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Coming Soon:
~Review: The Whole Stupid Way We Are
~Review: The Tragedy Paper
~Review: The Killing Woods


Thursday, January 28, 2010

Guest Post: Joelle Anthony

Hi everyone! Today I would like you all to welcome the lovely and talented Joelle Anthony, author of Restoring Harmony which will be releasing this May!

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My book, Restoring Harmony, is set in a future where energy shortages and economic collapse have made most things uncertain. For my main character, Molly McClure, this sort of life is all she's really known. Their farm is powered by solar panels, but there are glitches in the system, so having power one day and not the next is just something she's used to.

I live on an island much like the one I imagine Molly to live on, although, unfortunately, we're not as self-sustaining as her island (although we're working towards it). In the winter, we experience somewhat regular power outages because it's windy here, and that brings down tree branches, which in turn, knocks out the power.

Every Sunday my husband and I open our home to family and friends for soup and bread in the late afternoon. Last week, just as people were walking in the door, the power went off. There was a brief moment where all you could here was, "There's a flashlight behind you." and "I've got some candles...hang on!"

The soup was hot in the crockpot, and the biscuits had just come out of the oven, so we carried on by candlelight. It was actually one of my favorite Sunday Soups to date. What I noticed is that our friends, always kind and generous, became even more so. One guest dished up and served everyone, instead of the usual serve-yourself procedure. Conversation was softer and friends moved from the usual gathering place in the kitchen out to the living room, around the woodstove. People stayed longer, not wanting to go out into the dark or back home to a cold house.

While a power outage might seem inconvenient to a lot of people, we always enjoy them. My husband is more likely to play guitar and sing around the kitchen table than he is when he can work on his photos on the computer. I'm more apt to give the cats my full attention, which they love. We're both more likely to break out the scrabble game. There's a relaxed air about the whole evening.

While I was clearing up after Sunday Soup, the stubs of the candles flickering around me, I had to stop myself every time I reached for the tap because our well pump doesn't work without electricity and so we didn't have any water. I began to think how so many things we take for granted were once unimaginable. In particular, all the light you want - whenever you want it - at the flick of a switch.

I truly think that if push came to shove, I could make do having to cook on a wood burning stove. There are ways of dealing with the water issue too. And while there are kerosene lamps that give everything a wonderful glow and a perfectly reasonable amount of light, I do think that light is the luxury I crave.

I'd miss being able to read deep into the night without worrying about the lamp running out of fuel. I'd miss the ease of moving from room to room. I'd miss being able to see the dishes as I loaded them into the dishwasher. Oh, wait...hmmm...now that I think about it, light's not that important. I mean if I had to choose between lights or dishwasher? No contest! My husband eats a lot, which means a LOT of dirty dishes...and there's Sunday Soup to clean up after too...Yeah...I'll keep the dishwasher, thanks. Who really needs electric light? People got along fine for years without it. But no dishwasher? That's just asking too much!

What would you miss without electricity?


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Well everyone I hope you enjoyed this guest post from Joelle and will comment back with your answers. I know both Joelle and I are anxious to read your responses.

Also, feel free to check out my other Restoring Harmony posts:

Restoring Harmony Review
Noteworthy Passages: Restoring Harmony

13 comments:

Dani. said...

Oh my word I could not live without electricity! Yikes! Restoring Harmony looks sooooooo good!

Great guest post Joelle! :]

pirate penguin said...

Those Sunday Soup dates sound so fun. I remember once the power went out in my house...I wanted to read this book and since the electricity was gone I lit a candle and sat in my hallway to read. It was really peaceful actually. :) Then I started to think that before we had electricity, people back then relied on candles (and natural sunlight) to see. It made me realize how much we depend on electricity...and how lucky we are to have it.

So I'd probably miss being able to read anytime I want without electricity! I could make do with candle light but it's not the same.... I'd also miss being able to draw. It'd be hard to focus!

robby (once upon a book blog/fourteen years) said...

No electricity? No. Electricity? What? No way. Computer, my piano, actual light. It would take some getting used to.

Kim said...

When I was first married, the power went out at my husband's parents' house, where we were having dinner. I remember how bugged I was that my mother-in-law kept running the kitchen sink! And my father-in-law flushed the toilet! Then I remembered that they were on community water, not on a well, like I'd grown up on. :)

We've been having candlelight dinner every night as you suggested in one of your blog posts, Joelle, and we're loving it. We feel that if we really did have a power outage, our very young kids wouldn't panic. We could just talk to them about how it's the same as during our candlelight dinners.

I think the things I'd miss the most if there was no electricity (it's a toss-up) is a working water heater and light at the flick of the switch.

aprilnichole said...

That's awesome that they do a Sunday Soup with friends. It's great that even the friends are so used to the power outages that they immeadiately went to grabbing flashlights and candles without calling off the lunch. I'm so attached to my computer I think I would go crazy if I wasn't able to get on.

Justine said...

I would actually love to live in an island! I'd like to learn how to live without electricity first however, and experience survival without depending on so much things. Such as the Internet, haha.
I'd like a little time off from everything and just live peacefully in an island. :) It sounds nice. Even without electricty.

Lauren said...

I would be so depressed if I had no electricity. Since even though I almost never think about, I do constantly depend on it. So not having it would be one constant thing taken from my life.

By the way, great guest post, Joelle! I can't wait to read your book. :)

Jenny N. said...

This reminds me of when our electricity went out for an entire night last winter. We had candles and flashlights and I really wanted to continue reading this book and it turns out reading by candlelight really hurts your eyes. In the end my family just ended up going to sleep really early.

Jessy said...

How can anyone live without electricity? I don't think I could read by candlelight or live without a microwave.

Thnaks for the post!

Kim said...

Electricity is a MUST. XD Thanks for the guest post. I'm getting more and more intrigued in this book of hers.

Jessica Secret said...

I think I couldn't live without my MP3 player...or the computer...or lamps...or microwaves....

Great guest post! I can't wait to read Restoring Harmony!

InABox said...

It's great to read about where authors get their inspiration--in this case, something as simple as Sunday Soup!

Maria said...

Great Guest Post! I can't wait to read restoring Harmony!:)

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Georgia, United States
Hello all! My name is Briana, I'm 20, and I live in the beautiful state of Georgia. I love reading and photography.

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