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So last night I thought of a good topic to write about for today’s post. Walking to work through downtown after getting off the train this morning on my way to work I reminded myself of it, oh yes, that will be good, I thought. Now, when I am home and sit down to actually write it, do I remember what that good topic is? Of course not! If you blog, does this ever happen to you? I hope I eventually remember it or it will drive me just a little more crazy than I already am.
In lieu of what I am certain would have been a stellar post, I give you instead Weird Al Yankovic’s new video Word Crimes. Enjoy.
Just as I am over my no good horrible very bad cold, Bookman has decided it looked like such fun he’d give it a try. Only he has discovered it is no fun at all. Whereas it took me a week to progress from feeling mildly under the weather to feeling bad and two days after that to make it to horrible, he is wasting no time. He began at bad for one day and then moved right to horrible the next. While I am sorry he is ill and has a dreadfully sore throat and no voice, I must admit it is refreshing to be able to babble on and not be interrupted. It’s marvelous to be able to babble at all. Bookman is quite the yakker and it is often difficult for me to get a word in. But now, now he can do nothing but listen. Granted, he is zonked out on cold medicine so I might as well be talking to a wall, but since the wall looks remarkably like Bookman, I can delight in being The Voice in the House.
It is also a good thing Bookman hasn’t been very hungry. While this girl can make a production in the kitchen for Solstice, when it comes to every day cooking, she is a fish out of water. Canned soup is a blessing. So is cereal. In two moments of lucidity Bookman did manage to make waffles for breakfast today and pizza for lunch, but I think it was because he was desperate for something besides cereal and soup.
Between his naps this weekend he managed to read Christopher Moore’s The Stupidest Angel. Through gesturing, he assures me it is funny and he laughed a lot even if it wasn’t out loud because his throat hurt too much. He decided to read the book because he needed something light and because he found out it is coming out as movie in November of this year. He has now passed the book over to me and indicated I had to read it as soon as possible.
Unfortunately, I am in the middle of too many other books to start that one at the moment. One of the downsides of having as many books on the go at once as I do is sometimes I find myself in the middle of all of them and nowhere near the end of any of them. While I don’t read in order to check books off a list or tot up the numbers, there is a certain satisfaction in finishing a book. When I find myself stuck in the middle of everything I am reading I get a bit of the doldrums. There is no excitement of starting something new and no pleasure in completion. This doesn’t happen very often, thank goodness, but when it does it is a bit of a downer even when I am enjoying what I am in the middle of. The book I am closest to finishing is The Canon by Natalie Angier and I still have about 150 or so pages until the end. I am liking it very much but hope to have it done by the end of the week or sooner.
Other things I read this weekend include the novel Testing the Current by William McPherson which is all kinds of good but slow reading. And I read some of How We Became Posthuman by N. Katherine Hayles. That book too requires slow and careful reading because it’s a thinking sort of book. I also read some good essays and reviews in both the London Review of Books and the New York Review of Books. On these both I am woefully behind the rate of their arrival. I was all caught up at the beginning of the year but have now slipped so I am two issues behind the current one for them both. I’m feeling like I need a nice long vacation just to catch up on my reading! I have to remember to buy a lottery ticket once it gets up to an obscene jackpot amount. If you recall, one of goals for 2013 is to win the lottery so I can quit my job and read all the time. I am aiming to achieve this in early April for the best birthday present ever. Don’t scoff. It could happen.
Ok, I have to cut the rambling short this evening. I need to go make myself a lunch for tomorrow because I can’t count on Bookman being able to make it for me in the morning. Then I have to set the coffee pot timer and generally get all my ducks in a row so I can get out the door on time sans assistance. After that I should be able to read for a bit before going to sleep.
Bloggers who participate will put up a post on Friday October 19th that has to do with zombies. You can watch videos showing how to do zombie makeup, or a short film about zombies while you're on the zombie walk. You can read a funny or spooky fictional zombie story, or enter in a zombie giveaway, or even read a zombie poem. And check out zombie-related books and/or movies reviews. It's gonna be a blast! On Friday Oct. 19th get your ZOMBIE on!
As the famous line goes, “spring waits for no one.” Okay maybe it is time and not spring but if you measure time in seasons it amounts to the same thing, doesn’t it? All this to say I’ve spent a good portion of my day out in the garden clearing away the dregs of winter. I got a lot done but there is still much to do.
Nonetheless, by this evening the crocuses I had found valiantly trying to bloom beneath the winter mulch were perky and bright with their purple flowers opening up to the sunlight. My pussytoes are beginning to send up little white furry buds and my pasque flowers are unfurling their ferny leaves. The tulips are about six inches tall and soon will be sending up buds. Th peony is also emerging from sleep and poking up from the ground. I expect if the weather stays as mild as this (62F, 17C) I’ll have big gorgeous pink peony flowers by the end of April instead of the end of May.
I had not planned on spending most of my day outdoors in the garden, only a little of it. But after I got going it was hard to stop. That and the thought of not finishing cleaning up the flower beds in the front yard and leaving fresh green shoots trapped beneath soggy leaves made me feel guilty. I don’t have the energy to do much in the garden during the week after work so the poor plants wouldn’t have gotten any attention until next weekend. Couldn’t have that.
As it is, I haven’t gotten to any of the flower beds in the backyard yet. I noticed one of my clematis is already greening up and my climbing rose has small leaves on it too. The honeysuckle also has leaf buds on it. Crazy because it is a month early for this to be starting.
Even with the warm winter I didn’t expect spring to arrive so soon. Living in a cold climate (zone 4 for you gardening buffs), I find the first half of winter to be a wonderful time for relaxing and recovering from the busy gardening season. By the start of January I am already thinking about what I might like to plant in the spring. By early February after winter has done its worst and the days are getting noticeably longer, I begin yearning for spring (forgetting completely about the allergies that will also sprout up). And yet, year after year as spring draws nearer and I am anticipating the ground thawing and getting out to clean up, I am always taken by surprise when the warm days arrive. I was so surprised by spring this year it took a whole week of gradually worsening allergy symptoms before I realized what was going on. I heartily thank the medical establishment for the invention of truly non-drowsy antihistamines and antihistamine eye drops. I would not be able to bear spring or later summer without them.
Enough of my garden rambling for one day. I will endeavor to have something appropriately bookish for you tomorrow.
Did you know that Lisa Yee ( the of fantastic books like Warp Speed, Good Jon Kanani and Millicent Min, Girl Genius) and schedule to be at this year’s Virginia Hamilton Conference…that same Lisa Yee also used to write The West Wing? The show ran on NBC from 1999 to 2006.
I mention this because I recently finished watching the West Wing on DVD and noted some very interesting co-incidences. If you watched the show, you may remember that in the last season Jimmy Smits was the first Latino to run for president. The following happened during his campaign and his subsequent election.
Smit’s character was a young, revolutionary campaigner
Leo McGarry, a much older, White statesman, was selected to be his running mate.
During one of the debates between Smit’s character and his opponent, someone in the crowd yelled “Liar!”
Smit’s first term was going to be burdened by his predecessor’s actions which got the country involved in a war between India and China.
Smit, a Democrat, chose several Republicans for key offices in his presidency.
While campaign, Smit avoided issues dealing with his ethnicity
I’ve got a vacation coming up from the 21st through January 1st and I keep finding myself in slow moments throughout the day thinking about what I might read during my end of year reading binge opportunity. I’ve got lots of books in progress and lots of books waiting in the wings. And since I work in a library it is so easy to request books on the spur of the moment. Like I did yesterday. Now, added to my possible binge pile is Nothing: A Very Short Introduction by Frank Close. I found out about the book from the Millions Year in Reading columns. It really is short, only 145 pages. Trouble is, it is one of many in an Oxford University Press series of short introductions to subjects. There is a list of some of the titles in the book and a note that there are, as of 2009 when this book was published, over 200 books in the series. Oxford UP knows readers because I was drooling over several titles and came this close to requesting them from the library before I regained control.
Another library book that recently arrived is Craig Thompson’s Habibi. I’ve been on the wait list for this one for two months. It will be read before my vacation most likely.
Since I was looking for books, I put myself on the e-book wait list for Brian Greene’s latest, Hidden Reality: Parallel Universes and the Deep Laws of the Cosmos. The e-book wait list was shorter than the print list. I almost got in line for the e-book of Moonwalking with Einstein as well but figured that with my luck they’d both arrive at the same time and I am already getting close to the front of the line on some print books I have requests for. Balancing all this can be quite a challenge, can’t it?
I realized the other day that all the books I am actively reading at the moment are nonfiction – a biography on Margaret Fuller, essays and lectures. I was surprised when I realized this and thought I should start a novel right away. But when it came to it I picked up one of the essay books to read. I worried about it a little off and on today and when I got home from work this evening I decided to stop worrying. If I am not in the mood for a novel there is no sense in forcing myself into one. I am sure before long I will be deep into several novels. Still, it’s kind of weird to not be reading a novel at the moment. I don’t recall that ever happening before.
Apologies for the unfocused ramble this evening. I had intended to write about Howards End is on the Landing but couldn’t bring my brain around to it. To compensate, here are instructions on how to build a hidden door bookshelf. I’ve got a place for one, not sure we have the tools and abilities needed to actually pull it off. If Bookman and I manage it though, you all will be the first to hear about it.
I am beyond excited and honored to be nominated in this category. (My hands are shaking as I type this!) I actually got tears in my eyes when I read the email. As some of you know, the past year has been incredibly hard for me both financially and personally, and I've felt like life keeps kicking me in the teeth. This made me smile for the first time in weeks. Even if I don't win, it is such a great tribute and privilege to be listed among such well-established authors.
Beautifully Broken has been nominated by TRR reviewers for Best Paranormal Romance – Wizard and Witch/Sorcery 2011 at The Romance Reviews (“TRR”). Voting officially starts today, November 16, until November 30
PLEASE vote for my book!
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PLEASE RT: The Romance Reviews - ★ NOMINEE: BEST PNR - WIZARD A
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Here's what it is (reposted from Ghost HuntingTheories blog)
Bloggers who participate will put up a post on Friday September 30th that hasto do with zombies. Last year, Ghost Hunting Theories did videos showinghow to do zombie makeup. You can film a zombie walk. You can write a fictionalzombie piece, do a zombie giveaway or zombie poem. You can review zombie booksor movies. Get creative. Have a blast! If you want to make zombie crafts andadvertise them for sale, go for it. Just do something ZOMBIE!
Participants can post the above pic on their blogs to advertise ahead of time.It was designed by the most talented artist in the blog world, Jeremy.
A few days before the event, Ghost Hunting Theories will send eachparticipant a list of those in the event and their blog addresses. They willadd this list of participants and their links to the bottom of their post. Whenfolks are done reading your post, they can click on another blog and go there,hence the readers are on a blogger zombie walk through blogs...
This is how you join in:
Ghost Hunting Theories put up a button on their blog that advertises theevent and date. If you want your blog to join, just email Ghost HuntingTheories at email@example.com.
Ghost Hunting Theories will want to know if you're in on this bySeptember 26th.
Today we should honor the men, women and children who lost their lives during the horrific terrorist attack on the World Trade Centers and Pentagon.
To all those brave people who gave their lives. And the Heroes that responded to the emergency on Sept 11, 2001. To all the families and friends who lost a loved one on one of the most horrific and tragic events in our nation’s history.
"Time is passing. Yet, for the United States of America, there will be no forgetting September the 11th. We will remember every rescuer who died in honor. We will remember every family that lives in grief. We will remember the fire and ash, the last phone calls, the funerals of the children." - President George W. Bush, November 11, 2001
If you live within the Oneida County area or near Clinton, New York, this July the Utica Writers Club is hosting a writing workshop with special guest speaker, Ms. Maria V. Snyder.
My name is Jordan Mierek and I am an aspiring author. A few years ago, I read Ms. Snyder’s novel POISON STUDY, and fell in love with it. The characters are realistic and captivating, and the storyline is unique. The back of the book included Ms. Snyder’s author biography, as well as her email address. Whenever I read a book I enjoy, I make sure to tell the author.
So, I emailed Ms. Snyder and to my delight and surprise she actually wrote back. Her reply was personal, and not a form letter, which I usually receive from other authors. Since then, we have kept up a correspondence and she has proven very helpful in my own writing endeavors.
When the Utica Writers Club was discussing which author they wanted to host a writing workshop, I knew Ms. Snyder would be the perfect candidate.
Maria V. Snyder was originally a meteorologist before she became a novelist. She is the author of the New York Times best-selling Study series: POISON STUDY, MAGIC STUDY, and FIRE STUDY, the award winning Glass series, and the Insider books.
Ms. Snyder will also have signed copies of her books available for purchase at the workshop.
Yes, I am obsessed with book covers. And let's face it, book covers do sell books.
I'll pick up a book based on the cover alone to find out what it's about. Also a catchy title helps.
One thing I've heard numerous times from agents was how much they loved my title "Beautifully Broken." Too bad they didn't like my story as much. Sometimes, I daydream about my cover and what it will look like. How it would feel to see it on the shelves of a bookstore...
Anyhoo, here are some of my favorite covers in no particular order. There seems to be a trend in book covers with faces or backs and one to two word titles seem to be hot among young adult novels right now. Easy to remember, I guess. (And I added a few pics that inspire me.) This post may take a minute to load. Also check out this blog devoted to book cover art
What are some of yours?
Have you ever grabbed a book from the shelf after spying the cover art work?
Mondays are hard to be sure. I mean, having to wake up to an alarm instead of sunrise, and then having to get out of bed and go to work, even if you like your job, is always hard after a weekend. But I am beginning to suspect that Wednesday is the new Monday. See, I might not like having to get up to go to work on Monday morning but I am rested and that is huge. I’ve also had a chance to read over the weekend so I’ve got blog fodder when I sit down at my computer.
Wednesday though. By Wednesday I’m tired. Plus, I haven’t had a chance to read anything new and I have run out of blog material from my weekend. So Wednesdays have become the new Monday because it seems like Wednesday is when the week catches up to me and the weekend still seems so far away. Has this happened to anyone else?
Have I ever mentioned that the law library where I work is part of a consortium of private university libraries in the Twin Cities? It is really awesome. So requesting books that my library doesn’t have but one of the consortium libraries does have is a breeze. We share an OPAC and backend system. There is a courier that delivers the books between the schools twice a day. I request a book and it usually shows up for me at the library where I work the next day. What could be easier? Or more dangerous?
So last week after book lusting, I checked the OPAC and saw that one of the libraries had a short book, more a pamphlet, by Garber called A Manifesto for Literary Studies. I requested it in order to whet my appetite and whip up my book lusting to an even higher pitch. I read most of it over the weekend and finished the last ten pages before bed last night. I am not yet prepared to write about it. It needs time and space for some thinking. It consists of two essays and it didn’t seem very manifesto-y to me, but maybe it will after I let it seep into my brain a little.
Now tomorrow is Thursday. In spite of Wednesday being the new Monday we get to skip from “Monday” right to Thursday, which has its consolations.
So I was going to post a seriously awesome Cthulhu drawing by our little monster the other day in honour of H.P. Lovecraft's birthday. BUT as I prepared to take a picture of it for the blog, I discovered to my horror that my digital camera had been crushed beyond all recognition. Ahhhhhhhhh!
The theory is that a backpack it was in got crushed in the truck's gate. But really we have no idea how it happened. What I DO know is that it is a great source of woe, and that now I have to look for a new camera. Bah!
In any case, Cthulhu will have to wait until I have new photography equipment (or hook my computer up to the scanner. But I'm sure he's worth the wait.
In other up and coming bloggy news, I located our daughter's amateur field guide to monsters in a stack of papers and will be posting that soon...once I grab a camera or hook up the scanner.
AND we've spent a lot of the summer doing one of our very favourite things - prowling all the used bookstores we can find for awesome things to read. We even used a road trip as an excuse to haunt used bookstores halfway across the province! Aside from pushing us way past book capacity and necessitating a trip to IKEA for a full THREE new bookcases, we found some awesome spooky kids' books you'll love!
(Because I'm sure you're fascinated by the trivia of my life: the book cataloguing software I bought a few weeks ago tells me we have 122 KinderScares books...and I'm not NEARLY done scanning everything in the house)
SO. Summer (and our conspicuous internet absence) is coming to a close. We're just about done with the amusement park and zoo going, road-trip taking, yard work torture, house-rearranging, and all that other good stuff. And have tons of books and other crazy stuff waiting in the wings (with poor old wait-listed Cthulhu). So hang in there folks! We're just about back. And we hope you've all been having as much fun this summer as we have!
I just happened to walk into the room the other day as my 5-year-old took a running dive headfirst into the couch.
"CANNIBAL!" she shouted, and for a second I just stopped and stared as my brain desperately tried to make sense of that.
Um. I think you might have meant cannonball, darling. And also, don't jump on the couch.
My life is very strange.
Anyhow, many apologies for the epically long blog silence. Life is crazy and busy and full of oh so many fascinating things to do. If only we were all apathetic and disinterested around here, I'd have a whole lot more spare time. Of course, then I wouldn't have anything I wanted to do with it. Can't win 'em all.
The KinderScares to-read mountain is as huge as ever and always growing, and if Colum and I can both resist the allure of Other Books and Other Writing Projects, not to mention sunshine and ice cream and all the other distracting things that might catch our fancy, we'll be reviewing a pile of them in the very near future.
And how are you, all my (sadly neglected) pals out in blogland? Do tell.
Echoing all of our feelings Niko Pfund, Vice President and Publisher, Oxford University Press said, “Oxford University Press warmly congratulates Jim McPherson on his receipt of the first Pritzker Military Library Lifetime Achievement in Military Literature Award. Few scholars more consistently combine first-rate scholarship with accessible historical writing, and few authors are more of a pleasure to publish. We are delighted that so richly deserving a writer and thinker has been chosen to inaugurate this prestigious award.”
I have been feeling a little overwhelmed lately. Stressed but more on the sad side of the scale. I don't know what's wrong with me. I don't want to use the word depressed but I've just been bummed. I am aware there are never enough hours in the da...
I feel like the clouds are parting. Last night, I managed to get to library to do some writing (It's like going to the office), I stopped for a 6 minute tanning session (for the wedding festivities), I came home, got changed, did some sprints on ...