Archives for July 2014

My Recent On-line Interview

Just wanted to offer a “thumbs up” for interested readers of my blog about my recent online interview by Wayne Potter of Keeping Kurrent on Sound Cloud.  You can listen to it by clicking on to this link.  Hope you enjoy learning more about how I came to write Under the Salvadoran Sun and my work with eco-viva.

To make it more interesting I thought I would ad some photos of my friends in El Salvador, who were so much a part of my inspiration for the story.  I am sad to read the news these days about the thousands of Central American children who are amassing at the border, trying to escape not only poverty but the horrible violence and killing of their families who are often caught in the crossfire between the narcotics traffickers and the gangs.  Children as young as four years old are recruited by the gangs to deal drugs; it’s a disparaging situation. In my view, I think we have to regard these children not as an extension of the “immigration problem” but as refugees that we must take in just as other countries in the  world have had to take in refugees.  We can not turn them back with the chance they will only face death.  Especially since the situation is largely due to the exportation of gangs from the barrios of Los Angeles, where Salvadorans were exiled during the Civil War in the 80’s. Their children were introduced to the gang culture here and when they were deported after the war they brought that culture with them; due to poverty and nowhere to go, lack of jobs and social programs they ended up the cycle of gang life and violence. I do not have the answers, but I do know the world’s eyes are upon us; as a humane nation we cannot turn these children away! PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW. I am interested in my readers’ thoughts on this. 

I have digressed. Here’s the photos.  Some of the children will steal your hearts, I think. They sure did mine. 

The chapel where Archbishop Romero was assassinated in 1980.

The chapel where Archbishop Romero was assassinated in 1980.

 

The typical Pupuseria. Puousas are the national dish, like two small tortillas with a stuffing in-between of beans, cheese, pork.

The typical Pupuseria. Puousas are the national dish, like two small tortillas with a stuffing in-between of beans, cheese, pork.

 

A small in front of the image of his hero, Archbishop Romero on the memorial wall in a park in San Salvador.

A small in front of the image of his hero, Archbishop Romero on the memorial wall in a park in San Salvador.

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Children in Ciudad Romero, El Salvador
Little Salvadoran Girl in Ciudad Romero

Little Salvadoran Girl in Ciudad Romero

 

Jose Alberto Garcia, my amigo and wonderful the wonderful art teacher I assisted.

Jose Alberto Garcia, my amigo and wonderful the wonderful art teacher I assisted.

Sher teaching art to Salvadoran childrenSher teaching art to Salvadoran children

Book Marketing: Much to Learn

I recently made a trip up to Seattle to tout my book. Read about it by clicking on Adventures with

Sher in my menu.  Visiting bookstores was eyeopening and also tempting. I learned which books are most 

displayed and what’s up front. I also enjoyed talking to the owners and buyers to get the latest 

scoop on what they look for when deciding on their orders. They were all glad I am represented 

by Ingram, a national distributer. Admittedly they are more apt to buy from local authors than 

from someone from out of the state. I came back with a lot more information and ideas—and 

also with more books!  This is a hazard and pleasure of visiting bookstores. 

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A Book Review: Doerr’s ‘All the Light’

What better content for my writer’s blog than some book reviews of my favorite recent reading? I hope to post one review per month. Let  me know in comments, what you think and share your reads with me, too.

 I just finished Anthony Doerr’s All the Light We Cannot See and I highly recommend it.  Doerr has the remarkable ability to weave a tale both full of mystery and touching observation, of fastidious attention to the tiniest of details of character and place.  He puts us into the scene and we feel the emotions of his characters at a time of great upheaval, WWII in Germany and France. I could not put his book down, and read well into the night for the three nights it took to digest this marvelous read.  Doerr’s poetic language had me sighing with pleasure along the way and then filled my eyes with tears as he revealed the horrors of war and the inner conflicts of his child characters in a world they could not fully grasp. I quote one of his reviewer’s, Alice Evans,  descriptions of the story by Doerr:

It is “a story about the German occupation of a village in Normandy during World War II, a story of heroism, particularly the heroism of children, whether an orphan girl who asserts her right to distinguish truth from propaganda or a blind girl who learns to see with her fingers as well as her heart.” The orphan girl’s tiny and brilliant brother, Werner, inspires our imagination and admiration throughout the story.

What is amazing about Doerr’s writing is his ability to comb the depths of the souls of these children, to uncover what inspires and motivates them and what ultimately gives them hope and the ability to face horrific dangers, to survive in spite of the them, with sheer endurance and will. 

I cannot recommend this book more. On an added level, it interested me as a writer, providing information relevant to the topic of my next novel, which also takes place during WWII. If I can write a book half as impacting and beautiful as Anthony Doerr, I will revel in the accomplishment. I know it may take years!