Archive for April, 2010


Candy On the Road at Lien's place

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Writing Your Way to Wholeness, Creative Exercises for Personal Growth by Terre Ouwehand. Would you like to learn how writing can connect you with the universe? Do you need writing topics for your recovery journal? Does writer’s block frequently sabotage your creative process? This book can help. Combining her creative writing expertise with her personal recovery experience, the author presents this transformational resource to a growing cross section of readers – people in recovery, creative writers, people seeking spiritual connection.

The Invitation by Oriah Mountain Dreamer. “It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for, and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing. It doesn’t interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dream, for the adventure of being alive…” Visionary author Oriah Mountain Dreamer brings to life the wisdom of her beloved “The Invitation” which has touched hearts everywhere with its fresh and spirited call to live life more passionately and to settle for nothing less than what is real.

The Discovery of Poetry, a field Guide to Reading and Writing Poems by Frances Mayes, author of Under the Tuscan Sun. Long before she fell in love with Tuscany, Frances Mayes fell in love with poetry. The author of five poetry collections, she was a professor of creative writing at San Francisco State University until last year. In this accessible field guide, Mayes invites readers to share her lifelong passion. Beginning with basic terminology and techniques, The Discovery of Poetry reveals how focusing on each aspect of a poem can help you to better understand, appreciate, and enjoy the whole reading and writing experience. In addition to creative composition ideas, lyrical and lively discussions are followed by a thoughtful selection of poems. With its distinguished anthology of work from Shakespeare to Jamaica Kincaid, The Discovery of Poetry is an insightful, invaluable guide to what Mayes calls “the natural pleasures of language – a happiness we were born to have.”

Leaving the Saints, How I Lost the Mormons and Found My Faith by Martha Beck. As “Mormon royalty” within the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Martha Beck was raised in a home frequented by the Church’s high elders in an existence framed by the strictest code of conduct. As an adult, she moved to the east coast, outside of her Mormon enclave for the first time in her life. When her son was born with Down syndrome, Martha and her husband left their graduate programs at Harvard to return to Utah, where they knew the supportive Mormon community would embrace them. But when she was hired to teach at Brigham Young University, Martha was troubled by the way the Church’s elders silenced dissidents and masked truths that contradicted its published beliefs. Most troubling of all, she was forced to face her history of sexual abuse by one of the Church’s most prominent authorities. The New York Times bestseller Leaving the Saints chronicles Martha’s decision to sever her relationship with the faith that had cradled her for so long and to confront and forgive the person who betrayed her so deeply. Leaving the Saints offers a rare glimpse inside one of the world’s most secretive religions while telling a profoundly moving story of personal courage, survival, and the transformative power of spirituality.

Yesterday I Cried by Iyanla Vanzant. Celebrating the lessons of living and loving. What is the lesson in abuse, neglect, abandonment, rejection? What is the lesson when you lose someone you really love? Just what are the lessons of life’s hard times? Bestselling author Iyanla Vanzant has had an amazing and difficult life – one of great challenges that uncovered her wonderful gifts and led to wisdom. In this simple book, she uses her own experience to show how life’s hardships can be re-languaged and re-visioned to become lessons that teach us as we grow, heal, and learn to love. The pain of the past does not have to be today’s reality. Iyanla Vanzant is an example of how yesterday’s tears become the seeds of today’s hope, renewal, and strength. The Red Tent by Anita Diamant. Her name is Dinah. In the bible, her life is only hinted at in a brief and violent detour within the more familiar chapters about her father, Jacob, and his dozen sons in the Book of Genesis. Told in Dinah’s voice, this novel reveals the traditions and turmoil of ancient womanhood – the world of the red tent. It begins with the story of her mothers – Leah, Rachel, Zilpah, and Bilhah – the four wives of Jacob. They love Dinah and give her gifts that are to sustain her through a hard-working youth, a calling to midwifery, and a new home in a foreign land. Dinah’s story reaches out from a remarkable period of early history and creates an intimate, immediate connection. Deeply affecting, The Red Tent combines rich story-telling with a valuable achievement in modern fiction: a new view of biblical women’s society.

Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden. A literary sensation and runaway bestseller, this brilliant debut novel presents with seamless authenticity and exquisite lyricism the true confessions of one of Japan’s most celebrated geisha. In Memoirs of a Geisha, we enter a world where appearances are paramount; where a girl’s virginity is auctioned to the highest bidder; where women are trained to beguile the most powerful men; and where love is scorned as illusion. It is a unique and triumphant work of fiction – at once romantic, erotic, suspenseful – and completely unforgettable.

Red Sky in Mourning, A True Story of Love, Loss, and Survival at Sea by Tami Oldham Ashcraft with Susea McGearhart. Young and in love, Tami Oldham and her fiance, Richard Sharp, set sail from Tahiti under brilliant blue skies. Twenty days into their journey, they sailed directly into a monumental hurricane. Just seconds after Richard tethered himself to the boat and sent Tami below, Tami heard Richard’s scream over the roar of the wind. And then all went black. Red Sky in Mourning is the story of Tami’s miraculous forty-on-day journey to safety, after discovering that Richard had been swept overboard, her motor was shot, and her masts were gone. Her story offers an inspiring reminder that even in our darkest moments we are never truly alone.

When Katie Wakes by Connie May Fowler. Connie May Fowler is known to the world as the author of bestselling novels and powerful essays – but no one knew that for years she was the victim of brutal abuse and relentless humiliation. Now in this harrowing, spellbinding memoir, Fowler finally tells her own story. The daughter and granddaughter of battered women, Fowler found herself irresistibly drawn to a man who was bent on destroying her, physically and emotionally. Despite her youth, spirit, education, and wonderful talent, she was trapped in a cycle of violence and despair with no way out. Until the day she adopted an incredible puppy she named Kateland. With stunning candor, Connie May Fowler reveals how the unconditional love and loyalty of this dog helped her turn the corner, find a safe place, and reclaim her own life. A work of extraordinary passion and courage, When Katie Wakes holds out hope and inspiration to anyone who has ever dreamed of starting over.

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In the glare of the African sun

we plan as the sparrows swoop by –

the fynbos screams at its sad situation

and the bulldozing makes me cry


The treeless steep stage for the future plays

of bricks and cement and glass

I imagine the boulder’s eyeless gaze

as it thinks of the impermanence, and laughs


After Africa freed my longing, I thought

that sad, missing song on my tongue

would cease to be, but it did not

the wanderlust in me still stays strong


This beautiful place, this diverse land

I felt, had called me home –

she seduced me and whispered, come take my hand

in mankind’s birthplace you can roam


And she gives thanks, in her complexion and stain,

bright blankets of flowers and sparkling seas –

her wildlife, her people, the harsh winter rain

from parched inland desert to cool ocean breeze


The wrinkled old man who begs by the store –

the sadness, the poverty, the crime

are all part of the Africa that I adore

I’m sure I’ll call her home… in time


Yes, here in Africa I will stay

who knew in my roaming how far I would roam –

but my friends and my family, they’re so far away

my home, my home, where is my home?



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