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Calliope's Mousepad: Women Writers Online Paperback – 22 Nov 2001
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About the Author
Sarah Mankowski is the owner/editor of WordThunder.com
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
What makes this such a remarkable book? It's not just the delightful selection of short stories and essays, but even more importantly, it's the ten women writers who make this a volume to treasure. Although the selections are diverse, there is a theme that runs throughout. Every story and essay has something to say about the way women deal with the obstacles in their lives. In this anthology women overcome obstacles with dignity, humor and imagination.
The Short Stories section contains eight stories. All are quite good. Being an animal lover I particularly liked Sarah Mankowski's "Too Many Dandelions", in which an old cat must come to terms with the murder of the girl who raised her. Carolyn Howard-Johnson's "Humane Society", a story about a woman seeking help for a dying dog, is so beautifully told with so much exquisite attention to detail, I thought I was back in LA.
But don't let me give the impression that the stories are all downers. Nora M. Mulligan's "Time Enough" is delightful, as is Kim Bundy's "Bernice's Face" and Sea Raven's "Kitchen Witch" (I wouldn't dare give away the plot to any of them) Sarah Mankowski's "Monster In The Dining Room" is a cute short, short story. Janet Elaine Smith's "It's `Wheelie' Nice" reminds us that everybody needs romance, even people in wheelchairs. Kim Bundy's "Deliverer" is a cautionary tale: Be careful what you pray for.
There are ten selections under Articles and Essays. Shara Rendell-Smock offers excerpts from her book about great opening lines in fiction. Shara also includes a very personal essay about adjusting to life with MS. Two excerpts from Kristie Leigh Maguire's book "E-Mails From The Edge" are quite entertaining. Sarah Mankowski's excerpt from her book-in-progress "Some Call It Vanity" is simply inspiring.
Linda Armstrong-Miller and Susan James each have a short piece. I wish they had written more because they both seem like interesting ladies. The book concludes with an absolutely delightful piece from Janet Elaine Smith about a young girl in Venezuela who has to figure out a way to build a new home for her family.
But even then, the book isn't quite over. Readers are treated to a group interview by all ten writers. If you haven't already begun to think of the writers as your friends, you will by the time you finish reading the interview.
Calliope's Mousepad is a delightful book and I thoroughly enjoyed every word of it.