Sunday Salon: Lazing in the sun plus row80 check in.

It is an absolutely gorgeous day and I've spent most of it outside after I finished writing my humanities diversity paper on the differences and similarities between male and female.  Much easier choice rather than going with  straight/gay, enabled/disabled, judeo-christian/muslim or african american/white american.  Have to say I thought I was taking the easy way out, but discovered lots of interesting studies about the male and female brain.  Three more weeks left so I really need to get started on my final project paper about George Bernard Shaw paper.  Eek!  

Speaking of writing, I'm crashing and burning.  You know how everybody says you should write every single day on your WIP or you'll lose momentum.  I seemed to have lost my momentum and working on getting it back.  I'm back to fighting my characters and have written myself into a hole.  In the process of digging my way out.   I can't blame summer vacation because we are still plugging away with home school for another few weeks.   I know what I have to do - put the pedal to metal and push my way through.  


As far as my ROW80 goals are concerned for the remainder of this round, they are going to be concerned with finishing my final project which is due June 19th.  After the 19th, I'll be able to breath a bit and really concentrate on Red Thief.  At this point, the goal is simply to write a little bit on it every day.   I seriously doubt I'll finish the story before the end of the round.  My goal for the this week is to write out a list of things to do and start reading the sources I planned on using.   To see how everyone else is doing and provide them some encouragement, go here.

Oh before I forget, Chris Baty and the Office of Light and Letters has done it.  National Novel Writing Month all year long.  Besides just the official NaNO in November, you'll get to choose the month and go for it.  You can help out by contributing to the NaNoWriMo Camp and Guts Drive.  And once you do, you'll get a nifty web badge: 



Today finally prepared our raised planter (so I don't have to fight the snails),. Father helped me cut the wire mesh cover and figure out how to wire tie it so the cats won't use it as a litter box. The rest of the time we were just sort of hanging out, enjoying the day.

What are you all reading this week?   I just finished The Perfect Poison (arcane society # 6) by Amanda Quick aka Jayne Ann Krentz.    For class, I'll be reading The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (seriously) plus comparing two film versions of the story.   The next book up is Ben Kane's The Silver Eagle.  He sent both it (and a copy to giveaway) and the 3rd book in the series "the Road to Road" which came out in March.  I've been meaning to get to it forever and keep saying I'm going to read and it is sitting on the end table next to the couch.  Well forever is now here.  Not reading another dang thing until I get it finished. 

Have a glorious weekend! 
The Sunday Salon.com

Unicorn Pegasus Kitten and the Clash of the Geeks



Clash of the Geeks




Last night I was just about to go to bed, but before I did, checked my stat counter and found  I had gotten an extreme number of hits in a couple hours for an old post I'd written back in 2010 about a painting created by Jeff Zugale for Wil Wheaton (remember Wesley of star trek fame) and John Scalzi and a fan fiction contest.  Check it out here and watch their hilarious video. It'll give you some insight into their minds. Anyway, when one of my posts suddenly starts getting lots of hits, somebody's mentioned it somewhere.  So I followed the various worm trails until I discovered that Wil had tweeted while doing storytime at the Phoenix Comicon this:

@Wilw  If you're in the theater for Story time, look up the Unicorn Pegasus Kitten painting now. It's important.

My post came up # 1 on the google search over Wil Wheaton or John Scalzi.  Odd but true and I kind of got a kick out of that.  What he should have said was look up www.unicornpegasuskitten.com while I give a reading out of the book.  Well, I figured it was just the universe talking to me, because I was in the midst of brainstorming "U" ideas for week 22 of our read 52 books in 52 weeks quest.

Honesty, I had totally forgotten about the painting and the book created as a result of the contest. The end result is Clash of the Geeks with offerings by Wil Wheaton, John Scalzi, Patrick Rothfuss, Catherynne Valente, Stephen Toulouse, Rachel Swirsky, Scott Mattes, Bernardette Durbin, and John Anealio.  All the proceeds benefit the Lupus Foundation of America. 

The book is available in ebook format on the Clash of the Geeks website for free with voluntary payments strongly encouraged which will go to the Lupus Foundation.    Check it out and you are all on the honor system here. If you choose to download it, be sure to donate. I did.   Nudge, nudge, wink, wink. 


Armchair Bea - Blogging et al


What blogging has done for me


Blogs, twitter, facebook, commenting, meme's, giveaways, authors, writers, books, ebooks, audiobooks, publishers, life, love and laughter, connections and relationships.   Who knew four years ago when I started blogging, I would discover a world wide web of people. People like me who love life and books and talking about books, writing books, reading books. 



Thanks to the blogosphere, over the years I have connected with a number of people including readers, writers and published authors - a supportive community of people whom I'm proud to have as friends. A disparate, diverse group that I probably wouldn't have gotten to know otherwise.    As an introvert, I have a tendency to go about life with blinders on, afraid to be nosy, get in other people's business.  My husband and son have absolutely no problem starting up a conversation with anyone they see.  Blogging has given me the freedom to do that.  To browse blogs, talk to complete strangers about anything,  drop in on conversations on twitter, join in group activities without feeling uncomfortable, or out of place.  The thing I like most about the book blogging community is that know matter who you are, you are welcomed with open arms.

  
One thing I think is important when visiting blogs is remembering that I am basically dropping in on someone's virtual home.  If I dropped by my neighbor's house, I'm not going to walk in, make myself comfy on their couch and not say a word to them.  I'm going to strike up a conversation, of course.   In that vein, I always try to leave a comment when I visit anyone's blog.  Now granted I follow a lot of blogs and google reader is a blessings, because I can browse everyone's posts from the comfort of my anonymous couch.  


"Do or do not. There is no try."

But, if you are anything like me, I love comments.  I will drop in and comment as often as possible, especially when you've written a post that sparks with me.  I'm not perfect, however and that doesn't mean I haven't been guilty of lurking on blogs, dropping in and then getting distracted and forgetting to leave a comment.   So my one tip for bloggers is - when you visit a blog, leave a comment and give them some bloggy love.   It'll make the bloggee feel good and not sit there wondering why you didn't like their post.  



Speaking of posts, there are dozens and dozens of posts just waiting for your perusal at ARMCHAIR BEA Central so I won't bend your ear any longer.    Many, many old bloggers and new bloggers whom I haven't met yet.  It'll probably take me the next couple months before I get to them all.   

Thank you for dropping by and see you around the blogosphere!

TLC Book Tour: Almost Home by Mariah Stewart



Almost Home

by

Mariah Stewart




Synopsis:  "When she was young, Steffie Wyler always knew exactly what she wanted to do with her life: 1. Make ice cream. 2. Marry the coolest boy in town. 3. Live happily ever after. These days, Steffie is the proud owner of One Scoop or Two, a wildly popular ice cream parlor. But the cool guy left town right after high school, before they could scratch the surface of their mutual attraction to see what, if anything, lay beneath. Steffie’s made a great life for herself in St. Dennis, but true love has never come knocking.

Wade MacGregor left for college in Texas and remained there to start a successful business with his best friend, Robin Kennedy, but he’s always felt something was missing. Then life throws him a curveball: A third partner has robbed the company blind, and Robin has died—but not before entrusting Wade with a precious secret. Now back in St. Dennis, Wade’s determined to do whatever it takes to protect his friend’s legacy—and to figure out, once and for all, if the sparks that fly whenever he’s with Steffie are just temporary fireworks or the lights in the window leading him home."


"Almost Home" is the third book in The Chesapeake Diaries series by Mariah Stewart.  I love the fictional little town of St. Dennis, Maryland in Chesapeake Bay and the characters that reside there.  The series takes us back to the cozy little town from her murder mystery Last Words. (excellent story, part of the Lost series, and well worth reading as well.) 

Steffie has made a cozy little life for herself, running her ice cream shop and designing fabulous new flavors.  The only thing missing is the guy.  She's been attracted to Wade forever, but he left and moved to Texas. When he visits for Vanessa's wedding, the spark fly, but he leaves just as quickly as he appears leaving Steffie humiliated.  You can imagine her shock when months later he shows up at her shop with his two year old son in tow and has decided to move back into town.  As always, thrown in with the romance, there's a bit of mystery and a bad guy involved, leading to more than a little bit of excitement. 

Almost Home can be read as a Stand Alone, however, you'll want to more once you've read it.  Be sure to check out the first two books in the series:  Coming Home and Home Again. And good news, there is a fourth book coming out on July 26, 2011 called Home Town Girl which is Brooke and Jessie's story.    I'm so excited.  To read excerpts and find out more about all Mariah Stewart's books check out her website.

Thank you to Lisa of TLC Tours, Ballatine Books for providing me with courtesy copies of the books and Mariah Stewart for her wonderful writing.   Check out the rest of the tour here.

Armchair BEA: How do I armchair



Welcome to my little corner of the Blogosphere.  I'm Robin and I'll admit it, I'm an addict. A book addict.  Have been ever since I learned to read at six years old.  I've collected a fair amount of books (I like to keep my books) over the years and our overflowing bookshelves are a testament to that.  I bought a nook last year and discovered the world of e-books.  So many new temptations out there.  *grin*  

How do I roll?  I'm a Jill of all trades at the moment.  It all sort of crept up on me and before you know it, a full busy life but I wouldn't trade it for anyone's.   I'm a homeschooling mom, student, aspiring writer, business owner, book blogging, bookaholic. 

A few random facts:  

We have a noisy household with four very talkative cats, my extrovert husband and son who love to share everything.  I'm an introvert which is probably why I love writing. It allows me peace and quiet time. 

I have another blog - a challenge blog to read 52 Books in 52 Weeks. It originally started as a we need inspiration to read challenge within my the Well Trained Mind homeschool forum. It sort of blossomed from there and I have folks from all over the blogosphere participating now. Sunday's are the start of our book week and every week I post something related to books. (duh)   I have a A B C theme so each week starts with the next letter in the alphabet. When I reach Z start all over again.  There are mini challenges within the challenge and I'm having fun exploring new topics. 

I'm almost done with my Bachelor of Science Degree in Liberal Arts.  When I'm done with this class in June, I finished.   *Yeah*   So psyched. 

James loves to write fan fiction about Mario, Sonic the Hedgehog and a few other video characters.  He has several notebooks full of stories (makes a mom proud)  and started blogging:  check them out here and here .

Make yourself at home, pour yourself a cup of tea, pull up a chair and explore.  Check out my linkbar which tells all about my writing, book challenges, what's on my nightstand and other projects. 

Looking forward to meeting lots of new bloggers from around the blogosphere through ARMCHAIR BEA. Thank you to Amy and all the rest of the organizers. Looking forward to all the fun this week. Will make up for not being able to go to New York. Maybe next year.


So how do you Armchair?

Sunday salon: randomness of the soul



Happy Sunday!  Sorry things have been a bit quiet around here lately.  My humanities class has been quite time consuming, involving a lot of writing and with only four weeks left, things will continue that way for a bit more. Besides our weekly class assignments, I am in the process of figuring out my outline for my Final Project which is due June 19th and involves a lot of reading.  My final project paper is on George Bernard Shaw and the role his socialism played in his writings or something to that affect.  But at the end of all this is the end of the Rainbow - my Bachelor's degree.  So digging in.  If postings or visits and comments to your blogs are a bit scanty, you'll know why.
Edwaert Colyer "quiet life with manuscripts"
Amidst the class stuff, we're still plugging away with 5th grade lessons. Due to various illnesses and vacations, we still have 10 weeks left to go which puts us at the end of July.  I was starting to panic because we weren't going to finish some of the subjects and I thought I screwed up somewhere.  Then I realized we had switched curriculum midyear with English and Spelling and picked up studying California History mid way.  *Breath*   So some things will carry over into 6th grade.  


I've gotten back into a reading groove again and recently finished "Janeology" by Karen Harrington and "The Preacher's Bride" by Jody Hedlund, two authors who are also blogging friends.  Will be reviewing them soon. (hopefully)  Both were books that once I started reading them, didn't stop until finished.  Excellent and if you haven't read them, check them out.  


I actually finished two reading challenges:  Literary Escapism's New Author Reading challenge with 15 books and Books and Movies Ireland Reading Challenge - Shamrock Level with 2 books.  I have more Irish books on the shelves but don't know when I'll get to them.  I have one more book to go and I will have finished BethFishRead's What's In A Name Challenge.  Yeah!  Which just leaves me with Jenner's Take a Chance Challenge, Becky's  A to Z challenges for author and Title (up to J on both) and my  Blogging Authors Reading Challenge (halfway done - just haven't updated)  Those will take the rest of the year. 


Writing wise, I am still plugging away with Morning pages and my current WIP Red Thief.  Took a 3 week break for some odd reason, but finally getting back into the groove.  My goals for this round of ROW80 are going to change for the next 4 weeks to incorporate my final class project.  It will be taking priority over everything else and I won't have time to check in every Wednesday and Sunday.  It will be sporadic at best at this point.    There are still a number of folks hanging in there so go cheer them on here.

Another neat thing happening in the blogosphere this week which I unfortunately won't be able to participate in as much as I want to is the ARMCHAIR BEA running concurrently with the BEA conference occurring in New York this week.  What's on the agenda:  

Monday, May 23: Who are you, and how do you Armchair?
Tuesday, May 24: Giveaways Galore!
Wednesday, May 25: Work the Network!
Thursday, May 26: Nurturing Relationships
Friday, May 27: Blogging about Blogging!  


Be sure to check out Armchair BEA central for daily happenings.  

Thursday I'll be hosting a TLC Book Tour stop for Mariah Stewart's "Home Again."  Finally, Steffie and Wade's story in her Chesapeake Diary series. 

And before I forget, we are in the 21st week in our quest to read 52 books in 52 weeks.  This week theme is T is for Trevor - Trevor Williams, quintessential irish author whose 83rd birthday is May 24th.  Be sure to check it out.   

Phew!  I think we're all caught up now.  Have a wonderful week and will catch you on the flip side. 


When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, "I used everything you gave me."
  ~Erma Bombeck

The Sunday Salon.com

Catching up and jumping back into the fast lane.

Bullhead City, AZ overlooking the Colorado River and Laughlin, NV

Hello, my darlings.  We made it back safe and sound from visiting my parents in AZ.   It's taken me the past week to get caught up with mine and James school work, work and household stuff.   We had a wonderful time with my parents.  Very relaxing actually. We did a whole lot of nothing which was a nice break from all our busyness.   Mom is recovering from her stroke and getting around with a cane now, although it is slow going for her.  Dad has turned into a regular Suzie homemaker, taking on all cooking and cleaning duties.   We gave him a break and took over the kitchen for a few days while we were there. Enjoyed getting to spend time with my sister, Annie, who I hadn't seen for eons. 
Aren't they cute! 
Dad, Mom and Annie!  So adorable!
My folks have a regular animal sanctuary in their backyard with all kinds of rabbits, roadrunners, chipmunks, and other types of birds hanging out.   We actually got to see a day old bunny who disappeared after a day or so.
Kind of fuzzy taken since taken with my iphone at dusk
Another bunny hanging out in the back yard


Getting something to eat.

 Hello! 

Mom and dad own a modular home in an over 55 mobile home park for family and friends to stay when they visit. It was very comfortable. The park owner's allowed us to stay even though we were under 55. Very accommodating.

Our home away from home!
Beautiful day in the neighborhood!

While we were there, we visited the historic mining town of Oatman, AZ on route 66 where semi - wild burros, descendants from the burros of the mining days have the run of the town.  They are generally pretty friendly and love carrots.  However on the day we were there, a wild male burro who generally doesn't come into town was there and taking on the male burro who thinks the town is his.

Dominant male of the town
Strange Burro who wanted to take over. He got run out of town.

Look at me, dad! 

The Oatman hotel is an interesting spot with over 60,000 dollar bills tacked to the walls and ceiling.


Painted on the side of the building and which presidential actions closed the mine.
You'll just have to drive around me to get out of town!
The first three days we were there, they were having an unseasonable heat wave and the temperatures were 100+.  Fortunately it cooled down the last couple days we were there.   For the first time we flew Jet Blue airlines and I have nothing but praise for them.  Very professional and friendly staff, clean planes with comfortable seats and plenty of legroom, plus free drinks and snacks.  It was seamless, stress less travel both ways.  I highly recommend them.  


Vacation!



We're off for a week to see my parents.  Haven't seen them in eons.  So happy!  No posts while we are gone but will be browsing the interwebz from time to time.  We taking only one computer (mine) so will be sharing and I reckon the boys will be hogging it.  Prayers and wishes for a stress free trip would be appreciated,  as well as fingers crossed we manage to avoid the infamous airport security hand groping.  *grin*

Don't have too much fun without me.   If you get bored, see those folks in the side bar.  Pay them a visit or two or three.

Guest: Elle Newmark and the Jakhu Temple

Welcome to Elle Newmark, author of The Sandalwood Tree as well as The Book of Unholy Mischief and The Chef's Apprentice


Jakhu Temple
While in India, researching The Sandalwood Tree, I visited Jakhu Temple, dedicated to the monkey god, Hanuman. Jakhu Temple sits at the highest point in Shimla, almost 9,000 feet, and on a clear day in March we left the car at the base of a slate stairway that stretched that disappeared in the clouds. I grabbed a bamboo walking stick and started up, determined to make it all the way no matter how long it took.
Halfway up, I stopped to catch my breath and something big and heavy hit me in the head and almost knocked me over. I didn’t know what happened until I saw a monkey sitting a few steps away holding the sunglasses that I’d been wearing a moment before. He just sat there, looking smug, and I was ready to kiss my glasses goodbye when a bored looking caretaker threw the little thug a pre-packaged monkey treat. The cunning thief grabbed his treat, dropped my glasses, and ran.
Blackmail!
Turns out, Jakhu Temple is overrun by monkeys who make their living by terrorizing tourists, but no one seems to mind.  The bamboo poles were not walking sticks at all; they were handed out to beat off the monkeys. It was, after all, Hanuman’s temple and if these were his acolytes who would dare get rid of them.
At the top of the stairs, we came to the small but elaborate temple where I took off my sandals, rinsed my feet under a cold tap and walked back a couple thousand years. As you walk into Jakhu Temple, you ring a bell suspended by garlands of flowers and enter a small, dim, smoky room. I thought the bell must be a solemn ritual until I saw a little boy jump up to whack it as hard as he could and laugh like a little maniac. Apparently, it’s just a casual head’s-up for the gods.
Just inside the door, I stepped over a turbaned man who was lying prostrate on the floor and holding a stick of incense in his outstretched hands. The eminently bribable gods sat in a regal enclosure in the middle of the room surrounded by flowers and offerings, while people circumnavigated the room in pious procession, praying and touching their foreheads to the wall. The statues, the bells, the incense, the hushed piety, the people lost in supplication, all of it made me think of the Catholic churches I grew up with. Except for the bare feet and the monkeys, it was pretty much the same.
Huh. Who’d have thought it?

************************************************************************************************
Thank you, Elle for sharing some of your travel experiences.   Elle is an award winning writer whose  books are inspired by her travels.  She and her husband, a retired physician, live in the hills north of San Diego.  To learn more about Elle, visit her website at www.ellenewmark.com

The Sandalwood Tree by Elle Newmark





by


Elle Newmark




Front flap:  "In 1947, an American anthropologist named Martin Mitchell wins a Fulbright Fellowship to study in India.  He travels there with his wife, Evie, and his son, determined to start a new chapter in their lives.  Upon the family's arrival thought, they are forced to stay in a small village due to violence surrounding Britain's imminent departure from India.  It is here, hidden behind a brick wall in their colonial bungalow, that Evie discovers a packet of old letters that tell a strange and compelling story of love and war involving two young English women who lived in the very same house in 1857.   Drawn to their story, Evie embarks on a mission to uncover what the letters didn't explain.  Her search leads her through the bazaars and temples of India as well as the dying society of the British Raj.  Along the way, a dark secret is exposed, and this new and disturbing knowledge creates a wedge between Evie and her husband."

The Sandalwood Tree is an excellent historical fiction story which takes place in two time periods - the 1840's and 1947 in India.   Two different time periods, one setting.   The history of the1857 Sepoy rebellion blending with 1947 end of British Rule with the partitioning of the Hindu's and Muslims is quite educational.The story of two young English women, set on being independent during a time period when it was frowned upon, is told through Evie's discovery of their letters and flashbacks. In both time frames, the racial divide between the cultures and well as the social divide is remarkable.  Elle Newmark has done a fantastic job of writing a story about love and war that is quite intriguing, gives you a broad perspective of life during those times and keeps you enthralled as you read, wanting to know what is going to happen next. 

I'm a new fan of Elle Newmark and can't wait to read her other stories:  The Book of Unholy Mischief and The Chef's Apprentice. Her attention to detail is due to the fact she has traveled to the places of her stories and immerses herself in the culture.   She has graciously written an essay about her travels in India for the readers of My Two Blessings which I will share with you tomorrow.  

Thank you to Grace for asking if I would be interesting in reading "The Sandalwood Tree" and providing me with a courtesy copy of the book.  Thank you to Elle for writing such warm, interesting characters and sharing their story.  I thoroughly enjoyed reading the book and highly recommend it. 

Pages:  368
Publisher: Atria
Released:  April 5, 2011

Other Thoughts:

"The characters are endearing and really capture the reader’s imagination, and their stories really serve to move the narrative along and inspire Evie’s imagination" 

"The place is beautifully rendered in this novel. India and her overwhelming color and lushness stand out even as Newmark has captured the insularity, racism, and surprising compassion of the late 1940's British ex-pat community there." 

"Newmark transports the reader to India with her lush details of the area and descriptions of the people and the culture." 


FYI:  I was not compensated for this review and opinions expressed herein are solely my own.

Sunday Salon - Get Caught Reading and Creative Beginnings Month

Get Caught Reading

Yes, May is Get Caught Reading month as well as Creative Beginnings Month.   Can't imagine anything better than reading or being creative. Speaking of creativity, for ROW80 (A Round of Words in 80 days) I'm still working on first draft of Red Thief.  It's going a bit slowly and shame on me, but I didn't work on it every single day this week.  Kind of an off week. Check out how everyone else is doing here



I just finished reading "The Sandalwood Tree" by Elle Newmark and will be posting my review on Tuesday.  Excellent historical fiction novel set in India during two time periods - the 1840's and 1940's.    Now I want to read her other books "The Book of Unholy Mischief" and "The Chief's Apprentice."   And guess what, Elle has written a guest post for me about her travels in India while researching "The Sandalwood Tree" which will be live on Wednesday. 

My book buying ban seems to have disappeared with the April winds.  Yesterday, I went to Bereans to pick up "What's in the Bible 5" dvd for James which unfortunately they didn't have.  Instead  I picked up favorite author books  "The Priest's Graveyard" by Ted Dekker, "Tenth Stone" by Bodie Thoene, "Out of Time" by Alton Gansky".  Also a couple authors I haven't read yet - Alister McGrath's "The Aedyn Chronicles" and Robin Hatcher's "Fit to be Tied." 

I just finished Week 10 of The Artist's Way - Recovering a Sense of Self Protection.  It's all about the dangers of the trail and creative roadblocks we place in front of ourselves.  Cameron talks about how 'fame' and 'competition' are spiritual drugs. 

"Fame encourages us to believe that if it hasn't happened yet, it won't happen.  Of course, it is fame.  Fame is not the same as success and in our true souls we know that.  We know--and have felt--success at the end of a good day's work.  But fame?  It is addictive and it always leaves us hungry....   The point of the work is the work.  Fame interferes with that perception. (pg 171)


"Competition is another spiritual drug.  When we focus on competition we poison our own well, impede our own progress.  When we are ogling the accomplishments of others, we take our eye away from our own through line.  We ask ourselves the wrong questions, and those wrong questions, give us the wrong answers.  

As artists we can't afford to think about who is getting ahead of us and how they don't deserve it.  The desire to be better than can choke off the simple desire to be.  As artists we cannot afford this thinking.  It leads us away from our own voices and choices and into a defensive game that centers outside of ourselves and our sphere of influence.  It asks us to define our own creativity in terms of someone else's.  (pg 173)


So true and it is hard not to compare yourself to others.  The grass is always greener mentality seeps through, tainting the well of inspiration.   Cameron says it best:

"If the demand to be original still troubles you, remember this:  each of us is our own country, an interesting place to visit.  It is the accurate mapping out of our own creative interests that invites the term original.  We are the origin of our art, its homeland.  Viewed this way, originality is the process of remaining true to ourselves." (pg 174)

Speaking of creativity, James has started  a blog called Bowser Jr.'s Fan Fiction.  Check out his latest entry.

This week theme for Read 52 Books in 52 weeks is Q is for Queen.  Interesting tidbits about the monarchy.  The British Monarchy website is very interesting, fascinating and educational.


I'm excited.  I got one of these:



Except I didn't get a white one. It came out the day after I ordered my phone.   I'm having a lot of fun exploring and playing, discovering all kinds of interesting apps.  The only thing I'm miffed about.  I didn't find out (and must have missed it in the small print somewhere) that the fee for the Internet Hotspot is $20.00 extra a month.  *face palm*   Oh well. It's worth it in order to have internet where ever I go. 

The Sunday Salon.com

Happy Reading!