Book Review

January 2020 Book Review – Where the Crawdads Sing

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

Glenda Bonham

This 2018 fiction by a first-time author, has out-sold new novels by John Grisham, Margaret Atwood and Stephen King combined. It has spent 28 weeks on the New York best-seller list.

For years, rumors of the “Marsh Girl” have haunted Barkley Cove, a

quiet town on the North Carolina coast. So in late 1969, when handsome Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals immediately suspect Kya Clark, the so-called “Marsh Girl”. But Kya is not what they say. Sensitive and intelligent, she has survived for years alone in the marsh that she calls home, finding friends in the gulls and lessons in the sand. Then the time comes when she yearns to be touched and loved. When two young men from town become intrigued by her wild beauty, Kya opens herself to a new life–until the unthinkable happens.

Perfect for fans of Barbara Kingsolver and Karen Russell, Where the Crawdads Sing is at once an exquisite ode to the natural world, a heartbreaking coming-of-age story, and a surprising tale of possible murder. Owens reminds us that we are forever shaped by the children we once were, and that we are all subject to the beautiful and violent secrets that nature keeps.

Be aware the reviews on ‘Where the Crawdads Sing’ have been mixed, for a 6 year-old child to survive in predator infested swamp is high fiction. Some reviews report it’s unbelievable to point of fantasy.


January 2020 Writers and Readers Quick Snack – Peppermint Hot Chocolate


1 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup dark cocoa powder
1 cup sugar
1 cup finely crushed candy canes- I used (40) peppermint starlight mints

Whisk together all the ingredients and transfer to an airtight container.

To prepare hot chocolate: Combine 1/4 cup of the hot chocolate mix and 1 cup of milk in a saucepan for each serving of hot chocolate. Whisk to combine. Warm over medium heat until steaming, stirring occasionally. Pour into mugs and top with whipped cream or marshmallows, if desired. Enjoy!

Fun Tidbits and Facts

January 2020 Fun Tidbits and Facts






“You’re embarrassing me again!”

“Watch the dxxx yankee talk.”

“There’s a book in it, but he has to die first.”

“Accidents can happen.”


Critique Café held a Pot Luck Christmas Party on Monday night, Dec. 2nd. Holiday activities were already in full swing, so several members couldn’t attend. Glenda Bonham decorated and brought homemade snacks in cute Christmas containers for everyone. We had a great time, and look forward to 2020!

Not pictured: Glenda Bonham

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January 2020 – First Snowfall



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It’s the hush I love so well. Snowfall mutes the everyday sounds by trapping the noise and gently ushering it to earth. Like a mother soothing a crying baby, snow swaddles sound and lulls it to rest.

Only with new snow can you hear the echoes of children’s laughter from afar, while the sounds of the city are muffled. A church bell’s ring comes drifting on crisp air and the wind itself is but a whisper.

Yet, in the tranquil peace you can watch yourself breathe by the frost you emit. Your nerve endings are wide awake due to freezing conditions. You can hear your heart beat, and your pulse thump. You have a deeper sense that you are alive. You’re in closer touch with your mortality than you might ever be, again. Be still and feel yourself live.

Take that single breath of icy air. Rejoice. Winter has come and the first snow has fallen.


January 2020 – Beast Of Burden

“Write something from the donky’s point of view”

The Chorus of the Big Bend in Fort Stockton is in their third year. Alex Cordero, the group’s director is talented and creative. I thought perhaps he’d lost his mind when he asked me to write a piece for the 2019 Christmas concert. “Write something from the donkey’s point of view.”

This was a new “writing to spec” assignment for me. But through much prayer, and inspired by our concert theme, “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star,” the poem took shape.

The poem was read by Ken Ripley between choral pieces “O Magnum Mysterium” (the mystery of the animals at the Nativity) and “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.” (Daniel Elder)




Every day my life the same,

Beast of burden is my name.

I do the work my master wills,

Eat my food, sleep standing still.


Until one cold and brilliant night

I heard a sound from up – the heights;

Whispers, whispers from afar

Sang “You are chosen, yes, you are,


To take the master to the place

Where yearns the broken human race.

So on the morn and with the dew,

You must go, it falls to you.”


Whispers, whispers from afar

How I wonder what you are

Thought I know not how you sing

I will be this offering


So when the sun came peeping out

I became the master’s scout,

Trekking far across the land

To fair and tiny Bethlehem.


Then I heard upon the wind

The voice that spoke to me again,

“Careful, careful where you walk

The mother feels each dip and rock,



Take her where the angels sing,

She is the mother of the King,

Careful now, don’t let her fall

She carries Grace for one and all.”

Whispers, voices from the stars

How I wonder what you are

Though I know not how you speak

Help me find the place they seek.


Soon was born the baby King

With sights that I had never seen.

Even I, a lowly beast

Joined in heaven’s worship feast.


“Beast of burden, you’ve been true,

Now I have a gift for You.

It is your seed who’ll take me in

Triumphant to Jerusalem.


No more shall they call you beast

But servant to the very least,

For in my Kingdom I must bring

Those who do the thankless things.”


Creator of both beast and man

I will serve those from your hand

Who carry burdens on their back

Those who mourn, and those who lack


Now with heaven I proclaim

Glory, for He changed my name 

I will praise for all to see

For I know- that He- knows- me.



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