When Karen Stockwell wasn’t making progress on her next novel, she decided to unearth the poems she began writing in the late 1990s to see if there were enough of them for a book. As she found printouts of them in crinkled manila envelopes and more in the folders on a vintage Macintosh computer, she remembered the thrill of reading before a live audience at weekly open mics. She was also reminded of the events that sparked her writing: failed relationships followed by a successful marriage late in life; her mother’s death; trips to Australia, Turkey, and New Orleans; the satisfaction and fulfillment of writing itself. There were more poems in Possibilities, a chapbook she published in 1998, and in her 2013 novel Dreams of Darkness and Light. They are included within the eight themed sections of this book along with three new poems.
THE BALLAD OF SAM AND D. LILA
When Dora Hoffman receives a gift certificate to the Old Town School of Folk Music for her birthday, she knows her family is sending her a message about what she’s doing with her life. Still reeling from a great loss, Dora fills her time with too much recreational shopping and taking work home. As she contemplates signing up for a guitar class, her mysterious and handsome co-worker Sam Watts encourages her to go for it. And so it begins: the re-learning of lost skills; the adrenaline rush of performing; the joy of making music with a creative partner; and the longing for love. As their collaboration blossoms into the duet known as Sam and D. Lila, the two hone their musical skills at open mics in Chicago, including Handle-Bar Boogie, a raucous venue where anything goes. Yet they live a double life as they keep their partnership a secret at work where intimacy between staff members is forbidden. When a near tragedy strikes, they make a decision that deepens their commitment, yet begins to tear them apart. But Sam has one more secret that can save it all.
DREAMS OF DARKNESS AND LIGHT
In an effort to escape from their daily routine, four friends plan a trip to a little known village in the mountains of Oaxaca, Mexico. Teotenaca is known for its natural beauty and its art. But because of a booking snafu, Michelle Hardtke finds herself traveling to Mexico alone. Michelle begins a vision quest, a dream journey that takes her to the darkest realms of our history and prepares her to "shed" her old self. Dreams of Darkness and Light is an inspiring visionary novel about one woman's odyssey toward personal and spiritual transformation.
See yourself on Karen's website! Post a picture of yourself on Facebook with your copy of Dreams of Darkness and Light and we'll post it on the PHOTOS page!
Karen is branching out! Go to her WRITING page for links to all the many sites where you can download the Dreams eBook!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
In her creative life, Karen Stockwell has been a visual artist, a journalist, a poet, a singer-songwriter, a jewelry designer, a fiber artist, and now, finally, a novelist. She's made a living by working for advertising agencies and an educational publisher. She a B.A. in Art Education and a M.A. in Art History and has taken many classes and workshops in the arts. Her craft work and articles have been published in Belle Armoire magazine. With her husband Clinton Stockwell, she divides her time between Chicago and Galena, Illinois.
IS IT 2018 ALREADY?!?
GALENA LIBRARY LITFEST:
On Saturday January 13th 2018, Karen will be reading poetry at "Dinner With the Authors." For further details see the NEWS page.
GALENA CENTER FOR THE ARTS:
On Saturday January 27th 2018, Karen will read poetry from Everyday Mysteries, and have copies available for sale and signing. She will also present her marbled paper and fabric, which will be for sale in the gift shop. Details on the NEWS page.
The Ballad of Sam and D. Lila has been accepted into Library Journal's curated SELF-e Select module. This is a nationwide module available on BiblioBoard Library at any local library subscribed to BiblioBoard and participating in the SELF-e program.
Also for NEWS about her feature in Belle Armoire magazine!