Sunday, May 17, 2009

Presenting! Katrina at Stone Soup: Throw Everything into a pot and Simmer

Katrina Stonoff

From Katrina's biography on her website: Most people order an entrée. Me? I prefer the smorgasbord. I want it all. I want to taste every dish, hear all the music, try everything once. One of my dearest friends is a poet. She says one must search for the perfect word, that if you find it, you won’t need any others. But I say, there are 700,000 words in the English language! How could you choose just one? How, for example, does one decide between invigorating or enlivening? Enthralling or enchanting? Heck, between turquoise and ultramarine, for that matter?....for more, visit Katrina's website

Or go by her Stone Soup Blog, where she writes (from her "about stone soup" page): Stone Soup is dedicated to topics women are interested in: children, parenting, cooking, dieting, spousal abuse, whatever. Sometimes it’s meant to amuse, other times to educate, motivate or just strike a chord. Though my topics tend to be oriented toward women, men are certainly welcome. Especially men who empathize with women. Or need to learn about them. Or simply enjoy being around them.

When I read Katrina's review of Tender Graces, I had to stop and take a few really deep breaths and do that rapid blinking thing people do when they have the urge to cry. I am often times emotionally overcome by the reviews of TG - and when the reviewer connects something from her life to Virginia Kate's story, then I feel as if I've somehow done something that goes beyond just storytelling and writing. Katrina's thoughts on TG, those memories and "mind-photographs" of her West Virginia Father touched me deeply, profoundly. I wonder if her mother has read TG yet and what she thought of it. I wonder if Katrina's father would approve of what I have written about his place there.

Beyond Katrina's review of TG, just stopping by her blog brings a smile - Katrina and her hats, Katrina's generous book give-aways, her love of life and writing and books, and go by there today and see those shoes and SHAZAM blue polish on those toes! I love it! Now those are some kind of shoes! *grinning*

Excerpt of what she said about Tender Graces ..
My father’s childhood was very much like Virginia Kate’s. Even the house — perched on the mountain, a long road going straight down in front to the holler, a neighbor on the hill to one side, a vacant house on the hill to the other side, the mountain rising straight up behind — could have been my grandmother’s. Poverty, meager gardens, alcoholism, soul-crushing neglect and casual abuse, even Native American heritage. It’s all familiar. This is the culture in which my father was raised, the culture in which *I* would have been raised but for the grace of my father leaving West Virginia to marry and raise his family

.All the characters in Tender Graces are complex, almost to the point of incomprehensibility. Not one character could I simply like or dislike. Virginia Kate’s mother is exotic and fascinating and freespirited, but … Her father is a devoted husband and loving father except … Rebekah is sweet and generous, yet …

These are characters I want to know, in real life, except I couldn’t live with them. People I want to be, though I know I’d never survive it. Real enough to clamber off the page and take up uncomfortable residence under my skin....for the rest of the review, click on Stone Soup TG Review

(PS - In today's, Sunday May 17 - Ashville Citizen Times newspaper is a wonderful Tender Graces review by Rob Neufeld - it can also be read online at ACT online... yay!)


Jessica said...

Wow, she sounds like a fascinating lady! I'll bet she's more of those characters than she knows.

Anonymous said...

Oh, my gosh, Kat! This is an amazing writeup. I even sound interesting to me! Thanks.

Jessica, you're probably right. Heck, sometimes even *I* am an uncomfortable resident in my own skin. LOL.

Sandra Leigh said...

Isn't Katrina great? It was through her that I heard about (and won a signed copy of!) Jamie Ford's The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, and she keeps expanding my horizons all the time. One of these days, when I'm traveling south in the Turtle, I plan to track Katrina down and take her out for a cuppa. Maybe she'll wear one of her wonderful hats!

TheWritersPorch said...

Morning Kat! thanks for the heads up, I'll check her out!

~ Carol ~

Deb Shucka said...

It's always great to meet new people here. Especially ones who are so nice to you!

Janna Qualman said...

Brilliant thoughts! And Katrina sounds lovely. Thanks for introducing us to her, Kat.

MarthaE said...

Hi Kathryn- Was visiting Katrina and her blog sent us to check out your blog! I enjoy visiting Katrina - have you seen all of her hats!!! And your blog looks like a nice place to visit too! Tender Graces sounds lovely! MarthaE

Angie Ledbetter said...

Here's to blue polish and smorgasbords! Loved the TG review and thought she was right/write on!

Debbie said...

I love Katrina too. And now I know she has good taste:)