Freedom is what she wants most…

“Freedom—that is what Lilly Linton wants most in life. Not marriage, not a brood of squalling brats, and certainly not love, thank you very much!
But freedom is a rare commodity in 19th-century London, where girls are expected to spend their lives sitting at home, fully occupied with looking pretty. Lilly is at her wits’ end—until a chance encounter with a dark, dangerous and powerful stranger changes her life forever…
Enter the world of Mr. Rikkard Ambrose, where the only rule is: Knowledge is power is time is money!”

This is the short detailed overview of the book Storm and Silence and within this review, I will discuss the amazing writing choices within the first few chapters of this historic masterpiece. A small bit of backstory to this book is that the author, Robert Thier, originally added this book to the well-known writing platform Wattpad, and although many people criticize Wattpad stories on this domain as cliché and poorly written, this book is clearly nothing of that nature. It is elaborately written and was acknowledged for it. The book was chosen to be published, and now is online as well as in stores for sale.

Now, onto the book itself. The storyline just as it was stated in the overview takes place in 19th-century London, and even though I know very little of London in the 19th-century, it was very easy for me to follow along with the storyline so far. The character traits that Mr. Thier gives to his characters, Lilly and Mr. Ambrose, is ironic and refreshingly clever. I am also not one to boast about writing that is written with accents nor with so much history, but this book has done a great job of providing these as well as keeping the reader engaged. The escalation of the storyline so far has been at a somewhat steady pace, and I can definitely tell that the characters each have there own bit of depth to them.

Not only do I want to just point out the progression of the story, but also the conflicts. One would presume that juggling so many conflicting social issues which are brought to light within the story would clash and cause the reader to become confused or overwhelmed, but somehow the book keeps every climax flowing accordingly. Lilly so far would have to go in my book of favorite characters alongside Mr.Ambrose because not only is she dealing with her constant need for freedom in a society that oppresses her, but also juggling the societies expectations of a lady, the issues within her family, and the responsibilities Mr. Ambrose brings along. Her quick wit and sly remarks are what keep her on top in this book, and so far I am loving it.

I encourage anyone looking for a switch up in their reading list to give Storm and Silence a look. I also encourage readers to indulge themselves in the mystery of if this book was named after the characters, which would you see as the description of the storm and which as silence; I guarantee your choice will never be set in stone.

“The Man on the Stairs”

“I squeezed Kevin’s wrist in pulsing units, three pulses, then two pulses, then three pulses. I was trying to invent a physical language that could enter his sleep. But after a while I realized I wasn’t even squeezing his wrist, I was just pulsing the air. That’s how scared I was; I was squeezing air” (July).

For this month, I have decided to write on the short story, “The Man on the Stairs” by Miranda July. When I originally found the story, I expected a somewhat horror themed flash fiction; however, the story turned out to be nothing like any of the previous reading choices that I’d become so familiar with. It was a very abstract plot line that contained a lot of sidebar thoughts, and although the story did leave me confused, I find the need to commend the story for the connections the author made within the text as well as the way she was able to tie so many of them together. Ms. July gives so many characteristics of the main character that it feels as if in the midst of an intense situation she is almost comfortable having casual conversation, and really draws a clear picture of the protagonist’s mindset as well as the character’s reflection s on herself.

My favorite sections of the story are moments when she adds detailing in comparing herself to the intruder. Ms. July does a really phenomenal job with the polar opposites connecting and having such an abstract for of similarities. I also enjoy the details written about her boyfriend, but in some ways, it seems as though the main character is more connected to the intruder than the man she is with which I found very odd yet interesting. This story all in all really took me for a loop as the reader. Even as a writer, I found myself constantly thinking, I wonder where she got this idea from, and I wonder how she came up with this comparison.

I do believe there are areas that could have been edited that would improve the piece as a whole, but for the blogs sake I will spare the in-depth detailing of what I would suggest as specific changes. I’ll simply state that the ending, in my opinion, fell short of what it could have been seeing as though the entire piece had a constant build up that missed its mark on ending strong. Although the ending lines do add to the story, the plotline just swerves in a way that was not for the best. I also believe the explicit content within the piece is somewhat unnecessary. Yes, the minor section of content shows the protagonist’s inner thoughts, but it doesn’t necessarily add detailing to the story to make the plot move forward; it simple gives detailing to the protagonist’s boyfriend who isn’t focused on very much in the story anyhow.

Even though I found certain elements changeable within the piece, I still nevertheless believe this piece is a good read. It is most definitely a change in tone of my previous suggestions.

If you would like to read this short story, please click here.

“Before the Storm”

“I met her in a cocktail bar, but she wasn’t working as a waitress. She was getting drunk like me at the counter…” (Sheal) This excerpt is a portion of the first few sentences of the piece that caught my attention.

For this month’s good read, I’ve chosen the short fiction piece, “Before the storm” written by Alex Sheal. The story follows the actions of a man getting into what it seems as a “one-night stand” with a woman at a cocktail bar. The story is, in my opinion, very nicely written. I believe a reader will understand the eloquence in Mr. Sheal’s writing especially once the circumstances of the voice of the story is taken into consideration. The story could have very easily been made into a smut piece with poor layout and development; however, the metaphors and very slight and subtle vulgar details gives the piece a great delivery that still has good taste. I must say I love the choices of language Mr. Sheal chose for his main character; my favorite being, “When we burst out the doors, it surprised me to see the hurricane had passed; moreso that not a drop of water lay in the street full of taxi drivers. Then I remembered it was November and a storm hadn’t rampaged through this city in months, years since a proper one” (Sheal). The irony within it is simple, but I admire the connection of leaving the bar and the incoherence of the weather outside without actually stating what is going on. I also admire how the story isn’t necessarily laid out bluntly. The reader catches the gist of the encounter through context clues and strategic detailing. My favorite point of the piece would have to be the very being and the end due to the similarities, and interesting turn of events that begin and end the story.

Although I enjoyed the piece, I do believe there are a few areas that could be altered to make the piece possibly stronger. For one, in my opinion, the author has some areas with excessive wording. The situations in some areas are described repetitively, and it takes away from the unique original description. The piece in my opinion also missed the opportunity to be elongated. The work had the potential to be a much longer piece that could have went into describing emotions or even describing the lack of emotion in the action. The author could have also given more thoughts or events that followed the encounter before he jumped to the twist ending; however, I suppose adding events before the ending would take away from the dramatic effect of it; I digress.

Even with my few thoughts on how the text could possibly be improved, it is nevertheless still a very nice piece to read. I would definitely recommend it as a quick read to anyone looking for a story that is short and full of some great choices in language. If you would like to read this work, click here.

“What I Pledge Allegiance To” by Kiese Laymon

“I am a black Mississippian. I am a black American. I pledge to never be passive, patriotic, or grateful in the face of American abuse. I pledge to always thoughtfully bite the self-righteous American hand that thinks it’s feeding us. I pledge to perpetually reckon with the possibility that there will never be any liberty, peace, and justice for all unless we accept that America, like Mississippi, is not clean. Nor is it great. Nor is it innocent.” (Laymon)

Within the essay “What I Pledge Allegiance To” by Kiese Laymon, I found many aspects of myself within the work itself. Mr. Laymon tells of his thoughts on the ragged American flag he has hung outside his home in Oxford, Mississippi. The essay follows the timeline of Mr. Laymon being a resident in upstate New York, and a resident in Jackson, Mississippi. The ways in which he describes living in New York as a black American and how he differentiates, and in a way, minimizes, the classification of living in Mississippi as simply a black Mississippian is not only interesting but also in many aspects relatable to many other black Mississippians. Mr. Laymon also speaks on the completely different worries of black Mississippians as appose to other black Americans. These few highlights, however, do not nearly scratch the surface of the amount of material that Mr. Laymon discusses with his essay, but these are points that stuck out to me greatly as a reader from Jackson, Mississippi.

As I read this work, I felt the wording from Mr. Laymon on his thoughts and emotions was done with great eloquence. Although his speech within the article itself is informal, the message was a very sensitive topic to write on, and could have very well come off to readers as more of an attack at Americans as appose to Mr. Laymon’s personal beliefs, but Mr. Laymon did a very impressive job at avoiding wording that would seem offensive or brash. I believe that I and Mr. Laymon have very common viewpoints on the Pledge of Allegiance when it comes to the topic of if we support it or not. I commend the altercations and inclusion of Mr. Laymon’s own personal “allegiance” to himself that he ended his essay with, which I included at the beginning of this review. I personally believe this essay had a lot of great detailing and imagery; however, I do believe there were a few missed opportunities in the writing.

In a section of the writing, Mr. Laymon speaks on why he will not remove the flag from his yard out of fear, but I believe that moment would have been a great opportunity to include a hypothetical scenario regarding him and his neighbors, or the actions that may follow if he took the flag down; however, the ambiguous text of not telling what may happen leaves it up to the imagination of the readers. Overall, I highly recommend this essay as a good read for many Americans, especially African American Mississippians. If you would like to read this essay, please click here.

Teaching White Students Showed Me the Difference Between Power and Privelege


“It’s hard to get right when the free folks out there are more trapped than the criminal folks in jail. I just want to be free” (Brown).

Yet again, I found myself reading another work from Mr. Kiese Laymon. This week, I read an essay entitled, “Teaching White Students Showed Me the Difference Between Power and Privilege”. This work was found on his website under the extension of essays. I originally began reading another essay, which was going to be the topic of my blog; however, this essay caught my attention the second time around of searching for a piece to analyze.

The work itself was everything I expected as far as a powerful message being delivered, which as I said in my last entry, Mr. Laymon does a fine job at. Mr. Laymon speaks of the connections formed between him and a man in Poughkeepsie, New York, as well as observations as an educator, and the links between the two. The essential message within the text is the repetition of the “black cycle” of supporting “white folks”, and how, as Mr. Laymon states it, “Americans with the least access to healthy choice and second chances are given the harshest punishments” (Laymon).

The piece is in no way a work that slanders any race per se, but it is honest in the view and foundation of the social structures that we as Americans have experienced so long, and how we have come so numb to the feelings of society we find being slandered comfortable. I would say that this piece touches my inner activist. I personally love works that are blunt and aware that the world we are in is crueler to some more than others, and there are not as many people as it should be who are trying to change this because people are turning a blind eye to what does not affect them negatively.

The only downsides of this essay were a few missed opportunities that I feel Mr. Laymon could have explored. In my opinion, the best way to explain without spoiling the work itself is that he speaks of a student and the student’s characteristics, but he never speaks on the student’s own comments or how the student reacts to the circumstances he is born with. I believe him being an educator, then he would most definitely see his student’s comfortability in his life or his self-awareness to the standards.

As far as the writing, on a positive note, the essay is written in the form of a story; however, it is embedded with personal thoughts and logic from Mr. Laymon. The work itself is not long, but for its length, I am very impressed with how well Mr. Laymon packed so much depth into the essay. So many well-written points and lines were put into it that it makes a very rich read. I most definitely recommend this work to any who are interested, and I encourage writers to read more works from Mr. Laymon. If you would like to read this essay, click here.

The term that will turn the heads of so many Mississippians… “Y’all”

“The summer of ‘86, DeVante got jumped by two old sixteen-year-old Vice Lords from West Jackson.”(Laymon)


This short story by Kiese Laymon, had to be one of my good reads for the month. The story “I Mean Y’all” was one I came across on his website. Also included in the tile was the description, a “short short short story,” and the purpose of me reading it was definitely not from the detail added to the title. The thing that caught my attention was the title itself, “I Mean Y’all”. The title brings so many nostalgic moments for me being a girl who grew up in Jackson, Mississippi. To many people, it may seem as just a southern slang, but to me, it reminded me of the people I’ve been around for so long. The way they talk, and the familiarity of the slang that I have grown so accustomed to.

Mr. Kiese Laymon does a great job of going straight into the story with detailing of the characters. Details that I can only imagine people growing up in the urban schools of Jackson, Mississippi will understand. His diction is very relaxed, and after a while of reading it, you can almost hear his voice telling you the story himself. For some, that may seem uninteresting, but I can most definitely say that if you have taken the time to speak with Mr. Laymon, you will soon see he is quite the character, and his work reflects his characteristics greatly.

Mr. Laymon has a way of writing works that take you along for a ride, and before you know it, you are being slammed into by a truck on a busy highway. His messages within his work are powerful, and they ease up on the reader in the swiftest way.

A disclaimer, however, that I must give is that this work, as well as many of his other works, are not and I do repeat not for the faint-hearted. It is a short story that is vulgar, honest, and very uncensored; however, I do believe that if the work were not written as it is, then it would miss the rawness of the content. Being a young adult such as myself, who has grown in the community of many other Jackson residents, South and West particularly, I am familiar with the language. The story felt like one I have heard of or even seen before. The people within the story feel like people that I know too well, and that is what I admire most about the piece. I enjoy the way it feels as though Mr. Laymon had the ability to capture the culture and characteristics of the people I have grown to know.

The story, although again its content is very explicit, is a read that I do not regret finding. The work inspires me to embrace my surroundings, and to keep my memories and experiences as close to the surface of my mind as possible. Because even years later, they may be as vital to me then as they were before.

The Braindead Megaphone

“Is human nature such that, under certain conditions, stupidity can come to dominate, infecting the brighter quadrants, dragging everybody down with it?”(Saunders 7)

If you are interested in reading a good collection of essays, I have just the selection for you.

For my blog this week, I decided to do somewhat of an excerpt from a larger work. I’ve selected to review the first “chapter” of essays within the book written by George Saunders, which is a collection of essays. The book is entitled, The Braindead Megaphone and the layout of it itself is quite interesting. The essay themselves are separated as somewhat chapters; however, some of the essays have subtopics. The chapter my blog focuses mainly on is the first one, “The Braindead Megaphone”. The chapter is broken into individual subtext that are divided in numeric order from one to nine. The subtext itself is somewhat confusing when you first begin because at first glance, it doesn’t seem as though they correlate to each other than the fact that they are works based on hypotheticals and internal thoughts.

My two favorites would have to be number two and number six. They both link to each other, and the philosophy of the “Megaphone Man” is truly something brilliant. It is very difficult to explain the clever analysis of the situation within the writing without going in-depth and explaining the entire essay.

This first collection, in particular, does not necessarily lay out a full start to finish storyline; however, each does deliver a message that may or may not tie into another subtext within the essays. The works are written in what I can only explain as a thought process form. To elaborate on that, a few of them drift between thoughts, some follow a distinct line of ideas that drive the work to a specific conclusion, and in others, Saunders lays out information and plainly talks to the readers about a topic that interests him.

The positives I received reading these works are that the works each have some very interesting logic to them. After each of them, they left me with something to think about as I went into the next piece, and a thought-provoking essay is always a good thing. The only negatives I can give are that this book judging from the first chapter that it is not a collection of essays for the feeble-minded and that the layout of the book, taking the numbering and divided sections into consideration, can be somewhat confusing for the reader. However, I do not believe that a book being for an intellectual audience is negative. I am simply stating that the book follows a very complex and creative mind that dissects the boundaries of social living and an individuals purpose in life.

Although this review is only for the first “chapter” of essays, I do not doubt that the writing will be phenomenal. George Saunders has a very distinct voice within his writing that pulls you into a view of the world from an overview. In conclusion, the writing is most definitely worth a read.

Pure-D Satisfaction

“— I done it for my own pure-D satisfaction.” (Welty 216)

The short story, “Where is the Voice Coming From?”, by the great Eudora Welty is by far a must read. It is personally my favorite story from Mrs. Eudora Welty. It is brutally honest in its writing from the mind of a white supremacist within the 1960’s. The story was written following the assassination of Medgar Evers, and is to have been written based on his assassination. For this review, I went back for a second time reading this story looking for understanding within the mindset of the narrator. Through my first read, I only found anger. I believe my first read did not give the work itself enough justice. I read the story and could not get past the language to find the beauty in the message. In this read, I searched for an understanding. By stating understanding I do not by any means refer to compassion for the narrator; my meaning is finding a comprehension as to what leads the man to take action. In this read, I found great detailing in his thought process, his own personal character flaws, as well as the character development throughout the story which I found a great interest in. The story as so many symbolic aspects to it, and I encourage others to challenge themselves to dig deep into the story and find the dark thoughts of what I can only label as a jealous and unrighteous man.

A disclaimer to potential readers that I can give, is that Eudora Welty does not under any means restrain language from this piece of work. It has a few demeaning words, as well as racial slurs, and it does a very adequate job of portraying the narrator. Some readers may become very uncomfortable reading the work; however, if you can look past the language and find the root purpose of the writing then you will definitely find the boldness in the writer herself.

The timing for when Eudora Welty released this work, in my opinion, only adds to the power of the piece itself. Within the era of civil rights, the African Americans were making a difference in the community. Not to mention that Ms. Eudora Welty was a Caucasian woman writing a work that slandered a white supremacist man, which were few men she grew up around. She gave a look through the eyes of a man that many people feared and fought against. For me, this work following a powerful leader’s death made the piece phenomenal.I encourage others if possible to visit Medgar Evers home where he was assassinated after reading this work. The setting that Ms. Eudora Welty describes is not the same as it was many years ago; however, the similarities to today’s view and the past is bone chilling. For me, the location mixed with the story gave me goosebumps.

I encourage others if possible to visit Medgar Evers home where he was assassinated after reading this work. The setting that Ms. Eudora Welty describes is not the same as it was many years ago; however, the similarities to today’s view and the past is bone chilling. For me, the location mixed with the story gave me goosebumps. Overall, the story is a great work of artistry, written by a well-respected writer that is worth a read.


A New Perspective on Writing Topics

What are all the places on the body you can wear a ring?

The question may seem completely random, which it is. The statement is simply an interesting question I formulated brought from the simple topic, rings. If I were given the topic “rings,” I would have no idea where to begin with in general, however after reading this article, I’ve approached the topic with a completely different mindset. I’ve personally found great success so far in the process. This is a perfect example to deliver for my suggestion of a great read for all writers, as well as students who have a difficult time with figuring out the perfect attention catching sentence.

The article, “How to Write Interesting Content for a ‘Boring’ Topic,” written by Pratik Dholakiya is a phenomenal and interesting read that shakes the concept of a such thing as a “boring topic”. Based on the initial read of the title, I expected a somewhat to do list fashioned article; however, it was nothing of my expectations. Dholakiya states that a topic is not the issue of building a good read, it is the use of the “right questions” being used to make the content interesting.

In my opinion, I believe the article is very beneficial, especially for me being a writing student who deal with writing essays every week. It becomes very frustrating searching for the perfect sentence to begin a work, and even though this article focuses on “titles for blogging and article writing”, I believe it is beneficial to all writing. As I said previously, this would be very beneficial for all students.

Prati Dholakiya did a wonderful job with providing the information in an interesting manner while also remaining on topic. He in no way drifts from the purpose of the article itself, which is more than likely a bonus for readers who enjoy a writer being blunt and straight to the point. He brings forth great topics and explains each of his points as well as providing facts of data behind his suggestions from recent views of other topics that may be seen as uninteresting or extremely vague.

The article is not to be mistaken as a step by step guide to what to do when there is a feeling of being stuck with content the writer does not find interesting, so if the reader is looking to find a step by step guide then they will be disappointed. Dholakiya simply gives off clearly suggestions and advice to improve the view point of a topic. The article also shows places the writer in the eyes of a reader approaching a work of a writer, and the things that people normally pay attention to being things relating to themselves.

If I was forced to bring forth any negative comments, it would only be that I wish there were more examples brought from the author. However, in the writing world, wanting more from a passage is commonly when in the right context, a very good thing.

To read this work click here.