Sharon Hawkinson

Sharon Hawkinson
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Happily married, 2 kids, 1 grandson, and 3 dogs.

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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Episode 6 - The Green Mile," Part 4.

Episode 6
"The Green Mile," Part 4

We now have 132 subscribers!!! I apologize for the error in last week's podcast. I mentioned we had something like 186 subscribers, but I read the number wrong, go figure. Nonetheless, we're still very much alive and plugging away. :)
Part 4
"The Bad Death of Eduard Delacroix
Chapter 1

Brad Dolan finds Paul in a poncho on his way out for a walk. He harasses him, wanting to know what he is up to. Paul doesn’t say, but he is obviously scared. Brad grabs him, and in his fright, he squeezes a piece of toast to smithereens. Later on, Paul talks to Elaine Connelly.

1) Paul says the more and more he listens to Brad, the more he sounds like Percy. Why do you suppose this is true? What qualities in Brad are found in Percy?
2) What do you think of Paul’s reactions to Brad? Do you think he is too wimpy or does he have a reason to be frightened?

Chapter 2

Mr. Jungles has just been killed by Percy and pandemonium breaks loose. Del is beside himself with grief, the guards are angry, and for a while, Percy gloats. But all is not lost. John Coffey asks that the mouse be given to him “while there is still time.” Lo and behold, Coffey heals Mr. Jungles, and he lives, once again, to roll his beloved spool.

1) It is clear that Del loves Mr. Jungles, possibly more than he’s ever loved anyone or anything in his life. What are your feelings on the relationship between man and mouse?
2) When Mr. Jungles is brought back to life, it takes a little bit of time for him to regain perfect health. For a moment or so, he limps. Why do you suppose it happened that way rather than enjoying a whole, instantaneous healing?
3) What thoughts did you have while Coffey was healing Mr. Jingles?

Chapter 3

Percy is no longer gloating. In fact, he is read the riot act by the other men he works with. The others downplay it, saying that Mr. Jingles is fine and that, in fact, he was not killed. Later, Del walks down the mile for the last time and is taken to his execution. He pleads that it not be Percy who carries it out when he sees his enemy in the lead spot.

1) What did you feel when Percy was getting his lecture?
2) Why do you suppose the others downplayed the situation with Mr. Jingles?
3) Did you get a bad feeling when Percy took up the lead for Del’s execution? Did you feel that he would somehow sabotage it? Why or why not?

Chapter 4

Del is executed, and to say the least, it does not go well. Paul realizes that the sponge isn’t wet when it should have been, but the juice begins to roll before he can say something to correct it. Here is a very vivid description of what happens to Dell, almost step by step. It would certainly be horrific to watch and would be even more horrific to be Del. Be prepared to be quite grossed out. Del is, in fact, being cooked and burned alive.

1) It’s obvious that Percy wanted to sabotage Del’s execution somehow. He knew good and well that the sponge was to be wet. Do you think Percy meant for it to be as bad as it was?
2) What were your reactions as you read this chapter?

Chapter 5

This is the aftermath of Del’s execution. We read more descriptions about the shape Del was in, which isn’t very pretty. He is pronounced dead, his body is removed, and Paul must face Curtis Anderson. Paul restrains Brutus from slugging Percy, which is good because Brutus might have lost his job if the punch was given. The men downplay Percy’s involvement, claiming that it was a mistake.

1) Were you surprised when the men covered Percy?
2) Why do you suppose they covered him instead of totally ratting him out?

Chapter 6

There are more reactions to Del’s execution. Wharton reacts by singing a crude barbeque song while Coffey cries and says that Del is the lucky one for being out of it. The chapter ends with Paul handing Coffey one of his shoes.

1) Why do you suppose Coffey says Del is lucky? Do you think that this is Coffey’s way of saying he is ready to die?
2) Later on, we find out what the deal with the shoe was all about. Were you confused when Paul gives Coffey his shoe or did you have an idea what it was about?

Chapter 7

Paul goes home and tells Janice about Del’s execution. We read that this is the first conscious thought of the big plan Paul comes up with. Later on, he mulls over the concept of atonement and thinks about his prisoners.

1) Paul has obviously seen and supervised many executions. Why do you think the concept of atonement comes to Paul’s mind after this one?

Chapters 8 & 9

Not much happens in chapter 8. Paul and Hal talk on the phone, and they mostly talk about Percy. Hal expedites paperwork so that Percy can transfer to Briar Ridge more quickly. Hal informs Paul that Melinda is getting worse. The other men come to Paul’s for lunch, and Paul reveals his plan. He wants to take Coffey to Melinda to see if he can heal her brain tumor. At the end of the chapter, Paul says that Coffey is innocent of the crime.

1) Why do you think it is important to Paul that they try to help Melinda?
2) Did you think that Coffey was innocent all along? Why or why not?
Part 5
"Night Journey"

Chapter 1

Paul reflects on writing his story, feeling as though he has traveled back in time in a sense. He is able to go for his walk unnoticed by Brad. The next day, he wishes to go again, but Brad is waiting for him in the kitchen. Elaine conspires with Paul and helps him escape by setting off a smoke detector with a cigarette.

1) It is clear that Paul loves Elaine. How do you feel about their relationship?

Chapter 2

Paul explains about Coffey’s innocence. Coffey was unable to tie Paul’s shoe, therefore, he never would have been able to retie his lunch package that supposedly contained sausages for the dog (remember, there were no sausages in Coffey’s lunch and it was thought that he lured the dog with them). Paul interprets Coffey’s words, “I couldn’t help it. I tried to take it back, but it was too late,” to mean that Coffey found the girls, tried to help them, but they were too far gone instead of meaning that he murdered them, felt remorse, and wished he could change it. The confusion with the tracking dogs is explained. The coon dogs were tracking the killer rather than the girls while the other dogs tracked the girls. When the nightie was passed under their noses once again, then, the coon dogs tracked the girls.

1) Did this information surprise you? Why or why not?

Chapters 3 and 4

These two chapters lead into the adventure. Janice finds out that there is a plan to be carried out and she gives Paul her blessing. The men return to work and hang out until it’s time, making sure that everything is set. Somehow, Coffey knows what is going to happen.

1) How do you think you’d feel if you were in Paul’s place? Do you think you’d be able to remain composed?
2) How do you think Coffey knew what was about to happen?

Chapter 5

Things start to move now. Wharton is given RC Cola, laced with drugs that Dean filched from the infirmary. It is assumed that he passed out, but the others don’t check thoroughly. Percy is bundled into the straight jacket and hauled into the restraint room but not before the guys discover his little secret. Percy was hiding an X rated Popeye and Olive Oyle pamphlet inside a book he was reading (a pamphlet that they let the prisoners see if they’re good). The other men laugh at him and the wind is taken from his sails. Coffey is let out of his cell, but Wharton is awake and grabs Coffey. It seems the light of a certain intelligence turns on inside Coffey, and it’s clear something is happening. This is actually one of my favorite scenes in the book.

1) What do you think of the way Percy was handled? Why did the men resort to locking him in the restraint room?
2) Do you think Percy got what was coming to him? Do you feel the men were too rough on him? Too soft?
3) Did you expect Wharton to grab Coffey?
4) Did you find it surprising that Wharton stayed up on his feet for a while although there was a large amount of drugs in his system by then?

Chapter 6

Coffey is smuggled out of the mile and has to walk past Old Sparky before they’re out in the open. It seems he has a gift of empathy and says he can “feel them screaming. Pieces of them are still in there.” He is then rolled along an underground tunnel on the same gurney the men use to transport an executed prisoner. Once outside, Coffey drinks in the night and gazes up at the starry sky.

1) Do you think there is a significance to Coffey’s empathic sense?

Chapter 7

A large part of this chapter is reflective on Paul’s part. He has doubts about continuing and considers aborting the plan and turning back. But, they arrive at Hal and Melinda’s and it’s too late to go back. They get past Hal’s (empty) gun, thanks to Coffey’s hypnotic powers. They find a very ill Melinda in bed, talking out of her head and swearing. It is a scene of devastation and one where death waits in the wings.

1) If you were in Paul’s place, would you have followed through with the plan? Why or why not?

Chapter 8

In this chapter, the main part of the mission is accomplished. Coffey is able to heal Melinda by sucking out the brain tumor and taking it into himself. However, a snafu occurs – Coffey doesn’t cough out the black junk that accompanies one of his healing acts. Instead, he launches into horrible coughing fits and even takes on symptoms of the illness himself. During the healing episode, the house shakes violently and several articles are broken and sustain irreparable damage. Once she is well, Melinda tells Coffey that she dreamed of him, that they were wandering in the dark and found each other. Melinda then gives Coffey her St. Christopher medal, explaining to him that it will keep him safe.

1) It is clear that Coffey or his body is hanging onto the tumor for some reason. What do you think that reason is and do you believe that Coffey, himself, planned it that way?
2) What is your take on the amount of shaking the house does while Coffey is healing Melinda?
3) Do you feel there is any significance to Melinda’s dream?
I have changed the format just a bit. I summarize each chapter and then have some study questions. Also, I've put two parts up, as from now on, I want to have the questions for the next discussion up before we get to them. For feedback, feel free to comment on either Part 4 or 5 or both.
There are three ways to contact me. You can:
2) Leave a message on the blog
3) Leave a message on our voice mail number. That number is 206-426-7408.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Happy reading,

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Episode 5 - Resurrection and Recap of Podcast

It's great to finally be back on the air after a long, long absense! Unfortunately, there were things in my life I needed to focus on, so the podcast, sadly, went on the back burner. I PROMISE that episodes will be forthcoming from now on, and the podcast will certainly be active.

I'd like to thank all of you for hanging in with me. We now have 183 subscribers!!!

This is just a resurrection and recap of the podcast. We've finished the first three parts of "The Green Mile." Next time, we will discuss Parr 4.

I've gotten a lot of e-mails and requests for further book discussions - too many to calculate and not many the same. I thought I'd open it for votes, narrowing it down to four possibilities for the next discussion. Please specify one of the following:

1) The Dark Tower Series (starting with "The Gunslinger."
2) "Cell"
3) "Lisey's Story"
4) "The Talisman"

To send in votes, you can use any of the following contact information:

E-mail me. (When you do, please include the word "Podcast" in the subject line so it will filter to my podcast folder.

Leave a message on the blog itself.

We have a new voice mail number:
I think this will be a great tool for interaction in the future. I will play messages from you in future podcasts.

You can also contact me with other comments and sugestions.

I'm looking to implement some new changes in the future. A possible switch of e-mail address and possibly a regular website that may have more info. I'm looking forward to some new and exciting things.

Happy Reading,

MP3 Link

Friday, March 23, 2007

Episode 4 - "The Green Mile," Part 3

"The Green Mile"
Part 3 - Coffey's Hands 3/23/2007

Hello everyone,

I profusely apologize for taking so long to grt this episode out to all of you. Things have been rather crazy as of late, and I've also been suffering the ole sinus and cold crud. I didn't want to do a podcast while I was sniffling and hacking up my lungs. I'm back now and ready to roll again. :)

We now have 34 subscribers!!!

I am changing the format just a little bit. Instead of doing only 5-6 chapters of this book, I've decided that we'll cover the part we're discussing in its entirety so we can get through the book a little faster. There are other wonderful books to discuss, so there's really no need for us to drag one out unnecessarily. Therefore, in this episode, we've covered all of Part 3. It will make the podcast just a bit longer, but I'm certain that nobody will have a problem with that.

Here are the study questions for this session:

Chapter 1

In the nursing home, Paul watches “Kiss of Death” starring Richard Widmark on AMC. The character Widmark plays and how the actor looks reminds Paul of Wharton, and it freaks him out a bit. Are you surprised that Paul reacted this way?

Chapter 2

Wharton’s attack on Dean continues in this chapter and all hell breaks loose. Harry yells for Percy to hit Wharton, but Percy just stands there. Why doesn’t Percy do anything?

Chapter 3

This is the first time we see Coffey’s powers at work when he heals Paul’s bladder infection. What was your first impression of this?

Are there limits to Coffey’s powers? Do you feel that Coffey is aware of any limits he has?

Chapter 4

In this chapter, Paul goes to see Hammersmith, the reporter who wrote the news stories about Coffey. As they talk, Hammersmith explains about the dog his family used to have (the dog, for no apparent reason, attacked Hammersmith’s son and severely disfigures his face), saying that the dog just had a mind to attack as did Coffey. Hammersmith also believes that Coffey is guilty of the murders he was charged with. Do you agree or disagree on both of these points? Why or why not?

Chapter 5

Wharton stirs up trouble by peeing on Harry and then later spitting a moon pie in Brutal’s face. On both of these occasions, he is hauled kicking and screaming into the restraint room. Do you feel that this chapter gives us comic relief or is helpful in giving bus more insight as to Wharton’s character?

Chapter 6

Paul and Janice go to see Melinda, and it saddens them to see her in the condition she is in. During and after this visit, Paul thinks about Coffey and what his powers can do. Do you think Paul realizes that he is actually considering somehow making it possible for Coffey to help Melinda?

Again, Paul thinks about Del’s execution and Percy’s attitude toward this particular prisoner. Paul’s sense of foreboding does not go away. Does yours?

Chapter 7

Del’s execution is drawing closer, and the rehearsals must be carried out. Del and Mr. Jingles are taken to Mr. Anderson’s office so Mr. Jingles can show him and some others his tricks. This seems to serve as a distraction for Del in order to keep him as unalarmed as possible. Do you think Paul and the others feel sorry for Del? Do you think they would extend themselves like this for other prisoners?

Chapter 8

Paul feels that the rehearsals have gone well and that Percy is actually performing up to scratch this time. Do you think Paul feels better about the situation or is he still feeling uneasy? Do you feel uneasy or do you think things will go well?

Percy walks too close to the cells after everyone comes back from rehearsing for Del’s execution and Wharton grabs him. It terrifies Percy, and he wets himself. Del laughs, and Wharton harangues him. Percy is utterly humiliated. Do you think he overreacts? Do you think this spurs on Percy’s hatred for Del?

Chapters 9 & 10

It is the night before Del’s execution, and Paul is talking to him about what will happen. Del is more worried about what will happen to Mr. Jingles, and it’s finally decided that the mouse will go to Mouseville? Do you think that Del believes there is such a place?

As they are talking, Mr. Jingles gets out of Del’s cell to retrieve the spool. Percy then steps on him and kills him, saying, “I knew I’d get him eventually.” Who is the “him” that Percy refers to – Del or Mr. Jingles? What do you think possessed Percy to do such a thing?

There are several ways for you to be mentioned on the show:

  • Send me a hello with your first name and the state you are from
  • Send in responses to our study questions
  • Provide any other feedback about the books, Stephen King, the show, or any other insights you might have
  • Call in to our voice mail number and leave a message, which I will play on the show

You can leave feedback via several ways:

  • E-mailing me here
  • Leaving a comment on this website
  • Calling our voice mail number and leaving a message. The number to call is 206-350-2613.

MP3 Link

Until next time. Happy reading. :)


Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Episode 3 - "The Green Mile" Part 2, Chapters 7-11 - 2/28/07

"The Green Mile"
Part 2, Chapters 7-11

In this episode, we finished Part 2 of "The Green Mile" and will soon move on to Part 3. Discussion questions for this session are below. Thank you to Michelle in Illinois for her feedback.

  • With Chapter 7 comes the arrival of Eduard Delacroix. What was your first impression of Del? Did you come to like him as the story went on?
  • Again, the question about why Percy wanted to work on the Green Mile arose. Have you changed your opinion as to Percy’s motives when the question was asked previously?
  • In Chapter 8, Mr. Jingles and Del meet for the first time and took to one another. Why do you suppose the bond between the two of them became so strong?
  • Percy offers to help Del get a box for Mr. Jingles and to get some cotton batting from the dispensary, which means Percy seemed to change his attitude. Why is Percy acting this way? Do you think that Percy is biding his time before seeking some kind of revenge?
  • In Chapter 9, we see Mr. Jingles roll the spool for the first time, which impresses the others. Were you impressed with Mr. Jingles did this?
  • In Chapter 10, William Wharton was first mentioned in detail. We read a bit about him before he actually arrives on E Block. Did you feel that Wharton would eventually come to be big trouble?
  • (Please pay special attention to these two points: 1) Paul describes how his urinary tract infection made him feel and 2) Hal reveals Melinda’s brain tumor to Paul. These two conditions are key points in the book and will come up again.
  • Chapter 11 deals with the arrival of Wharton. When we first see him, he appears to be doped, but then, he causes a major scene which nearly kills Dean Stanton. It was mentioned that the guards didn’t actually ask if Wharton was doped. Do you think they were a bit careless by just making this assumption?

We now have 14 subscribers! I am pleased that we're getting off the ground, and I look forward to even more subscribers.

Please send comments, answers to discussion questions, other insights, and comments to me.

Please see "Sharon's Favorite Links" for the URL's to the websites of the podcasts I've mentioned on teh show.

MP3 Link

Until next time, stay warm, have a wonderful week, and happy reading. :)


Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Episode 2 - "The Green Mile" Part 1, Chapters 7 & 8 and Part 2, Chapters 1-6 - 2/20/07

"The Green Mile"
Part 1, Chapters 7 & 8 and Part 2, Chapters 1-6
Episode 2 - 2/20/07

In this episode, I shared about a book called "Stephen King Universe" by Stanley Wiater, Christopher Golden, and Hank Wagner. It is a guide to the works of Stephen King and his universe. I am hoping to use this resource in our future discussions.

We received two wonderful e-mails which I read on the show. Thank you to Michelle, and Shawn in Georgia, for their contributions to this episode.

The study questions for this episode are below:

  • In Chapter 7, we get our first glimpse of Steamboat Willy, who we come to know as Mr. Jingles. What do you suppose endeared the mouse to the guards on E Block?
  • We find out where Mr. Jingles had been staying and how he got into the prison in the first place. Things are revealed that we don’t quite understand until we read farther in the book. Why was this revealed now rather than later after everything was said and done?
  • At the end of Part 1, we see that both Paul and Brutal want to be transferred from the Mile to Boys’ Correctional. What do you think caused them to make this decision?

Part 2, “The Mouse on the Mile” Ch. 1-6

  • In Chapter 1, we get our first look at Brad Dolan, a man who works in the nursing home where the elderly Paul lives. Paul says Brad reminds him a little of Percy? Do you agree? Why or why not?
  • It looks as though Brad never liked Paul from the start. Why do you think he gives Paul a hard time?
  • In Chapter 2, Steamboat Willy returned to the Green Mile three days after Percy chased him back into the restraint room. We come to realize that the mouse will only take food from the regulars who work on the mile and refuses food given to him by Bill Dodge, a floater. The mouse appears more intelligent than most other mice. Do you agree?
  • Again, we see Percy wanting to do the mouse in when he throws his baton at him. Why do you think Percy hates the mouse so much?
  • In Chapter 3, we see the Steamboat Willy comes back the next day after Percy threw the baton at him, even when the others didn’t think he would. Why does the mouse end up coming back?
  • We have seen old Toot-toot before, but in Chapter 4, we get more of a taste for his personality. Do you like him? Why or why not?
  • In this chapter, we see the rehearsal for Arlen Bitterbuck’s execution. It is obvious that Toot-toot enjoys his role as stand-in and really plays it to the hilt, even making a pretty hilarious crack when he’s asked if he has something to say before sentence is carried out (see page 96 in the hardcover edition). This cracks up the other men but irritates Paul. Why did Paul get so irritated and was he justified in his agitation?

Please check out "Sharon's Favorite Links" to find my podcast recommendations.

I look forward to hearing from you listeners. Please e-mail me any answers to our study questions, any comments about the book or any of Stephen King's books, feedback and insights, and comments about the show. An interactive podcast makes an interesting podcast.

MP3 Link

Have a safe week, stay warm, and happy reading.


Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Episode 1 - "The Green Mile" Part 1, Chapters 1-6


Off we go! We have started our first book discussion! Covered in this podcast were the first six chaptres in Part 1. You can find the study questions for this entrybelow.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Valentine's Day and that y0u were able to do something specal and romantic with your special someone. Unfortunately, we're rather snowed in in my section of th ewoods. We've had some really horrendous weather here over the last couple of days.

We now have 7 subscribers! That is very exciting for me, and I'm looking forward to more. Unfortunately, there was no feedback, but we are brand new, after all, and so sometimes new things start out slowly. However, I'm hoping that this will change and we'll be seeing some contributions.

If you would like to be mentioned on the show, you can do the following:

  • Subscribe to the podcast and send me a hello. You can e-mail me here. I'd love to hear from you. Your first name and the state where you're from will be mentioned.
  • Answer the study questions and e-mail them to me.
  • Send me your insights, opinions, or feedback about the books and the show. Podcasting is a brand new thing for me, so I'm learning as I'm going along. Any comments and feedback would be greatly appreciated.

I do welcome your feedback and your comments. As I said in my introductory episode, I want this podcast to be interactive where the listeners input opinions, answer to study questions, and any other insights so that my opinion isn't the only one voicecd on the show. Please do feel free to e-mail me.

Study questions for the next group of chapters will be posted soon.

Podcast MP3 Link

Happy reading, everyone, and I hope to be hearing from you soon.


Monday, February 12, 2007

"The Green Mile" Chapters 1-6 Study Questions

"The Green Mile"
Study Questions, Chapters 1-6

1) What is your first impression of Paul Edgecombe?

2) Why do you suppose Paul felt he needed to tell his story?

3) What was your first impression of John Coffey when he was brought to Block E? What was the thing that first struck you most about Coffey?

4) Did you dislike Percy right away? Why do you suppose he wanted to work in the prison?

5) Paul offered John Coffey a handshake, which is something he had never done for a prisoner. Even he said he didn’t know why, perhaps Coffey’s admission about being afraid of the dark. What is your opinion as to why Paul made this gesture toward this particular prisoner?

6) In Chapter 4, Paul goes into detail about the death of the Detterick girls. When you read the account of events, did you think that John Coffey was guilty, or did you feel that there was something more to it than met the eye?

7) Why do you suppose (aside from the obvious where Coffey was found with the girls’ bodies) that everyone just assumed that John Coffey was the one who committed the murder?

8) In Chapter 6, we read that Paul is having a conversation with Warden Hal Moores about Percy. Moores tells Paul to let Percy be an active part of the execution of Eduard Delacroix, and then they could be rid of Percy due to his transference to Briar Ridge. Did you feel a sense of foreboding when you read this scene?