24 June 2011

Starting to Relax

I finally got my grad school application submitted. I'm still waiting on one recommender, but then it's all finished. I'm trying to get this medical junk taken care of and even though I've had no luck with jobs, it looks like things are FINALLY starting to settle out a bit. It took long enough. 

I'm really hoping that this settling out business will allow me to start writing again with some regularity. Really.

If nothing else, I'll have more book updates. I'm reading The Te of Piglette and The Secret Holocaust Diaries right now, so I should have plenty to be updating on soon. 

What keeps you ridiculously busy during your summers?

21 June 2011

Another day, another book

So, book 17 on my list is A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle. After hearing what a great book it was since I was in the fourth grade and since I very much enjoy a good YA novel, I decided it was finally time to read it. 

I was surprised. It kinda got Dark Knighted for me - by which I mean the build up for the book was so big that I didn't like it as much as everyone said I would.

Don't get me wrong, though. It was a good book. Tessering was an interesting time travel invention that took the shimmery, centaur-like guardian angel things to a whole new science fiction level with their interplanetary travel. Very interesting idea. I was surprised how obvious the religion was in it. The idea that love conquers evil conclusion made me feel even a little more ripped off by JK Rowling than I already did (for such a crappy epilogue).

For all of the build up, I felt the climax and conclusion were a little obvious and abrupt, but then I keep having to remind myself that this is a YA novel. Perhaps, I just give young adults more credit than I ought to. I was reading Tolkien to some effect by the fourth grade (which is why I skipped things like A Wrinkle in Time in the first place). I have a friend who's  getting into the business of writing YA and I'm fairly excited to see what she brings to the genre. :) 

Another book closer to my goal. 

Did you ever read A Wrinkle in Time? What did you think?

16 June 2011

Another book challenge update

And so quickly too!

16) Elisha's Bones (Don Hoesel) 

This book was a not-quite-Dan-Brown, conspiracy theory, archaeological, gun-fighting, kill-or-be-killed book. There were some definite slow points and it was written well after Dan Brown's huge hit (which I never read). I suppose I'm just being a bit snobby about Dan Brown really. I don't think his idea was that original. Well done, but not original. People started freaking out about how Jesus might have had children (which the French have been claiming since Charlemagne or earlier) and that there might be corruption and conspiracy in the Catholic Church (anyone read their history of the middle ages? no? okay, just me then...). This book was kinda fun though. A new twist in the Egyptian connection to South America saga. They also end up in Australia, which is a nice new location. It's mostly political by the time it gets there, but most of the archaeological evidence has been collected by then. The standard secret societies passing antiquities which is all tied up in other secret societies thing. Nice escapist literature - you know the kind. 

What do you think? Should I get off my high horse and read Dan Brown?

14 June 2011

Book Challenge Update

After a weekend away (and much neglecting of recording the books I've read), there hasn't been as much writing as reading, so it's time to update the book challenge.

13) Little Men (Louisa May Alcott) - late May

I had never read this one before. I had managed to read Little Women and Jo's Boys, but never Little Men. It was interesting to see Alcott's take on the moral life manual for boys in the way that Little Women was a moral life manual for girls. Of course nothing can be simplified to one intention or purpose, but I can imagine this broadened Alcott's audience.

14) Jo's Boys (Louisa May Alcott) - early June

I love this book. I've read it once before, but I like that Alcott starts to steer away from the starkly episodic moral tales of the boys and starts to really get at their developing personalities as she did with the four sisters in Little Women. The balance of the older students with the younger children evens out the cast for a nice well rounded story. 

15) The Tao of Pooh (Benjamin Hoff) - June 12

As my husband is a scholar of Chinese Philosophy, this popular introduction to Taoism was great for those of us with a little less background. :) I think that Hoff was not as sympathetic nor as generous as he might have been with his descriptions of Confucianism and Buddhism, but I have been told that he mellows by the time he has written The Te of Piglet (which you should expect to see on this list soon). 

Lots of reading - I'm halfway to my goal! I'm currently reading a book I got for free for the Kindle titled Elisha's Bones. It's not quite Dan Brown (whose works I have thus far neglected to read), but it's kinda fun. 

What book are you reading?

08 June 2011

In the Garden

These days my poems come strangely and awkwardly, like a teenager into their lengthened limbs. 

In the Garden

My hands covered in dirt till the soil, reaching
growing downward like roots. You question the foundations
of my faith – that which I have built myself upon
as I plant carrots and beets. I smile upward as the sun
strokes my hair and back. Its warmth comforts and envelops
my little leaves spiraling out from my stem. Your raincloud,
refreshing, quenches my thirst and feeds my willowy limbs.
Only as the sun reappears do you find me in bloom.

05 June 2011

My Literary People

Do you ever get in that situation in which you have been working at something diligently, but then you have one long conversation and suddenly there's this great big new thing out there too? 

Yeah... that's what happens when I get with my literary people. I have a few of them. If you go back through the poems on the site you'll see some commentary from one of them. I had dinner and drinks with the other a few days ago and let's just say after listening to way to much about Dr. Who (series 5 and 6) and her latest literary triumphs and opportunities, I'm getting the feeling like I've got something new brewing. I've been working on world building for a particular world for a few years. I've got characters and even some plot line. I know everything except what happens in the middle (which is the worst place to be stuck). 

But since this set of conversations I had recently, I've been having weirder dreams than usual (which is quite difficult for me - I always have strange, outlandish dreams) and I can feel the cogs turning up in my brain. There's something on the move. I don't know if it'll be something new or an adjustment to something old, but there's something moving around and ticking up there. I guess there's nothing to do but wait until it's a bit more formed.

What do you do when you have an idea forming?

02 June 2011

River Sketches

Today was the first day that we got out to the trail. Our trail. I got to sit out at the river a bit and get a few words onto paper. It's nothing much - just the things that float through one's head while listening to the water flow:

Softly the waterfall of thoughts turns

to white noise, gurgling and flowing past me.
Slowly beneath the surface fish spot their prey
settling on the surface tension
                                    nothing left but waves


Leaves drop one by one into the current
drifting lazily, then picking up speed,
never knowing when the tipping edge will come
to toss them, turn them asunder.


From among the greens a peacock flutter,
dragonflies cloud my vision