiration to magnificent new adventures. I am reminded of the great Greek eposes or the new testaments told aloud generation through generation before eventually being committed to paper. There is magic in storytelling, hearing the words spoken or really acted out by the storyteller. Even though there was an expectancy that Odysseus would return home to his Penelope, but twists and turns of his journey were most likely varied, dependent on the …

My Bout with Mortality (by proxy)

The last couple of weeks have left me emotionally drained and just plain tired. A family member – my father – was hospitalized, and the only books I read were the Harlequin romances I bought in the hospital gift shop. My father is – thankfully – convalescing and little by little the normalcy of everyday life, routines, and the notion of “that’s just how it goes or is” returns, albeit with one major difference. One ugly theme looms at the very back of my mind just below conscious though: MORTALITY There it is in big, bold letter, that final “the end”. Reading it can be sweet, bittersweet, or gut wrenching, but in reality encountering it, even at a distance, is paralyzing. Medusa’s gaze could turn a man to stone, but I believe that it is the next of kin who are turned to stone in real life. My father underwent serious, emergency surgery, relied on a respirator, and round the clock care afterwards. To tell the truth, I didn’t know how to react, and as …

Bad Boys

What is it about bad boys? We know they are trouble and no good, but as literary heroes (and in real life, some would add) they are the most intriguing and thrilling. Byron was the master of bad boys so much so that they are defined as Byronic heroes. Lord Macauley, a contemporary of Byron, wrote that a Byronic hero was: “A man proud, moody, cynical, with defiance on his brow, and misery in his heart, a scorner of his kind, implacable in revenge, yet capable of deep and strong affection.” Now that was nearly 200 years ago, but nothing has really changed. Manfred, Heathcliff, Frankenstein, Mr. Rochester, the Phantom from the Opera to Edward Cullen and even Christian Grey. They all have that heartthrob, *sigh* bad boy qualities that we love and adore – and simply cannot get enough of. In real life, we know that an encounter with a bad boy is more than likely to end in disaster, but in fiction we allow ourselves to hope and throw our hearts at them, …

All that I have – Castle Freeman Jr.

Small town, Vermont is the setting of Castle Freeman Jr.’s “All that I have” and it and its inhabitants become a character in this quaint little novel.  “All that I have” is a story of ordinariness and everyday life, but that does not mean that “All that I have” is anything less than spectacular.  Castle Freeman Jr. sees the nuances in everyday life and especially the main character, Sheriff Wing, who lives and sheriffs according a code he learned from his predecessor. Humor is what I loved most about “All that I have”. It is dry, witty, and served without canned applause – and it left me laughing out loud. The humor counterbalances the theme of ordinariness and the reserved nature of Sheriff Wing. What is the opposite of action-packed? That’s what “All that I have” is and the feat here is how beautifully, Castle Freeman Jr. executes it. Do not misunderstand: “All that I have” does contain action. There are silent and violent Russians, guns, a deputy who knows how to sheriff, a lawyer …