review

A Southpaw’s Year In Review

My, but this has been quite the year, hasn’t it? I realize a post of this nature may be premature–after all, there are two weeks until 2018; but I’m a stickler for breaking the norm, so sue me.

What is there to say about 2017? In terms of development for this blog, it was an important year. So many events happened that unexpectedly shaped the type of content I write, some of them tragic, and some of them lighthearted. All the same, though, they played a part in Thoughts of A Southpaw’s evolution, and I am glad to have been able to document them for the sake of my readers, be they weekly or occasional.

You understand, much of the time–I will admit, not all of the time–this blog is meant to help you guys think or cope or laugh, or smile a little on a bad day. It’s For the People, By the People, Of the Pe–okay…I’m getting a bit too Founding Father on this thing.

Let’s run over 2017’s Top 5 most popular posts, starting with–

  1. Small Town Losses (This was a heartfelt one for me, and a lot of other people. A tribute to a great person.)
  2. Meet My Cousin: William Shakespeare (I was genuinely surprised as to how much this post blew up. I was just fooling around one day, and–well, there you go…)
  3. Prom and Punch (Another surprise, but this one, I think, had some certified funny moments…maybe…)
  4. Sunshine Comes Around (Boy, this was a hard post to write, and I can only hope it helped some people get past their own dark moments in life; so, in that, I see this as one of my most important posts.)
  5. Graduate (A happy post that attracted a lot of attention on Facebook, which, again, surprised me. Three cheers for graduation, too!)

All of those posts I feel had a significant role in forming the current Thoughts of A Southpaw, as well as what it might become in future years. They each had their own tones and messages–even though it seems like a few have no messages whatsoever–and for that, I see them as unique on this blog, reflecting the perspectives of my readers.

Perspective. That’s a big thing I’ve learned. The views and tastes of my readers influence the output of this blog. It’s one of those things that always keeps the posting interesting; it brings something new every time.

What else have I learned? Things. Stuff. Nonsense.

I am still learning how to write an effective blog post, as I believe there is no one way to write anything, and we are all constantly refining our approaches towards a project.

Here, then, to 2017, a year of great changes and introspection. May there be many more years ahead as significant as this one, and may there be many more readers to experience them.

Together, we’ll see what 2018 has to offer…

As they say, though, C’est la vie, whatever will be, will be.

Think daily,

A Southpaw

 

 

 

A Portrait of the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn As A Finished Book–A Review.

Here is the review of AOHB–look at the new acronym! No, that doesn’t seem too fitting to me either…

Fine.

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn deserves a fair send off; methinks it fitting to comment on all its excellent features; however, it has its share of slow sections–not slug slow…perhaps sloth?– which continue to provide thrilling entertainment– my use of thrilling before entertainment makes me sound like a literary critic who uses too many flowery adjectives.

There are undoubtedly lovable sections here, but those can be overlooked by readers when they hear someone breath classic; as classics are those books people like to put on their bookshelves to gather dust until an opportunity to impress houseguests comes along. An especially cherished part for me is the planning of the prison break as proposed by Huck and Tom: Tom thinks himself the escapist auteur and forces Huck to obey his time-wasting schemes.

I appreciate the continual references to Alexandre Dumas’ wonderful novels, The Man in the Iron Mask and The Count of Monte Cristo; the latter is an excellent read if you should get around to it.

The theme of acceptance, too, carried through the novel, is a skillful weaving of the storyline. Years before the Emancipation Proclamation is an inkling in Lincoln’s head,  Twain unintentionally writes a heavy abolitionist minded story: a slave in the South is freed by his captors–a miraculous turn of events if ever there was one. And as a reader you come to love Jim, so it seems justified he should receive the freedom he deserves.

Now for the bad part. All I can say for the sluggishness of the middle portion of the book is that it is somewhat a necessity to the flow of the story, and on the other hand an abrupt shift from the steadily increasing narrative. The story has picked up from the moment Huck reacquaints with his father; then when Jim and Huck go together on the the raft the action began to dwindle a tad in adventurous exploits.

Other than slow structure the non appealing parts are like leashes on a lizard.

I heartily recommend this novel to those who love the classics and to those who want a thoughtful hero’s journey to ponder over. It features mystery and adventure; as well youthful foolishness and a sense of undying curiosity towards the socialite world–what more could a voracious reader ask for in a book about a backwoods boy and a black man sailing together on a raft across the Mississippi River?

Maybe a faster plot line.

Think daily,

A Southpaw