Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Announcing the Fantasy Reading Frenzy

I've decided to host my own reading challenge for 2012.  I would have announced it sooner but I was waiting for an artist to complete a commission only to be told the day before Christmas that it wasn't going to happen.  Oops.  Oh well.  So I apologize for the belated announcement.

For more information and to sign up:  click here.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Following/Unfollowing Follow-Up

I have unfollowed all blogs (see below).
But I have created a blog roll (see blog list to the right).
If your blog is not there and should be there, please leave a comment.  
I may have dropped a blog or two unintentionally.

So whatever the glitch was, apparently blogger has begun to fix it.

I can no unfollow all blogs.  Unless the blog was deleted.  In which case, it is still there in my feed.  Which is just weird because I still contend that the easiest ones not to follow are the ones that don't exist.

People have been following things that don't exist for millenia so maybe I'm being naive.

What does this mean?

Well, I've decided to unfollow every blog I am currently following.  However, I've also added a blog roll to the sidebar so I can still keep up with the blogs I'm reading.  This also gives me more control because I add or remove each blog manually, rather than trusting blogger's feed to do it right.  So if someone deletes a blog, I can easily do the same from my blog roll.  No unnecessary clutter.  And no twinge of sadness when I'm reminded of a blog that is gone because of something that happened, something that shouldn't have happened.

The truth is, I still have some pruning I need to do from the blog roll list but I can do that later. I am too busy playing catch up with other things to do that at this time.

But hey!  At least blogger fixed whatever the issue was.  Now if only I could unfollow blogs that don't exist . . . .

EDIT:  Back when the glitch was still in place, I tried several different ways to unfollow blogs.  Now that the glitch has been fixed, I went ahead and tried a different way to unfollow blogs and I was able to delete the blogs that no longer exist.  So yay!  I am officially not following any blogs.  However, my blog roll suggests that I am reading several blogs that haven't been updated in a while.  Make of that what you will.  I've wasted a whole morning doing this and now it's time for me to go do something else, something fun and productive.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

And Whatever Happened to the Weekly Quotes???

Same thing:  returning to school disrupted my routine and I never got into a rhythm that gave me space for all of the usual things.

However, just as with the “wondrous words,” I continue to collect quotes and it is my intention to resume sharing them in January.  If I were to try to back-track, catch-up with the backlog of quotes, no doubt we would all be overwhelmed.  So my intention is to share them a few at a time.  It will be odd to see books I’ve read weeks and ever months previously.  Better that than try to shove them all into one post or even a few posts.

And I may move the weekly quotes to Monday, leaving room for "Friday Randomness" to also return, should some randomness come my way.  I sort of let that drop to the wayside as well because there were too many things happening on Friday. 

The end of the year is not that far off and I’m still trying to get all my ducks in a row.  I think it may be time to trade out the ducks for something more linear.  Like ants.  Ants march in a long straight line, don't they?  Only, I don't like anything with more than four legs so I guess I'll stick with the ducks.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Whatever Happened to My Wondrous Words?

During school I gradually let go of a few things, including “Wondrous Words Wednesdays” and “Weekly Quotes” but I’ve still been collecting both.  I’ll be creating posts to update beginning with the new year.  This way, when school starts again, the posts will still be there and I’ll have time to build some more posts even when I don’t have as much time to create them. 

So expect a return to some of my routine to begin with the new year.  I also plan on making time for movie and television reviews again but not sure that I’ll be doing that as a monthly or weekly thing just yet.  Monthly is so much content.  Then again, weekly is not unlike trying to do weekly wondrous words and quotes so I have to come up with a reasonable compromise. 

Still on the fence with the upcoming changes that blogger is forcing upon its users.  I’ve already said it would be a deal breaker if the problems I encountered when I first switched to the new dashboard haven’t been fixed.  While I wasn’t holding my breath, I was somewhat optimistic.  But then I had the problems with “following” and now I’m not feeling overly confident in blogger’s fixing things that are wrong.  After all, I can’t be the only one who thinks something is wrong when someone can’t un-follow a blog that’s been deleted.  I mean, seriously, how hard is it not to follow something that isn’t there (or going anywhere)?

But I guess I’m optimistic enough to be making plans for next year.  The only reason I’m not holding my breath is because it would make me feel dizzier than I already am; and I can’t cross my fingers because it’s really hard to type when my fingers are crossed.  Believe me.  I’ve tried.  It’s a mess.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Gloomy Gray Day Surprise

It is another gray and gloomy day here and the lovely sound of the rain is like an invitation to stay in bed and read a good book.  Then I walked into the room and saw the holiday lights dangling from our eaves and smiled because if it were not gloomy, I would not have seen them sparkling as they are against the holly tree outside the window.  This is the same holly tree that attracts the birds and squirrels that are a constant and delightful distraction as I write.

I apologize for the poor quality of this photograph taken through a window screen.  It was the best I could do.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

21-Day Challenge - Yoga Journal

21-Day Challenge - Yoga Journal:
This ties in beautifully with my intention to explore Hinduism beginning in January.
Now if only I could get google to stop making changes that trigger my vertigo, life would be perfect. Or pretty darn near perfect. 'via Blog this'


Edit:  Never mind.  Apparently nothing works and once you've followed a blog you'll follow it forever and ever.  Even if it's been deleted and no longer exists, you'll still follow it apparently into some sort of blogger hell.  

So the secret to unfollowing a blog in blogger is to use Internet Explorer.  It's really that simple.

One would think it would be just as simple to do it in Firefox but not so much.

One would think it would be easiest in Chrome (what with both services--Chrome and Blogger--being Google-based services) but no, such is not the case.

My love affair with Google is now over.  I'm not getting a divorce . . . but I am no longer as blissfully happy as before.  In other words, dear Google, the honeymoon is over and you can cook your own damn dinner and fold your own damn laundry.

Saturday, December 03, 2011


Rob and I are going to decorate the tree while watching It’s a Wonderful Life.  As we were sitting down to dinner the conversation went something like this:
Me:  I set the reminder on the television even though we’ll be watching it in the other room.
Rob:  Okay.
Me:  Otherwise, we might forget.
Rob:  You mean you might forget.
Me:  No.  I mean we might forget.
Towards the end of our meal, after talking about a variety of other things.
Rob:  I won’t wait three years to tell you something, baby.
Me:  I appreciate that.
Rob:  For one thing, I might forget. 
This one's more an inside joke plus a peek into how our conversations very often come full circle. 

The Official Fifteen in 2012 Reading List

This is the official list for the Fifteen in 2012.  For those of you new to me and my blog, I try to pull fifteen books that have been on my bookshelf for too long, those books I bought on a whim or were given to me or just have gone unread for whatever reason.  This is the third year of my doing this and I’ve managed to rid my life and my bookcases of several books.  A few I’ve passed on to others that may appreciate them or even enjoy them.  A very few I’ve decided to keep. 

What happens if I don’t read a book that’s on the list by December 31st?  I have to add it to the giveaway pile, even if I think it’s one I want to keep.  Because whether I want to keep or not, I’m obviously never going to get around to reading it and I’d like to have room on my bookshelves for books I want to, have read and know I’ll read again, or have read and may either read again or give it to someone I love and feel would love to read it.

Basically, read or get rid of it. 

So here are the fifteen books I’ve pulled to be read by the end of 2012.  

Three Cheers for Pooh by Brian Sibley
I picked this up in a second hand store earlier this year so I suppose it hasn’t been around long enough to qualify as a “read it and get rid of it” imperative but I really really want to read it. Really. So I’m adding it to this list almost in defiance of the intention of this list. And while I do apologize, I’m not truly sorry. So there! But, to make up for the fact that it really hasn’t been here for long enough, I’m adding a trilogy, which I honestly could count as three books but I will only count as one.

At a Journal Workshop by Dr. Ira Progoff
I’ve had this book since the mid 90’s and I have tried to read it alone but there is a lot of preliminary work that needs to be done—a notebook to pull together, dreams to record, and such. I even tried to lead an online reading group about this book but something happened and I had to stop. Anyway, I’ve been recording some of my dreams for a while and I believe I have enough journaling from the last year or two to be able to make full use of this book. I’m eager to do so because this journaling method is very methodical and not at all my usual style of recording the daily events of my life. It may prove to be an utter failure of an experience, one that does not complement my style whatsoever. Or it may open up new things for me. I’ll never know until I sit down and work through the book so this is the year I am going to make it happen!

The Golden Bough by Sir James George Frazier
Obviously, I’m reading an abridged version of this book because there are thirteen volumes all told and I don’t have the time nor the inclination to read the unexpurgated version. It’s still a pretty long book so I think it’ll be okay. I’ve been wanting to read this since it was mentioned in a literature class by a professor I admired very much. She made the book sound fascinating and my curiosity has remained piqued. I’m definitely looking forward to reading this book.  I've even given copies to other people, suggesting we could read it together because I know that this is one of those books that will invite much discussion. Unfortunately, I'm beginning to think that this book is the kiss of death for my friendships because each and every time the friend has disappeared, never to be heard from again.  So now I won't give it as a gift to anyone and I guess I'll read it by myself.

The Rig Veda translated by Jaroslav Pelikan
I’ve already said that this year I’ll be reading some books on Hinduism and this book is the impetus behind that decision. I picked this book up in the early 90s and have been wanting to read it for a long time but never made time for it. Now it will be a priority for me. I only hope that I don’t find it too confusing because sacred texts can be challenging to read with appreciation and I truly want to enjoy reading this text.  I'll probably keep a dictionary close by or something to which I can refer to keep the different deities straight in my mind.  Or perhaps I won't and I'll just let myself read the text without trying to understand it from an intellectual perspective for once.  Wouldn't that be a refreshing change of pace?

Zen and the Art of Making a Living by Laurence G. Boldt
I don’t really know why I picked up this book when I did. I think I liked the size of it and, after skimming through it several times, catching random quotes that I definitely appreciated for making me pause and think, I eventually bought the book, brought it home and I started to read it but never finished it. This is the year I will finally read this book cover to cover.  But I'll probably hold off on reading it for the second half of the month, after I've finished looking at Hinduism, for the sake of my own sanity and not to confuse matters for myself more than is absolutely necessary.

Healing Mind, Healthy Woman by Alice Domar
I honestly have no clue how long I’ve had this book on my shelves. I know I bought it as a remainder because it has a remainder mark. It was originally published in 1997 and my edition is a first edition so let’s say sometime in 1997 or 1998 I picked this up. Let’s assume I’m going to like it. I’d hate to be disappointed in it but that is probably why I have avoided reading it. It sounds good, maybe even really good. And so, rather than be disappointed, I’ll just admire it from afar or something. Which obviously makes utterly no sense whatsoever. And that is why it is now on the list of “read it or get rid of it” books.

Forever by Pete Hamill
Here’s another remainder bargain book I picked up and never bothered to read. It sounds like an interesting story, or interesting enough I bought it. It’s about a man who arrives in New York City in 1740 and lives there forever. The author is “acclaimed” although I’ve never read anything by him before, that I can recall. I like to try to have one or two novels in my list or the whole list will become a burden rather than a pleasure and life can get complicated at times. That’s when reading a novel is not only a joy but even a necessity.

Life Makeovers by Cheryl Richardson
My mother gave me this book ages ago. I don’t think she even read it, frankly. I suspect she heard about it or heard the author in an interview and bought me a copy on a whim. Or maybe it came recommended to her and she thought I would like it. Either way, I tried to read this once before and, since then, I haven’t really been blown away by anything I’ve read from this author. But that’s not a reason to avoid this book any longer. If anything, that is a good reason for me to add it to this list because if I’ve been avoiding reading it then it’s about time I just read it or get rid of it already.

The Writer’s Journal by Sheila Bender
I love writers. I love journals. I love writing. I love journaling. I love writing in my journal. Naturally, I would want to read this book. So why haven’t I? I have no clue. I’d like to believe that reading a book like this would 1) introduce me to a new author or two (or more) and 2) that it would inspire me to write more, in my own journal and perhaps beyond. So it seems apropos to put this book on the list because I can only assume that I’ve avoided it because I don’t want it to disappoint or discourage me. Or it could very well delight me and I’ll never know until I’ve read it. This year, finally, I’ll know. And maybe I’ll remember to share whether or not it inspired me above and beyond in my own writing/journaling.

Arthurian Trilogy by Gillian Bradshaw
I can’t say how long I’ve had this trilogy because it has been longer than I can remember. And yet I’ve never read the books. Perhaps because I’ve read a few Arthurian based novels which I loved and a few that had disappointed. I simply didn’t want to read another book, let alone a series of them, that would let me down. The three books are: The Hawk in May, The Kingdom of Summer, and In Winter’s Shadow. If I can’t avoid these books indefinitely, however, and, since I cannot even remember how long I’ve had them already I obviously need to make reading them a priority. (The fact that they fit in with my Fantasy Reading Frenzy doesn’t hurt either.)

The Writer’s Idea Workshop by Jack Heffron
This is the book you all helped to choose. And thank you! I’m adding it to my list and
Creating Fiction by Julie Checkoway will be an alternate. If I somehow manage to read through all of the other books or perhaps I want to read another book on writing, Checkoway’s will be my next choice since it came in by a marginal second. As I work through the Heffron book, I’ll try to share what I do, as far as writing goes. I have no idea how coherent the results will be but it should be fun sharing what I produce, a gesture on my part, a way of saying that I appreciate your reading along.  (The image is from Heffron's other book because, for some reason, amazon.com didn't provide an image link for this one.  Weird but nothing I can do about it.)

After the King edited by Martin H Greenberg
I’ve had this book since the very end of the last century. I bought it for someone else, actually, and the relationship fell apart so I had the book. Not that this necessarily bothered me. I had hoped to borrow it from him when he was finished with it but the feelings were too raw at the time to read it so soon after the breakup. I recently discovered it in a box that had gone unpacked for too long and I guess the feelings are no longer raw because I am eager to read it at last.  Besides, it fits in with the whole Fantasy Reading Frenzy I have planned.

Walden by Henry David Thoreau
I know; this is one of those books I ought to have read by now. That’s probably why I have more than one copy of it. So yeah. I need to read this book and I pretty much need to read it this year because if I decide to keep it as a permanent addition to my collection, I should at least get rid of one of the copies I currently have cluttering my shelf. Besides, what self-respecting English major hasn’t read this book? Please tell me there are others like me out there because I really can’t bear the thought that I am truly the only one.

Heights of the Marvelous edited by Todd Colby
I always try to have one poetry book in the list and this year I am adding this one in spite of the fact that I a probably going to keep it when all is said and done. I bought it on a whim because I loved the idea of its having poems about New York, my home. Then I stumbled upon Beau Sia’s Howl which is such an amazing piece. There are other poets I recognize but most of them I do not so this collection is bound to open me up to some new voices. I certainly hope so.

Spiritual Literacy edited by Frederic Brussat and Mary Ann Brussat
And last but not least, an ecumenical collection of quotes organized thematically that I’ve been meaning to read ever since I picked it up. But it’s not a book one reads like a novel or workbook or something so I didn’t really do more than dip into it every now and again. But I have established a morning routine that includes my reading from different books and this one will fit in nicely with that routine. Of course, if I find any quotes I particularly like, I’ll share them with you in the weekly quotes posts.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Quote of the Day

This is actually via email and in response to my forwarding an email to Rob with diabetes-friendly holiday recipes.
Me:  Egg Nog!
Rob:  I actually printed the gingerbread recipe earlier.
People accuse me of not being the most subtle person and I agree.  But really, how much more obvious do I need to be?

Nanowrimo and PAD Challenge

So the question is:  How did I do?

The answer is, very well indeed.  Over 54,000 words for nanowrimo and pages of notebook jottings that I may be able to pull together into poems for the Poem-a-Day challenge.

But I wrote most of it so disjointedly, between moments of studying, or after I had finished when it was already late and I needed to go to bed an hour earlier.

Today is the last day of class so I will have all of next month to see what I can salvage.  In the meantime, I skimmed through what I wrote.  Some of what follows are fragments of poems, sometimes a single line.  Some of this is memoir but some of it is not.  In other words, don't rely on first person perspective to define what is me and what is merely a character I created.  None of this is revised.  Perhaps none of it is even going to be worth revising when all is said and done.  But nothing is ever wasted and I offer it to you as proof.

Proof of what?  I have no clue.  I hope you enjoy!

He was so damaged though and with good reason.  And these stories that came out like threads were only woven together in hindsight.  Even now, I cannot remember which I knew first and which I inferred and learned by asking questions, treading lightly, careful not to reopen wounds that, frankly, I can’t know were ever healed.
For all I know, they are even now bleeding.
he said “you’re so angry”
I said “your heart is the size of your fist”
watched as he curled his fingers,
looked down at me
lifted up his arm to look
at me beyond his fist
It was, at first, a disconnect.  Random misspellings or typos.  Nothing that a quick edit couldn’t fix.  But small miscalculations added up and making change in the checkout line was too frustrating to even try.  Using her debit card was a casual compromise.  A debit card didn’t come with GPS and the ice cream was mostly melted by the time she pulled into the driveway.
You who came to me with questions and tried to dry my tears
Diamonds become unbearable burdens, pressured into sharp edges,
Shining too bright and blinking, the fire frozen gem falsely refracting

And all of this would be funny if it weren’t true and happening.  It’s hard to know where one resentment ends and the other begins.  In some ways it does feel like history repeating itself but whose?

Do my words look like I’m panicked yet? 

When your best is not good enough, what do you do?
What I remember is that I fell in love with him because, in spite of all this horrible history, he was a gentleman.  He’d hold the door open for me, hold my hand, and even walk on the “outside” of the street, a gesture most men don’t even consider any longer.  No doubt it’s rooted in days when streets were merely dirt roads and when a horse or horse-drawn carriage would pass by, it was not unusual for mud to be splashed onto pedestrians.  And how he would dance around to the other side of me to be on the side of me that was closest to the traffic.  It was distracting and confusing, but I eventually become so accustomed to it that I would just adjust along with him.
The month of June was very sympathetic.
“You know, if I’m going to be kicked when I’m down, that’s fine.  Kick away.  I know I’ll get up.  Maybe not today but I’ll be damned if I’m going to stay down.  And if I’m going to be kicked around more than once, let it all hit me on one day so that when I do get up it will be once and I can move on.”
Anger feels better than fighting back tears.  

How easily your uneasy hand could have staid itself, stayed silent, and yet

I am the keeper of who you were

Many of his stories were connected to his scars.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Check Out the Poll! Please . . .

It’s been ages and ages since I created a poll and as I was adding to my Fifteen in 2012 list I realized that this is a perfect opportunity to invite you, my readers, to voice your opinion on one of the books to be added.

Yes, this is in addition to my studying Hinduism for a few months and in addition to the Fantasy Reading Frenzy but I’ve been doing the “Fifteen” list for a couple of years now and I feel it’s very effective at helping me reduce the clutter in my life. 

But before I offer your choices, I want to put one thing out there.  If you have one of these books and wanted to read it and/or work through it as well, then don’t hesitate to tell me.  I’d be interested in reading along with someone else.  Especially one of the following.  So look over the list, then look for the poll, and then look for the “Fifteen in 2012” post where you will see for yourself which book received the most poll votes. 
Please Note:  The descriptions are taken from amazon.com (unless otherwise noted).  Also, books are listed by author’s last name and should not be construed as an order of preference.

The Art and Craft of Poetry by Michael Bugeja
With The Art & Croft of Poetry, poets will build their poetry-writing skills with help from past and contemporary masters - everything from generating ideas to examining the finished poem. They'll learn how to:. Use journals to develop their observational skills and turn life experiences into ideas for poems. Master the tools of the trade - voice, line, stanza, title, metre and rhyme. Acquire fluency in a variety of poetry formats and forms, everything from narrative, lyric and dramatic verse (traditional formats) to fixed, free and sequence styles (traditional forms). Fine tune their work Exercises, assignments and sample work from more than 100 standout poets - everyone from Walt Whitman to Louise Gluck - ensure that every reader, whether poet, student or bibliophile, discovers just how extraordinary poetry can be.

Creating Fiction by Julie Checkoway
Readers will learn how to revise and edit from Jane Smiley. They will find ways to evoke time and place from Richard Russo. Charles Johnson offers a passionate discussion of the writer's apprenticeship. Lan Samantha Chang presents strategies for structuring stories. Charles Baxter explores tone and emphasis. The 24 contributors to Creating Fiction - members of the Associated Writing Programs - have won awards such as the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, and the National Magazine Award. The have led workshops, published stories and novels, and now their experience and wisdom can be found in one landmark book. Their sage advice, combined with more than 100 writing exercises, assure that Creating Fiction will engage and delight readers at any level of experience.  

How to Write a Poem by Lawrence Dessner
Please Note:  This book is out-of-print and the description is from the jacketflap.
How to Write a Poem is a university professor’s rendition, in book form, of his lively and popular Creative Writing classes.  Professor Dessner vividly presents fictionalized versions of his students of many ages, with their poems, good and bad, and their questions and arguments, hopes and fears, successes and disappointment.  The teacher himself is crusty and kind, hot-tempered yet patient, hilarious yet passionately sincere.

The Writer's Idea Workshop: How to Make Your Good Ideas Great
Image from goodreads.com
The Writer’s Idea Workshop by Jack Heffron
Please note:  I also have Heffron’s The Writer’s Idea Book and if you have this one and not the one listed in the poll but want to read along with me, then vote for this book and leave a comment here so I’ll know to swap the one for the other.
Whether you have one idea or several, your goal is to create a powerful piece of fiction or nonfiction -- the kind you've always dreamed of writing. The problem comes in transforming that good idea into a great story or article. How do you proceed after that initial flurry of inspiration? In The Writer's Idea Workshop, Jack Heffron guides you through the idea-development process from initial concept to final revision. An accomplished writer, editor and teacher, Heffron writes with an honest, insightful voice -- one that's no-nonsense and instructive, yet a joy to read. Use this book to carry you through a project from beginning to end, or focus on prompts and chapters that speak to specific concerns or problems. Whatever your need, The Writer's Idea Workshop makes the effort of turning good ideas into great writing a pleasure.

Writing in Flow by Susan Perry

Flow is the sense of inspired freedom that comes when you lose yourself completely in an activity, allowing time, duty and worry to melt away. For writer's, words pour out in a continuous, creative stream. In Writing In Flow, Dr. Susan Perry shows writers how to achieve and maintain a sense of flow in their own work, everything from defining what it is to making it happen - even when facing writer's block. Throughout, more than 75 bestselling and award-winning writers reveal their techniques for enhancing their writing creativity and productivity.

And there’s the list.  The Fifteen in 2012 is not nearly finalized so if there are two books you’d like to share/read with me, again leave a comment and let me know.  Even if you aren’t interested in reading/working along with me, don’t be shy about voting in the poll.  I’ve already added about ten or so books to the list and I am just being lazy, wanting a little help.  

This poll will close at noon (est) on 2 December 2011.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Spiritual Paths and January

About four years ago (it was around May of 2007), someone I knew invited me to read along with her and together we agreed that we would explore a different spiritual path for six months.  Initially we chose Buddhism but then she asked if we could switch to Catholicism and I was open to anything because I was looking forward to this as an adventure.

When the six months came to a close she confessed to me she’d found her spiritual path and didn’t want to read along with me any longer.  So about three years ago, I was left to myself and my own devices.  I’ve since devoted six months to reading about Buddhism and Islam, including some sutras and the Quran. 

After debating if I wanted to continue doing this on my own, I’ve decided that I do but I’m also posting about it here in my blog just in case anyone wants to join with me in this exploration. 

Beginning in January, I’ll be reading on Hinduism.  I have a few books on hand (see below) and may have more in my bookshelves which I have yet to dig out.  My intention is to read these books mindfully, with the same openness I gave to Catholicism, Buddhism, Islam, A Course in Miracles, etc.  Of course I realize that six months is hardly enough time to fully appreciate any sacred path, especially one with as long a tradition as Hinduism.  The intention is simply to get a taste, an idea about the teachings and beliefs.  From there, who knows.  As history has already proven, it is not impossible that a spiritual path will prove to be the one that speaks to the heart. 

So that is one of the things I have in store for 2012.

Would you like to join me in this six month journey?  I would love to have the reading company and I know that having someone share in this with me allows for an enhanced over all experience.

Naturally I should begin with the Rig Veda.  I've had this book for a while (since around 1992) so it is probably overlapping with my Fifteen in 2012 list a bit but there's nothing that says I can't merge one reading commitment with another.  And whatever else I may choose to read or try to get around to reading, I have always made at least one sacred text a priority in whatever spiritual tradition I am exploring.  I don't know if this is a good translation of the Rig Veda or not but it is where I shall begin.  I may also need to have a dictionary of some sort close by because no doubt the names of various deities will confuse me otherwise.

Hinduism for Dummies is a newer book to my collection, having picked up the latest edition through the vine program.  To be honest, this and the previous book pretty much determined what I would do in January.  The list is not terribly long and Hinduism seemed like a logical direction since I've been pondering whether I should go more contemporary or more traditional.  For some reason, more traditional appeals to me more.  Perhaps because the roots go more deeply.  Also perhaps because this is such an ancient spiritual path and yet it is still flourishing while so many others have fallen away and been forgotten.

The Yoga Tradition will be the third and last book to which I will absolutely commit for this look into Hinduism.  I think I'm blurring the lines here a bit because yoga is not solely a Hindu practice.  There are several schools of yoga and some are off-shoots of Hinduism while others are more aligned with Buddhism.  But I believe this book will work as a resource because no doubt I'll learn more about how yoga grew from and through these various sacred paths.  Besides, on my last visit with my mother she gave me her copy of this book and I can honestly say that it looks like she never read it so this poor (and very impressive looking) book deserves to be read by someone.  Why not me?

Of course, these are just the foundation and, time permitting and inclination leading, I may read others.  So now I shall cross my fingers and hope that maybe someone else will choose to explore Hinduism with me . . .

Friday, November 18, 2011

Quote of the Day

From Marc's facebook status ‎"I'd rather be interesting than well-adjusted."

I did such a good job parenting, I can honestly say that all of my children are interesting.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Movie Review - 'Twilight: Breaking Dawn' - Baroque Nonsense : NPR

Movie Review - 'Twilight: Breaking Dawn' - Baroque Nonsense : NPR:
I've been very vocal about my disgust with the first book and, thanks to some lovely people who have left comments, I have come to learn that the sequels are no better. But what about the movies? I hated the first and yet it could be that the movies are less offensive. Right?
Not according to this paragraph from the review of the most recent movie:
"But when a saga popular with pre-adolescent girls peaks romantically on a night that leaves the heroine to wake up covered with bruises in the shape of her husband's hands — and when that heroine then spends the morning explaining to her husband that she's incredibly happy even though he injured her, and that it's not his fault because she understands he couldn't help it in light of the depth of his passion — that's profoundly irresponsible." I not only am appalled that mothers are praising these books and encouraging their daughters to read them, I am truly disgusted that I know adult women who think highly of them and have even recommended them to me.
Thankfully, I had the sense to know how bad they were from reading the first one and everything I have learned about these books since then proves one thing: they don't get better, they only get worse and worse and still more worse.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Awake in the World from Debra Moffitt Valuing Friendship

Awake in the World from Debra Moffitt Valuing Friendship:
""A friend is one who knows you and loves you just the same." - Elbert Hubbard " Debra Moffit is one of the presenters from the Wellness & Writing Connections conference and she recently published a book which is featured in the upcoming issue of the newsletter. This link is to her newsletter page. 'via Blog this'

Monday, November 14, 2011

All's Well That Ends . . . well . . .

I'm very likely going to be hosting a reading challenge of my own on book review blog.  I will announce it both here and there.  But I enjoyed the Classics Challenge this past summer and I'm still enjoying the Books I Should Have Read By Now Challenge so I'm keeping my eye open for other interesting reading challenges.

Over on A Literary Odyssey, there is a Shakespeare Reading Month Challenge.  I've been meaning to pick up on reading Shakespeare where I left off a while ago so this seems like a good way to get that kick started.

On Friday, Rob and I went to the school to politely request my money back but the administrator who brought us the bad news about the course being canceled said that they were going to have the class after all. Seems that 1) they knew back in September that the final class in the course would not be offered and 2) they should never have taken our money.  So even if there are only three of us in the class, they are going to have it.  And the teacher is willing to teach it even if there are only three of us.

So all's well that ends well.  Some other things came out after Thursday, things Rob hadn't told me about someone, things that I'm glad he didn't tell me because they would have diminished someone in my eyes but now, under the current circumstances, this someone needs to be diminished in my eyes and in my heart so the things he shared, although they hurt, hurt me for him rather than myself.  And that's what I needed.

I'll hopefully have more news regarding my own reading challenge for 2012 coming up.  I hope you're looking forward to it as much as I am.