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Sunday, June 26, 2011

"Tapestry Baby" ~ Tatooed Man and Pretty Girl Produce A Cartoonish Offspring!

A Bit About the Book:
The moment she learned a mysterious tattooed man had made her pregnant, Karin was convinced she would give birth to a baby whose skin was a tapestry of color. When Anna is born normal in appearance, Karin still believes her child is predestined for some greater purpose, one she can't provide.

She begins a journey, searching for a sign whether or not she should keep her child, and along the way discovers her life is intertwined with those of people she has never met, raising the question of whether anyone is ever really in control of their own destiny.

Author's Introduction:
A creative writing professor at California University of Pennsylvania, Carole Waterhouse is the author of two novels, The Tapestry Baby and Without Wings, and a collection of short stories, The Paradise Ranch

Ms Waterhouse Writes About Writing Literature:

The Musicality of Writing
By Carole Waterhouse

When I tell people I teach creative writing, one of the most frequent questions I’m asked is whether or not writing can be taught.
Parts of it I’m convinced can be, particularly elements of craft, such as an understanding of how point of view works, effective ways of developing characters, and how to make readers feel an emotional connection to your work. Other parts of writing can certainly be developed over time and through experience, but I’m not so sure they can actually be taught. One of these is the rhythm of writing, a sensitivity to the way language sounds. Some people just seem to be able to make their words sing.

During one of my recent classes, we discussed a new story one of my students was working on and I couldn’t help but admire the simple loveliness of her writing style. She chose words that had sounds that seemed to echo off each other, had lovely rhythms written into her lines that made them sound more like poetry than prose, and knew when to write short sentences for emphasis and when to write longer ones that relished in detail. She had it. That gift for writing lyrical prose. And as much as I’d like to, I can’t take any credit for teaching her. These were qualities she possessed when she entered the program.

When I write, I find myself making word choices based on their sounds as much as their meaning, sometimes even have a prescribed rhythm in my head that I need to satisfy and will search for words that "fit" in just the right way. Sometimes when writing a story, I feel as though I’m trying to compose lyrics as much as telling a tale.

Just how much the sound of language is part of my work first became apparent to me in graduate school. My husband, who used to restore antique clocks and other mechanical devices, was putting on the finishing touches to a music box he had been working on for quite some time. He was trying to get the cylinder lined up in the best possible position and ended up playing the same little music box tune over and over again while I was writing a story that was due to be workshopped the next day.

The following afternoon, I sat in class with that nervous feeling I always had while fellow grad students read and assessed my work. A woman whose writing I especially admired broke the silence. "I love the writing in this," she said, "but there’s something about the rhythm that bothers me. It’s as though all the sentences have the same sound to them." I read over my own lines and recognized it immediately. I had written the sound of the music box song into my story. Line after line after line had the same sound, the same ups and downs and lingering syllables.
Years later, when I was writing my first novel, I tried listening to the same classical flute album over and over whenever I wrote, hoping that listening to the same music would help give consistency to my writing style. After several weeks, I stopped. The only effect I could see was that flute music, which I had always loved, was beginning to grate on my nerves. I could never tell afterwards which parts of the novel I had written with it playing and which without. The language for the book found its own rhythm without me trying to force it.

Words, it seems, tell their own story. And sometimes, they sing their own songs.

A creative writing professor at California University of Pennsylvania, Carole Waterhouse is the author of two novels, The Tapestry Baby and Without Wings, and a collection of short stories, The Paradise Ranch.

Her fiction has appeared in Arnazella
, Artful Dodge
, Baybury Review
, Ceilidh
, Eureka Literary Magazine
, Forum
, Half Tones to Jubilee
, Massachusetts Review
, Minnetonka Review
, Oracle: The Brewton-Parker College Review
, Parting Gifts
, Pointed Circle
, Potpourri
, Seems
, Spout
, The Armchair Aesthete
, The Griffin
, The Styles
, Tucumari Literary Review
, Turnrow
, and X-Connect.
A previous newspaper reporter, she has published essays in an anthology, Horse Crazy: Women and the Horses They Love, and Equus Spirit Magazine. Her book reviews have appeared in The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, The Pittsburgh Press, and The New York Times Book Review.
You can visit Carole’s website at

Deborah/TheBookishDame says:
It's a book laden with quite interesting characters not the least of which is the tatooed man who fathered the baby in question!  Not your ordinary book.  Experimental reading!


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