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Showing posts from January, 2013

Wednesday Wonderings - Poetry

I had one of those I get it moments today.  I've never been one for reading poetry.  I've tried my hand at it, mainly as cryptic clues for a couple of my stories. Fun to do.  I'm willing to read for a class and analyze, but reading for fun and enjoyment, not so much.  So when I came across the section on Poetry in Echoing Silence: Thomas Merton on the Vocation of Writing, I almost skipped it.  But then the thought crossed my brain and I forget where I heard it how as writers we should expose ourselves to all kinds of writing, genres, styles in an effort to learn more about the craft.  So decided to power through and this particular essay rang a bell with me.  You get as much out of poetry as you put it into it.  A surface reading will only garner a surface understanding unless you take the time to think about the words. You get out of it, what you put into it.

The Psalms are poems, and poems have a meaning---although the poet has no obligation to make his meaning immedia…

Sunday Salon: Life, love and happiness

Books, Books, Books: I finished reading Michael Crichton's Pirate Latitudes this weekend.  Have enjoyed  many of his books over the years including the Andromeda Strain and  Congo among others. I have yet to read Micro which was published posthumously in 2011 and finished by Richard Preston, author of The Hot Zone.  Coincidentally a friend recently recommended Hot Zone which is a true tale of a biological outbreak.  Considering that I read Sick last week, which was a fictional tale of biological terrorism and could very well happen, decided to add it to my wishlist.  Then I listened to NPR's Science Friday Book Club discussing The Andromeda Strain, and who was their guest speaker - Richard Preston - talking about Crichton's writing. Synchronicity wise, I think the universe is telling me to read Preston's book.  The audiocast is interesting so grab a cup of coffee or tea and sit back and listen. It's about 25 minutes long. 

Publisher's Weekly is talking about t…

The Trial of Fallen Angels - James Kimmel Jr.

Synopsis: "Brek Cuttler has it all: a husband she loves, a daughter she adores, a successful law practice. And then one day everything she has ever known disappears. Brek finds herself standing on a deserted train platform, covered in blood. As she tries to comprehend what is happening to her, a man from her past approaches and explains that she has been chosen to join the elite team of lawyers charged with prosecuting and defending souls at the Final Judgment.
As Brek struggles to find her way back to her husband and daughter, she will discover that her first client holds the shocking secret of her fate. That seemingly disparate events during her life have conspired to bring her to a single moment in time that will determine her eternity. And that every act of kindness and cruelty sets in motion things beyond our wildest imaginations."
Kimmel has created an imaginative story in The Trial of Fallen Angels.  A woman dies and ends up in a place called Shemaya which …

Sunday Salon

I've been a part of Cherry Adair's Street Team for a few months and received a nice surprise in the mail yesterday. She sent everyone a beautiful coffee cup which I christened this morning with Earl Grey Tea.  I have enjoyed reading all her books and a couple years back won a stay at her guest house through Brenda Novak's Diabetes Auction.  Which is coming up again in May so be sure to mark it on your calendar.  It's been one of those weeks that it feels like nothing much is getting accomplished so receiving the cup made my day.



Reading wise, it's been great - I read three dusty books:  Sick by Brett Battles which was about an evil scientist unleashing a nasty virus in order to wipe out the majority of the world's population. Very scary thought and entirely possible.  Young Adult murder mystery Across the Universe by Beth Revis about a young girl frozen cryogenically with her parents and a group of people to populate a new planet and wakes 300 years later still …

The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith

Synopsis:  This first novel in Alexander McCall Smith’s widely acclaimed The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series tells the story of the delightfully cunning and enormously engaging Precious Ramotswe, who is drawn to her profession to “help people with problems in their lives.” Immediately upon setting up shop in a small storefront in Gaborone, she is hired to track down a missing husband, uncover a con man, and follow a wayward daughter. But the case that tugs at her heart, and lands her in danger, is a missing eleven-year-old boy, who may have been snatched by witchdoctors.


I've been hearing about Smith's Ladies Detective Agency series for years and finally had a chance to read the first book.  I was charmed by Precious and enjoyed learning about Africa and African customs.  When Precious's father dies and leaves her with a small inheritance, she decides that rather doing something safe like a butcher shop, she will open a detective agency in her town…

Around the World with Auntie Mame - Patrick Dennis

Synopsis:  Narrated by Mame’s fictional deadpan nephew, Around the World with Auntie Mame takes readers on a first-rate if not always first-class voyage to intriguing locales around the world—including Paris, London, and Lebanon. Setting sail aboard the Normandie, Mame soon finds herself pursued by Interpol and rescued from semi-nudity by a pack of Irish wolfhounds. Next, Mame’s antics lead her to a gunrunning ship on the eve of World War II, causing luxury accommodations to be forfeited for the sake of action. But not to worry—she doesn’t rough it for long. If you thought her Manhattan parties were superb, you’ll want to put yourself on the guest list for her splashy Venice bash featured in this equally tipsy and titillating romp.


When I turned 50 three years ago, my father blessed me with a memory. He remembered reading Around the World with Auntie Mame to my mother when she was in labor with me.  So of course I had to read it.  The story is told as a series of vignettes a…

Monthly Mix up Mania

I came across a wonderful and really fun looking challenge hosted by Gina of Book Dragon's Lair and other bloggers called Monthly Mix-up Mania. The goal is to read a book for each letter of each month in the year which is a total of 74 books if you do it right.  I'm in. Will have a permanent link up the linkbar 

Guidelines:
1) only one letter per book
2) books can be moved around if it fits better somewhere else after you've read it
the letter doesn't have to be the first word, just the first letter of a word in the title (a, an, and the do not count)
3) reviews aren't necessary but a quick "I read for letter... it was about... I did/not like it" would be nice and can be left in the comments.January (7)

J
A
N
U
A
R
Y

February (8)

F
E
B
R
U
A
R
Y

March (5)

M
A
R
C
H

April (5)


P
R
I
L

May (3)

M
A
Y

June (4)


U
N
E

July (4)

J
U
L
Y

August (6)

A
U
G
U
S
T

September (9)

S
E
P
T
E
M
B
E
R

October (7)

O
C
T
O
B
E
R

November (8)

N
O
V
E
M
B
E
R

December (8)

D
E
C
E
M
B
E
R

Sunday Salon: Finding the groove

Life:  Whether you are right about the weather or writing about the weather, change is hard.  We eased back into lessons this past week with a minimum of fuss. However, we are still working out the kinks on timing and James desire to do everything on his own and when it's time for a supervisory review.   I told him to look at it like a job - he can either stop at a certain reasonable time every day for his supervisor (me)  to review his work or we can stipulate Friday as review day.  We tried the latter this week and it leaves a bit to be desired as we were a bit cranky at the end of the long week.  He's a teenager - nuff said.   How many more years to go?  Concentrating on my one word - Grace.


ROW80: Writing and reading wise,  spending my mornings getting into a study, reading, and writing mode.  The goal is to write daily - whether it's journaling, blogging or working on wip.  I wrote everyday except for one day this week.  I'm loving the Write Brain workbook and had…

Neuromancer by William Gibson

Synopsis:  Case was the hottest computer cowboy cruising the information superhighway--jacking his consciousness into cyberspace, soaring through tactile lattices of data and logic, rustling encoded secrets for anyone with the money to buy his skills. Then he double-crossed the wrong people, who caught up with him in a big way--and burned the talent out of his brain, micron by micron. Banished from cyberspace, trapped in the meat of his physical body, Case courted death in the high-tech underworld. Until a shadowy conspiracy offered him a second chance--and a cure--for a price.... 


Back in the 80's when I was sucking up science fiction and fantasy like there was no tomorrow, don't know how I missed reading Neuromancer.  But I did and realized probably wouldn't have appreciated it so much back then.  It isn't an easy read as it is an intellectual, physics laden, crime …

The Rossetti Letter by Christi Phillips

Back Cover synopsis:  1618. A beautiful young courtesan writes a secret letter to the Venetian Council warning of a Spanish plot to overthrow the Republic, thereby endangering both herself and her lover.  Who was the mysterious Alessandra Rossetti and why did she choose such a perilous path?

Today.  PhD candidate Claire Donovan races to locate the documents that will finally reveal the motives of this woman whom history forgot. As she searches the ancient city of Venice, she too falls under it's spell.





When Alessandra finds herself practically penniless when her benefactor and lover dies, shes accepts the offer of Venice's most beautiful and classy courtesan, La Celestia, to train her in the arts of love. She captures the attention of some high ranking men which puts her in the position to learn about their political deceptions.  Meanwhile in the present day, Claire Donovan is struggling to complete her doctoral thesis and discovers a writer is presenting a paper in Venice on th…

New Year, New Round of 80 Words!

Jan 7th is the start of ROW80 for 2013 and long story short for those who aren't familiar with A Round of Words in 80 Days.  It is the brain child of author Kait Nolan which is a goal setting writing challenge which runs in 4 rounds, each 80 days. The purpose is to set goals which are measurable and if you need to change them because it just isn't working. 

Last year, I kind of fell off the wagon with my goals and happy to have a fresh start. I already mentioned my goals for the year here and now I'm ready to start breaking them down into manageable weekly objectives.

My goal is to write daily even when I'm not actively working on a first draft so not going with a specific word count for this week.   Doing a modified morning pages / journaling  utilizing Sarah Young's Jesus Calling and exercises from The Write Brain Workbook by Bonnie Neubauer.   The first is thought provoking and the latter has been fun as I'm enjoying the creative writing exercises.

Took a b…

Sunday Salon: Grace

Above all the grace and the gifts that Christ gives to his beloved  is that of overcoming self.  ~ Francis of Assisi


Last year I stumbled across One Wordand OneWord365 and then throughout the year kept coming across writers and bloggers talking about their one word.  Kind of thought it interesting, but hokey at the time. The concept of focusing and working on embracing one word the whole year.   I couldn't even fathom narrowing the things I needed to focus on in life down to one word.  But the more I thought about it, the more it made sense.  After all, I had decided to write deliberately the last two years, then this year changed it to writing mindfully.   I thought about going with patience but you know what happens when you pray for patience. God starts throwing all this stuff at you to prove you already had the patience to begin with. 

I finally narrowed it down to grace.  What is Grace?   Grace is kindness. Grace is empathy. Grace is unconditional love. Grace is so many things. …