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My books can be purchased as e-books for only $1.99. If interested, just click here: Books.
Match Play is a golf/suspense novel. Dust of Autumn is a bloody one set in upstate New York. Prairie View is set in South Dakota, with a final scene atop Rattlesnake Butte. Life in the Arbor is a children's book about Rollie Rabbit and his friends (on about a fourth grade level). The Black Widow involves an elaborate extortion scheme. Doggy-Dog World is my memoir. And ES3 is a description of my method for examining English sentence structure.
In case anyone is interested in any of my past posts, an archive list can be found at the bottom of this page.
My newest novel, Happy Valley, can be found here.

Wednesday, December 24

Wild & Reese Witherspoon

Wild, the movie, is a wild trek along with Cheryl Strayed (Reese Witherspoon), wild as in the wilderness through which she hiked along the thousand-plus miles of the Pacific Crest Trail, wild as in Strayed’s reckless behavior before she takes that redemptive journey. This was nearly a one-woman show, with all of the plot movement beginning with her hike from the southern California border to the end of her journey just short of Canada. Director Jean-Marc Vallee chose to tell the backstory in short, staccato flashbacks as Cheryl thinks about her past and past mistakes. It’s a stream-of-consciousness parade of thoughts as she plods along, averaging about fifteen miles a day. She lost her marriage to Paul because she “fooled around on him . . . a lot,” as she confessed to one of the men she picked up in a bar. She was briefly in therapy but walked out on that when the therapist reminded her of her heroin addiction and promiscuity. Most of the flashbacks involved her mother Bobbi (Laura Dern) and the relationship with Cheryl and her younger brother, of their having to rush away from an abusive husband/father and of her dying of cancer at forty-five. We watch Cheryl as she prepares for the hike, loading her backpack with everything but the kitchen sink (and she may have even taken that if she’d found a mini-sink). The audience laughs quietly as we see her struggle to get to her feet with what looked like about eighty pounds on her back. Some of her fellow hikers laughingly called her backpack “Monster” when she approached them from the trail. About three weeks into the journey, one of the men helping out at a PCT way-station advised her to get rid of many items that she wasn’t using. Lighten your load, he says. Thoreau might have said to her, “Simplify, simplify,” advice we might all take to heart without having to walk a thousand miles. Along the way she meets many people willing to help her: a man plowing a field takes her home for a hot meal and a shower; a young boy sings “Red River Valley” for her; her fellow hikers offer her advice and comradeship when they meet at various way-stations. Two hunters that she encounters seem at first to be threatening to her, a lone woman out on the trail, but they go on their way. The movie is all about a woman’s attempt to find herself, even if it takes a thousand mile hike through desert and mountains and snow and rain, even though most of that journey would be back-breaking and agonizingly lonely, even though it was a journey through beautiful terrain. Cheryl Strayed apparently found herself, and Reese Witherspoon may have found another Oscar nomination for best female actor.

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