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Posts Tagged ‘reading’

We were supposed to be booked solid last week between me getting back from Cleveland and a variety of engagements throughout the week, but somehow or another, we managed to get two evenings (mostly) free. It was delightful. Last Tuesday we biked to the library. Daniel doesn’t quite understand the concept of just browsing all the beautiful books, so he selected one book, and sat down and read for a couple hours while I took my time perusing all the shelves. Blissfully talking-free, quiet, and rejuvenating. I may have come away with 12 books. I am not sure I will actually get through them all, but it was just lovely to take any book I felt like. Our library seems to have a propensity to murder mysteries – I swear, a majority of the shelves were murder mysteries – and almost no inspirational fiction, but I still managed to find a lot of intriguing covers, including murder mysteries related to baking and disowned gentry.

I came home and pulled out all the books, showing them one by one to Daniel, and then informed him that instead of starting one of them, I was going to start on the book I borrowed from my sister “Princess Academy”. But he just started laughing. He pointed to the book that I was going to start reading and several of the others, many of which related to fairytales in some way, and informed me that I had very specific tastes. I didn’t deny it, but it did get me wondering. Why do I read so many fairytales-based books, yet I don’t write fairy tales at all? I noted this to Daniel, commenting on how I loved being transported into the alternate worlds of fantasy and fairytales, but most of the books and short stories I write are – not necessarily gritty, but underlined with hardship and sorrow. The only fantasy book I’ve ever written has very little lightheartedness in it, and focuses more on him getting through trials than fairytale aspects.

Daniel thought about it for a moment, and then said, quite eloquently, I might add, “The books you write are where you are from and the books you read are where you want to be.”

I think he is a right, to an extent. I am a firm believer that everyone is a maker of their own destiny (with God’s guidance, of course) and that while your past/childhood can inform choices, it should not be used as a crutch, nor is it to blame for choices currently being made. However. I still thought he brought up a good point. I’ve made a lot of hard decisions in the past, grew up pretty fast, and have had a fair share of difficulties. They helped make me into who I am, and I don’t regret any of it, but it still has impacts you don’t even think about. Like the stories I write. Stories of people “growing up”, no matter how old they are, and learning how to deal with difficult things. Learning the world isn’t about them. Learning to grow out of their comfort zone and forge ahead into a better life. They do relate to my past whether I realized it before or not, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It just means I am taking lessons I have learned and showing them to the world, hoping to ease someone else’s way.

Someday, though, I will also write fairytales.

strong person

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Did I finish writing that book in December? No, no I didn’t. Lest you think I was just not posting updates, I assure you I did not write another word. I cannot believe how busy this year’s holidays were. I know I say that every year, but seriously! This year’s Christmas in Minnesota was defined by three specific things: 1. We all traveled 2 and a half hours on Christmas day to my grandparents for the family party for the first time in over a decade. 2. My sister had a baby due on the 20th so we kept waiting for her to go into labor, but she didn’t until I left the state on Sunday the 31st, and the baby wasn’t born for 44 more hours after that. 3. The temperature in MN never rose above zero and most of the time was around negative 10 or, with wind chill, negative 20 – 40.

Daniel and I celebrated New Years Eve in a hotel Sunday night. We brought a bottle of champagne and bought a bottle of wine as well. We sat in the hotel lobby after about 8 hours of driving and played games while we drank the wine and ate stocking candy and split a personal sized pizza since no one believes in delivering food or keeping their restaurants open on New Year’s Eve. As one of my friends said, it will make a great memory!

No New Year resolutions this year. I am deflated from last  year’s failures. I do have some goals in mind, however. Yes, I know technically they are the same thing, but let me have my nuance!!

  1. Write more
  2. Finish reading the Bible through
  3. Lose weight, however much
  4. Most important: Pay off my student loans
  5. Mutual goal with friends: read a minimum of 12 books

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and Happy New Year!

 

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If you follow my blogger account (you know, that public facing one that technically friends and family can find if they look that I often wonder why I started at all?) then you already know what I am working on. But just in case you don’t, the title of this post will tell you. Because apparently I don’t know how to be mysterious.

I got this book on Writing the Intimate Character in hopes it would help with the issues I’ve been having in Picture of the Past, especially with Elizabeth. And it has really been amazing – the chapters are insightful and the exercises at the end of each chapter really force you to think about it and implement it. I almost feel ready to go back to editing my book itself with some confidence that I can create a better, more relatable character. Almost. Maybe I should finish reading the other book first. Either way, I have been quite pleased with the purchase.

So, I’ve said this before – but I would really like to be finished editing my book before NaNoWriMo. Maybe not publishing worthy done editing, but maybe someone reading it and telling me what they think worthy. It is amazing, isn’t it, how you can lose confidence in a thing you’ve been working on for years? The more I work on it the more useless and unentertaining I fear people will find it. So we’ll see what happens.

Life has been a little crazy, which makes it hard to make time for editing. I thought I learned from my self-imposed challenge that making 15 minutes to work on something isn’t that hard, but apparently I didn’t learn it enough because I am right back to my old habits of assuming I don’t have enough time to work on it at all. I should get one (or more) of my friends to hold me accountable or something.

For you Christians out there, we are going through some difficult personal life stuff, so prayers would be much appreciated at this time – prayers for courage and for health/healing.

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Update: It has been conveyed to me via a reliable resource that I need to clarify a couple things.

One: This is a giveaway just on this blog, not nationally – so if only one person comments on this post, they WILL get the e-book. If three people comment, then I will draw names between those three people.

Two: This is an advance copy of the book! It is not even available in stores yet! You will be one of the first to ever read it!

And, as a further clarification, liking the post doesn’t count as a comment – although I am tempted to count it as a comment. 😛 So, please make sure that you actually write a comment to be entered in the contest! Come on, you know you want to be one of the only people in the nation with exclusive access to an advance copy of the next bestseller!

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So, in the spirit of NaNoWriMo and new authors in general, I am hosting an e-book giveaway! A friend of mine recently signed a book contract – yes, I struggled with jealousy too. Please take a few minutes, swallow your jealousy, imagine yourself in her place, and read on! 🙂 All you have to do is leave a comment – any comment – even “hi” for those of you as introverted as me, and I will put you in the pool to win the book!

Below please find a blurb, the first page of the book, and an author bio!

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Book Blurb:

Patience Callahan is twenty-five and fast becoming an old maid. But she’s spent most of her life dreaming over romantic European literature and wants a dashing d’Artagnan, not a bookish Bob Cratchit. Alas, the Colorado town of Gilman’s chock-full of Cratchit’s without a d’Artagnan in sight.

Peter Foote, the general store owner, has been in love with Patience for seven years. But every time he’s on the verge of proposing, she cuts him off; he can only imagine on purpose. This time though, dadburn it, he’s going to go through with it.

Ring in hand, he’s moments from touching knee to floor, when Patience pulls out a list of mail-order bride advertisements and declares her intention of marrying a backwoods stranger on Christmas Day.

He’s got two weeks to change her mind.

The first page of Plum Pudding Bride

There she was, the girl he’d loved for seven years. And she was sorting preserve cases at his store, as she’d done for the last four years. She stood not six paces from him, and yet so far away.

Peter’s fingers squeezed the ring box in his jacket. This time he was going to go through with it, no matter if she pointedly changed the subject, or hastily found excuses to be elsewhere, or pushed other eligible young women at him. Dadburn it, today he’d have his answer, a “yay” or a “nay” instead of living in this wretched bog of uncertainty.

The store had already closed. He just needed to grate the key in the locks while Patience tidied the shelves. The falling winter sun made long shadows on the floor between them. Now she had put down the strawberry preserves and taken an inventory list. She moved towards the mercantile section.

His heavy boots clomped on the hardwood floor, but his heart clomped louder. His fingers tightened around the red velvet box. It was a white gold ring and a miner’s cut diamond. Size six, as he’d discovered four years ago when he’d stolen her glove.

Patience’s brown hair twisted back around her ears. She always complained it lay too flat, and said her younger sister teased her about having a mottled complexion. But he’d never seen hair shine like hers, and her soft skin set off brown eyes that possessed a luster no girl in Gilman could match. And her smile. Oh, her smile. She could turn Antarctica into the tropics by just curving her lips.

A head-high shelf of baking perishables hemmed them in on one side while bolts of fabric made up the other side of the narrow aisle.

“Patience Callahan, will you,” Peter slid the box out of his pocket, and started to lower one knee to the ground.

Her gaze flicked to the ring box. “Why, Peter,” she stepped into him, blocking all attempts at kneeling. “I’ve been meaning to tell you my news.”

Her long fingers were slender. Yet, they could move lickety-split when sorting spools or organizing canned goods.

“I just received this.” Patience tugged a newspaper clipping out of her pocket along with a small daguerreotype. “This is Arnie Dehaven. He’s a Montana rancher. I’ve answered his mail-order bride advertisement and I’m marrying him.”

Author Bio:

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Anne Garboczi Evans is a mental health counselor, military spouse, and mama to an opinionated little preschooler named “Joe-Joe.” Her inspiration for Plum Pudding Bride came from moving to the Colorado Rockies. You can find Anne online at annegarboczievans.blogspot.com

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Today is one of those days. Where nothing seems quite right, and you are out of temper though you cannot quite describe why. I feel randomly emotional, and melancholy, and altogether have a longing for something I cannot explain.

Today is one of those days. I do not want to be in a city, surrounded by people. I am sick of people pushing at my backside when I do not walk quickly enough for them, of rushing up and down the escalators, running to catch a train, being scared of being trampled to death if I dare pause near a doorway, stairway, escalator, or even on a sidewalk.

Today is one of those days. I have a sudden wish for a walk through a forest, the sounds of birds instead of construction, the lovely, lonely view of forest or an ocean or a mountain, or even just beautiful sky. I want to sit on the edge of a cliff and “just feel a prayer.” I don’t want to hear chattering voices behind me, constantly aware of the click of heels or boots rapidly approaching behind me and wondering if they are going to ride me all the way to my destination or deign to go around me.

Today is one of those days. I just want to drink in the scent of lovely flowers and trees and nature without drinking someone’s cigarette smoke in with it. I want to sit in utter silence as long as i want to without feeling like someone is waiting for me to move out of their way. I want to get lost in thought with only the wind to interrupt me. I don’t want to think about the monotony of work, or how I am going to receive criticism on every deliverable I submit no matter how hard I work on it, or how many long hours I need to work just to have enough PTO to go somewhere for Thanksgiving and Christmas. I want the beauty of nature, the warmth of the sun, an unrealistic book, and the solitude of a forest path to take it away from me.

Today – is just one of those days.

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