A random, eclectic mix of thoughts, feelings, observations, and experiences – LIFE

Posts tagged ‘books’

Update 3-2-1

It’s been a while, hasn’t it? I haven’t forgotten my blog. It’s just been crazy. We switched ISPs (because the old one was TERRIBLE), so we thought we were without service for a bit. It turns out that our services overlapped, but anyway… Long story.

Three Things I’m Thankful For:

  1. Job interview on Saturday (I’d LOVE to get this job – of course it’s with a non-profit org – but I don’t want to get excited. The disappointment would be too much. The requirements/qualifications listed are EXTENSIVE, and I don’t really have them in the terms they stated them in, but HEY! I got an interview!)
  2. Decent internet service
  3. Making progress (even if it’s just a tiny bit) on my children’s books and finding illustrators

Two Notes on ROW80

  1. I’m still in the game! I’ve completed my character profiles and sent them to the critique group. Only one response so far – which was really positive – and I wish everyone else would get to it! I know everyone is super busy though. Blah! I also have a plan for my author platform, and I hope to get it going in July. I’m well on my way to planning out the chapters of my novel after reading Donald Maass’ book on writing the “breakout” novel. Today, I’m getting down to business and writing the first chapter. WOO!
  2. I’m cutting myself slack on the running, and signing up for a 5k. The weather has not been conducive to running outdoors, and I don’t have a treadmill or a gym membership. Also, I don’t want to sign up for anything that costs money. I’m jobless, so it would be a bit reckless of me to sign up and pay for an event, and not be able to travel for it.

One Thing I Need to DO. SOON

  1. Send in my letter for approval of n at-home business. This is a prerequisite for a business license (for an at-home business) which is a prerequisite for the $5000 government grants for business. I could REALLY use that money to get my books illustrated and printed. Must.get.my.butt.in.gear.

What’s up with you? Working on any new projects? What do you need to just get out there and DO?

Five Question Friday

1. If you were free to just hop in the car and drive, where would you go? Or, if you could hop a plane and go anywhere, where?
Ummm… The beach? There aren’t many places that a car can take me on a 21×7 rock. If I could hop on a plane, I’d choose where I’m going based on how much time I have to spare. I’d probably go with somewhere in Canada.
2. What’s your most recently read favorite book?
One of my favourites is The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton.
3. What’s your favorite Spring Break memory?
I never had a spring break.
4. What do you put in your child’s Easter basket? Or, for those w/o kids, what was put in your childhood basket?
I used to get colouring books, chocolate, eggs with candy inside, a chocolate bunny (FAVE!), crayons, and other cool stuff. My paternal grandmother made the baskets herself, so we never got junk. My great-grandmother gave us baskets too. We were the only children who got2-4 baskets every year.
5. Do you get a summer haircut?
I get haircuts all the time. Ok, no, not really. I’m lazy about it. I only get my hair cut every 4-6 weeks. That’s terrible since I should really go every 2 weeks, but I don’t have the time to spare. I just get it cut really short, and when it gets long-ish, I let it curl right up so it doesn’t show that I need a cut badly.
Join the 5QF fun!

13 Things About The Book Thief

I’m about halfway through The Book Thief (by Markus Zusak), and I’m really enjoying it. I can’t do a real review yet, but here are a few things I like about the book:

  1. It’s narrated by the grim reaper/death.
  2. The author throws away the ideas of subtleties in foreshadowing. You know a lot of things that are going to happen before you think you should, but it works. Mostly because you have no idea how or why those things will happen.
  3. The reader is directly addressed by the narrator. (I really like this because I’ve always wanted to write a book this way. It’s cool that I got to read one that does that.)
  4. Random German phrases. Babe and I affectionately call each other Saumensch and Saukerl from time to time.
  5. The secondary characters are as interesting as the primary characters. Their appearances always evoke a reaction like, “Oh, YAY! Him again,” or “Ugh… Not this prick again!”
  6. The reader knows just enough. Not too little, and not too much. It’s a delicate balance.
  7. I have no idea if this book is supposed to be young adult, or just plain fiction. Gotta love that in a book. (If you’ve read The Hunger Games, you understand the effect I’m talking about.)
  8. The Holocaust. I have no idea why this is so interesting to me, but it is. Movies and books that are directly related to it, or just around that time period grab me and hold me in the air until they’re done.
  9. History. See above.
  10. Awesome quotes. In talking about human nature, the narrator says, “So much good, so much evil. Just add water.” Another great one is, “The words were born on her breath, and died at her lips.”
  11. I think I forgot to mention quotes. “Her teeth were like a soccer crowd, crammed in.”
  12. The Jesse Owens incident. The main character’s best friend painted himself black and ran 100 metres, to see what it felt like to be Jesse Owens.
  13. Won the Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best Book. Someday, I’ll have a book to enter in the competition. Maybe – just maybe – that book will win.

Five Question Friday

1. Will you run to the store or to pick up a kid looking a mess?
Looking a mess? Not quite. I wouldn’t doll up. A short dress or shorts and a tank would do. I’d put a cap on if my 1 inch hair doesn’t meet society’s standards. Lol. I rolled out of bed one night to get my niece from a party, and I just threw on a short dress and flip-flops. *shrugs* I figure I’m fine as long as I can step out of the car, and manage to put air in the tires.
2. Do you finish a book if it’s boring or you don’t like it?
Never. Babe has tried to get me to read one or two books that I just could not get into. I had to explain to her that reading is something that I do for pleasure. I have always loved it. There are far too many good books out there – books that I can appreciate – for me to waste time fighting through books that I just don’t like. If the first few pages don’t grab me, I don’t see how I can end up liking it. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo is a prime example (though not Babe’s suggestion). People kept telling me that if I “could just get through the first 100 pages…” Um, what?! No. I’m not supposed to feel like I’m working. The AUTHOR was supposed to do the work. He/She is supposed to make me WANT to read it. Fail.
3. Beach or mountain vacations?
Since I live on an island, I’ll go with mountain vacations. I’d love to be able to climb and hike. I’d still like to have an island vacation (on a different island of The Bahamas) at some point. I think it would be terrible to travel all over the world, but not know/see/experience what is in my own backyard. 700 islands and cays (not all inhabited)… I need to go to at least 5 of them.
4. What thing/event says “winter will end and spring is right around the corner” to you?
When the water gets warm again, I guess. We don’t really have a winter here. When I lived in Halifax, it was tulips. Seeing them pop up always made me smile.
5. Would you prefer couples or family vacation?
I really don’t know. I’ve never had either. I think both would be great. If I had to choose right now, I’d go with couples since we don’t have a family. Yet.
My week has been pretty good. It got rocky yesterday evening. Seriously, it doesn’t take much to change my mood sometimes. I was quite happy and feeling good until ONE comment was made. I’m under a lot of pressure these days, and I’m finding it a lot harder to deal with being told what to do and how to do it, random, unwanted criticism, and negativity. I’m just not in a place to deal with it in a positive way. I’m also not in a place where I can respond to issues as they arise. I am not a confrontational person to begin with, but at this time, I feel that I am a lot more likely to curl into myself. I’m a loner by nature. It’s only by very intentional thoughts and actions that I interact with others. It’s been a work in progress for a long time, and I don’t expect it to just flow every single day. Some days are harder than others, I guess.
I think I may be overdue for a good cry. Or scream session? I am SO not a crier, but because I don’t talk, talk, talk, a lot of things never get out of my system until I actually breakdown and cry. Lucky for me, I’ve been running and practicing yoga. This has definitely been helping. I’m one of those people that needs to be active, and using exercise as a release and refresher. Nothing wrong with that, right?

Took my lunch to the beach. Sat there to clear my head.

This weekend, there were a few things that I wanted to do. Lots of changes have happened with the plans, and now I’m just not interested. I’m not very flexible. I make a conscious effort to be, but right now, I can’t be bothered. When plans change, I get really annoyed, or very uninterested. Especially with things that I talk myself into. For example, a book binding workshop was scheduled for Saturday and Sunday. Help was needed to bind booklets for another event, so teaching people how to do it was an easy way to get help, I guess. I RSVPed on Facebook. A few days ago, they said they no longer need to bind the books, but will host a free workshop anyway, and people can make scrapbooks. Me? No longer interested. Thanks, but no thanks. I have no desire to express any sort of creativity, or to sit around doing something very basic (because I suck at artsy things) while people around me are doing awesome things. No, thanks. I talked myself into doing the book binding thing that would have simply been following instructions. I’m not interested in pressuring myself to be creative, and make my own scrapbook. Screw it.

Ok, whoooa. Lemme slow down. It’s still been a good week. I got a lot of things done. Yes, there is still a lot left to do. Yes, a lot of people have pissed me off this week. Work is getting crazy. The event is 29 days away. Hooolyyy! I’m getting a lot of flack for a lot of things that have nothing to do with me. When I get home, I really just want to relax. But there are things to do. Cleaning. Cooking. I can’t expect Babe to continue to do it all. I really have to pull my own weight. Then, of course, there’s the writing. It has to happen.
BALANCE. BALANCE. BALANCE. Balance is what I’m striving for. It’s always been what I’ve wanted in life. Until this point, I have succeeded. Now, it’s more difficult. I don’t want to say that it’s just not possible for the next 29 days or so. That would be quitting. I can’t quit. I just need to wind down and figure things out. Maybe the weekend (with nothing to do) will help. Maybe.
Random thing I just remembered: My birthday is in two weeks. There are/will be no plans. It will suck. I am (mentally/emotionally) ready.
The silver-lining to all these clouds: I am alive. And living. Not just breathing. And there will always be a better day.
How was your week? Do you have plans for the weekend? How do you express yourself best?

Five Question Friday

So, every week I do this Five Question Friday blog hop thingy. This week, me no likey the questions. I can’t really explain why. I just don’t. I don’t feel like answering them. I DO feel like doing my regular Friday post though. You’re happy, right? I’m going to answer my own little questions. And guess what. If you want to ask more, go ahead. I’ll answer them.

I’m making these up as I go along, so don’t expect any sort of flow or sensibility, okay?

What’s your favourite tv show?

Oh, man. Tough one! I don’t know. I’m not that big on tv. Actually, Babe and I haven’t had cable since we moved. At one point, in university, I turned my cable off for over a year. It was just ridiculous that I was paying over $70/month to watch about 3 channels. Most of the time, the tv was just background noise. These days, the only things I would actually mentally schedule to watch on cable are Chopped (Food Network) and… Yeah, that’s it. Hahaha. I like a few other shows, but not enough to not do anything else when they’re on. I like Law & Order, Royal Pains, Brothers & Sisters… All of which I can watch online, so YAY! Tv addict? Not me. Now, when basketball season starts, I’m gonna need cable up in that apartment.

 

What are you currently reading?

The Little Women. I’ve been reading it on my lunch breaks, and on quiet evenings at home. Mostly at lunch time. This is probably my 3rd time reading it. My dad made sure I read what he considered to be “The Classics” when I was younger. I always loved reading, and he fed my need. I’m enjoying The Little Women as much as I did the first time I read it. I like when I reread a book, and it’s like the first time. Timing is everything. I’ll talk more about how much I like the book, my favourite characters, and my favourite parts in another post when I’m done. I was savouring it, but now Babe is ready to read Catching Fire, and I don’t want to be left behind, so I’ll be picking up the pace on the weekend.

 

What’s the last song you listened to?

I don’t remember the exact song. I was when I was running, and was by Austra. I looove Austra. The music is SO great. The vocalist reminds me a lot of Florence (Florence + The Machine). My favourite, right now, is Lose It. It’s very simple, very pretty, and very… raw? In a way. Listen to it.

 

What’s the last movie you watched?

The last movie I watched in its entirety? I don’t remember. Sad, since it was just two nights ago. It was something with this girl in it. Ummm… Yeah, I don’t know. Babe and I watched 90% of The Messenger last night. I didn’t really get sleepy, but my eyes couldn’t take it any more. I liked it. It’s pretty interesting, and the subject matter is something a lot of people probably never think about. I’m weird, so I have thought about it. We’ll watch the last few minutes of it tonight, before starting a new movie.

 

What do you like to get from the concession stand when you go to the movie theatre?

I’m a little piglet, really. I like to get:

  • A hotdog (all beef) with mustard, ketchup, relish, and very little mayo. If I can get some grated cheese on there, AWESOME!
  • Nachos WITH the jalapeño peppers. YESSS! We don’t have the option here, but when I was in Halifax, I used to get the cheese put on straight on my nacho chips, and salsa on the side. YUMMERS!
  • Sour gummy worms
  • Small drink. Usually a Coke, of course.
Well, would ya look at that! I managed to make all of the question sort of media-ish. Or something. I didn’t even try. Cool, right? Yeah, I know. Feel free to answer the questions. You can do it in the comments, or your own blog. If you do a post to answer the questions, make sure you post a link to it here.
Oh! Bonus question! What are you doing this weekend?

You With Me?

Today, I feel some sort of way. This week, really. I’m fighting it pretty steadily. Though I can’t define it, I know that it isn’t good. Little things make me want to cry, or swear, or tell someone off. And this morning, I sort of felt like I should never have gotten out of bed. Bleh. I haaate that feeling. I keep shaking my booty. You know… To shake it off. We can’t have that attitude [DMX voice] UP IN HERE, UP IN HERE!

SELF, errr, BLOG MOTIVATED

I decided that I don’t want to talk to anyone in my real life about my physical activities. I get better support from the blogosphere or whatever. People in my real life have ancient thoughts, opinion, and expectations of me. I don’t need the extra weight. I don’t intend to impress anyone. I’m not on a mission to change any minds. I just want to continue to do what I want to do. Regardless. When I feel like cycling, I will. When I feel like running, I will. When I’m ready to do my first 5k, I will. If, after that, I want to do more, I will. Yeah, it sucks that there won’t be anyone cycling with me, or cheering me on as I run, but whatever. It’s probably better that way.

RIDING SOLO VS. DOING IT TOGETHER

At some point in my life, I did EVERYthing alone. I didn’t see the need for the “buddy system” in every little thing. If I felt like going to the club and dancing, I got dolled up, and walked – yes, by myself – to the club. I bought my own drinks, danced by myself (or with random, fun people I met there), and left when I was good and ready. I saw LOTS of movies by myself. I made meals and enjoyed them alone. No big deal.

Now, there’s someone super special in my life. I like to call that special someone my SupaSupa (and sometimes “Babe”). Because everything is super, really. It’s kind of like having my own superhero. Anyway, a lot of the things I’m used to doing on my own, or by myself, I sort of factor my SupaSupa into. Sometimes, I stop myself because I think it’s unfair. There are things I like that she really doesn’t. She’s not into the whole get-active thing. At all. It bothers me a little, I have to admit. I feel like it’s very important to break out of sedentary lifestyles. We weren’t made to just sit around all the time. We need to walk. Get fresh air. Kick balls around. Whatever. DO things. REAL things. Not just play with iPhones and eat ice cream all the time. It scares me, actually. I wonder what kind of condition she’ll be in 10 or 20 years from now. I’m absolutely positive that more active people live healthier, happier, longer lives, and are much better with keeping up with children and grandchildren. Maybe this is selfish of me. I want her to keep up, be healthy, and love life. Even if she doesn’t want to run. Hahaha.

Anyway, I’m not sure how I got to be rambling, but listen. I’m starting a new blog. I’ll use it to track my progress with various things. I think the focus will largely be on running. There’ll be a little cycling in there too, some healthy-ish (because you know I like my chocolates and cheeses) recipes, pictures of random things I come across, etc. Don’t worry. Conchsaladeque is staying the same. I won’t bore you with my distances, times, and fruit smoothies. So stick around. Deal?

BOOKS

Remember that wish list I posted the other day? Got started on it. My wishlist on F21 is super long. I’ll probably order 25% of the stuff on the weekend. MUST look good for work. Annnnnd, we ordered NookBooks this morning! Here’s what we got:

Lullabies for Little Criminals – One of my favourite books EVER. Heartbreakingly hilarious. Wait. That’s weird. But that’s what it is. *shrugs* Babe has to read it, and I need to read it again. And again.)

Catching Fire (Hunger Games #2) – Read #1. Really liked it when I was completely prepared (and expecting) to hate it. Had Babe read it last week. She REALLY liked it. Round 2, comin’ up!

Unlikely Disciple: A Sinner’s Semester At America’s Holiest University – Got the free sample on my Nook. Read it. It’s exactly what the titles says. Hooked. Need the whole thing.

Mayhem in High Heels – Okay. So I got hooked on these short, girly novels by Gemma Halliday. Not my style at all, but so fitting for the lunch hour. Like a guilty pleasure. Reminds me of my Desperate Housewives stint. I think the first ones I got were $1.99 or something, so I figured I couldn’t lose. I didn’t.

Hollywood Headlines Mysteries (3 books) – Um, more Gemma?! Another series of mindless lunch-hour reads? Yes, please.

Shoot Me – Another of my faves. By an Atlantic Canadian author. I saw a little selection of books by Lesley Crewe in Bookmark, the bookstore on Spring Garden Road, in Halifax. (I’ve been WAITING for her books to be available for Nooks!) I bought two of them. LOVED them both. This is one of them. Another must-read for Babe.

Relative Happiness – By Lesley Crewe. I just had to.

Lots of reading, coming right up!

MUSIC

In her Sunday Songs post this week, Vix shared a song that I REALLY like, so I’m sharing it with you.

And since I referenced the song and everything, here’s a lil [insert DMX dog bark here] DMX.

And a lil something from Cher Lloyd, ’cause I think she’s cool, and I’m still not over yesterday’s discovery.

 

How’s your week going? Did you make any fun purchases? Would you rather take on a challenge by yourself, or with a buddy?