80 SHADES OF GREY – Zarda, a novel

In 2016 I self-published my first novel. Perhaps you have a copy or have read it or thought about reading it. I am going to share some of the text with you. Copies can be purchased as an eBook or a paperback through Bookbaby.com. Enjoy!

“I love old books. And flea markets. Being connected to the history of other people through their valuable treasures is very comforting to me. The seller talks to you of family, when the item was bought, how the new puppy broke the fourth cup of a beautiful breakfast set bought at great personal sacrifice, and why did grandma ever think they would like a purple platter with white roses that she made as her first senior citizen project!

That’s what browsing in thrift shops, boot sales, and antique stores if like. Used bookstores are the best. As I gently caress the faded cover of a poetry volume published in England, 1964, and read the inscription… ‘To Helen, in memory of our youngest’, I stand with Helen mourning the baby who died of flu that winter. The wee baby cried until exhausted. Helen bathed her daughter with cool clothes, held her to her breast, and walked the dark death corridor praying to the Great Goddess and Mary and the Queen to spare this one red-haired angel. However, dawn brought stillness to the child, emptiness to Helen, and the doctor’s steps, all too late to lock the gate to the nether world, if ever he could have. CONNECTION.

In the summer of 1976, our American Bicentennial year, I was studying at the University of Durham in Northumberland, England. With a group of American teachers, I was housed at the castle next to the Cathedral, built in 900 A.D. to establish the power of the Bishops of Durham in their struggle against the “dark forces” of whatever group was put in that category in the 900s.

Each day, after classes, a colleague and I would walk down the medieval cobblestone streets that wind down from the Cathedral into the center square, where farmers and priest, workers and wives shopped for supper, swapped gossip, and conducted their daily business in the town — locked between the 10th and 20th centuries. Stopping to look in a shop window I often imagined the sound of horses clopping along the stone street or saw a reflection of long velvet skirts or heard the shout of a fishwife as she advertised her fresh mackerel. Imagination or Connection?”

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