The Wonder Garden by Lauren Acampora is a collection of stories that intersect in suburbia. Her keen observations capture American life, and her writing is lively - tinged with humor and pathos.
cover blurb: Acampora's characters are neighbors, lovers, friends who, beneath their dreamy suburban surface, are nothing like they appear. These intricate tales reveal at each turn the unseen battles we play out behind drawn blinds, the creeping truths from which we distract ourselves, and the massive dreams we haul quietly with us and hold close.
I liked the flow of these stories as various characters popped up in the thirteen tales. Her descriptions were spot on and I could appreciate the underlying tensions the author created in seemingly simple dialogue or actions.
p.27 The growl of John's truck dies as he cuts the ignition. He steps along the front walk, over the same seven cracks in the flagstone that grow wider each year. The boxwood still needs pruning. The porch steps list, and the railing bobs under his hand. His work boots are heavy and slow, but they bring him to the door before he is ready. He pauses there for a long moment, his key in the knob, suspended between the sidelights' dark margins.
I admired The Wonder Garden as a writer and a reader. Excellent rhythm and portrayal of ordinary life.
Yep - quick juggle with the siblings and it's my turn. We are figuring out this "senior needing help thing". After a trip to the ER and a brief day or so in the hospital, Dad's home, but not kicking up his heels.
Wish me luck. I think right now I'm faster than him.
It's been exactly a year since I went to Italy with Ann Summerville. We had such an awesome time.
Beyond words. Met such great folks on this Trafalger bus tour - The Aussie gals were fabulous - Chris, Di, Jacquie and Julie, plus Paul and Dianne. I never laughed so hard in my life.
Italy itself was amazing and the people were generous, full of life, and truly seemed happy.
The history, the scenery, the gelato............OMG
so, cheers to travel. Cheers to memories. Thanks for indulging me one more time on pictures
My happy face hovering above Florence sums it up,.
Somehow I never posted this back in the spring. So, it's coming soon to DVD. For anyone who missed it, now's your chance.
Avengers: Age of Ultron is another gem in the
Marvel collection. It’s a tad long, but you won’t fall asleep with the barrage
of action and noise. It’s just another day for our heroes as they seek Loki’s
scepter. Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Captain America
(Chris Evans), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), and
Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) fight bad guys, argue with each other, and keep the
slick dialogue rolling. In entering a Hydra lair, they uncover a whole new
power and it looks like a level of artificial intelligence. This is too good
for Stark/Iron Man to pass up as he seeks “peace in our times”. Or not?
Unfortunately the blue pulsing mass of neurons seems to overtake
Jarvis, and Ultron is born – a thriving brilliant robot bent on world
domination. As voiced by James Spader, it oozes evil panache. The Avengers have
to work and think as a group to stay ahead of Ultron’s grab for power. The
effects are grand, the battles royale, and our team never looked better. Who’s
going to win? I won’t reveal the answer but I bet you have a good idea.
It’s the little moments that make the movie – the team
sitting around trying to pick up Thor’s hammer. Watch Thor’s face when Captain
America gives it a nudge. They all have their egos and hidden secrets. Who knew
about Hawkeye’s retreat? And what’s up for Hulk and Black Widow – some
yearnings? Avengers: Age of Ultron is blockbuster Hollywood movie
making at its best.
I don't seem to have my act together yet for September and fall. I'm just hanging around like these cows. I've read other blog posts and folks have bold plans. It's almost mid-September. Time is flying and I'm standing in the middle of the road.
Labor Day Monday and I'm not working. I shall reflect on those before me who fought for better factory conditions, against child labor, and a decent wage. I'm fortunate that I have a job indoors that pays very well, and I can set my own hours within reason.
Back to these pictures. Spent Friday afternoon and Saturday in San Saba at Aunt Pat's. Dry, crunchy land right now. Rather scary fire conditions. Watch where you walk - cactus and rocks are rough underfoot.
You can clear a path of rocks and more seem to appear overnight.
It's just wicked. I am a city mouse. Enjoyed the visit and hearty breakfasts, but I scurried back to my backyard pool on Sunday and plunged into bliss.
American Ultra is not terribly original but
it’s down and dirty fun. Jesse Eisenberg expands his repertoire as Mike, a
total stoner dude running a convenience store. Kristen Stewart is Phoebe the
stoner girlfriend. Their lives are predictable until one evening when Mike
turns from dull guy into trained killer and two men are dead in the parking
lot. How could this be? And how could the CIA be involved?
Connie Britton plays the CIA agent who helped create Mike as
a troubled youth into an ultra operative. But the program was not a success and
was shut down. His memory was erased and he’s a twitchy sensitive guy.
Unfortunately, memories are returning and that’s dangerous. Topher Grace’s job
is to eliminate Mike and Phoebe. Britton disagrees with this strategy. So it’s
a CIA race to a small town to surround and capture Mike. Without trying he’s a
weapon wielding kung fu master, taking out opponents left and right without
understanding what the heck is going on.
Mike just wants to propose to Phoebe, the love of his life.
Or is she? American Ultra is humorous and ridiculous, but is
amusing. The cast classes up a low brow flick. This is a good movie to stream
some night when you don’t feel like thinking too much.
Joanne Faries, originally from the Philadelphia area, lives in Texas with her husband Ray. She considers herself fortunate to be able to pursue a writing career after eons in the business world. Joanne enjoys reading and movies, and is the film critic for the Little Paper of San Saba.