Thursday, February 28, 2013

Finished. Finished. Finished.

Snood with 'hair' down and pulled over forehead.
In the last week, besides finishing the front panel on the crafter's tote (that past due Secret Santa  Project) I have finished three projects out of my huge list of fiber art WIP.  They were all intended for my niece.  The snood in the first two photos was begun as a book bag for her graduation last June but I could not get the mesh around the motif to lay flat so I switched plans.

Snood with 'hair' inside and 'bangs' showing
I used my own black scarf to act as hair on my mom's styrofoam hat stand for modeling the snood.
Black Rose and a Black Headband with Lime Green Ribbon Woven Through 
The black rose measuring over two inches across and the headband were originally part of her 2011 Xmas when I was her Secret Santa.  They were two of over half a dozen small to medium projects I'd started for her that fall and she got several bookmarks, a large black bow barrette and a candle doily but these two got pushed off for her birthday the following month but were still not finished.

My New Year Resolve was to prioritize finishing WIP of all kinds from fiber art, to writing, to reading, to blogging, to sorting stuff, to what have you.  The rule of thumb was to finish more things than I start and so I'm trying to finish at least 2 for 1 and the things finished have to be of a similar size as the thing I want to start.  Which is why I've not allowed myself to start the two baby afghans for the grand niece and nephew arriving in June until I finish the past due Secret Santa Crafter's Tote.

With the two panels complete on that project I'm left with the Mobius strip that will form the bottom, sides and strap.  It is now about 3 inches wide and needs to be 12.  I don't trust my estimating skills as that's is what got me in this fix in the first place but I'm sure there is no less than 50 and possibly 80 hours of work left on it.

It's going to get monotonous working 2 chain + single crochet mesh for that many hours all crammed into a month or so.  But now that I have three finishes to my credit I think I can allow myself to some smallish projects--bookmarks or flowers.  I'm itching to break out the dozen or so size 20 Lizbeth Egyptian Cotton that I ordered along with the tread orders for the crafter's tote last summer, fall and just after Christmas.

I will also target a couple more small to medium WIP to finish in the next week or two.

Read more...

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Feeling the Chill

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Saw my new counselor at the clinic today.  She seems to feel the evidence is pointing at bi-polar but she isn't the one who'll diagnose it.  That falls to the nurse practitioner with specialty in psyche meds who'll I'll be seeing in about three weeks.  But she sent me home with a printout of a several page article from the Mayo Clinic on Bi-Polar for me to prepare for that interview.

I've read it and I'm feeling the chill.  And it BItes

Read more...

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

73rd ROW80 Check-In

A Round of Words in 80 Days
Round 4 2012

The writing challenge that knows you have a life
My goals are all time investment and are detailed on the  ROW80 page   I keep track of the time invested with a Google Doc spreadsheet linked on the goals page and also in each check-in along with a screenshot of the most recent days.

These check-in posts will contain any commentary I have about encounters with the goals since the previous check-in and any relevant links.

Below the commentary is my current reading list for the READ CRAFT goal.




I continue to loose Ys this week in READ CRAFT and FICTION FILES but to a good cause I think.  Last Thursday my sister drove me down to Phoenix OR for an overnight visit with my husband and to pick up stuff I anticipate needing in the next three to six months--ARCs, reference books, notes and research for my storyworld, important papers, fiber art misc, and my spring/summer wardrobe.  This week has been all about getting it all organized with a view to my goals.

This 600 odd mile round trip made in under 40 hours was the latest episode in the personal crisis I'm calling a lifequake which I touched on in the last several check-ins and detailed in the ROW80 #69 check-in.  I won't keep reiterating the story in these check-ins just link back to #69 whenever the background is needed to understand the particular context of a current check-in.  There is also my latest Sunday Serenity which expands on it all a bit more.  Tomorrow is the next significant step on that path as I'll be seeing my new councilor at the clinic.


My extended stay here has ramifications for my fiction writing which I went into in great detail in the last week's check-ins coming away from them with the plan to dedicate late evenings and part of the weekends Mom spends at my brother's to FICTION FILES.  I selected evenings and weekends when Mom is gone for the chunks of time most likely to be free of interruption.  To make them available I'm supposed to be getting my posts prepped earlier in the day.  But that was another goal that took a hit this week

Flexibility flexibility flexibility.


I refuse to feel too bad about the Ns in FICTION FILES tho as my time and effort this week has been in its honor as much as anything as its gone towards getting my stuff organized with a view to my goals and creating a second workstation to accommodate the needs of dedicated fiction writing: privacy, quiet, time free of the threat of interruption and freedom to move about and make a bit of noise.

I shifted boxes and papers and notebooks that were my Mom's as well as my own as I rearranged the room that used to be her office and has morphed into a junk room in the years since her stroke.  It is the room where I keep my clothes and some of my crafts while here and now I am also going to have a second workstation in here so that I am not limited to the hours Mom is awake to do the things that make noise--printer/scanner, audio books, video, podcasts and such.  Including the steady typing that serious writing entails.  I can type nearly silently if I go slow but that's no fun. :)  And it stifles the flow.

Workstation pics:


The workstation in Mom's room on my side of the bed.
Pic taken my first weekend here in January

Workstation in Mom's Room today
with the printer and computer gone
and showing the extra books from home and library
and the bag of crochet

Workstation in Mom's office tonight.
This is the cubby behind the stairwell with a shelf installed by the previous owners for a TV so it is several inches higher than the average desk.  About the height of a kitchen counter.  So I'm using the chair that was my dad's shower chair when he had cancer with its adjustable legs extended to the max and a rubber air-filled exercise disc on the seat for a cushion and extra two inches. And a step stool under my feet so they don't hang.  I hate that I can't move the chair while sitting in it--no swivel, no roll, no rock back.  But I will manage I think.

The system of shelves with baskets and trays on the right side is set up to accommodate the things you might find on and in a writer's desk.  Most of the stuff that will go there is not yet unpacked.  The attache case and the file box it sits atop behind the chair are also mine.  There are more files in the box on my desk in the bedroom.  I hate that they are split like that and will probably doing a lot of tweaking to the system until all items find homes at the station they will be used the most or are in some sort of easily transportable container.


Indoor Workout Space
I spent an hour on the mini-tramp twice this week.  Quadruple the minimum to get the Y in Move.  Not to mention all the moving involved in shuffling boxes and bags from here to there and elsewhere.  While I was organizing the office I made room for the mini-tramp to be in here when it is raining as I was tired of finding odd corners to set it up and then put it back behind the couch again.  One of my sessions was out on the front porch which is my preference because it is so zen out there but it's been raining too much to count on that.

Last Wednesday night I finished the edit for Blow Me A Candy Kiss, the short story I'm planning to use as the experiment in self publishing.  This was on my original Goals when I first joined ROW80 last April.  It is now ready for beta readers.   Anyone interested can say so in a comment or email me at the email in the sidebar.  A link to an earlier draft can be found in the ROW80 Goals page linked under the spreadsheet above.

READ CRAFT:

Currently Reading

What to Do When There's Too Much to Do by Laura Stack (Part of my attempt to organize my life around my priorities. So part of my ROW80 reading list)
Hooked: Write Fiction That Grabs Readers at Page One and Never Lets Go by Les Edgerton
Write Good or Die! edited by Scott Nicholson (a collection of essays by inde authors.  many of them self-published)  
The Act of Creation by Arthur Koestler
What Matters in Jane Austen? by John Muller  Net Galley a NF that purports to answer many puzzles in the Austen novels. Since this discusses writing and techniques of fiction
Trust the Process: An Artist's Guide to Letting Go by Shaun McNiff  I just lifted the strikethru I put on this the week I left home in January as I brought it back with me this week
Jung and the Tarot: An Archetypal Journey by Sallie Nichols Since I'm reading this for an understanding of character type and the language of symbol understood by our unconscious as well as research for a character who is a Tarot reader
13 Ways of Looking at a Novel by Jane Smiley  This was one of the 24 items I checked out of the Longview library on my sister's card last Thursday.
The Exegesis of Philip K. Dick.  Found this while spelunking the stacks looking for the Smiley book.  Who knew.  Dick was a mystic.  I've only read one of his novels and a few short stories but now I've got to try to find and read everything!
Mystery and Manners by Flannery O'Connor  This is a reread for me and has had significant impact on the development of my storyworld in the early months of its inception.  My Friday post was about my current encounter with it after checking it out of the Longview library again for the first time in over a decade.


Recently Read:

A Cheap and Easy Guide to Self-publishing eBooks by Tom Hua read this online
Imagine: How Creativity Works by Jonah Leher
The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg  Just finished this last fall and wrote an overview of it for that check-in along with my musings on how to apply what I learned..  This is where I've been getting the most help with learning how to recognize a habit, determine if it is desirable and if so maximize it but if not change it.




Read more...

Monday, February 25, 2013

It's Monday! What are You Reading?

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?
Share what you (are, have been, are about to, hope to be) reading or reviewing this week. Sign Mr Linky at Book Journey and visit other Monday reading roundups.

The sections of this template:

Intro (here)
My Week in Review (list of books finished and links to bookish posts in the previous week)
Reading Now (my current reading list broken up into NF and Fiction)
Upcoming (scheduled reviews and blog tours and list of finished books awaiting reviews)
Recently (links to bookish posts in the last few weeks)
New Arrivals: (lists of recently acquired ARC broken up into snail mail, email and Net Gallery)
ARC in waiting (a list that is getting shamefully long)

My Week in Review:

Slow week for reading and reviews.  Had to make a quick round trip from Longview WA to Phoenix OR and back to retrieve more of my stuff that I foresee needing over the next couple of months as my five week visit at Mom's has been extended indefinitely.  The story behind that is in the posts for Valentine's week but Sunday's post is a pretty good summary.

Against My Will by Benjamin Berkley Blog Tour Review  Feb 20  by the same author as Before You Say I Do Again 


Finished reading:

After: The Shock by Scott Nicholson  This is post apocalyptic horror with zombies.    I anticipated enjoying this even tho zombies are not my favorite horror theme because I really enjoyed his The Red Church and I did but probably not to the same degree.  And its continued.


Reading Now:

Non-Fiction:

Most of these I plug away in at a snail's pace--a couple pages or chapters per week as that is my preferred way to read non-fic.  It sticks with me longer. I'm closing in on the finish line for several but as I get close on one I tend to add two or three more. There are some not listed here because I don't read in them weekly.

Hooked: Write Fiction That Grabs Readers at Page One and Never Lets Go by Les Edgerton (Part of my ROW80 reading in craft list)
What to Do When There's Too Much to Do by Laura Stack (Part of my attempt to organize my life around my priorities. So part of my ROW80 reading list)
And So It Goes by Charles J. Sheilds a bio of Kurt Vonnegut.  (I've posted about this biography of Kurt Vonnegut several time in a kind of reading journal. It is past time for another.  Part of the fun I'm having reading this is in stopping to read the stories he wrote as the narrative reaches the point where he writes them. Since this is an author bio this will also be on my ROW80 reading list )
This Mobius Strip of Ifs by Mathias Freese (I've posted a reading journal post for this collection of personal essays also.  It is past time for another.)
What Matters in Jane Austen? by John Muller Net Galley a NF that purports to answer many puzzles in the Austen novels. Since this discusses writing and tecniques of fiction I'll be adding this to my ROW80 reading list
Trust the Process: An Artist's Guide to Letting Go by Shaun McNiff So part of my ROW80 reading list. Have finally taken the strikethru off as I retrieved this from home Thursday
Jung and the Tarot: An Archetypal Journey by Sallie Nichols Since I'm reading this for an understanding of character type and the language of symbol understood by our unconscious this will be on my ROW80 reading list
13 Ways of Looking at a Novel by Jane Smiley  This was one of the 24 items I checked out of the Longview library on my sister's card last Thursday.
The Exegesis of Philip K. Dick.  Who knew.  Dick was a mystic.  I've only read one of his novels and a few short stories but now I've got to try to find and read everything!
Before You Say I Do Again by Benjamin Berkley  for Blog Tour Review Feb 8.  The review is up but I'm not finished.  This is a very difficult read for me at this time and irony of the events that fell on the same week I was scheduled to review this book did not escape me.
The Fiction Writer's Handbook by Shelly Lowenkopf  for an upcoming blog tour
Creature Features by Tim Rowland  for Blog Tour Review Mar 12
Choice Theory: A Psychology of Personal Freedom by William Glasser M.D. a library book
Essays by Ralph Waldo Emerson  I own this book.  Was rereading his essay on friendship this week
How We Decide by Jonah Lehrer

OK Seriously.  It is now time to start knocking some of these NF off as I did for the fiction over the last couple of months.  By limiting my starts of new novels I guess I was just transferring my need for 'new' to the NF list and now I've got too many to give proper attention to in any two weeks.

Fiction:

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness  (audio from library)  Was listening to this while working on this Xmas crochet project and have not gotten back to it since Christmas.  If I wait too much longer I'm going to have to restart it yet again.  Or at least back up a ways to reorient.
The Civilized World by Susi Wyss (another a Tree book ARC that got lost in the mix before I'd finished it.  Have not posted a review for this one either and can't remember when I received it but it had to be at least a year ago before I started packing for our move and likely before 2011 NaNo when I typically stop reading fiction while I'm so intensely writing it.  This is a collection of interlocking short stories set in South Africa and I remember I was quite enjoying it.  I've had to start it over.)
These High, Green Hills by Jan Karon  The third book in the Mitford series.  I'm reading this aloud to Mom in the evenings.  We had one chapter to go the night before my quick trip to Phoenix OR and we haven't got back to it yet.  She got back late from my brother's last night and tonight dinner was late and my sister and I were tied up with filling out forms online.  We will definitely be starting book four as soon as we finish this one.
Pie Town by Lynne Hinton


Seriously.  I need to reinstate the rule of one novel at a time. --a line I wrote weeks ago when there were several more novels on that list and in the spirit of my New Year Resolve to finish more things than I start I've resisted starting any new fiction that isn't for a scheduled review and have been making steady gains in knocking titles off this list.  But not getting the review for them written unless I had a scheduled one--tsk tsk..  I have relaxed a bit and allowed new fiction starts.  In fact the last listed I started earlier this week and it wasn't even an ARC.

But I've really got to start writing the reviews!!  Seriously!

Upcoming:


___Blog Tours:

Creature Features by Tim Rowland  Review Mar 12
The Fiction Writer's Handbook by Shelly Lowenkopf

___Books I've Finished Awaiting Reviews:

Whenever I'm not pinned to a date like with the blog tours I do very poorly at getting reviews written in a timely way after finishing books and the longer I wait the harder it gets.  This is an issue I'm working on and hope to get a system in place to smooth the track from beginning book to posting review.  But that will mostly have to wait until I'm back home where my time is more my own.  This final week at Mom's and the first week or so I'm back at home are going to be full and unpredictable  So much for that theory.  So much for having anything like predictability anytime soon either.  So I guess that means I have to figure out how to solve this problem in spite of that issue or give up on it altogether.

At Home in Mitford and A Light in the Window by Jan Karon  (the ebook I was reading aloud to my Mom while staying there in March and April. These short little lighthearted chapters are almost like stand-alone short stories with beloved characters and make great bedtime reading for adults wanting pleasant dreams)
The Land of Decoration by Grace McClean
Imagine: How Creativity Works by Jonah Leher.
The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg   Part of my attempt to organize my life around my priorities. So part of my ROW80 reading list.   I discussed this in such detail in my mid-week ROW80 check-in post it was practically a review and I'll probably copy/paste much of what I said there into the review.
The Tragedy Paper by Elizabeth LaBan This was a Net Galley ARC.  It will be archived on Net Galley on January 8th it's pub date and tho I finished it last week I was unable to get the review posted and now I have the two blog tour posts to put up this week so for the third or forth time I'm not going to get my feedback recorded at Net Galley before the feedback page for the item is closed to me.  tsk tsk tsk.
Never Give in to Fear by Marti MacGibbon  This was a NetGalley ARC but later I picked it up for Kindle when it was free on Amazon.  I began it in Adobe Digital Editions and when that timed out on me switched to the Kindle for PC.  This was a memoir of an addict's decent into the abyss and rise back out again and was quite engrossing.
The Monsters of Templeton by Lauren Groff  a library book
Get Your Loved One Sober by Robert Meyers (Research for a fiction WIP)

Losses by Robert Wexelblatt an ARC
After: The Shock by Scott Nicholson

Recently:

___Reviews and Bookish Posts:


The Eighth Wonder by Kimberly S. Young. Blog Tour Review

Before You Say I Do Again by Benjamin Berkley  Blog Tour Review 


Scammed by Art Maines   My blog tour review for this combination personal testimony and how-to manual for helping an elderly parent recover from the depredations of a scam and protect them from future exploitation.

Encounters with Flannery O'Connor


Khanh Ha author of Flesh Guest Post:

4 Things You Should Know About Writing Fiction


My ROW80 Check-In posts have been primarily on the theme of making more room for fiction reading for the last two weeks.  Saturday's is a musing of the lessons learned and applied and intentions going forward.  Including protocols to be put in place that should increase the number of book reviews going up here.

ROW80 btw is a writing challenge blog hop/support group emphasizing setting goals and aiming for them but recognizing when circumstances can't be helped and learning to adapt the goals.  I've made massive adjustments to my habits since I joined in April but at such an incremental pace I barely noticed.


Flesh by Khanh Ha  Review posted last Wednesday.

Flesh is a very dark and disturbing story and yet, still, suffused with hope like a sandy shore on the edge of a dank jungle shimmering under a full moon....The prose often has the cadences and imagery of poetry and shifts between scenes having the surreal quality of dreams and those with fast-paced action. Khanh Ha's meticulous attention to detail in every scene, his dedication to bringing all five of the senses into play is yet another way he engages with the theme and in this way draws the reader in and tethers them by the sinews and fibers of their very flesh. This story grips and won't let go even after the last page is turned.



New Arrivals:

By snail mail:
The Autobiography of Us    This was waiting on me in Phoenix so I brought it back with me along with all of the ARCs still awaiting reviews

By email:
nada

from NetGalley
there were several I got access to but have not downloaded them yet so I won't count them here yet

ARC in waiting:

Tree Books:

Most of these I left  behind when I left home for the five week visit at Mom's in early January but now that the visit has been extended indefinitely I retrieved them on Thursday along with the rest of the things I foresee needing over the next couple months.

The Land of Decoration by Grace McClean  read this over a year ago now but still need to review.  It's an emotional block due to the nature of the story being so close to personal experience.  I need to get over it.
The Variations by John Donatich
The Inquisitor by Mark Allen Smith   My husband read this and loved it and is after me to read it so he can talk about it.
The Hunger Angel by Herta Muller  Nobel winner!!
Skios by Michael Frayn
How Should a Person Be? by Sheila Heti
The Sadness of the Samurai by Victor del Arbo
Me, Who Dove into the Heart of the World by Sabina Berman
Winter Journal by Paul Auster a memoir from an American literary figure that really excites me.
We Sinners by Hanna Pylvaine.   It's another story exploring the impact on family life of a fundamentalist religion.  One of the themes I'm drawn to like Pooh to honey.
Our Harsh Logic: Israeli Soldiers' Testimonies from the Occupied Territories, 2000-2010 compiled by The Organization Breaking the Silence
A Possible Life by Sebastian Faulks


Ebooks:

____By email:

After: The Shock by Scott Nicholson  have at least finished reading it now
Troubled by Scott Nicholson
Losses by Robert Wexelblatt  have read but not yet reviewed


____From Net Galley:


A Thousand Pardons by Jonathan Dee
What Matters in Jane Austen? by John Muller  have read but not yet reviewed
Never Give in to Fear by Marti MacGibbon  have read but not yet reviewed
The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton
Unloched by Candace Lemon-Scott
Sticks and Stones: Defeating the Culture of Bullying and Rediscovering the Power of Character and Empathy 
by Emily Bazelon
APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur: How to Publish a Book by Guy Kawasaki and Shawn Welch
With or Without You A Memoir by Domenica Ruta
The Beautiful Thing That Awaits Us All by Laird Barron
The Book of Why by Nicholas Montemarano
The Tragedy Paper by Elizabeth LaBan have read but not yet reviewed

If anyone reading this states a preference I may let it weigh my decision as to what I begin next from the above list.

Read more...

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Sunday Serenity #325

Us Summer 2011

I'm going to do something I rarely do here and post a full face picture of myself.  This in honor of the fact that all of my serenity and joy of the last week is wrapped up in what this pic represents.  It was taken of Ed and I at Rice Hill OR where he'd met my sister and I to transfer my stuff from her car to his Dad's car upon my return from the  May-August visit at Mom's in Longview.  When I'd gone for Mother's day and stayed for my niece's wedding in July and my sister Jamie's surgery in August.

Anyone following my blog this month will know that we nearly split the week of Valentine's but managed to stop the bleeding of our broken hearts before they bled out via some intense email exchanges.  Then this past Thursday my sister drove me down after more of my stuff I'm going to need for the extended stay at Mom's and Ed and I had some intense face-to-face encounters that began the healing process.

My extended stay in Longview is for tending to a health crisis brought on by loss of my meds after we lost health insurance through Ed's job.  So I'm staying here where my sister can be advocate, phone contact and chauffeur as I get the necessary help and until something can be established back home to carry it forward once I'm stabilized again.

I have mentioned my various health issues here in the past but do not dwell on them nor feature them very often.  I will break that tradition now as my life is becoming an exercise in getting healthy and independent so that I can step up as full and equal partner with my husband and I can't imagine continuing to blog daily if I try to keep all of this private.

For now I will just list the issues:

I'm legally blind due to Retinitis Pigmentosa aka RP aka Tunnel Vision. This is a degenerative eye disease that takes the night vision first (my teens) then a progressive loss of peripheral vision (my twenties with legal blindness reached by age 27) and finally encroaches on the central vision (I've lost so much of the central in my left eye I can no longer read with it and it is closing in on the right as well)

My blood pressure was in the range of 220/120 when I finally started treatment in 2006 which was life threatening not to mention the risk of stroke that could take language from me.  It took a combination of four meds to get it under control and since last August I'd been taking only one or two at any one time as we tried to stretch a month's supply into six weeks or two month's.

I have a mood disorder that includes severe anxiety issues especially social anxiety along with episodes of severe depression.  All of that accompanying severe insomnia to the point I often go days without sleeping at all or weeks with sleeping less than four hours at a time. And the when is all over the clock.  The artist of the cat naps I am.  I went off the meds for this last August and thought I was coping but apparently nobody else thought so and once this latest crisis hit it became obvious to me as well.  The clinic my sister took me to is going to screen me for bi-polar next month before restarting the meds which probably won't be the same ones as before as my sister mentioned that she didn't think they were all that excellent.

I am also overweight by maybe 60-70 pounds now.  I've lost about 50 in the last three years that has come off without going back on.  I've come down from a size 24/26 to a size 18/20.

Additionally I have dizziness and balance issues, joint pain, significant loss of hearing accompanied by loud ringing in the ears and a mouth full of rotten teeth.

My sister is actually excited about the prospect of getting my health overhauled.  I wasn't feeling real cooperative about it at first but am now on board.

Read more...

Saturday, February 23, 2013

72nd ROW80 Check-In

A Round of Words in 80 Days
Round 4 2012

The writing challenge that knows you have a life
My goals are all time investment and are detailed on the  ROW80 page   I keep track of the time invested with a Google Doc spreadsheet linked on the goals page and also in each check-in along with a screenshot of the most recent days.

These check-in posts will contain any commentary I have about encounters with the goals since the previous check-in and any relevant links.

Below the commentary is my current reading list for the READ CRAFT goal.



I lost a few Ys this week in READ CRAFT and FICTION FILES but to a good cause I think.  On Thursday my sister drove me down to Phoenix OR for an overnight visit with my husband and to pick up stuff I anticipate needing in the next three to six months--ARCs, reference books, notes and research for my storyworld, important papers, fiber art misc, and my spring/summer wardrobe.

This 600 odd mile round trip made in under 40 hours was the latest episode in the personal crisis I'm calling a lifequake which I touched on in the last three check-ins and detailed in the ROW80 #69 check-in.  I won't keep reiterating the story in these check-ins just link back to #69 whenever the background is needed to understand the particular context of a current check-in.

The essence is that we lost medical benefits through my husband's work and it's life threatening for me to be off my meds so I'm staying here at my Mom's in Longview WA where the resources are better and my sister who knows the system from using it for herself and Mom the last several years can be my advocate.  There's a bit more to it but that's all that's necessary to understand why I thought it fitting to let a few Ys collapse into Ns for a couple of days.  I still got the N in FICTION FILES today though because I spent so much time getting the new load of my stuff integrated with the original load.

But I spent 30 minutes on the mini-tramp.  Double the minimum to get the Y in Move.  Not to mention all the moving involved in shuffling boxes and bags from here to there and elsewhere.

I refuse to feel too bad about the Ns in FICTION FILES tho as Wednesday night I finished the edit for Blow Me A Candy Kiss, the short story I'm planning to use as the experiment in self publishing.  It is now ready for beta readers.   Anyone interested can say so in a comment or email me at the email in the sidebar.  A link to an earlier draft can be found in the ROW80 Goals page linked under the spreadsheet above.

I need to take another picture of my workstation now as I've tripled the number of books I brought from home among other things.




My extended stay here has ramifications for my fiction writing which I went into in great detail in the last two check-ins coming away from them with the plan to dedicate late evenings and part of the weekends Mom spends at my brother's to FICTION FILES.  Doing the former resulted in finishing the revision/edit of Candy Kiss this week.  I've yet had no chance to do the latter as this weekend was dedicated to getting my stuff unpacked and organized before Mom comes home tomorrow.


READ CRAFT:

Currently Reading

What to Do When There's Too Much to Do by Laura Stack (Part of my attempt to organize my life around my priorities. So part of my ROW80 reading list)
Hooked: Write Fiction That Grabs Readers at Page One and Never Lets Go by Les Edgerton
Write Good or Die! edited by Scott Nicholson (a collection of essays by inde authors.  many of them self-published)  
The Act of Creation by Arthur Koestler
What Matters in Jane Austen? by John Muller  Net Galley a NF that purports to answer many puzzles in the Austen novels. Since this discusses writing and techniques of fiction
Trust the Process: An Artist's Guide to Letting Go by Shaun McNiff  I just lifted the strikethru I put on this the week I left home in January as I brought it back with me this week
Jung and the Tarot: An Archetypal Journey by Sallie Nichols Since I'm reading this for an understanding of character type and the language of symbol understood by our unconscious as well as research for a character who is a Tarot reader
13 Ways of Looking at a Novel by Jane Smiley  This was one of the 24 items I checked out of the Longview library on my sister's card last Thursday.
The Exegesis of Philip K. Dick.  Found this while spelunking the stacks looking for the Smiley book.  Who knew.  Dick was a mystic.  I've only read one of his novels and a few short stories but now I've got to try to find and read everything!
Mystery and Manners by Flannery O'Connor  This is a reread for me and has had significant impact on the development of my storyworld in the early months of its inception.  My Friday post was about my current encounter with it after checking it out of the Longview library again for the first time in over a decade.


Recently Read:

A Cheap and Easy Guide to Self-publishing eBooks by Tom Hua read this online
Imagine: How Creativity Works by Jonah Leher
The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg  Just finished this last fall and wrote an overview of it for that check-in along with my musings on how to apply what I learned..  This is where I've been getting the most help with learning how to recognize a habit, determine if it is desirable and if so maximize it but if not change it.




Read more...

Friday, February 22, 2013

Whiplashed

moar LOLz:  see  vote  caption  share

I'm back at Mom's in Longview.  My sister and I made the round trip in under 40 hours.

I'm exhausted on so many levels.

I'm disoriented.

And words are just not where its at right now.  Too many words have been used in the last day and a half and so many of such import.  There is little if anything I could say here that would enhance or honor those and I sense it would be too easy to trivialize them by trying.

So let the hush rush in.

Read more...

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Blessings

Merlin


I'm in Phoenix OR tonight.  Got to have a wonderful visit with my husband.  We are both feeling hopeful that we will get this worked out.

Picture above is of our cat Merlin who was nearly as happy to see me as was Ed.

Ed and I visited while my sister grocery shopped for dinner and then Ed cooked his famous hamburgers for us with all the fixings.  Then Ed and Carri visited while I packed the things I need from my office--books, papers, crafts.

We are all exhausted.  Carri called me at 5:30 this morning and I'd laid down at 2am.  We hit the road at 7am and reached Phoenix at 1:30 pm.  It is nearly 8:30 now and Ed has gone to bed and that's where I want to be also.  He has to leave for work at 7 in the morning and Carri and I have to hit the freeway north by noon to beat the snow forecast for the Sextons.

I still have to pack my spring wardrobe but that will have to wait until Ed iis awake which works just fine for me too.  The exhaustion I feel is more about the emotional roller coaster of the last three weeks and the lessening of the anxiety about the future after Ed and I talked face-to-face today.  When t he feeling that 'it's going to be OK' washed over me so did the sudden deep weariness.  Now sleep feels like a friend.

Read more...

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Book Review: Against My Will by Benjamin Berkley

Against My Will
by Benjamin Berkley
Frederick Fell Publishers, Inc., September 1, 2012
242 pages

Note: updated to correct my goof when typing the book's title both in the post and in the post title. :(

This story is difficult to read dealing as it does with two disturbing subjects--marital rape and the Holocaust.  The first part alternates between the first person narrative of a young woman about to walk down the isle full of trepidation and angst as she ponders the choices leading her to this day and the diary entries of a young Holocaust survivor recording the ordeal of the camp she has just been liberated from.  It is several chapters in before we learn that the bride is the granddaughter of the camp survivor.

Danielle's trepidation turns out to be well founded.  She had made the worst mistake imaginable marrying Jacob as she was just on the cusp of gaining personal independence after passing the New York Bar.  And for little better reason than to please her father who was anxious for grandkids and had gone to the trouble of arranging their meeting on her 29th birthday.  Jacob had conducted a clumsy courtship but nothing about it really prepared her for the way he would behave after the wedding.  He treated her like property, displaying no affection, often raging over trivia, controlling their money, denigrating her and her choice to continue working rather than start a family and then on their six month anniversary forcing himself on her in a brutal rape.

When she tries to tell her father he refuses to hear, insisting that marital disputes are normal and can be worked through and shaming her for airing hers in public.  It is her NaNa Rose who not only hears but knows exactly what to do.  The threads of her NaNa Rose's story are nicely woven into her own so that the themes reverberate.

The rest of the story follows Danielle on her quest to regain her spirit and dignity and learn to trust in the possibility of love again.  It is wonderful to watch Danielle blossom into the confident prosecutor who takes on a marital rape case on behalf of the victim.  And the sweet love story in the last half is in stark contrast to the abusive relationship with Jacob and emphasizes that new beginnings are what life is all about.

From the Publishers:

AGAINST MY WILL is the life changing novel about Danielle, a victim of marital abuse, who finds the strength to leave her husband and pursue a career in law.

Danielle Landau knows she should feel lucky, but she can't feel anything but dread. Not only did she pass the New York Bar, but she married the man her father says is just right for her and lives in a fashionable new loft in Queens. But the man who seems like the perfect catch is a perfect nightmare at home. Jacob tries to control her career, her daily routine, and even what she eats. He ignores her desires and belittles her every chance he gets. Soon, Danielle doesn't recognize her husband or herself, and she struggles to find a way out.

Danielle tries to talk to her father but he dismisses her marital problems.  But she can confide in her Nana Rose, a Holocaust survivor who lost her entire family at the hands of the Nazis. Rose helped raise Danielle and her brother when their mother died when Danielle was only three.  Having faced death, Rose is Danielle's source of security.  But while Danielle holds on to the fragile belief that her father's prince charming will change, she is raped by her husband on the night of their one year wedding anniversary.

Now, Danielle has to escape.  And with the help of her beloved Nana, Danielle moves across the country and starts to rebuild her life. But will she be able to escape her past? And when one of her clients finds herself in the same terrible situation, will Danielle have the strength to help her?
As we follow Danielle on her journey of terror and recovery, we see her story intersect with the diary entries of her Nana as a young girl held captive in a concentration camp.  The entries begin with Rose waking up in a hospital after the liberation of the Mauthausen Concentration Camp.    Graphically she recounts the train ride to the camp and the emotional separation of her from her family upon arrival.    And the full weight of the family's secrets becomes clear. This is a story of survival, self-discovery, justice, and ultimately, it's about love.


What they are saying:


"AGAINST MY WILL was a great reminder that it is possible to find the strength and get out of a unhealthy situation.  I loved this book and was rooting for Danielle through it. The writing to be so great that you could immerse yourself into the book and get lost within the characters.   I definitely recommend everyone to read this story and remember that no one has the right to belittle, abuse or neglect another human." Jayda, Two Children and a Migraine

"Without rehashing my own past nightmares, I will tell you a couple times this book hit home for me. I actually had to put it down, walk away and come back to it after I calmed. It's such a dreadful life to have to live, and I'll be honest, I'm surprised a male author was able to evoke the right emotions in me when the story is told from a female perspective. But he did, and very well at that."  Freda's Voice

"Against My Will" deals with a tough subject that many will relate to. I found the diary entries of Rose to be quite interesting and honestly it took me a while to figure out that Rose was actually Danielle's Nana, which made the story so much more poignant. Overall, a compelling read that allows us to see a victim reclaim her life. " Brenda, VW Stitcher

"This was a really great book with a lot of detail that sucks you in.   I didn't want it to end. When I was in university I studied the Holocaust and the tragedy that happened during that time. I also visited a concentration camp in Germany and the Holocaust museum in D.C. SO reading this book really felt real and the author was really able to capture what felt like a true story with Rose. He really did his research. I would recommend this book. to.  It has a lot of everything for almost everyone."  Bassgiraffe's Thoughts

" It was well written and entertaining, even with the difficult subject." Mindy, Books, Books and More Books

" This book is expertly written, and it is hard to believe that it is written by a man.  I am always amazed when men can create convincing female protagonists in books, and even in first person!  This is Benjamin Berkley's first novel, but I hope it won't be his last.  I think I need to look up his non-fiction based on this book alone.  It is clear that he is quite an expert on this topic.  I found it absolutely genius on the author's part to tie a Holocaust survivor's story to the current story of the book.  This added just the right amount of intrigue, and of course, the ending of the book is quite powerful in this "side story.  I believe that any woman who feels they can handle the subject and content of this book should read this book.  I can also recommend it to men, too, as it is not some "chick book."  Oh, and by the way, there is some romance in this book-for all those romance lovers out there! 5 out of 5!" Ruth, My Devotional Thoughts

" This is a very emotional read with well-developed characters. You'll be there wanting to comfort Danielle at her wedding and through the many trials she faces. You'll also want to strangle those that love her but just can't see the pain she is in. You'll cheer when she takes a stand and risks it all. By the end of the book I was sobbing.  The best part of it all was the excerpts from a diary that can be found after every other chapter or so. There are from Danielle's grandmother from when she was rescued from a concentration camp. You read how the courage to stand against those that oppress and declare, "Not Against My Will", kept them alive.  Mr. Berkley has done an excellent job of writing from an abused woman's perspective. I was truly amazed at the results.  I think you can see in what I have just written that this book contains some violence. There are several rape scenes, verbal abuse scenes, and some graphic descriptions of sexual encounters as Danielle and her grandmother face horror in each of their lives. Yet, this is a story of hope that makes you smile as you cry." Rebecca Graf, A Book Lover's Library




Benjamin Berkley is the author of four self-help books:  "My Wishes, Your Plan for Organizing Your Family's Needs" (Sourcebooks, June, 2006)   "The Complete Executor's Guide" (Sourcebooks, June 2007)   "Winning Your Social Security Disability Case" (Sourcebooks, February, 2008) and "Before You Say I Do Again, A Buyer's Beware Guide to Remarriage." (Frederick Fell Publishers, September, 2009). "Against My Will" is Benjamin Berkley's fifth book and debut novel.

And though writing is his passion, for over 34 years he has conducted a busy law practice in which he has seen many interesting clients come through his door.  One in particular, an older woman with white hair, the kindest smile, and an amazing story became the inspiration for one of his characters for "Against My Will."   Berkley lives in southern California with his wife Phyllis and their cat Riley.   He has two grown children and is always bragging about his most beautiful grandson and granddaughter.

http://www.benberkley.com/



Follow the blog tour for more reviews, giveaways, author interviews and guest posts: 

http://www.virtualauthorbooktours.com/



Read more...

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

71st ROW80 Check-In

A Round of Words in 80 Days
Round 4 2012

The writing challenge that knows you have a life
My goals are all time investment and are detailed on the  ROW80 page   I keep track of the time invested with a Google Doc spreadsheet linked on the goals page and also in each check-in along with a screenshot of the most recent days.

These check-in posts will contain any commentary I have about encounters with the goals since the previous check-in and any relevant links.

Below the commentary is my current reading list for the READ CRAFT goal.

Still holding steady on all fronts covered by the spreadsheet but now at the bare minimum on all, even READ CRAFT and DAYDREAM STORY which had until recently been getting more than double the minimum.  Have also let fiction reading slide again and have returned to the multiple hour blog post prep. And still no new fiction scenes.

Starting with this post I'm reinstating the 1 hour post prep practice tho I'll allow exceptions as events warrant.

The loss of those recently instated habits--1 hour post prep, fiction reading--were due to the personal crisis I'm calling a lifequake which I touched on in the last three check-ins and detailed in #69, last Wednesday's check-in.  I won't keep reiterating the story in these check-ins just link back to #69 whenever the background is needed to understand the particular context of a current check-in.

Today as for Saturday, the only fact needed to understand the following paragraphs is that my five week stay at Mom's has been extended indefinitely.  So I'm in the process of doing what ROW80 is made for: adjusting goals to accommodate a new reality.




Part of that new reality is that this temporary workstation on my side of the bed in Mom's room is now going to be long term.  Many months if not more than a year.  It's happened before but the last time was a year ago when I was here January thru April and I've always set aside the serious fiction writing while here saving it for when I get home and once again have the significant blocks of time in which quiet, privacy, predictability, and freedom from interruptions can be counted on.

Yes I was here for part of NaNo but like many other NaNo efforts I don't consider that serious fiction writing.  In order to get the word count I have to let go of expectations and let fly and pretty much write only on the surface of the story.  It is often more like thinking and journaling about the story getting down everything that comes to mind as it comes to mind: image, snippet of dialog, character's description, traits and history, setting descriptions and in the case of plot getting down multiple versions of what ifs at each step of the way.

In order to turn all of that into the story itself that is readable by others I have to have large blocks of time to go deep into the dreaming of the story and take one scene at a time in no particular order until I have a sense of the natural order to focus on and get a draft of it that actually reads like a piece of a story.  It is hard to get those blocks of time here at Mom's.

In the last check-in I mused on this issue and detailed what the chaos of this household looks like, tho I left out one of the issues which is the frequent heated discussions between my sister and her 18 year old son that take place right outside the door of this room nearly daily and when it happens once I can bet it will be two or three more times that day.

The stresses on my sister are extraordinary before you add me into the picture.  I've been coming for multiple week visits two or three times a year as relief for her in her care of our blind, lame and aphasic mother but now she will essentially be taking on my needs as well.  All of which adds to my distress over this situation.

Another issue I didn't make explicit before is that I can't pull my all nighter's willy-nilly while living in a household where my behavior impacts others.  And those are usually the times I have the most creative productivity.

At the end of the last check-in I listed two possible solutions to contemplate:

  • make sure all blogging tasks are tended to before dinner to leave the late evening for the fiction writing
  • dedicate some part of the weekends Mom spends at my brother's to fiction writing.

I have already implemented the first one for the last two nights. I am prepping this in the afternoon and scheduling it to post at 11pm.   I have started in, yet again, editing and revising the short story, Blow Me a Candy Kiss, that I targeted last April to be my test run for self-publishing.  I'm hoping to have it ready for Beta readers by the end of the month.  Anyone interested can say so in a comment or email me at the email in the sidebar.  A link to an earlier draft can be found in the ROW80 Goals page linked under the spreadsheet above.


READ CRAFT:

Currently Reading

What to Do When There's Too Much to Do by Laura Stack (Part of my attempt to organize my life around my priorities. So part of my ROW80 reading list)
Hooked: Write Fiction That Grabs Readers at Page One and Never Lets Go by Les Edgerton
Write Good or Die! edited by Scott Nicholson (a collection of essays by inde authors.  many of them self-published)  
The Act of Creation by Arthur Koestler
What Matters in Jane Austen? by John Muller  Net Galley a NF that purports to answer many puzzles in the Austen novels. Since this discusses writing and techniques of fiction
Trust the Process: An Artist's Guide to Letting Go by Shaun McNiff I left this book at home so I can't continue until I return in mid February but I don't want to remove it so I'll just use strikethru for now.
Jung and the Tarot: An Archetypal Journey by Sallie Nichols Since I'm reading this for an understanding of character type and the language of symbol understood by our unconscious as well as research for a character who is a Tarot reader
13 Ways of Looking at a Novel by Jane Smiley  This was one of the 24 items I checked out of the Longview library on my sister's card last Thursday.
The Exegesis of Philip K. Dick.  Found this while spelunking the stacks looking for the Smiley book.  Who knew.  Dick was a mystic.  I've only read one of his novels and a few short stories but now I've got to try to find and read everything!
Mystery and Manners by Flannery O'Connor  This is a reread for me and has had significant impact on the development of my storyworld in the early months of its inception.  My Friday post was about my current encounter with it after checking it out of the Longview library again for the first time in over a decade.


Recently Read:

A Cheap and Easy Guide to Self-publishing eBooks by Tom Hua read this online
Imagine: How Creativity Works by Jonah Leher
The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg  Just finished this last fall and wrote an overview of it for that check-in along with my musings on how to apply what I learned..  This is where I've been getting the most help with learning how to recognize a habit, determine if it is desirable and if so maximize it but if not change it.




Read more...

Monday, February 18, 2013

It's Monday! What are You Reading?

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?
Share what you (are, have been, are about to, hope to be) reading or reviewing this week. Sign Mr Linky at Book Journey and visit other Monday reading roundups.

The sections of this template:

Intro (here)
My Week in Review (list of books finished and links to bookish posts in the previous week)
Reading Now (my current reading list broken up into NF and Fiction)
Upcoming (scheduled reviews and blog tours and list of finished books awaiting reviews)
Recently (links to bookish posts in the last few weeks)
New Arrivals: (lists of recently acquired ARC broken up into snail mail, email and Net Gallery)
ARC in waiting (a list that is getting shamefully long)

My Week in Review:

This past week I did not read much nor post anything bookish.  I had a personal lifequake going down and most of my posts for a week either touched on it or wallowed in it.  I wrote enough words between journaling, posts, email and chat to have blown the mind of the NaNoWriMo word count verifier but sadly none of it was either fiction nor book reviews.  I did pull some material out of the journaling and mold it into something resembling poetry.  Twice:

Piles of Painted Echoes

Our Broken Valentine

For the curious, the bare bones of the story is in last Tuesday's ROW80 #69

These two reviews would have had place of pride in last week's IMWAYR?  If I'd managed to get it posted:

The Eighth Wonder by Kimberly S. Young. Blog Tour Review

Before You Say I Do Again by Benjamin Berkley  Blog Tour Review 

Finished reading:

Losses by Robert Wexelblatt an ARC from an inde author

Reading Now:

Non-Fiction:

Most of these I plug away in at a snail's pace--a couple pages or chapters per week as that is my preferred way to read non-fic.  It sticks with me longer. I'm closing in on the finish line for several but as I get close on one I tend to add two or three more. There are some not listed here because I don't read in them weekly.

Hooked: Write Fiction That Grabs Readers at Page One and Never Lets Go by Les Edgerton (Part of my ROW80 reading in craft list)
What to Do When There's Too Much to Do by Laura Stack (Part of my attempt to organize my life around my priorities. So part of my ROW80 reading list)
And So It Goes by Charles J. Sheilds a bio of Kurt Vonnegut.  (I've posted about this biography of Kurt Vonnegut several time in a kind of reading journal. It is past time for another.  Part of the fun I'm having reading this is in stopping to read the stories he wrote as the narrative reaches the point where he writes them. Since this is an author bio this will also be on my ROW80 reading list )
This Mobius Strip of Ifs by Mathias Freese (I've posted a reading journal post for this collection of personal essays also.  It is past time for another.)
What Matters in Jane Austen? by John Muller Net Galley a NF that purports to answer many puzzles in the Austen novels. Since this discusses writing and tecniques of fiction I'll be adding this to my ROW80 reading list
Trust the Process: An Artist's Guide to Letting Go by Shaun McNiff So part of my ROW80 reading list. Am temporarilly putting a strikethru on this as I left it at home so won't be reading in again until mid February
Jung and the Tarot: An Archetypal Journey by Sallie Nichols Since I'm reading this for an understanding of character type and the language of symbol understood by our unconscious this will be on my ROW80 reading list
13 Ways of Looking at a Novel by Jane Smiley  This was one of the 24 items I checked out of the Longview library on my sister's card last Thursday.
The Exegesis of Philip K. Dick.  Who knew.  Dick was a mystic.  I've only read one of his novels and a few short stories but now I've got to try to find and read everything!
Before You Say I Do Again by Benjamin Berkley  for Blog Tour Review Feb 8.  The review is up but I'm not finished.  This is a very difficult read for me at this time and irony of the events that fell on the same week I'm scheduled to review this book did not escape me.
The Fiction Writer's Handbook by Shelly Lowenkopf

Fiction:

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness  (audio from library)  Was listening to this while working on this Xmas crochet project and have not gotten back to it since Christmas.  If I wait too much longer I'm going to have to restart it yet again.  Or at least back up a ways to reorient.
After: The Shock by Scott Nicholson  This is post apocalyptic horror with zombies.    I anticipated enjoying this even tho zombies are not my favorite horror theme because I really enjoyed his The Red Church and I am but probably not to the same degree.
The Civilized World by Susi Wyss (another a Tree book ARC that got lost in the mix before I'd finished it.  Have not posted a review for this one either and can't remember when I received it but it had to be at least a year ago before I started packing for our move and likely before 2011 NaNo when I typically stop reading fiction while I'm so intensely writing it.  This is a collection of interlocking short stories set in South Africa and I remember I was quite enjoying it.  I've had to start it over.)
These High, Green Hills by Jan Karon  The third book in the Mitford series.  I'm reading this aloud to Mom in the evenings
Against My Will by Benjamin Berkley Blog Tour Review  Feb 20  by the same author as Before You Say I Do Again and even tho physical abuse was never one the issues in my marriage it is still difficult to be reading a story about a severely damaged relationship at this time.


Seriously.  I need to reinstate the rule of one novel at a time. --a line I wrote weeks ago when there were several more novels on that list and in the spirit of my New Year Resolve to finish more things than I start I've resisted starting any new fiction that isn't for a scheduled review and before last week I'd been making steady gains in knocking titles off this list.  But not getting the review for them written unless I had a scheduled one--tsk tsk..  I was working on knocking After off this list before having to add anything new but now my scheduled review for Against My Will  has to go up Wednesday and I've not started it.

Upcoming:


___Blog Tours:

Against My Will by Benjamin Berkley Review  Feb 20
Creature Features by Tim Rowland  Review Mar 12
The Fiction Writer's Handbook by Shelly Lowenkopf

___Books I've Finished Awaiting Reviews:

Whenever I'm not pinned to a date like with the blog tours I do very poorly at getting reviews written in a timely way after finishing books and the longer I wait the harder it gets.  This is an issue I'm working on and hope to get a system in place to smooth the track from beginning book to posting review.  But that will mostly have to wait until I'm back home where my time is more my own.  This final week at Mom's and the first week or so I'm back at home are going to be full and unpredictable  So much for that theory.  So much for having anything like predictability anytime soon either.  So I guess that means I have to figure out how to solve this problem in spite of that issue or give up on it altogether.

At Home in Mitford and A Light in the Window by Jan Karon  (the ebook I was reading aloud to my Mom while staying there in March and April. These short little lighthearted chapters are almost like stand-alone short stories with beloved characters and make great bedtime reading for adults wanting pleasant dreams)
The Land of Decoration by Grace McClean
Imagine: How Creativity Works by Jonah Leher.
The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg   Part of my attempt to organize my life around my priorities. So part of my ROW80 reading list.   I discussed this in such detail in my mid-week ROW80 check-in post it was practically a review and I'll probably copy/paste much of what I said there into the review.
The Tragedy Paper by Elizabeth LaBan This was a Net Galley ARC.  It will be archived on Net Galley on January 8th it's pub date and tho I finished it last week I was unable to get the review posted and now I have the two blog tour posts to put up this week so for the third or forth time I'm not going to get my feedback recorded at Net Galley before the feedback page for the item is closed to me.  tsk tsk tsk.
Never Give in to Fear by Marti MacGibbon  This was a NetGalley ARC but later I picked it up for Kindle when it was free on Amazon.  I began it in Adobe Digital Editions and when that timed out on me switched to the Kindle for PC.  This was a memoir of an addict's decent into the abyss and rise back out again and was quite engrossing.
The Monsters of Templeton by Lauren Groff
Get Your Loved One Sober by Robert Meyers (Research for a fiction WIP)

Losses by Robert Wexelblatt an ARC

Recently:

___Reviews and Bookish Posts:



Scammed by Art Maines   My blog tour review for this combination personal testimony and how-to manual for helping an elderly parent recover from the depredations of a scam and protect them from future exploitation.

Encounters with Flannery O'Connor


Khanh Ha author of Flesh Guest Post:

4 Things You Should Know About Writing Fiction


My ROW80 Check-In posts have been primarily on the theme of making more room for fiction reading for the last two weeks.  Saturday's is a musing of the lessons learned and applied and intentions going forward.  Including protocols to be put in place that should increase the number of book reviews going up here.

ROW80 btw is a writing challenge blog hop/support group emphasizing setting goals and aiming for them but recognizing when circumstances can't be helped and learning to adapt the goals.  I've made massive adjustments to my habits since I joined in April but at such an incremental pace I barely noticed.


Flesh by Khanh Ha  Review posted last Wednesday.

Flesh is a very dark and disturbing story and yet, still, suffused with hope like a sandy shore on the edge of a dank jungle shimmering under a full moon....The prose often has the cadences and imagery of poetry and shifts between scenes having the surreal quality of dreams and those with fast-paced action. Khanh Ha's meticulous attention to detail in every scene, his dedication to bringing all five of the senses into play is yet another way he engages with the theme and in this way draws the reader in and tethers them by the sinews and fibers of their very flesh. This story grips and won't let go even after the last page is turned.


Friday Forays in Fiction: The Modern Word  In which I shared a favorite web site devoted to modern and post modern literary fiction--meta fiction, magic realism, surrealism and other types of pushing against the envelope of form and function--the writers like Joyce, Garcia Marquez, Borges, Pynchon and Byatt who know how to put the zing in amaze.

New Arrivals:

By snail mail:
The Autobiography of Us is waiting for me in Phoenix.  Will be picking it up on my quick trip down this week.

By email:
nada

from NetGalley
there were several I got access to but have not downloaded them yet so I won't count them here yet

ARC in waiting:

Tree Books:

Most of these I left  behind when I left home for the five week visit at Mom's in early January but now that the visit has been extended indefinitely I will be picking the rest of these up when we go down Thursday/Friday after things I forsee needing over the next couple months.

The Variations by John Donatich
The Inquisitor by Mark Allen Smith   My husband read this and loved it and is after me to read it so he can talk about it.
The Hunger Angel by Herta Muller  Nobel winner!!
Skios by Michael Frayn
How Should a Person Be? by Sheila Heti
The Sadness of the Samurai by Victor del Arbo
Me, Who Dove into the Heart of the World by Sabina Berman
Winter Journal by Paul Auster a memoir from an American literary figure that really excites me.
We Sinners by Hanna Pylvaine.   It's another story exploring the impact on family life of a fundamentalist religion.  One of the themes I'm drawn to like Pooh to honey.
Our Harsh Logic: Israeli Soldiers' Testimonies from the Occupied Territories, 2000-2010 compiled by The Organization Breaking the Silence
A Possible Life by Sebastian Faulks


Ebooks:

____By email:

After: The Shock by Scott Nicholson
Troubled by Scott Nicholson
Losses by Robert Wexelblatt  This arrived a couple months ago but I somehow neglected to put include it in this list before


____From Net Galley:


A Thousand Pardons by Jonathan Dee
What Matters in Jane Austen? by John Muller
Never Give in to Fear by Marti MacGibbon
The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton
Unloched by Candace Lemon-Scott
Sticks and Stones: Defeating the Culture of Bullying and Rediscovering the Power of Character and Empathy 
by Emily Bazelon
APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur: How to Publish a Book by Guy Kawasaki and Shawn Welch
With or Without You A Memoir by Domenica Ruta
The Beautiful Thing That Awaits Us All by Laird Barron
The Book of Why by Nicholas Montemarano


If anyone reading this states a preference I may let it weigh my decision as to what I begin next from the above list.

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