Withholding and Hinting at the “True” Story — a Post on Toni Morrison’s Beloved

  (written as a participant in the Rainier Writing Workshop)     Toni Morrison’s Beloved              I’ve been pondering writing a new novel that illuminates a horrific period in my family’s heritage. As I re-read Toni Morrison’s Beloved this month, it became clear to me that her techniques of emotional withholding and surrealistic storytelling would be quite useful in telling the story that I’m tentatively calling A Mercy Upon Us. The verifiable family history I would use in my novel is the story of my grandfather’s parents. They were two young immigrants from Holland, with four children in tow, and one in the oven. They brought with them their elderly grandmother, to help with the children and the new baby about to be born. However, the only...

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Happy Literary Birthday, John Fowles (and Ned Hayes) !

Literary Birthday – 31 March Happy Birthday, John Fowles, born 31 March 1926, died 5 November 2005 Also, my birthday!  (SinfulFolk.com / NedNote.com)    (Post Via amandaonwriting)     Top 12 John Fowles Quotes   1) There are only two races on this planet – the intelligent and the stupid.   2) There comes a time in each life like a point of fulcrum. At that time you must accept yourself. It is not any more what you will become. It is what you are and always will be.   3) The most important questions in life can never be answered by anyone except oneself.   4) We all write poems; it is simply that poets are the ones who write in words.   5) You may think novelists always have fixed plans to which they work, so that the...

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Review: Sinful Folk, Bookish Girl

New Review from Bookish Girl on her Summer Reading Project blog Sinful Folk, by Ned Hayes There are secrets behind secrets behind even more secrets in Ned Hayes’Sinful Folk. Just when you think you’ve gotten to the bottom of everything in this dark tale of justice, Hayes reveals something that turns everything around. And lurking behind the story is the actual history, making you wonder just how much of the fiction is actually fiction, and how much might actually have happened all those centuries ago. The writing is spare. Nothing is embellished. Nothing needs to be. But you’ll need to pay attention to every word and take nothing for granted. Five boys died a terrible death in December 1377. Their parents, maddened by grief set off from their...

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“Stunning, Suspenseful, Riveting” — Review

Wonderful 5 star review from Lori Zalewski on her book review site “Lusty Penguin.”   “Sinful Folk is a stunning, suspenseful, and a thoroughly gripping story of historical fiction by Ned Hayes. The author effectively uses actual historical events and masterfully creates a page-turning and emotion-filled journey told through the eyes of the protagonist, Mear. Along with vivid details of the time period, Hayes’s brilliant and rich narrative evokes the atmosphere, people, and history of the Middle Ages, fully immersing the reader in this story.”   “An emotional quest for justice with a downright amazing and memorable protagonist make Sinful Folk a riveting story that will haunt you long after reading the last word.”...

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Moral Gravity and Pleasure – A Post on “Comfortable” Writing

  (written as a participant in the Rainier Writing Workshop)   DIFFERENT SEASONS Stephen King   Over the holiday break this year, I picked up a book that’s been on my shelf for a long time. This was Different Seasons by Stephen King. This book is a collection of four novellas, and was his first publication that reached outside of the horror genre. The book includes the novellas Apt Pupil, The Body, The Shawshank Redemption and The Breathing Method (I had only read Shawshank Redemption before I picked up this book). I began reading the book purely for pleasure, and then I began asking myself about why precisely this book was pleasurable to me as a reader. This paper is about a few of the specific pleasures that I found King brings to a reader. I’m...

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