I came across Jeri on the interweb when perusing it for great blogs to read about books and emerging, new authors. (She has a great blog, you really should take a look. Just follow the yellow brick road, erm, I mean, click your heels together. Shoot, of course I mean you should click this link!)
It turns out she’s not only a book lover, blogger and fun person, but she has a book of her own! It’s on my wish list and I’d like to introduce her and her book to you.
Let’s started with a little something about Jeri Walker-Bickett.
Jeri Walker-Bickett (@JeriWB) is an author, editor, and teacher. She primarily writes contemporary fiction and psychological suspense. Her forthcoming novel, Lost Girl Road, is a ghost story set in the woods of northwest Montana. She blogs about literature and writing on her twisted book blog: What do I know? Please connect with her at JeriWB.com. http://jeriwb.com/
Despite growing up in the rough Idaho mining town of Wallace, she earned multiple writing degrees, and became a devoted English teacher who has since left the classroom to pursue writing and editing full time. Food and travel continually inspire her creativity and love of photography. In addition, she dabbles in writing creative nonfiction, poetry, and educational materials. She currently lives in Idaho with her wonderful husband and their demanding pets.
Right, the book we are all going to have to read. (I know I will get my copy in the next book buying round.)
AMAZON US | AMAZON UK
SUCH IS LIFE
Five short stories
These realistic short stories in Such if Life feature characters down on their luck, yet stubborn enough to move on. A tryst between a carnival worker and a pretty high school student begs the question of who takes advantage of who. A young man’s encounter with a drug addict finds him striking out on his own in hopes of a better life. An English teacher publishes literature deemed inappropriate by a Mormon community. A mother goes on a quest to get rid of the family’s aggressive pet. Finally, New Orleans provides the backdrop for a stroll with a psychotic housewife. Such is life!
After reading the blurb I wanted more, so I went and asked Jeri for an excerpt, because I imagined the housewife to be something like this.
I’m glad she came back with the following excerpt.
Burrowed in a nest of covers I pretend to sleep. The pillow feels like a cloud suffocating my head. I was only out for three hours before waking from an anxious and restless sleep. The alarm clock’s red glow dares me to fall asleep again. I always wake before it goes off at six o’ clock. Today, phrases I might utter to my doctor this afternoon crawl through my mind. I want to lean over and throw up.
I slide my foot across the bed and touch Tom’s furry calf. He pulls away and flops around. We always used to fall asleep with some part of our bodies touching, but now we cling to opposite mattress edges. It’s been forever since we had to avoid a wet spot on the sheets. I try to convince myself that Tom is screwing someone else, but he isn’t interesting enough for that. Maybe I’m the one who wants to cheat. I really don’t know.
I fantasize about falling asleep and the clock’s numbers meld to the insides of my eyes and spiral in a dizzy succession. Once the numbers stop spinning, I concentrate on the traces and blobs of color that float across my closed eyes. I’m awake and I want to be asleep, but my brain won’t let me sleep; it’s so selfish, always thinking about itself.
The alarm buzzes. I trod downstairs to the kitchen. In better years, the sunlight blanketing the banister with a golden glow would make me pause. Now it just hurts my eyes. Tom rushes about, gulping coffee, gearing up for work. I smear mayonnaise on slices of bread for our children’s sack lunches. Last Wednesday, Billy told me I forgot everything else on his and Shelly’s sandwiches. Just mayonnaise.
Some mother I am.
What my children really want are those meals that come pre-packaged in plastic compartmentalized trays. I know I’ll give in sooner or later and add them to the shopping list, which will sure as hell give me one less thing to worry about.
“Don’t forget your appointment today.” Tom’s lips are puckered before I even turn around. It’s always a passionless, dry kiss anymore—quick as can be. He finishes off with “I love you, Marinza.” His brown eyes look sullen as if he’s contemplating what he just said. I don’t see how he can still love me.
“I love you, too, Tom.” I slap cheddar cheese on two bread slices. The cheese reminds me of limp flesh and the lettuce feels like decaying skin. A corpse sandwich. Tom leaves me pretty much alone as long as I pretend to be interested in his work and a goody-goody mommy. All I have to do is keep my appointments. Dr. Demi and I are working towards a new and improved (more sane) Marinza.
Are you tickled? Please let us know if you want to know where this leads, or how you think this will end.