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The author transformed Terry into a multi-dimensional, open, and sympathetic character in a powerful and pivotal scene involving sex and pain and mental anguish. I was stunned and breathless throughout the violently sexual episode between Terry and Pat, a woman she meets at a diner and with whom she has a one night stand. Now I, as reader, like her and root for her.

Infinity or -1/12?

Bufford has a way of teaching us about the Steps that is fascinating, beginning with some laconic and often humorous quotes overheard at AA meetings. Just for the ability to engage us in such a topic that could have been deadly boring, I designate Bufford a word-wielding, character-building, story-telling magician. Bufford infuses humor and self-deprecation in throughout the book, which helps to lighten a very serious story of overcoming alcohol abuse.

Perhaps we are all in recovery from something. I need to mention that Bufford writes fabulous sex scenes between women. As a lesbian and a writer, too, I admire what she does with her sex scenes. The ones I write are sometimes embarrassing in their rawness, often sadly humorous, and full of bad words and bad sex. For anyone interested in alcoholism, in the way gay women interact with one another, or just in a very human story of triumph over adversity, this is a great read by a very talented author.


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I look forward to reading her second book, Cemetery Bird. Great review, Cindy. It makes me want to read a book I normally would not be drawn to. You are commenting using your WordPress.

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The amateur is tyrannized by his imagined conception of what is excepted of him. He is impressed by what he believes he ought to think, how he ought to look, what he ought to do, and who he ought to be.

Rewriting the 12 Steps for Atheists

He knows he was meant for better things If the amateur had empathy for himself, he could look in the mirror and not hate what he sees. Achieving this compassion is the first powerful step toward moving from being an amateur to being a pro. It's a decision to which we must re-commit every day. Twelve-step programs say "One Day at a Time. We thought we were X. Now suddenly we see we're minus-X.

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We're X divided by infinity. There is great power in this moment. To feel ambition and to act upon it is to embrace the unique calling of our souls.


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Not to act upon that ambition is to turn our backs on ourselves and on the reason for our existence. An amateur has amateur habits. A professional has professional habits. We can never free ourselves from habit. But we can replace bad habits with good ones. We can trade in the habits of the amateur and the addict for the practice of the professional and the committed artist or entrepreneur.

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We're pros. We're not amateurs. We have patience.

We can handle adversity. Tomorrow the defense will give us more, and tomorrow we'll take it. By the time you have taken these steps, you will be well down the road of an artistic calling. You will have wrestled for control of your fate, as Machiavelli wrote, and spoken to it in the only language it understands: sheer force of will. And you will have turned pro.

I'll close with one more quote from Pressfield :.