Thursday, October 31, 2013

NaNo Kick Off. I'm Going to Miss It. :(

moar smartalek kittehs
For the first time since 2005 I'm going to miss the mid night kickoff for NaNoWriMo.  Was trying to stay up for it but my body clock must really be switched over to early bird because I'm fading out with an hour to go before I can start typing.  I can't picture making it through the thirty minutes of word spillage on screen or paper then another fifteen getting from desk to bed.  That puts me close to 1 or after before I'm asleep and I've got a standing date with my husband for vid chat at 6:15am.

I also realized a half hour ago that if I put off taking my Traz until after midnight it's going to still be in my system until nearly noon.  Add that to sleep deprivation and I'll be worthless all day tomorrow.  For NaNo and anything else.

So I'm giving up my beloved tradition for the good of all concerned, including the novel.

Read more...

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Book Review: The Thunderbird Conspiracy by R K Price

The Thunderbird Conspiracy
by R K Price
Publisher: Quiet Owl Books (June 29, 2012)
Available in: Print & ebook, 338 Pages

I have followed the Kennedy family story since I was ten days past six years old.  It was, I believe the first memory series connected by topic and timeline that stayed with me long term so that to this day I can play it back like a mini movie--a story and a puzzle still missing pieces.  I think it was sometime in the next year or two that I became conscious of that lesson--that memories can form stories and if you purposely store them as stories they stick with you longer and with more details.

The trigger for creating this memory story may have been the initiating scene in which I was standing by Mama's knee at the sewing machine watching her put finishing touches on the outfit I was going to wear to kindergarten after lunch.  The radio had not switched from news to music after breakfast and then gone off.  It was still on hours after Daddy left for work and she had moved it from the kitchen to her sewing corner in their bedroom.

I was babbling on about silly six year old stuff and she was responding appropriately in short cheery phrases that encouraged me to continue.  Then she gently shushed me, turning up the radio as it came back from commercial.  And as I watched her listening the tears started flowing and dripping off her chin onto my dress.  I was alarmed.  'Why are you crying Mama?'  and she said 'Someone shot our president.'

That was the beginning of my consciousness of  the concept of 'President'.  Over the next weeks a jumble of memories sorted themselves out into a story with very personal emotional charge:

  • The pictures of the handsome man hanging about my school were covered with black cloth and later replaced by a different man who looked like a grandpa.  
  • The newspaper images (we didn't have a TV) of John John saluting and Caroline clutching her Mother's hand
  • The black cloth draped train
  • The horse drawn casket
  • The gun salute
  • The oval office in many manifestations--empty. crowded, and JFK sitting alone at the desk that looked bigger than our kitchen table with both leaves in.  
  • Being told the Kennedy kids were about the same ages as me and my brother.
  • Noticing how much Jackie resembled my Mama and how much some of the outfits Mama made for herself resembled Jackie's.
  • Holding hands in prayer at the kitchen table as Daddy (or Mama at lunch) prayed with compassion, love and assurance for comfort for the Kennedy family and wisdom for America's leaders and the direction of Our Heavenly Father.  Which calmed my alarm over the 'very bad thing that happened' and gave me a strong sense of the comfort of Jesus and the control of his Father.

That was also the beginning of my obsession with everything Kennedy, reading everything I could get my hands on even sneaking into the adult stacks at the library and reading them sitting on the floor by the shelf before I was 13 and allowed to check them out.  By the time I was 14 I was certain that one bullet theory was silly.  I didn't know much about the science of ballistics but I'd seen ricochet in action in ping pong and pool and that convoluted path for a single bullet accounting for every injury was just too hard to swallow.  And by the time the Watergate scandal played out over my 8th and 9th grade years I understood that there was always something being withheld from the general public.

That, I know, was a very long preamble to a review.  But for this one I simply had to put it in that context to illustrate how deeply rooted in me the Kennedy assassination story is, how primed I was to be riveted by a new story promising to pull back the curtain on secrets never before revealed to the public.  And riveted I was.

Price managed to create characters I could care about with clear motives who acted consistently in character and that came alive for me. Even the supporting cast which were all uniquely delineated and most every one an eccentric of some stripe which are my favorite type of character.  At times the suspense was intense and well handled.  The secrets are startling to say the least.

It was an enjoyable read that I would recommend in spite of a few quibbles I'm about to list:

  • It needs a good line edit from someone with fresh eyes to round up those pesky dismembered corpses of previous versions of edited paragraphs. To bring phrases in agreement in tense, plural and pronoun, fix punctuation, delete orphaned words and add missing ones.
  • The swathes of text that interrupt story flow with info dump, reading more like a reporter's notebook than a novel.  Now I realize this is fiction based on historical fact and I have read novels that weren't and yet were designed to read like a documentary but to mix the formats inside scenes is a jarring disruption of story flow.  And I see evidence Price prefers for this to read like a suspense/thriller and witnessing his fine character studies possibly a psychological/thriller.
  • Sometimes point-of-view is a mystery and that can't be.  But that was rare and probably relates to the point above.

And having said all of that I need to post this without that careful line edit as it is past time to get Mom's lunch.


From the Publishers:

Just in time for the 50th anniversary of JFK’s death!

The Thunderbird Conspiracy is the remarkable tale of Robert Kaye, a Hungarian freedom fighter who claimed he knew and collaborated with JFK assassin Lee Harvey Oswald. R. K. Price’s second novel is also a tale of a Nebraska farm boy who was a great admirer of President Kennedy and a true patriot who desperately wanted to believe his government’s hurried conclusion that Oswald had no accomplice. Yet his own harrowing experience at the hands of his government created profound doubt in his mind, and it haunted him to his death.
These two men, one willfully acting, the other a true victim, became entangled in the most notorious crime of the 20th century. This saga of intrigue and murder was revealed to the author on a wintry Colorado day about three weeks before the farm boy’s ravaged heart gave out.
That man was R. K. Price’s uncle. His name was Bud Carlson. Price stashed away Bud’s account of Robert Kaye, letting it lay dormant for nearly forty years until he could corroborate his uncle’s story with the release of previously secret FBI files from the National Archives.
Now nearing the 50th anniversary of Kennedy’s assassination Price has brought Robert Kaye and Bud Carlson back to life. Their incredible story will leave you questioning just how and why JFK was taken from America far too early.

What they are saying:

“I have always been a JFK assassination conspiracy theorist and R.K. Price’s fictionalized account was a very believable account of what could have happened. I thoroughly enjoyed it and would recommend it. I was glad that the author provided such a thorough epilogue to explain what was actual and what was fictional. Great job!”Judy, Amazon Reviewer“Price does a wonderful job unraveling the behind the scene plan to assassinate President Kennedy, while entertaining the reader with fictional characters that make the story intriguing. Robert Kaye has a dark upbringing that haunts him in his dreams and eventually takes hold of his personality. The kindness that he bestows upon his boss and the love for his girlfriend gets upended by a woman that he meets in the boardinghouse. His goodness quickly fades and an accomplice to the one of the most tragic events of the 20th century is revealed. This plausible account convinced this reader that Oswald did not act alone.”Trish, Amazon Reviewer“This is a thought provoking novel that I just couldn’t put down. Historical fiction based on facts. How many other things in our past have been hidden from us? Cant wait for Volume 2 Mr. Price!! Bud would be proud of the excellent presentation…. job well done!”Deb, Amazon Reviewer“If you like historical fiction, Price will knock you out. This clever mix of detailed factual elements mixed with a wildly creative fictional storyline will keep you reading – even if you’re really supposed to be cooking a holiday dinner. The Characters are real enough to draw you into their world and era – you will have stepped back into history in a way that is immediate and sensitive to modern sensibilities.”Luanne R. Haggerty: Theater Professional, Amazon Reviewer“What a page turner! It was such an interesting story interspersed with so much real history and intimate details. I think the author really paid a fine tribute to his Uncle Bud and the story he carried to his grave. The characters were very real and so were the locations. It was a fast-paced read that I was disheartened to see finished. Can’t wait for the real history to reveal itself in documents released or uncovered in our lifetime. Thanks to the author for sharing family lore and crafting an engaging narrative.”Michael D. Bluestein, Amazon Reviewer

R.K. Price is a Colorado native. He lived in Pueblo for a number of years, earning his way through college as a radio/television and newspaper reporter. He moved north to Denver in the mid 70s, joining a major advertising/public relations firm as a writer, producer and press agent. Later, he formed his own media relations and political consulting firm. He spent the early 1980s in Washington D.C. actively involved in national politics, and returned to Denver in the mid 80s to become an investment and mortgage banker — a profession he remains in today. He now lives in the Washington D.C. area with his wife Janet and daughter Sara in Alexandria, Va.
Buy the book:

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

So Many Precious Books Oct 18 Review & Giveaway
Dr. Bill’s Book Bazaar Oct 21 Review
Dr. Bill’s Book Bazaar Oct 22 Interview
Ordinary Girls Oct 24 Review
Rainy Days & Mondays Oct 25 Review
Fundimental Oct 28 Review
Fundimental Oct 29 Guest Post & Giveaway
Joystory Oct 30 Review
Serendipity Oct  30 Review
Serendipity Oct 31 Interview
Reviewing Novels Online Oct 31 Review
Rose & Beps Blog Nov 1 Guest Post & Giveaway
Cozie Corner Nov 4 Review
Library of Clean Reads Nov 5 Review
Tea & Inspiration Nov 6 Review & Giveaway
Romance & Inspiration Nov 7 Review & Interview
Kate Eileen Shannon Nov 8 Review
Deal Sharing Aunt Nov 11 Review
Kate Eileen Shannon Nov 12 Guest Post
Indies Behind the Scenes Nov 9 Live Interview
Tales of a Book Addict Nov 13 Review
       

http://www.virtualauthorbooktours.com/

Read more...

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

126th ROW80 Check-In

A Round of Words in 80 Days
Round 4 2013

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.

In Round 1 this year 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 in April 2012.  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 below.  I've had one beta reader so far but would really appreciate at least one more before I take the plunge with it.

Note: I broke this up into themed sections to make updating easier.  For Round 4 I've stripped Current of all previous entries, rewrote Fiction Files to reflect current goals, added AWAI Copywriting, and pruned the kudzu out of Lifequake, Self-Manage and Workstation sections.  


Current Check-In --
Fiction Files -- newly adjusted goals for 10-09-13
Other Writing -- working the course involves reading, writing and research as well as videos, web seminars, and teleconference recordings
Read Craft -- several recently finished books
The Lifequake -- Life decided to give me free lessons on the art of flexibility in January of this year.
Self Management -- applying flexibility, persistance, habit rehabilitation as I learn that caring for myself is the foundation for all else.
Evolution of the Workstations -- have made no major changes since early September so I think it's working


CURRENT CHECK-IN

moar kittteh kapshuns
October 28  --  Clinging to the staus quo.  Barely.  I don't know how I'm going to manage when NaNo is in the daily picture and there are two book tours per week.  I just devoted the last two days to the book tour going up tomorrow, determined to not have a replay of last week when my review didn't go live until nearly 5pm.  If every book needs two days devotion that means four days of every week between now and Thanksgiving is commandeered by book tour reviews.

When I signed up for them I seriously believed I'd have all but a couple of the books read and even all the reviews ready to go but for the part I write myself and thus imagined that it would free me up from having to worry about posting for two days a week during NaNo.

Cue the maniacal laughter here.

Today while reading the ebook for tomorrow's review I was having such severe issues with eyestrain I had to crank zoom up toe 200%.  I've never had to do that before.  I suspect it is the doubling of my Welbutrin dose last week that is contributing to this--in conjunction with needing an updated prescription for my glasses.  But the fact that I'm only needing 125% for working this post now several hours after the worst of the blurring in the afternoon indicates the Welbutrin is playing the bigger role.

So now I can read easier.  Just in time to go to bed.  Am trying to get back on the pure early bird schedule which means I'm supposed to be in bed already.  sigh.  I fudged it too often in the last month and started accumulating sleep deprivation again.  Was really messing with every other aspect of my life.

I just reread Saturday's comments below and realized I forgot to mention the incredible session I had with my NaNo Novel prep on Friday.  I had my counselor session at 2pm but my sister had forgot and scheduled her own orthodontist appointment in Portland 45 miles away.  So she had to drop me off at the clinic at 12:30 and then after my appoint I had to wait until nearly 4 for her return so  I took a big bag of stuff to do--including my Aspire but I'd also taken paper notebooks and pens and pencils .  I started with them.

I had one special notebook cover set up especially for handwritten notes and drafts for my NaNo Novel with three different tablets, Postit Pads and both a fine line ink pen and a clicker lead pencil. Every thing but the decorative cover was new, bought at the Dollar Tree back-to-school, art and office supply sections.  The cover was brown embossed to look like leather.  It is loaded with nostalgia for me as it was my Mother's ToDo list notebook when I was a child.

The whole thing gave me that first-day-of-school feeling.  I started jotting down thoughts about my Wailing Womb story--things I remembered from the previous world building thirty years ago and new thoughts I'd recently had.  At one point I zeroed in on an upcoming scene.  Smack in the middle of it as I'd started to 'hear' a new character's voice and knew at least three things she would be saying during the scene.

I started writing, lost in my storyworld and now oblivious to my surroundings--conversations at the reception desk, the front door opening to let people in or out either way letting traffic and parking lot noise in, mothers soothing fussy babies, scolding rowdy preschoolers, restraining an angry toddler wanting to lay on the floor and kick a yellow 'wet floor' cone against the wall, men conversing with voices raised to be heard over that and other men and women talking into their cellphones.  This kind of cacophony is one of my major anxiety triggers and it was blowing past me like dry leaves on dry ground. White noise.

I had decided to set up this dedicated notebook for two reasons--the inevitable appointment and waiting in the car occasions, possible travel;  and because all of my work on the original worldbuiling for this trilogy had been done by hand close to a decade before my first word processor and I hoped that by working by hand again I might encourage more memory retrieval of my original plans.  That was obviously happening within half an hour of initiating.

But I had not expected to feel the old-shoe-comfort of it, the ease with which I slipped back into hand written notes and scene drafts, the way having the pencil in my hand, maybe tapping my cheek while I contemplated ramifications forward and back on the story timeline helped me think.  Even just thinking about it as I tell it now is bringing it all back along with memories of how all of my writing was begun before 1989 and my Tandy 1000 EX.  Even tho I got my first typewriter at age 13 I continued to begin everything on paper in pencil not typing anything until the rough draft was well along, returning to the paper and pencil for every new paragraph.

I'm definitely going to have to do some more of this.  Especially with the FOS story world which was also begun that way.


My NaNo Profile
October 22  --  I did not get my Friday post up until this evening.  Had to walk away at 1am with eyes refusing to cooperate.  Hoped to finish after vid chat with Ed ended at 6:30 but having had less than 5 hours of sleep I went back to bed.  And slept until noon!  Took several hours to get my brain in gear. And then there were a lot of interruptions and sidetracks.

One of those interruptions was my sister wanting to vac in here and having to get movable stuff off the floor by piling on my chair and mini-tramp.  Then while putting stuff back one of the sidetracks kicked in as I began prepping my desk area for the photos I wanted for this ROW80 post.  Got a lot done with it but didn't finish and didn't get the pics.

Notice in the spreadsheet that the last four days are the same as the four before them.  I still can't seem to fit bothFICTION FILES and AWAI into the same day.  And I'm beginning to wonder if the goals for everything else where I always get my Ys are too easy.  Should I be expecting more of myself?  Or am I just uncomfortable with evidence of success?

As for yesterday's Friday Forays in Fiction (which didn't go up until 7ish this evening) I presented Chapter 1 of Book 1 of the sci/fant trilogy I began working on in my 20s.  I won't be counting those words for NaNo of course.

While I was working on that, I also updated my profile at NaNoWriMo.  The link below the pic to the left will take you there.





October 22  --  I've got little to add to the info in the spreadsheet today.  I'm barely hanging on and continue to drop balls I'm juggling.  The most frequently dropped being sleep which has a built in diminishing return on investment as it leads to less efficiency, less focus, less creativity, and more anxiety, more frustration, more irritability, more confusion.

All the Ys on the spreadsheet for the past month represent the bare minimum of 15 minutes of time invested.  I'd had once worked that up to at least double and on some more than that last summer.

The Ys on FICTION FILES represent the the time spent referring to my notes and drafts as I contemplated which WIP to make my NaNo Novel for 2013 and then for the prep of last Friday's post announcing my choice.

Sunday and Monday were devoted to prepping for Monday's blog tour review.

I had held out as reward for getting that done early on Monday morning some hours of working with the NaNo prep for that novel.  But instead between Sunday afternoon and Monday late night I got stuck in an OCDish hyperfocus on the task of searching for an important missing email and never finding it.  Another gift from sleep deprivation.

So then I lost my whole morning brain work sessions both Tuesday and today to an attempt to catch up on sleep.  I'd got less than four hours before our 6am vid chats both morning and my husband all but ordered me to go back to bed.

moar Lit Krittrz  see  share  caption  vote
October 19  --  Still super overwhelmed but am slowly getting a handle on some things.  The email inbox is almost tamed.  Some of my daily routines have become fairly solid tho it still needs work--to solidify a few more and add a few new.

I finally got the the FICTION FILES section below this one edited to reflect my goals for Round 4

So since this post was supposed to go up last night and I had to walk away before it was ready and now it is already after noon on Sunday, I'll leave you with that and the following 3 posts since the last check-in with relevance to ROW80:





October 15  --  The poem on the captioned pic to the right was written in honor of Dewey the founder of Dewey's 24hr Read-a-Thon.  I wrote it off the cuff during my last hour of participation in the Thon Saturday, leaving it at the top of my Thon post, My Brain on Books.  Then for my Sunday Serenity post I captioned a pic with it.

That poem and a couple others, plus emails, text messages, book reviews and other daily posts and an assortment of scribbled notes are the extent of my word count so far this month. I'm constantly having to focus exclusively on the next deadline and once finished the clock has already been ticking on the next one.  There is no time to get ahead on the things coming up days or more down the line.

I feel like I'm chasing my ponytail around the block but can never catch it as it moves faster than I can.  Chew on that Paradox.

Several unplanned for events have caused my already bursting at the seams schedule to shed its corsets and believe me when I say there is no Super Woman costume underneath.

I've already described some of the events I'm referring to in yesterday's It's Monday! What are You Reading? post so I'm going to just quote them here.  I had mentioned that I had 11 blog tour reviews scheduled between now and Thanksgiving and a few paragraphs later:

One of the tour reviews is for beta testing a new writer's community web site. That was supposed to go up by Wednesday but I'm going to have to ask for an extension as my schedule in the last two weeks took several unexpected wallops.
Among them Dewey's Read-a-Thon this past Saturday which I discovered only the Saturday before.  So sadly I didn't get to volunteer as cheerleader or mini-challenge host which I've done one or the other or both nearly every thon since fall of 2008.  My schedule was already over committed with a dentist appointment on Monday, a counselor appointment on Wednesday, a tour review on Thursday and an AWAI copywriting webinar on Friday.  Which reminds me--I missed part 2 of the Webinar at noon today as I was sitting in the dentist waiting room waiting for my sister to return from errands to pick me up.
The wallops continue.  Last Monday's dentist visit was for an extraction.  I went again today for an x-ray on another tooth and will be returning on Thursday for another extraction.  Here's hoping that once we eliminate the low grade infection and chronic pain that has been plaguing me since 1995, my energy and mood levels will pick up and my blood pressure will drop.  I don't dare get started on the why's and wherefores that happened. Besides I've already covered it in my rant on the current state of dental care, You Know the Drill.

Plus the Dentist appointments have all been before noon which destroys my morning brain work session (reading, writing, research, study, email and posting) as the morning is all about getting ready, getting there, getting it done and getting home to fix Mom's lunch.

My inbox is flooding and the things I need to see and deal with pronto are getting pushed off the front page before I see them.  I've spent hours and hours over the last several weeks refining the organizing of it--creating or editing filters and labels, using skip inbox for news, newsletters, blog subscriptions and similar recurring things that are primarily read only, designating category tags so that the Google tab system is taylored for my needs, and attaching emails to Google tasks or Google calendar.

But now my Google Task list is overflowing and unorganized so I'm going to have to start creating topical lists for it.  And the Google Calendar email alerts are just as likely to get lost as anything else so I put a label named 2DO on it and try to remember to check that label several times a day.  But I have to remember to input appointments in the calendar.  Came close to missing two appointments in the last week because I'd put the appointment cards under my mouse pad the day I brought them home.

I'm so overwhelmed.  It seems there is always a tine sensitive task needing attention right NOW and I have to focus on it until it is done and there is another one waiting in line with the clock ticking.

And I'm dropping the balls more and more often:

  • Several of the blog tour reviews in the last two months I had to put up before finishing the book. 
  • I missed Saturday's ROW80 check-in due to the Read-a-Thon Saturday
  • Several times lately--this post for example--I've not been able to get my daily post up before going to bed and had to timestamp a draft and work on it the next morning.  So this post was supposed to go up last night but it is already after noon and it still isn't up.  Google Docs had not saved my work on the spreadsheet last week and I had to use the screenshot I took for last Wednesday ROW80 and recreate a half dozen rows of data.
  • I've overslept several times in the last two weeks and missed my morning vid chat with Ed.
  • I've played fast and loose with my med and sleep schedule for a month or more now.  See Life Management section for context.
  • I missed 2nd and 3rd of the three part AWAI webinar this week.
  • Forgetting to put appointments in the calendar
  • Forgetting to call in a Rx
  • Forgetting to activate the debit card issued for my SSI payments so that had to send a check
  • I've disappointed Mom several times by not having time to read our story aloud after dinner.
  • and on and on and on
  • And right now I'm pushing the envelope on when I'm supposed to be in the kitchen preparing lunch for me and Mom.



October 10 -- I've already put hours into cleaning up  the Round 3 mess and bringing all sections up to date.  So I'm going to let some of my interim posts present the current situation.

Email Nightmares
A Word Wrangler's Lasso
Crossed Eyes and Knotty Thoughts
You Know the Drill
Of Grumps, and Dumps and Triumphs.
Fall 2013 Challenges
I Have a 2Dos Pileup




FICTION FILES:



My Brain on Story
see moar kittehs 
Ongoing: 

  • work at cleaning up the Wrimo messes
  • get Blow Me a Candy Kiss prepped for self pub
  • target a second finished short story for the self publish route 
  • work on the FOS storyworld -- add events to timeline, add characters sketches, do mind maps, clarify specific research needs, edit existing scenes and add new, target one of the POV character's stories to focus on [this will be set aside until after NaNo except for noting stray thoughts about it]
  • NaNoWriMo --  I've began prep in mid September for the 2013 NaNoWriMo novel using my new review copy of The Marshall Plan software and book.
         I have tentatively selected a YA sci/fant story called The Wailing Womb meant to be first in a trilogy called The Ward's Prevailing that I started while in my 20s that continues to haunt me.  I'd lost all the world-building notes and all the rough draft work except for about five pages of semi-polished scenes in our 2001 move and lost heart.
         I imagine I'll be working some in books 2 and 3 since I'll need to pin down the main story arc of the series and some of the unwritten scenes still vivid in my mind after decades are in those.  The titles: 2) The Travailing Woeful  and 3) The Availing Word
OTHER WRITING TASKS
  • AWAI Copywriting course work: working the course involves reading, writing and research as well as videos, web seminars, and teleconference recordings and networking.
  • keep on top of the upcoming blog tour reviews
  • tackle the backlog of book reviews for ARCs and the upcoming blog tours

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)  What with the lifequake and all I've had to do a lot of reassessing.  Recently I realized that my todo lists are way overloaded even for someone with a reasonably quakeless life.
Hooked: Write Fiction That Grabs Readers at Page One and Never Lets Go by Les Edgerton
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  In late February I lifted the strikethru I put on this the week I left home in January as I brought it back with me on the 22nd.
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 January and has been the one I've spent the most time with ever since.  Friday's post was a quote post for this one.
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.
The Right to Write by Julia Cameron.  Also a Longview library book.
The Fiction Writer's Handbook by Shelly Lowenkopf  Review for blog tour  Haven't finished it yet tho so it will remain in the list.
The Complete Idiot's Guide to Writing Erotic Romance by Alison Kent.  Found on my shelves while packing books.  I won this in a drawing during the Sweating for Sven writing challenge in 2007.  It made me blush and I kept it hidden in the recesses of my bookshelves but I think I've gotten over that.
AWAI Copywriting Course materials

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.
Writing in General and the Short Story in Particular by Rust Hills onetime fiction editor at Esquire.  A tiny little paperback published in the mid 70s.  I pulled this off my own shelf a couple months ago as just the right size to prop the netbook keyboard at a better angle but then I pulled it out to read while waiting on my computer to finish updates and a restart as all the ebooks were unavailable and it was the only book I could reach without getting up.  Lazy me.  But it hasn't gone never went back under the keyboard yet.  I keep kept picking it up whenever the netbook is was too busy to mind me.
Write Good or Die! edited by Scott Nicholson (a collection of essays by inde authors.  many of them self-published) 


THE LIFEQUAKE:

Ed and I April 2nd
5 minutes before leaving
The event I'm calling the lifequake hit me in late January and for the most part of most days I'm accommodating myself to the new realities shaking out from it.  The details are covered in ROW80 #69 check-in. and  this Sunday Serenity and in It's Like This and The Eyes Have It so I won't keep reiterating the story in these check-ins.

The most important fact affecting ROW80 goals is that my 5 week visit at my Mom's begun in early January has been extended indefinitely.  It has been a huge disruption in itself not counting all the disruptions of life, thought and emotion behind the whys and wherefores.


In late February and late March my sister drove me down to pick up as many of my personal belongings as I could imagine needing over the next several months. I imagined that I'd be returning home by summer but then Ed got a vacate notice from the landlord who needed to sell the trailer. So I had to drop out of ROW80 check-ins for a month in April/May as I left Mom's in Longview WA April 29 to spend the next 11 days in Phoenix OR with my husband packing up the rest of our stuff and helping him prepare for vacating the house on the 15th.  My sister returned to Longview with a third van load of my stuff on May 2nd and then picked up me, our cat Merlin, and a forth van load on the 10th.


Merlin
During our trip in early April my sister took Merlin to the vet and the following week he had surgery to remove rotten teeth and fix his eyelids so his lashes would stop scratching his eyes.  He looks oriental now.  The pic is from several years ago when he was still healthy.  He has started to regain the weight he lost while he was sick last winter.

I spent the next two days shuffling boxes and bags and stuff around between van and house and my areas at Mom's.  The four days after that I wallowed in the pain of missing Ed, loosing our house and not knowing when the next visit will be now that there are no more loads to go after and no house to call ours.

As Round 4 begins there has still been no visit.  He's living with his folks in the same tiny room we shared for ten years but we both agreed that environment would be unhealthy for me and our relationship.  So we're waiting for him to find a place before I come back for a visit bringing a van load of household miscellany and Merlin our cat who came back with me in May.

Before I can come home for good my meds need to be stabilized and healthcare assured.  I have to be separated from Ed in order to qualify for health care.  We had a lot of hope pinned on the implementation of Oregon Care, Oregon's answer to the Affordable Care Act, slated for October 1st.  But the government shutdown has put that on hold.  So much for those wascally wabbits and their so-called concern for the sanctity of marriage.

Meanwhile we make do with several emails and one or two vid chats each day.


SELF-MANAGEMENT

All the way to the middle of August my main focus was unpacking and organizing my clothes, books, papers, crafts and even the household items.  Organizing the things I wanted available for use and repacking out of season clothes and household stuff for the trip back down as soon as Ed found a place.

It looks like I'm going to have to pull the winter stuff back out before that happens.

Reading and crafting corner
The creating of stations to accommodate activities has been one of the themes of my organizing. I put the hanging clothes in the room where my primary workstation is and the folding clothes in the room across the hall which I share with Mom.  The reference books with my workstation and the rest in the bedroom along with most of the crafts.


A development related to self-management is the timer my sister bought me just before she left me alone with Ed the first week of May.  It has two timers, a clock and a stop-watch function.

One of her concerns about leaving me there for a whole week was the tenuous nature of my ability to stay on my med schedule, sleep schedule and food and water intake schedule without outside monitoring.  That is one of the repercussions of an unmanaged mood-disorder.

As for the mood-disorder, the med nurse has been careful because of my history of atypical reactions to meds.  She adds or subtracts one thing at a time.  She started with changing my Trazadone from an occasional sleep aid to the primary antidepressant,  upping the dose and making it daily.  Over the spring and summer she raised it from 50 to 300 mg.

She was for a brief time looking at the possibility of bipolar because of my intractable insomnia that often had me awake for 24 to 72 hours at a stretch.  But careful observation and family history led her to suspect that it was my severe anxiety coupled with ADD creating the appearance of bi-polar.

There have been enough improvements in my ability to function that I've been able to commit to making and serving lunch for me and Mom every day since August.

In response to my Lazy Daze post in early June in which I muse on why I am still planted like a turnip on the mini-tramp after four days and unable to put action where my mouth is on any of my stated goals and priorities my husband surmised that I was experiencing a mini-burnout after having pushed too hard on too many fronts for too many days in a row, allowing myself little recreation.  He added that I had too many high priorities and several of them were in conflict which I was possibly unconscious of.  Then at my request during our next video chat in used his skill-set as a supervisor and experience with time-management on the job to show me how to triage my stated goals.

For the triage he laid it out there that anything touching on my health or safety was non-negotiable.  This included sleep, med schedule, food schedule, exercise, hygiene, all those appointments, and recreation--which last I had been denying myself until I ended up planted like a turnip on the mini-tramp.

My reassessment after the triage talk with Ed, led me to a radical decision to switch myself from night owl to early bird having identified the larges block of time least likely to be interrupted as those between dawn and lunch.  It was a struggle until mid July when I added Melatonin to the evening med mix.  As of mid August it became my new normal.

One of the fallouts from the stabilized sleep schedule has been an increase in those intense, creative, colorful and story-like dreams that have often contributed what I call the storyseeds for my fiction.  This augers well for the future work with my fiction files--both editing and new writing.  And is a sign the depression is lifting.

Ultimately the goal is to use the pre-lunch hours for brain work--reading, writing, blogging, research, netbook maintenance, daydreaming story world and the afternoon for active/social tasks like exercise, sorting/organizing, chores, hygiene, family interaction, vid or text chats with Ed.  But so far I've nearly always gravitated back to the brainwork after lunch and once engaged in a task it is hard to break away for another.

Meanwhile I'm trying to learn patience with myself and flexibility.  One of the new skills I'm honing is the ability to analyse what is working and what isn't and then apply a likely fix and observe what does and doesn't result.  I'm trying to keep a vision of what success looks like in my head so that I'm always aiming for it.

WORKSTATION WOES AND WOOTS
The evolution of the writing and workout room:

2nd Workstation and
Indoor Workout Space
In February a few weeks into the lifequake I realized I could no longer wait until I got home to get serious with my fiction writing but to accommodate it I would need a writing station that afforded privacy, quiet, light, and the ability to move about and make moderate noise without fear of disturbing my sleeping mother.  And I would need to designate a time of day in which I could count on no interruptions.

The time best suited (I thought until the mid June reassessment) was the hours immediately after Mom heads to bed.  The space was trickier.  But the best bet was somewhere in the room that had once been Mom's office and had become a storage room.  So I rearranged some boxes and created a desk in a cubby behind the stairwell.    I was even able to set up the mini-tramp in there. Tho I had to walk across it to get to my desk, I liked having it there until I fell twice inside a week.

 After the first fall on a Sunday I set my mind to being careful but after the second fall the following Friday I realized careful would not cut it.  Not indefinitely.  Not for someone visually impaired and with such a history of scattered thought and impulsive movement.  After a third incident--a close call--my sister set the tramp on end.  But as I feared it seldom got set down for use after that.  I kept wanting to find the time and energy to rearrange the stuff again to make room for the tramp and a path to my desk.  That became one of the goals as I worked to make room for the stuff coming in from the van the first week of April.

To make room for the tramp I moved my folded clothes into Mom's room and the boxes of Mom's papers under the card table.


Reference Books

The reference books are now on that cabinet above the tramp.  The 1999 World Book set and the Britannica Great Books set I bought from the library in 2005.  And writing related misc.

Cubby desk May 25
The cubby desk morphed many times.  I continue to tweak things but continued to find it a very uninviting place to spend much time.  For weeks I used this station primarily for scanning, storing office supplies and as a paper sorting station.  I tried moving that chair that bit my butt out and put in its place an exercise ball in front of stacked boxes for a desk.  But never did actually sit to work at it.


 Then I exchanged the exercise ball with the office chair I'd been using beside the bed in Mom's room.  It was a tight fit but it seemed to be working at first.

After yet another workstation tweak, solving desk height and other irritations, I had a few productive sessions at it but what seemed minor issues at first became deal breakers and I found myself more and more back on the mini-tramp.

Looks more like a nest
For the two weeks after returning from Phoenix (May 11-24) this was my primary writing and Internet surfing station.  I also crocheted while watching videos and sometimes read either ebooks or treebooks.  The tramp in this pic is now my own brought from home.

But on May 24 I decided it was not working.  I'd gravitated to sitting on the mini-tramp that first weekend because there was so much upheaval everywhere else.  But that had unwanted repercussions--I stopped working out because the tramp was always piled with cushions and for some reason I can't pin down my productivity dropped both on and off the computer.  Maybe that is partly due to not working out.  But it might also be because the setup was more conducive to daydreaming, watching videos or surfing than serious work.  The clue is in the caption I gave the pic: Looks more like a nest.

This led to the series of attempts to make the cubby station viable.  I got so frustrated by all the tweaking. It seemed I spent more time fiddling with the workstations than actually working at them.  I was desperate to shift the balance.

standing desk May 21
One of my preferred netbook stations through spring and summer was this standing desk above the mini-tramp.  I could stand on the tramp to write or while text or video chatting with Ed.   But mostly I listened to music or watched videos while working out.




Bradley Desk Inpector
Finally room to spread
out books and paper

Then in late August it finally came together: a workable workstation.  The story and pics about it are in these Sunday'sMonday's and Tuesday's posts.  As Round 4 begins I continue to be happy with it and have had more than 50% productive days.  Those that weren't were not due to the workstation.

I've continued to tweak.  Of course.  Am resigned to that being something of a comfort activity for me.  Besides as new commitments move onto the agenda new accommodations must be made.  Right?  Like when a new, larger computer enters the picture and the older one cannot yet be set aside so the computer desk aka tray table gets pushed to the right until it is blocking the tramp.  Oops!

Or when the 'brilliant' front burner project box turns out to be a clutter collector rather than efficient use of space.

Will try to post a current pic of the tweaks that resolved those issues soon.

Bradley
The family cat, Bradley has been a pill as I rearranged the two rooms.  He mountain climbs the stuff.  He picks up small things and carries them off.  Twice it was my reading glasses that I wear over my prescription glasses for close work.  He sits on top of the very thing I need to pick up.

Once he knocked my netbook off the desk.  I had an extreme moment of panic before I got it picked up and checked over.

Merlin nesting with me
My hope that once Merlin was allowed to join the family the two of them would entertain each other came true.  After a few weeks of talking to each other through the laundry room door they had a brief encounter when I brought Merlin up on his leash on our way out for his yard exploration they  touched noses and nobody hissed.  Bradley did raise one paw over Merlin's head and held it there until Merlin ducked his head and slunk away.  A couple weeks after that Merlin was paroled and they've acted buddies ever since with Bradley obsessed with grooming Merlin who had been lax with that due to his poor health.  They do occasionally fight over the spots of sun on the living room carpet.

But for over a week after Merlin got paroled I hung out on the tramp again so he could hang out with me.

Read more...

Monday, October 28, 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:

Flannery O'Connor
Mystery and Manners:
Occasional Prose
Various events conspired to shift my focus from reading to writing in August and September,  from emails to copywriting course work, to poems, to LOLs, to NaNoWriMo prep.

Now that has shifted back towards reading.  Or at least widened to include it.  I don't want to drop the other balls I'm juggling but I must add reading and reviews back into the mix as I'm committed to 9 blog tours between now and Thanksgiving.  So stay tuned.  I should be posting IMWAYR? every week through the end of November at least.

My blog tour review for The Return went up last Monday forcing me to postpone IMWAYR? until Tuesday.  But it was the only bookish post in the last week as I switched my focus to NaNo prep so I left it in place in this section.

I must switch at least some focus back to reading now as my next blog tour book review is Wednesday, October 30 for The Thunderbird Conspiracy by R. K. Price which I did at least start reading last week.  In fact was reading quite a bit.  I just didn't finish anything or start anything new.

Then there will be two blog tours per week throughout November in conjunction with NaNoWriMo.  And I will have to manage all that and more without pulling all nighters as was my habit since my early teens.

Bookish posts in the last week:

The Return by Melissa Douthit Book 3 in the Raie’Chaelia series --  I participated in the tour for Book 2,  The Firelight of Maalda,  nearly two years ago.  And at that time was given Book 1, The Legend of the Raie’Chaelia,  as well as two prequel shorts. Am wishing I'd had time to reread or review those 600 some pages as I was a bit lost for 20 to 30 pages but she does a pretty good job of orienting you.

My top two favorite aspects of this series were:

  • The world building and undergirding science, its characters and creatures and lore enthralled me throughout the series.  I wish there was more to come.
  • The love story between the heroine Chalice and Jeremiah.  The developing of that romance unlike in many fantasy stories was not just tacked on as a come-hither side plot but was the point on which the central plot pivoted.  I really loved how that played out.


Finished reading recently:

Mama Makes Up Her Mind and Other Dangers of Southern Living by by Bailey White I thought this was a novel and getting set to put it in the fiction list below when I thought to check out its page on Goodreads and discovered it is a memoir.  It's short little vignette chapters and easy to read font made it ideal for taking with me to doctor appointments.  Which is how I managed to finally finish it.
Mr. Monk Helps Himself by Hy Conrad.
At Home in Holly Springs by Jan Karon  --  was reading aloud to Mom.  Features Father Tim from the Mitford series as he returns to the town he grew up in.  First of two.
Her Dear and Loving Husband by Meredith Allard

Began reading recently:

The Autistic Brain by Temple Grandin  My sister bought this book for herself and we are both reading it.  We both have a passion for how brains work.
Sticks and Stones: Defeating the Culture of Bullying and Rediscovering the Power of Character and Empathy by Emily Bazelon -- one of the new library books and also a NetGalley ARC that timed out on me months ago.
Stranger Magic: Charmed States and the Arabian Nights by Marina Warner about the influence of the Arabian Nights stories on western literature, art and culture.  One of the new library books.
A Dual Inheritance by Joanna Hershon  --  a novel and a NetGalley ARC
Complexity and the Arrow of Time by (multiple authors) --  a collaboration of scientists, philosophers and theologians exploring the concepts of Complexity Theory.  a NetGalley ARC
My AWAI Copywriting course Installment 1 (of 13)
Tinseltown Riff by Shelly Frome
In the Community of Others by Jan Karon -- reading aloud to Mom several evenings a week.
The Marshall Plan by Evan Marshal -- this is a re-read.  It is one of the ebooks packaged with the Marshall Plan writer's software sent to me by Evan Marshall in exchange for sharing my experience on Joystory.
The Return by Melissa Douthit
The Thunderbird Conspiracy by R. K. Price

Reading Now:

__Non-Fiction:

Most of these I plug away in at a snail's pace--a couple pages or chapters per week or even every other 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 read in them so infrequently.

Hooked: Write Fiction That Grabs Readers at Page One and Never Lets Go by Les Edgerton  ROW80 reading 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)
The Act of Creation by Arthur Koestler   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   ROW80 reading list  Net Galley ARC a NF that purports to answer many puzzles in the Austen novels.
Trust the Process: An Artist's Guide to Letting Go by Shaun McNiff So part of my ROW80 reading list.
Jung and the Tarot: An Archetypal Journey by Sallie Nichols   ROW80 reading list  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
13 Ways of Looking at a Novel by Jane Smiley   ROW80 reading list  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.   ROW80 reading list  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.
The Fiction Writer's Handbook by Shelly Lowenkopf  ROW80 reading list  posted review for blog tour in March but still not finished
Choice Theory: A Psychology of Personal Freedom by William Glasser M.D. a library book
Essays by Ralph Waldo Emerson  I own this book.
How We Decide by Jonah Lehrer
Mystery and Manners by Flannery O'Connor    ROW80 reading list  This is a reread for me and has had significant impact on the development of my storyworld in the early months of its inception.  This 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.
The Right to Write by Julia Cameron   ROW80 reading list
It's Not About You by Max Lucado.  I found this on my own shelves while packing up my personal library.  It was one of the last gifts I received from my Dad in 2005 the year he died of cancer.  It has a lovely inscription in his handwriting on the inside front page.  And I was reminded how I'd promised him to read it.  My bookmark was less than half way through and I could not remember if I'd finished it and just left the bookmark in or not but I doubt it.  So I've pulled it out to put on front burner.
Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years by Diarmaid MacCulloch  I pulled this off my sister's bookshelf awhile back.  It is over a thousand pages in smallish font.  So it will be on this list for a long time.  I find it exhilarating that my mind seems ready to tackle text that is so dense in info and complex ideas again.  There is only one other book on this list that fits that criteria, The Act of Creation, and I've not pulled it out very often in these last months but am now finding myself yearning toward it again.   Good signs.
The Complete Idiot's Guide to Writing Erotic Romance by Alison Kent.  Also found on my shelves.  I won this in a drawing during the Sweating for Sven writing challenge in 2007.  It made me blush and I kept it hidden in the recesses of my bookshelves but I think I've gotten over that.  Tho I admit it is hard to pull it out and read in it now that I'm back at Mom's.  But since Valentine's Week all my new story ideas have been for romances.  Not my usual thing.  But hey, you gotta take what the muse sends or she'll stop sending.  Setting aside the erotica aspects, this book is full of good story structure advice as well as romance genre specific advice.  I'm exploring the idea of writing a love story.  Hmmm.  Not sure who that is that just said that.
The Autistic Brain by Temple Grandin
Sticks and Stones: Defeating the Culture of Bullying and Rediscovering the Power of Character and Empathy
by Emily Bazelon -- one of the new library books and also a NetGalley ARC that timed out on me a couple months ago.
Stranger Magic: Charmed States and the Arabian Nights
by Marina Warner
Complexity and the Arrow of Time by (multiple authors) --  a collaboration of scientists, philosophers and theologians exploring the concepts of Complexity Theory.  a NetGalley ARC
My AWAI Copywriting course Installment 1 (of 13)
The Marshall Plan by Evan Marshal -- this is a re-read.

__Fiction:

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness  (audio from library)  Was listening to this while working on this Xmas crochet project in 2012 and have had to restart it several times and get pulled away again again.
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 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.)
A Dual Inheritance by Joanna Hershon  --  a NetGalley ARC
In the Company of Others by Jan Karon  --  am reading aloud to Mom.  Features Father Tim from the Mitford series as he and his wife Cynthia travel to Ireland to spend two weeks in the area where his father and grandfather immigrated from.
 Arctic Fire by Paul Byers.  -- Tho I posted my review for the tour I had not quite finished it
Tinseltown Riff by Shelly Frome   -- Again had to post review before finishing the story
The Return by Melissa Douthit   -- This is getting to be a habit and considering how the blog tours are are going to be coming at me two per week through November concurrent with NaNo I'm afraid it will happen again and again and I may not get them all finished before the New Year

Upcoming:


___Blog Tours:

I will be participating in 12 blog tours in the next 8 weeks.  The first this Thursday:


Review as Beta Tester for Indicated, a new writer's community web site about to launch. Mid October
The Thunderbird Conspiracy by R. K. Price  --  October 30
Ghosts of Lost Eagle  -- November 4th
Sinnerman by Jonathan M. Cook -- November 7
The Three Sisters by Bryan Taylore  --  November 12
Blood Drama by Christopher Meeks  --  November 15
Head Games by Erika Rummel  --  November 19
With Friends Like These by L. Hunter Cassells  --  November 25
Woman On Top by Deborah Schwartz  --  November 25

___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.

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.
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  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.
These High, Green Hills by Jan Karon  The third book in the Mitford series.
Pie Town by Lynne Hinton
Out to Caanan by Jan Karon  Book Four of the Mitford series.
Witch by Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguie
Curse by Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguie
A New Song by Jan Karon.  The fifth Mitford book.
Legacy by Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguie
Spellbound by Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguie
A Common Life: The Wedding Story by Jan Karon
In This Mountain by Jan Karon
Good in Bed by Jennifer Wiener
Shepherds Abiding by Jan Karon  reading aloud to Mom
Certain Girls by Jennifer Wiener (sequel to Good in Bed)
Joyland by Stephen King
Writing in General and the Short Story in Particular by Rust Hills onetime fiction editor at Esquire.
Rose Fire by Mercedes Lackey
A Light From Heaven by Jan Karon  --  have been reading this to Mom in the evenings.  It's the final book in the series.
Boys Will Be Joys by Dave Meurer.  my sister bought this one for me after finding me standing by the book rack reading it while waiting on her to exit the restroom at the truck stop in Rice Hill OR on our trip home last May.  It's a Father's musing (Erma Bombeck style) on the vicissitudes of parenting.
Write Good or Die! edited by Scott Nicholson   ROW80 reading list (a collection of essays by inde authors.  many of them self-published)
Mama Makes Up Her Mind and Other Dangers of Southern Living by by Bailey White
At Home in Holly Springs by Jan Karon  --  am reading aloud to Mom.  Features Father Tim from the Mitford series as he returns to the town he grew up in.  First of two.  We started nearly a month ago and I forgot to put it on this list.  We will probably finish Tuesday evening.

Recently:

___Reviews and Bookish Posts:



Friday Forays in Fiction: Quote via a captioned pic
My Brain on Books XIII my thon post
Sunday Serenity #358 An Ode to Our Dewey via a captioned kitteh pic.



The tour review on Thursday the tenth was for Tinseltown Riff by Shelly Frome: Gritty as the sand carried by the Santa Ana winds Tinseltown Riff is a comical romp among the Who's Who and Wannabes of the 21st century Hollywood scene.  A very unexpected, even counter-intuitive, mixture of story ambiance that works well.







Finished reading recently:


In early October I participated in the blog tour for Her Dear and Loving Husband by Meredith Allard

If you like the genres that are blended into it: Paranormal, Historical and Romance you are bound to be as enthralled as I was.  It is a sweet yet intense romance exploring the concept of eternal love that bridges the centuries to be fulfilled.




Thursday September 26th I posted the tour review for Arctic Fire by Paul Byers.

Move over Clive Cussler, Tom Clancy, and Arthur C. Clarke.  Make room for the new kid on the block.  In Arctic Fire, Paul Byers has created a futuristic, technology thriller that can stand proudly in the company of Cussler, Clancy. and Clarke.






Thursday September 19th I posted the blog tour review for Mr. Monk Helps Himself by Hy Conrad. This is a delightful fix for all of us Monk addicts











Bookish posts from Banned Book Week:

Danger!  Books Can Change You.
Banned Books Week: Ask Dr. Suess
Sunday Serenity #356  Banned Book Week







I captioned a pic at cheezeburger.com with a quote from William Styron for a quickie quote post: How to Acquire More Lives Than a Cat.  That LOLcat and similar ones I'd created brought me to the attention of a group on cheezeburger.com called JeffCatsBookClub which has its own profile created for the purpose of collecting bookish and other story themed LOLs.  It's a story lover's treasure trove.

I posted about JeffCatsBookClub with the image of the 'library card' they issued me on this Sunday post.  Anyone into the IMWAYR? meme would likely also get a kick out these.  And if you have a cheezeburger profile and like what you see, just make a friend request.

BTW my profile at cheezeburger is Joystory

There were two other quickie quote posts in the last couple of weeks: Just LOLlygagging.  and  Lonliness is Feeling Embraced by the Empty.  I used to feel embarrassed by these, thinking of them as lazy cheats and not real posts but now that I know they are giving pleasure to those who encounter them I guess I'll own them and even flaunt them a bit.


New Arrivals:

By snail mail:

By email:

from NetGalley



ARC in waiting:

Tree Books:


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
Detroit City Is the Place to Be: The Afterlife of an american Metropolis by Mark Binelli
The Autobiography of Us
The Abundance by Amit Majmudar
Here Comes Mrs. Kugelman by Minka Pradelski

Ebooks:

____By email:


Troubled by Scott Nicholson

____From Net Galley:


A Thousand Pardons by Jonathan Dee
What Matters in Jane Austen? by John Muller
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  [the  55 day NetGalley digital edition timed out before I finished but I have just nabbed a library copy]
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  55 day NetGalley digital edition timed out before I finished but I am watching for a library copy]
The Beautiful Thing That Awaits Us All by Laird Barron
The Book of Why by Nicholas Montemarano  [the  55 day NetGalley digital edition timed out before I finished but I am watching for a library copy]
Mind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof You Can Heal Yourself by Lissa Rankin, M.D.
Antonia Lively Breaks the Silence by David Samuel Levinson
Kinslow System Your Path to Proven Success in Health, Love, and Life by Frank J Kinslow
Breaking The Habit of Being Yourself: How to Lose Your Mind and Create a New One by Joe Dispenza
Women, Sex, Power, And Pleasure Getting the Life (and Sex) You Want by Evelyn Resh
All Is Well: Heal Your Body with Medicine, Affirmations, and Intuition by Louise Hay & Mona Lisa Schulz
The Honeymoon Effect: The Science of Creating Heaven on Earth by Bruce H. Lipton,
The Science of Creating Heaven on Earth by Bruce H. Lipton,
A Dual Inheritance by Joanna Hershon
Children of the Jacaranda Tree by Sahar Delijani
Directing Your Destiny by Jennifer Grace
Hiding in Sunshine by John Stuart and Caitlin Stuart
I Am: Renewal from Within the Garden by Lucie K Lewis
The Book Publisher's Toolkit by Independent Book Publishers Association
The Goddess Chronicle by Natsuo Kirino
Why Priests? by Garry Wills
Why we Write by by Meredith Maran (Editor)
A Dual Inheritance by Joanna Hershon
Complexity and the Arrow of Time by (multiple authors) --  a collaboration of scientists, philosophers and theologians exploring the concepts of Complexity Theory.

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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