Zi71bFS9nQHnivtvUJquhejTHIQ The Story Factory Reading Zone: Bluff by Lenore Skomal (Review and Guest Post)

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Bluff by Lenore Skomal (Review and Guest Post)


To the medical world, I was a host body, surviving only to bring a new life into the world. And while I wanted to die more than anything in the world, I never wanted this. No, I never wanted to cease to exist. This was the worst death of all.

Jude Black lives in that in-between, twilight place teetering on death but clinging to life in order to bring her baby into this world. Only she knows the circumstances surrounding her mysterious fall off the bluff that landed her in the hospital being kept alive by medical intervention. Only she knows who the father of her baby is. In this poignantly crafted literary novel, the mystery unfolds and the suspense builds as the consequences of Jude’s decisions threaten to reveal everyone's deceptions, even her own. Bluff offers a sensitive look at essential questions such as the value of human life, the consciousness of those in a coma and the morality of terminating life support. At the core is the story of a tragically misunderstood woman who finds peace, acceptance, understanding and even love on her deathbed.

My review:
Complex, emotional, and fascinating, this story will keep you reading right to the end.
The author explores the lives of her characters through the unchanging life of Jude Black. With each page we learn more about their worlds, and begin to feel a part of their lives.
Threads of plot are woven together, their meaning slowly unravelling to the reader as each chapter unfolds. And then, just when you think you know what's going to happen next- everything changes.
A wonderfully charged book, with a fascinating plot and enticing characters. 


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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book for review from the author. I was not compensated nor was I required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

About the Author

Lenore Skomal is the author of the recently released novel Bluff. As an author, Lenore wants you to eat her books. She wants you to chew them in your teeth, savor them on your tongue, breathe them in, and feel her words in your skin. Her passionate desire is to touch your heart, inspire you, and luxuriate in the world of the written word. Winner of multiple awards for blogging, literature, biography and humor, Lenore Skomal’s catalogue spans many genres. With 30 years of writing experience, over 17 books published and a daily blog, the consistent themes in her work are the big issues the human experience and adding depth and voice to the intricacies involved in living a multi-dimensional existence. www.LenoreSkomal.com

Never have a backup plan when you’re a writer by Lenore Skomal

Probably the worst advice I ever got from my father—may he rest in peace and not come back to haunt me—was, “You need to have a backup plan.” Of course, this was in response to my desire to go to a great liberal arts college to major in writing. I have wanted to be a writer since third grade. I bleed ink if you cut me. But once the dye was set from his advice, it took over three decades to bleach it out.

Looking back, I realize that this was coming from a man who bought his first camera at 14, spent hordes of money on his ‘hobby,’ shot millions of photos in his lifetime, and never made one thin dime selling or competing. He died not actualizing his lifelong dream of being a professional photographer. And that is sad to me.

Why? Precisely because he had a backup plan. And once he started taking on responsibilities, a family, bills, my mother, the backup plan became a survival plan. I couldn’t have asked for a better father because he showed me the most valuable lesson by living it. I love my dad, but I don’t want to end my life living with the regrets of an artist unfulfilled.

  • Backup plans don’t work because they are a misnomer. Anyone who has been encouraged to have one of these or has been the victim to this kind of thinking knows full well they are euphemisms for your real plan. Backup plans, simply put, become your career, and if you’re not careful, your life.
  • Backup plans feed on negativity. From the get-go, they come from a place of failure. Backup plans assume, like prenuptials, that the marriage isn’t going to work. (Not that I’m against prenuptials.) But inherent in the plan’s very existence in your life is the unspoken belief that you will fail. So you better have something else in the wings.
  • Backup plans take precious time and resources away from what should be your real plan. Putting together a back up plan means dividing your attention, and as a creative, that means parceling out energy that could and should be going to your art. (The biggest complaint of part-time writers is having enough time to write.)
  • Backup plans lie to you. Like mistresses who lead you astray in your marriage, a backup plan will tell you you’re doing the right thing, that this is what you really want, that writing is just a whim and she’s the real deal. Wrong. Backup plans seduce and then drop you like a sack of dirt when you’re too old to realize you’ve wasted all of your time on the wrong woman.

I can hear all the objections already. Why? Because I wrote them all, kept them stuffed in my pocket and palmed them with great relish over the years. Every time some one would say to me, “Why aren’t you writing novels?” there they were at the ready to toss at them

All the while, they knew, just like I did, that I was ultimately lying to myself.  Excuses are like that, you know. Everyone sees right through them.  The hours spent talking myself out of following my passion could have been so much better put to use by writing.

I guess it all comes down to how badly someone wants her dream. It’s common for people to come up to me when they find out I am a writer and they say, “Boy, I’ve always wanted to write.” I used to empathize, when I was immersed in my backup plan. Now I say, “Then why don’t you?”

Action Reader's Action: Consider becoming an organ donor

Do you have a back-up plan?

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