Having replacement surgery of my right hip in September has left me rather foggy brained. I struggled with writing only being able to concentrate for short periods. I spent time binge watching Ghost Hunters as simple, mindless entertainment. As I thought about what to write in my befuddled state, I remembered a story I had written a few years ago about my own, personal experience with the paranormal when I was in high school. It seemed appropriate to share this in the month of October when our thoughts turn to all things ghostly on Halloween. I hope you enjoy reading Part One of my scary, true tale. Part Two will follow on October 15. Stay spooky my friends!
Autumn had already swept most of the leaves from the trees, their sad remains clogging walkways and corners. The unmistakable sense of approaching winter hung in the air, like a bird of prey about to swoop. The night was dark, and we were young and reckless and looking for adventure. At least that is what I told myself. What we really were was a bunch of silly high school students. We were members of the Manville High School Drama Club. Our play practices usually ran until about seven or eight o’clock at night. Being young and irresponsible we did not go home after practice to do homework as sensible students would, no, instead we looked for adventure, driving around for about an hour or more before heading home. Laughing and talking we drove into the country that night investigating roads we had not travelled before; following our noses to see where they would lead.
Though I do not plan to make a habit of posting my reviews on this blog, I am making an exception with this one and will most likely do so for others from time to time.
I spent some time pondering how to write a review of Karen Witemeyer’s Historical Romance book At Love’s Command. After seeing so many negative reviews of this book based on the fact the main character in the novel was a soldier at the massacre at Wounded Knee, I knew I would need to address certain issues within the review.
I do not debate the horrors of that incident. The facts are brutal and historical. I do, however, find the possibility of remorse and revulsion on the part of some soldiers involved both acceptable and quite likely. And I take into account that At Love’s Command is not a historical treatise but a work of fiction.
As Christians (and At Love’s Command is a Christian Historical Romance) we are called to extend grace. The story begins with the massacre (the prologue) and Witemeyer doesn’t shirk from painting the action realistically and brutally. What she does beyond that is posit the idea of several soldiers who shrank back when they saw what was happening and were, from that time forward, changed by the deeds done on that day. They were repentant.
Leon awoke in a cold sweat. His naval uniform was plastered to his clammy skin. The heirloom Levigem necklace he wore was twisted awkwardly around, and painfully poked into his aching chest. Adjusting it, he tucked the gem back into his shirt and slowly sat up on the rough cot he found himself on. Everything hurt. Of course, that could have been from walking for two days without food or water.
As he looked around, Leon discovered that he was in a dimly lit cell of all places. Small, cramped, and damp, the air smelled of mold and rotting hay. A skin of water lay next to him and, feeling his parched throat, he grabbed for it and began to gulp its contents down with sheer desperation.
“Not too fast lad, or it’ll just come back up an’ out,” a rough, weary voice sounded from outside the cell.
I often wonder if other readers are as volatile as me when it comes to reading habits. Are you a multi-task reader, the type who likes to read more than one book at a time or a single task reader, preferring to read one book at a time? Are you adventurous, the type that likes to read everything, or do you stick to the same genre?
According to a Booklikes post, readers fall under the following categories:
The monogamist: the single-book reader
The polygamist: loves reading many books at a time
The extrovert: likes to read multiple genres
The introvert: sticks to one genre
The altruist: reads and recommends books to friends and family
The neurotic: switches between books and often doesn’t finish them
As a writer and an avid reader, I find that just as two of the writing tools above have changed a lot over the years, so have the books that get published. Due to the option of self-publishing and the ability to publish not only hardcover or paperback books, but also ebooks. The market is over saturated with writers and their works.
In some ways this is a good thing. In other ways, not so much. I do not mean to step on anyone’s toes in this article nor am I looking for an argument. I simply want to write what I have seen, learned, and experienced for myself with the hope that it may present food for thought for both readers and writers alike.
I have loved to read ever since I learned how to do so. I have also dreamed of being a published writer for many years. I have read MANY books over the years in every age bracket and in most genres. I have read classics and modern writings.
What have I observed as I have read so many books?