writing

Traveling by Book

A reader was kind enough to photograph my book, The Color of Cold and Ice, in front of the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, and send me the photo. One of the chapters is set in the museum.

Sally

Feeling Lighter

Yesterday I got my draft of Sally off to my beta readers. When I got to the end and read the last couple of sentences a chill went up my spine and I had an emotional release. I think that’s a good sign.

Sally was born into slavery in 1858. She died at 110 on March 31, 1969. I met her once when she was 103. She is 101 in the picture.

writing

Reader’s Favorite Review

Jessica Cover PaperbackReviewed by Deborah Stone for Readers’ Favorite

Jessica Lost Her Wobble by J. Schlenker is a unique love story with unexpected twists and turns. Jessica, more commonly called Jessie, is a woman in her mid-forties with a lot of baggage. Her self confidence is low and she is unsure of everything and everyone in her life. She meets Amy, a much younger woman, a girl really, and Jessica begins to learn how to live again through this new and liberating friendship. Jessie moved to America from England when she was a teenager, married the wrong man, and is now divorced and the mother of two children, Josh and Gina. Her marriage is over, her son has died, she is somewhat estranged from her adult daughter, and she is trying to figure out what her life is all about and where to go from here. She has moved away from the city to an island where she wants to just blend in and find herself. What she finds are friendships that help her to see herself in a different light and perhaps even a romance, if she can allow herself to be loved. Her life is finally coming into focus and she sees a real possibility for happiness…or is it all too good to be true? The past is not done with Jessie yet. Will she have the strength to survive both physically and emotionally when she is forced to relive the most painful moment of her life, just as she is beginning to have hopes for a future?

J. Schlenker has delivered an intriguing love story with some surprises. The story draws you in and holds your interest to the end, the very unusual end. J. Schlenker’s characters are well developed, realistic, sometimes quirky, and all very relatable. I couldn’t wait to get to the end to see how things turned out, but yet hated to get there and have it be over. This was a very enjoyable read and the ending took me completely by surprise…which I will not divulge. J. Schlenker has succeeded in drawing the reader in and holding them there while entertaining and educating, surprising the reader with unexpected twists, and ultimately making the reader sorry that the book has ended.

Book can be found on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Or ask your local book store to order.

Spirituality

If I Were a Book

On the cover would be the Buddhist wheel of life – rich with color and intricacies. It’s only one book of a series of how many I don’t know.  Within the pages one will find a brutal honesty of reality, as real as the illusion of maya gets.

The first pages turn with a crispness that only previously unturned pages can.  Awe, wonder and excitement lie in the first chapter, as seen from the eyes of a babe newly born with a fresh start.  But after that they change.  There are stains, torn pages, a lot of meandering word paths that don’t lead anywhere and invite the reader to skip in hope of something better.  There is tragedy, sorrow, and blurred words with traces of tears.  The pendulum swings.  The pages become crisp once again with renewal, joy, birth, – a fleeting enlightenment.

There is no escape yet, as the pendulum moves in the other direction.  Pages are missing, secrets too painful to reveal.  Karma ensues.  Grace picks up the pieces.  The story emerges once again as the pendulum swings upward.  A shift has been made.   Old supporting characters fade and new ones appear.  The pendulum still swings but not as brutally.  After countless eons of contemplation Arjuna begins the battle.

At the end, “to be continued.”  With apprehension I read my reviews on Amazon from the supporting characters.  There are many and range from one (ex-husband – there is a one star minimum) to five stars (current husband), with the consensus lying somewhere in the middle.

There are many books to follow until the masterpiece of the series emerges.  The binding is totally white, so white that it glows, as are the pages.

This was for a writing assignment.  I’m thankful, once again, for this writing group, that pushes me to explore my inner workings.