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I am a writer, reader, author, editor, book designer and publisher. I am a mother of two, mostly grown, children and a wife. I like working with my hands, so when the need or desire arises, I crochet, sew, tile, paint, cross stitch, frame pictures, stain furniture, cut and split fire wood, x-country ski, train and ride horses…
But my main loved str writing and helping others publish. I started writing in college (a while ago!) and haven't stopped since. I'm having the time of my life!
on May 11, 2013 :
Please meet Willie Lee Triplett. To say he is a character is a bit of an understatement. He is a genuine soul with a wry sense of humor, a tell-it-like-it-is attitude and is wise well beyond his fifty years. Willie has been homeless, been in jail, in prison and lived in halfway houses. He is a classy dresser, a hard worker and likes the ladies. He grew up in a family where "drinkin' and druggin'" were a way of life and is fighting like hell to stay clean and sober. Willie has been through inpatient and outpatient treatment for his addiction, and gone through AA, NA and other twelve-step programs. He has seen and learned alot and has much to share. Willie wanted his story told, hoping it could help other people battling addiction. A set of coincidental circumstances connected him to Christine Keleny, author of this, Willie's memoir. She has done a magnificent job. I like how well she blended Willie's own words with her insight and sometimes witty observations (providing welcome levity in some cases!). That Keleny and Willie were able to develop such a good relationship is testament to the warmth and heart found in this book. Their clever bantering back and forth almost makes them seem like siblings at times. This book will shock you, more than once. It may make you angry. It may make you laugh at some points, and it may make you cry. Every reader will feel and take what they need from this book. At the end, it left me a better person for having had a glimpse into Willie's life, and a healthy respect for those battling addiction of any kind. I'm rooting for you, Willie!
(reviewed 23 days after purchase)
on May 10, 2013 :
I have read many memoirs and this one is, by far, the most...well...memorable. Willie wants the world to know his story, maybe so he can clear his conscience or maybe so he can help others avoid the mistakes he made. But Willie has a big problem. He can barely tell his story in proper English, let alone write it down.
Enter Christine Keleny, author and compassionate soul. She spends countless hours with Willie to decipher his attempts at his own notes and listens to his stories. The result is this incredible book, which is a true collaboration between a lost soul trying to find his way and an insightful, skilled writer able to present Willie's life to us in his unique "Willie" voice. She does the work of organizing his story, narrating parts of it while translating others, asking questions I wanted answered, and sharing her reflections about her journey with this man so different from her.
Through Keleny's gift of knowing when to let Willie do the talking and when to let her own voice shine through, I came to understand the roller coaster life of a drug addict and a convict. I found him both admirable and despicable, endearing and aggravating; in other words, Keleny made him human.
This was not an easy book to read, but it was an important book to read.
Willie's story is one that we rarely hear told so honestly. Poverty, violence, misguided searches for love and acceptance, drugs, crime, recovery, broken support systems, falling back into destructive patterns, finding hope in the smallest of places...these are the pieces of Willie's life you will read about.
But there is another reason to read this book. It illustrates the best in humanity--the kindness that one person can offer to another by giving the gift of time and talent to make an unlikely dream come true. Because of Keleny's willingness to do the hard work of collaborating with a man who didn't make it easy, that man's dream of having his story told to the world was realized.
I truly hope the world gets to hear his story.
(reviewed the day of purchase)