Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Pumpkins for Love

My daughter carved a message into our jack-o'-lanterns.

In Maine, Ballot Question One would grant the right of marriage to everyone, including same-sex couples. To me this isn't really an issue of politics or religion but a recognition of love and universal human rights. All families and committed couples deserve legal protection. 

Last weekend I joined a candlelit vigil in our town organized by Standing on the Side of Love. It was wonderful to see teenagers showing their support for marriage equality too. Next week voters in Maine, Maryland and Washington can vote yes for marriage equality laws. Please remember to vote on Election Day. 

Storm Watch: Maine was not hit as hard as the rest of the eastern coast. My thoughts are with NYC and other communities recovering from Sandy's onslaught. Up north, we know the pain of days without power or internet. Light a candle for love and hang in there, my friends.

Happy Halloween!

The Four 2012 helpful graphic for ballot questions.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

A new puppy in our family

Yuki and Scout
(photo by my sister-in-law)

Yuki is a Coton de Tuléar and won't get much bigger. Her name means snow in Japanese, which is my sister-in-law's nationality. She met my brother when he was working overseas. They moved to the USA after they got married. My niece and nephew taught me that kawaii means cute. They are delighted with their new pet.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Sunset and Moonrise on the Harbor

As the sun sets on Five Islands,

Moonlight silvers the harbor,

And colors seep like paint on canvas.

I float in the moment, content.

Blog Watch: congratulations to Pamela@From the House of Edward on the publication of a book of essays from her blog! After a year offline to move house twice(!), Alyson is back at a new blog address: New England Living.

Earth Watch: we had an earthquake last night during dinner! It was only 4.5 magnitude, but since we were about 50 miles from the epicenter, our house rumbled and shook. I had no idea an earthquake could be as loud as thunder. Rather unusual in Maine!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Fall Foliage Reflections

Every day I walk past this pond, but in October...I pause.

Scout wags her tail impatiently, unable to understand the delay. 
I hear that dogs are colorblind. Mine is certainly well camouflaged. 

But even dogs must feel the warmth that glows from the trees.

Our woods are a cathedral to the seasons.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn is a fictional mystery torn from the tabloids. It's the sensational story you try to ignore but can't. Amy was the inspiration for a bestselling children's series, and now she has disappeared on the eve of her fifth anniversary. The media points a finger at her drop-dead-gorgeous husband, Nick. He hadn't even bought her gift, and she had arranged a treasure hunt for him with odd clues.

On the day that Amy vanishes, Nick admits that his beautiful, intelligent wife was unhappy. After losing their jobs, they'd quit trendy Brooklyn to tend to his unwell parents in the midwest. Nick borrowed money from Amy's trust fund to open a bar in his hometown while she moped in their McMansion, pining for the city. His current-day narration alternates with her diary, telling their backstory. Her witty, charming voice is more compelling than his whining denials. Still, you can't help feeling a bit sorry for him. Nick may be a cad, but is he a murderer?

Author Gillian Flynn breaks nearly every rule of narrative fiction, but somehow she gets away with it. Gone Girl has hovered near the top of The New York Times bestseller list since its release in June. The real mystery for me was how did the author do it. Her narrators are unlikable and unreliable, and the plot twists contort and overrun the characters. The ending is absurd. Nonetheless, the reader is gripped.

Gone Girl is not without literary merit. The relationships are well developed and the cultural observations about NYC versus the midwest are hilarious. In many ways, this suspense thriller works best as social satire with the media cast as the number one villain. It is also a comedy of errors. Flynn spotlights the secret jokes, tender moments, irritating habits and infuriating missteps of marriage. She asks, who hasn't, at times, wanted to kill his or her spouse? The resolution was disappointing after all the build up, but it was certainly a quick, fun read.

Disclosure: I picked up this book and put it down in more than one bookstore, underwhelmed by the first chapter and wary of all the popular hype. The hardback cost $25 and my Kindle had died on the beach. On NPR the author cited V.C. Andrews' Flowers in the Attic as her inspiration. Talk about trashy. I bought literary paperbacks that failed to hold my attention under the hot sun. More people recommended Gone Girl to me. Others shook their head. When author Beth Kephart gave it a positive review, I headed to my local bookstore and laid down the cash with few regrets. Gone Girl was just right for the last days of summer.

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@Barrie Summy