two clicks and a book

I do not write mysteries. Writing is the mystery and a book, a puzzle piece, a small part of being solved. I am wondering if I have what I need to do what I wish to now do? The magic number, I make it fourteen. Two weeks, to get back to you. To immerse myself in the colorful cove of creative process, and finish what I started a little over a year ago. There is a battle on our screens, online, for our eyes, our attention, our desires. When we are tired, they win. I go to do something creative and if I make one mistake, chasing down an email or a tweet – any packet of information – I may be sucked to the bottom of a sloping hill of mud, two clicks away, marching my way up and back to reclaim my sacred land… but always two clicks away. I wonder if I have what it takes to stand my ground? I have all my rations, all my munitions, and all my comrades around me. I have my health and my family, and my faith. I can easily recall when the world came over me, a long shadow before a setting sun. I plodded my way through the deepest night. Lost, I surrendered; and they had mercy on me. I don’t know how or why. I was a pitiful starved creature, lunatic raving and howling, chained to an iron post on a cracked island of asphalt. I was the one who broke dumb from the pack. Now they saw I was no threat and marched me through a wasted land of drought. I focused on the stars of windless night until I was one, too, the smallest and farthest away. And brighter grew. I stretched for the sun out of a cold, dark place only I inhabited. Not at first, but soon I was touched. I found something there I cannot describe. In the poverty of speech one may call it ‘god’ – if only to relate. The thing which keeps me bright. This thing which can keep me up all night. That which helps me shine through darkness. Immerses me in sacred process, helps me hold my ground. In fourteen days or not, two clicks away and shot, from the bottoms ever climbing… I wonder will I find my way, and back to you? Otherwise, this book may live a lonely life in my heart.

review

Review: I Heard That Song Before

I Heard That Song BeforeI Heard That Song Before by Mary Higgins Clark
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I need to start by saying I have been reading MH Clark’s books since I was a teenager way back in the eighties, when computers were the size of small houses, Ronald Reagan was president, electric typewriters were fashionable, and photographs had to be developed to be seen (unless you had a slide projecter or viewfinder…uhh… S.O.S… what the hell is she talking about)? Anyway, libraries were still libraries and books were still books, then, and I read a lot of them in my alligator tee shirts drinking grape koolaid with a Canadian penny zippered inside the pocket on my sneakers. And all of her books I read were gripping, suspenseful, amazing!

Then I found this one a quarter century later, part of a Reader’s Digest collection of four, while watching my clothes spin in the dryer at the laundromat down the street. They have books lined up on a ledge which runs along the washers, and it’s give-a-book, take-a-book. So I took it and devoured it in a few days. Sadly the plot and characters and everything felt very rushed, almost like it was an outline for a much larger and longer work she didn’t have time to write.

The setup was interesting, all the players moving in and around an old mansion which had been taken apart stone by stone and transported to New Jersey from Wales and re-assembled on 50 acres just a few miles from Manhattan. And the haunting memory of someone who disappeared there. Someone who died there. And someone else who disappeared. Intriguing! Old money, New York City. Ambassadors, landscape artists, drunks, addicts, art thieves, and shady personal attendants fill the pages.

Sadly the book did not live up to its potential.
Ironic it was a stone’s throw from my spin cycle.

I know MH Clark has so much talent and I cannot end there, on a sour note, after having picked her up again. I decided I am gonna go back to her first bestseller she wrote in 1975 and read that one. I probably read it already, back when a trash compactor was your foot inside the bag, when Coleco and Atari were the gamer’s games, but I want that old feeling back, when I was gripped by suspense and she had me, amazed.

View all my reviews