Tag Archives: discovery

Celebrating National Poetry Month

Hotel

In honor of National Poetry Month, I am posting a poem for your enjoyment. It’s one of those “found” poems from my notebook in which I jot down observations, insights, snippets of conversations, and idiosyncrasies that simmer for months or sometimes years until a poem eventually emerges.

Hotel La Violeta

We step out of the elevator and into soft blue light—you in a red slinky dress with silver sparkles, I in a blue velvet dress with black high heels—swaying to Tracy Chapman’s sad serenade, “Give Me One Reason,” while a boy streaks through the lobby in his Spiderman underwear, his father waving the boy’s khaki pants and shouting, “You can’t escape!” We meander over to the bar with its brassy table top and you lean over the clear empty glasses and fall in love with the band instantly. I watch mermaids with broken bodies swim down the wall. Two college roommates play chess in the corner. The potted plant in the window sill reminds me of Patti placing a “Just Divorced!” sign on her window at work. The branch manager served chocolate cake and vanilla ice cream that afternoon. I drank a glass of champagne and thought about how I don’t want to be Patti, all grown up with no place to go because she still has Benjamin, 7, and Laura, 12. I want to be here, with you, away from kids in Spiderman underwear, kids who eat like chipmunks and scream like banshees. I want to know you will never leave me three days before the baby’s due for a business trip, only to visit an old lover whose flame has not fanned out. I want to wake up to red begonias on the night stand, not a fire in the wishing well. I want to hold you, as you held me, sharing joy like a lollipop. As I think these things, my hand lingers on your wrist. You glance up at me with a weak smile. I squeeze, Are you okay?, into your hand. You lean over and whisper, “Remember that floral stationery I bought when we were ten? The one that said, ‘I wish you’d plant your tulips on mine’?” I nod, remembering, just as your lips press against my skin, branding a memory into my body (which is no longer mine) but yours.

More than Ugly Modeling

The Daughters (The Daughters, #1)The Daughters by Joanna Philbin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Are you a gawky teen trying to fit in? Or a quirky-looking girl wondering if she has any natural beauty? Are you struggling to differentiate yourself from your parents who seem to be perfect? Or are you just trying to find your place in the world?

Fourteen-year-old Lizzie Summers is the daughter of supermodel Katia Summers and best friends with Hudson Jones, the daughter of a pop star, and Carina Jurgensen, daughter of the multi-media mogul. Lizzie looks more like her father—a short, frizzy redhead freak with bushy eyebrows—than her mother with her tall, blond, lithesome grace. Lizzie hates being part of her mother’s glamorous modeling world until she is discovered by a talented photographer who specializes in showcasing ordinary people for their extraordinary uniqueness.

Plunged into an alternative world of “ugly modeling” where freaks are fabulous, Lizzie’s success catapults her into becoming the face of New Beauty. But with her sudden success comes a price: the relationship with her mother with its fragile understanding, the love of the boy she has always known although only recently loved, and the respect of her English teacher.

The Daughters is the first book in a four book series by Joanna Philbin, daughter of television host Regis Philbin. Joanna knows first-hand what it means to be a daughter of a mega-star and the friendships needed to survive in that peculiar world.

But Joanna also remembers the universality of what it is like to be a teenager. It’s her deep understanding of the issues important to teens: discovering yourself while also trying to fit in, speaking your truth while also respecting the rules and wisdom of your parents, and making mistakes along the way and learning the power of love and forgiveness that makes her story resonate with a deeper, more lasting truth than the latest fashion trends.

Although not The Great Gatsby, The Daughters is a great story about individuality, family relationships, career choices, crushes, and best friends set against the backdrop of a glamorous world.

My twelve-year-old daughter has challenged me to read all four books in the series, so look for my reviews on the other three as I finish them.

Happy reading!

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