Sunday, August 21, 2016

First Hint of Autumn

The first evidence of Autumn

Time // 4:24 - late post today!

Eating // Oh man do I need to go to the store!

Drinking // Even at this late hour... you got it!  
Weather // The heat of summer has broken. Today is sunny with a gentle breeze and 72 degrees. Not a speck of humidity to be found anywhere.

READING// Dubliners~ James Joyce
I'm enjoying it very much... it makes me homesick for where I don't live though. 

ALSO READING://  The Winter King ~ Bernard Cornwell

Didn't get to give this guy much love this week. Maybe tonight I can focus on it for a bit.
LISTENING TO //  Enon ~ Paul Harding
I stopped for a bit to listen to some of Dubliners too to get a step up on my school work for this semester.
I can't wait to get back to this!


Watching //  Lectures? For my courses this fall that are uploaded to the web.

Music // Back to the soundtracks. At least that means I'm working!!

Blogging //I did get my review up. AND I published a post on my author site here:

Acquisitions // Textbooks is all I believe. Only one of those and that was pretty cheap! Thank goodness!

Hating  //My youngest left for school. My Van is making a noise. I'm trying to find a job closer to home to alleviate the need for commuting this winter. The sun is setting so early already.

Loving // Cool or not, it's still Summer baby!!

Writing// I did some jots on some new ideas, and I have a course on revision I'm hoping to put the Baytown book through. Pretty much what I've been doing all day..after church.
Short post. More time to read your!! Yay!!

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Hazy summer mornings and pushing on...

Time //  8:33 a.m. (supposed to be in Church, but like the occasional reading slump, I've hit a worship service slump. Not sure why except I've been busy?)

Eating // nothing yet

Drinking // As my Dad called it.. nectar of the god's... you got it... coffee
Weather // Humid! and hot, but I love the hot. I feel an undercurrent of coolness that I am NOT ready for.
LISTENING TO // This was new on my list last week. I've been WOWED by this book, by the collection of anecdotes that still somehow weaves a story, and especially by the precision of the language. It's hands down one of the most WONDERFULLY WRITTEN books I've read in years. The prose is simply superb! 

In my goings this week I was poking around the website for Iowa Writers Workshop. In an article written about that illustrious bastion of literature (not that I'm 100% awed by the place or anything) I came across a paragraph of all the accomplished writers who'd gone through the  program.... yup... Harding. An Iowa Writer's grad. I should have know.


READING:// The Winter King ~ Bernard Cornwell

Another look at the Arthurian historical time. I'm liking it quite a bit!
Finished // NOS4A2 
I'm going to post my review (which I copied from my goodreads review mostly) in another post. 
As far as how was it?  3.75/5? It's good, buuuuut...
Watching //  The Crucible ~ 1996
An oldie but a goodie. I had seen part of it but never all the way through.

Music // Some chill background music.. Sara Barellis and Ingrid Michaelson mixes on youtube

Blogging //This makes 2 Sunday Salons in a row anyway. 

 Acquisitions // Oh I had fun here yesterday!
Dollar days at Goodwill.. now it's sill that I go there during dollar days really because I'm there for books! And books are either a dollar for hardback or .50 cents for paperback. Except no one else is looking at books >:)
Of course it's Outlander that is missing from the boxed set. OF COURSE!! When I score a copy of that they are all going up on ebay.. 
because after Goodwill I walked down the street to my coffee shop Forte
they have some used books too and low and behold..

Not quite .50 and $1.00 but still good buys! Especially since my coffee was free (buy 5 get one free)

Hating  //  My youngest goes back to college Tuesday. She's a senior. This school has a reputation of placing graduates before graduation in nice lucrative positions. I'll truly be an empty nester. .... WITH more MONEY!!! bahahahah!!!  Ok so there MAY be an upside.. ;) And she'll be doing what she loves. Teaching.

Loving //  Summer Summer Summer Summer!!! I don't want cool weather, or frost, or sleet, or snow! 
I need to be a snowbird. Seriously.

Writing// Goals are great when you actually focus on working on them. Distraction abounded this week.. And one of my classes for fall opened early so I've been reading the syllabus and planning my semester with writing goals to meet all my deadlines. 

That class is Advanced Fiction. It's an undergrad class through University of Iowa by the Iowa Writer's Workshop. The professors are current students or recent fellows or grads. 
THIS is HUGE to me! To have my work read by the country's best of the best! To get useful and poignant feedback on my work... AH! ... it takes my breath away!

This is Dey House. The home of the Iowa Writer's Workshop. 
 It's my church right now. It has to be

I accidentally pick up books all the time by Iowa Writer's Grads. While I' not superstitious, it does make me wonder..It says that this is what I'm drawn to and I feel that I'm drawn to it because it's how I want to write. I read Smiley and think...DANG she stole my idea again!! (not really... this is NOT an accusation) because the setting and characters and themes are... no lie!... similar to my books. While it's scary to think to myself 'It's been done', it's also encouraging. 'she sounds like you'. That second voice in my head is very very shy and quiet. 
But since I'm checking off the list of things to do in order to apply to the MFA grad program once I've finished here.. even though I'm OLD! I'll have 25 years on the average writer there. I'm probably one of th oldest to ever even apply!

Anyone out there been through?? I'm in need of advice from those in the know!! Anyone? Anyone? Beuller?

Oh and btw... I did get A's this semester! woot!

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Heading into the dog days... still love summer!

Time //  2:34

Eating // Tuna melts

Drinking // diet Pepsi... no kidding!!

Weather // Hot Hot... still love it. From inside, in AC - same as last post

LISTENING TO // Just down loaded Enon by Paul Harding. I've not read Tinkers yet so I hope this stands alone.

I have become hopelessly addicted to Bridges downloads of audio books. I was listening to Nos4a2, by Joe Hill when it became clear I wasn't going to finish before it expired. I went in and tried to renew it but that button wasn't live so that meant there was someone in line and I'd have to go to the end of the line. It may come back up soon, who knows, but in the meantime I was close enough to the end that I went ahead and checked out the library's copy. I'm anxious to finish it but I'll have quiet a bit to say about it when I do.
Also reading: The Winter King ~ Bernard Cornwell

Another look at the Arthurian historical time. I'm liking it quite a bit!
Watching //  The Shannara Chronicles
MTV's answer to Game of Thrones. I read the Shannara series back in the early 80's. I couldn't resist. A bit hokey and the dialogue sucks since they keep trying to use updated language. Still I enjoy the hell out of it!!

Music // Went to concert here at the infamous Barn.

 A venue out in the literal middle of nowhere that is the most amazing time. The bands are all so impressed when they come here to play. One of my fav's was making a return appearance. The Ghost Wolves and i"m so thrilled I didn't have to miss them!! 
I don't get to go to live music that often anymore. It was fun. Boy are there stories behind getting there though. This was NOT a good day all in all.

Blogging // Nada - but I do have 3 full classes going that were moving towards finals. Summer classes are so accelerated I really had to scramble to keep anywhere close to up.

Acquisitions // I know I got something this week but can't recall right now what it was. 

Hating  //  money. It's annoying.

Loving //  Summer!!! Everything summer is awesome!
And my new Tattoo. I'll post picks later. It's in that itchy stage. Got it last week.

Writing// Only wrote this week for class. That was non-fiction. For this class we were required to submit work with proof of submission. I had sort of an issue with that. I felt it would inundate editors and editorial assistants especially with pieces that the authors weren't necessarily in love with because they were assigned topics. It's nice that we now know how to submit, but not so great that some of us have work out there that isn't indicative of what we can or want to do. 
On that note, I am out of one slush pile and still in contention for another. They may both end up being no's but I'm happy to have gotten this far. 

2 weeks and the madness of classes begins again. My goal is to rewrite a quarter of my novel "Into Each Life." About Raina and the surprise inheritance that changes her life. 

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Sunday, June 26, 2016

The days are too hot to have a cold...

Time //  2:06

Eating // Frozen Chimichangas

Drinking // water... just kidding... 

Weather // Hot Hot... still love it. From inside, in AC

LISTENING TO // Love in the Time of Cholera ~ by Gabriel Garcí­a MárquezEdith Grossman (Translator)
This just may be the book that breaks my slump. I'm so anxious to finish it!!

READING:// People of the Book ~ Geraldine Brooks

Maybe I can even get back into this one!

Watching //  Uhm, yeah.. I did Season 4 of Orange is the New Black in two days. Maybe 2 1/2. 

Music // Didn't really listen to anything this week. Didn't do much writing...any... Didn't do any writing. 

Blogging // Nothing new here either

Acquisitions // I got to go to one of my favorite bookstores ever.. The Haunted Bookshop in Iowa City. Great staff, humongous selection of GOOD stuff!! If you know Iowa City you've probably heard of the venerable Prairie Lights, but let me tell you Haunted is equally a Must Visit for the bookish folk coming to this literary town. 

I bought my daughter a paperback copy of The Stand (so she can finally get it read). I figured it was mandatory since she got to see him on his End of Watch tour. *which OMG! Stephen King doing a book tour??? She said he was FANTASTIC and if he wasn't a writer he could certainly be a stand-up comic. 

Hating  // Well not scoring a ticket to Stephen King for one. But I'm glad my daughter made it. She ended up with a boyfriend out of the deal, but that's another story... 

Loving //  Summer!!! Even though I have a summer cold. Going on 3 weeks now. dang thing. 

Writing// Didn't do too much. Will be doing tons this week!

There are a couple books that have come on my radar this week that I'm interested in checking out... when I get some time...

The first is White Trash. The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America by Nancy Isenberg.
I read the NY Times review and it really piqued my interest. And I haven't read a Non-fiction out of curiosity for awhile now
And the next book was:

First and foremost the Nobel Prize sticker got me. I found it on a blog post by bibliophiliac's Sunday Salon post. I liked the description of the experience she was having reading this book and the book in and of its self sounds superb!

But before that .... off to do homework. All 4 classes in full swing now. And getting well!! To much summer to be stuck down sick.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Back from the Emerald Isle

Time //  9:03

Eating // Oatmeal in a bit

Drinking // gee I wonder

Weather // Hot and I love it!!

LISTENING TO // Apt Pupil ~ Stephen King. Originally published in his book Different Seasons, I had managed to miss this story. That's ok, I probably couldn't have handled it. This is not a scary story. Not in a Stephen King sense, this is a terrifying story in a 'what the hell are humans capable of anyway'. Arguably one of the most disturbing stories I've every read. Not in a good way. Not at all. 
Especially today. But then again, maybe we should revisit this story to scare us off the path we seem to be on. 

READING:// People of the Book ~ Geraldine Brooks

I'm not captured by this book at all. I've been leaving it and returning to it for months. It's like a personal challenge now. 

Goodreads blurb: n 1996, Hanna Heath, an Australian rare-book expert, is offered the job of a lifetime: analysis and conservation of the famed Sarajevo Haggadah, which has been rescued from Serb shelling during the Bosnian war. Priceless and beautiful, the book is one of the earliest Jewish volumes ever to be illuminated with images. When Hanna, a caustic loner with a passion for her work, discovers a series of tiny artifacts in its ancient binding—an insect wing fragment, wine stains, salt crystals, a white hair—she begins to unlock the book’s mysteries. The reader is ushered into an exquisitely detailed and atmospheric past, tracing the book’s journey from its salvation back to its creation. 
Inspired by a true story, People of the Book is at once a novel of sweeping historical grandeur and intimate emotional intensity, an ambitious, electrifying work by an acclaimed and beloved author.

Watching //  I'm so fed up with Netflix. Has anyone else seen the slow, insidious descent into mediocrity that their catalog of streaming titles has become? I went to a list of movies about writing and writers and of that list I came up with one movie I could watch on streaming. I loved it! but that's not the point. You usedtacould go on and get lots of relevant titles. Relevant being if now brand new, at least popular. What other movie service is out there for a comparable price? I don't watch that often so I'm really not getting much value anymore. 

Except I did binge watch The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmitt. I was in love with that show for the first 10 episodes. Then I was in love with Titus for the rest of the first season and all of season two. Mr. Titus Burgess, you knocked this one out of the park!! 

Music // I'm writing now so I need to be listening to sound tracks. I usually find them by going on Youtube to find them. I haven't seen many recent movies. So suggestions welcome!

Blogging // I really need to get a schedule...

Acquisitions // I did buy a book of Irish short stories to read on the plane. I was too excited to read or sleep. 

Hating  // I'm not in a hating mood today. I see too much everywhere. The mass shooting in Orlando last night has my heart breaking again. I'm so exhausted from people erasing other people for simply being different. Why have we gone from "I don't like you. I don't agree with you. I'll not have anything to do with you." to "I don't like you, I'll get rid of you." It hurts me. 

Loving //  My trip. I want to go back. So much yet to experience. 

Writing// Most of my writing is focused on my classes to finish my BA in creative writing. Yet they are projects in my portfolio. So I'm excited. 

I have an unusual opportunity but I've got reservations on acting on it. 

segue into... 

Avoiding //  Next year I can finally finish my degree. It's been a long, long time coming. This is the path I want to pursue for the rest of my earning years. But where I am, an accounting clerk at a mid sized company, is fairly stable. If rather low paying. I have a nest egg (not my retirement, just a savings) that I could use to subsidize my part time work that would allow me to to work part time in town, focus on finishing my degree. Can I do it if I work full time? perhaps. But I wouldn't be able to also work on my writing and my stress would be crushing. My dad would have said keep the job. But my dad wasn't big on dream chasing. My mom would have said, go for it! Life is about living and doing what we are uniquely appointed to do. My disparate upbringing should have evolved into my own life philosophy by now, and usually it has, but occasionally I'm stumped. And what I'm stumped about honestly is the best decision that lies between what I WANT to do versus what I SHOULD do balanced what I believe i CAN do. Written that way it seems easy. But I've had enough 'what was I thinking' moments over the years to not actually trust that. Without telling me what I should do, has anyone else taken the bold step to leave a paying gig to go back to school? 

OH yeah!! And I'm back from Ireland!! 

The countryside that moves my soul!! It resembles Iowa, where I live. Huh. Imagine that!

Dublin - the long room at the Book of Kells exhibit. Both are amazing!!
The streets of Galway

The Aran Islands - this is Inis Mor. We went up to the cliffs too. 

I didn't take this. I couldn't get anywhere near this close to the edge. There is NO guardrail and no catch net. I get vertigo. Serious vertigo. My daughter took this, which as a mom, gave me heart attack enough. 

Dunluce Castle.

 Loved this stop. It was historically impressive and so beautiful here to.

Giants Causeway. Gorgeous and after last semester's Paleontology class, very fascinating!!

Remember when I said I get terrible vertigo... they talked me into doing this bridge. 60ft high rope bridge to an island with nothing there but more cliffs. I went back across to relative safety almost immediately!

Queen's University Botanical garden in Belfast. Could have left a piece of my heart here. 

And my favorite location:
Bru na Boinne

All the magic that is rumored to be in Ireland emanates from here. I'm sure of it. Every Celtic myth and tale. They flow from the energy here. Older by 500 years than the pyramids at Giza. 


Sorry for the information overload. if it was TLDR, that's ok too. I totally understand. If anything I need a place to park all these things. Reading, thinking, going, doing, wishing, writing.  If you enjoy it, I'm ecstatic and deeply humbled. I know I enjoy getting to see all of your reading, going, doing, wish-ings too!