Guest Post -James M's review of IDW Sonic Issue 37

 


Welcome back to IDW Sonic world, folks. Year Three is behind us and now its time for YEAR FOUR, starting with issue 37 and a brand new arc written by Evan Stanley, fresh off from CHAO RACES AND BADNIK BASES! I'll say this, folks. Since we're in 2021 and with Sonic's 30th Anniversary looming, the future is bright for the franchise and the comics have a promising future too...

So, what's the new arc about? Well, Evan did give us a bit of info a couple months back that there would be a storyline where Sonic, Amy and Tails go explore a strange tower set up by Eggman while Tangle and newcomer Belle help out the heroes from behind the scenes. So far, the story has gotten off to a fairly good start and Evan is going all out with this one with no SEGA mandates to stop her.

How are there no SEGA mandates that serve as road-bumps for Evan here, you ask? Well, she's working with characters who are easy to write and Shadow isn't here right now. Huzzah, by not including Shadow in almost everything, the writers are free to write certain characters without being bogged down by tight restrictions as long as they don't do anything that SEGA doesn't approve of.

I'll say this, Evan is great with characterization and character interactions just as Ian is. Well, no big friggin' duh, every writer has done their best to be great with character interactions and characterization despite a few hiccups in the road depending on the situation. Sonic, Amy and Tails have a great dynamic just as Tangle and Belle are getting along well and their dynamic is sweet too.

After reading this issue the day I got it and after thinking about it for a while, I will say that IDW Sonic issue 37 is without a doubt the best issue in the comic series. And so, I strongly give this issue a 9/10 like almost every other issue. May IDW Sonic be strong next to Archie Sonic, also, I think its time for SEGA to ease up on its grip on the comic and lift certain mandates. They've been playing it safe long enough, let the comic cut loose and go all out. Have a good day, folks!

-James. M











Sunday wrap up: Mystics and mystery and murder, oh my!

 


Books, books, and more books.  Life always stops when Nora Roberts aka J.D. Robb releases the next book in her ongoing In Death series featuring Eve Dallas and Roarke.  The latest installment # 52 Faithless in Death is a  magnificently written story involving death, jealousy, an international cult, and revenge. It picked up where #51 Shadows in Death left off with Eve completing the dreaded paperwork.  


"Paperwork could kill.  Nothing, to Eve Dallas's mind, reached the same heights -- or depths -- as paperwork's terminal boredom."

Loved the twists and turns and how together with the FBI, homeland security, Interpol, plus Eve and her whole cast of characters managed to solve the crime." 

(Category: Be Still my Heart, Futurist romantic suspense, 390)


Read two new to authors featuring the magical and the mystical. My kind of story. 


"Dragons sleep in the earth here.  I feel them. Sometimes I see them - in my head, in my dreams, in the hunched shape of the mountains curled around the flattened bowls of the valleys"

Totally enjoyed Dragons in the Earth and read it twice, getting something different out of it each time. Claire is an interesting character, a psychic in tune with nature and can talk to animals, sense them everywhere to the extent she can sense the dragons asleep in the earth. Mix in horses, Gods and Goddesses, a mysterious invisible presence gliding and hunting over the land, and you have the makings for a intriguing story.  I just wish there was a sequel because I enjoyed all the characters and the personalities of the horses surrounding Claire. 

(Category: Dragons, Arizona, U.S.,e)




"Bookstores were supposed to smell of old leather and dry paper. This one smelled of onions, of musty dry air trapped for centuries, smells that hung in the frigid air like invisible curtains. Aside from my own breath, the store was perfectly still, without even the whoosh of passing traffic to remind me of the world outside."

The Book of Secrets, the first book in the Last Oracle series is a fascinating story. Helena wants a job, any job better than McDonalds and answers a ad for a clerical job at Abernathy's bookstore.  By the end of the day, the owner has been murdered and she's thrown into the deep end, placed in charge of the bookshop with a mind of its own.  While learning on the job, she is caught between the police, two magical factions,  all the while trying to balance her normal home life with the needs of the mysterious, mystical  bookshop. I'm looking forward to reading more in the 9 book series. 

(Category: Fines and misdemeanors, e) 

And last but not least, Christopher Paolini's To Sleep in a Sea of Stars which was absolutely awesome. 

To Sleep in a Sea of Stars by Christopher Paolini

 




I started off listening To Sleep in a Sea of Stars on audiobook in the car, but soon couldn’t stand waiting for the next car trip to find out what happened next, so ended up buying the book.  Now that I’ve finished the hardcopy, I can enjoy listening in the car, listening at a slower pace, familiar with the story, and not having to click back 30 seconds because I missed something. 

I had to recover from a book hangover before I could put my thoughts together on this story.  A space opera that I imagine mirrors long sea cruises in which there are many long days, with nothing to do but sleep and eat and talk and think, mixed in with shore excursions where one tries to fit in everything they can in a day, then off to another port of call.  It’s every thing I imagine how space travel would be.  

At the center of it all is Cara, a xenobiologist, who discovers an ancient relic, the Soft Blade.   A sentient alien, the last of her kind, who melds with Cara as a living skin suit.  Then mix in two different alien groups out to conquer the world and want the Soft Blade,  and the shore excursions become space battles and a race to save the universe.  Between the space battles are period when the crew hibernates in cryosleep, except for Cara because the Soft Blade has made her resistant to it. 

During those periods of time in which it seem to take forever and a day,  Cara and the Soft Blade must figure out how to communicate and work together.   I totally enjoyed the story, the world building, the characters and the relationships building among all of them.  Amazing and entertaining story and really appreciate Paolini’s creativity.  

Synopsis:  During a routine survey mission on an uncolonized planet, Kira finds an alien relic. At first she's delighted, but elation turns to terror when the ancient dust around her begins to move. As war erupts among the stars, Kira is launched into a galaxy-spanning odyssey of discovery and transformation. First contact isn't at all what she imagined, and events push her to the very limits of what it means to be human. While Kira faces her own horrors, Earth and its colonies stand upon the brink of annihilation. Now, Kira might be humanity's greatest and final hope

(Category:  Alternate Realities)

Sunday weekly wrap up - Mystery, Myth, and Monte Cristo

 

Jazzberry Blue 



I started reading the Count of Monte Cristo with my 52 Books group this week in which we planned to read three chapters a week.  I couldn’t help myself because I needed to know what happened so read through Chapter 6.  Then I got totally bogged down in chapter 7 with all the history and will have to reread with my ipad standing by to look up information. Jealousy reared its ugly head.  Danglars, the supercargo, dislikes Dante taking over the ship and his super secret mission for the late captain.  Caderousse is jealous of his money or maybe just too greedy, but Dante's father felt the need to pay back a loan even though it left him destitute and hungry until Dantes returned from his trip. Fernand hates Dantes even before he meets him because he is Mercedes love.  Danglers is quite manipulative, feeding both Caderousse’s and Fernand’s dislike.  Is Dantes blind, too young and arrogant or is he really just that nice in that he is kind, even to those who treat him badly.  It could have read like a soap opera but didn't and I'm enjoying it so far.  

I finished two new to me authors this week.  The first book in Toni Anderson's Cold Justice mystery series, A Cold Dark Place,  in which  FBI Agent Mallory Rooney has spent her life trying to find the man who kidnapped her twin from their bedroom when they were children. While searching for a vigilante whose been killing criminals and pedophiles, she gets involved with a private security contractor who is actually a clandestine government approved assassin. You can probably guess where this is going and it causes plenty of angst and trouble for both characters. There were plenty of twists and turns to keep me reading and kept me from figuring out who the serial killer was.  

(Category:  Be Still My Heart, Police Procedural,  Setting: Virginia U.S)

I finally read the Bear and the Nightingale which is the first book in Katherine Arden's Winternight mythological fantasy trilogy.   I don't know anything about Russian mythology or fairy tales so enjoyed learning all about it.  The beautifully written story drew me in with its vivid imagery, and you can almost feel the bite of the freezing snow, and played on your emotions with plenty of love, fear,  and anger,  as well as evil and hope and magic.  Set during Medieval times, the lead character, a young girl by the name of Vasya challenges the culture and mores of the times with her powers and belief in spirits others might consider evil.  She is a wild child and can talk to horses, communicate with nature and household spirits. When a priest decides to challenge and destroy the villagers beliefs in the spirits,  and rein in Vasya, it endangers the whole village as well as himself. I totally enjoyed it and looking forward to reading the rest of the series. 

(Category: Magic and Mystery / Dragons and other fantastical creatures.  Setting:  Russia,)

Continuing my Nora Roberts reread with Blue Smoke about a female arson investigator. 

I finally broke down and subscribed to Netflix this week and enjoyed watching the first few episodes of the Good Place.  Which means I didn't accomplish  much on the writing front.  Bad me. Time to sit down, reread my story, then tackle editing again.  



Kirby Gets Chased by a Bee - metaphor for the proletariat

James wrote the following fan fiction story which received a very amusing and thoughtful analysis by an anonymous source. The analysis is below the story.   Read and enjoy! 

Kirby Gets Chased by a Bee -

(Kirby - property of Nintendo)

 "All was peaceful in Dream Land, it was a nice and sunny day. Squirrels gathered acorns, birds flew in the sky and insects roamed in their natural habitats. A bumblebee flew through a field of golden sunflowers, gathering pollen for its colony.

The bee landed on a sunflower and was gathering as much pollen as possible, minding its own business... until a large shadow fell over. The bee looked up and was terrified to see a huge, round pink creature with dark eyes observing the bee.

Curious yet willing to defend itself, the bee prepared its stinger and its eyes narrowed. Young Kirby's interest in this insect soon became replaced with fear when he saw the bee take flight and show its stinger, ready to attack.

"AHHHHHH!" Kirby ran for it, eyes wide with terror. BZZZZZ! The bee flew after the heroic defender of Dream Land, not keen on letting its predator get away. This bee was going to sting Kirby and would make him suffer.

Kirby made his way out of the sunflower patch and out into a grassy field, running as fast as his little feet could carry him and not bothering to look back as he knew the bee was behind him. If he stopped, the bee would catch up and the puffball would be stung like crazy.

In all his years, Kirby had heard of bees and had never been stung by one. He did see a few bees but had never gotten curious about one before, let alone try to make friends with a bee. Today, Kirby had let his curiosity get the better of him and was now being chased for it.

The bee chased Kirby through Whispy Forest, across Dedede Lake and through Grass Land, passing by trees and a group of Waddle Doos, who watched the scene with curiosity. Up above, Krako the Cloud was observing the world below when he saw Kirby running from the bee.

'Ugh, really?' The cloud thought, a bored look in its eye. Krako could not believe that Kirby was scared of just one bee, at one point, the puffball had to face his fear and confront the insect. Kirby could not run forever, everyone knew it, bees were also fast.

After countless minutes of running as fast as he could, Kirby started to feel tired and an idea came to him, he was going to eat that stupid bee. Coming to a stop, he turned around and, just as the bee was catching up, went into Kirby Inhale mode.

The puffball opened his mouth and a vacuum-like vortex appeared, sucking air into his mouth. Seeing this, the bee halted, its eyes wide with shock. The insect tried to fly away and escape, realizing the error of chasing Kirby. Try as it might, the bee could not escape.

In seconds, the bumblebee flew into Kirby's mouth and vanished along with all the pollen it gathered inside the bizarre pocket dimension. The bee was no more and Kirby was safe, he had overcame his fright of the bee.

Kirby danced a little jig happily and magically transformed into Bee Kirby as he copied the bee's form and powers, turning from pink to yellow n' black with two antennas and a stinger. The the puffball flew off to sting some enemies and get some flowers for himself...


***********************************

Analysis by Guest 

So my basic analysis is that this is a metaphor for how the working class is being oppressed by the 1% but if the working class would rise up and eat the rich it would make them more powerful in the end, but they chose to become the bourgeoisie instead.

You see, the second paragraph shows that the bee is gathering as much pollen as possible, the pollen symbolizing economic power,

but then it sees just how big Kirby (the proletariat) is and feels threatened, even though Kirby didn't do anything to provoke it.

So Kirby saw that the bee (the bourgeoisie) was preparing to attack (oppress the proletariat) and he began to run which in turn put the bee into power.

And it specifically says "This bee was going to sting Kirby and would make him suffer." Showing that the bee didn't just want to defend itself, but to actually make Kirby suffer.

What started as defending itself turned into offending Kirby.

So Kirby (the working class) has the ability to defeat (overthrow) the bee (the 1%) but because he is afraid of being stung (economically punished) runs away (voluntarily suppression).

"In all his years, Kirby had heard of bees and had never been stung by one. He did see a few bees but had never gotten curious about one before, let alone try to make friends with a bee. Today, Kirby had let his curiosity get the better of him and was now being chased for it."

This paragraph shows that Kirby has known that the bee existed, but never tried to intermingle with them.

But when he did try to climb the economic ladder he was punished for it.

The next paragraph shows Kirby running through multiple areas to escape the bee, but to no avail.

This shows that no matter where you are, the working class will always be oppressed as long as they choose to run from the bee.

But then Krako (the god figure) looks on this scene disappointed.

You see, God knows that the proletariat has all the power they need to rise up, but they still choose to run from the 1%.

So now it says that Kirby knows he cannot run from the bee forever.

And it also says that everyone knows, "bees are fast".

Now this shows that the proletariat has gained the class consciousness needed to realize that they can no longer be oppressed.

But also that they know if this continues, it will be their end.

So Kirby, tired from being oppressed, gets an idea:

He is going to rise up!

So Kirby stops running, he stops letting that bee get the better of him!

He turns around and starts to inhale (the proletariat starts their revolution).

The bee immediately realizes that this could be it's end, so it tries to fly away (the 1% tries to appease the working class).

But it's too late!

The revolution has begun!

Nothing they can do can quell the flames of the people!

And after a very short struggle, the bee has been inhaled.

"The bee was no more and Kirby was safe, he had overcame his fright of the bee."

So now that the proletariat has gotten over their fear they have brought safety to themselves.

But here's where it gets interesting,

You see, Kirby does not simply inhale the bee.

Kirby copied the bee!

After defeating the 1%, instead of redistributing the wealth and living on as a country of the people, they became the 1% themselves!

"The the puffball flew off to sting some enemies and get some flowers for himself..."

And not only did they become the bourgeoisie, but they started to act like it too!

Oppressing their enemies and collecting as much money for themselves as they can!

After freeing themselves they decided to continue the cycle instead of breaking the cycle.

Now that we have analyzed the deeper meaning of the story we can start to draw our historical parallels.

So you see, this story is obviously inspired by the American revolution.

The oppressed lower class rising up against the higher class, only to become the higher class themselves after their oppressors are destroyed.

In conclusion, this work has very deep metaphorical and historical meaning and I can't wait until the sequel comes out!

15/19 needs more cowbell


Real Murders by Charlaine Harris

 




Real Murders by Charlaine Harris is the first book in the 10 books series - Aurora Teagarden mysteries. Once upon a time I wouldn't have noticed the writing style or the voice of the character and would have just enjoyed the cozy mystery, thinking the character was slightly weird or missing a few brain cells or just young for her age. I couldn't make up my mind whether I disliked Aurora or the writing which drove me crazy with all the telling vs showing.  There were several times I almost quit reading because Aurora annoyed me, but liked the premise and didn't have a clue who committed the murder, so was pleasantly surprised.  Written mostly in passive voice with many begin's, began's, was's, and seemed, which had me rewriting the sentences in my head and throwing me out of the story.   

Realize I have to cut Charlaine some slack since Real Murders is her debut novel written back in 1990 and she's since grown in style and substance.  I read the Sookie Stackhouse series a few years ago, plus Midnight Crossroads more recently which were both excellent.  

The funniest exchange which had me giggling. 

“If you want him to notice you as a woman, just lust after him.”

 “Huh?” 

“I don’t mean lick your lips or pant. Keep conversation normal. Don’t do anything obvious. You have to keep it so you don’t lose anything if he decides he’s not interested.” Amina was interested in saving face.

 “So what do I do? 

“Just lust. Keep everything going like normal, but sort of concentrate on the area below your waist and above your knees, right? And send out waves. You can do it. It’s like the Kegel exercise. You can’t show anyone how to do it, but if you describe it to a woman, she can pick it up.”


And this was just out kinda out there. Chicken Pox?

"It was such a nice little morning I decided to go to church. I often did. I sometimes enjoyed it and felt better for going, but I felt no spiritual compulsion. I went because I hoped I’d “catch it,” like deliberately exposing myself to the chicken pox. Sometimes I even wore a hat and gloves, though that was bordering on parody and gloves were not so easy to find anymore. It wasn’t a hat-and-gloves day, today, too dark and rainy, and I wasn’t in a role-playing mood, anyway."

Loved the premise and the ending so worth the read.  It may behoove Harris to give the series an editing upgrade at some point to freshen up the story for new readers as some authors have done with their backlists 

(Fictional Librarians, Fines and Misdemeanors)


Weekly Wrap up -- January reading wrap up

 


It's amazing how much reading gets down when you go on a news diet and unplug from the internet. I decided at the beginning of the year to declare 2021 the year of Nora. After I organized and reorganized my shelves, bringing Nora and her alter ego J.D. Robb's books front and center, I began by rereading the Key trilogy, then dove into her Ireland Trilogies Gallaghers of Ardmore and Born in. What is it about Robert's books? Her writing, the unique characters,  the world building, and stories all work together to entertain and pull me in.  Every time I sit down to study her writing, to help improve my own, I get drawn in, and forget about the world at large. Every time I read one of her stories, I get something new out of it.  Which is what I hope to do with my story writing some day.  Make the reader forget about the world and dive into the story world.  Now I just need to remind myself to slow down and make note of the parts of the story that stand out and why. 

Amidst the rereads, I recently finished Amanda Quick's, (Aka Jayne Ann Krentz) Second Sight, #1 in her Arcane Society series which spans from the Victoria era to the future.  Second Sight is set in the Victoria Era and introduces us to Gabriel Jones and how the Arcane Society came about.  Venetia, a female photographer with arcane gifts of her own, is hired to take pictures of artifacts Gabriel and the society have collected over the years.  While at his home, enemies arrive and Gabriel sends Venetia away for her safety. Thinking he was killed in the attack, she passes herself off as Mrs. Jones to help her photography business, but little does she realize he's still alive and has now put herself in the cross hairs of his enemies.  Victorian era culture, psychic elements, and the two characters themselves create a delightful as well as suspenseful story of murder, mystery, and romance. 

I've set aside Sharon Kay Penman's When Christ and Her Saints Slept as well as Harry Potter to finish later in the year in order to concentrate on our 52 Books read of The Count of Monte Cristo.  I'm ready to jump in with both feet and get absorbed by the story.  I'm come to the conclusion that splitting my time on more than one physical and one ebook at a time is not altogether wise.  They deserve my undivided attention.  

However, all this reading, cut into my writing time, and I didn't accomplish as much as I hoped this month. But I did need to wean myself from the time I've been wasting, checking the news and facebook and all the other things I let distract me on the internet in order to give my characters the time and attention they need.  So the beginning of February, plus Lent coming up, serves as a reset and a fresh start to concentrate on my current work in progress.  

Sunday Weekly Wrap - Dragons, Werewolves, and vampires, oh my!

 



I finished Dragons of Dorcastle, the 1st book in the Pillars of Realty series by Jack Campbell.  There was a lot of talk about dragons but nary a one to be seen until the next to last chapter and its presence was short lived.  The focus was on the two young main characters:  A young man raised as a Mage and taught to ignore all emotion and think of the rest of the world as an illusion, and people are shadows, nonexistent to his reality.  And a young woman, the youngest Master Mechanic, also taught the Mechanics were better than everyone else, including the Mages, and the commons beneath their notice.   Both their lives are on the line and they must work together, in secret, behind their Guilds backs.  Great premise but I unfortunately don’t like the characters enough to continue the series.   

(Dragons, steampunk,  A to Z read by Title)

Happy Happy Joy Joy.  Dirty Deeds: an Urban Fantasy Collection, written by Faith Hunter, Devon Monk, Diana Pharaoh Francis, and R.J. Blain was just released.  Hunter and Monk are two of my favorite authors and I enjoyed the continuation of two storylines.  Hunter’s Yellowrock series with Bound into Darkness showcasing Eli and Liz, and their budding romance while in the midst of a dangerous job, and The Ties that Bind, featuring Bedilia (Molly’s mother) and the Vampire Master of the City of Asheville, Lincoln Shaddock. Plus Monk’s Ordinary series with Sealed with a Tryst in which the every day chaos of policing the town is preventing Delaney from leaving for a vacation with Ryder.  Followed by At Death’s Door highlighting Than, the God of Death which is amusing.  The collection was also a lovely introduction to Francis and Blain whom I’ve never read before.  At 643 pages, the stories kept me entertained.  (Fantasy)

Taking another Nora Robert’s break with the Gallaghers of Ardmore trilogy set in Ireland: Jewels of the Sun, Tears of the Moon, and Heart of the Sea.   (Fantasy Romance)

Still sipping from Harry Potter, and When Christ and his Saints Slept, and craft books and continuing to listen to Christopher Paolini’s To Sleep in a Sea of Stars on audio book while going to and fro in the car.

I didn’t know what to expect about the Count of Monte Cristo. All I knew was that it was about a man in prison and it was a classic.  While putting together the 52 Books post, enjoyed learning about the story and now I’m even more eager to begin reading it. Plus watching and comparing the two different movies.

Inauguration Poem: Amanda Gorman - The Hill We Climb

 



A placeholder to remember this vibrant young woman and her encouraging poetry. 


“The Hill We Climb”

by

Amanda Gorman

When day comes we ask ourselves, where can we find light in this never-ending shade? The loss we carry, a sea we must wade. We’ve braved the belly of the beast, we’ve learned that quiet isn’t always peace and the norms and notions of what just is, isn’t always justice. And yet the dawn is ours before we knew it, somehow we do it, somehow we’ve weathered and witnessed a nation that isn’t broken but simply unfinished.

We, the successors of a country and a time where a skinny black girl descended from slaves and raised by a single mother can dream of becoming president only to find herself reciting for one. And, yes, we are far from polished, far from pristine, but that doesn’t mean we are striving to form a union that is perfect, we are striving to forge a union with purpose, to compose a country committed to all cultures, colors, characters and conditions of man.

So we lift our gazes not to what stands between us, but what stands before us. We close the divide because we know to put our future first, we must first put our differences aside. We lay down our arms so we can reach out our arms to one another, we seek harm to none and harmony for all.

Let the globe, if nothing else, say this is true: that even as we grieved, we grew, even as we hurt, we hoped, that even as we tired, we tried, that we’ll forever be tied together victorious, not because we will never again know defeat but because we will never again sow division.

Scripture tells us to envision that everyone shall sit under their own vine and fig tree and no one should make them afraid. If we’re to live up to our own time, then victory won’t lie in the blade, but in in all of the bridges we’ve made.

That is the promise to glade, the hill we climb if only we dare it because being American is more than a pride we inherit, it’s the past we step into and how we repair it. We’ve seen a force that would shatter our nation rather than share it. That would destroy our country if it meant delaying democracy, and this effort very nearly succeeded. But while democracy can periodically be delayed, but it can never be permanently defeated.

In this truth, in this faith, we trust, for while we have our eyes on the future, history has its eyes on us, this is the era of just redemption we feared in its inception we did not feel prepared to be the heirs of such a terrifying hour but within it we found the power to author a new chapter, to offer hope and laughter to ourselves, so while once we asked how can we possibly prevail over catastrophe, now we assert how could catastrophe possibly prevail over us.

We will not march back to what was but move to what shall be, a country that is bruised but whole, benevolent but bold, fierce and free, we will not be turned around or interrupted by intimidation because we know our inaction and inertia will be the inheritance of the next generation, our blunders become their burden. But one thing is certain: if we merge mercy with might and might with right, then love becomes our legacy and change our children’s birthright.

So let us leave behind a country better than the one we were left, with every breath from my bronze, pounded chest, we will raise this wounded world into a wondrous one, we will rise from the golden hills of the West, we will rise from the windswept Northeast where our forefathers first realized revolution, we will rise from the lake-rimmed cities of the Midwestern states, we will rise from the sunbaked South, we will rebuild, reconcile, and recover in every known nook of our nation in every corner called our country our people diverse and beautiful will emerge battered and beautiful, when the day comes we step out of the shade aflame and unafraid, the new dawn blooms as we free it, for there is always light if only we’re brave enough to see it, if only we’re brave enough to be it.


Sunday Weekly Wrap Up - Lots of books in progress

 


I’m currently sipping on multiple books and making some progress in my main A to Z read, The Dragons of Dorcastle by Jack Campbell, in which there are about 100 pages left in the book and they finally mentioned dragons but have yet to see them. 

Slowly rereading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and picking up on details never noticed before.  I had forgotten about the extent Mr Dursley went to keep Harry from receiving his Hogwarts letter and Hagrid’s anger.  

In When Christ and his Saints Slept, I really dislike Maude’s husband, Geoffrey but she’s feisty enough not to let him run all over her. 

I started listening to Christopher Paolini’s To Sleep in a Sea of Stars and the narrator makes the story come alive and I can’t wait until my buying ban is over to buy the Hard back and read it. 

Nonfiction wise, In Light the Dark, Billy Collins talks about he fell in love with W.B. Yeats poem, the Lake Isle of Innisfree.

I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made;
Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee,
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.

 And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;
There midnight’s all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet’s wings.

 I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey,
I hear it in the deep heart’s core.

 

I wasn’t familiar with Yeats’s poem and love the beautiful, vivid imagery.   

Collins talks about how there’s always one poem you should memorize that inspires and sooths and, in the process,

 “going from deep familiarity to complete mastery – is a challenge and a deep pleasure. In repeating different lines, your reading becomes more focused than it’s ever been before. You become more sensitive to every consonant and vowel.”  

I have yet to find a poem I want to master, but I think I will set a goal of finding that one poem that speaks to me enough to do so.  

And as Collins says “Poetry becomes an oasis or sanctuary from the forces constantly drawing us into social and public life. Poetry exerts a different kind of pull on us.  It’s a pull toward meaning and subjectivity. It’s the sound of lake water lapping by the shore.”

Which is probably why I was blown away while listening to Paolini’s story. There is a poetry about his word choices, the descriptions, although aren’t poetic, are so vivid they draw you out of yourself and into the story. 

 



My  52 Books theme this week is the Daughters of Mnemosyne who are the nine muses and the focus is on Kalliope, the goddess of Epic Poetry.  I started Divine Comedy years ago and read Inferno but didn’t read the last two volumes. I have Purgatorio waiting in the wings and since this year is the 700th Anniversary of Dante’s death, I’ll read it sooner rather than later.

 For fun I took the buzzfeed quiz: Write A Romance Novel And We'll Tell You Which Greek Muse You Are and I am Terpsichore: The Muse of Dance

“When it comes to romance novels, you like them intricate and unexpected. Full of twists and turns as the lovers are blown about by the winds of fate, you look for passion and grace in every line and when the perfect plot twist occurs, you cannot help but gasp aloud.”

Ha, right on.  Yes, I do love books full of twists and turns and unanticipated moments. 




Although I don’t feel like I was that creative this week I actually was and wrote three posts and put them up on the blog: a review for My Christmas Number One, thoughts on Fathers of the Church, plus an A to Z poem about Homonyms called Knight of Night
 
Story wise, I had written a whole new day which amounted to four new chapters, 16 – 19, filling in the story and providing more clues and snippets that will apply to the rest of the story. Before, I had skipped the day with basically a reference to he didn’t show up on Saturday and bypassed the day, skipping to the next day and the dramatic scenes.  I came to realize my character wouldn’t have put up with being sidelined. So, I gave her the day to work through and it’s been interesting. The revision has been slow going and I’m currently on Chapter 16, doing the multiple pass thing and filling in descriptors, fixing dialogue, making sure have all the senses and makes sense.

And I managed to accomplish all this amid getting a new laptop and transferring over all my files and being distracted by the news of the day and working three days last week.

Giving myself a pat on the back and pressing ever onward and upward.