Thursday, January 26, 2012

Blog Chain: Snippets of Me

Kate, who like me, is inspired by the photos and quotes and memes people post online, started this blog chain with a fun topic:

Post pictures, songs, movie clips, poems, or novel excerpts that make you feel. Feel what, you ask? Feel anything. Happy. Sad. Angry. Nostalgic. Hopeful. Hopeless. Jealous. Joyful. 

I have read in several different places that YA novelist John Green said of his latest novel, The Fault In Our Stars that he wants to make his readers "Feel All The Things." I would love that someone could go through this blog chain and through what we all choose to post have that same Feel All The Things feeling.

Cool, huh? Michelle M's post is here, and Margie will post after me. Now, here come the feelings in a nostalgic tidal wave of unicorns...

"The unicorn lived in a lilac wood, and she lived all alone. She was very old, though she did not know it, and she was no longer the careless color of sea foam, but rather the color of snow falling on a moonlit night. But her eyes were still clear and unwearied, and she still moved like a shadow on the sea..."

The Hideaway I long to read this amazing book again in...

The hideaway I can afford (sans fireplace, gold teapot and pricey bolsters)...

Thinking of that makes me a little sad. But not as teary-eyed as this makes me:
"Sometimes, when I clean a kill, I feed Buttercup the entrails. He has stopped hissing at me.

Entrails. No hissing. This is the closest we will ever come to love."

Even sadder...

And now, to turn your frown upside-down (not mine, but my sweet Greynell looked just like this once upon a time):
Another childhood favorite (without the drawings of Quentin Blake, Roald Dahl's work just wouldn't be as memorable for me):

Just for snarfs (and to boldly speak the harsh, rubberized truth):

To be fair, I need to counter that with this:

I suppose that includes Crocs. Hmph. ;)

Finally, just in case you were wondering what tea you should be drinking (since tea always makes me feel joyful)...

Monday, January 23, 2012

Streamlined... Well, A Little, Anyway

Lately I've been focusing on streamlining my life. Sort of a New Year's Resolution, only I can't call it that or it won't get done.

Anyway, I've noticed that little steps lead to lots of saved time in the long run. Over the years, I've frittered away more time than I can imagine, just trying to navigate the blogs I follow.

I use the Blogger Dashboard, which is great, but makes it difficult to find a particular blog... well, it does when you discover you're trying to scroll through 360+ blogs. O_o? Being the time waster that I am, I figured it would be interesting to see just how many blogs I could drop, for one reason or another. (anything to procrastinate to keep from writing, right? :P )

So I clicked on manage followed blogs, and systematically, and with the judicious help of extra internet tabs, discovered that many of the blogs no longer existed. Yes, I was as surprised as you are. At least a dozen of them were just gone.

Another large chunk hadn't posted since the third quarter of 2011, and posted sporadically before that. If it was a blogger I had no rapport with, had never exchanged emails or couldn't remember any of their previous posts, I unfollowed.

Another reason I unfollowed certain blogs was that they were now invite only, so in the interest of time and ruthless streamlining, I hit unfollow. I didn't remember any exchanges I'd had with any of these bloggers, so I just didn't sweat it.

By the time I'd finished the alphabet (Wish I would have realized that my blog would be lumped with the T's instead of the L's when I named it. Duh.), I was down to 315. So some 50 blogs were just clogging up my reader, when I only really regularly read about a hundred. Not a huge number, but close to a sixth of the blogs I was reading, which seems like a lot more.

Now if I could only apply this streamlining to the rest of my life. Need to start using my phone to remind me of things, like I always swear I'm going to do (like blog-chain posts). Or maybe change my outgoing voicemail message to something with my voice, instead of that scary computer lady reading my phone number back to you. But first, maybe I'd better clear off the huge pile of mail that's accumulated on my desk. It's mostly junk mail, anyway. ;) Baby steps.

What about y'all? Have you done anything to help streamline your life lately? Even if it's only a little thing? They do add up!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Blog Chain: The Spaces we Remember

This Blog Chain post was started by Jon, who asked...

Imagine the home(s) where you grew up, and start drawing a floor plan. As you draw, memories will surface. Grab onto one of those memories and tell us a story.

You see, the thing is, we moved around a lot when I was a kid. Like, every three years. So my homes were always different, but somehow, always the same. Army housing all starts to look alike after a while. But the school I went to when I lived in Germany was an old building with a ton of twists and turns and a huge, romantic library. A building that always pops up in my imagination when I'm reading, and sometimes when I'm writing. Its halls have doubled for Hogwarts, stood in for myriad halls and castles from Elizabethan England to Middle Earth.
Halloween was the best, when the teachers and parents would create a haunted house that sprawled throughout the library and down a high-ceilinged hall. My mother and I were both vampires on the year that most colors my memories. Somehow cheap polyester spiderwebs and black plastic had transformed my school into an unrecognizable house of horrors, with scary music and floating wisps of smoke. I held my mother's hand tighter, despite how strange it felt in the white gloves she was wearing. Bats, rats, snakes, all closed in around us.

Something moved in the shadows and something huge and black lunged toward us. A man with a white face and a shiny black cape. I screamed, and hid my face in my mothers arms and she laughed and told me not to be afraid. Then she carried me all the way through the haunted house and no one else bothered us. I thought she was invincible, and nothing could harm her. I was six. ;)

See what space Christine posted about before me, and what Margie posts next!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Five Pentacle Review: A Million Suns, by Beth Revis

I know, I know, the last book I reviewed also got five pentacles. What can I say? I've been reading a lot of fabulous books lately. And A Million Suns, the second book in the Across the Universe trilogy, is no exception.

Without giving anything away for anyone who hasn't read it or Across the Universe, this book was everything I hoped it would be, and more. Between the fast paced chapters, the tantalizing ending, and a plot thicker than Southern gravy, it was unputdownable. I finished it in a matter of hours, and now I feel like if I don't find out what happens next I'll die!

Throughout the story you're constantly second-guessing what you know—or think you know—based on the clues Amy and Elder discover. Clues left predominantly by the last person they would expect to help them. And the last person they trust. If you cared about the characters at all in Across the Universe, you'll grow to love them even more in A Million Suns. I know I did. So much so that I had to email Beth and tell her how much I enjoyed reading it. Yeah, I'm a shameless fangirl like that. ;)

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Can't Blog...

Reading A Million Suns. ;)