Thursday, April 20, 2023

At first I am nothing. A shred of a shred

 So, here is my animation of SHRED (with my paper-engineered creation) -- turn up the volume!

At first I am nothing. A shred of a shred
Not alive… not even dead
An inanimate object lying limp in your hands
Dreaming of oceans, of faraway lands.
When you cut me I won’t cry
You flesh me through pain. I won’t utter a sigh
You give me breath, you make me blink
But I cringe when you paint me pink
You give me eyesight, you give me smell
You control every move. So I must rebel
I’ll rise to a limp and in search of glory
I’ll take my own steps, write my own story
My existence is flimsy, I am destined to fold
But until that time, let me out of your hold
Let me go, let me go… Loosen your grip
Until that moment that ends with a rip.

Monday, April 17, 2023

I pulled him down, bringing him on top of me, and there on the dirt we grappled, blow by savage blow

Having reached bottom I caught his arm and twisted it behind him till he screamed. He crumpled in agony. I pulled him down, bringing him on top of me, and there on the dirt we grappled, blow by savage blow. 
In this scuffle, there was no pretense of civility. No rules—except one: the man who got the upper hand would live to see another day. I punched him in the gut. He kicked me in the groin. With a grunt I rolled away. 
The traitor caught my wrist and sunk his teeth into it. Maddened by the bite I pulled my hand, pulled it free only to come back a moment later and cover his mouth, his nostrils. Gagging, he flailed his arms about, then sank to the ground. I relished the sound of his gasping, gasping for air. 
His bloodshot eye bored into mine. It seemed as if any second now, it would burst. The wounds across his neck, where my chain had choked him in our earlier fight, were smeared with dry blood. Under them, a vein that had been barely visible up to now began throbbing furiously. 
The beret he had taken from the boy fell from his head and rolled across the dust. He became limp. I thought he might pass out—but then, once more, he bit my hand. With a slight tremor in it, my grip started loosening. He squirmed away, only to come back at me with a blunt punch. 
Knock. Strike. Slap.
With that last blow, a strange thing happened to me: time seemed to slow down. I saw his knuckled fist growing larger, coming at me. It seemed so dreamingly sluggish—until at last it hit me. 
My head bounced back. For a moment, everything around me became fuzzy. 
I wiped the sweat off my eyes, only to see his hunched figure— blurred, still—staggering into a stand over me. 
For a while, I must have lost consciousness. When I looked again he was not there anymore, only a hazy background hanging in his stead: distant blue smoke swirling into the sky, marred with ash. 
I was too weak to stir. Oh, how easy it would be to give it up, all this senseless suffering! 
But no: despite the pain, my body screamed to live. I propped myself up against a tree trunk, and wondered: Where was the traitor? Where did he go? 

This scene happens in a forrest, and a fire is spreading from the armed cars that have just been ambushed by the French Resistance fighters. Lenny and the French collaborator, who has helped the Nazis in the selection process earlier, are at each other's throat.

★ Love suspense? Treat yourself to a thrill ★

"Uvi Poznansky raises the stakes in a high stakes story, filled with uncertainty, drama and suspense... This book is a nail biter and one I found hard to put down. For me, this is Uvi Poznansky's best novel to date." 
Richard Weatherly, Author

Saturday, April 15, 2023

I knew it! She can twist him around her little finger, if she wants to

Lenny’s gone, but still, I’m thinking about him, about how he’s touched on that time, the lost time nearly five years ago, when I went out the door, swearing I ain’t gonna come back to him, not ever. What he hasn’t said—and what left such a bitter taste in my mouth—is how he told me, back then, “You are a nice kid, Anita. Go, go back to where you came from. Go back to your mama.” 
And what he don’t know is that ma wasn’t all too happy to see me, “Because,” she said, “I told you so, didn’t I? Didn’t I say, he’s gonna grow tired of you, and dump you before you know it? He’s gonna go back to his wife, ‘cause it’s her that he wants—not you! And if not her, then—then, it must be something else with him, always something else, like, looking for other women. Maybe they remind him, somehow, of that thing, who knows what it is, which he found in her. Maybe what he’s really looking for is just, like, the idea of her.” 
And when I mumbled, “Whatever,” ma said, “I knew it! She can twist him around her little finger, if she wants to.”
She didn’t tell me nothing else about this thing, this idea of her, which ma thought was fixed, somehow, in Lenny’s head, like some piece of music; and I, I didn’t ask. Instead, I bought a six-pack for her and a six-pack for me, and we sat down on her pillows, on the narrow iron bed, drinking beer; she talking, me weeping all night, after which ma wiped my face, and grabbed the palm of my hand—like she used to do in the old days—to read it. 
And she told me to stay put, to wait for her, ‘cause she had something crucial, something real big to tell me, like, about the future. I reckon she saw some clue of what was coming—but didn’t quite grasp it, not in full, anyway, ‘cause the next thing you know, ma went out, came back a second later, picked the empty beer bottles, and took them with her. Along the way she gave me a peck, smack in the middle of my forehead, which surprised me. 
Then, having kissed me goodbye, she went out again, and then... Then, on her way to work, right there on the corner of Euclid Street—Bang! I could hear the sound, out there—she was killed in a car accident.

★ Love reading? Treat yourself to a family saga ★

Friday, April 14, 2023

Up until this moment I had entertained the hope that she might have had some secret plan to save me

Up until this moment I had entertained the hope that she might have had some secret plan to save me. My despair had compelled me to believe it. 
Coming here in disguise—with that new, flower-laden hat and its little veil that changed her looks so much—showed me that Rochelle was fearless, especially at a time when she was wanted dead-or-alive. To deserve such notoriety, she must have forged some connections with French Resistance fighters, right? If so, couldn’t she pull some strings with them? Did they follow her to this place? Were they waiting in the wings to get me out of here, out of the hands of my captors? 
I recalled old western movies, which I used to watch with my dad and Uncle Shmeel back in my childhood. Closing my eyes I could feel the warmth, sitting in-between them in the darkened movie theatre. I could just see the silver screen. Up there was the victim, his larger-than-life face utterly pale as the noose was beginning to tighten around his neck. 
At that very moment, my heart raced. Uncle Shmeel would put his arm around my shoulder. “Don’t you worry, Lenny boy!” he would whisper, trying not to disturb the spectators around us. “Listen! Can you hear the hooves of horses, galloping?” 
“Uncle Shmeel,” I would whisper back, “how can I hear anything? This is a silent movie!”
“Oh, but you can hear it,” he would reply, “inside your mind, inside your heart.”
And my dad would assure me, “Relief is on the way, Lenny boy! The cowboys are coming, any moment now!” 
With that glimmer of hope I imagined myself now, just like that actor, standing under the gallows, hoping for a miracle. The rescue scene, exploding with a blaze of bullets, was sure to come, because my dad and Uncle Shmeel had promised it, because the plot had demanded it, and because how would the story capture your heart without the must-have happy end? 
Yes. The moment was almost here. I had to believe it, then and now.
But as soon as Rochelle uttered the words Marriage before Death, my hope crumbled. 

★ Love suspense? Treat yourself to a thrill ★

"The story of how they survived such horrors is extraordinary. Also extraordinary is the author's deep and gorgeous writing, interweaving desperation with descriptions of 'beautiful light streaming from high-arched, stained glass windows, rattling in the duel between the German artillery and ours.'
J.A. Schneider, author of suspense and psychological thrillers

Tuesday, April 11, 2023

I touch my skin right under my breasts, which is where the little one’s curled

“What matters is only what’s here. I touch my skin right under my breasts, which is where the little one’s curled, and where he kicks, ‘cause he has to. Like, he don’t feel so cozy no more. Here, can you feel it? I reckon he wants me to talk to him. He can hear me inside, for sure. He can hear every note of this silvery music. 
It ripples all around him, wave after wave. I can tell that it’s starting to sooth him. It’s so full of joy, of delight, even if to him, it’s coming across somewhat muffled. Like a dream in a dream, it’s floating inside, into his soft, tender ear. 
I close my eyes and hold myself, wrapping my arms real soft—around me around him—and I rock ever so gently, back and forth, back and forth, with every note of this silvery marvel. You can barely hear me—but here I am, singing along. I’m whispering words into myself, into him.”

What Anita is envisioning is motherhood, which is the subject of my scuplture by the same name. It is hard to imagine this is actually bronze, because the patina is made to look like marble. I polished the piece until it became completely smooth to the touch, as if nature--by gusts of wind and the flow of water--has buffed this rock over time, the way pebbles come to be. 

But in the back, I 'carved' into the piece, so as to make it look as if it has broken. This makes for an interesting balance, as if this is a rock standing on edge. But more importantly, it is symbolic, because self-sacrifice is the nature of motherhood.

★ Love reading? Treat yourself to a family saga ★

“Liberally salted with buttery smooth prose & fascinating insights”

Monday, April 10, 2023

Frankly, I met so many qualified doctors with perfect credentials who are dangerous

The death of his wife is something I can investigate later, on my own. No need to talk about it with him. Instead, I ask, “Have you ever pretended to be a doctor?”

He seems to stall. “You mean, as a child?”

“No,” I say. “As an adult.”

“I’ve heard of others who have.”



I raise an eyebrow. “I thought it would be impossible to get away with such a dangerous form of bluffing.”

“You’d hope so, wouldn’t you,” he says. “Frankly, I met so many qualified doctors with perfect credentials who are dangerous.”

Is he avoiding the topic by trying to distract me with a slightly different one? 

“Perfect credentials can fool you,” he says. “I know that from experience.”

“Tell me about it.”

“You sure? I don’t want to bore you—” 

“Oh, you won’t.”

“Well,” he says, slowly drawing out the word till it turns into a sigh. “Take for example the case of someone I used to know—no names, you understand—who removed a healthy kidney during what was supposed to be colon surgery. He had to give up his medical license in North Carolina, only to continue practicing in another state.”

“Really? Can he do that?”

“Really. Then in Michigan, he removed his patient’s fallopian tube. According to the medical board records, he mistook it to be her appendix. More surgeries on the woman followed, including one in which he allegedly left her intestine unconnected. Facing state sanctions, he surrendered his license there, too, and has moved to Ohio, where his medical license is still in effect.”

I shake my head, utterly in dismay. “Someone should have reported him.”

Dr. Patel takes a long gulp of water. Then he picks up his dinner napkin, wipes his lips, and dabs the corners of his mouth over and again. Finally, he admits, “I made the mistake of doing just that.”

“Really? You did?”

“I was a senior resident back then, he—the attending surgeon. Knowing I was right, I didn’t hesitate to defy authority. In hind sight, that was a mistake.”

“Oh, I’m impressed!”

“Don’t be,” he says, curtly. “The administration of the hospital fired me at once, because by calling the State Medical Board I went outside the departmental Quality Assurance process. They had been looking for an excuse to get rid of me, and this was their chance. Citing behavioral problems, they slammed the door in my face.”

“Oh no, Dr. Patel!”

“Please,” he says. “Call me Neil.” 

“Neil,” I say, this time in a warmer tone. “Somehow or other, you managed to come around and establish a highly successful career.”

He chortles behind his hand, a bit too heartily. Maybe he’s trying to hide the reddening of his face. “I learned the hard way that whistleblowing is frowned upon. Don’t tell anyone I was guilty of it.”

“I won’t.” 

We laugh, which gives me the courage to go back to my first question. “So? Have you ever pretended to be a doctor?”

He casts an evasive look at me, or maybe it just seems that way, because of the candlelight flickering in his pupils. 

And even though we haven’t eaten our meal yet, even though it’s still in the process of being cooked, he skips ahead to ask, out of order, “So? What would you like for dessert?”

“An answer.”

He wipes his mouth again and at once, the smile is gone. “What I can give you is this: I find a delicious irony in the idea that an impostor can be better than the real thing.”

“The idea of a pretending to be a healer may sound tantalizing,” I say. “But when I go under the knife, the one holding it should be a real professional.”

“You mean, someone who is not pretending.”

“Exactly. Someone who pledged to do no harm.” 

 Love Suspense? Prepare to be thrilled 

Ash Suspense Thrillers: Trilogy

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Months after recovering from coma, Ash discovers that the man who performed her brain surgery has a questionable medical experience and a dark past. Should she expose him, at the risk of becoming vulnerable to his revenge?

I've never read/listened to this author before but I really liked this thriller boxset. Each is a standalone story with characters reoccurring. The suspense is great and has an underlying love story. I'll definitely be looking for more from this author.

~Carey Sabala, Audible Listener

Thursday, April 6, 2023

No wonder the young women love you! Take me away with you


Just this morning I woke up to a surprise: Bathsheba slipped into my bed, wearing a soft, silky robe that glided, ever so smoothly, off her shoulders. I knew she was in a playful mood—if you know what I mean—because of her sudden cravings. 
“Strengthen me with raisins,” she murmured in my ear. “Refresh me with apples, for I am faint with love.”
I rushed to bring her a tray of ripe fruit. Then I put my arm around her and could not wait until she was done eating. Between one little nibble and another she told me, in her most delicious voice, to slow down. 
“Do not arouse or awaken love,” she said, “until it so desires.”
In place of an answer I reclined back on the bed, and pointed at the blanket. I do not want to brag about it, but the fabric was stretching to a peak over me, tenting my arousal.
Just then I thought I heard someone tiptoeing just outside the chamber, in the corridor. I leapt off the bed and was surprised to find little Solomon there, his ear to the door and his hand tucked behind him, hiding something from me. 
“Show me what you’ve got there,” I said.
The kid shook his head till his freckles nearly flew of his nose. “No,” he said, with a stubborn tone.
So I warned him, “I know what you’ve done.” 
His eyes widened. “You do?”
“Oh yes,” said I. “You’ve listened to every word we said, and worse: you’ve written it.”
“So?” He shrugs. “Is that a crime?”
“Only if you publish it.” 
“Not going to.”
“All the same,” I insisted, “show me your hand.”
Solomon raised his hand to my eyes. And just as I had expected, the palm of it was covered with minute, inky characters, spelling out the sentence, “Do not arouse or awaken love, until it so desires.”
I peered into his innocent eyes. “You have any idea what that means?”
“Nope,” said the kid. “But I’m going to figure it out. It must become clear, if I look at it long enough. Then I’ll recite it out loud, before everyone—”
I cried, “You what?”
The kid smiled, and pulled his hand back. “I’ll tell them things like, Strengthen me with raisins. Refresh me with apples, for I am faint with love.’ People find me adorable when they hear me say such words.”
“They what?”
“They say it’s pure poetry. They say I take after you, daddy! So it doesn’t really matter, does it, if I don’t get what exactly it all means—they will!”
“But, but,” I stammer, “these aren’t your words! They belong to your mom and me!”
“Don’t worry,” said Solomon. “I won’t tell them that.”
Straddling between anger and an undeniable sense of amusement I wagged my finger at him. 
“Go wash your hand at once,” I said. “What we talk about, your mom and I, isn’t meant for your ears. It’s private.” 
“Nope,” he said. “Once I write it down, it’s mine.” 
“Isn’t,” said I.
Having closed the door I climbed back into bed.
Holding an apple in her hand Bathsheba offered me a bite and said, “Who was that?”
“Oh, no one,” said I. “Now, where were we?”
“Don’t you know?” she said, and in her soft, melodious voice, she started humming to me, between one kiss and another. “Kiss me, David, with the kisses of your mouth, for your love is more delightful than wine.”
I was about to tell her we must keep it down. Instead I loosened her robe and while caressing her I hummed back, “I will go to the mountain of myrrh, and to the hill of incense. You are altogether beautiful, my darling, there is no flaw in you.
Bathsheba smiled, and over my murmur she went on singing, “No wonder the young women love you! Take me away with you, let us hurry!
“Oh yes,” said I. “Let us hurry.”

Historical Fiction with a Modern Twist...

"I love this series for its convincing depiction of real people in ancient times, for its unflinching honesty, and for its vividly real characters. This David is no cardboard cutout to be filled in with bright crayoned colors. This Bathsheba is no plaything. And women will stand on the stage of history, will have their voice, and will cry out for love and hate and hope."
~Sheila Deeth, Vine Voice