A Bit About Anansi & Stalking

Wednesday, January 15, 2014



Thanks for stopping in. Today, I’m happy to be hosting Bish Denham, who has a new book out. It’s about a wily character who’s well-known to some of us in the islands. Before I lose track and start telling you his business I’ll let Bish talk…

About Anansi and Company

How do you escape a hungry tiger? Why do ram-goats smell? What happens if you get too greedy? In this collection of ten retold Jamaican stories, Anansi the spider tricks, sings, and dances his way into and out of trouble.

But who is Anansi? It was the Ashanti of West Africa who brought the spider into the Caribbean. He clung tight to the web he wove in the minds of those who had been captured, surviving not only the harrowing passage across the Atlantic Ocean, but hundreds of years of slavery.

As a trickster, Anansi has both good and bad traits, which makes him very human. Sometimes he wins, sometimes he loses. When he wins he dances and sings for joy. When he loses, he shakes it off and keeps on living, a lesson for us all.

About the Author

Author - Bish Denham
Bish Denham, whose mother's side of the family has been in the Caribbean for over hundred years, was raised in the U. S. Virgin Islands. She still has lots of family living there and visits them regularly.

She says, "Growing up in the islands was like living inside a history book. Columbus named them, Sir Francis Drake sailed through the area, and Alexander Hamilton was raised on St. Croix. Pirates plied the waters and hundred of years of slavery left its indelible mark. It was within this atmosphere of magic and wonder that I grew up. My hope is pass some of that magic and wonder on to my readers."

You can learn more about Bish by visiting her blog:


She can also be found on


 
Thanks to one of my dear blogging buddies, I’m also taking part in Stina Lindenblatt’s Tell Me When Blog Hop. Stina wrote an excellent post on stalking prevention. You should go read it and take part in the hop as it runs to January 17. 

Her book, Tell Me When, features a college freshman who deals with the fallout from being stalked and kidnapped in her high school senior year. Linda will be donating to the women’s shelter in her city according to the number of persons taking part in the hop, so go check it out.

When I read the details about Linda’s hop, it brought back to mind a time in my life when I had a telephone stalker. I think it was related to my job and an employee who I supervised and had to let go. I went through a period when my cell phones (I use two networks) had no rest from this caller who’d ring me and not say anything, day and night—and I mean the middle of the night. My responsibilities had to do with the management of a property and so my phone always had to be on, just in case.

 On my birthday in 2010, I had over 100 calls on each phone. At that point, I got the police involved. They were most helpful and brought a CD to my office with a record of all my calls—in and out. At the time, I didn’t even know that stuff could be done.

There was one number I recognized, however I wasn’t sure who it belonged to. Eventually, the calls stopped but nobody was charged. I never felt seriously threatened, but at the same time, I knew it wasn’t a healthy way for whoever-it-was to spend their time. I was shocked when a policeman told me that telephone stalking is quite common.

Co-incidentally, in my latest book, Chasing Anya, the main character has a stalker. Anya’s experiences escalate to violence and when I think about how her story unfolds, I realize how easy it is for a stalker to catch us unawares. It’s also true that when our lives are invaded we lose our sense of security and feel violated. I’ve included an excerpt below and hope that you will take the time to visit Stina’s blog and the bloggers participating in the hop. Thanks for reading.

 
Please share your thoughts in the comments. Have you ever had any similar experience to what I described? What did you do about it? Don't you just love the cover on Bish's book?

20 comments:

  1. Congratulations, Bish!
    Shame they couldn't trace the number and catch your mad caller.

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    1. Life is like that, Alex. At least, the calls have stopped.

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  2. There's a few teller marketers that make me feel like I'm being stalked!

    One of the things stalkers love to do is terrorize, and there's no easier way to do it than with repeated calls. At least it finally stopped and the phone stalker didn't try to get a hold of you in person.

    Thanks, Joy, for participating in my blog hop and sharing your story. And Congrats, Bish!!!!

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    1. Thanks for hosting, Stina. I remember one of the calls had some scary laughter like from a horror movie. That made me a bit worried, but thankfully, I got past that time.

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  3. I haven't been stalked, but I've known people who were. Dang scary. Sometimes they are just a nuisance but others are dangerous. Thanks for sharing your experience.

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  4. I am so glad that you got the police involved. That is the first step to taking control of your life again. And, if nothing else, you have made the stalking public record. I think that police are more aware now, than they have ever been, that stalking is a serious crime. It can escalate and people get hurt and even die at the hands of their stalker. Also, good for you drawing on a personal experience for your novel. We all do that, don't we???

    Congrats to Bish on her book and making use of all that local knowledge in a readable way.

    Congrats to Stina on writing about a subject that needs a larger light shining on it.

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    1. Hey, Robin, thanks for stopping in. A friend with connections in the force encouraged me to file a report. I'm glad I did. Otherwise, the calls might still be coming today.

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  5. Eek! 100 calls? That's totally freaky! I think the worst I ever had was a guy who totally hated me for 6 months after I told him I was going to marry my husband. He'd been treasuring my picture right at the front of his wallet fold for two or three years. Sweet guy, though.

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    1. Ah, Crystal, you probably bowled him over. Glad that didn't escalate.
      As to those calls, I wondered how that person had so much call credits to waste on me. Calls in Jamaica aren't cheap.

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  6. Yay for Bish trickster stories are always so much fun! Wishing her all the best!
    That is a scary stalker. So glad he got turned away from you - very bizarre to get that many calls! Scary stuff.

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    1. Hi, Jemi,
      Happy for Bish too. That Anansi is full of tricks.
      I'm also thankful to be rid of that caller.

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  7. Never been stalked, but must be very scary! Thank you for sharing the experience.

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  8. Thank you, JOY! And thanks to all those who commented. I've been reading some of these stalking stories. Makes my skin crawl.... I've never been stalked but I was in some scary situations a few times just because I was young and dumb.

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  9. Two great new books to celebrate! Here's to both of them making a huge splash.

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  10. Murugi, thanks so much for visiting. I didn't have such a traumatic experience, but I know others go through much worse.

    Bish, no worries at all. It was my pleasure.

    Lee, thanks for dropping in.

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  11. Her cover is great, colorful! I've heard of Anansi, but not the other tales.

    As an 8th grader a man in a blue van would slowly drive behind me each day for a portion of my walk home. He was always parked there waiting for me, and he'd drive off when I reached my house. When I went to high school the next year, he waited for the bus and sat there watching me walk home. Nothing ever came of it, but it was a freaky experience.

    The Warrior Muse

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  12. Her cover is great, colorful! I've heard of Anansi, but not the other tales.

    As an 8th grader a man in a blue van would slowly drive behind me each day for a portion of my walk home. He was always parked there waiting for me, and he'd drive off when I reached my house. When I went to high school the next year, he waited for the bus and sat there watching me walk home. Nothing ever came of it, but it was a freaky experience.

    The Warrior Muse

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  13. Bish's cover is adorable!
    Joy, that's a scary experience... and over the phone makes it even more creepy!!
    Stalkers are bullies who hide. That's how I look at it.

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  14. Love the cover of both books! So excited for Bish and Stina. I am planning to read both of these.

    Glad your caller stalker eventually went away, but it is scary to think they people can become so focused on making someone else's life uncomfortable.

    Thanks for sharing-
    Jess

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  15. Love Ananzi cover.

    I have never been stalked, though when I worked as a business journalist, I and editors of most business publications in Johannesburg received an email from a disgruntled reader calling me names and saying that I was a talentless hack and my boss should fire and the other editors shouldn't consider hiring me.



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