Calling all writers and readers!
Showcase your favorite book—or at least page 69 of it—here!
Turn to page 69 of any book and read it. If you like that page, buy the book.
That was Marshall McLuhan’s advice anyway. I invite readers to submit their own or other works (pg. 69 only of course!) via the Contact Form here.
Today I’m excited to present page 69 excerpts from books by two incredibly accomplished writers.
- Elaine Mansfield shares her journey of accepting grief and affirming life in her Tedx talk, Good Grief! What I learned from Loss.
- Nicole Quinn is a WGA writer whose film credits include the acclaimed Racing Daylight.
Leaning into Love: A Spiritual Journey through Grief
by Elaine Mansfield
Genre: Memoir“I’ll find a way to be all right,” she promised Vic, her dying husband and best friend of 42 years. Leaving the hospital after he passed, she had no idea how. In the months and years that follow, she learns to lean into her on-going love. Grief takes her through emotional and spiritual depths on a journey that builds on their time together and leads into her new life. Elaine Mansfield’s uplifting story of love, hope, determination, and triumph is a gift to the half million women who lose spouses each year.
Page 69 Leaning into Love (Larson Publications, October 7, 2014)
“Friedberg was right,” Vic reports in a quiet, sorrowful voice. “The rash, the swelling, the coughing, the exhaustion, the fever—all weird symptoms of lymphoma.” Perhaps lymphoma in the lymph nodes around the heart caused the cardiac arrests, but there is no way to know for sure.
My face flushes and my jaws clench. I don’t want to live with Vic’s cancer, and I don’t want him to die. I don’t want to give my life to this chaos. I want to save my own ass, since I can’t save his. I want to scream and cry, but there he is so pale and calm. Not trusting myself to speak, I rub his dry feet with skin cream and fight my impulse to run. I massage his fluid-filled legs, now swollen to twice their normal size. I don’t want to care this much about his suffering. I don’t want to love him this much. I don’t want to need him this much. Even though it’s not my body in the bed, his suffering ravages every part of me and my life. I saw what Vic did not see when he was unconscious or drugged or delirious. I am his witness, and I am drowning.
“I have to go back to my hotel,” I tell Vic with guilt and remorse, knowing he can read my reaction. I call Gita and Lourdes Brache-Tabar from my room, knowing these two friends will hold the anguish with me and understand my response. In a few hours, I am calm enough to feel compassion for Vic and for myself.
“I love you, Vic,” I tell him on the phone. “I love you and I’m sorry.”
Now that the diagnosis is clear, Friedberg orders high doses of prednisone to ease Vic’s symptoms and get him on his feet. Within an hour of taking the magic pills, Vic begins peeing out the fluid. The next day a defibrillator is inserted in his chest, and the day after that, an orderly wheels Vic to the front of the hospital while I get the car. All I want is home.
A few weeks later, Lauren tells us that she saw the Dalai Lama the morning after Vic’s cardiac arrests. Since there were only a few people in the room, she told the Dalai Lama about Vic’s situation.”
Sounds good? Get more information or your copy of Leaning Into Love from:
It’s a Nightmare (The Gold Stone Girl, Book 1) by Nicole QuinnGenre: Dystopian feminist fantasy fiction Mina, a rogue DreamWeaver, is born in the Off-grid of the Night Mare’s Winkin City, a world, where human females are kept as cattle, and licensed as domestic pets. She’s found inside a willow tree, alongside lygaeidae hibernating as larva. Mina lives the life of a human-breeder, who discovers that in order to survive, she must change everything.
Page 69 (BlueBarnProductions, May 11, 2014)
The voice inside my head pipes up, Pilar was raised as cattle, always intended for trade or sale. Stooped Helga has survived three owners already, while Chinaka’s people want the evil spirit beaten out of her, before they’ll accept back. Soo doesn’t talk, so she’s never heard. You have known humanity.
Day after day we sit on our cushions in yurt #13, watching Pater Dick strut his
lessons. In the winter, it’s freezing. The Pater’s meager government allotment of wood he reserves for his personal use, while he sends us out, harnessed together like a pack of hounds, to hunt for felled branches. In the summer, it’s sweltering, both inside and out.
“The three stones you choose at Registration are the predictors of your behavior. What we will expect of you. Gold, silver, vermillion, yellow, blue, grey, scarlet, green, pink, and white. Each color has a meaning, to help us identify and weed out the trouble makers early. To understand which of you deserve preferment as pets, and perhaps as media.” He looks around at the five of us.
“No, I guess not.” He says with a snort. Pater’s Dick’s feet stop in front of me. I don’t look up. After a pointed pause, he moves on.
“The most sought after stone, of course, is the gold, which trumps all other stones in its value to society. There is no greater honor for a breeder than to pull the gold stone.
That lucky girl gives her life to the Night Mare, in reparation for our sins.
“The most recent gold stone pulled, however, was a fake. Several hundred cycles back,” Dick tells us.
Sounds good? Get more information or your copy of It’s A Nightmare from:
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