I’ve been blessed

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with kids who enjoy reading… mostly. It’s taken me 9 years to find a book that will draw in my middle child, will interest her enough that she will curl up and read without being forced to. The key? Ramona. I swear, this kid could be Ramona. Seeing her curl up with a book and discover the world that unfolds at your fingertips as you become engrossed in a good tale thrills me.

A month of single parenting… day 9

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My days are starting to blur together. The kids have been home and I’ve had no escape for only 4 days, it’s really not that bad, it’s been kind of cool, and they’ve been playing in the mud. It’s the lack of sleep that’s getting to me. It always does.

Revision and rewrites have stalled. I’m just kind of burnt out on them so I’ve started a new project. A smaller, more easily manageable one. I’m writing a short erotic story. Set in the same world as the books, with different characters, in a different location. (I really like the world I’ve built, but I needed a break from the project I’ve been concentrating on for almost 9 months straight.)

Three days into the project I’m 45% of the way to my goal. Once it’s finished, I plan on submitting it to publishers… And hopefully I’ll be able to get back to (and finish) the book so it can be submitted as well.

On a side note, Laurell K  Hamilton released her new Anita Blake book  Hit List today. Yes, I’ve already read it. I enjoyed it but with a few caveats

  • it was too short. They are all too short for me, but at only 330 pages, it was short for an Anita book and I missed it.
  • I missed interaction (at all) with some of the major characters from the series, most were at least named, but no call, no interaction with them at all. There were a couple not even named. BOOO
  • The ending felt off. Yes, I am one of those freaks who ‘feels’ their way through a book. It seemed rushed and awkward. And there was on particular tidbit that was thrown out there and then the book ended and your like WHAT!??!

Will I read the next one? of course, Will I eagerly await it? of course.

I still want my own spine sheath and badge. I’m still an Anita diehard, despite the disappointment.

“Who made you judge jury and…executioner?

“The state and federal government. Now get out of my way and let me do my job.”

Brain Break

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After working on re-writes for almost three months straight I realized that I needed a break. I closed the file holding my book in progress and I picked up a book to read, when that one was finished, I picked up another… and another… and another.. ok, to make a long story short, in the last week I have finished 13 books. I have a couple more I would really really like to read, but I just don’t have them yet.

But I am refreshed, and ready to get back to the task at hand. Finishing what I think of in my mind as Book One, not because it is my first book, it isn’t, but because it is the first book in a series that I have planned out in my head. I need to finish this one so I can move on to Book Two.

After only 15 months in our own house…

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I finially have all my books unpacked. What took so long? I didn’t have anywhere to put them. When we moved in I reserved a spot in my living room for bookcases… and that spot has remained empty for 15 months. Every time someone would suggest that I put something there, I would tell them, “No, that is where my bookcases will go.” to which they always asked if I was getting them soon, my answer was always that I had no plans to, but I couldn’t put something in the spot or the bookcases would never happen.

That spot on my wall would still be empty if something hadn’t drawn me to craigslist this morning. I almost never go to the local craigslist page, I find lots of things that I don’t need that I really want… or things I need but the price is just too high at the moment…

And then I found the listing… 4 bookcases, $15 each or $55 for all 4. It was a couple days old, so I wasn’t sure if they would still be available, but I sent the email asking about them anyway. They were still there.. I made an appointment to go look at them, figuring even if they looked like shit, but were structurally sound, I could paint them to something I liked and still come out on top… When I first saw them, the first thing I noticed is that they were pristine. Like new. I immediately said I would take them. I talked with the lady selling them, told her I was going to use them for the hard cover books I collect, and dvd’s in the main room of my house. We talked about ereaders and our individual desire to write, and what we like to write.. and she sold them to me for $50.. I was so thrilled.

I brought them home, set them up and started to fill them..

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Not the greatest picture, because it was taken with my phone..and yes, that is my smallest monkey there in the corner.

I  moved all the books I had stashed in every corner of the house, I unpacked the last of the books from the garage, I had the small monkey moving all the extra layers (sometimes 3 layers deep) from the shelving unit that holds the dvd player… and an hour later we had this….

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That still isn’t done, I have added quite a bit more as the day progressed. And I have been told by friends that I am more than a little bit obsessed. Why? Because the books are sorted by author and series. I would say that these are collectors bits to us, and so we have them sorted to be such… but it would be a lie. Before I got rid of all my paperback (most of them, there are still a few there…) They were kept sorted by author too…but I have to admit, my ebooks are sorted by author as well… when a person reads as much as I do, you have to have some method of sorting…

ok… I will also admit that I sort movies… by actor. I group movies with the same actor together. And I group series together too. Most of the movies in this picture aren’t done… yet. But give me time, I am sure one day my obsession will attack and I will be forced to do it again.

Sharing Childhood Favorites.

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I have made a point as my kids get older to share some of my favorite childhood movies with my kids. They love all of the Back to the Future movies, they have seen all of my favorite Disney movies, Ole’ Yeller, Parent Trap, Swiss Family Robinson, and while they may not be favorites for them, they have enjoyed them and we all watch them occasionally.

And then there was Anne.

When I was somewhere in the neighborhood of 10, I don’t remember my exact age, I saw the Anne of Green Gables Miniseries on TV, and the sequel to it, and I became instantly enthralled. I hit the library and hunted down the books and devoured them all. Over the years I have read them several times. and I still totally love all things Anne.

When I was pregnant with my first child, I walked into a second hand store one day and found  a box set of the entire Anne collection, still in the shrink wrap, for $6. I snatched that puppy up and have yet to let go of it. I have read it a couple of times since.

Now, my oldest child is swiftly approaching 10, and she is a voracious reader, so I figured that this is the right time. I have suggested that she read the books several times, but she has been uninterested. I have looked locally for the movies, but have been unable to find them. And then, at the first of the year, we started with Netflix. And guess what? They had it, so I requested the first miniseries.

We got the movie in with yesterday’s mail, and we all sat down as a family to watch it, Yes, even Hubster. It turns out that he loved the movies, and even the books, also, though for different reasons, he had a huge crush on Megan Follows, who played Anne. Anyway, we settled in to watch it, and we all really enjoyed it. I am still trying to convince the oldest rug-rat to read the books, but she liked the movie well enough that she is watching it again today. I love when the kids enjoy my childhood favorites.

so called top 100 books

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The Big Read reckons that “the average adult has only read 6 of the top 100 books they’ve printed.”

  • Look at the list and bold those you have read.
  • Italicize those you intend to read.
  • Underline the books you LOVE.
  • Reprint this list in your own blog  so we can try and track down these people who’ve read 6 and force books upon them 😉
  1. Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
  2. The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien
  3. Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
  4. Harry Potter series – JK Rowling
  5. To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
  6. The Bible
  7. Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
  8. Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwell
  9. His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman
  10. Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
  11. Little Women – Louisa M Alcott
  12. Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy
  13. Catch 22 – Joseph Heller
  14. Complete Works of Shakespeare
  15. Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier
  16. The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien
  17. Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks
  18. Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger
  19. The Time Traveller’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger
  20. Middlemarch – George Eliot
  21. Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell
  22. The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald
  23. Bleak House – Charles Dickens
  24. War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy
  25. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams
  26. Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh
  27. Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  28. Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck
  29. Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll
  30. The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame
  31. Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
  32. David Copperfield – Charles Dickens
  33. Chronicles of Narnia – CS Lewis
  34. Emma – Jane Austen
  35. Persuasion – Jane Austen
  36. The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe – CS Lewis
  37. The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
  38. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis De Bernieres
  39. Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden
  40. Winnie the Pooh – AA Milne
  41. Animal Farm – George Orwell
  42. The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown
  43. One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  44. A Prayer for Owen Meaney – John Irving
  45. The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins
  46. Anne of Green Gables – LM Montgomery
  47. Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy
  48. The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
  49. Lord of the Flies – William Golding
  50. Atonement – Ian McEwan
  51. Life of Pi – Yann Martel
  52. Dune – Frank Herbert
  53. Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons
  54. Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen
  55. A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth
  56. The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon
  57. A Tale Of Two Cities – Charles Dickens
  58. Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
  59. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Mark Haddon
  60. Love In The Time Of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  61. Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck
  62. Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov
  63. The Secret History – Donna Tartt
  64. The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold
  65. Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas
  66. On The Road – Jack Kerouac
  67. Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy
  68. Bridget Jones’s Diary – Helen Fielding
  69. Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie
  70. Moby Dick – Herman Melville
  71. Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens
  72. Dracula – Bram Stoker
  73. The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnet
  74. Notes From A Small Island – Bill Bryson
  75. Ulysses – James Joyce
  76. The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath
  77. Swallows and Amazons – Arthur Ransome
  78. Germinal – Emile Zola
  79. Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray
  80. Possession – AS Byatt
  81. A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens
  82. Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell
  83. The Color Purple – Alice Walker
  84. The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro
  85. Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert
  86. A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry
  87. Charlotte’s Web – EB White
  88. The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Albom
  89. Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  90. The Faraway Tree Collection – Enid Blyton
  91. Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad
  92. The Little Prince – Antoine De Saint-Exupery
  93. The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks
  94. Watership Down – Richard Adams
  95. A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole
  96. A Town Like Alice – Nevil Shute
  97. The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas
  98. Hamlet – William Shakespeare
  99. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl
  100. Les Miserables – Victor Hugo

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What is it?

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about Jude Deveraux books? Sh is an author that I have been reading for years, I think I was about 11 when I picked up my first one. And I have read her books over and over, more times than I can count. I try to pick up new books as soon as they come out, and for some reason, even if I don’t feel like a “cookie cutter romance” book, her stuff just sucks me in. Before I know it, I can’t put the book down, and then the next thing I know I have read the whole book in a matter of hours. This exact thing happened again just this last weekend. I had gotten Lavender Morning in Friday’s mail, and I just didn’t think I was in the mood, but I picked it up on Saturday afternoon anyway. The next thing I knew it was Saturday evening, and I was done, and honestly, I really enjoyed the read. I don’t know why, but there is just something about her writing that sucks me in. It makes me feel as though I know the characters, and the story is happening around me. Jude is definately someone I will continue to read as long as she continues to write!

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