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Showing posts from October, 2009

Weekly Report # 6

The week went well and we are still working our way up to a full schedule. What we accomplished:

Faith, Character and Catechism:

Boyhood and Beyond: James and Father read Where Do I Belong and Mr. Industry vs. Mr. Sloth.

"Every day you have the desire to be industrious. Every day you have the desire to be slothful. Some days one desire is stronger than the other. The desires you follow determine the man you will become." pg 92

St Joseph Baltimore Catechism: # 5 Creation and Fall of Man; Bible History Cain and Abel and Matthew 5 the Beatitudes. All lead to some interesting discussions.

Math: Completed Lessons 15 through 18.

Voyages in English: Lesson 4 writing skills pertaining to personal narrations and focused on Compound Predicates and Direct Objects.

Spelling: Lesson 4 Hard and Soft c & g. James scored 18 out of 20 on test.

Writing with Ease: Lesson 20 - concentrating on identifying narrative thread in excerpts from Alexander the Great and his Horse. James has no…

Halloween Spooktacular One Word Reviews



I don't have time to write any intelligent reviews this weekend. I enjoyed reading both these books. DeLint's was spooky, scary, chilling, good. A five star book in my book. Sergie'sNightwatch - complex, esoteric, philosophical book about good and evil. Surprisingly good.

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley



Mary Shelley

Back Cover: "Obsessed with creating life itself, Victor Frankenstein plunders grave yards for the material to fashion a new being, which he shocks into life with electricity. But his botched creature, rejected by Frankenstein and denied human companionship, sets out to destroy his maker and all that he holds dear. Mary Shelley's chilling Gothic tale was conceived when she was only eighteen, living with her love Percy Shelley near Bryon's villa on Lake Geneva. It would become the world's most famous work of horror fiction, and remains a devastating exploration of the limits of human creativity." For Heather's of Age 30's Dueling Monster's Read-A-Long I decided to read Frankenstein since I had never read it before. Frankenstein was quite interesting given that it was written back in the 1800's by an 18 year old girl. It was slow reading simply because of the writing style back then. I was surprised by the story beca…

New Challenge - Shelf Discovery Challenge

Shelf Discovery Challenge
November 1, 2009 to April 30, 2010

The year is coming to an end and I've been looking at all the challenges for 2010 that have been coming up. I swore I wasn't going to do any challenges that didn't last the whole year, but one caught my eye that I just have to do: Shelf Discovery Challenge hosted by Julie of Booking Mama. It is her first challenge ever, so congrats to Julie for thinking of it. The challenge is based off of the book "Shelf Discovery: The Teen Classics we Never Stopped Reading. I was browsing the book on Amazon and really liked the author Lizzie Skurnick's sense of humor. There are lots of interesting books I read when I was younger and surprisingly quite a few I didn't. I decided to join in on the challenge. The goal is to read 6 books mentioned in Shelf Discovery. It looks like I'm going to go on a Lois Duncan kick.

Besides reading Shelf Discovery, the books I have chosen to read are:

1. A Gift of…

Libri Multus

Mini reviews - first time author reads

Thoroughly enjoyed Nevada Barr's Blind Descent. Once started reading it, didn't want to put it down. Anna's coworker is hurt while exploring a deep underground cavern in Carlsbad Cavern's. She wants Anna by her side. Only problem, Anna is very claustrophobic. She battles her fears as she goes deep underground to help rescue Frieda. Mix in the fact that someone deliberately tried to kill Frieda and doesn't want anyone to get back to the surface.

Kill Her Again by Robert Gregory Browne. One of the authors who blogs at Murderati. Well written thriller about Anna, a FBI agent who has been having visions of a kidnapped little girl since she was seriously injured on the job. While investigating the murder of a family and the disappearance of the little girl, the visions keep reoccuring. Supernatural elements come into play when a hypnotist tells Anna the girl in her visions is her from a past life. Spooky, scary and very …

hush, hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

hush, hush


Becca Fitzpatrick

Sidewalk Drawing done for Simon and Schuster, Canada

Publisher Description: Romance was not part of Nora Grey's plan. She's never been particularly attracted to the boys at her school, no matter how hard her best friend, Vee, pushes them at her. Not until Patch comes along. With his easy smile and eyes that seem to see inside her, Patch draws Nora to him against her better judgment.

But after a series of terrifying encounters, Nora's not sure whom to trust. Patch seems to be everywhere she is and seems to know more about her than her closest friends. She can't decide whether she should fall into his arms or run and hide. And when she tries to seek some answers, she finds herself near a truth that is way more unsettling than anything Patch makes her feel.

For she is right in the middle of an ancient battle between the immortal and those who have fallen -- and, when it comes to choosing sides, the wrong choice will cost Nora her life.


The Sunday Salon: Nooks and Books

Dear john letter to Kindle. I'm so sorry, darling, but I've found something new that offers me so much more and I can't resist it.

What sold me on the Barnes and Noble Nook: AT&T's 3G Network and Wi-Fi enabled ereader -- Can't, can't stand Sprint. Plus the color touch screen -- cool! Other cool features - ability to download thousands of free ebooks from google and read up to 10 days before having to recharge the battery. After mulling it over for a couple days and discussing it with Father, pre ordered the Nook. It is set to be released on November 30th. It will either be a late birthday or early christmas present to myself.

During BBAW I won the Reading and Writing Bundle from Harper Collins and I received the books on Friday. Very cool selection.

Don't Know Much About Literature * by Kenneth C. Davis. Lots of interesting facts about great books and their authors.

How to Read Literature Like a Professor * by Thomas C. Foster. A guide to…

Dewey's 24 hour Read A Thon

The readathon is in full swing. Readers are in their 13th hour. I decided instead of being a reader this year, that I would be a cheerleader. I knew that once the California Capitol March was over, I would be too brain dead to read. And I was right. I tried reading a bit after we got home and couldn't comprehend a thing. Took a nap and jumped on line to visit all the readers and urge them on.

I got in some practice (inadvertently) cheerleading at the march, leading our troop in the YMCA song. They were playing YMCA over the loudspeaker and the cub master thought I was doing such a good job of it, that she appointed me to lead the boys in the Y M C A hand movements. Yes, father took pictures. Soon. Soon.

So, what is the read-a-thon all about.

What is Dewey’s 24-Hour Read-a-thon? For 24 hours, we read books, post to our blogs about our reading, and visit other readers’ blogs. We also participate in mini-challenges throughout the day. It happens twice a year, in April and…

Weekly report # 4 & 5

Last week was an extremely light week. After accomplishing very little on Monday and Tuesday, hung it up for the week. I think the planned change to 6 weeks on, 1 week off isn't going to work. After three weeks we all look forward to a little break. I use it to regroup and get stuff done around the house. Father uses the break to work on his electronics project. James still gets in plenty of educational stuff although informal. Research on the computer, working on making lego movies, etc. So going back to 3 weeks on and 1 week off.

What we accomplished:

Faith, Character and Catechism:

Boyhood and beyond: Father and James read 5 more chapters about Coveting, Temptation, Education for Life, Forgiveness and Dirty Diapers and Get up Again. The quote I like the best is:

"Whenever you fail, never lie down and quit. Get up! Restore. Get up! Reconcile. Get up! Rebuild. Pick up and ball and run. As long as there is even one second on the clock of life, GET UP!" pg…

Wordless Wednesday - Side Walk Chalk Guy

The sidewalk chalk guy's work always fascinates me!

TSS: More Challenges!

Good morning, good afternoon, good evening and happy monday, depending on where you are on the globe. I swore I wasn't going to join any more reading challenges or set any more challenges for myself, but you know, sometimes you just can't resist. I've been thinking about the new year and reading challenges. I came up with a new challenge for myself - the Hugo Award Reading challenge.

The Hugo Awards are awards for excellence in Science Fiction and Fantasy and are awarded each year at the World Science Fiction convention.

"The Hugo Awards are named after Hugo Gernsback, a famous magazine editor who did much to bring science fiction to a wider audience. Gernsback founded Amazing Stories, the first major American SF magazine, in 1926. He is widely credited with sparking a boom in interest in written SF. In addition to having the Hugo Awards named after him he has been recognized as the “Father of Magazine SF” and has a crater on the Moon named after him."The fir…

Post to Ponder - Lord Woodhouselee and democracy

I heard an interesting quote on Television last night and looked it up today.

"A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largess of the public treasury. From that time on the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury, with the results that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship....

The average age of the world's greatest civilizations has been two hundred years. These nations have progressed through this sequence:

from spiritual faith to great courage;

from liberty to abundance;

from abundance to selfishness;

from selfishness to complacency;

from complacency to apathy;

from apathy to dependence;

from dependency back again to bondage."

Written back in the late 1700's by Lord Woodhouselee, Sir Alex Fraser Tytler, a Scottish jurist, professor and historian.

I saw this last night on the Gl…

Nathan Bransford's Stupendously Ultimate First Paragraph Contest

Nathan Bransford's Stupendously Ultimate First Paragraph Contest

Nathan is hosting a fun challenge in which you pit your first paragraph against other writers first paragraphs.

The 3rd Sort-of-Annual Stupendously Ultimate First Paragraph Challenge At this point he has over a 1000 entries. I've read quite a few of them and they are quite interesting and very good. I couldn't possible compete but decided why not. There are rules of course, number 1 being this is solely for fun. The next is post the first paragraph of any work in progress in the comment section. The paragraph needs to be one paragraph and not multiple paragraphs masquerading as one. I may have broken the one paragraph rule simply because I wasn't sure whether dialogue itself is considered a paragraph in the writing rule. The deadline is Thursday at 4:00 p.m. eastern. The finalist will be posted on Friday and then everyone gets to vote on who the winner should be. For the grand prize winner, th…

NaNoWriMo is coming!!!!

National Novel Writing Month is going to start in 21 more days on November 1st and I'm so excited.

What is National Novel Writing month all about you ask? It is a fly by the seat of your pants way to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. The purpose is output. You don't edit, you don't delete, you don't rewrite ---- you just write. You let the muse flow and let er rip. As Chris Baty says:

"Make no mistake: You will be writing a lot of crap. And that's a good thing. By forcing yourself to write so intensely, you are giving yourself permission to make mistakes. To forgo the endless tweaking and editing and just create. To build without tearing down."
I don't know what it is about the prospect of ignoring my internal editor for 30 days and writing like crazy. Perhaps the adventure of it all. Totally wrapping myself up in the lives of imaginary characters and subjecting them to all kinds of interesting and perilous activities. Perhaps it is the ca…

Weekly Report # 3

This week went pretty well, except for a few minor glitches. Our schedule gets thrown off for the day when Father sleeps in and leaves later for work. Benefits of having your own business with employees who open the shop for the day. We usually start lessons as soon as he leaves. But when he doesn't get out of here until 11:30 or so, we just hold off until after lunch. Sometimes this works. Other times, I swear James brain has left the building. Hello? Anyone home?

Faith, Character and Catechism: Father and James read two more chapter in Boyhood and Beyond: Ch 5 A man and Ch 6 Be of Good Cheer.

"There is not a set day when you become a man. It's not a matter of age. Manhood is built within you little by little. Each time you accept one of life's responsibilities as your own, you take a step toward manhood... Each time you claim some task as your own, you advance toward manhood. When you begin to see the needs of others and feel the urge to meet those ne…

Speechless Friday

Dracula The Un-Dead by Dacre Stoker and Ian Holt

Dracula The Un-Dead


Dacre Stoker and Ian Holt

Product Description: "Dracula The Un-Dead is a bone-chilling sequel based on Bram Stoker's own handwritten notes for characters and plot threads excised from the original edition. Written with the blessing and cooperation of Stoker family members, Dracula The Un-Dead begins in 1912, twenty-five years after Dracula "crumbled into dust." Van Helsing's protégé, Dr. Jack Seward, is now a disgraced morphine addict obsessed with stamping out evil across Europe. Meanwhile, an unknowing Quincey Harker, the grown son of Jonathan and Mina, leaves law school for the London stage, only to stumble upon the troubled production of "Dracula," directed and produced by Bram Stoker himself.

The play plunges Quincey into the world of his parents' terrible secrets, but before he can confront them he experiences evil in a way he had never imagined. One by one, the band of heroes that defeated Dracula a quarter-century ago i…

Libri Multus

Hunting Ground (Book2 in Alpha & Omega series) by Patricia Briggs. Charles Connick and Anna's story continued. Charles and Anna travel to Seattle to mediate conference between American and european werewolves. Throw in some Vampires and a Fae who wants to destroy them all.

The Angel by Carla Neggers. First time author read of romantic suspense novel with supernatural elements. Keira Sullivan goes to Ireland to research Celtic Legends and ends up being in the middle of murder investigation. There is an evil killer on the loose and she may be next. Look forward to reading more by Carla Neggers.

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Read for Banned Book week. Full of adultery, treachery and deceit and has a sad ending.

The Judas Strain by James Rollins (A sigma force novel) A terrible plague is affecting the residents, wildlife and sea life of Christmas Island and the surrounding area. It seems it all started with Marco Polo. The good guys and bad guys are both tryin…

The Value of a Book

Father and I had a thought provoking conversation last night about the Federal Trade Commissions guidelines. Looking at it from a business point of view, we came to some interesting conclusions.

Advanced Reader Copies. What monetary value does an ARC have. I can't sell it nor can I take it to my local used bookstore for credit for them to sale. I can't donate it and write it off on my taxes. What the guidelines are saying is I can't keep the book. Either give it way or discard it, throw it away once done with it. What does that tell you? If I give it away, the shipping cost creates a monetary loss for me. But, in giving it away, I am creating the same situation as the publisher giving it to me. I am giving a gift and what is the value of the gift. Business wise, I'm allowed to give up to a certain amount and write it off. But I can't write off this as a gift because, it is for personal use. No value. If I throw it away, it tells me that the book is…

Federal Trade Commission and Book Reviews

Federal Trade Commission and Book Reviews

What does one have to do with the other you may ask. The blogosphere was all a twitter (literally) yesterday when the Federal Trade Commission announced its final revisions to the Guide Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. Text of 16 CRF part 255 can be found here for your reading pleasure. The revisions include how bloggers talk about books on their blogs, twitter and facebook. The gist of the whole thing is basically if I receive a book courtesy (free) from an author, publisher, editor, distributor or whomever and write a review of said book, I have to include a disclaimer saying it is a free endorsement and I am not receiving any monetary compensation. There are a lot of issues to be worked out and Jane of DearAuthor blogged about her conversation with Richard Cleland of the FTC in order to hopefully bring some clarity to the situation. The regulations are set to go into effect as of December 1, 2009


Writing research - Bats!

Bats! I am researching bats for my new Nano story and a few thoughts came to mind. I've been trying to find the answer, but thought I would put those questions out to those in the blogosphere. I'm sure those of you into forensics or your significant other will know the answer.

Are bats bothered by dead bodies in their cave or other places they may roost. Would they vacate the cave and take up residence elsewhere?

What does bat guano do to a dead body? Would it make it decompose faster or slower or have no affect at all?

In addition, these questions have sparked James curiosity as well. He asks "what happens physically to a person's body when they die." How do you explain decomposition to a 10 year old? Very carefully because one question leads to another until mom is tempted to say let's look it up on the internet. He likes details - specifics. So does any one have a link to a family friendly, not so morbid, non icky site that will explain in gener…

The Murder of King Tut by James Patterson

The Murder of King Tut

The Plot to Kill the Child King


James Patterson and Martin Dugard

Front Flap: "Thrust onto Egypt's most powerful throne at the age of nine, King Tut was challenged from the first days of his reign. The veil of prosperity could not hide the bitter rivalries and jealousy that flourished among the Boy King's most trusted advisers. Less than a decade after his elevation, King Tut suddenly perished, and in the years and centuries that followed, his name was purged from Egyptian history. To this day, his death remains shrouded in controversy.

Intrigued by what little was known about Tut, and hoping to unlock the answers to the 3,000 year old mystery, Howard Carter made it his life's mission to uncover the pharaoh's hidden tomb. He began his search in 1907 but encountered countless setbacks and dead ends before he finally discovered the long lost crypt.

Now, in The Murder of King Tut, James Patterson and Martin Dugard dig through stacks of eviden…