Thursday, October 25, 2012

Book Review: Leaving Now by Arleen Pare

Update:  On Sunday, July 25 at 2 PM at Shavasana Art Gallery and Cafe on Mayne Island, BC, Arleen Pare will read from her most recent poetry collection First

Allow me to begin with a little bit of self-talk. "Leanne, this is an example of why it's important to leave room for a book to find you. Listen up." Okay, I feel better. Thanks. Now...

Background:  The night before finding Leaving Now I'd actually started reading... Well, the name of the book isn't important. By... Well, the name of the author isn't important either.... It's enough to say that I'd read another books by the author. Other books that I'd enjoyed. So, I began reading that book with hope in my heart. I'll enjoy this, I told myself. Half-way through the first chapter, I kept reminding myself, any time now I'll begin to enjoy this. 

The problem was the author. I could compare him to a bully. He was holding the story over my head. I could see it danging there in front of me. But when I reached out to grab it he pulled it away. 

Finally, I told him. "Fine. If you don't want me to have it, I don't need it." And I left the author with his story. 

But that left me with a new problem:  what do I read now? 

The problem was that I had too many books to choose from and none of them called to me. 

That evening I went to Arleen Pare's book reading. 

Leaving Now jumped right up, waved at me and said, "Yeah, I'll be happy to entertain you. Just bring me home."

So I did and Leaving Now didn't disappoint. In fact, it charmed me from page one, with turn of phrase such as 'An ordinary day--but with a suitcase in it." (p. 9)

The cover is a well executed work of art--weaving pink and blue. 
It speaks of times long past--1952. 

Please visit the book cover artist, Arleigh Wood

Arleen Pare's writing is emotionally deep with a poetic style. Reading her words inspired me to try my hand...

Satisfaction comes from developing your craft.
Ink on paper...capturing...emotion...writing deeply...capture the minute, the essence.

Satisfaction is achieved by sitting with your pen.
Exercise your brain...focus...execute...breathe life into word.
Build a your characters come to life...
Stand for something...make a point....

Don't worry who will care. You will.

Yes, Leaving Now captured me--right up and including the very last page.
'That's what happens in a fairy tale. That's the way the endings work. Perfectly. That's the law. I close the book.' (p. 162)

So, wanting more, but knowing the story was complete, I, indeed, closed the book.

Next post:
After all that, would you like to meet the author of Leaving Now? I knew you would. Arleen Pare will be here tomorrow. 
Can't wait?
Neither can I. : )
Work in progress
Word count:  64,638 words
Just two scenes left. I'm so close I can taste it--and it's so sweet. Then I let it rest for a few days (as many as I can stand). After a through editing and polish, it's submission time. If all goes well this progress should start in December or January. After the holidays or before... Huh? I've worried over this dilemma more than once.

This week I finished Room by Emma Donoghue. I thought I'd leave it at that. But as with so many books it seems I have something to say. So, please, watch for this review.
I will be attending two writer workshops this Saturday...
Write with Geist
Fall Workshop series
Getting It Into Print 
(Billeh Nickerson reveals the secrets of how to get published in literary journals.)
Art of the Sentence
(Stephen Osborne explains how to identify strong sentences and how to write them)
I've been fortunate to be published in some literary journals. But I want to do more. And my sentences are strong but they could be stronger. (couldn't everyone's?)

Oh, yes, and this coming Tuesday at 9 pm my favourite TV show returns.
Scotiabank Giller Prize (link)