Monday, August 22, 2016

Too Powerful Not to Share

It's not often you see a room full of middle-school kids reduced to tears. Powerful.


Sunday, July 10, 2016

More Right Brained Than Left

...or, how I'm spending my summer vacay.  Such as it is.

Not sure if any of these are wall-worthy, but this is how I'm spending much of my summer.  I prefer abstract painting but I wanted to get back in the swing of things so I took a couple of art classes, and voilĂ .  Let there be fruit.

Maybe next time I will share some of my abstracts.  Those are not as black and white (literally), more emotional, and harder to explain. That's probably why I like abstract art.

Hope you're having a great summer!

Monday, May 30, 2016

Beach Bag Worthy

A couple of good reads...

First, I really enjoyed Katherine Wilson's Only in Naples: Lessons in Food and Famiglia From My Italian Mother-in-Law.  I read this memoir in anticipation of an upcoming Rome trip and loved the often hilarious interactions between Katherine and her mother-in-law.  The American author moved to Naples in the mid-1990's after college, found a job and fell in love with the city and an Italian.  I now have a serious craving for more travel and lasagna.  Fun book! Toss this one in your beach bag and enjoy, preferably with a cappuccino at your fingertips.

Next, I devoured Tuesday Nights in 1980 by Molly Prentiss.  This is a
darker, more literary read.  The writing is gorgeous.  If you anticipate spending hours alone on a beach or poolside, consider this one.  Prentiss does a perfect job of capturing the crazy stubborn desperate beautiful mind of an artist.  Set in the 1980's in SoHo in New York City, I was unable to put this novel down and got totally absorbed in the characters and their intersecting, often very dark, lives. 

Happy Reading!

Have an amazing summer.

Monday, May 9, 2016


I have a love-hate relationships with retellings.

On the one hand, I love when I find a clever retelling.  For example, I'm currently reading Curtis Sittenfeld's Eligible, which is a modern-day Pride & Prejudice retelling.  Overall, I'm enjoying it.  But since I've already read Pride & Prejudice, I kinda know the plotline and the characters. 

It's sort of how I feel about remakes and even sequels to good movies:  You loved the first one and you want to watch the second one but the second one is never as good as the first and after you watch the sequel or remake you wonder why they just couldn't leave a brilliant thing alone.

With authors and retellings, while I appreciate the cleverness (and good writing) of a retelling, I have to wonder why a talented author couldn't dream up a totally new story on his or her own.

Thoughts, dreams, aspirations?

Thursday, April 7, 2016

We Interrupt Your Regularly Scheduled Programming

What do you get when you mix green jackets, golfers, and books? Why, you get a sweet mention for your book in USA Today!

The first of the four major tournaments in the men's PGA Tour tees off today at the Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia and imagine my surprise when I'm minding my own business and I happen to be reading this article in USA Today and my book Hooked is mentioned in practically the same paragraph.

So, thank you, USA Today! Keep calm and golf on.

To read the article, go here.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Keep Calm and Hike On

Luckily I can just walk outside my door and breathe in the desert and I am grateful for that every day.

Here are a few recent photos from recent treks in the desert around my home. 

Spring is such a great time of year for hiking because of the cactus flowers and all of the wildflowers.  My husband and I try to get in as many hikes as possible before the summer heat, although we still hike in the summer. Just not as often.

This is where I go to clear my head and sometimes I even get a story idea or two.  Or a line for a poem that's brewing inside my head.  But, sometimes, it's nice not thinking of anything and  You know?

Good times.


Monday, February 29, 2016

A Few Good Reads

Haven't done one of these posts in a while.  As usual, I read a ton.  Lately I've been reading loads of nonfiction and poetry, which is a big detour from my usual YA and fiction preferences.  Variety is the spice of life, right?

Anyway, here are some books that I'd like to recommend:

Tops on my list definitely goes to Boys in the Boat.  And, I mean, wowza. Big wow.  What an incredible story.  This is the kind of book that I will buy and then lend it to everyone in my circle of bookworm friends. 

It's the true story about a group of guys from the University of Washington who, against all odds, won the Olympic gold during the 1936 Olympics.  Loved, loved, loved it.  Their personal stories were compelling. Couldn't put it down.

Side note: I volunteer at a local assisted living facility. One of the residents that I sit with often is a lovely Swiss woman who lived in Germany during the 1936 Berlin Olympics as a young teen.  She remembered attending these Olympics, even remembered these "boys in the boat."  It was fascinating to talk about this book with her.  She told me about the time that she (had to) shake Hitler's hand.  She remembered that with a shudder.  Shortly after that point, she and her family emigrated to the US.  Anyway, how timely. I am so privileged that I got the chance to talk about this story with her.

Next on my list:  Practically anything written by Charles Bukowski, but mostly his poetry.  I've been reading through all of Bukowski's books at my local library and only recently discovered him.  Bukowski died in the mid 1990's during his 70's.  But he left behind a long list of literary works.  Most of his writing is gritty, dark, and oftentimes funny, but dark-funny, if that makes any sense.  His poems are not full of light and joy and unicorns, so reader-beware.  I haven't read one yet that I didn't like.  I've also enjoyed reading about his perseverance at becoming and being a writer.  He doesn't mince words about publishing, writing, editors, and the publishing world and just about any writer/author can relate to his candid perspectives.  Although he'd been writing his whole life, he hadn't had much success until his 40's.  Anyway, I appreciate his poetry. Maybe you will too.

Love is a Dog from Hell is the last one I finished. But I've also read Open All Night, and The Last Night of the Earth Poems.

As usual, I keep track of everything that I read over at Goodreads.  I generally only rate and review those books that make an impact on me in some way.

Happy Reading!