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Patricia Lucia's debut collection of short stories, Wildflowers and Present Tenses is an anthology of unfeigned adventures that sparkle with a rare and distinct magical element of intimacy; the author has invited us into the heart of her home, traveling through a path of wildflowers, to sit by a crackling hearth. Embodying the archetypal character of The Wild Crone, she casts true life events , cleverly crafted into the embers, as each tale unfolds in front of an audience of playful "misfit fairies". The result is a raw, quintessentially human and wildly engaging romp through a thoroughly authentic, courageous woman's life. "Every seed a story", sown together with insightful quotes and whimsical art.
From navigating through struggles with body image in "Weighty Matters" to first kisses, "She Was Always a Gentleman" and twin flames "Her". Patricia Lucia shares her journey and deftly makes us feel like we are riding along beside her. In "Torches" she writes about Politics and Aliens (having met Betty Hill, whose 1961 abduction, along with her husband Barney, stirred worldwide interest) when she innocently knocked on her front door while canvassing for a politician. She recounts memories of living in NYC on 911 in "Standing Memory", reflects on writing her first short story when her father died in "Mother's Day", speaks of the innocence of children in "Trusted and Treacherous Adults", engages with the many sides of voodoo priestess, Miss Cleo, in "Coffee With Cleo and Company" and more.
I recall reading a passage once, “If a novel is like lighting up a room using all the house lights, then a short story is like using a flashlight to illuminate a hidden corner.” Wildflowers and Present Tenses is ablaze.
The Crone narrator in Wildflowers and Present Tenses embodies truth and self love while telling stories of generational longing. The Crone is a time traveler who takes us on a journey to the dark places of her past then delivers us again to the fire side, weaving her love, her uniqueness, her courage and her magic between her past and present tenses. In the end, it is a journey of healing that brings the reader to the fires edge among the fairies, sharing libation, laughter and tears. Wildflowers and Present Tenses is a courageous story of love, loss and wisdom.
Reading Wildflowers and Present Tenses invokes all of the senses and emotions. Lucia invites us to smell the burning embers of the fire and feel the flower petals between our fingers. I sometimes felt like I was peeping through windows of the most intimate chapters of her life. Other times, I became her, and felt the crashing waves of love lost and moments of self awareness. It felt as if Lucia was casting little spells on my soul. A real treasure!
Wildflowers and Present tenses is a book that takes us through a journey of emotions. We see, taste, smell and feel every story as if we are one of the fairies sitting by the fire watching each story unfold. When I got to the end of the book I wanted more stories to magically appear. I am hoping for a second book to take me back again into the land of fairies and crones.
Just finished reading Wildflowers...did not want it to end...thank you for the courage to tell your story, the heart of which is the story of so many of us.
I'm halfway through and I'm loving it! Straight people will relate to the relationships you describe. It's love. It hurts. We've all been there. It's 100% relatable!
Patti Lucia Writes
Lake Worth, Florida
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