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Sex, drugs and rock and roll. What more does a novel need?

Be prepared to take a trip when reading When Life Was Like a Cucumber by Greg Wyss. This trip will be unlike any one you have ever taken before. That is unless you were in your 20s, living in the late 1960s and early 1970s on the East coast, more 

Book By Author:  Cindy A. Carl

Paint, Present & Future
 Paint, Present & Future

In a quaint village in Mexico, Dani, a struggling, endearing, and somewhat klutzy artist, sets out in pursuit of her dream. Little did she know that the pursuit would become the dream. One night a Shadow Man appears and sends her on a quest: she must find a mysterious woman, and it can only be done through a series of ten paintings. Each painting is prefaced by bizarre situations; including a hurricane, a yellow-out storm, and an excursion into a curio shop with no doors. Three uncooperative guides: a translucent figure, a troll, and a typist who lives in a tree, hold the key. . .but to what?

Sylvia, Dani’s best friend, Ivan, a carpenter obsessed with mesquite tables, and Chuy, an Argentinian Fire Dancer, are Dani’s only link to the ‘real’ world. But eventually even they can’t help as she finds herself sinking further and further into the depths. . .

Date Reviewed:   



A unique artistic perspective of living life’s dreams. A definite recommended read!


This book gripped me from the start.  It is a novel about following your dreams.  The main character, Dani, draws you in with her reality of moving to Mexico to pursue her dream of being a full time artist.  We meet her eclectic group of friends: Sylvia; Ivan and Chuy.  The funniest character was, Chuy, who was always offering Matcha Green Tea to Dani so that she would feel better.  The author, Cindy A. Carl, has a good sense of humour and it plays out in all of the characters.  There were parts where I would just giggle because Dani did something so realistic I could immediately relate.  It was something I would do like stubbing a toe and stumbling, then looking around quickly to see if anyone had noticed.

Paint, Present & Future becomes really interesting when we start to see the lines of reality blur for Dani.  There are a series of ten paintings that she is working through.  She is in the throes of creative passion and is painting like a maniac.  At this point, I started to question whether she was sane or not.  Even her friends became concerned.  It made me wonder how many artists experience the same overwhelming passion to paint in real life?  The novel was hard to put down as Dani worked through her obstacles of artist block, the breakthrough and passion, and finally the ending and feelings that popped up at that moment.  The novel is woven together well and the ending was thought provoking.  Needless to say, it was an ending that I was not expecting!  It was a fantastic perspective of one artist’s philosophy and life.


Author Details

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Cindy Carl Author:  Cindy A. Carl


Cindy Carl grew up in Easthampton, MA., but has lived a nomadic life, traveling extensively throughout the U.S., Europe, Asia, and Australia. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Alverno College, Milwaukee, WI, in Philosophy with minors in English Lit and Theatre Arts, and a Master’s degree in Counseling from University of Maryland College Park. Cindy’s characters reflect the philosophical and psychological quirks of the human experience, with a bit of fantasy and surrealism thrown into the mix. Cindy currently lives in Ajijic, Mexico with her two cats, Isan and Lucy. She is also an accomplished photographer, painter, and graphic artist.