Posts Tagged ‘Redeeming Stanley’

Today’s the last day to download Past Lives: A Journey free. Tomorrow, November 24, we’ll have a complete change of pace, when Redeeming Stanley: Redeeming Stanley: A Savage Little Tale of True Love, Old Gods, Bitches, Bestiality, Burnout, and Above All, Payback becomes the free download. Stanley’s been popular since he first met the public way back in 2009 (and won Audiolark’s Best of the Best e-books award, incidentally). Stanley is, of course, available in paperback and Kindle (and for free from November 24 to 28!), but he’s also available as an audiobook from Audiolark. He’s not free there, regrettably, but he’s still a darned good deal. So go on, download…download…

Available in paperback and on Kindle from Amazon

November 19-23: Past Lives: A Journey
This is a tiny little collection of short stories that grew out of a series of past-life regression exercises. The stories are poetic, evocative, and thought-provoking, from the girl trapped in the desert to prove a point to the mistress who has discovered too late that relationships can be transforming to the milkmaid who lacks the courage to fight back to the woman who discovers that she has lost something she never realized she had–and in redeeming her present rewrites her past and her future, these are stories about love, what it means, and how we find it, lose it, and sometimes, if we’re lucky, discover it again within ourselves.
Reviews Download FREE November 19-23 (it’s always free to Amazon Prime members)

November 24-28: Redeeming Stanley: Redeeming Stanley: A Savage Little Tale of True Love, Old Gods, Bitches, Bestiality, Burnout, and Above All, Payback
This little book right here is the reason I sometimes am startled to find myself turning up on Alternative Porn Sites. I think it’s the “bestiality” in the title. Which is warranted, but it’s the sort of warm, fuzzy bestiality that sort of slips by, only later provoking a double-take and a “Whoa, did she really go there?” Why yes, this book does indeed go there. It’s a fun, unlikely story about a collection of characters who really should have mutual restraining orders–old gods, the born-again christians who try to Save them, self-described Babe Magnet and armchair explorer of the female psyche Weldon Frame, The Freak, Satan, the Whore of Babylon, the Coppess (body by Frigidaire) and some trucker in a Peterbilt and a gimme John Deere cap. It won a “best of the best e-books” award back in the day, and has continued to sell steadily ever since. Also, reviews keep popping up from time to time, so word on the street is that it’s still a fun, funky, “guilty pleasure” sort of book, ideal for anybody who has discovered that she’s been dating in the shallow end of the gene pool, decides to stop, and learns that sometimes things can get a little messy. But funny. Book clubs like this one. I think you will, too.
Reviews  Download FREE from November 24-28 (it’s always free to Amazon Prime members)

November 27-December 1 Good on Paper
Once upon a time, a king named David got the hots for a steamy little number named Bathsheba. Lucky for David, Mr. Bathsheba was busy being one of David’s best generals, so Bathsheba was home all by her lonesome…

See where this is heading? Of course you do.

So does Sarah Conrad, reluctant Bible scholar and unwilling paramour of televangelist Pastor Jimmy Jay Rayburn. It’s a destination she knows well. But the destination is only the beginning. Sarah doesn’t wind up sleeping with an aging “man of God” by accident. Eldest sister Elaine’s minister husband isn’t divorcing her on a whim. And middle sister Elizabeth doesn’t vanish in a fit of pique, leaving a dead dog, a roomful of blood, and Sarah and youngest Conrad DJ behind.

The Conrad children survive by keeping up appearances. But it costs them. When family patriarch Dan Conrad is diagnosed with terminal cancer and the children come home to help appearances are no longer enough, and tensions rise. When somebody winds up murdered the Conrads are forced to unravel their past in order to survive their present.

Set on a family farm in a fast-disappearing slice of America, Good on Paper is first and foremost a story in which to lose one’s self–readers consistently comment that they “couldn’t put it down.” But beyond that, the story raises questions. How do we determine who is “good?” How do we decide what is real? Do we respond to the victimization of others, and if so, how? How do we integrate a painful and abusive past into a vibrant and creative present and future? Above all, this story leaves readers wondering, with DJ Conrad, “…what it is about our family, our church, our society, that allows abusers to not only survive, but thrive.”

By turns infuriating, hilarious, magical, frightening, and lyrical, the Conrads’ story captures the paradox lying at the heart of abusive relationships, as well as the courage, honesty and humor that the Conrad children use to survive.

Tracing the Conrad children’s journey to healing and resolution makes for a powerful and haunting read, one that should appeal to a many, particularly those interested in understanding how the pain of an abusive past can become the fertile soil from which a rich, meaningful future can spring.

Reviews  Download FREE November 27-December 1 (it’s always free to Amazon Prime members)

So that’s what’s happening–don’t be shy about downloading, and if you like the books, we’d love it if you’d post a review or response on Amazon–or even write about it here! I’ll be reposting this from time to time, to just keep everybody updated on what’s going on, free-wise. Happy holidays!

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This is a headline that raises more questions than it answers.  The implication, of course, is that Mr. Lin has–or had–the sort of a penis that could be stolen–perhaps a new and improved detachable penis, possibly one that he stores in a small case when he’s not using it. I can just imagine it. Last night when he went to bed he removed his penis and glasses, blew on them, polished them with his handkerchief, put  them in their cases, and set them on his nightstand where he could find them easily.

And this morning, when he arose, the glasses were there, but the penis was missing. He called the cops. “My penis has been stolen,” he said.

“How long has it been gone?” the cops asked.

“It was here when I went to bed last night, but now it’s gone,” says Mr. Fei.

“Have you checked with its friends?” asked the cops. “Maybe it hasn’t been stolen. Maybe it’s just wandered away.”

“It wouldn’t go off on its own,” said Mr. Fei angrily. “It was right here last night. And now it’s gone.”

“How about the pound? Did you check the pound? How about the local hospitals? You might call around a little.”

“It’s been stolen, I tell you,” says Mr. Fei angrily. “It wouldn’t have just wandered away.”

“Has there been trouble at home? Did the two of you perhaps have a disagreement? Have it seemed happy lately? Boxers or briefs?”

“Dammit, I want some action!” shouts Mr. Fei.

“Don’t we all?” asks the cop.

“I want to file a report.”

“Sorry, sir, we can’t do that until your penis has been missing for 48 hours. Maybe you could put up some posters around the neighborhood. Do you have a good, clear, recent picture? Maybe one of your neighbors has seen it.”

And from there, of course, I was as lost as the unfortunate Mr. Fei’s penis. I could just see it–posters, pictures on milk cartons, and, in the unlikely event the penis returned home, the counseling sessions necessary before Mr. Fei and his penis could reunite.

My first novel, Redeeming Stanley, (which can be had for a pittance here) features a penis (the Independent Entity) as a character, but this story about Mr. Fei and his penis carried the concept a giant step farther.

Maybe the penis really was stolen–or abducted, depending on how far you go with the whole personalizing penises thing. Maybe a gang of Penis Thieves really did break into Mr. Fei’s house and steal his penis. But why? Unless they  also stole a bicycle pump, or eleven secret herbs and spices, I just can’t see the reason for a theft like that, and Mr. Fei made no mention of a missing bicycle pump or spices.

Which leaves us right back where we started. Either Mr. Fei misplaced his penis, or it wandered away on its own, in which case flyers on trees and telephone poles and pictures on milk cartons would be his best bet.

A bit unnerving for the rest of us to see that on the breakfast table, admittedly, but be honest. If your penis was missing, wouldn’t you want it found and returned to you?

Note: The House Leroy and The Boy found this headline both less gripping and less hilarious than I did. And indeed, the actually news story (which I read once I got done cackling and speculating how the whereabouts of Mr. Fei’s penis) is much less amusing, since the penis seems to have been removed by fellow townsmen who felt it had been getting out and about more than it should have been. The penis seems to be gone for good. Here at the Magic Doghouse we are sensitive to having Manly Parts lopped off (particularly the males among us), so we wish Mr. Fei all the best as he adjusts to the loss of his penis.

Note 2: I know, I know, I should be ashamed, making fun of someone else’s pain. But it was that danged headline. I just couldn’t help myself. And at least I didn’t make up a poster for Mr. Fei, even though I’ve practically had to strap my hands down to avoid doing it.



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For the next five days, Amazon is running a promotion on Bodie Parkhurst books–five titles can be downloaded and read for free. Free is good, but it’s not forever. Download your free copies today.

So here’s the deal, if you’ve been waiting to sample until the price was right, now’s the time. Here, for your information and delectation, is a list of the free titles, and what you can expect from them. For more information, visit the links at the top of the page, or check out Amazon’s “search inside” function.

Here’s the list:

Redeeming Stanley: A Savage Little Tale of True Love, Old Gods, Bitches, Bestiality, Burnout, and above all, Payback  The winner of AudioLark’s Best of the Best E-books contest in 2009, Redeeming Stanley is the cautionary and hilarious tale of Weldon Frame, his ex-girlfriend Annie, and what happens when they get all tangled up with the Old Gods, who have taken new jobs and are living just outside of Los Angeles. Check out the Amazon reviews for reader responses.

Benchmarks: A Single Mother’s Illustrated Journal  A memoir about mothering–and single mothering, specifically. It’s a warm, lovely book that challenges a lot of assumptions about what single parenting is, and is not.

And while you’re at it, check out the Benchmarks Baby line of mom and baby stuff at Magic Dog Press’ CafePress store.

Good on Paper  A book full of farmers, and staunch christians, and witches, and smart-mouthed women, and magic, and televangelists who sleep with the wrong women. Most of all, it’s a great story, narrated by four women, each of whom has a very different take on life. It’s terrifying, hilarious, magical, sarcastic, and poetic by turns. Set in a slice of America that’s fast disappearing, this is first and foremost a good story–a story in which to lose yourself–but it also raises questions worth asking about the links between abuse and fundamentalism, and about the nature and goal of healing from a painful past. So–a good story, with a sting in its tail.

Past Lives: A Journey  A small collection of short stories that grew out of a foray into past life exploration. While they don’t provide empirical evidence for or against the idea of past existences, they do make good reading–and they raise some interesting questions.

Force of Nature a sweet, sexy short story, just for mature readers, all about love, romance, magic, sex, and cows. And Russell. You don’t want to miss Russell.

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Yesterday, Pat (thanks Pat) commented that until I did some ‘splainin’, she was lost on understanding the meaning of that painting. And if Pat gets lost, you know you’re in big trouble. She writes a wonderful blog about traveling the nation in the motor home with her dog, Maggie. As someone who from time to time really needs to run away for a bit, I can highly recommend it. Checking in with Pat and Maggie while I have my morning coffee is a wonderful way to start the day. Go take a look–I’ve linked her name to her blog.

Anyhow, back to symbols. Pat’s comment illustrates an important point–context. Context is particularly important when you’re writing (or painting) about something that’s not generally known by the wider population. By telling a bit of my story, I provided a context in which the images made sense. It turned them from marks on the page to symbols. And if you were to look at my book Secret History, understanding those symbols would allow you a way in–a way to begin understanding the other paintings.

What’s more, understanding how I used the symbols in Ties would give you a key to understanding the other paintings in the collection, not because they all use the same symbols, but because in the same way that we have a speaking voice and a writing voice, we also have a symbolic voice, and that voice grows out of our experience. We write because we have something to say–but while we’re saying it, the symbols we use are telling a different story: They are revealing how we feel–and how our minds work.

For instance, you’re not likely to find me using imagery based on Tibetan philosophy, not because it might not be apt, but because it’s not part of my symbolic language. What you’re likely to find is me using imagery about mechanics, animals, farming, mothering, and repairing things. Building Something Better was the first book I wrote. It’s just a simple children’s story about a woman whose car breaks down. And yet, as the back story reveals, it’s also a powerful metaphor for dealing with life’s disasters.

Which brings us to another point–or, rather, a restatement of a point I touched on yesterday–it’s perfectly possible for book or painting to have a subtext of which the creator is herself unaware. It took me years to really understand Building Something Better. The story–and the personal symbols it holds–is so deeply rooted in my own personal history and symbolism that I told a story I didn’t even realize I was telling. Personal symbols take on a life of their own. Sometimes what they say is very different from what their user is meaning to say–and that disjoint can be both confusing and revealing.

But there’s more. There’s also the larger symbolic language that people like Joseph Campbell and Jung talk about–the deep symbolic language that seems to span the globe. These symbols reflect something vast and old, something rooted so deeply in our common past that most of us don’t even think about them–or we consider them literal realities.

Those symbols shift, morph, and take on new meanings as cultures change–Joseph Campbell notes that such changes often occur when one nation conquers another. When a nation falls, so do its gods–and the myths surrounding that god change. That’s the idea that fuels much of the plot in Redeeming Stanley.

So why does any of this matter? Because anything worth writing–or reading–relies upon the effective use of symbols. Understanding them and using them effectively can spell the difference between success, confusion–or laughter.

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