Classic Number One

The first classic I picked up for the 2015 Classic Challenge was picked with another classic in mind. I read The Time Machine in sixth grade and was thinking how I enjoyed it but how little I remembered of the classic. I decided it would be better to read something I hadn’t read before so instead of a repeat in the classic category I would stay with the author. The War of the World by H.G. Wells is a classic that has created a rememberable radio show and epic movies but as any creative work they are nothing like the book.

I was surprise when I learned this novel is a sharp satire about British Imperialism. There is a comparison Wells makes about not judging the Martians to harshly and remember how ruthless our own species have been. He mentions, “The Tasmanians, in spite of their human likeness, were entirely swept out of existence in a war of extermination waged by European immigrants.” It is a theme that never goes away. It will always remain a classic. It is surprising that a novel label Science fiction a hundred years ago now reads stockily realistic. Much of the Martian’s science, Heat Rays and Gas, that destroys Victoria England seem very real reading today.

If you decide to pick up this classic don’t expect an action sequence every few pages. Action is few and far between the narrator questioning the human race and the self.

Whisked Away But Not Wasted Time

Friday. What happen to the week? I can say I am not ready to post and I don’t have a topic this week. This week I haven’t been focused on writing as much as reading. I have had the goal to finish A Dance With Dragons (A Song Of Ice And Fire #5) by George R.R. Martin and just did today. I feel relieved to finally be done and caught up but whenever I end one of these books I’m left with a little anxiety over the cliff hangers. Grrr. But it was a good read and week even with the lack of writing.

With that over I want to move on to a lighter read so I have more time to write. This means next Friday won’t sneak up on me (I hope) and I’ll have a story to tell. Until then here is a quote I think fits me and this week:

“I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.” – Douglas Adams

Change dishes to writing and this was my week.

New Year Reading Resolutions

I don’t believe in New Year Resolutions. Resolutions have a tendency to not get done when made in the beginning of a new year. Either we give up or make them too big and overwhelming. If you are planning to do something you could do at anytime during the year then you don’t need a new year to prove or change anything. My only New Year Resolution this year are writing, travel, and to complete the Goodreads 2014 Reading Challenge. While I don’t have to worry about my writing or travel future (Montreal. YAY!), I do have to come to terms with my reading goal being less than last year. I have to keep reminding myself that I plan to read thicker books in 2014. I shocked myself with my completed books of 2013. My goal was forty five and I read forty six books! For me that’s a lot when I consider myself a slow reader. I had increased the number mid-year and in December I didn’t think I would finish but I did.

Maybe it’s cheating but I like starting low with the option to increase. A few books on my to-read list this year are A Dance with Dragons by George R.R. Martin, and Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. I don’t know if I really want to ask this next question for fear of adding more books to my already too big to-read list but what do you hope to read in 2014? Do you have a reading number goal?

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Tea and Books.
Some books I read in 2013.

Literature Inspired Gifts

After the awesome mug I received for my birthday I decided to post a blog of some inspiring writing, reader, or author items. Some awesome literary themed things are from my own wish list. You may even find these great items can be gifts to that writer or reader friend/spouse/lova in your life.

Book Nerds may love this brass bracelet form etsy store, accessoreads. It’s the image of a vintage book shelf. No matter where you go you’ll have a library helping your style.

accessoreads Book Stack Cuff Bracelet

Next is a cover for an e-reader or table from GeekifyInc. It is leather, suede, wood, and metal. What I love about this cover is the title on the cover. The Neverending Story was not only an intriguing story but the cover doesn’t lie. All those stored reads on your table or e-reader really hold the neverending story supply.

The Neverending Story Cover from GeekifyInc.

Another favorite is the I Write canvas tote bag from BookFiend. Even though I’m not one to advertise that I like to write the vintage typewriter on the tote sells me on this bag.

I write. Canvas tote bag.

I know a lot of readers of my blog were loving my Write Drunk mug. I figured to add another little favorite of mine to this list. If you are a Harry Potter fan, this “Don’t Let The Muggles Get You Down” from AfternoonCoffee is the perfect mug. I see it for long days grinding away at a desk.

Don’t Let the Muggles Get you down.

Last but not least (I only say that because I can do a dozen of these blogs with literature themed fun stuff I don’t really need.) is this lithograph of The Last Unicorn by Peter S Beagle. A favorite book and movie has now become a favorite tote bag. Rachelle Meyer designed for Litograph this “The Last Unicorn” bag with the entire text and Unicorn design.  I’m in love.

The Last Unicorn Tote bag

At the End of Ocean Lane

I just finished reading The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman. It was a story that built up slowly then all of a sudden I was submerged. When it ended I couldn’t remember how to breathe. Then I sighed. The story really was like stepping into an ocean. With each step you get deeper and deeper and then there’s that sharp drop. But you’re not startled or afraid. It feels weird. I liked the strangeness.

Some of my favorite quotes:

“That’s the trouble with living things. Don’t last very long.”

“Nobody actually looks like what they really are on the inside. You don’t. I don’t. People are much more complicated than that. It’s true of everybody.”

“Different people remember things differently, and you’ll not get any two people to remember anything the same, whether they were there or not. You stand two of you lot next to each other, and you could be continents away for all it means anything.”

“You don’t pass or fail and being a person, dear.”

“Books were safer than other people anyway.”

“Grown-ups don’t look like grown-ups on the inside, either. Outside, they’re big and thoughtless and they always know what they’re doing. Inside, they look just like they always have. Like they did when they were your age. The truth is, there aren’t any grown-ups. Not one, in the whole wide world.”

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My Copy of The Ocean at the End of the Lane

I met Neil Gaiman

Last night I went to a Neil Gaiman book signing. It was at the Symphony Space theater in NYC. He was interviewed by Erin Morgenstern, the author of The Night Circus. She asked great questions but it appeared Neil Gaiman is an easy man to interview. He is very funny, informative, and inspirational. As a wanna be published writer (one day) I found his stories and his writing talk helpful. What’s great is his writing talk sounds it can go for any creative job, like art, or programing. As Mr. Gaiman said the author is the architect and building the story.

He read a few pages from his recent book, The Ocean At The End of The Lane. It’s interesting to learn how other creative people work on their art. Gaiman said he didn’t outline. The characters were always there waiting patiently in his head. He used Doctorow’s quote, “Writing is like driving at night in the fog. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.” as an example except he said writing this novel was like driving down a dark country road, in the misty fog, with one head light. He always seemed to have a foggy idea where is was heading with the story. Also, I loved he described his story growing and almost creating itself starting out as a short story and growing into a novella than a novel.

My ticket included a personally signed copy of the book. Plus, he would signed one other book for all fans. Mr. Gaiman is an amazing author and he stayed until every last person had a signed copy. Waiting around I met wonderful people and we talked books, tv, and movies to pass the time. I was seated in row Q so he signed my copy a little after 11:30pm. I couldn’t help thinking while heading home that he was still there signing.

Erin Morgenstein was signing copies of her book. She ran out of copies of her book but continued to sign for fans. She was nice enough to sign the inside cover of my kindle. She jump started my new goal. I had Mr. Gaiman sign the inside of my kindle cover as well. I have always loved cracking a book and now I love opening my kindle cover with these two authors signers. I hope to get more author signers on this cover and when it’s full maybe I will put this in a frame on my wall and start another cover. I wasn’t the only one with new, on our feet, signing ideas. Another women had her signing the back of her nook and one other her iPad. It was an amazing, fantastic, and enlightening experience. Of course, meeting both authors, I said maybe two word to each of them. AHHHH! I was less then a foot away from real authors. (Jump up and down with nervous, exciting energy). Nevertheless, I wouldn’t change a thing.

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Neil Gaiman Signing The Ocean at the End of the Lane.

What An Inferno Printing Error!

My mom has been reading Dan Brown’s Inferno. She has really been enjoying the mystery and suspense. Around page 300 she became confused. The story jumped back to a section of the book she had already read before.

The video shows the printing error she encountered with her copy.

It seemed this one section (I believe it is called, “a book signature”) in the book was switched with a past section. Double Day (where the book was purchase) was very nice and are sending a replacement. The woman on the phone hasn’t heard of anymore copies having this issue. We get to keep this copy but I have no idea what we are going to do with it. My mom’s only issue is she has to wait to read what happens.

Has anyone else every had this problem?

Green Thumb May Be Present

This post is late because I had to finish a book. It is number two in a trilogy and called, Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor. Couldn’t tear myself away from the last 100 pages. Now I have to wait for the third to be released to find out what happens. I don’t know if I should scream, growl, or cry.

Now, for some patience rewarded and what I’m really going to write about are the little seedlings I planted almost a month ago. I had no information on how long it would take to see green and I had some worry nothing would come from the seeds. I know Basil seeds grow quick because I grew Basil before and two to three weeks was written on the seed package. But I had no information on the Romanian seeds. Finally, last week I started seeing green! It’s so rewarding to see those little leaves peak up from the dirt. If you have been reading my post, “Grandma was right” will make perfect sense. If not, Grandma had dried pepper seeds and told me they would work better that the package seeds were crap. The pepper seeds showing off their green are Grandma’s.

Below are some pictures of the seedlings. It seems some seeds didn’t make it. Some people are telling to not loss hope so I keep watering dirt.

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Three pepper starters in the row and one Endiva on top. Looks like a few didn’t make it.
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Beginnings of Basil