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Showing posts from May, 2009

The Sunday Salon - Books and Awards

Good afternoon Sunday Saloners. It is a balmy and sunny 78 degrees out, though for some reason it feels so much hotter. I finished my literary anaysis questions for "Heart of Darkness" by Joseph Conrad for my Modern Literature class. The next two weeks we'll be reading "To the Lighthouse" by Virginia Woolf and analyzing it. Honestly, I have never read anything by Virginia Woolf so looking forward to it.

Just returned from my successful mission in picking up a new patio table umbrella. Now I can enjoy reading outside without getting totally burned. I somehow managed to burn just my knees last week. Not quite sure how that happened. Gottshalks is going out of business and having a 50 to 75% off everything sale, so dropped by there and picked up some new king size sheets and blanket for a wonderful price. Will have to drag hubby back there before they close to pick up some nice shirts. As soon as I returned home, Father and James dragged me into wa…

Work In Progress Wednesday (errr, Friday)

How did it get to be Friday already. It has been one of those hectic weeks with lots of stuff going on, but just don't feel like much has gotten accomplished. I managed to write all of a 1000 words again during the week and have to figure out a better way to schedule my writing time.

My writing time in the morning disappeared due to Wii Mario Kart. Yes, let's blame it on the game and James wanting me to race him every morning. There goes an a hour and then it's time to start lessons. Or clean the bathrooms, do laundry, or help father decide on what color led light to go with for his blinky warning light on his preamp. Have I mentioned the difficulty of writing when your spouse works at home a couple days a week, rather than going into the office. And likes to use you as a sounding board. However today I managed to write more than I did all last week. Yeah! Of course, I've been at it, off and on since 9:00 with several interruptions. We had a broh…

Sunday Salon - musing about books

Good morning Sunday Saloners from sunny California. Memorial Day weekend usually blasts us with 100 degree weather and today it is a cool 59 degrees. When I got up this morning, I put on shorts and ended up wearing my sweater for most of the morning. I love three day weekends. Plenty of time to catch up on household chores, snooze and of course read.

Yesterday we spent part of the day waiting for the AT&T U-verse installer to show up. The first time they came out, there had been a problem at the home office and they hadn't hooked something up or whatever, so he couldn't do the job. Yesterday, when the installer didn't show up, I called and found out the wonderful people screwed up and didn't put the appointment in their computer. You want to know how I feel about incompetence! If they can't even manage to get that right, what kind of service would we get once everything was hooked up and changed. Part of the reason I canceled our cell phone service…

Why some things just don't get done.

Do you ever wonder where the time goes. Why you don't accomplish as much as you want.

In the midst of trying to write this morning.

"Hey Mom - listen to this" and he rambles on about Godzilla and nuclear tests and did it really happen. So we look up the 1962 nuclear tests and read all about the starfish prime test and nuclear electromagnetic pulses.

Back to writing.

Meow, meow, meow comes the strident cry of kitten # 3 Gracie as she drags her fake tail toy across the kitchen to my chair. Time out to play.

Back to writing.

Scritch, scritch, scritch comes the scratching of cat claws on the patio door. Look over and kitten # 2 Melvin looks at me imploringly. Open the door and he eats a few bites and wants to go back out again.

Stare at the keyboard and think. "Hey mom! Come race with me!"

"In a few minutes, dear."

Scritch. I really need to trim all the cats claws, it sounds like finger nails on a chalkboard. Melvin's back at the door with that f…

Mini Book Reviews #63 through 67

Time again for some mini book Reviews

On a Pale Horse ( Book one of Incarnations of Immortality) by Piers Anthony. I first read this series back when it was published in 1986. It definitely had stood the test of time and is just as entertaining and interesting as it was then. Zane mistakenly kills the incarnation of Death and must take over his role.

# 64
Visions in White is book 1 in a new series The Bride Quartet by Nora Roberts. The series is about childhood friends Parker, Emma, Laurel and Mackenzie, The founder of Vows, one of Connecticuts premier wedding planning companies. Book 1 is all about Mackenzie. Vintage Roberts.

The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians # 1) by Rick Riordan. First time author read of young adult book about Percy who discovers his father is the Greek God Poisedon. Poisedon supposedly stole Zeus's lightning bolt and Percy must go on a mission to return the bolt or the wrath of the Gods will fall upon mankind. Entertaining re…

Weekly Report #29 5/18 to 5/22

We have 7 more weeks of lessons left and with our 3 weeks on and one week off schedule, we will be done the end of July. We could power through and not take our breaks and be done by the end of June. But I'd end up being a grumpy old mom and hating life in general, so slow and steady we go.

What we accomplished this week:

Explorer Bible Study: Lesson 12, Genesis 15 - Covenant with Abram. We are slowly working our way through Genesis. In Genesis 15 the Lord made his covenant with Abram giving all the land from the river of Egypt to the great River Euphrates to his descendants. The study is still holding James attention. I asked him because it seemed to be getting a bit dry, but he said he likes it, so we'll keep going. He keeps asking when we are going to get to the part where God renames his Abraham. Almost there.

Voyages in English: Started the very last section, # 8 all about sentence diagramming. Made an interesting discovery. Father never learned about d…

Book Review # 62 - House of Dark Shadows

House of Dark Shadows


Robert Liparulo

Back cover: "When the Kings move from L.A. to a secluded small town, fifteen year old Xander is beyond disappointed. He and his friends loved to create amateur films...but the tiny town of Pinedale is the last place a movie buff and future filmmaker wants to land. But he, David, and Toria are captivated by the many rooms in the old Victorian fixer-upper they moved into--as well as the heavy woods surrounding the house. They soon discover there's something odd about the house. Sounds come from the wrong directions. Prints of giant, bare feet appear in the dust. And when David tries to hide in the linen closet, he winds up in locker 119 at his new school. Then the really weird stuff kicks in: They find a hidden hallway with portals leadinng to far-off places--in long-ago times. Xander is starting to wonder if this kind of travel is a teen's dream come true...or his worst nightmare."

"House of Dark Shadows (Dreamh…

Work In Progress Wednesday

I didn't make as much progress this week as I wanted. Distractions abounded and only wrote about 1300 words. Finished one chapter, but I keep wanting to add to it or change it. Slaps hand. Don't edit, just keep going. I think what's been hooking me up is even though this is a major rewrite, keep thinking I should edit along the way. I realize it isn't going to be perfect and will be going through few more edit runs. I should probably treat this as the first draft of new story, even though I'm pulling elements in from the original.

How much information is too much information when characters are meeting for the first time? I'm trying to figure out whether Samantha should remain somewhat of a mystery to Ben or be more forthright. He has some preconceived notions about her and his brother. She really feels like setting him straight on a few things, but how much is too much? Which will move the story forward -- demystifying the role his brother …

Prayers and Good Thoughts Please for Nephew having surgery today!

My nephew is having surgery today at Dallas Children's Hospital to repair a depressed fracture to his skull around 11:30 Texas time.

A couple weeks ago L was out in the field behind his house with one of their dogs. Dakota raced toward him and he put out his leg to stop the dog from leaping on him. The dog tripped him and he rolled down an incline. A horse happened to be coming up the incline. The horse's hoof hit his head. My sister said that's the best explanation she could get out of him. Forward to discovering a depressed skull fracture and the decision to have surgery to fix it. Please keep my nephew, my very nervous sister and brother in law and all involved in your prayers and thoughts today.

Update: Luke just came out of surgery and is in recovery. It went well. There wasn't any damage or tearing to his brain, thank goodness. The surgeon fixed the depressed skull area, pulled it out or whatever you do and reset it. He said areas around the …

Californians - Don't Forget to Vote!!!

California Special Election

Yes, today is a special day in California in which we are having a statewide special election on all kinds of wonderful propositions to help mismanage the state's money. Initially I thought about taking a pass on voting, then realized if me and all the other no people didn't get our butts out there to vote, and only the yes people voted, then they would pass.

Of course, the newspapers pundits are doing their best to talk people out of voting. The polls had barely opened, when a little after 7:00 a.m, our delightful Sacramento Bee says online:

"Voter apathy toward today's special election is being reflected at mostly empty polling places and also at Sacramento County election headquarters."

Aarrggg! They must really think we are stupid. Both conservatives and liberals alike all think these propositions are bad for the state. Let's take the revenues from the state lottery which was originally designed to all go to the scho…

Book Review # 61 - Re-Deal: A Time-Travel Thriller


A Time Travel Thriller


Richard Turner

Back cover: "Buckle up for time travel, karate, and gambling in this action-adventure thriller. Matt McCain, a young man trying to overcome personal loss and family misfortune, and his amigo Juan, a Mexican orphan turned evangelist, are pitted against the Cyphers, a family that utilizes evil for every gain. The presence of Miss Guided, the angel who doesn't always get it right, changes them all. With more twists than a switchback trail, Re-Deal is a time traveling race against evil and misfortune. An 1882 poker showdown promises to change history forever, and Matt McCain aims to be the winner. But first he must match skills with the greatest cheaters of the Old West--from Doc Holliday to S.W. Erdnase. The players, the power, and the present all hinge on the journey back to 1882, a trip through time that Re-Deals history in a startling conclusion."

"Re-Deal: A Time Travel Thriller" is unique and interesting, v…

Monday musings and mailbox treats

Today’s MUSING MONDAYS post is about early reading….Do you remember how you developed a love for reading? Was it from a particular person, or person(s)? Do you remember any books that you read, or were read to you, as a young child? (question courtesy of Diane
My family taught me to read at an early age. One of my earliest memories is first grade and getting a gold star for reading the most books in the class. I remember, and I don't know the reason why, staying inside while all the other kids were at first recess and reading. Once I learned to read, I couldn't get enough of it. Reading opened all new doorways to many different people, places and things.

The picture above was taken in 1970. Me in pajamas and white shoes. It was Easter time and I was showing them off. I loved Easter because it meant getting to buy new white shoes. Chris was about 3 1/2 at the time and I adored my brother. Obviously Dr. Seuss was a big favorite in our household. Other than th…

Book Review # 60 - Enemies and Allies

Enemies and Allies

(The Dark Knight meets The Man of Steel)


Kevin J. Anderson

Front Flap: "Sputnik silently circles in the skies above the fabled cities of the United States as danger lurks in the Earth's darkest corners. In Gotham, the shadowy vigilante known as the Batman haunts Gotham's streets...and the police are just as afraid of this Dark Knight as the city's criminals are.

In Metropolis, the notorious Lex Luthor is leveraging international tensions to build LuthorCor into a military industrial empire, competing against his business rival Wayne Industries, which is run by Gotham's enigmatic millionaire, Bruce Wayne. Luthor's activities have raised the interest of Daily Planet reporter Lois Lane, who is beginning to realize that Luthor may stop at nothing to achieve success.

At the same time, Clark Kent and Jimmy Olsen are investigating the rumored crash of a flying saucer. Clark is desperate to know if there may be other lost interplanetary visitors on…

The Sunday Salon -- Lady, your mind is showing!

Welcome Sunday Saloners! I managed to read several interesting books this week including "Enemies and Allies" by Kevin Anderson, "Re-Deal, a Time Travel Adventure" by Richard Turner, "Lightning Thief" by Rick Riordan, "Visions in White" by Nora Roberts and revisited "On a Pale Horse" by Piers Anthony. Father has been busy this week working on his mic preamp project in the evenings, which generally frees me up to read or write, whichever strikes my fancy. Creative, interesting, entertaining reads which I thoroughly enjoyed and will be reviewing some time this week.

Thinking of the creative minds of these authors reminded me of my grandmother. She taught creative thinking classes for many years before retiring back in 1981. Over the years she wrote a book about these lectures and her ideas on creative thinking, but never had it published. A year before she passed away, my father decided to surprise her for her 98th birthday…

Weekly Report # 28 - 5/11 to 5/15

Another week down and only 8 more to go. We are in the midst of a mini heat wave and temps should cool back down for a little bit. Just a precursor of what the summer is going to be like.

Explorer Bible Study: Lesson 11 Genesis 13-14 Abram and Lot separate. Abram decides to separate from Lot and Lot of course chooses the best land. The 5 kings from the Valley of Siddim and the four kings from the East join in battle.

Voyages in English: Finished up Section 7 in which James learned about direct quotations and where to place quote marks. Next week on to diagramming. That should be interesting.

Spelling Workout: Lesson 26 /oi/ and /ou/ sounds James is getting better at distinguishing between the sounds and the spellings. Got 18 out of 20 words correct.

Writing with Ease: Week 11 identifying central details in a description. The excerpts were from the original 101 dalmations. James has only heard the disney version so interesting to read excerpts from the original. I re…

Too Hot to Handle Book Giveaway Winners

I had 27 wonderful ladies interested in Robin Kaye's "Too Hot to Handle." I plugged all your names into the list randomizer at, hit the randomizer 27 times and the winner is:

MonieG of Reading with Monie

and since so many were interested, I decided to give away the other copy as well. The randomizer picked:

Margot of Joyfully Retired

Congratulations and Happy Reading!

Life in the fast lane and bookish news

Happy Friday!

I'm working on my homework today and this weekend. For the the first module of the course have 3 questions to work on and discuss with my online Modern Fiction class, plus a reflective essay to complete.

1) Discussing the cross fertilization of Art and Literature - Choose one piece of Dada, impressionist or surrealist and explain how the art relates to some of the literary themes, components and concerns in modernism. Since impressionism is my favorite, will be going with that style.

2) Discuss one cultural or historical influence (ie art, history, psychology, science or technology) on the development of literary modernism you find interesting.

3) Chose one major modern writer (such as Eliot, Virginia Woolf, Beckett, Yeats, Kafka to name a few) and provide a one paragraph biography and a list of their most important contributions to the genre.

And write a reflective essay for the professor specifically addressing why chose this course, what expectations are and what…

Work In Progress Wednesday

Yes, I know this is Thursday. Yesterday was a hectic day filled with lessons, shopping for James new Webelos uniform and other things. James Pack is moving up the Webelos on Friday and they are holding the function in the park. Of course, our weather just turned and it's expected to be over 100. The joy of living in the Valley. However last night, Father was involved in working on his microphone preamp which freed up my evening. Instead of reading my new Nora Roberts book (major temptation), I wrote...and wrote...and wrote, then typed...and typed...and typed.

It's interesting. I compared my first draft of FOTS with Winter's Illusion and with what I'm doing now and see a big difference in my writing. The first draft has lots of backflashes, long paragraphs and not a lot of white space. Will probably end up rewriting 95% of it. Not a bad thing, because I'm enjoying the journey at the moment. Giving Samantha her voice and letting her tell the story. …

Post to Ponder - It's Never Too Late

Reach for it - the sky is the limit

Robert Lopatin thought it was too late. As a boy, he had dreamed of becoming a doctor. But when he went to college, he gave up the idea. Instead, he went into the family business of manufacturing women's clothing. He stayed there for twenty-seven years! Then he and his father sold their business. If he wished, he could retire.

But then, at a friend's wedding, he sat next to a young man who had just finished medical school. Chatting with the new doctor made him think about his boyhood dream. And at age fifty-one, Robert Lopatin decided to become a doctor.

Today he is fifty-five. He graduated from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and is currently serving his residency at Montefiore Medical Center in Bronx, New York. And he's loving it--even the one hundred hour workweeks and the graveyard shifts.

"I feel like I died and was born again," he says.

You may have a dream in your heart that you think is too old to pursue. …

Concisus libri recenseo

So many books, so many words, so much time

Time for some mini reviews because I read too many books, too fast and have too little time to give them all the justice of a long review.


Alice Kimberly's (aka Cleo Coyle ) Haunted Bookshop Mystery is wonderfully wacky and humorous and well worth the read. The bookstore ghosts helps the new owner solve a murder. I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the series.


L.L. Foster's (aka Lori Foster) first book in the Servant series introduces Garbrielle Cody, God's demon slayer and totally innocent when comes to men, has her hands full when Detective Luthor Cross becomes suspicious.

Book # 2 in the series and Gabrielle, God's warrior has fled to a different part of the city and been given a new task. Detective Cross is bound and determine to find out who and what she is. Lori is one of my favorite authors and she doesn't disappoint.


First Time author read and my curiosity has been satisfied. Written in fir…

The Sunday Salon - Reading and Writing

Happy Mother's Day

Good Morning, Sunday Saloners. It is a bright and sunny day here in California. James gave me the gift this morning of sleeping in so I actually got to have some quiet, alone time. They will be giving me more quiet time later, when they go out grocery and Mother's day shopping. Father asked me what I wanted and it became a toss between books on writing or new patio chairs and an umbrella. He and James just looked at me and said "Hmm."

I started reading "Take No Prisoners(Black Ops #2) " by Cindy Gerard at breakfast and promptly got wrapped up into the story. Gerard's writing just takes you away. I could learn a few things from her. Speaking of writing, it's been an interesting few days.

Wednesday I got drawn into a conversation about writing and identity at Nathan Bransford and wrote this long post about labels. Since then I've been struggling with writing, for some reason the flow stopped. God knocke…

Book Review # 53 - Too Hot To Handle

Too Hot to Handle


Robin Kaye

Back Cover: "Dr.Mike Flynn sure would love to have a woman to take care of... To Dr. Mike, there's nothing like vacuuming or doing a few dishes to help a guy relax. Annabelle Ronaldi would never cook if she could order takeout. When they meet at her sister's wedding, Mike is sure this is the woman he wants to take care of forever. While Mike sets to work wooing Annabelle, she becomes determined to sniff out the truth of a convoluted family secret that's going to turn both their lives upside down..."
"Too Hot to Handle" is a romantic story that will have you laughing and crying from Annabelle's sense of humor, her protective family and friends, and Mike himself as they figure out their relationship and where it will take them. From page 1, Robin Kaye captures your attention.

"Ghosts don't have sex, do they? Annabelle Ronaldi wasn't one hundred percent sure of the answer. Floating between sleep and w…