Friday, February 6, 2015

Grapes of Wrath.........Joyce Oroz

 Print by Katerine Stutz-Taylor

You all know me, just a regular gal sitting in her yellow and black checkered pajamas in the basement, tapping out stories on the computer to entertain my melancholy friends. To be honest, they're not all melancholy-blue, some are red-hot-silly, but that’s another story. I like to think that people get some good smiles out of my books. Well, a week ago I started reading Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck. I remember trying to read the book years ago and getting all stopped up with the lingo, like….”Seems like you folks done ever’thing for us awready. Don’t see why I cain’t give your boy a han.” I stopped reading the book at chapter two, before the foreign way of speaking fully infested my brain. But this time I read to the very end and have been thinking in those words and that accent all week. I hear Ma and Pa Kettle-Joad rattling around in my grey matter. Ma and Pa woke me up this morning and persuaded me to finish Grapes of Wrath. I had less than a hundred pages to go, so I made a cup of tea and joined the Joad family in their unbelievable effort to stay alive. After all kinds of hardships, it started to rain. I was right there with the family. Feeling cold and wet, I carried a little boy on my shoulders up to the highway. I was exhausted! By the time I finished the book I felt like someone had taken all the stuffin’ out’a me and yet hope prevailed? Through all that emotional turmoil, I learned a bit of history which helps me to appreciate the here and now. Hopefully I learned a bit about writing a book people really can’t put down.

Until today I had never experienced a time when I “couldn’t put a book down.” I have read some wonderful books, but wave a little food at me and I close the book and I’m up the stairs, into the kitchen in a flash. This morning I woke up early (very unusual experience). I left my warm bed for a book (very unusual). Next thing I know it’s time for lunch and I’m starving because all Pa brought home from the store was five cents worth of flour and a glop of lard for fried bread. This story will stick to your ribs!

 Katherine Stutz-Taylor, a wonderful artist and friend of mine, was kind enough to let me use her print in today's blog. The print has a powerful, intense feeling to it--like the Grapes of Wrath. Katherine is a Printmaker and Multimedia Artist with two strong directions in her art, realism and symbolism. Her current etchings are edition varieis that include hand coloring and chine collle. Her wood cut and linoleum relief prints are images she has drawn and photographed. Printmaking has been a vibrant thread in her life since she began over 30 years ago.

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