SNHU MFA Graduate, Jennifer Lauren Boissonneault. Jen’s life-long love of writing and reading stories can be summed up in a quote from Eudora Welty, “I cannot remember a time when I was not in love with them — with the books themselves, cover and binding and the paper they were printed on, with their smell and their weight and with their possession in my arms, captured and carried off to myself.” Jen’s young-adult fiction thesis, For the Broken Spaces, follows one girl’s journey to find meaning and depth in her relationships, and discover what it means to trust, forgive, and accept life as it is, not how she thinks it should be. Jen holds an AS in Business Computer Applications from Hesser College, and a BS in Business Administration from SNHU. In 2012, she was awarded The Lynn H. Safford Memorial Scholarship for her spirit of camaraderie. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband and daughter.
Jen’s another of the SNHU MFA sweethearts ... during our first semester together, she was as good at giving as she was at taking (we’re talking shoe-breaking here, amici) ... watching her and Shane Remer go back and forth (when Shane wasn't breaking my shoes), was a delight. Her development as a writer has been substantial. Like a seven or eleven on a craps table, the Jenmeister is a natural ... so keep an eye out for her works in the future.
Here is some suspense lifted from the middle of Chapter 12 from For the Broken Spaces ...
Gwen turned back to their empty table. Her soda glass was still more than half full, so the waitress hadn’t taken it. She sat back on the padded bench and lifted up her drink. Marilyn slid in across from her, watching Gwen hold the glass up to the light.
“What are you doing?” Marilyn asked when Gwen didn’t drink.
Something in the way she held it felt like Deja vu. Gwen stared through the frosted glass, stared at the bubbles. They seemed to be warning her. Stop, the bubbles said. Stop and think.
Gwen thought of the last time she had been dancing. She thought of Drew, his sparkling blue eyes, his easy smile with all those beautiful white teeth, his strong arms around her waist. She blushed at how the memory made her feel.
She remembered Drew’s face, concern, and an almost brotherly look of protection when he must have realized what was happening. It wasn’t him. He didn’t help me, but it wasn’t him. Somehow, she knew this, but she had no proof.
In her mind, she kept going, looking around at everyone there. Most she knew, some she did not. It would have been so perfect, if it wasn’t for one thing. Erik’s face. His smile. It filled Gwen’s vision now. It was not friendly. It was a smile of satisfaction. Of revenge. A fuzzy memory flitted through her mind, of her in Marilyn’s room, Erik in the doorway, light shining around him like a fake halo.
The Coke glass slid through her fingers as she tried to put it down, and hit the table, hard. Again, she had left her drink unattended. What was she thinking in a place like this?
“What are you doing?” Marilyn asked again. She stared at Gwen. “Are you okay?”
Gwen looked up, the recollection showing on her face like a visible scar. She had trouble breathing. She sucked in stale air and forced it back out; she still felt dizzy.
“I don’t know,” Gwen finally answered. “I don’t know what I’m doing at all.”
She got up, mumbling about needing to go to the ladies’ room. She couldn’t seem to get there fast enough. Locking herself in a stall, she leaned her head against the metal dividing wall, praying it was clean, but almost not caring for the coolness it provided.
She heard the outer door swing open. “Gwen!” Marilyn called. “Are you okay?"
Gwen heard the uncertainty in Marilyn’s voice but couldn’t seem to muster up a response. She didn’t want anyone to see her so unhinged, even her best friends. It was bad enough they were there the morning after the party, standing around her with their worry faces on. She started to shake.
Marilyn must have been peeking for shoes, because she stopped in front of Gwen’s stall and knocked. Gwen slid her feet in closer and wrapped her arms around herself.
That's Jen and SNHU MFA Program Director, Diane Les Becquets below ...
Congrats to Jen! She rocks!
Momma Stella and the Fot King ...
That's Momma Stella and her great-granddaughter, Evelyn Amelia Stella above ...
I’m feeling a little guilty for missing a few nights in a row of visits with Momma Stella. So today I get there a little earlier than usual, hauling McDonald’s breakfasts and anxious to see if they got the order right for a change. Momma Stella is saying the Rosary when I get there ... she makes the sign of the cross as I set the breakfast on her tray.
Me: I forget, what is that when you do the sign of the cross, steal or bunt?
MS: The hell are you talkin’ about?
Me: (I make the sign of the cross) Steal or bunt?
MS: You’re a real moron, you know that?
Me: Check the McMuffing thing, I doubt they listened to a word I said about the cheese.
MS: (looking over her egg McMuffin) No, there’s no cheese.
Me: Then it worked. I told them to put cheese on.
MS: (takes a bite) Mmmm, this is good, Sonny.
Me: I’m sorry about last night. We went out to dinner for Annie’s birthday.
MS: Where’d you go?
Me: For Annie? Chinese. She loves that shit.
MS: (makes a face) Why not Italian?
Me: I don’t know. She loves Chinese.
MS: You know what I like?
MS: Oooh, yeah, Sonny. Bring me Popeyes tomorrow.
Me: For breakfast?
MS: No, you stupid bastid, for lunch. Or dinner. I don’t like Sunday dinners here.
Me: A wing and a thigh?
MS: And the red beans and rice. A large red beans and rice.
Me: You got it.
MS: They make me fot.
MS: (laughs) Who are you kiddin’? You’re the fot king.
Me: Ma, most people say fart.
Me: You say fot. Most people say fart, F-A-R-T, or they pass wind, or they cut the cheese or whatever. Where’d you get F-O-T from?
MS: (stares at me) Moron.
Me: (smiling) What?
MS: From your sister’s ass, that’s where I got it. Don’t break them, Charlie.
Me: I thought I was Sonny?
MS: You’re a pain in the ass.
Me: You watch the Jets last night?
MS: Yeah, like I give a shit.
Me: Bills play tomorrow, I think.
MS: (takes another bite of McMuffin) This is good, Sonny.
Me: I said the Bills play tomorrow, Ma.
MS: Yeah? Good. Whatta’ ya want from me?
Me: I’m gonna write a play about you called Me and Momma Stella.
MS: Good for you.
Me: All our conversations here. Two characters, you and me.
MS: (Makes a face)
Me: What? You alright?
MS: I made a fot.
Me: Nice. (sniffs the air) You sure that was a fot?
MS: Get the hell out of here, ball breaker. Go home now.
Me: Sure, I bring the breakfast and you kick me out.
MS: Because you’re a shithead sometimes.
Me: Just sometimes?
MS: All the time. Now, that’s enough. Go home. Go break Annie’s balls.
Me: You still love me?
MS: I love you, but sometimes I don’t like you. Now, go home, moron.
I love my Mommy!
Why Poverty? …. One more documentary about the buy and selling of America and Americans … a co-worker (Linda Henderson) suggested all politicians wear Nascar outfits showing their sponsors … how great would that be? I mean, seriously, somebody explain to me why they shouldn’t be required to wear their sponsors in public.
Dana King … you’ve read me yap about this guy in the past … and you’ll hear me yap about him in the future … he’s one of the best crime writers out there these days and he has a new ebook out (to be reviewed here in a few weeks, A Small Sacrifice--and yous can get it here for just $2.99) … and just in time for hockey season (so we can read between periods, before and after games) his first novel will be published by Stark House Press … Grind Joint (you can pre-order here) is a great read that will remind you of both Elmore Leonard and George V. Higgins … it’s every bit as good as those two masters and should spike Dana to the head of the mob fiction class. It’s a great read, amici …
The NFC East … will be yet another war of attrition, but this time with the Moonachie Blue Team winning out … injuries will always tell the tale of this conference because of the brutal competition and rivalries … but the G-men of New Jersey have what it takes to muster one last push for coach Tom Coughlin … and let’s face it, ELI still owns Giselle’s husband … but even with that, the Blue Bunting Giants of Moonachie will only go as far as either the 49’ers or the Sea Pigeons allow them … figure the Blue team for 10 wins, the Skins for 9, the Girls 8 and the Eaglettes will play the spoiler once again with somewhere around 6 or 7 W’s …
Next Week: A review of Michael Harris', Romantic History, which is a GREAT read, amici ... a truly GREAT read ... and even better writing. I'm begging off the review of Of Human Bondage until I have time (Michael's book completely preempted me from finishing OHB for now.
Back on the opera kick ... the big guy singing Che gelida manina ... from La Boheme ...
And for the ladies, from the same opera ... Musetta’s Waltz ...