Bread From the Sky is featured today on Spalding’s Racket, a blog featuring indie authors, and has received two five-star reviews on Smashwords. The second reviewer, Ahmed Choudhary, is from India and unable to post his review on Amazon. Below is an excerpt from his review (and please keep in mind, English is not his first language):

“Even though this is a non-fictional book it is filled with characters some that I hated and some that I loved, it has its fair share of Happiness, Thrill, Sadness, Adventure, and many many funny moments, I really liked the book and that’s why maybe I tried to finish up at the first time I started reading it and I almost read it the whole night, I was so much hooked as the Journey throughout is so much captivating.”

In an email to me, Ahmed — who once told me he didn’t read much — gave me the greatest compliment of all:

“You know maybe the best thing that happened to me (reading this book and apart from all the learnings) is that I shall begin reading books from now on!”

I couldn’t be more proud.

My Togo memoir is now available as an e-book on Amazon and Smashwords. The title is Bread From the Sky. (Also available on Amazon UK.)

How many cat heads do you have to eat before you acquire the characteristics of a cat? Why do you hang a snail shell in a tree? How do you get a curse removed? And who buried a gri-gri in the yard? These and other questions are answered in Bread From the Sky.

Here’s a synopsis:

    Wanting a career change and armed with a graduate degree in international studies, a woman in her mid-40s leaves her divorce and ordinary life behind for a two-year stint as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Togo, West Africa.
     

    She learns survival skills in order to live without electricity or plumbing like the rest of the people in her adopted village. She also gains language skills as, in addition to French, which is still the official language, there are over half a dozen local languages in common use at her village. Adjusting to a new culture, several different languages and some very old attitudes is sometimes difficult, frustrating and funny.

    There are friends to be made, foods to get used to, bureaucrats and insects to contend with, health issues to recover from and red tape to choke on. Dealing with people who want to rip her off, who harass her (sexually and otherwise) and who always want something from her isn’t easy. The challenges are offset by the warmth and friendship that was found along the way as well as some amazing experiences. As a wise man said to her, “Africa will change you, whether you want it to or not.”

Bread From the Sky is the true story of my two years in Togo as a Peace Corps Volunteer.

The book is progressing nicely. There are 19 chapters plus an epilogue.  The first 14 chapters are in reasonably good shape. The final four are still a bit rough, but since they’re mainly a straight transcript from the handwritten journals I kept while in Togo, that’s to be expected.

While what’s here on the site should give you a fairly good indication of my writing style, everything that is on the web has been polished.  The book will include all the material here, although all of it has been edited since posting on the website.

If all goes well, it should be ready for publication in January 2011.  My plan is to have an e-book version out first.

I’m now working on a fairly regular basis on the transcript of my Togo journals. I had expected, by the time I got around to doing anything serious with them, that I’d only have a handful of memories left.  That was the basis for the blog title and the working title of the manuscript. After having transcribed all the handwritten material, there’s much more than that.

The journals are being transformed into an e-book.  My goal is to have it finished, self published and for sale on Amazon by December 2010.

The last  installment describes The Pagala Training Camp.  A couple of years after I left Togo, the Pagala training camp was abandoned by the Peace Corps.