One of the better books I read this month was Democracy’s Muse by Andrew Burstein, an examination of Thomas Jefferson as a political role model to a wide variety of movements, from Jacksonian Democrats and FDR to Reagan Republicans and the Tea Party. It was a truly fascinating examination of a multifaceted historical figure, and how the ideology and writing of one man can be easily twisted and flipped around by folks of all kinds to serve into one viewpoint or another. Burstein also examined how Jefferson’s legacy has shifted in the wake of his sexual relationship with his female slave Sally Hemings and his religious views.
Democracy’s Muse was an interesting read considering that earlier this year I read American Sphinx by Joseph J. Ellis; the former laid out Jefferson’s self as seen by his successors, the later laid out Jefferson’s self as seen in a more historically placed context, less futuristic in its lens. Dovetailed together, the two books created a much fuller image of Jefferson than I had previously in my mind.
It is also interesting that the issue of legacy is so prevalent in this texts, considering that it is also a main theme in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s uber popular award-winning (Tony award winning!) musical, Hamilton, based on the Ron Chernow biography. Hamilton tries to protect his legacy but takes a disastrous misstep with the publication of the Reynolds Pamphlet, which destroys his political career and kicks off the first legitimate Washington sex scandal in U.S. history. But his immense library of writings, the financial systems and institutions he created, kept his name in the history books as a creator of things, not just a married man who slept with a married woman. Unfortunately, Hamilton worried so much about his legacy while he was living that he didn’t seem to see how secure it really was.
There needs to be a word, probably some sort of German compound phrase, for the feeling a person has when they are reading a book that on any other day would be a good book, but on that particular day, it is just not happening. The characters fail to grab one’s attention. The plot seems wholly inspired. The dialogue sticks in the throat. If only, they lament, they had not read that really good book right before it, the one that kept them up all night and into the morning, flipping pages with impossible speed.
This is happening to me right now. What is the word for it? Other than a deep sinking feeling of disappointment that is frankly self-inflicted. I flew too high and now I plummet, on the wings of a book that deserved better.
My first standalone ebook, Did You Leave Any For Me, is now available for purchase online, via Wayward Ink Publishing!
Did You Leave Any For Me: Two ex-lovers, one hotel room, and a random act of technology. Will they fall out, or will they fall back in love? Ollie and Shay are on-again, off-again boyfriends who have performed the “one last fling” dance so many times, it’s become routine. This time, however, their last fling might just become the start of something new.
A malfunction with the door lock of their hotel room leaves both Shay and Ollie trapped inside, at the mercy of the hotel staff, as well as each other’s prickly personalities. A lack of alternatives leads to the hashing out of old fights, the introduction of new fights, and a glimmer of hope that this years-old relationship can still be salvaged. Only time and a bottle of booze will tell whether their series of hotel mishaps is a blessing in disguise.
Been a while, hasn’t it?
My short story, “Did You Leave Any For Me”, once only available as part of the Stranded anthology, is now available for pre-order as a stand alone ebook via Wayward Ink. The book hits Internet shelves on April 9, 2015. Pre-order links can be found below:
Wayward Ink | All Romance eBooks | Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon AU |
Barnes and Noble link will be available later.
Feel free to share any/all of the links above, or even pre-order your own electronic copy of my story! That would be really great. I’m looking forward to hearing what people think about it.
PS: This blog will be shifting from portfolio to a more writing/portfolio hybrid style. All the portfolio links will stay up, but posts will be more about my writing and upcoming publications. Keep calm and read on.
You can now read my short story, “Did You Leave Any For Me”, in the Wayward Ink fiction anthology Stranded.
The book is available in paperback and electronic form at the publisher’s website.