Book Review: A Man Called Ove

It seems cliche but I actually did “laugh and cry” while reading this story. Although the theme is a dark one, I found that the book left me more hopeful than sullen. The setting is Sweden and the story incidentally gives an eye-opening glimpse of Sweden’s socialistic healthcare system. Spoiler alert… it isn’t an ideal situation.

I loved the abrasive main character for his honesty and his steadfast principles. Living with such a person, on the other hand, would be challenging indeed.

There’s a charming love story thread that left this reader wondering if it were even plausible while dearly hoping it could be.

Loyalty and friendship win the day many times as death lurks nearby.

I found it an unforgettable page turner and recommend this book.

There’s a movie too. 😀



Random Word Story # 34: Make Room for SpongeBob

Here’s my story:

As her 4 year-old watched SpongeBob, she was washing the breakfast dishes. Her heart felt light and happy. Anita began singing along.
“It’s the best day ever!”
Suddenly, she scowled.
The night before a group of women at the PTG were going on about being adamantly against their kids watching SpongeBob. What was the complaint? Oh, yes… “brain pollution through mindless entertainment.”
Her heart quickened as a feeling of failure in her role of shaping her child’s future overtook her.
Anita dried her hands and sat down beside her daughter to investigate this further. She may have turned off the show immediately if that darn happy tune wasn’t still looping in her brain.
The next episode was about SpongeBob’s humorous dedication to his job and the next was about his devotion to his best friend and the last was about asking for help to tie his shoes.
“Umm… What’s wrong with that?” she thought.
Immediately, Anita did some serious soul-searching. The terms “helicopter moms” and “group think” had been imaginary concepts until now. She even realized, to her dismay, that “shaping the future” for her daughter was a ludicrous idea. What kind of foolish notion had she been a party to? Her role was to guide her child and help her make sense of things NOT to create an alternative reality or keep her in a bubble!
She glanced lovingly at her child. Her girl was sitting at her feet teaching her doll to tie its shoes singing “It’s the best day ever!”.
Anita sighed. She felt calmer than she had in ages.
Now, should she remain silent at the next meeting about her delightful support of SpongeBob?
As she completed the dish washing, her eyes sparkled and she grinned devilishly.
With a chuckle, she whispered, “This will be fun!”


Writing Prompt Wednesday: Postcard



Legend of Love

He was covered in red clay from head to toe. The pasture that had summoned him, was turning from green to lavender in the fading daylight as the coroner’s wagon vanished over the hill. Vincent collapsed and sobbed.
That morning started like most Sundays. The 39-year-old confirmed bachelor awoke early and walked into the morning, perfectly groomed, as the dew was just starting to lift. The mile walk to his favorite breakfast nook was uneventful. His cane made a click clack on the ancient cobblestone back street as the vendors began to line the rue leading toward his destination. Suddenly, he felt weak. His waxed mustache twitched and the hair on his neck felt static as his jet black derby shifted to one side.
Bewildered, he primped himself, as best he could without a full length mirror, and stepping more lively ahead.
An alluring feminine voice made him turn on his heels. Instead of a woman, there before him stood a vendor selling antiques. A rather nasty looking overweight bald man beckoned him with a wave.
Stepping up to the wagon, Vincent was drawn directly to a powder blue box of old postcards. By this time his ordinary stoic presence had uncharacteristically turned into a desperate one. Vincent rifled through the box and there he found HER.
Legend claims he became momentarily invisible as time stood still and there was no sound until he said her name.
Beneath the chestnut tree he had suddenly stopped. A vivid vision had led him there moments after he had held the postcard. The authorities who had pursued him for a purloined postcard, left with Camille Dubois’ remains. A 25-year-old missing persons mystery ended beneath the tree in a mound of red clay.
Vincent, the confirmed bachelor, had experienced profound love and immeasurable loss before the Earth had made a single rotation.
Some say, he weeps there still.

Writing Prompt Wednesday

Writing Goals: Getting to the point.

People who write novels must have far more focus or patience than I. Perhaps, there’s an ADHD that affects writers?

For example, my Random Word Stories are delightfully fun to write. But, they end up being book jacket versions of novels that I’d enjoy reading, nothing more. You’d think if I embraced them as beginnings, I’d have a wealth of inspiration for a novel. Instead, I lose interest in the longer intricate version. Like the kid in a candy shop, off I go in search of new sweet flavors to sample.

I enjoy writing poems and short stories. They get to the point. I like that. Every word counts. Don’t get me wrong. A well-written novel is a beautiful experience. I just don’t believe that I have the self-discipline to accomplish writing one.

My favorite novel is the Illustrated Man by Ray Bradbury. It’s a bunch of short stories crocheted together. Ah… a collection of short stories is “like a box of chocolates” in my opinion. Certainly, dismissing the novel writing idea, completely, isn’t going to happen. But following my aptitude and “attention deficit” trait seems the better use of my creative energy. A collection of short stories may be the answer for me.


Have you struggled with similar thoughts? Is blogging merely enough? 😉

Random Word Story #33: A Place Behind Her Eyes

adult beautiful beauty blond
Photo by Pixabay on

I use a random word generator and write a quick story with them. It’s fun! Check out my category of them. 🙂

Here’s my story:

These were NOT Cheerios!
Stella flung her styrofoam cup across the table and watched the golden rings dance across the kitchen carpet. A few made it into the dog water dish. That made her grin for the first time in days. “Bullseye.” she murmured into hand.
The lady wasn’t happy. She even said, “I’m NOT happy, Stella.” as she stooped out of sight beneath the table to scoop them up.
Stella heard at catechism that lying was a sin. She guessed lying to kids must be an exception because the grape juice was NOT grape juice either! Yuck!
This place was a nightmare already! It was everything she feared a foster home would be. There was nothing familiar… No one to trust… And, nothing good to eat!
Jean, the case worker, said she’d only be here until her mother got “fixed“.
Yeah right.
You can’t fix stupid.
She loved her mom but good choices weren’t her specialty. Running off to Hollywood to become a STAR and leaving her 8-year-old daughter alone at the park was her latest “brain fart”. Jean asked her not to use that term but Stella knew the word “retarded” was a no-no and, besides, it really fit the situation. It stunk!
Stella had to believe her mother was just stupid or the unbearable alternative of her mom not regarding her as valuable would have to be considered. That would NOT be okay.
The lady sat down beside her. Stella hadn’t even noticed that she had vacuumed the mess and cleared the table while Stella was visiting the “place behind her eyes”. She was the queen of that secret place where time stands still and everything is true.
Stella went there often. Stella wanted to live there forever. Now, she was NOT happy.