Category Archives: Books

Many Are Called…

A thousand and twenty-seven thanks to the lovely Blokey Guy for nominating me for a Liebster and for coming up with a set of clever questions. I am going to attempt to answer these while waiting in the jury pool at OC Superior Court. Hopefully my battery will last and I won’t get interrupted to listen to some pesky case.

RULES

Acknowledge the blogger that gave it to you and display the award. ✅

Answer 8 questions that the blogger gave you. 🆗

Give 8 random thoughts about yourself. ⚠️

Nominate 8 other bloggers and notify them of their nomination. ❌

Ask your nominees 8 questions. 🌀

Questions for Me

1. Are you happy with the person:
i] You are
ii] You were
iii] You think you will become?

I’m okay with who I am now and I’m always trying to do better (by my standards). Going by the past six months, I’m encouraged with my progress, in particular exiting FB and devoting more of my free time to real writing instead of pointless jabber.

***

2. How many colours can you see in the image below, list them in detail.

stones-3565221_960_720.jpg

Zillions! Heliotrope, lavender, amber, shamrock, black, mauve, azure, turquoise, stone, violet, magenta, white, spring green, rust, burnt sienna, etc.

***

3. Is there anything within five feet of where you are currently typing that is a permanent feature and motivates you to explore your mind deeply?

No. I’m in a huge room, full of prospective jurors, and around me are chairs and tables that could easily be moved.

***

4. How many vices do you have and of them which are your worst?

This may sound conceited, but I’ve pretty much eliminated all vices from my life over the past couple years. The worst thing I do is not get enough exercise.

***

5. How curious are you to new discoveries, and first time experiences even if they are possibly dangerous or risky for you to try? As in will you try them, or make an excuse not to?

I avoid risk as much as possible, though I still have to drive a car in SoCal. I don’t need to make excuses to get out of trying dangerous things ~ I just say no.

***

6. If you answered No Way to question 5, what prevents you from doing so?

Migraines, back pain, finances.

***

7. If you answered YES Please to question 6, what motivates you to take those risks?

N/A

***

8. What type of song do you think our banjo player here is playing? Provide a link to what you think it might be as your answer to this question.

musician-349790_960_720

https://youtu.be/w_lCi8U49mY

***

My Random Thots, in which New Questions are Hiding🐍

6. I’m reading Incognito by David Eagleman and it’s fascinating. What book has fascinated you lately?

2. I may have the slightest touch of synesthesia because I perceive numbers physically, sort of as a quilt. What do you perceive differently from “normal?”

4. I used to have eidetic memory, though it was never perfect. It’s faded with age (as it’s supposed to) but occasionally happily surprises me. Do you have any tricks to help you remember things?

7. A bowl of mac & cheese costs $8.50 in the court cafeteria here, which is ridonkulous, so I bought a protein bar instead. But now I haz a craaaaving! What are you craving?

1. I gave up Facebook this year. A complete and total FEXIT (including Instagram & Messenger). What unhealthy habit have you recently dumped, or are working on giving up?

3. At the beginning of the day, a funny guy described how it would be to work on a Grand Jury and now I wanna do that for a year (or more, if allowed) when I retire. What new experience has suddenly grabbed your attention?

8. I’m happy that my daughter and her fiancé are driving down from NorCal in December and the whole little fam will be together for a few days. Do you have any special plans coming up?

5. I think Gatsby is the cutest kitty ever. Do you agree? Yes or duhhh?

Now for the tricky tagging part. Pay very close attention! Since I’m doing my civic duty and waiting in the jury pool here all day long, in honor of that, and our Constitutional Rights, every blogger reading this who has a J in any part of their real name or their bloggy name… is hereby tagged. J for Jury, hurrah!

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Snack Time [flash 100]

“What’s this word?” Honey asked.

Mosaic,” Sugar replied.

Cocoa laughed. “Bears can’t read! It’s not feasible. We don’t have the right skill set.”

“Reading is the farthest thing from my mind,” Honey said. “I’m trying to find a recipe.”

“Those yummy cookies the family had last week?” Sugar sniffed the air as if she could already catch a whiff of baking.

Honey rubbed her tummy. “Yes.”

“Sorry to disrupt the fantasy,” Cocoa said. “But this isn’t a cookbook.”

The bears were sad for twenty-seven seconds, but then they forgot because they were bears. Also, they ate the book.

The End.

~*~

Inspired by a photo from The Haunted Wordsmith.

PS: To nitpickers, I know the diff between further and farther, but these are bears, so give them a break. 🐻

Alphabooking

Via The Haunted Wordsmith.

1. Author you’ve read the most books from.

– Idk, maybe Lawrence Sanders (RIP).

2. Best Sequel Ever.

– Third book in Game Of Thrones.

3. Currently Reading.

– Incognito by David Eagleman.

4. Drink of Choice While Reading

– Hot black tea with milk.

5. E-reader or Physical Book?

– Prefer physical but being practical I do mostly Kindle these days.

6. Fictional Character You Probably Would Have Actually Dated In High School.

– Archy McNally, the cad.

7. Glad You Gave This Book A Chance.

Game of Thrones, book 1.

8. Hidden Gem Book.

Bodies of Water by Rosanne Cash.

9. Important Moment in your Reading Life.

Welcome to Temptation.

10. Just Finished.

Dandelion Stars.

11. Kinds of Books You Won’t Read.

– Books by politicians.

12. Longest Book You’ve Read.

– Probably one of the GOTs. Or maybe The Stand or possibly that enormous book about the orange vampires our stupid gobblement created in Central America to be weaponized against our enemies but they destroyed the planet. No, I’m not making that up and I read the whole ridiculously long horrible thing, gawd only knows why. I think there’s a sequel and I have a restraining order just in case.

13. Major book hangover.

– Staying up all night when I was 14 to read The Flame and the Flower.

14. Number of Bookcases You Own.

– Two (had to downsize during divorce).

15. One Book You Have Read Multiple Times.

The Great Gatsby.

16. Preferred Place To Read

– Anywhere.

17. Quote that inspires you/gives you all the feels from a book you’ve read.

– “And therein lies the whole of man’s plight. Human time does not turn in a circle; it runs ahead in a straight line. That is why man cannot be happy: happiness is the longing for repetition.” Kundera in TULOB

18. Reading Regret.

– Attempting Ulysses again. Blech.

19. Series You Started And Need To Finish (all books are out in series).

– No needs of this type.

20. Three of your All-Time Favorite Books.

The Unbearable Lightness of Being. The Great Gatsby. Norwegian Wood.

21. Unapologetic Fan-girl/boy For.

– King.

22. Very Excited For This Release More Than All The Others.

– None.

23. Worst Bookish Habit.

– None except I should read more.

24. X Marks The Spot: Start at the top left of your shelf and pick the 27th book.

– Wild guess… Eats, Shoots & Leaves.

25. Your latest book purchase.

Dandelion Stars.

26. ZZZ-snatcher book (last book that kept you up WAY late)

– My NaNo WIP. Literally fell asleep while writing last night.

Nope on a Rope

I grabbed these questions from Kristian ~ anyone can play!

1. Ending: A book ending that made you go NOPE either in denial, rage or simply because the ending was crappy.

Gone Girl comes to mind, but I still respect the writing. Not crappy! Just argh!

2. Protagonist: A main character you dislike and drives you crazy.

– Dunno. Compellingly terrible protags are a good thing. Like in GG.

3. Series: A series that turned out to be one huge pile of NOPE after you’ve invested all of that time and energy on it, or a series you gave up on because it wasn’t worth it anymore.

– I read the first four Game of Throne novels and the fourth was a hugely tedious slog. I’ve given up now and will just finish watching the wonderful show on HBO.

4. Popular pairing: A Ship you don’t support.

– I love naughty Archy McNally in the Lawrence Sanders mysteries but I don’t support Connie’s forgiveness of him every time he cheats on her (pretty much every book).

5. Plot Twist: A plot twist you didn’t see coming or didn’t like.

– Can’t think of any except GG. If I didn’t see it coming, then that’s a good thing. Mostly in romance I see them, but that’s okay.

6. Protagonist action/decision that made you shake your head nope.

– In The Dogs of Babel — why didn’t she just get an abortion?

7. Genre: A genre you will never read.

– Never say never. Generally horror with the King exception. Religious stuff in general, unless it seems really interesting.

8. Book format: Book formatting you hate and avoid buying until it comes out in a different edition.

– Idk comic strips maybe.

9. A trope that makes you go nope.

– Twins mixed up. Getting back with an ex (even though I’ve written this myself). Vampire luv except maybe gothic. Shape shifters of any kind (also have written). Motorcycle club love. Military love. Love in the winery. Pirate luv. Native Americans (the kind where a blonde finds hot sexy luv with one). The thing where a woman has to go to the ends of the earth to save her child from some ridiculous thing or other. The other thing where she returns to a small town for whatever bogus reason and gets together with that hunky high school guy who’s now the sheriff and drama ensues.

I HAZ ISSUES!

10. Recommendation: A book recommendation that is constantly hyped and pushed at you that you refuse to read.

– Books by politicians and other celebs. These people don’t have enough money?

11. Cliche/pet peeve: A cliche or writing pet peeve that always makes you roll your eyes.

– I can’t stand the excessive commas that are, apparently, correct usage. It diverts me from the writing, especially in dialogue.

12. Love interest: The love interest that’s not worthy of being one. A character you don’t think should have been a viable love interest.

– Can’t think of any.

13. Book: A book that shouldn’t have existed that made you say nope.

– Nope.

14. Villain: A scary villain/antagonist you would hate to cross and would make you run in the opposite direction.

– The Night King! (GOT)

15. Death: A character death that still haunts you.

– Robb’s pregnant wife getting stabbed to death at the Red Wedding (GOT).

16. NOPE! Author: An author you had a bad experience reading and have decided to quit.

– I can’t stand Nicholas Sparks. I don’t know why anyone reads him when there are plenty of good romance writers. He’s absolutely awful.

Page 62, Line 6

Idea via The Haunted Wordsmith: pick up a book, turn to page 62, copy line 6, and use that to inspire a poast. Naturally I am being naughty and copying more because it’s so interesting…

But they’re not an accident. In 2004, psychologist John Jones and his colleagues examined fifteen thousand public marriage records from Walker County, Georgia, and Liberty County, Florida. They found that, indeed, people more often get married to others with the same first letter of their first name than would be expected by chance.

This is from a book I’ve had in my desk for a long time: Incognito by David Eagleman. I keep meaning to finish it. Look at this cool thing above! A treasure for an OCDer like me.

The theory is that people like people who remind them of themselves (“implicit egotism”). There are more examples given besides the names, though of course I am suspicious of these Southern marriages. Why no studies of cold-climate spouses? How about Chicago or Minneapolis? I’m kidding. Of course people like people who are like themselves. If I want to play board games, I’m going to look for a kibbitz of nerds, not a slope of skiers. Sometimes they’re the same people, but mostly not.

I’ve dated a couple guys whose names started with P and that’s worked out as well as every other letter. Maybe I should start using a different alphabet. Any recs?

Batter Up [SOCS]

Interesting stream of consciousness Saturday prompt: we open a book and the first thing we point to is what we write about. I’ve got Soul Food by Jack Kornfield & Christina Feldman right here, don’t even know why, can’t remember buying it, but I’m opening it up right now… page 144…

“We have not yet plumbed the depths and possibilities of our own awareness.”

How true this is. We’re just a bunch of blind bats flying into the cave walls and crashing down to die in a mountain of bat poop. Those few moments between birth and death, when we’re fluttering madly, before we bash our bat brains out, is when we think we’ve accomplished something, lol. Look at me! I’m doing so much better than those other bats! (Smash.)

I suppose this book is going to tell me how I can become aware of something or other before I hit the wall and die, disintegrating into bat goo indistinguishable from every other bat that was ever born, which is why I spent [can’t find price tag] on it. Maybe it was a gift. Thanks, whoever bought me woo woo self-help actualization type book. I love these things. 🙄

Hard to believe I bought it, but I guess I might have occasional moments of trying to connect with muh spirituality. Such as it is. Okay then. That’s all I can do here. Should have opened the art cat book. 🐱

The Mixed Blessing Of Bookstores


(Powell’s in Portland, OR)

Inspiration or demotivation for a writer?

Last Friday night I went to Barnes & Noble in Newport Beach to pick up a game I’d ordered online (Wordspiel, fun). Of course I took the opp to check out the books too.

So.Many.Books!

Sometimes I find it exhilarating to be around published books. I want to run right home and work on my novel. I could be on the shelves at B&N too someday! People could be choosing my book to read out of all the others. That’s an exciting thought because I don’t write only for myself.

That feeling is the lightness and joy I feel when contemplating how I can create something new for the world. Yayyy!

But other times, like last Friday, I find it overwhelming and depressing to be around all those published books. Why bother writing? There’s so much great stuff to read already and I won’t even have time to make a dent in it. I don’t read enough as it is (according to my standards).

The weight of excuses starts piling up until I just want some form of escapism to take my mind off the idea of writing at all. Games, movies, TV, romance novels…

Also, the sticky whispers of self-sabotage start singing to me… you aren’t as good as these writers, you don’t have enough time or energy to write seriously, you have no contacts in publishing, you’ll never get anywhere, never be read by more than a few, never make money, yada yada blahhh…

I really wanted to buy a dozen books, go home and read like mad, and forget all about NaNoWriMo. But books are so costly! I still have a ton of crappy free ones on my Kindle and dammit I’m going to waste my brain on those.

And do NaNo like I said. I guess. 👻🎃

Eleven Eleven Eleven

Why are these award things stuck on 11 questions? It’s bizarre! Anyway, thanks to Anjali Sharma of Positive Side of the Coin for another Sunshine Award.

I don’t tag bloggers for awards. Far as I’m concerned, everyone who follows me is a ray of golden sun, so I encourage you to copy Anjali’s great questions and answer them on your own blog.

Anjali’s Questions–

1. What made you smile today?

– Knowing that my daughter and granddaughter will be here in a little while.

2. What is your biggest win?

– I won a sewing machine in a raffle in sixth grade. Gambling/lotteries have been all downhill since.

3. Your [motto] in life?

– Life is short; eat dessert first.

4. Your favourite movie?

– Dr. Zhivago, Young Frankenstein, When Harry Met Sally, You’ve Got Mail, An Officer and A Gentleman, Goodfellas, Risky Business, The Devil Wears Prada, lots of musicals… Sorry, can’t pick only one!

5. Your favourite books and author?

– The Unbearable Lightness of Being (Kundera); The Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald); Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman (Murakami); Ray Carver’s short stories, Jennifer Crusie’s contemporary romances, etc.

6. Why you love blogging?

– Self-expression, controlled, and at a distance.

7. Which is that one movie which has inspired you the most?

Risky Business.

8. If you have read my blogs, what’s your favourite blog written by me?

– I enjoy your overall happiness theme.

9. What’s best life advice you ever got from someone?

– Do nothing (when you are upset and don’t know what to do).

10. Your goal in life?

– Continue to have a great relationship with my daughters.

11. What is your definition of love?

– Family.

The Hocus Pocus Writing Tag

The Haunted Wordsmith tagged me with these Hocus Pocus related writing questions. I encourage all NaNoWriMo participants to grab ’em and play along!

1. Sarah, Mary & Winifred Sanderson: Being a witch is hard, but so is writing. If you had magical, witchy powers, what aspect of writing or what part of the process would you magically skip over?

– The part where I decide that my idea is trivial, boring, and waaay too complex all at the same time, so I abandon it for another idea that has exactly those attributes. 🙄

2. Max and Dani: What relationships tend to be at the core of your books? Friends? Family? Romance?

– Romance, even when it’s not a “romance novel” per se. 💕

3. Amuck, Amuck, Amuck!: How do you approach the chaos that is drafting? Are you a plotter, a pantster, or a combo of both?

– Generally, I am a pantster, though I have most of a plot in my head the whole time. Sometimes I will make notes for a few chapters ahead. Occasionally, I need more detail, if it’s important to keep dates exactly right, as in my current NaNo WIP. I never create anything remotely resembling a traditional outline, yucky. 😖

4. I Put a Spell on You: How do you deal with book ideas that want to pull your focus from your main WIP?

– Create a new folder with notes for later. Or, if the new idea is a billion times better, just start working on that one. It happens!

5. Thackery Binx: Things aren’t always what they seem–Think back to when you first started writing to where you are now. How has your process transformed from then to now?

– I had a hard time envisioning a complete novel back then. I could only imagine short scenes and bits of dialog. Consequently, after a few pages, my stories drifted into nothingness. Now, I haz visions. 👀

6. My Lucky Rat Tail: Do you have a writing ritual? If not, what are some of your favorite writing tools?

– I don’t have rituals, but I need uninterrupted quiet time when I’m not feeling stressed out in order to work on a novel. I can write poetry and flash fiction with less restriction.

7. Boooooookkk: Favorite Writing Craft Book?

– Probably On Writing by Stephen King.

8. Another Glorious Morning: Do you enjoy writing in the morning? Or do you prefer the evening, like Winnifred?

– It depends on the day. I used to love getting up early to write, but that doesn’t seem to work well for me these days. I have been writing more at night. 🌙

9. The Black Flame Candle: What’s one of the biggest mistakes you’ve made so far in your writing journey? OR What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned?

– Trying to write crap for money, and then hating it and not making money besides. (Not talking about romance novels ~ imo mine are good and I enjoy writing them.)

10. Billy Butcherson: What’s a trope that most people hate, but you love and would like to see “come back from the dead”?

– Idk what “most people” hate. People sneer at romance novels, yet they sell like mad. Certain romance tropes that I hate (we should only be talking about me, yes?) are: vampires, shapeshifters, twins, having to get back with your ex to solve a crime because he is the only cop on the planet, returning to your hometown and the studly guy from high school who never got over you even though you ran off like a crazy yada barf. 🤮

11. Come Little Children: Songs that give you a “hypnotic” focus when writing? I.e., fav songs on your writing playlist.

– WHY ARE THERE ELEVEN QUESTIONS AGAIN? This is too much of a coinkydink and I am calling conspiracy! What’s that bubbling noise…

Here Comes The Sun

And it goes up to eleven!!!11!! 😱😜😖

Supernova thank you to Pensitivity101 for the nom. You can click the link to see all the rules. I’m not a big fan of poasting rules or tagging bloggers for awards. Not that I don’t appreciate being honored. Far as I’m concerned, all my readers are nuggets of golden sunny bliss and should answer the questions if they wish. Naturally I shall add an additional question so that there will be twelve of them. Why would someone stop at eleven? So cray cray.

1. If you could be a flower, what would you choose to be and why?

– Something deadly. Obvious reasons.

2. What is your favourite meal ? (one, two or three courses allowed)

– In the morning, coffee or hot tea and a pastry. Any other time, seafood pasta or a steak salad and iced tea.

3. What is you favourite song, and why?

– Hotel California, long version. Because it’s awesome.

4. What is your favourite season of the year?

– Fall. But the Santa Ana winds suck. I’ve been waking up every day with the stuffies and itchies. 😡

5. Are you closest to friends, family or your pets?

– My daughters. 💜💛 But Gatsby 🐱 is my sweetie and my friends are fab!

6. Do you prefer living in the city or the country?

– Suburbs not too far from city life.

7. Which do you prefer, reading or writing?

– Both. You can’t be a good writer without constant reading. I love reading poetry, for one thing, along with all the great stories from the bloggers in my feed. Honestly, I’ve been neglecting my Kindle books because of it, oh well.

8. Are you left or right handed?

– Right.

9. Do crowded places bother you?

– It depends. If they’re super noisy, yes. If people are squashing up next to me, YES. But if there are merely lots of people and lots of space, such at a fairgrounds, then I’m fine.

10. Would you prefer a walk in the woods or a walk along the beach?

– I love hearing the waves, but since I can do that anytime, I’ll choose woods.

11. Can you keep a secret?

– Of course. I work at a law firm.

12. How do you think the world/humanity will end? (Thought I’d finish up on a cheery note.)

– I used to think war/nukes, and it could be that, but now I’m starting to go with the horrific plague version. Maybe that’s just wishful thinking cuz it’s nice to imagine all the critters left, going on as they would, without us messing up the planet further. Of course idk what would happen with the nukes already in existence if people failed to rotate them every year or whatever they do to follow proper maintenance. Speaking of, I got a recall notice on my Corolla, so annoying, gahhh!