Guest Post! Joanna Patterson

I had the incredible pleasure of having author Joanna Patterson guest post on my blog. Check her out!

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My two books of short stories, “The Old Turk and Other Tales” and “Through the Mirror”, examine that tricky balance between experience and the spiritual world that anyone—and the author—would encounter or like to encounter. There are realms which take us beyond ourselves—and I like to explore them. Short stories should stimulate thinking—they are always potentially true. So many of them lose themselves in the usual earthbound stories about romance and the twists and turns of people in love, but I tried to go beyond those confines to involve spiritual worlds. The short stories I wrote are fantastic in the sense that they treat the unseen as a vital encounter, but engage with it as a possible extension of the Self.

The stories don’t tell you what to do. They are meetings with vibrant beings, ways of seeing. Some are fun, like the story about hats in the Old Turk collection. I also call to mind the ancient goddesses and what they represent—this in Through the Mirror. You can also say this is about memory and about the sea and the land. I have been to these places—but they are transformed and show themselves in a new way.

I explore Europe and ancient places in Ohio, U.S.A., and what they represent, the unusual, the dialogue with them that can create connections, letting go the mundane, the things you are used to. I hope there is pleasure in these extensions of mind’s adventures.

What I liked most are the stories of transformation in “Through the Mirror”. The metamorphosis does not have to be into human lives, but can be a bird such as in “Jenny Wren”. Or it can have a message as in “The Owls of Scarba”. And then there are some places that simply evoke the moon and thinking in different ways of where you are, such as in an eighteenth century tower in Dessau, Germany,  or in a long forgotten village in Austria.

“The Shaman Birches of Argyll” and “The Travelling Moon”, my poetry books, on the other hand, are grounded in experience and often on watching the sea while sailing on the West Coast of Scotland. They are an exploration of nature and lochs and birds, indigenous or otherwise, especially the seabirds that visit. These are a closeness with nature that can only be vitally expressed in poetry. I think about the natural world and try to find it again in words. I was born in the land-locked—except for the cross-European river Danube—city of Vienna. So this is an encounter with a different and exciting world.

My books of poetry probe the new countryside in the Highlands where water is everywhere—the mysterious sea, the lochs and the burns. The rising moon, the trees and ferns that grow wild on hillsides are also featured. The essence of the poetry is both myth and place. Nature has different dimensions and I want to bring them close to the reader. Poetry gives feelings and vision in versions that other genres cannot.

I do not believe that even adult books should be without images. So I have given all my books illustrations. I hope you like the way words augment pictures!

My books are all available from Amazon as Kindle or print-on-demand editions under the name Joanna Paterson.

Joanna Paterson, aka Joanna Geyer-Kordesch

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Random Book Talk

I don’t really know what I’m writing, to be honest. I haven’t posted in ages, and I really didn’t want to miss another Thursday so I decided to another daily prompt. Of course, this didn’t really help either, I now just have one word I’m supposed to make a blog post about and I don’t know what to say. I wanted to write something about fiction, but couldn’t muster up anything. So, I’m going to just write about whatever comes to mind. This might be a bit all over the place and maybe a bit boring, the very opposite of the definition of percolating, but oh well.

So, I’m in the biggest reading slump, but I think I’m finally starting to come out of it. I don’t want to talk about it too much, in case I jinx it but I’m currently making progress in 11/22/63 and listening to the audiobook of One Day by David Nicholls. I think I’m going to talk about the Stephen King novel first. Without freaking out too much, I just want to mention how amazing and phenomenal this books is. It really messes with your mind and gets you thinking (I probably said that in my wrap up, sorry not sorry) and there are so many turns that I never saw coming. Granted, I’m really terrible at predicting the endings of books. Something really important could be staring me in the face and I could just ignore it’s importance or just assume it’s no big deal. I don’t want to spoil anything, but this book has really blown me away.

One Day is also an amazing book, and I’m enjoying it very much. I’m torn between wishing there was more than just one day a year and thinking that this format is unique and really adds to the story. I don’t know. I like this idea, because somehow it works and we get all the information we need, but I also really want to see more of Emma and Dexter’s lives, rather than just once a year. Other than that, I’m really loving this book and can’t wait to see how it plays out.

That’s it for today, I’m feeling a lot better after getting something written. I also took a really nice picture the other day (I posted it on my tumblr, follow me! It’s @miathebookthief). Here it is, to end the post:

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Thank you all for reading! Until next time!

via Daily Prompt: Percolate

October Wrap-up

This month I read the amazing total of one book. Yeah, I know. I started 11/22/63 in the beginning of the month knowing it was going to be a commitment. The book is around a thousand pages long, so I knew I wasn’t going to finish it right away, especially the way I’ve been with reading these past months. My goal is to have this book finished by the end of November and I’m going to be seriously annoyed if I don’t get that done. Please hold me to it. Anyway, without further ado, here’s the sole book I read this book:

Stalking Jack the Ripper Kerri Maniscalco: I listened to this as an audiobook (duh, because since w28962906hen do I actually read books that I finish, wow) and it was amazing. The concept was so intriguing and I loved the setting. As I might have mentioned a few hundred times, I’m really, really, into historical fiction. I wanted to write a review for this book because I have so many feelings about it, but it never happened. I’m going to do a mini spoiler free review here.

I loved Audrey Rose and how she stood against all the gender roles that were set in place by London society in 1888. She is supposed to be at home, playing music or sewing, but instead she’s in her uncle’s laboratory dissecting cadavers. That itself was so intriguing. I loved the scenes when she was dissecting and looking at the cadavers, especially the first scene. Withing the first chapter, Maniscalco shows the dirty work Audrey Rose does and I love it. It’s so unique.  I loved Thomas, even though he seemed like a stereotypical YA protagonist to me. He was broody, closed off, but still sarcastic and funny. Nevertheless, I enjoyed his character. He reminded me a lot of Gideon de Villiers from the Ruby Red trilogy, and I think that was another reason why I felt so strongly for his character. At first, I despised him but throughout the book, we learned more about his character and he didn’t seem so flat to me.

The action in this book was really intense and fast paced. I felt as if there was something gruesome and interesting at every corner. I loved it. This book was extremely unique and interesting. I definitely recommend it to anyone interested in the Jack the Ripper mystery, Victorian London, and female protagonists who break the mold. Amazing read.