Yesterday, I took the day off. After three or more late nights coupled with early mornings and screaming back pain, it was a flatter-puss day for me. I did some reading as Chloe Cat and I snuggled and watched the wind-driven rain, a Nor’easter that moved through New England, dumping a lot of water on the harbor and snow in the mountains.
I had not purchased a book in years. Either I was fortunate enough to have them given to me, or they came from the library. My wife was an avid reader, sometimes reading as many as three books at a time, which she kept separated in her mind. That was phenomenal to me, but she did it, so there were always books around.
I started blogging out of desperation. My talent was in the spoken word, and in the good old days of radio, my patter was allowed to be 40% thought and the rest spontaneous combustion, just like my podcast (although don’t dwell on those percentages as they may change rapidly). My desperation came from many long days and nights at home tending to my wife who was battling cancer, and I needed a creative outlet of some sort. Singing loudly on the front porch was not going well with the neighbors, since I cannot carry a tune in a bucket with a handle on it.
At the time I didn’t have my own website, but with some strong encouragement from said neighbors, I joined a few blog sites for writers. I was more like a logger than a blogger, chopping my way through, a little like surfing a giant wave before you learn how to swim. I didn’t even know the technical aspects of posting a blog, and then along came Cher.
Cher Duncombe is an English and Speech high school teacher, artist, and private investigator for an attorney general (that last occupation had me a little worried at first), but of all the people I encountered who helped and encouraged me, especially in those early days, Cher stayed with me for the whole trip, a true gift of giving. So the first book I purchased since the release of Moby Dick was Cher’s Gandy Dancing on the Second Floor.
Cher writes from the heart, exposing herself to hurt as a true artist does. Her story “Murder of the Spirit: A Story of Domestic Violence” is true and heart-breaking but also the story of a survivor. “Sometimes She Goes to Keening” is another fine example of her work, and here are the last lines: “All those gone before her must surely know how very lonely she is at times. She closes her eyes. She rocks in the chair and she keens.”
Her book published just a few weeks ago and is available on Amazon. Cher Duncombe the artist beautifully illustrated the book as well.
There’s more on the gift of giving and other stories on the banks of Rambling Harbor. Come on ashore.