“I am fortunate to have witnessed the alchemy of words transform destiny into reality.”
In the bucolic hills of rural Massachusetts, Eli Rutherford, the middle-aged, impeccably mannered, pedantic headmaster of an all-boys school engages in a game of scholarly wordplay with the free spirited, bohemian, albeit intelligent young teacher, Dianna Hart. For him, the world is clearly defined by meticulous rules, an exemplary code of conduct, and strict academic decorum. For her, the world is a wonderland, a place to question answers, push boundaries, and explore emotions.
Eli has the luxury of an abundant commerce of words – succinct, precise, honest, and exact words that have never failed him, but Dianna proves a formidable opponent during their carefree banter with double entendres, metaphors, haikus, and alliterations. As their verbal tryst evolves beyond the conventions of language, each searches for a more intimate method of expression.
Live vicariously through Eli and Dianna as they thrive on intellectual lust, and witness the artful dismantling and reassembly of the male psyche.
“Delightfully witty conversations. I can’t wait for a sequel.”
“Fantastic – A tantalizing blend of language and romance!”
Eli loved a good thunderstorm and the one raging over the green lawns of Drayton was a welcomed delight. His fondness for storms was commensurate with his dislike of surprises, and he had to rein in his sense of annoyance at the sound of the brass doorknocker beckoning. He was not prepared for the sight of Ms. Hart—standing, dripping really, on the porch.
Normally a man of astute observation and ease of language at his disposal, Eli heard himself simply say, “You’re wet.” As soon as the words were audible, he recoiled by the sheer force of their stupidity, and then, summoning his manners, added, “I’m sorry, come inside, please.”
“I apologize so much for the intrusion.” She stood in the front room, barefoot; her shoes were placed neatly on the front door rug. “Normally I love a good storm, or at least watching one from my window. It’s like enjoying a painting yet hating to be painted. Do you know what I mean?”
He had absolutely no idea what she meant, but found himself nodding his head in agreement while frowning as one does when artistic interpretation is required. “In the case of this hailstorm, is it a metaphor for enjoying pelting yet hating to be pelted?” He asked.
She tilted her head to one side as if thinking, “I suppose it depends.”
“Depends upon…?” he asked.
“Upon which circumstance would cause me the greater suffering at the time,” she said, smiling at him. The delight he felt in her response was so sudden that he had to consciously take one of his hands in the other in order to avoid slapping his knee, a trait associated with old men and people who sit atop hay bales. Neither persona did he wish to convey at the time.
“Good answer,” he responded with an enthusiastically wide smile.
“Was there an option for a bad answer?” she asked.
“Certainly Ms. Hart, you are smart enough to know that if your answer would have been a solid yes, then in the future, I would take all precautions necessary to avoid you as the first storm clouds approach.” He suddenly felt energetic at the exchange of banter with this young teacher. He thought her refreshingly clever. He enjoyed it for the brief space of time between his words and her following response.
“And would avoiding me be a good thing, or a bad thing, Mr. Rutherford?”
His mental anti-lock brakes engaged. He diverted the question by apologizing for his rudeness in setting before them a hot pot of tea and then failing to offer her a cup.
You’ll get hours of lighthearted entertainment.
It is a must read for anyone who knows the feeling of being unable to express the perfect words at the right time.
This is a superb gift for adults of all ages.
Brenda Sloan started writing in response to the challenge, “One can’t simply just write a book.” Accepting this challenge gave life to her first novel, The Elusive Mot Juste, and turned an amazing woman into an author worthy of recognition. She lives in South Carolina with her husband, four children, and their goofy Labrador, Buddy.
“I never set out to become a writer.
I have always been a reader. I have read others’ works, be they fiction or nonfiction, philosophy or religion, poetry or prose – but unlike Goldilocks, none was “just right.” So I began to write down my own words, bits and pieces, here and there. The more I wrote, the more comfortable it felt. I started to find my own niche.
It was during this process that I came to realize the journey was more rewarding than the destination. Writing became a method to re-live a moment, a thought, an idea. And as the author, I got to choose what to put in and what to take out, what to make real and what to make fantasy, who gets to live and who must not. Words became the messenger of my imagination, and they were compelling. They stimulated my senses and empowered my mind.
I find my time constantly split between the living, breathing people around me and thinking about or listening to my characters. These are my parallel universes. My characters accompany me everywhere (in my head, of course) and are always embroiled in a myriad of dialogues or happenings. So I ask you, does this qualify me as insane that I hear their voices? The good news is that I can control what they say and do…so far, although occasionally one will tweak me the wrong way so I simply erase them–write them out, or worse, I punish them with my words…and I can be ruthless.
I still don’t think of myself as a writer; I am just a person who writes things down. For me, writing simply exists as a natural occurrence. Like the river during a rain, I am flooded with creative inspiration. And when the monsoons come, I become swollen to the brim with ideas, thoughts, poems, and stories that must be written for the sake of peace of mind. It is simultaneously selfish and selfless.
I once read that a person must be insane to write, and if not, then writing would eventually make a person insane – I now understand. I read to enrich my mind but, ironically, I write to preserve it. I don’t continue to do so because I am addicted to writing; I write because I am addicted to wonder. How I got here, I do not question.”