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Votes

Local Authors Deal with Heavy Subjects

Kathy Hofeller writes about mythic paths in "Getting There Is Half the Fun: Mythic Paths to Re-Union with God." In Rochelle Schwab's story "A Departure from the Script," she focuses on a Jewish mother who helps her lesbian daughter plan a Jewish lesbian wedding. Raymond Lawrence Smith, Ph.D., tells a story about a young man who is recently discharged from the Army in "The Buttermilk Biscuit Man." All of these authors are from Alexandria, and all are dealing with some heavier issues of our time: mythic journeys, lesbianism and coming of age.

In writing her book, Hofeller said, "People have such busy lives. I wanted to take everyday tasks and help people transform them into other dimensions." Hofeller said that she wrote the book for two reasons: "I wanted to help people discover the mythic and timeless dimension of daily life. By exploring that dimension and integrating it into daily life, I hoped that it would help them to realize their essential spiritual unity."

Included in the book is a CD that contains four guided meditations; this offers a practical way to do what Hofeller talks about in her book.

"Getting There Is Half the Fun" is available through amazon.com or through www.mythicpaths.com.

SCHWAB COMBINED SOME of her life experiences with people she had met during 20 years of participating in a local PFLAG (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) group to write her book. Although Schwab's own daughter is gay, she doesn't have a partner and isn't interested in a wedding. However, during the years in which Schwab has been involved with PFLAG, she's seen different gay members talk about union ceremonies and has been privy to some of their trials and tribulations.

What's interesting is that the family of the daughter in the book is Jewish, and so it brings in many of the conflicts with the mother and grandmother that would be apparent even with a straight couple, but taken to a new level.

Schwab feels that the book works on two levels. While it is an "issue book" in that it deals with lesbians, it's also light enough that it can be considered a humorous book — one where a reader can relate to the characters whether they're gay or not and whether they're Jewish or not.

"Departure from the Script" can be ordered from amazon.com, or found at local bookstores.

AS WITH HIS OTHER BOOKS, Smith has come up with a catchy name for his latest venture: “The Buttermilk Biscuit Man.” His “The Ice Cream Man” was published in 1991 and “The Peach Cobbler Lady” in 1995. “The Buttermilk Biscuit Man” tells a story about a man who was recently discharged from the Army and is trying to find himself. Along the way, he finds himself taking care of a younger sister. At first he has a hard time relating to her, but they ultimately come to terms. He teaches her academics, she teaches him social graces.

Although Smith is a retired Army officer, he said that the character has no connection to himself or anybody he knows. “The character is based in my head,” he said. “He has a rough time, but he gets it together.” This is a third career of sorts for Smith. After he retired from the Army, he spent several years in the public school system. A fourth book is already waiting for publication. “The Dining Room Table” is about a hydrocephalic who is overlooked for schooling by his parents when younger. A mentor takes him under his wing and starts to teach him things. Everything he acquires is learned while he is while sitting at the dining room table, thus the title.

“The Buttermilk Biscuit Man” is available at amazon.com or by calling 703-765-3299.