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Archive for the ‘Necessity of Books’ Category

Crazy Aunt Purl has a great pattern for knitting arm warmers.   CrazyAuntPurl: My hands are officially warmed.  Hers are such great colors too.  I think I will make a pair.  Right after I finish my Harry Potter scarf and the socks that I started early in 2008.  I have also bought four skeins of 100% wool, northern sky Aran on sale at Herschners, really cheap, for socks.  But, I haven’t read if I can use it or not for socks. 
I just checked and found that I must never throw them in the washer as 100% wool will felt.  Yeah, like that will work.  I am now forced to buy a book at Herschner’s to make Aran & Celtic sweaters or maybe the Great American Aran Afghan book, with the yarn.  Like, I do not have enough afghan’s already.  I figure they will come in handy when I am homeless and cold.  Which  should be on my list of things I do not want to do.
 
Crazy Aunt Purl posted a picture of her cat in her kitchen.  CrazyAuntPurl: Which one of these things does not belong in a kitchen? Her kitchen is so brightly clean white, I want to shoot her, or stab her with a fork four hundred times.  I guess that is what you can have when you live alone, with your cats, and work all day.  I live with three men.  I have a burned wall in back of my stove and a sprayer that is no longer attached to the sink so that water runs into the open hole and into my cabinet at times.  And filthy toilets.  Why is it that men can’t get it in the hole?  Either thing!
 
Crazy Aunt Purl is writing a new book.  That is, IF there isn’t an earthquake.  Right now, she is praying for an earthquake.

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Sheryl here:  jumping up and down, clapping my hands in glee, Master’s Daughter and I have tickets for the Harry Potter show at the Museum of Science and Industry | What’s Here | Exhibits | Harry Potter: The Exhibition | Exhibit Guide | Introduction.

 

I really love Chicago and all of the museums.  I used to spend hours just roaming around with my sketchbook; both in the city and in the museums.  And, now, I get to go and sit in Hagrid’s chair and repot Mandrake’s, Museum of Science and Industry | What’s Here | Exhibits | Harry Potter: The Exhibition | Exhibit Guide | Hands-On  and enter through the “frame of the fat lady’s portrait.”  And, yes, I am sixty-one, but what fun is there in life if you cannot get excited over a bit of magic?

 

And, the really neat part of it is that I get to spend several days with my daughter.  That means South Bend Chocolate cafe for Aztec hot chocolate and a chinese restaurant and a yummy yarn shop and about a gazbillion laughs. 

 

Whoppeeeee!!!

 

It’s a whole month away.  Are we there yet?

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Guilty Pleasures on Allison’s Blog. Guilty Pleasures « That’s What She Blogged

 

Here’s a quick list of mine :

 

1.     Yes, People magazine.  You don’t look so guilty reading it in the doctor’s office though, you know.

2.     My third watching of Tortilla Soup this month.

3.     South Bend Chocolate Company, Dark Chocolate

4.     Watching CBS Sunday Morning in my pajamas.

5.     Taking down my Harry Potter gift trunk to be a kid again.

6.     Having the house all to myself

7.     Singing to myself when I have the house all to myself

8.     Practicing the violin

9.     A mechanical pencil and a sketch book

10.          Reading a good book   

 

Okay, they are mostly not such “guilty pleasures.”  But, they sure are pleasures.

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I have designed my own web page for years and, believe it or not, I HAVE redesigned it several times.  When I was creating little eight inch fairies, and selling them on eBay, I realized it was time to again redesign my page.  However, that web page, that was up there then and still is up now, has not been redesigned yet.  I did it for my painting, pottery and sculpture. 

I use Coffee Cup Web Design and I could show you at least two dozen starts at a new web page for my site.  And, now, like the paperwork in the Rubbermaids, it is time to again redesign my redesign I never did.  My new focus is on my YA Fantasy Novel, and I am here to tell you exactly why this has become such a problem for me. 

In fact, I will do better than that.  If you click on this link, you will see just exactly why nothing I do lives up to this designer, in California:  Welcome to Avalon Arts Studio!.  If the textural quality of these web pages don’t blow you away, nothing is going to impress you.   Just click on the Web Design tab about avalon arts web design and then click on their Porfolio. portfolio 

Some of my favorites are Enchants by Christine Ruggle  Enchants – faery sculptures by Christine Ruggle  and the Fairy Crossing  The Faery Crossing-All Faeries, Sidhes, and Elfins Welcome!   These present the true art of the miniature fairy artist.  And, if I was still designing my web page for that, I would be working on a design even half as rich as that forever, I am afraid.

So, it’s a good thing I’m going for a site for my YA Fantasy Novel.  I have finally confirmed the design in my head and am gathering my own graphics to do it.  I’ll keep you informed.

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I have noticed a strange thing.  Since I have begun blogging, I have begun to sound like a “Valley” Girl, but only on my blog.  I blog things like, “I so agree with you.”  What is it with that?

 

I have also discovered why you’all, and I am not southern either, even though I live in an area they typecast (for good reason) as Southern Indiana.   But, I have discovered why everyone uses those freaky/funny names for their blogs.  It is so you can write the truth about your relatives without them getting mad at you.

 

Since I am ‘branding’ my name.  Cool, huh?  It’s writer’s speak, although I am not really positive I am using it properly.  I know you can ‘brand’ your look/logo.  But, whatever, I am using my real name and am only offending the relatives I can do without.   

 

Right now, in my family, I have a great-niece and great-nephew who cannot be in the same room, two nephews who are arguing, and one of my mother’s sister’s and her chidren and grandchildren are never talking to each other; at least, not all at the same time.  Makes for a fun Thanksgiving.

 

My mother writes me, this morning, and says, “Why can’t families get along?”  Obviously, she has not yet realized that relatives are given to you, you do not pick them.  If you picked them, you would still fight, just over different things.   Heck, if you picked them, you would have picked Bill Gates or, better yet, Viggo Mortensen.  Opps! No, take Viggo off that, I may live in Southern Indiana, but I do not marry my relatives.  Hey, a woman’s gotta have her fantasies.

 

So, have a great Thanksgiving.  Let the arguments roll off your back.  Ignore the ‘Valley’ girl and tell everyone: you know this blogger who is writing the most awesome YA Fantasy novel and, when she finishes editing it and finding an agent, who will find a publisher, they just gotta buy it.  But, in the meantime, tell them to buy books for Christmas.  We would all appreciate it.

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Master’s daughter always gives the greatest gifts. I have received a Japanese tea set, a miniature Stonehenge (we’re still waiting for a Scottish fellow to time travel through), a circular knitting sock kit, complete with a neat bag, and “The Aspiring Writer’s Journal.” 

Too bad she can’t give me a better memory, because I know there are more neat gifts, but I cannot remember them at this moment.  They are always a delight and a complete surprise, and will be again when I find what I have done with them.

 

So, my inspiration for today, (“Ahem! Ahem!” She cleared her throat.) is a page in the Writer’s Journal, she gave me.

 

The assignment is:—  Make up a story beginning with the following quotation-

“When Sleeping Beauty wakes up, she is almost fifty years old.”

 

I have changed the opening line, but the premise is there.

 

(Okay, I cannot believe I am going to embarrass myself this way, but what the heck?  Here it is, complete with errors in punctuation and dangling participles.)

~~~~~~~~~~~

  

Sleeping Beauty woke from her near eternal sleep and gasped for air.  My, how tight my corset doth feel.  Hands above her head, she stretched—and screamed.

 

 “Spots! What are these spots! There are brown spots on my hands and arms?”

 

Blankets flew as she surged to the mirror, her body half bent over. 

 

“Kricky!” she said, being a fan of British blogs.  “Oh my aching back! Heads will roll for not removing the peas under my mattress and, speaking of pees, I do believeth I am damp.  What, in blazes, goeth on?”

 

Lines stared back from the mirror.  These were the final insult as Sleeping Beauty, who was all of eighteen when she fell into her near eternal sleep, ‘twas now fifty.  She  lay sobbing into her pillow, for no handsome Prince would search for a wrinkled Sleeping Beauty, she feared.

 

In a far distant land by the sea, gallant Lord Viggo, some years younger but no longer a youth, lived. He could feel her sorrow and confusion.

 

“Hark!” He called. “I shall scry for the sound of sorrow I hear.”

 

And, scry, he did.

 

“She ‘tis a vision of loveliness to me.” He said as he peered into the water.  “A woman of wisdom and experience. No petulant youth need I put up with. And, her smile sets my heart free.”

 

‘Twas but a journey half way cross the land, to the woods where the beauty lay sleeping and where he dried her tears and they lay on the swing of her porch and watched the stars for a near eternal life.

THE END

 

I shall go and hideth my head under the pillow now.

 

 

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On a lighter note, after baring my soul about my grandkids and after reading Pollyanna’s reading challenge at http://prsunshine.wordpress.com/pollyannas-reading-in-wonderland-challenge/ I thought I would tell you about the THE BEST mystery I have ever read; and believe me, I started with A and went to Z in Mysteries, at the Lake County Public Library. It’s a research library and it’s hugely wonderful. I am not the best reviewer in the world, but gosh this book is so good, I can’t wait for his second one to come out.

 

I do my treadmill each morning. I do not find this a particularly fascinating pastime and I’m at a slow pace yet, so I read to pass the time. This is not the easiest thing to do on the Body for Life Program, as you increase and decrease speeds constantly. I try to reserve the book for the treadmill, thereby: 1. Having something to read each day and 2. Forcing me to work on my own YA Novel and not sit all day and read someone elses book.

 

First day, with The Chemistry of Death, I did my twenty-one minutes, pulled the plug and stood on the machine for another fifteen. I finally had to sit down and forced myself to leave the book on the machine.  Day two, FORGET THAT, I read on the treadmill and took the book with me. I spent the rest of the day, feet up, reading the most wonderful Mystery writing I have encountered in a long time, maybe ever.

 

This is Simon Beckett’s first novel. His words just suck you into the landscape. I first wrote a line that his words were poetry but then I read the back cover and Tess Gerritsen said that already. But, environment is really a character in this book (as we are always supposed to do). He sucks you into it with the protagonist entry into the rural town. 

 

But, oh how he handles all of it. You think you know who the Antagonist is; oh no, it must be this guy, no it could be that guy, and soon you just forget trying to guess and enjoy the journey. And, at the end, it’s the same way. No spoiler here because this book is just too good to do.

 

Even if you are not “into” mysteries, this is a must read book.

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Mom likes to add her own touch to the world, where there is no villain and the wolf isn’t trying to eat Little Red Riding Hood, he just wants to play a game of cards with her. Mom used to purchase Little Golden books for my girls and edit them before the girls ever read them. Some of those books, came to us looking like the CIA had gotten their hot little markers on them, with black bands where most the words had been. They were so fully edited that they were a new story. 

I love picture books and I love reading them to children. I am a huge fan of Audrey and Don Woods and think that books like King Bidgood’s in the BathtubMatthew’s Dragonby Susan Cooper and Jos. A. Smith, The Monster at the End of this Book by Jon Stone and Michael Smolin , and Hand, Hand, Finger, Thumb by Al Perkins and Eric Gurney are loved by kids, and adults, everywhere.

What is not so loved, is a book like Barbie’s Picnic, when it has to be read and reread by an adult twelve times. So, when you go to buy a Picture book, read it through at the store and then ask yourself, “Can I enjoy reading this over and over and over.” Because if they like it, they will ask you to.

Oldest boy fell in love with Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile by Bernard Waber and we read that book to death. I’m sure it didn’t hurt that, “The house on East 88th Street…” was where “Mr. and Mrs. Primm and their son Joshua live…”. Oldest boy’s name is Joshua. It wasn’t as rhythmic as some of the books that are easy to re-read, but it was a good read, even the third time in afternoon.

Which brings me, albiet through a long round-a-bout way, to http://boondockramblings.com/ Blog about a Curious George book she picked up for her son, that had a man smoking a cigarette in it. Mom would have simply drawn over that cigarette so he has actually holding a sucker or something in his hand and she would have colored all the monkeys, so monkeys were not imprisoned just because of their color.

I am more of the mind that children cannot be protected from smokers any more than they can be protected from evil. They are going to run into it and our job, as parents, is to give them the tools to make an informed decision so they know right from wrong.

I do believe it was thoroughly irresponsible of the publisher to republish this type of propaganda that pervaded books such as Little Black Sambo, in the 60s, but there it is and, if you find yourself reading a book with things in it that are wrong, I would suggest using it as an opportunity to talk about how unfair it is that the blue monkeys have to be in a cage, when the brown monkey, Curious George, gets to roam free. 

It’s better than him wondering what all those black marks are covering up in his book.

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I was in Bloomington yesterday, with some time to kill, so I stopped at Barnes & Noble. A bookstore is one of my favorite places. Whether it is for killing time or because I have a definite purchase in mind, I love bookstores. Its quiet atmosphere and the candy counter of book jackets is a promise of adventure.  In these days of ‘Do we buy groceries or gasoline?’, the books on sale are a bonus. 

 

I did find a Christmas gift for our oldest boy, actually grandson, yesterday. He is definitely a ‘book’ person. He lived with us from birth until he was around eight years old, and then came back to us when he was fifteen. During those years and the years in between, he saw us read and we read to him; constantly.  He loves philosophy and vampires.  I am not sure how you reconcile those two, but he does.

 

The middle boy was around six when his mom married his stepdad and he moved out of our home. He came back to us at sixteen. He’s in love with his ‘normal teenage life’ now, after years of being isolated, home schooled (or as he thinks of it ‘home failed’) and beaten. His reading ranges from the DaVinci Code to Louis Lamoure.  There he sprawls, in baggy pants and occasional dyed, spiked hair reading old westerns. He has a 3.4 GPA, his EMT license and plans on being an RN.

 

The youngest of these three is not a reader. It is heart breaking for me that he isn’t a reader, when at three, his favorite t-shirt read “If you love me, read me a book.” He would go pull that shirt out of his drawer, put it on and come out with a book. We would sit for hours, reading books. Every week, we had an arm full, from the library to read to the boys.

 

He came back to us at thirteen. His reading was at a 3rd grade level. He was definitly not schooled. I thought the hours of reading Harry Potter, which he dearly loved, would bring back some of the wonder of books. He did have an adventure book, he enjoyed. But has not regained his appreciation of books.

 

I love technology and will someday probably buy an electronic book. I’m not saying technology is bad. I love trees. I do not like the waste of a tree to send out junk mail. I truly think we could use more recycling in the making of books. I just think there is to be a loss for the next generation, when they cannot delight in seeing a dust jacket, smelling a twenty year old book, holding an adventure directly in their hand and not as a distant world seen through a screen.

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