“Evidence of Flossing: What We Leave Behind” by Jennifer A. Payne: A Book Review

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I am very pleased to be part of the WOW – Women on Writing Blog tour for Jennifer A. Payne’s book of poetry  Evidence of Flossing: What We Leave Behind.

 

My Review:

Jennifer Payne has written 73 poems that “ask the reader to deeply consider the effects of our actions and how they influence everything else in the universe.”

Included in her collection are several short stories, photographs as well as vintage photos. But it is the series of photographs of discarded flossers that provides the title for her exploration of just what our legacy is.

Many of the photos provided inspiration for the poems – from the turtle, frog to flowers, suck, even a snake skin.

She explores the seasons and their impact on us as well as nature.

Two poems in particular had me rereading several times and moved me. In just a few words, Payne captures so much:

In “Losing My Religion”  we have the images of a bully most days and then so pious on Sunday. And then of a priest who locks his door to her.

In “The Promise of More”, the promise of a new store and the ability to buy more “Thingies”, really has us look at our own excessive consumption of more and more and more.

I was struck many times by so many brief, but powerful lines that hit like a sledgehammer – to make us think, reflect and explore our place in the world.

Lines like: “Salvation, like love, is random.”

      “Am I flirting with echoes?”

   “…the candidate who preaches God from his bully pulpit”

 

 These are definitely poems to ponder, with words and images to reflect on. Payne gives us poetry that moves us, challenges our perceptions and inspires us to look deeper into our place in the world and what our legacy can or should be.

Evidence of Flossing is well worth the read – and one you will revisit over and over again.

 

 

Book Summary:

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Would God floss? Do spiders sing? Can you see the Universe in your reflection? Find the answers to these questions in more in this new book by Connecticut writer Jen Payne. Her poems in EVIDENCE OF FLOSSING: WHAT WE LEAVE BEHIND investigate the human condition and its folly, the beauty of our natural world, and the possibility of divine connection. 80 original and vintage photographs include a series of discarded dental flossers that inspired the book’s title.

ALA Notable Book author Dale Carlson calls the book “a brilliantly incisive commentary on our simultaneous human sense of beauty and waste and loss.”

EVIDENCE OF FLOSSING speaks to the common heart that beats in you and in me, in the woods and on the streets, across oceans and around this planet. It asks us all to consider the effects of our actions and how they influence everything else in the Universe.

 

Paperback: 180 Pages

Genre: Poetry

Publisher: Three Chairs Publishing (October 1, 2017)

ISBN-10: 0990565114

ISBN-13: 978-0990565116

 

Evidence of Flossing: What We Leave Behind is available in print on Amazon.

 

About the Author:

JenPayne

 

Jen Payne is inspired by those life moments that move us most — love and loss, joy and disappointment, milestones and turning points. Her writing serves as witness to these in the form of poetry, creative non-fiction, flash fiction and essay. When she is not exploring our connections with one another, she enjoys writing about our relationships with nature, creativity, and mindfulness, and how these offer the clearest path to finding balance in our frenetic, spinning world.

Very often, her writing is accompanied by her own photography and artwork. As both a graphic designer and writer, Jen believes that partnering visuals and words layers the intentions of her work, and makes the communication more palpable.

In 2014, she published LOOK UP! Musings on the Nature of Mindfulness, a collection of essays, poems and original photography. Evidence of Flossing: What We Leave Behind is her second book.

Jen is the owner of Three Chairs Publishing and Words by Jen, a graphic design and creative services company founded in 1993, based in Branford, Connecticut. She is a member of the Arts Council of Greater New Haven, the Branford Arts and Cultural Alliance, the Connecticut Poetry Society, Guilford Arts Center, the Guilford Poets Guild, and the Independent Book Publishers Association.

Installations of her poetry were featured in Inauguration Nation an exhibition at Kehler Liddell Gallery in New Haven (2017), and Shuffle & Shake at the Arts Council of Greater New Haven (2016). Her writing has been published by The Aurorean, Six Sentences, the Story Circle Network, WOW! Women on Writing, and The Perch, a publication by the Yale Program for Recovery and Community Health.

You can read more of her writing on her blog Random Acts of Writing, http://www.randomactsofwriting.net.

 

Jennifer can also be found online at:

Website: https://3chairspublishing.com/

Blog: https://randomactsofwriting.wordpress.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/threechairspub

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ThreeChairsPub

 

 

Be sure to visit the others taking part in this blogging event for Jennifer Payne.

———-Blog Tour Dates


November 27th @ The Muffin

Interview and giveaway.

http://muffin.wow-womenonwriting.com/

 

Tuesday, November 28th @ Words, Crazy Words

Tara Meissner reviews “Evidence of Flossing: What We Leave Behind” by fellow author Jennifer A. Payne. Don’t miss Meissner’s insight into this lovely book of poetry and more.

http://wordscrazywords.blogspot.com/

 

Wednesday, November 29th @ Lauren Scharhag

Today’s guest blogger at Lauren Scharhag is Jennifer A. Payne with a post titled: “The Importance of Retreat” learn more about Payne’s thoughts on down time and going off the grid as well as her latest poetry book “The Evidence of Flossing: What We Leave Behind”.

http://laurenscharhag.blogspot.com/

 

Monday, December 4th @ Words, Crazy Words

Jennifer A. Payne pens today’s guest post at Words, Crazy Words – the blog of fellow author Tara Meissner. You won’t want to miss Payne’s insight when it comes to “Blogging as a Creative Tool”!

http://wordscrazywords.blogspot.com/

 

Tuesday, December 5th @ World of My Imagination

Nicole Pyles will be posting a review of Jennifer Payne’s book, “Evidence of Flossing” over at her blog.

theworldofmyimagination.blogspot.com.

 

Wednesday, December 6th @ Create Write Now

Mari McCarthy at Create Write Now welcomes fellow author Jennifer A. Payne as today’s guest blogger with an insightful post titled: “Everything is Connected”. Learn about this as well as Payne’s latest poetry book “Evidence of Flossing: What We Leave Behind”.

http://www.createwritenow.com/

 

Thursday, December 7th @ Beverley A. Baird

Beverley Baird reviews the lovely new poetry book “Evidence of Flossing: What We Leave Behind” by Jennifer A. Payne.

https://beverleyabaird.wordpress.com/

 

Thursday, December 7th @ Writers Pay it Forward

“The Bravery of Storytelling” is the title of today’s guest post at Writers Pay it Forward – you won’t want to miss this intriguing topic and opportunity to hear from Jennifer A. Payne about storytelling as well as her latest poetry book “Evidence of Flossing: What We Leave Behind”

https://writerspayitforward.com/

 

Friday, December 8th @ BookWorm

Anjanette Potter reviews “Evidence of Flossing: What We Leave Behind” by Jennifer A. Payne and also takes a few moments to interview Payne about her latest poetry book and more!

https://bookworm66.wordpress.com/

 

Monday, December 11th @ CMash Loves to Read

Today’s author at CMash Loves to Read is the one and only Jennifer A. Payne and her latest book “The Evidence of Flossing: What We Leave Behind”. Don’t miss today’s opportunity to hear from Jennifer with her guest post titled: “Finding Inspiration”

http://cmashlovestoread.blogspot.com/

 

Tuesday, December 12th @ Linda Appleman Shapiro

Linda Appleman Shapiro reviews Jennifer Payne’s latest poetry book “Evidence of Flossing: What We Leave Behind”. Don’t miss this insightful blog stop.

http://applemanshapiro.com/category/book-reviews/

 

Tuesday, December 12th @ The Constant Story

Fellow author David W. Berner reviews the latest work of Jennifer A. Payne – learn more about Payne’s beautiful poetry book “Evidence of Flossing: What We Leave Behind”.

http://davidwberner.blogspot.com/

 

Wednesday, December 13th @ Choices with Madeline Sharples

“Exploring Mindfulness” is the title of today’s guest post at Madeline Sharples Blog, Choices. Today’s guest author is none other than Jennifer A. Payne. Find out more about her topic, her writing, and her latest poetry book “The Evidence of Flossing: What We Leave Behind”!

Exploring Mindfulness

 

Thursday, December 14th @ Bring on Lemons with Crystal Otto

Crystal Casavant-Otto reviews “Evidence of Flossing: What We Leave Behind” as part of author Jennifer A. Payne’s WOW! Women on Writing book blog tour for her latest poetry book.

http://bringonlemons.blogspot.com/

 

Friday, December 15th @ Lisa Haselton’s Reviews & Interviews

Jennifer Payne is interviewed by Lisa Haselton; find out more about Jennifer’s latest poetry book “Evidence of Flossing: What We Leave Behind”.

http://lisahaseltonsreviewsandinterviews.blogspot.com/

 

Monday, December 18th @ Elaine Drennon Little

Fellow author Elaine Drennon Little reviews “Evidence of Flossing: What We Leave Behind” by Jennifer A. Payne.

https://elainedrennonlittle.wordpress.com/

 

Monday, December 18th @ The Writer Site

Luanne Castle reviews “Evidence of Flossing: What We Leave Behind” by Jennifer Payne. Don’t miss Luanne’s insight into this beautiful poetry book.

https://writersite.org/

 

Tuesday, December 19th @ Life is Full of Sweet Spots

Mary O’Connor reviews Jennifer Payne’s latest poetry book “Evidence of Flossing: What We Leave Behind”. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn more about this lovely book!

https://mary-oconnor.com/

 

Wednesday, December 20th @ Depth of A Woman

Stop by Depth of A Woman to read Joss Burnell’s review of Jennifer A. Payne’s Poetry Book “Evidence of Flossing: What We Leave Behind”.

https://authorjossburnel.com/

 

 

Thursday, December 21st @ Spirituality Without Borders

Jennifer Payne and her lovely poetry book “Evidence of Flossing: What We Leave Behind” is the topic today at Spirituality Without Borders. Read Rita’s review of this lovely book and find out more about the lovely author behind it!

www.spiritualitywithoutborders.WordPress.com

 

Friday, December 22nd @ Writing on the Rim

Stop by Writing on the Rim and hear from Juliana Lightle about her thoughts after reading “Evidence of Flossing: What We Leave Behind” by Jennifer A. Payne. Don’t miss this insightful review!

https://julianalightle.com/

 

Disclosure: I received a gifted copy of Jen’s book. Thank you Jen!

 

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Burtrum Lee by Mary Maurice – A Book Review

I am very pleased to be part of the WOW – Women on Writing Blog tour for Mary Maurice’s book Burtrum Lee

My Review:

Burtrum Lee by Mary Maurice is an interesting blend of history, medical breakthroughs and mystery.

The novel alternates between 1960 and 2004 Santa Fe, as we gradually learn about the mystery of Burtrum Lee Connor’s birth.

We meet a variety of characters – from Lee, who wonders what is missing in her life, to her grandmother Claire, one of the few who knows the whole truth to Katie, Dr. Stone and Calvin Kramer, all who want Lee for their own reasons.

Mary Maurice keeps us guessing right to the end.
Who is Lee? Who is Megan? How will they learn the truth? What is the truth? Why has it been hidden?

Read and try and solve the mysteries.

 

Publication Info:

Burtrum Lee:burtrum-shadowed

Coated with a life of lies and deceit, Burtrum Lee Conner is sick to her stomach. Dozens of times throughout her life the feeling of not being who she is has tormented her. But she kept it to herself, believing that maybe it’s just a chemical imbalance of some kind considering she is one of the first artificially-inseminated babies of the 1960s. Now, there’s more though, something much deeper, much more maniacal than she could have ever imagined. She’s not the first test tube baby at all, but the first…

Burtrum Lee Conner, born into a world of scientific mystery, discovers that the life she’s been leading for the past forty years, is the wrong one. Her parents, Jed and Jane Conner, stealing her as an infant, brought Lee up as their own. Even her devoted grandmother, Clair Conner, kept this secret close to her chest until they were found out. And now, Lee Conner’s biological mother, Katie Lee, wants her back, but not before the diabolical Dr. Stone has his say.

Paperback: 219 pages

Genre: Scientific Mystery

Publisher: Silver Leaf Books LLC (August 28, 2017)

ASIN: B07576YGKS

Burtrum Lee is available in ebook and in print on Amazon and Goodreads 

 

About the Author: Mary Maurice    mary-m-10_orig

When I was a child growing up in the Detroit area, I thought I wanted to be a painter, and then as a teenager the idea of being a musician intrigued me, then as a young adult, I realized that I’m a writer.

After attending Western Michigan University for two party filled years, I decided to leave academia and explore the real world to learn what life is truly about. For fifteen years I’ve traveled the country working in restaurants, writing and doing readings wherever I was welcome.

While living in Minneapolis during my twenties, I was fortunate enough to be tutored by Dr. Jonis Agee, who was at the time head of the creative writing department at St. Catherine’s College in St. Paul. Her lessons were imprinted in me for all of these years, and have influenced my writing ever since.

My adventures landed me in San Diego, Chicago, San Francisco, and Oregon, finally leading me to the Land of Enchantment where I’ve resided since 1994. Living in Santa Fe, and the beauty and isolation that surrounds me, has inspire my creative muse in ways that no other place has. While still working in the hospitality industry, my passion for the craft of writing has never been stronger. And I know with each sentence I write, and every paragraph I compose, my ultimate goal is to find the perfect word.

Find Mary Online:

Website: http://www.marymaurice.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/marymauriceauthor/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MMauriceAuthor

The WOW Blog Tour – check out these other stops:

Monday November 13th @ WOW! Women on Writing

Interview & Giveaway

http://muffin.wow-womenonwriting.com/

Tuesday, November 14th @ Create Write Now

Mary Maurice is today’s guest author at Mari McCarthy’s Create Write Now Blog – don’t miss this intriguing guest post titled “Moving Beyond Writer’s Block ” and learn more about Maurice’s scientific mystery “Burtrum Lee”

http://www.createwritenow.com/

Wednesday, November 15th @ Beverley A. Baird

Beverley A. Baird reads and reviews Mary Maurice’s scientific mystery “Burtrum Lee” and shares her thoughts on this page turning novel!

https://beverleyabaird.wordpress.com/

Thursday, November 16th @ CMash Loves to Read

Today’s guest blogger at CMash Loves to Read is none other than Mary Maurice. Hear from her on the topic of “Finding My Muse.” and learn more about her scientific mystery “Burtrum Lee”.

http://cmashlovestoread.com/

Friday, November 17th @ Bring on Lemons

Crystal Otto reviews Mary Maurice’s Scientific Mystery “Burtrum Lee”!  – don’t miss this opportunity to learn more about Mary Maurice and find out more about this page turning novel “Burtrum Lee”.

http://bringonlemons.blogspot.com/

Monday, November 20th @ Lisa Haselton

Lisa Haselton interviews Mary Maurice about her scientific mystery “Burtrum Lee”.

http://lisahaseltonsreviewsandinterviews.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, November 21st @ Margo Dill

Mary Maurice visits the blog of fellow author Margo Dill. Hear from Mary on the topic of: “What’s So Hard About Being Nice?” and learn more about Mary’s scientific mystery “Burtrum Lee”.

http://margoldill.com/

Wednesday, November 22nd @ World of My Imagination

Nicole Pyles reviews “Burtrum Lee” – the Scientific Mystery by Mary Maurice.

http://theworldofmyimagination.blogspot.com

Thursday, November 23rd @ Writers Pay it Forward

“Who Left the Skunk on the Side of the Road” is today’s topic at Writers Pay it Forward as Mary Maurice pens today’s guest post and discusses her book “Burtrum Lee – A Scientific Mystery”.

https://writerspayitforward.com/


Tuesday, November 28th @ Choices with Madeline Sharples

Mary Maurice writes an intriguing guest post at Choices today. She talks about “Keeping Readers Engaged”. Don’t miss this post and opportunity to learn about “Burtrum Lee – A Scientific Mystery”.

http://madelinesharples.com/


Thursday, November 30th @ Women of Wonder

Ginny at Women of Wonder reviews “Burtrum Lee – A Scientific Mystery” by Mary Maurice and shares her thoughts with readers. Don’t miss this exciting blog stop!

https://womenofwondercircle.com/

Row 80 – Sunday Check-In

ROW80Logocopy

It is Sunday Check-in for Round 4 of ROW80, where it is recognized that everyone has a life and we all do the best we can.
NaNoWriMo has started and I have written over a thousand words a day, working on a number of projects. Feeling good about what I am working on.

I will make note of what I have achieved after each goal and highlight it. (I have decided to post on Sundays only, until NaNoWriMo starts.)

Writing
*Write at least 1000 words a day. Yes
*Revise Catching Love, Finished revision course with Lori Wilde and working on Chapter 1. Much revision needed.
*Finish writing Saving Christmas.  I’m working on this for NaNO and have worked on 10 chapters so far.
*Win at NaNoWriMo – NaNoWriMo has started and have written just over 17000 words so far.

Blogging
*Blog at least 3x a week. YES – counting my 3 blogs
*Write and publish 4 reviews for WOW. Have done two.
*Participate in Yoga Challenge at Prevention for next 3 months. YES
*Walk 10,000 steps a day. I’ve achieved this twice this past week. But at least did 7000 each day.

Personal
*Read daily. Yes, yes, YES!
*Create art daily, taking part in several challenges. No
*Continue to declutter. Took a bag of books to Goodwill.

I will keep writing and working on these goals in the week ahead.

 

Larry Kilham’s “Free Will Odyssey” – A Book Review

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I am very pleased to be part of the WOW – Women on Writing Blog tour for Larry Kilham’s book: Free Will Odyssey

My Review:

I have been a fan of sci-fi for most of my life and AI had become a fairly new interest.

Larry Kilham’s book “Free Will Odyssey” is both  sci-fi and a thriller, well mixed with Artificial Intelligence.

 

Peter Tesla is an idealistic engineer who develops an AI project called Electra, after his sister died of a drug overdose. She had urged him not to “stop until you kill this monster”.

Peter wants to save people from drug addiction by improving their free will.

There are twists and turns throughout the book. We wonder who can be trusted, what free will is and can it be altered.

Kilham’s look into the near future is subtle but certainly gives us some scary notions of what could take place.  Could a drug like Opa be used worldwide? How much does “big brother” really control us? One line that his old Professor Farnsworth, who leaves his company to Peter, sent shivers down my spine, as I see this happening all ready:

The next generation will be so controlled by some combination of drugs, media and amusements, that they will have no free will.”

I thoroughly enjoyed this thriller. It had interesting characters, tension, thought-provoking questions and easy-to-understand science. Kilham even provides links for further investigations on free will and AI.

 

Publication Info:

Free Will Odyssey

Free-Will-Odyssey-cover-188x300

Peter Tesla, a prodigious young inventor, develops an electronic device to enhance the user’s free will. A major application is drug detoxification. Peter’s star client is the U.S. president. Along the way, Peter is tried for the mysterious death of a girlfriend and struggles with the machinations of a secretive industrialist.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Larry_Kilham_Final_Bookshelf_EDITED

Larry Kilham has traveled extensively overseas for over twenty years. He worked in several large international companies and started and sold two high-tech ventures. He received a B.S. in engineering from the University of Colorado and an M.S. in management from MIT. Larry has written books about creativity and invention, artificial intelligence and digital media, travel overseas, and three novels with an AI theme.

 

Find Larry Online:

Website: www.larrykilham.net

Twitter: https://twitter.com/larrykilham

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LarryKilhamBooks/

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Free-Will-Odyssey-Larry-Kilham-ebook/dp/B07566LDCQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1504162783&sr=8-1&keywords=free+will+odyssey+larry

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36150438-free-will-odyssey

 

Be sure to visit the others in the blog tour, beginning with WOW- Women on Writin

———-Blog Tour Dates

Monday, October 30th  @ The Muffin
Stop by for an interview and book giveaway!

http://muffin.wow-womenonwriting.com/

 

 Wednesday, November 1st @ Lauren Scharhag

Today’s guest blogger at Lauren Scharhag’s blog is none other than Larry Kilham with an intriguing post about writing fiction in the narrative – don’t miss this opportunity to learn more about Larry Kilham and his latest novel “Free Will Odyssey”.

 http://laurenscharhag.blogspot.com/

 

 Wednesday, November 1st @ CMash Loves to Read

Today’s guest blogger at CMash Loves to Read is none other than Larry Kilham. Hear from him on the topic of “How I Became Interested in Free Will” and learn more about his latest book “Free Will Odyssey”.

 http://cmashlovestoread.blogspot.com/

 

Thursday, November 2nd @ Writers Pay it Forward
Larry Kilham is today’s guest author at Writers Pay it Forward and he discusses “addiction” as well as his latest novel “Free Will Odyssey”. Don’t miss this insightful blog stop.
https://writerspayitforward.com/

 

Friday, November 3rd @ Bring on Lemons

Today’s guest blogger at Bring on Lemons is Larry Kilham sharing his thoughts about “Invention and Company Building” – don’t miss this opportunity to learn from one of the greats. We will also have a giveaway for Larry’s latest book “Free Will Odyssey”.

http://bringonlemons.blogspot.com/

 

Monday, November 6th @ Beverley A. Baird

Beverley A. Baird reviews Larry Kilham’s latest work “Free Will Odyssey” – don’t miss this honest and enlightening review.

https://beverleyabaird.wordpress.com/

 

Wednesday, November 8th @ Bookworm

Larry Kilham stops by Anjanette Potter’s Bookworm blog with an insightful and thought provoking guest post about “Predestination vs. Free Will” – readers won’t want to miss this opportunity to hear from Kilham and learn about his latest novel “Free Will Odyssey”.

 https://bookworm66.wordpress.com/

 

 Friday, November 10th @ Janese Dixon

Don’t miss today’s author spotlight at Janese Dixon’s blog – the author is none other than Larry Kilham. Readers can learn more about Kilham and his thought provoking story: “Free Will Odyssey”.

http://www.janesedixon.com/blog

 

Wednesday, November 22nd @ Linda Appleman Shapiro

Linda Appleman Shapiro reviews Larry Kilham’s latest novel “Free

Will Odyssey” and shares her insight and thoughts with readers at her blog!

http://applemanshapiro.com/category/book-reviews/

 

Friday, November 24th @ Choices with Madeline Sharples

Larry Kilham pens today’s guest post at Choices with Madeline Sharples. Readers can learn more about Fiction vs Nonfiction as well as finding out about Larry’s latest book “Free Will Odyssey”

 http://madelinesharples.com/

 

Row80 – Sunday Check-In

ROW80Logocopy
It is Sunday Check-in for Round 4 of ROW80, where it is recognized that everyone has a life and we all do the best we can.

NaNoWriMo has started and I have written over a thousand words a day, working on a number of projects. Feeling good about what I am working on.

I will make note of what I have achieved after each goal and highlight it. (I have decided to post on Sundays only, until NaNoWriMo starts.)

Writing
*Write at least 1000 words a day. Yes
*Revise Catching Love, through the revision course with Lori Wilde. Finished the course last week and using feedback to work on novel.
*Finish writing Saving Christmas I’m working on this for NaNO and have worked on 5 chapters so far.
*Win at NaNoWriMo – NaNoWriMo has started and have written over 8000 words so far.

Blogging
*Blog at least 3x a week. YES – counting my 3 blogs
*Write and publish 4 reviews for WOW. Second to be published today – Free Will Odyssey.
*Participate in Yoga Challenge at Prevention for next 3 months. YES
*Walk 10,000 steps a day. I’ve achieved this only once this past week. But at least did 7000 each day.

Personal

*Read daily. Yes, yes, YES!
*Create art daily, taking part in several challenges. No – but have created some ATCs
*Continue to declutter. Got rid of lots of magazines and papers and 2 bags of garbage this week.

I will keep writing and working on these goals in the week ahead.

Row80 – Sunday Check-In

ROW80Logocopy

It is Sunday Check-in for Round 4 of ROW80, where it is recognized that everyone has a life and we all do the best we can.

This week was not a very creative one – both in writing and art – but I was still ill and also working on my course. With NaNoWriMo, I hope the motivation increases to write much more daily.

I will make note of what I have achieved after each goal and highlight it. (I have decided to post on Sundays only, until NaNoWriMo starts.)

Writing
*Write at least 1000 words a day. at least 500 words a day.
*Revise Catching Love, through the revision course with Lori Wilde. Week 2 went very well – finished the course this week – lots of great feedback.

*Finish writing Saving Christmas NO
*Win at NaNoWriMo – NaNoWriMo starts this week!

Blogging
*Blog at least 3x a week. YES – counting my 3 blogs
*Write and publish 4 reviews for WOW . One published – Farewell, Alleppo.
*Participate in Yoga Challenge at Prevention for next 3 months. YES
*Walk 10,000 steps a day. I’ve achieved this only once this past week. But at least did 6500 each day.
*Take part in Write 31 Days by sharing my journey with 31 Days of Healthy Practices No 

Personal
*Read daily. YES – this is my refuge
*Create art daily, taking part in several challenges. No
*Continue to declutter. Took a couple of bags to Goodwill this week

I will keep writing and working on these goals in the week ahead.

Claudette Sutton’s Biography – “Farewell, Aleppo” – a Review

wow logo

I am very pleased to be part of the WOW – Women on Writing Blog tour for Claudette Sutton’s biography Farewelln Aleppo: My Father, My People and their Long Journey Home.

 

My Review:

Claudette Sutton shares her father’s story in her book Farewell, Aleppo – from his early years in Aleppo, Syria, to his move in 1940 to Shanghai and then ultimately to New York in 1947.
But Sutton gives us so much more. There is such rich detail about her father’s early life in Aleppo, about the war years in Shanghai and ultimately, about the history of Jews throughout the Middle East.
Sutton spent years interviewing her father and others in a quest to understand her father and his story, which he had asked her to tell. As she said, it
“launched myriad questions in my mind about identity, family, and culture: what remains, what evolves, and what is left behind.”

I was fortunate to receive a copy of Sutton’s book. I hoped to learn more about the conflict and issues in Aleppo that have led to the present bloodshed in Syria today.
Well, I got this and so much more. It was fascinating to see how well Sutton’s father Mike was able to adapt no matter where he landed or how challenging it was, and at so young an age.
There were so many interesting photos of people and places throughout the book that gave a glimpse of what Aleppo and Shanghai were like in the 30’s and 40’s.
I was stunned to learn that in 1948 there were over 30,000 Jews living in three Syrian cities (including Aleppo) but by 2003, there were less than one hundred in the whole of Syria.
Yet, as Syrian Jews left the Middle East, whether by choice or were expelled, they did not leave their culture behind. As Sutton states, the “tendency of Jews throughout history has been to carry their identity with them and not have it identified by place.”

This was an intriguing biography and one rich in history, one I encourage everyone to read.

Publication Info

FarewellAleppo

Paperback: 180 Pages

Genre: Memoir
Publisher: Terra Nova Books (October 1, 2014)
ISBN-10: 1938288408

ISBN-13: 978-1938288401

Amazon Link: click here

The Jews of Aleppo, Syria, had been part of the city’s fabric for more than two thousand years, in good times and bad, through conquerors and kings. But in the middle years of the twentieth century, all that changed.

To Selim Sutton, a merchant with centuries of roots in the Syrian soil, the dangers of rising anti-Semitism made clear that his family must find a new home. With several young children and no prospect of securing visas to the United States, he devised a savvy plan for getting his family out: “exporting” his sons. In December 1940, he told the two oldest, Meïr and Saleh, that arrangements had been made for their transit to Shanghai, where they would work in an uncle’s export business. China, he hoped, would provide a short-term safe harbor and a steppingstone to America.

But the world intervened for the young men, now renamed Mike and Sal by their Uncle Joe. Sal became ill with tuberculosis soon after arriving and was sent back to Aleppo alone. And the war that soon would engulf every inhabited land loomed closer each day. Joe, Syrian-born but a naturalized American citizen, barely escaped on the last ship to sail for the U.S. before Pearl Harbor was bombed and the Japanese seized Shanghai. Mike was alone, a teen-ager in an occupied city, across the world from his family, with only his mettle to rely on as he strived to survive personally and economically in the face of increasing deprivation.

Farewell, Aleppo is the story—told by his daughter—of the journey that would ultimately take him from the insular Jewish community of Aleppo to the solitary task of building a new life in America. It is both her father’s tale that journalist Claudette Sutton describes and also the harrowing experiences of the family members he left behind in Syria, forced to smuggle themselves out of the country after it closed its borders to Jewish emigration.

The picture Sutton paints is both a poignant narrative of individual lives and the broader canvas of a people’s survival over millennia, in their native land and far away, through the strength of their faith and their communities. Multiple threads come richly together as she observes their world from inside and outside the fold, shares an important and nearly forgotten epoch of Jewish history, and explores universal questions of identity, family, and culture.

 

About The Author:

Claudette_Sutton

It’s no coincidence that family is the central focus of both Farewell, Aleppo and the work that has been the driving force of its author’s professional life.

Grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins in the close-knit community of Syrian Jews all were part of Claudette Sutton’s childhood in suburban Maryland, along with her parents and siblings. Years later, as a young mother in Santa Fe, it seemed only natural to think of creating a similar kind of close support for families in her new hometown by means of her journalism training and experience.

Thus began what is now Tumbleweeds, an award-winning local publication that for over twenty years has been expanding its role in serving the city’s families. As the quarterly newspaper has grown, so have its scope and community contributions, mixing news, commentary, personal writing, advice, and activity guides—all reflecting Claudette’s vision of a community resource to help her neighbors face the challenges of parenting.

Claudette’s eloquent writing, the other great strength she combines with the paper’s wide-ranging utility, has been a door to the world for her since she was a teen-ager. As a reporter, she realized early, “You can learn about everything”—a much more appealing option after high school than the enforced specialization of college.

After three years writing for the Montgomery County Sentinel in Maryland, Claudette moved to New York, where she earned a bachelor’s degree from the New School for Social Research. Living in proximity to another side of her extensive family, she built a deeper understanding of the Jewish exodus from Syria that has formed the backdrop for the story she tells so movingly in Farewell, Aleppo.

The narrative chronicles her father’s youth, his odyssey across oceans and continents, and the new life he made in America. But as Claudette talked with him and researched more deeply, she saw also the essential elements of the larger tale. What began as one man’s story grew into a portrait of the history that made his journey necessary, and of how a vibrant people have preserved their community and culture through the thousands of years from biblical times to today.
Find Claudette Online:

https://youtu.be/5uIs82lSdds

 

Website: www.claudettesutton.com

 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/FarewellAleppo

 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FarewellAleppo

 

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/claudette0589/farewell-aleppo-the-book/

 

Google Plus: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+Claudettesutton

 

Be sure to check the other blogs which are part of the tour.

———-Blog Tour Dates

Monday, October 23rd @ The Muffin
Stop by for an interview and book giveaway!

http://muffin.wow-womenonwriting.com/

 

 Tuesday, October 24th @ Bring on Lemons with Julie Assel Thomas

Fellow author Julie Assel Thomas shares her thoughts after reading “Farewell, Aleppo” by Claudette Sutton. Don’t miss this engaging and enlightening book blog stop!

http://bringonlemons.blogspot.com/

 

Wednesday, October 25th @ Choices with Madeline Sharples
Madeline Sharples reads and reviews “Farewell, Aleppo” by Claudette Sutton and shares her insight and thoughts with readers at Choices.

http://madelinesharples.com/

 

 Thursday, October 26th @ Jerry Waxler

Readers of Jerry Waxler’s memoir blog will enjoy reading Jerry’s deep thoughts as he reviews “Farewell, Aleppo” by Claudette Sutton.

https://www.jerrywaxler.com/

 

 

Friday, October 27th @ Beverley A. Baird
Beverley Baird reviews and shares her thoughts after reading the moving story “Farewell, Aleppo” by Claudette Sutton. Don’t miss this book blog stop. https://beverleyabaird.wordpress.com/

 

 Monday, October 30th @ CMash Loves to Read

Today’s guest blogger at CMash Loves to Read is none other than Claudette E. Sutton. Hear from her on the topic of ”         ” and learn more about her book “Farewell, Aleppo”.

http://cmashlovestoread.blogspot.com/

 

Friday, November 3rd @ Janese Dixon

Don’t miss today’s author spotlight at Janese Dixon’s blog – the author is none other than Claudette E. Sutton. Readers can learn more about Sutton and her beautifully written tale: “Farewell, Aleppo; My Father, My People, and Their Long Journey Home.”

http://www.janesedixon.com/blog

 

 Wednesday, November 8th @ Bring on Lemons with Crystal Otto

Crystal J. Casavant-Otto reviews “Farewell, Aleppo” by Claudette Sutton. Crystal was very moved by this story and can’t wait to share her thoughts with readers.

http://bringonlemons.blogspot.com/

 

 Thursday, November 9th @ Memoir Writer’s Journey with Kathleen Pooler

Kathleen Pooler of Memoir Writer’s Journey shares her deep thoughts after reading and reviewing “Farewell, Aleppo” by Claudette Sutton.

https://krpooler.com/

 

 Friday, November 10th @ Linda Appleman Shapiro

Linda Appleman Shapiro reviews Claudette Suttons “Farewell, Aleppo” and shares her insight and thoughts with readers at her blog!

 http://applemanshapiro.com/category/book-reviews/

 

 

ROW 80: Sunday Check-In

ROW80Logocopy

It is Sunday Check-in for Round 4 of ROW80, where it is recognized that everyone has a life and we all do the best we can.

I will make note of what I have achieved after each goal and highlight it.   (I have decided to post on Sundays only, until NaNoWriMo starts.)

Writing
*Write at least 1000 words a day. Yes. 
*Revise Catching Love, through the revision course with Lori Wilde. Week 1 went very well – first 5 chapters revised, with different criteria used.

*Finish writing Saving Christmas NO
*Win at NaNoWriMo (a November goal) Continue to use Janice Hardy’s Idea to Novel Workshop)

Blogging
*Blog at least 3x a week. YES – counting my 3 blogs
*Write and publish 4 reviews for WOW . One due the 27th.
*Participate in Yoga Challenge at Prevention for next 3 months. YES
*Walk 10,000 steps a day. I’ve achieved this twice in past week.
*Take part in Write 31 Days by sharing my journey with 31 Days of Healthy Practices YES – have missed several days as I have been ill this week

Personal
*Read daily. YES
*Create art daily, taking part in several challenges. No
*Continue to declutter. Took 1 box to Goodwill this week

I will keep writing and working on these goals in the week ahead.

Row 80 – Sunday Check-In

ROW80Logocopy

It is Sunday check-in for Round 4 of ROW80, where it is recognized that everyone has a life and we all do the best we can.

I will make note of what I have achieved after each goal and highlight it.

I have decided to post on Sundays only, until NaNoWriMo starts.

Writing
*Write at least 1000 words a day. Not every day – but I am writing daily!
*Revise Catching Love, through the revision course with Lori Wilde (start the course tomorrow)
*Finish writing Saving Christmas NO
*Win at NaNoWriMo (a November goal, although have started to plan – using Janice Hardy’s Idea to Novel Workshop)

Blogging
*Blog at least 3x a week. YES – counting my 3 blogs
*Write and publish 4 reviews for WOW . More at the end of the month
*Participate in Yoga Challenge at Prevention for next 3 months. YES
*Walk 10,000 steps a day. I’ve achieved this twice in past week.
*Take part in Write 31 Days by sharing my journey with 31 Days of Healthy Practices YES – have done a blog post each day, except for Thanksgiving (the 9th)

Personal
*Read daily. YES
*Create art daily, taking part in several challenges. Not at all (hangs head)
*Continue to declutter. Took 1 bag to Goodwill this week

I will keep writing and working on these goals in the week ahead.

 

Sunday Check-In: Row 80

 

 

It is Sunday check-in for Round 4 of ROW80.
I will make note of what I have achieved after each goal and highlight it.
Writing
*Write at least 1000 words a day. YES!
*Revise Catching Love, through the revision course with Lori Wilde (will start the course Oct. 16)

*Finish writing Saving Christmas NO

*Win at NaNoWriMo (a November goal, although have started to plan – using Janice Hardy’s Idea to Novel Workshop)

Blogging
*Blog at least 3x a week. YES – counting my 3 blogs

*Write and publish 4 reviews for WOW .  The first will appear this week 

Health
*Participate in Yoga Challenge at Prevention for next 3 months. YES
*Walk 10,000 steps a day. I’ve achieved this twice in past week.

*Take part in Write 31 Days by sharing my journey with 31 Days of Healthy Practices YES – have done a blog post each day

Personal 
*Read daily. YES

*Create art daily, taking part in several challenges. Not every day

*Continue to declutter. Took 3 boxes to Goodwill this week

 

I will keep writing and working on these goals in the week ahead.