Monday, May 13, 2013

Incarnate by Lawrence Weill: Tens List and Excerpt


 


10 dead people I wish I had known
(plus one I wish I had known better)

1.       Ernest Hemingway – I have always been a fan of Papa Ernest's clean, understated writing style.  A Farewell to Arms moves me tremendously, and there was a time when I was living a fairly Spartan existence. I had no television, no music, and, in fact, almost no furniture.  What I did have was a copy of Hemingway's First 49 Short Stories. I read and re-read those stories and never tired of them. In a sense, they were a friend to me.

 

2.       Vincent van Gogh – I had a poster of van Gogh's "Sunflowers" on my bedroom wall as a child.  I am also a visual artist and I love van Gogh's use of textures and colors to give depth and context to his subjects.

 

3.       My grandfather – My grandfather died several years before I was born, but my father told me stories about him that combined humor, tenderness, adventure, and gentleness.  I can see how my own father was raised by such a man.  I wish I could have known him.

 

4.       John Lennon – Beatlemania took over the country when I was a youngster, and I was very much caught up in it, complete with my bangs and "mod" clothes.  As I grew older, my appreciation became more mature as well.  I greatly admired John Lennon.

 

5.       My cousin Josephine – This is a little bit of a cheat, since I actually did know my cousin somewhat, but only when she was much older.  She was my father's generation, and an unusual lady.  She was independent, a businesswoman, and someone whom everyone esteemed.  She owned her own business and traveled the world to stock it with unusual and interesting items.  She was a terrific cook, a liberated woman before there was a movement, and, by all accounts, a wonderful party host.  When she threw a party, which was often, everyone wanted to be there.  

 

6.       Gaston Bachelard – My doctoral dissertation involved the French epistemologist and I spent a tremendous amount of time and energy delving into his writings on imagistics.  I would love to talk with him and see if I got it right!

 

7.       Carl Sagan – We live far enough away from city lights to have a wonderful view of the stars and planets.  I am always mesmerized by the night sky.  I would love to sit and look up and hear him explain it all.

 

8.       e. e. cummings – He is one of my favorite poets, and in some ways, he was one of the earliest poetic innovators who was also popular.  I think he would be fun to swap tales with.

 

9.       Ray Bradbury – Illustrated Man made me a convert.  And his "Kilimanjaro Machine" expressed so much of my thoughts that I was thereafter a fan. And he lived the author's life well.

 

10.   Jimmy Stewart – Jimmy Stewart always played Jimmy Stewart, but that was great because he was himself just a fascinating character.  Whether he was a cowboy or a congressman or a man who saw a six-foot-tall rabbit, he seemed natural and comfortable.  Besides, I do a pretty good Jimmy Stewart impression.
 

One person I wish I had gotten to know better: My older brother Bruce who died in Viet Nam.  I was too young to know what he was going through, and I never took the time to know him well.  I wish I could change that.








About Lawrence Weill:
Lawrence Weill is an author and artist in western Kentucky. In addition to novels, he writes short fiction, non-fiction articles and books, and poetry. His work has appeared in a wide range of local, regional, and national journals. He and his wife live in the woods overlooking a beaver pond.
Please visit his website: www.lawrenceweill.com.
 

Author Links:

Website  |  Facebook


 




Incarnate
Book Synopsis:
What should a woman do if she believes she is the mother of the second coming of Christ? This is the problem Lara Joyner faces when she comes to believe, through her visions, through the look on his face, through her cards, and through the thousands of hidden signs she sees in nature, that her son is Christ incarnate.


Incarnate is driven by this woman’s character and readers struggle between wanting to sympathize and knowing she is deeply troubled. In the end, we discover how her delusion turns many worlds upside down, as well as how faith overpowers reason. The story follows Lara and her two sons as she
pushes Dale to perform miracles and save humanity. Although obviously unable to do so, he goes through the motions to protect his little brother Louis. Told alternately from Lara’s perspective (in the present tense) and from the other principles in the story, the plot follows the trials brought on by Lara’s spiraling madness, her husband’s desperate search for his family, and the children’s bewilderment and fear.


Kindle


 

She feels the car dip down into the small valley that borders the creek, and she brakes hard. The station wagon slides, then crunches to a stop in the gravel. Her back is wet – is that the rain she ran through, or perspiration?
She can’t see the water yet, but she knows she doesn’t want to plow into it and kill the motor. That would be awful. They would be stuck there, or worse. She cannot risk her sons’ lives, especially
Dale. It is a terrible responsibility, and she shudders now to think of it. She has come to a stop just at the edge of the water. The creek has risen, all right, the water swirling past much faster than normal. Most days, the water trickles along, and crossing is no more adventurous than wading through a puddle. But any time it rains, the creek rises. Many times they have been stranded back on the farm, unable to get out or to get things in for a day or so ‘til the water recedes and the road can be traveled again. The light from the yellow headlights disappears into the black eddies. Lara stares at the creek through the momentary clear spot caused by the wipers before the heavy rain makes her view blurred again. She has no idea how deep it might be without a scale of some sort, a tree or a rock that she might recognize and from that, judge just how deep the water is. Perhaps it is up but a foot or so, and her fear is unfounded. But what if it is higher than that? Why has He given her this added test? It is too dark and the rain is falling too hard to tell how much water there is. She looks into the mirror to get a glimpse of her boys, her precious boys, but they are below the view of her angle. Besides, it is too dark for her to see them. Nonetheless, she stares into the mirror for a second then looks again at the creek. They deserve to be rescued. She must push on, whatever the costs. She pulls the gearshift into low and presses on the accelerator. The station wagon eases into the creek.
“Mother?” Dale has leaned up now and is staring over her shoulder at the water.
“Shh.” Lara’s eyes are wide. The water is deeper than she thought it might be, but she has made a commitment, and now is no time to stop, to deny God’s commandment, so she gives the engine more gas and feels the car lurch into the current. The force of the water against her door makes the car tilt some, then she feels the back wheels slip with the current.
“Mother? What are you doin’?” Dale’s voice is high pitched. Louis is crying in a whimper.
“Hush, Dale!” She glances at him then back at the windshield and presses down harder on the gas, but the tires aren’t catching. The back end of the car begins to slide more sideways the farther she goes into the creek. The front is still on the road, but she is at an awkward angle to drive up the bank at the other side. Still, she accelerates, feeling the front end push up on the upside of the ford. If she can get the rear wheels onto the gravel, they will be safe. Her heart pounds. Her breath is short and shallow. She keeps a ferocious grip on the wheel and presses the gas all the way down. The tires spin with a slosh and she sees that she is looking up stream. The voices are beginning to speak, but now isn’t the right time. She can’t listen now. She has to get them across the creek.
“Mo-ther!” Dale yells.




 

 

 
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