Sharing My World 76

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Somewhere north of Lake Superior on our road trip heading home taken through the car windshield en route because yes I am exactly that lazy.

Well look what I just retrieved from various places in the drafts folder.  Proof of my good intentions.  And other not so admirable traits.

Share Your World – August 14, 2017

When you leave a room, do you turn the lights off behind you or keep the lights on throughout your house most of the time?

When I’m home alone there are a lot of lights on everywhere, upstairs and down.  Probably because there’s no one following me around turning them off.  So I guess that answers that question.

What do you feel is the most enjoyable way to spend $500?

Because of some unexpected expenses this year, the unnecessary expenditures have been put on hold.  And those are always the most enjoyable kind, aren’t they?  Three people in the last little while have asked me, while browsing through my “library”, if I have any new books on my shelves.  It feels a little alarming to me to have to say that I don’t.  Buying real honest to goodness in your hand page turning books is the best way I know to spend time and money.  Because omg, look what you bring home.  Hours and hours of awesomeness.

I’m still doing lots of reading.  Every day I download one or two free e-books from Amazon.  There have been some real doozies but there have also been a few gems.  I wonder if I’ve missed my calling as a fiction editor.  I like the idea of someone else doing all the thinking and then I just improve the way the story is told.  I do a lot of skipping over the dreadful parts.

Complete this sentence: My favorite thing to do on my cell phone is…

Well first off I have to find the damned thing.  If I’ve left the sound turned on it makes that part easier.  I check for missed calls and text messages, making a mental note of how long ago they happened.  Sometimes I’m so on the ball answering a text it must truly startle the recipient, since my normal response is hours later.  I’m working on this, I promise, trying to carry my phone around with me from room to room, but doing that is also the reason I misplace it so often.  It could be anywhere.  It’s rarely used for phone calls because we still cling to our land line.  And I never use it for game playing because the screen is too small.  It’s always with me when I leave home, even for a walk, because what if I broke my ankle or got lost or needed to take a picture of the inside of my pocket?  Best to be prepared for these things.

Share Your World – October 9, 2017

What do you consider is the most perfect food for you? (It can be your favorite food to something extremely healthy.)

Once upon a time it was rich, dark, chocolate ice cream with drizzled chocolate syrup. Then unfortunately I grew up.

The perfect food for me now that I am old and boring is low in carbs, low in sugar, high in protein and essential vitamins and minerals and fibre and all that other good stuff, tastes fantastic, and a small portion completely satisfies my hunger. If you have any idea what that food is, please let me (and the rest of the world) know so we can all feel less despondent about leaving chocolate ice cream behind.

Meanwhile I will continue to struggle with my choices. However, I have to tell you I’m astounded lately by my consistently low glucose readings so I must be doing something right. Even though I continue to periodically give in to a craving for salty crap like potato chips.

Are you focused on today or tomorrow?

Today, this moment in time. Well that would be ideal, wouldn’t it? Never dwelling on the past, never fretting about the future. Never craving potato chips.

If you could interview one of your great-great-great grandparents, who would it be (if you know their name) and what would you ask?

My great-great-great grandparents on my dad’s side of the family were probably messing about somewhere in Scotland in the late 1700’s. Pure conjecture on my part since I’ve never researched anyone so far back. They could have come from anywhere and changed their identities for all I know. Since they are all dead I think I might be inclined to ask them what they’re up to now.  Or perhaps more realistically, what they were up to then.

What inspired you this past week? Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination.

My lack of participation in the big world of blogging should be your first clue that I have been largely uninspired lately by anything at all.

 

Okay, so that ended on a bit of a low note! Must have been a bad news week.  Ever leave something in your draft files so long (because it’s not good enough to publish) that when you finally get around to cleaning them up, some of it really doesn’t sound as blah as you thought it did originally?  But as for the rest of it, the “delete” button is your friend?  I’m down to seven drafts, so on a desperate day any one of them could surface.  Apologizing in advance.

 

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More Please

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What would you like more of this year?  Here’s  my list.

  1. peaceful sound sleep
  2. great coffee
  3. good books
  4. amazing sunrises
  5. gorgeous sunsets
  6. smiles
  7. creativity
  8. writing ideas
  9. positive thoughts
  10. laughter
  11. daydreaming
  12. fun
  13. love
  14. gratefulness
  15. magic
  16. healing
  17. random acts of kindness
  18. crazy (the good kind)
  19. sunshine
  20. joy

Gotta get going on this one.  Starting with coffee.  Wish me luck.

Girls on Trains

imageThe reading of this book went a lot faster than the previous one I ploughed my way through, and when I finished it I gave it four out of five stars.  Then I read some reviews and was surprised to see so many negative ones.  The biggest complaint was its comparison to “Gone Girl” with reviewers saying it either didn’t live up to expectations or that they didn’t like either one since the characters in both  were unlikable dysfunctional idiots.

Well, it was full of those, but I liked it anyway.  The story is told in bits and pieces by three women.  Rachel is an alcoholic who has blackouts and often a less than firm grasp of reality.  She has lost her home, her husband and her job and spends most of her time feeling bad about her situation, telling lies and making excuses and riding on the train.  She wallows and is unable (or unwilling) to change.

Anna (married to Tom, Rachel’s ex) lives in Rachel’s old house with Tom and their new baby.  She is exasperated by Rachel’s inability to let Tom go, her drunken phone calls at all hours and her lurking about, and she fears for the safety of her child.

Megan lives a few doors away with her husband, does not have the idyllic life that Rachel imagines as she observes the couple each day from the train, and has her own set of issues and secrets to deal with. For a short time she helps Anna out when the baby is small.  And gets herself up to even more shenanigans, but we don’t learn about that until later.

When Megan disappears, everyone left is a suspect, including Megan’s therapist who was seen by Rachel (from the train)  kissing Megan on her deck the morning of the day she went missing.

I can’t count how many times I sighed and thought OMG Rachel, what kind of asinine thing are you going to do next?  But hey, it kept me interested and reading right up to the end.  There’s a real art to giving out just enough information to get readers headed in a certain direction and then having them find out some new thing that changes their minds.

I stand by my four stars.  Even if you figure out the mystery well before the end, it’s still an enjoyable journey getting there.

A Finished Book

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Look at me, all done reading a book!  And not knowing how to explain why it’s been so long since the last time I did that.

I remember reading Kate Morton’s other books…

  • The House at Riverton
  • The Secret Keeper
  • The Forgotten Garden
  • The Distant Hours

…so I didn’t think it would be a stretch to like The Lake House.  And I did like it.  I just didn’t love it.  There was way too much messing about getting to the point.  And far too many coincidences and characters and back stories and sub plots and descriptions and hopping around in time.  Just too many words.  I guess that’s why I could never write an entire novel, lacking the patience to expand everything to death without giving the ending away in the first chapter.

A child disappears and it takes seventy years to solve the mystery of what happened to him.  People with secrets!  You just want to give them a shake.  How’s that for a book review?

If the reading of this book hadn’t started well before Christmas and proceeded in fits and starts up until this afternoon I suppose I might have found it shorter.  Mostly I read in bed when I was already tired and rarely came across anything riveting enough to keep me awake.  Not even half way through I found myself no longer caring what really happened or why, but FINALLY the end arrived and it all came together in the neatest little package ever, tied with a bow.  I don’t know why that felt trite and disappointing, but it did.  Just too darned neat and tidy and resolved.

Anyway, it’s a story and it’s been told.  If you like Kate Morton you will enjoy this.  But I don’t think you will be blown away.

Deep Thoughts on a Shopping Bag

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It’s the attention to little details that make shopping at Chapters such a delight for people like me who love this kind of thing.  If there must be a shopping bag, why not make it say something wonderful?  I forgot to take a reusable bag with me and I was walking, so I reluctantly said yes to a bag, but happily this one will NOT go directly into the recycle bin along with my guilt about the environment.  I will use it again, because you don’t just recycle John Keats.

Not in any way trying to out-do Keats, and everything he mentions in this quote is lovely, but I would like to change the sentiment a little to reflect my own personal preferences.

Give me

a blank canvas, crispy bacon,

Argentinian Malbec wine

soft candle light

&

a little peace and quiet…..

Hmmm… are all these things meant to go together?  I’ve never had bacon with my wine.  Or painted by candlelight either.

I do have some other weird habits though, one of which is reading labels and product descriptions and getting bamboozled into buying them simply because they sound peculiar and interesting.  I bought a hair product once because it promised to deconstruct my hair in to loose textured beach waves.  It contained black figs and sea salt.  Really.  Eventually I poured what remained of it down the sink because what it actually made my hair look like was a very structured haystack.

What is a beach wave anyway?  And why did I think I wanted some of those?  Hard to complain to the makers of a product when you don’t have a clue what they are promising you.

Great books are just the beginning.  Isn’t that an awesome little statement?  Even though it doesn’t specify whether it’s the beginning of something amazing or the beginning of something horrifying we still want to have those great books.  Because beginnings, right?

And we want those great books in great bags!

Thank you Indigo.  For your bags and your words and your little in-store coffee shop making all your books smell like Starbucks.  I will be back for more.  But you know that, don’t you?  Yes, you do.

Three Quotes: The Middle

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“I used to dream about escaping my ordinary life, but my life was never ordinary. I had simply failed to notice how extraordinary it was.”
― Ransom Riggs, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

Three Quotes in Three Days  (see yesterdays post)

I nominate three people out there who would like to complete this challenge!  You know who you are, even if I don’t!  Yes, that was a very lazy way of getting out of actually naming people.  No pressure here.  But I do recommend this book.  It’s wonderful and weird.

Hope you’re having an extraordinary summertime Tuesday.

Word Brain

word brainI’m playing this word game (it’s an Apple app) because I like word games and because I want to keep my brain functioning.  I’m not sure if this is helping, or just adding to the general confusion.  The game starts off being really simple and easy (to get you hooked) and becomes more challenging as you progress.  All you have to do is find words by running your finger over the letters in the right order.  The above picture doesn’t make sense to me, because where is the word music in that block of letter blocks?  More puzzling than that, how in the world did this player get two hundred and fifty hints??  It must be a level way beyond the one I’m on.  And either this person is a genius who never uses hints, or there is some magic way to cheat to get them.  I’m going to google that later.

The puzzles I am solving now consist of two words.  If you don’t guess them in the right order, the second one could have its letters drop down too scrambled to solve.  So you have to hit the circling arrows and start again.  When I got to the two-word puzzles it took me – oh, I don’t know, maybe 6 or 10 puzzles – to figure out that the solutions are not words that go together to mean something.  You know, like ‘chair back’, ‘barn yard’ and ‘rock band’.

Here are some of the best ones I found which I think we should add to the English language as two-word phrases.  Just because.  They conjure up the best images.

1.  lemon face (give a baby something sour to see a really great one)

2.  fish shout (hey guys, boat bottom overhead!  go deep!)

3.  egg tennis (hardest serves to return ever)

4.  book elbow (you read way too much)

5.  snail skis (not the best choice for downhill racing)

6.  sock petal (this flower smells weird)

7.  melon well (fetch a pail of honey dews)

8.  sun waffle (for breakfast – moon waffles are for midnight snacks)

9.  skull tent (not proven to be a bear deterrent)

10.  spinach tv (the only reason you have it is because it’s part of a package)

This game really should give these kinds of hints, instead of merely showing you the first letter of one of the words.  If they did that, I would have gotten at lot more of them right, a lot faster.  If anyone from Apple would like to contact me for other advice about their apps, I’m not that busy.

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