Jason R. Koivu
Since I was about 12 I've known I wanted to be a writer, but I've taken a damn long time getting around to it. I received a degree in writing from Fitchburg State in Massachusetts. The major didn't require taking a language, so that was a bonus as I am rubbish with foreign languages...just ask the poor little Japanese waitress who thinks I want to eat her head as a sandwich. Anywhooo, after school I worked briefly in journalism, but fell out of love with it really fast. I tried my hand at script writing in Hollywood...well okay, I was living in North Hollywood which is considered as distant as the Sahara if you're one of those Hollywood fancypants blatherskites (yeah, take that!), but I digress. Around about 1999 I opened up a store selling CDs, vinyl and stuff called Jay's CDs & Stuff. I caught a lot of flak for the name. Apparently it's okay for Linens & Things or Bed, Bath & Beyond or Mailboxes Etc to have such wacky names. I can only imagine what they would've said if I'd gotten my way and the store had been named what I originally wanted: Jay's CDs & Shit. A couple years passed, love came to town and I 'caught that train' back to California where I've been ever since, reading and studying the craft of writing.
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Tears of the Ancient and Other Stories
by Jason R. Koivu
(3.00 from 1 review)
Travel to new lands and visit old souls in Tears of the Ancient and Other Stories, a collection of short stories filled with demons and dragons*, betrayal and tomfoolery, a whipsmart goblin and a comedic mushroom!
* It's more like an oversized lizard, if we're being honest.
by Jason R. Koivu
Published: January 27, 2014
The adventures of Bernard Wimple, hat man. Will a host of grandmothers, gassy pets and even stinkier babies keep him from the love of his life? "Spritzerville,...Ohio?" is reminiscent of old school fairytales with a touch of reality and a groping of humor. Recommended for grown up kids-at-heart.
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Smashwords book reviews by Jason R. Koivu
on Nov. 11, 2014
What is courage? I doubt I'm qualified to answer that, but I believe Lt. William A. Sirmon is. After facing machine guns and having bombs rained down upon you for months, to voluntarily go back to the frontline after being invalided out due to ticket-home, severe injuries suffered during a mustard gas attack, to me that's the sort of person that might be able to answer the question, "what is courage?".
That's War is Sirmon's diary which picks up on January 1, 1918 at Camp Gordon in Georgia, where he and his comrades drilled, drank, danced, sang and laughed. He's an upbeat, goodnatured fellow with a good heart and a few minor vices, which makes him someone the reader can easily warm to. Although this is a military diary, which tend to be dry, analytical and dull as dirt, his writing is surprising eloquent and full of life. His buoyant sense of humor lifts the drudgery of reading about his mundane daily routine.
However, the light-hearted Sirmon becomes a good deal more serious when finally sent to the front. That, to me, is where the real value of the journal comes into play. Here we see the effects of war work upon a human psyche day by day. Though his new life is difficult and occasionally gruesome - not all of the details of which are spared the reader - never does the diary fall into melodramatics...well, aside from when Sirmon is being purposefully silly.
Sensitive readers should be warned. Sirmon and many of his comrades are Southern Boys born and bred. They held the prejudices of their time and place. There is a regrettable passage or two which reveals the racist tendencies of the day. It is unfortunate. I am one of those who finds it hard to forgive such behavior, but having read the diary in its entirety, I feel mostly mollified to Sirmon's behavior. In one particular series of passages we see his interactions with a black man, who goes from being little more than a disagreeable color in his eyes to a person with a name, a heritage and value.
There is a great deal of tedium in the long days at Camp Gordon that fill up many pages prior to Sirmon's deployment. The diary is said to be unedited, which for prosperity's sake is best. However, a few less monotonous posts would've improved the overall reading experience. Ah, but that would not be true to life, and in the end I prefer mine warts and all.