women

365 Challenge: Day 276 – Women

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Women: (a) person of the female species, or (b) a website worth checking out today for a post they did on a character from my novel, Watching Glass Shatter

women

Today’s message is brief. I was honored to be a guest on Christy Birmingham’s ‘When Women Inspire’ blog today. Her blog, focused on amazing women, gave me the opportunity to talk about the lead character, a woman, in my novel, Watching Glass Shatter. Please check out this post to see all about Olivia Glass, but then spend a lot more time checking out Christy’s website. It’s fantastic. Thank you to her for this chance!

Link: Author James J. Cudney IV on Writing an Inspiring Female Character

 

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, can be purchased on Amazon @ http://mybook.to/WGS. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

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Watching Glass Shatter: Blog Tour BONUS News & Winners

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The Watching Glass Shatter book blog tour came to an end yesterday. It was an amazing 16-Day blogging phenomena, and I’m grateful to everyone who participated. A few updates from this week to announce:

Favorite Character Poll

Blog Tour Posts

Giveaway Winner

  • Jina @ Author Inspirations hosted a GIVEAWAY for a free e-copy of the book on 11/20. The winner is Ann Marie Palladino. Both Jina and I have sent her a copy of the book. Congratulations and thank you to everyone for entering.

Book Club Mom Interview

Bonus Blog Tour Special Post

  • Rae from Powerful Women Readers was our bonus stop on the blog tour. Check out one of my favorite person’s thoughts on the book, then spend some time on her site to see all the great content she and a group of fantastic ladies have posted.
  • WATCHING GLASS SHATTER by James J. Cudney: A Review

Review: The Golden Bowl

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The Golden Bowl Book Review
It is difficult to give a low review to one of your favorite authors. And I’ve read this book twice. But it barely changed me upon a second read. Somewhere between a 2 and a 3 out of 5 stars, this book has many great moments; however, it’s also very disconnected, almost as those there are several stories consolidated in a single book with at unmatched effort made to weave them together properly. The language — great and consistent. The characters — strong and memorable. The plot — confused and confusing. The theme and lesson — uncertain where it is trying to go. If I separated the stories, they’d each get a 3+, but when I look at this as a whole, as characters in a charade, or people in love… it’s time period seems inaccurate. I am considering reading this a third time, as it’s been a good 15 years since the last read. And I do adore him as a write, but this one was a miss.

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by.

View all my reviews

Review: The Portrait of a Lady

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The Portrait of a Lady Book Review
3+ out of 5 stars for The Portrait of a Lady, a classic story called the “Great American Novel,” written by Henry James in 1881. I adore Henry James and found great enjoyment in his literary works when I began reading him in my freshmen year at college. As an English major, I was exposed to many different authors, but I felt a strong connection with him and this literary period. American realistic works spoke to me above any of the other “classic” books I had been reading. As a result, I chose Henry James as the primary focus of an independent study course I’d taken in my senior year. I read 6 or 7 of his books during those 3 months and am going back now to provide quick reviews, as not everyone finds him as enjoyable as I do. I also don’t want to bore everyone with a lengthy review on how to interpret him or his books.

The Portrait of a Lady tells the story of a young woman who years to have her own life and make her own mark on the world. She doesn’t want to be contained by marriage or the structure in place at the time in the late 19th century. She has different characteristics coming from American, English and continental European female archetypes. She has strong moral and ethical values. She knows who she is, yet she does not know all. As she moves through life, she makes choices that are not easy for her to execute. What I loved about this work is its deep exploratory view points, beautiful language and unparalleled characters. Though I only give it a 3, when compared to some of this other works, I would recommend you read a few chapters or sections, just to see if it is something you could find yourself getting lost in.

The impact you feel upon reading this book is questioning what is the true view of a lady, how is she different from generation to generate, location to location and societal class to societal class. James knows women. He is very accurate on many levels… wrong on a few, too. But to put out his thoughts, in a huge tome, at a time when women were beginning to get more rights… and be able to cross genres and genders… is amazing. It’s less about what he says and more about how he says it. And that’s why I enjoy reading him… but even I admit, I can only take 1 book every few years! 🙂

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by.

View all my reviews

Review: Rip Van Winkle

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Rip Van Winkle Book Review
4 of 5 stars to Rip Van Winkle by Washington Irving. In Washington Irving’s short story “Rip Van Winkle,” Rip’s wife Dame constantly nags her husband because all he ever does is sleep, put off his chores, and play with his dog Woof. The other women in the village are tolerable to him only because Rip doesn’t have to listen to their hassling all day long. He isn’t married to any of them but Dame. Irving’s satire is a humorous attempt to display wives as barbaric slave-drivers who are better off being dead than being tyrannical women, who exist only to burden their husbands.

YIKES! It’s a good thing this was written over two centuries ago… or Irving would be rightfully slaughtered in today’s world. The next few paragraphs are considering when this was written, and not my personal opinion… just cutting an excerpt from a paper I wrote years ago on this story, reflecting on how men treated women in fiction during that time period.

Washington Irving’s story makes some women out to be horrible creatures who are always torturing their husbands. However, there are some women who are basically good-natured and acceptable creatures. In Irving’s short story, Rip Van Winkle is “a great favorite among all the good wives of the village” (Lauter 1296). These women, who are not made out to be the old hags, even go as far to blame Dame Van Winkle for all the fighting that goes on in the Van Winkle house. Irving tells his readers that men see their own wives as shrews who love to fight with their husbands. Other women are tolerable though. “The women of the village, too, used to employ him to run their errands, and to do such little odd jobs as their less obliging husbands would not do for them” (Lauter 1296). Rip would do any work that someone else asked him to do, but if it was his own work that his wife flogged him about all the time, he would shrug it off. Dame, his wife, was too shrill and bothersome to want to do work for and she showed no mercy on him.

Rip simply wants to be free to live his life in the way that suits him, not in the way that suits someone else. “If left to himself, [Rip] would have whistled life away in perfect contentment; but his wife kept dinning his ears about his idleness, his carelessness, and the ruin he was bringing on his family” ( Lauter 1297). He doesn’t want to have a meddlesome and annoying wife around to tell him what to do all the time. Dame Van Winkle is such a barbaric woman that she has the ability to frighten almost anyone, including Rip’s dog, whose name, coincidentally, is Wolf. “The moment Wolf entered the house his crest fell, his tail dropped to the ground, or curled between his legs, he sneaked about with a gallows air, casting many a sidelong glances at Dame Van Winkle, and at the least flourish of a broomstick or ladle he would fly to the door with yelping precipitation” (Lauter 1297). Dame Van Winkle expects too much out of her husband and Rip is too busy in his own world. Dame Van Winkle is being used as a symbol for the many women in real life who were feverishly nagging wives and annoying slave-drivers.

Irving doesn’t say that all women are annoying slave-drivers though. He simply states that as wives, women are meddlesome and overbearing. When they are not married to them though, men, Rip in particular, find less problems with women.
When Rip returns and learns that his wife died during those twenty years when he fell asleep in the forest, Rip comments on how “he had got his neck out of the yoke of matrimony, and could go in and out whenever he pleased, without dreading the tyranny old Dame Van Winkle” (Lauter 1297). He is happy and free from the old nag now. The narrator also tells us that “whenever her name was mentioned, however, [Rip] shook his head, shrugged his shoulders, and cast up his eyes; which might pass either for an expression of resignation to his fate, or joy at his deliverance” (Lauter 1297). Once Rip’s wife is out of the picture, he becomes a care-free happy man again. “Having nothing to do at home . . . he took his place once more on the bench at the inn-door . . .” (Lauter 1297). In fact, Rip lived with his daughter, a woman other than his wife, and was at his happiest. He no longer had to contend with Dame’s nasty attitude and arrogance.

Irving has shown that men are better off without wives since they are so rudely insolent.
Through “Rip Van Winkle,” Washington Irving is able to show how women in general were considered “tolerable creatures,” who can even make you laugh and take care of you. However, once you are married to them, it is a different story. Wives, specifically Dame Van Winkle, are constantly demanding things from their husbands and treating them poorly. Perhaps, Irving is commenting more on matrimony, but the basic view he shows is that women become overbearing heathens once they marry a man. Wives exist only to torture men and the men are better off without them according to Irving’s story.

My input today: I’m not sure how he got away with publishing this one… couldn’t it just have been a story about a men who fell asleep for a very long time, and when he woke up, life was different!? YIKES! I mean… “a wife being a nag” has been a theme persisting thru-out time, often used in a joking manner… but this was over-the-top! I wonder if this is where it all started…

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

View all my reviews

Review: Anne of Green Gables

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Anne of Green Gables Book Review
3+ of 5 stars to Anne of Green Gables, the first book in a series by L.M. Montgomery, written in 1902. I read this book nearly 30 years ago and had to refresh my memory a little, before writing the review. I’d forgotten it was part of a whole series. I read more than one, but not sure which other ones. I recall this first one… a tale about an orphan girl, acclimating to a new family, meeting friends and neighbors. On the outskirts, it’s a coming-of-age tale about a young girl becoming a woman and learning about the realities of life. It’s both a funny book to read and an educational one with some lessons. It’s something every kid should read, just to understand how good they have it… or if they are adopted, to learn how to deal with it. Anne’s a beautiful person, forgetting age for a few seconds. And whenever she’s around, it sorta feels like the comforts of home. If you haven’t sampled it, read one of the books in the series just to see what life was like for a girl like her over a century ago. It’ll be a positive read, even so many years later.

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

View all my reviews

Review: Daisy Miller

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Daisy Miller Book Review
4 of 5 stars to Daisy Miller by Henry James, a story about a free and unattached American girl who is spending some time in Europe after being removed from American society for some time. She unwittingly defies the moral code of European society, never realizing it until the very end when she dies. All throughout the story, “Daisy does what she likes, responds to what she likes. To the world around her she is a young girl, an American girl, she represents a society and a sex. She is expected to be what she appears-whether that is an innocent girl or a fallen woman” (Allen 337). In America, Daisy was free to roam about, flirting occasionally with the men. Once she enters Rome though, her behavior with a “dubious native [is] in defiance of the system of curfews and chaperons which [the society] holds dear” (Dupee 298). James sets up the plot of the story by having Daisy run into a man who is also an American transplant. Frederick Winterbourne, a kind free-spirited and unemployed gigolo, has lived in Europe for quite a few years searching for an older, rich woman to marry. When he meets Daisy, he is immediately intrigued by the “pretty American flirt” (James 102). Once this connection is established, Daisy’s innocence becomes the focus of the text. In the very beginning, “when contrary to the code of Geneva, [Winterbourne] speaks to the unmarried Daisy, he wonders whether ‘he has gone too far.’ . . . When he attempts to classify her, she undermines all of his stuffy and inapplicable generalizations. He decides that [Daisy] may be ‘cold,’ ‘austere,’ and ‘prim’ only to find her spontaneous and as ‘decently limpid as the very cleanest water’” (Gargano 314). Daisy and Winterbourne have now established their relationship at this point; They are attracted to one another and would like to go and see the Chateau de Chillon. When Winterbourne asks her to go with him, Daisy says, with some placidity, “With me?”. Winterbourne responds by respectfully inviting her mother along also. However, after the flirtatious exchange between the two, “[Daisy] didn’t rise, blushing, as a young girl at Geneva would have done” (James 103). The process in which Daisy loses her innocence begins here.
However, James’s short story is told from the perspective of Winterbourne, which overshadows the true story of Daisy’s innocence. Readers see and understand Daisy’s actions through Winterbourne’s eyes and actions. After Winterbourne leaves town to care for his aunt, he and Edna find their way back to each other. However, Winterbourne is non-committal to Daisy because of her flirtatious behavior with him and other men. Nevertheless, Daisy is not alone when they meet up this time. She is dating an Italian man named Giovanelli, who is obviously only after her money. Daisy continues to see Giovanelli, but she also spends some time with Winterbourne. Society begins to see that she is involved with both of these two men, quite intimately apparently. Daisy’s mother thinks she is engaged to Giovanelli, but Daisy is also seen out with Winterbourne every once in a while. F. W. Dupee remarks that when society is “judging [Daisy’s] morals by her manners, they imagine the worst and they ostracize her. They are wrong” (Dupee 299). However, “all the chattering tongues of Rome do not bother Daisy. She knows that Winterbourne, the one person whose opinion she values, believes in her innocence and chastity” (Buitenhuis 310). Daisy later focuses her thoughts on Giovanelli, and ignores Winterbourne even though he has always believed in her innocence and cared for her.
After losing track of Daisy for quite some time, Winterbourne runs across her at the Colosseum in Rome. The Colosseum was known to be a place where young lovers would go to experience passion and love. Daisy and Giovanelli are standing in the arena when Winterbourne notices them. Winterbourne tries to leave without making his presence known, but Daisy sees him. He asks her if she is engaged to Giovanelli, and Daisy tells him that she is. Winterbourne, at this point, believes that Daisy is nothing but a flirt who toys with men’s emotions for her own self-interest. It was also very dangerous for one to go near the Colosseum at such late hours because it was common for people to catch Roman Fever, a form of malaria. When Winterbourne tells Daisy this, she seems to hardly care at all about getting sick, and her actions even lead the readers to believe that she is going there purposely. Daisy’s actions appear suicidal. Winterbourne is concerned and he “not only expresses his concern for her health so recklessly exposed, but [by doing so,] he also lets her see that he has lost faith in her purity” (Buitenhuis 310). Shortly after, Daisy takes ill and begins to die. On her death bed, she can only think of telling Winterbourne that she really is not engaged to Giovanelli, who skips out on her once she gets sick.
Daisy eventually dies from the Roman Fever. It seems as though “Daisy dies because she cannot be fitted into any European scheme of things” (Allen 337). At this point, “[Winterbourne] realizes too late that he could have loved Daisy, and that Daisy could have loved him” (Buitenhuis 310). It is sad that it has to come to this, but society binds women to the strict standards of what they can and cannot do. If Daisy was in America, she would have gotten away with her behavior, but she was in Europe. European culture expects women to conform to specific standards. Just as Daisy is expected to live by the customs of Europe, so is Edna Pontellier from Kate Chopin’s novel The Awakening.

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

View all my reviews