Category Archives: writing

“Attachments: A Novel” by Rainbow Rowell – narrated by Laura Hamilton – Yay Test Reader!

This book is not one I would have normally gotten if it hadn’t been a daily deal and if the publisher’s summary hadn’t been written the way it was written. Lincoln O’Neill’s job is monitor emails at a newspaper. He thought being an internet security officer would mean he would protect the newspaper from hacks and threats, not send out warnings to people about thee improper use of the paper’s email.

It’s a good thing he couldn’t bring himself to send a warning to Beth and Jennifer or else we wouldn’t have this fun novel full of their stories to one another. They tell each other everything over the company email and Lincoln can’t help but like them both and fall hard for one of them.

This book is a romcom waiting to happen which is not normally my thing but I really enjoyed this book. The characters were well developed, each one flawed but likable and you can’t help but root for Lincoln.

If you’re in the mood for a fun read about interesting people, I highly recommend this one.

Rating: So good!

‘Attachments’ at Audible

Today has been a good Saturday. I got some good work done on my novel this morning since the reading I did last night made me realize I had left out some important details in my first chapter. Overlooked is actually the better word, not left out. I woke up with it in my head and set to work this morning correcting that. Then as I was swallowing vitamins while taking a break from writing, I realized that my male protagonist would notice something about Ren in the third chapter when they meet. Oh, let’s just reveal the name of the male shall we? His name is Lon. Yes I know, two monosyllabic names but they’re both short for the character’s full names which get revealed later. Anyway, I had to have Lon notice something about Ren when they met so I did more work in chapter three which led to some character development I wasn’t expecting which led me to work more on Lon in chapter two so it was a good writing day. I also expanded chapter four when we meet Ren’s mom and that was fun to write since I love Ren’s mom. She’s like my mom was when I was Ren’s age.

After B and I had our Saturday donuts, I cleaned up the kitchen which had been severely neglected. I just sent off my first four chapters to my test reader. I am so lucky to have a test reader who is more than willing to read my chapters over and over as they morph and bits and pieces are added. Thank you, test reader! I don’t have to wait until the first draft is completed to get feedback and I can bounce ideas off my test reader as I write. So lucky am I!

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Filed under 2014 Book List, gratitude, mom, NaBloPoMo 2014, writing

‘Fall of Giants’ and ‘Winter of the World’ by Ken Follett – narrated by John Lee – A Character Name Revealed

These books were freaking fabulous! I have Ricardo to thank yet again for the recommendation that I read ‘Fall of Giants’. We are both huge fans of historical fiction and this book introduces the reader to five families before World War One and the Russian Revolution and we see that history through their eyes and lives. Go down into the mines with thirteen year-old Billy as he becomes a man and descends for the first time. He introduces us to the Welsh characters and begins the book, hooking you instantly with his youthful optimism and pride. As characters from the other of the five families are introduced we feel as though we are shaking the hands of real people. John Lee’s narration lends the right amount of accent to each person be they Welsh, Russian, German, English or American. It always cracks me up when the majority of a book is done in accents other than American when the first American character is introduced. I always think, do we really sound like that?

The second book in the trilogy follows our families into the harrows of the Nazi Regime and the dawn of the atomic age. While the events of the first world war were terrible, what follows in ‘Winter of the World’ was nauseous making. The extermination by the Nazis of the elderly and disabled…I’ll admit my ignorance and say I had to look that up because I wasn’t sure if what I was reading was just embellishments on history by the author. It was too much to hope for poetic license however. Is this why I was never taught the truth about history in school? Do they wish to protect young minds? I knew how terrible the Nazis and Hitler were. You can’t ignore the fact that concentration camps existed, though I know there are those who believe the Holocaust was made up. When you read about these events while walking beside characters who are likable and human, the result is truth mixed with fictional humanity, the only saving grace of which is knowing that what happened to the daughter of a character from the first book didn’t actually happen because that daughter didn’t exist. It is when you remind yourself that women like her did exist that you feel a piece of your heart break.

Sitting here thinking about those people I spent so much time with during these two books is making a lump form in my throat. I don’t question where Follett gets these ideas, like the dogs, oh the dogs, like I do of say, Stephen King or Gillian Flynn, because Follett wrote these books straight out of history. That makes it all equal parts horrible and page turning. In complaining to Ricardo just now about the subject matter being rough, he reminded me, “but there is something of overcoming adversity to be found.”

I don’t know what else to say about this trilogy except when I had begun the second book and found out the third wasn’t out yet, I wanted to throw something. People who begin this trilogy now are lucky it’s complete. Oh, I had jotted a note on my book list, the note simply reading: Sears and Roebuck catalogue. There was a hilarious scene where a Russian just back from America is showing his girlfriend the catalogue. While it was funny, it was also a bit embarrassing. the woman couldn’t believe all the things one could buy in America. Like a tractor. A tractor! In the same catalogue as pajamas. We really do love our capitalism.

When I was getting the link to the first book at Audible, I luckily noticed a free interview for members with Ken Follett and John Lee about ‘Fall of Giants’. It was wonderful! I will now be checking out Follett’s Pillars of the Earth Series. The link to the interview is below the links for the books.

‘Fall of Giants’ at Audible
‘Winter of the World’ at Audible
Link to interview with Ken Follett and John Lee

Wow, so bad writing days happen even when you’re just writing a blog post haha. That was like pulling teeth to write. Yesterday I watched a webinar with Scott Westerfeld that filled me with love and optimism for my novel, maybe that’s why writing a post about something other than my fictional world was hard? Haha! I was seriously so happy after I finished the webinar yesterday. According to Scott’s definition, I am most definitely a writer even though I haven’t yet been published. I eat sleep and breathe my characters, I can’t sleep when I wake in the middle of the night in their world, I think about writing all the time, so yeah, I’m a writer according to him. Squeee!

I am also incredibly grateful he told the story of walking down the street with his wife, novelist Justine Larbalestier, talking about the novel he was working on, ‘Extras’ the fourth book in the Uglies trilogy, and he thought out loud that maybe he should write the book from the little sister’s point of view and Justine said, “oh my God you have to!” Unfortunately he had written almost the entire novel so he went back and completely changed the point of view from one character to another, not just from third to first. Oh wow.

So, I immediately made a decision about my own novel, luckily nowhere near completion, having changed my female protagonist’s POV from third to first a few weeks ago and writing my male protag in the third person. While I liked the concept, feeling more like her POV was closer since it was in first, I wasn’t soled on the idea so after hearing Scott’s story, I went and changed her back to third. My friend Davis made a funny joke on Twitter about that:

@newspaper_manbaserunning mistakes will doom you.

Baseball is life. The rest is just details.

After reading that little story to myself, I feel it’s time I reveal my female protag’s name, because I mentioned the book ‘Extras’. I named my girl long before I read ‘Extras’. She was actually a completely different character I made up when I took the F2K fiction writing course. I named her Ren for that course. I have since morphed Ren from an FBI Agent to a fifteen year-old high school sophomore. There is a character named Ren in ‘Extras’ but I swear I didn’t name her after him! He’s awesome though. I think the two Ren’s would get along well.

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Filed under 2014 Book List, Audio books, baseball, fellowship, gratitude, misty eyes, NaBloPoMo 2014, twitter me this, writing

‘Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue: The Untold Story of English’ by John McWhorter – narrated by John McWhorter – ‘The Double Helix: A Personal Account of the Structure of DNA’ by James D. Watson – narrated by Grover Gardner and Roger Clark

These next two books on my never ending audio book list are educational type books. I absolutely love learning as long as it’s about something I’m interested in like the english language or DNa, not say, accounting or ditch digging. Now, I love learning about accounting when my friend Georgie talks about it because her enthusiasm for it is contagious especially since she does things like forensic accounting and when you throw the word forensic before anything, it makes that thing that much more interesting. I couldn’t read a whole book about accounting unless maybe Georgie wrote it or it was about forensic accounting. Now, forensic ditch digging? That has some major promise! Where was I going with this? Ah yes, today’s books.

Today’s books were both daily deals and they appealed to my love of learning. ‘Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue’ is a fun history of the english language though I must admit that my mind wandered quite often. I think one who studies linguistics would hang on every word but for me, I just laughed at some of the pronunciations and enjoyed how excited McWhorter sounded as he narrated his work. You can most definitely tell he’s a language geek and that made listening to the book all the more fun despite the sometimes dry subject matter.

I think a book about language is perfect as an audio book because you can hear the correct pronunciation of words. As a screen reader user, I’ve given up on the fun Mental Floss articles about words because voiceover just garbles it. I enjoyed that aspect of Bastard Tongue. You know nothing, John Snow. What? never mind.

‘Double Helix’ took me back to my youthful excitement in freshman biology with Mrs. Stewart when she told us about Watson and Crick, the two men who discovered DNA. Those names have always been with me since that lecture my freshman year turned me to a life of science and medicine and DNA combined with forensics made me love true crime and find an odd sense of fascination with serial killers. So when this book was a daily deal, I snatched it up.

Much like it’s now exciting for me to read about an author’s journey as he or she writes a novel, learning what the struggle was like as these two young scientists raced to discover the secret of life before anyone else was fascinating. the book read more like a memoir with a scientific discovery attached than an educational book about DNA. That disappointed me a little since I was looking forward to the science. Late high school and in to college, my online name was DaNA. Screen readers, that’s a capital d, lower case a, capital n, capital a. Dana for Dana Scully of the X-Files and DNA jumped out visually with that lower case a in the middle. Science geek anyone?

I enjoyed these two books but I certainly could never be one who reads nothing but nonfiction. I just need to throw in a nice educational book every so often to supplement what I learn in my daily online reading haha. Oh and the DNA book being narrated by Grover Gardner? Score! Love him.

Both books got a rating of entertaining.

‘Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue’ at Audible

‘The Double Helix at Audible

So this worked well, working on this post at the time I did. I’m trying to figure out what will be my writing schedule for my books. Today I read Twitter, news and stuff while having morning coffee, had cereal and made the bed, then sat down to work on the post. I’ll try this again tomorrow and see how it works. I won’t be finishing and posting just yet since I have a phone call scheduled, but it became a good chunk of writing. Everything I’ve read from successful published authors has told me a schedule of some sort is a must. Treat writing like a job, even though you do it from home. What I’m discovering about blogging every day is there’s an end goal. Write a post, publish it to the blog. What is the daily end goal for writing a novel? That is what I must discover for myself.

Those doing NaNoWriMo have a goal of a certain word count per day so they end up with at least a fifty thousand word novel at the end of November. I thought about setting a daily word count goal but I don’t want to constantly be focusing on word count as I’m writing. Sometimes a day of writing comes super easy and thousands of words can be pushed out and the next day, your characters might be pushing against where you think you want to take them and only a few hundred words come out. So I don’t want to be constrained by a daily word count goal. So what shall be my writing goal?

How about keeping it simple. the goal is to write every day. NaBloPoMo is starting the habit. Just because blogging creates the goal of pushing publish every day, doesn’t mean I have to have that same goal with the books. I’ll just create a symbolic publish button. Maybe I’ll post on twitter how many words I wrote that day. Yeah…yeah. That will work. Yay writing!

Tomorrow’s book post will be about ‘A Light in August’ by William Faulkner and whatever thoughts about life that brings up. I kinda like doing book posts this way.

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Filed under 2014 Book List, Audio books, NaBloPoMo 2014, screen reader, Voiceover, writing

“Love Life” by rob Lowe – narrated by Rob Lowe, Synchronicity and a Deep Question

I read Rob Lowe’s first memoir back in early 2012 and it placed seventh on that year’s top ten book list. I couldn’t wait for ‘Love Life’ to come out since I loved Lowe’s first book. It definitely did not disappoint.

‘Love Life’ doesn’t just pick up where his first book left off, rather it just tells different stories from his life in acting, family and sobriety. His stories about his son going off to college were gut wrenching and totally tear making. I can’t imagine what those stories must be like for people with children if they touched me that deeply. One can hear the emotion in his voice as he reads those segments.

The book wasn’t all heart warming stories about his family. There’s a particularly erm, interesting story about Lowe’s visit to the Playboy Mansion in his early twenties when fame was just finding him that actually made me slightly uncomfortable. I’m not a prude my any sense of the word so the only thing I can think that might have caused my squirming was the fact that my favorite baseball player is engaged to a Playboy bunny who is the mother of his children. Is that why? Perhaps I need to look at that some more haha!

I actually got a retweet from Rob Lowe after I tweeted him that his Bigfoot sound effect made my dog jump haha! It was at night and Jayden and I were curled in our respective beds when the howling issued from my speaker and the jingle of Jayden’s tags told me he had jerked awake. It was hilarious! I can’t remember exactly what Lowe’s comment was in the retweet but I think he apologized to Jayden or something. Does it matter what he said? I got a tweet from Rob Lowe! *Squeeeee!*

I enjoyed reading his memoir as research for my own memoir that I have finally begun. Much like my fiction novel, it is mostly a series of notes in my computer and memories marinating in my head. Fall is the time I usually devote to writing since baseball is over, so hopefully a dent will be placed in both projects. I like to think that my own voice in telling my story is similar to Rob Lowe’s. It’s one of seriousness mixed with self-deprecating humor. I remember when I was very newly sober, a woman told me that it’s ok to share about what I perceived as weakness because it made me relatable and therefore more helpful to others. Rob Lowe might be a hugely successful celebrity but he is also incredibly relatable and down to earth. I hope he writes another memoir! If he does, I hope he doesn’t terrify me like he did with the orange juice in this one.

Rating: Marriage Material

“Love Life’ at Audible

I wrote in yesterday’s post that I would include more life details in all these book posts so it doesn’t feel like I’m cheating for this year’s NaBloPoMo haha. I couldn’t help but think this afternoon when I sat on my couch with Jayden after sleeping extremely late that at that moment, I was loving life and the book I’d be writing about in today’s post was titled ‘Love Life’. Is it a good thing to notice the moments when one is loving life? By that I mean, do I notice those moments because it’s rare they creep in amongst the angst, fear and worry I so often feel? It’s like when you enjoy a steak all the more because you so rarely have a steak, whereas if you always had steaks, would you enjoy them as much? Do you get my meaning?

Today as I felt how much I loved that moment, I was enjoying the first cup of coffee of the day. The door was open to the cool breeze of the fall afternoon, football was on, the sounds of whistles and crowd noise the soundtrack as B and I woke up more than just our minds.

We’ve lived here a month and today was the first weekend day that both of us slept well into early afternoon. We were both pleasantly surprised. I’ve slept pretty well in this house but hadn’t yet enjoyed the truly luxurious experience of taking hours to fully awaken from a cozy and constant doze. It was wonderful!

The house in which we moved a month ago is a three bedroom two bathroom house with a nice big backyard. The yard is walled in so no more surprise visits from javelina! I love taking Jayden out in the mornings and listening to the birds in the several trees in the yard as they greet the day. I can’t wait to have chairs on the porch on which to sit and drink a cup of coffee haha!

It’s been interesting learning the new space. There has been much frustration as walls and the refrigerator jump out into my path. I have my writing studio/workout room at last! I am currently sitting in it as I type this, music softly playing, door closed to the sound of the Bigfoot movie B is watching. It’s not lost on me that I wrote about Rob Lowe’s memoir in which he tells a Bigfoot story. I often find interesting instances of synchronicity in my life, like a book with the name of a character being the same as a name of a character in the book I just finished. Am I the only one who notices things like that?

I think it’s time I wrap this up and tackle the issue of posting. I discovered yesterday that Voiceover is not playing nice with the checkboxes on the WordPress dashboard since I updated to Yosemite. It seems I can check boxes in the WordPress app though, so I’ll save this as a draft and go figure that out. Tomorrow’s book post will be a two-for-one I think. Both were rather dry non-fiction books.

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Filed under 2014 Book List, Audio books, misty eyes, NaBloPoMo 2014, sobriety, twitter me this, Voiceover, writing

“Ragtime” by E. L. Doctorow – narrated by E. L. Doctorow (Welcome to NaBloPoMo) & words from Ricardo)

(Wow that subject ended up all rhyming eh?)It’s November, so that means it’s NaBloPoMo time here at the Roof. I’ve written a post of some sorts every single day all through the month of November since I began this blog back in 2009. Since I began writing my book posts, I’ve tried really hard not to just use those as an easy topic each day for NaBloPoMo since that feels like cheating but oh my am I behind on book posts! I’m so behind that even writing a post a day for thirty days will not catch me up.

So, here’s what I think I’m going to do. I’m going to throw life details even more into these book posts for this month. I’ve really needed to come up with some way of not getting so behind on book posts since I devour books like an addict. I’ve also left out fun life stuff I’d like to look back on in five or ten years since I’m not blogging regularly.

So, my goal for NaBloPoMo 2014 is not only to write every day and put a dent in my book posts, but also to force myself into the habit of writing every day period. I have two novels marinating in my head that need to get written and I’m hoping NaBloPoMo will finally give me the shove I need to create a writing routine.

Want to come with me on this adventure this month? I hope so!

Alright, so we begin with ‘Ragtime’, which my friend Ricardo and I have been referring to as THE book because neither of us can ever remember the title. to give you an idea of how behind I am on book posts, we read this book back in in April. April! I mean, that was when the 2014 baseball season was new and full of promise and I had just met my Rays and all my Twitter family friends in Florida and life was good, before David Price got traded to the Tigers…before Andrew friedman left to go be general manager of the Dodgers…before Joe Maddon left to manage the Cubs, before my heart was split apart and the pieces were tossed away and discarded like the piece of a fingernail that breaks off unexpectedly and I need to stop thinking about my Rays and get back to this horrible book my friend and I read.

My friend Ricardo and I are avid audio book listeners, often turning each other on to books and authors the other had never heard of. I’m currently reading a trilogy I absolutely adore thanks to him. When Audible had ‘Ragtime’ as a daily deal, I read the publisher’s summary and thought wow, that’s right up Ricardo’s alley. I told him about it and he picked it up to. We really thought it was going too be a fun bit of alternate history and the reviews at Audible raved about it and come on, it’s a classic.

I couldn’t even finish it. I think I got close to finishing it and if I remember right, I fell asleep at the end and missed the last nearly three hours. That happens sometimes when I’m reading at night in bed and usually I back up and find my place the next day. With this book I didn’t even bother. I just didn’t care. I didn’t give a lick about any of the characters. I couldn’t even follow the plot or even figure out what the plot was supposed to be and the author narrated the book which is rarely ever good. He sounded like that kid the teacher calls on in social studies to read the next few paragraphs of a really boring textbook.

That’s all I’ve got on this book. Ricardo wrote his opinion for me too so please give a warm round of applause to my friend Ricardo!

First, I can count on one hand the times I haven’t finished an audiobook. Usually, I can fight through confusing plots, bad narration, penny-novel imagery, and tough vocabulary. But all in one book? This is asking way, way, too much for a person not getting paid to endure the madness. Ragtime was written in the 1970’s and takes place in the earlyparts of the 20th century. I love me some historical fiction so was excited when Ro pointed this book out to me. And it got some really good reviews which help fan the flames of my curiosity about the book. After the first 3 chapters of Ragtime, I kept wondering if I bought the wrong book. The author jumped from scene to scene with what in my opinion, was for no rhyme or reason. I kept thinking, Maybe I need to go back and start again. I did, and was just as lost and confused. I have no idea what those reviewers saw in this book. Mid way through, I gave up. Instead of entertaining me, the book was frustrating me like a particularly troublesome math problem. Thank goodness Audible has a refund program.

Thanks so much for that, Ricardo. I need to get your thoughts on a book we both enjoyed, agreed?

Rating: Dismal

That rating is for the book, not Ricardo’s review. A dismal rating is my equivalent of a one out of five stars rating. Yikes.

“Ragtime” at Audible

That was the twenty-eighth book of the year. I might write more than one post a day, but only one will get the NaBloPoMo label and only those posts will have life stuff attached to the book post. Sound like a plan, Stan?

the next book on the list is ‘Love Life’ by Rob Lowe. It was definitely not written by creepy Rob Lowe, though the Mansion pool scene was slightly creepy.

So, I was able to add the NaBloPoMo 2014 tag to this post since it’s a new one, but something has happened with WordPress and I can’t add any of my other labels since the checkboxes aren’t labeled. I recently updated to Yosemite and it has horrible issues with Voiceover. Blarf.

WordPress app to the rescue! Seriously, iThings are becoming more and more preferable to my Mac.

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Filed under 2014 Book List, Audio books, baseball, fellowship, guest blogger, NaBloPoMo 2014, writing

What the Actual Blog?

I started the actual first draft of my actual first novel in an actual Pages document today. How’s that for typing many actuals? I was asked by a friend if I would be blogging my writing journey so why not? My plan is to make writing as much of a habit as it used to be when I was blogging regularly so now is as good a time as any. Especially since no baseball is on.

So a couple years ago I heard about NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) way too late to actually participate. There’s that word again. NaNoWriMo happens in November at the same time as NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month) which I’ve done every ear since starting this blog. When I heard about NaNoWriMo I thought it was a really cool idea so I decided to start writing a novel just for S &G’s. I think I wrote furiously for about ten days and ended up with over fifty thousand words, whoa it’s raining again, of a young adult novel. I developed characters and a plot and a setting, basically just free writing and not fixing typos or editing anything. I opened random text documents to jot down brain storms. I ended up shoving all the documents in a folder and forgetting about it. Those pesky characters I developed had different ideas though. They never left me. Their lives and the story have been simmering in my brain ever since. When I suffer from a bout of insomnia, I revisit them and the little New England town I had set them.

At the beginning of this year, I did a little work with a company called Project Starfish. What I learned after attempting to work in the business world is that I want to write. For real. I want to write and be published and earn money with my creativity. I want to do what I love, not just what I might be a little bit good at. Very few people get the opportunity to dive in to something they love at a later stage in life, so I’m grabbing the bull by the horns and going for it. I’ve known for months that this was the plan. I also knew for months that B and I would be moving into a house. My hope was to find a house to rend with three bedrooms so I could turn one into a room in which to write. I’m currently sitting in that room now, and I absolutely love it! The window right by my desk is open a crack and the soundtrack to this blog post is the rain falling from the roof. The house was built in the 1950’s so it has the old style crank windows. I love it! the house has such character and this room has already aided my creativity.

Today I pasted a very rough few paragraphs of the new opening to my novel from Text Edit to Pages, which I purchased months ago after deciding to commit to writing. There was something pivotal about doing that, since all my previous writing has been done in Text Edit which is a very basic app. Pages is a powerful word processing app. It gives word count! I used to paste my work into an online wore word counter and keep a tally of words haha!

I now have an actual (there’s that word again) polished and edited beginning of a first chapter. Four hundred and eleven words to be exact. I’m really doing this this time! It feels right. Here’s to the beginning! Just read this back to myself and I am soooo not gonna polish these posts. Let’s keep that to the novel, shall we?

Oh, let me include a brief video I took today of the little stream behind my new house. This stream inspired the new beginning to my novel on Saturday when it was dry and I fell into it. Best bruises and scrapes ever! This beginning is so much better than my first one. I don’t feel like getting the embed code so have the direct link when my book is published, people can see the inspiration for the opener yay!

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Filed under blind blunders, video, weather, writing, youtube

I Chose to Keep Scully

Hi everyone!

{silence}

hello?

{crickets}

*Sigh*

Hello? (hello…hello…hello…)

Well, it looks like I’ve lost all my readers again. Serves me write for being a terrible blog poster. I haven’t even finished writing about my St. Pete trip. In my defense though, this summer hasn’t exactly been the smoothest as far as my health goes. You know what though? That’s not a great excuse for not writing, especially since right now I’m writing this post to force myself to stay put and not move my tortured body for a little while. Luckily my forearms don’t hurt. That’s when it’s really tough to write. My friend Liz inspired me to post an update, so that I shall do.

I’m forcing myself to rest my body because for the last month I have been purging and packing the apartment. B and I are moving into a rental house tomorrow. Tomorrow! Tomorrow! I love ya! Tomorrow! Multiple musical notes emoji. That’s what I hear when the um, emoji that I assume has multiple musical notes is tweeted, mostly by Josh Groban. Ro, stay on point man.

Anyway, so I have been furiously working on the apartment getting it ready to move. The stuff in it, not the actual apartment. I’m learning how to become a minimalist, which is basically just, don’t keep every freaking little thing you ever owned in your entire life. Objects don’t have feelings. It is ok to throw them out. I um, Googled, “how to become a minimalist,” that’s how I know my teddy bear didn’t cry when I put him, it, in the garbage bag. That teddy bear is the only thing I regret throwing away. Out of the loads and loads of stuff I threw out or donated, I’d say that’s a win for me. It also really helps that anything that had no texture that brought back a good memory was thrown out. That means all papers and pictures, gone. Poof. I found a lot of great things I had forgotten I had and most of the things I kept filled one big Rubbermaid container and were trinkets from childhood and my teen years, like my Mulder and Scully Barbie dolls. I kept Scully but not Mulder. *Gasp* Oh hush, they weren’t in their box and the Scully doll looks cooler. What? Oh you thought the title was in reference to Vin Scully? No, this post has nothing to do with baseball for once.

OMG did you know cigarette smoke never goes away? I am so glad I quit smoking. I found a robe I love and even after washing it, I still smelled stale smoke. Yuck!

B is coming home in about forty-five minutes to take me to the house so I can check it out. It will be my first time there. I agreed to this house without ever stepping foot inside it. B looked at it from the outside twice and last night was his first time inside the house. We were on the phone as he did a walk through. I’m super excited! I am going to have my girl cave/writing studio/workout room/guest room! I can’t wait! I don’t know which of the two spare rooms it will be yet, either the green room or the purple one. (The owner of the house raised kids there. We’re the first renters.) I’ll pick the room today. I can’t wait! Oh, and the thing that sparked the move, washer and dryer. Inside. No more lugging laundry out in the heat!

I’ve set up some pretty major writing goals for myself after I get settled into my office girl cave quiet room. perhaps this is the first of many things I’ll be writing in the next couple of years. Here’s hoping!

Ok, must get dressed in leave-the-house clothes. Finally get to check out the house I’ve been dreaming of for a month! Jayden will have a yard with a wall. No javelina! Oh man I can’t wait! Now to make it until tomorrow night when I’m hoping to have showered off the day’s grime and be settling in to relax. We have movers thank goodness. I have movers coming from the University of Arizona through a company called Bellhops. They are an affordable moving company who sends college students to come do the heavy lifting for you. We’re just about all packed up and ready to go. Squee!

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Filed under Jayden, laundry, plugs, rambles, silly girl, Sleep Deprived Fun, spoons, twitter me this, writing

“Mystery Writers of America Presents: Vengeance” by several writers – narrated by an ensemble

I’m a fan of short stories. I even enjoy writing them. The only other audio book collection of short stories I remember was a CD a friend sent me of Stephen King short stories. I recall really enjoying it. I can’t say the same about this collection.

This was one of those Audible sales I took advantage of. The name Lee Child hooked me even though I had yet to read one of his books. As the title suggests, the authors who were asked to contribute a story were told to write something with the theme of vengeance. Most of the stories were right on but there were a few that had me wondering where the vengeance was. Also I’m not sure a short story collection by different authors works very well in audio. The name of the author was given at the beginning of each story but it wasn’t easy to think, wow I enjoyed that, who wrote that, I want to read more by them. One of the reviews at Audible broke it all down though which was really nice. I read the review after I finished the collection.

I didn’t like enough of the stories to make it worth it. On the other hand there were a few I really liked and find myself thinking about. I was pleasantly surprised to find a Harry Bosch short story in the collection. That was pretty awesome!

I can’t say I recommend this, though in print it might be pretty cool.

Rating: Entertaining

“Mystery Writers of America Presents Vengeance” at Audible ~ “Mystery WRiters of America Presents Vengeance” at Amazon

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“The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald – narrated by Jake Gyllenhaal

This was one of the books I read in AP English when I was a senior in high school. Before listening to the audio book I remembered I liked it in high school but I couldn’t remember why. Looking back now, I wonder why I liked it back in high school haha! I don’t think there’s any way I could have related to it then the way I do now. Perhaps it was the movie I liked back then. We watched it in class after studying the book. What teen girl in 1997 wouldn’t enjoy looking at flapper dresses and Robert Redford? Yum.

This time through I totally understood the need to fit in and how better than with money and booze? And look how it showed that the rich can get away with anything, except can they? Maybe from the law, but even if you escape the law, you can never escape your soul.

I wonder what my AP English teacher taught us about this book. They always show us things in the writing that I wonder if the authors ever really intended. All I can remember about this one is a billboard or a sign or something with a guy wearing glasses. I specifically remember my teacher saying that symbolized that the people were always being watched, something like that haha! Having done a little fiction writing myself, I know I never intend for any major deep symbolism; I’m just writing the story that is begging to get out. It’s up to readers to interpret.

I have my mom’s very old copy of this book on display on her old music stand in my apartment. For some reason this is a book that I always think of when I think about favorites of mine throughout the years.

I loved the narration by Jake Gyllenhaal. Actors always do a good job of narrating and having seen him back when I was a sightling, his voice was also good eye candy.

Rating: So good!

Oh! I should mention this book was part of a fun night on Twitter when I asked for help in picking the next book I read. I listed the books I had on my iPod at the time and people voted. I can’t remember the name of the book that took first haha! The second place book was “Little Women”. The first was also a classic. The narration was so bad I didn’t read either book. ‘Gatsby’ took third. Might do that again the next time I’m undecided even though it wasn’t necessarily successful. It was fun!

“The Great Gatsby” at Audible ~ “The Great Gatsby” at Amazon

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Wanna see some of what I’ve read online lately? (Of course there’s dog stuff)

Because sometimes you just want to share the stuff you enjoy reading:

I got a kick out of this. Just goes to show that famous writers certainly don’t know everything about the craft.

“Write drunk; edit sober.” — Ernest Hemingway

Bad Writing Advice from Famous Authors

If you know me at all, you know I love medicine and fitness, so this article was fascinating to me. How’s your gut?

The gastrointestinal tract is one of the most important systems in the body. When our stomachs aren’t happy, neither are we. In this month’s case study, Dr. Detective learns that while taking probiotics can help restore bacterial balance, sometimes it’s not enough to ensure gut health and function.

Doctor Detective with Bryan Walsh

I loved this! You can listen to one of my favorite writers speak!

Defending Jacob will go on sale on now but first let’s hear what William has to say about what he thinks makes a good thriller. Over to you, William!

We Have The Perfect Thriller For You

I’m able to play the embedded video so hopefully if you’re using a screen reader, you can too. The audio is cute.

David Price is pretty talented, but the Rays ace is upstaged at times by his dog, Astro. Wednesday, Astro showed off some new tricks, including “high-fiving” Price.

Video: David Price’s dog Astro doing tricks

This totally made me misty! Anyone care to describe the photograph?

Cujo’s a jittery rat terrier with a bad hip who spends his days hanging around his house in La Porte; but, that all changed on Monday.

La Porte police officer shuts down highway to save dog

Lastly, this story is incredibly close to my heart.

Giffords suffered severe traumatic brain injuries, which left her with speech and mobility issues. In the two years since that day, she has made a remarkable recovery, which will be enhanced by Nelson, her service dog from America’s VetDogs.

Former US Representative Gabrielle Giffords Partnered with Specially Trained Service Dog from America’s VetDogs

How did we ever manage without the internet?

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