Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Of reading, writing and surgery

And in that order....


Four books to add to the list for this month:
Temptation - Jude Devereaux (I do like her books!)
Irish Hearts (2 stories) - Nora Roberts (It had "Irish" in the title, although they are transplanted Irishwomen and the stories are set in America. )
Destiny Unleashed - Sherryl Woods (read in a day at the cabin. )
The Difference Engine - William Gibson and Bruce Sterling (Steampunk. Apparently I'm not smart enough to understand all the vague references; story is told with snippets from various characters; I finished the book [not sure why] and still can't tell you what it was supposed to be about)


Has been mostly non-fiction these past two weeks. Lots of scrapbooking - finally getting the pictures put together with the journaling from our trip last summer to Ireland and Scotland. I like scrapbooking. It gives me an opportunity to relive the time. I've been adding in bits and pieces to the scrapbook that weren't in the original journal entries posted on Facebook.

I have, however, also pulled out and begun formatting two releases, one new, one old. The new will be the collection of short stories (the First Friday Fiction series), the old will be a two-book set that includes Love in the Afternoon and Writers Unblocked. Not sure on a release date yet because....


When I was a child, I was fearless. I strapped on my skates, tightened them down with the key and sped off down uneven sidewalks and chip-sealed driveways, the wind in my hair, my body young and lithe...often tumbling and skinning my knees and scraping my palms in the process. And each time I fell, I'd hobble my way back home (never bothering to take off the skate that had stayed on. I wasn't going to be inside that long), get patched up, and go back to my skating.

I rode my bike with the same abandon - and walked on stilts my dad made me - and never walked when I could run.

The upshot? Shot knees.

So far, the right knee has needed arthroscopic surgery two separate times. Each time the surgeon removed the growing arthritis and repaired the torn meniscus. Two and a half years after the last surgery on that knee, its doing fine.

The left knee, however, not so much. I fell on the ice a little over ten years ago and tore the meniscus. I consider myself lucky that it hasn't bothered me much since then. Unfortunately, when it decided to act up again, it has done so with a vengeance.

Tried the cortisone. Didn't work.
Tried the gel. Hurt like Hell going in. Didn't work.

Now going for surgery on my son's twenty-fifth birthday. Arthroscopic. Been there, done that. This is old hat. I always get a little nervous - undergoing anesthesia always makes me a tad nervous - but I know the recovery won't be long. I give myself the day of the surgery and the day following to wallow in self-pity. One should always allow a short period of indulgence after surgery.

But by Saturday I'll be up and walking around, unable to sit still a moment longer. Might even talk my hubby into taking me over to Waterloo, NY - the Birthplace of Memorial Day - for cheese fries!

Will post an update before, though. Play safe, everyone!

Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Taking the time to read

One corner of my study where I
write - and read
Every once in a while, I get the urge to follow in the footsteps of both my mom and my mother-in-law, both of whom keep (kept) lists of the books they read, by author, so they would know which titles they'd already consumed and which ones they should BOLO (be on the lookout for). That way, each time they went to a library or rummage sale, they could pull out their notebooks and check so they didn't waste that fifty cents on a book they'd already read.

Now, don't mistake me. Just because they couldn't remember titles didn't mean they didn't remember the plot and the characters - they could tell you all the twists and turns, the who did what to whom, and the Happily Ever After for nearly every book. Neither, however, could necessarily put the title with the story. Author, yes. Title, not so much.

So, in years' past, I've kept logs (I started linking to individual pages but then realized that was too many, since for 2010 at least, I reviewed each individual book as well as posted that I'd read it. Instead, type "book thoughts" into the search bar to see what I've read in the past).

I'm not good at keeping these lists up-to-date, but am truly making an effort this year. Since I last posted my list on March 1st, I've read another fifteen books (!), which I'm thinking is a record for me. At least, the adult me. The kid me would read 15 books in as many days and keep going to the library for more.

So, what am I currently up to?
These pictures were taken from
my desk (comp. screen in bottom
of photo)

In February: 
The Jane Austen Marriage Manual - Kim Izzo (chick lit and funny!)
Hyperion - Dan Simmons (excellent story but no ending - its continued into the next book - which I don't have :( )

In March:
Ready Player One - Ernest Cline (this was a re-read, it's that good)
George Washington's Secret Six - Brian Kilmeade & Dan Yeager (some of the scholarship was slanted to make a point, that I think stretched the facts a bit far)
The Night Circus - Erin Morganstern (Oh, My. Goodness. Go buy this book. NOW!)
How Reading Changed My Life - Anne Quindlen (autobiographical; interesting tidbits)
Starting Over on Blackberry Lane - Sheila Roberts (a Debbie Macomber clone, but that's not necessarily a bad thing)

In April:
The Shack - William Paul Young (wanted to read before I saw the movie)
Walking on Air - Catherine Anderson (probably shouldn't include this - I only read half before I got bored)
Murder at Longbourne - Tracey Kiely (great fun! exactly what the title implies)
Dreams of the Raven - Carmen Carter (a Star Trek novel. Yes, I'm a nerd. But you knew that...)

I love these little bottles. I've collected them since Jr. High -
each room has it's own color. My study has tan walls, green
shelves - and purple highlights!
In May (so far):
Otherwise Engaged - Amanda Quick (okay, so probably everyone knows Jayne Krentz is Amanda Quick. I didn't until I saw the lists of titles at the beginning of the book. No wonder it was so good!)
City of Bones - Cassandra Clare (a library sale find - 1st book of the Mortal Instruments series)
Her Vampire's Promise - Jordan K. Rose (sorry, just not that into vampires. Didn't finish)
Stranger in the Moonlight - Jude Deveraux (it's Jude D - what's not to like?)

All told, since the beginning of the year, that's 33 books in 19 weeks. In that same time, I've written about 10,000 words, editing and then writing further on two different fantasy novels and written another 5,000 or so words on various short stories. Not much, I know. Thank goodness summer's coming and I'll be "stuck" at the cabin with nothing to do but write!

Hope you are all well!
Play safe,