Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Review 13 REASONS WHY - Was Suicide Her Only Option?


If you or someone you love has thoughts of suicide, depression, or helplessness, please let someone know. someone cares, they really do, I know because I care about you, I don't have to know you to understand your value. I'm in Texas, but, there is a nationwide hotline you can start with Suicide Lifeline. there is another way, let someone help you explore your options. hugs 1-800-273-8255
Review
 
 





PLEASE NOTE: this contains spoilers of the Netflix series, 13 Reasons Why based upon the novel of the same name by Jay Asher.

It’s hard for me to put into words how this series made me feel. I raised two boys who are now in their twenties, but, still have my 17 year old daughter at home. My sons really didn’t experience bullying. However, my daughter is another story. Even though she’d been at the same school since late Kindergarten, she was anointed an outcast. Some of the things that happened made me so angry, I remember once jumping out of my car and screaming at one boy involved in one incident. I didn’t give a shit if his parents saw me or not. Through many years and many tears, she grew older. Her sophomore year, a popular kid asked her to homecoming dance. She found out a few days later it was only a joke…yes, A JOKE. Somehow, he thought it was funny to ask her and then take it back. #totaldouche

We switched schools because I moved to a new town and although reticent at first, she’s happier here. She’s a junior in high school this year, and feeling more at ease in this new school environment. I must admit her trust levels remain extremely guarded because of everything she experienced. The early episodes of 13 made me occasionally cringe, and actually stop watching, because it vaguely reminded me of what she went through. However, I’d start again, anxious to see how the story ended for the other characters involved. I mean, would ANY of them adopt some moral code and somber acceptance of how they contributed to someone else’s demise?

I immediately felt protective of Hannah Baker, and wished this would end differently. I wanted to let her know those horrible times would eventually be nothing more than a bad memory, and she would find happier days. But, this series was not geared toward saving her, we know she will eventually die by her own hand.

I got extremely frustrated at how many times Clay Jensen stopped listening to the tapes and demand his friend, Tony, tell him what happened. JUST LISTEN! I wanted to scream at him. I felt like I was held hostage in DFW traffic, road rage translated to viewer rage. Later, when I really thought about his hesitance, I was reminded of someone I know. This person would drag their feet, hide, or whatever it took to avoid anything unpleasant- news, family, change, etc. I could never understand it. I’m the type to face it head on, dive in, get it OVER with. Realizing not everyone is like me, I took a step back and accepted Clay had to listen in his own time, stopping at his own required intervals.

I absolutely don’t understand why eventually Tony answers, “yes”, when Clay asks him for the hundredth time if he was actually the ONE that killed Hannah. When I watched the next episode, yes, I see where Clay and Hannah have an argument, but, nothing says it was all Clay’s fault. In fact, Hannah is raped after her argument with Clay, and she visits a very unhelpful Mr. Porter. When Tony answered that question in the affirmative, I believe he misled Clay, causing cruel stress. Hannah does reveal Clay is in those tapes, but, she also explains Clay doesn’t really fit in with those tyrants.

During the story, I had to admit I kept wondering how this girl, Hannah, ended up in the middle of some crappy and messed up situations. For some reason, bad luck followed her like she’d broken mirrors for months straight. It wasn’t always because she made bad choices, she honestly tried to help folks sometimes. She kept returning to the same crew who jilted her, used her, and disregarded her. This is how strong the will to be liked can be for an outsider. Popular folks won’t understand the daily struggle to be heard, noticed, or simply acknowledged. The unseen become a fire extinguisher on the wall- always there, yet, always ignored.

I have complaints about what I consider “plot holes”. For instance, when Marcus plants marijuana in Clay’s backpack, the school administration assumes it’s Clay’s personal stash for obvious reasons. But, why didn’t he demand fingerprints on the bag, or a drug test to prove his innocence. His mother is an attorney, and she didn’t demand this? I’m at a loss on this one.

Hannah is smart, and savvy, coming to some serious conclusions along her horribly rocky road. She understands these people, and their desire to hide their secrets. So, I ask this question, in the end, how come she stayed in the hot tub alone with Bryce, the rapist she so dreads? Why in the hell would she actually do that? When the scriptwriters left her in the hot tub, they greatly diminished their protagonists’ credibility.

I dislike how the “villains” of this story seem to get away with all their evil doings- Especially Bryce. This whole troupe gets away scot free without concern. Even when Sherri calls 911 to report her involvement with the stop sign, we don’t actually see what she faces as a result. Further, when Jeff died as a result of the missing stop sign, wouldn’t the coroner have done a blood alcohol test as part of the autopsy? If Jeff wasn’t intoxicated, as Clay defends, the blood test would clear him as not being a drunk driver. Jeff’s parents should’ve demanded such tests and explanations.

The series spent so much time building up what all of these bullies did- how come we, the viewers, don’t receive the satisfaction of at least some received consequence? The reality is, some of them will get away with everything but, hopefully, some would receive a wakeup call to their conscience. But, damn, some of these folks deserve some serious repercussions. We spend the entire 13 episodes watching these kids rip Hannah apart, and then….nothing.

Even at the end, Jessica was more angry at her boyfriend, Justin, than Bryce. I get it…I really do. The guy proclaiming to love you and supposedly protect you lets some monster rape you. But, where is the anger toward Bryce? Again, I see the whole crew protecting this rapist instead of throwing him off the island.

Hannah’s parents receive the audio files at long last, and we get nothing about their response? We follow every heartbreaking step they make, why do we not see how this file affects them? Although certainly not bringing her back, will they confront Mr. Porter, the counselor, who had a final chance to show Hannah life was worth living? What is the outcome for Mr. Porter? Will he continue to believe he had NO idea she was contemplating suicide? Or, will the administration keep protecting him and the popular assholes who run the school?

I appreciate the tragic, painstaking scene showing Hannah actually taking the razor blade to her wrists. I had to turn away and couldn’t watch the entire act. Suicide is not glamorous, and shouldn’t be made to appear like some glittery trip into the twilight. Suicide is also final, a fact not always really grasped by young people. Adolescents sometimes want their act of self-harm to truly be their cry for help, and they don’t necessarily mean to die, like for real. Death in movies makes it seem there can be a do-over, a chance to get it right. But, when someone engages in an act to end their life, it just might END their life, not be a desire for help. Those pills, rope, blades, or a gun can- and will- bring mortal harm to a human body. I don’t mean this as throwing shade on a young person’s understanding, I want this to be made crystal clear.

Finally, we have Alex the gunshot “victim”. Did he pull the trigger himself, or who actually committed the deed? How does this even fit into the story? Each of the first 12 episodes invested much time in developing the characters, their behaviors, the interactions…I felt like episode 13 threw everything together and ended abruptly without sufficient explanation for the huge storylines created.

Where did Hannah mail the other set of tapes??
Why did she pick Tony to pass the tapes??

What gives?

I want to read the book, as a comparison between the two.

I’m giving this one **** 4 snowflakes.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Tuesday Tales - Going to the Lake


Ahoy Fellow Fathomers! It's time for Tuesday Tales.



A group of writers gather together and give our interpretation of a specific word prompt each week. Once per month, we even write to an image.  You never know what you might encounter when you get inside our minds. This week our group writes to the word- lake This will be an excerpt from my new WIP for a new romance contemporary, What the Storm Didn't Take.

Enjoy!~







She loves gerbera daisies and Indian Paintbrush flowers. One is free in the middle of any field or roadside in the Oklahoma spring, the other you can get at the local grocery store for under ten bucks a dozen, it’s completely worth either way you choose, but, do this often, because I’ve never seen a girl more excited to see fresh flowers. The way she smiled when I gave them to her always made my heart swell a little more.


She may argue with you over the way you sort laundry, so, it’s best to let her just do it. I threw my clothes in a separate hamper, and if she wanted to wash my jeans, so be it. Otherwise, I just did my own and left her clothes alone. It’s another one of those things not worth a cross word.


She might enjoy spontaneous weekend getaways, but, leave some kind of hint beforehand. Believe me, the way she stressed about packing taught me to give her some kind of heads up. But, do this a couple of times per year. You’re both gonna need the time away from the routine, and recharge your love and batteries. She always enjoyed a river more than anything else- said that some of her best times were fishing on a riverbank. She loves the simple things. We always enjoyed going to the lake. We could lose our troubles in the clay or sand of the local beach.


She’ll never ask for you to rub her shoulders, but, when she tenses up, you’ll see it in her face and the way she quietly shrugs a few times in the evening before bedtime. Please rub out those old kinks and help her relax. She enjoys teaching her kiddos, but, it’s a helluva job to be responsible for developing so many young minds. I praise her often for her efforts. I could never do it, and stand in awe she does it so lovingly every day of school.


Speaking of school, as the end of the year approaches, Rachel will cry softly when she thinks you aren’t looking, and she will be sad. Remind her the baby birds are prepared to the leave the nest for a fun summer and advancing on to the next grade because of her efforts and how much she loves them. She takes on those kids as if they’re her own.


Rachel isn’t a complicated woman. She is a magnificent example of kindness and the best of humanity. I don’t need to tell you everything, because if you’ve gotten this far with her, you already feel it down to your core how amazing she is.


Take care of her, and I mean take care of her. She is my world, even after death. I hate like hell I even need to write this damn message. But, I don’t want her to be alone going through life. I want someone by her side who loves her almost as much as I do. It’s weird, but, somehow, I have a feeling she’s loved deeply before I came along. I can’t prove it, but, she’s opened her heart and practiced falling in love at least once. I’m happy if she did, because it only shows what I’ve known all along- she loves harder than any woman I’ve ever met. Whoever that guy was, he was just as unlucky and lucky as any man alive. Lucky she loved him, but, unlucky he couldn’t keep her. Hopefully, he never knows what a gem he missed.




Please visit us at our main site for more interpretations of lake  Tuesday Tales Main Page














Monday, April 3, 2017

Tuesday Tales Get My Number

Ahoy Fellow Fathomers! It's time for Tuesday Tales.



A group of writers gather together and give our interpretation of a specific word prompt each week. Once per month, we even write to an image.  You never know what you might encounter when you get inside our minds. This week our group writes to the word- number.  This will be an excerpt from my new WIP for a new romance contemporary, What the Storm Didn't Take.

Enjoy!~





No one asked me about Conner. He walked over beside my mother after our little discussion, increasing the distance between the two of us should anyone try to hook us up in their imagination. But, ironically, he knew many of the people there. He’d lived there for the first fifteen years of his life. He walked among the helpers, trying to find where he should start. From a distance I saw him shaking hands and hugging the friends he hadn’t seen in years.

I kept waiting for someone to look over to me, questioningly, accusingly.

Waiting for the gossip bomb to explode. They had my number.  

Where were the sly, sideways glances?

The glances never happened, at least I don’t think anyone raised eyebrows or exchanged wink wink nudge nudge’s.

I could have a friend too, and that was okay. 

Getting after the work, we all pulled together, babying these trees and getting them into their new permanent homes. One crew put fertilizer into freshly dug holes, more followed with buckets of water to drench the new roots, settling them into the ground. All day, tirelessly, we worked, taking natural breaks for water, sandwiches, and my mom’s cookies. Our friends circled around my idea, and helped me bring the living memorial to life.

Conner and I crossed working paths every so often. Eventually, he had dirt smudges on his nose, and the appearance took me back-

“We gotta dig these worms if we want bait. My allowance run dry and I don’t think you have any money in your pockets, do you?” Conner kept jamming the shovel into the ground, digging for our fish bait. Usually, he did this job, while I watched. Sweat poured down his hairline, into his eyes, the July sun was unusually strong for that early in the day. He wiped the sweat off with a bare hand, mixing dirt with the trickles. He had mud streaks all over his face. I didn’t laugh, I held the bucket for the wiggly payday when he found one after the other. I better not make fun, or he’d hand me the shovel and make me dig.

He finally stopped when we had about two dozen crawlers in the bucket. “Now, we can go. I ain’t got all day. You did bring the sandwiches, didn’t you?”

“Of course I brought the sandwiches. I even brought some of mom’s cookies.”

“Good deal, let’s go!”

Mom’s cookies, Conner’s unwavering loyalty, our friends’ devotion, Garrett’s memorial…that did it. I finally started to cry. Excusing myself quickly for the truck, I needed privacy. The present was a heavy place to be in, the memories- both good and bad were incredibly suffocating.

It’s been a year, it doesn’t seem possible. You’ve been gone a year, and I’m carrying this grief around like a fifty pound sack of feed. It’s heavy, so heavy, but, I can’t put it down. I haven’t gotten where I need to be.

Why does it feel like such a burden? Nothing about you should be a burden. You were my husband, we have a family. I wish I could shake this hefty sorrow, but, it just won’t let me be. I gulped trying to take in some air.

Mom knocked on the truck window. I sat inside, letting the vents blast me with relief.

“Are you okay, honey?” She asked as I rolled down the window.

“I’m fine, just a little overwhelmed.”

 

Please visit us at our main site for more interpretations of number  Tuesday Tales Main Page



Monday, March 27, 2017

Tuesday Tales Rolling the Dice

Ahoy Fellow Fathomers! It's time for Tuesday Tales.



A group of writers gather together and give our interpretation of a specific word prompt each week. Once per month, we even write to an image.  You never know what you might encounter when you get inside our minds. This week our group writes to the word- dice.  This will be an excerpt from my new WIP for a new romance contemporary, What the Storm Didn't Take.

Enjoy!~





Conner showed up after supper time Friday evening. I’d put aside a plate for him, tucking it into the microwave. He didn’t get many home cooked meals while he was working. These clinical rotations really took every minute of his time. I heard his car and practically skipped to the front door, holding it open as a welcoming, not just letting him in.

“How are you?” He hugged me tightly with both arms.

“I’m great, been a good day. Are you terribly tired?”

“Nah, I’m okay. I actually got some sleep last night. What about you?” He looked beyond me into the house. “Did the little guy let you get some rest?”

“Absolutely.” Cuddling with Ryan was better than a teddy bear and melatonin combined. However, an image of me and Conner cuddled together gave me a peaceful feeling as well. Suddenly flustered, I gave him a little push inside, away from my wandering mind. “I’ve got you some food, we saved you a little bit of supper anyway.”

Mom walked in, smiling and holding her arms open. “Hey, Dr. Conner, how are you?”

“I’m awesome, Mrs. Blanton.” He pulled her into a bear hug.

“Would you stop calling me Mrs. Blanton? I’m Martha. Where did all this formality come from?”

“Okay, Martha. I guess it comes from being in the city too long.”

“Rachel saved you a big plate, I made sure to cook extra. She said you were coming." She blushed a little. "Well, let's just say she rolled the dice, taking a chance.”

He eyed me, giving me a grin. “Oh, she did?”

“Yes, she did. I think she told me on purpose, to make sure I cooked enough for you. How is your momma?”

“She’s fine. I’ll see her this weekend. That’s where I’m staying tonight.”

Hmm, he wasn’t going to sleep here? What was I thinking? We weren’t having a slumber party.

“Oh, pushaw, you can stay here. I’ll make up the couch in the den. It’s too late and I’m sure you’re tired. Rachel wants to fill you in on her plans for the orchard. You and I both know she’ll talk your ear off when she has an idea. You might not get to sleep until midnight.”

Thanks for embarrassing me, mom.

Please visit us at our main site for more interpretations of dice  Tuesday Tales Main Page





 

Monday, March 13, 2017

Tuesday Tales and I Love Lemons


Ahoy Fellow Fathomers! It's time for Tuesday Tales.



A group of writers gather together and give our interpretation of a specific word prompt each week. Once per month, we even write to an image.  You never know what you might encounter when you get inside our minds. This week our group writes to the word- lemon.  This will be an excerpt from my new WIP for a new romance contemporary, What the Storm Didn't Take.

Enjoy!~








A few days after the support meeting, I decided it was time to touch base with Kara. Kara initially tried to reach out to me shortly after Garrett died. Then, I really wasn’t in a good place to accept her support. Retreating to my cave may have upset some of my friends, but, I just wanted to be left alone. I realized I needed to make some repairs on our bridge of friendship. “Kara, it’s me, Rachel.”


“It’s wonderful to hear from you!” Her voice held no tone, no sarcasm, and no hidden meanings.


“Can we meet for coffee, lemon pie, or something similar today?” The moment of truth, would she say yes, or wave away my offer like an unwanted insect?


I held my breath.


“Absolutely.”


So, here I was out in public again, surviving, putting one foot in front of the other. I was a little early, I wanted to make sure Kara knew I was sincere. I figured waiting on her was a good start. A few acquaintances waved in my direction, giving me space. I felt like a porcupine, or a skunk.


I guess I was that unapproachable.


Kara burst through the doors of the cafĂ©, obviously excited to see me. “Hey, you!” Wrapping me in a huge hug, she squeezed me tightly. “I missed you so much.”


“I know, me too. I’m sorry I haven’t been more sociable.”


“You don’t need to apologize to me. I’m here and I love you.” She turned her attention to Ryan. “Here he is! What a handsome little guy.”


“Do you want to hold him?”


She looked at me as if I was on bizarre drugs. “Well, of course!” Without any further prompting, she reached into the carrier and carefully lifted him out. She spent the next ten minutes just fussing over my smiling little boy. “He’s incredible.”


“He’s the center of my world, that’s for sure.”


“I’m really glad you called me. I missed you something fierce.”


“I haven’t been in a very receptive place. It’s been really hard.”


“I know.” She patted my arm, and her touch was peaceful, caring, warm, and most importantly, genuine.
We began chatting, and it was like riding a bike. We carried on like high school girls, barely touching our drinks. Minutes turned into hours and the afternoon was a glorious reminder of the life I had in front of me.

 
Please visit us at our main site for more interpretations of lemon  Tuesday Tales Main Page





Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Tuesday Tales - But For a Tree


Ahoy Fellow Fathomers! It's time for Tuesday Tales.



A group of writers gather together and give our interpretation of a specific word prompt each week. Once per month, we even write to an image.  You never know what you might encounter when you get inside our minds. This week our group writes to the word- tree.  This will be an excerpt from my new WIP for a new romance contemporary, What the Storm Didn't Take.

Enjoy!~




I bought out every fruit tree the local nursery had in stock. I’m sure I made the owners day with the amount of money I spent. Today, money was no object standing in the way of what I wanted to do. A tree was the perfect memorial- strong, sturdy, with deep roots holding fast as the important base.

Conner helped me load them all in my dad’s truck.

“Are we going very far?” Eyeing the full bed, he appeared to guage the success rate of getting everything to the site.

“We aren’t going far at all. I’ll drive slowly with the hazard blinkers on. Don’t you worry about me.”

“I’ve never doubted your determination.” Smiling, Conner raised an eyebrow and took off the work gloves.

“Get in, we’ve got work to do.” I tried to think of this as a routine project, I couldn’t think the word memorial without losing my shit. With the entire truck full of trees, I almost felt overwhelmed. How the hell would we get them all planted?

I hit the gas and off we went, racing at a turtle’s pace for the few miles to the new orchard. I’d never taken Garrett there, and I was suddenly hesitant to share such a personal place. Not knowing what to say, I chose to stay quiet, pretending to focus on my driving.

“Thank you for trusting me to help you with this.” He spoke so softly, I almost didn’t hear him clearly.

“It’s been a hard year, one of the hardest of my life. You’ve been so good for me, it should be me thanking you.”

“I’m your friend, Rachel, you don’t have to thank me.”

Somehow, I did need to thank him, it’s just how I felt. He always showed up, almost at my beck and call. Not many people would do that. “It’s important you know how much I appreciate everything you’ve done.”  




 
Please visit us at our main site for more interpretations of tree  Tuesday Tales Main Page










 

Monday, February 27, 2017

Tuesday Tales Coming Up for Air

Ahoy Fellow Fathomers! It's time for Tuesday Tales.



A group of writers gather together and give our interpretation of a specific word prompt each week. Once per month, we even write to an image.  You never know what you might encounter when you get inside our minds. This week our group writes to the word- air.  This will be an excerpt from my new WIP for a new romance contemporary, What the Storm Didn't Take.

Enjoy!~



Mom’s cookies, Conner’s unwavering loyalty, our friends’ devotion, Garrett’s memorial…that did it. I finally started to cry. Excusing myself quickly for the truck, I needed privacy. The present was a heavy place to be in, the memories- both good and bad were incredibly suffocating.

It’s been a year, it doesn’t seem possible. You’ve been gone a year, and I’m carrying this grief around like a fifty pound sack of feed. It’s heavy, so heavy, but, I can’t put it down. I haven’t gotten where I need to be.

Why does it feel like such a burden? Nothing about you should be a burden. You were my husband, we have a family. I wish I could shake this hefty sorrow, but, it just won’t let me be. I gulped trying to take in some air.

Mom knocked on the truck window. I sat inside, letting the vents blast me with relief.

“Are you okay, honey?” She asked as I rolled down the window.

“I’m fine, just a little overwhelmed.”

Mom surveyed the work we’d accomplished. The orchard was looking awesome. “You’ve got so much support, Rachel. Everyone loves you so much and wants to be there for you. I’m glad you aren’t mad I asked some of our friends to help.”

“When will I stop being sad?” I felt like a little kid again, asking when the hurt would go away. Mom was supposed to know all the answers. Now, I was a mom and it terrified me that I didn’t know it all yet.
 
Please visit us at our main site for more interpretations of air  Tuesday Tales Main Page