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Showing posts from April, 2011

H is for Heat Wave by Richard Castle

Richard Castle

Back Cover:  Mystery sensation Richard Castle, blockbuster author of the wildly bestselling Derrick Storm novels, introduces his newest character, NYPD Homicide Detective Nikki Heat.  Tough, sexy, professional, Nikki Heat carries a passion for justice as she leads one of New York City's top homicide squads.  She's hit with an unexpected challenge when the commissioner assigns superstar magazine journalist Jameson Rook to ride along with her to research an article on New York's finest.  Pulitzer Prize-winning Rook is as much a handful as he is handsome.  His wise-cracking and meddling aren't her only problems.  As she works to unravel the secrets of a murdered real estate tycoon, she must also confront the spark between her and Rook. The one called heat.
I'm reminded of the Irving Berlin song "We're having a heat wave"  

We're having a heat wave,
A tropical heat wave,
The temperature's rising,
It isn't surprising,

Tuesday blog wondering finds: Conformity, Confidence, Creativitity

Oliver Van DeMill of Thomas Jefferson Education -
The Clash of two Cultures:  conformity versus innovation

Positivity Blog:
Abraham Lincoln's top ten fundamentals for creating a kick but life

Love this post by Jen at Laughing at Chaos:
Gifted kids are not like other kids.
Nathan Branfords Separating Confidence from Self Doubt "   
"Confidence will give you the strength to doubt yourself."

That time of the month again over at 5 Minutes for Books. What's on your Nightstand
Quote to ponder:
How often--even before we began--have we declared a task 'impossible'?  And how often have we construed a picture of ourselves as being inadequate? ....  A great deal depends upon the thought patterns we choose and on the persistence with which we affirm them.  ---  Piero Ferrucci

Sunday Salon: Reading and writing mojo

Happy Easter!  I was thinking on the way into the shop Saturday morning, how Easter presents one of those opportunities for a fresh start, mid year.  How lent gives you a time to contemplate, rethink how you do things, prepare you for something new or for a change.  I always make these grandiose plans to get inspired by reading this book or that book, taking up a new habit or getting rid of an old one.  Somehow my plans always seem to change.   My unplugged friday's sort of got derailed by class stuff.  I couldn't completely unplug because my class is, of course, online.  Instead of reading the books I originally planned, I ended up rereading Charles Filmore's Keep a True Lent and book one of  Thomas Merton's  Bridges to Contemplative Living series "Entering the School of Your Experience."

I also found myself not wanting to read fiction for some odd reason, just couldn't get into any book.  I started several non fiction books, multitasking away and after a…

Good Friday

The Crucifixion

They placed the cross upon His back Yet, no one seemed to care The weight across His shoulders Seemed more than He could bear. The spikes were driven in His hands And pounded through His feet The ones who had convicted Him Were cheering in the street. The crown of thorns placed on His head Brought blood upon His brow The day of prophecy had come He had to face it now. The sins of man were laid to rest He bore a heavy loss The agony He must have felt As He hung there on the cross. The innocent blood of Jesus Christ Was shed for all to see The Son of God was crucified And died for you and me. Author/Written By: Marilyn Ferguson ©2001

WIP Wednesday - Interrupted by Notes from the Universe

The universe is telling me today - to read, to sit, to ponder, to think, to just be.  Especially when Nora Roberts releases a new book into the universe.  Life stops when one of her books arrives.  

I think the problem with my reading life lately. I needed a Nora fix. *sigh* Plus I received this note from the universe this morning
Robin, it's the way you think. That's your purpose. It's never been about what work you choose, what gifts you develop, or what niche you fill - let these be for your pleasure.

Think as only you can think, which will lead to feelings that only you can feel, from which connections will be made, lives will be changed, and worlds will come tumbling into existence.

The Universe
Not much to report on the ROW80 front. Check out everyone else's progress here

Happy Writing and Reading!

Sunday Salon: Getting in the rhythm and ROW80 Checkin

It is a beautiful day out and what are we doing?  Watching Tron Legacy.  Father and I watched it last night and James was very anxious about seeing it as well, so.....    This has been the week for movies.  Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 1 was released on Friday.  I pre-ordered it from Amazon and it arrived Friday morning.  So ask me if I got any writing done.  Not on Friday.  We sat down to watch it right away, instead of writing and even doing lessons.   Actually we can call it research  - comparing the movie and the book.   Between that and my humanities class, I only managed to work on Red Thief a couple days.   I had to come up with an argument in favor of Physician Assisted Suicide based on utilitarian ethics and also write a faux letter to my assemblywoman about the Death with Dignity Act.   It seems my fellow classmates were having as much difficulty writing their papers as well as everyone procrastinated in posting their responses until this weekend.    Next week wi…

Philosophical Friday: Post to ponder while I'm unplugged for the day

I'm currently reading A Thomas Jefferson Education by Oliver Van DeMille.  There are some days we get bogged down in the day to day lessons and start to lose the big picture of why we are homeschooling in the first place.    James gets bored and would much rather be doing something else, mother stops being a mentor and starts being a task master and soon we are both dreading lessons.   I picked up TJE some time ago but it got lost in the shuffle as things naturally do.  I'm enjoying reading it and getting a fresh perspective, a reminder of why we are doing this.   I came across a section yesterday that just jumped out at me so thought I would share it.
"Our modern {educational}  system is a fairly recent development.  Only in the past seventy years has it become the predominant system.  In the history of education, the current American model is very non traditional, very different from what has been done for generations.  Almost everybody in America is getting the kind of …

WIP Wednesday: Row 80 check in

I want one of these.  This is Mark Twain's Writing hut located on the Elmira College Campus in New York.  Think my hubby will go for it?  Might be less expensive than enclosing the patio.  :)  

I'm ready to finish Red Thief, but the characters, not so much.  It's moving more slowly than I like, but only have so much time to work on the story.  Trying to make sure each scene advances the next.  Some days are a bit frustrating and it is like pulling teeth to get the words down on the page.  Other days it flows like smooth wine and just can't get enough.  Hmm! A nice smooth St. Emilion Bordeaux sounds good just about now. 
My goals this week.  
1)  Write every morning for half an hour and complete at least one full page front and page. 2)  Continue with morning pages. 3)  Start Week 9 of Artists Way 4)  Finish discussion questions on ethics for Humanities class due on Sunday 5)  Decide O theme for 52 books in 52 weeks. Continuing discussion on National Poetry Month.
Speaking of …

James LePore e-book promotion

Approximately two years ago I discovered a new author or rather he discovered me and asked if I would read his book.   The author James LePore and his deput novel "A World I Never Made."   I thoroughly enjoyed the story  and you can check out my review here.   Not long after he received several glowing reviews, James sent this letter via his publisher:

"I am sure that I am not the first to recognize that writing is a solitary, and isolating, affair. There is the writer, his or her imagination, and the computer, with occasional forays onto the internet, also via the computer, to do research. Since I had written two previous novels, neither of which had gotten published, I often asked myself, as I was writing the third--which turned out to be A World I Never Made--why was I still writing?

There are things I like about isolation and the mysterious process of creating fiction, but--and this is something I have only learned very recently--process is only one half of …

Sunday Salon and ROW80 w1r2: Pondering, Reading, and Writing

It is an absolutely beautiful day out today and Father and I sat out on the back patio for the first time in weeks enjoying the sunshine and chatting for a while.  The time has come to write up a list of flowers, veggies and herbs we want to plant and head out to the nursery and OSH for a new patio umbrella. I finished the taxes. We don't owe anything fortunately, except for our estimated taxes.  We are actually getting a tiny bit back which can use for garden supplies. 
I love this weather and sitting out on the patio in the early morning, writing and listening to the birds chirp and chatter.  Writing wise I'm plugging away slow and steady everyday on Red Thief.   I'm writing between two to four pages a day. There are some days I feel like I should be doing more by editing a previous story or doing research, multitasking on more than one story but I don't want to jink not finishing the story. I'd get involved in research and run out of time to write. Or have the ch…

Philosophical Friday - Poem to ponder by Billy Collins

On the way in to work Thursday morning, I was listening to NPR and introduced to poet Billy Collins.  I was intrigued of course, and  looked him up.  Interesting man and even more interesting poetry. Not the usual and I guess that's what I like about him.  Not the usual. The Chairs That No One Sits In by Billy Collins
You see them on porches and on lawns down by the lakeside, usually arranged in pairs implying a couple
who might sit there and look out at the water or the big shade trees. The trouble is you never see anyone
sitting in these forlorn chairs though at one time it must have seemed    a good place to stop and do nothing for a while.
Sometimes there is a little table between the chairs where no one    is resting a glass or placing a book facedown.
It might be none of my business, but it might be a good idea one day for everyone who placed those vacant chairs
on a veranda or a dock to sit down in them for the sake of remembering whatever it was they thought deserved
to be …

WIP Wednesday - 2nd round of A Round of Word in 80 Days

Strap yourselves in and restart your engines for the 2nd round of A Round of Words in 80 days has begun. Check in's will continue to be twice a week on Wednesday and Sunday with Mr. Linky available on the ROW80 website.  Least we forget, ROW80 was created by Kait Nolan, hosted by her and helped along by a bevy of sponsors who had oodles to say and inspire us during round one.  I'll tell you a little secret.  I was so busy writing, I missed half of their wonderful posts and have just been reading through them.  There will be new words of wisdom during Round 2 but throwing a big thank you and a bit of linky love for the round one sponsors and their marvelous, sensible advice:
Sustainable change Problem Solving, Inc. by Andrew Mocete How to Stick to It by Claire Farrell Productive Procrastination by Stacey Wallace Benefiel Three stages of Writing by Lauralynn Elliot Writing To The Future by Craig Hansen Tricking Yourself Into Writing a Novel by Skylar Kade The Long Stretch by Kait Nolan

TLC Book Tour: Heart of Deception by M.L. Malcolm

Heart of Deception


M.L. Malcolm

Back Cover:  "Leo Hoffman is a man of many contradictions.  He is a Hungarian national with a French Passport, a wealthy businessman with no visible means of support, and a devoted father who hasn't seen his daughter in years.  He is also a spy.   Recruited by the Allies to lay the groundwork for their invasion of North Africa, Leo intends to do as little spying as possible; he just wants to earn his American citizenship, get to New York, and find his daughter, Maddy.  But while Leo dodges death in France and Morocco, Maddy learns the truth of her father's mysterious past, and this haunting knowledge compels her down a dangerous path of her own, into deception and discovery."
Heart of Deception is the sequel to Heart of Lies and continues the saga of Leo Hoffman as he works to earn his citizenship, working as a spy, playing one group against another group against another group.  None know whether to trust him or kill him. His fate is l…

Sunday Salon: March sleeps / April Awakes

Happy Sunday!   The rain has finally stopped and spring has sprung.  It is beautiful and sunny and I can finally start sitting out on my patio and enjoy my beautiful garden again.  Plus Melvin's broken foot has healed and I can let him outside and leave the door open so the cats can do their in / out thing without driving me crazy being door keeper.  We just have to monitor his activity a bit for the next couple weeks, make sure he isn't doing any crazy tall tree climbing.  Supervising a cat in the outdoors... Fun!  He was so hyper yesterday because it was his first day out in nine weeks.  Can you say FREEDOM! in meow speak.  

This week I'm working on taxes, hopefully will get majority finished today.  Also working on my goals for the week, the month, the quarter.  Week 8 of the Artist's Way is all about goals.  Naming your dream and one concrete goal that will tell you - you have arrived.  Your true north!  The task is to figure out action steps - where do you want t…

2011 Blogging Authors Reading Project

2011 Blogging Authors Reading Project
Over the years I've discovered some great books by following authors who blog.  I follow quite a number of group author blogs as well as individual authors.   Last year Florinda of 3r's came up with an excellent project and I'm going to continue the project for 2011.   One of the rules last year was you could only read those books by authors you already had in your stacks.  I'm amending that rule for this year since I frequently stumble upon an author and want to read their books.   The goal is simple - to read books by authors who blog.  I'll be starting with the books I already have in the stacks since one of my goals this year is to whittle down my current TBR pile.  

Individual Authors who blog:
Michelle Davidson Argyle of The Innocent Flower - debut novel "Cinders" 
C.J. Darlington'sThicker Than Blood
Richard Doetsch's - "The 13th Hour"
Diane Emley  - "The First Out"
Karen Harrington's of…

Philosophical Friday: Happy April Fools Day!

Small April sobbed, I'm going to cry

Please give me a cloud to wipe my eye;

Then April Fool, she laughed instead

And smiled a rainbow overhead. (Anonymous)

"The great God endows His children variously. To some He gives intellect...and theymove the earth. To some He allots heart...and the beating pulse of humanity is theirs.But to some He gives only a soul, without intelligence...and these, who never grow up,but remain always His children, are God's fools, kindly, elemental, simple, as if fromHis palette the Artist of all has taken one color instead of many."  -- Mary Roberts Rinehart

"Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools talk because they have to say something."   -  Plato