My Bookshelf Challenge for 2017

My personal goal in 2017 is to read my own books while working on the Birthstone Bookology challenge which may take more than the year to complete. We'll see how it goes.  In particular, my dusty print books that have been lingering on my shelves. They are all quite sad and have been loudly calling my name with each passing day. I also have a few ebooks that are aging away. However my goal is to read more print books this year.   Maybe this year I'll do a better job of keeping track of what I read and complete my own 52 Bingo challenge.  *grin*   

On the shelf 

Alexandria Link (#1) - Steve Berry 
Angelmaker - Nick Harkaway
Blinding - Mircea Cartarescu
Daughter of Time  - Josephine Tey
Devlin Diary -  Christie Phillips
From the Corner of His Eye - Dean Koontz
Girl with the Dragon Tattoo  - Stieg Larson
Great Weaver of Kashmir - Halldor Laxness
Her Fearful Symmetry - Audrey Neffennegger 
In the Shadow of Young Girls - Marcel Proust 
Innocence - Dean Koontz 
Invisible Library - Genevieve Cogman
Lord of Chaos (#6 WOT) - Robert Jordan
Kafka on the Shore - Haruki Murakami
Master and Commander - Patrick O'brien
Midwife of Venice - Roberta Rich
Murder One - Robert Dugoni 
Natural History of Dragons - Maria Brennan
Niccolo Rising - Dorothy Dunnett 
Night Film - Marisha Pessl
Norwegian Woods -  Haruki Murakami
Post Captain - Patrick O'brien
Remarkable Creatures -  Tracy Chevalier 
Russian Winter -  Daphne Kalotay 
Seventh Plague - James Rollins
Spartacus: The Gladiator - Ben Kane 
Skin Game -  Jim Butcher
Sunne in Splendor - Sharon Kay Penman
the Fountain of Saint James Court - Sena Jeter Naslund
the Revolt - Susan Wise Bauer
the Source - James Michener 
The Sun Also Rises - Ernest Hemingway
the Three Body Problem - Cixin Lui
The Translator - John Crowley
Thicker Than Blood - C.J. Darlington
Through the Darkness -  Susan Wise Bauer
Venetian Betrayal (#2) - Steve Berry 


6th Extinction - James Rollins
11.22.63 - Stephen King 
13th Tribe - Robert Liparulo 
Cryptonomicon - Neal Stephenson
Dawn - Octavia Butler 
Gifted Thief - Helen Harper 
Have Stakes  Will Travel - Faith Hunter
Ice Cutters Daughter - Tracie Peterson
Sweet Tomorrows - Debbie Macomber 
the Forest House - Marion Zimmer Bradley 
The Redbreast - Jo Nesbo 
The Road - Cormac McCarthy
Thief with no Shadow - Emily Gee 
Thieves of Heaven- Richard Doetsch 
TimeKeeper - Tara Sim

2017 Birthstone Bookology Reading Adventure

Birthstone Bookology

Reading Adventure  

Inspiration struck me a few days ago while working on themes and authors flavors for the 52 Books in 52 Weeks challenge.   Something that would spice up the old A to Z alphabet or spelling out the months.  The Birthstone Bookology Reading Adventure will take me around the world and through different time periods from the ancients to the present. Plus there are a variety of directions this challenge can go with exploring the myths and lore, different time periods and countries where the stones are found, as well as reading books spelling out the stones.  The possibilities are limitless and ripe with rabbit trails. 

I'm going to keep an open mind, use my imagination and see where it takes me.  Join me on Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks and have fun exploring the world.  


One book per letter in the birthstone of the month.

The birthstone name in the title.

The color of the stone in the title.

Set in the time period where the birthstone was discovered

The mythological figure or lore surrounding the stone

Set in the place where the birthstone is currently found

January -  Garnet 

February - Amethyst

March -  Aquamarine

April -  Diamond

May - Emerald

July - Ruby 

August - PeridotSardonyx or Spinel 

September - Sapphire 

October - Opal or Tourmaline 

November - Topaz 

December -  TurquoiseTanzanite, or Zircon   

2016 Reading Wrap Up

2016 Reading Wrap Up!

How many books did you read and did you meet or beat your own personal goal?  Or did you get caught up in reading and forget to keep?    

2016 turned out to be a stressful year for a variety of reasons which means my goals went out the window and I escaped into comfort reads, sticking with favorite authors.    So I ended up rereading quite a few and didn't keep track of how many.  However  after perusing my shelves, both physical and virtual, recreated my reading year and discovered I have read 101 books.  What fun! What memories!    I discovered a few books lost in the shelves to read for next year.  They keep having babies.  Derailed by rabbit trails!  Back to the subject at hand.

Statistics wise:

101 Books
49 authors
11 are new to me
34 female
36 whole series or part of series
49 paranormal and urban fantasy with a couple dystopian thrown in for good measure. The remainder are a mixture of mystery and suspense, psychological thrillers or mild horror, contemporary romance and historical.
43 print books
58 e-books
17 Chunky
6 nonfiction

What were your most favorite stories?   Any stories that stayed with you a long time,  left you wanting more or needed to digest for a while before starting another?  Did you read any books that touched you and made you laugh, cry, sing or dance. 

I fell in like with Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series this year and devoured all eight chunky books as well as binge watched the first two seasons of the TV series on Starz.  Once I finished the series, it took me a while to move on as my head was full of Claire, Jamie and company.  It made me laugh, sigh, yell in frustration at stupid choices, cringe during fight scenes and  saddened when a favored character died.

Robert McCammon's dystopian Swan Song captured my attention and left me wanting to know what happened to the characters after the end of the story.

T.M. Causey's Saints of the Lost and Found enthralled with the character who could read any person she came in contact with and know what they had lost - whether physically or emotionally or spiritually.   As soon as I finished it, I turned right around and read it again.

What is the one book or the one author you thought you'd never read and found yourself pleasantly surprised that you liked it?  Any that made you want to toss it across the room in disgust?

Vikram Seth's A Suitable Boy both surprised and disgusted me.  It was a fascinating adventure into  India in the 1960's. A blend of culture and politics and how it plays a role in the life of both family and friends. Seth has a way of weaving a story and enmeshing the reader into the characters lives. So when the character didn't make what I considered the right choice, I wanted to throw the book across the room in disgust.  

What countries and time periods did you visit?  

I went from the bottom of the sea up to outer space.  Spent quite a bit of time visiting various countries in Europe including England, Scotland, France and Greece.  Traveled through the Middle East and settled down in India for a bit. Visited the past as well as the future and explored alternative worlds.  I traveled the Appalachian trail  with Bill Bryson and experienced the 60's through Joan Didion's eyes.

Plans for next year?  Attempt to stay on track and have fun with birthstone bookology. Read from my own stacks until... well, just until I give in and buy that next new book in the series I've been waiting for.   😎

Happy to say this year is ending on a very thrilling note as we just closed on a new business property. Let's just say after 6 months of hoops, I'm an expert hoop jumper now. A story for another day.   You might say the planning and renovating a new building, while sorting, throwing away and packing a business that's been in the same spot for 28 years will be equally stressful.  But in this case, the good kind, so onward and upward.


J.D. Robb - Diva of Death and Dialogue

J.D. Robb's Brotherhood in Death 

I am hooked on J.D. Robb  (aka Nora Roberts)and her In Death series.  She is the one author I pre-order all her books and read them over and over again.  Yes, I've read the whole In Death series three times, plus listened to the audiobooks once. I'm currently on a 2nd go round of listening to them in the car while going to and fro. I learn something new with each read or listen.    I still consider myself a newbie writer since I discovered the joy about 10 years ago.  Around the same time, a friend suggested I read one of Nora's books from her McGregor series and I've been hooked ever since.  I studied how she handled all the elements from the dialogue to point of view to description.   And that's how I feel in love with Eve and Roark and the whole cast of characters from In Death.   No she doesn't hit it out of the ballpark with every story, but that doesn't stop me from reading every single one.

Yes, she breaks some rules with point of view, sliding in a thought here and there from other characters, but it works very well.   Didn't realize it was 'against the rules' until  another writer friend provided me feedback on a couple chapters and took me to task for differing points of view.  Rules are made to be broken and according to Alice LaPlant in The Making of a Story, the rules are more guidelines than anything else. * grin *   I had more fun completing all the exercises in TMoaS when I did a study with a group at WVU, ..which is a story for another day.

She rarely uses dialogue tags choosing instead to  use movement beats and momentum of the scene so you always know who is speaking.  It's sort of rubbed off on my own writing as  you can tell from the last post with the discussion between Ashley and Greg.   I've listened to other authors who use a lot of he said, she said and when read aloud, becomes really distracting.  Robyn Carr's Virgin River for instance.  I love reading the series but couldn't stand listening to the first book.  Which is why I appreciate J.D. Robb's style so much.

Flash Friday - Z to A reverse alphabet story


Zanzibar hopped into the car and headed up the coast.  Yesterday he’d been fired, for nothing really, he told himself.  X’rays revealed a tumor so he used it as an excuse for his behavior.  Winding down the lonely road, he smiled and thought of Clover, the dunderheaded dog behind the factory.  Very stupid, but oh so brave.  Undoubtedly he should have taken the dog, but they kicked him out fast, only gave him time to clear his locker.  Trash talk, that was all.   Seriously, why had Blakely looked so appalled?  

Really, who takes jokes literately? Quite the moron and he hadn’t been the only one.  Proud of his little ditties and songs, Zan had made a poster and hung it in the break room.  Oops!  No way he could have known Blakely or Singleton had minorities in their families.  Maybe he should have kept his mouth shut, but he’d never been too good with that.  Lazy, his dad said, too lazy to think, to stop and think about other folks.  Kendall had torn down the poster, ripped it into tiny pieces and shoved it in his face.  Jackass! 

If they had only asked, he would have explained about the tumor and he wasn’t responsible.  He huffed  out a breath and  tapped his fingers on the steering wheel, thoughts all jumbled.  Granted, they were all a bunch of idiots and he’d hated the job, so why should he care.  Free now to roam, to drive and explore and be himself.  Even his dad was mad at him as well.  

Directly around the next bend, the ocean came into view, vast, blue and gorgeous. Craving fish now, he checked gps for the nearest sea food restaurant.  Battered fried shrimp and maybe some lobsters rolls would be good.  All thoughts ceased when he drove off the cliff, distracted by a bodacious babe in a bikini.  

Proust invokes the past

Proust invokes the Past 

“Taste and smell alone, more fragile but more enduring, more unsubstantial, more persistent, more faithful, remained poised a long time, like souls, remembering, waiting, hoping, amid the ruins of all the rest; and bear unflinchingly, in the tiny and almost impalpable drop of their essence, the vast structure of recollection.”  ~Marcel Proust 

It’s on the tip of my tongue, both physically, mentally and emotionally.  A taste, a scent, that takes me back. But back to where?  A fleeting memory of time past. So amazing how smells and flavors catch me unaware, make me stop and reflect.  There have been many times over the years, a scent wafts past my nose and I’m taken back to high school, or an old house, a day on the lake, or a moment of grief.

Honeysuckle takes me back to my first home in Texas and sipping on a honeysuckle bush outside a friend’s house.  I can see our block, our neighbors, all long forgotten, pushed a bit further into the background of my conscious with each move. My dad was in the military so there were many moves over the years.  Our house was the gathering spot and I remember long summer days and evenings playing hide-n-seek, doing heads stands on the front lawn and the boy next door teasing me.

Growing up and even up into my 20’s, I couldn’t understand my parents fixation with food when we traveled.  The concern of where and when we were going to stop and eat.  Do we eat to live or live to eat?  It wasn’t until later that I realized it wasn’t the food. It was the place.  Food takes on a different flavor when we equate it with a place, use it as a placeholder for our memories.  A favorite restaurant takes on a new meaning when it isn’t the food we are going for, but the camaraderie and a place to rest, think and talk.

When my mother died, dad insisted on going to one of their favorite restaurants. Little did I know they’d practically adopted the owner and the staff into the family.  Surrounded by love, familiar scents and comfort food, it helped him grieve. 

Favorite foods, recipes of the past, made by mom's or grandma’s, passed on not just because they may tasted good, but because they reminded us of them and of days cooking, puttering around the kitchen, eating and playing games.

I love how Proust poetically and philosophically leads us to the point of memory.  He could have very well said – It’s on the tip of my tongue.  Where’s the beauty in that.

Happy Mother's Day

Being Your Mother


Barbara Cage 

Being your Mother
means that I have had the opportunity
to experience loving someone
more than I love myself.
I have learned what it's like
to experience joy and pain
through someone else's life.

It has brought me pride and joy;
your accomplishments touch me
and thrill me like no one else's can.

It has brought me
a few tears and heartaches at times,
but it has taught me hope and patience.
It has shown me the depth,
strength, and power of love.

Being your mother
hasn't always been easy,
and I'm sure
I've said or done things that have hurt or confused you.
But no one has ever made me as satisfied
as you do just by being happy.
No one has made me as proud as you do just by living up to your responsibilities.

No one's smile
has ever warmed my heart
like yours does;
no one's laughter
fills my heart with delight
as quickly as yours can.

No one's hugs feel as sweet,
and no one's dreams
mean as much to me as yours do.

No other memories of bad times have miraculously
turned into important lessons or humorous stories;
the good times have become precious treasures
to relive again and again.

You are a part of me,
and no matter what happened in the past
or what the future holds,
you are someone
I will always accept,
forgive, appreciate, adore,
and love unconditionally.

Being your mother
means that I've been given
one of life's greatest gifts: you.

Happy Mother's day to all my peeps!  

Flash Friday - Thoughts about X

Trickery with X 


National Poetry Month

X-rays and xacto knives
No, let's not go there.

No, I don't watch that either.

Nope, none of that. 

Nah, my son looks like both of us.
Although my three sisters and I all have different hair color.
No one believed we had the same mother and father.

Lots of odd rocks in our collection.

I did love Piers Anthony's imagery world 
When I was a teen.

Xavier Cugat,
He was married to the cuchi cuchi babe.
Charo for those too young to remember.

Beware the big bold x of the railroad crossing.
Don't try to beat the train.

Xeroxes to Xylographs
modern to the past. 

Time for me to make my exit,
since I find that I'm quite perplexed. 

Sunday Salon: Dinty Moore's Field Guide to Writing Flash Non Fiction

I've been derailed by nonfiction. Would never have believed it.  Me, who only reads fiction and likes to escape into a book has embraced nonfiction.  I knew absolutely nothing about flash fiction or flash non fiction before I started taking courses at WVU.  First I read Dinty Moore's Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Flash Fiction which led me to the Field Guide for Writing Flash Non Fiction

I’m intrigued by Moore’s history of flash non fiction.  It’s renewed my interest for reading Montaigne’s Essays which has been languishing in my stacks. It occasionally yells ‘read me, read me’ and I say, ‘okay in a few.’   I’m fascinated by all the rabbit trails, authors and essays and magazines to read and absorb. 

“Bernard Cooper offers perhaps the first attempt to define the brief essay form...To paraphrase Cooper, then, the brief essay form is discrete, sharply focused, and must be held up, studied like a small tableau, to review the secrets of human nature contained therein.”

I’ll have to remember that: a tableau, a picture, a moment frozen in time.  What does it say? How does it say it?  How do you paint a word picture of an grand idea in as few words a possible while still retaining the emotion of the moment?

According to Moore, likening the reader to a smoke jumper, you start at the flash point, in the heat of the moment.  Kind of scary actually.  No build up, no lead in, just jump right in.  Will take a bit of practice, but that’s why we’re here.

Moore brings up the point “This tendency toward briefer prose in the digital domain stems partially from the eyestrain caused by staring too long into a conventional computer monitor and also from the perceived unwillingness of computer surfers to scroll too far or too often.”

Do we have shorter attention spans caused by internet surfing?  Probably.  It’s odd that when I read anything on the computer, I skim versus I absorb more when using my ipad. I have no idea what the difference is, except maybe I can curl up with my Ipad which makes it more like a book, versus having to sit upright and tense at my computer.  The computer is a tool to me, so yes, I skim to find the most information in the shortest amount of time and move on to something else.  Media has changed the way we view things.  Which I guess is a good thing for those who write flash fiction or flash nonfiction.

Which leads back to the field guide and what I hope to learn from the essays.  Moore says “literary writing is an art form, and no one definition can ever successfully pin down artistic production or product.”  Alrighty then!  I'm not going to worry about defining flash non fiction.   I’ll work on learning as much as I can, experimenting and see where it takes me.  Just keep it short, simple and exciting from the get go. And real, of course.   But how do you define real? 

Flash Friday - Night Road

Friday Flash 

Night Road 

Decided to revisit Oulipos today and share my experiment utilizing Robert Frost’s The Road Not Taken which turned out to be a big failure. I tried the N + 7 route which is replace the major nouns with another noun which is the 7th one below it, in the dictionary.  However the first line ending up being 

Two robbers diverged in a women. 

After I stopped laughing and got over my hot flash, tried a few variations but it just wasn’t working.  Then I got the bright idea to take book titles and transform them into a story, but got as far as a weird poem.  Which is below for your viewing  pleasure. 

On the Night Road 

Death Comes
Brightly Burning
Across the Endless River
On the Night Road.

Dark Shadows 
In the Woods
Scream for Me,
On the Night Road.

Dark Harbor.

The Door Within
All Through The Night
A World I Never Made.

A Lethal Harvest
Watcher in the Woods
Shoot Him if He Runs.

Forgotten Garden
Born in Fire
Thunder of Heaven

Shadow of Doubt
Rivers Edge
Never Go Back

Brilliance of the Moon
A Walk in the Woods
The Brink of Dawn
On the Night Road

Infinite Days
The Silent Gift
Everything Beautiful Began Again.
On the Night Road. 

Flash Friday - Universe

Josephine Wall's Fairy Bubbles


Under the vast dark sky
Unity binds the heavens
Unusual pockets of stars
Unlocking the black
Underneath it all

Understanding bursts our imagination
Unlimited in potential
Unabashed beauty
Unique minds

Flash Friday - F is for Form

April is the 20th anniversary of National Poetry month and I'm not much of a poet but like to play with Oulipo's.   So for your entertainment and mine, here's an oulipo made up of book titles containing the letter F from my shelves, in the form of four line stanzas.  Enjoy! 

The People From the Sky
Worst Fears Realized
A Pirate looks at Fifty
Final Approach. 

Boy From Reactor Four
Writing From the Inside Out 
Fear the Dark.

Fairy Godmother
Her Fearful Symmetry
Isle of Fire
The Forgotten Garden,

Fancy Pants
Breach of Faith
Foucault's Pendulum
Things Fall Apart.

Now it's your turn!  

9th Blogoversary Reflection

Happy 9th Blogoversay to me!  Come on in, grab a glass of champagne and let's celebrate.

My goodness, dear hearts. I can hardly believe it.  It feels like yesterday when I sat down, put my fingers to the keyboard and dipped my toes into the blogging waters.  I discovered an amazing variety of people from all over the globe who opened their blogging doors with a 'hey, come on in and join the fun.'   I'd always been that introvert who lurked on the sidelines, absorbing conversations, listening and learning, then tip toeing back home, Yes, I used to be the one who never got a word in edgewise at home.  Now they can't shut me up.  * grin *  I came to discover blogging is one big open never ending house party which is an introvert's dream.    No matter how long you've been gone, the door is always open and you are welcomed back with open arms.

The blogosphere has taken me outside my comfort zone, time and time again, and encouraged me to look outside the box.  It lead to NaNoWriMO and the beginning of a new love - writing fiction -which in turn lead to continuing my education and the ever elusive Master's Degree.   Did I want to spend thousands of dollars or could I do it on my own, creating my own DIY master's degree?  Along the way, instead of posts, I started writing my morning grumbles and character discussions by hand.  I started working out issues on the physical page rather than my blog.

Then when grief raised its fugly head, stopped writing altogether. I don't remember what led me to Writer's Village,  but it saved me and got me back into writing, even if it was just responses to exercises.  When Bob asked for volunteers to help facilitate  writing certificate classes, I jumped in with both feet and soon discovered I'd written past the grief and moved forward.

It's funny, how life imitates art or is it the other way around.  Writing takes emotion.  The characters in my stories can't live without emotion.  My fog has been their fog.  They've sat quietly in the back of my mind, waiting.   I now understand my hero, a widower, in Eyes in the Ashes much better and am ready to write his story.  You really can't write what you don't understand.

Through my writing courses, learned how to write both flash fiction and non fiction. And I realized, that's what I'd been doing all along on My Two Blessings.  In one of the classes at WVU, one of the questions asked is "Why I write?"  It opened the flood gates to why I blog, live, love, et all. So be prepared for more meandering on the page.

Why do you write?

Thank you for sticking with me through the years.



Past, Present and Future

A picture, a snapshot of memory flashes through my head. I’m sitting in the waiting room while James is doing his occupational therapy.  There’s another mom waiting for one of her kid’s,  reading Hop on Pop to her two year old.  I listen to their conversation as he interrupts every other sentence to ask a question. Dr. Seuss was a staple in our household, same as hubby’s.  We found his old books while cleaning out the house after his mom passed.  We stopped what we were doing to browse through the books, his memories all the more poignant.  I think Hop on Pop is just one of those books that transcends time.  No matter what decade, kids everywhere learn to read with Hop or Pop or some other Dr. Seuss book.  And kids everywhere try to bounce on their dad’s stomach resulting in much groaning and laughter.

When I was nine, or ten, I used to read to my brother.  I found a picture of us, sitting on mom’s bed.  Me in my white and pink flowered pajama top, tousled hair and my new white Easter Shoes.  I was reading Hop on Pop to my little brother.  He’s fascinated by the pictures. His eyes are riveted on the pages, a finger between his lips.  Poor kid, between me and my sisters, he had five moms.  He wouldn’t let me change his diapers anymore, after I pricked him once with the safety pin. He’d scream if I came close. However, he’d let me do everything else.  Help him to read and later, when he was ready, teach him to drive.   Little did I realize that thirty years later, I find myself curled up in a papasan chair with my son, reading Hop on Pop together.  And enjoying all the laughter and giggling and squealing that followed as he tried to hop on his own pop.

I have a picture in my head of James reading to his son, who will also torture him with the tongue twisting Fox in Sox as well as Hop on Pop.  Then experiencing the time honored tradition of his son bouncing on his father’s stomach. 

A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth

"You too will marry a boy I choose," said Mrs. Rupa Mehra firmly to her younger daughter."

Did she or didn't she marry a suitable boy?  I'm sorry I won't share and remain coy, except to say, he was, for me, the most unsuitable boy.   

Writerly Wednesday: Stolen Moments

James Ensor Old Lady with Blue Shawl (1881)

 Stolen Moments 

Dorothy stroked the soft hand-crocheted shawl draped over the back of her mother’s rocking chair.  Her mother had had it for as long as she could remember. Once a brilliant blue, it had faded with time.   Elizabeth walked into the room with three tea cups and arranged them on the end stand.  The china clinked, fragile and empty. Her eyebrows furrowed as she gazed at Dorothy. 

“The girl,” She waved toward the kitchen, “is making tea. Margaret, I think.”


“Ah yes, that’s right. I just can’t keep them straight these days.”  She sat, hands folded primly in her lap.  “Now then, I’m sorry, I didn’t catch your name?”

Dorothy had learned a long time ago to go with her mother’s flights of fancy.  She smiled. “It’s Dot.”

“You’re a friend of my daughter? Where did she go?”

“She’s out in the garden.”

Maggie bustled into the room with a silver tea service tray and set it on the coffee table. “So there are our tea cups. You had me wondering darlin’ where they went.”

Her mother flipped a hand, “Thank you, you’re dismissed.”

“Yes mum.” Maggie winked at Dorothy. “We’re in a bit of royal mood today. Mind your p’s and q’s.”  She did a far imitation of a courtesy, poured the tea and handed a cup to Elizabeth.  She chuckled as she left.

Dorothy poured a cup for herself, and settled back in the rocking chair.  She lifted a corner of the shawl, rubbed it against her cheek.  Her mother’s jasmine fragrance clung to the material.  She inhaled, the scent taking her back to the days of old, wrapped together in her mother’s arms, loving away a child’s pain.  The magic shawl, her mother used to say.  It soothed the hurts, comforted the sick and kept away the wallygogs.  She never quite figured out what that meant.

“I made that, you know.” 

“Yes, it’s beautiful”

“When I was pregnant with my Dorothy, everyone else was knitting booties.” She rolled her eyes.  “Not my style. I finished it the day of her birthday.  A princess blanket for my princess.”

Dorothy sucked in a breath, her hand tightening on the shawl.  She closed her eyes against the sting of tears.  A memory her mother had never shared or it could be a new one made up to fill in holes in her mind.  She preferred the former, hoped it was true.

“She wore it for her wedding; so beautiful.  I have a picture somewhere.”  Her mother rummaged through the shelves.  

“Yes, I remember.”  Dorothy chuckled.  Her something borrowed, something blue.  It had looked hideous with her wedding dress, but it had been important to Elizabeth.

“Ah, here it is.” She pulled out a photo album and patted the cushion beside her.  “Come, look.”

Dorothy rose, pulled the shawl off the back of the chair and draped it over her mother’s narrow shoulders.  Elizabeth leaned against her shoulder, the album on both their laps.  She opened the book to a random page, eyed the pictures, shook her head and flipped through more pages.

Dorothy laid her hand over her mom’s to still it.  “What are you looking for, perhaps I can help.”

“It’s not here.”  A shiver ran through her mom’s frail body.

“Oh mama.”  Dorothy rearranged the shawl over both their shoulders and cuddled against her mother. After a few minutes, Elizabeth took her hand and stroked the ring on Dorothy’s finger.

“I gave this to you on your eighteenth birthday. Do you remember why?”

Dorothy closed her eyes for a moment. “Yes, do you?”

Her mother chuckled, “I may be old, but not stupid Dorothy Myers.”  She leaned back and gazed at Dorothy with lucid, life filled eyes.  “I feel asleep on you again, didn’t I?”

For just a few minutes. I love you mom.”

“I love you too, my princess Dorothy.”

Happy New Year!

Some days you feel classy and refined

Halstenberg, Sue (b,1957)- Woman Writing in Chair:
Sue Halstenberg -  Woman Writing in Chair

Other days, not so much!

Entry Detail:

Happy New Year. I've been contemplating this new year and once again, I can't find one word that defines what will take me through the year.   Perseverance came to mind and the little engine's mantra of I think I can, I think I can.   Yoda's wise Do or do not, there is no try.   I'm already feeling a bit disorganized as both James and I struggle to get back into lessons and writing classes.  The internet distracts, yet I can't unplug because so much of what we do is online.  My attention span...Squirrel!

Nobody trips over mountains. It is the small pebble that causes you to stumble. Pass all the pebbles in your path and you will find you have crossed the mountain. ~Author Unknown

Actually I think I will just gather up all the pebbles, mix with a bit of concrete, create stepping stones, make a path and see where it takes me. 

I usually start my year off with a dusty or chunky classical book and this year's choice is by far the longest story yet. A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth and it is a rather chunky chunkster at 1474 pages, I am learning quite a bit about the history of India and their culture and have been marking passages, looking up unknown words.  To be honest I've never heard of James Elroy Flecker nor Tagore so it will be interesting following rabbit trails. Loved this particular bit of conversation

"Please do not misunderstand me, Professor Mishra," he said, "but that line of argument may be taken by those of us not well versed in the finer forms of parliamentary byplay to be a species of quibbling."

I'm by no means a monogamous reader and have already cheated on A Suitable Boy with Jayne Castle's Deception Cove from her Rainshadow series. Paranormal and urban fantasy stories have become my comfort reads.  James and I are listening to the Harry Potter series in the car and just finished the first book.  Very enjoyable since it's been several years since I read the books. James is constantly dipping into the novels, reading one passage from one for a while, then another.  Perhaps his comfort read in between other books or inspiration for his latest story he is writing.     

On my plate for literature classes coming up is a reread of One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez as well as new to me author Joan Didion and her collection of essay's Slouching Toward Bethlehem

I'm working my way through Dinty Moore's Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Flash Non Fiction in one of my online classes and the current exercise involves writing a piece using 2nd person point of view which should prove to be quite interesting.  I've read very few books written in 2nd POV but discovered Italo Calvino seems to do it flawlessly in If On A Winter's Night A Traveler, and doesn't throw the reader completely out of the story in confusion.   

Well, I'm off to continue exploring 1950's India.

Happy New Year!