Category Archives: Creative Writing

My Favorite Books From the Past Month (September Edition)

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I’m a voracious reader, so I’m limiting myself to my favorite five books read in the last month and linking up with Anne at Modern Mrs. Darcy . She hosts Twitterature the fifteenth of every month.

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Opal’s Jubilee – This is the third book in Leslie Lynch’s Appalachian Foothills Series, and it’s my favorite. I was fortunate enough to be in a critique group with Leslie when she started writing Opal, so it was kind of like being present when a baby is born. You have a vested interest in the details of that little creature’s existence for the rest of their life. And so it was with me and Opal. The critique group took a break and other things in my life continued the breakdown I was then experiencing, and I never found out what happened to Opal. But I thought about her a lot. When I’d wander the aisles of a fabric shop and see a particularly appealing purple heather or mossy green. When I’d shop at Goodwill. When I’d spot a woman with a beautiful, long braid of hair that I thought might match Opal’s. Then when I read the book I just wanted to crawl inside. I wanted to drink hot tea with Opal and tell her everything would be alright. I wanted to shop in the fabric store where she worked. There have been very few books that I’ve really wanted to live in, but Opal’s Jubilee is one of them. Treat yourself and read it.

OK, I know the whole point with Twitterature is to be brief, but I just couldn’t not rave about Opal. So I’ll be very brief for the rest of this post to make up for it ;)

I also enjoyed The Giver, Gathering Blue, Messenger, and Son – a four-book series by Lois Lowry . It’s a YA Fantasy series – one of those that makes a reader realize how much time and effort must go into creating entire worlds for fantasy novels. Their minds must just have different boundaries than mine – but I’m so glad they do! These should be required reading for middle-schoolers. And with the strange and horrific occurrences that we all see on the news every single day these books helped remind me that although we often can’t even agree on right and wrong among the citizens of our own country there are people around the world doing things we all agree are evil, but they just as firmly believe are right and just. It’s a terrifying reminder, but one I needed to gain perspective on world issues.

Looking at the Big Picture

— 1 —

Robin Williams. His tragic death by suicide was a blow to our entire nation, but our family took it especially hard since we’re all still working our way back from my suicide attempt earlier this year. I’ve been very emotional, and it set Michael and John back a hard-earned step or two.

— 2 —

 The timing was especially bad since my final appeal with CIGNA, my disability insurance company, was denied late last week and I already felt like I was on suicide watch with the constant calls and texts, and then John started school Wednesday. I really wanted something resolved before he went back to school just to give him a sense of security so he could concentrate more fully on his classes. Instead, we have contacted the Commissioner of Insurance and an attorney who’s comfortable suing insurance companies. Meanwhile Michael’s still working seven days a week and I’m applying for every type of aid available to get us through financially until someone with authority to write me a check agrees that I’m disabled.

— 3 —

I never have allergy or sinus problems except for a couple of weeks in the Fall (probably leaf mold) but right now I am miserable. I can’t breathe, I have a horrible cough, and nothing I take helps. I even got John to help me completely de-fur the house last weekend, hoping it was a dog thing, but nothing changed . . . well, my house did look cleaner for a couple of days, so that was nice.

— 4 —

I realized this week that I hadn’t heard in a long time about an anthology in which some of my writing was to be included, and when I pulled up the old emails for the title and searched Amazon it turned out it was released a year ago! Not that it makes me any money, but it sounds nice, doesn’t it? It’s called Dysfunctional Family Stories if you want to take a peek.

— 5 —

I was listening to tidbits of the news on morning while Michael was getting ready for work, and There was a poll asking how many Americans had taken a vacation during the previous year. Considering the lousy economic status of most Americans these days I thought that was interesting enough to put on many glasses and turn up the volume. The answer was about 70%, which was higher than I would have guessed, but it still saddened me. Everyone deserves a vacation. Not necessarily anything fancy, but at least a few days away from their regular routine. That got me thinking about how long it had been since we’d taken a vacation. It’s been seven years. Since John is fifteen, I think he’s only been on two vacations in his entire life. That is just wrong, and I’m going to figure out a way to make sure he gets to go with his band friends to New York for Spring Break this year. I don’t know how, but I’m going to make sure it happens!

— 6 —

High school back-to-school shopping is not as much fun as when the kids were little, and we may actually not have to buy anything since I loaded up on stuff at the clearance end of back-to-school last year (Yay, me!) and Aaron, for the first time in seventeen years, doesn’t have to go back-to-school shopping at all! I do remember my first year out of college and in the real world at back-to-school time, and I shopped anyway just because I love school supplies.

— 7 —

I was planning on writing more every day once John started school, but so far that hasn’t happened. The upper-respiratory stuff on top of the pain is just exhausting. I can hardly keep my eyes open to read!

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

August Twitterature

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I’m a voracious reader, so I’m limiting myself to my favorite five books read in the last month and linking up with Anne at Modern Mrs. Darcy (she hosts Twitterature the fifteenth of every month).

Chop, Chop (Chop, Chop Series Book 1) Chop-Chop Christian YA. Sweet, and painful in the complete and overwhelming way only teenage experiences can be. Has a Happily Ever After, though, and I hear there are more books in the series.

Top Secret Twenty-One: A Stephanie Plum Novel Top Secret Twenty-One You’d think Janet Evanovich would have run out of material for her Stephanie Plum character by now, but this one’s just as laugh-out-loud funny as the rest. Best of Book goes to Bob, the dog.

The Saint: The Original Sinners Book 5 The Saint Fills in the backstory so well, while leaving a very important question dangling until the end – Tiffany’s such a tease!

Second Chances: A Ro Davis Mystery (Young Adult, Psychic Mystery)  Second Chances I have to say I enjoyed the this sequeal even more than the original. Fabulously unexpected plot twists, too!

Unholy Bonds: A Novel of Suspense and Healing (The Appalachian Foothills Series Book 2)  Unholy Bonds Loved this for so many reasons. A very emotional book, and one that touches on many sensitive issues. Best book club book ever – could be analyzed for days!

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