Saturday, May 16, 2009

With Arms Wide Open

I have two pieces in this anthology which of course makes me a bit biased. However, I truly did enjoy the idea of an anthology in which the pieces were all about how to love live because of, and often in spite of, its struggles and joys.One of my favorite pieces is "Banana Boats and Boatloads of Cousins" by K'Lee Williams. I love the way she evokes the joys of her wonderful childhood. I've heard people complain that they can't write because it seems all writing is based on the bad things that happened to people in life. Williams' piece is a great refutation of that premise.

"At Nine" by Kathi Anderson is a beautiful piece of poetry-ish prose about the enticements and fears of childhood freedom. A good read for adults and young adults. Sarah Natalia Lee's story "The Cafeteria" would be a good one to share with young adults as well, as it demonstrates the empowerment of compassion and resisting peer pressure.

Namid's memoir "I Am 30" is a straight-forward, beautiful yet brutal piece about life with M.S. The human will shines powerfully through her writing, as it does in Chelle Cordero's piece ("Strength and Love and Family"), which focuses on her struggles with pregnancy and miscarriage.

Smoky Trudeau's story "Goodbye, Emily Dickinson" is funny and moving; it's about someone who embraces life even though many others see her as pathetic. Sue Stewart's "50 and Counting", is a story many women who've been through mid-life divorce will relate to.

Life's biggest question is: What is this human will to continue in the face of everything life can throw at us--including knowledge of our own inevitable demise? This anthology grapples with this question through many different voices and lives.

Full Table of Contents:

The Visit ….. 9
Lillith T. Lewis

Strength and Love and Family ….. 21
Chelle Cordero

Banana Boats and Boatloads of Cousins ….. 25
K’lee Williams

At Nine ….. 33
Kathi Anderson

Flight of the Crone ….. 37
Smoky Trudeau

Reflected Fear ….. 39
Milena Gomez

Wide Open ….. 41
L.E. Harvey

The Ties That Unbind ….. 47
Victoria Howard

Season for Love ….. 57
Jacqueline Seewald

The Cafeteria ….. 69
Sarah Natalia Lee

The Color of Change ….. 75
Kate Evans

Gami ….. 79
K’lee Williams

Trey’s Need ….. 83
Kelsey Chasen

I Am 30 ….. 91
Namid

Someone Formerly Known As Not-So-Braveheart…..95
Leah Samul

Goodbye, Emily Dickinson ….. 103
Smoky Trudeau

Forest Song Little Mother Ch. 9 ….. 101
Vila SpiderHawk

Fifty and Counting ….. 145
Sue Stewart

Synonymous with Ecstasy
(or, an apologia for the thesaurus)….. 153
Kate Evans

The Journey ….. 161
Brenda Hill

Yesterday’s Hearts ….. 171
Marilyn Celeste Morris

Promises ….. 175
Ryan Callaway

Lonely Soul Ch. 19 ….. 203
Mary Quast
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