Independently published

Life Matters: ... and other stories

Anthology of 15 women writers from the USA and South Africa includes crime fiction, historical fiction, science fiction, narrative non-fiction, and excerpts from memoirs. One piece gives a vivid account of a tragic accident that brings into focus Zulu culture and beliefs around bewitchment. Good writing is unexpected, it takes you by surprise and lures you in, as Trina Mace Learned does in her touching story of a mother who becomes a hoarder. "More than once, the lan, as Trina Mace Learned does in her touching story of a mother who becomes a hoarder. "More than once, the large reflective picture window in our family room lured a flying game bird to its death. After it crashed through the glass and succumbed, my mother, ever mindful of the teachable moment, consulted her extensive cookbook collection, cleaned the kamikaze bird of its feathers and cooked it for dinner. Her version of 'pheasant under glass.'" In Heidi Angle's powerful and touching narrative about an event during the Oregon wagon trail of the late 1880s, will linger in your head for days: "A low mutter comes from Bynon, whose head stays focused on the ground, bent like the surrounding oxen. He jabs his large calloused hands into the remaining washing water; drops escape and make tiny rivulets near his feet." Bynon is not the primary character in this tale, yet his responses inform all of this tale. Vanessa Hilton-Barber escaping a town and a relationship reminds us that, "Sometimes when you’re expecting the magic, it isn’t there." Her escape turns into a series of revelations as she encounters more and deeper pain, but from it is birthed a growing appreciation for nature, and through that an unexpected richness enters her life. What unites the writers in this book is that at some stage they took their courage in their hands, put their ego's in their pockets and took an online or in-person writing course or coaching with award-winning author, Charlene Smith, who is also Nelson Mandela's authorized biographer. This is a selection of some of the best of their writing. The stories are gripping, some are funny, a few sad, and all are united by insight and empathy. The book includes tips for writers. read more

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