June's Literary Blog
 

A LITERARY BLOG ABOUT BOOKS
How they affect us.
How they shape our lives.

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Friday, May 17, 2013

How Sweet It All Is
A primary perk of reviewing books and, on occasion, editing them, is that I get to meet many different people from, in my case, literally all over the world. I now correspond via email with a newly found cousin in Dublin; conduct phone interviews with authors in Florida, New Jersey, and California; hob-nob with publishing publicists in both New York and Toronto; and work with aspiring authors from not only the United States, but a few foreign countries. It is often quite exciting, especially when an unexpected email arrives with yet another request to “please help me edit my book”. And, delightedly, many of these folk whom I meet become friends.

One in particular is Damilare Olajuwon, whom I have come to know fondly as "Daruzzy". This young man, a recent graduate of the Laos State University in Nigeria with a degree in electronics and computer engineer, is carving out a name for himself in Africa and Europe as an actor, comedian, and author. His first literary endeavor, Eleven Eleven , which I was honored to edit, has been recently published by One Dream Nigeria in both paperback and e-book format to be enjoyed by, we hope, an appreciative international audience.

Daruzzy has subtitled his witty collection of poetry and short tales " a Fusion of Fiction, Comedy, Poems, and Inspiration". But it is more than that. It is a creative expression—a gestalt, if you will—of his philosophy and positive outlook on life. In the course of corresponding with him via emails and two phone calls, I have come to know Daruzzy as a caring, sensitive, spiritual young man who, taking "things as they come", views most people and situations with a hardy and heartening sense of humor, which shines through the 181-pages of this enlightening little book.

Eleven Eleven combines fiction, fictionalized stories, and poignant perceptions into a truly remarkable expose of what it means to be a young man in today's modern Nigerian society. This is not a book to read in one sitting, however, but one to savor slowly in small, elegant sips, enabling your heart and soul to be touched and nourished by each thoughtful gem this talented author presents. I also advise that once you read a poem silently, that you again read it out loud. Daruzzy's lyrical cadences appeal to connoisseurs of poetry as well as those of literary rap and hip-hop alike. There were many times, as I struggled to preserve his meaning while searching for the right nuance, that I found myself imaging his words set to music and sung by one of today's more talented rock stars. A very uplifting experience.

And that is just the English portion of this collection. Daruzzy also provides Pidgin English translations of his lyricisms, which are just as, if not more so, provocative and exotically inspiring as their Queen's English counterparts.

I
f you are looking for a unique read, totally different from the everyday fare of novels, and wish a bit more spark and motivation in your daily life, then I recommend you to consider this sweet, creative endeavor. Take a journey with Damilare Olajuwon into his heart, mind, and soul. It will certainly warm and inspire yours. As it does mine.
5:19 pm edt          Comments

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Beckoning Beacon

I have always been enamored of lighthouses. When I was a child, when we vacationed at the Jersey Shore, my father and I would drive down to Cape May Point where we climbed the spiraling staircase to the top of the lighthouse to scan out across the vast Atlantic Ocean trying to spot ships far out at sea.

The lighthouse, by then, was no longer in operation, but it and the small keeper's house next to was a maritime museum, as it still is today. But on the tippy-top holding tight to my father's arm with one hand and the iron railing surrounding the large, unlit lamp with the other, feeling the wind and salty spray against my cheeks, I could still feel a sense of adventure. And wonder.

Most of our nation's lighthouses are unmanned today; their lights are electronic and automatically run by computers inland. But imagine a hundred years or so ago when they were maintained by humans. What would the life of a lonely lighthouse keeper and, perhaps, his family have been like? Often separated from civilization for months at a time by miles and miles of water and/or uninhabitable coastline, how did they sustain themselves? What stories could be told about them? What mysteries may lay along the shoreline from whose deadly shoals and rocks they warned ships away?

The aura, mystery, and mystique of keeping a lighthouse is brought back to life in vivid color by Christina Schwarz whose fourth novel, The Edge of the Earth , was published last month. I was fortunate enough to be sent a copy of it by the publisher through the auspices of www.authorexposure.com and was thoroughly enchantingly mesmerized for day and a half reading it.

Follow the link above and read my review of this stunningly refreshing historical novel. I warrant that you'll want to pick up a copy and read it this weekend.

2:05 pm edt          Comments


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June J. McInerney, the host of this Literary Blog, is an author, poet, and librettist. Her currenty published works include a novel, a book of spiritual inspirations, two volumes of poetry, stories for children (of all ages) and a variety of children's musicals. Her titles include:

the Schuylkill Monster: A Novel of Phoenixville in 1978
The Prisoner's Portrait: A Novel of Phoenxville during World War II
Forty-Thirty 
Rainbow in the Sky
Meditations for New Members

Adventures of Oreigh Ogglefont
The Basset Chronicles.
Cats of Nine Tales
Spinach Water: A Collection of Poems
Exodus Ending: A Collection of More Spiritual Poems

We Three Kings

Beauty and the Beast

Bethlehem

Noah's Rainbow

Peter, Wolf, and Red Riding Hood

 

 

Originally from the New York metropolitan area, June currently lives near Valley Forge Park in Pennsylvania with her constant and loving companions, FrankieBernard and Sebastian Cat. She is currently working on her fourth novel.

June's novels can be purchased at amazon.com, through Barnes and Noble,
at the Historical Society of the Phoenixville Area,
and 
the Gateway Pharmacy in Phoenixvile, PA
.

For more information about her musicals, which are also available on amazon.com,