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review 2015-02-11 16:15
Spunk by Zora Neale Hurston
Spunk: Three Tales by Zora Neale Hurston - Zora Neale Hurston
bookshelves: winter-20142015, shortstory-shortstories-novellas, e-book
Read on February 10, 2015

 



Opening: A giant of a brown-skinned man sauntered up the one street of the Village and out into the palmetto thickets with a small pretty woman clinging lovingly to his arm.

“Looka theah, folkses!” cried Elijah Mosley, slapping his leg gleefully. “Theah they go, big as life an’ brassy as tacks.”

All the loungers in the store tried to walk to the door with an air of nonchalance but with small success.


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review 2013-09-21 00:00
Spunk: The Selected Stories - Zora Neale Hurston I think this collection of eight short stories is a great introduction to Zora Neale Hurston. I loved the passion in these stories, the rich dialogue between the characters, and Hurston’s humour. In one story she writes a story (‘Isis’) about a little girl, who I suspect to be Hurston herself, overcome with pity by the hopelessness she sees on her grandmother’s person and decides to shave off her whiskers!

I’ve read Zora’s autobiography ‘Dust Tracks on a Road’ so I recognized the locale of her upbringing in some of these stories. Also, knowing that Hurston was interested in the spiritual world and mythology meant I wasn’t surprised by some of the themes she explored (biblical themes and the supernatural, in particular). Additionally, her respect for different dialects is clear by the fact that she wrote the stories using the southern African-American vernacular. In particular, this quote from ‘Dust Tracks on a Road’ exemplifies her feelings about language: “It seemed to me that the human beings I met reacted pretty much the same to the same stimuli. Different idioms,yes. Circumstances and conditions having power to influence, yes. Inherent difference, no.”

A very enjoyable read.
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review 2013-09-09 18:16
A satisfying tale!
Spunk - Helen O'Reilly

SPUNK, A Fable, is quite a brave choice for a title, and this bravery reflects in the tale tackled. As a lesbian I've read at least two of the sort of 'modern Amazonian tribe' fantasies prevalent in LGBT genre (in the early 90's) which SPUNK is an intelligent and astute spin on. Such all-female societies were ideal if not always utopian, purposed to elevate and overtly empower its female characters (and maybe make other statements). With SPUNK, Helen O'Reilly intends none of these things but explores a very believable path that a post-apocalyptic, all-female 'tribe' can take, and it's all shades of Lord of the Flies, and then some.

But unlike the blunt, young boy/testosterone-fueled savagery of Flies, O'Reilly softens the more unsettling aspects of this female tribe, united in a corrupted vision of survival, with a fable's euphemistic language; just as we can easily digest the monstrosity of Baba Yaga through the simplicity of fairy tale, we can absorb the more queasy or frank aspects of SPUNK with O'Reilly's poetic narrative, though the estrogen-fueled savagery of her setting is still effectively intact. The fable comes to a very satisfying conclusion, as most good tales should, with a beautiful mix of both female and male characters (very much unlike the typical 'amazonian utopia' formula),who pull surprises at the end.

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text 2013-07-31 16:16
For My Next Trick . . .

Someone you know has a drug problem — but not the kind you think. With more than 100 million Americans suffering chronic pain that prevents them from working, playing or resting, at least 8 million Americans fall asleep at night under the influence of an opioid such as Vicodin, Lortab or OxyContin. Every morning, 40 of those people don’t wake up. In 2009, more people in the U.S. died from prescription medication overdoses than from motor vehicle accidents. And those who don’t die face the risk of addiction and side effects ranging from cognitive impairment to erectile dysfunction.

 

Who knows — Dr. Mel Pohl could have been among those statistics. Ten years ago, he began experiencing chronic pain after simply trying to pick something up.

“I bent forward to pick up a very light computer case,” he recalls. “As I was straightening out, something snapped or caught in my back and I developed excruciating pain. I was traveling home from San Diego to Las Vegas and I thought I was going to die. On that day, my journey into chronic pain began and has continued until today.”

 

That journey took him through pain-management techniques both exotic and extreme. “I’ve tried all sorts of interventions including epidurals, radiofrequency ablation, prolotherapy and others.” That was until he began exploring alternatives — and launched a program to teach others how to use them.

 

 

Pohl, medical director of Las Vegas Recovery Center (lasvegasrecovery.com), founded the Pain Recovery Program, which includes such techniques as meditation, distraction, yoga, Pilates, reiki, acupuncture, physical therapy — “Acupuncture, hydrotherapy, music therapy, aromatherapy, oxygen therapy, hypnotherapy, yoga, meditation, exercise, nutrition, biofeedback, chiropractic, and also cognitive behavioral therapy,” Pohl adds, running out of fingers to count on. Better yet, most of these techniques are inexpensive or free.

 

 

Perhaps the most effective tool? Attitude adjustment. “My solution is to face the emotional aspects of my pain, exercise, meditate daily and not take myself too seriously,” says Pohl. He’s since written several books on the topic, including A Day without Pain.

 

 

Dan Mager, who has a chronic pain condition and used pain medications every day for over eight years, completed the program at the center in 2006, and hasn’t taken opioids since.

 

 

“I never would have thought it possible for me to experience significantly less pain while being opioid-free. ... Through my experience at LVRC, I’ve learned to accept and live with my chronic pain with as much grace as I can mobilize.” Three hundred clients have gone through the program since it started.

 

 

Notice Mager says “accept,” not “fix.” No miracle cures promised here — pain is real. But just as real is functionality, a core value of Pohl’s program. “We must be realistic about our pain,” he says. “It may always be with us, to greater or lesser degrees. The goal of pain recovery should be to reduce and manage pain, while focusing on restoring or recovering functionality. And the emphasis should be on the word ‘functionality.’”

 

 

He adds: “Pain is inevitable. Suffering, however, is optional.”

Read entire issue online: Aug 2013 Issue

Source: desertcompanion.com
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text 2013-07-01 17:16
Sex Over Sixty? Women Say, "Yes, Please" But Not to These Guys!

Thanks, author and speaker Renee Fisher, for your hilarious series of Huff Po articles on "Sex and the Sixty-Year-Old." In Part 2, excerpted here, we learn of Renee's friend Susan, a 60+ woman who is trying her luck at internet dating. Sadly, most of that luck has been bad, with come-ons like this:

 

"For those of you who believe my friend Susan hasn't given online dating enough of a chance, rest assured she has been doing this since the original site, Cavematch.com. Thus far, she has only excluded the sites that would result in the FBI confiscating her computer."

 

"After she is contacted by men, and, after she continues to communicate with them via personal email and phone calls, she is able to eliminate most of them as not a good match for her. "Not a good match" may mean various things:"

 

"1. Men who send her photos of their genitals.

Susan assures me that this has happened on more than one occasion. I didn't ask her if they were Glamour Shots or just candid shots. It might make a difference." And so on."

 

Check out rest of Renee Fisher's original post; it's riotously funny.

 

What did my plus-sixty squeeze write online that attracted me almost five years ago? "Boris Seeks Natasha." Right away I knew he was:

 

  • Whimsical,
  • Witty,
  • A Rocky and Bullwinkle fan,
  • In my ballpark, agewise and otherwise
  • a Baby Boomer.

 

A man like that has got to be great in bed . . .  I figured. And I was right! If sex between seniors upsets your sense of order or propriety, then you probably won't like Spunk, a Fable, my new novel available on amazon.com. If, on the other hand, you are open to the idea that sex can continue to be a vital and important part of a happy life as long as the parties involved are interested, then you will love this sexy, crazy, dystopian romp.

 

Source: www.huffingtonpost.com/renee-fisher/online-dating-over-50_b_3443781.html
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